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Vârjafndøgri

Equinox is a term at times when day and night are equally long. At this time the earth's axis is perpendicular to the sun and the equator. It therefore takes twelve hours from sunrise to sunset in the northern hemisphere. The rotational axis and position of the globe, which gives a heliocentric view of the seasons, was therefore an important marker for our ancestors.


Spring equinox is today limited to an anniversary in the almanac and falls in the period from 19-21 of March in today's Gregorian calendar. It contains no further of value today, other than the pure cosmological fact. However, this was an important day for our ancestors, and perhaps especially in their early farming communities.


The day falls in the month Breiðablik (shining gleam / light - home to the god Balder). The time of the spring equinox also falls between the months Einmánuðr, Krákamánaðr (Month of the Men) with the zodiac sign Hrútr (Aries) and the month Gói (Month of the Women) with the zodiac sign Fiskr (Fishes). The spring equinox was in pagan times Austr, what was later called Easter.


The spring equinox is thus between man and woman, between winter and summer, between masculine and feminine forces - a shift, similar to Haustjafndøgri at the opposite end, which marked the entry into the masculine winter side.


The goddess Hlín (Lin, "the one who protects") is connected to this high festival. She is part of Frigg's attributes (she is Frigg in this context). Frigg is Odin's wife, and not surprisingly Balder's mother, and Balder is the light, along with his wife Nanna (summer). Frigg / Lin cries her tears for Balder, who wants to return from Hel, and Frigg has the name Lin in Völuspá the second time she mourns, before his return. Linen headgear was worn by married women, the word Hlín was kennings for women, and was used in this context in pagan poetry and in later Rímur.


In a women's grave from Fløksand in Norway, a knife was found with the inscription linalaukaR (flax onion). Both the onion and the linen contain the woman's symbolic fertility elements. "Going under the linen" (Norwegian: å gå under linet) means the same as getting married in our tradition.


Hlín, by Carl Emil Doepler (1882).



The rituals of spring equinox were also linked to the Ting tradition (Norse parliaments), where young and "empowered" were given the right to vote. They were therefore considered to be lawful, in the sense that they were likely to have the right to participate and express their opinion, and contributed to the household's weighting of the votes in a direct Norse tribal democracy. This is essential in order to understand the mechanics of the Norse democracy [1]; all the while it seems that the household is giving weighted voice as a unit, and not always the individual. Thus, it was probably of less importance whether it was a housewife, husband or an "authority youth” who expressed and cast the household vote on the Ting. In this way, women's and men's voting rights were both intact and equal in our ancestral pre-Christian pagan and tribal communities.


Candles and oil lamps were blown out this evening, and they went to bed at sunset. We are now entering this year's bright period, the feminine side. We go towards summer and sun.


The coming rite was called Gangdagrhelgr (the sacred walking weekend) where we go from winter to summer. It consisted of Gangdagr and Sumardagr (Summer Day).


Gangdagr/Sumardagr

The housewife (wife, Sorceress, Queen) led a procession of girls and women, pulled in a wagon / cart. This one was not unlike the one you can see from Queen Ragnhild's burial mound in the Oseberg ship. The procession went three times around the fields, to ask / honor the spirits of nature (the elves / ancestors) for a good coming crop. It was customary to carry a torch to "scare away" the winter spirits, otherwise similar to the symbolism of other ritual sword fights, rides and games that represent the same - summer versus winter. The frost and winter slow down and kill the crops, and symbolically the force of summer should now consolidate in the fields.


The housewife watered the fields with sacred water. It was customary that the tribes (families) had one or more sacred sources, which they also drank from during the feasts. The sources represent Mimirbrunnir (Mimir is memory - "the voice of the blood, the accumulated memory of your ancestors, your intuition) and Urðarbrunnir (Urð is honor - the honor of your ancestors, your own honor, your descendants). Wells, rivers and water were for our ancestors themselves the manifestation of the shift, the distinction between the living and the dead, between different states and the link to ancestors (the dead). Water and light were considered as "the ways of the ancestors", the ancient memory, the "blind eye", Odin and the spirit.


A golden Thread, by John Melhuish Strudwick (1885)

Mythologically and symbolically, the three Norns are Urðr, Verðani and Skuld (past, present and future) and they spin the fate threads at Urd's well. Your destiny is determined by your past, your past lives (your ancestors), your present and your future. They are all spun from the well of honor. Your honor and luck are your Hamingja, your intuition, your spiritual guide, or "guardian angel" as others call it. It accumulates through the cycle of life and death, through the lineage of the family and kin - but influential through your present (Verðani).



The housewife put out barrels of food and beer / mead in the fields to the spirits of nature. This is consumed by animals and birds, who were also considered as personifications of the same nature spirits in the eternal cycle. Many simply call this practice blót.


We often have the impression of dramatic sacrifices among our ancestors, relying on a relatively poor source material that is written down by Christians. Most often, the sacrifices (blót) were confined to only the recognition of the natural cycle, in line with putting out some seeds to the birds – but with a more symbolic content.


The housewife finally dug a small hole in the field and poured a mix of grains and eggs, and stirred it together with a "magic wand" [2]. Then she sang something like this – well documented in Norwegian sources;



«Våkne opp, våkne opp både åker og avling,

nå har du sovet både lenge og vel,

vi har sett både regn og snø,

Sommerens natt er her nå»


"Wake up, wake up both fields and crops,

now you have slept both long and well,

we have seen both rain and snow,

Summer's night is here now »




Then they celebrated Annadagr Sumar (second day summer) and Þriðjadagr sumar (third day summer).


Above all, these fertility rituals were practical, even though they were filled with spiritual content. Hilding Celander writes in a 1952 an article about this custom in the southern Swedish areas, where cut-offs from the field were sacrificed to "Glo-son", all the way into recent times. This ancient ritual can also be found in Norwegian rural culture until a couple of generations ago. The ritual has, of course, pagan roots, where the practical purpose was to cut corn axes to keep the badger away. “Black magic” and superstition have little to do with pagan rituals. As little as nuts, apples, and other organic things sacrificed in burial mounds (which still amaze archaeologists and scholars) were the objects of particular other than such practical purposes. Above all, the function seems to be preventative, to keep rodents and other pests away in a respectful way.

After the forced Christianization of our areas, Primstaven was marked with a half cross. The day was dedicated by the Roman Church to St. Bendik, the founder of the Catholic Benedictine Order. This monastic order was the most common of the 800s in Western Europe, at the time of some of the worst Christian assaults on European pagan populations. The day was named “Bendiksmesse” in Scandinavia, and was set for March 21.



[1] The original Norse Democracy was a true democracy - a just and fair people's decisive tribal, assembly. It was decentralized. Not a proxy democracy with re-circulable preselected candidates, de-constructed by heavy structures, bureaucracy, globalism, tyrannical provincial rule and political correctness.


[2] A magic wand in the Norse tradition represents a change - in this case from winter to summer - awakening of the field / nature.

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