The Year of Aun
Updated: Jan 21
What is the Year of Aun?
In short, The Year of Aun is the Nordic year for cultural healing.
The Year of Aun begins January 7, 2023, on the Pre-Christian Yule moon. With celebrations and rituals held throughout the year, the goal is to revive long-forgotten traditions, take heed of ancient warnings, and make changes that benefit our children and our communities.
2023 was chosen as the year to revive The Year of Aun because it aligns with many historical observations and congregations that repeat every eight years in sacred locations. These observances aim to rebalance and realign our existence with life, fertility, and connectivity. They are documented highlighting abundant offerings and sacrifices. They include:
Sacrifices in Uppsala, Sweden;
Sacrifices in Lejre, modern-day Denmark; and,
The lunisolar leap year.
Using historical markers, the Year of Aun occurs every eight lunisolar years. These eight years are marked by a pre-Christian leap year when an extra month is added to the pre-Christian lunisolar year.
What Is The Historical Significance of The Year of Aun?
In Nordic literature, the betrayal of kin sets off the destruction of the planet - Ragnarok. We see many cautionary tales in Norse mythology. A series of events occur that lead to doom. For example, Tyr betrays Fenrir - a giant wolf he raised from a pup; Hodr kills his brother Baldr - by accident; Odin breaks an oath to his blood-oath brother Loki; and likewise, Loki betrays everyone, which leads to his final banishment and punishment. Ultimately, we are cautioned that sacrificing kinship leads to Ragnarok - the ultimate destruction of Gods and Giants.
The story of king Aun is another cautionary tale found in the Ynglinga Saga (the Ygnling dynasty came from Sweden and later Norway). In this story, king Aun sacrifices nine sons to Odin so Aun may live longer. By the time he sacrifices his eighth son, he is wasted and weakened with age that he can't get out of bed. By the time he sacrifices his ninth son, he is so feeble that he can only suckle at a horn for nourishment like an infant. By the time he goes to sacrifice his tenth son, the Swedes stop him. He dies of old age.
Although human sacrifice was common during this time of history, the Ynglinga Saga outlines a level of destruction and deeply disturbing psychological behaviour. When honour among kin was significant, this tale cautions against the result of betraying kinship. Without restoration and balance, these destructive tendencies create significant rifts in a community and ancestral connections, resulting in cosmic collapse.
To Be Clear. We Are Not Celebrating Aun. We Are Learning From Him.
The goal of reconstructing The Year of Aun is not to idolize such toxicity. It is to understand that, collectively, we have become king Aun.
At this point, we understand the world is connected. We are connected.
As a unified species, we are allowing our world to suffer to benefit nothing but our own ego. Through our destructive tendencies, we are leaving our children and our communities to suffer and dissolve. We are sacrificing our children, neighbours and communities for our vanity. It is shallow, empty and holds zero value.
The Year of Aun Movement
The Year of Aun is the year we reclaim old traditions and learn from ancient warnings.
The Year of Aun Is The Year We:
Sacrifice Damaging Patterns
Reweave Community Bonds
Celebrate Abundance & Fertility
Work on Human & Non-Human Relations
Care For Our Planet
Together, we celebrate The Year of Aun in a joyful union, and we focus on restoration and balance to reclaim connectivity and protect what matters most to us - Our families, communities and planet.
For more information about the movement, visit: Nordic Animism - Aun 2023
The Pre-Christian Dating of The Year of Aun
In the Ynglinga Saga, king Aun sacrifices his nine sons in Uppsala to extend his life until the Swedes stop him before swearing away his 10th and final son. He was buried in a mound in Uppsala afterward.
Uppsala is a holy ritual site. It was famous for its sacred gatherings and sacrifices from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. Annually it held rituals for Dísablót in February-March. After every eight years, a Heathen ritual was performed where every kind of male creature and nine victims were offered to appease the gods.
Associated with Uppsala rituals is the timing of the lunisolar leap year. At the count of eight years, an extra month is inserted into the year to restore balance to time and season. If there were a ninth year, nothing would align, devastating farmers and communities. In the tale of Aun, his behaviour is undoubtedly devastating and damaging.
