god

The Road to Runes

March, 2019

The Road to Runes: Tiwaz

Tiwaz, Elder Futhark Rune of Norse God Tyr, Sacrifice and Law.

Last month I pulled the rune Dagaz, a rune all about breakthroughs and new beginnings. This coincided with a major life change for me and certainly reinforced my confidence in the runes and my journey with them.

The next rune I pulled was Tiwaz, the rune of the god Tyr. Tyr is a god of war, but also of law and justice. Tyr was invoked when victory was needed in battle. He gives the day ‘Tuesday’ its name, and has been conflated with the Roman god Mars.

Tyr’s primary myth is the story of the Binding of Fenrir, the great wolf who inspired fear, even in the Gods. Fenrir did not trust the Norse Gods, so when they wanted to place fetters upon him, he wanted a guarantee he would be released again. He asked one of the gods to place their arm within his jaws. Only Tyr would do this, knowing full well Fenrir would bite once they refused to release him. Sure enough, the fetters securely bound the wolf, and Fenrir bit down as promised, severing Tyr’s arm from his body.

Sacrifice

This willing sacrifice for the greater good is a key aspect of Tiwaz. Giving up something which is important to us for the benefit of others is noble, but often extremely difficult to do. We don’t need to lose an arm, like Tyr; Tiwaz can indicate that we need to give up our time, by volunteering, perhaps, or spending more time with the kids. Tiwaz could also mean we need to give up something physical. Maybe you’re in financial difficulties, and selling your beloved collection of [insert favourite obsession here] could give you the money you need to see you through to the next pay-cheque.

Tiwaz can also mean sacrificing something we feel is important about ourselves. Maybe you see yourself as entirely self-reliant but are struggling on your own with a particular situation. It’s hard to ask for help when your ego demands that you stand on your own two feet. Tiwaz dares you to put the arm of your ego in the jaws of the wolf, and not to flinch as it bites down. You will not be harmed by the change in your perception of yourself. You might feel too proud to ask for help, but in this situation, you would learn to have pride in your friends and family and eventually in yourself for being willing to change and adapt.

My Situation

In my situation, just having become freelance and working to build a new schedule and routine, it’s not immediately evident what Tiwaz represents for me. I have sacrificed my day job in order to support my family better, but that was a sacrifice I was happy to make- delighted, in fact! What I have struggled with since the change is being my own boss. I’ve been so used to having someone else dictate my schedule, doing it for myself is tricky and slightly alien to me.

Maybe Tiwaz is telling me I need to sacrifice my self-image as a routine-hating rebel. I’ve always seen myself this way; not chained or fettered to the clock, except when I have to be, due to the demands of others. Well, now those demands need to come from within. There’s no boss breathing down my neck, only clients and my own sense of drive and ambition.

Tiwaz also represents the reign of law and order over chaos, and I hope that this aspect of the rune is telling me that peace will soon descend. Chaos has started to blur the edges of my life lately, with some deep loss and grief, and severe mental health difficulties. Perhaps, by remaining confident in my decisions and having faith in my own abilities, order will resume some claim over events, and life will start to settle back into the routine I so desperately don’t want, but clearly need.

Tiwaz is a complex rune, and I have no doubt I will find it again in a future reading. For now, I feel like the rune is telling me not to grip so strongly to ideas of self-image, and be willing to change myself for my own benefit, the benefit of others, and for some peace and calm within my life. Don’t forget, you can tweet me @Mabherick if you want me to focus on a particular rune for this column. Until next time!

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestorsand Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

GoodGod!

March, 2019

Meet the Gods: Jarilo

(https://www.slavorum.org/)

Merry meet.

While Ostara (also called Eostre and Eastre) is the Germanic goddess of spring and dawn, there appears to be no equivalent Germanic god of spring. There is, however, a handsome, young Slavic god of spring and fertility – Jarilo. He was born on the night of the Slavic new year and was the tenth son of Perun, the god of thunder.

Veles, the Slavic god of the Underworld, kidnapped Jarilo from his cradle. As a result, winter overtook the land. Vegetation died and fertility was suspended. Jarilo escaped, arriving home in spring at which time flowers bloomed, birds sang and fertility festivals (some called them orgies) were held.

