Wisdom

“Be discerning….and wise.”

This is the message I hear from the Allfather. I think it is necessary in these troubled times. Do not be so quick to vilify those who have a different opinion than you do, even if you find it loathsome, something is to be learned. Something may be gained. We may find strange allies in these difficult times, those we previously may have counted as allies and friends, may bear false witness against us.

“Be discerning…and wise.”

Open ourselves and ask why in all things. If it feels wrong or corrupt, it probably is. If the crowd tries to tell you blue is red do not agree, even if it makes you popular. Use your good judgement. Learn to thrive in troubled times. Take lessons from your surroundings. Nature can show us. Give us wisdom. Teach us to thrive in the most hostile environment.

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So I’ve got around to learning

I received the directive from the Old Man to learn all I could about the things that mattered most to me, so I’ve been reading a plenty. Mostly things on polytheism as a theology, but I’ve also dug into The Hebrew Goddess by Patai as well. I’d not heard anything from the Old Man since December but did hear this a few weeks ago:

“So I see you’re out making friends.”

I took that and the amused tone that went with it to mean that he approved of my learning about other deities, specifically female ones. For so long I’ve had difficulties connecting to the feminine Divine, and often if a goddess is reaching out, I have trouble seeing it. Patriarchal belief is hard to shake off despite its toxicity.

I’ll be honest some of his theories concerning the Shekinah I find a bit of a stretch, however the chapter on Asherah was brilliant, and I’m sure quite groundbreaking at the time. As a child I started questioning the idea of a male only god pretty early, and for monotheists who insist their god is sexless/genderless refer to Yahweh/Allah as She and watch their reaction. It will probably be one of disgust and anger. Because in the Judeo/Christian/Islamic mindset women are dirty. We are other and incapable of being a reflection of the Divine. Our only true value in the three faiths is that of child bearing mother. And even those children are not truly our own, but one more possession of the father.

There was a time in my life where I sought a monotheistic compromise and chose what I thought to be the lesser of three evils. Indeed, Islam does at least place an equal blame on Adam and Eve and regards women as spiritual equals. However, many other prohibitions on women still remain. We are unclean during our periods and for forty days after childbirth unable to approach god. Rendered unclean by the bugaboo of patriarchal men who say god made all things perfect- except women of course. By their logic we were deficient from the beginning. I’m not necessarily saying that if the cult of Asherah had persisted patriarchy wouldn’t have persisted, I think the toxic patriarchy present in polytheistic India disproves that, however at least women would have had something to revere in the sacred that was a reflection of themselves.

On Ullr /devotional poem

Ullr is a God that I have encountered a  number of times, but one that I honor, as both a God of Winter and to some extent as a God for young men.  I realize that second part is UPG, however my first powerful encounter with Him was after a particularly rough time with my adolescent son.  Ullr was felt and blessed our family with comfort and a measure of patience I didn’t know I possessed. 

Oh Ullr

God of the Yew Bow

Sif’s son

Stepson

Snowshoe God 

Of the yew dales

Trusted of Odin

Lord of winter holly

And newly fallen snow

I hail thee in the cold 

I hail thee in the crisp morning light

I hail thee in understanding 

As you bring me guidance for angry boys

Stepsons

Who rage and grieve

At things they lost under the snow

Story of the Great Bear/A modern fable about an Ancient Time

*Just a little something I wrote under inspiration a few weeks ago.

 
Long ago, at the beginning, when humankind was very young, and the days of their walking were a mere handful of twilights, the Great Bear roamed. She walked the Earth in great glory and strength and the People held her in reverence and awe.  She taught them how to hunt and forage for bountiful food that her Earth yielded in every kindness, how to see far beyond their own noses.  

To venture far into the unexplored forests, to tread over soil and stone, to see the bear as a noble beast of power, a comrade, or brother, one not so unlike themselves in all manner of things. For indeed, they were much alike, seeking warmth in the cave depths, searching for food among the roots and berries, and lusting for the sweet blood filled taste of meat.  And like their fearsome forest comrade, they too, protected and defended their own cubs.

The Great Bear minded them, kept a watchful eye and a keen ear on them under sun and stars. Soon, they sensed her watching.  They left her offerings of love and devotion. Small tokens of their appreciation.  They carved her likeness into wood, painted her image on stone.  Donned the skin of their forest comrade, so that maybe they would learn a bit of his ways.  

