May, 2013

Merry Meet!

May, 2013

A happy and healthy Beltane to everyone! 

In this issue:

Interview with Pagan Metal Band Hammer Horde

New Columns for you to fall in love with!

Spiritual Seeker

A Shamanic View

LionHeart’s Magickal herbal Guide

Dawn’s Constitute

Warrior Women

The Tree of Life

Girl Talk: Getting to Know the Goddesses

Tarot Talk

Plus all your old favorites and correspondences. 

Any ideas on how to make PaganPages eMagazine better in your opinion?  Drop us a line at admin@paganpages.org

We are currently looking for a columnist to review blogs, sites, podcasts, etc…  If you are interested email admin@paganpages.org


Interpretations

May, 2013

Signs and symbols
are all so personal,
affect us all
so differently.
Something that is deeply
real and true to me,
might mean nothing
at all to you.
We all have our own
interpretations.

Astro Report for May 2013

May, 2013

Beltaine (traditional) – Sun in Taurus – 11 degrees

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 – sunrise, 6:12 am EDT

 

Beltaine (Rudemas)

Names: Beltane, Beltaine, Baltein, May Day, Rood Day, Walpurgisnacht, RudemasG?yl Galan Mai (Welsh)

Date: May 1st (sometimes celebrated on the eve – Apr 30th)

Astro Correspondence: 15 degrees Taurus
Color: reds for (menstrual) blood of the Goddess, whites for semen of the God

Food: fresh fruit and veggies, veal, ham, chicken, (but rarely any meat), pasta, breads, cakes, jams/jellies, wine/mead

Common Info: Maypole dancing to entwine the ribbons of red and white representing Goddess and God (phallic symbol and World Tree lore), Handfasting, Spiral Dancing, Bel Fires, last Fertility Fest, Decorating the Bush/Tree, Fairies return, Chaplets,

 

Beltaine is the Festival of Flowers, which tends to mark the first day of the Celtic Summer or growing season. The date is usually May 1st or when the Sun is 15′ degrees Taurus. As it is also called May Day, many celebrations surround the early flowers of the season. Belinos, Flora and Blodeuwedd are the deities celebrated most. The May Pole is erected and flower sprays are placed atop. and dancing is typical. Taliesin is typically honored, although the marriage of the God and Goddess is best described. Hedonistic license is prominent among the folk. Wearing of the “Green” symbolized the fresh green Earth in growth and bloom. Foods sacred to the Sabbat were always fresh fruits and vegetables of the season and rarely any meat. Fresh scents of lilac, apple blossoms and heather lingered in the air. Women make rings of flowers (Chaplets) and wear them on their heads.

Bale Fires are typically burned at this time to honor the God Ba’al, a Mesopotamian God of Fire.

 

 

 

Mercury enters Taurus

Wednesday, May 1, 201311:24 am EDT

Communications could come to a standstill. Be gentle and caring with your words otherwise, you may find yourself snorting in anger with the Bull!

 

 

Beltaine – Sun in Taurus – 15 degrees

Sunday, May 5, 20134:06 am EDT

Take time to smell the flowers. We are at the exact mid-point twixt Spring and Summer. The Goddess and God are entwined in ecstasy. They role-model for all of us. Take this day and make sure you give hugs to everybody accepting.

 

 

Venus enters Gemini

Thursday, May 9, 201310:45 am EDT

Venus takes on a chatty conversation about love and lust. Venus becomes a little more hedonistic in her approach to this point. She finds it easy to be as versatile as she’s used to being. Venus energy becomes more energized and alluring. Affections and devotions will be as forthcoming as normal and especially as she crosses through her ruling Sign of Taurus.

 

 

New Moon in Taurus – 19 degrees

Thursday, May 9, 20138:27 pm EDT

New Creativity abounds during a New Moon. Taurus makes sure your process is traditional, though. When you are in the creative mood, go with what you know best.

