Historical Germanic Heathenry had three major blots, which lasted for three days. Historical Heathens in Sweden also had a minor celebration which was not a public blot: Disting. The Old Saxons in Saxony most likely held their Althing at Marklo at the same time as the Swedes did Disting. At the bottom of this article, I will give the 2023 dates for these historical Heathen holidays for modern practice for Old Ways Heathens. First, some brief background: The Ynglinga Saga (chapter 8), from the year 1225, lists the three great blots of the year: “Odin established the same law in his land that had been in force in Asaland… On winter day (first day of winter) there should be blot for a good year, and in the middle of winter for a good crop; and the third blot should be on summer day, a Victory-blot.” In Old Norse, “Sigurblot” means “Victory-Blot.” Therefore, we have three major Norse blots a year, that appear in the context of Ynglinga Saga (and other references) that were done publicly at Uppsala. In Heimskringla, the saga of Hakon the Good, section 15 (circa 1230 AD) it says the following: “The first night of Yule was hǫkunótt, that is midwinter night, and Yule was held for three nights.” Heimskringla Saga, Magnus the Blind, Chapter 6: “Yule was kept holy for only three days, when no work was done.” The Poettic Edda states Yule was three nights. HELGAKVITHA HJORVARTHSSONAR The Lay of Helgi the Son of Hjorvarth, Chapter 4. This passage is too long for this blog, but I encourage you all to look it up. Hethin came home alone on the evening of Yule, and after a stay of three days, a battle commenced. Like the Heimskringla Saga above written by Snorri, the Poettic Edda agrees that battles were not fought during the three days of Yule. Therefore, Yule was too holy to desecrate with bloodshed.
Bede states in De Temporum Ratione, Ch 15 (725 AD): "Thus, the moon by which they began their winter season was called “Winterfylleth”, a name compounded of the terms for winter and full moon, because from the full moon of that moon winter was thought to begin." Andreas Nordberg, the world’s foremost scholar on Norse Holidays, makes clear in his book on the dating of Yule that “The pre-Christian Yule feast occurs at the first full moon after the first new moon following the winter solstice, while the disting took place at the third full moon according to the same method of calculation.” (Jul, disting och förkyrklig tideräkning Kalendrar och kalendariska riter i det förkristna Norden Uppsala 2006, P.4) At Yule it was determined if a thirteenth moon would be added to the year. To keep the following year’s Yule as the first full moon after the first new moon after the solstice, it would be determined if a 13th moon would be needed or not. You can see Nordberg's book, in PDF form, with a one page English Abstract (Introduction) and twenty page summary in English (the rest is in Swedish) here: https://www.academia.edu/1366945/Jul_disting_och_f%C3%B6rkyrklig_tider%C3%A4knin *** Please note for Saxon Heathens, the Indiculus superstitionum et paganiarum (written circa 743 CE/AD), a Latin writing by St. Boniface and his henchmen, is in the same historical codex as the Old Saxon Baptismal Vow, also written in the 8th century. The Baptismal Vow forces the Saxons to renounce Thunar (Thor), Uuoden (Odin) and Sahsnoth (Saxnote). However, the Indiculus superstitionum et paganiarum prohibits the Old Saxon celebration of Victory Moon. This is a clear reference to Sigrblot, meaning "Victory Blot." Therefore, we are changing the name from "Summer Moon" to "Victory Moon" based on a renewed understanding of this text. Dr. Scott T Shell also believes that this is a reference to the Old Saxons celebrating Sigrblot. Dr. Shell is a Saxon Heathen, and please, check out his YouTube channel. Dr. Shell holds his PhD in linguistics as well as bachelor and master degrees in Old Saxon and Germanic languages. **Since the Germanic Rule for Yule is that Yule is always the first full moon after the first new moon after the winter solstice, 2023 is a Leap Year, having thirteen moons.
2023 Norse Heathen Calendar
JolManuðr 2023 (Yule Moon) 2023- New Moon: December 23 2022, Full Moon: January 6, 2023
SunManuðr (Sun Moon)- New Moon: January 21 Full Moon: February 5
DistingsTungl (Disting Constellation)- New Moon: February 20 Full Moon: March 7
GoaManuðr (Goa's Moon)- New Moon: March 21 Full Moon: April 6
EinMánuður (First Moon)- New Moon: April 20 Full Moon: May 5
HarpaMánuður (Harpa's Moon)- New Moon: May 19 Full Moon: June 3
SkerplaMánuður (Skerpla's Moon)- New Moon: June 18 Full Moon: July 3
Heyannir (Hey Moon)- New Moon: July 17 Full Moon: August 1
Tvímánuður (Second Moon)- New Moon: August 16 Full Moon: August 30
Tremánuður (Third Moon, a Leap Moon)- New Moon: September 14 Full Moon: September 29
HaustManuðr (Harvest Moon)- New Moon: October 14 Full Moon: October 28
GorManuðr (Blood Moon)- New Moon: November 13 Full Moon: November 27 Yulir Tungl (Yule Constellation)- New Moon: December 12 Full Moon: December 26 JolManuðr 2024 (Yule Constellation)- New Moon: January 11, 2024 Full Moon: January 25
Yule 2023 (Three nights): January 6th 2023 will be the first night, followed by two more nights.
Disting: March 7th Sigurblot (Three Nights): April 6th. April 7th-8th, two more nights/days of Sigurblot.
