So, I’m considering that at the end of each month I’m gonna do a post about one of the Gods. and initially having it be about the one whose name that day comes from. No idea if I’m gonna stick with this idea, but I figured I’d go ahead and do it.
Tyr is the Norse God of Justice, Law, and War. He’s also something of a sky god as well. Some historians theorize that he was actually head of the Pantheon at some point, before Odin took that place. He’s also one of the oldest gods, historically, along with Hel.
Tyr is fairly famous for being one handed as well. He lost his hand to the wolf Fenris, son of Loki. Of all the Gods and Goddesses, Tyr was the only one brave enough befriend Fenris, and when the Gods decided to bind the wolf for they feared his size and temperament, Tyr placed his hand in the wolf’s mouth as a sign of good faith when Fenris grew concerned that he was being tricked in a contest of breaking bonds that were placed upon him. The cord used bound Fenris, and in his wrath he took Tyr’s hand.
These days, I can’t speak as to how popular Tyr is among the vast majority of Heathens, but he still fulfills his duty. He is closest to soldiers, and with Odin and Thor, is one most commonly called upon in battle. His special charges are veterans wounded in battle, and those who practice the Law with honor (a hard thing to find, true enough).
Since today is Tuesday, or Tyr’s day, raise a toast to Tyr, who watches over his kin in war and in law, always with honor. Hail Tyr!
The second part of this post is about the Disablot, or Disfest. This is a festival for the celebration and remembrance of our female ancestors. While manliness was prized by the Norse, it was well recognized the value of women. Women ran the homes, owned property, held the keys to the house (when a Norseman married, he handed over the keys of his properties to his new wife, so that she could see to their disposition and care. It was important to choose a woman of skill and integrity, so that one’s family could prosper.)
As the men farmed and waged battle, so too did women make the clothing and the food, and made sure that there was enough for all to live. Only by working together in mutual respect, could they survive the icy lands of Scandinavia. Unlike what happened in warmer climes, there were no illusions that one gender was better than the other. All were as important as each other, and it was skills and honor that mattered, not one’s sex.
Were it not for the women, life could not have been. They were, and still are, a crucial part of life. The Norse had no crone figures, rather we had the maiden and the mother, and one’s value as a woman was not diminished simply because she had passed the age of giving new life. Still would a woman raise children, for there was work a plenty for any hands. And even in death, the sacred mothers cared for their descendants and protect them.
So light a candle for our female ancestors this day, give offerings of fine food and wine. Hail to the mothers of our tribes, hail to the life givers, to the protectors.