Litha: The Midsummer High Festival

It is the high noon of the year, and as the flowers bloom and the day’s length has reached its peak, it is time to celebrate the glory of Summer and the promise of a fruitful harvest. The Summer Solstice was the second most important to the Ancient Teutons after Yule and continues to be celebrated today, particularly in Sweden. It is intended to be a time of hope and promise that life will carry on, even after the death of Winter at the other half of the year, returning again the following year. It reminds us that, though the generative forces do not always prevail, they consistently return when they are ready and overcome darkness each time. Fresh fruits such as strawberries become available, and the amount of food only increases as other plants begin to produce berries and vegetables ripen and mature. Though the days are long and the work is hard, the knowledge that we still have the rest of the Summer ahead of us can push us to take advantage of each day and enjoy the height of activity.

Litha is the Anglo-Saxon name for Midsummer, and was dedicated to the god Tyr (although some prefer to honour Balder), who rules the sky and serves as an example of bravery to warriors. The lofty virtues of the heavens embolden a sense of justice and righteousness that accompanies clear, sober thought and focus on the task at hand. The only myth featuring Tyr as the most important figure is the Binding of Fenrir, where it is foretold that the wolf shall consume Wotan at Ragnarök (“doom of the gods”). The gods kept Fenrir in Asgard, and Tyr was the one who fed him and whom Fenrir trusted. However, Fenrir became larger and larger, and the gods unsuccessfully tried to bind him by asking if he could break the chains they laid upon him. They then decided to gain help from the dwarves, by collecting the roots of a mountain, the spittle of a bird, the beard of a woman and so on (probably a riddle) and using them to create a light and incredibly strong cord. When Fenrir saw something so innocuous being laid upon him, he suspected enchantment, and refused to be bound unless one of the Aesir would put their hand in his mouth. Only Tyr was brave enough to do so, and Fenrir agreed because he trusted him. After he was bound, Fenrir found that he could not break free, and so Tyr lost his hand.

tyr_fenrir

In this aspect, Tyr is similar to the Gaelic god, Nuada, who also lost his hand. Because of this, he also lost the right to rule the Tuatha de Danaan (Irish equivalent of the Aesir) as he no longer upheld the demand for physical perfection placed upon ancient kings. It is also known that once, Tyr, rather than Wotan, was the head of the Teutonic pantheon and that he was replaced at some point in prehistory. The god was known as Tiw to the Anglo-Saxons and as Tyz to the Goths, who would offer him the intestines of their enemies hung on a tree as a sacrifice. His association with Midsummer is due to the fact that he is the lord of the open sky, as opposed to Thor who governs rain and the clouds that cover the sky. Since we have sunnier days and less rainfall (at least theoretically), we can appreciate the appearance of the heavens in our lives, as they open up into the depths of Space.

Tyr was also associated with law and order, and was a patron of judges. His dual nature of both warlord and arbiter of justice reminds us that we must make sure that we do things based on the understanding that they are right and have a logical outcome. Though giving us the clarity to dream of the future, we cannot be distracted by the illusion of our own ideas for how to fix the world’s problems. It is more important to first, focus on ourselves and our own struggles before reaching out into the world. A mindset more based on positive results than the morally ideal. Though celebrated all throughout the world, the Summer Solstice is not as big of a celebration in Britain as in other parts of Europe. It is still important to some local areas (such as Peebles in the Scottish Borders) and is sometimes referred to as ‘gala day’, where folk dress up and have competitions, which are a Modern version of the ancient festival.

There are also tasteless and tacky interpretations of the pre-Christian Midsummer festival (as today at Stonehenge), but it still survives within the folk memory and would not be difficult to revive. This year, Midsummer fell on the 21st June, though preparations would have begun the previous day as the folk performed a ceremony at sunset and waited for the sunrise. Unfortunately, Modern corporations do not regard celebrations that are not highly commercialized, and getting folk together on a weekday (this year it was on a Wednesday) can be difficult. Though such institutions attempt to crush our spirit and take our heritage from us, we can still honour the gods in our own ways at this time of year. More than anything, Midsummer is the peak of the year energetically, and can make us feel like we can do anything. Spending a lot of time outdoors and embarking on new projects can help us use the fire energy that drives this part of the year and achieve what we want because we know we can do it.

Hail Tyr!

Wulf Willelmson

A new beginning…

Greetings,

The Creed of Caledon has been established as a response to the alienation and dissatisfaction felt by white Scots in modern society. Our institutions no longer serve our best interests, our communities have become fragmented and our nation is without direction as to how to benefit our folk. Our politicians seem to think that we are incapable of ruling ourselves, and must either be governed by the old imperial ruin that is the UK, or by the new corporate mega-state, the EU.

We can no longer look to external institutions to ensure what is best for our people, and so the Creed of Caledon focuses our efforts inward to grow morally and spiritually, as well as outward towards building new communities and establishing bonds of friendship between our folk. Our nation is not based on borders or flags, but is within our blood, and our ancestral memories are written on the very land that we live on. We now have the choice to become free folk, through reclaiming our heritage and by practicing the traditions of our forebears and adjusting them to the perilous times in which we live. We have no interest in being a political movement, as all attempts to change the broken system that have governed our lives within the past century have failed.

Our philosophy is known as ‘Wotanism’ and is based on the teachings of David Lane and Ron McVan, through we make no pretence to see men as gods or even holy in their own right, simply messengers who set an example for the rest of us through their words. Our specific practice is based on the surviving traditions and lore of the Germanic peoples, though unlike many ‘neopagan’ groups, we do not seek to relive the past or focus on a specific cultural group (such as Norse or Anglo-Saxon), but rather incorporate all of the cultures that have played a role in our history.

While our cultural outlook is predominantly Germanic, we acknowledge the importance of Gaelic culture in our past and present, as well as the vanished Picts and Britons whose memory still survives in our history and local place-names. Because of this, our particular strand of Wotanism is a syncretic mixture between Germanic and ‘Celtic’ elements, although the Germanic element is stronger simply to reflect the cultural reality that most of us speak a Germanic language and have done for hundreds of years. We feel that this will allow us to make our connection to the past more relevant to future generations.

We are at the dawn of a new age, the races of the world will be tested for their fitness to survive the coming storms. Only those who are determined enough in their will to carry on their seed for generations to come will pass the tests, and to do so we must do our utmost to improve ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually. The gods are there to offer us a hand, but they will not do the work for us. We must strive to strengthen our bonds not just with them, but with the spirits of our ancestors, the wights that inhabit the land and the plants and animals that will be our fellow survivors who emerge from the wreckage of the old world. The internet has allowed us access to the information that we need to endure the coming struggle, now we can work to lay the foundations of a new society that is based on the Aryan ethics of trust, honesty and loyalty. I look forward to writing many posts for this website.

Wulf Willelmson