Posts Tagged ‘ritual’

Well now I am embarrassed.

I sat down to read the runes for another Journey, who was kind to let me practice with a runic reading for her.

I am sorry, Journey. I don’t have an answer yet. *shuffles awkwardly*

I sat down, lit Odin’s candle and asked for his presence and guidance. I am just learning to understand the runes, and I asked as humbly as I could for his help.

The offerings I brought to him were all wrong, I felt it the moment I put them down. Taking simply what I myself thought tasted nice, and not really thinking about what HE would like… I gave him strawberries. And cocoa. And dried dates.

Yes, I am embarrassed now. As I offered the oh so sweet food it felt as though I could hear him.

Beer. Sausages. Beer. Offer me what you would have offered your man. Beer. 

I stared at the strawberries and I quite possibly blushed. It was so silly, all wrong.

I am a MAN.

Beer and sausages, I promised him. I’m sorry, I will bring you beer and sausages next time. A vague sense of amusement trickled my way but I carried on.

I cast the runes. All while I was doing it, a deer stood maybe 30 meters away from me, barking like crazy. I cast the runes. Gibberish. It didn’t make sense. I don’t think I have ever cast the runes and so clearly felt that it didn’t mean anything.

That vague amusement.


*sigh* I will need offer him beer. Beer and that particular kind of sausage that my husband likes. I feel silly now, I am sorry Odin. I knew it as soon as I pulled the strawberries out of the fridge, that it wasn’t what you wanted, but lazy me couldn’t be arsed with getting something else. Thank you, though, for being there. I felt your presence, and that means more to me than whether or not I could manage to read the runes or not.

Journey, I will try to answer your question as soon as I have brought Odin some proper offerings!

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Let’s talk about bugs again. This time it wont be mosquitoes though, I promise. And heads up, there is some santería related stuff in here, and I would LOVE to receive comments from those of you who are more learned than me in that particular religion.

I just read this blog post over at Mystical bewilderment, which was about spirit bugs or bugs being used as spiritual warnings, which made me think about something that my mom experienced a couple of years ago.

Me and my mom wre on Cuba, experiencing the not-so-touristic sides of Havana. We were there as a part of a cultural exchange project, focused on dance. For years I had practiced afro-cuban dance and this was a way for my dance group to get over there and learn more, dancing with one of the local dance companies. Since the dancing revolved around Santería it also came natural to learn more about the religion, and one of the favourite moments of the trip was when we attended a “birthday celebration” in which there was lots of food, lots of dancing, lots of sacred drumming and people going in and out of trances. Crazy cool.

On the last day in Havana, my mom took a short walk through the local market. An old man suddenly came up to her. The man held up a wooden staff in front of mom, and said that she was going to buy it from him. Now mom isn’t easily fooled by street merchants , but as she described it afterwards this old man seemed so very… weird. He was so serious . It seemed important. So she gave the man some money and received the staff.

Later that day we were moving out and going back to the airport. The leader of our group, our teacher and choreographer who is also a santera, caught sight of the wooden staff in mom’s hand. She froze, staring at the staff and looking slightly shocked. She asked mom where she’d gotten it, and shook her head in disbelief.

The staff is about the size of a walking cane, but thicker and shaped a bit differently with a bug knob at the top. It’s painted all over in bright colours, and at the top knob there is an eye. My dance teacher explained that this kind of staff is used in specific rituals, very dark and dangerous rituals about death. Such a staff would NEVER be sold to a tourist just like that, which was why it made her so shocked to see it in mom’s hand.

So what about the bug? Well, we came home. The staff was placed in the living room. It made mom feel uncomfortable, and it had the same effect on me though not as strong. But it felt scary. So we didn’t touch it much, it just needed to be there. Then all hell broke loose in our lives as my grandpa died and our family broke apart. It was a time of heightened emotions as well as spiritual experiences, as both me and mom seemed to be going through a sensitive period.

One night when I wasn’t at home, mom was woken up by her two cats making an unusual amount of noise. She went out to the living room and found both cats intently watching the wooden staff. Mom took a closer look.

