Friday, September 4, 2009

My Evolving Spirituality

Hail Everyone!

So sorry for my long absence! Long story short, I moved in with my dad and have spent a while getting myself situated and settled. Also, Coty has been keeping me busy watching a series called Legend of the Seeker in pretty much all of my free time. We just watched the finale on Hulu, and so now with this time I can begin blogging again! This blog is going to be about my spiritual changes that have been taking place. I am going to only consider the more recent paths, and discuss those in more detail. It may give you more insight into my spirituality, and allow this blog to be a little more relevant.

I began in Wicca, reading books and trying to hunt online, when I was extremely young. I grew up, and discovered my interest in Greek mythology, leading me to look at the Hellenic Gods as my home culture. Over the next decade, I was deeply devoted to the Olympian Gods and the worship of them inside of Wicca. There were little stops here and there, but never an extreme devotion to any other Gods. Apollo and Aphrodite were my Patron deities- through a series of dreams, ritual experiences, and meditations I had realized they truly were calling me into their arms. In the next decade, my spirituality grew leaps and bounds, in the care of these Gods. Every ritual, for a long while, was so rich and fulfilling, almost always bringing a shiver down my spine....but eventually, that magical feeling began to fade, until it disappeared entirely. It really could have been multiple things that caused this decay- my years of dedication, the surrounding factors of my life, or because I knew it was no longer where my heart was.

I found myself in a state of stagnation and stasis....where I experienced no growth. This deeply troubled me, given that I had not experienced that until my 17th year in this life. I was puzzled, and found myself neglecting to learn, to practice, or to grow. Anyone around me then will tell you that this is true-I withered. Slowly but surely, I began to feel called by my ancestral Gods, and the religious practices of my forebears. I purchased, shortly after Yule, Hollander's Poetic Edda and the Penguin Classics Prose Edda. At first, I was hesitant to jump in, probably because of the perceptions of Asatru that I had held for so long. Whatever the reason, it couldn't silence the call in my blood. So I began to read, and to learn. The stories were all so new, so fresh, and so rejuvenating to my soul. I was enraptured, and ever since I have been.

Right before the end of senior year, I worked on forging my own path blending Norse Paganism and Wicca- the path outlined in my previous blogs. I have read books on Rune Magic and Sagas, I have done meditations and ritual, I have had dreams and feelings, and now here I am. But the path I have outlined is not exactly where I am now....Wiccan influence is beginning to wane, and Norse Pagan flavor is certainly increasing. Pantheistic Soft Polytheism is starting to morph and evolve into harder forms...and it is not at all what I planned on. Spirituality has a way of evolving on its own, at least in my experience. I don't think I ever consciously made any decisions on where to go- I have merely been a passenger on this journey of souls. While I still respect Wicca for having been my spiritual home for a decade, it is not feeling correct for me now. I find myself considering the Wiccan Ritual structure less and less when I plan my rituals; I find myself shedding parts of it the further I travel along. And while it is slightly disquieting to me, it is vastly more intriguing. I cannot deny that within a full turning of the Wheel I feel I will likely not be Wiccan at all. I also don't think that I will be Eclectic like I have been, because that idea is becoming increasingly less appealing as well. I am pretty firmly rooted in my Northern Path, and it is definitely a place where I feel I can learn a broad variety of things.

That is the abbreviated story of my Pagan journey to right at this very moment. Looking down the road ahead, I have many places I see myself traveling. The Germanic people had various magical systems, and I am quite interested in learning in depth about each one. I am committing myself currently to understanding the practice of Norse Paganism, and the uses of the Runes as a divination and magical tool. After I feel like I have explored the Runic mysteries, Seidh would be an interesting place to look.

That about sums it all up. I hope this blog hasn't bored you entirely, and that maybe you have been able to examine your spiritual journey as well. Feel free to comment if you like, I won't bite.
A note for the interested- I am again prevented from performing my Full Moon ritual to Sif. My cousin is getting married and I will be busy all the next Moon is dedicated to Tyr and will be performed as scheduled. I have a lot of other blogs in the working, so be prepared to hear more from me!

Until next time,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Folkish and Universalist Asatru

Hail Everyone! A very special welcome to my new Followers!

I decided today to write a blog about one of the most sensitive issues that I have discovered during my explorations in Norse Paganism: Universalism and Folkish Asatru. To tackle this issue, each paragraph will be dedicated to exploring one type of Asatru. I hope you find this enjoyable and educational.

