Sacred Order

The practices of observing the phases of the moon and the direction of the wind, and orienting the construction in accordance with the cardinal points, all reveal that building was a religious act with consequence. This is a fact that can be confirmed by a number of instructions and taboos. In Russia, the master builder had to purify himself before setting to work. Francis Conte indicates that he fasted, washed, put on a clean shirt, and prayed. The cycle of time: the seasons, feast days, months, and days, also had to be taken into account. “In Siberia, the Russian peasants waited for the new moon and the beginning of spring,” notes Francis Conte. “They strive to have this work coincide with a major religious festival,” in other words, to situate it within what Mircea Eliade calls the Sacred Time, the mythic time. Constructing amounts to sanctifying a space by giving it order, forming a closed and clearly demarcated world, tracing a boundary between the self and the rest of the world.

Eliade, who studied everything that relates to this sphere with great perspicacity, realized that every construction is a creation, a beginning, the reiteration of a mythical act, a cosmogony, and therefore requires precise rites so that it confirms to the archetype. The house is a new center of the world and possesses a religious value. Is it any coincidence that the ancient name for a dwelling in the Germanic languages (hof) can mean “farm,” “house,” and “sanctuary,” and that the keystone is still called “Heaven’s Gate” (Janua Coeli)? […] Russian traditions also tell us that the house is a microcosm: in the izba, the corner where the icons are kept is the dawn, the ceiling represents the celestial vault, and the large center beam represents the Milky Way.

The house is also a center in the sense that it is a principle of unification of men and goods, and simultaneously of building and family, as Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie notes. It is therefore hardly surprising to come across gestures of consecration, namely with the help of a hammer or ax that is thrown over the roof of the house. In Christianized countries, a priest would bless the house. In Namur, Belgium, the first stone was sprinkled with holy water using a bough of boxwood that had been blessed.

Invested with sacredness by rites and by the presence of a spirit, the building should not be destroyed, no matter what, under pain of punishment.

— Claude Lecouteux, The Tradition of Household Spirits (pp. 26–27), on the religious value of construction

The importance of the act of construction in relation to the cycle of time—specifically the use of the new moon to a Russian peasant—is echoed in canon 53 of the Corrector by Burchard of Worms in approximately 1012 (emphasis mine):

Have you observed pagan customs which, as if by hereditary right and with the devil’s aid, fathers pass on to their sons even in these times: for instance, have you worshipped the elements, that is, the moon or sun, or the course of the stars, the new moon, or the waning moon whose light you hope to restore by your noise making or aid? Have you used those elements to try to bring you help or to help others, or have you consulted the new moon before building something or getting married? If you have, you should do penance for two years on the appointed fast days, for it is written: ‘Whatever do you in word or deed, do it all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’

Additionally, consider Anders Andrén’s reconstruction of the early Gotlandic solar cycle wherein Týr ensured cosmic order.

Regarding “gestures of consecration” with a hammar or an ax, also consider the association of hallowing with Þórr’s hammer.1Þrymskviða 30 Multiple runestones ask Þórr to hallow them or, more frequently, simply depict a hammer.2Rudolf Simek, Dictionary of Northern Mythology (2007) pg. 219

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Þrymskviða 30
2. Rudolf Simek, Dictionary of Northern Mythology (2007) pg. 219

A Supposed Fascist

I am a fascist.

Or at least I am according to the rag Gods & Radicals in Rhyd Wildermuth’s “Confronting the New Right” (archive) and “The Uncomfortable Mirror” (archive) and again in Shane Burley’s “Rainbow Heathenry: Is a Left-Wing, Multicultural Asatru Possible?” (archive).

When this nonsense started, I was stunned. I’m accustomed to fools saying dumb things; it’s the Internet, after all. This, however, was on a new level. The first thing to catch my eye was how poorly these people understand what fascism is. To them it’s just anything that is seemingly contrary to their own beliefs. This is not unlike how socialism is an evil thing in the US, as it is supposedly contrary to the American way of life. It’s clear that Rhyd did not mean to refer to a totalitarian government with tight controls on the economy and collectivist ideals being placed over individual rights.

No, it’s really just about how anything that vaguely smacks of traditionalism is bad because having roots at all is somehow bad to Marxists. What a wonderful world these people see around them.

