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

Devotionals

In all the current chaos we pagans must not let our devotional practices suffer.   We give praise to our Gods in various ways, I write poetry and song, muse on the traits of the Wise Ones…..may a grain of such wisdom be imparted on me.  I was going through many various google docs and came across some poetry I am pleased with.  I may be sharing some over the coming days.  We need our Gods presence in the world.  We need an alternative to the current order.  We need a better way.

One for Odin

Old man

The one who whispers

With bold tenderness into a woman’s heart

Who finds you laid bare

Skin and bones

And applies the healing balm

Knowledge and fury

Breath and calm

Loving  life with newfound might

A determination  never known

He waits for you on the mountaintop

The Wanderer

The rune master

Sit beside him and hear his words

Let his breath fill your spirit

Let your souls be cleansed and bared.

Trump is a spec next to our Gods

I felt today the immensity of the Gods. That Donald fucking Trump, his bimbette daughter/wife, his creepy clown faced sons, and the rest of the fool’s brigade currently heading our government are minuscule next to the power of the Gods. 

What is a measly Trump in comparison to the awesome sovereign giver the Morrigan? 

What is a measly Trump next to the ancient wisdom of Holle? 

What is a measly Trump up against the great Calleich?

What is a measly Trump pitted against the wisdom of the Allfather? 

What is a measly Trump against the ferocity of Kali? 

What is a measly Trump against the endless ageless great Gods from every pantheon??

Nothing. 

CT scans and the gods 

I had to receive one on my head today due to some weird neurological changes in my migraine patterns.  Sometimes we just go around in our day to day and we become complacent that things will go on working as they should. 

I’ve had common migraines for years. I experienced one with aura, limited vision and left side body numbness last week.  It was frightening.  A few days ago another aura, more bad vision and some short lived aphasia. Due to some odd issues a few years back involving body numbness the doc ordered a scan.

So lying on the machine today, pumped full of dye, being pumped full of who knows how much radiation, I closed my eyes and thought of Odin

Odin, great god that gives me the strength to withstand all things

Who tells me to face all my fears  with bravery… and strength

So that I may endure.

The fury of spring

Living in North Carolina, you soon realize that Spring is the absolutely best thing.  Living here since 2011, and even a few years before that, Spring has become my favorite season. You start seeing signs of Spring as early as February if you know where to look.  On warmer days I’ll see ants venture out, by March I can see buds on the trees and by early April flower buds erupt and nature’s most beautiful shade of green, spreads herself across the landscape. Even weeds look lovely. I curse the allergies that sometimes come with it, but anyone who lives in the American South knows if you are wise you appreciate the Spring.  This is the time to rejoice in the outdoors. To languish on decks and porches past sunset, for soon summer will be upon us and the increasingly warmer sun.  May we heal our great Earth…..

Bears

So something happened to me a long while back that I wish to share with the world. When I hedge ride/journey or whatever noun you want to use, I usually write down what I’ve seen or learned and that’s the end of it. It’s a very personal thing. I never feel the need to share my experiences with spirits or gods that I may encounter. I do not seek the validation of others, or wish to be hip into some kind of UPG sharing of every little thing that seems to be rampant on the interwebs.
As a general rule I honor the Norse/Germanic gods, Odin, Holle, Ullr, and Thor primarily, though if one would ask, I hail all of them. The most intense experience I’ve had with a representation of the divine however occurred with what would be considered a Celtic goddess. At the time I did not even know her name. This will be the first and last time I recount such an experience, if only to see if anyone out there has experienced this goddess in a similar manner. This happened in July of 2015, I lost my father in May of 2014 and my mother in February of 2015. At the time I thought I handled it all very well, though despite our troubles, I felt close to them both. I had long made peace with my father’s passing. Despite the physical miles between us, I knew the moment his spirit left his physical body. His illness was long and tortuous, and his death did not come as a surprise. I never felt like I had that kind of closure with my mother. She succumbed to sepsis, and my last conversation with her was long distance, as I screamed into the phone, trying to elicit a coherent response from her on the line. She was so far gone she could barely articulate words, I remember a feeble hello and then a series of unintelligible guttural sounds, while with my landline phone I called my sister frantic, imploring her to call 911. She was too far gone, she hung on a little under a week, and I was there for a bitter conversation with the doctor who informed us that even if she woke up she would never be the mother we knew before. I saw her one last time, my great mother, who had shaped the woman I would become in so many ways, a shriveled thing, not yet out of her sixties. I talked to her, but I could no longer feel her spirit. What made her an individual, my dear mother, had long left. Left without a goodbye, and what lie before me that day was a mere husk of what she had once been. I did not get to properly say goodbye.

