Norse 101, Part 6

Norse 101, Part 6

Here we are for the sixth part of Norse 101.  I hope that those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful one!  This week, we’ll talk about two more deities: Freyr and Freyja.  They’re brother and sister, and of the Vanir.  Their father is Njord, a God of the Sea.  And though Their mother is never named, it’s suspected that she is Nerthus, a Goddess of the Earth.  There was once a war between the Aesir and the Vanir, and part of the peace treaty between them was that some of the Vanir would come live in Asgard while some of the Aesir would move to Vanaheim.  Freyja and Freyr were part of that treaty.

Freyr is a God of fertility, both of land and body.  He was a pretty popular God back in the old times, and it’s said that He was “hated by none.”  He even had priests and priestesses that traveled around the countryside with a chariot, carrying a statue of Him around from village to village in processions.  He has a golden boar named Gullinbursti, and a ship that He can fold up and fit into His pocket.  Pretty handy, right?  He also had a sword that could fight on its own, but He gave it up to show His future wife, Gerda, that He was serious about wanting to marry Her.  She is a jotun, very gifted in knowledge of herbs and healing.  (See?  Not all jotnar are bad news!)  Freyr is a very kind and warm God.  It’s nearly impossible to be in a bad mood when He’s around.  As a God of fertility, He isn’t limited to just fertile land and bodies.  Creativity and a fertile mind are also in His realm!

Freyja is a Goddess of love, beauty, and war.  Yes, war.  Remember how Odin takes His pick of the best fallen warriors?  Well, He does that after Freyja has taken Her pick!  She takes them to her hall, Sessrumnir, to be reunited with their families and lovers to spend eternity in loving embraces instead of endless training and sparring in Valhalla.  Freyja is also adept in the art of seidhr, which a form of magick and shamanism.  It is said that She taught this art to the Gods and also brought it to humanity.  She rides a chariot pulled by two cats.  Some say that these cats are the Norwegian Forest cat breed, which are large, long-haired cats equipped to live in the cold climates of the North.  Freyja is very much a Goddess of love and beauty, including self-love.  She isn’t just about outer beauty.  She teaches you to embrace your inner beauty and see the beauty and light in others.  And, as you all know, we get the word for ‘Friday’ from Her name!

freyr_and_freyja_by_richardpace-d7aafxn
Freyr and Freyja by Richard Pace

This week’s pronunciations:

Freyr:  Fray

Freyja:  Fray-uh

Njord: Nee-ord

Nerthus: Nurth-us

Gullinbursti:  Goo-lin-burst-ee

Sessrunmir:  Sess-room-near

Seidhr:  Seether

As Thanksgiving in USA Approches

This has been a very hard week for me and my family without my mom to call to talk to about tomorrow. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I would probably call my mom six times or more making sure I had all my turkeys in a row to be ready for the big day. I am used to cooking a twenty-five to twenty-seven-pound bird because most of my children and grandchildren would be here plus my mom and an odd friend or two. This year I am cooking a seven-pound ham and the tiniest turkey I have ever seen weighing in at seven and one-half pounds. Only my two youngest sons can make it here for dinner leaving the other seventeen members of my family going elsewhere or cannot make it home because of the cost of gas and just being here September 4th to lay my mom’s body to rest. Saying I am sad and lonely is an understatement, I am just hoping to make it through the next hour without crying again.

Thanksgiving is a time for families to come together and be thankful they have each other, jobs, a roof over their heads and food in their stomach. But let us not lose sight of those who suffered through many hardships to celebrate the first Thanksgiving. When I talk of hardships I am not just referring to what the Europeans went through but the Native Americans as well. If you say a blessing before digging into your feast please remember those that made this celebration possible and give thanks for them also.

One tradition my mom started when my children were little is going around the table and everyone stating one thing they are grateful for that happened in the past year. This is a tradition I will continue and hope my children and grandchildren wherever they might be, will be doing also. My mom’s thing to be thankful for every year was her family and that she had good friends that would help her if we were not available.

