Disablot/Charming of the Plow/Imbolc

The eve of Imbolc fell on a Friday, and it just felt more than appropriate to hold our Disablot on that night. It was on the night of the February Full Moon when Frigg made herself fully known to me. I wanted to honor both her and this time of knowing.

I gathered table supplies- Frigg totem, seeds to bless, horn of juice, silk flowers to place next to the snowflake candle holders to highlight the juxtaposition of this time.

First, we did our table blessing. Then, we each lifted the horn and completed the Disablot by giving honor to our female ancestors. At each of the kids turns, they honored their chosen gods. Witchlette made offerings to Skadi and Idunn as well as all the Fae and all the “lady gods” while Witchling made a boast to Ullr and Odin.

We enjoyed our meal together and were winding down when I started the Charming of the Plow portion. We talked about the plant life cycle and the seasonal life cycle; we talked about how we would plant some veggies at our new house. We each made offerings in honor of the new growing season, that we would find success.

Lastly, I made an open offering to Frigg by pouring some juice from the horn into the offering bowl. I then led the kids in a round I adapted from Nordic Wiccan. Since I made each line double, it became a call back that I led the the Littles responded: (to the tune of Are You Sleeping)

Spring is coming

Spring is coming

Full of flowers

Full of flowers

Idunn and her apples

Idunn and her apples

All is young

All is young

Corn will be golden

Corn will be golden

Hair of Sif

Hair of Sif

Thor is making thunder

Thor is making thunder

Rain pours down

Rain pours down

Fruits and bounty

Fruits and bounty

Gifts from Jord

Gifts from Jord

Frigg’s hearth and fire

Frigg’s hearth and fire

Safe and warm

Safe and warm

Wintertide

Wintertide

Skadi skis

Skadi skis

Ullr goes hunting

Ullr goes hunting

Ravens cry

Ravens cry

After bedtime, I returned alone to the dinner table altar and made an offering of milk to Frigg.

This morning, I took the offering bowl, and some seeds, and went out to the front garden to finish the Charming of the Plow aspect of the ritual.

Advertisements

What they want, a rambling reprise

Yesterday, Hubby and I found the perfect shelf to finish off my altar space. This leave a place for tools to remain easily accessible, versus in a drawer behind the space where I keep loose herbs and extra candles.

With Odin, Eir, and Heimdall moving to their new places, only Loki, Ullr, and Tyr remained. Tyr wanted to be close to the dogs, but didn’t specify where. The dogs are wherever we are, typically. But I needed Loki to stay with Tyr to keep him in check. Ullr wanted his own space too, but he wasn’t coming in clearly. Everything was muddled and fuddled.

Things were better since the beautiful ritual R shared at CotE that morning. Healing and cathertic. Big changes are coming with kindergarten and I feel like I’m making everything balance on my shoulders. My work schedule releases earlier. We have two awesome grandma’s ready and waiting in the wings. Hubby has said, in a deer-in-headlights what if we (read: I) can’t do it all, that he is prepared to make time with work stuff too and that we (read: we) can do it all. Saying this aloud in a safe space, my need to do everything and not lose myself [again], with the purpose of cleansing right along with the rest of my community, many of whom shared their own personal growth works and commitments they need to uphold, lifted a nervous knot in my stomach that planted itself last Monday. By giving the knot words, I took away it’s power over myself because now I have a focus- to not lose myself. (hold that thought)

But still, muddled and fuddled.

Looking at the altar, I realized I was tiptoeing around Loki. I had an idea and got some supplies together. As Hubby saw me carefully wrapping Loki in cotton and placing him in a box, he joked and said if only we had a snake to hang above him. I giggled, but it was brilliant. I drew a snake on the box and the crazy energy I’ve been feeling the last few weeks disappated.

There’s too much retrograde right now to invite chaos. I don’t hate chaos in fact, I usually function in controlled chaos. But right now, I needed to bind that shit, at least for the moment.

With Loki dealt with, I brought Tyr downstairs and set him up with Eir. They both like their new place.

I put Ullr down in the living room and, as Hubby and I spent time together, Ullr came in loud and clear: he wants to live in Witchling’s room. Hubby chuckled at the appropriateness of the move.

This morning, after he awoke, I went into Witchling’s room and placed Ullr there.

Now, there are two. And the lovely tapestry I created. And the awesome shelf Hubby found and hung.

(Resume thought from above)

I’ve been riding the struggle bus for the three weeks that I said I would awake early to go through my morning routine, work or no work. And I didn’t pick up an evening routine because watching TV and trolling the internet just felt more rewarding in the moment. Perhaps it was too cluttered. Likely also my focus was too pessimistic to be motivated. Struggle bus never made it to the station this morning and I rode the 5:35 motivation bus instead. I walked the dogs, did my morning prayers to Frigg, and then Witchlette bounded into the room just in time to start yoga. She got her yoga mat and we had a great session this morning.