The initial article is focused on the Alt Right (named the New Right throughout) and professes to out them for their fascist beliefs. These supposedly are:

  • A belief in the decay of society.
  • Being pro-European.
  • A return to sacred traditions that have been otherwise disrupted.
  • Protection of one’s land and thus nation.
  • Defending against external threats in the form of a common enemy.

I must say that these don’t seem too bad. All polytheists want a return to our ancestor’s sacred traditions. Protecting one’s land and nation should never be taboo, but apparently it is now. And it’s true that it’s usually a thoughtcrime to be pro-European, but, hey, it’s okay for everyone else to approve of their own people, so let’s do away with the double standards for once. All in all, though, none of this is remotely fascist. Darn.

Let’s not stop there. Rhyd goes on to list which things are subsequently prone to this evil, evil Alt Right:

Before continuing, it is important to note that the presence of New Right ideas in any Pagan or Magical Tradition does not mean the tradition itself is part of the New Right. Often times the adoption of these ideas is unconscious, particularly since many advocates of New Right ideology do not present their ideas as part of a political stance. In fact, many ideas are presented as overtly ‘apolitical,’ deriving from common sense, tradition, lore, or the will of the gods.

  • Dianic and Goddess Spirituality: Most adherents of Dianic Witchcraft and goddess spirituality are fiercely feminist and egalitarian.  There is some danger of potential crossover with the New Right through ‘essentialist’ ideas of gender—and the ‘sacred’ right of people to exclude transpeople from their circles.’

  • Druidry: While groups such as the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids are fiercely egalitarian, smaller groups (including the ADF and AoDA) sometimes have overlaps with Traditionalist and Tribalist thought, particularly in ADF’s focus on Indo-European ‘hearth cultures.’  Also, the ideas of Oswald Spengler (a favorite amongst many New Right theorists) have gained popularity through some “Long Descent” druids.

  • Reconstructionism: One of the more significant places where the New Right intersects with Pagan beliefs. Emphasis on returning to ‘reconstructed’ traditions, older (and poorly understood) social forms and hierarchical structures, as well as an emphasis on recovering European heritage are often problematic. Further, nationalistic and racial exclusionist tendencies are often justified as being part of ‘the lore.’

  • Devotional Polytheism: Similar to the problems in Reconstructionism, but with an extra dimension. Because some Devotional Polytheists place final authority in ‘the gods’ and emphasise hierarchical relationships (between human and god, priest and devotee), ethical questions cannot be challenged by concerned people because ‘the gods will it.’

  • Heathenism, Asatru, and ‘Northern Traditions’: while generally considered the most problematic, Heathenism is one of the few large Pagan traditions which also has a vibrant opposition against New Right ideology. Also, because of the constant media attention white nationalists within Heathenism garner, non-racist Heathens can draw on greater support from the communities around them.

  • Occult/Witch/High Magic Traditions: Because of their emphasis on obscurantism and secret mysteries, it is often difficult to discern the political leanings of leaders within occult traditions. Here, ‘association’ tends to be much more useful. Mentions of Evola or other ‘esoteric fascists’ should be considered warning signs.

My, my, how broad! I especially love how reconstructionists apparently do not understand the societies that they’re studying. This will really come as a surprise to those involved in Hellenismos and Cultus Deorum Romanorum. And someone should tell the Celtic Reconstructionists that they’re racist and “problematic” just by virtue of their name and methodology.

He then expands on these sins by listing more things that the Alt Right believes in:

  • Hierarchy (as opposed to egalitarianism)1Impressively Rhyd claims that hierarchies are unnatural and do not exist in nature. It’s an amazing display of stupidity.
  • Tribalism (as opposed to “interconnectedness”)
  • Self-determination for all people2This is outright mocked by Rhyd, going so far to say that it’s okay for others, but not for Europeans. Furthermore it’s claimed that this belief is just a lie anyway.

At this point Rhyd should just come out as racist against Europeans, but in his world there’s no such thing as racism against Europeans due to some fantastical belief that only people with ill-defined “power” can be racist. So very convenient.

In his second piece, Rhyd tries to weasel his way out a bit by saying:

I am also not accusing all polytheists (or anyone else) of being Fascist. If I were, then I would also be a Fascist. The piece I wrote draws no equivalency between specific Pagan-aligned traditions and the New Right. Rather, I draw attention to places where New Right ideology intersects, could influence or currently influences Paganism, including the traditions I am a part of.

