Monday, March 28, 2011

Problems of Norse Spell Casting

Many people who are attracted to the spiritual paths of Norse Shamanism or Witchcraft become frustrated by the ineffectiveness of their spells. So let's go into the dynamics of Spell-Casting.

When our own energy is concentrated and channeled, it can move broader energy currents. The images and objects used in spells are the channels, the vessels through which our power is poured and how it is shaped. 

When energy is directed into the images we visualize, it gradually manifests into physical form and takes shape in the material world. And how many times have we heard that we should put a lot of "emotion" behind the thought or spell?

Norse Spell Casting it is not merely a matter of emoting. It became the mantra after the movie the "The Secret" to say, "Thoughts are Things" and that we should think only positive thoughts. If thoughts and emotions alone could cause things to happen thousands of people would be married to movie or rock stars. I would not be writing this article at my desk; I would be sunning myself on the Riviera. 

Even the most concentrated power is a small stream compared to the vast surges of energy that surround us. The most adept Norse Witch cannot be successful in all her spells; the opposing currents are often too strong. And these currents run in waves.

Spell Casting is more like sailing a boat. First step is to identify the flow of energy and then decide whether or not it is going where we want to go. And we must measure. Some of these currents would be our own unconscious motives, our desires our emotions, our patterns of actions and the cumulative results of our past actions. The currents are also broader social, economic, and political that surround us. 

The winds that will fill the sails on our boat are the forces of time, climate and season; the tides of the planet, the Moon, and the Sun. Sometimes all the forces are with us; we simply unfurl our sails and take off. At other times, the wind may run against the current, we may have to tack back and forth, or take down our sails and wait. 

Sensing the energy climate is a matter of intuition and experience. Some Shamans and Witches make a detailed study of Astrology or the Tarot in an effort to plan their magical workings. I prefer to just work when I feel the time is right. 

Good Luck, Good Love and Good Magic,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Aesir and Vanir Norse Myth

In Norse mythology it is said that two races of deities ended up in Asgard, the Aesir and the Vanir. The Vanir goddess Gullveig (Gold-Thirst) went to the Aesir and flaunted her ability to predict the future and make gold. 

When she refused to share her secrets with them, the Aesir killed and burned her. This proved ineffective. Twice Gullveig rose from the flames. Finally the Aesir gave up. They renamed her Heid (Gleaming One) and began to consider a peaceful life with the Vanir more seriously. 

However, the murder attempt brought about constant fighting, with neither side getting the upper hand. The walls of both kingdoms were destroyed. Finally a truce was called and hostages exchanged. 

The greatest Vanir deities, Njord, Frey and his sister Freya (supreme goddess of Magic), joined the Aesir. 

Meanwhile, the Vanir were having their own problems, with the two Aesir hostages, Mimir and Hoenir. Mimir was very wise, but Hoenir was mostly silent. When he did speak, it was evident that he was not very bright. In disgust, the Vanir took out their frustrations on Mimir, relieving him of his head that they sent back to Odin.

The Allfather, Odin preserved it with herbs and placed it at the fountain in Midgard, so that Mimir's knowledge would not be lost. 

When Mimir was slain, his seven sons fell asleep in their hall in Hel. When Heimdall blows his horn at Ragnarok, Mimir's sons will awake and fight the Gods of Asgard against their enemies. 

Brightest of Blessings,

Friday, March 25, 2011

Predicting the Future From Nature

The direction a flock of geese is flying, the course taken by a spider or a ladybug, the action of smoke rising from incense or the gyrations of a candle flame have all been successfully used as methods of predicting the future. Anyone who feels a rapport with nature and natural things can do this weather they deal in shaman-craft, witchcraft or not. 

You will find nature quite cooperative if your quest is sincere and you enjoy communing with her creatures. The birds, insects and other "lower forms of life" are better in tune with the forces of change than the average human being. So we should be able to see some rationale for their ability to see the future. 

Is it beneath your dignity to ask a spider or a candle for help with your problems? If so, just ignore this short article. As for me, I have learned to accept help and valid information form any source that has proved itself reliable - and you can't test reliability without asking questions. 

The trick in shaman-craft and witchcraft is to tell your instrumentality (bird, spider, ladybug etc.) what action you will expect for a "yes" and for a "no" answer. 

There are standard ways of working with a candle, for instance. In the old witchcraft tradition a brand new candle may be used to answer one question. You simply ask your question aloud of the candle, and then light it. 

