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Posts Tagged ‘Odin’

Winter Nights celebrates the coming of winter, when the weather starts to turn cold and  the frost starts to form. The days grow shorter and less friendly to us. The nights grow  longer and more treacherous. The Furious Host, led by Odin himself, begins to ride,  hunting anything it finds out of doors. All manner of ill-willing wights grow more powerful  in the dark and wild places. Vargr come out of the woods in search of food. Trolls,  smelling the blood of the culled herd, howl and terrify children in the dead of night, ready  to snatch one away if given the chance.

All is not dark and grim, however, for now is the time when families gather together to  celebrate the end of their laborings throughout the year and to rejoice in all that they  have accomplished. The soil begins to rest and recover for next year’s crops, tucked  under a blanket of white. There is fresh meat, fresh baked bread, and there is plenty of ale to drink. Now is a time to celebrate with kith and kin.

In ancient times strangers were not welcome at Winter Nights celebrations. It is a time  to spend with those closest to us and those upon whom we know we can rely in the  dead of winter. It is a time to reaffirm our bonds of troth and friendship. It is a time to  feast and make merry. It is a time to make offerings to the gods for a mild winter. It is a  time to honor the álfar and thank them for their aid during the growing months and during the harvest.

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Hail Óðinn, Hanged God, Father of Battle, Granter of Victory, Lord of the Gallows!

Hail Þórr, Thunder, Mighty Áss, Great Champion of the Æsir, Warder of Miðgarðr!

Hail Ingvi-FreyR, Giver of Wealth, God of the World, Lord of Alfhaim, Shining One!

Hail the landvættir! Hail the house gods! Hail the álfar! Hail the Ancestors!

We bid you join us and receive our offerings true. We raise this horn of ale in your honor and share it as a token of our gratitude for the gifts you have given us. Accept this sacrifice, a symbol of our labor to provide for our families, and find it worthy. Grant us your blessings as winter draws near and keep us safe through the cold nights. Protect us from all ill-willing wights, trolls, and niðlings. Keep our homes safe from storms and our hearths warm. Let good friends find comfort in our company and may we find food plentiful and drink always full. We offer up this horn of worthy ale to you, may it be well received.

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With much surprise and pleasure, I came across a website dedicated to Ásatrú poetry. I had forgotten about this site, which is sad, because I have a couple of poems on the site. So, it is with much thanks to Michaela Macha of Odin’s Gift, that I present you with a poem I wrote some years ago, which I had believed lost forever due to a hard drive failure.

I Come To The Hall Of My Brothers

I come to the hall of my brothers
Weary with sleep and spilt blood
Battle-worn, blade scarred
Hoisted upon my shield
Eagles watch my fate with hungry eyes
Ravens sing and wolves bay
There shall be a feast tonight
Honored dead greet great Val-father
Victorious, ravaged, hailed
Companions of Shield Maidens
I know one sacrifice yet to be made
That which is due the father of battle.

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