Thursday, 22 March 2012

V is for......

........Valkyrie.

My first encounter with these mythical beings was in an episode of Charmed.  Before that I had never heard of them and had no clue as to what they were.
A Valkyrie is a celestial lady of Norse mythology.  These ladies come to the battlefields to select the best warriors and bring them back to Valhalla, the great hall of the Upper World.  They have other names attributed to them, Odins' Meyar - Odin's Maidens, Oskmeyer, Odin's Wishfillers and also Waive Maidens.
Odin was the God of War, poetry and wisdom and is one of the main Gods in Norse mythology.

The great warriors chosen by the Valkyrie were those who had died in battle.  They fought in the heavens as a form of training, after each battle their wounds would be tended to by the Valkyrie.  These warriors were therefore able to fight endlessly in preparation for the battle of Ragnarok, the final battle.  The Valkyrie were fierce warriors themselves and had the ability to regenerate too.
Some legends have a total of 36 Valkyrie, whereas others have only 13.  The 13 are:
Goll = Battle Cry
Geirolul = Spear Charger
Hrist = Shaker
Hildr = Battle
Hlokk = Battle Noise
Herfjotur  = Army Fetter
Mist = Cloud
Radgridr = Bossy
Randgridr = Shield Destroyer
Reginlefir = God's Daughter
Skeggjold = Axe Age
Sigrdrifa = Inciter To Battle
Thrudr = Power Woman

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Ostara Blessings.

Technically speaking, or should that be astrologically speaking? it was Ostara yesterday.  But I like to keep my Sabbats on fixed days because that is what works for me.  Ostara is a a time of balance.  A time to work on any area of our lives that need balance or rebalance.  A good time for spring cleaning, out with the old energy and in with the new, although I have been doing so much each week since Imbolc.


  Ostara Blessings

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

More catching up.

It would seem life is too hectic for me right now and that prevents me from daily blogging.  This doesn't mean I am not keeping up with my 366 days of witchery challenge.  Recently I have read up on the following:

Robin Goodfellow, a Brownie like creature who is said to help women with their housework.  He can shapeshift into various different creatures and he is keen on persuading travellers to follow him, with them ending up lost.

Sylph, an elemental of air.  The Sylph is made entirely out of air.  Anyone casting a spell that requires this element will call upon them to aid in the magickal workings.

Trolls - different cultures have different variations of the Troll.  Trolls hail back from Norse mythology and the name Troll means monster.  The Danish people see their Trolls as ugly creatures, with large noses, a white long beard and wearing a craftsman's apron and a red cap.  The Norwegians have them as ugly, but also hairy creatures.  They also have a female version - a beautiful redheaded female.  In Sweden and Denmark they are remarkably like the Brownie.

During the Middle ages they were seen as evil doers, wielding Black Magick.  They were reported to steal people's possessions, even women and children!  It is said that Trolls hate noise and that they can be driven out by church bells.  People can also protect themselves from the Trolls by wearing or carrying Miseltoe.
Trolls turn into stone if they are caught by light, so they only come out at night.

Unicorns can vary in size, according to where the tales about them are from.  Some people have them the size of a horse, which is how I have always viewed them, whereas others have them as the size of a deer.  Surprisingly, a lot of the info that came up relates to how Unicorns defeat the devil etc, as told in the Bible.  It surprised me a lot actually, given that the creature is a mythical being.
Another story has Alexander The Great as having a Unicorn, not a horse.
The most popular time for Unicorns was during the medieval ages, whereas nowadays they are only really popular with people of a certain belief and children.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Pagan Blog Project - F

F is for Familiar.

A familiar is a magickal helper most often associated with witches.  A familiar can be any animal, whether they be an animal spirit or an actual live animal depends entirely on the individual.  Until I got the cats that we have now I never actual had a familiar.  I had tried for a long time to meditate upon this and to work with guides and such to discover what my familiar would be, but always to no avail.
We had an old cat, a tabby called Tiggy, who died in 2006 and after that we got 3 kittens from an animal refuge.  One in particular has always been close to me and my husband - a semi-short haired cross tabby.  Tinkerbelle.  She is very fluffy and we hand reared her from 6 weeks old.  I thought she was going to be my familiar, but she's only ever really curious about what I'm up to.
The following year we had an awful incident with our black tom, he was deliberately ran over by our then neighbours.  We got another tom soon after - the tom was our son's cat and he wanted another cat pretty much straight away.
This is when we got our tom, Rocky.  It took him about a week to settle in but after that he made a beeline for my bed.  It was then that I noticed he would appear beside me whenever I was doing anything remotely witchy.  If he was outside he would come home.  If he was not in the same room as me he would just suddenly come in.  It became apparent that he is my familiar.  He sits beside me when I am doing any divination work.  He just has to be in the room with me if I am spelling.  He even does the same to my daughters whenever they are doing anything of a magickal nature.  He really dislikes men, except my husband and son, much preferring women and he cannot bear to be in the same room as any male visitor to the house.
Both he and Tinkerbelle have that psychic bond with me and my daughters too.



