PBP – Norse Runes Raidho

Raidho - Unknown artist, if you know who created this, please let me know

Raidho – Unknown artist, if you know who created this, please let me know

Raidho
“Rye-though”

Translation
Literally: Ride, or Wagon
Associated: Journey

Meaning
This rune is all about moving forward, moving to the places in life where you are meant to be. It can literally mean a change of physical location, but also a change of lifestyle, of taking action and control over your current situations. Raidho is about being in the moment and being accountable to it, being completely present in it in order to guide it to where you need to be. Leave the heavy baggage that is fear of the future, and weariness of past experiences in order to move forward more effectively.

Actions speak louder than words, and it’s time to take on your role as the leader of your life, whilst also remaining aware of the grander picture (how you effect those around you).

Follow your heart, follow your intuition, move with the world’s rhythm. Pay attention to what pulls you forward in your daily life, there is a compass within us all that points us in the direction we’re meant to go in. When you realize what direction you’re meant to continue on in, don’t hesitate to start moving towards it.

Merkstave (Reversed)
Stasis, stagnation. There is no movement now. It could be a time of crisis, halting you in your tracks. There could also be a need to over control everything, enabling hypocrisy and injustice for yourself and others.

Advertisements

PBP – 7 Witchy (Pagan/Polytheist) Questions

This was originally posted on YouTube by Ember HoneyRaven, and I just watched Beth & Jo’s response to it and decided to make my own video! Woooow. Everyone is starting to get on the video wagon… which I definitely don’t think is a bad thing. We need to get out there, Pagan folks!

Also, I’m posting this a day early because I want to! 😛

 

PBP – The Pause

When it is Dark Enough - Kirsten Bailey

When it is Dark Enough – Kirsten Bailey

I have been mulling over what this lack of music in my life the past few years has meant. As you can imagine, first there was much frustration, feeling of failure, floundering in the “what the hell am I doing with my life” thoughts.

But now I’ve come to a place where I understand this is just a pause. A breather from all the work I’ve put in so far, and while right now, it feels like it has been such a long time, in the grander picture of a whole life and all the years I’ve spent perfecting my craft, it’s not very long at all.

I keep thinking that this is just a good night’s rest after a very long day. Yes, a day of much happiness, and near the end, quite a bit of frustration and some anger, but a long day of hard work. Now it’s just time for rest. I feel as though the pause may be coming to an end as I am feeling more and more a pull growing to get back to my work. However, the pull is not enough to wake me up yet.

And that’s ok.

Just as we experience fallow times needed for rest within our magical/spiritual practices, we experience it everywhere else within our lives. Everything cycles, and I have finally come to a resting period in a 21 year musical journey.

I have a feeling that whilst the music has had a pause, and my spirituality has evolved quite a bit in that time, when I find my voice again, the two will be heavily intertwined. Whether that means I am writing inspired pieces, or searching for operas heavily influenced by the Gods and Their stories, who knows. I am just allowing myself to be open to anything that comes in to move me.

 

As much as this pause has brought me frustration and anger at myself before coming to the conclusions I write about here, I have learned the hard lesson of allowing myself needed rest. Allowing myself to accept that I cannot possibly be working at this for every single moment. So I remain in this pause with more appreciation of it now, enjoying the rest, and beginning to look forward to the day when I begin singing again in earnest.

 

*This post and these thoughts have been quite influenced by Anni’s Greystone Path course. I am so very grateful for what it has brought to me, the realizations and discoveries of myself so far.

PBP – Odin on the Tree

Odin Hanging on the World-Tree - Franz Stassen

Odin Hanging on the World-Tree – Franz Stassen

“I ween that I hung on the windy tree,
Hung there for nights full nine;
With the spear I was wounded,
and offered I was To Othin, myself to myself,
On the tree that none may ever know
What root beneath it runs.”

