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The #DoMagick Challenge Day 10

December 10, 2017 Leave a comment
Naudhiz

Nauðiz (Wikimedia Commons)

Today I did galdr with Nauðiz.

Today I cleansed with the Eldest Ancestor, Fire.   Today’s galdr was held before my altar to Rúnatýr and the Runevaettir.  When I lit the candle, a white seven day candle, I made the Fire Prayer and thanked the Eldest Ancestor for cleansing me, purifying me for the work ahead.  I then sat the candle on the ground in front of me throughout the galdr.

In the first galdr in the round I was shown flint and steel coming together, sparks showering over collected tinder.  My voice was croaking and throaty.  I was in a snowy forest, and had dried tinder, and then larger pieces in the small circle of stones I had collected.  I had larger pieces waiting beside the fireplace.  The next galdr I was shown a firebow, the bow spinning in the board and a little coal smoking, being set to tinder, and fire coming up to eat the tinder, lapping against small sticks.  The last galdr of the first round I was shown a small hand lighter lighting a cooking fire, a grill from the looks of it.

I passed the candle around myself and thanked Fire for cleansing me, and breathed deeply to prepare for the next round of galdr.  The first galdr of this round my voice was warm.  I saw fire in an ancient style tent, in a longhouse, and in a fireplace.  The second galdr of the second round, I saw food cooking in different places: a campfire, a hearthfire, and a modern grill.  The third galdr of this round I saw various things being preserved in smoke such as meat and vegetables and fish, and then it moved into a good-sized pipe, not too long but certainly not small, being smoked.

Again, I passed the candle around myself and thanked Fire for cleansing me.  I breathed in and prepared for the last round of galdr.  This time my voice was croaking and low, almost hissing.  I could feel that this was the ways to deprive someone of what they needed, and each part of this round I saw different things denied to people.  The fire in the hearth was cold and would not light.  The fire was dead in the campfire and the food could not cook.  The people gathered around a fire and another person was left in the cold, backs turned to him.  Another vision and a door was shut and bolted against someone.  The sparks would not light, the tinder would not catch.  Hunger and cold, and freezing water.  Disease in water.  Then, as I finished the last part of the final galdr, I felt warmth again, and the candle before me seemed to glow a bit brighter.  It was Nauðiz was reassuring me.

I cleansed with the candle as before, thanking it for cleansing me.  I then did my usual prayers to Rúnatýr and the Runevaettir, asking the Eldest Ancestor to help me come back to normal space as I blew out the candle, thanking the Eldest Ancestor.  Next time I will snuff the candle; it is more respectful.

Link to the Daily Ritual for the Challenge.

#DoMagick

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The #DoMagick Challenge Day 9

December 9, 2017 Leave a comment
Hagalaz

Hagalaz (Wikimedia Commons)

Today I did galdr with Hagalaz.

As before, I smoked Großmutter Una to cleanse and prepare myself.  As before, I did the prayers to prepare and flowed into a good, clean whole self when I did.  Today’s galdr work was done entirely outside.

Today’s galdr was very straightforward.  The images came immediately to me, the sensations.  They were crisp, clear, and while there was detail, I sat with the sensations and images for quite awhile as they were.  Unlike previous galdr work where I would be shown different things, each galdr round went one particular way.

The first round of galdr I was shown a field, and it was being absolutely pummeled by hail.  That was it.  I got to see crops beaten and shredded by hailstones.

The next round of galdr was snow falling.  Quiet, serene, snow fall.  Now, for us in Michigan this means that our waters will rise, so this is a good thing.  Yes, it sucks to drive through, but we absolutely need it for our waters to do well.  This was just me being in the middle of a good, steady snowstorm.  No howling wind or anything like that.  Just sitting the middle of a beautiful, slow snowfall.  It is worth pointing out that when I went outside to do galdr work it was not snowing at all, and the sensations and imagery I got were towards darkening of the day, as opposed to the dead of night when I did this work tonight.

The final round of galdr I was pushed to chant in a croaking manner, rhythmic.  This was Hagalaz the cursing Rune, the Rune of ruination, the one that brings your enemies to their knees.  This is the one that crashes down a person or crushes their hopes.  It is a wrathful Rune, not unlike Thurisaz.  Where Thurisaz is “hot”, Hagalaz is “cold”.  Not that cold cannot move swift, but the feel of it was ice, of methodical shredding or unwinding or cutting.  The Runes carved on a scorning pole came to mind when I came out of the galdr.

