Tonight was my first public Heathen ritual. I lead a Full Moon Ritual welcoming the season change, Winterfinding, apples, and Idunn.
Witchlette joined us and lent her Magicks, which made the ritual that much more special.
Also super special was the bunny who joined us. I mention in this ritual, and I mentioned it before we started this evening, that Idunn is also known as her counterpart Ostara. The bunny didn’t come super close, but it also wasn’t skiddish. It didn’t see us and hop away as a bunny typically would. It stayed for the entire ritual and just did it’s bunny thing.
Heat from the south
Cold from the north
3x with one caller
3x with 2-4 additional callers
3x with each half of the circle
Fire melts the ice. The water mixes with the heat to make steam. The ice cools the steam to make mist. The mist fills the gap between fire and ice, where there was nothing. Mist of the world from where all life springs.
Fire, ice, mist together:
We are shrouded now in the mist, no longer in this world yet not wholly in the otherworld. We walk the space between, in the mist, blessed by fire and ice.
We are standing here, in the SE of the US where it is still summer and still hot. It will still be rather warm for weeks to come. Tonight, with the light of the full moon, we are going to travel through time and place. We are going to venture northward to an unforgiving ancient land of extreme cold and extreme dark.
The times of the Northman of the past was ruled by the Sun. Northern nations have the same solar calendar as we do, but theirs is much more extreme. There are two solar seasons: summer, when days are long and winter, when days are short. Mid-Summer is called such because it falls between Summerfinding, in March when the days begin to grow longer, and Winterfinding, in September when the days begin to grow shorter. The sun is in the sky for 18 hours on midsummer. On their Winter Solstice, they have only six hours of sunlight. Their world was ruled by light and dark. What can and cannot be accomplished in the time of light available.
We have found ourselves in the time of Winterfinding once again. While it is still warm here in North Carolina, the sun is beginning to set earlier and the days are beginning to shorten. Winterfinding is one of the two times sacred to Idunn. Many of you may know her better by her German counterpart- Ostara.
Idunn is the bearer of the apples of youth. She keeps these sacred apples and allows the Aesir and Vanir to have a taste. Idunn spends many afternoons in her apple trees, tending to her orchard.
One day, while sitting in her tree, she caught a chill, became faint, and fell from her tree to the ground. Her still body lay on the green grass, which slowly turned brown. Leaves began to fall all around her.
Back in Asgard, Braggi began to fret about the whereabouts of his beloved. She typically would have returned home from her orchard by now. It was getting cold. Braggi formed a search party with Thor and Ull. The three gods went out through Asgard to Idunn’s orchard and there found her laid on the grass, her basket of apples lay tucked at her breast, their golden color never fading.
Braggi removed his white fur cloak from his back and laid down next to Idunn, covering both of them with the cloak. He, and his white fur, would keep her well until the fainting spell passed and she was of whole mind and body again. Thor and Ull, with Braggi’s persistence that Idunn not be moved, that the best place for her was to remain in her orchard, returned to their halls. There they lay for many a night, Braggi holding tight to his beloved, kept hidden and safe beneath their white shield from the outer world.
Here, she was kept safe by Braggi until ready to rise again, shedding the white fur cloak and standing to her apple trees budding anew.
Iðunn is invoked by modern Heathens as the goddess of regeneration, for her help in regenerating and revitalizing not only the body and mind, but the soul. She is called upon to help revitalize and restore Heathen spiritual traditions. Iðunn is also seen as a patron of other restoration projects, whether habitat or heritage restoration work.
Iðunn is very sweet and innocent. Working with her is bound to highlight your own and other’s innocence. Call on her when you are feeling grumpy, world-weary and burnt-out. She is a leisure goddess, who can help you carve out time for much needed rest and relaxation. To honour her, welcome Iðunn to any social gathering.
As a goddess of vitality and maintainer of good health, Iðunn can be called upon to increase your motivation to live a healthier lifestyle. The expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” might be a fun, modern adage that references her gifts. Iðunn can be seen as a goddess of preventative health, and the ultimate spa goddess. Working with her can help you find an exercise regimen that is also fun, playful and uplifting.
Cakes and Ale- Idunn blot
[Pour juice into horn, raise horn]
Idunn of the apples, Idunn of constance, Idunn of youth. Hail to you! Let the others quarrel about who sits higher than whom, and whose sword is sharper and whose spear is keener. You know your place is indispensable, working the orchard without which the plans of others would come to nothing. Giver of health and immortality. Keep our bodies sound and strong! Keep us healthy that we may, like you, get up each morning while the rest of the world quarrels and go quietly to our tasks of working the earth- whether it is to harvest and complete winter preparations or to sow anew and make summer preparations. Help us in our daily round of earthen labor, Lady of the Sacred Orchard, and may our harvest be plenty, our roots stay strong through the winter, and our future gardens bloom.
[Pour juice from horn into cups to be passed around]
[Pass around “cakes” of golden slices and walnut pieces]
Idunn has caught chill. She is feeling faint. She is beginning to fall. Soon, Braggi will come to her aide and wrap her warm beneath his snow-colored cloak.
As the cold season approaches, use your Hygge and hunker down with loved ones.
As the mist condenses, we see the land from flesh, the mountains from bone, the rivers from blood, and the stones from teeth. As the mist recedes, we are harkened back to the garden in the middle of Yggdrasil. When the mist evaporates, we are once again fully in our world and no longer between worlds.
Fire: The fire returns to Muspelheim
Ice: The ice returns to Niflheim