And further down in the same piece:

The presence of ideas espoused by the New Right in any Pagan tradition or belief system does not mean the tradition or belief system is part of the New Right.

But such journalistic integrity was to be found:

Is there a leftist infiltration of Polytheism? And am I—and the writers of Gods&Radicals—leading it? Or did I, by gathering information about the New Right hold an uncomfortable mirror up to a tradition I am a part of? Have I violated sacred traditions, or merely revealed their political aspects?

After all, he’s only insulted a vast portion of polytheists baselessly and with incorrect definitions, especially so for Heathens. Theodism is really targeted, though never named.

Let’s actually bother to look at the Alt Right’s beliefs. I’ll summarise The Right Stuff’s article on this very topic:

  • Meritocracy
  • Tribalism and the protection of one’s own
  • Europeans have a right to self-determination like everyone else3Self-determination is specifically mentioned in the United Nations Charter under Chapter 1, Article 1: “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.”
  • Gender differences exist and are complementary, which are in turn expressed by gender roles
  • Unrestrained democracy is bad4This, of course, bears a striking resemblance to the issues of mob rule and the tyranny of the majority.
  • Optional: Jews have a disproportionate influence on the West and do not have the best interests in mind for Europeans5This issue is contested on multiple sites in my research. For some this is a mandatory tenet, while others disagree. The former have great contempt for the latter. This issue is further exacerbated by Israel having a habit of demanding that the West change its ways and open its borders to everyone, yet Israel won’t do the same.

More information can be learned from Allum Bokhari’s and Milo Yiannopoulos’ “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt Right6During my wanderings on Alt Right websites, opinions were thoroughly divided about this article. Some absolutely hated it, saying that the authors portrayed the movement poorly or that Milo Yiannopoulos was trying to position himself as some sort of leader. Others said that it was broadly good. I did not see many in between.:

  • A great respect for history
  • A love of culture
  • A distaste for so-called cultural appropriation

There shouldn’t really be a problem with these tenets for the most part, yet opposition by the regressive Left is intense. They consider meritocracies to be discriminatory and demand instead quotas. They despise Europeans thinking of themselves; only guilt and monetary reparations should be witnessed. In the extreme they don’t believe in gender or think that it’s a spectrum or think that it’s an infinite collection.7It’s really rather amusing when regressives clash about which is the politically correct answer here. The only real similarities are a dislike for unrestrained democracy8While the Alt Right is often more concerned with uninformed voters holding massive power over informed voters, the regressive Left is horrified by votes that don’t agree with them and will decry the results. One might argue that this is similar in that the regressive Left feels that all those who disagree are uninformed voters. and cultural appropriation.9But the regressive Left does not believe that Europeans have cultures and thus only complains when a European dresses or acts in a manner that they dislike.

Throughout all of this, however, it’s been forgotten that the Alt Right is the result of the regressive Left. For years regressives have been telling Europeans that they don’t have a right to self-determination, that they’re racist no matter what, that they’re evil from birth, that they have no culture, and that they are inferior to others. Is it any wonder that people have fought back against these ideas? Some will go the opposite direction and form a counter, while others will simply give in to what they’re told and become the very things of which they are accused. After all, why does it matter what you do if you’re already guilty by some original sin?

Now it is evil that polytheists have any sort of love or respect for what they reconstruct or have otherwise built. It’s somehow morally wrong that they do not seek to destroy everything in the name of intersectional feminism, Marxism, or anarchism. Tradition and heritage are just so horrible, especially if it relates to Europe in any way! What crimes they have committed just by expressing wrongthink! And those Heathens are just the worst bunch of the lot.

This pains me. I was a Democrat for years.10Nowadays I am a member of the United Independent Party of Massachusetts. They have a convenient “what we believe” page. When I visited Washington, DC, in eighth grade for a class trip, I bought a miniature license plate that said “Democrat”. It hung in my bedroom throughout my teen years. I voted for Democrats for nearly a decade. In my teens I attended gay rights rallies and protested in front of the State House. I was in the newspaper for being a part of a signature campaign for gay rights in my high school; I still have the clipping and I cherish it. I remember excitedly sitting in front of the TV with my rainbow flag as marriage equality became law in Massachusetts and thinking about how I could marry someone in the future. I was vice president and later president of the gay-straight alliance in my high school. I helped in various environmental groups throughout university.