As before, I made prayers of thanks to Rúnatýr and the Runevaettir.  As before, I cleansed and then cleaned my pipe to come back to normal headspace.

Link to the Daily Ritual for the Challenge.

#DoMagick

The #DoMagick Challenge Day 8

December 8, 2017 Leave a comment
Wunjo

Wunjo (Wikimedia Commons)

Today I did galdr with Wunjo.

As before, I smoked Großmutter Una to cleanse and prepare myself.  As before, I did the prayers to prepare and flowed into a good, clean whole self when I did.  However, today was spent entirely in the garage doing the work.

Breathing during the first round of galdr was different.  There’s a different scent to the air inside the garage versus outside of it.  Not bad, but inside there’s definitely more of a homely feel to the air and less of a wilder scent.  All the various pieces of metal on the shelves, the tractor and the rototiller give off their own little scents too, so the whole feel of the garage is more home, more human.

The first round of galdr brought with it different images.  The first round my voice was very bass, and the garage seemed to echo out like I was on a plain.  The first galdr of the first round brought with it an image of the Rune in white against a black background.  The image then began to flutter, taking on shape, like a flag or pennant.  Like the mast of a ship.  The second galdr of the first round saw that flag in someone’s hand across a battlefield, yells.  A cacophony of noise.  The third galdr of the first round saw it run up over a fort on a long stick, then a flag run over a castle, and raised over a battlefield.

The second round of galdr my voice was far lighter than the first.  As I galdred the first thing I experienced was a family in their home, a warm fire lit, and sitting around a table talking, drinking, enjoying themselves.  There was laughter, I remember that very clearly.  The next galdr and the family was sitting around the fire and sharing something, I think dessert of some kind, and there was a person talking.  There were guests, and they were smiling, listening to the speaker.  The third galdr, and it was quite high and I had the sensation of the Gods being there, the images shifting to a person before an altar with their family, and thanks being given.  I had the sensation of the Gods being happy, that happiness radiating all around.  It was like…wrapped in warmth and joy.

The third round of galdr my voice came rough, croaking.  In the first galdr, Wunjo swung before me, an axe or a mace in the field of white on black.  It was wielded by a hand covered in blood.  The next galdr Wunjo was a hammer and it was nailing in a nail to the wall, repairing it.  The last galdr was a chant, alternating between long and short galdr of Wunjo.  I felt happiness, I felt surety of purpose.  That idea of measure twice and cut once, of the family being united and good, of the Gods being pleased.  That striving, and the fierce joy of having done well by it.

As before, I made prayers of thanks to Rúnatýr and the Runevaettir.  As before, I cleansed and then cleaned my pipe to come back to normal headspace.

Link to the Daily Ritual for the Challenge.

#DoMagick

The #DoMagick Challenge Day 7

December 8, 2017 Leave a comment
Gebo

Gebo (Wikimedia Commons)

Today I did galdr with Gebo.

As before, I smoked Großmutter Una to cleanse and prepare myself.  As before, I did the prayers to prepare and flowed into a good, clean whole self when I did.  Given it had snowed I had some concern I would not be able to handle the cold with the wind for very long, but I felt urged to go outside.

Breathing before the first round of galdr was sharp, but the wind had a kind of cleansing feeling to it as cold as it was.  The cold bit the tips of my fingers and my ears.  For a few moments all I could feel was that cold.  As I breathed through, long and slow, I concentrated on Gebo, and galdred It in a long, warm tone.  I felt like I was put before a hearth fire, someone welcoming me in.  The exchange of greetings, a handshake, a seat offered.  I spoke with the host, about what escapes me.  The point, I think, was the exchange of hospitality for news and companionship.  The proper respect between guest and host.

It was then I felt I had to go inside.  My fingers were aching, and so were my ears.  The wind was picking up.  I went into the garage, my right hand tight around my pipe, taking long, slow, cleansing drags as I entered.  I breathed and I was already warmer despite the garage not being heated.  Thankfulness for shelter washed over me.

