Odin, Ruler of the Norse Gods, Wednesday’s Name Sake

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Odin, Ruler of the Norse Gods, Wednesday’s Name Sake

In the Norse pantheon, Asgard was the home of the gods, and it was the place where one could find Odin, the supreme deity of them all. Connected to his Germanic ancestor Woden or Wodan, Odin was the god of kings and the mentor of young heroes, to whom he often gave magical gifts.

In addition to being a king himself, Odin was a shapeshifter, and frequently roamed the world in disguise. One of his favorite manifestations was that of a one-eyed old man; in the Norse Eddas, the one-eyed man appears regularly as a bringer of wisdom and knowledge to heroes.

He pops up in everything from the saga of the Volsungs to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. He was typically accompanied by a pack of wolves and ravens, and rode on a magic horse named Sleipnir. Odin is associated with the concept of the wild hunt, and leads a noisy hoarde of fallen warriors across the sky.

Odin was said to summon dead heroes and kings to Valhalla, which they entered accompanied by the host of Valkyries. Once in Valhalla, the fallen engaged in feasting and combat, always ready to defend Asgard from its enemies. Odin’s warrior followers, the Berserkers, wore the pelts of a wolf or bear in battle, and worked themselves up into an ecstatic frenzy that made them oblivious to the pain of their wounds.

As a young man Odin hung on the world tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days while pierced by his own javelin, in order to obtain the wisdom of the nine worlds. This enabled him to learn the magic of the runes. Nine is a significant number in the Norse sagas, and appears frequently.

Odin continues to maintain a strong following, particularly amongst members of the Asatru community.

Author

Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

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Calendar of the Sun for January 16th

Calendar of the Sun

16 Wolfmonath

Muspellheim Day: Surt’s Blot

Color: Red
Element: Fire
Altar: Upon cloth of red set a great burning brazier of fire, many red candles, and a bottle of high-proof hard liquor.
Offerings: Bring fire to sacred places. The windows should be opened for the hour before Sponde, allowing cold to penetrate into the House. Then at Sponde, the sacred fire should be lit.
Daily Meal: Hot spicy food, of any kind.

Muspellheim Invocation

In the beginning there was Ginnungagap,
The darkness ever-stretching in every direction.
Then came forth two worlds out of that darkness,
And one was the world of Fire, home to Surt the Black.
And the World of Fire touched the World of Ice,
And from that touch came the life of all the Worlds.
Hail, Master of Muspellheim,
Guardian of the Wand of Light,
Eldest of the elders, first upon the World Tree,
Primal Flame that shines in the dark,
Your soul is of the power that births universes,
Your heart is the power of the fire beneath the earth,
Your flesh is the molten stone pouring forth,
Your hands are the flame that leaps forth,
The smoke of your hair is as dark
As your sight is bright and blinding.
Hail, Master of Muspellheim,
Keeper of the Eternal Flame,
Bringer of the first red light
Into the darkness of Ginnungagap,
Bringer of the first red warmth
Into the frozen cold of Niflheim,
Melter of ice, destroyer of worlds,
Spark of hope that begins life again.
Bless us, Surt the Black, Obsidian Lord,
From birthing coals to funeral pyre.

(The liquor is poured into the fire as a libation. All come forth and take candles, and light them from the flame. Then the fire is carried into each room of the house, and the windows are closed, and the heat resumed, and all hearths relit. Fires should be fed well and burn high on this day.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for August 17

Calendar of the Sun

17 Weodmonath

Day of the Sacred Grove

Color: Green
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a green cloth patterned with leaves, place many tree branches. In front of the altar should be one or more potted saplings to be planted.
Offerings: Plant trees, on your own or other property.
Daily Meal: Vegan

Invocation to the Trees

(Call and Response)

We call you Birch, first of the trees to stride into the field!
We call you Rowan, chaser of demons!
We call you Ash, avatar of the World Tree!
We call you Alder, tree of widely spreading fire!
We call you Hawthorn, May-tree of Beltane!
We call you Willow, tree of the moon on the river!
We call you Oak, lightning-magnet, tree of the Iron Wood!
We call you Holly, with leaves like spear-points!
We call you Hazel, with nuts that give inspiration!
We call you Grapevine, autumn’s harvest!
We call you Ivy, with your magical embrace!
We call you Reed, soldier of the wetlands!
We call you Elder, healing-tree of the grandmothers!
We call you Silver Fir, living green in the coldest snow!
We call you Aspen, tossing tree of the winds!
We call you Yew, tree that watches over the denizens of graveyards!
We call you Elm, first woman of the North!
We call you Whitethorn, guide on the path!
We call you Blackthorn, adversary who tests our mettle!
We call you Spindle-Tree, turning on the lathe!
We call you Guelder Rose, ripe with red fruit!
We call you Sycamore, beloved of Lady Death!
We call you Apple, fragrant blossoms of the Isle of Avalon,
And we ask for your blessing upon our lives.