On top of the knob there was a huge bug. An unusually big and veeery colourful beetle. It had the same colours as the staff it was sitting on. As mom looked at it, it flew up and crossed to room, eventually landing on top of an old cupboard (almost 100 years old, that used to belong to my mom’s grandparents).

Mom told me about what had happened as soon as I came home the next day. We went looking for it, but it was nowhere to be seen, though I could see traces of it in the dust on top of the cupboard. We went on to look up every kind of beetle known to exist in Sweden, and found nothing even remotely close to what mom had seen. Too many colours, too big. It just shouldn’t have been there.

Mom is still convinced that the bug was physically there, but that it had to have something to do with the creepy magical staff. I tend to agree. Not sure how it all connects though, and what it means. Most of all, I would love to learn more about what that staff really IS. Ever heard of anything like it? As I wrote in the start, we were told it was the kind used in rare and dangerous rituals of death.  Does it ring a bell to any of you?

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Me and Hubby might be in trouble here. Deep trouble. We’ve got a piece of land (check!). We talked to the authorities about all the permits many months ago and they said everything would be fine and dandy by mid may – at the very latest (check!). We’ve ordered a house to be built at the end of summer (check).

So what could possibly go wrong? Huh. Turns out you can’t trust the authorities to make a trustworthy assessment of this kind of issue. They messed things up, of course they messed things up. Nothing we can do about it, all the paperwork is done and everything is in order BUT the authorities just haven’t closed the case, and now they are saying that if we’re lucky it MIGHT be done by the end of june. WTF?!

We shouldn’t have trusted the authorities judgement of when the whole thing would be done and the permits would be in our hands. We were naive, and now we might be financially ruined if the house building company decides it’s too late to push up the delivery date. This is bad. Really bad. Like nightmarishly bad, our dream home and economical future is hanging in the balance.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I will petition the gods and ask for their help, beg them to help speed up the permit process. I am also thinking of trying to influence the process on a magical level, I just gotta figure out how. And that’s where I’m asking you for help. What kind of ritual would you suggest? Any other pointers?

It might not work, I know. But at this point I am desperate and I’d rather try too much than too little.

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I just read this post by Amber on In The Arms of Mother Earth and something in it struck me as very interesting. The post talks about how it’s easy to forget (whether on purpose or not) the God, and focus all ones attention on the Goddess. Further on, Amber mentioned that springtime is a good time to connect with the God:

“This time of year, with Spring coming represents the rebirth of the God in his masculine form, and we are reminded more of him, because the sun is stronger this time of year, and the sun is the biggest symbol of the God.”

Somehow, I’ve always associated spring more with Mother than with Father. But for the last couple of weeks I’ve felt Mother grow more and more distant while Father has come closer and closer. At first I wondered if I’d done something to offend Mother, or if she thought I was on the wrong path, but the more I thought about it the more I felt that just wasn’t the case. I’ve read other blogs about how one can experience a silent period, where suddenly the connection to certain deities just seem to vanish, and people’s thoughts on why this is. It does seem like certain deities simply go away for certain time periods, yet I never expected this to be true of the Mother.

Yet she hasn’t really gone away, I can still feel her. But it’s like she’s turned away, and not answering. Not really like she’s sleeping, more like she’s got her attention somewhere else.

Father, on the other hand, feels closer than in a loooong time.

I wonder if this is due to what time of year it is. Before, I’ve never actually connected to the gods so regularly that I could observe such things, but of course there have been times when it’s been harder to connect. While at other times the gods have seemed very very close indeed.

This makes me most curious of how it will be next year… and of course, at what point Mother will return to me. In two days time I will celebrate the spring equinox (in Swedish Vårdagjämningen), and I had hoped the Mother had re-appeared by then. We’ll just have to see about that! Anyhow, it feels like the spring equinox is not only about celebrating nature and fertility, but also the passing of seasons and the balance in nature.

So far, my plan for the spring equinox are pretty humble. No grand feasts or gatherings, no. But the plan is to get out and do some hands-on work to honor the Earth: picking garbage from the woods. It’s an activity sorely needed around here, I’m afraid. It’s really upsetting that people in general in my neighbourhood just throws trash everywhere. I look forward to spending some time cleaning up. Afterwards I will bring a small offering out into nature, and take a moment to honor the woods and the wildlife. Then I will do a ceremony to call on both Mother and Father, and give offerings to both.

That’s all I know so far. Will you do something special on the spring equinox? Is there anything you’d like to share? Any tips on activities that are extra suitable? =)

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Edit: Oh gosh, I hope no one has read this post already! Since I just noticed that I forgot to say at the start that this is a dream I had tonight! Haha, that’s what you get when writing and publishing posts before breakfast. 😛

I was hosting a blót for family and friends. Having found otherwise unknown sources of how such an event was done in the Viking Age, it was all very exiting and new.

I had procured a huge and massive wooden slab on which all of the ritual stuff took place. It was uneven and I realized that the rocking of the slab, back and forth, actually held a ritual purpose.

People came, all bringing little items meant to be used in the ritual. As they entered, I instructed them to place their contributions on the wooden “altar”. (Not really an altar in the traditional sence but still, it clearly held that function!)

As I talked with the other participants I learned that my cousin and his wife were going to have a baby. (IRL I know that they too have been wanting to conceive. I gotta call them today and ask how things are going!)

Throughout the dream, I got flashes of how this ritual used to be done in the past. I saw the wooden slab being carved by the participants, making a smoother surface full of decorations (though still keeping the base uneven, since the whole thing was meant to be unstable when worked upon). I saw a very rough sexual ritual taking place on it.

And weirdly, part of the ritual was all about ironing. I had a collection of very beautiful and imaginative items that apparently had been used in the past to smooth out fabric. They looked nothing like what you would expect and were made out of all kinds of material, the most beautiful was of glass.

Now I haven’t been ironing any clothes for a couple of weeks, I haven’t talked about ironing or seem anyone else do it for ages. So this rather unexpected part of the dream ritual is probably symbolic, I’m just not sure how. Come to think of it, the wooden altar once it was carved and decorated, looked like an enormous version of one of those Viking Age items usually interpreted as a sort of ironing board.

I have never liked the interpretation of this as an ironing board. Nope, no way, I don’t buy it. Perhaps this dream was a way of telling me that the board was in fact a ritual tool?  Though I doubt one could have sex on it, unless being the size of a tiny pixie. 😛

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New Moon

I’ve just realized most pagans seem to refer to the new moon as the dark moon… it’s a pretty good description of the moon phase, I guess, but I wonder if not a whole lot of people just think “dark moon” sounds all cool and witchy… 😛 As for me, I’d rather continue calling it “new moon” because of what it means to me; the transition from the old to the new.

I went out last night hoping to see the moon but I was out of luck, despite the weather being perfectly fine. I could see a few bright stars, but not much else. Too many trees and buildings in the way, plus a whole lot of streetlights making it next to impossible to see anything up there.

Ah well, it was enough just to know the moon was there and focus my attention on it on a spiritual level. Instead of having a “proper” ritual as I had thought, in the last minute I decided to do it a bit different.

I kept moving, walked slowly and let myself fall into a light meditative state. First I turned to the Mother and Father and asked them to hear me and be by my side. Then I turned to the moon.

I whispered in all honesty. Asked to join the moon in her transition, said I wanted to leave the dark place I’ve been in for some time now and start building a new, healthy me. I cannot repeat all that I said, but I spoke constantly for 10-15 minutes, sometimes repeating a certain sentence over and over again, almost chanting.

At what felt like the high point I pulled a slice of bread from my pocket, and asked the Moon, the Mother and the Father to accept a small offering as a token of my devotion. I drew little pieces from it and threw them on the ground, which was covered in snow, hoping that each little piece would help feed one of Natures creatures and help them through the harshness of winter into spring. The last tiny piece of bread I ate myself, asking to be brought safely through the darkness and into a new era.

