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Rites to the Idesa

By Swain Wodening

With Mothers’ Night approaching it is time to start thinking about what sort of rites one will do to the tribal mothers. I have always handled my rites to the Idesa (Disir) a bit differently than I do for the greater Gods and Goddesses. If anything I put more thought into the rites as I feel the tribal mothers have a more vested interest in my well being. One’s female ancestors or “mothers” are more likely to take an interest in how their descendants are doing. A successful descendant reflects on their renown, and helps the luck of the tribe and family. The Idesa are therefore more likely to be of aid.

There is much evidence for the worship of the tribal mothers in the lore. Germanic mercenaries in the Roman legions made altars to the Matronae, or “Mothers” along Hadrian?s Wall in England, and others on the continent. These altars were to deities with names such as Alatievia, Gabiae, and Aufanie. Scholar Rudolf Simek links the Norse Disir to the Matronae, and also links Anglo-Saxon Modraniht, “Mothers Night” to the Matronae. Amongst the Norse, the Disir were worshiped at dísablót according to Viacute;ga-Gúms saga at Winter Nights, though the Heimskringla places it in February or March. These were not communal celebrations, but family gatherings, although the dísablót mentioned in Viacute;ga-Gúms saga was quite large. The Disir in the Norse lore were seen as protectors of the family, while the inscriptions to the Matronae inscriptions, were calls for help in time of need, requests to watch over the family or clan, requests to help in fertility and childbirth, requests to heal, as well as requests to give protection in battle.

Read the original article at: Swain Wodenings Blog

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