If the flame goes way up in a few seconds, the answer is "yes", but if it shrinks very low, the answer is "no." This way is fine for amateurs, and it wastes a lot of candles at best.

Instead, I would like to share with you a discovery of mine and a more sophisticated use. Several years ago I developed a wonderful rapport with a candle on my altar. I felt the flame reaching out to me one night, so I talked to it. I told it I would like to be friends and asked if it would answer me. 

I suggested that it's flame lean towards me for "yes," away from me for "no," and sideways  if it couldn't answer. Very quickly the flame leaned way over towards me and I felt an emanation or glow that I can only describe as a feeling of friendship. 

Next, I asked it to show me how it would say "no," and it quickly leaned directly away from me. When I asked if it could tell the future, the flame leaned toward me again in a most friendly manner.

For several months this candle and flame was my personal investment counselor. It accurately predicted the direction of movement of my stocks at the time. I credit it for becoming  several thousand dollars richer. When the first candle burned away, it's replacement was just as friendly. As have been subsequent candles, I have used for advice over the years.  

The same principle can be applied to the fumes from burning incense or to any of the small household insects - if you trade your killer instinct for friendship and compassion for them. Common sense will keep you from acting on the advice of your small insect friends until you have proved it's validity for yourself. 

Suffice it to say seeing the future with help from bugs and candles makes good sense as a logical combination of synchronicity and your love affair with life. 

Good Luck, Good Love and Good Magic,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Norse Warlock Spirtual Warrior

Historically "Warlock" has been used to to describe a male practitioner of Magical Arts. It also has been used as a synonym for a male witch and remains popular with the mass media. Although it is certainly not commonly used within the modern witchcraft community. 

Warlock is a controversial word and the usage enrages many practitioners of magic. It has also been used to indicate that the person using this title is an outsider to the magical community, unaware of magical nuances and etiquette. There is much debate as to it's origins. 

One speculation is that it evolved from the Norse word "Vardlokkur," which means a wise man who guards or (locks) the gates of knowledge. He binds evil spirits to prevent them from entering through the portals, thus creating wards. 

This Warlock is a "Spiritual Warrior" and a practitioner of protective magic, especially the use of protective runes. If Warlock derives from "Vardlokkur" then it is derived from pagan sources and refers to genuine pagan tradition. 

Vardlokkur names not only the practitioner, but it may also name the magical tradition of using runes to bind, harm and provide protection. 

"Warlock" might be derived not only from the above mentioned source, but also from the Old English word "Waeroga", literally translated as "oath breaker". But also historically used to indicate "devil." 

The word "Warlock" may come from both roots and may reflect the British Christian perceptions of the Pagan Norse invaders, "The North men" or Vikings. Regardless of it's origin, the Anglo-Saxon term comes from a squarely Christian tradition. It is the Christian word used to describe those who the Christians held in contempt. 

The "Witch Hunters" applied it to their prey. The sting of this word still remains in most witchcraft communities. The exception would be those practitioners drawing heavily or exclusively from the Norse Shamanic traditions, who may even favor the name. 

Good Luck, Good Love and Good Magic,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Norse Magic Volva and Volupsa

In Norse Shamanism the Volvas  were the "Sibyls" of the Northland. This was the term used for female magicians or a magical prophetess. This term comes from the world Volr or "Stick." This stick was also known as a (staff or gandr) which were used in magical rituals. 

The Norse Volva, female magician, presided over the divination rite known as Seider. The Volva traveled, offering her services and in she was offered feasts and celebrations. She reproduces the traditional processional where a deity or sacred object is transported by wagon. 

A written document describing these practices survived from a village in Greenland. The town suffering from famine eagerly awaited the arrival of the Volva hoping to change their luck with her incantations and magic. 

She was greeted with a lavish ritual meal that featured hearts of every possible different animal. After the feast, the Volva mounted a platform, wearing calf skin boots and cat's fur gloves (furry on the inside). 

She sat on a cushion stuffed with hen's feathers (the feathers were an aid for her on Volva's "flight of trance.") She requested a young villager to sing entrancing incantations called the Vardlokkur Songs, "The Warlock songs."

When the Volva emerged from her trance, she praised the singing. The spirits flock to hear it. She was able to then learn from these spirits that the famine would soon end as well as other information. 

