FALLFEAST – Pagan’s Rejoice !

It’s fall in the west. It’s likely that in a non covid year you would have some sort of festival near you happening. Oktoberfest’s are usually the most popular those combine to ancient festivals, the harvest and the feast of harvest.

As many of you know I am a pagan, no I don’t sacrifice animals, I am not a witch, lol. I simply try and celebrate the old ways, respecting nature, respecting the seasons.

Below is a page pull from http://odinsvolk.ca/ It illustrates what the Fall Feast is, and why or Viking ancestors celebrated it and how some of the old ways built community.

“Fallfest of is another joyous festival in the Asatru holy calendar, and falls on the Autumn Equinox, and is the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere: the moment when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading southward; the equinox occurs around September 22 – 24, varying slightly each year according to the 400-year cycle of leap years in the Gregorian Calendar. Fallfest represents the second harvest of the season.

Celebrate your Ancestors, they are watching.

Bonfires, feasting and dancing played a large part in the festivities. Even into Christian times, villagers cast the bones of the slaughtered cattle upon the flames, cattle having a prominent place in the pre-Christian Germanic world. (Though folk etymology derives the English word “bonfire” from these “bone fires,”) With the bonfire ablaze, the villagers extinguished all other fires. Each family then solemnly lit their hearth from the common flame, thus bonding the families of the village together.

Materially speaking it marked the beginning of the gathering of food for the long winter months ahead, bringing people and their livestock in to their winter quarters. To be alone and missing at this dangerous time was to expose yourself and your spirit to the perils of imminent winter. In present times the importance of this part of the festival has diminished for most people. From the point of view of an agricultural people, for whom a bad season meant facing a long winter of famine in which many would not survive to the spring, it was paramount.

At the equinox, the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west. In the northern hemisphere, before the autumnal equinox, the sun rises and sets more and more to the north, and afterwards, it rises and sets more and more to the south.

In ancient times, our European ancestors celebrated their Harvest Feast, where they have found many reasons to be thankful and to celebrate. Our people have done this for as long as we can trace our history. Although what our people have felt thankful for has certainly changed over the many years, remember you sit down this year with your family, you’re participating in an ancient tradition. And it’s a great time to figure out what you’re thankful for.”

So many of our current traditions are based on our distant past. This isn’t a religious post, it’s actually an illustration of how close we really are. Have a great fall and a bountiful harvest. May you and your family be prosperous and may you come out of the dark days of winter in good health, and good spirits.

Thank you for supporting my Blog, please leave a comment or a like and let me know you were here. Did you like this post and want to see another? Click here.

The Svefnthorn – An old pagan trick to better sleep

As suffers of anxiety one of the best remedies we have to battle the condition with is sleep. Sleep is a wonderful, natural elixir for the soul. Your body, mind, spirit all refreshes after a good nights sleep. For the non pagans who read this blog, this is not meant to be an affront it is rather a part of our ancestors mythic past.

A wise man once said to me “today’s religion, is tomorrows myth” I wonder if the Romans thought that when pontificating about Zeus? For those of us with European heritage it is likely some of your beliefs or family traditions are derived or harken back to old Norse pagan practices.

The Svefnthorn (Old Norse svefnþorn, “sleep thorn,” ) is a symbol that features in several of the Norse sagas and in folkloric magical formulas recorded long after the Viking Age. During the viking age, many people still held pagan beliefs as Christianity had not yet taken a firm hold. The sleep thorn was a prominent rune stone that nearly everyone had, you placed it under your head to ensure you would sleep well. They believed that a good sleep was the key to a successful day.

The point? Not much has changed. A great nights sleep is paramount to a successful day. More over, as someone with anxiety we need the best sleep we can get and if that means reaching back to our ancestors to achieve it why not?

The next time you are riddled with anxiety, remember throughout history sleep has been a remedy for so many ails. Some of your pagan friends still practice this “trick to better sleep”

You are doing great, one day at a time.

Kemst þó hægt fari.
(You will reach your destination even though you travel slowly.)