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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in land spirits

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Much has been said eloquently elsewhere by others about a recent tragedy and what Heathenry is actually based upon. I thought it best, in my case, rather than repeating their fine words, to simply write about what Odin is like as a person.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Albuquerque-from-the-air_wikipedia.jpg
Central Albuquerque, New Mexico USA. Seen from the sky. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

"Look wide, and look far. Look upon your city. This is your community. These are your people, all of them. The people you know and the people you will never meet. Even the ones you don't like. Good or bad, rich or poor, status and class and family don't matter. Politics don't matter. They're still all your people.

"You are a part of this, and your wyrd is tied together, for as long as you live here..."

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  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Thanks, Kimberly! I'd love to read those if you decide to share.
  • Kimberly Glaser
    Kimberly Glaser says #
    So beautiful! Makes me think of my own journal entries about Cerridwyn

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
New Years Resolutions

I hope that 2014 finds you and your loved ones well. I don't usually post New Years' resolutions because I find them silly, but to my surprise, this year I actually have one. I'm cutting as much plastic use out of my life as I can. I live in Florida, as y'all know, and it's a peninsula, so even inland, you're never really far from the ocean. And my vaettir care about what goes on there; Florida has been above and under water off and on over time as glaciers have risen and receded. I have white Florida beach sand in my yard, even this far inland. Plastics are polluting our oceans and killing animals.

When you watch clips like this, you can get overwhelmed by it all. The Pacific Garbage Patch is HUGE - what can any one of us do? Well, after some reflection, I've decided that I know what I can do. I can crochet. I'm making bags to give to friends and loved ones - I love how pretty and stylish the original pattern is, but it calls for a CD to be placed in the bottom, which I'm not going to do, because I'm going to mod it so that it can be folded into itself and tucked inside a purse or other carry-all for convenience. Most people I know have reusable bags but they leave them at home or in the car. Another thing I'm going to do is cut down on plastic bottle use. In the Florida heat, damn near everyone buys a cold bottled beverage, but those bottles are mostly plastic, and many are not recycled, and indeed many of them are dangerous to reuse. A friend of mine suggested trying a Brita Bottle as a reusable water bottle, because even though it's plastic, one plastic container that cleans water is better than many throwaway ones. I'm considering that just because I've tried aluminum bottles in the past and I don't have good luck with them; they have no real insulation and your water goes from cool to outside air temperature in no time flat. And also, no filtration. I'm open to suggestions, and will be experimenting, but anything has to be better than tossing more and more plastic bottles into the ocean.

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  • Liza
    Liza says #
    This is one of the bottles I use. Easy to clean, they'll replace parts if needed... and insulated. While I don't live in 80bazill

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In recent months, I've been lucky enough to witness some fairly ancient traditions replayed by modern folk in my local community. Rather than taking the cynical, culturally-superior, post-modern 21st-century approach, villagers across Derbyshire have delighted in the creation of Well Dressing ceremonies and presentations.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Well-Dressing1.JPG

Well Dressing is thought to be pagan in origin, but now crosses social and faith boundaries in the simple act of creation. An offering is made from natural materials - such as petals, seeds and leaves - ostensibly to celebrate the local community and the various groups within it. But it is known that Well Dressing was also an act of thanks and celebration, to honour the spirit of the Well for providing clean water to that community, allowing it to nourish and thrive.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    That is very, very cool. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
In Praise of My Land

I sleep in the belly of the mountain: mount Beacon, whom the Native tribes here once called Mattewan. His eyes are old and wise, this great dragon of the mountain, and he has seen eons of human folly tumble past. Once he was the glory of this valley, he and his brothers and sisters; now he is crawled upon by tourists and hikers who don't even bother to learn his true name. he doesn't seem to mind though. I think he likes people. He's friendly and being of mountain etin stock, I can tell you that's not always the case with mountain spirits. I've met mountains, these ancient memory keepers, whose power, ferocity, and grim anger at man has driven me to my knees. They're right to be angry. 

Mount Beacon, for all his age, is kind to those who seek him out. He honestly seems to like people. I carry his bundle and when chance arises, as it often does with spiritworkers, I introduce him to other mountain spirits. I give other spiritworkers a token from his bundle to take to their mountains, to facilitate the connection, and they do the same for me in return. We tell our mountains about their kin in far away places. We facilitate the connection. This is what our ancestors did and its time that communication between powers was fostered again. 

I gift him often. I"m not able to ascend his peak. I am far too injured for that, but he does not mind. He accepted me as bundle carrier anyway. I sleep in his watershed and from my bedroom window, I can see his peak. There are lights there, some remnant of a trolley that used to run to the top of the mountain. Those lights wink at me. I love this mountain. 

