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Julius
Tuesday, December 16th, 2003, 01:42 PM
After a thousand years under the Judeo-Christian yoke it is now alas necessary to re-inform the Nordic people about the context of our feasts, so that our cultural heritage does not get forgotten or expelled by Judeo-Christian customs. Yule is a time we connect with ribs, Christmas tree, decorations, gifts, Santa Claus to mention some. I shall not go on about what the international Judeo-Christian power tries to get people to connect to this feast, but instead explain what Yule really is about - what it originates from…

By Varg Vikernes

http://www.lysator.liu.se/runeberg/bredberg/09.jpg

Yule is the darkest time of year, when the nights are at their longest and days at their shortest. It is also the time when the sun turns and the days get longer. This our distant predecessors celebrated; the day when the sun turned and when it went towards lighter times. This was called "Yule" (wheel) of the simple reason that the sun-wheel (swastika) is our foremost symbol of the sun; the life-giving and life-preserving power. To symbolize this it was customary to set fire to a wheel and to let it roll down hills in full fire and flame! Besides being a light-feast the Yule is also a feast for the dead, and a sacrifice for peace and fertility for the coming year.

One sang in the Yule by calling on the dead ones; "come those who want, join those who want" is an example of what the wife in the house could sing out while she walked around in the house singing the coming of Yule. Because everyone was supposed to able to get in it was forbidden to lock the doors and windows - they should actually stand wide open. The dead should not be hindered in coming home. Images and figures of our predecessors were put forth, so that they were remembered, and it was everyone's duty to toast to the dead and to our Gods. It is a religious duty to toast to Odin on the eve of Yule!

A great lot of food was set forth for decoration. Such food shall not be touched before the Yule is past; because the dead ones shall be the first ones to help themselves, and that which is left over the living shall have. This was cake-houses, nuts and much more. The eve of Yule the living should sleep in their living rooms and make their beds for the dead. Branches of evergreens were brought in. These were decorated with cake-men and cake-animals of different kinds. A spearhead was also fastened to the branches, in the top as a symbol for Odin's Gungnir. This branch - or the whole tree in our days (a German custom from 16th century) - is a symbol of Yggdrasil; the tree of life, and we hang things in it to hold a symbolic sacrifice to the Gods - after the model of the Uppsala blot and other related sacrifices where animals and humans were hung in the trees as a sacrifice to the Gods!

While everyone is asleep "the white god" - Heimdall - comes back to his children to give them what they deserve. Some get grand gifts, whilst others get their sock filled up with charcoal from the chimney. He rides over the heaven - like Thorburnr - with his wagon, which is pulled by deer or rain-deer, the whole night of Yule and visits all his children. Not only was Heimdall given the mission to improve the human race by giving them blood from the Gods, he was also to guard over the humans; hear all that was said, see everything and reward the children who deserved it.

The Yule is not only a feast for the dead and living, for the returning sun, for peace and fertility in the coming year. It is in the Yule's last days the Åsgardsrei fulfill the consecration of its new members. Then they fare forth in the night, disguised as animals and mythical beings, and then they go from house to house and empty their cellars for mead, bear and other things. Today we send our children out on this every year as "Julebukker (Yule-goats)". This gang of berserkers and wolf-hides must have frightened more than one old lady up through the years…

There are more details, such as cakes decorated with swastikas, that we eat ribs because it is of Freys holy animal (the swine), that the wife in the house brushes out all dust and dirt after the Yule whilst she throws out the dead and bid them keep away until she calls on them again, but I hope you know a little bit more now: about what the Yule actually is, where it comes from and why we celebrate it…?!

Think about it - and have a MERRY YULE!

Translated to English from Norwegian by Wewarijaz.

NormanBlood
Tuesday, December 16th, 2003, 06:08 PM
Yes, I read this article by Vikernes when I first became interested in the religious beliefs of our ancestors. I must say its one of his more rational articles lol

The part of the title "A Germanic Feast" brings up the point of how clueless the masses of today are as to the origins of our so called "christian" holidays. It would be amusing to see the reactions of parents when they realise that their children are really asking Heimdall for presents hehe

This brings up an interesting topic of, how will you be celebrating Yule this year? : D

Julius
Wednesday, December 17th, 2003, 10:43 AM
The part of the title "A Germanic Feast" brings up the point of how clueless the masses of today are as to the origins of our so called "christian" holidays. It would be amusing to see the reactions of parents when they realise that their children are really asking Heimdall for presents hehe

Hehe, yeah. In Sweden many know about some of the pagan roots. Winter solstice, old myths of trolls ("Santa Claus") in the woods etc. But of course, few are celebrating either "Yule" or Jesus. Christmas is just about the family and relatives gathering and kids receiving gifts.

