Friday 20 May 2011

The Making of a War Goddess

Last June, I had a dream that I was a young war goddess in training.  I won't repeat it here, but I described it in this post:
I was discussing it with a friend the other day and something was pointed out to me.  In the dream, I had two things: a sword and wings.  She pointed out that these allow me to do two things.  The sword allows me to fight. The wings allow me to fly.  Pretty obvious so far, but what I didn't notice is these two are the instinctual responses to danger:  fight or flight.  Now, I have a tendency to withdraw inside myself when confronted with conflict.  I hide.  I cower.  I don't fight.  I don't leave (flight).

I have issues with saying no.  People tell me to do something (or ask in a why I feel doesn't give me a choice), and I do it to avoid the conflict and to try to make people happy.  Saying no would lead to conflict.  Conflict means I either have to fight or leave.  And I avoid that.  Not saying no is part of my reaction of hiding.

In the dream, I don't have the sword or the wings at the beginning.  I found the sword, my ability to fight.  I was given the wings, my ability for flight.  It is interesting that I was supposed to present myself to the group of women and didn't.  And then I went to them for a different reason, and they gave me the wings (which were weapons, too).  The room where the women were was underground.  It was a round chamber carved from grey stone, lit by candles or torches or some other source of low light.  It was very shadowy.  The women sat around the outside of the chamber and the other girls and I were in the middle.

The idea that I didn't have the sword or the wings, but found and received them is important, I think.  As are the circle of women.

~Muninn's Kiss

Image by Luis Royo

Fight or Flight
By Muninn's Kiss

There she sits,
Upon the floor,
A child,
A girl,
For them to tell her,
Do this,
Do that,
She can't say no.

There she sits,
Behind the child,
A woman,
A warrior,
Black wings,
Silver sword,
Behind the girl,
Afraid to fly away,
Afraid to fight,
She can't say no.

There she sits,
My child self,

There she sits,
My warrior self,

The warrior rises,
War goddess,
Wings spread,
Sword raised.

To fly or to fight?
To fight or to fly?
To lift the child to safety?
To stand in front and protect?
Either way,
Any way,
Is better than cowering,
Is better than hiding.

I rise.
Image by Luis Royo

Mighty Warrior
By Muninn's Kiss

I raise my sword above my head,
And show my mighty strength.
My slight body wire thin,
No muscles for to show.

Upon my arms the elegant blades,
I spread my arms for flight.
The wings they come upon my back,
Like two huge raven wings.

Do I fight, my sword in hand,
Upon the battle field?
Or do I fly, great wings spread,
To fight again some day?

But here I stand unsure of myself,
Not ready to fight or fly.
The mighty warrior lost in thought,
Unsure what she should do.

Will the world end tomorrow (May 21)?

Image entitled End of the World
(I'm pretty sure it's really a screen
shot of Hell in the movie Constantine)
from  XarJ blog.
There's a lot of hype right now about tomorrow being the end of the world.  Some people are laughing at the idea, while others are deadly serious.  I had mostly just heard it mentioned that "the world is going to end May 21, not December 21" and read jokes about the rapture on Twitter, but didn't know what this was really about.  Was it a New Age prediction that Christians had latched on to and associated with the rapture?  Was it a small group of fanatical Christians?  Where did this idea come from?  I honestly didn't care and didn't take the time to look it up.

Today, I got curious and did a Google search and read the following "tract" and laughed:
The people pushing this idea (both this website and others) aren't saying May 21 is the end of the world, they're saying it's the "rapture" and the closing of the doors of salvation.  Everyone who isn't a Christian on that day is doomed, they say.  The end of the world is October 21, destruction in fire.

I put tract in quotes because when I was a new Christian back in 1995 in a church that actively used tracts, a tract was a small folded paper with a short message on it, used to try to get a spiritual truth across or to try to "lead someone to Jesus".  It's small so it's easy to pass out or leave somewhere and easy for someone to pick up.  It usually has pictures on it, both to make it look more attractive and to get across the point.  This is on a website, and if you print it out, it's a full 8"X14" legal sheet, which isn't easily passed out or kept.  Though in the history of religious and political tracts, they've been much bigger.

