Monthly Archives: October 2015

ADF Dedicant Path: Third High Day Essay (Autumn Cross-Quarter)

The autumn cross-quarter is most commonly celebrated by Neopagans as the Celtic Samhain, both a harvest festival and a time to honor the dead. For the Anglo-Saxons, the cross-quarter signified the start of winter and is known as either Winter Nights or Winterfinding. Some Heathens consider these synonymous, while others, especially those following a Norse tradition (wherein the winter of their cultural ancestors began earlier than it did for the Anglo-Saxons), celebrate Winterfinding (as the last harvest) on the autumn equinox and Winter Nights (as a festival of the ancestors) on the cross-quarter.

Although there is no indication that the Anglo-Saxons also honored their ancestors at this time, most Saxon pagans today celebrate Winterfinding and Winter Nights as a simultaneous harvest and ancestor festival, much like Samhain. Also in common with Samhain is a belief that the veil between the worlds is thin at this time. Some Saxon pagans recognize Winter Nights as a literal multi-night festival, celebrating the secular Halloween on one night, honoring the Ælfar (male ancestors) on another night and the Disir (female ancestors) on yet another.

 

I Walk the Line

No. This has nothing to do with Johnny Cash – And I’m not ashamed to admit that I can’t stand the guy.

In my last post, I said that I am the night, but I am not the scary night. I feel like elaborating. I like gothic things and dark things, but not evil things. There is a difference between dark and evil, most of you pagan people get this. I prefer to hang out on the dark side – they have COOKIES! – but remain within sight of the light.

When I was a teen I recall talking to my father about a dark movie I liked, and he said “but I thought you hated scary shows.” I had to explain to him that I like dark shows, not evil shows. At the time, I didn’t know how to articulate that difference so I think I explained it as liking romanticized evil.

(please forgive lack of smooth transition to next paragraph – I just want to say what I want to say and not write a term paper, lol)

I will always root for the villain in movies, whether or not the movie is set up so that we are supposed to do so. My imaginary self is a super villain. Even though I intimidate no one in this world (recall bat meme from previous post), my friends and family know me as an aspiring evil mastermind. Last Yule, My brother got me a book for plotting my plans for world domination. He and the rest think its all fun and games. But you just wait guys, this meek looking bat is going to surprise you someday 😉

And when I do, a movie will be made of my life. I expect this to be the theme song:

Finding My Way + Altar Update

I’ve made mention here an there in previous posts, but just to reiterate: I have been surrounded by, victim of, and even sometimes a grateful recipient of supernatural phenomenon. For the longest time (since I was very young), I’ve felt like a magnet for all that the aspiring spirit worker or psychic dreams of encountering, but for me it has been nothing but scary at worst and confusing at best. I wished it away on many occasions to no avail. I never had any clue what to do with or about it all and I was afraid to even try working something out until now. Since beginning the ADF dedicant path, I feel increasingly more comfortable with the spirit world. I am still far from cozily at home there, but I finally feel like I am on the path to clarity.

My relationships with particular deities and lesser spirits are taking form and I am effectively channeling the constant buildup of otherwise indiscernible spiritual energy into a few different divination tools. I’ve had a fair number of intensely meaningful and almost unbelievable results since I’ve began these efforts. I have a very long way to go yet, but I feel so much better and more confident knowing that I am on the right path.

Besides deliberate efforts to channel all the incoming into easier-to-interpret forms, the spontaneous activity around me is becoming more clear. It’s sort of like that moment when you first see the picture in those hidden-image magic-eye things.

My search for a home-base of deities to honor has led me primarily to deities of the night. I began by trying to force relations with well-known personal deities, but I ended up with a more mysterious group in my midst — mostly deities associated with night. I have felt especially compelled to learn more about the moon. The night itself has always been dear to me. One of my mottos is “I am the night” – which is now nicely supplemented by a meme I found:

BatMeme

Bats are one of my mascot animals (along with whales and cats), the no touching thing – ~very~ important for an aspie, and the cuteness an unfortunate truth when one feels surly and powerful on the inside but comes across as pathetically meek – yeah, that’s all me. I am the night, but I am not the scary night.

Once upon a time I was going to become an astrophysicist for my love of the night sky. The moon, however, was second place to my deep-space fascinations. I paid it so little mind that I didn’t even know how to identify waxing or waning – a sad confession for an astronomy buff. However, the moon has become my current (Aspie) obsession. I simply have to learn ~ALL the moon things~ scientific and mystical alike. I recently learned that I have a moon sign. How awesome is that? (I am sun in Scorpio, moon in  Aquarius).

