Calendar of the Sun for Jan. 12th

Calendar of the Sun
12 Wolfmonath

Niflheim Day

Colors: White and Grey
Element: Air
Altar: Upon cloth of white and grey place a crystal goblet of melted snow, crystal ornaments that mimic ice, snowflakes, white fur, figures of white bears, and a large white bowl of snow.
Offerings: Help someone to keep warm in the winter, such as paying their fuel bill, bringing them wood to burn, or bringing them warmer clothing. There should be no heat in the House today from Auge to Hesperis, save what is necessary for the plumbing. All should bear with the cold, and think on their ancestors, for whom heat was vital.
Daily Meal: Cold meats and fish.

Niflheim Invocation

In the beginning, there was Ginnungagap,
The darkness ever-stretching in every direction.
Then came forth two worlds into the darkness,
And one was made of Ice over Stone.
Earth and Water, yet frozen and unmoving,
Waiting for the touch of Fire to wake them.
Yet when that Fire came and melted the Ice,
Forth was born Ymir the Giant,
Huge as a mountain chain, vast and blind
As the Earth from whence he came.
Ancestor of all the frost-giants,
The storm-giants, the creatures of wind and mist,
From from Ice and Stone came Breath,
Air that rushes and batters, great blizzards of the North.
Hail the Land of Ice, Winter’s glory,
Home of the Lords of Wind and Cold!
Hail to the Land of Water, lakes and islands,
Fjords that touch the icy water.
Hail to the Chieftains of Niflheim,
Great Kari the North Wind, son of Mistblindi,
Brother to Fire and Ocean,
Frosti, Snaer, Thorri, Fon, Drifa,
Mjol the wind-rider, the sorceress.
Hail to the Land of Mists, from whence the Giants came,
One of the Two from which all the Worlds began.

(One who has been chosen to do the work of the ritual carries around the goblet of melted snow, and all drink from it. The rest is poured out as libation.)

Asatru: We Are Not Racists

Asatru: We Are Not Racists

by Gamlinginn

 

Ásatrú is not a racist religion. Anyone who wants to be in Ásatrú should be in Ásatrú. And the word “anyone” means just that: anyone – regardless of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, language, sexual orientation, or other divisive criteria. Today, we live in a multi-ethnic nation (not to mention a multi-ethnic world). As Ásatrú advances, it will inevitably become more and more a multi-ethnic religion.

But, unfortunately, some people seem to think that Ásatrú is a racist religion. Why? Probably because there have been some people in Ásatrú who were racists and some of these have tried to use Ásatrú as a front for their racist views, claiming that it was somehow an exclusively “Nordic” religion, only open to those of “pure Aryan” descent. However, the existence of a few racists does not make Ásatrú a racist religion. Almost every religion has had some racists in it at one time or another. In Sri Lanka, for example, there are some Buddhists who are so racist that they have recently been killing the ethnic-minority Tamils in their country, but that does not make Buddhism a racist religion.

Another reason some might think that Ásatrú is a racist religion is confusion and misunderstanding about the “Scandinavian Connection” of Ásatrú. The truth about this is simply that the Aesir and the Vanir were followed longer in northern Europe than elsewhere, and thus we know about them from there. That is the reason why we use the Old Norse names for the Deities and other terms, and are so interested in pre-Christian Scandinavia. It is fine for those of northern European descent to seek out their cultural roots, but no single ethnic group “owns” the Gods of Asgard.

Some people have suggested that the ancient inhabitants of northern Europe believed in racial exclusivity, in other words that they were racists. I do not believe this. However – even if it was true – it does not matter. Just because a person’s remote ancestors might have been racists is no reason for that person to be a racist today. If one’s great-grandfather was an arsonist, one need not and should not follow in his footsteps. (Those interested in the racial attitudes of the Viking-age Scandinavians should read the article “Race, Religion, and Ásatrú Today,” by Kveldulfr Gundarsson that appeared in Mountain ThunderNumber 5, Summer 1992. This article shows that European descent is not necessary for full participation in modern Ásatrú.)

