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All posts tagged norse

Sharing the myths II

Published April 6, 2017 by Lunapo

Two weeks ago, in the morning as we were finishing packing for school/work, Witchlette asked me to tell her another “Thor story”. As I was also in the midst of other tasks, I did not put forth enough mental energy to properly pre-schoolerize the first myth which came to mind: The Mead of Poetry.

I skipped quite a few sections and didn’t give the ending the bang it deserves, and I told Witchlette so and promised I would tell it to her again at a point when I was not in the midst of packing.

Later that evening, after her lullaby, I knew I would have to run out to the pharmacy and told her so before we started signing. Witchlette asked, instead of her lullaby, if I could please tell her a Thor story. Since the pharmacy is open late, I relayed a The Treasures of the Gods and then we all sang her lullaby.

The next morning, I sat and thought about Mead of Poetry better and was able to give her a proper version of the tale. It was at this time that Witchlette’s title changed from “Thor stories” to “Asgard stories.” Over the next few nights, I relayed more and more myths to her and the new routine went from book, candle, lullabye, stay with me, bed to book, candle, Asgard story, lullabye, bed.

More recently, she has been concerned with the dark. She is frightened that she cannot see in the dark and she is worried about what she cannot see coming to get her. To try and calm her, I have relayed the relationship between the most beloved Balder and his twin brother Hod. According to many scholars, Balder did what he could for Hod- he always worked to include him and would share in his joys with him as best he could. When he was cast aside during the revelry of throwing axes and spears at Balder, Hod was left out because Balder was the target and no one else thought to include him. This is what made it so easy for Hod to fall pray to Loki.

Witchlette knows Hod before the mistletoe- the Hod that adored his brother and, while not as outgoing as Balder, is just as kind. There is nothing to be afraid of in the dark, because the dark is just Hod.

Witchlette’s response: “I like Balder better.”

 

Pomp and circumstance

Published March 14, 2017 by Lunapo

I try to be one for elaborate ritual. 

It’s beautiful when someone does it well. I’ve seen ladies use besoms to cast a Circle thrice. I’ve seen a lady and gentleman cast a Circle with a sword, then invoke male and female deities with Atheme and Cup respectively. 

But when I do it, solitarily, it feels silly. 

I’ll light my candles at my altar, speak some meaningful words, and do my workings whether that’s grind herbs or draw cards, or just meditate. Recently, I haven’t even been vocal. 

Raised as a Catholic, I was taught thoughts are just as powerful as words, and that I was to atone for not only my actions and my words, but also my thoughts and feelings. 

So, I know that the intention behind the actions, words, and thoughts have power. I’ve taught this a few times now. Last night, however, I proved it. 

I’ve been on my Pagan path for 11 years. I’ve only been fully working with the Norse Pantheon, and working closely with Frigg since, for the last few months. The majority of my 11 years, I’ve been a spiritual atheist. I’ve been close with the Elements and know that there is a Divine, but I never saw it as more than energy. I never gave them a name. I couldn’t wrap my mind around a persona living in another realm controlling certain aspects. 

Until I began believing that personas living in another realm was controlling certain aspects. It started by acknowledging The Thunderer during storms. 

Last night, wanting to make a connection to Frigg, to dedicate myself to a path in her honor. I lay in bed, before sleep overtook me, and silently spoke to her through my mind’s voice. Some of it I have spoken before, at my altar. Some of it just came. 

Blessed Frigg

Keeper of women, wives, mothers, and children 

Bestower of blessings of conjugal and matronly love

In your honor, I am a strong woman 

In your honor, I am a devoted wife 

In your honor, I am a doting mother

I live my life fulfilling to me while honoring you

I am a big believer in energy portals on the body, chakras of you will. When I am meditating or casting or otherwise connecting, I feel a warning, buzzing, lifting, heightened sensation radiating from the crown of my head. Last night, despite my voice remaining silent, I had this confirmation of a connection, the strongest one I’ve ever had. 

I then slept into the deepest most restful sleep I’ve had in years. 

So what is a Celtic-Heathen?

Published February 21, 2017 by Lunapo

A few nights ago, I dreamt that someone I’ve known for 20+ years is exploring her own path and asked me to share my own. 

