The Witches Guide to Wednesday, October 25th
(The Witches Guide to Wednesdays)
Today is Wednesday, October 25th
Wednesday is the day of the Teutonic deity known as Wodin or Odin, an aspect of the Allfather, god of knowledge, wisdom, enlightenment and combat, the parallel of Hermes, the planet Mercury.
Zodiac Sign: Gemini & Virgo
Stone: Emerald & Sardonyx
Animal: Raven & Cat
Color: Red & Blue
Celtic Tree Month of Gort(Ivy) – September 30 – October 27
Runic Half-Month of Wyn(joy) – October 13 – October 27
Goddess of the Month of Hathor – October 3 – October 30
The Pagan Book of Days
On Wednesday, October 25th, We Celebrate the Goddess Freyja
Goddess of Abundance, Fertility and War
Freya was the sister of the god Freyr, and was one of the Vanir, the Norse deities of earth and water that lived in Asgard. Venerated by women, heroes and rulers alike, she was the Scandinavian goddess of fertility and abundance. Freyja could be called upon for assistance in childbirth and conception, to aid with marital problems, or to bestow fruitfulness upon the land and sea.
In some traditions, she is known not only as Freyr’s sister but his wife as well.
Like Freyr, she is associated with material wealth. She was known to wear a magnificent necklace called Brisingamen, which represents the fire of the sun, and was said to weep tears of gold. In the Norse Eddas, Freyja is not only a goddess of fertility and wealth, but also of war and battle. In fact, she is the lady of the hall of the battle-fallen in Valhalla. While some have theorized that she was the leader of the Valkyries, the Eddas don’t specifically identify her as such. She also has connections to magic and divination.
Daniel McCoy, who runs the excellent Norse Mythology for Smart People website, says Freyja is “considered to be something of the “party girl” of the Aesir. In one of the Eddic poems, for example, Loki accuses Freya (probably accurately) of having slept with all of the gods and elves, including her brother. She’s certainly a passionate seeker after pleasures and thrills, but she’s a lot more than only that.
Freya is the archetype of the völva, a professional or semiprofessional practitioner of seidr, the most organized form of Norse magic. It was she who first brought this art to the gods, and, by extension, to humans as well. Given her expertise in controlling and manipulating the desires, health, and prosperity of others, she’s a being whose knowledge and power are almost without equal.”
Freyja was similar to Frigg, the chief goddess of the Aesir, which was the Norse race of sky deities. Both were connected with childrearing, and could take on the aspect of a bird. Freyja owned a magical cloak of hawk’s feathers, which allowed her to transform at will. This cloak is given to Frigg in some of the Eddas.
In The Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe, Dr. Hilda Ellis Davidson says, “Most of the goddesses who became the wives of the gods came from the underworld, and were said to be the daughters of giants. The greatest of the goddesses was Freyja, sister of Freyr and daughter of Njord; she is a goddess of many names, and may originally have been the same as Frigg, the wife of Odin, since elsewhere in Germanic tradition we hear only of one goddess, Frigga, who was the wife of the sky god.”
Honoring Freyja Today
You may want to make offerings to Freyja if you’re doing workings related to your love life – especially if it has a sexual component. Honey, chocolate, and other sexy foods are a good start, but you also can include a song, prayer, or poem in her honor.
In some traditions, Freyja is called upon for protection – especially if you’ve been in a domestic violence situation. Qarinth is a Pagan from Tucson who says, “I was in a relationship with someone who hurt me, not just physically, but emotionally.
I connected rather unexpectedly with Freyja when I was trying to work through it all, and she’s really the one who gave me the strength and courage to get out and move forward with my life. I made an offering of blood to her, and while I don’t know if that’s what she specifically wanted, it felt right at the time and she accepted it, and looked after me when I needed her the most.”
Finally, you can set up a shrine to Freyja in your home – decorate your altar with symbols of femininity and strength, in whatever manner resonates with you.
Wednesday – is associated with Mercury
Candle colors – Purple
Magickal Conjuring for the Day: Mastery, Domination Work, Wisdom, Healing, Dealing with Legal problems.