Each year the cycle of death and rebirth repeats, much like it does with the goddess Persephone. Each spring Jarilo returns on a white horse, celebrating the sun’s resurrection, so he was also considered a sun god. He was the god of vegetation, too, because he enabled crops to grow, protecting and defending them from natural disasters.

According to the website Meet the Slavs, “People used flowers, branches, leaves to adorn houses and barns. The wreaths were also made and thrown into the river or stream. Slavs sacrificed cattle to Jarilo, usually a ram or a goat. The priests sometimes sacrificed deer whose head was placed in front of the statue of God. When there existed threat of drought, rituals devoted to Jarilo included entire nation, so whole community prayed to God for rain.”

Also known as Gerovit, Jared and Rudjevid, he would protect the weak and helpless as a god of war. According to the same source, he demanded peace and harmony, and carried an olive branch in one hand and a sword in the other, but used “only in cases when difficulties could not be solved in other ways.”

Besides temples, Jarilo’s places were rivers, forests and cemeteries.

The month with which he is associated began March 21, when the sun entered the sign of Aries. For that reason, a ram was often sacrificed in his honor on the equinox.

As he returned to the world in the spring, according to theonetruejustice.wordpress.com, “by happenstance the lady he met was his own twin sister Marzanna (Morana), the goddess of nature, winter, and decay. Incestual relationship was a really popular thing for gods back in the day, so they soon fell in love and got married on the evening of the summer solstice.”

As that story goes, when she found out her brother/husband was unfaithful, she gathered the gods and together they murder Jarilo, dismembering him in a ritualistic sacrifice and forcing him back into the underworld. Marzanna becomes heartbroken and cruel. The cycle of death and rebirth allows Jarilo to meet, marry, and be dismembered by his sister year after year.

This Ostara, if you wish to call a god into your circle, Jarilo is one option. You could try putting an olive branch and a sword on your altar. You might also use a symbol of Aries or a ram, branches, flowers and other signs of spring.

If you would like a goddess from the same pantheon for your sabbat, get to know Kostroma, the East Slavic goddess of fertility and fruitfulness. In mythology, she was the one that provides fertility and abundance of land, invoked every spring through various rituals. Kostroma brings those born on this day a special talent in writing and speaking. Kostroma is also the goddess of signs and coincidences, according to “The World of Ancient Gods – Slavic Goddesses” on Meet the Slavs’ website.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

***

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

GoodGod!

February, 2019

Meet the Gods: Eros

Merry meet.

With the Hallmark holiday, Valentine’s Day, falling in February, it is fitting to turn to lusty Eros, the Greek god of sensual love and primal desire. The word erotic comes from his name.

In some tellings, he is the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of sensual love and beauty, and Ares, the god of war, or of Aphrodite and Zeus, the king of the gods, or of Hermes, the divine messenger of the gods, according to Britannica.

Others say he is a primordial god, the son of Chaos, the emptiness of the universe. Later depictions show him not as an adult male, but as a mischievous child. At sometime he became a winged youth that was made younger and younger until he was the infant we see as a Valentine’s Day mascot that the Romans knew as Cupid.

“In early Greece, no one paid much attention to Eros, but eventually he earned a cult of his own in Thespiae. He also was part of a cult along with Aphrodite in Athens,” according to “Deities of Imbolc” by Patti Wigington on ThoughtCo.com.

In another article for ThoughtCo.com, Wigington wrote, “As a god of lust and passion,?and fertility as well, Eros played a major role in courtship. Offerings were made at his temples, in the form of plants and flowers, vessels filled with sacred oils and wine, beautifully crafted jewelry, and sacrifices.

“Eros didn’t have too many boundaries when it came to making people fall in love, and was considered the?protector of same-sex love?as well as hetero relationships.”

In honoring the lusty Eros today, and asking for his help in matters of love, consider leaving him roses or other flowers symbolic of love, apples or grapes. Offer eggs or hares if it’s the fertility god you wish to honor. Wings, and a bow and arrow are also representative offerings.

An offering to a god is an invitation for him to enter our life. Gods cannot force or demand our worship and cannot violate our freedom or our conscience. Expressing gratitude, appreciation and love toward them, allows their energy to flow back to us.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

***

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

GoodGod!

