The Twelve Days of Yule: From Mother’s Night thru Twelfth Night

THE TWELVE DAYS OF YULE

If you’ve ever heard the Christmas Carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” modern heathens opt to celebrate this as the Twelve Days of Yule, with the last day culminating on 12th Night. Since ancient calendars followed a different method of time, the solstice celebrations as well as later ‘Christmassy’ style observances can vary from place to place as to when they occur. Today, most pagans and heathens celebrate the yuletide as running from approximately December 20 – December 31 (but there are variations). For Christians in 567 AD the Council of Tours would officially proclaim that the 12 Days were to be celebrated from Christmas Day through to the Epiphany.

We do know that the celebration of Yule wasn’t always twelve days long. In the Norse text Heimskringla: The Saga of Hakon the Good talks about it once lasting for three days, or as long as the ale lasted. The night it began was known as the slaughter night, where animals would be ritually slain. Ynglingna saga also talks of animal sacrifice. The meat later used to feed the community, as well as the Gods. We know there were practices as well of human sacrifice too during other ritual observances. In one story in Snorri’s Edda is that of the Swedish King being sacrificed to help during years of drought and famine, the scene famously imagined by Swedish painter Carl Larsson in his Midvinter’s Blot.

Continue reading “The Twelve Days of Yule: From Mother’s Night thru Twelfth Night”

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Yuletide Origins & Traditions – The Santa Claus Mythos

Just as our pagan cousins celebrate the eight major sabbats that comprise the Wheel of the Year, for those of us in the Northern Tradition we too have somewhat similar key celebrations that we call holy tides (from the Old Norsehátíðir). Some of these celebrations are more significant and special than others, and these especially important holy-days are known as high holy tides: such as Ostara, Winter Nights, and Yule which is now upon us.

Continue reading “Yuletide Origins & Traditions – The Santa Claus Mythos”

🕯️ Glad Lussinatta! 🕯️

For me Yule personally begins in another week, however if we look to the various holiday traditions from Krampus and Saint Nicholas, to today’s celebration of Saint Lucia Night, we see the pre-Christian remnants scattered across all of December. But I wanted to acknowledge Lussi on Her feast day today in Scandinavia.

Some scholars have posited that the Christianized Saint Lucia, may very well have pagan origins related to the figure of Lussi. We see Lussi who led her Wild-Hunt like horde called the Lussiferda. (Similar to other figures in the Northern Tradition: Perchta & the Perchten, which in turn probably connects to the similar Nicholas (most likely from Odinic origins) and the Krampus). On Lussinatta, folk traditions have Lussi coming down chimneys to steal misbehaving children.

The practice of Lussevaka – to stay awake through Lussinatt to guard oneself and the household against evil, not only fits symbolically well with a solstice celebration of longest night, but also brings to mind the description from Bede that Mother’s Night was observed for the entire night as well. While there’s a few different Christian origin stories for Lucia, or Saint Lucy, one of them has her bringing light to persecuted Christians hiding in the catacombs surrounded by the dead with nothing but a lit wreath to guide her. Symbolically, traversing the dark and realm of the dead with light, seems to fit with pre-Christian symbolism.

In modern times Saint Lucia’s Day is observed on December 13th, 12 days before Christmas. So, this very much syncs as a parallel to yule starting with Mother’s Night for the 12 days of the modern yuletide, even though the dates between modern pagan and Christian observances vary. Prior to the adoption of the modern Gregorian Calendar, her feast day in the Julian calendar fell on the Winter’s Solstice.

On a side note, the traditional depiction of Saint Lucia is of a woman clad in white. We know this is sacred iconography that is referenced time and again in Northern Tradition areas. We see this mentioned in Tacitus’ Germania that priest or priestesses wore white, we also see in the folk traditions mentioned by Grimm that women clad in white appeared at dawn for Ostara/Eostre.

Lussesang: a song for Lussinatta

While I don’t agree with the description saying this is for Freya (and thus assuming that Lussi is an aspect of Freya), the lyrics only mention Lussi and Alfrodul (an attested name for Sunna) and the words are perfect tonight. If you visit this on youtube, you can find the lyrics in Swedish and English if you expand the description.

Valkyries aren’t your “babes”

Women are sadly accustomed to being sexualized to ridiculous extremes, seemingly everywhere. For those of us who (aren’t imbecilic womanizing wannabes that) identify with the religious practices surrounding Northern Tradition Polytheism, we know that women held (and should still hold) power and respect.

Despite such a rich background, it never ceases to amaze me the ridiculous attitudes that propagate within our religion, carry-overs of bigotry and sexism from the culture at broad. Some will refer to these men as Bro-satru, typically characterized by those who play fight and talk of being warriors and being waited on hand and foot by valkyries who are little more in their minds than mead-bearing tavern wenches around for eye-candy and pleasure toys. (insert heavy sarcasm and eye-rolling here): Like they’re so amazed by your warrior prowess they’ll just fuck you right there: Hardcore! In the mead-hall.

A prime example is a “valkyrie decor plaque” I recently stumbled upon an ecommerce shop online. Since I think it’s pretty reprehensible, ignorant, and just plain tacky, I am NOT publicizing where I found it, let alone the name of the artisan behind it. Clearly we see a dehumanized woman, her only worth is in her breasts and between her thighs. She can’t have a face or head because then that means she has a brain and she starts to become a real representation of a human being with arms and legs. Limbs she can use to avoid or fight the warrior-wanna-bes who have no idea what it means to sacrifice a limb, let alone a life to protect their community including the women who they should have been raised to respect as far more than sex objects. This plaque is nothing more than a masturbatory visual aid for use.

Continue reading “Valkyries aren’t your “babes””

Loki, Discord and Weak Lore

https://wp.me/p5Atd5-xg

I will always Hail Loki.

Hail be to thee Loki,
God of my heart,
Dear friend and mentor,
whispering wisdom
and bald truths.

When I find myself lost
On serpentine paths
Mired in brambles,
Eclipsed by fog and shadow,
You guide me through
back to the crossroads.

Hearth fire,
Sturdy stone,
Flickering flame;
You, dear Loki,
Beckon me home.

So do I hail!

Group Lokean Letter to the Wild Hunt

It took me several days to bring myself to read the unclean column over on Wild Hunt by Siegfried. Just the headline alone gave me a headache. Making a comparison from a mortal to a God is a problem. Painting a God with a wide brush as evil is a problem. To see a column that devalues religous expression and our Gods is disheartening and deeply troubling.

Consider my name added to this letter too:

https://ladyofthelake.blog/2018/12/02/group-lokean-letter-the-wild-hunt-declined-to-publish/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog