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altars, partners and moving

I find myself in an interesting place right now. My partner is moving in with me! Its a process of him moving up to Philly, and then us looking for a new place.  However, this is the first time I will be cohabitating with a partner who worships the same Gods as I do, and I find myself wondering about altars.

I am planning to pick up a table or set of drawers so he can set up his altar in the bedroom, where I have my personal workspace, as well as altars for Freya and Angrboda. I like having my fulltrui’s altar in my bedroom, for privacy, and Freya, well? She wants to be in the bedroom. Of COURSE she does.

My partner is a Lokean, and I have space set up for Loki in my home as well; but what I am wondering is – do we merge our altars? Or each keep our own?

The practical part of me says “Duh. Merge them. Then Loki gets a big awesome space too, and you have a free flat surface for the next inevitable altar”.

The paranoid spirit worker part of me says “Don’t forget to check with the Gods” (which I will tonight!) because if Loki wants our altars separate, they will stay separate.

 

Eventually, we will be moving out of my tiny for two people and cats (I have 3, he has 1) and into our own place. I am very much hoping we wind up with a home with the remains of a fireplace – I would LOVE to set up Loki there! But even then – what kind of set up would we create for the household?

I think ultimately it will come down to who we are and how our lives wind up fitting together, but I am very curious how other folks in intimate relationship who cohabitate work things out.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Solidarity.

Patheos: The Lady’s Quill: Being Trans and Heathen

“One group I never had an issue with, period, was Heathens.  At the time most of the Heathen folk I knew I ran into primarily at festival space.  One year, I used a different set of pronouns and had a different presentation (I’ve been Laine in a lot of circles for a long time so the name thing wasn’t an issue; it’s a delightfully unisex name) and that was that.  Frankly, no one seemed to blink an eye or treat me any differently except in the ways that we socialize differently with people of different genders.

I was a little surprised there, and I realized that it did fit in well with some Heathen concepts and ethics.   I was my deeds.  I spoke, I told people who I was, and I acted on it.  Nothing I did contradicted that.  No one treated me like a man, or a psycho, or an idiot.  People gave me exactly as much respect as they gave me before, and in some cases a little more for having the guts to come out.”

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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The Road to Hel

I wrote this just over a year ago, and wanted to share it again.

Ironwood Witch

They say “The road to Hel is paved with good intentions.”

(Yes)

(And Intestines, the restless writhing mess,
it is paved with the teeth of the dead
from mouths made sour by words unsaid

Its paved with the sharp shins,
the straight spines shattered,
the knee of those who remain unbending

The Road to Hel is paved with the skulls of your enemies
If thy enemies are Cowardice, Shame and Fear
for it is that conquered road which will bring peace.

Its paved with the hands of many
untold ages, lifting you up
guiding you to a long Remembered place.

The Road to Hel is caked with the mud
of ten hundred thousand times ten thousand journeys
and the strange prints of those who came before.

Its lit with the stories
of the walks to this door:

“Life is a slow march towards Death”

and

“You have gone nowhere Someone hasn’t walked before”

and…

View original post 34 more words

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Heathen Holiday Crafts: Rune Ornaments

Plus, and update on my light up Word Tree! I finally found LED lights which fit and run on batteries! Check it out!

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Yeah, not my best photo. The new phone has a crappy camera, but hey, its a phone, and photos of lights are difficult at best. ^_^ I am looking for a good spot to keep this out year-round!

Now on to the next craft. This one was a lot of fun and super, super easy.  All you need is paint, paper, and string or ornament hooks and glue.

First, you cut the paper, which needs to be stiff (I used watercolour paper) into squares which were about 3×3, and then fold them in half so they open like a book.

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Each of the 33 Runes and ornaments was painted individually, in the order they appear. I selected two colours that I associate with each rune, and would first paint the background, then the rune.

In the “front” I painted the runes in the second colour:

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And the “back” I painted the name and an image of some kind I also associate with them or which help illustrate the meaning.

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After the paint dried, I used a thick sewing needle to make a small hole in the upper corner of the fold, about 1/4 inch from the top and threaded a gold string through. I knotted it and then tucked the ends inside the fold before glueing them together with tacky glue

Put them between waxed paper in a heavy book to help them dry flat – as you can see, Raidho (and Algiz, but it fixed up better) got stuck together.  If you use thicker card stock, you don’t have to double up your paper. I was working with what I had on hand.

In hindsight, I realized that hooks are so easy and cheap to find they had them at the CVS I went to the next day, and were I to make them over again, I would definitely use hooks instead of loops of string, as the loops will break eventually and are not as easy to hang on the branches.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Yule Tradition: Divination

Last year I started a Yuletide tradition for myself that I am continuing this year. I know I saw the idea on someone else’s blog ages ago and I can’t remember where, but I thought it was a fantastic idea for seasonal divination.