January, 2019

Meet the Gods: The Wise Men

Merry meet.

This month’s column is not about gods. Rather it’s about saints, or, more correctly, magi, the pagan astrologers who came to worship Jesus. The word magic came from magi because they dabbled in the dark arts and were referred to as sorcerers, wizards and magicians.

Tradition refers to three wise men, but nowhere is a specific number stated; in Eastern Christianity often there are twelve. They came “from the east,” which most likely is now Iran. That means they could have traveled more than 800 miles. The Christmas story has them arriving twelve days later, but some traditions have the visit occurring as much as two winters later. (This could explain why Herod commanded all boys up to the age of two be killed.)

These Zoroastrian priests, as part of their religion, had great knowledge of astrology – others say astronomy. According to the Gospel Matthew, these wise men were guided to look for the “king of the Jews” by a miraculous stellar event: the Star of Bethlehem. They brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

As part of their religion, these traveling missionaries paid particular attention to the stars and gained an international reputation for their knowledge of the sky, which at that time was highly regarded as a science. As Christianity became the religion of the Romans, the magi were no longer respected, and neither were the Jews.

No names for the three appear in the New Testament. Legends, however, give them a variety of different names. Melchior, also spelled Melichior, was a Persian king, or some say scholar. Caspar, Gaspar or Jaspar was a king of India. Balthazar, also known as Balthasar and Balthassar, was a Babylonian scholar or an Arabian king.

Many sources do no consider them respected kings. Rather, the magi were uncouth and labeled as sinners because of their stargazing, sorcery and divination. Still, Catholics and Orthodox Christians celebrate the festival of The Three Kings, the Epiphany, on January 6. In Germany, they have become the patron saints of travelers; their feast day is July 23.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

***

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

Review: 2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary (Northern Hemisphere) by Stacey DeMarco

December, 2018

Review:

2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary (Northern Hemisphere) by Stacey DeMarco

Rockpool Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-925682-13-7

List Price: $21.95 USD / £16.99 GBP

The 2019 Lunar and Seasonal Diary is a beautiful, spiral-bound calendar, richly illustrated with pleasing sepia color pages. As one would expect, it tracks the waxing and waning of the moon and the lunar eclipses of the coming year. It also provides the astrological house of each new and full moon and features the eight annual festivals of the wheel of the year.

I reviewed the Northern Hemisphere edition of the Seasonal Diary. Both Stacey DeMarco and Rockpool Publishing are based in Australia, which is why special care is made to tie the festivals to the seasons themselves instead of calendar dates. After all, our calendars follow the reality of the Earth and her seasons, not the other way around.

Especially well fitted to the new pagan, the diary has a well written introduction the hows and whys of spellcraft and the basics of working with crystals. The moon phases are introduced, as well as the elements, directions and the wheel of the year – not enough to complicate things, but enough guidance to use the daily and monthly prompts that follow. Each month features a specific deity, as well as an appropriate ritual or spell, drawing inspiration from traditions as varied as Slavic, Celtic, Hindu, Norse, Egyptian, Greek, and Shinto. I think the selection is broad enough to be interesting for almost any pagan.

I found the Lunar & Seasonal Diary a beautiful resource to keep me connected to the monthly rhythms of the earth. Each month begins with a page questioning “What am I devoted to?” – asking us to simultaneously reflect on what we have been wrapped up in the month just past as well as what we would aspire towards in the month ahead. Prompts are given for important dates and goals to focus on and manifest in the month ahead.

This monthly return to focus seems a positively recharging reset to our frame of reference, especially during those stressful times when we’re just happy to it through one calendar page to the next. It reminds us to recall what we are working for in the first place, reminding us that the daily grind is a process and not an end in itself. This monthly taking-stock can allow you to stay open to the living world around you, to stay fast with what is truly important to you, or to shift your focus and goals each month, working on different aspects of your life just as the energy of the earth changes through different phases around you.

With the space for taking notes, prompts for both reflective and aspirational record keeping, I think this is a great notebook for any pagan who sees the value of the occasional ritual to keep one in tune with the seasons, and it especially shines for those new to the pagan path.

