Yule is not just one day in Heathenry. Many heathens, both Norse and Anglo-Saxon, choose to keep the 12 Days of Yule sacred and this begins on 20 December (Solstice Eve) with Mothers’ Night. The Anglo-Saxon term for Mothers’ Night is Módraniht. The Northumbrian monk Bede briefly mentions Módraniht is in his De Temporum (The Reckoning of Time) in 725 CE. However, other than the fact that it was a celebration in honour of the female bloodline around the time of the Winter Solstice, we don’t know much about it.
It is believed that the Matronae were celebrated along with the female ancestors (disir) among the Anglo-Saxon heathens. In modern heathen practices, the Matronae are sometimes included, but Norse Pagans may feel more at home with honouring Frigg/Freyja alongside the disir. Offerings are given in return for protection during the harsh winter months and blessings of abundance in the year ahead from the Goddess and the disir.
Slow Down, Go Within, Dream in Technicolor
I have been feeling a strong pull to slow down, go within, and to keep the days of Yule sacred. Hence, this will be my final post before the New Year. This is the perfect time to rest quietly and recharge in the lap of the Goddess after a tough year.
Hopefully, you will find the Tarot spread below helpful no matter what path you are on. If it feels right, light a candle, hail the Goddess (by whatever name you know Her), and hail the female ancestors that you can remember/are aware of before laying out the cards. Make sure to write your reading down.
You may also wish to set the intent to receive dream messages from your ancestors. The nights around the Winter Solstice are especially powerful for any kind of dream incubation.
The Mothers’ Night Tarot Spread
- A message from the Goddess about the year gone (you can use up to three cards here)
- A message from the Goddess about the year ahead (1-3 cards + an Oracle Card)
- What you did well in the year gone by
- What you need to work on in the year ahead
- The support you can count on from your female ancestors
- An ancestral blessing in the year ahead (Tarot or Oracle Card)