Idhunna’s Day: March 20
March 20th in the Norse Tradition is the day of the goddess Idhunna who is the personification of the light half of the year. Also known as Idhunn, Iduna or Idun (Germanic), She is a Nordic-Icelandic goddess. The consort of Bragi (the Poet God), she was widely worshiped during the Viking period (700 AD) and earlier until the Christianization around 1100 AD. Some historians say that She is strongly connected to the Norse Tree of Life, the Axis Mundi, Yggdrasil. On this day, She brings joy to humankind by appearing in the form of a sparrow. Her name means “the Renewer” because she is a goddess of healing. Associated with the Viking Runes Eihwaz and Gyfu (the gift), She bestows the gift of rejuvenation and holistic balance.
As the Keeper of the Golden Apples of Immortality, Idhunna is the bearer and guardian of the magickal fruit of Aesir (the principle group of gods of the Norse pantheon). This is the fruit of life and eternal youth for the gods of Asgard, supplying them with immortality. Because of this role, she is known as the “Goddess of Eternal Renewal” and the “Goddess of Youth”. As you can imagine, Idhunna and her apples were in high demand.
Because these powers were coveted by the giants, Loki was blackmailed into abducting Idhunna, giving Her to the giant Thiassi (father of the goddess Skadi) as a form of payment for the construction of Odhinn’s Valhalla (the Hall of the Slain). It tuned out that the Golden Apples were useless to the Giants because the power did not lie in the apples themselves, but in Idhunna; unless they were given directly from Her healing hands, they had no regenerating power. Because it was Idhunna who helped sustain the life-force of divinity, after some time without the Golden Apples, the gods began to age. Ironically, Loki was the one who rescued her and her apples and they were returned to the Aesir.
A sweet fruit of the soil, the apple is a long-time symbol of the wisdom of the Universe. Representing our Earth, when cut sideways, the apple reveals the five-pointed star, symbolizing humankind and it’s ages, vitality, health, wisdom and more. This life-sustaining fruit of heaven is guarded by Idhunna who maintains the vitality and health all of the Norse gods. This is Her gift to them, and if you ask, this can be Her gift to you as well.
Ideally, perform this mini-ritual on March 20th, but you an always perform this on a Monday, which is Her day, if your schedule doesn’t work out. This is designed to leave your old life behind, to renew with the Spring, and bring healing to your life.
Decorate your altar with the colors of silver and green (Her colors) and if you are in an area where there are apple blossoms on the trees, sprinkle a few of those on your altar as well. In lieu of apples made form gold, purchase some Golden Delicious Apples from the grocery store. You will also want to give her an offering of seeds; any will do, as these are a symbol of initiation as seeds contain the concentrated power of potential that is ready to burst into form. Other supplies you will need will be a knife to cut the apple, a candle (silver or green would be perfect), a plate to cut the apple on and a bowl for the seeds.
To call to Idhunna, light the candle and say:
“Goddess Idhunna, Lady of Light,
At this time of growing bright;
Lady, visit me as the Sparrow,
May I start a new life on the morrow.”
With the knife, cut in the side of the apple the rune Gyfu, which you can easily make with an “X”. Meditate upon what gifts you wish to receive form Idhunna, be they health, vitality, renewal, regeneration, or anything else that you desire. Literally see these gifts coming to you and hold these thoughts firmly in your mind.
Cut the apple cross-ways exposing the Star of Wisdom inside and say:
“Ancient fruit of Universal wisdom,
Keeper of the Pentagram,
Growing on the Tree of Life
Renew me now and free me from strife.”
Take a bite or two of the apple and as you state the sweetness, take in the sweetness of your new life. Literally “taste” the success and happiness that is coming your way.
Finally, place the seeds in the bowl and say:
“Idhunna, I Thank You for Your gift,
On the morrow, my life I uplift.
I put the past behind, I am healed and whole,
I have potential like the seeds in this bowl.
My life is mine, but with Your aid,
My garden is tilled by hoe and spade.
Thank You for Your vitality,
My thanks to You and Blessed Be.”
These are you offerings to Idhunna, and do take the time to care for them on a regular basis. If you can, plant the seeds outdoors and care for them daily. If your region has not yet thawed, then plant the seeds in a pot of earth and when able to, transplant the sprouts outside.
Make sure to place some of the apples outside for the animals and the nature spirits!
Exploring the Northern Tradition by Galina Krasskova
Norse Magick by DJ Conway
Northern Magick by Edred Thorsen
Pagan Book of days by Nigel Pennick
Rites of Odin by Ed Fitch
Rune Mysteries by Silver Ravenwolf and Nigel Jackson