This is Tinkerbelle, doing what she does best - getting herself into strange places.




This is Rocky, he had been following me all over the garden just before this had been taken.




And this is Bubble, Queen of the house and Lady of the sofa.  She is very Royal and if you touch her and you're not a man she will complain loudly and spend the next hour washing herself in disgust.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Catching up.

Wow, life has done it again, got in the way of me blogging!
I have finally got my seeds planted out - it sucks when you have to rely on other folk to do stuff for you.  Having a chronic illness means I can't do stuff for myself, gardening being one of them, and I am at the mercy of friends or family - not to mention the British weather, or should that be the Cumbrian weather?  It all came together beautifully this last weekend however, and the garden is shaping up nicely.  I took a few pics - seems it was all I was good for.  I am really grateful to those who do help me and my husband out - my daughter's boyfriend and my son are in the process of painting the fences and then the garden furniture needs a lick of paint too.  Without this help I would not have the garden I love, I would have had to pay someone to flag it over or let it go to waste.  It breaks my heart that I was once able to do the garden single handed without too much pain, just that general achey feeling one gets when they have over done things a little.  When we first moved to this house in 2001 I was so excited to have a decent garden to plant in, but now, eleven years later I am unable to care for it myself.  But, we have found solutions to that in the shape of a couple of my brothers, or my husband's step-father, or friends, or most recently our son and our daughter's boyfriend.
The garden is shaping up nicely and it's all down to them, so thanks so much Tony and Paul for all of your help this weekend.

I have a few pics up on another of my blogs, if you are interested you can find them here.

I am still checking pagan and witchy themed things out for my 366 days of witchery and have rediscovered something I was once very good at.  Despite not posting on here every day I am still staying true to myself on this and enjoying myself immensely.

Life has been busy, even when I have been too sick to do too much, it trundles on regardless.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Pagan Blog Project - E week 2

Emotions may not seem like a very pagan minded topic, but they shape who we are, what we do and how we do it.  Something that I noticed when I first came to my path was that I had a tendency to be a pro active witch when I was mad about something, or was desperate to chage something, thus my emotions were shaping my magickal life and workings.

As I got older and started to really get to grips with magick I was able to stop myself only casting when I was angry or hurt, thus controlling my emotions and not allowing them to run my life for me.  I have to admit it can be very difficult to control your emotions though.  You know yourself what you are capable of and what you will and won't do when it comes to casting spells etc.  It's so easy to get annoyed by someone and not allow the feelings of needing to retaliate overwhelm you. 

The obvious tool in controlling your emotions is to count to ten before taking any action or speaking.  This few seconds can often be all that is needed to let you think beofre acting/speaking and not doing or saying something you will later regret.  Sometimes a longer period of time is needed and you may find that a few hours, or even a few days are required before doing or saying anything.  I have been so guilty of this in the past, someone has really hurt me and before I have even had the chance to think about the situation I have zapped them with something, a classic example of letting my emotions rule me.

Emotions are very much part of paganism and witchcraft, in so much as we need to have a good handle on them and not let them get the better of us.  Controlling your emotions is every bit as important as grounding or casting circles, or whatever other techniques we deem important, but it is very often the one thing we overlook.

Emotions needn't be our enemy, they can be our friend, our mood balancer, our guide to something feeling off.  If you aren't already in control with your emotions, now would be a good time to work on them.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Q is for......

......Qandisa.

Qandisa is a terrible Djinn or Demon, according to Morrocan mythology.  Her usual appearance is that of an attractive woman, though she is known to be a shape-shifter.  Apparently, she was once the Goddess Of Love but after falling from grace she became an enticing sinister woman.

She entices youn and naive men into the rivers and streams that she inhabits, and those who do follow her are never seen again.

Sacrifices and offerings are made to her at the time of the Summer Solstice in certain parts of Morocco.  By doing so these people believe they have appeased her and will be safe from her.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

P is for.......

........Pixie.

