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Midsummer and St. Hans Eve are celebrated to varying degrees in Norway, and the tradition is best maintained along the coastal regions of our country. This has become a "summer party" for many, and without any specific reflective or historical content. In Sweden, the tradition of midsummer is still much stronger, and is almost regarded as Sweden's national day. There, too, the original symbolism is better preserved, than here at home. However, their traditions and importance were originally identical throughout Scandinavia.

The Swedes set up a midsummer pole. This was a tradition we had in much of Europe in pagan times. This pole represents the pagan May pole, Yggdrasil - the tree of life itself. It is symbolic and identical to Irminsul.

The «midsummer pole» of the Swedes.

The Summer Solstice falls in the month of Folkvangr (folk home - home to the goddess Freyja (Frøya)). The celebration is not the same as the Midsummer Day, the actual mid-summer - it is the summer solstice that is now marked, just as Jól marks the Winter Solstice, and the actual mid-winter day falls on Hókonótt in January, as earlier metioned.

Sumarsôlhvarf - the Summer Solstice is the thirteenth [1] of the month - the goddess / natural force Frøya's birthday. The time is hereby represented by the goddess of the feminine side, of love, men's representative wives [2], summer, warmth and light. The summer side one is in seasonally is the feminine. Winter is the masculine one.

Frøya is also Heimdal's equivalence, and in mythology he is a hermaphrodite - precisely with the symbolic background that Heimdal appears in the transitional rites, between masculine and feminine. Heimdal now represents and personifies the masculine side, and is mythologically equivalent to Odin - Freya's husband. Heimdal personifies all transitions in nature, among humans, animals and creatures at all levels. In nature we are now, as with all our other festivals, in the middle of a shift. The sun turns - just like on the winter solstice in the winter season.

The she-Bear will be impregnated now, and will carry and select the cubs born on the coming Winter Solstice.

The Solstice bonfire.

Now, ancestral bonfires will be lit along the entire coast, and by all the waters and lakes there are people living, and on mountain peaks. Processions of flower decorated girls and women; bless fields and meadows with water from sacred springs - a practice that has been discussed in detail previously.

The flower maidens also purify farms, fields and meadows symbolically for winter spirits. Summer is here. There is "order in Åsgard”, which the state in our mythology tells about. Ragnarok (the harshest winter and end of the year, the birth of something new) is farthest away, and life is at its most comfortable. Everything grows and develops...

St. Hans bonfire, by Nikolai Astrup.

Food, beer and mead were sacrificed on the burial mounds. The sacrifices are gifts to nature. You give back to nature's cycle, and the sacrifices are taken up (eaten) by animals. There was feasting and dancing on, and around, the burial mounds all night. The celebration, like the others throughout the year, was strongly linked to ancestral cult. In such transitional phases, during the lunar cycles, and especially during the solstices, they came closer to their deceased ancestors. Summer solstice is, not surprising, namely a feast for your ancestors, and the rebirth of them in the kin. Therefore, the burial mounds were also a central component of this celebration, and its symbolism. It seems that our ancestors entered the sacred area around, inside and on top of their deceased ancestral mounds, when the rebirth cycle originated in nature, and especially when the sun was turning. Therefore, our festivals are also regulated in nature, and in our original calendar, by the sun, the moon and the woman's actual reproductive cycle. They all connect, in a continuous circular process.

There is an age-old custom that some still hold, that women should bathe at midnight. The sun is still up in Scandinavia at this time. The goddess Frøya is born in nature and mythologically born at the soltice. Frøya's father is Njord (the sea), and her mother being Skade (watercourse, moon, (egg))). Frøya's jewelery is called Brisingamen. When the women (Frøya represents and personifies all women) emerge from the sea (from Njord, her father), and the drops of water shine in the midnight sun or glare from the ancestral fire - this is symbolically the very Frøya being born, bearing the world's circulating order - Brisingamen , in Balder (light) and Nanna's (summer) glimpses. It is Frøya and everything she stands for that is reincarnated in the solstice, the manifestation of life itself - the manifestation and symbol of the goddess and the feminine half - a reincarnation of Jord (earth), Frigg, Saga, Gunnlod, the Valkyries, the women etc…etc…

