Are there ritual quarters in the Northern Tradition?

One of the questions I have been asked alot in my more than 20 years as a Heathen is if our Northern Tradition also uses ritual quarters.

To answer this question, I’m going to back out a bit to the bigger picture to hopefully explain the connection from what we know of the ancient past, to certain aspects of the evolution of the modern religion and how it is practiced today. When someone goes searching through the vast amounts of ‘lore’ (sagas, skaldic and eddic poetry), as well as accounts written by outside travelers (like the Romans, or various Muslim travelers) to try to reconstruct religious practices, while there are indeed many references to such practices, unfortunately they tend to be rather brief and essentially consist of “they held a ritual”, which in the scheme of things isn’t terribly helpful for those of us today who would like to know exactly how such rituals may have been performed.


Continue reading “Are there ritual quarters in the Northern Tradition?”

Advertisements

The Holy Tides – Haligmonath / Winter Finding / Winterfylleth / Winter Nights / Vetrnætr / Haustblót / Völsi blót

Autumn is upon us, my favorite time of the year.

Some practitioners of the Northern Tradition are celebrating Winter Nights (Vetrnætr, Haustblót ) around now, the time of the autumnal equinox so it is more in sync with mainstream pagan Mabon celebrations. Yet many more won’t be celebrating it until mid to late October, when it will be more in sync with the pagan celebration of Samhain. There are others who may not even celebrate it until November as that would be the approximate time when the harvest has concluded in their area.

The reason for the discrepancy is that as much as we sometimes treat the pre-Christian ancient German, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon cultures as being part of a somewhat synonymous culture, the fact remains that we have regional differences as it applied to both methods of time-keeping, as well as it applied to when agriculturally related festivals were held based on that geo-specific culture’s natural cycle.

This has led today to a number of celebrations and observances including: Haligmonath, Winter Finding, Winterfylleth, Winter Nights, Vetrnætr, Haustblót, Völsi blót, etc.

Photo of a previous Winter Nights altar.

So then what are all these different observances, and what do they have to do with this time of year?

  Continue reading “The Holy Tides – Haligmonath / Winter Finding / Winterfylleth / Winter Nights / Vetrnætr / Haustblót / Völsi blót”