D.I.Y. Mythology.

Recently, Husband and I took a day to celebrate one of his spirit allies, Bear (who has also helped me a fair bit!). We did all the regular things – made special food, played some music, said a prayer, did a little research.

The other thing we usually do, when we take a day to celebrate a Deity, is read out a myth concerning Them. When I celebrate one of my own spirit allies, I’ll get out my journals and re-read some of the journeys we’ve taken together. I wanted to do something similar to honor Bear, but include Husband in it (Bear is, after all, his spirit ally!) But Husband’s dyslexia makes my hand-written notes pretty much indecipherable for him, even with his yellow ruler thing. So I took my notes and wrote them up into something I could read out to him, like when we celebrate a Deity and I read out a myth.

It turned out kind of like a fairytale (the old-fashioned kind, I mean, not like Disney!) Given the theory that at least some fairytales are ancient and garbled accounts of otherwise lost myths, or journeys taken by shamans long ago, I guess that makes sense.

What do you guys think to this idea? Have any of you done anything similar? The particular ‘fairytale’ I ended up writing in this instance is too personal for me to share, but I was wondering about sharing others if I write more. Would you be interested in reading them?

Poem for Loki

Northern Tamarisk

Sharing the end of a poem I wrote early this morning, dedicated to Himself. In some ways Loki reminds me of elements of Shiva, with His divine dance of destruction that leads to renewal, the fire that burns away and leads to new, stronger growth.

Sometimes all
Must fall apart
To reach the truest
Depth of heart,

And there He’ll stand,
Dancer, Singer,
Trickster, Sage,
Loki: Light Bringer.

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Devotional Tattoos.

Is it just me, or does everyone and their Mom have a tattoo these days? I’m so old, I remember when it was controversial to have a tattoo…But I’m really happy things have changed. I *love* tattoos, and pretty much all my savings end up being needled into my skin.

People get tattoos for all kinds of different reasons. Some people just get them because they like the way they look, and I have no problem at all with that. Some people get  them to cover up scars. Other people use tattoos to express things about themselves – from deep meaningful beliefs to the fact that they just really like Toy Story – or to express their love for someone (though a lot of people consider getting a tattoo of a partner’s name to pretty much bring a curse on the relationship, so you have been warned. I have Husband’s name twice though, once on my chest and once on my ring finger (yes, I am that crazy), and our relationship is still going strong…Though he is transitioning and has changed his name, so I still have to try and change them!).

In my own case, most of my tattoos are devotional (at least, all the ones I’ve been getting recently are. I admit I did have one done, years ago, purely to impress a girl…That’s definitely *not* a good reason to get a tattoo). My latest design was supposed to express my devotion to Loki and Sigyn, but it’s become very much Sigyn’s tattoo, so I guess I’ll be getting another one for Loki later lol. It’s not finished yet, but the important bits (i.e. Loki and Sigyn Themselves) are done. Here’s Sigyn;

sigyn tattoo

And here’s Loki, Who somehow kinda ended up almost hiding around the side of my arm;

loki tattoo

To me it’s a way of expressing devotion and commitment, and also a way of being a sort of living altar. I now have Their images with me at all times – another way of devoting my life to Them, and giving Them a part of myself (literally!) I also have tattoos of some of my spirit guides (mostly tattoos which I got ‘by coincidence’ before actually meeting them, or even knowing anything at all about animism – if something happens three times, is it really a coincidence?)

I have a lot of devotional tattoos planned for the future, but ink is *expensive*, so it’s going to be a long job. Once the ‘Sigyn sleeve’ is finished I’m probably going to start a tattoo for Hel on the upper part of the same arm, which I have pretty much all planned and sketched out already. I already think of it as the ‘Goddess arm’ lol.

I’d be interested to hear you views on devotional tattoos, or if you have any yourself.  Feel free to include pictures!

July Angel Prayer.

July is here, and June is over for another year.

Thank you, Angel Muriel, for guiding us through the past month.

Now we greet you, Angel Verchiel, guardian of July. Please help us to enjoy and appreciate the rewards of our hard work, to balance work and rest, and to remember to take the time to enjoy life.

Thank you, Angel Verchiel.

What does it mean to have power in supply chains?

Earlier in the year, George Williams visited Traidcraft’s projects in Odisha, India. Here, he reflects on what it means to have ‘power in supply chains’.

In the Eastern Indian state of Odisha, Traidcraft has partnered with organic cotton specialists ‘Forum for Integrated Development’. Together we’re working with around 4,000 extremely poor households in the districts of Kalahandi and Rayagada.

The primary cash crop in the area is cotton and Traidcraft has a long history of working in the Indian cotton sector, including developing the standards for Fairtrade cotton and the world’s first Fairtrade cotton supply chains. The work in Odisha builds on this learning and experience, but it’s about much more than cotton.

Farmers are being trained on agro-ecological approaches that enable them to reduce their costs of production and lessen their dependence on potentially dangerous chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Farmers are now growing intercrops between their cotton…

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A Midsummer Prayer

Wyrd Designs

Trundholm Sun Chariot – National Museum of Denmark

Hail Sunna
Daughter of Mundilfari the time-turner,
Sister of light-gleaming Mani,
Wife of Glenr, and fair mother,
We hail you.

Day-Star, Light-Bringer,
Elf-Beam, Ever-glow,
All-bright, fair-wheel,
Year-counter
We greet you.

Shining grace bestow upon us,
Healing hands lay upon us,
Blessings of warmth, joy and plenty
We ask of you.

Hail to thee Sunna,
Dancing Fire of Sky and Air,
Lady of the Midnight Sun,
Golden, ever-Shining One.
We Hail!