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  • Daniel FitzGerald
    Daniel FitzGerald says #
    This article made me smile so much, expecially because I've got close ties to the Hudson Valley. My wife lived in Fishkill for ye
  • Elaine Blakely
    Elaine Blakely says #
    I am a Cliff Dweller by the Sea Ripped from the Woodlands by Wyrd; Cocooned that I may Heal from that ungentle surgery - Rootless
  • anita edmonds
    anita edmonds says #
    I am just outside Asheville, in the Blue Ridge mountains—an old, old land, filled with spirits and the most beautiful place I’ve e

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Honoring City Spirits - Part II

One of the first things I realized when I started honoring city spirits actively was A) how varied and individual their personalities are and B) there is a protocol for engaging with them, particularly as the relationship is first being established. Now that first point should have been a given for me; after all, as an animist it makes sense: spirits are individuals. I don't know why it came as such surprise to me that talking to New York City was different from talking to Paris who was different again from Venice or Washington or Berlin or Köln but it did. I suspect in my case, it was largely a matter of not having had much facility for sensing city spirits for a very long time and then suddenly finding myself able to engage. There was a real moment of cognitive disconnect to realize how much NYC had taken care of me and watched out after me when I'd been all but oblivious to his presence. Then there was the awareness that sometimes there isn't just one governing spirit in a city. New York City for instance has at least two: a spirit of NYC that I experience as male, and the spirit of Manhattan, a very angry (and justly so) Native spirit that reads to me as  female. We'll come back to that in a bit. Then of course each borough has its own spirit and each neighborhood within that.  It's a general rule of thumb in doing this work that the name of the spirit is the same as the name of the city, the name of the borough spirit is the name of the borough and so on.

 

My mentors when I began honoring city spirits were actually a city spirit herself (Paris) and a river spirit (the Seine). They introduced me to the fact that one could engage and gave me an introduction in doing so properly. They were surprisingly gentle (though Paris can be extremely formal and harsh, even dismissive, with those she does not deem worth her attention), perhaps because there was a family connection there through my adopted mom. I actually developed quite a crush on the Seine--he's a flirtatious, playful spirit of tremendous age and wisdom and quite beautiful. Yet he never came across as jaded to me and he was more than willing to chat and answer my questions. It was a good introduction.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Honoring City Spirits - Part I

 

This is going to be a two, perhaps three part article series on honoring city spirits--something that's become a significant part of my own practice of late. In fact, having just recently taught a class in honoring the Holy Powers of the Northern Tradition, it struck me powerfully that in the end, so much of it comes back to honoring the ancestors (into which the Gods may, technically fit) and honoring the land. These little epiphanies are amazing--I find myself wanting to smack my forehead and wondering why on earth it took me so long to grasp what seems, in the end, so essential. I can't help chiding myself for not seeing these things sooner! I'm sure we've all been there at one time or another. Anyway, I've been doing quite a bit of work recently with city spirits and I wanted to talk about some of that with you, my readers.

 

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  • Hugh Eckert
    Hugh Eckert says #
    I can't remember whether I've recommended this song to you... it seems very relevant to your post... "The Local Gods" by Shriekbac

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

When I want optimum yield from my garden, I feed the soil with composted vegetable matter, old manure and yummy organic fertilizers.

When I am hungry, I make myself something healthy and/or delicious because I know this machine doesn’t run without fuel.

So this time of year, (and really, all the time–who am I trying to fool?) it feels to me as though there is hunger around me in the unseen parts of my world. I feed the land spirits–those non-corporeal energy beings that I refer to as The Cousins–and I feed them first, even before I start lobbing coconut cake at my matronal Ancestors.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Hearth Witchery

It has come as a surprise to me, considering my relationship with Odin (the  Wanderer and hedge-crosser extraordinaire), but I have been discovering lately that I am far more of a hearth witch than a hedge witch.  Don't get me wrong; I do love wandering through the dark woods at night, threading my way through cemeteries, or exploring the Eugene wetlands.  I love to explore these liminal places in a light trance state, letting the already-fragile boundaries between the worlds blur so that I can commune with the spirits there.  This is part of my practice, and it always will be.  (And in the case of the wetlands, I do this every morning on my walk to work, in the early hours when the human world is still barely stirring but the land wights--or land spirits--are awake and going about their day.) But at the heart of my practice, I am a Doorway for my gods and spirits, and to fulfill that function I must be anchored in this world, even as I work at blurring its edges.  

I just had an entire week off from my day job, for the first time in years, and found myself spending much of it at my spinning wheel, or gathering supplies to make prayer beads, or in my kitchen learning to make salted caramels, or planning what I will need to begin producing candles and other non-yarn goodies for my Etsy shop.   When given a choice between wandering outdoors and busying myself with activities at home, I nearly always choose the latter.  Perhaps my physical condition pays a part in this (I have moderate to severe fibromyalgia, and at this point I still work full time so that saps a lot of my energy), but most of the time I find that I would rather be at home, tending a hearth for my gods and for the spirits I honor, rather than out in the world.  My trips out in the world fortify and help to shape my hearth; they feed it and strengthen my center.  In this I am like Frigga, who puts Her apron aside and rides with Her Husband in the Hunt during the dark half of the year, but the rest of the time concentrates Her efforts on creating a welcoming home for Him to return to after His wanderings.

To get back to the topic of setting up a hearth in your own home if you do not already have one, despite my previous definition of the hearth as a place of fire, there is always the option of interpreting "fire" symbolically.  Along these lines, your hearth can be that place that anchors and nourishes your home, that feeds what you love most about it, the "flame" that makes your home a welcoming place.  For some people, it would clearly be the kitchen table where the family gathers for dinner to share stories of their day.  For some, it might be a place of literal fire, such as the woodburning stove (and do I ever wish I had one!) where herbal oils and brews are prepared.

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