2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary: Northern Hemisphere on Amazon

Bringing Up the Next Generation of Witches

November, 2018

October is quickly coming to an end, and I have never been more thankful. October brought sickness and trials. It was a difficult month to say the least.

But with October coming to a close, Samhain is fast approaching.

Samhain (or Halloween as Little Bear calls it) has always been one of my favorite holidays. Even when it was banned from my childhood home life.

The veil is thinning, the days grow darker, and the nights become almost black.

Living in the Midwest means the weather is unpredictable at the end of October. It could be sunny and hot, or rainy and wet. As a child, “Halloween” meant snow. I can remember more snowy Halloweens than not.

Little Bear and I will make the best of it regardless of the weather. He has his costume picked out. He is going as a zombie SWAT guy. He’s talked me into being a zombie also. He’s a bit obsessed with The Walking Dead right now.

This year, I let Little Bear go wild and decorate the whole house. We put up window clings, black garland, laid out fake spiders, decorated foam pumpkins, and hung up door covers.

Yesterday, we visited the local pumpkin field/corn maze. They have so many activities and it’s a must every year. They have goats, chickens, rabbits, long horn cattle, corn boxes, corn mazes, pumpkin guns, tug a war ropes, inflatables, wooden trains, etc. It is a full day.

Tonight, is pumpkin carving time. I’m sure that my excitement is at a way higher level than Little Bear’s because of the pumpkin seeds. I have dug out some recipes from Pinterest and plan on trying at least three. I have to do normal salt pumpkin seeds. But I’m going to try a sweet version with cinnamon and brown sugar. The other one I haven’t decided on because there is so many variations that can be done. However, I’m leaning towards a savory that uses sea salt and white vinegar. Not sure how it’ll turn out, but we shall see!

One of my favorite traditions for Samhain is the dinner. Eating dinner at the table is something that rarely happens in our home because of scheduling. But when Samhain rolls around, I take the day off. I plan a meal as if it were Thanksgiving and I set the table. I always set a spot for my sister who we lost back in 2015. It helps to bring her close. Little Bear gets excited and will start talking to her spot as if she never left.

Little Bear started asking questions again about “God” last week. This is a conversation that we have quite frequently as he has a hard time understanding something that he cannot see. So, I go into the explanation again. We have talked about the many different religions of the world. Although I am raising him in a Pagan home, I understand that the Pagan path may not be for him.

I found a wonderful series that touches on the spiritual side without focusing on one certain religion. It’s the The Giggles and Joy series. A three-part series that focuses on positive poems. It’s a neat series that I recommend. You can check out my review on them in this same issue!

Gael Song

November, 2018

The Light Impulses of Sacred Sexuality


(The Kiss by Rodin)

With all the news and conflict about the Kavanaugh appointment to the US Supreme Court, I decided to focus on sexuality in this month’s article, specifically the energies of sexuality, which give an entirely different spin on what’s actually happening. If you watch the light streams around any love-making act, you’ll quickly notice there is a very bright Source of light high above. And beams from this Sun stream directly into the crown and heart of each individual partner, and from their human arms and eyes into one another. Those light beams are coming directly from the Creator Sun, the Source of Love for everyone in the cosmos. And it isn’t just any light, either. In the very center of the Creator Sun are God and Goddess, the Creators. They’re in a forever sacred marriage, and Their own individual vibrations are quite different, two ray colors and qualities of love with different directives and regencies across the cosmos as well. Her ray color is ivory, like moonlight, and it holds an intimacy/union essence. It’s the Goddess Who is regent of sexuality. His ray is rose red, and it holds a love-forever-true essence, the bridegroom, if you will. These two suns of light in the Creator Sun pulse apart and together in every moment, the Heartbeat of the cosmos. And in the coming together, a bright diamond light is created, dazzling clear light. THIS is the love force, the beam of light that is streaming down into those human lovers. It holds a highly creative orgasmic essence.