-from the Hávamál in the Poetic Edda

Odin, in His insatiable need for knowledge, for power, spent nine days and nine nights dangling from Yggdrasil. Wounded by spear, accepting no food or drink. In a very shamanic initiatory way, He gave up who He was to become Who He was intended to be. He was willing to spend the time and painfully prove His worth to the Runes which resulted in Their revealing Themselves to Him. He succeeded and came to know the insights and magic of the Runes which only the Norns could employ at that point, They Who carve the symbols into the roots of Yggdrasil, sending magic along the Tree to produce the desired effect in all the Nine Worlds. It was this knowledge and power the Norns have, more powerful than any other, to affect the destiny of all who inhabit the Nine Worlds, that He longed for, needed in order to secure His position as King. In order to attempt halting Ragnarok.
He does not shy from the difficult things.

In making of Himself a sacrifice, His blood and will flowed down into Urd’s Well, feeding the Tree, allowing Himself to flow through root and limb. He became part of the Tree in this, I believe, and a key unto Himself to travel all of the worlds. There would be no place could bar Him, because He was now part of all places on the Tree. He could not keep Himself from Himself. This also allowed for even more knowledge to be attained, as we know He loves to don His masks, befriending those He meets, discovering their secrets, since His travels would now take Him anywhere He wished.

As ruthless as He can be to gain knowledge, He does not keep it to Himself, He shared the knowledge of the Runes with the other Aesir, and we now know Them as well. I feel like He wants us to know as much as we possibly can, knowledge from those who teach, books, and experience can only help to widen our perception of the world, our acceptance of such varied things and beliefs and behaviours, to continue becoming better than we are. And yes, of better use to Him, if we are called to Him. But generally, to be of better use to any God, Spirit, or Ancestor, and the rest of our own human society, our communities.
When we share our own insights and wisdoms, the pool deepens for others, if not to expand upon, then to enjoy and share with another who may yet bring it to new depths.

PBP – New Garden Images

This is an update on the garden… things are growing! “Well, duh,” you might say, and you would be right in saying so.
I gathered a small harvest of the Swiss Chard on Wednesday for dinner, my mom and I loooooove the stuff, I think we’ll need a bigger patch of it next year. I would have liked the lot of it on my plate, alas, there was me, my mama, and the Man to feed, so none more for me. It tasted divine, I’ll have you know. I’m ever grateful for the food these plants provide me and my family.

2014-07-02 18

 

This is a look at the whole veggie garden. It doesn’t seem like it’s doing overly much from the picture, or even when you look at it from afar, I think it’s because what’s in the beds are for the most part green, and the grass in between is as well. I’m hoping to line each bed at the end of harvest season and even a few of the far ones out for next year. I’m not sure yet if I’m leaving the paths in between as grass, or if I will be vinegar-ing the grass and putting perhaps wood mulch? If you have any good suggestions, I’m willing to lend an ear! We’ll be getting some horse and cow manure from my sister’s farm in the fall, and I hope that will help the sandy beds retain more water.

2014-07-02 201

This is the big, leafy rhubarb. It’s been doing really well getting settled in its new home. We had a goodly amount of rain on Monday as a storm rolled through, and this among many other plants just decided to get ginormous overnight. I can’t wait til I can make some custard and rhubarb pies, and rhubarb strawberry pies… yum!

 

2014-07-02 202

These are the zucchinis, there was supposed to be 5, but only 3 came up so I reseeded the other two on Tuesday night. I’m hoping this will allow for a longer zucchini season, as long as they germinate and grow.

2014-07-02 203

Lovely, frothy carrot greens. They got quite big the day after I thinned them out. Unfortunately I only read after the fact that you can eat the greens. They smelled terrific, and I think would do very well in a salad.
2014-07-02 204

Mmm, beets. I thinned these out in the same sitting as the carrots, but these I already knew I could eat. YUUUUM! There were quite a few young plants that I pulled up, leading me to think about sowing fewer seeds (especially for plants which the greens cannot be eaten). Yet, even the carrots and beets, I may sow fewer and just eat the greens when I harvest the roots. We shall see.2014-07-02 205 This is the beautiful Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard growing away. I love it when you can begin some harvesting, it’s a slow process, a few things here and there, and then the trickle of food becomes stronger, heavier, fills up your baskets quicker, until you have a glut of things at the height of harvest season. Aaaah…. I love me the processes of nature and life.2014-07-02 206 The salad patch. I have four different lettuces, although the two red salads I sowed don’t seem to be particularly prolific. Ah well, always next year!2014-07-02 207

