Today is the Autumnal Equinox. It is the Last Quarter Moon. The New Moon was September 1st, the Full Moon was the 16th, and the next New Moon is the 29th. I mention this because few Heathens today know the moon phases, let alone when the Equinoxes and Solstices are, or even how to calculate them.
Your pre-Christian ancestors did. So important was the passion play between Heaven and Earth, that Their dance was marked in stone. Great stone monuments have been constructed around the world, however, the best known and most extant examples – over 1,000 – are found in Europe.
Stone circles have been shown to reveal geometric wisdom and astronomical insight; henges were gathering sights to mark the rise of season shifts; recumbent circles marked lunar phases; and those with pillars marked the moon’s rise and sun’s location.
Evenso, today, during the Tides – the four celestial markers, and (perhaps) their ‘midway’ or Between points – most talk only of “harvest” or “planting”. Seemingly, the great wisdom the Old Europeans thought to convey to their descendants has been removed by the Church’s Almighty Hand.
Or has it?
The Old Ways are alive and well, but due to a long history of suppression in the past, and oddly enough, among Heathens today, the ancient wisdom remains obscured to but a few.
Among the rationally minded, the equinoxes are nothing more than astronomical events in which the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the center of the Sun. For those who observe the Old Ways today, it is a “harvest festival” (which leads into Thanksgiving in the United States), a time reminiscent of “reaping and gathering grain”; or it is Mabon, the “Feast of Harvest and Thanksgiving”, a means to “secure the blessings of the Goddess and God”.
In that this information is:
-vague in relation to 21st century living; and
-repeated in theory rather than practice, it is clear that the Church was successful in eradicating the ancient traditions and thews among the general population.
Good thing I recognized early-on that one of the primary roles of the Seiðu was as Lore Keeper. Certainly, not as attractive as ‘rune mage’ or ‘Norse witch’, ‘troll worker’ or siting on a ‘high seat’, and the like; and though I do those things – and far more – the role of the Ѵǫlva and Vitki of yore was to ward the Old Ways.
And so I Vardlokkur.
Meaning, I: ‘ward; beacon; watch; secure; keeper’, and ‘chest, vessel; latch; song, verses’ – or Ward the Vessel, Keep Watch of the Verses, Secure the Old Verses, and Keep Secure the Knowing Ways.
For example: The Autumnal Equinox, also known as Graintuiri, or ‘Sunna’s Setting’, is a Tide of Leubh or ‘love. It is but one of the Nine ‘L’s that mark the Wheel of the Year. Far more than just ‘harvest’, it is The Shield to Every Head, and the Sheath of Amber Water. Though the official time according to satellite technology was at 10:21am EST, it is marked at Twilight – the time when the Seiðwise Turn the Circle to coincide with the Western Waters.
The emphasis during this Tide – regardless if one calls it ‘Mabon’ or ‘Fallfest’ or ‘St. Michael’s Day’ (Mithras) – is on Loving and allowing one’s self to be Loved, on Nurturing and honoring Old Age, on the Realization and Discovery of Potential within one’s self and one’s clan or kindred, of Personal and Collective Strength and Backbirth, on the Summation and Development of s/Self and Giving Thanks.
Graintuiri is the Wild Hunt; a time where men dress in ancient costumes, enlivening the Wild Man, the Horned Man. He is merrily chased – hunted – by all members of the clan and kindred, and in turn, hunts them. When caught, he is ‘forced’ to grant many boons and blessings.
I Am The Renewer of Mirth and Caring! Embrace!
And if you find yourself ill-prepared for, or motivated by this information, worry not, for Graintuiri is a Six Day celebration.