—Starr Casas, Old Style Conjure Wisdoms, Workings and Remedies
The Magickal Day of Wednesday
Wednesday is named for Woden himself, although the Romans called it dies Mercurii. This is a day associated with the color purple, the planet Mercury, and the metal quicksilver – which is also called mercury. See a pattern here?
When it comes to deities… yes, Mercury! However, there are a few other gods associated with Wednesday, including Odin and Hermes, Athena, and Lugh. Gemstones like adventurine and agate come in handy as well, as do plants such as aspen trees, lilies, lavender and even ferns.
Business and job-related issues, communication, loss and debt, traveling, and journeys are all tied in to Wednesday. This is a good day to do a working to open up lines of communication – especially if your own actions are preventing you from being an effective speaker or listener. Go someplace new or return to an old favorite stomping ground, step up your game, and settle up your accounts.
The Witches Guide to Wednesday
Be bold and daring today! Expand your knowledge of the Craft by working with the planetary energies of Mercury on this multifaceted day of the week. Consider the Greco-Roman gods Mercury and Hermes and all of the many lessons they have for you. Embrace change and movement, and work on your communication techniques. Conjure up a little good luck for yourself with that Mercury dime spell. Call on Athena to inspire you to try magickal arts and crafts and to be more creative in your own spellwork and witchery.
Meditate on Odin and see what you can discover about him. I wonder what sort of fabulous and fascinating magickal wisdom you will uncover? Odin is a shaman, after all; he may appear in many guises and faces. I guarantee that he will make you laugh at yourself before he is through with you, but you will learn. It’s up to you what you do with that knowledge. Will you let it shapeshift into wisdom?
Wednesday is the wild and wily day of the week, so try to go with the flow; don’t fight the quirky energies of the day. Most importantly, follow your heart, and always keep a good sense of humor, because of Wednesdays you will really need it.
Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week
Daily Magickal Applications for Wednesday
To the Romans, this day was called Dies Mercurii, or “Mercury’s day” Mercury was a popular character in the Roman pantheon. A messenger of the gods, he presided over commerce, trade, and anything that required skill or dexterity. The Celts also worshiped Mercury and eventually equated him with the Norse god Odin (some spelling variations on this name include Wotan, Wodin, and Wodan). In Norse mythologies, Odin, like Mercury, is associated with poetry and music. Interestingly enough, both Odin and Mercury were regarded as psychopomps, or the leaders of souls, in their individual mythologies.
Odin, one of the main gods in Norse mythology, was constantly seeking wisdom. He traveled the world in disguise as a one-eyed man with a long gray beard, wearing an old, beat-up hat and carrying a staff or a spear (which brings to my mind images of Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings). In the Old English language, this day of Mercury evolved into Wodnes daeg, “Woden’s day,” or Wednesday.
Wednesday carries all of the planetary and magickal energies and associations of the witty and nimble god Mercury himself. Some of these mercurial traits included good communication skills, cleverness, intelligence, creativity, business sense, writing, artistic talent, trickiness, and thievery. And don’t forget all of those wise and enigmatic qualities associated with the Norse god Odin/Wodin, not to mention the goddess Athena’s contributions of music, the arts, handmade crafts, and writing. Wednesdays afford excellent opportunities for seeking wisdom, changing your circumstances, and improving your skills, be they in trade and commerce, music and art, or in communication and writing.
Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week
The Witches Almanac for Wednesday, October 25th
St. Crispin’s Day
Moon Phase: First Quarter
Moon Sign: Capricorn
Correspondences for Wednesday, January 25th
Dedicated to the Teutonic god Woden or Odin, an aspect of the “All-Father” god of knowledge wisdom enlightenment and combat, the parallel of Hermes.
Element : Air
Zodiac Sign : Virgo / Gemini
Angel : Raphael
Metal : Mercury
Incense / Perfumes : Jasmine, Lavender, Sweet Pea
Oil: Benzoin, Clary Sage, Eucalytus, Lavender
Color : Red, Orange, Light Blue
Stones : Bloodstone,Garnet, Aventurine, Hematite, Moss Agate and Sodalite
Plants/Herbs : Almond, Anise, Cherry, Clover, Dandelion, Dill, Fern, Hazel, Hyssop, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lilac, Mace, Peppermint, Rosemary, Vervain
Magick to Work: the conscious mind, study, travel, divination, consulting oracles, wisdom, communication ,cleverness, contracts, creativity, information, intellect, memory, erception, science, wisdom, writing
*Notes: perform on a Wednesday and/or during the waxing Moon with the Full Moon being strongest. An orange or violet candle is associated with any magick cast on this day.
