Thunder Moon

July is the Thunder Moon. Last night, I led the CotE July Full Moon Circle dedicated to Thor.

Borrowing writings from The Modern Heathen and Northern Paganism, I put together the following moon ritual sharing the lore and residual pieces left over to us in modern times.

Fire:

Heat from the south

Ice:

Cold from the north

Fire:

Heat from the south

Ice:

Cold from the north

Fire:

Heat from the south

Ice:

Cold from the North

Mist:

Fire melts the ice. The water mixes with the heat to make steam. The ice cools the steam to make mist. The mist fills the gap between fire and ice, there there was nothing. Mist of the world from where all life springs.

Fire, ice, mist together:

We are shrouded now in the mist, no longer in this world yet not wholly in the otherworld. We walk the space between, in the mist, blessed by fire and ice.

We give great honor to Thunor!

Bane of World Serpent,

the one who struggles

against the bonds of eternity.

You are the one who never abandons,

any who call upon your name

in time of trouble or crisis.

Your strength and hammer might

keeps at bay

the primal chaotic energies

who envy the goddesses’ and the gods’ immortality.

Those beings and creatures who would plunge Midgard

into darkness and ice.

You are our defender

against those who have overstepped their boundaries.

Those who give you honor are never abandoned;

to call upon your name just once is to dwell in your hall,

even in this life.

Thus we honor Thunor!

Hail Thor

What it means to be fertile

There are three definitions to the adjective fertile: soil capable of producing abundant vegetation, a seed capable of becoming a new individual, or a person or animal able to conceive and produce offspring.

So, to be fertile means to carry on, to create, and to make something new.

Science of lightning in fields

In farming, fertilizer is one of the biggest components of successful growth. Our ancestors likely utilized animal dung, and other decomposing vegetation matter. But they also knew a secret. Nature has a very, very strong fertilizer.

The point of fertilizer is to separate nitrogen atoms. Nitrogen is in the air, and can’t get from the air to the ground. In a thunderstorm, there is enough electrical energy in lightning to separate the nitrogen atoms in the air. Once the atoms are separated they can fall to earth with rain water, and combine with minerals in the soil to form nitrates, a type of fertilizer.

The nitrogen-containing nitrates in the soil are absorbed by the plants, and when we eat the plants or the animals which eat the plants, we get the nitrogen in a form which our bodies can use.
So, in addition to providing a spectacular light show, and scaring us to death, lightning also helps fertilize the soil.

Thor stories of fertility

Thor came about his hammer when Loki shaved off Sif’s hair. Thor not only demanded that he get it back, but have it grow like real hair. Loki decided to go one better and to have a challenge between two Dwarf smith brothers, each making three gifts for the gods. One set made gifts of gold: Sif’s hair, Freyr’s boar, and Odin’s ring. The other set made gifts of war: Njord’s ship, Odin’s spear, and Thor’s hammer. The golden strands sits upon Sif’s hair, sinks into her scalp, and begins to grow. Sif is the grain, stripped away by the heat of drought, Loki, and replenished by the insistence of the rain, Thor.

From this point, it became a symbol of fertility. When it was stolen away from him, Thor was as if castrated and emasculated, dressing up Freyja the bride to get it back. To seal the con marriage, and typical marriages of the time, Mjolnir was placed in Thor-Freyja’s lap as a sign of fertility. When he wrapped his hands around the handle, he became himself in his full power, and all of the penile power that goes with it.

Thor literally translates to thunder, with storms and heavy rains and his wife, Sif of the golden hair, is a field of grain. When one is walking through a field, and one hears a couple in heat of passion, one is not to disturb that couple. It could be, and likely is, Thor and Sif basking in the glory of each other, for when both are thoroughly satisfied, the field would be fertile for growth.

Ancestors using hammers to bless fields

It has been said that Mjolnir amulets were buried in the fields by farmers at the beginning of the growing season. As we have already said, he was called upon to bless the wedding and bring forth a fruitful marriage. He presided over the Allthing and legal matters. He was appealed to by those in need of protection and comfort and hallowed places, events, and things.

Sharing of bindrunes

In honor of Thor and his power, please step forward and claim a bindrune. We are coming into the coming into first harvest, so perhaps think about what is it you would like to so and see come to fruition as the wheel continues to turn. Hold it within your hands and think about what it is you need to hallow. What is it that you need to consecrate. What it is that you need to protect.

Cakes and ale

Great Thunderer, who rides in a chariot drawn by goats,

You who guard the bounds of Middle-Earth, who drives the frost giants back to their dark realm,

Keeper of oaths, you are there when the man and the maid plight their troth, you are there when the thain swears fealty to the lord,

You whose great hammer destroys the foes of mankind and of all life,

You touch the earth with swift lightning, and the soil grows fertile, the seed sprouts when the harvest is sown,

You whose mighty voice is heard across the sky, protector, defender, whose rune is most mighty to preserve,

Hail Thor!