As you probably know, Swedes still celebrate many other pagan traditions which have little Christian resemblance. For example Walpurgis Night and Midsummer around summer solstice.



This brings up an interesting topic of, how will you be celebrating Yule this year? : D

I'm not practising Odinism so I do as everyone else; spend time with my family and watch Donald Duck. ;D


The Swedish school system is very fair in that everyone has to learn equally much about Christianity and the pagan gods.

Glenlivet
Wednesday, December 17th, 2003, 03:51 PM
Yes, it is true that they teach you quite a lot about Pagan traditons and Nordic (also in relation with the Greek ones) myths in the Swedish school curriculum.

Yule is called Jul in Sweden.

I went to Julius link: http://www.nordiskaforlaget.se, and then I went under Produktkatalog, Böcker, Antropologi och biologi and found a book by Richard McCulloch translated to "Rasbegreppets verklighet". One can also read it here:
http://www.preservationist-books.com/RV.pdf

NormanBlood
Wednesday, December 17th, 2003, 03:59 PM
Well its good that Scandinavia still somewhat upholds its Heathen roots. It would be sad to see them go by the way side. In French Canada there are still some heathen tradition but masked under "christian" names. For example Saint Jean-Baptiste many gather with friends, eat and drink and build massive bonfires and such. Also we have a myth called "La Chasse-galerie" which originally comes from Odin's Wild Hunt (as most inhabitants are of Norman blood they brought to Canada many old folk tales). But still nothing compared to what you say about preservation in Scandinavia.

Julius, yes not many here celebrate the "birth of christ" and such here either, its mostly just a family get together holiday..which is good.

volksdeutsche, thanks for the link

Julius
Wednesday, December 17th, 2003, 04:20 PM
Right now the snow's glittering under the street lights and illuminating the gloomy land. : )

The darkness outside helps strengthen the feeling of warmth and affection inside the peoples houses.
http://www.lysator.liu.se/runeberg/bredberg/01.jpg

NormanBlood
Wednesday, December 17th, 2003, 05:03 PM
Snow is indeed a beautiful thing. I could not imagine a Yule without it. The feeling of sitting inside a house warmed by a woodstove, with the smell of great food lingering in the air and family joined around the table while the moon turns the snow a light blue colour and the wind sends flakes of snow whipping around the windows is just priceless.

Rodskarl Dubhgall
Monday, May 31st, 2004, 10:56 PM
Snow is indeed a beautiful thing. I could not imagine a Yule without it. The feeling of sitting inside a house warmed by a woodstove, with the smell of great food lingering in the air and family joined around the table while the moon turns the snow a light blue colour and the wind sends flakes of snow whipping around the windows is just priceless.
Finally, somebody who cares...:D

This has always been a paradise for me! Bring out the sleighs! Let's go snowsurfing! Oh my, I miss the snow!!! I miss snowball fights and snowforts. I miss pelting cars with snowballs from behind bushes! I miss iceskating. I miss winter hunts. I hate this goddamn desert!

Aemma
Wednesday, November 26th, 2008, 04:34 PM
I stumbled upon this thread and thought it timely since the season is nearly upon us. It's a bit of a dated thread, so I thought I'd revisit Norman Blood's initial question: How will you be celebrating Yule this year?

I confess that we as a family have not been Heathen/Odinist for a very long time. This will be our third Yule. But it is forever a special occasion in our household since with this upcoming Yule, we also celebrate our anniversary of having reclaimed our Heathen roots and that essential part of our culture and in the end being.

Our first Yule shall live in my memory and heart forever. We lit candles and exchanged small gifts during the full 12 days. We read meditations, for lack of a better term, provided to us by an eminent Asatru organisation and reflected upon them each night for the twelve nights. We observed Modraniht. We feasted with traditional foods and set a place for our ancestors and set out a healthy portion of oatmeal and butter for our housewight.

Last year's Yule was tackled a bit differently. The full twelve days were still respected as was Modraniht, but it felt rushed and to me it seemed as though the feeling of spiritual connectedness to our roots, our ancestors, to our gods and goddesses had eluded us. It wasn't as memorable an experience as our very first Yule let's say, but it was good nonetheless.

This year we plan on returning to our "original format". It is what we most enjoyed. Of course, there will always be some tweaking as the years go on, introducing a little of this or a little of that (a new food perhaps, or new friends at our table)...such is the spice of life. :) And of course, all of this does have a distinct cultural flavour to it as well: there are elements of my French Canadian culture, and my husband's English Canadian culture as well. It all makes for a distinctly *Canadian* Yule, tourtières and crackers combined, while at the same time enjoying the majesty of a snow covered landscape while dreading the accumulation of a mountain of snow to be cleared at the end of the driveway due to the passing by of the snowplough. :D

All this being said then, I return to the question: How will you be celebrating Yule this year?