 

 

Sun enters Gemini

Monday, May 20, 20134:57 pm EDT

The Sun’s energy will change from conservative Taurus to versatile Gemini on the 20th. This mingling of energy, communications, generosity and banishing emotions, can get folks to blast their enemies and confrontations to the point of releasing them. That new Sun in Gemini allows personal conversations to thrust that energy into effect, especially where reputations are concerned.

 

 

Full Moon in Sagittarius – 4 degrees

Saturday, May 25, 201312:25 am EDT

When it’s time to relax, the Full Moon will keep you alert. Emotionally, it is time to progress to the next level. Think creatively and be adventurous when you have to deal with issues. Sometimes you will have the notion to speak your mind when you are agitated, but don’t fret… whatever you say is going to be the right thing. Everybody else was thinking the same thing, but didn’t have the nerve to say it.

 

 

Native Lore

The month of May brings us many delightful flowers after all the April showers. When the Moon is Full, the gravitational pull of the Moon brings the sap up thru plants faster, thus the Full Moon in May is also known as the Flower Moon.

 

May also marks a time of births of many mammals. Nature is full of mother animals milking their babies. The Full Moon of May is also known as the Milk Moon. Typically, animals bear only one or two sets of babies per year and the spring is full of babies breast feeding from their mothers.

 

Memorial Day – Sun in Gemini – 6 degrees

Monday, May 27, 201312:01 am EDT

The Sun in Gemini can be lead to confusions of the mind, if you aren’t paying attention. Gemini likes to see both sides of an issue. So, when you are engaged in lofty conversations, keep a vigil eye out for anything out of sync.

 

Spiritual Seeker

May, 2013

Pagans generally think of themselves as very spiritual folks. We are supposed to be in tune with nature, respectful to a multitude of gods, and open-minded about the beliefs of others. But, believe it or not, Pagans can also experience a crisis of faith.

First, I’ll tell you a little bit about my religious history. I was raised Presbyterian. Not strictly, but I did go to Sunday school and learn my Bible stories. As a young teen I decided to read the whole Bible, and came to the conclusion that Christianity wasn’t the right path for me. So, after some looking around, I settled on Wicca, believing the basic framework but not totally wedded to all the ritual. After university I married a wonderful Catholic guy, and continued to be a semi-practicing Wiccan for many years, but once I had my son, I sort of found myself at loose ends.

Today I’m mom to a wonderfully curious little boy who attends Catholic school, and I’m trying to answer questions about what happens when we die and just who exactly this Jesus guy is. The little man is being exposed to a pretty liberal set of religious beliefs—God may be a man or a woman according to him. But I’m still trying to figure out what I believe.

So, I’ve made up a list of books that I want to read over the next 12 months in an attempt find my path. It isn’t exhaustive, and if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear from you.

  • The Lotus Sutra
  • The Christian Bible
  • The Qur’an
  • Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy
  • The Seeker’s Guide by Elizabeth Lesser
  • Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor

I’m also planning on working through the New Age/Buddhism-inspired book Everyday Dharma by Lama Willa Miller. Meditation and yoga are also on my list of practices to resume, along with prayer and who knows what else.

I’m hoping that I can find some way to incorporate my sort of free floating Pagan beliefs with some sort of great whole. I need to find a path to walk, rather than continuing to beat my way aimlessly through the underbrush. This column with be about this journey, about the books I read and the steps I take in trying to figure out what I believe and how to bring these beliefs into my life.

Interview with Pagan Metal Band Hammer Horde

May, 2013

PaganPages (PP):  Hails! I hope you guys are doing well on this fine day. First of all I’d like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to do this interview. We are honored to have you featured in our Epublication.

There are a lot of different genre names for the style of music you play “Pagan metal”, “Viking Metal”, “Folk Metal” etc.. do you consider yourself any of these genres or do you kind of just write what you like and go with it?

