Pandemic and Wolftime

It’s easy to say that this pandemic, obviously a bodily health problem, is also creating mental stress. Some in the pagan community are also seeing this as the manifestation of some kind of planetary spiritual shift, which at the very least can help with the mental stress. Psychiatric research consistently suggests thats feelings of connectivity and meaningfulness have positive correlations with better mental wellbeing, which is one reason spirituality is now being taken seriously in western medicine.

Take the Nordic spirit Eir, for example. Today Bifrost, the Norwegian Åsatru organization, coordinated a worldwide virtual Blot (sacrifice and poetic invocation) to Eir as “highest among physicians.”

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A beautiful brass rattle for rituals made by Nick Woodward

They called it “Eirblot i ulvetid,” which is already striking: literally it means “A Sacrifice for Eir in Wolf-Time.” They immediately added the proviso that this isn’t exactly a “wolf-time,” but giving it that name creates all sorts of ripples in the imagination. Afterwards people posted hundreds of photos of their altars.

I won’t go into the details, because my point is just to suggest that such a ritual, even if you don’t “believe in” Eir in any dogmatic way, (1) connects you with other people, (2) connects your anxiety with a structure of meaning, and (3) gives you a centerpiece around which to create something beautiful and enjoyable: using lovely ritual objects, lighting candles or even a fire, drinking beer or liquor, tasting honey or bread or fruits, creating and listening to a ritual playlist, making the offerings, and so on. The entire ritual procedure has a rhythm and balance that can be therapeutic. Of course, one might also entertain the revery that people’s coordinated movements, words, and imagination can have a real effect in the physical world. But even if that were not so, it would still be worth doing for those who think it sounds fun!

Those who read the end-notes might like to know that Bifrost borrowed these Verses from the Lay of Sigrdrifa in the Poetic Edda, and I think from another poem I can’t locate immediately. Regarding the interaction of consciousness with the extra-mental world, check out the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia or the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

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