Lights of the Winter Storm (intro)

Date: Feb 2nd

Wáloselena (from the [Tolkien] Elvish wind + snow los + of the stars elena) [wuh-lahs el-eh-nuh].

So, the English translation of the name and the date are the same. However, I’ve received no indication that any other component of Nornoriel’s description of this holy day is the same when it comes to my practice. Horn Father is the main player for this day.

In the morning twilight hours, Horn Father blesses various tools associated with Him and His activities (via His priest) in a ritual in Vanaheim. This noticeably includes any farming tools and seeds to be started indoors as winter ends, but it depends on the Tribe and family as to what Their focus is. At sunrise, Horn Father blesses a breakfast meal shared by attendees, then He can be consulted for advice, blessings, aid, etc. throughout the day as He visits each town. As the sun sets, He blesses the heads of each family.

His official priest Who visits several towns in each Tribal area, but additional priests in each Tribal area are used to reach Everyone in Vanaheim. While Horn Father leaves His official priest (and any others) when it’s dark, there’s enough residual energy from Him in the air for many priests to take divination requests from citizens throughout the night.

. . .

Observing this holy day:

  • Blessing any tools used for farming, food preparation, hunting, or whatever your livelihood is. Seeds and the ‘initial’ versions of whatever relates to your livelihood can be blessed as well.
  • Sharing food with your corporeal family and/or edible offerings with non-corporeal Family, friends, associates, etc. as breakfast (or another meal).
  • Divination and magical requests can also work on this day.
  • Any other activity associated with Him as acknowledgement.

. . .

A little more about Him and this day:

Thanking the animals killed and eaten as food, blessing their kin to be fruitful come spring, requesting blessings and aid to end winter on a high note, and a general day of acknowledging Him. He blesses Spirit-Guardians as various species enter into mating season, to be fruitful here in Midgard. He breaks down bodies to bless the soil and lead to good harvests. A comfortable inside while it’s winter sort of day, ideal for solitary and group based activities.

Spirit Guardians

* * Note: I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I err on the side of caution and use “Spirit Guardian” or something close instead of using “totem” (that term is specifically tied into certain Native American / First Nation cultures). I typically don’t write about these Beings – however you want to refer to them – so I may not be perfect in not using totem.

How I use Spirit Guardian – the representative spirit of a particular species who acts as a guardian, overseer, “Phone” answer-er, ambassador, etc. for the living members of the species. I honestly don’t know exactly where they reside, but it’s some sort of spiritual / astral / not-here realm, so I’m prone to assuming that other information about spirits and communicating with them (for example) can apply here.

My first exposure to Spirit Guardians was through Silver Ravenwolf in a section of one of her books about tapping into my personal power through interacting with them (I think that was the gist). I obviously wasn’t intrigued enough to continue looking into this at that time, and I kind of didn’t quite click with some of the dictionary styled information I found for the few times I considered interacting with Someone.

I also felt rather overwhelmed by some people talking about having multiple Serious Alliances with Spirit Guardians due to being spirit-workers, shamans, etc. I was new enough that I didn’t want to jump into such serious, committed, taboo heavy relationships with so many spirits. I’ve also found out along the way that I’m not wired for spirit-work in that capital W sense, and I didn’t really see a reason for Spirit Guardians to want to interact if I wasn’t going to do spirit-work.

At some point in the past few years, I wound up on Lupa’s blog and her talk of interacting with plant and fungi Spirit Guardians and bioregional / ecosystemic approaches have percolated. With various People advocating an environmentally friendly lifestyle and nature focused things, I’ve circled around to Spirit Guardians as potential Vanic allies in conservation efforts (not limited to that, though).

Having not jumped into a lot of the Wiccan / Neopagan books on this topic, I don’t think I’ll have to unlearn as much. I’ve also returned at different points to Lupa’s Totemism 201 masterpost (series isn’t complete, as far as I know):

~ Totems Are Not Pokémon

~ Why Totem Dictionaries May Be Hazardous To Your Spiritual Growth

~ Why Species Are Important

~ It’s Not Just About The Animals

~ It’s Not Just About Us, Either

~ Why Going Outside Is Important

Weekly Writing 1.27.16

The Hierophant

The firm pressure of the pew against the back of your thighs – a welcome place to rest your frame, you do not doubt that it will be there, structure. The deep voices singing in a tongue you don’t understand, and yet those reverberations penetrate into your bones with the weight of time behind them. Unheard but felt, the voices of many others who have said these words throughout the ages ring in your blood.

You may not believe that this is home, but the words start to roll off your tongue easier. You may not agree with all of the rules, but you ease into the motions and rituals with a relief from craving. Not all rules, structure, established groups are bad. Mainstream does not equal repression in every situation, and growth can be found in delineated areas where others have blazed a trail. It may take time, but even here, you can walk your own path.

That new group of dead I brought up as 2015 ended has apparently decided to drop by. I appreciate the reassurance and comfort that They bring, and I think a certain part of me needed to hear this (to help with the guilt of missing the established structure of a mainstream religion that’s been rearing up). I think I can understand the desire by some for covens / kindreds / groups and set rituals a bit better now.

January Full Moon

Possible names include but are not limited to: Old, Wolf, Winter, Snow, Moon After Yule. Mani indicated that He’d like me to use “Wolf”, though I make no guarantees that He’d convey the same to anyone else. The following is a piece of sacred fiction.