Each night of the 12 nights of yule, I draw a rune for each of the next 12 months. I spend some time in meditation, draw a rune, and then journal about it and what it indicates for that month of the year.

I started last night, as it was the Solstice, and historically the Northern folks counted days from evening to evening, not morning to morning so while today is Yule, yesterday was the start, at least for me.

It is a simple thing, but powerful, and last year the tides and themes were on point.

I tweaked a bit from last year, doing more journaling and less focus on dreaming, as I rarely dream (last year I slept on each rune, but had no dreams I could recall). I had also been doing the draws in the morning rather than evening due to my ridiculous work schedule, so I was trying to record one new rune and dream journal from the night before.

The first rune jumped out of the bag. I had my selection between my fingers and half way out the bag when this one dropped on the ground and demanded attention, and glad I am of it – January looks like it will be a surprisingly good month.

gebo by RomOnFire
gebo by RomOnFire on DeviantArt

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Recomendation: The Folklore Podcast

I am often either super late to the game with technology, or more rarely, early. In this case, I am very, very late in starting to listen to podcasts. No idea why it took so long, because I am now very enthusiastic about them.

What finally got me was a friend insisting I listen to The Folklore Project, (blog/episode guide here) particularly the Yule episode.

I have always been a fan of folklore, fairytales and mythology, and I always link them together like that because they are ultimately interrelated (including urban legends – aka modern folklore!) and all three have been helpful for informing my personal religious and magical practice, as it has others. For example, the 9 sacred herbs in Anglo-Saxon Heathenry come from a folklore charm!

The Folklore podcast has a focus primarily on European traditions, as that is where the podcast is based, but touches on folklore in the States and other countries as well. Also, host Mark Norman has a fantastic voice. I love listening to him!

I started with the Yule episode, since its that time of the year and I just finished listening to episode 3 today, “Concealed Revealed” about objects found hidden in homes like witch bottles, shoes, etc, and started the episode on the Wild Hunt, which is also very timely as Yule is nearing and Odin will be riding with the Hunt again soon…

A great podcast for anyone who enjoys folklore, and for witches, pagans and heathens with an Anglo-Saxon bent.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Heathen Holiday Crafts: Light Up World Tree

I am a crafter, and I am a Heathen, and often the two combine. Right now, it’s also holiday season, with Yule coming up, and Christmas ALL OVER the craft stores (well, all over since like September. Crafters, we are a couple of months ahead of all holidays because we need the time to get stuff made.

This year, I made a Nine Worlds light up tree – this will likely wind up being a permanent fixture in my home/altars. This is a fun project to help you get to know the 9 Worlds, to teach your children, or simply as a devotional practice to have a focal piece for your altar.

This is a project I’ve actually always wanted to do and saw all the pieces I needed on sale dirt cheap. First, you need a base. Both AC Moore and Michaels sell 2 ft tall wooden trees with holes drilled in them for lights:

I found mine at AC Moore for $5. The one I chose, unlike this photo pulled from the internet, is much wider all over.

I laid on a couple of layers of white paint on the front, back and base, and then used a pencil to outline where I wanted the boundaries of each world, then did the base colours for each world. Finally, the details. This one….has a lot of glitter. I’m not sorry.

It is not *quite* finished – I would like to get an eagle to sit on top of it, a squirrel for the side, and 4 stags to complete the tree, but I haven’t found the right pieces yet. (I could have sworn I had a miniature squirrel somewhere in my craft room, but that hasn’t panned out.)

wt5

Above is the currently completed tree, with no lights. Unfortunately, I do not yet have a strand of lights that fits. I had bought a set of 20 lights, which is the exact amount of spaces, but they don’t quite reach to all of them.

Next, I’d like to give a brief overview of the Worlds and what images I chose for them.

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Asgard: At the top of the world tree, we have Shining Asgard. Asgard is the home of the Aesir family of Deities, and some of the most well known: Thor, Frigga, Skadi, and of course, Odin, leader of the As.  The Valknut is Odin’s symbol,  who’s Hall of the Slain is roofed with golden shields. Gold, too, are the apples of Immortality which Idunna grows and guards for the gods, and that is why I associate gold strongly with Asgard. The Rainbow Bridge links Asgard to Midgard and is guarded by Heimdall.

I had debated using the highest light space for Thor’s hammer rather than a star, but as a Heathen who’s practice includes many Jotun’s, and who is jotun blooded, I don’t feel comfortable using hammers in my practice. For another practitioner, however, that may be a more appropriate symbol to use decorating their tree.

I chose the rune Ansuz because it is one that is associated with Odin and the Aesir.

Vanaheim: Next, we have Vanaheim, home of the Vanir family of Gods – Freya and Frey, Njord, Nerthus. The Van are Gods of fertility and agriculture, and the mysteries of death and rebirth, which is why I chose the rune Ingwaz here, which is Frey’s rune. The pictographic interpretation of Ingwaz is the bound wheat shaft, waiting to be cut down, as Frey is cut down each year and yet reborn, and I painted little wheat plants to flank it. I used gold for the details here as Frey is known as the Golden One

The runes chosen, Fehu (wealth) and Jera (Harvest) were chosen to reflect a bountiful harvest, which the Vanir can grant us. Fehu is also associated with Freya.

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Alfheim: Alfheim was was hardest for me, because Alfs/Elves are very foreign to me. I don’t know them well, don’t want to, and feel they have the same opinion of me, which. We are all fine with that. Everyone I asked and the sources I checked associate Wunjo with Alfheim, hence its inclusion here. Alfs have a liking for very, very pretty well-made things, so I used silver, gold and pearl to decorate and created the best flower I could.

Midgard – Midgard, depending on your cosmology, is either our world that we currently live in, or the sister-realm to ours. Midgard is encircled within the Great Snake, Jormungandr, Angrboda and Loki’s youngest child; the Serpent is associated with the rune Ior, included on the left.

Mannaz is the centrepiece of this world because Mannaz is the rune of humanity, community, marriage, etc. The pictograph is two people standing with their hands joined, as in a handfasting.   Also included is the Eihwaz rune, the yew staff a farmer would use to defend his home and land.

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Jotunheim: One of the 3 realms home to the Jotunkind, Jotunheim is large, full of mountains and dark forests. Pictured on the right is a representation of a wood, the Ironwood where Angrboda dwells, represented with the Ac rune.Also included areUruz, the rune of physical strength and endurance (also note – Ac is a rune of Angrboda, but it is also a rune associated with emotional/psychic strength and endurance) Thurisaz -clearly one associated with the Jotunkind, also called Thurses. I find this rune a fascinating symbol for Jotuns because it is also emblematic of Fire and Ice – it is made of Isa, the Ice rune, and Kano, the Torch. The universe was created by the meeting of fire and ice in the great void. It is not for no reason that the Thurz rune is so potent.

Getting more personal, the heart is there because I strongly associate the heart with Angrboda, my fulltrui, and inside of is Othala, because I see Jotunheim as my home, and where some of my ancestry is from.

Svartalfheim & Nidavellir – home of the Duergar (Dwarves) and the Dark Alfs. Some traditions consider the svartalfs and duergar to be the same beings – dwarves. My tradition sees them as distinct separate races and communities.Moreso than Alfheim, this was another extremely hard world for me. The Dark Alfs are even more remote to me than the Light Alfs. I used silver-grey for this world to contrast the brightness of Alfheim. The Dark Alfs live on the surface of this world, the dwarves preferring to stay underground.

Moreso than Alfheim, this was another extremely hard world for me. The Dark Alfs are even more remote to me than the Light Alfs. I used silver-grey for this world to contrast the brightness of Alfheim. The Dark Alfs live on the surface of this world, the dwarves preferring to stay underground.

The only symbol commonly associated with the Dark Alfs that I could find was the dagger. For the Duergar, the hammer would again be an appropriate symbol, as the hammer is used in smithing, and they were the creators of Thor’s famous hammer, but I opted to include a compass to represent the hall of the four directions, the Duergar temple to the creatures that take the form of dwarves to hold up the sky -Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri (North, South, East, and West).

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The next two worlds are Niflheim and Muspellheim, the worlds of Ice and Fire.  The purple bordering them is to represent Ginunngungap, the primordial chaos from which the world originated.

Niflheim is the world of Ice, represented by Haglaz, one of the two Ice runes (the other being Isa, which is included as well but not as the primary focus). Haglaz is the ice seed – a hail stone and can be as dangerous as a hailstorm.

Muspellheim is the world of Fire, and its focal rune is Cweorth, the fire twirl, one of the oldest methods of making fire, and is associated with the funeral pyre. The  Kano fire run is included as well.

Helheim, finally, is at the bottom of the world tree, and is painted black and has silver accents – the Keys represent the keys to Helheim, which only a few mortals have access to (nb – I am not one of them).  To the right is Niddhog, the dragon who gnaws the roots of the world tree and who is in a battle of insults with the eagle at the top of the tree – Ratasok the squirrel ferries the insults between them.The apple is for Hel, who I strongly associate with apples. I’ve been told that there are several fine apple orchards in Hel.

The central rune here is Ear, the Rune of the Grave. Its pictograph is of the pole and yoke or tree from which an animal was hung when it was butchered, and is an apt metaphor/symbol of Hela.

So, there you have it! A DIY Yggdrasil of your very own.  If you already have paints, this project is easily under $10 for the wooden tree and lights to light it up.

I will post an update once I have further pictures with lights!

The next craft will be Rune Ornaments for your real life Yule tree!

 

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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