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 it...like 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,