Friday, April 8, 2011

Calling Up The Wind, Northern Magic

Calling up the wind has always been a part of Northern Folk Magic. Before the availability of manufactured power sources, the wind was used in milling and transport. Until the end of commercial sailing, Norse seafarers in the Baltic would build stone labyrinths by the shore to ensure a fair wind. 

When it came becalmed, they would row to a nearby island or coastline, construct a labyrinth and conduct ceremonies in it to "call up the wind." In some places, whistling in a certain way and direction was held to be effective. 

Also, "dobbie stones", stones with a natural or artificial hollows in which offerings, such as milk, can be placed, have been used traditionally in rites for raising the wind. 

The modern tradition for these stones is that they are receptacles for milk for sacred cats, and are sometimes called "Cat troughs." This is a continuation of the earlier practice  which added honey to the milk, or substituted brine or ale. 

Dobbie stones are stones with natural depressions, and sometimes artificially hollowed out. they are found near the farmhouse door, by field-entrances, and places where paths cross boundaries, such as stiles and gateways. 

To call up the appropriate wind, offerings should be placed in the bowl from the corresponding direction from which the required wind should blow. The cupped surface is a reflection of the dome of the heavens, or the skull of the slain primal giant Ymir, and, by the law of correspondences, it is a microcosm of the circle of the horizon or the Rose of the Winds.

Dobbie stones fashioned from 'bones of the Earth', are an image of the skull-cup from which the warriors of the Northern Martial Arts would drink. Offerings like this are in the tradition of A'lf-blot, an offering to the Elves or the local Spirits of the land. 

The sacred cats referred to are spectral or natural, and are the totemic creature of Freya. Apparitional creatures like the Exmoor Cats, the Surrey Puma and other sightings occasionally reported in the press may well be glimpses of these beings. 

Brightest of Blessings, 

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