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Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Feast of Ullr and American Thanksgiving




This 11/24/2016 in the USA we celebrate Thanksgiving, a day full of parades, food, booze, and football (as it is for most of us every year).  And in our modern age, there is no real need for us to hunt for meat; the supermarket provides everything.  It is  rather simplistic to state then, that our ancestors did not have this comfortable advantage.  To put meat on the table could have meant a death sentence and many times it was for our ancestors.  Therefore, it should not appear strange that our forbears called upon all that was holy to help them in their task.  At this time of year, they called upon a God known as Ullr to help them improve their skills.

In Old Norse, this God is the son of Sif and her husband Thor's stepson.  He is a God of winter and of the hunt.  And on the continent, it appears that he was known and worshiped as Wulthuz.  Ullr/Wulthuz is normally depicted on skies using a bow and arrow.  This fellow is so popular today that during January in Breckenridge Colorado, the folks there hold a week long festival called Ullr Fest.  But in the old days, people did not gather to ski and swill beer.

Times were tough and life was short - period.  Just venturing outside to the woodpile could be a life ending event.  Today, unless you live smack-dab in the middle of a combat zone, we face none of those life-ending events.  We have our supermarkets, our liquor stores, warmth in the winter, and coolness in the summer.  Maybe we should give thanks to Ullr for our largess.  Think about that when you are stuffing your face with turkey and surfing the channels for the latest half-time scores.

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