(Pots of blessed tea are carried out to the woods and orchards, and poured at the roots of the most honored trees. All should touch the branches for a blessing.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

The Wicca Book of Days for August 13 – Ansuz and Aesir

The Wicca Book of Days for August 13

Ansuz and Aesir

 

The runic half-month of Ansuz (or Os) begins on August 13, and will have run its course on August 28. Ansuz is said to symbolize an Aesir, a Norse deity, and most probably Odin (who corresponds to the Germanic Wotan or Woden), the chief god of the Scandinavian pantheon, as well as a fearless warrior and the source and seeker of great wisdom. It is told that Odin hung for days upon Yggdrasil, the world tree, in order to be rewarded with the magickal knowledge contained in the Runes. Ansuz is therefore considered a runic vehicle of divine inspiration, knowledge, and communication.

 

Mystical Myrrh

 

Today, at noon offer myrrh to Ra, the Egyptian Sun God. Use this day’s element of fire to ignite some stimulating myrrh incense as you salute one of the mightiest deities ever to be identified with the blazing “planet” that rules the zodiacal month of Leo.

Yew (Aprox. December 21)

YEW LORE

•Tree of the day before the Winter Solstice (Aprox. December 21)
•Latin name: Taxus baccata.
•Celtic name: Idho (pronounced: Ih’ huh).
•Folk or Common names: English Yew.
•Parts Used: Needles, wood, berries.
•Herbal usage: CAUTION – THIS PLANT IS POISONOUS AND SHOULD BE USED WITH CAUTION. The needles and branch tips have been used to treat lung diseases and bladder problems. recently a new cancer drug, Taxol, has been derived from its bark and berries.
•Magical History & Associations: The name “Yew” is a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon word ‘eow’. The word ‘Taxus’ is from the Greek word ‘Taxon’, meaning ‘bow’. The 5000 year old “Ice Man”, discovered in the Alps, had a bow and axe handle made of Yew. The Yew is known as the ‘Tree of Death’ through out Europe and is associated with the season of winter. It is sacred to many Dark Goddesses: Banbha, Amalthea (mother of the horned Dionysus), Morrighan, The Erinyes, Cailleach Beara, Berchta, and Hekate. Shakespeare recognized the relationship of Yew and Heckate and referred to the contents of her cauldron as “slips of yew, silver’d in the moon’s eclipse…” (Macbeth) – and elsewhere Shakespeare makes ‘hebenon, the double-fatal yew’ the poison which Hamlet’s uncle pours into the king’s ear. Heckate’s sacred tree of death is said to root in the mouths of the dead and release their souls, and also absorbs the odors of death itself. Bulls are associated with this tree, as are female goats. The bird associated with Yew is the eaglet, since the eaglet’s appetite is insatiable, and the bones of its nest are white like the snow on its cliff-ledge. The Yews colors are white and silver and it is associated with the element of water. The Yew is associated with the planet Saturn and with the metal lead. In Old England the Yew was known as “The Witches Tree” since it is associated with sorcery and magick.
•Magickal usage: The time of Yew is known as a time of death, and so on the day before Yule it said that is not a good idea to do actual spell work, instead it is suggested to do rituals of the season concerned with reincarnation. Because the Yew grows to such an old age, it has become a symbol of stability in Celtic areas of the world and so is often used as the central “World Tree” in ritual spaces. As one of the three magickal trees (along the Alder and the Black Poplar) associated with death and funerals, the Yew has often been planted in graveyards. Yew sends up new trees from its roots, so is a powerful symbol of death and reincarnation. Yew wood is appropriate for magickal tools such as wands and staves. In ancient times Yew sticks were carved with the Ogham characters as tools of divination. The Futhark features a 13th Rune, which is considered one of the most powerful Runes and represents a stave cut from a yew tree. This Rune is regarded as the stave of life and death. Yew can be dried and burned as an incense to contact spirits of the dead – and even to raise the dead.

