July is the Thunder Moon. Last night, I led the CotE July Full Moon Circle dedicated to Thor.
Heat from the south
Cold from the north
Heat from the south
Cold from the north
Heat from the south
Cold from the North
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!
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 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.
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.