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Valisblot: Norse Valentine’s Day

  • Norse Valentine

Valisblot: Norse Valentine’s Day

Norse Valentine’s Day? If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it kind of is.

Norse Valentine

Vali

The truth is, the Norse didn’t really have what you and I might consider a Valentine’s Day. They had a patron goddess of love, but she’s also the patron goddess of war. So, take that with a grain of salt. However, you can still celebrate a mid-February holiday even if you’re not interested in exchanging Valentines.

The modern religion of Asatru, a form of heathenry that celebrates the old Norse gods, decided to fill the gap left by Valentine’s Day with Valisblot. Valisblot is named for Vali, Odin’s youngest son, who is born, grows to manhood in a day, and avenges the murder of his brother, Baldr. Unlike Odin and Thor, Vali survives Ragnarok and is sort of a representation of new hope for the Norse. This is not really a day of romance, although some celebrants of Asatru blend in the day’s meaning with that of Valentine’s Day.

Rather, it’s a day of remembrance and vengeance. Just as spring begins to blossom forth from the ground, winter must die. And with it, the traditions that kept away the bleak and cold of the long, Scandinavian nights.

While this is a blot, or a sacrificial feast, many celebrants of Asatru prefer to eat a simple, cold meal instead.

 

A prayer from the Asatru Community, a great resource for those interested in Asatru, to Vali reads:

Norse Valentine

The death of Baldr

Hail Vali, bringer of new light!
Your shaft pierces Winter’s heart
And promise of new Spring.
Hail to you!  And may your light enter our hearts, as well.

Be with us Vali, son of Odin and Rind.
May you forever dwell
Always in the homesteads of our people.
We hail you as defend of our family

If you are tired of the bleariness of winter already and ready to start spring with some romance, why not consider sending some Viking graffiti to your beloved? Bryggen, an old quarter of the town Bergen in Norway, is home to 550 carved, wooden sticks that were used as runic messages between family and loves back in the days of the ancient Norse. To read up on some of the cuter love notes, click here.

Norse Valentine

Bryggen Rune Stick

Norse Valentine

Freyja, Goddess of Love & War

Alternatively, you could offer up a prayer or deed to Freyja, the Norse goddess of love. Set up an altar to Freyja using her symbols: cat figures, amber, honey, sweet meads and wines, and delectable pastries. It may not seem very Viking, but for Freyja, the sweeter, the better. Freyja is a great goddess for young women, so consider helping or spending time with the important ladies in your life– your sisters, your girlfriends, or even a significant other.

Remember, time spent in these acts must be selfless, so don’t go into it expecting something in return– especially if that something could be harmful. Freyja may be the goddess of love, but she is also a war goddess, and she chooses who dies in battle. That’s your only warning.

2017-02-11T11:23:43+00:00

About the Author:

Sam Uliano is a 2012 graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she won the Elise duBois Award for her short story, Prodigal. Her writing is currently featured on AleHorn and WhiskeyMade, but she also works full time as an editor. In her time away from the computer, she plays tabletop roleplaying games, teaches storytelling, and, of course, brews mead. Feeling bam-booze-led? Feel free to email her at samantha.uliano@gmail.com with your questions or pose your questions on Twitter to @samuliano1.

One Comment

  1. Bryanderthal February 14, 2017 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    We should also remember that Vali killed the wrong guy. Hod (a blind god and also the brother of Baldr) was duped into killing Baldr by Loki. Maybe there’s a message about vengeance in there somewhere…

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