Anyway, back to the "tract".  The part that immediately made me laugh were the following, especially in light of what's actually said in the rest of the tract:
The Bible’s calendar of history is completely accurate and trustworthy.
Since this Bible calendar is given by God in His Word, it can be trusted wholeheartedly.
Image from Regnum Christi.
If you read the pamphlet, it's supposition, interpretation of Bible verses with no support beyond the ones used.  Whether you believe the Bible is the Word of God and 100% accurate and infallible or not, this isn't things that are said right out in the Bible, they are conclusions based on how the author (and his/her sources) read those verses.  While that doesn't mean the conclusions are false, it does mean that you should think about it and come to your own conclusions, not trust it wholeheartedly or take it as "completely accurate and trustworthy".  As human's we have a rational, reasoning brain for a reason.  It doesn't take rational thought to believe everything you are told unquestioningly.  To use a (Christian) Bible verse to show what I'm saying:
"As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." ~Acts 17:10-11
The Bereans are praised for not just taking what Paul said as Truth but examined the Tanahk (Jewish scriptures) to see if what he said was true.

Now, lets look at what they actually say.

Monday 16 May 2011

Thor in Theaters and Lore: A Review (Warning: Contains spoilers after the first few paragraphs)

Thor in the comics.
Image from IGN.
Last night, we watched the movie Thor.  I really enjoyed it.  I knew it wouldn't match the lore and sagas, since it's based on the comic book.  I never read the comic books, neither the ones he appeared in or the ones specifically about him, so I don't know how much it followed the comics.  There were similarities between the myths and the movie, and major differences.  Over all, I thought it was a good reimagining of the myths, and a well written and well executed movie.  I enjoyed the characters.  I enjoyed the plot.  I really enjoyed the images and art of the movie.  Asgard was stunning, and Jutenheim was amazingly done.  I'd recommend watching it, but don't go into it expecting the myths you are familiar with.  Though there are things you might miss if you have no familiarity with Norse myth.  To the complete novice, it will be a fun movie.  For the more knowledgeable, it will still be fun, but you will get some things and find some things very interesting.

Before I watched it, I had seen a few previews and had read the following two reviews, from a neopagan/neoheathen point of view.
Thor: A Pagan Review of the Film (Pantheon - The Pagan Blog At Patheos)
Is “Thor” a Religious Experience? (The Wild Hunt)
They gave me some things to think about while I watched it, but they didn't really prepare me for it.  That was a good thing.

Now I'd like to give my thoughts on the movie, based on my understanding of the sagas and lore.  I'm not an expert, so take it for what it's worth.


The Seething Cauldron

Seidways: shaking, swaying and serpent mysteriesI just finished reading the article "Seidr and Modern Paganism" by Jan Fries in The Cauldron No. 139 (February 2011).  It raised some good points, about our understanding of ancient Seidr, about modern neopagan/neoheathen Seidr, and about magic, ritual, tradition, and religion in general.  The article is an edited extract of his book, Seidways: Shaking, Swaying and Serpent Mysteries, from Mandrake Press of Oxford.  The article makes me want to read the book in its entirety.

I guess there's a lot of controversy from the neopagan/neoheathen community about his association of Seidr with the shaking of other shamanistic cultures in Europe.  It doesn't match what the modern community has come to associate with the name Seidr, based on their reading of the lore and their experiences.  The article is basically his response to their objections, in summary form.

Enough with reviewing the article.  I want to discuss one specific paragraph here.  I'll leave out the last two sentences as they aren't related to what I want to discuss, but relates the rest of the paragraph to the flow of his argument.  I recommend reading the article in its entirety to get the context.
But seething was also part of sacrifice.  The Vikings never offered raw or burned meat to their deities.  To prepare a proper sacrifice, you suspended a cauldron on a chain from the temple roof and seethed the flesh until it was tender,  The scent arising from the sacrifice were an essential part of the sacrifice.  In Gothic the participants of the sacrifice were suthnautar, the 'seething companions'.  So whatever else the word may have implied, there was something sacred to seething.
I want to address several things here.  These are the Cauldron, the tenderness of the meat, the aroma, and the "seething companions".

