So goes the wheel

Thanksgiving has just passed and x-mas decor can now be taken on fully without the feeling that retail is rushing life past us too quickly by shoving the x-mas lights in the back of the Halloween decor aisles (I’m looking at you Target!)

It’s time for Beth Owl’s Daughter’s Sun Wheel.

The last few years, Witchlette and I used candles from Imbolc at CotE to create our Sun Wheel. Last Yule, I found Elemental chime candle holders, which Mom graciously purchased for me, and I’m ready to use them for this year’s Sun Wheel leading into this Yule.

Last year, we made sure to have Yule decor up in time to be festive and begin the dark time of the year by bringing light and life into our home. This year, there is a lot going on and we are not going to be as decorated for Yule as we have been in years past or in years future. Mostly, we have begun the pre-packing to put our house up for sale and move. [We’re moving up an exit east on the highway.] Since we are setting the house to move, we are only putting out the tree, the stockings, and the Yule calendar boxes. There are still lots of boxes in the way of the tree at present and we may not have room for the tree until pre-packing is done in early December. I am leading the December Full Moon ritual at CotE December 1st. December 2nd is the family party of folks on Hubby’s side down by Charlotte. Most likely we will set up decor the second weekend of December (which is late for us!).

But we are ready to start our Sun Wheel count down to Yule tonight!

As with previous years, I will post the ritual and tablescape photos later this evening.

 

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An Exploration- Part III: Reconciliation

A year ago February, the ladies and I held our first private ritual together for the Full Moon in honor of Brigid close to Imbolc.

At that ritual, someone came to me. The Magick and the Power was amazing. I was left tingling all over for the remaining night and into the next morning. During the ritual, I was spoken to, “She has another name. Find her other name.”

After a short week of looking for correlation between Brigid and the Norse pantheon, I kept finding information about Frigg and Brigid, but I pushed it aside because it couldn’t be that easy. I ultimately put together breadcrumbs of information to link Brigid and Sif.

Three months later, I came to realize the answer that I had been pushing aside was in front of me all along. Everything always came back to Frigg. Just completing the Holda write-up of my journey to my own triple goddess gave me even more confirmation that it was Frigg and not Sif that I should have pinned. Perchta and Berta are two other Holda names, and both mean Bright. Like Brigid Bright…

Fast forward to September when I got my genealogy results back. There is no Swedish in my genealogy results and no Swedish in family records that I have been able to locate. Granted, just this morning I got some insight as to how and why siblings may appear that they are from different heritages genetically. The lack of Swedish broke the direct connection I thought I had with Frigg. I have since reconciled this and moved on. Frigg accepted me knowing there is no direct link; she called me knowing I am kith and not kin. Perhaps she is calling on me again as she did in a past life.

Perhaps I was supposed to be looking for Holda all along.

Perhaps, when I was tasked with finding another name…it was never Brigid. Perhaps it was always Frigg (this is what the folks who were there that night believe as well). Perhaps Frigg was telling me at that point that she was speaking to me as Holda, connecting with my German heritage. A child typically takes the name of the father and the faith of the mother.

My mother’s mother’s parents are German immigrants. Perhaps I am relighting the flame from that family line lost so long ago, burning bright and alive with me.

With Frija.

With Frigg.

With Holda.

My own triple goddess.

Ancestor veneration

Witchlette is very interested in her ancestors. It started back with Moana and her favorite character, the Ancestor Chief with the pineapple crown. This is especially relevant in November, as everywhere there is discussions of family and heritage. 

For a school project, Witchlette is competing a family tree. We went back to mine and Hubby’s great grandparents. 

Both Witchlette and Witchling sleep with blankies made by Grandma Glory. Witchlette was making holiday cards for some family members, and Witchling made a card for Grandpa Chet. 

The ancestors are very much alive in our home. 

An Exploration- Part II- Holda

Over the past few weeks, I have begun calling Frigg at my altar by more than one name. I have begun calling to her, rather, by three. From all of the readings I have done and my own communication with her, I understand and practice with these three names as the same entity.

The second name I call into sacred space is Holda.

Holda’s correlation with Frigg is not on grounds of a single occurrence, but similarities appear throughout reliable sources.

Every written account I have found on Holda states she has multiple names depending on the region in which she is being referenced: Holde (which stands for “merciful”), Perchta, Berta (“Bright”), Frau Freke, Frau Gode and most famously so, Frau Holle. Frau Freke is an almost direct reference to Allmother. Another name for Holda, and therefore Frigg, is “Frau Gode”. German language shifted the W to a G in early medieval times, and has left the prefix Gode in many places. It is the shift from Wode to Gode. So Mrs. Gode, Odin’s wife, Frigg. Germanic lore tends to leave multiple names for their deities: Odin alone has at over fifty, and his son Thor has at least seven.

Luckily, Holda is greatly preserved in German folklore. The most famous folktale about her was written down in the early 19th century CE, by the Brothers Grimm under the guise “Frau Holle”. She has the role of both a good grandmother (to the girl who helps willfully) and a hag (to the girl’s lazy half-sister who refuses to be of any help). On the surface, this seems to be merely a story of morals, but it reminds of the celebration of Christmas (thus, Yule- a time sacred to Frigg): She rewards those who have been good, but punishes those who have been bad.