May your Thanksgiving bring new memories to share in the future and may you fondly remember the past times your family was together. Wishing you and yours a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.

So I ask you, “What is one thing you are grateful for from this past year.”

What is Traditional Witchcraft? How to Know if You are a Wiccan or a Traditional Witch

Traditional Witchcraft and Occultism

What is traditional witchcraft?

The_Three_Witches_from_Shakespeares_Macbeth_by_Daniel_Gardner,_1775 {pd}

The answer to this question seems to depend a lot on who you ask, however, to those who consider themselves traditional witches, traditional witchcraft might, also, be called historical witchcraft. Moreover, traditional witchcraft is a world-wide practice; it is not a religion.

In recent years, the term, “traditional witchcraft,” has  developed to distinguish those who practice old folk magic or historical witchcraft from those who are members of the Wiccan religion or other neo-pagan religions, who, also, sometimes refer to themselves as witches and refer to their religions as witchcraft.

While there is no universal definition of the term, “traditional witchcraft, “Michael Howards, gives an interesting one in his book, “Children of Cain: A Study of Modern Traditional Witches,” when he refers to it as, “any non-Gardnerian, non-Alexandrian, non-Wiccan or pre-modern form of the Craft, especially if it has been inspired by historical forms of…

View original post 1,557 more words

Prayer to Hecate

My friend Tamilia just published her first article over at Patheos and a story she tells of her own mother and grandmother is wonderfully written.  She includes a Prayer to Hecate that she uses in her own spiritual practice.  What a beautiful way to honor Hecate!  This link will take you to her article:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daughtersofeve/2015/11/not-quite-in-my-grandmothers-way-prayer-for-social-justice-by-tamilia/

“Lady Hekate, Queen of Land, Sky, and Sea,
In all realms where you reign, grant us favor.
Hekate Soteira, Saving Goddess,
Strengthen us as we fight for justice.
Hekate Apotropaia, Averter of Evil,
Ward us against those who would inflict harm.
Hekate Trioditis, Goddess of the Crossroads,
We have traveled far through the yawning dark;
May you bless what remains of this long journey.” by Tamilia

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did, that’s why I wanted to share it with you.

© 2015 Wolf Woman Ways

Posts on Weekends

Merry meet dear ones. Between Saturday morning and Monday night, I work twenty-four hours between my two jobs.There are some Saturdays and Sundays I am too tired to think straight enough to post anything decent and if I can not posts something decent I prefer to post nothing at all. I feel you my dear readers deserve my best when I am sharing information and other things with you and if I cannot give you that then I should keep my happy fingers off the keyboard. Unfortunately, the rest of the Coven Life staff is busy with family and personal things on the weekends and so are unable to post in my absence. Please have patience with me if I do not get anything up on the weekends. Thank you very much!

My wish for each of you is that your weekends are an enjoyable time for you and yours.

Merry part until we merry meet again.

Overview Most Common Used Runes in Magick

Runic alphabet   Runic/Futhark

Origin

Little is known about the origins of the Runic alphabet, which is traditionally known as futhark after the first six letters. In Old Norse the word rune means ‘letter’, ‘text’ or ‘inscription’. The word also means ‘mystery’ or ‘secret’ in Old Germanic languages and runes had a important role in ritual and magic.

Here are some theories about the origins of runes:

  • The alphabet was probably created independently rather than evolving from another alphabet.
  • Runic writing was probably first used in southern Europe and was carried north by Germanic tribes.
  • The Runic alphabet is thought to have been modelled on the Latin and/or Etruscanalphabet.

The earliest known Runic inscriptions date from the 1st century AD, but the vast majority of Runic inscriptions date from the 11th century. Runic inscriptions have been found throughout Europe from the Balkans to Germany, Scandinavia and the British Isles.