Calendar of the Sun for Monday, April 30

Calendar of the Sun
30 Eostremonath

Walpurgisnacht Day VIII – May Eve

Color: Black
Element: Air
Altar: Upon a black cloth lay eight candles, with a ninth one for Odhinn’s nine days, a figure of the World Tree, two nails, sterile needles, a sterile blade, a marker, and all the runes.
Offerings: Pain. Blood.
Daily Meal: Fasting again, from the night before to this day’s Hesperis.

Walpurgisnacht Invocation VIII

Great Odhinn, half-blind and limping,
Worn through by his travels,
Came before the Norns, the three Fates,
Urd the elder, grey and wrinkled as stone,
Pulling the threads of life from her long white hair
And spinning them fine and strong,
Verdandi the weaver, fair and brilliant,
On her loom of many colors,
And Skuld the dark maiden in armor
On her great black horse,
With her blade that slashes life away.
And Odhinn said to them, Give me magic,
That I may have understanding of all things,
That I may work great wights of power,
That my knowledge shall grow.
The Norns said unto him, What price
Shall you pay for this knowledge, O Odhinn,
Once King of Asgard, once keeper of Valhalla,
Once Lord of the Aesir, All-Father of the Gods,
Now a one-eyed, limping beggar on the road
With no home before you and no home behind you,
With dirt on your hands and dust in your mouth,
And the birds of ill omen flying about you,
What price will you pay for this wisdom?
Would you be wounded even unto the death?
And Odhinn said, I will pay any price you ask,
O givers of Fate whom all must obey.
I do surrender myself into your hands.
And so the Norns took Odhinn’s body,
And brought it to the great World Tree,
Yggdrasil, on which lie all the Nine Worlds,
And they nailed him to the tree,
Crucified him onto the great ash
And left him there to live or die.
And Odhinn’s blood ran down the tree
In rivers, and they gathered it
Like fine red thread, and spun his Wyrd,
And wove it into tapestry, and stood ready to cut it
Should he fail in his quest.
Odhinn hung on that windswept tree
For nine days and nine nights,
And the worlds whirled by him
And the blood ran down him
And the hail pelted him like knives.
And in the moment before he died,
His vision cleared, and he saw before him
All the runes, their magic, their wisdom,
And he seized them, crying out,
And fell from Yggdrasil’s arms
Back onto Midgard’s hands,
And opened his eyes into a new dawn,
And it was Spring in the world,
And the time of renewal was upon it,
So Odhinn rose to his weary feet
And found that the path before him
Led him in only one direction,
And that was home.

Chant:
Cauldron of Changes
Blossom of Bone
Arc of Eternity
Hole in the Stone

(Each member comes forth one at a time, and one who has been chosen to do the work of the ritual takes a sterile needle and pricks their finger, and each leaves blood upon the figure of the World Tree as a sacrifice. Then each closes their eyes and takes blindly a rune from the altar, and a message from Odhinn shall be seen therein. That rune should be then drawn upon their flesh, in marker for those who have not the courage to bleed more, and cut lightly with a blade for those who would know more of Odhinn’s sacrifice. Great care should be taken that the cuts do not get infected, as that would be a poor omen. There should be silence until Hesperis, and then release from silence, as the time of Beltane will begin.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Ash Tree Magic and Folklore

Ash Moon: February 18 – March 17

In Norse lore, Odin hung from Yggdrasil, the World Tree, for nine days and nights so that he might be granted wisdom. Yggdrasil was an ash tree, and since the time of Odin’s ordeal, the ash has often been associated with divination and knowledge. In some Celtic legends, it is also seen as a tree sacred to the god Lugh, who is celebrated at Lughnasadh. Because of its close association not only with the Divine but with knowledge, Ash can be worked with for any number of spells, rituals, and other workings.