I cannot wait till these onions are all done so I can cook em all up and eat the greens. I may freeze the greens. If I like these kind of onions, I will let one or two go to seed for next year (seed collecting is definitely part of my gardening plan).2014-07-02 208 Where are you, oh cauliflower head? Please hurry up so I can drizzle cheesy sauce on you.2014-07-02 209

Pumpkins! I’m very excited for these as I want to roast some seeds, and make some pies and breads and soups. Oh, how I love Thee, Pumpkin!2014-07-02 2010 My beans have finally started climbing up their poles! The day after that heavy rain, this is what I saw. It’s an amazing feeling watching the things you care for, tend, and love growing so well and happily. They hear my songs all the while I water.2014-07-02 2011

I cannot tell you how excited I am for my basil patch turning into pesto. CAN. NOT. TELL. YOU. I have sweet, Genovese, and cinnamon. 2014-07-02 2012 The Canada day petunias doing ever so well hanging on either side of the front door to our house. I always found they had an interesting smell, sweet, yet something deeper, and darker to them. 2014-07-02 2013 Potato flowers! They’re so pretty, and you can’t tell at all that they are related to the tomatoes and bittersweet nightshade in the following photos at all, can you? Oh, the solanaceaes!2014-07-03 08 I have always loved touching and smelling tomato plants. I was adjusting them on Wednesday night, as they are growing like crazy, and my hands continued to smell like fresh tomatoes all the night long. Well, until I had to wash my hands. 2014-07-03 081

I helped this bittersweet nightshade (which now has a gagillion berries all over the place) earlier this spring (when I couldn’t tell what it was), by pruning it and situating it more sturdily onto the wheel it has claimed as a trellis. I’m glad I did. I love the sweet little flowers, and when the berries turn red, they look like little jewels dripping off the stems.
2014-07-02 21

 

PBP – The Morrighan

Song of a Stone Heart - bubug

Song of a Stone Heart – bubug

Whilst I have never worked with the Great Queen personally, I have always had quite a fascination with Morrighan from afar. She’s dark, passionate, and so very strong, it’s not a wonder She is still worshiped and beloved today.

Etymology
The currently preferred meaning of Her name by scholars is the following: “Mor” is possibly from the Indo-European root which means terror or monstrousness; it is related to the Old English word, “maere” (yes, as in nightmare), as well as the Scandinavian “mara, and the Old Russian “mara”.

Where we get the “Great Queen” is from the Middle Irish period in the following spelling “Mórrígan”, where now “Mór” means “great” instead of full of terror. She is also known as Morrigu, Mor-Ríoghain; Morrígna is the plural form.

Triple Goddess
She is seen as a triple Goddess by some accounts (it’s not always consistent). Anu is the fertility maiden, Badb the mother of the boiling cauldron, and Macha the crone of death. Though this triple entity-ness is unsure, what is sure is that she does represent these forces all on her own, among being a representative of sovereignty and war. As always, when dealing with the Gods, They can choose which face to put on when they work with you, depending upon the moment and what it is that you need to experience in order to work most efficiently with Them.

Morrighan - Emily Balivet

Morrighan – Emily Balivet

So instead of continuing on with a typical post you would see in any old blog with common-known information on (insert any God/Goddess/spirit here), I wanted to talk more about what I thought about as I was pondering upon Morrighan in lieu of this post. Of course, I don’t discount the information that can be had from the more
“She is a Goddess of ____, and Her symbols are ____, and you can work with Her for ____”
for those who are still learning.