The "Volupsa," translated as the "Sibyl's Prophecy" or the "Volva's Prophecy", is a Norse poem from Iceland written down in the late tenth century or early eleventh. But it is believed to reflect even older traditions. It is considered among the most important poems in the Poetic Edda. 

The Poem takes the form of a monologue delivered by a Volva in repsponse to questioning by the Norse god Odin. 

Brightest of Blessings,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Karmic Astrology and Cancer

The Karmic power radiating through the sign of Cancer is one of deep emotion and lasting love. You were born in one of the most sensitive and emotional signs in the Zodiac, ruled by the Moon. Your nature is like the Moon, ever-changing, volatile, moody and highly imaginative. 

You have a dark side too. You experience periods of depression so great that you feel you can hardly face life's problems sometimes. It is during these periods of change and depression that you must constantly remind yourself that you were destined to greatness, and that you must hold on just a little longer. The dark clouds of turbulence and emotional insecurity will pass. 

Because you react emotionally to every passing wind of misfortune, traumatic experiences are often drawn to Cancerians. Some of these tragedies are real and require great mental adjustment. Others are created by the instability of the sign. These problems must be faced head on and solved before they upset the delicate balance of the Cancerian mind. 

All this does not mean that all Cancers have bad luck. But it is an indication that the trends of Moon's phases often bring strange events and even tragic circumstances into Cancer's lives. 

The Moon, which is your ruling planet, makes you highly sensitive and easily swayed by the passions and emotions of those who are closest to you. As Cancer rules the fourth house in the Zodiac, it is connected with the mother and the father and all living things connected with the personal life. 

You are apt to find yourself highly motivated by your parents. Generally the mother is the most influential person in a Cancers life. This can be either positive or negative.

Just as the Moon is a reflector of the Sun, Cancer personality is a reflector of those who are emotionally closest to them. You want to please your parents; you are apt to be influenced in the choice of career by what your mother or father wants for you. You vacillate between your own choices for future career and those made by your parents. It takes a great deal of will power for the typical Cancer to break the "silver cord" that ties you to your mother and her wishes. 

You have a deep desire to protect the young and create a safe, secure home environment. You sacrifice everything for your children to give them a good life, to educate them and to protect them from life's dangers. 

As your sign of Cancer is reserved and conservative, you seldom make moves without giving great consideration to the effects on you and your family. This ultra-conservatism often causes you to lose out on some wonderful experiences in life. 

Yours is the sign of the crab, who crawls sideways to get ahead. Cancers tend to side-step life's crucial issues. They tend to try and avoid problems and challenges. They hate to confront problems head on. 

Due to the sensitivity of your sign, you may be withdrawn and shy. You wear an outer protective armor that may make you seem to be brittle, harsh and even critical and sarcastic. For this reason many people will misunderstand you. 

In reality, you are extremely sensitive and easily hurt. Like the crab who has a soft, protective outer shell, when this shell is penetrated, it represents a soft, vulnerable interior. 

Cancer often has an inferiority complex, lacking faith in yourself and your abilities. You must constantly work to reassure yourself that you are equal to, if not superior to other people. 

You are honest, fair dealing, and highly idealistic. You make friends easily. You are affable and can be charming, even beautiful in your social nature. 

Cancer has a deep religious or spiritual trend to your nature. You are very concerned about morality and idealism in the human experience. 

Your mind is capable of adapting to any line of work that requires sensitivity and perception. You would do well in sales, teaching, law, politics, electronics, computers, advertising, or even taking up writing as a full-time career. The Cancer mind anticipates public needs and knows how to quietly win support. 

Romance for Cancer:

Your sign makes you very emotional and intense in your love affairs. You are sensitive, loyal and trusting. Because of these qualities you are often hurt in love and marriage. It is vitally important that you select your true soul-mate or you will come to grief in the marriage state. 

You often build an idealized image of your future mate. You resent vulgarity and crudity and believe that love and sex are sacred and should not be flaunted or misused. 

You often like the idea of having a large family, but your Cancer nature generally limits your family to two children. You enjoy having a home of your own where you can build your family security. 

The following signs are compatible for you in love and marriage. If you are with someone you love born in a sign that is not indicated as compatible with you, remember, "The stars impel ; they do not compel." If you use determination and if you really love the person, you can still make a success of the union. 

Scorpio is a water sign and has all the qualities of charm, sexual magnetism, loyalty and sincerity that you love in a soul mate. 