Celtic-Heathen Kitchen Witch is how I describe my path.

Kitchen Witch is rather self-explanatory, I do Magicks within the hearth and home.


The other part is where I get raised eyebrows.


A few months ago, I had a very good discussion with a fellow CotE member, who is a druid from the Emerald Isle, about how druids were the scientists of the time. They would watch the weather patterns and see that the clouds formed over the mountain and rain would come down in the valley. After, they would say that they had a dream where the Gods told them to settle in the valley. Perhaps in some ways, the Gods were telling them to do so, through the rain patterns and the fertility of the land. After all, in my experience, science is Magick of everyday life and Magick is science that has not yet been proven.
This is the foundation of my practice: an understanding and reverence for science with and underlying belief that they are two sides of the same coin.


When folks think Druidism, they think Celtic heritage and deities. The national orders do not assign to a specific Pantheon but they most commonly refer to Celtic.


Celtic Druidism is one form of Shamanism. Shamanism is the practice of entering an ecstatic trance state in order to contact spirits and/or travel through spiritual worlds with the intention of accomplishing some specific purpose.


Odin, as he is described in the Eddas, fits this profile. He travels to distant lands alone to complete errands while he appears to others to be asleep or dead. After Balder dreams of his death, Odin rides to the underworld to see what bargain he can strike for Balder’s life. Odin, like other shamans and spirit workers has familiars. His are his two ravens Hugin and Munin, Thought and Memory. Odin also undergoes death and rebirth, a typical rite of passage for Shamans, when he hangs from Yggdrasil and gains the knowledge of language through the runes.


Frigg fits the definition of Shamanism as well. Frigg is an archetype of the völva, a practitioner of the Germanic magical tradition known as Seidr. Seidr was a form of magic concerned with discerning and altering the course of destiny by re-weaving part of the life web. To do this, the practitioner, with ritual spindle in hand, would enter a trance and travel in spirit throughout the Nine Worlds accomplishing her intended task. This generally took the form of a prophecy, a blessing, or a curse.


Genealogically speaking, I have a lot of Irish in me. Much as I’ve tried, I have not been successful in establishing a connection to the Celtic deities.


Luckily, I have just as much German as Irish and I also have Swedish. The Nordic deities came easy.


While I wished and hoped for Celts, due to my ancestry, I know from historical records and archeological finds, that the Norse Gods made their way into Ireland. Perhaps my pre-Christianized ancestors worshipped Norse Gods in Ireland. Maybe I am from a line of Norse-Gaels on the Irish side. 


Celtic knotwork in a Mjolnir


I know I am not, nor do I claim to be, Asatru. I am a Witch who has many Druid/Shamanistic beliefs and practices and who also honors the Norse Gods. The UPG I recently experienced is my own personal proof that the two Pantheons mixed.

A task and an answer

Published February 19, 2017 by Lunapo

During the last Full Moon, after working with some fine ladies to call Brigid and in a moment of quiet meditation, I was given a task. Someone spoke to me, “She has another name.” 


That night, I thought and researched. I read the introduction and first myth in Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology (highly recommend it btw). I had an instinctive feeling that I had a name- her other name.

The next day I continued to feel my intuition telling me, reverberating her other name. That night, I continued with my research and my reading of NM. I had another intuitive dream with the same answer. After a week of reflection, here is my answer to the task.

Note: this is UPG and I will not be responding to debate with anyone. Don’t like it, don’t use it.

Brigid, from the Celtic Pantheon, is Sif, wife of Thor.

Sif’s name means “relation by marriage.” There is very little record of her, besides her glorious flowing hair and her relationship with Thor. No personality or function – just a familial association. There are two theories that go with her name. Either: 1) Her given name is Sif and from that there is derived “relation by marriage” 2) She has another “real” name.

The most known, best documented reference to Sif is her golden hair and is, sadly, the most meaningful detail we know about her. Many scholars have suggested that her hair is a symbol of a field of flowing grain ripe for the harvest. When viewed comparatively to other religions of the same general area and timeframe, as well as what we know about Thor, this is a logical conclusion to draw.