I feel like Morrighan is an important Goddess to be working with in the current (and ongoing for all of human existence) battle for women’s rights of their own bodies and minds. The sovereignty over ones own self is so important, a given for men, yet still not completely so for women. Unfortunately other women don’t help the problem with all this slut shaming, and condemnation of others’ choices just because they don’t fit into their socio-cultural box. Women aren’t allowed to be free with themselves, or be conservative with themselves without a barrage of comments that they are wrong about every choice, every thought, every opinion, every piece of clothing, etc.

I’ve been working a lot on myself lately to not judge others (especially other women) whose choices may not seem right to me. And that’s just it, what works for me won’t for others, vice verse. Hel, I am already part of half of the world’s population that has been subjugated for most, if not all, of human history (though I make no claims that my life has been anywhere near as terrible as too many women in the past and living today have had, or have it), I follow a minority religio-spirtual path which is very much specific to me alone, I reject a lot of the current North-American culture. I have made of myself more of an underdog by following my own heart and stockpiling choices that put me outside of any box other than my own, which I constantly tear down and make anew, or build upon (ever grateful that I can do this).
But that’s just it, my box is my own, I cannot force anyone else to think it is the best for even one other person. I do not want others telling me what to do, how to behave, how to dress,  how to think, what to believe in, so why would I push that upon anyone else? I rule my own self, and work with others in my personal relationships who are also striving towards the same kinds of things in life. Even when we don’t see eye-to-eye, I still help as my heart demands me to honour the love I have for friends and family. My own ideals, my own heart rules over my life and choices.

And this is where Morrighan’s Sovereignty, and Those who push us to take hold of our own Sovereignty and honour others’, have come in to adjust my way of thinking of others, to question my own ideas of what others should be doing, and instead let go of it to respect the Sovereignty that each person has over their own self, body, mind, and soul. If there is no harm, no abuse, then it is not my place to be concerned or think another person wrong for doing something in a way in which I would not.

I live in a time where I am so much more freer to do as I choose, I have more rights to my own self than countless women have ever had, and I have to think that the inspirations of Morrighan, and Others like Her have kept women fighting to be strong, to keep pushing for us to take hold of the Sovereignty of inhabiting a female form to be recognized as just as valid and important as that of the Sovereignty of a man’s form.

Thinking about what to say in this post lead me to ponder on what Morrighan is to me, what inspirations She provides to me just by knowing Who She is, all this without having had any personal contact with Her. The Gods hold much wisdom and inspiration, no matter if They are real entities, or part of a greater Whole, or just stories to you. I won’t judge.

Morrighan - Unknown artist. If you know who created this, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

Morrighan – Unknown artist. If you know who created this, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

PBP – Longing for the Divine

The Soul of the Rose - John William Waterhouse 1908

The Soul of the Rose – John William Waterhouse 1908

This is why we search, why we struggle, why we (sometimes) leave what others have told us is the right way, to sometimes push those people away. There is a longing, and it brings us to a journey that not many will understand. We need to connect with the divine, to know the Gods, however we see them, to know the spirits of all the things that surround us.

I’m writing this because I recognize after all this time on my path, I still long, I still yearn for a life ever more so entwined with the divine, to live an enchanted life. It hasn’t waned at all over the years, in fact, each day it grows stronger. This burning desire pushes me forward, has kept my mind day in and day out ever on the fact that all of this life I am living is touched and woven with magic, with love, with Gods and Spirits; nothing is devoid of the spiritual, though we try really hard to drown it out with constant visual and audio distraction.

Each day I try to think of all the ways in which I could be strengthening this or that connection, and yet… and yet I keep being told that it all lies within my voice, within music for me.

Perhaps it is this terrible consumer culture I’ve grown up in that keeps leading me to want to have all the tools (more on the spiritual side than the physical, tangible tools), but I’ve spent basically my whole life honing this voice. That is my tool. I understand sometimes we need to step back, and for the last while, I really needed to. Now, there’s such a push, and each time I sing, each time I create a song or a chant, I am brought closer to Them. It reignites my longing over and over for the Divine.

