Friday night I was having dessert at a local pub with some of my CotE people when we started discussing manifest gods.
Makes me think of the Joan Osborne song
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin’ to make his way home?…
So, the gods of old are manifested into folks living now. Their spirits are immortal, but their bodies are not. They reincarnate into new bodies and take on new personas, but continue to manifest their godly selves within that persona.
Sounds quite a bit like…
Norse gods continue to reincarnate through decendants of Norse gods manifested who fled from the I North to Norsewood, New Zealand. It sounds a bit silly and at times it is. Seriously though, go watch the heck out of this show. It’s not American, so nudity and swearing is high while violence is low.
So, manifest gods. There was talk of Odin being a school bus driver, Thor being a fighter pilot, and Loki being Tom Cruise. I believe Odin to be more suited as a truck driver, as there is much more traveling for The Wanderer. And Thor is much more blue collar. Tom Cruise I understand for Loki- he’s entertaining, but crazy as hell and totally unpredictable and uncontrollable.
The next day, while on our 10 mile hike, Hubby and I discussed this. Hubby declared Odin would have to be a travel writer and I agree with his conjecture 2000%. Odin is the master of language. He would need to share his travels. He also believes Thor would have career status in the military and be eligible for retirement years ago, but continue to volunteer for front line infantry.
Thinking of Witchlette’s favorites, Balder and Hod…I wonder if they would be working together. Balder the gentle, kind god. He would be one of the rare make preschool teachers.
This got me thinking too about the goddesses. Would Frigg be more focused on wives or mothers? Would she be a general women’s advocate and cover both? Or would she be a seamstress for fashion designer? Perhaps she’s Vera Wang, known most for her wedding gown designs. What about Sif? She is to wives what Frigg is to mothers: embodiment of both, but known for one more than the other. She’s an agricultural goddess, so perhaps she’s be a farmer. Maybe a hair dresser, as she’s known more for her golden locks than anything else. All the handmaidens of which we know far too little about…
My personal goal for the remainder of 2017 is to get to know as much as I can about these mysterious figures. So much has been lost to the sands of time. I have been pointed to some resources that may help shed some light onto them. More to come!
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.
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.
How the Ravens Came To Be Black
Once upon a time and long ago, Odin was walking under the branches of Yggdrasil when two ravens swooped down and settled upon his shoulders. The raven on his left was white as the mists of Niflheim (for back then, all ravens were white), and his eyes mirrored the clouds. The raven on his right glistened in the sun like the snows of Jotunheim, and looked at him with bright clear eyes. And Odin called the raven to his right Hugin, which is Thought, and the other one he named Munin, which means Memory.
As the days passed, Hugin and Munin matched the Allfather’s curiosity for everything in the Nine Worlds, flying around and watching and listening to whatever they could, and in the evenings, they returned to him to tell him all they had seen and heard in the long hours of the day. They told him about the slow thoughts of the mountains, the colorful and ever-changing memories of men, and the sound of the song in the heart of everything that lives.
And though Odin delighted in the knowledge they brought, he always felt they had missed something, and he said, “That was much, but not yet enough. Tomorrow you must fly again. Try to rest now.” And the ravens slept uneasily, not knowing what they had missed, and every morning, they flew out again.
There came one of many evenings after another long day when they had once again seen all that Sunna’s shine could show, had listened to all men’s bright thoughts in Midgard, and read their waking memories, when Hugin said to Munin, “We cannot return yet. It is not enough. We must go farther.” And they flew on into the night.
And Hugin flew through the dark dreams of mankind and heard their thoughts which they dared not think during the daytime, not even before themselves. He winged through the black void between the stars where there was nothing at all, and on to the twilight world of the future, where there is equally nothing and everything at once. And when he returned, his feathers, from tip to tip, were black as the night.
And Munin flew through the minds of men into the shady corners and cellars where they had hidden all the things they did not like, and locked them away, saying “I do not remember.” He soared through the sightless void of Ginnungagap, and on and on until he arrived at the ashes of Ragnarok which obscured this age from the next. And when he returned, his feathers, from beak to tail, were as black as soot.
The ravens returned to Odin just before the break of morning, when the night is at its darkest, and when they settled back on his shoulders, he knew all that they had seen, and they did not need to tell. And he understood what had been missing, and nodded, and said, “It is much, and it is enough. For tonight. You may rest.” And the ravens blinked drowsily into the first rays of the rising sun which glinted on their now black feathers, tucked their beaks under their wings, and slept very well.
Since that time, all ravens have been seen to be as black as a shadow on a starless night. Very rarely it happens that somebody catches a glimpse of a white raven, and should you ever be lucky enough to see one, you’ll know that you have wandered far off and back into the land of memory, before ravens came to be black.
Lots is happening.
Folks know about most of it, lest they either watch nothing but fox news or live under a rock deep within an underground dark cave in the middle of the woods- some would say this is one in the same.
Other stuff that is happening is much more local and touches home on a regular.
CotE aka “Magick Circle” is now a transient entity. The Imbolc ritual last Sunday was the last ever ritual at the space in downtown Raleigh gardens. It was a gorgeous ritual led by the church’s High Priestess who, as she always does, did a fabulous job. It was appropriate as the last ritual, being Imbolc and a time of new beginnings, because all new beginnings start with an end. Just as appropriate, the kid-centric Imbolc ceremony will be this coming Sunday. I am leading this ritual and a fellow church member and friend was able to scout out and secure ritual space in a local city park.
It’s been a lot to process and work through. Most of my dedicated Magick Circle time has been spent researching different sites and figuring out what is needed, when, and where.
Throughout these processes, I keep getting signs that the gods are with us. We do not walk through these Tower Times alone.
Over the last week, I have had a falcon fly in my path at different parts of the day and different areas of town at least four times.
Frigga is with me.
I am not alone.
At the Imbolc ritual, as we said our final blessing of the final ritual of our [now] former spiritual gathering place, a large murder of crows flew overhead.
Odin is with us.
Morrigan is with us.
While we walk through the tower times and all that is thrown at us, we must keep our heads high and our hearts and minds opens.
We are not alone.