Friday, 11 December 2015

On Ærra Jéola…

There is something strangely comforting is this dark time of year. Fires are laid and lit, soup and stews are made, doors are locked tight against the winds outside, and beer is drunk.

It’s a time to stay warm and to sleep as much as possible as we have been doing for centuries. It’s the time of the solstice, the shortest day and longest night, but for now we are in the Ærra Jéola (the time before Yule); a time to tell tales of heroes and ghosts, a time to draw together for safety and God knows we need safety in these trouble and dangerous times. But then I guess there has always been trouble and danger, it isn’t a new invention.

The month of Ærra Jéola is a time to take stock of the old year and look to the new one, a time to turn your back on the troubles of the past and think about the future and prepare. The Wild Hunt rides in the skies led by the mighty Odin, the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht sacrifices are made ready for the tupping of the maidens. Feasting, drinking, and sacrifice are what this time of Dísablót expects as the Dísir and Valkyries walk amongst us once more. Set ablaze the Yule log to keep the dark ones at bay, sacrifice the Yule goat and spit roast Sonargöltr the Yule boar for the great horned hunter god is returning and he must have his meat.

But watch, for the Lord of Misrule creeps into the Great Hall with his madness and cackle, scattering the mummers before him and pissing on the great fir tree which keeps the life in this dark time. He will curse brightness, given birth on the long night of darkness and blighting the next year’s harvest if he will. Pull on your masks, follow his lead and do his bidding for all must be well until Herne the hunter returns. The mountains will glow with him, the plains will glow with him, hear the voice of the waves with the song of the strand, announcing to us the sun is reborn. Son of the Great Mother of the Land of light hasten thou to our land, thou Lord of Warmth, thou Lord of Light, Golden Sun of hill and mountain.

All hail! May the procession begin! Let there be joy!


  1. Tim Preston on FB
    wes hæl et ic þancie þe smile emoticon

    1. Andrew Height
      and thank you too.


    2. Tim Preston
      I feel some Jethro Tull coming on

      Jethro Tull - Songs From The Wood - Ian Anderson - 1977

    3. Andrew Height
      Gotta love a bit of Jethro. One of my fave tracks.