I wanted to write about something that has newly become near and dear to my heart, much like cannabis. In my article 7 ways to create a cannabis-friendly lifestyle, I talk about needing spirituality in our cannabis-friendly lifestyle.
When I wrote it, I was still trying to figure out my beliefs. Honestly, I still am. I’m still figuring out how to build my personal spiritual belief based on facts yet is open to the unknown.
In my long journey of figuring out what makes sense to me, I discovered Paganism and, more specifically, Norse Mythology. I fell in love with their traditions. I love how they honored mother earth, the gods and goddess and the moon phases. More importantly, I love how they respected how those things affected the land, and how they used it to live. They celebrated the planet while still living a “modern” life.
The one thing I'm realizing for myself during my spiritual journey is a desire to get back to the root of how we learned to survive as humans while also realizing the need for modern living. I believe there is a compromise. Paganism, Norse mythology fit that but I also have a strong belief in God - he is my higher power. I just think if we don't start respecting the land we live on - we won't have it for much longer. Hence, why it's important for me to include the earth in my spirituality. It feels right and it feels like something God wants me to do, in addition to cannabis and teaching others how it really can be used.
Is there a connection to cannabis and Norse?
Proof of how the Norse used cannabis is scarce. Somebody founds seeds, but who knows if and how they used cannabis. I wanted to start sharing this part of me because I whole-heartedly believe that we, as a society in America, need to get back to living off the earth while balancing the modern world we created. Cannabis is part of that because of what it can do for our bodies and our planet.
In everything I have read, I’m starting a journey of following the Norse traditions as closely as possible while also making them my own. What was ironic to read was how much I was already doing some things naturally and intuitively, without knowing how the Norse did them.
So as a newbie myself, I wondered - how can I celebrate the Yule? Well, I discovered seven ways for you to celebrate the Yule, and most of them, we all do anyway in some shape or form.
Make bonfires, decorate with holly, mistletoe, or evergreen trees
My boys love fires! And though I don’t like going outside in the winter, once our snow clears, I hope to make a little fire and maybe add s'mores to our traditions. Also, decorating the house with holly, evergreen, and mistletoe are other great traditions.
Feasts and gift-giving
Feasts are right up our alley; my fiance loves to cook big meals even though there are only three of us, but we usually have food to feed us for days. I won’t lie; this year, I was trying to get away from gift-giving. But my partner had other ideas. He suggested homemade candles and cannabis salves for our friends and family. It fit right in line with Yule! I love making candles, a newer hobby but a life long passion to start!
Check out my Etsy store for the newest candle additions. Always limited supplies so get one while you can!
A Yummy Ham
Aprantely it was custom to sacrifice a boar for the goddess Freya of fertility. Scarified boars were meant for a good harvest. We eat ham every year from Christmas, and this year will be no different. Honey Baked Ham, anyone?
Make a Wreath
Wreaths were a powerful symbol of the sun within Norse Mythology. They would burn their wreath and throw down a hill for the sun to return. We will make a wreath and hang it on our door.
Mistletoe became part of Yule traditions when a branch was thrown, and it killed Blader - the God of Light. His Mom cried, turning the red berry to white and her love brought him back to life. Maybe that’s why kissing underneath a mistletoe may bring love. I’m trying to see if I can get some this year - it will be another first. You can find them online or at a local store.
Thor rode in a chariot pulled by Goats
The Yule Goat represented the God Thor, who was pulled on a chariot by goats. To honor this tradition, make a goat home with gingerbread, knit one, or draw a goat. It's believed that Old Winter (or who we know as Santa now)
The Yule Log
The Yule Log was a real oak log with fir. They draw runes on the wood log and burned it in their home to ask for winter protection. Over time the tradition changed to baking a yule log.
As you can see, many of the Norse / Viking traditions are similar to ours, yet they find a way to bring it back to our precious mother earth. Something we have lost. What’s great about most of these traditions is that you can easily add cannabis to any recipe or enjoy a vape while making a bonfire.