The next round of galdr was more deep, animal almost.  The things we needed gained through trade, work, sacrifice.  The warmth of my trenchcoat an animal’s skin, the pipe a tree’s body.  The give and take of predator and prey, of farmer and field, of animal and slaughterer.  Right relationship.  That affirmation of right relationship sang to me throughout the galdr.

After I took several moments to cleanse and breathe, the third round of galdr began.  The first of the three galdr was high in pitch, singing to the top of the Tree and the Gods, Ancestors, and vaettir, the Holy Powers, there.  The next was milder, singing to the middle of the Tree and the Holy Powers there.  The third was deep, bass, singing to the bottom of the tree and the Holy Powers there.  Each world brought with it a flood of images, many I am still trying to sort out.  What I do remember is a cup of mead, the blood of a blót, a bottle of beer poured on a field, water on a tree.  Standing, kneeling, prostrating before different Holy Powers.  Offering a blood sacrifice, a blót, to the Runes was the last thing I was left with as I finished the last galdr of Gebo.

As before, I made prayers of thanks to Rúnatýr and the Runevaettir.  As before, I cleansed and then cleaned my pipe to come back to normal headspace.  I am grateful for the cup of coffee my wife made me.  Gebo between us.

Link to the Daily Ritual for the Challenge.

#DoMagick

The #DoMagick Challenge Day 6

December 7, 2017 Leave a comment
Kenaz

Kenaz (Wikimedia Commons)

Today, I did galdr with Kenaz.

As before, I smoked Großmutter Una to cleanse and prepare myself.  As before, I did the prayers to prepare and flowed into a good, clean whole self when I did.  I went outside to to the galdr and got the distinct feeling that if I tried to tough it out, I would be more concentrating on that then the work with Kenaz.  So, I came back into the garage.

As I breathed in to prepare, I did not feel much.  It was not until I galdred Kenaz twice during my first round that I began to experience things.  Perhaps it was my hands warming back up to start with in the two earlier rounds.  The third galdr brought with it the small fires that our Ancestors sat around.  The small fires that cooked the meals, brought the peoples together.  Not like the need-fire of Nauðiz, no.  This was the warm fire, the welcoming fire.  This was the fire lit to bring people together and unite them.  A shared meal, a moot, a Thing.

I smoked three times to cleanse, and breathed three times before the next round of galdr.  Even my breathing sharpened; this was the ferocious, harsh, and blatantly painful.  As I galdred I experienced it: This was the fire that burned you, that ate your flesh, that cauterized.  It is the fire of pain letting you know something was wrong, inflammation, pain in your guts, heartburn, all the fiery sensations our body gives us.  It is ulcer and open wounds, it is the making of all these things on someone else.  It is the brand of illness and the brand of iron.

I smoked again to cleanse, breathed three times before the last round of galdr.  My breathing eased.  This was the fire of healing, of cleansing teas and ease of aching muscles.  This was the fire of soothing, of meditation and devotion.  It was the Fire of Muspelheim, and the Fire in my Sacred Pipe.  It was the consuming of the plants and trees so new ones could spread, and it was the dance of cleansing poi and Sacred Fires that work with us to cleanse, heal, protect, and all the incredible things Fire Itself has worked with us to do so we can be healthy, whole, prosper.  It was here I was told enough; boundaries, too.  It was the torch that set boundaries or could set them alight.  That could warm the home, or consume it.  So I did my prayers of thanks.

I did prayers and I cleaned the pipe, and thought of how Fire came first, and how each light I make, whether by matches, flint and steel, or by turning on a light-bulb, Fire presence in our lives is always there.

Link to the Daily Ritual for the Challenge.

#DoMagick

The #DoMagick Challenge Day 5

December 5, 2017 Leave a comment
Raido

Raiðo (Wikimedia Commons)

Today I did galdr with Raiðo.

As before, I smoked Großmutter Una to cleanse and prepare myself.  As before, I did the prayers to prepare and flowed into a good, clean whole self when I did.  Tonight it is both blustery and cold.  My mind wanders to the lands where the ancient Heathen Ancestors would have called home.

As I breathed in to prepare, three times, I felt a kind of needing to move in my legs.  Not from the cold; I actually feel far more comfortable at these colder temperatures than anything above 60°F.  A kind of wandering, or wanting to go to a place.

