Dec 24th – The 5th Day of Yule
The Wild Hunt, Odin and Frau Holda & Stockings
The fifth day of Yule is the night of the Wild Hunt. This day in the light of the sun we will make hearty food and run our errands before the sun says goodnight. It’s best not to travel after dark this day, lest you be mistaken for a wandering Yule Spirit and taken away by Frau Holda and Odin in the Wild Hunt. Tonight, you should hang your stockings with care, filling them with goods and treats.
The Wild Hunt, Odin, and Frau Holda & Stockings
Norse mythology, the source of most surviving information about Odin, associates him with wisdom, healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, war, battle, victory, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet, and depicts him as the husband of the goddess Frigg. He’s considered the King of the Norse Gods. During Yule, Odin was said to have led a hunting party (The Wild Hunt) in the sky that ended on Christmas Eve. On this night his is Wadon, or the Yule Being.
The Wild Hunt
The Wild Hunt is the ghostly parade of spirits who would ride wildly throughout the night and snatch up any travelers wandering crossed their path. From the time of Samhain to now the veil between our worlds has thinned. The spirits and other entities have come to wander our living world more frequently. The Wild Hunt gathers them back up and takes them back across the veil as it strengthens with the coming New Year. It’s suggested to no travel this evening and be mistaken for a wandering Yule Spirit.
Offering to Odin and the Wild Hunt
The tradition of leaving out cookies and milk probably comes from the tradition of offering goods and drink to Odin and his kin as they ride across the world in the Wild Hunt. It’s best to leave out carrots, apples, and straw for the steeds, and hearty drinks for the hunters and such. For Odin himself, leave out a Pipe with tobacco, mead, good dry red wine, whiskey or other hard liquor. Best to stay inside, snuggle up, enjoy good food, and great companionship.
Frau Holda was also regarded as the leader of the hunt, as well as being a Germanic goddess who ruled over the productivity of the household, winter, spinning, and magic. She was said to travel as an old woman in a wagon, flanked by a procession of children’s dead souls, on the Wild Hunt. She passed over homes and blessed the hearths that had Yule Log ash, with good tidings for the coming year.
Honoring Frau Holda
On this day try making a hearty stew, with root veg and wholegrain bread is a good way to honor Frau Holda as she is the Lady of the House. Geese are sacred to Holda, some say she is the source of the storybook character Mother Goose. For this reason, telling stories it a great way to show respect to Frau Holda. Any household activities such as cooking, cleaning, spinning, etc should be done in Frau Holda’s honor today to the best of your ability. It was said that Frau Holda would punish the lazy and reward the productive.
A hearty stew such as: Beef Stew with Root Vegetables Recipe | Ree Drummond | Food Network
There’s no Yule tradition for stockings, but they are a fun and wonderful tradition in the holiday times. The tradition of stockings is not tied to any religion so each religion can have their own stockings activities. During Yule hang up your stockings and give gifts to one another. It would be fun to make up a stocking for the deities you work with, gifting them herbs or candles.
Legend has it that one night Nicholas secretly dropped a bag of gold down the man’s chimney knowing that he would never accept the gift willingly. The gold slipped into a stocking that was hanging to dry over the fireplace. And thus, the man could now afford gifts for his oldest daughter and the legend of Santa, and the Christmas stocking was born!