The characteristics we admire so greatly in the Vikings came about because the Vikings followed the Aesir and the Vanir – not because they had blue eyes or blond hair. These same characteristics are available today to anyone who wants to develop them by following the way of Ásatrú. It is important to remember that admiration for these attributes is not Eurocentric, it is universal. Every culture that has ever existed in the world has inherently esteemed the virtues esteemed by Ásatrú, including: courage, honor, hospitality, independence (and liberty), individuality (with self-reliance, and responsibility), industriousness (and perseverance), justice (including an innate sense of fairness and respect for others), loyalty (to family, friends, and the society of which one is a part), truthfulness, and a willingness to stand up for what is right.

What makes the Ásatrú way of life different from that of other religions, is that the Ásatrú “Code of Conduct” supports and encourages these virtues far more strongly than do other religions – some of which actually discourage several of these ideals. People who have the characteristics we admire acquired them because their culturecontains values similar to those of Ásatrú (in some cases because their culture was rooted in Ásatrú). Conversely, people who have characteristics we dislike come from backgrounds that lack those values because they are no longer taught. This is a social problem, not a racial one. It has to do with the breakdown of the family, and the resultant crumbling of all cultural values. It has nothing to do with eye shape, or hair texture, or skin color.

Ásatrú is a multi-ethnic religion – not because that might be “politically correct” at this point in time, but because multi-ethnicity is fundamental to the theology of Ásatrú. Asgard, home of the Gods, is multi-ethnic. For example, Magni and Modhi, the sons of Thorr, are also the sons of their mother, Jarnsaxa, who is a Jotunn. Who will tell Thorr that his sons should not participate in something because they are not of “pure” descent? And what of the Vanir? Since the Gods of Asgard do not worry over these things, the Ásatrú people of Midgard certainly have no need to do so.

In the Prose Edda there is a passage about the many names of Odhinn that says:

Tha segir Harr: “Mikil skynsemi er at rifiaa that vandliga upp, en thó er thér that skjótast at segja, at flest heiti hafa verit gefin af peim atburdh, at svá margar sem eru greinir tungnanna í veröldinni, thá thykkjast allar Thjódhir thurfa at breyta nafni hans til sinnar tungu til ákalls ok baena fyrir sjálfum sér.” (Snorra Edda, Gylfaginning, XXXII)

Then said High One: “It would take a vast amount of knowledge to cover them all, but it is swiftest to say, that most of these names have been given (to him) because, the many different nations speaking different tongues in the world, all wanted to change his name into their own tongue in order to address and pray (to him) for themselves.”

As for the so-called “ethnic descriptions” of the Deities sometimes encountered in the literature, these resulted from people trying to visualize the unvisualizable. Those who, for example, wrote about the red beard of Thorr did so because they knew men who had red beards. Does a God have a beard of any color? (Theologically speaking, the answer is “yes” but only if and when the God wants a beard, and it would then be any color the God desired. A God does not have human ethnicity of any kind, and is far more different from any particular human than is that human from any other human on earth.) A comparison can be made with the “Asian faces” on Japanese statues of Buddha, who was an Indian, or the blue-eyed paintings of Christ that were so popular in the European middle ages.

All humans, we believe, descend ultimately from Ask and Embla, who were created by the Gods. What color were Ask’s eyes? What color was Embla’s hair? Such questions are ridiculous. Since all humans are related to each other by blood, all humans have the same inherent source-potentials – and the same instinctive longing for the Gods of Asgard who watch over allthe peoples of Midgard, not just some small group of them. Any thinking person, whether or not an Ásatrú believer, can logically see that there is no place for racism of any kind in Ásatrú. Nor has there ever been.

Racism comes from two sources:

  1. A psychological fear of anyone who is “different” in any way.
  2. A psychological need to find someone to blame (a “scapegoat”) for whatever misfortunes happen to occur.