Folkish Asatru is defined as those who believe that to be Asatru you must share a genetic, ancestral link to the Gods of the North. These groups often exclude various other groups of people, and are accused [understandably] of racism and homophobia (which I will be exploring in my next blog post). Major groups that exhibit this type of thinking include the Asatru Folk Assembly and the Asatru Alliance here in the United States. Most Folkish Heathens take issue with Wicca, and with those who worship deities of cultures they share no relation to. Often, we see Folkish Asatru/Odinism characterized by those who were incarcerated, and in those who are also related to White Supremacy. Let me clarify- I believe these are certainly on the fringe of the community, and thus should not be used to color the entire community. Folkish thought is certainly not without merit, albeit a little extreme. They are working to instil pride in their ancestors and ancestry, something that I believe is extremely important- to be proud of where you came from is to truly be proud of yourself. I also believe that they create exceedingly close, almost family style connections inside of their Kindreds, because of the attitudes that they exhibit.

Universalist Asatru is characterized by a policy of [sometimes total] acceptence of those who wish to practice the ways of the Northern Tradition. Groups of this nature believe that any who feel the call of the Aesir can worship them. The most influential Universalist Asatru group is certainly The Troth, created after a rift formed which destroyed the Asatru Free Assembly. Universalist groups are generally accepting of homosexuals and those of different race. They are working to create a larger community, and are working in many ways for a more widespread revival of the Northern Traditions.

Where do I fit in? I most certainly would be counted among Universalists. Although I have primarily Germanic and Anglo-Saxon heritage, I also have Native American roots. I do not agree that spirituality can/should be constrained by your blood- we are all more than the sum of our parts.Especially here in America, there is hardly one person who is of 100% pure ancestry, so we should also reflect that in our spiritual lives. I do find something interesting about worshipping the Gods that my ancestors most assuredly worshipped, and I think that finding Norse Paganism has helped me develop a stronger connection to my ancestors. However, I maintained a long and fruitful relationship with the Hellenic deities, to whom I have no lineage.

While this blog has not lived up to what I wanted it to be, I certainly hope it has helped you all understand these two schools of thought, and also helped you examine your feelings on this issue. I will be writing 2 more blogs soon, excluding the Esbat in September written about Sif. I hope you are truly enjoying these posts!

Until next time,

Friday, August 7, 2009


Hail Everyone!

I just wanted to post a little note: due to the circumstances surrounding my busy move, I missed the Full Moon for Nerthus, so the next ritual posting will be about Sif in September. Also, I may be absent for a short time, as I will have limited access to the computer.

Until next time,

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Hail Everyone!

Today, I celebrated Freyfaxi with my first major ritual with the Norse pantheon. In this blog, I will explain shortly what the holiday means (to me), and my interesting ritual experiences. I am sorry if this blog gets semi-unorganized but I tend to get swept up in ecstatic ritual experiences. Also, I apologize if I get swept up in any personal anecdotes.

Freyfaxi is a celebration of the first harvest of crops. It is the day where we pay tribute to the Vanir (Freyr especially) as the Gods of earthen fertility and agriculture. To many Heathens (myself included), it is also a day to honor Thor (as bringer of the rains) and his wife Sif (who has associations with wheat/grain, as portrayed through her hair). According to Our Troth, Freyfaxi also marked the transition from war time to survival time (because people were more focused on surviving through the winter than disputes), so Odin is worth honoring as well. Normal traditions include dedicating the first sheaf of grain to the Gods, as well as performing a blot to the landvaettir and Gods.

To me, being a suburbanite, the harvest is slightly detached from my thoughts during the normal flow of life, so I take Freyfaxi as a way of thinking about how agriculture and farmers provide for life as we know it. Given that my ancestors were involved in agriculture, I pour out an offering to my Alfar and Disir.

Another way I honor the concept of harvest is to reflect on my year, and see how my actions have culminated. This year was certainly a large year of labor and change for me, on all levels. Breaking down my Hellenic concepts (which were enforced by years of practice) was certainly a labor, but I am glad to see that I am continually learning and loving what I discover about Norse Paganism. I also labored (when it truly counted :P) to graduate from high school- something I am so proud of. I cannot stress how important it is to reflect and see where your past actions have gotten you- doing so allows you to realize behaviors which need to be changed, and also which decisions were pivotal in deciding your destiny.

My ritual was adopted from the one presented in Our Troth, though I had to tweak it for solitary practice (and that I don't like to strictly script my rituals). It was pouring rain here all day, and it severely put a stopper in my plans for starting ritual. My ritual space is down the street at a sediment pond that has woods all around it, and with the Flash Flood and Severe Thunderstorm warnings, I didn't want to be that far from my house. However, I held out faith that I would get a chance, eventually giving in and taking advantage of what I thought would be the lightest rain that I would get today. I trekked down to my ritual space, and started to set up my altar on a stone by the pond. Suddenly, a raven landed in the tree above my head and crowed extremely loudly. For some reason, I knew it was the sign to start.

