Second night of Yuletide (Wild Hunt)
"Odin, All-father, Sig-Father! Leader of the Wild Hunt! Bring us wisdom and weal in this darkest of seasons. Fjölnir, Wise One Gangleri, Wanderer Grímnir, Masked One, Jölfuðr, Yule father Jólnir, Yule figure Óski, God of Wishes
Rúnatýr, God of Runes Síðgrani, Long Beard Sigðir, Victory bringer
Leader of the Gods, Chooser of the Slain, Bearer of Gungir, We honor you for the breath of life. We thank you for your gifts of the Runes We praise Odin! Hail Odin! Hail Odin!"
- Dave and Sandi Carron with Ravencast - The Asatru Podcast
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.
The Yule Riders, consisting of various creatures of the Underworld and the souls of the dead made a fearsome gathering as they rode the dark lands of winter, and dangerous to those who crossed their paths, especially to those of impure intentions. What we may assume to be the original, heathen essence of this theme is that the dark of winter is an era where the souls of the dead, as well as other creatures of the Underworld, roam freely in the world of people – because the borders between the world of the living and the world of the dead has become blurred, because the world of the living has in fact become like dark, cold, merciless Hel.
The Wild Hunt which began on Samhain or Halloween is now at its height. Legend says that anyone unwary enough to be caught out at midnight on the Winter Solstice will be swept up by the Hunter and carried away.
On this day we also remind ourselves of the virtue of Perseverance. Our religion teaches us that the world is an imperfect place, and nothing comes easy. We need to continue to seek after that which we desire. In this imperfect world there are no free lunches or easy accomplishments-especially in the subjects we have set before ourselves. If we truly wish to build an Asatru community that people will hold up as an example of what committed people can do, then we must persevere through the hardships that building our religion is going to entail. We must be willing to continue on when we are pushed back. If one loses a job for ones religion, the answer is not to go back and hide, but to continue until one finds a vocation where one can more forward and live as an Asatruar should.
We will keep in mind the month of Horning (February) and many Asatruar celebrate the wooing by Freyr of the Maiden Gerdr; a symbolic marriage of the God of Fertility with the Mother Earth. In much of Northern Europe, grain cakes were offered for the soil's fertility and Father Sky and Mother Earth were invoked to that end.
Glad Yuletide to Everyone. Hail,
Also in YuleTide
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".