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Below is a variety of New Age and Old Ways worksheets with corresponding mini-lessons to help your learners develop their writing skills while becoming familiar with various Norse Pagan subjects like Norse mythology, lifestyle, traditions and celebrations.
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Thor is the protector of Midgard and the god of strength and lightning. Thor is known to use his hammer as a weapon. This hammer's name is Mjolnir.
Thor didn't always have this hammer.
Thor's wife's name is Sif. She was known for her beautiful hair. Loki cut it off one night while she slept. Frightened by the consequence, Loki had three magical items crafted by the Dwarf brothers Eitri and Brokkr. These items were: Sif's hair of gold, Frey's magical ship, and Odin's spear, but that's not all Loki did... this tricky god then bets Brokker that he couldn't make three more items of equal value to his brothers. If Loki lost this bet, the draw brother could take his head!
Brokker decides to make the Frey's golden boar, Odin's magical ring, and Thor's hammer, Mjolnir.
While Brokker was forging these items, Loki had transformed into a fly and was biting him to get him to make a mistake. This is the reason why Thor's hammer has an unusually short handle.
Loki still lost this bet, but the Dwarf brothers couldn't take Loki's head because it was attached to his neck. Since the neck wasn't part of the deal, Loki got away with his tricks. (Source: Skáldskaparmál)
The Old Norse people had a unique set of celebrations and festivals. Some have inspired or influenced many holidays and traditions we have today. The original Norse Heathen's main celebrations from historical texts are Yule, Disting, Sigirblot (Victoryblot) and Vetrnætr (Winternights). These events were based on the moon and/or sun phases depending on the area of Northern Europe.
The New Age Wheel of the Year is a newer set of celebrations based on the old traditions and modelled after the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. The new model was created in the 70s to help keep up with the changing times.
These events include:
Yule - The Winter Solstice (Dec 20-23):
Symbolizes the longest night of the year. After this, the days start to get longer and warmer again.
Imbolc - Also called Candlemas or Disiblot (Feb 1):
Marks the first sign of spring. It is a minor celebration that marks excitement for the year's coming new life.
Ostara - Spring Equinox (Mar 20-23)
The mid-point between the year's longest night and longest day. It is a celebration of new beginnings and new life.
Beltane - May Day or Walpurgis Night (May 1)
A day to celebrate the first buds of spring and the greening of the world.
Litha - The Summer Solstice or Midsummer (June 20-23)
Midsummer is one of four solar holidays, and it celebrates the longest day of the year. After this, the days start to get shorter.
Lammas - Lughnasadh (Aug 1)
The first of three harvest days. People bake bread, have a feast, and give thanks for their food.
Mabon - Autumn Equinox (Sep 20-23):
The second of three harvest days. A pagan Thanksgiving. People give thanks for what they have and share their food with those who need it.
Samhain - All Hallow's Eve (Oct 31):
The last of the harvest days. It is a day to respect those who have died and the balance of the world. Where Beltane celebrated the light and fertility of the world, this day is to respect the darkening of the world.
As mentioned above, the Old Norse people had a unique set of celebrations and festivals. Some have inspired or influenced many holidays and traditions we have today.
The events on the historical (pre-Christian) calendar are hard to date on modern calendars because they follow the moon's phases. This is called a 'lunar calendar.'
From medieval poems, we can determine when the Heathen holidays took place. They are:
Vetrnaetr (Winter Nights):
The first full moon of October/November (harvest moon)
Álfblót (Elf Ritual)
Sometime in November
The first full moon of mid-January/mid-February
Disting (Disir Ritual)
The full moon of March
Sígrblót (Victory Ritual)
The full moon around Mid-April