To read more of this article and see the Runic Alphabets click on this link:

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/runic.htm

Norse 101, Part 5

Norse 101, Part 5

Here we are again on Freyja’s Day for our fifth post in Norse 101.  This week, I’m going to begin introducing you to some of the more well-known Gods and Goddesses.

Odin is the All-Father and king of Asgard.  He’s a God of war, poetry, shamanism, wisdom, and even the dead.  As a God of war, He concerns himself with the worthiest of warriors and the berserkers.  When these warriors fall in a blaze of glory on the battlefield, He may choose them to become one of the Einherjar in Valhalla, hence the partial association as a death god.  He stole the Mead of Poetry by having an affair with a giantess named Gunnlod, which bestowed the gift of verse upon Him, the Gods, and even mankind.  As a God of shamanism, Odin hung for nine days and nights from Yggdrasil to learn the runes.  He gave an eye in His search for wisdom and knowledge.  He learned the art of seidhr, or magick, from Freyja.  Some describe Odin as a cunning trickster as well.  

Thor, the God of Thunder, is a son of Odin and a giantess named Jord.  He possesses a hammer called Mjolnir that He uses to bring lightning and thunder.  Thor is the protector of Asgard and humanity, using His hammer against the enemy giants.  (Remember that not all giants, or jotnar, are seen as enemies.)  His wife, Sif, is a Goddess of the harvest and grain, but He also has a giantess as a wife or consort named Jarnsaxa with whom He has two sons.  The Old Norse associated Thor with storms, of course.  But they also saw Him as a God of agriculture, since His storms and rain nurtured the crops.  He was even called upon to bless weddings!  As a protector, many Heathens perform the Hammer Rite to establish ritual space.  I’d like to add a small personal note that Thor is a very good God to know.  I experience Him to be very kind, encouraging, protective, and most times, in a good mood.  I will say that YMMV (your mileage may vary) in the case of any deity, so if you’re interested in getting to know Him, offering a nice beer is a good start.

Loki is a God that can be somewhat controversial in some circles of Heathenry.  He has people that love Him, but there are others who will not tolerate even the mention of His name.  It is important to note that Loki and Odin are blood-brothers.  In the lore, Odin once said that if anyone offers Him a drink that they are to offer one for Loki as well.  He is a God of mischief, a trickster, and very clever.  He is a master of magick and shapeshifting, and is gifted with a silver tongue.  He does cause a ruckus from time to time, but without Loki, the Gods wouldn’t have many of Their tools.  It’s because of Loki that Thor has Mjolnir.  He brought the hammer to Thor, and He helped Thor get it back after it was stolen.  That story is one of my favorite myths.  A giant stole Mjolnir and refused to return it unless he was given Freyja as a bride.  Well, Freyja had no wish to marry this brute of a giant, so Thor was out of luck.  Or was He?  To get the hammer back, Thor dressed as Freyja and Loki dressed as a bridesmaid.  Thor presented Himself as Freyja to trick the giant into showing Him the hammer.  Once the hammer was presented to Him, He proceeded to ‘bring the thunder’ down onto the giant.  Again, time for a personal note.  Being a godspouse of Loki’s, I obviously love Him dearly.  Some people warn against asking Him for help with magick, and I will also, sort of.  His style isn’t for everyone, but He can teach you a lot, if you’re prepared not to take yourself too seriously.

That’s all for today, lovelies.  Next week, I’ll continue the introductions.  And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  Hope those of you in the U.S. have a lovely Thanksgiving on Thor’s Day Thursday!  I’ll leave you with a fabulous rendering of Thor and Loki by captbexx on DeviantArt!

 

thor__most_beautiful_bride_ever__by_captbexx-d769e8d
Thor: Most Beautiful Bride Ever by captbexx, Deviantart.

This week’s pronunciations:

Einherjar:  Ine-her-yar

Gunnlod:  Goon-loth

Seidhr:  Seether

Jord: Yord

Mjolnir: Myool-neer

Jarnsaxa: Yarn-saxa