Sun Offering Bowls – National Museum of Denmark

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Sunwheels & Midsummer

Wyrd Designs

Midsummer (or Litha, Sonnenwende, Sankthansaften, Midsommardagen, etc.), is without a doubt, a day with heavy connections to the sun. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Midsummer is the longest ‘day’ of the year, as the sun appears in the sky for far longer than any other day of the year. In certain places of the Northern hemisphere including parts of Scandinavia, the sun may never fully set, giving locals an eye-witness view to what’s colloquially known as a ‘midnight sun’. As such, it should come as no great surprise that in pre-Christian times, as well as for pagans and Asatru today, the day is marked with celebration honoring the sun itself.

Sunna (or Sol) is described in our tradition as the Goddess who in her chariot drawn by horses guides the sun in its track, as her brother Mani similarly drives the moon coursing through the sky. We…

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Midsummer.

Although we’re really busy at the moment, I’m really happy to say that we’ve managed to get a clear day to celebrate Midsummer on 😀 Having said that, I’ll probably have to sleep at sometime during the day lol.

Anyway, although we have a whole day to do nothing but celebrate, we do have a lot going on in general right now so we’re planning to do something fairly modest. In the morning I’ll make a cleansing salt scrub with basil, parsley and coriander (apparently they’re in season right now, though to be honest we grow ours on the windowsill so I think they just sorta do their own thing). I don’t have much red, orange or yellow in my wardrobe (it’s mostly black, black a little bit of grey and then some more black), but I have a red and black top I can wear. Husband’s much more colorful than me! Red, yellow and orange are three of his four favorite colors, so he’ll look very Summery.

I thought it would be cool to learn about the Sun on Midsummer, so I’ll play on the computer for a while. I *really* want to go for a walk, even if it’s just once around the nearby park. But I don’t want to just walk; I want to walk mindfully, paying attention to what’s going on around us with the plants, animals and weather. I also hope to journey, though I’m not quite sure what that will be about yet. I also really wasn’t sure what myths I should read. The Norse myths never seem seasonal to me. Any suggestions, anyone?

We plan to offer elderflower cordial, seasonal fruit (strawberries, cherries and peaches in our case, but apricots, bilberries, blueberries, gooseberries and greengages are also out now) a seasonal salad (loads is in season right now! Asparagus, beetroot, carrots, courgettes, lettuce, tomatoes…) and white chocolate and strawberry muffins (can’t be healthy all the time…). There are a lot of daisies and dandelions on our estate right now, and the copper beach is dropping these beautiful, shiny, purple-black leaves, so there’s plenty to decorate the altar with. I also hope to do a litter pick on the estate, but we’ll see. And of course we also have our prayer.

Anyone else got any plans?

Midsummer Prayer.

We ask You to be with us, Gods, Goddesses, Spirits and Ancestors, so that together we can all celebrate Midsummer.

It is time to say goodbye to the Spring, the new life and fresh mornings. We thank You for Your gifts and will welcome You again in Your time.

Now it is time to celebrate the Summer! We rejoice in the brightness and abundance of this time of year.

Thank You, kind Gods, Goddesses, Spirits and Ancestors, for the many gifts of Summer.

Please bless the plants as they bloom and fruit.

Please bless the bugs and the bees as they go about their vital work.

Please bless us here as we work for abundance, both material and spiritual. Please help us to grow stronger and to keep hold of the spark of fire in our hearts (or whatever is most appropriate to you).

Please bless us all, so that we may learn to share the prosperity that comes in to our lives and create a world where we can all  have happiness and plenty.

Thank You all for hearing our prayer. May You in turn be blessed and joyful in Your lives (and accept these gifts of…).

 

We’re also including Lady Jörð, Lady Sól, Loki and the Angel Tubiel in the prayer we’ll be saying.

Father’s Day Prayer.

We ask You to be with us, Gods, Goddesses, Spirits and Ancestors, so that together we can all celebrate Father’s Day.

We want to thank you, our Ancestral Fathers. We celebrate the love and happiness you shared with your children, and thank you for the hard work you put in and the pains you endured.

Thank You, kind Gods, Goddesses, Spirits and Ancestors, for the Fathers of the world. Thank You for the Fathers who brought us life and for the Fathers who raised us.

Please bless the many and varied Fathers in our world, and please bless (names), the Fathers and Father figures of our lives.

(This verse if appropriate, otherwise change or omit entirely;) Please bless us here, so that we may strengthen the bonds we have with our Fathers.

Please bless us all, so that we may learn to celebrate Fatherhood in all it’s positive forms.

Thank You all for hearing our prayer. May You in turn be blessed and joyful in Your lives (and accept these gifts of…).

 

I know a lot of people have really difficult relationships (or simply no relationship) with their Father. I’m really lucky – my Dad and I are like friends. Husband’s Dad, sadly, passed away when he was twelve – though since setting up our Ancestor shrine, he has made his presence felt on several occasions! The full version of this prayer includes verses of thanks to him, to my deceased paternal Grandfather, to both Husband’s deceased Grandfathers, to several Deities Who are Fathers and even to someone I had children with in a former life (I admit that last one is a bit weird).

If your relationship with your Father is awful or non-existent, maybe you could ask blessings for a Grandfather or some other male in your life who has been like a Father to you. I also know someone who gets their Mother a card on Father’s Day, since she has had to be both Father and Mother to that person. Alternatively, you could use the prayer to ask for help in improving the relationship. Everyone’s situation is different, but I’m thinking about writing some kind of ‘please help us improve our relationship prayer’ at some point (though obviously some ‘Fathers’ are best just avoided completely). Everyone will have some male Ancestor somewhere along the line who was a decent bloke though, so I still think Father’s Day is worth celebrating in some way.