Color: Orange, violet, multicolored, pale yellow
Metal: Quicksilver, alloys.
Stones: Carnelian, fire opal, agate
Plants: Anise, caraway , cassia, club mosss, dittany of Crete, lavender, licorice, parsley, sandalwood, storax
Rules: Gemini, Virgo
Oils: Lavender, lemon, lily of valley, nutmeg, sandalwood, styrax, vervain
Rituals Involving: Intellect, memory, science, creativity, business, magickal conjuration, divination, prediction, eloquence, gift of tongues, speed, speech, writing, poetry, inspiration, improvement of mind power, healing of nervous disorders.
Physical Chant for Mercury:
Magick, the Arts, success on my trade,
Business wisdom and divination,
These gifts I would gain for my physical growth
And to help in my conjurations.
Dancing with Dragons, Invoking Their Ageless Wisdom and Power
D. J. Conway, Author
The Witches Magick for October 25th – A Spell that is Bittersweet
This spell is made to help you pick up the pieces and get on with life after love has died, however hard this may be. Cast when the moon is waning, or in the first day or two of a new moon. The spell calls for a root of bittersweet, or woody nightshade. This is toxic and should be treated with great care. Spellcasters who do not wish to use it, may prefer to use a substitute.
You will need:
A photograph of your former lover
A fireproof dish
A root of bittersweet
A red velvet bag (velvet is best, but another cloth can be used)
Put the photograph in the fireproof dish and set it alight. As it burns, see all the pain you have experienced flowing from you, marrying with the
smoke and vanishing into the ether. As they drift off say some suitable words, such as:
Leave my heart and set me free.
Please take all pain away from me.
As my love now burns to dust,
Help me make the moves I must.
And let it be done, that it harm no one.
Continue repeating the words until the picture has burned to ashes. Now, very carefully take the bittersweet in your hands and hold it against your solar plexus. Visualize your residual negative feelings flowing into the root. When you feel that it now contains all these emotions, very gently touch your forehead with the charged root as a way of indicating that bad feelings have gone and have been replaced by good ones.
Finish by wrapping the root and the ashes of the paper in the red bag, and next time you are going to be a distance away from home, take it with you and bury it. As you do so, bring a picture of your old lover to mind and take a minute or two to send thoughts of friendship and peace to him or her.
Ritual To Celebrate the Cycle of Life and Death
Samhain is a time like no other, in that we can watch as the earth literally dies for the season. Leaves fall from the trees, the crops have gone brown, and the land once more becomes a desolate place. However, at Samhain, when we take the time to remember the dead, we can take time to contemplate this endless cycle of life, death, and eventual rebirth.
For this ritual, you’ll want to decorate your altar with symbols of life and death.
You’ll want to have on hand a white candle and a black one, as well as black, red, and white ribbon in equal lengths (one set for each participant). Finally, you’ll need a few sprigs of rosemary.
Perform this rite outside if at all possible. If you normally cast a circle, do so now. Say:
Samhain is here, and it is a time of transitions.
The winter approaches, and the summer dies.
This is the time of the Dark Mother,
a time of death and of dying.
This is the night of our ancestors
and of the Ancient Ones.
Place the rosemary on the altar. If you are doing this as a group ceremony, pass it around the circle before placing on the altar. Say:
Rosemary is for remembrance,
and tonight we remember those who have
lived and died before us,
those who have crossed through the veil,
those who are no longer with us.
We will remember.
Turn to the north, and say:
The north is a place of cold,
and the earth is silent and dark.
Spirits of the earth, we welcome you,
knowing you will envelope us in death.
Turn to face the east, and say:
The east is a land of new beginnings,
the place where breath begins.
Spirits of air, we call upon you,
knowing you will be with us as we depart life.