I was quite simply a progressive. But it was for nothing. I watched as the Democratic leadership voted poorly or actively hurt itself in some failed bid for bipartisanship.11I mean, really. The Democrats have the worst negotiation techniques. You don’t drop several of your demands on literally the opening move for fear that you might be rejected anyway! I watched as so-called progressives kept going so far left that I couldn’t even recognise their goals. I watched as I became the greatest evil in the world just because I’m a white male. Most recently I’ve witnessed the rise of the belief that I’m this horrible misogynist because I’m gay and not sleeping with women. Or, even better, that I’m gay by choice and thus even more terrible because of my apparent hatred for women.

The regressive Left is embodied by people like Rhyd Wildermuth, Shane Burley, and the social justice warriors who infect Tumblr, schools, and online “journalism”. They’ve gone so far over that the world itself is the enemy. They are intellectually dishonest and hold beliefs so stunningly radical that to implement them would be to burn everything until nothing remains. They’ve tried to destroy atheism, gaming, open source projects, and education. And now they are here for polytheism in this quest to burn. It is useless to try to reason with them, as ideological purity is their sole goal and everyone else must be smashed aside with their cries of racism, original sin, and heresy.

I have not moved much politically since I was a teen. I was taught that all peoples deserve the same rights and opportunities. I was taught that merit is important. I was taught to respect history and culture. I was taught to love my heritage and to embrace it. I was taught to help others and to extend these beliefs to others in good faith. And yet I am not on the Left anymore. The Left is unrecognisable and barely even visible from where I stand. For what I was taught and believe, I am labelled harshly and comically inaccurately.

The regressive Left does not want me. I am guilty and sinful to them. My very religion is now offensive to them. But the Alt Right wants me. They respect my love of tradition and heritage. They support me. They approve of my goals in history and religion. All without moving an inch politically, I already have a foot in their camp.

The regressive Left made me what I am.

Further reading:

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Impressively Rhyd claims that hierarchies are unnatural and do not exist in nature. It’s an amazing display of stupidity.
2. This is outright mocked by Rhyd, going so far to say that it’s okay for others, but not for Europeans. Furthermore it’s claimed that this belief is just a lie anyway.
3. Self-determination is specifically mentioned in the United Nations Charter under Chapter 1, Article 1: “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.”
4. This, of course, bears a striking resemblance to the issues of mob rule and the tyranny of the majority.
5. This issue is contested on multiple sites in my research. For some this is a mandatory tenet, while others disagree. The former have great contempt for the latter. This issue is further exacerbated by Israel having a habit of demanding that the West change its ways and open its borders to everyone, yet Israel won’t do the same.
6. During my wanderings on Alt Right websites, opinions were thoroughly divided about this article. Some absolutely hated it, saying that the authors portrayed the movement poorly or that Milo Yiannopoulos was trying to position himself as some sort of leader. Others said that it was broadly good. I did not see many in between.
7. It’s really rather amusing when regressives clash about which is the politically correct answer here.
8. While the Alt Right is often more concerned with uninformed voters holding massive power over informed voters, the regressive Left is horrified by votes that don’t agree with them and will decry the results. One might argue that this is similar in that the regressive Left feels that all those who disagree are uninformed voters.
9. But the regressive Left does not believe that Europeans have cultures and thus only complains when a European dresses or acts in a manner that they dislike.
10. Nowadays I am a member of the United Independent Party of Massachusetts. They have a convenient “what we believe” page.
11. I mean, really. The Democrats have the worst negotiation techniques. You don’t drop several of your demands on literally the opening move for fear that you might be rejected anyway!

Delineation of Wights

Nushif has written a fantastic post (archive) about the “scale, domain, and level of importance” of wights. Excellent questions were raised. Here’s a quote from later in the post:

I think the idea of wights is something more heathens should tackle earlier in their study and internalize far earlier than some other concepts, such as the gift giving cycle.

First I think as heathens we must understand wyrd. We have a splendid post up already about this, to which I cannot add much.

Secondly we have to understand the world in an animistic sense, filled with wights of (sometimes) vague and unclear scale, domain and level of importance to us. That makes sense if we engage in the metaphor for wyrd that I’ve heard most often: a tapestry woven from threads. One thread, no matter how thick, thin, short, long, pliable or non-pliable can only make one intersection in the cloth of the tapestry at a time, as such our perception or rather our ability to act is limited to the intersections we can take. Simply put, we cannot do things we can’t do.