Saturday 14 May 2011

Plants and Creation: Two New Books

I just ordered two books from Amazon that should be interesting.

 Plants of Life, Plants of Death by Frederick J. Simoons was recommended to me by a friend on one of the Yahoo! lists I'm on.  It's basically a social history about plants.  Here's what the product description on Amazon says:
Pythagoras, the ancient Greek mathematician, did not himself eat fava beans in any form; in fact, he banned his followers from eating them. Cultural geographer Frederick Simoons disputes the contention that Pythagoras established that ban because he recognized the danger of favism, a disease that afflicts genetically-predisposed individuals who consume fava beans. Contradicting more deterministic explanations of history, Simoons argues that ritual considerations led to the Pythagorean ban.

In his fascinating and thorough new study, Simoons examines plants associated with ritual purity, fertility, prosperity, and life, on the one hand, or with ritual impurity, sickness, ill fate, and death, on the other. Plants of Life, Plants of Death offers a wealth of detail from not only history, ethnography, religious studies, classics, and folklore, but also from ethnobotany and medicine. Simoons surveys a vast geographical region extending from Europe through the Near East to India and China. He tells the story of India's giant sacred fig trees, the pipal and the banyan, and their changing role in ritual, religion, and as objects of pilgrimage from antiquity to the present day; the history of mandrake and ginseng, "man roots" whose uses from Europe to China have been shaped by the perception that they are human in form; and the story of garlic and onions as impure foods of bad odor in that same broad region.

Simoons also identifies and discusses physical characteristics of plants that have contributed to their contrasting ritual roles, and he emphasizes the point that the ritual roles of plants are also shaped by basic human concerns-desire for good health and prosperity, hopes for fertility and offspring, fear of violence, evil and death-that were as important in antiquity as they are today.

Primal Myths: Creation Myths Around the World by Barbara C. Sprout is a collection of creation myths from cultures and religions in every part of the world.  The myth I'm most interested in is the Mongolian myth about a Lama coming down from heaven and stirring the waters to bring about the world.  There's a brief summary of it on Wikipedia and I wanted to read more.  I think it would be interesting to write a post relating it and the Cauldron in Robert Cochrane's writings.  The other myths sound interesting as well.

~Muninn's Kiss

Friday 13 May 2011

Buddhism and Witchcraft, Part 1, Suffering and Desire

“The teachings of Buddha are eternal, but even then Buddha did not proclaim them to be infallible. The religion of Buddha has the capacity to change according to times, a quality which no other religion can claim to have...Now what is the basis of Buddhism? If you study carefully, you will see that Buddhism is based on reason. There is an element of flexibility inherent in it, which is not found in any other religion.”
~Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

Gautama Buddha.
Image from History Simplified.
Two days ago is the date celebrated in much of Asia as the birthday of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, believed to be the latest of many, many Buddhas, called the Thousand Buddhas, but specifically the 28th of the Buddhas whose names are “known”.  (Some areas celebrate his death and enlightenment on that day as well, and some areas celebrate it on other dates.  For more information, see here.)  By tradition, he was born 2555 years ago.  Buddhism is one of the largest religions in the world today.  (Fifth or sixth, depending on how you do the counting.  See this page for details.)

The general story of his life is that he was born a prince.  His father wanted him to be a great king and isolated him from suffering and aging.  One day, he saw something, probably an old man, and realized that the sheltered life of privilege and wealth he had lived wasn’t all there was. After seeing some other things, he snuck out and went to find an end to suffering.

He lived as an ascetic, trying to completely deny the body, thinking that was the way.  He withered away to almost nothing.  At the lowest, he was bathing and collapsed in the river and almost drowned.  He reconsidered and decided deprivation wasn’t the answer either.

Recalling a memory of watching his father as a child, he decided to try contemplation.  This was the Middle Way, not privilege and wealth, and not asceticism and deprivation, but a way between them.  He went and sat below a tree by a river in contemplation.  After 49 days, he obtained Enlightenment.