Frith...Aemma

Hrafnmann
Wednesday, November 26th, 2008, 06:41 PM
. . .
I confess that we as a family have not been Heathen/Odinist for a very long time. This will be our third Yule. But it is forever a special occasion in our household since with this upcoming Yule, we also celebrate our anniversary of having reclaimed our Heathen roots and that essential part of our culture and in the end being.

Our first Yule shall live in my memory and heart forever. . .


Well Aemma, it is interesting to note how your first Yule was so memorable. Generally speaking, 'firsts' are always memorable leaving either a good or bad impression. It is up to us to forge on from there. Your experience I think goes the same for many of us who have returned to our ancestral ways. I have been around long enough to hear of folks' Yule celebrations and a good swath of us have reaped the wonder and joy of Yule with the first one usually being quite unforgettable in a good way. I remember my own and how in my solitary fervour to fain the gods, on the eve I struggled upon snowshoes through the deep snows to reach one of my wild spots off in the bush. I remember the low grey clouds felt like a cozy blanket over the scene while it gently snowed on my purpose. The forest assumed a magical atmosphere as the flames of my lively fire light up the surrounding area of birch and mixed conifers like one big hof. I now have to chuckle at some of the ideas and methods I held way back then, but what has stuck with me was the wondrous feeling . . . the rightness of it all, the wynn.

A quarter of a century later, I shan't be doing something so foolish as to fare about at night upon the Yuletide. ;) I shall keep my fainings indoors where my wéofod is warm though I'm sure I shall give thought back to my first Yule and so fetch forth a glimmer of the magic found then and there.

Grimsteinr
Friday, December 12th, 2008, 03:19 PM
We, DSW (Dear Sweet Wife)& I run and host a Kindred. Yule is probably our biggest Blot & Feast.

We begin, our preps a few days before the Holyday........We thoroughly clean the Stead. We make a big Yule wreath, in the form of a Sun Wheel, from fronds of various evergreeens about our place, spruce, pine cedar, & juniper. We decorate the Yule Tree & the House. I've already taken care of the Brewing. And we lay-in the groceries. The torches are filled and the fire is laid in the fire-bowl, out at the Stone Horg, on the hill.

We hold our Mother Night Blot on 20 December, each year. The Kindred gets here about 7-ish. We Welcome them. And we all visit & chat for an hour or so.
When it approaches 8:pm, we all gather the Yule Wreath, drinking Horns, Mead, Bolli, Hammer, & Ring, of the Kindred and we quietly make the 60 yard walk, out on the hill, to the Stone Horg.

The Blot is done, in our traditional way, as it has been, since 1995.
Odin & the Gods are called; the Horns are lifted; Blot Toasts and Sumble Toasts are drank.As part of the Blot, the Wreath is hallowed. It will hang, in the house, throughout the Yule Tide.
After the Blot we go happily, back to the House, for the Feast.
We always have the honey baked & spiral sliced ham, with all the side dishes, for a good feast, reminisent of Saerrimnir, the sacred Boar.

Gifts are exchanged. As Gothi & Gythija, of the Kindred, DSW & I always have a little hand-made gift & a bottle of homebrewed Mead for each Kinsman & Kinswoman. The Kids get gifts too. And, we are gifted, as well, cookies, some candies, fruitcake or homebrew.......wholesome little gifts.The company frequently lingers until nearly Midnight.

Throughout the other 12 Nights of Yule , DSW & I do a simple little Blot, each Night, from the back deck of our home, or if we have company, up at the Horg.
Last year we had company, 5 other Nights of Yule

We do our 12th Night Blot with all the Kindred, on 30 December. This allows Our Kinsmen to be at Home with Family, and off the dangerous roads, on New Years Eve, or partying themselves, if they want.

12 Night Closes Yule and pays Homage, to the Wild Hunt, for us.
THe Kindred gathers at the usual time.........The Blot is at the Stone Horg, out under the stars, facing the North Star. The Yule Wreath is carried with us & placed on the Horg. After Odin & the Gods are called, Oaths are Sworn on the Wreath. Boasts are made. The Yule wreath is hung on a hook, on a metal pole, primed with spirits and set alight. It burns brightly, a blazing Sun wheel, remembering the Returning Sun, against the Night sky.Then mighty Toasts are drank, to finish the Blot.
The 12th Night Feast is traditionally Swedish meatballs with rice & vegetables side dishes & several desserts.
Oh....There is alway a round of good Aqua-Vit offered, before dinner. We celebrate till late.

But not much alcohol is drank. It not safe to be on the roads, that way.

But............That's how we've done our Yule since 1995.

