Nazis in Valhalla?

Well said. I have nothing to add.

Gangleri's Grove

Today on facebook I saw an image that had an heroic looking warrior on it and the words ‘There are no Nazis in Valhalla.’ I stopped and looked at the image for a very long time. I do appreciate where the artist is coming from – the rise of political insanity (both right and left I might add) of late is terrifying and bodes ill for our future as a cohesive nation. I understanding wanting to reclaim space from anything smacking of neo-nazism. That being said, from a theological perspective, I think the image is, at best, misguided. It might make us feel good now, pointing out that Heathenry is nota haven for white supremacy and that most of us find neo-nazism disgusting and vile but if one looks at the purpose of Valhalla theologically, I’m afraid I would have to make the argument that yes, there probably are…

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Round-Up of Interesting Links

Interesting Norse folklore: the huldra

A fantastic argument that Yggdrasil, the World Tree, was meant to be represented by a yew, and not an ash tree as I had previously thought (I’m not sure which is the more common belief in modern Asatru, but I have to say that I’m convinced of the yew symbolism now).

A Letter to Those Trying to Convert MeA Letter to Those Trying to Convert Me

Nisse: Scandinavian Folklore of the Household’s Guardian

Interesting and odd folklore of ways to avoid dying

Discernment, Groupthink, and UPG

Boundaries Are Your Personal Magic Circle: Ways to Know and Strengthen Them  – It kinda of makes me sad that such a basic thing needs to have an article about it, but that really says something about our culture, both the Pagan subculture and the mainstream overculture. I’ve noticed that Paganism, witchcraft and new age-ish beliefs seem to attract broken people, people who have been severely damaged by the overculture’s miasma and perhaps personally hurt by representatives of mainstream religions. If the people who have been traumatized by these experiences don’t work on ourselves (and I say “ourselves” very intentionally, because I **AM** one of those people), we risk not only carrying on toxic patterns in our new communities but stunting our spiritual growth and relationships with the Gods and spirits. I’d like to say that this is less of a problem in the Recon community than in Wicca or Ceremonial Magic ones, but I think that is mostly hubris on my part and that it has more to do with how long a person has been walking this path and the practitioners commitment to their path. Healing is a lifelong process and boundaries are a part of that. This is a very basic article, really, but I’m including it anyway because of the importance of this subject.

The tenacious spirit of Depression: fascinating thoughts about depression from an animist perspective

Polytheistic Ethics: Magical Healing. Something to think about. I always ask before I send energy, or even just light a candle in someone’s name.

Miasma and Chronic Illness

Gods of the Month: Roman Festivals in October

God of the Month: Felicitas, or Good Fortune

 

 

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The Dark Goddess Howling: Venus Retrograde in Scorpio 2018 and October’s Key Planetary Transits

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Originally posted on amor et mortem:
Energetically speaking, astrological events this year have really forced us into a “review and release” mode as we evaluate our lives. This past summer was an extremely challenging period for many people (myself included),…

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Daily Devotions

If I could name a single habit/routine that I have put effort into changing this year that has had the most positive effect on my life and my mental health, it hasn’t been eating better or losing weight. Those are actually very high on the list, and in fact are somewhat supported by the habit I am speaking of. No, I mean establishing a daily devotional routine. I prefer to do my prayers in the morning, because I find that the cleansing and peace tends to follow me throughout the day. If I am in a hurry or for some reason I can’t do my devotions in the morning, I try to do them in the evening when I return home. I have a minimum routine that I try to do every morning, and some mornings I may add devotions or prayers that are more tailored to the days events.

 

For example, last week I prayed to Asklepios and Eir after my normal morning devotions to Athena and Odin, because I had an appointment with the dentist that was going to attempt to reconstruct two badly damaged teeth. I offered Them barley and promised a libation of wine if it went well. (it did btw) I thought my readers might like a glimpse at my daily devotions.

