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Taking our holiday back

By Dethblight ~

I posted this last year around the holidays, but unfortunately I waited too long and it did not appear on the front page until after the holiday season was over. I received several comments from people saying that they found this article very helpful in trying to find a non-christian way to celebrate the holidays, so I thought I'd re-post it this year BEFORE the holidays are over. Enjoy!

Let me start by saying that while I do identify myself as an Asatruan, from a practical standpoint I know that the existence of Odin, Thor, Asgard, etc are about as likely as the existence of Yahweh, Jesus, and so on. However, I do identify with the principles and ideals of my ancestral religion, and I like our mythos much better than that associated with other religions!

Many years ago our ancestors (this will apply to most peoples of the world, but for the purposes of this article I mean Northern Europeans) were forced to adopt Christianity by means of trickery, deceit, murder, denial of trade, starvation and so forth. However, many practices of the Old Way were carried into this new Eastern religion and survive today as time-honored Christmas traditions. Christmas trees, yule-logs, and many more.

Our entire Christmas season is actually just Yule in disguise. And as such, it is high time that we reclaim it! As we approach the Winter Solstice, please feel free to reflect upon this guide to Yule.

December 20 we welcome the Yule season with Mother's Night. We encourage the return ofSunna, the feminine aspect of the Sun. Take this time to honor Frigga the AllMother, and all that is feminine and motherly around us. Give thanks to your Mothers and Grandmothers. Raise a horn of ale in honor of all the females who fought and gave birth through the ages so that you could be sitting there reading this today.

December 21 is the second day of Yule and the Winter Solstice. After this shortest day and longest night of the year, Sunna will regain power. Celebrate her and the fertility that she will bring to us!

December 22 we remember the Noble Virtue of Courage. Courage that drives us to carry on not in the absence of, but in the face of fear. The courage that allows us to meet new challenges and improve our situation. Courage to tell the world that we will celebrate Yule the way our ancestors once did!

December 23 we remember the Noble Virtue of Truth. We should strive to be honest in all that we do, and we should realize that there is no universal Truth, but that we must find our own.
December 24 we remember the Noble Virtue of Honor. Without honor we are nothing. We must retain the ability to hold our heads high, confident in the knowledge that we set high standards for ourselves, and live up to them at all times. The harder it is to stick to our principles, the more we must compel ourselves to do so.

December 25 we remember the Noble Virtue of Fidelity. Remaining loyal to who and what we are. Whether it is the commitment of a relationship, or a promise we made, our word must be our bond. Never be unfaithful to your word, your friends, your family, your lover. A man (or woman) is only as good as his word. This is especially important in today's society where it seems that everyone is dishonest and deceitful.
December 26 we remember the Noble Virtue of Hospitality. Welcome those around you into your home that they may share in your bounty. No matter how bad you have it, there is someone out there who has it worse. Be hospitable and charitable all year long, but on this day strive to go above and beyond.

December 27 we remember the Noble Virtue of Discipline. Whether you're having a hard time sticking to your diet, doing chores you know must be done, or not caving to the pressures of society to pray to Jesus, discipline is key. Laziness is one of the great banes of Man's existence, and it can only be overcome with discipline.
December 28 we remember the Noble Virtue of Industriousness. This goes right along with discipline. Life is hard, and it requires hard work. Never take the easy way out. With few exceptions, your station in life is a direct result of your efforts. Strive for perfection in all that you do.

December 29 we remember the Noble Virtue of Self-Reliance. Whether it is financially, emotionally, or physically. Never let your happiness, health, or success in life depend on the whims of others. It is YOUR life, YOU must be responsible for it.

December 30 we remember the Noble Virtue of Perseverance. Cliche as it may sound, there is truth in it: quitters never win. You must see all things to their conclusion. Even if you try and fail, there are valuable lessons in failure that will temper your future efforts and lead to success.

And the night of December 30 we celebrate much the same as most of the world. This is a time to remember where you came from and figure out where you are going. This is a time to take stock of your life and make oaths (or resolutions if you prefer, although I prefer the term oath as it carries more weight in the mind, and thus is more likely to be seen through) to improve yourself.

Throughout all of this remember that Yule is a time for family and feasting, charity and goodwill. And remember, these are things you should strive for all year long, not just during Yule. Yule is just the time that we set aside to reflect upon and celebrate these virtues, not a call to pretend you have them after which you can return to your non-virtuous lifestyle. May the Allfather bestow the blessings of his runes upon you this season, that your tables may overflow with food, and your horns with drink :)