Ryan Mininger (RM):  Hey, first of all, thanks for the interview! I think the beauty of these genres is that there is a wide variety of sounds being brought to the table by previous and current bands. Pigeonholing any band into a “Viking Metal“ or “Folk Metal“ sub-category really downplays it for me, as I find the distinction between a lot of groups to be strongly vast. When Derik and I first got together to start writing for Hammer Horde, we had planned on it just being a two-man project. Our backgrounds were already rooted in Melodic Death Metal, which was our main common ground when writing together, without having any original intentions to incorporate Viking-themed elements. We had no idea where the band would go, lyrically or visually. We completed 3 or so songs before eventually asking Ryan to be a part of the group, and the inspiration from Pagan Metal slowly started to saturate the music that we had written together, less at the beginning, and more towards the end. Once the band became more stable as a whole we had a better understanding of where we wanted to take it, especially once Tom joined and the lyrical attitude was established, things really became clear to us. We reworked our initial material, but truth be told, it was an easy transition. There has always been an underlying mind set geared toward Pagan Metal characteristics in our music that just needed acknowledgment and emphasis to make them surface.

PP:  Was the writing process and influence behind your first album, Under the Mighty Oath, different from your second album, Vinlander?

RM:  The philosophy of Hammer Horde has been a slow-growing experience to identify, and I think the more we continue to mature as a band the more we begin to understand what that philosophy truly is. On UTMO, we were still trying to find ourselves, and we experimented with a lot of different elements during those recording sessions. A couple of songs featured ocarina, bodhrán, and even a more prominent use of keyboards. On “Vinlander” we seemed to stray from these types of ideas, focusing more on song-writing instead of the gimmicky elements you would expect to find in our genre. We also focused more on pre-production this time around, ensuring that we had a better final product by preparing the songs in advance.

PP:  Are there any songs, in particular, the band loves to play live?

RM:  The new material from “Vinlander” is currently the most fun, due mainly to the fact that its fresh and exciting to us. There are still a few staples from UTMO that we enjoy playing, like “Triumph of Sword and Shield” and “In the Name of Winter’s Wrath”, but the songs from “Vinlander” seem to translate very well to the stage.

PP:  Do you ever get any pre judged for being an American Pagan/viking metal band?

RM:  There are many listeners who can be biased towards a band because of their location. We are just five guys inspired and influenced by the bands that we love, and never claimed to be something that we are not. Hammer Horde writing songs about Norse Mythology is no different than Nile writing songs about Ancient Egypt – it is simply a deep interest that the band revolves around. When we write songs about the Sagas or Norse Mythology, we are simply retelling stories, or trying to bring a new perspective of our own. Where someone is born geographically should not put restrictions on their interests and desires in other cultures, especially in regards to music. Let’s not forget that Manowar has been writing songs with Nordic themes since ‘82, well before Bathory and other successors pioneered the genre. In all cases, I would say it‘s best to just let the music speak for itself, since what makes something truly great to any listener is relative to the eyes (or ears) of the beholder.

PP:  Do you play any local shows in your area? If so what is the response like? I know Pagan/viking metal isn’t as big here, in the United States, as it is in Europe.

RM:  Yes, it is true that the Folk/Pagan scene is pretty scarce in North America, but the popularity and interest in these genres is slowly on the rise. Festivals like Heathen Crusade and tours like Paganfest and Heidenfest help bring the fans out of the woodwork, but any actual bands playing this kind of metal are few and far in between, at least as far as the public eye is concerned. There is a lot of great stuff happening in North America under the radar, you just have to look for it. Oregon’s OAKHELM is certainly worth mentioning, and another great Canadian act is DARK FOREST, as well as dozens more throughout the nation: ADAVANT (Arizona), DETHLEHEM (Pennsylvania), and NORTHERN SWORD (Michigan), just to name a few.

PP:  I know Hammerhorde played the Ragnarok festival in Germany back in 2011. How was that experience? Any memorable moments you wouldn’t mind sharing with our readers?

RM:  Unfortunately, our appearance at Ragnarök Festival that year had been canceled due to financial restraints with the responsible promoters/organizers. Evidently, the concert promoter failed to fulfill his agreement to pay for the flight tickets and guarantee the band’s arrival in Europe. We still keep our hopes high for the future in finally bringing the sounds of Hammer Horde over seas.

