“Wheel of the Year”
As Northern Tradition Pagans, the Holy Days we celebrate are very similar to, and in many cases correspond fairly closely with the Pagan wheel of the year. However, as we are Northern Tradition, we prefer to use the Northern names for the days we honor our Northern Gods.
Charming of the Plough – Halfway between Yule and Summer Finding. Charming of the Plough takes place just before Spring formally starts, and it is a time to prepare for spring – such as literally ‘charming the plough’ and other gardening tools in preparation for their use in spring planting. This holiday is held around the same time as the pagan Imbolc, Candlemas, and Brigid’s day.
Summer Finding – Celebrated on the Spring Equinox in modern times, the Summer Finding was originally celebrated when the first signs of spring arrived to the area where one lives. Summer Finding celebrations are similar to other holidays around the Equinox, such as Ostara, and is a celebration of Spring’s fertility and its return after winter.
May Day – May Day, celebrated on May 1st, celebrates the start of summer. Traditionally, bonfires were lit to bless the livestock; in many areas May Poles are erected, and there was feasting and Morris dancing. It is also celebrated as a fertility holiday, the culmination of the fertile spring into summer.
Midsummer – Celebrated on the Summer Solstice, this marks the longest day of the year, and is as a counterbalance to Yule, the longest night of the year. We often honor Sunna for her blessing at this time of the year.
Freyfaxi – Celebrated near the festival of Lammas in August, Freyfaxi celebrates the start of the harvest season, and is a time to honor Frey, who in His mysteries is the Corn God who is sacrificed so His blood can nourish the next year’s harvest.
Winter Finding – Winter Finding, traditionally celebrated at the first signs of winter, is celebrated the start of the Autumn season on the Autumnal Equinox. It is a time to again celebrate the bounty of the harvest, before the chill of winter sets and the nights grow long.
Samhain – Samhain, the Celtic name for this Holiday, is considered by many to be the ‘New Year’ for pagans. As many other traditions do as well, this is the second time of year that we specifically honor our ancestors. We at Wardenheart celebrate Samhain with a Dumb Supper ritual, where we invited our Beloved Dead to join us while we feast in their honor.
Yule – the 12 nights of Yule, for Yule is a holiday season rather than a single day, starts on the eve before the Winter Solstice, as the Norse counted their day/night cycle starting with nights. Historically during this season, Mother’s Night, a ritual for one’s disir was held, as well as other smaller blots and household rituals. It is a time to go visiting, and share light and the last great feast of the year with friends and family to cheer us during the longest and darkest nights of the year.
While not part of the 8 Greater Holidays, below are some other observances held by our Kindred or by individual members.
April Fools Day – Some Lokeans have taken to honoring Loki on April Fools day to celebrate his trickster nature.
Einherjar Blot – Generally held on Veteran’s day in November. This is the time we honor those who served, both living and dead.