"To our mother Nerthus, to whom we live upon and on, To our mother Frigg, keep our household whole and safe, To our mother Freya, great Disir and Valiant Van. To our Ancestors, grandmothers and great all. The line of woman go back from Elmbla and forward until Leifthansa. Strength and courage were theirs and may it always be so. For our Disir, we hail you one and all. Proud possessors of the family luck. Bless us in the coming year! Hail the Goddesses! Hail the Ancestors! Hail the Disir!" - Dave and Sandi Carron with Ravencast - The Asatru Podcast
As the night before the Winter Solstice, this is the time when the New Year is born. We honor the beginning of the Sun's return and the breaking of Winter's spell. Traditionally, this night belongs to Frigg, the mother Goddess and mistress of home and hearth. Celebrations center around the wife or mother of the family as she symbolically cleans the house in preparation of Yule festivities, invites both the living and the dead to join the party, and bestows blessings and gifts on her family and friends. Mother Night Parties follow a special blot and ceremony where the house is lit with candle light. Sometimes, this includes a Yule Wreath of four candles, the decorating of an evergreen tree with sun wheels, and the lighting of the Yule Log.
The Norse God Balder was the best loved of all the Gods. His mother was Frigg, Goddess of love and beauty. She loved her son so much that she wanted to make sure no harm would come to him. So she went through the world, securing promises from everything that lived that they would not harm her beloved Balder. However, she passed by the mistletoe, since it was so small and new to the world, that she thought it was harmless. The legend says that Frigg's tears became the mistletoe’s white berries.
While Yule marks the start of the year for the Anglo-Saxons, we see in Scandinavia that this distinction was at least for some geo-specific locations given to Winter Nights, which had a separate observed ritual to the Disir as part of their celebration. The Disir can be understood to be the ancestral mothers, and other female spirits that oversee the family, clan, or tribe. When we reach back to ancient Germania, we also see a thriving cultus dedicated to the “matrons” or the Idis. Female deities are also sometimes included with the Disir.
On this day we also remind ourselves of the virtue of Industriousness, from nine noble virtues. Modern Asatruar must be industrious in their actions. We need to work hard if we are going to achieve our goals. There is so much for us to do. We've set ourselves the task of restoring Asatru to its former place as a mainstream faith and by doing so reinvigorating our society and culture. We can't do this by sitting on our virtues, we need to make them an active part of our behavior. Industry also refers to simple hard work in our daily vocations, done with care and pride.
Many Asatru also calibrate each day of the 12 days of Yule as an expression of each of the months of the year. The day of the Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, and in Norway, as in other countries to the far north, it is particularly short, lasting for a few hours at best.
On this day we remind ourselves of the importance of Hearth and Home as our ancestors remind us to avoid the Wild Hunt, known as Odin's Hunt, the Wild Ride, the Raging Host or Yule Riders. Odin followed by the ghosts of the dead, would roam the skies, accompanied by furious winds, lightning and thunder, gathering lost souls (and everyone else) that was on the path of the Hunt.
There are numerous references to Yule in the Icelandic sagas, and in other ancient accounts testifying to how Yule was actually celebrated. It was a time for feasting, giving gifts, drinking and dancing.
The Yule holiday is the most important and most popular of all the native Germanic spiritual celebrations. Yule marks the return of the God Baldur from the realm of Hel and the loosening of winters grip on the frozen Earth.
The commencement of the Yuletide celebration has no set date, but is traditionally 12 days long with the start of the festivities beginning at sunset on the winter solstice (In the northern hemisphere, this date usually falls on or around December 20th) This Germanic Heathen holiday was forcibly stolen by early Christian missionaries and became known as the "12 days of Christmas".