PP:  Your lyrics seem to be based upon The Norse Pagan Gods, and Battles. Are you guys Spiritual at all? Do you practice Ásatrú or something of the sort?

RM:  At the end of the day, we are all ultimately just fans of the genre, inspired and influenced by our predecessors. The interest in Scandinavian Paganism for each of us can be considered a simple hobby, more so with other members. The attraction to these topics is essentially just a modern fascination, brought on either by our own research or interest in various forms of media. None of us are spiritual in a religious sense. We are not Ásatrú, Neo-Pagans or Odinists, but rather enthusiasts of the history, mythos, and culture. Not to say that there are not positive things to be found in these belief systems, we just happen to keep the spiritual and religious aspects out of things when trying to write music and function as a band.

PP:  I know of a few other Pagan Metal bands who claim they aren’t even really influenced by the genre itself, are there any bands in particular that have really influenced your band?

RM:  The inspiration for Hammer Horde to be focused around Nordic topics and themes stems primarily from the fact that we have a passion for the culture, and more importantly, a true love for the Viking Metal that came before us. We are recognizing the paths founded by our predecessors, and while upholding a true passion and hunger to exist as a genuine band, we express our own portrayal of Pagan Metal in their honor. Ultimately, we are fans at heart, first and foremost – inspired by these genres to create an exiting brand of music that we love and respect, while at the same time challenging ourselves to make it stand out as our own. As a band, our influences vary from one another – ranging from Falkenbach to Windir.

PP:  Are there any bands right now that you just cant get enough of?

RM:  Collectively, we all listen to various things. Right now I’m big into bands such as Brymir, Kalmah and Forefather.

PP:  Any country or US state in particular that you would really like to play in the near future?

RM:  Being in a genre with an “acquired taste” such as ours, it seems difficult to gain popularity in our home country. Most fans of metal music in America can’t really relate to what we are doing and they either feel that our outfits are silly or that our content is confusing. If it were up to us, we would play everywhere possible, but unfortunately the demand is not there. Nonetheless, we are very grateful to those in the US who lend their support to us, and help raise the flag for Pagan/Folk metal in general. We are but a small army, but our ranks are growing with every passing year.

PP:  Any crazy fan stories? Anything crazy happen at a show that you would not mind sharing?

RM:  Nothing really crazy has happened that we can remember. We played Ogrefest in Lansing, MI one year and Ryan had broken a string on stage during one of our songs. At this time we hadn’t really prepared for this sort of thing, and the guys didn’t have any back-up guitars on stage. Ryan ended up having to run through the crowd to the back of the venue to grab a pack of strings from his bag.

PP:  What is your touring plans for this year? (We would like to add your tour schedule in the feature.)

RM:  Without being on a major label, the funding for tour support is non-existent. We try our best to play as many shows that we can manage, but as five guys with regular day jobs, Hammer Horde has been primarily a studio band. We hope that can change one day and would love to see booking tours as a possibility for us in the future.

PP:  Any last words for your fans?

RM:  Thank you once again for supporting Hammer Horde by arranging this interview, we truly appreciate it. “Vinlander” is available pretty much everywhere on the internet, so do us a favor and Google search it to check it out for yourselves; or better yet visit www.hammerhorde.com directly and have a look at our web-shop. Spread the word, and harass your local promoters for getting Hammer Horde to play in your hometown. Cheers!

 

We would like to thank Ryan Mininger from Hammer Horde for taking the time to speak with our readers!

You can visit them at http://www.hammerhorde.com where you can hear some of their amazing album Under the Mighty Oath 

Also, you can purchase the album, along with their newest release Vinlander

 

Be sure to visit their Facebook and watch them on YouTube!

 

 

 

Ask Your Mama

May, 2013

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

                         *Ask Your Mama                       

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™

by

©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman 

A Question of Blue Balls

Dear Mama Donna,

I purchased some small bright blue chalky balls from your online Spirit Shop. I am fascinated by them and find them to be beautiful. Could you tell me what they are? And what they are for? Thanks.