A common theme in nearly all ancient mythology is the sexual union between a sky god and an earth goddess to bring fertility to the land and prosperity to the crops. The sky god rains on the earth goddess and life is sustained.

While Thor is known as a warrior god, he is also known to be a rain god and a fertility god, both of the land and the womb. Thor presides over air, and therefore thunder, lightning, wind, rain, and fair weather and, thusly, fair crops.  

Many folks think of Vikings as the berserkers but actually the majority of them were marriage-minded farmers. It makes sense, then, that most of their major goddesses would be a fertility goddess of one form or another: Frigg, Freya, Fjorgyn, Jordan, and Sif.

One plant, sacred to Sif, is the Rowan tree. It is also linked to Thor, but not as strongly as the mighty oak. The Celts consider the Rowan sacred to Brigid. Brigid is a goddess mainly known for her roles over healing, poetry, and smithcraft. She is also a fertility goddess.

The similarities that I have been able to find between these two are not at all expansive but there is a lot more known today about Brigid than about Sif.

This is something noted by Neil Gaiman upon the research he did for his book. The work he did is much more expansive than I will ever be able to do, as he does this for a living and I do it as a hobby in spare time. Trusting his work, he said,

We have all of these wonderful goddesses — there’s Sjöfn and there’s Vör — and the idea that you had a doctor of the gods, I think, in terms of the giant list of missing pieces, is the one I find most interesting of all. I would love to read the story — it’s as if all of the stories that are lost are women’s stories. They’re all stories about goddesses, in which goddesses have agency, and you go, “They have to have been there, because here are all the goddesses.” And I do not believe that the women … did not tell these stories. But we don’t have any of them.


30 days: Frigg 101

Published October 21, 2016 by Lunapo

An introduction into the deity of discussion: Frigg

Frigg is the Allmother, wife of Odin, the Allfather. She is mother to Balder and Hod, step-mother to Thor.

Frigg is the weaver of the clouds, sitting at her spinning wheel and pulling misty threads into puffs that line the sky.

Image result for frigg riding a broom

Some sources indicate that when she has deemed that the clouds have accumulated too heavily, she sweeps them away on the broom she rides upon before sitting back at her spinning wheel and spinning again.

She is a seer, a volva, who knows that fate of all, but shares this knowledge with no one.

She is the keeper of women, wives, and children; sacred to the household and the hearth. She is typically seen as manifested in the realm of motherly and wifely, though not romanitic, love. Though, as any woman knows, it is rather difficult to be a wife and nearly impossible to be a mother without engaging in romantic love. And it would not make for a good, healthy marriage, to forgo the romantic love. Alas, Frigg is manifested in love experienced by the feminine experience. (I’ll touch more on this later).

The Thunderer

Published July 22, 2016 by Lunapo

I’ve always found thunder storms had a bit of peace to them. I love being lulled to sleep by the thunder and rain. I find lightning to be beautiful in awe inspiring ways. When I was a kid, I would ride my bike to chase after thunder storms when they were a few towns over and watch the lightning from the window. 

It’s no wonder I was pulled in by The Thunderer. 

30DOD: VIII- Background: Mythology

Published July 31, 2014 by Lunapo

 

My main source of mythology comes from the Norse pantheon. I give a lot of credit to Erik Evenson and his work. I am not great with reading old texts and the modernized version of the myths suits me really well. It helps too that I am a comic lover. While I am sure a lot of what was in the original text was lost in translation- from the Christianization/bastardization of myth (many cultures have felt this), the change from the original language of the Eddas to English to modern English, to the comic version.

If anyone is interested in Norse Mythology beyond the Marvel Thor character, but they are not intrigued enough to read the full text of the Eddas or, like me, just don’t have the time/attention to devote to such a task, I highly recommend this version. Whether this is a stepping stone or this is as deep as you go, it is a great read with wonderful illustration throughout.

One of my goals for the remainder of the year is to do more research and read more Irish myths. While it is well known that most Irish lore did not survive St. Patrick, I am finding time after Witchlette goes down to delve into myth. While I am familiar with the Mythological Cycle and  The Tuatha de Danann, I would like to read the other three cycles: Ulster, Fenian, and Historical.

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