I honestly don’t know what exactly about this Mani likes, but He seemed to want it tonight. Perhaps a little story will happen next Yule Moon.
Hail to m’Lady Sigyn
Shout out to the Vanir
Sometimes I’m not sure who is more excited when the tree gets done – my People or our cat. Either way, the first step of celebrating Yule is done because the tree’s up and lit.
Certain People are honored on some of the 12 days of Yule, and I do a shout out to two Tribes of Vanaheim each night. I shared a break down here, so I’m not really feeling like taking up a lot of space with sharing the same info in a different format.
With my personal versions of the Vanic holy days just getting implemented this year, it’s going to be the start of having a “free space” nature to celebrating Yule. I go into it more in the Lights of the Serpent post, but Star Mother and Horn Father pick a different ritual that will benefit Vanaheim and the Vanir each year.
This year Yule will acknowledge different alliances and Allies that the Realm has, and I’m doing something each day here in Midgard to recognize that.
- 1 – Helheim – I’m going to be starting a knitting project for Hela, and I have to check in with my dead (and some People I associate with because of my dead).
- 2 – Niflheim – I’m going to check in with Fenrir.
- 3 – Museplheim – I need to make cleaning progress for Sunna.
- 4 – Svartalfheim – Blith. I’ll find out what to do the day of.
- 5 – Nidavellir – Njord (on behalf of Andvari). Find out the day of.
- 6 – Ljossalfheim – Nectë. Find out the day of.
- 7 – Midgard – Jormundgand. Find out the day of.
- 8 – Jotunheim – Angrboda. Find out the day of.
- 9 – Asgard – Odin. Find out the day of.
- 10, 11, 12 – These days are for other pantheons, and I don’t have as much to do for them.
Because the 10th day is 12.31, I’ll just do my New Year’s divination for 2016, and I’ll do something for my Infernal contacts on the 11th day. The 12th has nothing extra (unless Someone surprises me later).
Winter Solstice – Gnawed Bones. Gnawed Bones is a Yule celebration, though it doesn’t last 12 days as some other Yule celebrations may. It celebrates the survival of winter so far and seeks to ensure survival until spring.
Depending on the Tribe and its territory, winter is very harsh and survival is closely tied to food prep and storage. Because food needs to be carefully planned out to last through winter, feasting usually isn’t associated with this day. Starting now and lasting until the spring equinox, the equivalent of ‘government assistance’ helps Jotuns to stretch their food storage.
The expense of this is considered the trade off for planning and hosting a large event that typically happens with other holy days. Angrboda and the priest for the Family of Fire do a televised Skype conference(esque) ritual featuring the lighting of candles and prayers for fire to return to the world (typically mentioning Sunna and the sun as well).
Those watching often join in the prayers and candle lighting, and that’s often the extent of this holy day. A treat or a nicer meal than usual is hoped for, but many turn to setting out candles and lanterns with shortened versions of the Yule prayers over the next few weeks. Dignitaries, ambassadors, and important People in orchestrating holy days are often involved in politics, treaties, and visiting the Yule celebrations in other Realms around this time of year, so a low key celebration works best for Them as well.
Observing Gnawed Bones:
- Traveling or journeying to the Capital (one of the many designated locations to watch a televised event with others) in order to attend astrally may be possible. It may be possible to attend a televised event and family celebration elsewhere, if you have a relationship with Someone that warrants this inclusion.
- Lighting a candle and saying a prayer for fire to return to the world (addressing Sunna or another member of the Family of Fire).
- Sharing a meal with Someone (whether blood Family, chosen Family, or an Ally in the Realm) in a fashion appropriate for you and Them. This can be a simple meal, or you could opt for some sort of ‘treat’.
- If you interact with Someone married to one of the Vanir or also interact with the Vanir, it could be appropriate to observe Their Yule celebration. Some return to Vanaheim to do this, while Others gather in the Capital for offerings and a small feast (with the rest of 12 days being marked back at Their homes).
- Political relations with the Aesir have changed over time with the Realms working on a beneficial truce, but that doesn’t mean individuals have. You may be able to observe Their Yule celebration; observing here in Midgard may not be an issue, but journeying to Asgard should be planned and arranged ahead of time to avoid problems with being allowed in.
- If feasible for you to do so, sharing food and drink and lighting a candle once a week until the spring equinox can be done.
Date: Winter Solstice (start), lasts 12 days
According to Nornoriel, there’s ritual sex among the consorts of the King and Queen (on the night before) as well as between the Queen and King (the day of) with public orgies to add fuel. There’s also feasting and the King and Queen do a Krampus and Perchta procession, and then the rest of the days are feasts (presumably on a smaller scale).
My personal deviations prominently include the non-English name (hyphenated here), that the King and Queen are priests Who do not hold these royal titles, and that the priests do not have consorts. There’s also deviation in what happens and Who does what for this day.
These priests serve as a bridge to Horn Father and Star Mother, and there is no guarantee as to how Horn Father and Star Mother may wish to proceed with this holy day. It depends on how the year has transpired and what blessings They feel the land and people of Vanaheim need. Some sort of ritual takes place on the first day followed by a feast. The rest of the days are often family celebrations for many citizens, but there may be additional rituals in some years.
The main ritual may be sexual, but it is not a guarantee. The priest Who serves as the bridge to Star Mother has reenacted Star Mother’s masturbatory creation of all Worlds via ritual masturbation, and the priests have had ritual sex together. Star Mother wanted a ritual for mothers who had lost their children (no matter how old they were) and provided a safe place for grieving and comforting. Horn Father wanted a mirroring ritual for fathers, and the priest orchestrated rituals for other relatives to grieve throughout the 12 days. Just depends.