Closing

Hail Thor who brings the rain on the fields,

Who all the gods of Earth cannot do without.
Let there be drink for the fields,
But do not wash them away.
Let there be water for our drink,
But do not drown us.
Let there be water for washing,
But do not wipe us away.
Let there be water for the creatures
In shed and in wood,
But not too much.
Look upon us with a kindly hand
And save your hammer for the unworthy.

Mist:

As the mist condenses, we see the land from flesh, the mountains from bone, the rivers from blood, and the stones from teeth. As the mist recedes, we are harkened back to the garden in the middle of Yggdrasil. When the mist evaporates, we are once again fully in our world and no longer between worlds.

Fire: The fire returns to Muspelheim

Ice: The ice returns to Niflheim

The wonderful B and C took some altar pictures for me.

Each attendee brought home a bindrune, written on glass, combining Thurisaz, Raidho, Othala, Gebo, an Algiz.

Advertisements

December moon

Friday night, on Frigg’s day evening, I co-led a Full Moon ritual dedicated to Frigg.

It was a lovely night, with wispy clouds, as Witchlette calls them, Frigg clouds, hanging over the moon.

frigg moon 1

Rather than quarter calls, I wrote calls which allude to the creation of the world as it is stated in Nordic folklore, with fire and ice creating the mist from where life sprang forth.

Ice: Ice, Cold from the North

Fire: Fire, Heat from the South

Ice: Ice, Cold from the North

Fire: Fire, Heat from the South

Ice: Ice, Cold from the North

Fire: Fire, Heat from the South

Ice: Ice, Cold from the North

Fire: Fire, Heat from the South

Mist: Fire melts the ice. The water mixes with the heat to make steam. The ice cools the steam to make mist. The mist fills the gap between fire and ice, where there was nothing. Mist of the world from where all life springs.

Fire, Ice, Mist together: We are shrouded now in the mist, no longer in this world yet not wholly in the otherworld. We walk the space between, in the mist, blessed by fire and ice.

R and I shared lines throughout the ritual.

Hail, Frigg, wife of Odin, queen of the Aesir and Allfather’s one true equal.

Hail, Beloved, keeper of women, wives, and mothers.

Hail Allmother, watcher of all children, Aesir, Vanir, and human, looking after each as if they were her own.

Hail silent one, all knowing Weaver of Fates, yet bearing the knowledge alone.

You, who keep the keys for all the halls in Asgard.

You, Weaver of the clouds drifting from the Eastern sky.

We invite you here, now, Beloved Frigg Allmother hail and welcome.

We inserted our personal family histories and our own connections with Allmother into the ritual, connecting soft crafts, crocheting, sewing, knitting, weaving, stitching as all ways to honor her. Then shared a piece of Folklore to honor Frigg.

The only surviving lore of Frigg have her as a co-star, either to Odin or Balder. She doesn’t have any stories surviving in her own right. There is, however, another who does.

An alternate title for Frigg is Holda, a German figure from folklore who was clearly once a deity. It is widely accepted and understood that these two are different names for the same entity, and in my experience they answer to both. This piece of lore is of Holda, but contains a number of Frigg representations including spinning, weaving, fog, and flax seeds. Using Holda’s lore helps us to have a more complete image of Frigg, since she is her Germanic counterpart.

There was once poor man who worked as a farmer. He and his wife worked long and hard each day. He lived in a small house on his land and tended to his animals. One day, while out in his field, he saw a woman on mountain. She walked up the mountain side and turned around  a bend, and was out of sight. The man was intrigued by her, and followed her path up the mountain. When he went around the same bend, he saw a cave and went inside. Within the cave, were piles of gold and jewels, anything he could ever want for himself. In the middle of the cave, was a table with a bundle of small purple flowers. 

The man walked past the piles of wealth to the flowers. He thought how much his wife would love to have them, and he brought them home for her. She was grateful for his loving thoughts and set them in pottery with water. That night, the man dreamed of the woman, Holda, who thanked him for choosing the flowers, a gift of love, which, she said, would bloom everyday until the day of his death, and for choosing so would bestow upon him a gift.

The next night he dreamed of picking seeds from flowers and sowing seeds, row by row. The next morning, he rose early to sow the seeds as he was instructed in his dream. That night, he dreamed again of how to reap them.

