Mother’s Night

Winter was a different world in the past. At the mercy of the forces of nature, our ancestors were driven to find ways to resist the elements while facing their own mortality. Without the knowledge of science we have today, they turned to myths and stories to explain what caused the storms to rage and the seasons to change. These stories were just as important to them as their understanding about living off the land.

In the northern hemisphere winter can be a harsh season, and it was during this cold season that the strength of both body and mind was tested. They spent the harvest season not only bringing in the crops, but also preparing for winter, and the cold and darkness that came with it.

It is in this time of darkness that we turn to look within ourselves. As the people of the past contemplated the forces driving the storms and seasons, we today contemplate the storms of our own seasons, and how they affect the tides of our lives.

As the seasons continually change, we can be sure they eventually start over. When we want draw back from the darkness we can draw strength from knowing that the light will follow. We move into the light of the new day with a new understanding of our Self.

Winter, Hygge, and Yule

I know that Yuletide has arrived when the river begins to freeze.

And it is this time of year, more than any other, that I feel hygge. Maybe it’s the gentle aroma of peppermint coming from my hot mug. Maybe it’s the soft blanket on my lap as I type this. Maybe it’s the gentle breathing of my dog sleeping in front of the fire. All of these things give me a deep sense of warmth and contentment despite the freezing winds outside. 

What will those winds bring this season? Will they bring the Furious Host past my cabin on their ride? Will they bring wights who wish weal or woe? Will they bring my ancestors to keep vigil for Sunna with me? Yule is the time when Midgarth no longer belongs to us alone, and during the dark nights all realms will meet.

So come, those who wish to come; stay, those who wish to stay; and fare, those who wish to fare, harmless to me and mine. The Yule season has begun, the veil is thinning, and solstice draws near. I have a warm fire, a soft blanket, and offerings to be made.