  • Some traditions of magic hold that the leaf of an Ash tree will bring you good fortune. Carry one in your pocket – those with an even number of leaflets on it are especially lucky.
  • In some folk magic traditions, the ash leaf could be used to remove skin disorders such as warts or boils. As an alternate practice, one could wear a needle in their clothing or carry a pin in their pocket for three days, and then drive the pin into the bark of an ash tree – the skin disorder will appear as a knob on the tree and disappear from the person who had it.
  • The spear of Odin was made from an Ash tree, according to the Norse poetic eddas.
  • Newborn babies in the British Isles were sometimes given a spoonful of Ash sap before leaving their mother’s bed for the first time. It was believed this would prevent disease and infant mortality.
  • Five trees stood guard over Ireland, in mythology, and three were Ash. The Ash is often found growing near holy wells and sacred springs. Interestingly, it was also believed that crops that grew in the shadow of an Ash tree would be of an inferior quality.
  • In some European folklore, the Ash tree is seen as protective but at the same time malevolent. Anyone who does harm to an Ash can find themselves the victim of unpleasant supernatural circumstances.
  • In northern England, it was believed that if a maiden placed ash leaves under her pillow, she would have prophetic dreams of her future lover.
  • In some Druidic traditions, it is customary to use a branch of Ash to make a magical staff. The staff becomes, in essence, a portable version of a World Tree, connecting the user to the realms of earth and sky.
  • If you place Ash berries in a cradle, it protects the child from being taken away as a changeling by mischievous Fae.
  • The Celtic tree month of Ash, or Nion, falls from February 18 to March 17. It’s a good time for magical workings related to the inner self.

 

The Wicca Book of Days for Feb. 18th – Mighty Ash

The Wicca Book of Days for February 18th

Mighty Ash

The Celtic tree month of the Ash begins today, and will last until the Alder takes over on March 18th. Yggdrasil, the Norse world tree, was envisaged as a mighty Ash, and this is just one of the reasons why the Ash was considered to supply stability and strength (another is that its hard-wearing wood was favored for spear shafts and tool handles). The ancient Greeks believed that serpents fled from the Ash tree, so that it also had protective powers, that is, unless you sheltered under it during a thunderstorm, for according to an old English rhyme, “And shun the Ash/It courts the flash.”

 

“A Heavenly View”

Take inspiration from U. S. astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh, who discovered the planet Pluto on February 18, 1930, to do some stargazing of your own this evening, perhaps after wrapping up warmly and venturing out in the dead of night. Communing with the heavens will be time wonderfully spent.

Dragons of Chaos and Destruction

Dragons of Chaos and Destruction

These dragons represent the negative power currents necessary to dissolve problems and sweep away troublesome people. They are of very dark colors: Black, gray, pewter, iron, dark magenta, purple, reds and greens so dark that they appear to be black. Their bodies are heavy and huge: in fact, they are the largest of all dragons. Their wide wedge-shaped heads sit atop long necks. Their serpentine tails are either barbed or with a spiked knob on the ends. Enormous wings carry them on swift flights.

When dragons of chaos and destruction make changes and help in rituals, they do everything in a big way. They go past your limited view of happenings, straight to the heart of the problem, so be certain you can stand their help before you call on them. These dragons work with re-creation of lives, relationships, and careers; breaking of barriers; changing luck; vast changes in general; work on past lives; divination; the confining or enemies or anyone who will hinder your forward growth or movement.

One of the very first recorded descriptions of a dragon is found in Babylonian records. The goddess Tiamat was considered to be the Great Mother Creator who built order our of chaos, on her own body. She was called a dragon and was said to be a monstrous creature with a scaly serpentine body, four legs, and horns on her head. After her spirit of initial creative activity. Tiamat spent her existence in repose. One of her offspring, the god Marduk, eventually killed her and build the earth and sky out of her body. This is a symbolic description of the activities of a chaos dragon: the breaking down of a static life-form and re-creation of another.

The ancient Egyptians said that before heaven and earth appeared a brood of serpents was created. They called these the Oldest of the Old. These serpents were very long and had only two legs. After the creation of the world and the universe, these serpents were confined, whether deliberately or by choice is not certain, in the Underworld, which every soul had to pass through on it way to judgment. The Egyptians advised that the soul should tread carefully on its journey, treating with respect the Oldest and his wife who reigned there.

The Egyptians also had a legend about the great serpent dragon Apep who daily threatened the sun god Ra when the Sun boat had to pass through darkness each night. The god Set who rode in the boat with the Sun god battled Apep on each nightly journey. When there was a solar eclipse, the Egyptians believed that Apep had broken out of his Underworld realm and had come into the physical world to do battle with Ra.

In Nordic myth, Niflheim was the lair of the great destructive dragon of chaos whose name was Nidhogg or Nidhoggr. Dread Biter, as he was called, lay coiled abut the root of the World Tree, constantly gnawing at it to destroy it. Nidhogg’s attempts at destruction were countered daily by the Norms who sprinkled the tree with water from their sacred well. But when Ragnarok, or the end of the world, comes the Norse say that Nidhogg will fly over the Hills of Darkness with the bodies of the dead on his wings. Another of Dread Biter’s tasks was to strip the flesh off all corpses.

