So it’s a bit early for Yule but given that it’s the last week of term Pagan Soc traditionally do ours early. Thinking about it we’ve had some really corking Yule rituals. The Holly King and Oak King battling it out with sword and axe, the biggest Yule log known to man and this one… this one was really good.
I gave my final witchcraft 101 workshop then headed down to decorate the Tiw tree with sword (thanks FJ) and paper chain of justice and Tiw pictures. Actually, when I’d finished I reckon it looked a tad Shintoesque. Other people decorated other trees, we had a Loki and Jotun tree, a Disir and female ancestors tree, a Hecate tree, a Woden tree and an Eastern Gods tree.
After we’d decorated the trees we headed up to the crossroads behind the self-styled Warrior Fairy (Puck) and there we were handed our spears and told to hunt the boar to feed our winter hunger. So we ran through the woods with our spears (ok, they may have been bamboo canes) yelling to drive the boar out of his cover and he broke cover and we ran and we drove him towards the grove and the fire (and I slipped, turning in the mud and have a bruise on my arse) and then he turned on us and we surrounded him, and then our leader, The Jellicle Cat, took the Spear of Woden and killed the boar giving thanks to Frey for his life to nourish our own. Then we skinned him and took him towards the fire where we cooked his meat in the ashes.
The Nordic Lady rendered the grove sacred in Swedish as we dummed the power into ourselves, chilled as we were from the hunt. Then she and the Jellicle Cat gave offering of meat and mead to the trees. Then we all took offerings to our special trees. And we sat when we had done, in the grove and gave toast in symbl, to gods, to ancestors and to our own boasts.
I felt slightly moved when it came to toasts, so I’m thinking I will record what I said;
‘For what we’ll do and what we have done, I drink to Loki,
For the Justice that is to come, I drink to Tiw’
It was a weird toast for me, Loki and I have dealings but a long time ago the story of a god who had put his arm in the jaws of a wolf stayed with me to the extent that I used to inscribe his sigil on everything magical that I made. That and the fact that ‘the widow Tiw’ was a sort of saying back home, I always used to picture him as a warrior goddess, until I met some heathens up here anyway. I have wondered recently if I was supposed to be that familiar with his sign so that when someone else started seeing them everywhere my automatic response was, ‘oh, that’s Tiw’s sign’.
‘To all the witches who have sat in the in between of community and magic,
To all the queens who’ve ridden to war,
and to all the grail-seekers who ever swore to seek the grail’
Perhaps this one was a bit more predictable but I’m normally a lot more straightforward in the formation of my toasts. I just couldn’t stop myself tonight. Besides I normally do specific people and I’d thought that I’d do my usual toast of ‘to the hero who discovered what women want’. I did this one though.
‘I will find the cup. I will drink from it. I will be immortal.’
Oh yes, that’s normally how I phrase things. Not nearly as cautiously as I usually am though.
Ah well, here comes the future.