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The Ordeal of Odin

It is said that Odin hung for Yggdrasil (the World Tree) for nine days and nights in his quest for the Runes. As a Rune reader, I choose to acknowledge this period between Auguest 17th and the 25th, as it is held my many Heathen traditions. I make this period in a variety of ways;  a daily ritual, reading of the Edda’s, and a fast (if possible). In intresting way to observe one day is in silence (or as much silence as possible). This is an opportune time to create a new set of Runes. For today, I’d like to share the tale of Odin’s ordeal:

The Web of Wyrd

137.
I trow I hung on that windy Tree
nine whole days and nights,
stabbed with a spear, offered to Odin,
myself to mine own self given,
high on that Tree of which none hath heard
from what roots it rises to heaven.

138.
None refreshed me ever with food or drink,
I peered right down in the deep;
crying aloud I lifted the Runes
then back I fell from thence.

140.
Ere long I bare fruit, and throve full well,
I grew and waxed in wisdom;
word following word, I found me words,
deed following deed, I wrought deeds.

141.
Hidden Runes shalt thou seek and interpreted signs,
many symbols of might and power,
by the great Singer painted, by the high Powers fashioned,
graved by the Utterer of gods.

143.
Dost know how to write, dost know how to read,
dost know how to paint, dost know how to prove,
dost know how to ask, dost know how to offer,
dost know how to send, dost know how to spend?

144.
……..
Thus Odin graved ere the world began;
Then he rose from the deep, and came again.

Translated by Olive Bray
Edited by D. L. Ashliman

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Beauty

Beauty

Simple and Glorious
Strong and Sensual
Natural and Wild

Rolls, Curves,  Scars
Angles, Shadows

Uncovered,
Am I still beautiful?
Or is this body
I’ve been given
Unworthy
As it is?

Should I find beauty
In the eyes?
In the face?
In the spirit?
In the soul?

The separation is unnecessary

The tangible and intangible
Meld into eternity
Seen in the eyes
Seen in the soul
It simply is

Beauty

Poetry and Prayers: Marcion

I have a section of my Book of Shadows that I call Poetry and Prayers. There are no rituals here, no explanations; just writing I find inspiring, thought provoking, or spiritual in some matter. Some are specifically Wiccan, others not. Today, I wanted to share something from the Gospel of Marcion (oft called the Gospel of the Lord) – a noncanonical Christian text. It is in some ways similar to the canonical Gospels, espically Luke.

But I say unto you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. Unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek, offer also the other; and from him that taketh away thy cloke, withhold not thy coat also. Give every man that asketh of thee: and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. and as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise

Gospel of the Lord III:27-32

Winter Pick-me-ups

Winter can be a pretty terrible time – it’s cold, wet, and you end up getting a cold at some point. I have some remedies for that winter cold – or at least some delicious things that will have you feeling a little better.

One of my favorite bagged teas

Generally, I use a teaspoon to measure out my ingredients – but that’s up to you really depending on your taste.

Red Tea

1 part Hibiscus
1 part Rose (petals or buds)
1/2 part Lavender

Use dried versions of the herbs listed in a strainer, tea ball, or cheesecloth tea bag and steep for about 3 minutes. This makes a beautiful burgundy colored tea with a warm floral sent. Sweeten with honey or sugar, and add a little lemon juice to brighten it up if you like. It’s a wonderful drink to snuggle up with when it’s cold out and is also great to drink during your moontime as these flowers give off a calming fragrance and each have useful health benefits.

Sore Throat Soother

1 part ground/powered Slippery Elm
1 part honey (local is best)

Add these two to the bottom of your mug; poor hot water over and stir to dissolve the honey and to disperse the slippery elm.  No matter how finely ground your slippery elm is, it’s going to be a little gritty/grainy but it’s okay. Slippery elm sooths inflammation and mucus membranes – helping to calm a cough and heal a sore throat. Honey also has soothing properties – and local honey can actually prep your immune system for specific strains of bacteria in your area.

Spiced Milk

6-8 ounces of milk (or if you prefer, almond or soy milk can be used)
3-5 cloves
1 small cinnamon stick
1 inch of fresh ginger, sliced into disks

Combine everything in a small saucepan and heat gently just until it begins to steam. Pour into a cup though a strainer to separate the herbs (the cloves and cinnamon can be used one more time if you let them dry completely; the ginger, however, is done) and enjoy! If you’d like, add a little honey. This is a great drink to really warm you up in the winter – clove, cinnamon, and ginger contain chemicals that stimulate your body to heat up just a little bit.

Hope you enjoy, and stay warm!

A Pre-Imbolc Ritual

Something I like to do every year before Imbolc (or Candlemas) is to physically clean and bless my candle holders. The physical cleaning is a little different for each – depending on the material/shape/size. I personally don’t cast a circle or anything like that for the physical cleaning, though you certainly could.

My "Goddess Area" seen through some of the candle holders being blessed.

I like to do the ritual blessing as near to the full moon before Imbolc as possible. Here what I do: I gather all my candle holders and a bright smelling oil like lemon or peppermint. Then, I cast the circle as usual and take a few moments to soak up the feeling. I trace a pentacle in oil on each candle holder, while saying something along the lines of “I purify thee, and sanctify thee, in the name of the reborn God and the renewed Goddess“. When I have finished with all, I close the circle put the candle holders away until I need them – also, I wipe the oil off if it might ruin or react with the material.

Generally speaking, I do this separately from my Esbat ritual – but certainly could do it as a part of a larger ritual.

Full Wolf Moon

At this time of year the Full Wolf Moon urges us to reconnect with our primal perceptions and understandings. This is the dead of winter – at time where instincts and understanding meant life or death to our ancestors. This is a time to honor our instincts and our primal selves. The chill of winter does not yet ease, so you must remain vigilant.

 

More Green Man

While I’m thinking about the Green Man/Horned God. I thought I share what is perhaps my favorite song dedicated to the God. “Hymn to Herne” by S.J. Tucker – her voice is perfect for this!

And for your reading pleasure, the lyrics:

You can say your prayers
Work your rites
Burn your little candles
Day and night

You can shimmy till dawn
To the pounding drums
But you best be ready
When the Horned One comes, yeah

If you wake to the sound
Of a hunting horn
dance a ring
In the gathering storm

If the Solstice time gets
Your panties in a wad
It’s just the coming
Of the Horned God

He will call you out
Make you sweat
Give you a blessing
That you’ll never forget

So revel in the chase
And let your heartbeat run
Blessed are the children
Of the Horned One

Blessed are the children
Of the Horned One

Hunter who tracks
Outside of time
Guardian lord
Of ancient rhyme

Brother stag
In the musky glen
And consort of the Goddess
In her woodland den

We call you forth
As we make our way
Walking in your power
Every day

Guide us true
In our hunt this night
and maybe even later
In the Great Rite

He will call you out
Make you sweat
Give you a blessing
That you’ll never forget

So revel in the chase
And let your heartbeat run
Blessed are the children
Of the Horned One

Blessed are the children
Of the Horned One

If you wake to the sound
Of a hunting horn

Dance a ring in
The gathering storm

Revel in the chase
And let your heartbeat run

But you’d best be ready
Little one
You’d best be ready
When the Horned One comes

He will call you out
Make you sweat,
give you a blessing
That you’ll never forget

So revel in the chase
And let your heartbeat run
Blessed are the children
Of the Horned One

Blessed are the children
Of the Horned One