He awoke early to the sight of early morning fog in his field, looking as if it was kissing each mound where he had sowed a seed the day before. Before his very eyes, he watched the small seedlings sprout up through the ground. Over the next day, the seedlings continued to grow and grow. One night, the man dreamed and Holda told him how to pick the flowers, pull fibers from the stems, spin the fibers into thread, and weave the thread into linens.

The next morning, the man and his wife reaped the flowers, pulled the fibers from the stem, spun the fibers, and weaved. The made clothes for themselves. They sold fabric to neighbors who now had something besides animal skins to wear. They sold seeds to their neighbors and taught them how to sow and reap the flowers. The man went from a poor farmer to wealthy merchant.

Many years later, surrounded by his grown children and young grandchildren, all of whom were dressed in fine linen, the man looked upon the table and saw the flowers which sat upon it were brown and wilting.

He pointed out the flowers to his wife, gave her a kiss, and walked up the mountain, turned round the bend, entered the cave, and was never seen again.

For Cakes and Ale, R and I led a blot to Frigg. We started by honoring the Asynjur. While R honored them with name, I lit a candle to honor each.

 

Frigg, Beloved, Asgard’s Queen

Saga, ancient story-teller supreme

Eir, physician, healing maid

Gefion, giver, a land did make

Fulla, plenty all around

Sjofn, affection does abound

Lofn, permission granted thus

Sin, defender, warding us

Hlin, protectress, warrior friend

Var, hearing oaths until the end

Vor, does know all that we seek

Snotra, wise of what to speak

Gna, swift messenger of Frigg

Goddesses, much do you give.

frigg moon 2
R and I filled our personal drinking horns with juice, and lifted them high while we continued the Blot.

Hail to you all, may you ever be strong,

May your days be joyful and your nights full of song.

May you grant us and ours love, peace and health,

Wisdom, kindness, good-luck and good wealth.

May it be that you are with us

Through our days and our nights,

To grant us comfort and strength

Through the dark and the light.

Hail to you Goddesses for your blessings this day,

Hail to you Goddesses for the blessings on their way.

 

Lady of Asgard,

You who hears the secrets of the All-Father,

You who holds his heart in your hands,

In you we seek what we need,

And you provide, greatly,

Let us remember your gifts,

And honor you with well wrought work,

From our hands and our hearts,

May we aid each other in times of need,

Through you, Frigg we can learn much,

And in you are mysteries that we seek to understand,

Wind us in your distaff, dole us fair and just fate,

Through you, Frigg we ask, that this life,

Be full of love, light, and needed strength,

Great Mother, accept our offering,

Not of blood, but of our efforts and devotion,

Our love and desire to honor you

Hail Frigga!

 

Hail Frigga!

 

Hail Frigga!

 

At this point, we passed out cakes and ale and some folks shared their own personal stories with handicrafts as we enjoyed cider and Northmenbrod.

We then closed the circle.

Frigg Allmother, beloved by those who adore you.

 

Your tame spirit is the counter to the wild of Odin, keeping him balanced and ever returning to the homestead.

 

Keeper of the hearth and home.

 

Keeper of married lovers and loving parents.

 

Thank you for blessing your sons and dottirs this night.

 

May we dutifully complete joyful woman’s work in your honor.

 

Skal

Mist: As the mist condenses, we see the land from flesh, the mountains from bone, the rivers from blood, and the stones from teeth. As the mist recedes, we are hearkened back to the garden in the middle of Yggdrasil. When the mist evaporates, we are once again fully in our world and no longer between worlds.

Fire: The fire returns to Muspelheim 

Ice: The ice returns to Niflheim 

 

First public ritual

Tonight was my first public Heathen ritual. I lead a Full Moon Ritual welcoming the season change, Winterfinding, apples, and Idunn. 

Basket of apples lined with walnuts, libation bowl, drinking horn, and Algiz, Dagaz, Ing, Jera, Gebo runes

Witchlette joined us and lent her Magicks, which made the ritual that much more special. 

Also super special was the bunny who joined us. I mention in this ritual, and I mentioned it before we started this evening, that Idunn is also known as her counterpart Ostara. The bunny didn’t come super close, but it also wasn’t skiddish. It didn’t see us and hop away as a bunny typically would. It stayed for the entire ritual and just did it’s bunny thing. 

Below is the text from my ritual:

OPENING

Fire caller(s)

Ice caller(s)

Fire

Ice

Heat from the south

Cold from the north

3x with one caller

3x with 2-4 additional callers

3x with each half of the circle

Mist:

Fire melts the ice. The water mixes with the heat to make steam. The ice cools the steam to make mist. The mist fills the gap between fire and ice, where there was nothing. Mist of the world from where all life springs.