The word Pixie makes me think of cute little fairy like creatures, with cheeky smiles and a sunny disposition.  Apparently not though.  It is said that the Pixie is a redheaded fairy like creature from Devon and Cornwall area and that they have upturned pig-like noses, pointy ears and wear green clothes.
It is believed that they are the souls of the dead, who, as children were not baptised.  This means that they could not enter heaven, but as they had done nothing wrong they weren't admitted to hell either.

It is said that they fought a war with another race of fairies, they were victorius and this won them their own territory in Buckland St. Mary, in Somerset, a place they protect fiercely.
The Pixies are said to steal horses which they ride around in circles.  This action creates gallitraps, a magickal circle.  Anyone who is caught in the gallitrap will come under the power of the Pixies and if a criminal is caught in a gallitrap then they will be hung.
The Pixies are also said to lead travellers astray by bringing them bad luck.

Monday, 5 March 2012

366 Days of Witchery - an update.

Although I am not posting everyday, at the moment, I am still practicing my 366 Days Of Witchery.  I do something or look at something everyday to remind myself just how wonderful the craft is.
I am struggling with a very bad fibro flare, as well as the problem with my neck - I have Cervical Spondylosis - and I am awaiting my physio appointment - which is March 27th.  I am quiet everywhere because of this, the reason being I am barely spending any time online due to the ill health.

Happy Blogging to all and Bright Blessings.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Pagan Blog Project week 9 - E.

E is for Eclectic, of course!

I love being an Eclectic witch.  It is who I am.  The word, eclectic means choosing something or doing something from/with a variety of different sources.  Being an eclectic witch can often be confused with having no real focus, but that really isn't the case.  I have found that almost all of the eclectic witches I know have studied many different paths and forms of magick and witchcraft, making them well equipped to wander down the path they have chosen.

Eclectic witchcraft gives me so much freedom -if I want to swap things about for a spell I can, I am not tied to one tradition.  It literally means I can do things my way, work with the best bits of any tradition I have researched/studied/worked with before.  Basically that is how I came to eclecticity; I liked many different aspects of different traditions but couldn't align myself completely with any particular one.  I felt frustrated and held back, but then I let go and it all made sense to me.

To some, eclecticity can seem really chaotic, there are no set rules other than those you impose on yourself.  You may celebrate one esbat or sabbat using a ritual from one particuar tradition, but then the next time round you may choose something entirely different.  Or you may choose something with aspects of all traditions, and that for me is the beauty of being an eclectic witch, you are living your own path, unique to you.  Nobody gets to tell you that it is wrong because nobody else is walking that very same path with you, your rules, your choices, your decisions, your own unique type of witchcraft tailored for you by you.

It's a pretty awesome path to walk, your own, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

March is here.

Despite us having a mild autumn and winter it certainly feels like forever since spring and summer were here.  I had actually forgotten how much I love March through to October.  In recent times I have felt more comfortable with winter, I have found solace in that season.
But I got up this morning, the sun was shining, March had arrived and all of a sudden I felt like everything was going to be OK.  It's at times like this that I realise what my family went through from December 2010 to April 2011, and then beyond with the grieving stages.  When you go through that you feel like you will never feel OK again, even when you can fucntion in your everyday life you still fell that nothing will ever be fine again.

But as March rolled round I have found that it has been fifteen months since my brother died, and the first year anniversary of my Dad's death is the end of April.  Time passed and I survived.  I still have trouble with sleep - although some of that is down to the fibro - but I am not waking up in sheer panic at some ridiculous hour panicking about people dying, worrying about who is going to be next.  It is during those dark times that everything feels impossible, your faith in anything gets shaken and you begin to wonder just what the point is.  Sometimes it isn't until you are through those bleak times that you realise you were actually there at all.

And then March arrives and I feel that the dark days are behind me, truly.  Even though I thought I had gotten past this stage I realise that it was still lingering on, catching me out at 3am and mocking me when I thought I was doing fine.  I know now that I am still getting through it because I am still as angry as hell and still don't want to talk about it outside of my family, and I only discuss it with them when I absolutely have to.  But having spring around the corner, if not here already, has given me hope.  Spring is full of opportunities and wonderfulness.  Spring brings hope and new life and holds so much promise.

March is here and I am eager to plant my seeds - no, I still haven't got it done - and see the beauty that will be my garden once life returns to it.  And I have magpies building a nest behind my house, I guess they really do love me these blessed magpies.  They have been coming closer and closer and have been right up to the house.  They ignore the cats and the cats ignore them and they hop around my garden like they own the place, chattering and calling out and arguing and fighting with the crows and gulls that frequent the back gardens and wasteland behind us.  I am looking forward to the coming months of new life, chicks and other babies, plants, seedlings and once again attempting to grow herbs from seed.

The joys of spring are plentiful.