A new obsession isn’t a “sign” in-and-of-itself, unless you count it as a sign of my autism. My life revolves around phases of obsessive interest in random things to the exclusion of all else. So, why not the moon?

But the moon thing has gone well beyond a personal interest. Mani has been popping up in the most unexpected places – the sort of places that easily surpass mere coincidence. I even caught myself saying “Woah, no way” a time or two. There are some experiences that you just **know** are meaningful.

So, Mani is at the front of my devotional practices, along with Nott. I am also slowly letting Woden in per the advice of a previous divination.

I have made a small update of my altar to reflect the current direction of my spiritual practices. I purchased a “dark moon” ritual cord from Beth Wodandis to adorn my alter. It represents my relationship with night, with bats even (it has the cutest little bat charm on it), the night deities and Woden as a deity of mystery (Beth suggested Woden as a relevant deity to this cord since he knows his way in the dark). It also adds an immediate magical energy to my ritual space.

Altar2

You may also notice a few other changes since I last posted a picture of my altar. I changed the offering bowl because the last one did not hold up well to liquids. I have taller candles in the tealight holders because actual tealight candles were difficult to light without feeling like I was going to set the holder itself alight :o. To the right of the altar is a cruet set I got for pouring libations.

The ritual cord is very pretty up close and it smells lovely too 🙂 In addition to the bat charm, there is also a crescent moon charm and a black spinel crystal attached.

batcharm

moon charm

It’s strange to remember that when I first saw the cords Beth makes, I had no interest in them whatsoever until I saw one dedicated to Thor. I didn’t end up buying that one, but Its the one that drew me in and made me reconsider the cords in general. Thor was the one who led me to the northern tradition and since then he keeps popping up to guide me along the way, but he doesn’t seem so interested in direct interaction as of yet. I’m not sure what to make of that, but I’ll figure it out.

ADF Dedicant Path: Progress Update

I know, you know, my potted tree knows, I’m falling behind on my weekly dedicant  path writings. 😮

(aside: I’m writing this post on my phone and claim no responsibility for what it does with my spelling etc.)

I’ll still be posting DP stuff, but it won’t be in the exact 52 week order presented in the handy companion manual I was following. I’ll probably remove week numbers from previous posts to satisfy my need for uniformity.

As some of you may recall, I began the dedicant path not for ADF recognition, but because I needed a beginner’s guide to getting my act together spiritually. I get stressed looking at too much information at once which leads me not to do anything at – which is how my pagan practices had been more or less after leaving Wicca.

Now I have a pretty decent basic routine going, but school is keeping me from regular ADF work.

My focus right now is on building relationships with the Kindred. I am doing so partially via my own methods and partially per ADF-style methods. I will continue to document my High Day rites, but other ADF posts will occur as I get around to the lessons in the guidebook in my own time.

Random UPG – so I said before that I’m Loki-friendly but not Lokean (yet??). But if it makes any difference – He’s been creeping around eyeing my coffee, waiting semi-impatiently for me to acknowledge him. We’ll see Loki, we’ll see. If you could just hang tight over there and don’t touch anything, that’d be great. Thx.

Trending Topic: Sebastian Lokason

Now that all the cool kids are saying good things about Seb, I’d be hanging out here in the passive club looking like a tool if I didn’t say a word or two too. I usually avoid conflict, drama, and trending things and topics. I will almost immediately scowl when I hear the word “trending” about anything. This is also why I don’t have any tattoos. I’m being a rebel over here in the otherwise trendy-tatoo generation.

I don’t know Seb very well. Not just because he’s only an online acquaintance, but because I only became aware of his existence this past summer when I started blogging. His blog was one of the very first that I followed after joining WordPress. Besides being pagan, we don’t have a whole lot in common. I am freakishly modest, I don’t swear, I’m moderate in my woo and upg, not a demonolator and, although very Loki-friendly, I’m not Lokean. All of this could change of course, I am living being and still sorting out my spirituality among other things. Nevertheless, I am very open minded. I tend to be drawn to people who are on the excessively liberal side of fun and taboo. They are fun people. Seb is a fun person. His blog is full of fun stuff, informative stuff, and stuff that leaves me in perpetual states of confusion. So of course I followed it.

