Yule Day 1 – Mother’s Night

Mother’s Night was an Anglo Saxon tradition which was described briefly by the English Medieval historian Bede, taking place on Christmas Eve. Many modern heathens celebrate Mother’s Night on the night before Yule as a celebration of the Dísir and female powers. The Dísir have been interpreted as the female ancestors of one’s line, supernatural female powers that embody the powers of motherhood, or protective feminine spirits.

On this night, celebrate your female ancestors, as well as Frigg (goddess of motherhood) and her handmaidens.

Hail to Frigg, queen of Ásgarðr, great mother of the Æsir. Spinner of the clouds, great seer, fierce guardian of home and hearth, please bless my home this Yule, that it may be filled with love, frith, and warmth.

Hail to Frigg’s handmaidens, ladies of great power, may you grant me your favor in the coming year.
Hail Eir, Frigg’s own physician, may you bless my home with health and the means to heal
Hail Sága, wise historian, may I remember to honor those who came before me
Hail Fulla, guardian of Frigg’s wealth, may you bless my home with abundance
Hail Gná, faithful messenger, may you bless my home with clear communication
Hail Lofn, lady of forbidden love, may you bless my home with compassion
Hail Syn, guardian of the door, may you protect my home from enemies seen and unseen
Hail Vár, witness of oaths, may you remind my household of its obligations
Hail Snotra, courteous lady, may my home always have the means to extend hospitality to those in need
Hail Gefjon, granter of gifts, may I receive the gifts in life I most need, and grant them as well
Hail Sjöfn, affectionate goddess, may my home and heart be filled with love
Hail Hlín, granter of help, may my home be a place of refuge for myself and my loved ones
Hail Vör, wise seeress, may I be observant of the omens in my life and choose the right roads

Hail to the Dísir, mighty mothers and guardians of my line. You are the gateways through which all life springs. You are the nurturers, the defenders, the guardians of life itself. For my gift of life I give you gratitude. May I live a life that honors your gifts and your sacrifices.

Tonight, make food that your female ancestors made or enjoyed. If you don’t have any family recipes, you can choose to make food from countries you know your ancestors came from. If you don’t already have a space in your home set aside for the ancestors or the gods, set up a space for them tonight to act as an altar. Add images of goddesses, deceased women in your line, or any other symbols that embody feminine power and motherhood. Don’t forget to share your feast with the goddesses and ancestors, and lay out a plate of food for them before you indulge. As you offer the food, thank the feminine powers in your life for all of the things they have given you. Tell them that you are offering sustenance in gratitude for all of the times the women in your life (be they physical or spiritual) sustained you.

At the end of your feast, write the names of of the 12 handmaidens on 12 different pieces of paper. Have each person present randomly draw one. The mysteries of that handmaiden are what you should mediate on and attempt to practice in the coming year. Here are examples of things you may want to focus on in the coming year depending on which handmaiden speaks up:

1. Eir: Healing, self-healing (physical, mental, and spiritual), herbalism, caring for the health of others.
2. Sága: History, storytelling, writing, study, studying one’s ancestry and work with the ancestors.
3. Fulla: Wealth, abundance, caring for one’s resources, defending the resources of others
4. Gná: Practicing good communication, listening for messages, being a messenger for spiritual forces
5. Lofn: Practicing tolerance and compassion, aiding misunderstood groups or people, experiencing love in unconventional ways
6. Syn: Protection, protection of self or others, spiritual and physical warding, practicing caution
7. Vár: Oaths and promises, doing your best to honor your oaths, don’t make any promises lightly
8. Snotra: Practice being a gracious host, hospitality, good etiquette, diplomacy
9. Gefjon: Practice giving and receiving, generosity, gratitude, acceptance
10. Sjöfn: Love, affection, appreciation for your partner, romance, opening oneself up for love
11. Hlín: Refuge, standing up for others, being a safe shoulder to lean on, knowing when to ask for help
12. Vör: Foresight, pay attention to omens, practice divination, learn to trust your instincts


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