He debated whether he should teach others the way to Enlightenment or not.  He finally decided to teach and spent the rest of his life teaching.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Gnomeo and Juliet: From Fiction to Feri Tales

Gnomeo and Juliet.
Image from
Having just seen the funny, cute, crazy movie, Gnomeo and Juliet, I was looking up the the history of garden gnomes.

Gnome from
the books.
Image from
Tolkien Gallery.
When I was a kid, we went to a huge used bookstore in Eugene, OR very often as we lived forty miles from Eugene.  In the Smith Family Bookstore, I stumbled upon some old books about gnomes.  The art fascinated me, and the books talked about the ecology and habits of gnomes.  Pure fantasy, of course, but ever since, when the word gnome is mentioned (or Nome, Alaska for that matter), those pictures are what I thought of, even when playing role playing games, where the gnomes are much different.  The books were GnomesSecrets of the Gnomes, The Secret Book of Gnomes and/or related books.  There were several there I looked at and I know Gnomes was one of them, but I'm unsure which other ones.  There was a cartoon series based on them as well, but I don't think I actually say it, just saw clips.  When I saw the ads for the movie, I thought it was based off these books because the gnomes looked so much like the ones in the book.  I have never seen an actual garden gnome, in person or in a picture, just cartoon ones like the Travelocity "travelling gnome".  But in the movie, they were definitely ceramic garden gnomes, not the living, breathing humanoids in the books.

Garden gnomes.
Image from The Artistic Garden.
Garden gnomes originally came from Germany, but spread from there.  They were very popular in the 19th century but went out of favour.  They made a comeback at the end of World War II and have been popular ever since, though the looks of them have changed.  In the 60s and 70s, they changed to be modeled more like the seven dwarfs in the Disney movie, but ended up modelling them after the books I remember.  No wonder they looked like those pictures to me.

Wikipedia describes the origins of "gnome" thus:
Image from Inky Fool blog.
The word comes from Renaissance Latin gnomus, which first appears in the works of 16th Century Swiss alchemist Paracelsus. He is perhaps deriving the term from Latin gēnomos (itself representing a Greek γη-νομος, literally "earth-dweller"). In this case, the omission of the ē is, as the OED calls it, a blunder. Alternatively, the term may be an original invention of Paracelsus.

Paracelsus uses Gnomi as a synonym of Pygmæi, and classifies them as earth elementals. He describes them as two spans high, very reluctant to interact with humans, and able to move through solid earth as easily as humans move through air.

The chthonic spirit has precedents in numerous ancient and medieval mythologies, often guarding mines and precious underground treasures, notably in the Germanic dwarves and the Greek Chalybes, Telchines or Dactyls.

The description of them moving through earth as if through air brought to mind what Cora Anderson said about gnomes in Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition moving through earth like fish in water:
The realm of Fairy (Feri) exists in what we call the etheric region. The name Fairy applies here to certain well-defined classes of nature spirits. These include the Gnomes who live in the soil and within the body of the Earth. There are several races of these charming little people. I will describe one kind of Gnome here. They look like tiny brown human-shaped creatures with blunt pointed caps. These are not caps but the way their little heads are shaped. They are bisexual, but their sexuality is more like that of young boys with some female overtones. They are sexually very active with each other as they release life force into the soil. They seem never to fly about in the air as freely as the Sylphs and Peris, both of which are spirits of the air and look like a child's idea of miniature angels. Gnomes do move about freely in the earth in all three dimensions like fish in water. The Gnome's average life span is one hundred and sixty-two years. At the end of this time they shed their very earthy etheric bodies and enter into other Gnomes to be born or change into one of the kinds of water spirits. The Gnome's body is very close to dense matter. They reproduce by fission and do not become pregnant through sex, which exists among them for its own sake and to vitalize the soil. This type of Gnome is about five inches tall, but there are other spirits. Gnomes take part in decay and recycling of organic matter, including the dead bodies of animals and even ourselves.
Cora Anderson, Grandmaster of Feri
Image from Harpy Books
Taken by Valerie Walker
I doubt Cora took her description from Wil Huygen's books I saw as a kid, nor from garden gnome designs.  The impression I got reading the book was that she had actually seen them.  The passage below from her book Childhood Memories reinforces this.  The pointed head is the part that makes me wonder on the source of the garden gnomes and Gnome books.  The Greek descriptions of the Pygmæi don't seem to say anything about the shape of their head.  Cora's description is much shorter than the Greek description and the description in the Gnome books, though.  Maybe the other descriptions are on of the other types of gnomes she mentions.

