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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in amber

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pocket Gods

I've never much been one for religious jewelry, but that doesn't mean I haven't generally got a god or two tucked somewhere or other about my person. You could call them “pocket gods.”

The Norse called them hlutir and carried them in pouches. (Hlutr is the same as English lot, as in “drawing lots,” which gives one something of an idea of their cultural importance.) The witch-wife Heiðr once told Ingimund the Old, while he still lived in Norway, that he would settle in an undiscovered land west over sea, and that the sign of the truth of her seeing would be this: that the little silver hlutr of Frey that he always carried in his pouch would be lost, but that he would find it again buried in the ground when he dug to raise the pillars of his house in the new land. And so indeed it came to be when, years later, he settled in Iceland.

Which pocket-gods I carry depends on the season and the vagaries of my own thought and mood. Shown above are two that are frequently with me, both worked in Baltic amber: a Sun-disc and a Thunder-ax. Sun and Thunder are two of my best-loved gods, and I like to bear their main (power) with me as I go through my day.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Amber Power

Some friends of mine own a Baltic imports store: best amber this side of the Mississippi. I was looking at a case of hand-carved wooden items, including some beautiful wooden spoons.

A woman came over and began looking at the spoons. “This one is labeled 'sacred spoon,' but it looks just like the rest of them,” she said. “What makes this one sacred and not the others?”

A reasonable question, certainly. As it happened, I knew the answer, because the owner of the store had told me about it a few days before. “It's sacred because it was carved out of wood from a tree that was struck by lightning,” I told her. In fact, the tree in question had been the oldest and most sacred oak in a grove sacred to Thunder; the oak, of course, is Thunder's tree. Oak struck by lightning in a grove sacred to Thunder: heap big juju.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Wow, Jason: talk about power. Thunder speed your negotiation.
  • Me
    Me says #
    Thanks, Steven. He's amenable so far. We're just waiting to see if the tree will have to be taken or if the arborist feels like it
  • Me
    Me says #
    I'm in negotiation with an old acquaintance, even as I type, with someone for a piece of this tree. By all the gods above and be

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

They say that when the Moon, Mother of Witches, gave birth to the tribe of Witches, she looked into the water to see what the life of her first-born people would be. And there she saw sorrow, black sorrow; and there she saw joy, golden joy.

Then she wept a mother's tears for her first-born people, for what may be and what must be. From her left eye fell tears of black sorrow; they fell to the ground and were jet. From her right eye fell tears of golden joy; they fell to the sea and were amber.

So the great ones among us wear necklaces of amber and jet to this day; and whoever carries upon him the black tears or the golden will always draw her eye to him, for from her eye they came.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks Arwen, I'm honored. Any festivals coming up for you this year?
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    Many a moon ago, I met you at several PSG at Eagle Cave. You impressed me then. You still do. This was lyrical.

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