OPEN DAYS ARE NOW RESUMING FOLLOWING THE EASING OF LOCKDOWN! DO PLEASE CHECK AVAILABILITY, HOWEVER, BEFORE SETTING OFF IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING FROM SOME DISTANCE
Every Wednesday afternoon from 1pm to 5pm the Newark Odinist Temple will be open to visits from members of the public. All Welcome! Entry is free.
Members of the public and pilgrims are welcome to visit at these times without obligation, and there will be someone at hand to show you around or answer questions.
Should there be any change to this arrangement a notice will be placed on the noticeboard next to the Temple’s entrance. If you are travelling from some distance to visit, it is advisable to check beforehand by e-mailing [email protected] (which you can easily do from the Contact page), or by ringing the priest-in-charge on 07497 436268.
We also arrange visits outside of these times. So if you wish to visit at another time, please contact us by e-mail or telephone, proposing the date and time of your intended visit, so we can confirm availability.
We have two Hearths meeting at the Newark Odinist Temple, the Hearth of the Hammer and the Wayfarer’s Hearth. The Wayfarer’s Hearth is for those who travel from out of town and is usually held on the nearest Sunday to the festival. The Hearth of the Hammer meets on the actual day of the festival. For times of services, please contact us at the Newark Odinist Temple. The following is a schedule of all the moots scheduled during 2023 for the Wayfarer’s Hearth to which we welcome new members:-
- Sunday, 8th January 2023
- Sunday, 19th March 2023
- Sunday, 23rd April 2023
Hengest’s Day or May Day
- Bank Holiday Monday, 1st May 2023
- Sunday, 18th June 2023
Wednesday, 21st June 2023 is Midsummer’s Day, a High Holiday dedicated to joy and merriment, and a day of rest from work.
Odinist Martyrs’ Day or Stiklestad Day
- Saturday, 29th July 2023
- Sunday, 24th September 2023
Einheriar or Heroes’ Day
- Saturday, 11th November 2023
- Thursday, 21st December 2023
Friday, 22nd December 2022 is Yule, a High Holiday dedicated to joy and merriment, and a day of rest from work.
The Ninefold Calendar of the Odinist Sacred Year
The Odinist religious calendar, in use in the British Isles, comprises Nine festivals. The sacred year begins at the same time as the natural year, with the Winter Solstice, traditionally called ‘Yule’, when the days are shortest. From Yule onwards we look forward to the lengthening of days and the rebirth of the New Year.
Odinists mark the four Quarter Days (or Solstices and Equinoxes) as Yule (Winter Solstice), the Odinist Easter (Spring Equinox), Midsummer (Summer Solstice) and the Harvest Festival (Autumn Equinox).
Yule and Midsummer are our two High Holidays, the days when all Odinists, if possible, refrain from work to spend time celebrating and relaxing with kith and kin.
Odinists perform our religious rites on the eve of – the evening before – the Quarter Day festivals, that we may enjoy the whole of the feast day free from care. The Quarter Days are variable feasts, but the other Odinist festivals fall on the same date each year. These are the Nine Odinist Feast Days:-
Winter Solstice. Start of the natural year. Season of goodwill. The traditions of Yule are well-known to all: the Yule tree and evergreens, the Yule log and lights, the exchanging of presents, the gathering of family members, the celebratory feast, the wassail cup – all of Odinist inspiration!
8th January. Commemorating the first Viking raid in 793 C.E. and the subsequent Danish and Norse Settlements in the British Isles, which have had such a profound impact on the English character, language and culture, and which have left deep impressions in Orkney, Shetland and Caithness, in the Hebrides, in the Isle of Man, and in Ireland. This day also marks the second introduction of Odinism to England.
Spring Equinox. A spring-time festival dedicated to Ostara (known in Old English as 'Eostre'), a festival borrowed from us by the Church. The Easter hare and the Easter egg are both old, heathen symbols of the rebirth of new life in Nature.