All humans have their own personal clear stream of diamond love coming down from the Source, VERY obvious to anyone who sees light in the ethers. And this light nourishes everyone on the INSIDE, plus giving each of us a heart full of love to pass along to others we care about. We humans do not create love, though it certainly feels like we do. And it is this very strong, dazzling, clear light that is affected by sexuality. For growing children, this light remains as a direct stream from above. But when the first love-making experience happens (hopefully as loving young adults), these personal clear streams of light of both partners are closed down from above and sent into each person’s outer human partner, instead. This means, each person’s partner becomes her or his source of love in a very real sense. When the two lovers adore each other and the union is consensual, this shift is sweet and meaningful, each partner basically becoming the priest or priestess of the clear light of love for the other. It is extremely POWERFUL, this shift, for after love-making, one’s partner feels like one’s own personal god or goddess. And this exchange of clear light, one to the other, lasts for one calendar year from the time of each love-making. In a relationship where love-making does not occur, each person retains her or his own light stream from the Source, and I believe this is why some monastic orders insist on celibacy, to keep the order’s love-light free and clear of any filters partners might add that could get in the way of the divine flow.

Not only that, but the action center in the root, the light behind the pubic bone that creates all our physical experiences, is also joined together in lovers for one year from each love-making experience. (This light center sends out tiny pictures of what God/Goddess wish to manifest in each person’s life. And the spirit world sees that this manifestation happens for each one of us. It’s how our personal physical experiences are directed and manifested, the creation of our own little worlds.) So, the personal worlds of both partners become intertwined after love-making as well. His strong beliefs in love and hers combine to create a new shared path of experience, but each partner’s personal fear beliefs also show up in both lives. (Inner beliefs create each person’s outer world. Our own little worlds are created out of what each person believes in. This is bedrock divine law.) So, if one partner has little self-esteem, perhaps, then this will be created into the other’s physical life for one year as well. And this shift into shared experience is more powerful in some ways than the exchange of clear light streams. Just to be very clear here, both these shifts, shared experience and clear light, happen and remain for the entire year, even if the lovers are together for only one night and never see each other again (though repeated union will intensify the exchanges). It happens if a single individual has many partners over the course of that year with every one of those lovers! It’s wise to be careful what one is actually taking on from a lover when making these sexual choices in life. (How sex workers manage to take in so much and live through it in their lives, I simply cannot imagine. How on earth could a woman break out of so many fears being built into her life? They are far braver than most realize.)

But let’s think about rape for a moment, shall we? The vast majority of rapes are males forcing themselves on women, so I will use this as my example, though I know it’s a bit limited in scope. These raping men have a need to force themselves on women, to control, dominate, and harm, both physically and emotionally. And THIS raping man then becomes his victim’s inner god for one full year! Her dazzling direct stream of pure love is cut off and comes through him. It’s like dropping through seven heavens straight into hell! Not only that, but his beliefs, which are extremely fear-based and harmful to herself, to say the least, manifest in her path of experience for a full year as well. This is control with a capital C! Rape is far worse than most people realize, beyond sacrilege. In fact, I can’t think of any words to condemn it vehemently enough.

Not only that, but there are parent streams of light from above, divine mother and father beams, that create and overlight all human parents caring for every human child, providing shelter, food, clothing, and especially love. But when the first love-making happens in young adulthood, these parent streams from the Creator Sun are shut off, too, so the young lovers can leave their growing-up homes, start earning their own livings, and create their own family. If it’s a loving relationship, this shift deepens the commitment, one to the other, bringing both partners into lifelong partnership both in outside work and in the home. But with rape, the divine parents’ light streams from the Creator Sun are closed off with no human partners to take their place. The victim’s livelihood from parents is lost, the relationship with human parents and family greatly diminished, and the inner dismantling of the carefree consciousness of a child who carries little responsibility follows, for the spirit world sees that these changes definitely take place in life. The lack of responsibility mindset of a child changes into the burdensome worry of having to provide for oneself, and the workload of normal adulthood becomes the daily experience of both lovers.

Now, let’s think about pedophilia in light of all these energy shifts taking place with a young child’s first sexual experience. Afterwards, the Source of love comes to the child through the abuser, instead of directly from above, with all the abuser’s fear filters in place in life and within. And the parental/family cocoon is broken down, the child having to fend for her/himself in a very real way. A heavy work pattern is one of the hallmarks of hidden childhood sexual abuse. I know these energies very well myself, for my own first sexual experience was at the age of three and a half. This caused a severe rift in my family, and I was held apart from the family circle in significant ways from then on, doing a lot of chores mainly. Do you see what I’m talking about? The Source/parent lights of love are definitely shut off for the young child, and there is no going back. For myself, I have since realized this was my core wound, the fear I agreed to carry and help heal for the universe. We all have one. So, I can now understand and forgive. But how many abused children are able to do that? How many thousands remain lost and alone? Too many to suit me.

