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The #DoMagick Challenge Day 11

December 12, 2017 Leave a comment
Isa

Isa (Wikimedia Commons)

Today I did galdr with Isa.

Today’s galdr was done entirely outside, cleansing with Großmutter Una in my sacred pipe.  I then did my prayers in preparation, and my usual breathing into the right headspace.

Today I was surrounded by snow under my feet, and the sky was full of snow.  Isa was all around me.  The breathing in of that cold snow brought with it a sharp cleansing.  There is something beautiful and powerfully spiritual about sitting in all of that stillness, all the lights off, the only light being in my pipe and some far off neighbors.  When I did my first round of galdr that is all I experienced: that stillness, the meditative silence.

The second round of galdr was more active.  My voice echoed in the quiet, and then I heard something I was not expecting at all: an answer.  It was a cow lowing, and I saw and felt the sensation of being licked out of ice by a cow.  When I opened my eyes to begin the galdr in the second round I was again answered by a cow lowing.  There is life in ice.  There is nourishment in it.  There is holiness in it.  I made the last galdr of the round and there was a feeling of containment, of expansion, of the melting away for things to be revealed.

The third galdr was croaking, loud.  It rebounded around me, and I saw a glacier, great, carving the land.  Then that glacier melting.  I saw the Arctic and the melting floes, the land of the coasts being consumed by sea.  I saw the rivers swelling and the Great Lakes filling again.  Ice is part of the cycles of water, and we need it deeply.  I felt hibernation and untapped waters, I felt the freezing blasts of blizzards, and I felt the gentle snow around me.  Despite seeing and experiencing the violence that Isa can bring, I felt vast calmness in it.

When I finished I made prayers of thanks to Rúnatýr and the Runevaettir.  As the last time I smoked, I cleansed with smoke from Großmutter Una, and then cleaned my pipe to come back to normal headspace.

Link to the Daily Ritual for the Challenge.

#DoMagick

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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

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

A Shovel Song for the Gods and Vaettir of Nifelheim

February 2, 2015 1 comment

Inspired by the songs I learned as a child that miners and lumberjacks used to sing out here, I made one up for the Gods and vaettir of Nifelheim as I helped shovel the drive.  While the shoveling proved rather fruitless to the whims of these Gods and vaettir, it did seem to please Them.  In terms of how I sang it, think of an old song, with the beat on every two to four heartbeats.

Did the song sound exactly this way?  No.  A lot of it was made up on the fly, and so, what I am writing here is what I remembered and what makes sense.  These aren’t set in stone, and a good, made-up song can be the perfect offering for a God, Goddess, and/or vaettir.  Anyhow, here is the shovel song for the Gods and vaettir of Nifelheim:

Hail to the Sons and Daughters of Nifelheim!

Hail to Ice Itself!

Hail to the Sons of Nifelheim!

Hail to Ice Itself!

Hail to the Daughters of Nifelheim!

Hail to Ice Itself!

Oh hail hail hail!

Oh icy, frosty ones!

Hail to You who blow all around

Ice and snow has come!

Hail ol’ Jökull

icy bearded Jotun!

Whose frost hangs low and drips to snow

Hail you old cold Jotun!

Oh hail the frosted cold

Hail the elder Jotun!

Who come in with cold

and freeze our bones

and make our Great Lakes rise!

Hail to the big ol’ snowy one!

Hail to You, O Snaer!

Who freezes flesh and chills the blood

and freezes up our hair!

Hail to You oh frozen one,

Who blows all around!

From in the air and on our homes

and crunch beneath the ground!

Hail hail hail!

Hail the mighty Jotun!

Who comes from far off colder North

and visit us here at home!

Hail to the ground beneath my feet

The ancient one, Ymir!

Who forms the mountains and the clouds

The world that I hold dear!

Hail Auðumla’s adopted Son

Old frosty Ymir!

From Your blood the lakes and oceans flow

and bones the mountains speared!

Hail to You oh slain One

Who fell and made the world!

Whose body rose and made our home

All covered in the snow!

Whose body brought forth Goddesses,

good Jörð, Jarnsaxa, Nerth-us

Who gave our Ancestors form and flesh and

brought us to our birth!

Hail O hail to the icy gail, the Kari Northern wind!

Who cuts us with His coldest breath

and brings the snows again!

Hail to You who blows about

the frost and ice and snow

Who makes us glad for heat and home

and the feeling of our skin!

Hail hail hail!

To the Sons and Daughters of Nifelheim!

Hail hail hai!

To Ice Itself, Ancestor old!

Hail hail hail!

Be gentle with us, for we are cold!

Refrain placed wherever it feels right:

Hail hail hail!

Hail to the Icy Jotun!

Hail hail hail

to the frosted [frozen, icy, snowy] ones!

Hail hail hail!

You old cold Jotun!

[alternately]

Hail hail hail!

O Elder coldest Jotun!

Praise for the Gods, Goddesses, and Vaettir of Nifelheim

February 26, 2014 Leave a comment

In the deep cold we feel Your hands

Your icy breath brings the blessed Ice

Though we shiver now we will be thankful

when the orchards are full

when the crops grow

when the lakes rise

The ground crunches with our steps

The roads are pitted with holes

Yet I count us blessed

For You have brought us appreciation

of warmth and family and tribe

of the coming Spring

of generosity and care

Thank you, Frost-thurses

Thank you, Ancestor Ice

Thank you, Gods, Goddesses, and spirits of hoary Nifelheim

May you ever be hailed

May you be offered to well

May we never forget Your blessings

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