Although dragons in general were looked upon as bringing disaster, depending of course upon their actions, chaos dragons are often quite literally omen of catastrophe. They can be seen in the area of disaster when other dragons create such things as great storms, earthquakes or floods, but their power lies in creating or precipitating wars, bloodshed, plagues, and desolation when humans have gotten things out of balance. Unfortunately, it seems to take such occurrences to make humans want to find a better way of doing things.

Although the dragons of chaos and destruction create upheavals and complete transformations and rebirths, they are not evil. Their magic power is vital to the magician. They require as much forethought and caution as when working with Fire dragons. But if your life and plans have become static, your luck stuck in a negative mode, or circumstances or people are making you feel helpless and hopeless, then these dragons will turn the tide of events. Just be very certain that you are prepare for the drastic change tat will come.

As with many kinds of dragons, the chaos dragons are connected with death and rebirth; in fact, more so than others of their species. Often, when riding the dragon in an attempt to destroy barriers and remove enemies, one finds oneself face to face with oneself–the worst enemy of all. This ride can turn into a dramatic rebirth for the magician if she/he is willing to accept what is being shown by the dragon.

This connection with death and rebirth can still be seen on coffin decoration well into the Middle Ages. A wooden coffin from Zobingen, Wurttembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart has a beautifully carved and coiling serpent on it.

A close magician friend of mine had a problem, not of her making, with another magician. Louise’s problems began when she married and no amount of magic seemed to lessen the mental attacks. Finally she called upon the dragons of chaos and destruction. She did not specify what they should do; she only stated the problem and the fact that she wanted a definite end to the situation. Up until the final moments of the ritual, Louise had not been sure exactly how she was being attacked and had only a suspicion by whom, but the dragons let her clearly know. As she was working with the dragon mirror, she was given a glimpse of her attacker, heard an audible crack, and “saw” a second mirror shatter. The attacking magician must have had a shock upon finding her ritual mirror in pieces. The attacks stopped. Louise now has a huge dragon that protects her home as well as the little guardian dragon who plays with her cat. The positive results of this ritual came from several important factors; the cause was just; there were no specifics given as to what should be done; harm was not intended.

The dragons of chaos and destruction must be called only within a cast and sealed circle. All movements and gestures within the circle must be counterclockwise. Burn patchouli, basil and dragon’s blood or binding incense. Use black or the darkest of purple candles. Greet these dragons with the sword in your power hand, the staff in the other.

Credit for this information
 
“Dancing with Dragons”
 
D. J. Conway

Calendar of the Sun for Jan. 16th

Calendar of the Sun
16 Wolfmonath

Muspellheim Day: Surt’s Blot

Color: Red
Element: Fire
Altar: Upon cloth of red set a great burning brazier of fire, many red candles, and a bottle of high-proof hard liquor.
Offerings: Bring fire to sacred places. The windows should be opened for the hour before Sponde, allowing cold to penetrate into the House. Then at Sponde, the sacred fire should be lit.
Daily Meal: Hot spicy food, of any kind.

Muspellheim Invocation

In the beginning there was Ginnungagap,
The darkness ever-stretching in every direction.
Then came forth two worlds out of that darkness,
And one was the world of Fire, home to Surt the Black.
And the World of Fire touched the World of Ice,
And from that touch came the life of all the Worlds.
Hail, Master of Muspellheim,
Guardian of the Wand of Light,
Eldest of the elders, first upon the World Tree,
Primal Flame that shines in the dark,
Your soul is of the power that births universes,
Your heart is the power of the fire beneath the earth,
Your flesh is the molten stone pouring forth,
Your hands are the flame that leaps forth,
The smoke of your hair is as dark
As your sight is bright and blinding.
Hail, Master of Muspellheim,
Keeper of the Eternal Flame,
Bringer of the first red light
Into the darkness of Ginnungagap,
Bringer of the first red warmth
Into the frozen cold of Niflheim,
Melter of ice, destroyer of worlds,
Spark of hope that begins life again.
Bless us, Surt the Black, Obsidian Lord,
From birthing coals to funeral pyre.

(The liquor is poured into the fire as a libation. All come forth and take candles, and light them from the flame. Then the fire is carried into each room of the house, and the windows are closed, and the heat resumed, and all hearths relit. Fires should be fed well and burn high on this day.)