Celtic Tree Month Birch: December 24 - January 20

Celtic Tree Month Birch: December 24 - January 20

The birch tree symbolizes starting over, fertility, rebirth, and regeneration. In fact, birches are one of the first trees to grow back after a forest fire.

Birch or Beithe, is the first tree of the Ogham, the Celtic tree alphabet. Beithe (pronounced ‘bey’) is the Gaelic word for birch and means inception or existence.

Navajo Night Chant

Navajo Night Chant

The Navajo Night Chant also referred to as the Yeibicheii Ceremony, happens in late fall or early winter and extends for nine nights. Native communities in the southwest have been having Night chant ceremonies since 1000BCE. Numerous Night chants are held throughout the season.

Saturnalia: Roman Precursor To Christmas?

Saturnalia: Roman Precursor To Christmas?

What came first? Saturnalia or Christmas?

Saturnalia is an ancient Roman pagan holiday in honor of the god Saturn. Held on the 17th of December it has evolved from a one-day holiday to a week-long festival, ending on the 23rd.

Saturnalia also has a big influence on modern-day religions such as Christianity. Many Christmas traditions come from pagan celebrations such as Saturnalia.

Morana: Slavic Goddess of Death and Rebirth

Morana: Slavic Goddess of Death and Rebirth

Morana (Mara, Marzanna, Mora, Mare) is one of the Major Rodnovery deities. The Slavic Goddess of winter and darkness is associated with seasonal rites based on the idea of death and the rebirth of nature.

As the Goddess associated with winter’s death, rebirth, and dreams her death marks the end of Winter and the birth of Lada and Vesna, the deities of Spring.

Hogmanay: Scottish New Year

Hogmanay: Scottish New Year

Hogmanay is a centuries-old New Year celebration originating in Scotland. It is associated with the giving of gifts, good luck, and the saining of households in the spirit of out with the old and in with the new.

Originally, Hogmanay was celebrated at Samhain to rejoice in the harvest. It was later moved to coordinate with Yule and the Nordic influences.

Disablot and Charming the Plow

Disablot is a Norse/Germanic pagan holiday that honors female deities. Female spirits of ancestors, Odin’s Valkyries, or other women in your life are honored. Frig, Freya, and Ostera are often celebrated. 

Disir are female deities that honored women ancestors and were felt to guard the living. We honor women who give us life and their fertility.

Celebrated in Scandinavia before Christian conquerors to enhance the coming harvest season. The holiday is also referred to as the “charming of the plow” after the namesake spell.

Disablot is celebrated each year in Uppsala Sweden at the Disting festival around January 31. Traditionally this winter holiday was held during the vernal equinox.

The name Disablot means Thing (or assembly) of the Goddesses. Celebrated in Sweden as the first Moot Fair of the season.

The Thing was a famous gathering where law and justice were discussed. Contracts were made and grievances expressed. Bravery was honored and it was a time to consider how your acts affected others.

Feasting

This holiday holds a great feast celebrating new beginnings. Offerings were made to female ancestors. Farmers asked for blessings for the future planting season.

In preparation for the feast, small cakes were baked. These cakes were then placed in the furrows the plow made as an offering to mother earth.

Charming the Plow

A time to give thanks for the coming spring and the fertility of the soil. During the ritual, the equipment, seeds, and fields would all be charmed for an abundant growing season.

The ancient legend states that the Swedish King told the goddess Gefjon she could take ownership of as much land as she could plow in one day.

Gefjon turned her four sons into oxen and they plowed the land from coast to coast.

Celebrate Today

Bake some small cakes to honor Mother Earth. Dig four holes in your garden in the cardinal directions and place a cake in each hole. Ask that the cakes bless the soil with fertility.

Lift your arms to the sky and ask that the Gods bless your garden with fertility and abundance.

Anoint your plow (or garden tools) with olive oil and herbs such as myrrh and cinnamon.

 

Honor the Women in Your Life Today

Celebrate this holiday by recognizing and honoring those women in your life that make a difference. What women this year have had an impact on you?

You may also want to celebrate Thorroblot this season.

 

Imbolc

Imbolc

Imbolc, also referred to as Candlemas or Oimelc, occurs on February 2, 2021. This is an exciting holiday of the returning light. Spring is coming!

The Celtic holiday honors Brigid, the fire goddess of healing, inspiration, and smithcraft. The mantra is refresh, renew, rededicate!

Imbolc is a cross-quarter holiday, midway between winter and spring. It’s one of the eight Wiccan Sabbats in the Wheel of the Year and one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals.

Thorroblot January 24, 2021

Thorroblot January 24, 2021

This year we celebrate Thorrablot ( Þorrablót) from January 24, 2021 to February 20, 2021. This Nordic holiday celebrates the Vikings and the Ancient Norse Gods with a mid-winter feast.

The “main” festival is held in Iceland with smaller festivals held throughout Scandinavia and wherever Nordic residents reside. Traditional music, dancing, and games are popular.