Heathen Kinship Blessings
La vengeance se mange tres - bien froide.
( Revenge is very good eaten cold. )
- from Mathilde, by Marie Joseph Eugene Sue.
Diana L. Paxson, in her book, Essential Asatru, calls this feast a celebration of the returning light, of romance, and of marriage. The Asatru Alliance of Independent Kindreds, on their web site says this feast originally celebrated the death of Hothr at the hands of Vali. This late winter festival relates to the triumphant return of the sun over the dark days of winter. They call this day a traditional celebration of the family, and a time for the customary exchange of cards and gifts with loved ones. It is also a time, they say, for the renewal of marriage vows and an occasion for marriages.
At the Heathen Kinship the Blessing of Vali is a time to consider what it means to have vengeance, and to honor Vali. The god who avenged the death of Baldur on Hodr. We ask Vali to free our fold from the spiritual blinders of their culture which keeps them from seeking kinship with the gods.
Though the avenging of the death of Baldur was necessary so that Baldur's honor was restored, Hodr was tricked into the evil deed, which in my opinion makes this a very solemn ritual, and a restrained feast indeed. Loki is the real evil - doer here, not poor Hodr. Vali is the instrument of revenge formed from the God - union of Rind and Odin
In the 33rd stanza of Voluspa it says :
Rind will bear Vali in the Western Halls,
That son of Odin will kill at the age of one night,
He will not wash his hands or comb his head,
Until he puts on the funeral pyre Baldurs' adversary.
The feast is not so much a feast as just a meal. As Marie Joseph Eugene Sue says, " a cold meal ". Sometimes we place empty plates on the table for Baldur, Hodr, and Nanna. This is a good time to toast and remember those no longer with us.
The Feast of Vali is also a good time to reflect on evil acts and hatred that we hold in our hearts. It is a good time to just let these feelings go. It is also a time to decide which wrongs must be righted by the justice represented by Vali.