It’s not uncommon for couples to elect to engage in ritual sex, whether it’s to add fuel to the blessings of the main ritual, for catharsis, or for personal reasons. If the main ritual didn’t include sexual activity and provide space for citizens to also engage in sex, couples often choose to wait until they’re home after the feast. Just because the citizens of Vanaheim can engage in sexual activity publicly, doesn’t mean that they will always do so.
There’s some sort of gift-giving on the first day, usually before the feast, but it isn’t always as Nornoriel has described. Sometimes visiting ambassadors / dignitaries Who are able to [it’s something They already have the power to do] will hand out gifts. In the past, Odin, Kari, and Holda have all done so on this basis. Sometimes Star Mother and Horn Father will want Their priests to do so, and at other times, it’s a matter of drawing Someone’s name out of a hat. Through this method, the leaders of a Tribe, the Prime Minister of Vanaheim, and Deities (as we know Them) have filled this role.
So, the first day has a main ritual decided by Star Mother and Horn Father, gift-giving, and a feast. Various kinds of ambassador events, traveling between Worlds, and Tribe specific rituals often happen for the rest of the 11 days. Two Tribes celebrate each day (including on the main one), so that relatives in other Tribes have time to visit and priests don’t have to do every ritual in one day. The order typically changes every year, and there can be a fair amount of information in flux if you’re not involved in the actual planning of this holy day (such as me). There’s usually a ritual for each World of Yggdrasil, a ritual for non-Norse allies, something to acknowledge the dead, and there can be additional rituals chosen by Star Mother and Horn Father as well.
Observing this holy day:
- With how important the sun is to the land and areas related to the Vanir, I can see acknowledging Sunna as being compatible with a Vanic holy day even though Sunna isn’t classified as Vanic.
- Someone could journey to the Capital and take part in the main ritual, unless indicated that the ritual is ‘non-citizens by invitation only’ that year.
- It’s possible to do ritual sex and/or sex magic, whether solo or partnered, corporeal partner or non-corporeal.
- A candle can be lit, a prayer can be said, or some appropriate action can be taken to acknowledge Star Mother and Horn Father.
- Sharing food and drink with corporeal family and/or non-corporeal family, friends, associates, etc. It just depends on how you handle edible offerings.
- Lighting a candle, sharing an offering, or doing something else to acknowledge two Tribes a day for the 12 days.
- Gift-giving. Christmas will probably be expected for corporeal family, but if you’re giving Someone a gift, there may be a different day that works.
- If you’re close to Someone, you may be able to join in Their family celebrations. It can depend on how close you are, what relationship you have Them, and whether Their job kicks into high-gear around Yule or not.
- Depending on the year, there may be additional rituals and/or counterparts that you can do in Midgard. This will take planned spontaneity in not scheduling too much time for other (known) activities.
Order and inspiration from the ritual Chaining Fenris: A Ritual to Bind the Inner Beast, the sixth ingredient: Nerves of a bear.
The sixth thing on the list is the nerves – or sensitivity – of a bear. […] we bring here a well-used teddy bear to pass around. Hug him, hold him, and remember that love and nurturing is necessary for all beings – even monsters. […] Remember that part of your job, as the alpha in your body, is to protect them, feed them, and care for them. They are no longer your enemy. They are your dependent. You are the leader of the pack.
I covered that othering the wolf part of myself and using the ‘alpha in your body’ line of thought doesn’t work as well for me when I got to footfall of a cat. Other than that, I’d still say that being nurturing and loving to myself is still something I struggle with.
I fought against Someone suggesting a self care day as a devotional activity for Them. Even though I based my play on a life event of mine and purposefully twisted details away from my life, I found the most unrealistic bit to be when a character complimented the one representing me in this life event. I shrugged away the Dove phrase that I got from a friend while we were all getting ready for Semester Review: Accept a compliment.
And now this is the last ingredient. Why is it so hard to just be nice to myself? I think to some extent I’m fighting against an internalized belief that I have to earn / deserve treating myself. Existing isn’t enough, so I have to do X, meet Y goal, avoid Z first. Because I have to do something to earn this, I can somehow rig the system so I never do enough (probably a combination of brainweasels and everything-I’ve-ever-internalized more than me consciously deciding this).
While I should probably aim for getting rid of a system to earn treating myself, I think a more realistic first step would be to readjust the bar I’ve set for myself. I’ve been holding on to standards and expectations of what I could do before my depression started, and these expectations look even more hard to reach when I’m in a very low place and just trying to survive.
Love Notes are back! Getting back into the saddle….
Collect and recover the pieces of your past; organize them; and spread them out ahead of you. These are your options for the future. Which path will you take? Everything we have now is a result of past choices. We cannot change the past. It is only in the future that we have the possibility for change.
This smacks me very much of seidh practices. I’ve been getting the seidh message strongly recently. (Not surprising with Odin stepping back into the picture, and me now dwelling the land of my ancestors). Still, I hope that this note was aimed at others as well.
Let it be. Let it go, and turn the page. It’s not worth fighting over. Love, Freya.
May it be an evening star
shines down upon you
May it be when darkness falls
your heart will be true
You walk a lonely road
Oh! how far you are from home
Mornie utulie (darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
mornie alantie (darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now
May it be the shadows call will fly away
May it be you journey on to light the day
When the night is overcome
you may rise to find the sun
mornie utulie (darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
mornie alantie (darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now.