Friday, October 3, 2014

T is for Thorri and Thorrablót

I make my grand entrance back to the Pagan Blog Project today, after a lengthy computer-breakdown-induced absence.  It's barely autumn - especially here in the midwest, where temperatures have been warm and lovely even though it's nearly October - but I recently stumbled across this amazing piece of Heathen winter lore that just needs sharing.

In the mid-winter months, many Heathens, especially those of an Icelandic leaning, will celebrate the holiday of Thorrablót, holding sumbel and blót for Thor.  This is a very old holiday, celebrating the first day of the old Norse month Thorri; but there's some debate as to just what this holiday originally meant.

There's little doubt what Thorrablót celebrated in the past few centuries - a spirit named Thorri, a personification of the wind and cold of winter, was welcomed by the housewife the night before the month began, seemingly in hopes of calming what was often the worst month of winter.  Now, many modern Heathens believe this spirit to be a diminutive, corrupted version of Thor, and so celebrate the holiday accordingly.  I'm all for reclaiming traditions that Heathen ancestors may have actually practiced, but I think it's often just as important and interesting to look at what our more recent ancestors were doing.  For instance, I celebrate Eostremonath with my children with bunnies and egg hunts, as I know many modern Heathens and Pagans do in their spring rites - but we don't have any historical evidence of this, only our family traditions and a practice that fits with the seasons and cycles of the earth.

This year, I'd like to do the same thing with Thorrablót.  Of course, we will still hail Thor at the end of January, but come the 23rd I will go out into the wind and snow and welcome Thorri into our house for a sumbel and blót with my children and I.  And if I'm very lucky, we just might have a mild February!


  1. Tho' we are not strictly a heathen household here, we always note this particular celebration. It helps me to remember since my birthday falls on the 23rd!

  2. That's awesome! The deep of winter is an important part of many Pagan paths :)