PBP – The Love of Green

This morning, I luckily got out in time before a downpour to check on my garden. I had noticed yesterday that there were seedlings above the soil, but it was much too humid and hot to bother with staying in the direct sunlight to take pictures. This morning, after off and on downpouring yesterday, and rain through the night, it was much more pleasant to walk around in the sun to check on things. I guess I won’t be needing to do much watering for a little while.

As I was walking around a few days ago, I noticed at the back of our property, just behind the fence that houses a swampy area beyond it, there is a grapevine happily growing away, attaching itself to the fence and the pine tree that stands behind it. I was shocked for a moment, as I have been thinking of grape growing, but didn’t know how it would do in my climate, and there it was, just doing its own thing all by itself. I’m thinking I may harvest some leaves for dolmades at some point. Yum. We’ll also have to wait to see how the grapes turn out. I wouldn’t mind using them for food, but would love to make some wine if I think the grapes would make a decent one.

Apparently there are grapes growing in the back yard :D

Apparently there are grapes growing in the back yard 😀

This cattail stood the test of this long, frigid winter and hangs out, wafting in the winds. I wonder if the fibers have been used to make yarn before? Must Google.

2014-06-03 096

This lovely, red branched bush is producing flowers, it looks like they will become berries later in the year. Before we moved out west, these bushes had not been on the property, so it’s a new addition, as well as some ferns that have made their way to the fence.

2014-06-03 095

These beans are coming up quite well. There’s a strange uncertainty that happens when you plant all your seeds, and then there’s nothing left but to water and wait for them to turn into seedlings. I thought a lot about the seeds not producing anything, that all my planning and hard work digging out the plots would all be for naught. It might yet be for naught if some freak weather happens, or some pest or animal comes in and makes a meal of my young plants. Alas, only time will tell.

Bean

Kentucky Wonder Bean

These willows are providing much for me this year. I’ve always had an extreme fondness of Weeping Willows, they were one of my most favouritest trees to climb when I was a child, and now they quietly watch as I putter in the garden. I tell them my secrets.

Weeping Willow

Weeping Willow

This is the delicious Swiss chard coming up. I decided I wanted colourful veggies, and so I picked out Rainbow Swiss Chard, along with some rainbow mixed carrots. Next year, I want purple cauliflower.

Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard

Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard

My potatoes are finally starting to show their sprouts above the dirt. The red more than the Yukon Gold at this point, but I am excited.

Norland Red Potato

Norland Red Potato

This flower, which loves growing around here as I see it on the hiking trails all summer long, has graced one of my garden paths since we can’t get the ride-on mower in there. We’re planning on getting a non-powered push mower with a basket on the back to do the paths and a very steep hill that I’m thinking may eventually house some flowers.

2014-06-03 093

This rhubarb slowed for a while after I planted it in ground, now more leaves are starting to pop up, so I’m quite excited for rhubarb pies!

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

The onions just kind of shot up over night two nights ago. One day, there were a few little spikes of green coming out of the soil, maybe half an inch long, now there are many, even up to three inches above the soil.

Dutch Onions

Dutch Onions

I’m singing blessings to my seedlings each night as I water them. It puts me in a trance, and then I just hum the tune as it now holds the power of the words to be sung with it. So far, the land seems to be happy with my endeavours, and I’m making fairly regular offerings.

It is so incredibly good to have dirt beneath my finger nails and staining the bottoms of my feet again. Playing in dirt releases chemicals that makes you kind of high, and rightfully so.

PBP – Journeying & Validation

Peggy's Cove - Miaerowyn © 2014

Peggy’s Cove – Miaerowyn © 2014

Lately a lot of what’s been on my mind has been the peculiar need for validation, especially when it comes to the experience of communicating with Gods and Spirits of all sorts. As an aside, communicating can take any form, it’s not all about just words or visions.

Journeying has become a big part of my own practice, even though I know I’ve barely scratched the surface. At first, like anything, I was unsure of what I was experiencing, if it was just the sock puppets I have created in my own mind when it came to encountering entities. As time goes by, I recognize more easily when I am playing with those mental sock puppets, and when I am actually communicating with an entity. I recognize as well when I am creating something that I ‘see’, and when I am actually encountering a landscape and entity that is a genuine communication.

