• Odelsarven


The content of the Nordic and Norwegian Christmas is exclusively European pagan. Christmas is one of our oldest holidays and most symbolic. It has been celebrated in the same way since the dawn of time.

The Norse word Jól means "wheel" – the wheel of the seasons of the / changes. First of all, Christmas is an ancestral celebration and a celebration of rebirth. The high festival is about both the outer cosmological cycles of rebirth and the inner earthly and personal cycles of rebirth and reincarnation. All natural cycles that affect us both directly and indirectly. Christmas traditions are centered around the symbolism of pregnancy and childbirth. It is packed with such symbolism.

Advent time is the four weeks of waiting, before the sun again turns, that nature is reborn and that our chosen dead ancestors are symbolically reborn in the kin. This symbolism occurs and is repeated three times a year, at the three most important pagan high festivals. Winter solstice and Christmas/Yule is one of them.

In the Advent period we adorn the Advent crown (Advent candles), and this represents the crown of the kings of the year - those who are to be reborn symbolically - also symbolically equivalent to the more famous May queen and king. These were elected or re-elected for each year and represented the tribe's symbolic Frøy / Frøya. There was a tradition throughout Europe for the selection of this pair, and the Maypoles you see in markets in Germany, among others, are from this pagan tradition. In a household, husband and wife were the same in symbolic sense. The term “Frue” in Scandinavian or “Frau” in German is of the same origin.

The candle light decoration with four candles / the crown also represents deer antlers - these again represent the crown itself, which was used for attributes and tools during rites, and symbolic embellishment. The ceiling of the ancestral burial chambers was covered with antlers.

The horned deer symbolizes our ancestors. Deer loses the antlers each year/season, just as our ancestors symbolically in their rites and selection processes reincarnate their directly democratically elected leaders, themselves, their children and their ancestors annually. It is not without reason that today's Santa Claus (originally and personified as Heimdal) is portrayed with just deer / reindeer.

Advent candle light decoration (crown) with four candles. 4 weeks was symbolically equivalent to a 40 week pregnancy. The candle was lit according to fixed rules, on Balders and the sun's day (Søndag / Sunday). The round shape, with the same symbolism as the other circular shapes on tradition, be it the round porridge, the round cakes, the round pancakes, the Christmas cakes and other circular dishes and objects used during the traditions of the solar and lunar cycle. They all represent symbolic sun, cycle and mother's life.

The Advent wreath (Yule wreath) that we still hang on the front door, was to be placed on the door four weeks before the sun turned. The four weeks are symbolically equivalent to 40 weeks, which is the length of a pregnancy. Exactly the same symbolism lies here, as of the Advent decoration with four candles.

The wreaths could be placed and lit by the mother or father in the house. A child who had a bean (today an almond) in the porridge could also do so. The child who received the bean/almond was the symbolic "king / queen with crown", whom the ancestral spirit was symbolically reincarnated in. The child's name was traditionally a named ancestor.

The pagan tradition of symbolic porridge eating with a nut or bean inside is the same tradition as the European "crown cake". Originally, the tradition of crown cake, and the more local almond / nut / bean in the porridge for us, was done at the beginning of January. Then the sun is stronger, and the crown you got when you found the almond / nut / bean represents the stronger sun in the sky. The child who received it in January was to be symbolically reincarnated on the solstice the same year.

The almond / nut / bean in the porridge represents a lost child tooth, and symbolically this is related to the “milk teeth”, and that the child symbolically gets the ancestral spirit. It is a symbol of the ancestor that attaches to the child's body. The children were around the age of 7 [2]. In our mythology, Frøy is the "King of the Elves", a Vanir, together with his sister Frøya - and they personify the masculine and feminine sides, the lineage and our ancestors. Frøy and Frøya personify our ancestors; they personify the family farm, the family, the kin, blood and soil.

Originally, the tradition with the almond / bean / nut in the porridge was that the youngest child should sit under the table. This was the symbolic Frøy (the coming rebirth of the next cycle). The child was asked who would receive the portion - which the elder in the house distributed. The almond / bean / nut [3] is in one of the portions. The symbolic Frøy (the child) decides who will receive the respective portions. When the crown is received by the person who has been given the almond / nut / bean, this symbolizes that the child would go through the symbolic rebirth ritual, which is accumulated and completed in the coming solar eclipse – at the solstice. The crown is thus the key to ancestors, to the blood heritage, to the burial mound, to Mimir (memory).

The crown also represents the deer antlers, as previously discussed.

The tradition of almond / bean / nut in the porridge, and similar cake traditions, crowns, etc. are thus symbolic traditions that are all about the rebirth in the kin and reincarnation, from dead ancestors and to their descendants. We have several sources and indications of this view today, but unfortunately most are not aware of this. If you read the apparently sad and meaningless Norwegian fairytale of Tommeliten - reproduced by Asbjørnsen & Moe - in this perspective, this story immediately gives new meaning:


There was once a wife, who had an only son, and he was no more than a thumb; therefore they also called him Smallthumb (Tommeliten).

When he had come to his age, his mother told him to go out and propose; for now she thought it was time for him to think about getting married. When Tommeliten heard it, he was delighted.

They got ready for the ride and left, and his mother put him on his lap. Then they would go to a royal court, where there was such a great princess; but when they had come some distance on the road, Tommeliten was gone.

She looked for him for a long time and called out to him, crying because he was missing and because she couldn't find him again. "Beep, beep!" said Tommeliten, hiding in the horses hair. Then he came, and then he had to promise not to do it more often.

When they had driven a little further, Tommeliten was gone again. The mother looked for him and cried and cried, but he was gone. "Beep, beep!" said Tommeliten, and she heard him laugh and squirm, but she couldn't find him this time either. "Beep, beep, here I am!" said Tommeliten up and emerged from the horse's ear. Then he had to promise not to hide more often.

