End of Yule 2014

You've made it to the last night of Yule for this year. By now, you have spent evenings praising the Gods, your ancestors, your spouse/partner/lover, your offspring (real or hoped for), the Elves, and all the things you've eaten or plan to eat. So, what's next?

You may have noticed that the sun has risen again. That long night was not the end of the world and things seem to be starting over. That is some very good news. It suggests that we have another chance to try again and do more. In general, this is cause for celebration.

On this Twelfth Night, take some time to express gratitude for the coming year. Give thanks that you have more time to spend on your life. Don't overdo it; you still have to save for the rest of winter, but enjoy the fact that spring will be around soon.

This is also a time to plan for the things you would like to accomplish in the next year. In old days, our ancestors may boast about the deeds they hoped to perform. Many would want to do things that would be worthy of remembrance in songs and poems. For that reason, they called upon Bragi (Brego, to the modern Saxons).

Though Odin (Wotan) is the God of Poetry, it is only in that He is pretty much the God of Everything. There's a reason He is called All-Father. That doesn't preclude other Gods from having more specific domains that overlap. In this case, Bragi is the God of Poetry, Music, and Literature. The folks at the Bragi's Shrine website have lots of information on Him.

When pledging to do some daring deed in the coming year, the revelers would call on Bragi to that He would know that some new poems would be needed for the next year. Fortunately, Bragi is a pretty good sport and understood the place of alcohol in the boasts of these celebrants.

Even if you aren't going to be boasting about things you hope to accomplish, it is still a good idea to get to know Bragi. During the next year, you may need to rely on your ability to speak well or to perform well. If you have to explain your religion to those who don't share it, ask Bragi to help the explanation go more pleasantly. You can also ask for His help in promoting your religion in general, through song and other arts. We could really use more Heathen-friendly movies and songs in the world.

Take this evening as a sign that there is a future. Thank the Gods and your ancestors that you have the strength to take on the coming year with dignity. Take a deep breath, smile, and trust that you will do the best you can and will celebrate another Yule next year.