Winter is here. In my little corner of the world daylight hours have dwindled to less than six hours per day, rising just before 9 am and dropping beneath the horizon before the clock as struck 3 pm. It’s a time of darkness, but also of light. Ullr has blessed us with brilliant snow, turning the landscape brighter than any other time of the year.
Winter Solstice is just three days away, December 21st is the day. The darkest day of the year, on our Northern side of the Earth, with the sun at it’s lowest. The day of turning, after which light will return.
My Winter Solstice celebrations are usually modest, with a private blót late at night and a good mug of mead shared with the Gods and Ancestors. Modest and honest.
Last night as I awaited sleep I went through my plans for the upcoming Solstice. Or rather, my lack of plans. I kissed my husband’s back and whispered a reminder to him, that the 21st is Solstice. Mead, good food and blót coming up. Husband drifted off to sleep as I kept thinking. Who to honour at this year’s winter blót? I haven’t got a set of rules I follow so over the years it has varied, depending on what feels appropriate at the time.
Nótt and Ullr, my mind immediately responded. And… A third. Who? It should be a third, it felt as though it should be a third. My head went blank. Who?!
A crow cawed outside my window. For a few seconds I reflected on the sound, thought of how rarely I hear a crow out here. And then —
Odin, of course. I’m sorry Odin, I don’t know how my mind could be so empty. Of course the third is Odin. Or Jólnir, as is one of his names. Or Jölfuðr, another of his names meaning Yule father.
I promise, I’m not stupid. Just a bit (or a lot) of a scatterbrain. Thank you Odin, for reminding me.
Nótt, Ullr, Odin. There is my trio to honour during this year’s midwinter blót.
Further details remain to be figured out.