As I began my ritual, performing the Hammer Rite to ward my space, the sun started to come out. By the time I had finished the Hammer Rite, there was absolutely no rain left. It was so abrupt and "coincidental" it made me giggle. I read a poetic composition provided by the Troth's ritual outline, and felt such an amazing presence inside of my space. Caught in the moment, I decided to seriously deviate my Wiccan ritual structure- instead of invoking the Goddess and God, I decided to invoke the Aesir and Vanir separately. While this does not seem major for a reconstructionist, it is a major movement for someone with a decade of Wicca in them. I can't truly explain how it felt after I invoked them- the hair on the back of my neck stood and I got a shiver on my spine when I felt that presence. It was something I had truly been missing for quite some time. I did three rounds of offerings (Freyr, Thor+Sif, Odin) with each one having its own energy involved. I decided to meditate for awhile in my ritual. Initially, I was just going to reflect on my year's harvest, but this time I decided to name each God and thank them for something as well- each time I did it, I got some impression that it was truly heard and appreciated (something that had been missing before also).

After I came out of my normal meditation, I took 10 minutes just to observe nature and saw some interesting symbolism in a few things that happened. Firstly, a spider of a rather large size crawled up to me with sort of an aggressive air about himself. I interpreted that as needing to face my fears, and be unafraid to confront those who get aggressive with me (the Noble Virtues of Courage). Another thing- a dying moth was fighting to get out of the grass shortly off of my meditation area. I picked it up, and literally watched helplessly as it died. Initially, I wondered why I was meant to see it, but finally I realized the moth was echoing the Virtue of Perseverance. Many other things happened, some of which I am unable to put into words, others which I can only describe as feeling intense energies in varying degrees.

It was certainly a ritual experience to remember for me. I cannot wait for further ritual interaction with the Gods of the Northern Tradition- they are certainly a robust group! I hope this blog was entertaining and interesting for you! Happy Freyfaxi, and the next blog I am posting ought to be about my Full Moon ritual to Nerthus.

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Dream

Hail Everyone!

I just wanted to do a blog post about a dream I had recently (7/25-7/26/09) which struck me as significant. Before we really start, I would just like to state that this is not the first time I have had dreams of this nature...but it is the first time that I have felt it so vividly.

To set the scene, I was having trouble sleeping that night because I had received no contact from my boyfriend over the day from when we had hung up over twelve hours prior. My sleep was very sporadic, probably due to worry [I would sleep for an hour and then stay up for 15 minutes before returning to the same shallow sleep]. I had been awake from the last round of shallow sleep for about 30 minutes when I finally fell into a sleep before this dream occurred:

I lay in my bed, wracked with worry. I slowly started to become aware of some presence in my quarters, and for I second I lay there in contemplation. I definitely would not characterize the presence as threatening, but definitely intense or powerful. I finally decide to roll over and look up, and as I do I see the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes upon. Her skin was so fair it looked almost as if it were crafted of snow; her blond hair was equally as fair, and fell around shoulder length. Her body exuded a strength that would make a woman almost masculine, yet retained a sultry kind of femininity to she was built equally for war and love. Around her was draped a cloak of feathers, which looked to belong to some predatory bird. She looked at me as I stared, mesmerized by the amazing person before me. The second she appeared, aside from being totally captivated, I felt very calmed...protected, even. She moved her lips to speak to me, and though I do not recall what she said, her voice was like an amazing operatic alto- strong, deep...belonging to a powerful woman.

I realized shortly after that she was not alone. Beside her stood an equally beautiful man of closely the same description. He had an antler in his hand, though his garments certainly had a place for a sword on the belt. He seemed equally as powerful, though he did not have an overly strong masculine energy- perhaps he was a bringer of peace, as well as a warrior. They both seemed to embody sexuality, as well as the willingness to fight [the woman almost more than the man].

I simply stared at these two, studying every feature I could make out. They felt so very corporeal, as if I could touch them and they would have physical mass. These were not spirits who simply came to visit, but things of a much greater magnitude if they could legitimately manifest a physical form.

And then I woke up instantly, feeling as if I had never fallen asleep. The two had just been so amazingly real that I believed they were standing in my room. I certainly thought I knew who the pair were, because I spoke to names from out of my semi-conscious mouth- Freyja...Freyr. I do not normally like to share these experiences, but they struck me as so profound and real that I felt the need to record them, if not for academic usage, at least for my memory. I am not claiming any connection or endearment by these Gods as of yet, further meditation and ritual experience is surely needed. I am also not claiming my jumbled, hazy mind produced the correct names (although, the antler definitely seems Freyr, while the cloak is an attribute of Freyja).