Face south, saying:
The south is a land of sunlight and fire,
and your flames guide us through the cycles of life.
Spirits of fire, we welcome you,
knowing you will transform us in death.
Finally, turn to face the west, and say:
The west is a place of underground rivers,
and the sea is a never-ending, rolling tide.
Spirits of water, we welcome you,
knowing you will carry us
through the ebbs and flows of our life.
Light the black candle, saying:
The Wheel of the Year turns once more,
and we cycle into darkness.
Next, light the white candle, and say:
At the end of that darkness comes light.
And when it arrives, we will celebrate once more.
Each person takes a set of ribbons — one white, one black, and one red. Say:
White for life, black for death,
red for rebirth.
We bind these strands together
remembering those we have lost.
Each person should then braid or knot their three ribbons together. As you do so, focus on the memories of those you have lost in your life.
While everyone is braiding or knotting, say:
Please join me in chanting as you work your energy and love into your cords:
As the corn will come from grain,
All that dies will rise again.
As the seeds grow from the earth,
We celebrate life, death and rebirth.
Finally, ask everyone to take their knotted ribbons home with them and place them on their personal altar if they have one. That way, they can be reminded of their loved ones each time they pass by.
Note: Rosemary is used in this rite because although it seems to go dormant over the winter, if you keep it in a pot you’ll get new growth in the spring. If there’s another plant you’d rather use, feel free.
Samhain Ritual to Honor the Forgotten Dead
As Samhain rolls around and the veil grows thin each year, many people in the Pagan community take the opportunity to hold rituals honoring the dead. This may take the form of setting up an altar to honor the ancestors, or to hold a vigil for those who have crossed over in the past year. In general, we’re pretty good about remembering those who have touched us, whether they were family of the blood or of the spirit.
However, there’s one group that is typically overlooked at this time of year. It’s the people who passed through the veil with no one to mourn them, no one to remember their names, no loved ones left behind to sing their names with honor.
Think of the people out there, not just in your community, but around the country who are buried with no headstone, because there was no one to pay for a marker. Consider the old woman in a nursing home or care center, who died with no children or nieces and nephews to bid her farewell in the final moments. What about the homeless veteran who used to panhandle on your city’s streets, who one day just stopped showing up at the corner, and is now buried in an unmarked plot with dozens of others just like him? How about the children who are lost, for whatever reasons, in our world, and die alone, whether by violence or neglect or illness? What about those who were once remembered, but now their gravestones lie untended and ignored?
These are the people that this ritual honors. These are the ones whose spirits we honor, even when we do not know their names. This ritual can be performed by a solitary practitioner or a group. Keep in mind that while you can perform this rite as a standalone ritual, it also works well being incorporated in at the end of your other Samhain rituals.
You will need a collection of candles in colors and sizes of your choice – each will represent a group of forgotten people. If there’s someone specific you know of, who died alone, choose a candle to represent that person as well. For this sample ritual, we’ll use a candle for men, one for women, and another for children, but you can group people in any way that works for you.
If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now. Even if your tradition doesn’t require it, it’s a good idea to have designated sacred space of some sort for this ritual, because you’re going to be inviting the dead to stand outside and watch you. You can do a simple delineation of the circle with string, birdseed, salt, or other markers. Another alternative is to simply create sacred space around the participants. Or, you can do a full-on circle casting like this one: How to Cast a Circle
Decorate your altar as you normally would for Samhain, and include the collection of unlit candles in a prominent position. Safety tip: put the smaller ones at the front, and the taller ones behind them, so there’s less chance of you setting your own sleeve on fire as you light them.
Particularly if you’re doing this during the Samhain season, there’s a lot of activity crossing back and forth over the veil, so it’s a good idea to take a moment to meditate and get grounded before you begin.
When you’re ready to start, say:
Now is the season of Samhain. It is the season of our ancestors, of our glorious dead, of those who have fallen and crossed over the veil from this world to the next. This is a time for us to honor them and pay tribute.
Tonight, in the darkness, under this starry sky, we remember those who were forgotten. Tonight we memorialize you, the unknown, the unloved, the unwanted of our world. Whoever you may have been in life, tonight, now, in death, you are ours as you watch from the other side, at least for a little while.