When I galdred Raiðo the first time, my tone was warm and loud.  I echoed across the countryside.  It’s one of the reasons I enjoy doing galdr outside: I can be quite loud without disturbing my neighbors.  As I galdred, the pipe held in my hands, there was the sensation of going somewhere, of having a destination and slowly getting there.

The cold seemed to press tighter as I smoked and breathed cleansing breaths between.  As I prepared to galdr I could feel, hear the march of feet around me.  Bracing against the cold and marching on.  Determination.  A war march.  I galdred and it seemed that I was marching alongside them, and who they were changed.  At times I heard leather soles and chain mail, others gear in webbing and the soft sound of boots on grass.

The next round of galdr my first came out guttural, fierce, and I felt the march quicken, the destination coming nearer, the steps quickening.  Excitement and anticipation as the gap is closed.  More, though: the destination that one has worked so hard, built up so many resources, done so much planning is in sight.  Relief, joy, fierce pride in having made it to where you need to be.  The next part of the round of galdr, and my voice came out high.  I felt called to turn my gaze up to Mani.  The carts of the heavens, the every-turning wheels that make night, day, that make the days and nights of all the Worlds, that blanket of darkness that is Nött, Nött’s gift, with all those burning stars and the Star People.  The last part of the last round was low, deep, the echoes of all the feet in the long journeys so many have taken that I could be here.  The Diaspora, the Migrations, the Journeys of countless Ancestors on countless feet on countless soils and here I am walking on my own.

It was then the cold got too much, and I felt I had to seek a new destination: warmth inside.  In the garage I cleansed and purified myself as I had the previous nights, thanking Rúnatýr and the Runevaettir for deepening our connection and our relationship.  As I cleaned out my pipe and came back to normal headspace, I thought about all the journeys that had gotten me here, and where I was planning on our family heading to next.  The wheels that take us here and there, and the work needed for us to move into the next stage of our life.

Link to the Daily Ritual for the Challenge.

#DoMagick

Small Devotional Work

November 24, 2017 1 comment

Of late, I have had to be okay with doing smaller devotional work.  I like doing my altar work; it’s formed the core of my practice for most of my religious life, Catholic and Pagan/polytheist.  Between a more hectic home life and moving religious work, though, I have had to move out of comfort zones and into different ways of doing devotion on a regular basis.  This happens, and at different times in my life altars and shrines have been more and less central to my religious life.

That’s not to say I have stopped altar work entirely.  I still approach my altars and pray at them.  My family and I still make our nightly prayers at them, and make offerings at least weekly at them.  That, however, is the difference: once a week offerings vs. say, every other day as was the norm until a few months ago.  While other kinds of devotional work do not take the place of making offerings of food and drink, I am shifting more towards other kinds of devotional work.  I’m sure if we had a fireplace or a wood stove more of my offering work would be centering around it.

So what kinds of devotional work am I doing?  If you are reading this blog, well, you are reading some of my devotional work.  Among other projects, I am slowly putting together different books, including a book on the fallow times, a 2nd edition of Calling to Our Ancestors, and a book for Heathen children.  Devotional books for the Gods, Ancestors, and vaettir may be down the line too.

What about my daily devotional life?  Prayers.  Prayers and regular spiritual ground work.  Foundational stuff to be sure, but necessary.  I have started to get back into working out, finally, and that is an offering to several Gods, Ancestors, and vaettir.  Small offerings like the one I wrote about.  The work I am engaged with now is more and more geared towards bringing devotional work into as much of my life as possible, weaving sacred work into my life wherever I am.  Whether working out or spending time with the family, cleaning, brewing mead, or making poetry, much of my devotional work is shifting more towards the doing end of devotional work while maintaining footing in offering devotional work.

Part of me does fight this.  The familiar feel of kneeling or bowing at my altar, offering drink and occasionally food with prayers is all very familiar.  Sometimes a bit too rote, though.  Sometimes being shook up is part of the experience.  Sometimes finding different routes for devotion is the way forward.  So keep on doing, keep on exploring, and find different ways to connect with the Gods, Ancestors, and vaettir.  Keep on bringing Them and you together, into good Gebo in more ways.

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