Happy Valentine’s/Vanadis’ Day everyone!
In my house, Valentine’s day is one of the most sacred holidays. It’s up there with Walpurgisnacht/May Day, Yule, and the Summer Solstice.
I don’t celebrate Imbolc. It doesn’t do anything for me. To me, February 2 is Groundhog Day, which is a very minor holiday that marks the fact that winter is halfway over. But there has been a whole lot more winter since then than there was before–we (and pretty much everyone on this coast) had record-breaking snowfall in the past week, so it does not feel like winter is wrapping up.
Here, in the doldrums of winter, I would much rather celebrate love and joy and sex. I know that Valentine’s Day was basically invented by the greeting card companies, and I hate how commercialized and gross it is. But what it celebrates is something that I WANT to celebrate, deep down at the core of my being. The thing that I care so much about that I worship two goddesses who rule over it. Love. Relationships. Those people who make the fight of life worth living, who make it worth it to get through winter until spring comes back again. The people who can make being stuck inside for days because there are four feet of snow falling outside into a joyous celebration of existence. Love and pink and flowers and joy. And Freyja and Sjofn.
And so, in my house, Valentine’s Day is the midwinter holiday of choice. And I call it Vanadis’ Day. I dedicate it to Freyja and Sjofn–the goddesses who have given me my loved ones.
We didn’t buy anything except food. For everything else, we did what love does–we made do with what we had, and we loved what was around us.
Here are some pictures:
My sister made us a candy heart wreath.
My boyfriend and I got dressed up. Here we are in between the paper heart garlands I made to decorate the kitchen. You may notice I am barefoot. This is because I hate shoes and love to feel the earth (even when it’s carpet) beneath my feet.
See look! We love each other! Thanks, Freyja and Sjofn!
We went on a walk through the snowy woods and discovered a meditating cave that I will use when it gets warmer out:
We made a dinner of aphrodisiacs in honor of Freyja and Sjofn. I gave a speech dedicating the food to them, and then we enjoyed it thoroughly. It was the first time my (Christian) boyfriend ever saw me make a formal dedication speech, and he was quite impressed. I cried tears of joy.
It was a very joyous meal. Afterward, we had danced and sang to the goddesses, and then had a private sex ritual together. Then we ate delicious chocolate cake and watched a chick flick.
It was our first Vanadis day together (we’ve been in a long-distance relationship for five years, and this is only the second year I’ve celebrated Valentine’s in honor of Freyja and Sjofn), and it was a truly wonderful experience. I have been working on getting my boyfriend more involved in my religion. He’s been wonderfully supportive, and he’s beginning to truly understand what it is that heathenry does for me, the joy that I get out of my goddesses and gods. It was my first time really celebrating with someone else, and I am very excited to do more. I was a bit nervous about making him uncomfortable, but there was nothing beyond love and joy here. I feel so very blessed to have him. I was a (bad) Christian when we started dating six and a half years ago. He’s been there with me all along, through three (or four, depending how you count) religions. And except for the first few weeks after I converted to paganism, he hasn’t been anything but supportive. He sees that heathenry is probably the best thing that has ever happened to me, and tells me that he wouldn’t change my religion for anything. He is so open to my religion and knows now that my gods are real. He’s wonderful.
Hail Freyja! Hail Sjofn! Thank you for the love that you’ve given and the joy that you are! May we never fail to see you before us!