Samhain: Remembering Our Ancestors

Whispers of Yggdrasil

Halloween is at hand; this most-awaited celebration (including by myself) where scary beings are the order of the day. Funny and pleasant moments spent with family and friends, enjoying the very natural atmosphere this season provides us, along with the creepy and spine-chilling tales we tell each other by the fire and with the lights turn off. Well, I must say, with the exception of Yuletide, this is certainly my favorite time of the year. But this isn’t, definitely, Samhain (as it has been named): the far older traditional festivity of our ancestors.

I know I have written about Samhain a few times before. Well, in fact, every year I write about it, and I think I have given the reason why before – I do love this time of the year.But I think it is always important to remember the origins of festivities and the importance those had to…

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The Aurora Borealis … Disappearing?

Last chance to see the Northern Lights before they dim for a decade

skylights

Gazing up at the northern lights often appears on travelers’ bucket lists, but after next year, they’re going to be much more difficult to see.

No, the aurora borealis isn’t disappearing, but it is expected to appear less frequently over the next decade.

The northern lights take place on an 11-year solar cycle.

Read more here.

Call Resounding

Our Scandinavian Ancestors and Holy Powers are calling us home – calling us back to our roots.

A People
A Birthright
Lost To Time
The Folk Soul Slept
But Blood Calls To Blood
Our Ancestors Are Speaking
Arise!
ARISE!
And We Are Awakening
Coming Together Again
Remember
The Power Awaits You
The Time Is Now

A Reading from Vǫluspá

The Poetic Edda is a collection of poems and mysticism that were important to the ancient Nordic people. An unknown Icelander in the 12th or 13th century gathered this treasure trove together. Vǫluspá begins the manuscript.  

The word “Vǫluspá” means Prophecy of the Völva (Seeress).  Odin has summoned this ancient Seeress from her grave to appear before an assembly of the other Gods and Goddesses.

To legitimize herself she recounts how the cosmos was created.

1. “Hear me, all ye         hallowed beings,

both high and low         of Heimdall’s children:

thou wilt, Valfather (Alfather – Odin)         that I will set forth

the fates of the world         which as first I recall.

2. I call to mind         the kin of etins (giants)

which long ago         did give me life.

Nine worlds I know,         the nine abodes

of the glorious world-tree         the ground beneath.

3. In earliest times     did Ymir (the giant from whose body Earth was created) live:

was nor sea nor land         nor salty waves,

neither earth was there         nor upper heaven,

but a gaping nothing,         and green things nowhere.

4. Was the land then lifted      aloft by Bur’s sons (Odin, and his two brothers, Vili and Vé)

who made Mithgarth (the Earth)         the matchless earth;

shone from the south         the sun on dry land,

on the ground then grew         the greensward soft.

5. From the south the sun,         by the side of the moon,

heaved his right hand         over heaven’s rim;

the sun knew not         what seat he had,

the stars knew not         what stead they held,

the moon knew not         what might she had.”

Lee M Hollander trans

 

Jägerschnitzel aka Hunter’s Cutlet

“hunter’s cutlet”

There is still time to celebrate Oktoberfest, even though it is officially over in Munich. This is a meal I love any time of the year. Serve with mashed potatoes and Rotkraut (ha, just buy a jar of Hengstenberg Red Cabbage with apple in the German section of your favorite grocery store).

From Schaller & Weber

Jägerschnitzel

4 ½-inch slices of pork loin
Salt and black pepper, to taste
5 tablespoons olive oil or bacon fat
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons flour
¼ cup red wine or sherry
1 cup beef stock, warmed
2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

1. Pound the pork loin between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, to about a ¼-inch thickness. Season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper, and then set aside.
2. In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms and onions in 2 tablespoons oil or bacon fat. Once cooked, remove them from the pan and place in a small bowl.
3. Add remaining oil or bacon fat to the skillet, then sear the pork on both sides until browned and cooked through. Remove the meat to a plate, and keep warm.
4. Stir flour into the remaining fat in the pan to make a roux, cooking the mixture until it reaches a light brown color, about 3 minutes. Add the wine or sherry, and then add the warm stock. Let the gravy simmer until it reaches desired consistency, then pour in the cream. Add the mushrooms and onions back to the sauce. Season with black pepper to taste.
5. Pour the sauce over the cutlets and serve with parsley to garnish. Enjoy!

Wyrd Words: Feminism in Heathenry

Prayer to Skadi

 

Greetings, and welcome back to Wyrd Words. Keeping the Thor in Thursdays, here on Agora!

I recently saw a fellow author here at Patheos Pagan get put through the wringer on the channel’s Facebook Page. I watched people completely dismiss Crystal Blanton‘s work without even reading it, because she dared to declare herself a Feminist. Not that the article had anything at all to do with Feminism, they just decided that she couldn’t possibly have anything valuable to say because she supports equality for women. What really got me was that I saw fellow Heathens doing this! I saw people I recognized as regular followers on my own page doing this. I can’t even really wrap my head around that, unless these people really don’t have any idea what Feminism ACTUALLY MEANS. So I’m making a statement here, just for clarity.

Read the rest of this article here.

Vetrablót – A Night for the Females

Since I’m a “lone practitioner” I will hold Vetrablót or Winternights tomorrow night – during the October 2015 New Moon.

Vetrablót is a time to remember these female Powers of Nordic people; the Dísir, the Valkyries, the three Norns and Freyja. Also included are the mothers in one’s line of ancestors … all the mothers in your bloodline who have brought you to this very moment.

As the nights become longer and the air colder the thin membrane that separates this world from the next grows even more thin.  I believe the Holy Powers can always hear us when we honor and call on them. I’m not so sure if the ancestors are always able to hear or respond to us.  I believe that during this time they can hear us honoring their deeds. I also believe that if we become very still, we can hear their voices in the moonless night air.