So fast forward to July of 2015. I decide to ride the hedge. It was an urge that came upon me suddenly and unexplained.  So I laid down upon my bed with my staff and some chosen runes and I entered a world unfamiliar to me.  It was a place of mild summer warmth and starlight.  A great female bear approached and spoke to me. She took me to the edge of the hill looking down and as I did I saw many women. Ancient ancestors, engaging in village life.  She told me to go down and walk among them. I descended alone and as I mingled among the group they did not acknowledge me outright, but I felt a surge of recognition as I realized that I was the product of all these extraordinary women that came before me. Without them I would not exist. 
I walked past them, and came to a lake. I looked down and saw crabs rising out of the murky depths, and the spirits of the water briefly appeared to me below. Stepping stones emerged out of the water and compelled me to walk across until I came to a beautiful waterfall.  I paused and watched the water flow and suddenly I felt the presence of my father near me.  A butterfly flew past me, bright in the moonlight, and in it I felt my mother.  I wept.  Without any words conveyed I felt their love and guidance from beyond. I felt the assurance in the waterfall that life continues, in the butterfly that they had changed and moved on. I stayed there until their essence faded and made my way across the lake again. The women were gone and when I made my way back up the hill I found the bear again. I laid beside Her in the cool grass, wept a moment, then rested. I was spent. Then she told me that I should be free with my words. To live my life fully. 

After much thought and many signs, I came to the conclusion that the bear was Artio, a goddess I had never heard of before.  I do not know where she will take me, but I’ve felt her power and it is great. Awe-inspiring. 

 
 

Three years since my return

So it’s  been three years since Odin made himself known to me again. I say again, because many years ago when my interest in paganism was first sparked, long before my conversion to Islam, Odin was the first of the old Gods that intrigued me.   At eighteen, long before the Internet was widespread, I scoured the shelves of my local library for information on various mythologies.  Looking back, it’s hard to believe that just a few years after that I would take my shahadah and become a Muslim for the next 15 years.  I was certainly not devout the entire length of time, and would probably gauge the beginning of my discontent at about two years in, doggedly however, I hung on and persisted in the delusion.

In 2012, I left my abusive marriage and struck out on my own.  It was both liberating, terrible, and terrifying.  And disillusioning. Everything I believed in was called into question, and the Tower came crashing down.  I almost immediately went back to practicing magic like I had in my youth, I began celebrating the cycle of the seasons and they greeted me like old friends. I did not however believe in a god.  I felt very much like an atheistic pagan. 

I was searching.  Yearning.  My life was in a place of terrible stagnation and I felt hamstrung by years of hurts and oppression.  I was scared, unemployed and felt still very much under the thumb of my ex-husband.  In 2014 I lost my father.  It was expected with a long term illness, but devastating nonetheless.  My mother continued on for almost a year before she joined him, a shadow living out her days, wishing often for the end to come soon.  It was with this backdrop that Odin came back into my life.  I remember that spring being so beautiful, so at odds with the reality of my father’s passing, not realizing at the time that despite the pain my life was entering a new phase. 

One night in early summer I crossed the hedge, and was giving a vision of Odin on Sleipnir and the Great Tree, lit up and almost luminescent in the night.  Then the rune Othala appeared to me, and with that rune I begin to learn what really mattered in my life.  Family and strength were pushed to the forefront  and I was no longer content to live in sorrow.  I grew stronger, fearless, and with hard work, moved my life in a more positive direction.  

And my connection to the Allfather grew.  I gained wisdom, insight into myself and others and experienced a true transition into womanhood. I was finally my own person, free, and standing on my own two feet. 

I don’t know where my path will lead me anymore, especially in these uncertain times, however I feel I’ve been headed here my whole life. 

I don’t draw much on pop culture in my practice, but as a pagan we often lack good spiritual music.  Sometimes the most unlikely songs or bands will remind you of the gods.  So the other day  I was listening to Jethro Tull’s Sweet Dream.  So much of it reminds me of my journey back then. 

You’ll hear me calling in your sweet dream,

Can’t hear your daddy’s warning cry.

You’re going back to be all the things you want to be

While in sweet dreams you softly sigh.
You hear my voice is calling to be mine again,

Live the rest of your life in a day.

That’s a bit what it has been like, living my life in a day.  The Odinic experience can be intense.  A yearning for your whole soul  to be set on fire, that no matter how much you drink of knowledge, you will still thirst.  It’s a wild hunger you hope never ends.  

The Weary Blues

I feel a terrible lethargy and restlessness. There are many things I should be doing from the magical to the mundane (taxes, housework) and I find myself hamstrung by a sense of creeping dread.  

I was determined to have a good day today.  I buried the world’s worries and spent the day with my wonderful husband.  I tried not to think of what I should be doing, tried not to think of Trump, tried not to think of the insane machinations of my ex husband, and today I just decided to simply be. It felt good. 

Tomorrow, back to the fight.