Today we have an awesome post from Valkyrie Human Services.
Thank you so much for being a part of witch month.
It’s October and that means Winter Nights and Samhain are on their way! I felt writing a post on what Winter Nights and Samhain are truly about would be a good idea. Today we still have a large amount of people who are very misinformed as to what these two holidays are about. This in turn, leads to not only discrimination and oppression, but hatred and violence. Even without the bad information that Hollywood and other sources continue about Pagan holidays, it still isn’t right for other groups to be the way they are. Sadly though, it still happens. I am hoping that this information will not only warm the hearts of Pagans, but inform any non-Pagans who read it.
Winter Nights, or Vetrnaetr, is one of the three most significant times of the year to Norse Pagans, or people on the Asatru path. It usually takes place in mid to late October; however, October 31st is a very popular day to celebrate. This festival took place in pre-Christian Scandinavia and still is alive today. Winter Nights is about thanking the Norse deities for the year thus far and asking for protection and health during the coming winter season. It marks the end of long days in the sun and welcomes the cold, lingering nights.
A Blot (bloat) is held to honor the Gods and Goddesses as well as the land spirits and a sacrifice of mead or ale is made. There is usually a focus on Freyja and the Disir. Freyja, the Goddess of love and beauty is also the Queen of the Valkyries and has a strong connection with the dead. The Disir are our female ancestors and loved ones who have passed away. Winternights is a time where the veil between the physical world and the world of the dead is extremely thin, because of this, it is easier to make contact with our loved ones who are no longer alive on this plane. This is a very happy time. This is a time to remember, tell stories, eat drink and honor those who are no longer with us physically…but very much still with us spiritually.
Samhain is another ancient holiday celebrated most often on October 31st and originates with the Celts about 2,000 years ago. Samhain is centered around celebrating and honoring your relatives and loved ones who have passed away, much like Winter Nights. A large feast is customary for many people who celebrate Samhain, even today. When the table is set plates and silverware are put out for the loved ones being honored.
No matter if you celebrate Winter Nights, Samhain, Halloween or nothing; this is a wonderful time to reconnect with someone you love who is no longer on this plane of existence. During this time, as well as Beltane the veil between planes is extremely thin. This makes contact between worlds much easier.
I just led my group in a Winternights blot last weekend and it was very moving. Two of us had incorporated the fire letter into the ritual. A fire letter is one of my personal favorite ways to contact loved ones. We wrote letters to someone who was very dear to our hearts, and is no longer with us in body. After reading the letter over a chalice full of apple juice (we had minors present, so I felt wine, ale or mead was not the correct choice) we laid our letters in the fire and watched the flames turn them to ashes. As our words burn away they travel across the veil to the people they are meant to reach. It is truly beautiful, meaningful and therapeutic.
I wish all of you a lovely Winternights and/or Samhain and blessed be! If you’d like to learn more about me, my group or Valkyrie Human Services please check us out at http://www.valkyriehumanservices.com
Our website is http://www.valkyriehumanservices.com, our Etsy is http://www.etsy.com/shop/ValkyrieHumanService our Instagram is Valkyrie_Human_Services And our Facebook is: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Valkyrie-Human-Services-Inc/282630955274202. Oh yeah! We do have a Twitter now. It’s Verdandi_Sif.