But when they had driven a distance, he was gone again; he couldn't save himself. The mother searched and wept and shouted at him; but he was gone, she couldn't find him in any way. "Beep, beep, here I am!" said Tommeliten. But she couldn't understand where he was, because it sounded so blurry. She searched, and he said "Pip, here I am!" and laughed and enjoyed himself because she couldn't find him again; but suddenly, the horse sneezed, and it sneezed Tommeliten straight out, for he had sat in one nostrils. The mother now took him and put him in a bag, she knew no other advice…

When they arrived at the royal estate, it soon became a proposal, because the princess thought he was a beautiful little boy, and it wasn't long before there was a wedding either.

When they were having dinner in the wedding yard, Tommeliten sat at the table next to the princess; but he was worse than ill, because when he was about to eat he could not reach up, and he had not been able to eat, had not the princess helped him up to the table.

Now it went well, as long as he could eat off the plate; but then came a large barrel of porridge, which he could not reach; but Tommeliten knew the advice, he sat down on the edge of the barrel. But then there was a “butter eye” (a pile of butter) in the middle of the porridge; he couldn't reach, and then he had to sit on the edge of the “butter eye”. Suddenly, the princess came with a big spoon and was going to dip a good bite of the porridge in the butter; she came near Tommeliten, so he fell out and drowned in the “butter eye”.

The end….

Tommeliten by Theodor Kittelsen.

Tommeliten represents the seed / almond / nut / bean itself and thereby also the dead ancestor - an ancestor who will be reborn. Tommeliten travels on a horse, hiding in the horse's hair, ear and nose. This is not a coincidence, because the breath and the breathing organs were known in pagan tradition to contain precisely the "spirit". (önd/ånde/breath).

The horse in mythological tradition is also a symbolic metaphysical means of transport, and Odin (the spirit) travels with his horse Sleipner (the spirit's abandonment of the physical body) in our mythology, on its eight legs (eternal cycle).

The “butter eye” in the porridge represents in the Norse tradition the sun, life, Balder and ancestors. There is far more symbolism than this in the fairytale of Tommeliten, both the number of times the Tommeliten hides in the horse (three cycles), where, how he comes out, that his mother puts him in a bag (pregnancy), the large porridge bowl, etc.

Our own fairy tales about kings and princesses are basically just the same. They are ancient knowledge and personified rites and symbolism, which fortunately have survived in the common people, in oral tradition.

In the Pagan Advent period, the children wore red clothes, often with hats. These are, moreover, purely pagan traditions. These are symbols of children not yet reborn (spiritually reincarnated) – like a child that symbolically still resides in the womb.

In the mountain valley of Valdres in Norway, we find some sources in the book Ættararv (Norsk folkeminnelag, 1950):

“From time to time the children are born with a skin over their heads. This, they call “the Victory Hat”. This, they should keep all of their lives and make sure that they were buried with it. It would follow great honor and luck to have such Victory Hat.”

The traditional Norwegian “Nisselue” (a red cap) contains ancient symbolism.

The Advent calendar is also not a new invention. It is still made up of sweets, usually hanging on a tree or an illustration of a tree. Like the evergreen Yule tree, the Advent calendar also symbolizes the child in the womb, receiving nourishment during the 40 weeks of pregnancy (symbolic advent), and the nourishment of what the midwifes to this day designate as "the tree of life."

Not surprisingly, the Advent calendar is also exclusively pagan, in terms of age, tradition and symbolism.

This waiting period was also used for all the preparations before the Yule tide started at Langnótt (the night before the solstice, today known as St. Lucia). Langnótt was our pagan "little Christmas Eve", where our children in beautiful processions of light, singing, with white robes, symbolic pastries and candle wreath invited the spirits of our ancestors home for Yule.

During the forced Christianization, our ancient and original advent was dedicated to the “awaiting of Jesus”. The birth of Jesus was added to December 24 in the Gregorian calendar by the Roman Church. There are no sources to prove that Jesus actually existed, or was born on this night, not in the Bible, not in historical sources or astronomy. The date was set by the Scythian monk Dionys Exiguus in Rome, as late as the 6th century.

The emperors of Rome, and especially the emperor Valentin, took Christianity as a strategic means of power in the late 300s, and the forced Christianization of Europe began synchronously with the imperialism of the collapsing empire. The forced Christianization reached its peak in central Europe one hundred years after Dionys Exiguus plagiarism and theft. This attempted coup of pagan Advent and the solstice is just one of countless attempts at approach through coercion and plagiarism of original European and Scandinavian pagan culture and tradition.

Our ancestors celebrated Advent, and Christmas Eve as "Mother's Night" with rebirth at all levels, for many, many thousands of years before monotheistic Christianity gained a foothold in our areas. Very little has really changed on the surface. The origins lie too deeply rooted in us, fortunately.

1] Almond in the porridge is identical to the tradition "crown cake" in other parts of Europe.

[2] The child is "finished" only at 7 years, when the weaning period is definitely over. The child gets personality and more self-control. The number 7 is consistently important and symbolic in our tradition. The Christian creation story also "borrowed" this, where "the world was made in 7 days". The same symbolism lies in baking seven kinds of cakes for Christmas. The number seven also represents the number of years the child has lived, before symbolic reincarnation. The number 3 (the cycles) and the number seven are found and illustrated in all our folk tales and our oldest legends and myths.

[3] We have not always used almonds for logical reasons, but in earlier - seeds, beans or other available symbolic things were probably used. Bright, yellow colors should be used. This should symbolize the sun. Like the “butter eye”. Egg yolks were naturally used for coloring in baked foods, and later spice additives such as saffron.

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