Neither of these attitudes is logical. In the Old Stone Age, little groups of 20 to 30 inbred humans lived their lives separated by vast distances from all others of their species. On the rare occasions when humans from another group happened to be seen, they looked different, and the reaction was to kill them, or at least to drive them away. Times have changed. We no longer shave with stone axes. But for some people the Paleolithic mentality lingers on.

In the Modern Age, racists will become more and more isolated from mainstream society (and reality), living lonely, bitter, and paranoid lives.

Those of us who have spent our lives fighting both alongside and against many of this world’s diverse ethnic groups learned to appreciate the essential similarities of all humans, and to ignore the superficial differences. Every life is filled with combat situations; physical, mental, and spiritual. When facing combat, it is always better to pick allies who share with you the Viking values of Ásatrú than those who share with you only your skin color.

School of Seasons

School of Seasons

 

Rome: Portunalia, a festival honoring Portunis, an aspect of the god Janus. Also called the Tiberinalia, or the festival of the
Tiber river, as he is the God of the Tiber. Portunis is also the God of keys, and the opening of locked gates. On this day old
keys were burned in the hearth as a sacrificial offering. Also on this day, Romans celebrated the Festival of Diana, Goddess of
the Moon, the protector of all young girls and chastity, and Goddess of the Hunt. The coincidence of festivals honoring the
God of Keys and the Goddess who protected virginity is apt.

Asatru: Odin’s Ordeal, from August 17-25. Also called Othin, Wotan, and Wodin, he was the Nordic and Germanic all-father.
From the Viking age, Odin survived the Christianization of Europe and is still remembered, despite a period when even
saying his name was banned by the Church. He ruled over the Valkyries and rewarded slain heroes with glorious afterlife in
the Hall of Valhalla, where warrior spirits wait in readiness to defend Asgard against the Jotuns and Frost Giants at the
foretold battle of Ragnarokk. Odin’s symbol is the valknut knot, his animal is the raven, his weapon is a rune-carved spear.
Odin’s story has obvious parallels to the story of Christ: he once pierced himself with his own spear, and hung for 9 days on
the world tree, Yggdrasill, to gain knowledge throughcommunication with the dead.

1950: Native American mystic and medicine man, Nicholas ‘Black Elk,’ died in Manderson, SD. Profiled in the book, “Black Elk
Speaks” by John G. Neihrdt, known for his powers of prophecy and healing, a warrior of the Oglala Sioux tribe. Black Elk was an
adherent of the Ghost Dance, and witnessed the tragic massacre of followers of this Native American spiritual “last stand” at
Wounded Knee, SD, in 1890.
.

 

Remember the ancient ways and keep them sacred!

Trees and Creation

In the Norse Tradition, Yggdrassil, the world tree, supported the nine realms of existence. At the top was Asgard, the home of the Aesir, the principle deities, led by Odin and his consort Frigg. This level also contained Vanaheim, the kingdom of the wind, fertility and sea gods, with whom the Aesir fashioned an uneasy peace, and Alfheim, home of the light elves. On the middle level was Midgard, the land of the humans. They shared this level with Jotunheim, the land of the Frost Giants and Nidavellir, the realm of the dwarves, who guarded their treasure and made artifacts for the deities. The lowest realm was divided between Niflheim and Hel, realms of the dead and Svartalafheim, home of the Dark Elves.

In Eastern Europe as well as in Asia the mythological world tree was considered the axis of the world with the pole star at the top. Shamans, the magickal Priests or Healers of indigenous people worldwide, climb this tree in a trance to reach other realms. Look up through the branches of a very tall tree on a starry night and you will see how this belief came into being.

The tree appears in numerous creation myths. In one Maori legend, the tree was the first thing to appear at creation and on it grew countless buds that contained all created life. A number of Nature North American creation myths tell how the first humans climbed pine or fir trees from the underworld and broke through on to the Earth. In Viking myth the first man was fashioned by Odin and his brothers from an Ash (Aesc)and the first woman from an Elma tree (Embla). The Gods found the trees while walking on the seashore.