Last night Red Oak came together to celebrate our Charming of the Plough, early spring, sort of rite. We can do this in Texas, as we have had several mid 80's days here in Austin. Despite what the calendar says, it feels like Spring. 10 adults and a couple of kids made for a lively group.
I had volunteered to coordinate/lead the faining. I chose to honor Nerthus. I see her as being a Goddess that was concerned with coming of Spring, the awakening earth. I think of the dark fertile earth awaiting the plough, awaiting the seed. Part of this is sheer UPG. THere's not a lot written about Nerthus. The only source that was "firsthand" was Tactius. He noted that the 7 tribes he wrote about in Germania had the worship of Nerthus in common. The articles that I read on the Acerbot suggest that Nerthus was honored by the Anglo Saxon Heathens as well. I incorporated much of what I read into the Faining. We didn't drown anyone though.........
I also read about various theories about Nerthus. A popular one pairs her with Njordr, as his sister/lover. Together they birthed Freyr and Freya. The orignal Vanic Dynastic Duo. One academician thinks that Grimm inserted the name "Nerthus" into the mix because it sounded like Njordr. Grimm links her to Holda/ I like this theory, but primarily because I like Holda. Kinda related to this, but wayyy different, is the suggestion that Nerthus/Njordr was the same Deity. A divine hermaphroditic kind of a guy/gal.
I don't know. I see her as Tacitus described her. An earth focused goddess who travelled the land, causing laughter and holiday wherever she went. A luckbringer. Then, when she tired of her travels, retreated back to her sacred island.
After the Faining we feasted on pork roast, new potatos cooked in rosemary and garlic, a spring salad, sourdough bread and devilled eggs. We eat well when we gather. The storytellers among us had us in stitches during the meal.
Sumbel was our usual rite of laughter, shared memories, boasts of our accomplishments and a few tears.
An anniversary: In 1836, the Battle of the Alamo was at midpoint. The Defenders were fighting through their last week of life. I find this an oddly gripping piece of historical *not so trivial* trivia. Hail the Heros!
and Hail the Quiet Gods! These are the Gods that we just don't know much about. May our scholars and researchers uncover more of their stories and their ways....
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