This ornament, Brisingamen, was forged in our mythology by the dwarves Alfrigg (meaning: mother's love), Berlingr (meaning: stick / wand), Dvalínn (meaning: delay, antimatter) and Grerr (together they are referred to as Brisingene, of Norse Brísing meaning “fire”). As mentioned earlier, fire is equivalent to blood. In mythology, Dvalínn is also known to have given the runes (wisdom and "secrets") to the Æsir. Dwarfs in our tradition are not short, small-grown humans, but personifications of matter, antimatter, celestial directions, metals, physics and other elements. But, equally important, they also personify our dead ancestors, and the wealth and knowledge they have accumulated. They are related to something that is not accomplished, something imperfect. Like other props in our tradition, Brisingamen represents an order of physics, chemistry and elements - which separates order from chaos in our physical world. But it also represents blood inheritance, from ancestry, from your forebears. Your ancestors were considered you, but in your past lives. As we read about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, we can begin to understand what this fairytale holds of ancient wisdom.

This fairytale is of course also about reincarnation of an ancestor, the dwarfs are Snow White's seven respective childhood years, before that period is over, the teeth is lost and she is re-born in the first cycle. The dwarfes are Snow White herself, and all her accumulated ancestors, in her – in stages of development.

Frøya's “cosmic necklace” and world order Brísingamen, has been mentioned in several myths and emphasizes the basic symbolic meaning of this prop. It is mentioned in Sorletåtten in Flatøybok, Haustlong in Skaldarskáparmál, in Gylvagínníng and in Þrymskviða. Brísingamen means "necklace of fire". Frøya's jewelery is not only related to cosmology, the solar cycle and life-giving fire, but also personifies the series of fires we light by water and mountain peaks to greet Frøya, summer, sun and fertility on the solstice. The fires are symbolic of Frøya's pearls on the necklace, if you will. They light up, on the longest night of the year when this natural force is born, in the middle of the masculine and feminine side of the sun wheel. The jewelry also represents the series of those before you, your bloodline in the cycle. They are Frøya's “tears of gold”.

To the extent that the summer night was to be "sleept away", one would have to collect 7 or 9 kinds of flowers, if you were unmarried.7 and 9 are essential symbolic, numbers we have previously mentioned. These should be put under the pillow and you should dream of your future. Your Fylgja [3] (your follower, your protective spirit, your dead ancestors), as well as your Hamingja (your luck - your blood heritage / blood memory) would help you along the way.

According to tradition, the bonfire itself was to be lit with “new fire”, often with the friction of wood. The sun was turning, and you should start again, fresh and free. Above all, the fire represents the life-and fertility-giving sun - the prerequisite for all life.

It was also common to jump over the bonfire in a competition game, to symbolize that one went from one position to another, from one state to another. In nature, it is now also the case that after the summer solstice you enter the masculine side of the year, which ends with the winter solstice (Jól). Traditional games and competitions representing the battle between summer (feminine) and winter (masculine) were also common.

Since summer is Frøyas, it was decorated with birch leaves. The birch is, as previously mentioned, represented by her.

Naturally, the solstice itself was thus regarded as an essential cosmological and natural shift in our eternal circular nature. On this night the symbolic witches are also represented, as at the Valborg night and the other high festivals related to the sun and the moon cycle.

The Summer Solstice was originally as important as the Yule celebration and has been celebrated by our people for many, many thousands of years. After the forced Christianization, the celebration was renamed St. Hans, Jonsok or Johannesvake, and dedicated it to the Jewish Baptist John, who according to the Abrahamic monotheistic writings was a traveling preacher who received subjugated people to receive baptism as “purification of their sins. ". The day was fixed in the Gregorian calendar until June 24 (night to 24), just as our pagan Yule was fixed on December 24, and no longer followed the actual solstice.

The pagan traditions of the burning bonfires were taken to the extent that even at this time the Christians held "witch sabbats" and trial of heretics, where a number of non-convertibles were burned alive on these. The following day, after the summer solstice, was originally a day of pagan holiday. This day of rest was after the Christianization named "the ten thousand martyrs", and dedicated to the alleged martyrs of the Catholic Church.

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