– Loving the blue balls in Brooklyn,

Dear Blue,

The blue balls are simply bluing. Bluing is a purifying agent. It’s what our mothers and grandmothers bought in bottles or little wrapped cubes, to add to their wash. It makes the whites white and the brights bright. The same as those little blue flecks in modern powdered laundry detergents.

These nickel and dime size blue balls are used widely in the Caribbean and Latin America. Puerto Rican women put these blue balls into bowls of water, which they place under the heads of their beds to promote clear dreams and visions.

Whereas Native American dream catchers are hung above the bed to filter out negativity from the dreams, the bluing under the bed act as a preventative against having bad dreams and nightmares in the first place. The antiseptic quality of the bluing cleans one’s subconscious thought patterns.

Bluing is used in protection rituals in many areas of the world. There is a very fine line between purification and protection, after all. If the atmosphere and energy is clean, there there is be no place for negative spirit to hide.

There is a town in the Rif mountains of northern Morocco where the doorways and windows, every opening and passage of every single building are outlined with thick borders painted with this same blue mineral as a spell against evil spirits entering through any aperture.

It’s like saying, “This is my house. Negative energy is not welcome here.” The famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo painted her entire house, which she named, Casa Azul (Blue House) with the same bluing agent to ward off harm.

I have painted the threshold of my door with a paint created from watered down blue balls. I drew the line, as it were, creating a boundary past, which unwanted energy cannot pass. It serves as an unwelcome mat!

So put your blue balls to work for you. Place them in a bowl of water an put it by a window. Or dip them in water and draw magical signs with them. Take a spiritual cleansing bath with them. Or, if you have grey hair, use them as a rinse. They will absorb and lighten any negativity in the atmosphere of your environment and your self, as well.

With blessings of blue protection,

xxMama Donna

*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. *Send your questions about seasons, cycles, celebrations, ceremonies and spirit to Mama Donna at: CityShaman@aol.com

 

A Shamanic View

May, 2013

Spiritual Defense

In my shamanic practice one question I get frequently revolves around spiritual defense. Some are asking how to keep “bad” or “evil” spirits away. Some want protection from negative energy. Some suspect or fear spiritual or energetic attacks being directed at them. From a shamanic perspective, this is not about projecting any kind of force field or armor or shielding.

Shamanically speaking, the things we focus on we give power to. The more you dwell on the things you want protection from, the more vulnerable to them you become. Trying to project a defense just reinforces the need for it.

Consider how you might protect yourself from being mugged. You would start by avoiding dark places where you might be an easy victim. You might walk tall and purposefully, trying not to look like easy prey, knowing that most muggings are crimes of opportunity. The mugger looks more for the people who look weak and insecure, and less the ones that look confident and able to take care of themselves.

So many of the things we would protect ourselves from are very similar to those muggers. Those spirits are not wandering around looking for beacons of light and strength. Illnesses are a form of spiritual infection, but they’re not waiting around for the super-healthy to pounce on. They’re drawn to those who are already weakened, compromised, or dis-spirited. Negative energy tends to follow the path of least resistance. It is drawn to areas of (or people with) low or stagnant energy.

If you know areas are going to be stressful or traumatic places to be, remember that those areas are the spiritual dark alleys.

Wherever you go, project a sense of strength and confidence. But don’t just wear it like a mask! Own it. Be it. Don’t just believe–know that you are strong and vibrantly alive. Take steps to become so. Make it not something you do, but something you are.

Be full. Spiritually full. Whole. Nature abhors a vacuum. Cliché, perhaps–but very true. Past and current traumas can leave us with empty places (wounds) in our spirit/soul. If your energy is drained all the time it is like being under inflated. You are literally dis-spirited.

Scientific clean rooms pump additional filtered air in so dust and contaminants from outside stay out. Building lobbies often have a blower forcing air outward toward the door. That outgoing air keeps the hot/cold outside air outside. It is called “positive air pressure,” and the same idea applies spiritually.