So, this article is a plea to all readers in a way, to wake up with regard to sexuality, to THINK about what we’re really doing when we choose our sexual partners—to actually create our futures in love, honest-to-God/Goddess LOVE, for our partners, our children, our nations, and especially, our very world.

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She will be opening a school teaching light healing and the Celtic path of enlightenment in 2019. For information, please see www.CelticHeaven.com

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornAlba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment on Amazon

GoodGod!

September, 2018

Meet the Gods: Mabon

Merry meet.

The fall equinox sabbat takes its name from the Welsh god Mabon. He was called “Mabon, son of Modron,” which means “Great Son, Son of the Great Mother.” The great mother, his mother, was the earth.

According to Arwynn MacFeylynnd, who wrote “A Guide to the Sabbat’s Symbolism” found on WitchesOfTheCraft.com, “In the myth of Mabon, the god disappears, taken from his mother, Modron, when only three nights old. Mabon is freed with the help of the wisdom and memory of the most ancient living animals – the blackbird, stag, owl, eagle and salmon.

All along, Mabon has been quite happy, dwelling in Modron’s magickal Otherworld – Modron’s womb – to be reborn as his mother’s champion, the Son of Light. Mabon’s light has been drawn into the Earth, gathering strength and wisdom to become a new seed.”

In that way, his fertility is recognized as we harvest the bounty of the earth. During this the time of abundance, Mabon is putting his energy and light into the seeds that will be planted for next year’s harvest.

As one of the ancient, most likely lesser gods, most stories about him have been lost.

All we know is that he was stolen away from his mother when he was only three nights old and imprisoned until he was rescued by King hur’s companions,” MacFeylynnd stated.

Knowing what it was like to be held captive in a dungeon, Mabon was said to be a god of freedom, freeing caged animals and those unjustly imprisoned.

He protects all that is wild and free. His animal totems are the owl, the blackbird, deer, eagle and salmon. We honor Mabon when defending the animals, and when we work for the freedom of all people,” is written on witchingtime.com.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

***

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

The Road to Runes

June, 2018

The Road to Runes: Ansuz, Woden’s Rune

For this stage in my journey with runes, I decided to do a little divination for myself. I’m wanting to begin working from home within the next year, hopefully within a few months. I’m at home with the six-month-old baby at the moment, but will have to return to the ‘day job’ by October, and everything in me rails against it. I want to be at home with my family, and I already write all the time anyway, so why not make a career out of it? Having already made steps in this direction, I was interested to know what the runes would make of this decision.

I pulled out a single rune for this particular piece of divination. This rune (pictured) was Ansuz, which literally means ‘God’. It’s normally associated with either Odin or Woden, the runes having come from Norse and Germanic origins. Esoterically, this rune is complex but tends to mean ‘inspiration’, which as a writer, is definitely one of my favourite words. Ansuz is also linked to communication and answers, something I was definitely hoping to get, so how does this rune translate into an answer to my query?

Ansuz is the rune of air, specifically breath. It is the breath of the universe, and the first breath that takes the spirit into the body, and the last breath that allows the spirit to escape. It is intrinsically linked to words and the power of words, particularly names. Words develop from and into concepts and creativity, and are often the focus of communication. As a writer wanting to make a career from my words, this rune tells me to listen to my inner voice, to embrace my creativity and use the talents I have to make this step.

Ansuz is also a rune of order. It indicates that even when the path is unclear, or times are difficult, that the universe has a plan and that ultimately, order will prevail. Ansuz encourages us to find patterns within chaos, and to trust that all will be as it is supposed to be. To me, this encourages me to take a leap of faith. Even if I have doubts, if I trust in the divine energies of the universe (and work hard!), I will find myself in a place that is good for me and my family.