Light the first candle, representing the group of your choice. Again, for purposes of this ritual, we’ll assign this candle to the women:
Women who were lost to us, how did you pass? Were you old and alone, crossing over with no one but your own ghosts to keep you company? Were you young and healthy, taken from us unexpectedly, your crossing as much a surprise to you as to anyone else? Does your body lie in a cold office somewhere, waiting to be claimed? Or do you lie under the stars tonight, in a field or a forest where you’ll never be seen? Forgotten women, your spirits are with us tonight, watching us from outside the circle. We remember you, and want you to know you are honored. You are remembered.
Light the second candle, for the second group you are honoring:
Men who were lost to us, how did you pass? Did you die in a strange place, far from your family and friends, lost to everyone but your own demons? Were you in the prime of your life, or creeping along against the ravages of old age, watching as disease and neglect took their toll upon you? Are you buried in an unmarked plot in a potter’s field somewhere, or do you lie under these glorious stars tonight? Forgotten men, your spirits are with us tonight, watching us from outside the circle. We remember you, and want you to know you are honored. You are remembered.
Light the next candle, for additional groups you may be honoring:
Sweet children, crossed over from this world to the next. Your lives were far too short, for whatever reason, and you left us before you grew. On the other side, perhaps there is a mother to hold you when you need to feel loved, a father to comfort you when you are afraid, a big brother or sister to guide you on your journey. Wherever you may lie, and whether you were big or very, very small, your spirits are with us tonight, watching us from outside the circle. We remember you, and want you to know you are honored. You are remembered.
All of you, women, men, children… you may have crossed over unnoticed when you left this world, but for now, you are remembered. You are unforgotten. You are honored by us this night of Samhain, and if it helps you along your journey, then so may it be. Know that this night, you are with us in memory and spirit. Know that you are no longer the lost and unreachable dead.
Take a moment to meditate on what you have just said. See if you can feel the presence of the lost ones as you stand at your altar. You may notice a distinct shift in the energy you’re feeling, and that’s normal. It’s also why this next part of the ritual is very important: you’ve invited them to watch you, and now you need to send them on their way.
Spirits, guests from the place beyond, it is time. We have honored you and celebrated your names, though we may not have known you in life. Now is the time for you to move on. Go back to the places from which you came, to the places in which you belong as one of our beloved dead. Go back, knowing that this night, you were honored and remembered. Go back across the veil, and remain in that world. You will not be forgotten again, and we will honor you with our memories. Farewell, rest easy, and may the coming parts of your journey be worthy of you.
Take a few minutes to get yourself centered. End the ritual in whichever way you normally do, breaking down the sacred space. Extinguish the candles, and offer a quick final blessing of farewell to each group as the smoke drifts away into the night.
A Pagan Blessing for the Dead
Choose four participants. One carries a rock, representing the earth, and stands to the North. One carries a feather, representing Air, and stands to the East. Another stands to the South, carrying a candle or some incense to represent Fire. A fourth can hold a cup of Water to the West — if you’re fortunate enough to hold your ritual near an ocean or river, use that to represent Water. On your altar, in the center of the circle, place a picture or some other memento of the person you are saying goodbye to.
Form a circle, and call upon the elements. Invite the powers of the four directions to come watch over you. Stand in the center and say:
Take me now, take me now
for to face the Summerlands*.
By the earth and wind and the fire and rain
I’m on my way,remember me.
Turn to the North and say:
Take me now back to the earth
from which we spring and then return.
I shall cross over, now it is my turn.
I am not afraid Remember me.
Repeat this verse, turning to each of the four directions. Substitute the different elements where appropriate.
Finally, touch each family member with your athame as you say the following:
Blood of my blood
Bone of my bone
Flesh of my flesh
Keep my soul alive
I will live on
Within your hearts
I am not afraid
If you have ashes for the deceased, you may wish to scatter them at this time. Take a moment to reflect on the good memories you have of your departed friend or family member.
*If your particular tradition believes we go to some other place after death, feel free to substitute the appropriate place name for “Summerlands.” If you’re not sure where we end up, you can simply say “the other side.”