Having now recorded this dream, I am going to sign out. Freyfaxi is approaching, as well as August's Full Moon. I will have two rituals posted soon, as well as two reflections. Hopefully you are enjoying my blog as much as I am. Also, thanks to my boyfriend for the graphic banner that is currently the banner for my blog.

Until next time,

Monday, July 20, 2009

Basics of My Path

Hail everyone!
I decided to explain my path a little more clearly so you could understand where I am spiritually. One of my friends, Obscurevisions, made this outline a couple of months ago when she was forging her own path. All credit to her for making this awesome outline! Without further delay, here is my path outline!

Polytheism: My view of deity is both Pantheist and Soft Polytheist. Pantheism is viewing Nature and Deity as being equal. Soft Polytheism is the belief that all Gods are an aspect of One God and all Goddesses are aspects of One Goddess. When combined, I view the different deities as aspects of Nature. Each Deity has their own personality, but they are still of Nature. The concepts of Patron and Matron are also integral to my path, as the search for them is a major spiritual journey.

Deity: I worship the Gods of the ancient Norse, choosing generally to work with the Icelandic names for them. I revere both the Aesir and Vanir equally, and give no God preference over the other. Ancestor worship (of the Alfar and Disir), which was integral to the Norse, is also a heavy part of my path. Additionally, I recognize and give offering to various spirits of nature (landvaettir).

Mythology: Mythology is allegorical. Mythology primarily functions to explain the natural world and the phenomenon within it. We can learn about the Gods through specific myths, as well as the epithets given to them.

Study and Gnosis: When discussing deity with others, I largely depend on the accepted view of each specific deity. However, I do assign value to my personal experiences/gnosis with each specific deity which can affect my worship of that god. I realize that my view of each deity may not be the same as others, which is fine.

The Afterlife: I believe in reincarnation. Scientifically, it is the only view of the afterlife which makes sense, because on chemical level, we are constantly cycling through the system of the Earth. Like in Buddhism, I believe we are trying to learn all lessons that we can in each lifetime, so eventually we reach a state of enlightenment. When this happens, I believe we become one of the landvaettir, and watch over the lands. I have not given much thought to the ideas of Valhalla, Folkvangar, Hel, and so on as of yet.

Ethics: As a Norse Wiccan, I abide by the Wiccan Rede. I see it as expressed in the Lycian tradition (an it harm none, do what thou will; an it cause harm, do as ye must) because there are obvious times when we cannot be singularly peaceful and passive. The Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru are my other code of ethics, and I strive to adhere to each one of them.

Offerings: In terms of offerings, this is mainly done in the ritual form of a blöt/forn offering. I offer [soft] mead and fruit juices to the gods as I am currently under the legal age to drink. However, after I turn 21, these will shift to offering more traditional alcoholic drinks. In addition, offerings of meat, grain, and other food items are offered. In many cases, these are ingested, though on specific holidays it is appropriate to leave these offerings outside.

Altar Style: My altar is laid out loosely corresponding to the classical elements, with Earth in the North, Air in the East, Fire in the South, and Water in the West. This system, while attributed to the Greeks, has some basis in the Eddic myths (ie- Surt, leader of the fire giants, comes from the South, Niflheim is correlated to the North in Voluspa, etc). I am not suggesting, of course, that the Norse followed this, merely stating how it jives with mythology.

I use a mainly Traditional Wiccan altar layout, with a few cultural changes. The God and Goddess candles are specifically blue and red to echo creation on multiple levels (red for Muspelheim, the projective masculine energy of creation, and blue for Niflheim and the receptive feminine energy of creation). The drinking horn replaces the chalice, and the blot bowl is in the center of the altar. Culturally, there are 4 projective tools which may be used in the same fashion as the athame/wand. Thor is represented by the hammer Mjolnir, which is used to hallow areas and objects. Freyr is often represented by the antler, because he fights with it at Ragnorak after giving up his sword for Gerd. Odin is represented by the spear Gungnir. Tyr is represented by the sword, the double sided blade of justice. Any/all of these may be used as the athame or wand in ritual.

Ritual: Ritual is performed on the traditional Neopagan quarter and cross-quarter days. All of these have an equivalent in Norse times, except Samhain [an explanation of my holidays follows]. Each of the 13 Full Moon Esbats are related to a different deity, based on correspondence to the energy of the moon.
A semi-traditional Wiccan ritual structure is upheld, with a few modifications. Circle is cast, then a slightly modified Hammer Rite is used to set the area as a sacred space, and to call the quarters. Deity is invoked and then a blot/forn offering is performed, unless there is magic (rune magic, seidh, etc.) being performed in which case the blot is performed afterwords. A normal closing is used.


