Dec 20th – The 1st Day of Yule
Mother’s Night, the Disir, Yule’s Eve, Frigg
The first day of Yule is celebrated as Mother’s Night, or Modraniht. Time in which we honor the Disir, Frigg and her Handmaidens. This date is also Yule’s Eve, as the 21st is Yule, Winter Solstice. It’s best practice to prepare on this day for the upcoming days of Yule. The following day will be a long one if you wake before the sun, so think about heading to bed early tonight and get a good amount of sleep!
YULE’S EVE / MOTHER’S NIGHT
Yule’s Eve is a celebration of the feminine powers that support and aid us in life. This event is called Mother’s Night. Although the word mother is used in the context of female in your life with support and love for you, not just the person that bore life to you.
This evening we’ll create space in our altars or give space in our homes to the Disir. The Disir are protective female spirits of Fate and Fertility. They are the female ancestors of one’s line, supernatural female powers that embody the powers of motherhood, or protective feminine spirits.
HONORING THE DESIR
Honoring those females in your life should be those with us and those moved on. You can choose to honor any number of them. Your altar for them should have items linked to them with herbs such as basil for love, fennel for gratitude, lavender for devotion, sage for wisdom, to name a few. There’s no one way to create this space for you loved ones, as no one knows what works best for them expect you!
Setting up a Disir Altar
If you already have an altar set up, you can add an offering space to the females you are honoring. You can also set up a separate altar space in your home specifically for them. A few candles, offering bowl/plate, and a small cup, with female imagery is all you need. Place imagery or items of the people you wish to honor on the altar, and if you make a feast of their favorite things leave that at the offering dishes.
We need to honor the goddesses of motherhood, and any of the female deities that give you support and protection. Frigg is commonly honored on this night as the goddess of motherhood and her 12 handmaidens that aid her in her work. Frigg is a goddess in Germanic mythology. She is associated with marriage, prophecy, clairvoyance and motherhood, and dwells in the wetland halls of Fensalir.
What should you do for Mother’s Night?
Historically the females ruled the house and what’s the center of the home other than the kitchen, nothing! (Maybe the hearth, but in the past the hearth was in the kitchen, so still the kitchen) Tonight you should make food loved by the ones you are honoring. Favorite treats, desserts, side dishes, main meals, and/or drinks. After cooking these up save a bit for your altar so your honored guests may enjoy them too.
If you’re honoring people still living, enjoy the time making the items together. Call them, text them, let them know how grateful you are to them for being in your life. It can be hard to organize everyone together for the holidays, but currently we have a lot of options of communication.
You’re celebrating tonight anyway that feels comfortable. Cooking isn’t for everyone, so honor them in activity. Go out and do something they would’ve enjoyed. Write them a letter to leave at the altar.
Honoring Frigg and her Handmaidens
Make room on your altar for Frigg and her Handmaidens. At the end of your feast, write the names 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:
- Eir: Healing, self-healing (physical, mental, and spiritual), herbalism, caring for the health of others.
- Sága: History, storytelling, writing, study, studying one’s ancestry and work with the ancestors.
- Fulla: Wealth, abundance, caring for one’s resources, defending the resources of others
- Gná: Practicing good communication, listening for messages, being a messenger for spiritual forces
- Lofn: Practicing tolerance and compassion, aiding misunderstood groups or people, experiencing love in unconventional ways
- Syn: Protection, protection of self or others, spiritual and physical warding, practicing caution
- Vár: Oaths and promises, doing your best to honor your oaths, don’t make any promises lightly
- Snotra: Practice being a gracious host, hospitality, good etiquette, diplomacy
- Gefjon: Practice giving and receiving, generosity, gratitude, acceptance
- Sjöfn: Love, affection, appreciation for your partner, romance, opening oneself up for love
- Hlín: Refuge, standing up for others, being a safe shoulder to lean on, knowing when to ask for help
- Vör: Foresight, pay attention to omens, practice divination, learn to trust your instincts