23rd April. The legend of St. George is of course a medieval reworking of the myth of Sigurd (or Siegfried), the dragon-slayer, hence its revival by the Normans, who recalled the old stories from their Northmen forebears. The national day of the English is becoming more popular with each passing year, and is rooted in English folklore, but Sigurd in the original tales is extolled as the finest example of heroic virtues.
1st May or May Day. Another spring-time festival. The maypole is often thought to be a symbol of Yggdrasil, the World Ash, the backbone of the cosmos, so to speak. Certainly, the Puritans disapproved of it as 'heathen'. However, on this day we also commemorate the spring-time of our English nation and the founding of the first Anglo-Saxon kingdom by Hengest of Kent, who on the Calends of May (according to the old chronicles) seized power at the Ambresbury Banquet. Who could be more worthy of celebration than the Founding Father of England? He who forgets what we owe to him, forgets what we owe to ourselves! The Anglo-Saxon Settlement, of course, marks the first introduction of Odinism into these islands.
Summer Solstice. Zenith of the natural year. An Odinist High Holiday dedicated to joy and ease, when we honour Balder. The English have much neglected this feast day, compared to our neighbours on the Continent, who often mark it with eventide bonfires and the giving of small, token gifts to children and family, though it held a bigger place in our folklore calendar in centuries gone by. The Church christianised it by calling it St. John's Day, and it was often a day for presenting plays or entertainments, as with Shakespeare's 'Midsummer Night's Dream'.
Odinist Martyrs' Day
29th July. Also known as Stiklestad Day. On this day in 1030 the people of Norway rose up against the hated tyranny of king Olaf the Fat, the cruellest and bloodiest of all the persecutors of the Old Religion. With the aid of Sweden, Denmark and England, Olaf was slain and defeated at the Battle of Stiklestad. (The Church then declared him to be the patron saint of Norway and made this day St. Olaf's Day!) We Odinists, however, remember the sacrifices of those who chose death or mutilation rather than forced conversion to Christianity. They are the heroes and champions of our faith. And their memory makes us strong!
Autumn Equinox. Thanksgiving for the Harvest, dedicated to the Vanir deities who preside over the fruitfulness and fertility of the Earth. If surplus harvest produce is offered to the Temple or Hearth, these can then be redistributed to the poor and elderly of the neighbourhood.
11th November. More properly known as Einheriar Day. Since pagan times November has been a season for commemorating the dead. At this season people are wont to visit their kinsfolk's graves. It is a time when farmers slaughter their surplus cattle for winter, and a time when dead vegetation is consigned to the bonfire. The English still celebrate Bonfire Night on the 5th. It was also a time to remember the warriors slain in battle, the Einheriar, who feast with Odin in Valhalla. In our rites we pour out the mead in offering upon the soil in the sacred bowl at the altar, as the heroes poured out their life-blood in sacrifice on the battlefield. As the Einheriar sup their mead in Valhalla, we too drink from the mead-horn in our rituals. This festival, of course, since the end of the First World War, has become fixed on the date of the 11th.
Calendar of Festivals for 2023
These are the dates of the actual feast days during 2023. Services will be held on these dates at the Newark Odinist Temple under the aegis of the Hearth of the Hammer. For times of moots, please contact the priest-in-charge.
Lindisfarne Day -
Sunday, 8th January 2023
Easter Eve -
Sunday, 19th March 2023
Sigurd's Day -
Sunday, 23rd April 2023
Hengest's Day or May Day -
Monday, 1st May 2023
Midsummer's Eve -
Tuesday, 20th June 2023
Odinist Martyrs' Day or Stiklestad Day -
Saturday, 29th July 2023
Eve of Harvest Festival -
Friday, 22nd September 2023
Einheriar or Heroes' Day -
Saturday, 11th November 2023
Yule Eve -
Thursday, 21st December 2023
The dates of the Quarter Days in 2023 are as follows:-
Odinist Easter -
Monday, 20th March 2023
Midsummer's Day -
Wednesday, 21st June 2023 - High Holiday
Harvest Festival -
Saturday, 23rd September 2023
Friday, 22nd December 2023 - High Holiday