Life is already all around us here in the northeast in all its varied colors, forms, and yes even scents. I love the smell of spring ! It is this scent of life, and growing, that awakens in us some primeval wonderful feeling deep in our souls, and makes us want to be out among nature, and become a part of its natural wonders. I can see the fertility of life all around me these days. Some of the " early birds " have already hatched their chicks. I know this because I hear them chirping outside of my window each morning. Sadly one of the little chicks, ( very little ), fell out of the nest on to the top step of my front porch. I found its lifeless body lying there when I came home from work the other day. I gave it a short burial, and said a few words for a life that never really had a chance to get started. As sad as this is that is part of the natural cycle of life, and only the strong survive. But nature never wastes anything, and its life was not in vain. Its small body will now add nutrients back into the soil, and enrich the plant life. Even in death its life force continues.
The Vanir are well known for Their part in insuring the fertility of Great Mother Earth Jord. Njord for instance it is said can calm the winds; Freyr can make the skies darken and make the nourishing rains fall from the sky, and Freyja, is in my opinion one of the greatest fertility Goddesses, along with Great Mother Frigga, adds the spark of life to the fertilization process with Her wonderful " magical " spirit.
Whenever I plant anything, whether as a seed, seedling, or full grown plant, I always call upon the great fertility God and Goddess, to watch over its life, and growth. I feel almost as happy when I see a plant that I planted bloom into an explosion of flowers, as when a mother sees her child walk for the first time, or achieves one of their other milestones in their young lives. Of course the flip side of this emotion is when life sometimes fails, and something plant, human, or animal dies. We must simply accept this as the natural cycle of life, and realize that not everything always turns out the way we want it to. For not even the mighty Gods and Goddesses can change that which was never meant to be !
As with my ritual for Great Mother Earth Jord, I prefer to hold this outdoors, where life resides. And why not the neighbors think I am crazy anyway for performing rituals ! After calling the children of Njord, I thank them as many times as I can think of for the great abundance of life, ( flowers, trees, shrubs, insects, animals, birds etc... ). I always have to fill my horn many times because there are so many things to thank the fertility twins for ! I end the ritual by spreading fertilizer out over all of my plants, and asking Freyr to bless the water that I pour out over the fertilized ground. This is one of the few rituals where if I am rained on I am not disappointed, I consider it an extra blessing from Great Freyr Himself. Freyja loves flowers, and their beauty is the only thing that I feels comes close to Her beauty. Don't ask me how I know this, I just do !
Watching a plant grow from a small seed to a huge flowering bush, or a bird hatch from an egg, no bigger than your pinky, and then within a few short weeks fly out of its nest a fully grown adult, is as close to real magic as I have ever seen. This great spark of life, first seen in Ginnungagap, brought forth in humans by Odin and His brothers, and perpetuated yearly by the great Vanir Gods and Goddesses, is the greatest gift that these wonderful Gods have given to all of us in the nine worlds. To not honor Them for this would be beyond wrong, it would be shameful and dishonorable. I know that I will honor the Great Gods and Goddesses of Fertility every May 1st for the rest of my life, and will share with Them the gift of life that I plant every year.
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !