RSS

Tag Archives: volva

I haven’t update in a while. Shit got real. I had a boyfriend, and I had to throw him out. After that I found I had what we thought were bedbugs, but after turned out to be fleas. This post isn’t about that.

This post is about my new bed. For the first time in seven years, I have a brand new bed and bed frame. It’s the only upside to the damn bug problem. It was easier to replace than getting covers for the old shit. Cheaper too.

The upside to the whole bug situation is that in my panic it forced me to give up a bunch of furniture that belonged to exes and ex-family. It’s why I have the new bed.

This bed is MY bed. My last bed, a king-sized bed that was obtained second hand from a friend, belonged to me and my husband. Officially it was my bed in the divorce, but thereafter the bed held a ghost of a memory. Then, another relationship, and another ghost.

After throwing out the most recent ex, I couldn’t stand sleeping there anymore. Best night of sleep I had was the week after he was gone, and I went to Jersey to stay with a friend because finally, I was in a bed without any ghosts. (Well. None of my own.)

Despite the sheer mass of cleaning and organizing and moving furniture and purging his belongings out of my space, this room hasn’t felt as good as it has now, with a bed that neither he nor anyone else has touched.

Aesthetically and physically it is a different feel as well. It’s a metal bed frame 16 inches off the floor, with over a foot of storage space (cannot wait to get rolling bins to store my bedside amenities. The mattress is an 8 inch memory foam that is soooo deliciously firm. I plan to get a nice pillow top mattress pad so I can have soft and firm all together.

My old bed was a box spring/coil mattress combo and was way, way higher. It’s smaller; I downsized to a Queen. (It was a King; that’s how this all happened. Covers for the mattress and box spring would have run me about the same as the new jawn did with some thrifty shopping). I have a whole bunch more space available to me now between the smaller bed and the rearranging of furniture. I do want to get a comfy reading chair and more lamps.

I admit, I like having my own room. In both situations where I lived with a partner, the bedroom was definitely MY room. My husband had his office, where he eventually started sleeping, and my ex had his ‘man-cave’, which as a concept makes me very uncomfortable.

I fill a room comfortably and am very particular. I have space for Angrboda and Freya in my room; my work altar is now back in here unlike while my ex was here. I like my closet with no doors and piles of blankets, and my seidhr stool that no one sits on but me and my drum and art and pretty red lights. Ultimately this makes sense, as I have finally started the slow acceptance of my path. I will not pair bond like this again. I ought not have done that in the first place, I knew better, and…well at least I learned.

I have an idea of where things go next. It is likely going to be hard, but worth it.

Strength;
Úlfdís

 

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

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

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Practical Rune Magic: Ior

Practical runic car magic: I have a friend who uses Isa as their go to protective rune for their car and while driving.

I can see why, since Isa, as the Ice rune, is a great rune for sliding on by and making sure you’re not seen (such as when you’re speeding, or parking illegally.)

However, the downside to that is the same as the upside – sometimes you don’t see ice. The few times I’ve used Isa and forgotten to remove it have generally ended with folks just missing me at the last minute.

Earlier this summer, I had a little incident with my car where the passenger side window would not roll up. I was not able to get this fixed for over two weeks because I didn’t have the funds to repair it. I also live in a somewhat rough neighborhood where leaving your car window open isn’t the best idea. Plus…rain was coming.

So I did all the practical stuff – removed my EZ pass, phone charger, anything I couldn’t afford to lose and locked the glove compartment. Parked on a main street with the window facing the one way road. But before that, driving home, I was angry and frustrated, particularly as had I been told by the person who gave me the car the motor was going, I’d have stopped using it until I had gotten it repaired!). In my frustration, I ran through the runes in my head looking for help, and bam, there it was. Ior.

Image from Shadowlight: Iormungand

Ior is the rune of the World Serpent, which is found in the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc set of runes (The Futhorc is 33 runes – the 24 runes from the Elder Futhark with an additional aett +1). One of my teachers associates Ior with the keyword of BOUNDARIES. Clearly – Jormungandr is literally the boundary between Midgard and Ginnungagap; encircling and protecting us from the void.

So I galdred Ior in my car, and I also like to make the Jotunmobile look like a great crouching beast that one wouldn’t want to approach.

Two weeks with no window and some really pathetic plastic coverings, and not a thing was damaged by human or rain.

I used it again recently which is what inspired this post.  I was desperate to get to my appointment. I had to pee and I was having a hell of a time finding a parking spot near my doctor’s office in Old City at night. I finally parked illegally on the block of the office, in front of a hydrant, and again placed Ior on my car before running in.  I figured I’d have a ticket by the time i left – in fact as I was stepping out my car there were cops both walking and driving down the street.  Not a thing.

I personally prefer Ior of Isa as a protective rune for items in motion, but I’d love to hear other folks experiences with both in the comments.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Road to Hel

 

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 that on this road, is comforting.)

Yes.

The Road to Hel is paved with good intentions.

—-
Creative Commons License
The Road To Hel by Úlfdís is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Deity and the Divine – Angrboda and Hearts

As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts on Angrboda in the Deity and the Divine series, one of the symbols that has been the primary focus of my iconography for Her has been the heart – primarily an anatomically correct human heart. The heart is also the primary connection between a variety of stories in the Northern Tradition.

Both the story of Gullveig and the story of Angrboda’s Children tell how each Goddess was speared and burned three times.

In the Voluspa (Bellows translation):

21. The war I remember, | the first in the world,
When the gods with spears | had smitten Gollveig,
And in the hall | of Hor had burned her,
Three times burned, | and three times born,
Oft and again, | yet ever she lives.

22. Heith they named her | who sought their home,
The wide-seeing witch, | in magic wise;
Minds she bewitched | that were moved by her magic,
To evil women | a joy she was.

The first war was instigated when the Van-allied Gullveig was speared and burned upon her visit to  Odin (Har)’s Hall in Asgard.She was reborn as the volva Heith, much beloved by ‘evil’ women/witches/troll women.

Later, in the poem Hyndluljoth (Bellows translation)

43. A heart ate Loki,– | in the embers it lay,
And half-cooked found he | the woman’s heart;–
With child from the woman | Lopt soon was,
And thence among men | came the monsters all.

After having consumed this heart, Loki then gave birth to monsters and witches – because of this the connection is made between the heart and Gullveig.

In Thursatru tradition, the Heart of Gullveig is held to be the seed of chaos; black, rime-cold, glacier made from the primordial black ice. The Cosmic Fire of the Aesir could not burn a heart so cold, and merely half singed it. This heart is Her ultimate Thursian essence.

In the story of Angrboda’s Children, as told by Her to Raven Kaldera, Angrboda is lured out of the Ironwood by Odin, and comes to Him in Asgard.

“The Hag of the Iron Wood stepped carefully into the great banquet-hall, feeling very much the barbarian. A great feast was served, of which she ate little, waiting for Loki to be spoken of. Perhaps he is imprisoned, she thought. Finally she could wait no longer, and turned to Odin. “Where is my fool of a husband?” she asked. “Is that not why you have brought me here?”

“My business with you does indeed involve Loki,” Odin said. “Give me a moment, and I will have this business brought to you, that you might advise me on it.” And he stood, ready to leave the hall, and yet before he left he hesitated. He looked upon the tall, proud giantess in her cloak of furs, and he bowed before her respectfully, and Angrboda saw a sorrow in his demeanor. Then he left the hall, and she sat with furrowed brow, waiting.

He had been gone but a moment when she realized that with Odin’s departure, all others in the hall had also gone, and she was alone. Sensing danger, she started to her feet and drew her blade – she had wondered why Odin had not insisted that she give up her sword – but there was no one to fight. Then, in a split second, the entire hall burst into flames. Fire ran down the tables as if oil had been poured over them, and the roof was an inferno in moments. Angrboda’s long red hair was the first to catch, and she went up like a torch, screaming curses.

Odin and those trusted few who had come to the feast watched the hall burn, and heard Angrboda’s screams. The fire-spell was a dangerous one, and cost Odin dear, but he dared not let her get to the door of the hall to fight. As they watched, the roof fell in, and they saw her figure like a torch, stumbling through the debris. Slowly, slowly, she peeled the flame from her blackened body, and fell to her hands and knees on the earth. They heard her mumbling magics, and saw that her skin was beginning to grow back, her charred flesh to heal. Amazed and chagrined, Odin threw a second fire-spell, and the flames attacked her once more. A second time she burned, and a second time she struggled to her feet and began to use her magics to survive. A third time he hurled the spell, though it cost him so dear that he nearly collapsed, and had to be held on his feet. This time, the giantess did not rise from the flames; they consumed her until nothing was left but a heap of ashes, with her charred heart in the middle.”

Once consumed, Her children were stole away and banished – one to the ocean, one held hostage, and one to Hel. Later, when Loki arrives on the scene;

“For Loki had arrived at night, while Odin was looting his wife’s house, and some took joy in telling him of the death of the Hag of the Iron Wood. He rushed to the hall, which was still roaring in flames, but he had not learned nothing from his foster-father Surt the Black. Leaping through the flames unharmed, he found Angrboda’s burned body, which crumbled at his touch. All that was left was her ashen heart, still solid, so he placed it next to his and fled Asgard as fast as he could.

When he reached her hall, he found it plundered and burned, and her kinsmen dead, and his children gone. He screamed and raged, and the folk of the Iron Wood arose, and they all wept and raged with him. They would have marched on Asgard as they were, armed only with their fury and rude weapons, but Loki recovered himself enough to stop them. “There has been enough death for one night,” he said. “Now it is time to undo at least one of them.” And he placed Angrboda’s ashen heart on the hearth of the burned hall, and took a knife and let blood onto it from his arm, and every one of her kinsmen in the Wolf tribe came forward also and let their blood drip, so that the hearth ran with blood. As the sun rose and the word spread, Jotnar from the other tribes came as well, and may of them shed their blood for her life also, as Loki danced about the hearth and the Wolf tribe howled a strange song.

It is said that half the luck of the Iron Wood clans went into that spell, but that not a one of them ever regretted it. Even those who did not love the wolf-chieftess would rather have seen her alive than bear this insult from the Aesir, so even the trolls from the Hound-Beetle tribe came, and some of them shed blood for her – not for herself, they said, for the Wolf tribe had often fought with them, but because her daughter Hela was much beloved of them. And when the thunderstorm rose that night, Farbauti’s son called lightning down to strike that bloodsoaked hearth, and Loki’s spell came true. Angrboda rose again alive from the ashes of her heart.”

Clearly, these stories are different, but they also strongly echo the same themes, particularly that of renewed life from the remains of a heart.

It is my personal feeling that both of these stories are correct, and that Gullveig-Angrboda was burned and renewed at two separate occasions; at the dawn of the world, She was allied with the Van, and using the name Gullveig visited the Aesir, and Her poor treatment as Their ally sparked the First War.

Gullveig-Angrboda’s rebirth is another indication of Her connection to the Van. The Vanir are fertility and agricultural Powers, part of the Life-Death-Rebirth cycle; some hold the UPG that the Van’s strength in battle during the First War was the magic of Freya, bringing the fallen Van warriors back, so they could arise from death and fight again. Ultimately the First War ended in a standstill, and a peace was negotiated between the two tribes, and hostages exchanged.

Throughout both the known recorded lore, and the UPG and PCPG of spirit workers, the has been a noted good relationship between the Vanir and the the Jotunfolk, including intermarriage (both Frey, and his father Njord, married Jotunwomen, to varying degrees of success.)

One more historical saga has a tale about hearts has ties to Angrboda; the Volsung Saga has the story of Sigurd slaying the dragon Fafnir. (see my previous posts above which further explain how I came to connect Angrboda with the Volsungs) After having slain the dragon, Regin asked Sigurd to give him Fafnir’s heart to eat. Sigurd had consumed some of the dragon’s blood, and thus learned the language of the birds, who told him how Regin was planning to betray him and advise him to kill Regin first. . Sigurd beheads Regin, roasts Fafnir’s heart and consumes part of it. This gives him the gift of “wisdom” (prophecy). As previously discussed, Angrboda is a volva and a seeress, connected both to the Volsung line via the maternal line, and with hearts through her own mysteries.

Outside of ‘the lore’ my own experience, my own personal practice (both magical/spiritual/personal) and my UPG related to Angrboda/Gullveig have heavily featured hearts.

First and foremost, the heart, both stylized and anatomical, has been known as a symbol of love for a long, long time. From Wikipedia:

The first known depiction of a heart as a symbol of romantic love dates to the 1250s. It occurs in a miniature decorating a capital S in a manuscript of the French Roman de la poire (National Library FR MS. 2086, plate 12). In the miniature, a kneeling lover (or more precisely, an allegory of the lover’s “sweet gaze” or douz regart) offers his heart to a damsel.

In this case, they are specifically discussing the <3, the stylized heart symbol.

 She-who-brings-sorrow is also full of love. She is a Divine Mother, giving birth to Gods, and She loves Her children. She loves Loki, her consort. She loves her tribe. She loves those who are Hers. She loves fiercely, She loves honestly. If She loves you, She loves all of you, even the ugly, monstrous bits.

Her body is speared and burnt, but Her loving Heart always survives, allowing her to be brought back. She gave birth to Gods, and to Herself, from Herself. When Loki consumes Gullveig’s heart, and it causes him to become pregnant and birth witches and troll women. When She was burnt again, Angrboda’s heart remained and Love called her back; Her love for Her Children, torn from her, the love of Her people, who’s blood powered Loki’s magic.

As well, the heart serves as a symbol off Gullveig-Angrboda’s status as a prophetess and volva. As we see from the Volsung saga, the heart is also a symbol of wisdom and prophecy in Norse tradition. In chapter 3 of the Saga of Erik the Red, we meet the Volva Thorbjorg, who performs Seidr for the people, to prophecy the future for them. Her entire visit is described in great detail, including the meal she is served:

During the evening the tables were set; and now I must tell you what food was made ready for the spae-queen. There was prepared for her porridge of kid’s milk, and hearts of all kinds of living creatures there found were cooked for her. She had a brazen spoon, and a knife with a handle of walrus-tusk, which was mounted with two rings of brass, and the point of it was broken off.

 One of my personal kennings for Angrboda is Heart of Jarnvidr (this is also the name of my devotional blog located on tumblr) As the Chief of Chiefs of the Ironwood Clans, Angrboda their war leader, and as Chieftess acts as Gythia to Her people. As the Hagia of the Ironwood, She is their Wisewoman. And when She was dead, the Ironwood came together over Her heart, to bring back The Heart of the Ironwood.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Pagan Experience – Resolutions

So I’ve decided to try this ‘doing a writing project’ thing again.  Why not. I should write more.

So. Resolution. Honestly? I don’t do New Years resolutions, for several reasons.

The first is that January 1st? Not my New Year. For me, the year died on Samhain, and I’ve found that the time between Samhain and Yule tend to be when I get ready to birth the New Year, and in many ways, Yule is the start of the new year for me.  There’s something about that time between Samhain and Yule, when the year is dead but isn’t, and we’re frantically preparing for winter and stuffing our faces and saying hello to our dead (at least, more than we do the rest of the year. I don’t really feel that the ‘veil’ is particularly thinner around Samhain – our Dead are always present. We just have to listen to them.) and getting ready for the darkness, and I adore that liminal space.

This year I decided to give myself a challenge, and at Samhain, I gave up chocolate for one year.

However, the calendar New Year is a good time for starting projects like this – it makes keeping track of them easier.  I did also decide that as 2013 was a year of annihilation, and 2014 was a year of rebirth and beginnings, that 2015 will be a year of growth.  A lot has happened since 2013. I found my Gods, I left my husband, I helped found a Kindred, and I am now the assistant Gythia of this kindred. I promised Angrboda last year that I would be a völva, that I would be *Her* völva, and this is the year that I put that together, and really learn what that means, how I do that, and hone my skills. (again, these are things that really came together at Samhain. I have been stumbling semi blind, but have been slowing piecing it together.)

Really, everything I do seems to feed back to this – a völva was many things – a reader of wyrd, a caster of spells, a priestess to the people, a woman outside of the dominant society beholden to no one but the Gods. So what I’ve known I need to do is spend more time practicing divining, more time in Aikido,more time with my Lady, and more time figuring out what exactly it is She needs and wants from me.

Oh, and I’ll be opening up an Etsy shop soon for some of the devotional necklaces I have been making. I’ve got about 7 ready to go and would like to have 10 or 15 up as ‘stock’; I will be taking custom orders as well. I need to get a few practical things sorted out for this as well – boxes for shipping items, and maybe cards and a little logo of some kind. Nice and simple. I’ll be announcing the shop once it’s up.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,