Good Day All! Today is February 21st, and for me, this is one of my most sacred times of the year! Why you ask?
Well in the article, “Historical Heathen Holidays” AS FOUND ON Huginn’s Heathen Hof we read:
“Some of the older holy days are a bit shrouded in mystery due to a lack of contemporary reporting. Others are unclear exactly when they started or how far back in history their origins might be…. A common problem for newer Heathens, and even some of the more experienced members of our community, is determining exactly what the Heathen holiday calendar looks like. Even a brief dive into Google will reveal a number of different calendars and holy days. [The Asatru Community, Inc.] (Italics mine) has eight holy days based on the Wiccan wheel of the year. The Troth has TWENTY TWO annual celebrations if you include the various ‘Days of Remembrance’. Combined with current scholarly disputes over dates and practices, it’s enough to leave a newcomer completely baffled!”
“Góa (Sun) 21 February
Góublót (celebrated on the first day of Góa) is likely a much older holiday, as references are made in the Lore to sacrifices being made around this time of year. There are also some older references to a folk tradition of weather forcasting on this day. (Not unlike the modern American concept of Groundhog’s Day). That said, the modern holiday shares a common origin point with Þorrablot. Named for Gói, the daughter of King Þorri, it is also known as “Wife’s Day”. Husbands are expected to be extra appreciative and attentive to their wives and the various important women in their lives. Something akin to an amalgamation of Mother’s day and Valentine’s day.
Multiple Sagas claim that Góa was the month in which the Disablót (a sacrifice made in honor of the many Giantesses, Goddesses, Landweights, and female ancestors.) was held. Considering the time overlap and the similar focus on the feminine, it seems likely that these two celebrations are related in origin. That being said, there is some slighty contention regarding the date when the Disablót was held, which we’ll mention below.”
“The Rogue Holiday!”
“You may have noticed that one Holiday was listed twice and left rather vague. Dísablót is attested to in a number of places in the Lore, but while the descriptions of the celebrations are relatively consistent, the timing is not. Depending on the source, it either occurred at the beginning of winter or at the very end. The most technically correct answer to this issue is that it was BOTH. In different times and places, Dísablót was celebrated at various parts of the year. Some older runic calendars mark it as the first day of winter, but by the time of the Icelandic Allthing it had likely moved. The modern festival of ‘Disting’ in Sweden is a current incarnation of this much older holy day; it’s currently celebrated in February and has been for hundreds of years. When taken in hand with the fact that Alfablót is specifically said to occur at the onset of winter, it would seem that Dísablót likely occurred sometime in Góa or Einmánuðr.
What we DO know about this holiday is that it was a celebration of the female spirits and ancestors, called the disir. The Hervarar Saga suggests that this particular blót was a public affair and apparently lead by women. (The potential connections to Góublót should be becoming slightly more obvious by this point.) Regardless of the time of year however, we know that this communal holiday was centered around sacrifice and ancestor veneration. So while some Heathens may take different views on when it should be celebrated, the context of the celebration remains much the same from group to group.” ~For the post in its entity please see: http://www.heathenhof.com/ranting-recon-what-are-the-heath…/
Today I encourage everyone to take a moment out of your day and do a ritual of honor and sacrifice for your Ancestors, and also celebrate the Divine feminine. (As we might remember, active participation within frequent sacred ceremony is what brings our spiritual practices alive and gives our path breath, and depth; Ond and Ord!)
Women (more so than men) historically thrive best in a communal setting, supported by family, friends, and tribal festivals that honor ourselves, the Earth, and where we are proceeding within the year ahead.
Take a moment to honor God-Herself; and be one with Jord’s stirrings of her Sister Sol’s nurturing rays of awakening her slumbering form, thereby awakening your Ancestral power of being heathen today.
Honor your place in this vast tribe of kindred, and share a celebratory horn of mead with some close friends today if you can.
All work, stress, drudgery and being grim over life events (and life is a series of ongoing “events” my friends!) makes Jack and Jill dull Heathens, so celebrate today the wunjo of being alive and within Nerthus’s supporting body!
Here is a Ritual I do, (I am a Volva, so it is very seidr-geared) but feel free to create your own!
Blot of Freya and our Disir;
Altar: Upon cloth of grey or fur, place the last sheaf of grain (or dried herbs, flowers etc,) harvested from last fall, and if you have any left; the last vegetables pulled from the ground. Place there also a bottle or two of mead.