I soon found out about his Etsy store and spiritual services (barely weeks before he stopped offering the latter). I contacted him about said spiritual services and, far from hustling me, he advised me that his services may not be what I need. He also volunteered a lot of helpful information without asking for a dime.

I spent all summer oggling the pretty things in his shop, watching them sell as I waited for my own funds. I finally purchased something and have one more thing on the way that my husband purchased for me. I love the things he makes, his attitude, and his openly friendly demeanor. Despite constantly warning us that he won’t give out excessive info requests for free, it is in his nature, as far as my limited experience with him, to give more than he can afford of himself.

I don’t know any of the people speaking bad of him. I know there are always two sides to every story and I can’t objectively say whose right or wrong. I’m just here to say that my experience with Seb has only ever been good. So take that as you will.

And just because I feel like sharing, here’s my first piece of Seb-made jewelry:

IMG_6403

Cofgodas Shrine

I recently set up a mini shrine for my household cofgodas over the fire place. I have been making offerings for a couple weeks and just recently acquired a bowl exclusively for the shrine. I put a troll doll there as an idol. In my last house, I had a funky looking sand troll figurine that liked to take long vacations, randomly appearing and reappearing all over the house (and even outside 😮 ). The troll pictured here is one that had been sitting on a very tall bookshelf in my current house until one day it decided of its own accord to relocate to a shorter bookshelf. I am hoping that my household spirits will recognize that I put it over the hearth in their honor and won’t carry it around the house – but we’ll see.

Cofgodas Shrine

I Bought a New Tarot Card Deck

I have been keeping an eye out for a tarot deck that I like for a very long time. I have seen individual cards that I like, but entire decks usually end up putting me off somehow. I certainly can’t work with a deck that makes me uncomfortable. I finally found one that I absolutely love. Its a “Nature Spirit” tarot by Jean Herzel. Here are a few of my favorite cards from the deck:

Nature Spirit Tarot

Actually, I love all of them, but they are pretty big and I couldn’t fit so many in a picture.

It’s been a very long time since I have worked with tarot cards, and when I did, I never was very skilled (I was a kid, after all). The last time I used tarot I (rightly) predicted that my family was about to suffer a serious loss. My mother dreamed not days later that it would be a fire. And thats what happened. I lost my cards in the fire and some time later, I found the same deck and bought it. I never used it though. I think I still have it somewhere, in a keepsake box. It was a small playing card deck that doubled as tarot cards.

So, needless to say, I am rusty and not familiar with a traditional 78 card deck in the first place. I will be doing daily single-card readings for myself for a while and getting familiar with individual cards before larger spreads or readings for other people. I’m hoping to be familiar enough with them by Yule to do some simple readings for my family.

I did my first single card reading today. My card was a reversed 6 of cups:

Six of Cups

I have heard conflicting advise about reverse readings, but I’ll figure out what woks best for my own readings after some time. The book that came with my cards does not give suggested reverse meanings, so I had to look it up.

At its most basic, this card signifies childhood and nostalgia for the past. Reversed, it may represent unpleasant childhood memories or possible regret for not fulfilling childhood dreams. The latter is more my case. I have been obsessively daydreaming about waking up in the past and starting over. Making better choices and becoming who I really want to be. I have spent too much of my life making due, compromising, trying to impress others, etc. It’s not that I haven’t done things that I want to do along the way, but they always involved a lot of compromise to the point of never being fully realized.

I wrote a post recently about school wherein I mentioned how long I have been in school and how I am tired of it. I have stayed in school as a safety net. It’s what I know, its all Ive ever known. I keep changing majors and collecting degrees desperate to find anything that makes me “happy enough.” But I am not happy here. I don’t want to be in academia any more. I want out. So much so that I am pretty certain about not returning next semester. Yes, I know its my last. If I hold out one more Ill have a masters. But why? to impress people? To fulfill others expectations of me? I won’t use it. I don’t need it. I have other plans for my future. But I hate disappointing people. Every time I have felt like leaving school, someone’s disappointed voice keeps me there. What is one more semester? It’s several months of my life that I could be using for following my dreams. I have been putting off change too long for fear of others opinions and fear of the unknown and unfamiliar.

I found this suggested reading of my reversed card and it really resonates with me:

The Six of Cups Reversed often suggests that you are leaving behind a safe, secure and familiar situation for one that poses challenges, excitement and spontaneous opportunities.  You had become bored and whereas nothing was wrong, nothing really had being happening in your life at all.  The outside, new environments and even new people draw you away from your old life with the promise of adventure and happiness. If surrounding Cards confirm, then you are more than ready to take your leave.  You probably have been for some time but were possibly nervous about taking such action.  Pack your bags and prepare to leave but remember to close the door and gate behind you for others may not be at your stage just yet.