So if you are vibrantly alive, if you are in touch with spirit/spirituality and your own self-identity, if you are healthy physically, mentally, spiritually–then you aren’t walking around drawing other things to fill you up. If you are spiritually full then there won’t be room for outside influences you don’t welcome.

You keep things out of you by being full of what you do want. The stronger you are inside, the more protected you are from what is outside. If things can’t get into you, do you need to expend energy on barriers and shields and walls?

WiseWoman Traditions

May, 2013

herbal smoking mixtures

 
Let’s work with the mint family, by making an herbal smoking mix. Any dried mint-family plants you have on hand can be used make a great healing smoke, especially if mixed with some mullein, and perhaps a few other herbs. Smoking can be good for the health of your lungs and your being.

Careful application of hot smoke and burning herbs, near the body (smudges), on the body (moxibustion), and through inhalation (smoking) are healing techniques that have been used for thousands of years in myriad cultures around the world. If you choose not to smoke these herbs, you may still wish to try them out as smudges.

herbal Smoking Mix Number One: Combine one large handful cut and sifted commercial mullein leaf and one to three teaspoonfuls of any mint-family plant. Mix well and smoke in a pipe or roll in paper. A relaxing smoke that is good for the lungs.

Bergamot (Monarda varieties): rich in oregano oil, an powerful lung antiseptic

Catnip (Nepeta cataria): roll your own catnip cigarettes to relieve menstrual cramps fast fast fast.

Horehound (Marrubium vulgare): bitter taste, powerful effect on the lungs.

Hyssop (Hyssopus off.): powerful penetrating healer of lung tissues.

Lemon balm (Melissa off.):
 liberally added to mixes to help fight viral infections.

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca): alters perception when smoked.

Oregano, rosemary, thyme, and sage: antioxidant, anti-infection; aromatic tastes; deep healing

Oswego tea (Monarda didyma): minty taste; harvest late summer when in flower.

Pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegioides): just a pinch lifts the mood and brings a smile.

Peppermint (Mentha piperata): nice taste; nice to the lungs.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus off.): as smoke or smudge, improves memory, wards off dementia, counters asthma, and pleases the fairies.

Medicine people and post-menopausal women are the ones most likely to smoke. Fire activates the spirit of the plants and this may prove overpowering for young or untrained people. Each Medicine person makes their own smoking mix, imbued with the spirits of the plants that are their allies.

herbal Smoking Mix Number Two: Combine one handful each finely chopped uva ursi leaves, cornsilk, and mullein, plus one to two tablespoons of powdered or ground thyme or sage. This is a fair substitute for those wanting to smoke less tobacco; it is more bracing than relaxing.

Fire use sets humans apart. We alone have fire, the dangerous friend, as an ally. Burning herbs is a shamanic action. Inhaling the smoke from burning herbs confers both physical and spiritual healing. The smoke directly affects the lung tissues, opening them and relieving spasms. And smoke carries prayers.

herbal Smoking Mix Number Three: Combine one handful each finely cut coltsfoot, mullein, motherwort, nettle, hops, and cronewort. Smoke at the dark and the full of the moon to increase your visionary powers.

Some plants have spirits so strong that smoking them alters our perceptions. Happy High Herbs, A Guide to Natural Highs and Addiction Solutions, by Ray Thorpe of Australia, includes these common psychoactive smoking herbs: scotch bloom flowers, California poppy, Mexican poppy, damiana, hops, wild lettuce, lion’s tail, madagascar periwinkle, motherwort, mugwort, nettle!!, passionflower, and Salvia divinorum. Some of these plants are poisonous internally.

Please treat all plants, especially these, with respect and care when you make use of them.