 

There is something to said for repetitive prayers, saying the same words over and over. It lends it a curious kind of spiritual power to have the same words said over and over. I feel instantly calm when I start reading one of the prayers on Galina Krasskova’s Pagan prayer cards. My psyche is instantly aware we are heading into Holy space. And what’s more, I know that these words are being said by other Pagans in other places, perhaps on the other side of the globe, if not at the exact time. These other worshipers are lending their personal power to these prayers, wearing a energetic line in the universal spiritual mass, creating a “pathway” if you will. If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, see Raven Kaldera’s Pagan theology book “Dealing with Deities” for a better explanation of what I think is basically the same phenomenon, when he explains archetypes and distinguishes the difference between archetypes and Deities. I wrote a review of this FANTASTIC book here (and its available in ebook form for only $5 if you are a bit strapped for cash). This creates an energetic community, even with people whose names I will never know, as we are all mystically bound together in the love of our Gods and spirits. The Catholics got some things right, and this is one of them. We know from our own various traditions that words have Power, often a magical power. Odin Himself practiced a kind of word-magic called galdr. The Egyptian God Ptah was said to have spoken the world into being with Words of Power. Isis tricked Ra into revealing His secret Name to Her, so that She would have power equal to Him. This is not to say that off-the-cuff, from the heart formless prayers to not have their place – I often talk to the Gods the way I would to a friend. But there is something special about repetitive words that forms a meditative state of mind that opens us up to Their Presence.

So, my daily devotions take this basic form:

 

  1. Cleansing my sacred space with fire and air: Smudging is a something I have picked up from eclectic Wicca, which in turn picked up the practice of using sage sticks from certain Native traditions. I have gotten into making my own herb mixes and my own smudge sticks. My favorite cleansing blend I have been using lately is mostly eucalyptus with some rosemary and sage.
  2. Cleansing with water: khernips, Greek holy water, which I sprinkle both around the altar area and I wash my hands and face in it to cleanse myself of miasma (spiritual pollution)
  3. Prayer to Athena from the Athena prayer card
  4. Prayer to Odin from the Odin prayer card
  5. Draw a single rune to see what the day will be like, or if He has any specific messages for me.
  6. I usually sit here for a few moments in silent contemplation and just be open or enjoy the peace then.
  7. This is where I would have my “speak from the heart” moment if there are specific issues I am trying to address, or I add prayers, devotionals or offerings to other Gods/Goddesses. This is where I added the prayers to Asklepios and Eir last week. When I have time and/or feel moved I have been adding prayers to Janus, Hestia and the Lares lately, since I am going to be looking for a new place to live next year.

 

That’s it. That’s my basic devotional routine. Some days I have to shorten it up because of time, sometimes I spend longer on cleansing because I need it, some days I spend more time on prayers and offerings, some days I add more divination, and some days I have to move the entire thing to the evenings. And, I’ll admit this, sometimes I don’t do it at all, but I make an effort to get back on the horse and not get discouraged. Just like with my diet and exercising, I’ve found that small decisions have the most impact. Life is made of small decisions, and you are what you do every day.

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GMC: Epona

I’m doing the God of the Month Club at Neos Alexandria again. Last month’s Deity was Epona, the Celtic Goddess. Now, Celtic Gods are NOT my specialty, so this new to me. I have ZERO experience with Them, so this required a lot of research. Apologies if I got anything wrong.

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Epona is a Celtic-Gaulish Goddess, but like the Egyptian Aset-Isis She became extremely popular with Romans. Most Celtic Gods were associated with a single place, being extremely localized in Their worship, but Epona was worshiped all over the Empire and in Rome itself. In fact, she was the only Celtic Goddess Who had a regular Roman feast day established (December 18th if you’re wondering). Perhaps predictably, it was the Roman cavalry that was especially devoted to Her and spread Her worship across Europe. She was especially popular from the 1st to 3rd centuries A.D. In fact it is only because Epona was so loved by the Romans that we know of Her, because all of the writing about Her that has survived the ravages of time was done by Romans. This can also lead to problems, however – we don’t know any Gods or Goddesses She may have been originally associated with in Her homeland, Who Her parents were, if she had family or children and how She may have fit into the Celtic myth cycle. Again, we know very little, and it all comes to us through a Roman lens. According to Plutarch, Epona was born from a mare that was impregnated by a man who hated the company of women. This is an unusual birth for Celtic mythology (and like a lot of sex and birth in myth, is kinda gross :p) but it effectively lifts Her out of a Celtic pantheon, leaving Her (in Plutarch’s version) with no ties to Celtic Gods.