When I say this I mean the following. Taking the belief in wights and the history of the concept we absolutely must be animists. And we can’t discard wights not explicitly mentioned in the sagas or Eddas either. Remember that the heads on boats at times had to be removed when approaching land so as to not scare the wights. This doesn’t seem like the behavior of a people who limited the existence of wights to very specific and very certain places or things EXCLUSIVELY.

Krettir has an especially delightful response:

 

Theodicy

Theodicy—why a good god allows evil—is an astounding issue within Abrahamic religions. A god who is omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient surely can’t allow evil in the world, yet evil exists. In fact, it seems to be pretty obvious where it comes from:

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.
Isaiah 45:7 (King James Version)

That certainly doesn’t seem like omnibenevolence to me. And it only becomes worse when you start allowing for Satan doing evil deeds in the world, which undermines omnibenevolence, omnipotence, and omniscience simultaneously. This leads to a variety of attempts to explain away evil, such as Augustinian theodicy, which says that everything is the result of original sin and poorly used free will, or Irenaean theodicy, which states that evil is needed for human development. But why would we be punished for something thousands of years ago? And what development do we need from, for example, having a town die from bombing or a person torturing children?

Simply put, Heathendom does not have this issue in the slightest. Our gods are not omnibenevolent, omnipotent, or omniscient. They have flaws like we do. They are subject to Wyrd just as we are. There are limits to their knowledge, though those limits are far beyond ours. They can’t be everywhere at once, nor are they required to be. And it’s not as though they’re the only things out there.  Elves, wights, ancestors, and so much more hold sway over the world. It is in their multiplicity and differing goals that bad things may happen.

We don’t, however, require all actions to stem from the Ēse or the myriad other beings out there. Humans can do horrible things all on their own. To quote Hobbes, life can be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Of all things, we’re very adept at continuing such issues.

Ultimately, however, the concept of evil for Heathendom is only superficially similar to that of Christendom. Whereas Christendom views morality in very black and white terms, a Heathen views the concept with a far greater spectrum of options; there are many shades of grey in between. Things are relative. An invading nation may be evil to those being conquered, but the invaders may view this act as good, for they may have secured more farmland and other resources, thus allowing the nation to prosper. Another nation may view this as allowing for new trade opportunities, but also with wariness of an expanding power; it’s a mixed bag. Likewise, fire is a joy on a cold night and is good, but an arsonist may rob a family of its home and livelihood and thereby making the fire and the arsonist evil. A neighbour may be saddened for the loss and the damage that it does for the community, but with this he may find new work while the victim recovers and help his family.

Morality is not simple. It is a matter of how something impacts a family or a community. If it is helpful to the group, then it may be good. If it is harmful, then it may be evil. It is important to keep this in mind. Few things are very clearcut.

Problems in Heathendom

I like Lucius Svartwulf Helsen over at Son of Hel. I disagree greatly with him at times, but his posts are nonetheless interesting.

He’s having a crisis of faith in a manner of speaking. Not in the gods, but in how the religion operates itself.

Heathenism has grown over the years. It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this stuff for almost fifteen years now (Gods does that make me feel old, lol), and back when I started, there really wasn’t much of anything in my area. Now, I meet another Heathen every couple months, pagans every week, and I see temples and kindreds starting to pop up everywhere.

While there was some stuff online, I can’t say there was as much as there is now. Most of how I learned to be a Heathen came from reading about the Gods, and some history books. It was my birth heritage, my grandparents came over straight from Scandinavia. The myths were amazing, the Gods so relatable, and it didn’t judge me for all the violence, anger, and pain I felt at the time.

Of course, I didn’t have any other heathens to hang out with, or even really talk to. That’s part of why I started blogging back in about ’08 I think. The Heathenism I learned, that I knew, was about brotherhood, family, honor, integrity, hospitality, and so forth.

But the heathenism I knew, sadly, is not really the heathenism that is.

I don’t see an issue in some of the things that he sees, but it’s nonetheless good to read. The comments are also worthwhile. I can agree that the so-called online community is not what it once was, but I’m unsure how to fix that. Do we declare an Asa-Pope one day to help in unifying us in such matters? It’s very, very unlikely, especially in light of the ego-driven nonsense that comes from the leadership of the Troth and the AFA. Of course, just ask the Catholics how well the Pope unifies the faith; sedevacantists may have a few words to say.

