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Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen

My personal experiences, including religious and spiritual experiences, community interaction, general heathenry, and modern life on my heathen path, which is Asatru.

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January 2019 Heathen Holidays and the Metonic Year

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Heathenry includes many different traditions. Most major heathen sects derive their holidays from a specific country, time period, and / or language, but American Asatru tends to be more eclectic because its members tend to be of various ethnicities. Even when trying to replicate Icelandic Asatru holidays, American Asatru sometimes sets them on different dates due to different methods of calculation. Iceland celebrates Þorrablót on the Friday after the 9th of January. American Asatru celebrates Thurseblot on the full moon of January.

Each of the many heathen peoples of history had their own calendar system, and calculating modern dates for ancient holidays requires not only knowing what date the celebration was actually held-- which isn't always completely obvious from the available evidence-- but also doing the math to convert the old calendar system to our new one, often with a stop midway into the Julian calendar because correspondences between it and various ancient calendars are sometimes provided in written lore.

One of the many ancient calendars was the metonic calendar, which is now used by Theod, a heathen sect based on Anglo-Saxon culture. The metonic calendar months for 2019 are:

Æftera-Geól Jan. 8 – Feb. 5
Súlmónað Feb.6 – March 7
Hréðmónað March 8 – April 6
Éosturmónað April 7 – May 5
Þrimilci May 6 – June 4
Ærre-Líða June 5 – July 3
Æftera-Líða July 4 – Aug 2
Weodmónað AUg. 3 – Aug. 31
Háligmónað sept. 1 – Sept. 29
Winterfylleð Sept.30 – Oct. 29
Blótmónað Oct.30 – Nov. 27
Ærre-Geól Nov. 28 – Dec. 27

Although not all ancient heathen peoples celebrated solstices and equinoxes, many modern heathen sects and groups do. For 2019 these dates will be:

Spring Equinox March 20 Summer Solstice June 21 Fall Equinox Sept. 23 Winter Solstice Dec 21

A few more heathen or heathen related cultural holidays in January 2019 are:

Jan 1:

Yuul ends (Urglaawe)

Julfest ends (Germany)

Jan 8th:

The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival in Whittlesea, England is celebrated the Tuesday following Plough Monday. Plough Monday is the first Monday after Twelfth Night (by the Gregorian Calendar.) In 2019 the Tuesday after Plough Monday is January 8th.

Midwinterhoorn Blazen ends (Overijssel, Netherlands)

Jan 9:

Day of Raud of Strong (American Asatru, Odinist)

Jan 11:

Þorrablót (Icelandic Asatru)

Jan 21:

Thurseblot (American Asatru)

 

Image: altar honoring Freya, photo by Erin Lale

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Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners, and the updated, longer version of her book, Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path. Erin has been a gythia since 1989. She was the editor and publisher of Berserkrgangr Magazine, and is admin/ owner of the Asatru Facebook Forum. She also writes science fiction and poetry, ran for public office, is a dyer and fiber artist, was acquisitions editor at a small press, and founded the Heathen Visibility Project.

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