Why Today's The Best Day Of The Year To Celebrate The Nasty Women In Your Life

Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.
Today is the festival day of Dísablót in Heathen, or Germanic neopagan, faiths. It's pretty old, so don't worry if your calendar wasn't already marked, since it isn't too late to celebrate. In fact, religion aside, Dísablót is actually a fantastic holiday for any woman who wants a little more girl power in her life.

Dísablót was born out of the worship of the Disir, or minor deities usually depicted as spirits of female ancestors. Pre-Christian, Northern European faiths rarely applied a strict system or hierarchy to their gods, so little is known about the Disir specifically, besides the fact that they were thought to be guardians of the living. But, given the prominence of maternal and female deities in general, it's not surprising that the Disir were significant enough to warrant their own celebration.

Historically, festivals honoring the Disir were also held around the winter solstice or at the start of a new year. But since early Germanic calendars varied by region, there is no one date that Dísablót always falls on. That said, Dísablót celebrations were pretty consistent.

So how did people celebrate these female spirits? Blood sacrifices weren't unheard of back in the day, but worshippers would also prepare offerings and feasts in honor of their deceased female relatives. Because of the familial ties people felt during Dísablót, at least a part of the celebration would usually take place in private. That brings us to how you might incorporate a Dísablót celebration into your personal spiritual practice today.

Even though we're sure that you already show your female friends and relatives a ton of love, take extra time today to think about the impact they've had on your life. Reflect on how your relationships may have changed or deepened over time. Revisit old journals or even your Facebook's "On This Day" app to see how far you and your besties have come.

If you've recently lost an important woman in your life, sit with your fondest memories of her today. Give your grandmother a call, write an old professor a letter, or make plans to meet up with your friends (or coven). In other words, do something today that makes you feel closer to the women who have touched your life.

Of course, celebrating the important, beloved, and downright badass women you know shouldn't be confined to a single day, but let Dísablót (and its many days of observance) serve as a gentle reminder to do just that.
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