Offerings: Food to the Ancestors. Also divination.
Daily Meal: Porridge and root vegetables.
Völva holds the ceremonial horn and standing in the Posture of blessing opens the circle with the traditional blessing:
Nodri! Hail to the North, hold and hallow this holy stead.
Völva faces East and speaks:
Austri! Hail to the East, hold and hallow this holy stead.
Völva faces South and speaks:
Sudri! Hail to the South, hold and hallow this holy stead.
Völva faces West and speaks:
Sudri! Hail to the West, hold and hallow this holy stead.
Völva return to the North position and speaks:
In the name of Thor we call to the ancient Gods and Goddesses – all. May this Horn, symbol of Mjolnir and symbol of the precious mead of inspiration, reaffirm the abundant kenning and power of our Goddess and of our people. I consecrate this place of community and frith, banishing from it all impure influences. May our minds in this consecrated place likewise be sanctified, as is our will to the just services of the Nornir, ancient goddess’s of fate of our people. As Heimdall guards the Bifrost, may this place be warded against all forces unharmonious to our purpose here this day. Wights of the land, wherever we may be, give us your blessing this Rite!
The Völva lights candles representing the need fire
Völva stands forth and pours out the first tankard of mead as a libation, and says:)
Hail to the Disir!
Hail to the mothers, the grandmothers,
The great-grandmothers, and their mothers,
The ancestral wombs from whence we all came!
Hail to those wise eyes that watch our families!
The red line of blood extends back into the mists,
Umbilical to umbilical, we all came through
That line of doors, as will those who come
After us into the world.
Völva stands forth and pours out the second tankard of mead, and says:
Hail to Freya the Vanadis!
Lady of the Vanir whose soul
Is bound to the Earth, the seeds that grow
And yet stretches forth into the mists!
In the winter we hail you as Lady of Love,
Warming our cold nights with your smile.
In the spring we hail you as Earth-Awakener,
Breaking open the seed that sprouts.
In the summer we hail you as Gatherer of Warriors,
Taking those to your breast who catch your eye.
In the awakening of spring, we now hail you as Lady of Seidh,
Wise sorceress who speaks with spirits.
Open the veil of vision for us, wise Vanadis,
And may our sight penetrate down the line of blood to the future.
Using your pose of receiving, open up to your Disir, and then arise and pour out a tankard of mead for your own grandmother. Then divination shall be done, in Freya’s name, for any questions that may have arisen during the past weeks.
Völva proposes a toast:
Nature is symbolized
By the Mother Goddess of Midgard.
Nature contains nature;
Nature rejoices in her own nature;
Nature surmounts Nature;
Nature cannot be amended, but by her own nature.
We raise a horn to the Mother Goddess of the world.
We raise a horn Our Disir, and to Freya, The Lady of all Gods!
Let us now raise a toast
And give praise and blessings
To these Goddess’s of our destiny!
To their life and light and to the eternal good.
Hail the Goddess’s of Seidr and of Wyrd!
Hail Freya and the Disir!
Mead horn is filled and Völva consumes some. A small portion of what is left over is poured onto the ground for the Ancestors.
The light grows stronger
The ground is dark beneath out feet
The veil between the worlds is always thin;
As our ancestors before us
We prepare ourselves
For the happy seasons which lye ahead.
Great lives are lived
From patterns of great convictions.
Our daily conduct
Is based upon our convictions.
Our inward ethics
Have their source in our convictions.
Our Gods, time, space and the great laws –
These are what bind our universe together.
We stand before our Gods,
As our ancestors have stood before our Gods,
With boldness of spirit
And unwavering perseverance
In all life’s challenges.
Our family, hearth and home,
And the unity that binds our people
We covet above all earthly things.
Goddess of our Ancestors –
We give praise and thanks to thee
And perform this festive blót in your honor.
Hail the Goddess,
Hail the Folk,
And hail to the Disir!
Volva faces altar and thumps Stav three times in five second intervals.
Spirits of Urd, we thank you for your presence here in this circle. We ask for your blessing and while you depart to your noble realm we bid you hail and farewell. I hereby release any Spirits that may have been imprisoned by this ceremony. Depart now in peace to your abodes and habitations. The blót is now ended.