The Wild Huntsman and the Ride of the Dead
By Fjorn, Raven
When the laws of nature are thrown into a mighty storm of order and chaos, the time of blackest frost moon winter, when the world of the living and realm of the dead merge as one… there is across the night sky a frenzied ride of the dead.
During the sacred time of the 12 nights of Yule from December 20 th through to the 31 st (Twelfth Night), across the winter night sky, this is a time when the longest cycle of darkness is witnessed. The time of blackest ice storms and frost winds, but also when the Sun's light is reborn into this world.
The period of Yule is a juncture when things ultimately come to an end but also brings forth the birth of new beginnings. Part of the interminable cycle of nature, displaying her eternal decrees.
The Wild Huntsman, Allfather Woden , in this time of darkness and upon his eight legged horse Sleipner leads his rage filled warriors of the dead, the Einherjar, from the great halls of Valhalla on a frenzied ride through the winter skies upon the winds of the storm and into battle. It is a ride that has often been witnessed and documented throughout our history and is believed by many to have been seen just before the outbreak of war. It is a journey with the feral screams of wild beasts and haunting and echoing calls from the horns of war which are also believed to be heard at this time.
The mark of Woden as the Wild Huntsman and his army of fallen warriors of Valhalla, the Einherjar, is the ancient symbol of the Deaths Head or as is more commonly known: the skull and cross bones. This is a symbol of death, representing those that have died in battle for blood and soil. A symbol of those that have travelled the Bifrost Bridge side by side with the choosers of the slain, the Valkyries to the hall of Valhalla, the great hall where they prepare for mighty Ragnarok in Asgard. The riders not necessarily being those that died in face to face combat but also for those that until death fought as a proud and true Aryan for the cause, for folk and faith. The Deaths Head is a symbol that has always been used by the courageous and honourable and represents true to its nature the wild ride of the dead. The skull being laid bare, from once being flesh covered – the hallowed shield of life to that of life's end journey and following rebirth… again an eternal cycle, never ending.
As with everything in the creed of our pagan ancestors, and in concurrence with nature's eternal laws, there is a balance between light and dark, never is anything one sided. All that is perceived to be the opposite are actually always one in the same. The Wild Hunts darkness is represented by this with its following rebirth of light, both opposites that are poised, coming from and ending in the same place. As with the myth of Ragnarok, the destruction is followed by the creation which will always lead to the destruction. As night follows day, day follows night, and so on.