Fire, ice, mist together:

We are shrouded now in the mist, no longer in this world yet not wholly in the otherworld. We walk the space between, in the mist, blessed by fire and ice.

Leader:

We are standing here, in the SE of the US where it is still summer and still hot. It will still be rather warm for weeks to come. Tonight, with the light of the full moon, we are going to travel through time and place. We are going to venture northward to an unforgiving ancient land of extreme cold and extreme dark.

The times of the Northman of the past was ruled by the Sun. Northern nations have the same solar calendar as we do, but theirs is much more extreme. There are two solar seasons: summer, when days are long and winter, when days are short. Mid-Summer is called such because it falls between Summerfinding, in March when the days begin to grow longer, and Winterfinding, in September when the days begin to grow shorter. The sun is in the sky for 18 hours on midsummer. On their Winter Solstice, they have only six hours of sunlight. Their world was ruled by light and dark. What can and cannot be accomplished in the time of light available.

We have found ourselves in the time of Winterfinding once again. While it is still warm here in North Carolina, the sun is beginning to set earlier and the days are beginning to shorten. Winterfinding is one of the two times sacred to Idunn. Many of you may know her better by her German counterpart- Ostara.

Idunn is the bearer of the apples of youth. She keeps these sacred apples and allows the Aesir and Vanir to have a taste. Idunn spends many afternoons in her apple trees, tending to her orchard.

One day, while sitting in her tree, she caught a chill, became faint, and fell from her tree to the ground. Her still body lay on the green grass, which slowly turned brown. Leaves began to fall all around her.

Back in Asgard, Braggi began to fret about the whereabouts of his beloved. She typically would have returned home from her orchard by now. It was getting cold. Braggi formed a search party with Thor and Ull. The three gods went out through Asgard to Idunn’s orchard and there found her laid on the grass, her basket of apples lay tucked at her breast, their golden color never fading.

Braggi removed his white fur cloak from his back and laid down next to Idunn, covering both of them with the cloak. He, and his white fur, would keep her well until the fainting spell passed and she was of whole mind and body again. Thor and Ull, with Braggi’s persistence that Idunn not be moved, that the best place for her was to remain in her orchard, returned to their halls. There they lay for many a night, Braggi holding tight to his beloved, kept hidden and safe beneath their white shield from the outer world.

Here, she was kept safe by Braggi until ready to rise again, shedding the white fur cloak and standing to her apple trees budding anew.

Iðunn is invoked by modern Heathens as the goddess of regeneration, for her help in regenerating and revitalizing not only the body and mind, but the soul. She is called upon to help revitalize and restore Heathen spiritual traditions. Iðunn is also seen as a patron of other restoration projects, whether habitat or heritage restoration work.

Iðunn is very sweet and innocent. Working with her is bound to highlight your own and other’s innocence. Call on her when you are feeling grumpy, world-weary and burnt-out. She is a leisure goddess, who can help you carve out time for much needed rest and relaxation. To honour her, welcome Iðunn to any social gathering.

As a goddess of vitality and maintainer of good health, Iðunn can be called upon to increase your motivation to live a healthier lifestyle. The expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” might be a fun, modern adage that references her gifts. Iðunn can be seen as a goddess of preventative health, and the ultimate spa goddess. Working with her can help you find an exercise regimen that is also fun, playful and uplifting.

Cakes and Ale- Idunn blot

[Pour juice into horn, raise horn]

Idunn of the apples, Idunn of constance, Idunn of youth. Hail to you! Let the others quarrel about who sits higher than whom, and whose sword is sharper and whose spear is keener. You know your place is indispensable, working the orchard without which the plans of others would come to nothing. Giver of health and immortality. Keep our bodies sound and strong! Keep us healthy that we may, like you, get up each morning while the rest of the world quarrels and go quietly to our tasks of working the earth- whether it is to harvest and complete winter preparations or to sow anew and make summer preparations. Help us in our daily round of earthen labor, Lady of the Sacred Orchard, and may our harvest be plenty, our roots stay strong through the winter, and our future gardens bloom.

[Pour juice from horn into cups to be passed around]

[Pass around “cakes” of golden slices and walnut pieces]

Idunn has caught chill. She is feeling faint. She is beginning to fall. Soon, Braggi will come to her aide and wrap her warm beneath his snow-colored cloak.

As the cold season approaches, use your Hygge and hunker down with loved ones.

Mist:

As the mist condenses, we see the land from flesh, the mountains from bone, the rivers from blood, and the stones from teeth. As the mist recedes, we are harkened back to the garden in the middle of Yggdrasil. When the mist evaporates, we are once again fully in our world and no longer between worlds.

Fire: The fire returns to Muspelheim

Ice: The ice returns to Niflheim