 

Epona was originally associated with the Aedui tribe of the Gauls, before Her worship spread to other groups. It’s important to remember that these tribes shared a loose connection as being Gaulish, but were still district tribes with their own folkways and Gods and spirits and ways of life. Sadly there is a lot that we simply don’t know.

 

I found a few different meanings of her name, including “Great Mare” and “Divine Mare”, and “She who is like a Mare”, but they appear to all be some variation on the Gaulish word for “Horse”. As the name implies She is the patron and protector of horses, but also, ponies, donkeys and mules. She protected those who cared for equines and it wasn’t long before Romans began to build small shrines to Her in their stables. Roses were woven into the manes and tails of horses and donkeys during processions for Epona, implying that roses may have been sacred to Her. She is also believed to be a Goddess of fertility, having been shown carrying sheaves of grain or a cornucopia. (Horse manure has been used in the fields by farmers for thousands of years, and our ancestors would have noticed anything that made the crops growth better!)

 

Like the Morrigan She was believed to give the king the authority to rule, which would make Her a Goddess of sovereignty as well. When She was adopted by the Romans She eventually became one of the Gods of the Emperor, gaining the titles “Epona Augusta” and “Epona Regina”.

 

Many of the websites I did my research on seemed to want to connect Epona with Rhiannon or Macha, but I don’t know how historical this is. I think this is more of a soft Polytheism “connect the dots” between some Goddesses Who share a lot of similarities (like the association with horses for Rhiannon, although I can’t say I know anything about the Irish Macha). However you may want to meditate on this connection if you worship any of these Deities and see what happens.

 

Like dogs, horses are an animal that humans have a special bond with. Our association with them is not quite as long standing as dogs, whose wolven ancestors were with us in the caves already. Horses were not tamed until well after the invention of agriculture, sometime around 3000 BC, 5000 years ago. For comparison, dogs were most likely domesticated 15,000 ago in Europe (12,000 years ago in China), although there are estimates that go back as far as 20,000 BC. Sheep were first domesticated 13,000 years ago, cows and goats 10,000 years ago, Chickens 9,000 years ago.

 

Horses are relatively new to us, as a species. Yet they have been incredibly important to our survival and mitigation, making travel over long distances not only possible but easy, relatively speaking. They have been vital to the spread of civilization. Horses are used for travel, work on farms, in wars, and some cultures even drank their mare’s milk. There is a bond that grows between horse and rider that is almost mystical in nature.

 

Horses were very important to the Gauls, and so Epona was naturally a much revered Goddess. High class Gauls were buried with their horses and saddles, suggesting that they believed the horses would carry them to the afterlife, or at least join them. The Neolithic ‘White Horse of Uffington’ drawn in chalk on the hillside in Oxfordshire, England is believed to be related to Epona’s worship. Part of the White Horse was apparently a funerary complex and the White Horse was likely believed to watch over the souls of the ancient Britons buried there, which suggests that Epona had a role in the afterlife of Her worshipers as well.

 

Horses are still a creature that captures the imagination. This is all the more interesting when we consider that so few modern people have daily contact with them, and some have never seen any in their lives. Yet every young girl seems to go through a “horse phrase” where they are utterly obsessed with horses. I certainly did!! Long before I even knew what a Pagan was, I had what was basically a shrine to the Horse Spirit – horse toys, horse books, artwork of horses (both other’s and my own first fumbling attempts), all arrange on a shelf in an artful, pleasing way. I had never ridden a horse, just a mini pony at a daycare event when I was very small. I could have told you so much about how to care for horses, random breed and show information, and just incredible small minutiae (although I’ve quite forgotten it all now). But I couldn’t have told you WHY they captured my heart, other than “they’re pretty and they’re cool and I love them.”