Discerning between the two can be very difficult, and I admit sometimes to over-thinking it and disbelieving that it was ‘real’. However, I have been Told that whether it is ‘real’ or is not ‘real’ doesn’t really matter, as long as it nourishes me in the way that I seek. I stick to that idea, because just meandering around in my own inner landscape is beneficial, I do self work in there, and that’s a wonderful thing. A lot of the time, it is relaxing, and inspiring, it recharges my batteries. But when Something outside of myself presents something to me, it nourishes in another way, not greater or lesser than doing my own inner work. It is simply a communication from Someone that spurs me towards something They wish me to pursue, with the added benefit of confirming my path and rendering me in awe.

From the past few posts I’ve written, you can see I’m not one for relying on others and their opinions much. I do find myself sometimes very much in need some sort of validation (just like everyone) of if the things I am doing are right, or if the things I am experiencing are real. As far as experiences go, no one else can tell me that they are real. I have learned not to put stock into ‘realness’, but to place it in the value I find, the lessons, the knowledge, the wisdom, the comfort, and even the discomfort. Nothing else matters, and the more I continue to hone my skills, the more I know I will get from it, as I hope to find focus in what I need to be giving in return for the wonder and fulfillment that is having relationships, or even just brief moments of contact with Them. I understand seeking advice and validation from other humans, however, no other human can verify that where your path is leading you is correct in any which way, or that Who you might end up meeting and interacting with is ‘real’ or correct to their vision of said Being.

To elaborate on the Who bit, in terms of the Gods, especially ones who are known for donning many masks, another human who interacts with the same God cannot possibly tell you that the mask you see isn’t valid. I would question someone who seems to just want to say “well my God communication penis is bigger than yours,” and generally just wants to show off about how much more magical and pagan and witchy and amazing they are, otherwise, I believe the Gods appear to us as we need Them to be. The way in which Odin has come to me is not in a way I have ever seen depicted anywhere, and yet, I know it is Him. He has even appeared in a few different guises, yet in each one, He is Odin.

While I am so lucky and happy to be able to communicate now (I think Odin had a hand in opening my head up), it wasn’t always so. I’ve been on this path for 14 years now, and have only in the last year been able to connect. I know if things were different and I was still unable, my faith and belief in Deities and Spirits would be there yet. It’s a comforting thought that shows me my spirituality does not rely on any one other than myself, and that seems right to me as each individual person’s experience of spirituality is quite different from the next.

So seek out the techniques and the advice on how to perform them, as many of them are ancient and have worked for thousands of years; seek community with those who are on similar paths, but know that at the end of the day, we are experiencing different things from one person to the next.

PBP – It’s Been Four Years

I got a little popup on my blog’s dashboard today that said it has been four years since I started this blog. Wow. I’ve looked back through my posts a couple times over the years, to see where I’ve been and where I am now… I can see the transitions between the research loop that can happen when really starting out, I remember the books I was reading back then (struggling to get out of the 101, yet also reading some essential books that I’d never read before). I see where I began to focus my attentions, where I’ve been Guided.
I also see where I’ve lost interest in what others are doing and saying at the moment, instead being more interested in what’s happening for me, my Gods and Spirits. It seems that sentiment also ripples out into my everyday life that isn’t much concerned with the spiritual. I wouldn’t have it any other way because I do the things that I want without a thought of what countless other people think (who ultimately have no idea what would work for me, what nourishes my spirituality).

These past four years have seen much change in the way I practice, believe, and have focused most of my life around my spirituality. I have been fortunate in the past two years to have experienced some less pleasant things that have helped me to also keep one foot here and one foot Elsewhere. As much as being depressed and floundering for over a year sucked, it was incredibly transformative, and I have begun to see where my road could be leading for future endeavours.

I thank my Gods and Spirits for sticking with me through it, and helping to show me things along the way so that when I look back at it now, I see the grander picture, where it was all leading me towards.