A True Fairy Tale by Cora Anderson (excerpt from Childhood Memories copyright 2007 Cora Anderson and Victor E. Anderson)

For most of my childhood, I lived on a small farm in Alabama. My father worked in the coal mines, and we grew corn and vegetables to help make a living. We were very poor and seldom saw any money. Everyday on my way to school, I talked to the flowers, watched the birds build their nests, and played leapfrog over the stones in the small streams. I became so close to nature that I could see the elemental spirits. The fairies and gnomes were my favorites.

We had long conversations. One of my favorite questions was, “Where do you live?” The answer was always the same, “Out of the air, into the air and everywhere.” I played games with them, too. They told me to look for a special stone or flower. Most of the time I found them, but once in a while I heard a thin sweet laugh and the words “April fool”.

At school, I returned to reality and the cold world about me. The children teased me. The teachers ignored me because I had no books or school supplies. Lunchtime was the hardest to bear. Most of the children brought a good lunch. If I had any, it would be cold biscuits without butter or jam. I wished that I had a good lunch. Some of the children had candy they had bought at the general store. The candy looked so delicious—peppermint sticks, all-day suckers, and jawbreakers—all were bright colored and made my mouth water with envy. Once I asked for a bite, and all the children teased me. One girl asked me why my mother didn’t buy me some. This really hurt.

One day when everything went wrong at school, I was especially sad. All the way home from school, I wished for a nickel so I could buy some candy.

That night I had a very strange experience. I lay on my bed, half-awake and half-asleep. I glanced toward the window and saw a most delightful sight—there was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. Before me was a real fairy. She was about a foot tall and very slender. She looked like a tiny golden girl with blond hair and sparkling blue eyes. I asked her where her wand was, and it appeared in her hand. She spoke in a clear high voice, “Tonight I am your special fairy. Listen carefully to what I say. On your way to school tomorrow, look under the big rock bluff. There you will find a nickel. Take it, buy some candy, and enjoy it.” She smiled and was gone before I could say a word.

The next morning, I remembered the fairy visit. I hurried to the rock bluff. I looked and sure enough, there was the nickel. I felt the presence of my fairy and knew she was smiling. I blew her a kiss and said, “Thank you with all the love a little girl can give.”

An artist's interpretation
of the four worlds
of Kabbalah and the elements.
Image from Ann Skea's website.
I find it interesting that Cora talks about how at the end of gnomes' lifespans, they are reborn as water spirits. She goes on to mention the "order of the elements" and lists them as earth, water, air, and fire.  The order makes sense, since each one is less "physical" than the last.  Also I find it interesting that in Kabbalah, earth is only found in our world, the World of Action, in combination with the other three, but as you go to the upper worlds, the World of Forms is water, the World of Creation is air, and the World of Emanations is fire.  The same order.  Anyway, the mention of the earth spirits (gnomes) being reborn into water spirits right before the mention of the order of the elements made me wonder if it's a progression or a cycle, though I'm leaning towards progression because she says gnomes reproduce asexually.  So we have gnomes coming from fission from other gnomes, then water spirits being gnomes reborn.  But there's no mention of where air spirits or fire spirits come from.  I wonder if water spirits are reborn as air spirits and air spirits as fire spirits?

~Muninn's Kiss

Monday 9 May 2011

Innocence: the King and the Land are one!