What they want, they get

Confession time:

Our front room, second living space, dubbed “the library” because that was my childhood goal…

Our front room is the last room with boxes, and much of the boxes are stuff that needs to make it’s way to the crafting space upstairs, which is also a chaotic moving clusterfuck.

I lost my patience for getting to the library eventually and cleared the space out myself Friday.

Ahh…much better!

Ok, background for the next part…

A few times, I have put some of my alter totems into a cabinet as things were being cleaned, or as certain rituals were being conducted and during which the presence of other deities would have been distracting both visually and spiritually. There was a point when Tyr, Odin, Loki, and Heimdall were in the cabinet for two weeks. They were not happy. Odin was pissed. When I did the Full 13 moon, everyone but Frigg was cabinetted. Frigg has never been cabinetted.

Last week, two more pieces have arrived, in the form of Ullr and Eir.

(Some people collect mugs, I collect gods 🤷😊)

The altar is getting crowded. I have shelves which will [eventually] be hung and some of the totems will move there.

During meditation yesterday, Odin made it clear he does not want to be in my bedroom. He wants to live in the library.

Heimdall wants to be on the front table, by the door.

Eir wants to be able to see the kitchen. Respectfully, she doesn’t want to be in the kitchen, likely because that is already space dedicated to Frigg, but she wants to be close.

Tyr wants to be close to the dogs, and it feels weird moving him away from Loki. Like, he keeps Loki in check. Loki doesn’t want to be on my altar, but also hasn’t specified a space where he will land. I like him sandwiched between Thor and Tyr where he is presently.

Hubby has been on board with everything else so far, why not to having Gods move in around the house. He took to them having new homes around the house really well.

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.

What they know…

Children are what they know. It’s nature.

My kids speak English because they’re parents speak English. They sing songs in Spanish because that’s what they learn in school. Witchlette recognizes me in a croud when I give her the I-LOVE-YOU sign, because that’s my second language.

And, so it seems, that any word or phrase with “guard” in it, for Witchling, gets an “As”.

When playing sword fighting, and adding fencing rules, the kids now start with “En garde… Allez!” Except Witchling hears, and so shouts, “Asgard… Allez!”

At a friend’s pool the other night, he noted all of the “Asgards” around. And he asked when the “Asgards” would blow their next break whistle.

Asgards, keeping everyone safe, one pool day at a time.

Gods, friends

Growing up with a Christian worldview with Catholic indoctrination, there was a lot of servitude expected.

If nothing else, at the end of mass, the command to “go forth and share the ‘good news'” aka proselytize, convert your friends and neighbors.

Yahweh is an overlord, and a jealous bastard. He needs all of the attention at all times from all people. And when he doesn’t get what he wants, he goes on a murderous rampage.

Odin is a warlord, no two ways about it. Much of what remains of Frigg has been cleansed, but as the favorite wife of a warlord, she knew how to get her hands bloody.

Yet, they never demanded subservient followers. Odin doesn’t demand that his folks kneel. In fact, he prefers his people to stand. Live with honor and act with hospitality, and you will gain the gods’ favor. One need not serve them, one needs to do right.

Thor, specifically, is known as the friend of man. Often a kenning for him is “Friend Thor.”

This is something I am still trying to work my mind around. Trying to undoctrinate myself. While I am not equal to the gods just as my dogs are not equal to me, we still can have a relationship of give and take. Of reciprocity. Of Gebo.

When you want to get in touch with a friend, you pick up the phone and call. One should not stare at the phone waiting for days for it to ring. It goes both ways. Either party can initiate the connection.

Either a human can reach out to the Aesir or the gods can tap you on the shoulder and inform you on whose team you play. (It’s not as frightening to be drafted as I initially imagined).

Meditation and prayer are just one way to reach across lines. Offerings are another. Friends invite each other into their homes and offer food and drink as a sign of hospitality and warmth.

Recently, we restarted leaving offerings to the gods, wights, good neighbors, and ancestors. A few days later, I asked Frigg specifically what she would like me to offer her. This is not, to me, dissimilar to asking an invited guest what they would care to drink. I through Runes and got an answer: Berkano next to Othala stacked on Gebo. For Frigg, your family is your offering. My devotion to her is to be the best mama I can, and to raise the next generation of Witches to be strong and steadfast. In whatever is coming the work that I need to do in my preparations is to continue to raise my strong little Witches. To hone in on what makes them Magickal and foster them to stand strong against the turn that is coming.

To continue to honor the gods with daily libations. To continue to give offerings to the ancestors with daily libations. To continue the strong spiritual guidance of my babies.

So mote it be.