Géareshwéol/Wheel of the Year


The nights of Géol (Yule) mark the tide betwixt and between the old year and the new. Upon the first night of Géol, known as Módraniht (Mothers’ Night), the folc gather to give worship to the Módru (Mothers), tribal goddesses of yore to whom we owe our being.
And, upon its twelfth and final night, the folc gather yet again, in orchards and about fruit bearing trees, to wassail the trees and give worship to Edunne, goddess of orchards whose golden apples sustain the gods.
Throughout this tide, Wóden, the All-Father, and his Wildehunt (wild hunt) ride the sky-road. To he and his host, offerings are left, that both huntsman and steed might be fed and sped well in their fairing.

Come Solmónaþ, we remember the godling Scéafa, who was borne over the waves upon a shield. Welcomed by men as a king, he waxed under the welkin and shared with them the lore of tillage.
As the days lengthen, so begins the tide of Lencten (lengthening, Lent, spring). In honor of Scéafa the plough is charmed.  And, at this time, cakes are sown into the fields as offerings to Erce, the Eorþan Módor, that she in turn might bear the broad barley crop, the white wheat crop, and all the crops of the earth.

As the Lententide slowly stretches forth, Winter’s grip begins to tighten.   Come the new moon of Hréþmónaþ the folk bid Hréþe, the swift storm goddess, to spare the fields of farmers and fishermen upon river and sea.

Éastermónaþ is holy to Éastre, goddess of dawn and spring.  The first of the three great fire festivals is held at this time.

Þrimilce is the month of three-milkings. The second great fire festival is held with worship given to Bældæg, god of day and fire. The May Queen is crowned and so begins the summer.

At Midsummer, bonfires are set alight by water-wells and burning sunwheels are sent rolling down hills that Þunor, god of thunder, will drive away disease-bearing dragons and increase the fruitfulness of the field.  ‘Tis the third of the great fire festivals.

Come Hláftíd (Loaf-Tide), Béowa, the god of barley, and his bride, Béole “the little bee”, are given worship.  The “first fruits of the harvest”, bread and beer  brewed of barley and honey, are offered to them, that they might beward the speedsome harvest.

At Háligmónaþ, Neorþe’s wain wends its way through the land, bringing an end to the season of war. Weapons are put away as the harvest is brought home (Hærfest Hám).

With the coming of winter at Winterfylleð, Ingwi-Fréa, fares forth from the world of men. Upon his ship he is set and into the low (hlaw) he is lain. There he is worshipped as lord of the barrow-elves. With him the ancient, once-and-future, holy kings of our fore-elders are remembered.

In the month of Blótmónaþ, when the elders of old made many livestock offerings, the folc gather to fain the gods.

Géol draws nigh, the wheel turns once more, the old year ends and the new year begins.