"How beautiful is the black, lascivious purity of small children and wild animals." ~An African proverb as told by Victor Anderson
"The Black Heart
of Feri"
by Storm
Faerwolf from
his website.
The other day, I came upon a couple blog posts about the Black Heart of Innocence in Feri.  Just wanted to add my thoughts to the mix.
In her post, [info]heartssdesire says the following:
Rather, I began to think, the Black Heart is the state of awakening fully to one's authentic self - it means one steps up to take the helm of one's own ship. It means being ruled by no one other than one's authentic self, being self-mastered. It means throwing off the masks and shackles of coercion, manipulation, or deceit so that one can by guided by the deep wisdom of innocence.
This makes me think of a Feri proverb that I'm told comes from Victor Anderson:
“Never submit your life force to anything or anyone for any reason.”
This very much is taking the helm of our own ship, being "self-mastered".

It's what T. Thorn Coyle calls being "self-possessed".

Sunday 8 May 2011

"I am the queen: of every hive"

"Holy Mother, in Whom we live, move and have our being, from You all things emerge and unto You all things return." ~Victor Anderson
Mary the Virgin Mother of God.
Image from Cyberbrethren blog.
Though Mother's Day is a "greeting card holiday" invented by the greeting card companies and flower companies to sell their goods (*NOTE: Not accurate. See comments), motherhood is holy and important to life.  I have big issues with people who say women's only worth is in being a mother.  You should have that choice, and there is power is the non-maternal feminine as well as the maternal feminine.  But there is something special about motherhood, for life ceases without birth, and there's not birth without the mother.  And obviously no birth without the feminine.  There's power in the masculine, but life comes from the feminine (Unless you're Krana, "He who creates for himself").

Saturday 7 May 2011

Death: We are the stars...

"The god of death, the wind, the underworld, the ever-burning entrance to hell, the knife-edge, poison, serpent, and fire - women are all of these in one." ~The Ramayana
The Throne of Hell
in the Superman comics.
Image from  ComicVine.
Death is very important in many cultures.  Gods and goddesses of Death, and ones of the Underworld, are quite common around the world.  In our modern culture's drive to avoid Death, we tend to demonize any god of death or the Underworld.  They become Satan to us.  It's interesting that Satan became the ruler of Hell in Christian mythology, since in the Bible, he isn't thrown into Hell until the end of the world, and he definitely doesn't rule there.  It is Hades ruling the Underworld that became Satan ruling Hell.

In Mesoamerica, Death was, and still is, especially important, and most of the cultures in that area had more death deities than any other type.  And most death deities and images were also those of fertility.  This connection is found in Europe as well, the seed dies and from it comes life.

One set of deities, Mictlantecuhtli and Mictecacihuatl, ruled the lowest, northern part of the Underworld, Mictlan, in Aztec mythology.  The story goes that the bones of the gods of the previous world, the fourth sun, were kept in Mictlan.  After Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca created this current world, Quetzalcoatl and his twin, Xolotl, went to Mictlan to get the bones.  Mictlantecuhtli agreed to give them, but didn't want to give them up to tried to stop them from leaving Mictlan.  Quetzalcoatl dropped the bones and some of them broke, but he gathered them up and made it out.  He gave the bones to Cihuacoatl, who grinds them up, then the gods add their blood and the humans of our world are formed.

Mictlantecuhtli sculpture at
the museum of the Great
Temple in Mexico City.
Image from Wikipedia.
Mictlantecuhtli's head is usually portrayed as a skull with eyes intact.  Sometimes he has a human body and sometimes a blood splattered skeleton.  Sometimes he has a head dress of owl feathers and sometimes of knives (representing the wind of knives).  Sometimes he has a necklace of human eyeballs, or clothes made of paper.  The plugs in his ears were made of human bones.  The Aztecs sacrificed humans to Mictlantecuhtli, and sometimes worshiped him by eating human flesh.  He is described both horrible, tormenting souls, and benevolent, giving life.

Image from Aztec
Gods blog
It was Mictecacihuatl's job to guard the bones of the dead.  As a result, she presided over Aztec festivals.   I can't find much more details about her.  Many believe she evolved into Santa Muerte.