Obviously, I didn’t have surrounding cards to read, but I have definitely been dreaming about change for a few years now. I just need to encouragement to do it and the strength not to fear outside opinion.

This is only a single card, not even major arcana – so maybe I am taking it too seriously, but I need whatever pushes I can get in the right direction. I can do this!

Ok Woden, I’ll hang With You a While

First things first. I got a pendulum. It’s so pretty!

Quartz Pendulum

I got the pendulum to see if I can get a confirmation or rejection of my interpretation of other omens. Last week, I asked the Powers for some guidance on which deities I should begin introducing myself to. I don’t mind getting to know several at once, but there are way too many to develop close relationships with simultaneously. I drew a rune for advice and got the rune Wunjo. Not knowing the runes very well yet, I had to look online for deities associated with this rune. The first results gave Frige and I was down with that, but then I found out that the rune is better associated with Woden. In my last post, I explained that Woden intimidates me and I am a bit afraid of introducing myself to him directly. I reasoned that getting to know Frige first might be easier.

Well, yesterday, with my pendulum, I sought more advice. I did my pendulum inquiries during the workings portion of my devotional right (on a side note – I am trying to learn the full COoR during daily devotionals by following this guide on the ADF website, since my attempts to do full rites in the past have been less than exemplary – stumbling over words and mixing up the order of things, etc).

Before I began the rite, I cleansed my pendulum with white sage and charged it with the chime bells I use for beginning my devotionals. I proceeded to ask it to show me yes, no, and maybe/uncertain. I had some reservations about this. Despite all the crazy supernatural events in my life, I have always been a skeptic about my own ability access those mysterious parts of my subconscious or to communicate directly with anything else outside myself. I was expecting to get conflicting results, expecting it would show me the same swinging motion for two different responses or not be consistent. Instead I was impressed with how clear and, so far, reliable the results were. The pendulum gave me a clear result for each of yes, no and maybe and it returned the correct response for two test questions. I went into my rite feeling hopeful and confident.

I drew multiple runes this time, asking again for guidance on which deities to get to know first. I drew one rune for each of the three kindred to get their unique advice to me. The ancestors recommended Tiw, the Nature Spirits Thunor, and the Dieties gave me the rune Othilo, associated with Woden as was Wunjo. I asked my pendulum to confirm these results and my interpretation of them. I asked if I should get to know Tiw or Thunor. The pendulum said “maybe” for both of these. I asked about Frige, per my last rune-drawing. Again “maybe.” Ugh, I was getting discouraged. All these “maybes” leaving me just as lost as I was before. I am tired of being lost. I am lost in my real life and in the spiritual world. I don’t know the right path, don’t know where I fit in or belong. It’s been this way for too long. Anyway, I got to the last rune and nervously asked my pendulum again. I wasn’t afraid of another maybe, I was afraid of a yes. I was hesitant to respond to Woden’s invitation before and wasn’t feeling much more comfortable about it this time. I didn’t want my personal conscious biases to interfere so I tried my best to communicate that I wanted the most objective answer possible for what is best for me. I got a yes for Woden. I tried again, holding the pendulum in my other and, another yes.

I felt anxiety and relief at the same time. Relief at receiving something better than an uncertain response, and anxiety, of course, because, well . .Woden, the wise All-father whose “fatherly” nature isn’t exactly one of his most advertised traits (though I’ve heard from those who treat the different spellings of his name as different faces of the same deity that Woden is his slightly less intimidating face – I can only hope) . In a bit of a nervous panic, I asked about Frige again – thinking I could get to Woden through her (like a kid getting to the tougher parent through the softer one). This time I asked if Frige had any particular interest in me. The answer was a clear no. Obviously, all the deities appreciate praise and honor, so that explains the “maybe” to the getting to know her question, but the answer was clear: Woden is the one who either has something valuable to teach me or whom I can do something for at this time.

Out of more curiosity (and an extra thank you to the Powers for lingering with me at my altar for a while longer) i asked about the non-germanic deity i have been curious about. I got a no for that one.

Well, Okie Dokie then, I am going to be strong and have a visit with Woden in the near future. I will also be strengthening ties with Thunor and a select few Germanic deities whom I am particularly drawn to.

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