Nature Worship

Over on reddit today Skollgrimm, a Suebian Heathen, wrote a lovely post about “personification deities”, such as Sunne, Mōna, Dæg, and Niht, to use his examples. Lately people, especially over on the /r/asatru, have been questioning the worship of such deities, as they’re poorly attested. The discussion has been coming up more because of the solstice; many people posted about holding a blōt to Sun. I recommend that you read his post.

I was oddly inspired by the topic, as I’ve grown tired of people saying that we can’t worship beneficial entities, which is largely how the Ēse/Æsir are defined. After all, one doesn’t worship Fenrir or þyrsas, as these are destructive and have no relation with us. As such, an hour of sporadic writing later, I posted a rather lengthy response in agreement. For the sake of keeping my thoughts in one place, here’s what I wrote:

Mothers’ Night Festivities

The ham is cooked. The devilled eggs and potato salad sit in the refrigerator. Bread is baking. Stuffing is forthcoming. An ale is being shared currently while a wine and a mead are in the refrigerator for later use.

Everything is clean. The floors are vacuumed. The shrines are dusted.

Various festive lights are on. Candles will be lit soon. German music is playing, as is traditional for my family. My husband is singing German and Latin songs while he works in the kitchen.

All in all, the night is coming together nicely. I still have over thirteen hours until sunrise and my final offering to Sun. Various things will be burned and offered to the Mothers in the meantime.

Most people are suitably quiet online right now, but Jön Upsal posted earlier. He wrote a short piece for inviting the Mothers to join:

The three Mothers traveled to the table,
They found the feast filling;
Meat from the table,
Bread from the board,
Wine from the cask.

Boons brought the Mothers, bright fortune,
Success for the supper they saw;
One Mother was there,
One Mother is there,
Another Mother will be there.

Look upon us with kindly eyes, oh Mothers,
Bless us for the feast we give.

Have a lovely night, everyone.

Yule

Yule is fast approaching (or is already upon us, depending on your calendar) and I might as well post my plans, such as they are.

Mothers’ Night is on Monday, 21 December, though others are doing it on Sunday, varying based on what one considers the day before the solstice at that point. For me the solstice is approximately at 11:49 PM on Monday, a level of precision that did not exist historically.

The house will be thoroughly cleaned and organised before then. I’m planning on a large meal with my husband; this will involve something with ham, but I’m hardly the cook in the relationship. A full plate will be left out for the Mothers and later placed outdoors. I will give other offerings throughout the night and share stories about my female relatives, all of whom outside the immediate family having passed on.

In the morning, I will blōt to Sun.

It will then be a little quieter for a couple of days with fairly minimal celebration. On 24 December my husband and I will be joining my family for Yule. The night is usually filled with poorly made movies and sparkling cider, as is traditional for us.

On 25 December it will be like most other families celebrating Christmas, despite the sheer lack of Christians in the immediate family. Gifts will be exchanged early in the morning. Snacks will be eaten in large quantities. There is a good chance that a small fire will be burning in the backyard eventually. Later we will have our “dinner”, which, despite its name, is actually just a slightly late lunch and will involve very large dumplings, pie, turkey, ham, and more.

Further partying resumes shortly thereafter with the birthdays of two friends, which I use to share greatly with numerous people whom I don’t often see in one place.

New Year’s Eve will be the last of the major celebrations for me. I will be spending my time with friends farther north and sharing what I can with them.

On the night of 5 January I will be wassailing. If I can find an orchard nearby doing this, I’ll likely attend that. Failing this, I’ll return to my parents’ property and try to coax the lone apple tree to have a harvest later at all, let alone a good one.

Throughout this time I will be leaving offerings of milk and cream to the cofgodas and other wights.

Depending on when snowfall finally happens, I will at some point be making offerings to the Charles River in the hope that flooding will not happen. The flooding of previous years caused a lot of damage to the surrounding plants and habitat, not to mention threatening the bridge that I cross quite often. I would rather not have that happen again.

For the sake of completeness, here are some things that three others have previously said about their Yule plans on /r/asatru.

