Yule (Ærre-Giuli, Hrutmanudhr , Jól, Jul, Yuletide, December) 23rd
Fourth night of Yule, Sacred to Aegir, Niord and Freya

Sigurd, earl of Hlader, was one of the greatest men for sacrifices, and so had Hakon his father been; and Sigurd always presided on account of the king at all the festivals of sacrifice in the Throndhjem country. It was an old custom, that when there was to be sacrifice all the bondes should come to the spot where the temple stood and bring with them all that they required while the festival of the sacrifice lasted. To this festival all the men brought ale with them; and all kinds of cattle, as well as horses, were slaughtered, and all the blood that came from them was called “hlaut”, and the vessels in which it was collected were called hlaut-vessels. Hlaut-staves were made, like sprinkling brushes, with which the whole of the altars and the temple walls, both outside and inside, were sprinkled over, and also the people were sprinkled with the blood; but the flesh was boiled into savoury meat for those present. The fire was in the middle of the floor of the temple, and over it hung the kettles, and the full goblets were handed across the fire; and he who made the feast, and was a chief, blessed the full goblets, and all the meat of the sacrifice. And first Odin’s goblet was emptied for victory and power to his king; thereafter, Niord’s and Freyja’s goblets for peace and a good season. Then it was the custom of many to empty the brage-goblet (1); and then the guests emptied a goblet to the memory of departed friends, called the remembrance goblet. Sigurd the earl was an open-handed man, who did what was very much celebrated; namely, he made a great sacrifice festival at Hlader of which he paid all the expenses. Kormak Ogmundson sings of it in his ballad of Sigurd: – “Of cup or platter need has none The guest who seeks the generous one, – Sigurd the Generous, who can trace His lineage from the giant race; For Sigurd’s hand is bounteous, free, – The guardian of the temples he. He loves the gods, his liberal hand Scatters his sword’s gains o’er the land”– Hakon the Good’s Saga , Heimskringla

Today remind yourself of the importance of feast, toasting, kinship and hospitality. Keep the traditions of Aegir and his hall, remember all of the Gods and Goddesses eating, drinking, boasting and sharing with each other. Build your personal community today, strengthen the bonds of kinship. Relish your friendships. On this day we remind ourselves of the virtue of Community. Cooperate with kin and friends, do your fair share, and remember your responsibilities to others. Today we will keep in mind the month of Ostara (April) and Sumarsdag. Many celebrate the first day of Summer in the old Icelandic calendar. In Iceland it had strong agricultural overtones, but elsewhere throughout the Nordic world, mid-April may have been a time to sacrifice to Odin for victory, called the Sigrblot . The ships were leaving port to seek trade, new lands, and plunder (whether this is honorable or not is a matter of opinion). It is a time to consider new projects and life choices. Remember that your life is an adventure – it is what you make of it. Where do you wish to sail and how will you win victory?

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