A further indication of her as a Yule goddess can be found in the idea that “when Frau Holle makes her bed, it snows”. Needless to say, snow is a sign of winter, which is the season in whose midst we celebrate Yule. Also, some of her names are linked very closely to light, especially Perchta and Berta. Again this suggests the time of Yule – as it is indeed the time of year when we celebrate the return of the sun.

Like Brigid to Saint Bridget, traditions devoted to Holda were continued even after our ancestors where Christianized; and some of these traditions are conducted up to the modern day. One of many traditions dedicated to Holda have the twelfth night of Yule allocated to her. Interestingly enough, in Old High German, the name of this night is perahtun naht – meaning “the luminous night”. The connection both to the goddess (as another name for her is “Perchta”), the connection to Frigg, and the general idea of the celebration of Yule can hardly be a coincidence. In many cases, it is Holda, not Santa, who delivers gifts. At Yuletide, she travels the world in a carriage and bestows good health, good fortune, and other gifts to humans that honor her. She not only is connected with Winter Solstice itself, but also with the holiday season that continues many of its customs, the 12 days of Christmas.

Referring back to the idea that Jord and Frigg are one in the same, and Frigg is therefore Thor’s biological mother not stepmother, is confirmed by looking more closely at Holda. In several local legends, Holda is presented as a Goddess of Healing, and is equaled to the Earth Goddess Nerthus, Hludana or Hlodyn; the latter name is identified in Voluspa for Thor’s mother.

Holda is sometimes referred to as a Goddess of beauty, yet sometimes as an old hag. The “hag” part is most likely a later, Christian, addition in an attempt to demonize the folklore of a local goddess. Either way, we are left with the idea that she is a Goddess of beauty and also an old woman – a concept that appears contradictory to the time we live in, where the words “young” and “beautiful” are often seen as synonyms. This reflects on our modern times more than it does Holda: in the past older women – and elders in general – were respected a lot more than today. In the past, beauty was not seen as something that faded with age as it is today with the endless quest for youthful beauty.

Ultimately, almost all folklore agree is Holda the spinstress. This idea is most famously reinforced in the popular story, one of Witchlette’s favorites, Die Blaue Blume. Here she appears as the guardian of a cave – a cave which appears in a number of local German folktales as the habitat of Holda. In this story, she introduces spinning flax into linen to man.

Additionally, a number of sources mention Holda as a patroness of all women and children – another direct tie to Frigg. Holda has a special tie to souls of the dead, mostly babies and children. It is said Frigg keeps the souls of dead children in her hall, and keeps them well until their parents can join them. It is said that as Holda and her entourage passed through the fields, they blessed the land with abundance and caused a double harvest in the growing season that followed. I find hindsight interesting that I was brought to Paganism after my young sister’s death, and I have been blessed by a goddess who keeps dead children.

During persecution times in Europe, some of those suspected of witchcraft were said to “ride with Holda.” Like the word “witch” itself, it seems phrase has grown recent times to take back the goddess and the folkmagick that she brings. This folkmagick is yet another tie to Frigg, the seeress of the Aesir.

With Holda, I have a more complete image of my goddess, Frigg Allmother.

 

Hike

Today, with a day off of work and child free (thanks Mom!), Hubby and I went for a nice hike through a local park.

Playing with perspective: focus on mushrooms

Playing with perspective: focus on fallen leaves

Tree growing in a rock that was used in a mill, power of nature over man

Today’s hike felt a lot like the day Hubby asked me to marry him, which is this time of year ten years ago. We walked through the woods, discussing fanboy stuff. We took in the beauty of the woods in November. 

Thor: Ragnarok: a modern Heathen perspective

This evening, Hubby and I saw Thor: Ragnarok. 

Holy shit balls!!!

Minor spoilers ahead. 

So, we know Marvel canon does not follow the canon of lore. Loki is Odin’s son and Thor’s brother, rather than Odin’s [blood] brother. Hella is Odin’s daughter, not Loki’s, and sister to Thor and Loki. Fenris is Hella’s beloved pup. 

Reference to lore canon: 

Odin mentions it took him a long while to break Loki’s spell, and Frigga would be proud of him. Why else would Frigga be proud unless she taught him, because she is a Seidr. 

Heimdall is the protector of the common people along side Thor, referencing his being the father of mankind. 

Odin used to be a bloodthirsty warrior, but one day he decided to change and become a benevolent king. This would reference Odin Allfather changing from a god of war to include the god of poetry. He stopped wandering to slay and started wandering for the sake of wanderlust. As the people evolved, so did the gods. 

When Thor loses his hammer, he goes through the pain of castration as he does in the lore when it is stolen from him and he must dress as a bride to get it back. 

Thor and Loki go on an adventure side by side and, while they don’t always get along, they complete the journey together. 

All in all, this is the Thor movie we have deserved since Thor’s inception. We can ignore all of dark world and the continued attempt to shoe horn Jane’s character into the Marvel canon. Thor becomes a full god, while lightning exuding from him, as he is depicted in many many paintings.