So simple. No casting of circles, no lighting of candles. But the impact it had on me was enormous. The small offering really hit a nerve, I could really sense a change of energy as I threw the little pieces on the ground, feeling like the boundaries between the physical and the spiritual world got reeeaally thin all the sudden. And with that last piece of bread that I swallowed myself… it felt blessed, and truly humbled me.

I woke up this morning and felt better than I have in many weeks. I went to work with a much lighter feeling. Still a bit of anxiety but not at all like it has been. It truly seems to have turned around now, started a new chapter.

I meditated a little while before bedtime as well, just very shortly. And in the meditation I started to ask questions. As I have perceived it, the one I call Mother is in fact the spirit of Earth, our planet. Gaia, some would call her. But then, do all planets have spirits? Does the sun have a spirit? I wondered if the one I call Father could in fact be the sun, but no that didn’t feel right. Then what about the moon? A little voice in the back of my head whispered Diana.

Just as I identify Mother as a feminine presence, I feel a feminine vibe from the Moon. And yes of course I know that the Moon is thought to be female in almost all cultures but I always want to see for myself as well, and check the info against any input I get directly from the spirit world! 😛

I started thing of the Moon as Mother’s little sister. Not sure what to call her, though, none of the lunar goddesses I’ve read about really feels right to me… probably I just haven’t given it enough thought. Perhaps I shall leave it at that, and call her Moon. She who is not just associated with the moon, but who IS the moon.

I hope that all of you feel as revitalized after the New Moon transition as I do! Love and Light!


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I drew a rune this morning. Just one, after asking the universe what I would be facing today.

Nauthiz. Nauðr. Nöd.

Not a very good rune, at least not for me. I put the rune back and went to work, completely forgetting about the rune until this evening as I looked back on the day.

It was a horrible day. The anxiety that has been brewing inside me grew stronger, it crept out into my body and before I knew it I was hyperventilating. Not a very good idea, I tell you that. Especially not while you’re at work, trying to seem normal.

So my boss sent me home. It wasn’t like I could have sold anything when in such a state. I came home, talked to my darling husband on the phone while collapsing completely on the kitchen floor, in the corner right next  to the cat food. Eventually I managed to get up from the floor, only to end up in the stairs. I fell asleep there, and didn’t wake up until my husband came home. At least I could breathe again, as I woke up. But you have NO idea how stiff and sore you are after sleeping in the stairs, huddled over three steps. Sigh…

I am still not feeling very good, but at least the panic attack ended. Now I’m just left with the painful throb in my chest and the knot in my stomach. Yeah, that’s Nauðr for you.

Reason tells me to interpret the runic reading as a self-fulfilling profecy. But weirdly enough, I really don’t think so. I had really forgotten all about the rune, it was tucked away far into my memory and didn’t re-emerge until just now. And… well, I simply know this was genuine divination.

Which brings me to the next point in this sordid little blog post. A few weeks ago I did a runic reading of the coming week, yet when the week was over I forgot to write down how it all went. Let’s just say the runes were true but my interpretation wasn’t. In the runes I read what I hoped would be the future, rather than the truth.

Gebo – What did I get? I got my period. Not a welcome gift (=no baby this month either), but still a gift.

Nauthiz – Just like today, it was all about anxiety, which I suffered a lot from that week. I didn’t want to believe it when I did that week’s divination, tried to think of it as a more literal message, meaning restrictions of some kind… but no, it’s worse than that. Not a good rune for me.

Eihwaz – still not sure about this one. And my thoughts around it are a bit too messed up right now so I better just shut up, for once.


Tomorrow night I will celebrate the New Moon. Hopefully, I got over the worst today and tomorrow will be a fresh start. I choose to believe it will be, too. It’s a bumpy road I’m travelling on but at least I am moving forward.

May the New Moon give me new hope and inner peace in these troubled times.

Love and Light to you all! /Journeymaid

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