Gems of the Goddess

May, 2013

Some Secret Place

“Whenever you have need of anything, once it be in a month and better when the Moon is Full, there you shall assemble in some secret place and adore the Spirit of Me, who is Queen of All the Witches.”(1)

We meet under the Full Moon, dancing the ring as the light pours down, raising power, sending energy, feet pounding the earth. What do we need from the Goddess? Who is She? The dance is part magick, part prayer and part ecstasy. As we perform our ritual within the Circle we create energy that is palpable. It rolls up our bodies and makes us shiver. As the dance continues we fall into trance as all the Witches are energetically one, hearts pounding, until a feeling of joy overwhelms us. That is the time that the High Priestess motions for us to release the energy upward and outward, focused and pure toward the completion of the spell/prayer/dance.

When we started the ceremony we invited the Goddess to be with us in the Moonlight. Each Coven or Tradition, even each person, has different Patron Goddesses that they know and love. Ours is Anu, the timeless one, the Great Mother of the Celts, also called Danu. When we first met her she seemed distant and obscured by the mist and we couldn’t get a clear image of who she was. In our meditations and Circles Her presence continued to be felt more and more strongly each time we invoked her and she became our Mother Goddess. Her face became clear in our minds, a sweet mature face of a woman of child-bearing age, kind eyes glowing with love and wisdom. We felt nurtured.

Beginners in the mystical and transformative spiritual path of Wicca are drawn to the divine as feminine, often researching the Goddess in books and on the internet. This is a good first step, but the Goddess is the spirit within nature so to truly know Her, in all Her aspects she has to be invited in. This “inviting in” is a process of opening the heart, calling, longing and searching. It doesn’t happen overnight. Seeing Her in a specific aspect with a story and a name helps the process. Without this study it feels as if we are worshiping a nameless, faceless goddess and that can be difficult. Worship involves loving and it’s difficult to love a non-person with no face who is just a feeling in the bones. Luckily for us the Goddess has many names and faces so we move towards the goddess that resonates with us.

Anu, also called Danu or Dannan is the Irish Mother of all Gods(2). She is recognized also as Don in the Welsh Pantheon(3). Anu was named the mythic mother goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Celtic tribes that first invaded Ireland. The association of Danann with a probably much older figure named ‘Anann’ or ‘Anna’ also suggests that she may have been superimposed on a goddess with more primeval “Mother Earth” traits(4). I find it fascinating that in Christian Mythos Jesus comes from Bethany, which means the “house of Anu”. In Hebrew Anne is “Anu”. Sainte Anne is the mother who gives birth to the virgin who give birth to the God i.e. Jesus. (5)

It’s impossible to say if the Celts worshiped Anu as we do because they were an oral-wisdom people. Their bards held the stories of the tribes in their memories and things were not written down until the Romans came to the British Isles. Although re-constructionism, the honouring of Anu or Danu has profoundly touched many within the Neo-Pagan traditions. Her worship within some secret place, and in the secret place that is our inner heart, has brought Her back to us. She is alive and vital and present.

How to “Invite In” the Goddess

Altar: Anu’s altar should be green with plants and stones on it. Lay a green altar cloth and place a bowl of earth with a bowl of water in it. If you can find a picture that reminds you of Her, the Great Mother, you can also put that on the altar, maybe ringed with stones. Potted plants are also good, but don’t put cut flowers, which are dying, on this altar. Let your inspiration guide you.

Meditation and contemplation : Call to her with an Invocation and sit quietly contemplating Her name and her correspondences. Invite her to come to you and then sit in silence and feel her presence. Here is one invocation you could use:

Lady of the Greenwood Anu

Mother of Earth and Water,

Most holy, most powerful,

Our heart, our blood, our soul

Come to us on this sacred night

And fill us with the power of your love.

 

Opening the heart: Imagine your heart center opening like a ball of pink light that grows bigger and brighter as you breathe gently in and out. Now invite Anu to enter your heart shrine and bless you.

Chanting her name:  “Anu” can be chanted like “Om”; take a big breathe and intone “Ah-Noo”. You’ll be surprised how it changes your consciousness.

Offerings: Make offerings of fruit, nuts, honey, cakes or any food that is natural and organic. Don’t offer store-bought chemical-filled food as an offering. Making an offering to the Gods is a way of honouring Them.

