Tomorrow is Winter Solstice. Today, though, many cultures (especially Norse and Northern European) celebrate what is known as Modranicht* or Mother’s Night. Celebrated on the eve of the Solstice, Mother’s Night is a tradition specifically honoring our female ancestors, the guardians of the home and family. As it is on Solstice Eve, this celebration also marks the beginning of the 12 night celebration of Yule**.
Altars are adorned with pictures of loved ones along with offerings for these ancestors and candles burn all night in anticipation of the return of the sun. In these cultures, the sun is always considered female – with her life sustaining light – so this is an appropriate time to think of our mothers and our female ancestors. It is also a perfect time for the weaving of healing works and mending broken bonds between generations.
The Toast below is a beautiful honoring and while, specific to Asatru and the Norse tradition, it could be altered to fit any of our traditions.
Toast to the Mothers
Hail mother Nerthus, Sacred Earth, you who nurture us. May you continue to uphold us.
Hail mother Frigga, beloved Great Mother of hearth and home.
May you keep our household whole and safe.
Hail mother Freyja, Lady of the Vanir. May we receive prosperity in the coming year.
To our family’s Mothers, our Dísir, going back in a line to Elmbla,
You who have watched over us and loved us always. Bless us in the coming year!
We remember you with love and honor you this night.
~From Ozark Pagan Mamma
On this Solstice Eve, it is with Deep, Deep Gratitude that I honor all the women who have come before me, all the women in my lineage, blood of my blood, and…
Raising my Chalice, I drink a toast to them and to the amazing women who currently are on this Earth journey with me proclaiming…
Blessings to all on this the night of Modranicht, this night of the Mothers…
Blessings to all in this Season of the Returning Light!
* Alternative spelling is Modranecht
**There is also the idea handed down through the ages, that Modranicht was what became Christmas Eve when Yule became Christmas. For more information around this idea visit