/u/ceetsie said in the a comment that sadly can’t be embedded:

First, my wife and I are going to stay up from dusk til dawn on the first night of Yule, with a bonfire, food, drink, stories and just spending time with each other. In the middle of the night, we’ll be doing a blot to Odin, the wights, and our ancestors. And when the sun rises, a second blot, for Sunna and our ancestors.

While the following is largely in regards to happenings a few months ago, it does reach its conclusion in a few short weeks:

All of these contain some good ideas that may make their way into my practices here and there. It’s a delight to hear about what others do if only for the sake of comparison and the Yuletide always brings out people willing to share.

Origo Gentis Langobardorum

The Origo Gentis Langobardorum is a seventh century text regarding the founding myth of the Lombards. It is the sole source of our knowledge of the Lombardic reflex of Proto-Germanic *Wōdanaz, known here as Godan, and of Proto-Germanic *Frijjō, known here as Frea.

This text is used by Paul the Deacon in his Historia Langobardorum more than a century later. It survived with over a hundred copies, while the referenced text only survived in three copies.

Est insula qui dicitur scadanan, quod interpretatur excidia, in partibus aquilonis, ubi multae gentes habitant; inter quos erat gens parva quae winnilis vocabatur. Et erat cum eis mulier nomine gambara, habebatque duos filios, nomen uni ybor et nomen alteri agio; ipsi cum matre sua nomine gambara principatum tenebant super winniles. Moverunt se ergo duces wandalorum, id est ambri et assi, cum exercitu suo, et dicebant ad winniles: ” Aut solvite nobis tributa, aut praeparate vos ad pugnam et pugnate nobiscum”. Tunc responderunt ybor et agio cum matre sua gambara: “Melius est nobis pugnam praeparare, quam wandalis tributa persolvere”. Tunc ambri et assi, hoc est duces wandalorum, rogaverunt godan, ut daret eis super winniles victoriam. Respondit godan dicens: “Quos sol surgente antea videro, ipsis dabo victoriam”. Eo tempore gambara cum duobus filiis suis, id est ybor et agio, qui principes erant super winniles, rogaverunt fream, uxorem godam, ut ad winniles esset propitia. Tunc frea dedit consilium, ut sol surgente venirent winniles et mulieres eorum crines solutae circa faciem in similitudinem barbae et cum viris suis venirent. Tunc luciscente sol dum surgeret, giravit frea, uxor godan, lectum ubi recumbebat vir eius, et fecit faciem eius contra orientem, et excitavit eum. Et ille aspiciens vidit winniles et mulieres ipsorum habentes crines solutas circa faciem; et ait: “Qui sunt isti longibarbae” ? Et dixit frea ad godan: “Sicut dedisti nomen, da illis et victoriam”. Et dedit eis victoriam, ut ubi visum esset vindicarent se et victoriam haberent. Ab illo tempore winnilis langobardi vocati sunt.

There is an island that is called Scadanan, which is interpreted “destruction,” in the regions of the north, where many people dwell. Among these there was a small people that was called the Winniles. And with them was a woman, Gambara by name, and she had two sons. Ybor was the name of one and Agio the name of the other. They, with their mother, Gambara by name, held the sovereignty over the Winniles. Then the leaders of the Vandals, that is, Ambri and Assi, moved with their army, and said to the Winniles: ‘Either pay us tribute or prepare yourselves for battle and fight with us.’ Then answered Ybor and Agio, with their mother Gambara: ‘It is better for us to make ready the battle than to pay tributes to the Vandals.’ Then Ambri and Assi, that is, the leaders of the Vandals, asked Godan that he should give them the victory over the Winniles. Godan answered, saying: ‘Whom I shall first see when at sunrise, to them will I give the victory.’ At that time Gambara with her two sons, that is, Ybor and Agio, who were chiefs over the Winniles, besought Frea, the wife of Godan, to be propitious to the Winniles. Then Frea gave counsel that at sunrise the Winniles should come, and that their women, with their hair let down around the face in the likeness of a beard, should also come with their husbands. Then when it became bright, while the sun was rising, Frea, the wife of Godan, turned around the bed where her husband was lying and put his face towards the east and awakened him. And he, looking at then, saw the Winniles and their women having their hair let down around the face. And he says, ‘Who are these Long-beards?’ And Frea said to Godan, ‘As you have given them a name, give them also the victory.’ And he gave them the victory, so that they should defend themselves according to his counsel and obtain the victory. From that time the Winniles were called Langobards.