Aemma
Friday, December 12th, 2008, 03:37 PM
We, DSW (Dear Sweet Wife)& I run and host a Kindred. Yule is probably our
biggest Blot & Feast.
We begin, our preps a few days before the Holyday........We thoroughly clean the Stead. We make a big Yule wreath, in the form of a Sun Wheel, from fronds of various evergreeens about our place, spruce, pine cedar, & juniper. We decorate the Yule Tree & the House. I've already taken care of the Brewing. And we lay-in the groceries. The torches are filled and the fire is laid in the fire-bowl, out at the Stone Horg, on the hill.

We hold our Mother Night Blot on 20 December, each year. The Kindred gets here about 7-ish. We Welcome them. And we all visit & chat for an hour or so.
When it approaches 8:pm, we all gather the Yule Wreath, drinking Horns, Mead, Bolli, Hammer, & Ring, of the Kindred and we quietly make the 60 yard walk, out on the hill, to the Stone Horg.
The Blot is done, in our traditional way, as it has been, since 1995.
Odin & the Gods are called; the Horns are lifted; Blot Toasts and Sumble Toasts are drank.As part of the Blot, the Wreath is hallowed. It will hang, in the house, throughout the Yule Tide.
After the Blot we go happily, back to the House, for the Feast.
We always have the honey baked & spiral sliced ham, with all the side dishes, for a good feast, reminisent of Saerrimnir, the sacred Boar.

Gifts are exchanged. As Gothi & Gythija, of the Kindred, DSW & I always have a little hand-made gift & a bottle of homebrewed Mead for each Kinsman & Kinswoman. The Kids get gifts too. And, we are gifted, as well, cookies, some candies, fruitcake or homebrew.......wholesome little gifts.The company frequently lingers until nearly Midnight.

Throughout the other 12 Nights, of Yule DSW & I, do a simple little Blot, each Night, from the back deck of our home, or if we have company, up at the Horg.Last year we had company, 5 other Nights of Yule

We do our 12th Night Blot with all the Kindred, on 30 December. This allows Our Kinsmen to be at Home with Family, and off the dangerous roads, on New Years Eve, or partying themselves, if they want.

12 Night Closes Yule and pays Homage, to the Wild Hunt, for us.
THe Kindred gathers at the usual time.........The Blot is at the Stone Horg, out under the stars, facing the North Star. The Yule Wreath is carried with us & placed on the Horg. After Odin & the Gods are called, Oaths are Sworn on the Wreath. Boasts are made. The Yule wreath is hung on a hook, on a metal pole, primed with spirits and set alight. It burns brightly, a blazing Sun wheel, remembering the Returning Sun, against the Night sky.Then mighty Toasts are drank, to finish the Blot.
The 12th Night Feast is traditionally Swedish meatballs with rice & vegetables
side dishes & several desserts.
Oh....There is alway a round of good Aqua-Vit offered, before dinner.
We celebrate till late. But Not much alcohol is drank. It not safe to be on the roads, that way.
But............That's how we've done our Yule since 1995.

It sounds like an absolutely wonderful tradition Grimsteinr. You and DSW are indeed very very lucky to not only have a kindred but the room to host such a wonderful celebration. How wonderful! :) And such a long tradition (since 1995) now as well! That is truly something to be proud of! I'm quite certain you know how lucky you are, but thought I'd remind you...just in case! ;)

I wish you and your DSW and kinfolk the happiest of Yules!

Frith...Aemma

Carl
Friday, December 12th, 2008, 03:57 PM
SonnenWende - the great Solstice turning of the year. A fire festival if one can! This is the point of the shortest time of the year - but the sun lingers on the horizon for a few days before it begins to rise again. So indeed - a sacred time - a time for the re-birth of the true Sun of Heaven! :)

Grimsteinr
Saturday, December 13th, 2008, 01:52 PM
It sounds like an absolutely wonderful tradition Grimsteinr. You and DSW are indeed very very lucky to not only have a kindred but the room to host such a wonderful celebration. How wonderful! :) And such a long tradition (since 1995) now as well! That is truly something to be proud of! I'm quite certain you know how lucky you are, but thought I'd remind you...just in case! ;)

I wish you and your DSW and kinfolk the happiest of Yules!

Frith...Aemma

Hail Aemma,
We've only been out here on this place, since 2003. Before that at the suburban home in Indianapolis, we had a large, secluded, back yard, where we originallybuilt the Stone Horg. When we moved out here we disassembled it, stone by stone & brought it along.
It has been a ton of work, over the years. And, I could not do it all without DSW Sharon, to help me. She even helped me, in the building of the Horg. It has over 3 tons of stone. She handled nearly every piece.
We are indeed lucky, fortunate. to be where we are........We do appreciate that. But, a lot of has just been due to our own, day by day, hard work.
Anyone else, hoping to "Build the Folk", hoping to do "Right", by the Gods,
could do the same. It takes but "putting one foot in front of the other",
doing what needs to be done. We are proud of our Efforts.
Thank you again.........