Lining up to the observances above, we see the common number nine. The ninth son was the last child sacrificed before Aun's collapse. The ninth year held an ultimate sacrifice in Uppsala. If nine years passed without a leap year, we can assume famine and disaster would consume communities. Therefore, every eight years on lunisolar leap year, we observe the Year of Aun - to learn from our mistakes before it is too late.
Continue reading below to learn more about the timing of pre-Christian Scandinavian calendars and leap year for a complete understanding of the topic.
What are Lunar/Solar Years?
Today, the world uses the 'Gregorian Calendar' to tell the day, week and month. Before the Gregorian calendar, there was the Julian calendar. Before the Julian calendar came to Scandinavia, people used one of three calendars to keep track of days, weeks, months and celebrations depending on where they lived. In each calendar, each new moon (invisible moon) marked a new month.
Below are examples of three different types of pre-Christian calendars:
The lunar calendar: Measuring time and date by the phases and position of the moon
The lunisolar calendar: Measuring time and date by the phases and position of the moon and the sun
The solar calendar: Measuring time and date by the phases and position of the sun
To keep it simple, we will reference the lunisolar calendar for the rest of this article.
The problem with the lunisolar calendar is the alignment of the time and seasons noticeably shifts after eight years.
An extra month is added every eight years to synchronize the alignment of time and season. On our modern Gregorian Calendar, we add an extra day to February every four years and call it a leap year. Likewise, we can call the Year of Aun a pre-Christian version of a leap year that happens every eight years. This occurrence on the lunisolar calendar is called 'the returning of the moon.' In 2023-2024, we see a return of the moon after the winter solstice.
When Is The Pre-Christian Leap Year?
Pre-Christian Scandinavians had a different new year than we have today. Where the modern and New Age Yule falls at the end of the Gregorian year, the pre-Christian Yule moon is celebrated for a new year ahead.
In 2023-2024, the return of the moon phenomenon happens after the winter solstice. Where pre-Christian Yule would usually fall on the first full moon following the winter solstice, this coming Yule will occur on the:
First full moon, after the new moon, following the winter solstice.
Technically, pre-Christian Yule always falls on the first full moon, after the new moon, following the winter solstice. I shorten it for seven years to make it easier to comprehend - but once every eight years, the new moon doesn't follow the winter solstice as closely.
To calculate the Yule moon after the solstice, we need to:
Skip over the full moon after the winter solstice on December 26, 2023;
Note the new moon after the solstice on January 11, 2024, and,
Observe the second full moon as the Yule moon on January 24, 2024.
It is redundant, but to recap: Yule is the first full moon, after the new moon, following the winter solstice. During the Year of Aun (every eight years), an extra month is added to the lunisolar calendar year to synchronize and balance time and season.
Sources, Stories & Sagas
Pre-Christian Calendars and the lunisolar leap year
Nordberg, Andreas. “Jul, Disting Och Förkyrklig Tideräkning.” Kalendrar Och Kalendariska Riter i Det Förkristna …, 2006. https://www.academia.edu/1366945/Jul_disting_och_f%C3%B6rkyrklig_tider%C3%A4kning (To translate, download an OCR-reader)
Zautner, A. E. (2021). The Lunisolar Calendar of the Germanic Peoples: Reconstruction of a Bound Moon Calendar from Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Sources.
Sacrifices in Uppsala, Sweden
Saxo Grammaticus. Gesta Danorum. Vol. Book 3. Translated by Elton, Oliver – via Medieval & Classical Literature Library.
Adam of Bremen. History of Hamburg's Bishops. Archived from the original on 13 December 2006, short online text.
Nordberg, Andreas. “Jul, Disting Och Förkyrklig Tideräkning.” Kalendrar Och Kalendariska Riter i Det Förkristna …, 2006.
Sacrifices in Lejre, modern-day Denmark
The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg. Thietmar T. & Warner D. (20132001). Ottonian germany : the chronicon of thietmar of merseburg. Manchester University Press. Retrieved January 20 2023 from https://doi.org/10.7765/MMSO.49262.
The Year of Aun Movement
Tyr betrays Fenrir
Prose Edda, Gylfaginning, chapter 13
Hodr kills his brother Baldr
Poetic Edda, Baldur's Dream
Odin breaks an oath to his blood-oath brother Loki
Poetic Edda, Lokasenna
Poetic Edda, Völuspá
The Tale of King Aun
Ynglinga Saga and Heimskringla
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