21st Century Viking: That’s Winternacht to You

21st Century Viking: That’s Winternacht to You October 24, 2018

Seriously it’s not always called Samhain

I love a good celebration just like the next person but any Pagan that says they are free spirited and open yet refuses to acknowledge that other people that are Pagan call their Holiday’s different things is really just paganist. I never jived with the word Samhain, like never, from the first moment I saw it in Silver RavenWolf’s Teen Witch book to this very day I look at that word and I go it’s spelled how and pronounced how? I quit this Holiday it is going to be Halloween with extra festivities.

Bonfire in the Bushveld by Magda Ehlers via Pexels.

That is what Samhain was to me for around 20 years, because every book I read talked about this sacred holiday and I couldn’t get around the weird spelling and pronunciation of the word. I kept it to myself because that is what I do. I respect other people’s traditions and cultures. I celebrate Chanukah with friends, Christmas with my Family, Day of the dead with Co-Workers, and Samhain with the pagan temple. I was a mutt and I still kind of am a Mutt.

Then I decided that I was going to forge my own path, build my own holidays based on my spirituality and life. To do that I had to research who I was. Mostly Norse, I was a God Spouse to Thor, I was a warrior, I lived in Michigan, when I lived in Florida I felt weird, I like the cold, and most of the time you have a 50/50 chance of it snowing on Halloween where I live. When I was a kid, you had to buy your Halloween costumes a size big, so you could fit a snowsuit underneath. So, I started to research Scandinavian and Heathen Holiday’s and came across Winternacht.

For the Ancient Vikings this was a time to celebrate, this was the beginning of winter. They had come home from raiding and trading, winter was starting, and they were going to start the Winter Hunting. The home was being completely prepared for the long months ahead with very little day and very long nights. Celebrate with those you love for those who were there before you. For most pagans they think of Samhain as such a somber and dark time, I could never figure out why.

Perhaps that is another reason why I never understood why people were like it’s a spooky time. I just wanted to party with reckless abandon, and celebrate my life, and the lives of all those who had come before me. Apparently, the tradition if you wanted to learn all the types of magic was to go sit on a burial mound over night and not go crazy. I prefer to do divination and just in general celebrate the fact that winter has come, I have made it through another summer of raiding safely and made it back to my family.

I will never say how someone else celebrates is wrong, I love seeing the differences in how people celebrate. I think it is a beautiful and amazing thing. I love to learn, and curiosity will always get the best of me. I hope it will always get the best of you. I just want you to remember while your write your posts about Blessed Samhain, Praise the coming of the Darkness, hallowed are our ancestors. There are also some of us out there that are going WOO-HOO it’s winter! Let’s Party! I’m Safe! This is awesome! YAY!

That is what a holiday is about to me as a Viking in general, and as a human. It’s about being a human and realizing that you are not the only human on this planet. You are one of 6 Billion Humans that has their own opinion on how the universe works or doesn’t work, and even if you have the majority it doesn’t mean if you are right or wrong, it only means that you have the majority. There is still something called respect and community. Without those, everything falters and then fails.

Use your Samhain or Winternacht to build your community up, not tear it down because of a difference of opinion.

About Kate Andary
Kate Andary is a Viking, the crazy Viking of your wildest nightmares. She lives everyday as if she were entitled to no more and then she is thankful to her Gods, her ancestors, and her tribe for every day that she lives past that. She aspires to be the person that her tribe wants her to be. Kate has been practicing solo forms of eclectic witchcraft and occultism for over twenty years when she first became fascinated with book "Teen Witch" by Silver RavenWolf. After that she read every book in the new age section at her local bookstore including authors like Buckland, Paxton, Cunningham, Kaldara, Culuhain, Mankey, Bellenger, and Vernor. She took classes on Religion and Philosophy in college as her electives and studied human anatomy and physiology along with organic chemistry and biology. About 5 years ago she finally settled on forging her own path with the Norse Gods, and three years ago she started to claim the word Viking as her own because she didn't fit in with the current religions out there for those following the Northern Path. Her first book, "Energy Work for Everyone" is available via Amazon and several other booksellers. You can read more about the author here.
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