Ansuz also reminds us to listen. Breath comes from the universe, from Odin, from ourselves but also from others. We must acknowledge that their breath, words and ideas are as potent and important as ours. We should take care with our words and not use them for manipulation or menace.

I’m a bit taken aback that for a question about writing and a big change in my life, I’m given a rune that focuses intensely on words, inspiration and creativity. I’m also reminded of the power of my own voice, and that words can do great harm, as well as great good. At the very least, this has inspired me to take the step I was tempted to take anyway, and see where the path takes me. The best interpretation is that this is definitely the right choice for me, and that if I trust the universe and my own inner voice, I will end up on the path that is truly best for me.

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

 

Follow Mabh on TwitterFacebook and her blog.

GoodGod!

May, 2018

Meet the Gods: Dagda

(This illustration of Dagda was found on Pinterest. His cauldron, known as the Undry or the Cauldron of Plenty, provided infinite food and drink but never to a coward or an oath breaker. It was also said to revive the dead. One end of his enormous club could kill while the other end could give life.)

 

Merry meet.

The name of the Celtic god Dagda means “Good God.” He’s also known as Eochaid Ollathair, meaning “Eochaid the All-Father.” His name is typically proceeded by the article “the.”

In the Celtic tradition, the Dagda is one of the leaders of a mythological Irish people, the Tuatha Dé Danann, “People of the Goddess Danu.”

These were a group of people, descended from Nemed, who had been exiled from Ireland, and scattered. It is thought that Danu offered them her patronage, under which they succeeded in rebanding, learning new and magical skills, and returning to Ireland in a magical mist,” according to Bard Mythologies.

Britannica.com states, “The Dagda was credited with many powers and possessed a cauldron that was never empty, fruit trees that were never barren, and two pigs – one live and the other perpetually roasting. He also had a huge club that had the power both to kill men and to restore them to life. With his harp, which played by itself, he summoned the seasons.”

Some sources have him married to the sinister war goddess Morrígan. At least one of his many children was borne by the goddess of the River Boyne.

The Dagda is generally described as being a large man, sometimes comically so, with a tremendous appetite and immense capacity. It was said that to make his porridge he needed 80 gallons of milk as well as several whole sheep, pigs, and goats, and that he ate this meal with a ladle large enough to hold two people lying down,” Morgan Daimler wrote in “Pagan Portals – Gods & Goddess of Ireland,” citing “A Child’s Eye View of Irish Paganism,” by Blackbird O’Connell.

 

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Daimler notes the Dagda is often described as having red hair and wearing a short tunic. He is strong and able to accomplish “great feats such building a fort single-handedly.” Every power was his.

He is called the Excellent God, the Lord of Perfect Knowledge and all Father. His central attribute is the Sacred Fire and, like it, he is always hungry, ready to consume the offerings; he is also a red god. The Dagda is also a phallic deity [fitting for Beltane], his lust matching his hunger. He is the father of many of the Tuatha De but his key function is as Druid of the Gods,” according to an article published on adf.org.

Druidic magic, abundance and great skill are among the attributes associated with the Dagda.

From my research, it seems he would appreciate offerings of large quantities of dark ale or beer, and oat bannocks, a porridge, particularly if butter and bacon are added. One source noted they should be offered to the fire.

A cauldron and a club or staff, Daimler suggested, could be his symbols in works of magic.

He is called on for wisdom, victory in law or judgement, and bounty. In a time of need, I can see putting out my cauldron, perhaps with a fire in it, and call the Dagda and his Cauldron of Plenty for help. Because his cauldron also serves as a tool of rebirth and regeneration, I would also call upon that power when going through a difficult ending on the way to a rebirth.

(“Dagda – Celtic All Father,” was handcrafted by James Miller from Stonecrafts. Sculpted in wax based clay and cast in architectural concrete, this plaque is available on Etsy.)

 

James Miller, a sculptor from Colorado, is of Celtic and Germanic descent.

He is part of my cultural heritage, so I honor him as an archetype of the ideal masculine,” James said, adding, “His name actually means ‘the good one.’”

He finds people are more receptive to learning about gods, goddesses and ancient traditions when they are framed in a cultural rather than religious context.

Merry part. And merry meet again

***

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

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