Third of the stars falling.
Image from Catholic Caveman blog.
Both of them are described as having their jaw wide, to swallow the stars during the day when they enter the Underworld.  The idea of them swallowing the stars brings to my mind the third of the stars falling from the sky into the sea in the Book of Revelations in the Bible (which some relate to the fall of Satan and his angels after waring against God and the angels led by Michael, and then being kicked out; this is where the idea of a third of the angels following Satan came from) and of all the stars falling from the sky into the sea in The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis.  It brings to mind the death of stars and the end of the universe.

Black Mother #1 by
Storm Faerywolf.
Image from his website.
I picture the Anna and the Arddhu standing at the Gates of Death, the stars falling from the sky.  I also think of Storm's description and invocation of Black Mother, the Feri Guardian of the North in some lines.

Close-up view of a
Santa Muerte south of
Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
Image from Wikipedia.
Santa Muerte (Saint Death) was underground and hidden in Mexico.  Only recently has she become more public, and she is condemned and not accepted by the Mexican Catholic Church.  She is depicted as a skeleton, and is usually robed.  Ofter she is holding a scythe and a globe, the scythe representing both the harvest and death, and the globe for Death's dominion over the earth.  She is the Lady of the Shadows, the White Lady, the Black Lady, the Holy Girl, and the Skinny One.  She is thought to preside over the Day of the Dead in early November, much like Mictecacihuatl presiding over Aztec festivals.

I'd like to look at a few mentions of Death in Robert Cochrane's writings.

Fire, as such is the province of Alder, the God of Fire, of Craft, of lower magic and of fertility and death. ~Third letter to Joe Wilson
Here we see the tie between death and fertility that's so prevalent in Mesoamerica.

The Thorn is Death or the process of Fate and as such the first principle, of the Broom. ~Fourth letter to Joe Wilson
 So Death is the process of Fate.
The Wizard is Merridwen, the Sky re-creating Life out of Death ~Fourth letter to Joe Wilson
This is what we see of the stars being eaten during each day but reborn the next evening.
 Even death is movement, one disintegrates and is recreated. The past moves in the future, since past shapes the future to come - this is Fate. ~Fourth letter to Joe Wilson
Here we bring together the two.  Death becomes life reborn, we are the stars, eaten each morning but reborn each evening.  This is Fate.

~Muninn's Kiss

Friday 6 May 2011

May’s First Crescent

Priestess card in

May’s First Crescent
By Muninn’s Kiss

A clouded sky, a shadowed night,
With springtime in the air.
Through the clouds, the crescent peeks,
A sliver in the sky.

Nimue’s seen, beneath the skirts,
Peeking out at us.
Slowly stepping, out to us,
From her Mother’s sacred skirts.

Selene’s crown, the priestess card,
A crown upon her head.
A crescent moon, just a peek,
Hanging in the sky.

Horns up turned, through the clouds,
Her light it lights them up.
A gentle glow, an eerie light,
Upon the darkened clouds.

The moon reborn, Celeste raised,
From the Dark Moon’s silent grave.
Luna grows, from new to full,
A sliver now we see.

Isis stands, before us now,
Rising with the moon.
A crescent moon, upon her brow,
The new born baby in her lap.

Spring has come, the fresh moon too,
New life comes to us.
Growing forth, from Winter’s grasp,
Like the crescent moon above.

Thursday 5 May 2011

"He is risen, he is risen indeed!"

"There are two seasons in Wyoming: snow and road construction."

A few days ago, it was still snow and cold, winter dying but still kicking, but today it feels like spring.  My walk this evening was very lovely, a joy.  Bright blue sky, gentle breeze, air warm enough to not need a coat.  The Summer King is definitely risen.

Everyone was out today.  There was a girl on rollerblades with a tiny dog walking beside her.  There was two girls walking three goats with sparkly collars.  There was a guy out riding his horse.  I saw more people out than I have since fall.

Some grass is green, but not a lot.  No buds on the trees yet.  But I saw plenty of birds, not the crows and ravens that stay all winter, but the small song birds flitting between trees.  A few days ago, there were a couple, today there are many, in almost every yard and field.

The land is waking up.
Winter has lost its sting.
The Winter King is in the grave,
And the Summer King has risen.

~Muninn's Kiss

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