Blizzard! Be safe, folks.
Those of you, like me, on the Northeast coast of the US, please stay inside, stay warm, stay safe. This blizzard is supposed to continue through Sunday. Some places farther south than I are potentially gearing up for forty inches and it already looks bad outside. Please stay off the roads, enjoy the downtime, and try not to eat your young.
Within Heathenry we have a whole family of ice and snow spirits, holy Powers, caretakers of the North. There is our God of the North wind, Kari (Brother to the ocean God Aegir and the God of fire Logi. He has numerous sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters like Father Frost, Jokul (ice), and Snaer (snow). I always take the opportunity of the first frost to pour out offerings to Father Frost, and the first big snowstorm to pour them out to the Others of His family.
I think it’s easy for those of us living in places that may get only one or two really big snowstorms a year to forget what a major role ice and snow and biting wind played in the lives of our northern ancestors, especially those really far north. It wasn’t just two or three months of cold weather and the occasional snowdrift but upwards of six months of darkness, cold, and isolation. I imagine that the experiences of our ancestors’ ancestors, those who, with the blessing of fire, carved out the first building blocks of civilization in the brutal landscape of the North must have stirred with uneasy grimness in the collective memories of those early Heathens when the dark cold of winter descended.
Ice and cold formed one of the primal elements, the first building blocks (along with heat and fire) of creation. It was through the grinding interplay of these oppositional forces that creation — materiality, the raw building blocks of being–came into existence. Ice and cold are deeply rooted in the spiritual worldview of our Heathen ancestors, the creeping dread of entropy, the knowledge that death waits just around the corner the moment one stops fighting.
A colleague of mine once got a powerful lesson from Angurboda wherein She told him: “don’t let life take you down until it takes you down” and i think that is a maxim deeply ingrained in the Heathen worldview. There is resolution in ice, lessons in self-mastery, vicious challenge and the expectation that we *will* endure and I think those are powerful lessons to apply not only to life but also to our spiritual work, especially when the fallow times, or periods of acedia occur.
It’s important in those times to remember that an icy, snow encased landscape looks silent and still but it isn’t. It is a covering blanket over the earth, protecting it, allowing it to rest, and allowing the synergetic processes of future creation to prepare themselves, the rhythms of decay and growth to dance in harmony with each other hidden away from our eyes. The land needs this period of respite and I think, in our busy, often overly-frenetic modern lives, sometimes we do too. A lot can be happening under the seeming impassivity of a white, cold landscape.
Now i’m going out to pour out some libations to the snow.
Posted on January 23, 2016, in Heathenry, Lived Polytheism, Uncategorized and tagged acedia, Ancestors, blizzard, Frost, Heathenry, ice, Kari, Lived Polytheism, Snow, winter Deities. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.