In October 2012, I had the privilege to lead a Winternights celebration for the Coyote Willow Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. While CUUPs welcomes the participation of persons from all religious backgrounds, it seems that the majority of the participants practice different kinds of Wiccan-influenced eclectic Pagan tradition. Creating a ritual that was accessible to those participating while remaining true to my own form of Heathenry was an entertaining exercise.
We set up in the Social Hall at the First Unitarian Church in Albuquerque. Some tables were laid end-to-end, creating a single very long table which I covered with some autumn-themed tablecloths. Atop the table were statues of Freyja and Skaði, a vase of flowers, some raven-shaped tea light holders, and a number of bottles of drink for people. After everyone had gotten themselves some food and drink and settled around the table, I explained what we were doing and why. Then, we began.
CUUPs Winternights Disablot 2012 Script
“Hail to the Hammer” by Tyr
Statement of Purpose, Hail Powers of the Season:
May this brew be blessed that over it worthy words be spoken.
As days grow short and nights grow long
And raven croak replaces robin song,
As summer dies another death
First frost touches us with frozen breath;
Now will the Hunter bend his bow,
Prepare his skis for coming of snow.
Now will Ollerus ascend the shelf,
Dispense wise words to Ash, Ás, and Alf.
Now is the waning of the year’s light. Now is a time to look to powers like the Vanadis and thank them for summer’s bounty. Now is a time to look to powers like the Ondurdis and thank them for their aid in the dark, cold months. Now is a time to thank our own Disir, the matrons of our clans, for what they have given us, for the increase of summer as well as the means to survive the winter.
Hail, Valiant Vanadis! Hail, Lady of the Vanir! Hail, Sessrumnir’s fair mistress! Hail and thanks for fertility, for fecundity, for the lust and love and life that brought us increase throughout the year.
Hail, Awesome Ondurdis! Hail, Snow-shoe Goddess! Hail, shining bride of the gods! Hail and thanks for showing us the value of vengeance and of reconciliation, for lending courage and clarity in dark, murky times.
Hail, Disir! Hail, mighty matrons of our lines! Hail, those who have come before! May we be ever mindful of the good in our lives that your actions brought us, may we remember and honor your sacrifices, and may we live our lives in such a way that we make you proud and that those who come after us will see fit to honor us as well.
Now each may hail as seems right.
Personal Hails to the Disir.
Into the well may these words be laid,
And from them worthy deeds be made.
From the gods to the earth to the folk,
From the folk to the earth to the gods. Hail! (Make libation)
I call this rite rightly done.
The libation was made at the base of a large tree outdoors in the church courtyard. I thank the fine folks of the Coyote Willow CUUPs for this opportunity, and I wish them the best in their future endeavors.