Winter Nights (Three Nights): October 28th. Two more nights: October 29th-30th. Alfablot (Swedish): November 27th Yule 2024 (Three nights): January 25th 2024 will be the first night, followed by two more nights.
2023 Aldsidu (Old Saxon) Heathen Calendar
Iul Manoð 2023 (Yule Moon) 2023- New Moon: December 23 2022, Full Moon: January 6, 2023 Sune Manoð (Sun Moon)- New Moon: January 21 Full Moon: February 5
ThingTungl (Althing Constellation)- New Moon: February 20 Full Moon: March 7
Sigi Manoð (Victory Moon)- New Moon: March 21 Full Moon: April 6
Fifto Manoð (Fifth Moon)- New Moon: April 20 Full Moon: May 5
Sehsi Manoð (Sixth Moon)- New Moon: May 19 Full Moon: June 3
Sivendo Manoð (Seventh Moon)- New Moon: June 18 Full Moon: July 3 Ahtodo Manoð (Eighth Moon)- New Moon: July 17 Full Moon: August 1 Niguða-manoð (Ninth Moon, a leap moon)- New Moon: August 16 Full Moon: August 30
Haleg Manoð (Holy Moon)- New Moon: September 14 Full Moon: September 29
Uuintar Manoð (Winter Moon)- New Moon: October 14 Full Moon: October 28
Blod Manoð (Blood Moon)- New Moon: November 13 Full Moon: November 27
Iul Tungl (Yule Constellation)- New Moon: December 12 Full Moon: December 26
Iul Manoð (Yule Moon) 2023- New Moon: January 11, 2024 Full Moon: January 25
Yule 2023 (Three nights): January 6th 2023 will be the first night, followed by two more nights.
Althing/Marklo: March 7th Sigurblot (Three Nights): April 6th. April 7th-8th, two more nights/days of Sigurblot.
Winter Nights (Three Nights): October 28th. Two more nights: October 29th-30th. Yule 2024 (Three nights): January 25th 2024 will be the first night, followed by two more nights.
*Please join us on Facebook, in the group "Aldsidu: Saxon Heathenry" and visit our page: "Germanic Heathenry."
2023 Old English Heathen Calendar
The Old English Heathens had a very similar but slightly distinct calendar from the other Germanic tribes. The Old English kept the Roman Matronae Cult night of "Mothers' Night" (one night) on either the solstice (my view) or one full moon before Yule's full moon (others in Aldsidu hold this view.) Whichever view you hold, I agree that the Roman church did not know the exact date of the solstice, as the Julian Calendar was off from reality at this time. The Julian Calendar was corrected with the Gregorian Calendar on October 4, 1582, however, after October 4th, the next day was October the 15th. (They skipped 10 days to "catch up" the calendar to the actual calendar, as the Julian calendar was incorrect. The solstices were moved from December 25th to December 21st most years, and June 24th to June 20/21 most years.) The Old English have different moon names, celebrate a Cake moon where cakes are given to the Gods, in the third moon/month rites were done to Hreda. The fourth moon/month was named Eostre, and instead of a summer blot or sigrblot, the start of summer was called "Eostre." There would be three Litha moons in 2023 due to the leap year. There was also rites throughout Holy Moon to the Gods. Most feel (as do I) that Bede lied about "New Years Day." In Bede's time, New Years Day in the Roman world was the same date as Christmas, or the solstice. I can give many examples, but history books claim Charlemagne was crowned Emperor on December 25th, of the year 800 CE. However, if you read the Royal Frankish Annals, these annals state Charlemagne was crowned emperor on December 25th, 801. Therefore, Xmas Day was also New Years Day in the Roman World when Bede wrote. Again, for clarity, December 25th also used to be the first day of the Roman new year, until it was moved from the solstice to January 1st. Hence, history books in the past said December 25th 801 for Charlemagne's coronation on Xmas, which was also the Roman New Year. POINT? Most (almost all) Heathens believe that the Germanic/Scandinavian new year was Winter Nights, i.e. the Disablot on Winter Nights, and therefore, some even believe that the Old English Mothers' Night was really Winterfylleth. While I disagree that Mothers' Night was Winterfylleth (I believe it was a Roman Matronae solstice night), I absolutely 100% agree that Bede was listing the Roman new year in his De Temporum Ratione. I do NOT believe that the Anglish had a different "new years day" in Heathen times than the other Germanic tribes. Of course, Snorri and the Norse Sagas make it very clear that the Germanic/Scandinavian new year began with Winter Nights, but Bede gives the Church view. Nonetheless, for Old English Heathens, I suggest using the 2023 Saxon Moon dates above, substitute Bede's moon names for the Old Saxon ones, and do rites to Hreda in the third moon and also do holy rites on Bede's Holy Moon. Eostre-tid seemed to be more than just the start of summer, but rites to Eostre were done during the entire moon. For my readers, please remember most Saxons stayed in Saxony, but some Saxons, along with a great many Angles, Frisians, Franks, Alamanni, Frisians, and other Germanic tribes went to Britannia, and became the English or Anglo-Saxon peoples. They also mixed with the Romano-Britains for form one new culture. The Old Saxon calendar above is for the Old Saxons who remained in Saxony. PS- There is debate on when the Scandianvians added their leap moon. No doubt, it was added in summer, all agree to this. But where in Summer did they add it? Per Bede, the Anglish had three Litha moons during a leap year. What is for certain, is an extra moon was added to summer, so in a Germanic leap year, there would be seven moons in Summer, while only six moons in Winter.