Date: August 1st.
The start of the harvest season; Someone is sacrificed in Vanaheim, walks the Hel-road while Their death feeds the land, and then returns to the land of the living which acts as a blessing to the harvest. A lot of people associate this with Frey, but Visions of Vanaheim talks about this being a role that has been passed onto Someone else.
According to Nornoriel, this role is filled by the current King of Vanaheim. In my personal practice, this role is filled by Someone unNamed in lore, Who uses the name Gorwerdë (from the Tolkien Elvish oak gorw + seed erdë) [gore-wur-day]. He is not the ‘King’ and does not hold the priest role associated with the ‘King’ as Nornoriel has described. While Gorwerdë has taken on the official role of Sacrifice, He isn’t as involved or interested in ambassador work as Frey in my experience, which is why I still encounter Frey as being the focus of this day’s activities.
Suggestions for observing this holy day (pg 338):
- If one can journey, one can go to Vanaheim to observe the sacrifice and return of the
- One can keep vigil for the
KingSacrifice by lighting a candle and celebrating his return with merriment and feasting.
- One can offer blood to the Vanir and to the land.
- One can bake bread or (if not able to bake, or eat grain like wheat, or if you just don’t like bread) prepare some other sort of food, preferably something in season in your area.
- This is also the time when Frey’s procession goes forth within Vanaheim, and Frey can be honored during this time as well.
Trying to figure out something I can do:
- I can’t journey / travel / what have you, so attending rituals in Vanaheim isn’t an option for me.
- While I do have a few holy days where I do something along the lines of a vigil and pull an all-nighter (while doing something creative), I often try to find something else to do so I can get some sleep (and function the next day).
- Well, may be working out a blood donation near this date in the future could work, but I’m generally not big into personal, at home blood donations.
- As I shared here, I typically go the route of specifically offering up the energy from a certain meal to Frey (or generally to the Vanir with an emphasis on Frey) on this day.
- I haven’t done a procession, a blot, or something more traditional for Frey in the past, but I do tend to focus more on Him today than Others in the Vanir. It’s the primary time I interact with His Hat duties.
In terms of what I actually do, I typically offer up a meal to Frey (or generally to the Vanir with an emphasis on Frey) rather than offering up the energy to Everyone (default). I go into the why of doing a “board game” styled devotional activity featuring walking the Hel-road here, and this year, this has been mostly what I’ve done. This holy day is an acceptable time to work with descending and returning to the land of the living and far enough in the future to make sure I don’t literally go along for the ride.
Since this is the first year I’m doing this activity, I’ve had to take into account making it. I put the details into the descending portion last night and let token ‘me’ wait at a certain point overnight, and now, after having offered up a meal, I’m going to finish out the ascending part (and then probably share a bit more about what I specifically have done).