 

Horses are still seen as  beautiful and powerful symbols of freedom and creativity. Ted Andrews had this to say about Horse:

“Rich in lore and myth, horses have been associated with magic, divination, and astral travel. If Horse has shown up, there is going to be movement. This movement will best be accomplished through self-discipline, both physical and mental.

Horses can also be a symbol of desires – especially sexual. The stallion in particular is an old symbol of sexuality. The breaking of the stallion is the taming of our sexual energies (physically or spiritually), the harnessing of dangerous or out-of-control emotions.

Horse reminds us of the need for self-discipline helps our growth to be controlled and steady. Horse reminds us to continue forward in our efforts. If we discipline our movements and ourselves, we will find our sense of power renewed.” (Page 32 of the Animal-Wise Tarot handbook)

 

I would add that horses have both an instinct for independence and an instinct for nurturing. Look at how many “horse therapy” programs there are traumatized kids and autistic adults, and you’ll see that there is indeed something very special in the human-horse bond.

 

Hail Epona, Lady of Horses!

 

Suggested Links for more info:

White Horse was Guardian of Souls  – the White Horse of Uffington in Briton

Epona: Ancient History Article

Epona: One of the Oldest, Most Widely Known Celtic Deities

The Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids: Epona

Straight From the Horses Mouth: Celebrating Epona

Horse Magic, Folklore and Legends(this link only has only a little information about Epona, but I’m including it because of some information about an interesting form of divination practiced by the Western Slavs that includes horses.)

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You cannot appropriate Gods

THIS.
I got a very rude comment about “white people” worshiping Gods from other cultures and this person dared to call my spiritual path a joke.
My Gods are bigger than race. Race is a human concept that doesn’t apply to the Gods. I’m sorry if you’re limiting yourself and your experiences because you’re the “wrong” race to worship any Deity that calls you. I’m not in this to impress people, I’m in this for my Gods and spirits.

Hellenic Faith

Isis Statue

People who claim that worshiping Gods outside your culture or ethnicity is “appropriation” are, quite simply, ludicrous individuals, often crypto if not blatant atheists, whose “metagenetics” or “racialist” view attempts to posit that the divine limit Their interactions with “foreigners” outside of “the race.” This stance can be understood as atheism because it denies that the Gods are real, independently existing entities with agencies of Their own who may engage in personal relations with people by engaging in a materialist reductionism (itself an offshoot of monotheism) which reduces the Gods to merely archetypes of “the race”– ridiculously binding the Gods as subject to a materialist social construct developed by imperialists during the Colonial era, far after most polytheisms were destroyed by many of the same powers. Deities are not mere culture nor objects– They are real, living and eternal Beings who may reveal Themselves to and call upon us to…

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Ra Anthology!

A devotional to Ra and His family from the wonderful Chelsea Bolton is seeking submissions!!!

Fiercely Bright One

Resized_20180421_203741_103 Photo by Monica. Used with Permission. All Rights Reserved.

Solar Flares and Sunbeams: An Anthology for Ra and His Family

by Chelsea Luellon Bolton

Ra (Re) is the ancient Egyptian God of the Sun.  He is the creator of the world, Gods and Humankind.  He is both the warmth of the sun and its fiery, scorching rays.  He is the one who travels through the sky during the day and through the Underworld at night, culminating in His defeat of the Evil Serpent.   He merges with Wesir (Osiris), the King of the Underworld and renews the afterlife and creation.

He has many forms and syncretisms with other gods.  He has many daughters who bear the title “Eye of Ra” which means they are His guardians and protectors who harness the fierce power of sun to dispose of enemies and evil forces.

Contributors can explore:

Ra as the creator of the…

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