After a great time had passed, The Great Bear watched her children from the mountaintop, and far off in the distance, beyond the horizon another Great Bear walked on the Earth.  He was Mighty and Tall, Ferocious and Hungry, Father Bear, who came searching for the Great Bear.  He came from far and he had hunted long for her, smelling her Essence on the Four Winds.  He came from the North, the Relentless Winter Walker.  When she came into view he was awestruck at her visage, and she, delighted in his Arrival.  She had sensed his coming from the time he took his first step.  Jubilant, she turned and fled, for the chase made the catch more thrilling, and she had waited long for the sound of his pursuing roar.  He gave chase across the forest, breaking through the undergrowth, across streams, and mighty rivers, oceans of immensity, but neither of them tired of the pursuit.  She propelled herself into the clouds, and climbed and climbed until the moon came into view, alabaster and bold, and to the Stars she took him, and steady he pushed on.

Much time passed, and while the night sky is beautiful, it is quite cold and she began to wonder what sweet warmth Father Bear could offer.  So down out of the Darkness she came, leaving the cold behind. The Earth was wide awake.  Blossoming across the land.  She settled in a field of verdant green with tall swaying grass and endless wildflowers.  And Father Bear joined her.  Filled her with the Ecstasy of his being, as the two joined as One.  

Sunday is for Holle

In addition to studying the runes, I have established a regular devotional practice for Frau Holle.  I may honor her through remembrance and song on various days of the week, but Sunday is special.  Sunday has become Her day at my home and I honor her through hard work and time set aside for my family.  Sunday has always been the day I set aside to get things organized and ready for the coming work week.  Grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, I’ve typically done on Sunday.  It works for me.  So as I associate Frau Holle with the home and the hard work of women, this was the day I chose to honor her most.

What I Do:

  1. Organize and tidy/clean.  Not something I normally relish, but now when I do it, it’s with the knowledge that such necessary work is pleasing to the Goddess.  She blesses those who work hard without complaint.
  2. Bake something.  Usually some kind of bread, for my home and in honor of her.  I am not a baker, but today, I finally pulled off two loaves of edible bread.  This is the third week I’ve been doing this, I’m pleased my efforts have finally paid off.


3.  At the end of the day, I light the candle at the shrine I have set aside for her and offer words of thanks or a devotional song.


This is the first time I have set aside a specific day for a deity, and I have to say I find it incredibly fulfilling.  Frau Holle can certainly fill your spirit with warmth and mirth, and allows you to experience joy in the what would normally be considered drudgery by many.  She brings such a sense of contentment in my life.

 

Walking with Runatyr

I haven’t blogged anything for ages, mostly because of laziness, or lack of anything meaningful to say.  Or maybe too much to say and most of it political.  I’ve finally burned out watching the political chaos of America, and have decided, while still very important, I need to return to my devotional practice and magical work.  When I encountered Odin in 2014, it was as Runatyr, the God of Runes, and he set me on a path of self discovery and betterment.  I am grateful, and humbled. Loving and honoring Odin these past few years has had an overwhelmingly positive effect on my life, and saw a maturation of my personality.  No longer am I the weak little girl seeking the constant approval of others, now I feel fully a woman, devoted to my children and family, strong in my convictions, joyful in being alive.

The past year has seen me neglect my Runic studies and I have returned to  near daily meditation (due to some external coaxing), with the knowledge given that I can’t effectively use the runes unless I know their meanings and depth inside and out.  It’s exhausting.  I have no idea why his call has suddenly grown so strong within me after a relatively quiet year, or where this seeking of knowledge will take me, I only comply, eager to learn, even if I do not know the reasoning behind this sudden push to immerse myself into the runes.  Who am I to question the urgings of a God?

Devotionals

My journey to Holle was gradual and unexpected.  She is an ancient and wise Goddess who understands my fears, hopes, and dreams.  She is a keeper of the keys to every home.  Caretaker of weary mothers, children and lost waifs.  She simply is……..

For the Weary Mother Looking for Answers

Will I ever find comfort

Where can I find a friend?

She journeyed world weary upon the barren landscape, no tree to be seen on the horizon,  nothing to cut through the gloom.

She came upon a well, water to the brim, humming with the creation of galaxies

And wondered at the depths within

The whisper of knowledge released

Of fearful abandon

And what is communication with the gods but a type of madness

A giving in

A yielding to bravery and strength

She takes the plunge

The bone cold depths

And discovers the secrets of the past

To eternity and all that is