Drawing and writing: Make sure that you write down any experiences you have while working with Anu. How did you feel? Did you have an inspiration about who She is? Can you draw Her face?

correspondences: Plants, stones, children, hills, the Earth, fertility, Full Moon

 

References:

1.  The Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente (Copyright the Doreen Valiente Foundation see: www.doreenvaliente.org)
2.  The Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan (p. 89)
3.  The Mabinogion by Lady Charlotte Guest [1877]
4.  http://www.imbas.org/articles/danu_bile.html
5.  The Pagan Christ  by Tom Harpur Published:
    in Toronto, Canada by Thomas Allen Publishers
    in Montreal, Canada by Boreal Press

 

Paranormal Path

May, 2013

Only a Game?

     I have always had a fascination with the different ways to conjure up ghosts and spirits, though I personally would never attempt to do so because the risks are too great.  I spoke before about the Ouija Board and how it stuns me this is marketed as a “game” for kids to play.  If you are inexperienced and unprepared the danger of inviting the spirit world in is immense.  Bloody Mary is another example I have talked about, a game that young people play at sleepovers trying to call this vengeful spirit to appear in the mirror.  Recently, I have come across more modern versions of “games” believed to call spirits if you follow the instructions carefully.

The Midnight Game or The Midnight Man is a recently popular one.  There are countless videos and blogs online of people attempting this ritual.  The introductions to the game always say that this was an ancient Pagan Ritual to punish those who did not follow rules, I am not certain of the truth behind that statement.  Those who are unfamiliar with Paganism are already uncomfortable with the term so I assume it adds to the “spooky” aspect.  The rules of this “game” say you must write your name on a piece of paper, put a drop of your own blood on it and light a candle.  Once the candle is lit, place it in front of the door on top of the paper.  They specify the door must be wooden.  Then the player is advised to knock on the door 22 times and the last knock must be exactly at midnight.  Open the door, blow out the candle, and then shut the door.  This has allowed the Midnight Man into the house.  You are then told to light the candle and continue moving around the house avoiding the spirit at all costs.  If your candle goes out, you must immediately relight it and keep moving.  If the Midnight Man catches you it is said you will have horrible hallucinations of your deepest fears.  Salt is advised in case you cannot relight your candle, to place a protective ring around yourself.  This continues until 3:33am, then the game is over and the spirit will leave.   Once again I do not advise attempting any of this.

One Man Hide and Seek or One Man Tag is another piece of insanity I came across.  This “game” says you must have a doll with arms and legs, remove the stuffing and fill it with rice.  Rice is believed to attract spirits.  They also advise you put your own fingernail clippings in the doll.  Sew the doll up with a crimson colored thread and bind the doll with the remaining thread.  Name the doll, to make it more powerful, or so the rules say.  Take a cup of salt water and a sharp object to wherever your hiding spot will be.  Take the doll to the bathroom, and say three times your own name and that you are the first “it”, and then place the doll in a tub of water.   Turn off all of the lights in the house and leave the television on a static, white noise channel.  Go to your hiding spot, cover your eyes and count to ten.  Return with your sharp object to the bathroom.  The player is then instructed to stab the doll and tell the doll that it is “it” now and leave the sharp object and the doll in the tub while you run to your hiding spot.  The doll is supposed to come to life by a spirit inhabiting it and start searching for you.  The purpose of the television being on is to hear the changes in the volume or the static sound changing to whispers or voices from the spirit.  To end the game you are suppose to take a drink of salt water and hold it in your mouth, take the glass with the remaining salt water with you and search for the doll.  Once found pour the salt water on the doll and say three times “I win” and cut the thread to release the spirit.

These “games” are very dangerous and in my descriptions I have left out specific details to prevent anyone from attempting such things and it working.  Salt, mirrors, water and fire are all powerful things used for centuries in spirit contact and communication.  Inviting spirits in is extremely dangerous and can result in terrible unwanted experiences.  Do not make yourself vulnerable to such things.  These are not “games” by any definition of the word.

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