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Historically Based Heathenry: Sacred Grove ritual on New & Full Moons

Updated: Jan 16

Before I delve into the topic of New and Full Moon ritual, I just want to state that I am now officially back to blogging. I needed some time alone spiritually, to get myself and my family where we needed to be. For those who wish to argue that solstices, equinoxes, and christian and Wiccan holidays were historically Heathen, enjoy what you do. The whole point of Aldsidu was to educate people on the historical Heathenry of the Saxons (and the Germanic Peoples) as a whole. I was never here to be a Steve McNallen or a Seth Chagi, trying to found some new movement/religion. And my goal of discussing the historical sources and what the scholars have discovered and proved, was not to "do my own thing." I want the historical blots, the historical holidays, the historical rituals. Most people need numbers and people who agree with them. I am not interested in popularity. For me personally, why do "Yule" the way christians, or wiccans, or new ways people do Yule? (No disrespect intended towards these paths with that comment. The Old Ways are simply not for most people, even most Pagans/Heathens.) Should we not do what the Gods and Goddesses want? The arch-Heathens had centuries upon centuries of experience venerating the Gods/Goddesses. To toss-away their knowledge by just grabbing any mis-information off the www, is laziness. Anything of importance in life takes time. The more you put in, the more you will get out of it. Research is a part of learning the arch-Heathen path. Widukind, the Stellinga, and many Saxon Heathens fought and died to keep their Hethenry when christianity came to Saxony by the sword. I feel more connected to their (our) Gods by approaching the Gods with the wisdom and experience of our arch-heathen forefathers, who knew far more about the Gods and Goddesses than we do. They literally died to honor their Gods and Ancestors. Anything less in my opinion, is simply not good enough. The goal is to be historical in our spirituality, not popular. Eclectic Asatru is not my target audience. The dishonorably behaved are not my target audience. The bat shit crazy are not my target audience, and Heathenry is about honorable behavior as well as bloting to the Gods and Goddesses. But I will live my life according to honorable Heathen standards shown in sources such as the Havamal. I accept that almost all Asatruar will never read a page of an Edda or Saga, but take mis-information off the www without much thought. My goal is to have positive interaction with my target audience, as I can learn from them, especially with historical sources or archaeological findings they may bring to my attention that I missed. There is a way to positively debate to learn and grow with honor. Abusive debates, abusive behavior, are simply not Heathen. If you want to claim I am a racist, you dishonor yourself before the Gods and Goddesses. And if you have the balls to do so, make your name public with your accusation. Why be cowardly? Aldsidu is NOT Asatru, and never will be. Aldsidu in the past compared and contrasted the Old Ways with Asatru. No more. I will write and discuss the old ways not comparing them to what others claim or teach. Aldsidu will be a netwowrking and educational hub, via this website, the Facebook Group, and the YouTube channel. "Aldsidu" is an Old Saxon word, used by the Saxons to describe their faith. The morality and the dishonorable behavior of other orgs and people are not my problem. I will be my deeds, and they will be theirs. Nonetheless, I am back to writing, and putting out material. It is good to be re-charged, and back, and what is most important, my energy going forward will be spent on honorable endeavors.

Now, lets get into the source material... Vafþrúðnismál, a poem in the Poetic Edda show us that the moon and the sun were created to tell time for men: "Othin spoke: Next answer me well, if your wisdom avails, And you know well, Vafthruthnir, now: Whence came the moon, o'er the world of men, That fares, and the flaming sun?" Vafthruthnir spoke: "Mundilferi is he who created the moon, and fathered the flaming sun; The round of the sky each day they run, to tell the time for men." Othin spoke: "Third answer me well, if wise thou art called, If thou knowest it, Vafthruthnir, now: Whence came the day, o'er mankind that fares, Or night with the waning moon?" Vafthruthnir spoke: "The father of day is Delling called, And the night was begotten by Nor; Full moon and New Moon by the gods were fashioned, To tell the time for men."

The poem Alvísmál in stanza 14 states that "The Alfar call the moon 'year counter.'"

Dr. Andreas Nordberg states that "[heathen religious] festivals were held at the time of a

new or full moon,” [Nordberg, Andreas (2006). Jul, disting och förkyrklig tideräkning. Uppsala. p. 153.]

Roman historian Tacitus writes in his Germania (Chapter 11) 98CE/AD that the Germanic peoples observed the lunar months. “The community gathers, if nothing unusual or sudden happens, at certain times when the moon is new or full, because they consider this the luckiest beginning to discuss matters. Also, they do not calculate the number of days, but the number of nights. In this way they state purpose and commitment. Night does precede the day.” [Translation by Dr. Andreas E. Zautner] Dr. Andreas E. Zautner: “If we browse the internet for holidays of the Germanic people, we mainly find pages presenting an octopartite year circle, the so-called ‘eight-spoked wheel of the year’ based on the solstices, the equinoxes, and four moon feasts in between. This year circle has absolutely no historical basis. Although it is very popular in neopagan circles, especially within Wicca and eclectic Asatru, there is no verified evidence for such a year circle as basis for the seasonal festivities. The same is true for the Celtic feasts within the year circle, because the Gauls too, used a lunisolar calendar as we know for the examples of Coligny and Villards d’Heria (Olmstedt, 1992). If one has internalized such ideas, one should get rid of them immediately!” [Dr. Andreas E Zautner, “The Lunisolar Calendar of the Germanic Peoples”, P.83] PS-I am tempted to delete a sentence of this quote. But I should not change the words of Dr. Zautner. The quote is not intended to slam Asatru or any neo-pagan group. New ways are not for everyone either. The quote was intended to state that scholars (almost all of whom are not theists) are well aware of the fact that many movements are just far different from the Heathenry practiced historically.

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Tom Hall
Tom Hall
Jan 08

Glad to see you decided to come back with your blogs and post. Thank you.

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