Germanic Pagan Holidays - Winter/Spring | Oimelc, Imbolc, and Disting – The Devil & The Dame

Germanic Pagan Holidays - Winter/Spring | Oimelc, Imbolc, and Disting

For the purpose of this blog, I am distinguishing between the New Age and Anglo Saxon/Germanic holidays by using Imbolc and Oimelc receptively. Oimelc is actually the root word for Imbolc, though Oimelc is Anglo-Saxon for "ewe's milk".


Oimelc (Ewemeolc) is more of a Scandinavian tradition that date backs to Pagan times seen around the beginning of February. It's a celebration of your female ancestors, the Idises or Disir, and the Goddesses in general. I like to call it the original Mother's Day since it is focusing on who brought us into this world. We all know that without women, birth simply wouldn't happen, so we see a very great significance in the womb and females in general. This is also known as the feast of new beginnings and the festival of Idises.


Most new age pagans will be celebrating what is called Imbolc, which is basically the Celtic version of Oimelc, but with a very heavy lean on the Goddess Brigid. According to Goddess Gift, this is actually her Feast Day and is meant to symbolize that Spring is on its way. Back in our Holly King post, we discussed Brigid as the Winter Queen and bringing forth Beltane when the Summer begins. It's interesting that we would see her as both a winter goddess as well a spring time goddess because these two seasons are not normally thought to correspond to each other. However, when taking into consideration that most Celtics count their Samhain as the new year, it would be an easier idea to grasp. Spring is still an awakening into the new year and new harvests which haven't yet shown to be fruitful. This holiday is meant to celebrate that it will come and it will be great.

Charming the Plow

Now, with Norse, Scandinavian, and other Germanics, we would see Oimelc as the New Year because it is the beginning of the melting snows. This is usually celebrated around the time of Charming the Plow as well, so you'll see a lot of overlap between the two. While Charming the Plow tends to focus solely on the fertility and planting goddesses, Oimelc also celebrates the healing of the Earth and people after the harsh winters. Most of the time we'll see Ullr, Skadi, and Rindr being the center of attention here because of their deep winter ties, even if they're men. Other Gods to honor are Logi, Glut and her two daughters, Bragi, Eir, Mengloth and her maidens, and Surt. 


Disting is specifically Norse and is really just another name for Oimelc. However, Disting itself, can and has been thought to be a whole other part. Some believe its a Thing, which is a meeting or gathering where laws and politics are disgusted. It's also written as the actual act of preparing the soil for planting, like the Plow celebration. Not much more is said on that though.

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