. . .

A high-pitched howl floated up from the World below, faint with distance. Mani glanced over the side of the wagon, “Sounds like a new cub.”

Hati continued his pace alongside the horses, “She’s probably singing for the first time.”

“Singing? It just sounds like howling.”

Hati snorted and looked up over his shoulder, “Just howling, please.”

“I thought it was just a thing wolves do, y’know, howl at the moon.”

“The youngest start”, he cocked his head slightly, “Her siblings have joined in – and the parents usually come in next. It depends on how many generations there are present, sometimes.”

Mani shifted the reins slightly, so the horses would continue along the star rimmed path in the sky. He glanced back in the direction of the howling again, “What are they singing about?”

“That particular family’s asking for the moon to illuminate the tracks of their prey so they don’t go hungry during the winter”, Hati nodded to his left, “But that family coming up over there is singing to their grandmother.”

“Why would they think she’s up here with us?”

“Depending on the Realm, the path to Helheim is tied into the moon. The surface of the moon they can see in the sky’s the side of the gate for the living, and the dead pass through to the dark side. Once through the gate, the dead are seen as the stars.”

“Interesting”, Mani stifled a small yawn, “Sorry. Moonrise was so early today.”

Weekly Writing: 1.18.16

The Sun

Peaking around the horizon, a glimmer of hope breaks through the twilight. A small smile, a blush among the clouds, the potential for a good start to the day. There can be happiness, a surprise, anything waits.

Dependability, clockwork, routine. As surely as the sun rises in the morning, it sets in the evening. Glancing back, painting a promise in the sky that there’s still hope, light will return. Darkness does not last forever.

I was asked to pull a tarot card in relation to this week and free-write. For me there seems to be a lot of hope associated with the sun, encouragement, the potential for happiness from a fresh slate.

With starting the semester so recently, I think it’s a bit of a reminder to try to keep a positive outlook on the next 14 weeks. It seems like I have to do a lot for my classes, and there are so many shows happening, but I can create a routine to help manage time and energy (particularly with this online class).

I’m so close to my psychiatric intake appointment. Remember that Sunna returns in the morning, and take things a day at a time.

Making a Difference

The Druid's Garden

I had a long conversation with an older close relative of mine over the holidays. He had overheard my sister, brother-in-law, and I talking about herbalism, permaculture, cultural shifts.  This conversation was framed in the context of the recent Paris climate talks where it appears that world leaders agreed not to do anything for 15 years and in some future time, stave off too much of a temperature rise. After listening to us for a time, my relative indicated that anything that we would do would make “little to no difference” and that when we were his age (he’s in his late 60’s), we’d look back on our lives and regret not being able to do much; we’d certainly regret not being able to hope we had hoped to accomplish.  The fact that we had “little money or resources” made this a certainty. He thought he was doing us a…

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~ It’s the final countdown ~

My last semester of undergrad started today [this has been scheduled]. I’m going to be relying on my queue and scheduling posts like last semester, particularly around exams and finals week.

Email notifications are a thing, so don’t be afraid to interact with posts. Just don’t be surprised if it takes some time to reply.

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Hopes for 2016

I’m not a huge fan of resolutions, but I thought I’d share some goals.

  • Refining my management plan and how I’m going to cope with my seasonal depression (a different antidepressant may help for starters).
  • An updated ID would be great (mine is currently invalid / expired).
  • Adulting step: Voting in the Primaries.
  • Finish my last semester of Undergrad and graduate from college
  • Acquire summer employment
  • Research for moving (because I can’t continue to live in this region with the job I want).
  • Adulting step: Vote in my 2nd Presidential election.
  • Move?
  • Start paying off student loans sometime in October, probably.
  • Take adulting one step at a time. I don’t have to be perfect.

2015 in Review

I’m aware that this is technically late. I caught whatever my grandfather gave to my grandmother early in my winter break, and I’ve primarily been wanting to sleep since 2016 started.

. . .

~ I have walked the Hel-road and returned (post; discusses seasonal depression and the CODE FUCKING RED point of being suicidal).

~ I was a Master Electrician (ME) on a main stage show here (on campus) for the first time [spring semester]. May not have been A+++, but for a first attempt, it was pretty damn good.

~ Experienced my first semester as a Senior – Semester Review and a leadership position in the Shop.

~ I was an ME for another show and definitely showed improvements [fall semester].

~ I was Assistant Lighting Designer (ALD) for a main stage show for the first time [fall semester].

~ Despite being passively suicidal during most of the semester (first antidepressant apparently was a no-go), I made it.

~ Peaches – a secular Spirit – has entered my life, and I’m glad She’s here.

~ A new group of dead showed up, toting a Person to be added. (Not permitted to divulge more details about them / Them online, as of right now.)

~ “The Burning Period”

I can’t tell if I’ve been through one very long burning period or multiple smaller burning periods, but it’s like my inner flame of devotion has exploded out into my life. Some shrines have been charred, and it’s simply a matter of relationships shifting over time; some have been reduced to ashes, and People have left.

New connections sparked into being. Some fizzled out, while others have been carefully sheltered from the elements and are growing slowly. Flames thought to be longer lasting were put out, pantheons were trimmed away, and some debt I never thought could be removed was burned away.