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.

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Frigg’s dag dreizehn ritual

Last night, after bed time and walking the dogs, and after having completed my nightly upkeep chores during afternoon playtime, I was able to dedicate a nice chunk of time to Frigg and the Asynjur.
Last December, I compiled pieces of prayers from Northern Paganism and Odin’s Gift and put together a Full Moon ritual for R and I to share, honoring Frigg and our growing connection to her.
This evening, I recreated the moon ritual to honor Frigg and the Asynjur on this Friday the 13th (Frigg’s dag dreizehn).
I rearranged my altar. The five candle set-up I designated for two fires on the left and two ices on the right.

Fire. Heat from the south. (Light outermost left)
Ice. Cold from the north. (Light outermost right)
Fire. Heat from the south. (Light inner left)
Ice. Cold from the north. (Light inner right)
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. (Light center)
I am 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.

(Light solo candle)
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.
I invite you here, now, Beloved Frigg Allmother hail and welcome.
Frigg, Beloved, Asgard’s Queen surrounded by twelve great goddesses to make thirteen.
(Light each tea light with each line)
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.
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 my offering,
Not of blood, but of efforts and devotion,
My love and desire to honor you
(Pour wine into offering bowl)
Hail Frigga!

(Quiet meditation, then extinguish the tea lights)
Thank you, Asynjur, for all you bring.
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 dottir this night.
May I dutifully complete joyful woman’s work in your honor.
Skal
(Extinguish Frigg candle)
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.
(Extinguish center candle)
The fire returns to Muspelheim (Extinguish inner left candle)
The ice returns to Niflheim (Extinguish inner right candle)
The fire returns to Muspelheim (Extinguish outer left candle)
The ice returns to Niflheim (Extinguish outer right candle)

When a muggle loves a witch

The Little Witches gladly proclaim, and Hubby happily accepts, the title of Muggle.

Despite the title, Hubby understands the Magick and how important it is for me. This year, for my birthday, Hubby had a brilliant idea.

He built me an altar.

After Hubby moved it upstairs, the kids blessed it with rose petals to surprise me.

When I returned to the altar a few hours after initial setup, I saw Witchlette reset Frigg with the silk flower petals.

Last night, I consecrated it with sage smoke runic inscriptions, cedarwood inscense, and auditory vibration.

This morning, after walking the dogs, I sat before my new table and completed my morning prayer ritual, then did a nice long (for before work) yoga session.

Follow-up questions

The student who asked the Witch questions of me in December asked a follow-up question out of the blue this morning.

We were taking notes for new vocabulary words before we started our bingo review game. Others were still writing and he was finished.

“Is a ritual bad?”

“What do you mean?”

“Is a ritual bad?”

I could tell he didn’t have the words to explain himself any further and I was able to read between the lines. This kid has been doing some kind of research and is not coming with deeper questions. But without a pause or hesitation, I answered his question with one of my own:

“If you pray for someone to fall down the stairs and break their leg, is that a bad prayer?”

“Yes”

“It’s the same with rituals. The intent behind it is what matters.”

Later, after while students were finishing another set of notes, he asked about Halloween.

“Do pumpkins summon the devil?”

I at first wasn’t sure I heard him right and asked him to explain himself.

The class then go a mini cultural lesson about how pre-Christian ancient Celtic cultures would carve lanterns to help guide the spirits of their beloved dead, their ancestors, back home. I explained that this is a custom that is still done with the same meaning in some parts or Ireland and in the US by some people and is similar to a very wide-spread celebration in Mexico. When Christians came, oeooke were told they were inviting in demons, not ancestral spirits, and so the lanterns started to look like scary faces to chase the demons away.

The conversation continued to another student wishing humans could just be anything and why does everyone and everything have to be Christian. I responded that I’m not Christian and that’s ok. Everyone quickly agreed.

The student who started the question then asked me, quietly, “Are you Pagan?” to which I honestly answered affirmatively.

Despite all of the side bars we had today…we also talked about why humans have hair in their nose…we finished all of our vocabulary notes, played two games of vocabulary bingo, and diagrammed a sentence.

He has apparently been doing some kind of research on his own to use the words he did today. And I have zero concern professionally because my principal, Ms. T, is amazing and referred to me as a “hard worker” in an unrelated conversation today. It feels beyond good to know that I work in a place where I can be open, not advertising but still open, and have zero concerns for reprocussions.

Blessed Imbolc and Charming of the Plow

Signs of spring have started to pop up around our yard. We have three bulbs that have begun to sprout in our front yard. Two are bulbs Witchlette and I planted at Imbolc last year, the third is one of the remaining daffodil bulbs around our oak tree.

This evening, at dinner, we conducted our first Charming of the Plow ritual.

I had an offering bowl at the table with a bulb and some seeds to bless, which will be planted in our new yard.

We blessed our meal, and I shared the following

Today, what many people call Imbolc, our Germanic ancestors Kew at Charming of the Plow.

Tonight, we honor Odin Allfather, cheif among the gods. We honor Freyr, who rides his golden boar across the sky for longer and longer time. Skal and cheers to Skadi and Ullr, whose time of rule is almost through. They will soon retreat back to Skadi’s mountainous winter fortress. For Thor, whose rains are to come and for Sif, whose grains are to grow. Tonight, we give special acknowledgement to Gefjon, who took four oxen, her son’s, yoked them to a plow, and carved a plot of land just for her kin. To Frigg Allmother, with an honor of milk, as the kids and calves are being born, milk is flowing, and wool.os being harvested and spun. Above all, this night, we honor Jord, Earth Mother. May you have fields growing and flourishing,
propagating and strengthening,
tall shafts, bright crops,
and red tomato crops,
and soft sage crops,
and all earth’s crops.
May Nerthus grant you
that your produce be guarded against any enemies,
and that it be kept safe from harm,
from poisons sown around the land.
Now I bid the Mother, who shaped this world,
that none shall overturn the words thus spoken.

Final words taken from The Pagan Grove.

Hail to Gefjon

Hail to Jord

Hail, Skal, and Blessed Be

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

A blessed year

Yesterday was a wonderful day for us, full of love and laughter. The little Witches and I went trick or treating in the afternoon around a nearby development, then we made rounds in our development after Hubby got home from work. We sat together for dinner, which I made earlier in the day knowing our evening would be jam packed with all the fun activities we had planned. 

I followed everything up with a trip to Magick Circle for the Samhain celebration. Witchling was put to bed and Witchlette enjoyed a night at home with just her and Daddy. 

In my way to the celebration, I was hit with a pang of guilt. The terrible resurgence of mom guilt. I wanted to attend, my soul needed to attend, for wholeness. For sanity. 

Because I feared that by not attending, I would be missing out. But, I was missing out anyway… missing out on time with Witchlette on Halloween night. 

During ritual, the guilt flourished. Here I am, partaking in the celebration of the life of those who have left but to do so stepped away from the lives I have grown within myself back home. 

After ritual, and social time at Magick Circle itself, a group of us went to a local pub to continue our fellowship of the evening. Laughter conversation filled the air. Here to, is life worth celebrating. 

To life, kith and kin. 

Blessed Be.