Wolf Moon (January)- Odin [The Wolf Moon is the time of kinship and clans, so Odin is the foremost Aesir and he is ironically thwarted by the Fenriswolf at Ragnarök]
Storm Moon (February)- Thor [this really is a no brainer]
Chaste Moon (March)- Idunna [this is generally seen as the Moon of youth and joy, and Idunna keeps the Gods young with the golden apples]
Seed Moon (April)- Freyr [This is the moon marking the beginning fertility of the Earth, so Freyr being a Vanir god of fertility fits perfectly]
Hare Moon (May)- Freyja [This is the moon of love, and of continued fertility so Freyja is a perfect fit again]
Dyad Moon (June)- Frigg [Frigg is seen as a Goddess of Matrimony, and this moon is focused on that concept]
Mead Moon (July)- Heimdall [This moon marks the transition between the growing season and harvest time, so putting the guard of Bifrost in this transitional time seemed to be a good idea]
Wort Moon (August)- Nerthus [This moon marks the beginning of the harvest, so a deity called “Terra Mater” by Tacitus seems to fit nicely]
Barley Moon (September)- Sif [This is moon marks the reaping of the grain fields, and Sif’s golden hair is associated with ripe grain]
Blood Moon (October)- Tyr [This moon marks honoring sacrifices, and the sacrifice of Tyr’s hand to Fenrir qualifies him for this moon]
Snow Moon (November)- Hel [This moon marks the transition into the darker time of year, and the Earth begins to sleep , so Hel as an embodiment of Death seems to be a fabulous match]
Oak Moon (December)- Baldr [This moon represents the return of new light, and is also associated with mistletoe which makes Baldr a God of light who was killed by mistletoe seems to fit this well]
Blue Moon (Variable)- Loki [This randomly occurring moon is perfect for the Trickster Loki]

Sabbats: The 8 Sabbats of Wicca are derived from Ancient Celtic and Norse sources. As such, I follow the cycle through the year, using the corresponding Norse mythos. Samhain, however, was not explicitly celebrated in Norse culture. As such, I decided to celebrate it with a blot and feast for my ancestors (Alfar and Disir). The festivals go in this order: Samhain, Yule, Idis-thing [Imbolc], Ostara, May Day [Beltane], Midsummer, Freyfaxi [Lammas], Winterfinding [Mabon].
Finally, I also celebrate the Feast of the Einherjar on Veteran's Day, feeling this is an important way to honor those who preserve our freedom.

That wraps it up. As my spirituality evolves, I will certainly be making modifications to the information present. If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to post them.

Until next time,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hail and Welcome!

Véthorn= Vé (holy)+Þorn (thorn)
hof n- temple [Old Norse]

Hello everyone and welcome to my Blog!

My name is Véthorn, and I am 18 years old. I have been researching and practicing Paganism for a majority of my life, with explorations in Buddhism and Wicca starting as young as the age of 7. Throughout my Pagan life, I have become familiar with Buddhism, Traditional Wicca, La Vayen Satanism, Tameran Wicca, Hellenism/Hellenic Wicca, and finally Norse Paganism/Norse Wicca. I have only been studying Norse Paganism for a couple of months now, but I feel comfortable enough to keep this blog and explore this vast and interesting tradition.

Mainly, this blog will function as a way for me to discuss my evolving spirituality, and reflect on interesting ritual experiences and Deity interaction. Hopefully, you will find many unique insights into Norse Paganism within these entries, and also that I may inspire you to recharge your spiritual self!

Currently, I am reading many books about Norse Paganism [Our Troth, Essential Asatru, Futhark, Runelore, etc.) and Norse Mythology [Everyman+Penguin Classic's Prose Edda, Lee M. Hollander's translation of the Poetic Edda, and Sagas of the Icelanders]. In addition to these books, several friends of mine who have been involved in Asatru for many years supplied me with many trusted and quality internet sites to learn from (thank you so much Bertie!).

Outside of my spiritual life, I enjoy photography, singing, foreign language, and writing poetry. Often you will see me outside relaxing in the woods (even more often at night). I enjoy the beach, although Winter is my favorite season. I have only just recently graduated high school, with plans of going to college. Ideally, I would like to persue a PhD. in Psychology, although I am more likely going to get a certification in Phlebotomy (taking blood).

I think that about sums it up. Don't be afraid to leave me a comment or ask questions- I always love conversation!

Until next time,