Wotan Klan

1st of Tvímánuðr (August ) - Freyfaxi

This festival is roughly equivalent of Celtic/Anglo-Saxon Lughnasadh/Lammas. The name strongly suggests a direct connection to the cult of Freyr, and supposedly means something like “Freyr’s Horse” (while Lammas seems to mean “Loaf Mass”), which too is basically a harvest festival - or at least marks the start of the harvest season.

Elements of this festival might upset many Disney’esque and modernist minded (yet happy hamburger eating…) people, as stallions were put into fights against one another as can be seen on the Häggebystenen (“Häggeby Stone”) in Håbo-Tibble/Sweden. The stone depicts a ritual horse fight. There are crescent like adornments at the heads of the horses. Some have suggested that these are hand scythes, yet another attribute of Freyr.

Wilhelm Grønbech tells us of this late (“post-heathen”) practice from Sætersdal/Norway:

"The stallions were led out two by two, excited by the presence of a mare, and after the fights, there followed wild rides on bare-backed horses. And it was known that ‘when the horses bite well it means a good harvest’. In this double play between the interpretation of the action as a test of manhood and an assurance of luck, there is very likely a glimmering of old sacrificial ideas".

Some locations in Sweden still bear witness of these cultic practices. Skädhvi, Skede, Skadevi and similar, points not to the goddess Skadi - but to Icelandic Skeið- which is an archaic term for race/racing/competition - in this case Horse Competition (i.e. such as the Roman Hippodromes).

It is important to underline, that racing/sports in times of old (here as well as in Greece/Rome and other locations) wasn’t some sort of plain decadent “entertainment”, but was of great importance to the community not only in matters such as politics, but also religion in a wide context (in this case as means to improve fertility and secure a good harvest), divination, solving disputes (through divine intervention) and so on. 

So, “Happy Freyfaxi” ya’ll. And I hope I don’t need to tell you not to kill any pretty little horsies today?

Honey Bees are endangered

Just to keep this short, in case you’ve missed it completely: The honey bee is in great danger, in America as well as in Europe and other locations. Among the worst of “bee situations” is Britain. British bee keepers have lost up to 80% of their bees in recent years. As soon as 2018, Britain might be more or less completely without any bees at all.

Besides natural parasites and diseases among bees (that have always been there), poisons such as Neonicotinoids, GMO cultivation, various forms of pollution and the lack of traditional rural farmland - are main reasons for their decline.

To keep it short: Without bees, no honey, without honey - no mead, so you better start giving it a thought. Besides, bees are very important for pollination, and their demise would mean (really) bad news for the food industry. This goes not just for the bee, but for the Bumblebee and others too.

Here are some few links, to various groups and campaigns that take this seriously - where you can help out and learn how to prevent bees from becoming but a childhood memory:

http://www.thebeecause.org/
https://www.foe.co.uk/what_we_do/bee_cause_donate_get_bee_saver_kit_39413_b.html
http://sos-bees.org/
http://www.helpsavebees.co.uk/
http://www.saveourbees.org.uk/