The water sign of Pisces is another highly compatible sign to yours. These people have beautiful souls, high idealism, and are truthful and honest. 

You get along with earth signs of Taurus and Virgo for water and earth are compatible. Capricorn is your opposite sign and is also an earth sign. Opposites strongly attract, but they also repel. Take heed if you choose a Capricorn person. 

It is best to avoid fire signs even though they attract your emotional nature. Aries can be too bossy for your gentle nature. Leo, which wears it's heart on it's sleeve could make you jealous with their romantic escapades. Sagittarius can be too moody  and depressed for your own moody nature. Gemini is not for Cancer. 

The dark side of the Moon is apt to be your cycle of moods and depressions. The full Moon finds you highly romantic and idealistic. This is when you should build your romantic relationships. 

In summation, because you were born in the fourth house of the Zodiac, your Karmic pattern will always be associated with your deep sensitive nature, your fine emotions and high ideals. 

Brightest of Blessings, 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pertho Rune of Hidden Meanings

The Norse rune Pertho corresponds to the letter "P". Other names for it are: Perdhro, Perodh, Peorth, and Fate. The tree associated with it is the Beech. Deities indicated are the Norns and Frigga. Frigga is patroness of Pertho as she is the goddess that governs birth and the Norns are involved in creating "Fate."

It's color is black. It is equivalent to the tarot card "Wheel of Fortune." In Astrology it would be tied with Saturn. 

Pertho is the sixth rune of the second aett and it is one of the most controversial runes in the futhark, as far as meaning. First and foremost it means "Secret" along with fate, chance, birth, unexpected material gain and a "surprise" are all meanings that have come to us from ancient times for this rune.  

Facing in it's normal position, to the right, Pertho is interpreted as birth.  It can also be thought of as creative energy flowing outwards. 

If this rune is reversed and faces left, instead of birth it will symbolize death. Of course a person's death should never be hinted at and should be thought of as more of a metaphorical dying of old self and birth of a new self, or new beginnings.  Old ways of doing things will be given up for new etc. But this will come from something in the past that resurfaces to surprise us. 

Pertho can also be thought of as the hidden side of ourselves; that comes to the forefront and needs to be addressed. .

Brightest of Blessings,

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What Makes a Powerful Magical Ritual?

I follow the Northern Path of  Shamanism and Magic, but there are elements in any magical ritual that will determine if it will be powerful and effective. 

1. It must have a powerful beginning and ending. A ritual that begins on a weak note loses it's significance. Just as when you meet someone for the first time, the "first" impression is very important. If your beginning does not attract the attention from the participants, higher ones, be they gods, beings etc., with it's strength and sense of purpose very little will be accomplished. 

This is the reason why so many rituals begin with drums, bells, whistles or trumpets. You get a strong beginning by doing "something" to get people's attention. By the same turn, a weak ending leaves everyone participating feeling unfulfilled and incomplete. You achieve a strong ending getting everyone's attention again and letting them know clearly that the ritual is over. 

2. The ritual must have strong sensory input. You will only be impressed and influenced by a ritual that you are watching to the degree that it is interesting and beautiful. If it has music and scents it will have greater effect. Add to the that the other senses of touch and taste, the effect will be even more powerful. 

3. It must have a familiar and predictable form. If you participate in a ritual and do not know what to do next or what to expect, you will be confused and anxious. This in turn will cause you to be distracted from the ritual causing you to have less of an influence and less of an impression. But if there is enough about it that is familiar, you will feel more comfortable and more affected by the ritual. 

4. The meaning of every part of the ritual must be understood by the participants. Any part of the ritual that is not understood by all involved causes the ritual to loose it's effectiveness. Sure the person directing the ritual knows what is going on. But it is the strength of all involved in the ceremony that gives the ritual strength. So in shamanic rituals you will usually find everything explained before and during the ritual. 

5. The ritual must be special. If a ritual does not look or feel any different from any other occasion it will loose it's effectiveness. The major reason why so many of our modern rituals seem empty is that so many of our leaders no longer treat those rituals as special. This is most evident in our holiday rituals. Hallows, or Halloween has been reduced to a costume party. Yule, or for many people perceived as Christmas, has become a shopping frenzy. New Years day is just a hangover and a football game. So make your ritual stand out and be noticed. 

Brightest of Blessings on Your Ritual,