Sunday, March 30, 2014

Odin's Day

Calendar of the Sun

Blot to Odin All-Father

Edin is a God of magic, war and death.  He is the founder and an expert in rune magic and the giver of spiritual ecstasy and magical arts to the mystics and Shamans.  Odin in his capacity is any other law giving head God.  He can be found in the local town, city hall or state capitol building.  The bigger the political sway of the building, the better.  Wednesday is named after Woden, the English form of Odin.  Odin is the main God character in the 2001 novel 'American Gods' by Neil Gaiman; the character of Odin is primarily called Mr. Wednesday and the All-Father in the novel.

Color:  Dark blue
Element:  Air
Altar:  On a cloth of dark blue place a horn of mead, an evergreen branch, and a set of runes laid out in concentric circles.
Offerings:  Mead.  Do something in a leadership position, especially if it is difficult.
Daily Meal:  Bread.  Cheese.  Goat milk.  Mead.

Invocation to Odin All-Father

Hail Odin, Lord of Asgard,
Warrior and wanderer, valiant and wise,
You to whom all the gods of Asgard look,
Sky Father on the eight-legged steed,
You who traded an eye for wisdom
And ruled a turbulent realm,
Give us the wisdom to accept
The twists and turns of Fate
Even as you surrendered yourself
To the mercies of the Norns.
Protect us, All-Father,
From what harm may come to us.
Lead us through the wilderness
And bring us safely to that great hall
That you reserve only for the brave of spirit.

(Each comes forward and is purified with the evergreen branch. They choose a rune with their eyes closed  and one who is studied in such things tells them the meaning of the rune that they have selected.  Then the mead is passed around in a toast, and the rest poured out in a libation to Odin.)


Saturday, March 29, 2014


How Ravens Came To Be Black

Once upon a time and long ago, Odin was walking under the branches of Yggdrasil when two ravens swooped down and settled upon his shoulders. The raven on his left was white as the mists of Niflheim (for back then, all ravens were white), and his eyes mirrored the clouds. The raven on his right glistened in the sun like the snows of Jotunheim, and looked at him with bright clear eyes. And Odin called the raven to his right Hugin, which means Thought, and the other one he named Munin, which means Memory.

As the days passed, Hugin and Munin matched the All-father’s curiosity for everything in the Nine Worlds, flying around and watching and listening to whatever they could, and in the evenings, they returned to him to tell him all they had seen and heard in the long hours of the day. They told him about the slow thoughts of the mountains, the colorful and ever-changing memories of men, and the sound of the song in the heart of everything that lives.

And though Odin delighted in the knowledge they brought, he always felt they had missed something, and he said, “That was much, but not yet enough. Tomorrow you must fly again. Try to rest now.” And the ravens slept uneasily, not knowing what they had missed, and every morning, they flew out again.

There came one of many evenings after another long day when they had once again seen all that Sunna’s shine could show, had listened to all men’s bright thoughts in Midgard, and read their waking memories, when Hugin said to Munin, “We cannot return yet. It is not enough. We must go farther.” And they flew on into the night.

And Hugin flew through the dark dreams of mankind and heard their thoughts which they dared not think during the daytime, not even before themselves. He winged through the black void between the stars where there was nothing at all, and on to the twilight world of the future, where there is equally nothing and everything at once. And when he returned, his feathers, from tip to tip, were black as the night.

And Munin flew through the minds of men into the shady corners and cellars where they had hidden all the things they did not like, and locked them away, saying “I do not remember.” He soared through the sightless void of Ginnungagap, and on and on until he arrived at the ashes of Ragnarok which obscured this age from the next. And when he returned, his feathers, from beak to tail, were as black as soot.

The ravens returned to Odin just before the break of morning, when the night is at its darkest, and when they settled back on his shoulders, he knew all that they had seen, and they did not need to tell. And he understood what had been missing, and nodded, and said, “It is much, and it is enough. For tonight. You may rest.” And the ravens blinked drowsily into the first rays of the rising sun which glinted on their now black feathers, tucked their beaks under their wings, and slept very well.

Since that time, all ravens have been seen to be as black as a shadow on a starless night. Very rarely it happens that somebody catches a glimpse of a white raven, and should you ever be lucky enough to see one, you’ll know that you have wandered far off and back into the land of memory, before ravens came to be black.


~Michaela Macha


Wednesday, March 26, 2014


There is evidence that runes historically served purposes of magic in addition to being a writing system.  Rune Magic is a method of divination similar to the Tarot or the I Ching.  Runic divination or runecasting, is not fortune telling.  To divine, in the original sense of the word, is literally to discover higher insight, the workings of fate or the will of the Gods, as it applies to our lives.
Runecasting works deeply with the subconscious.  The rune pouch with its runic symbols represents the entire universe.  As one poses a question, one's entire conscious and unconscious mind is focused toward that question, so that the runelots selected are not truly random selections, but rather choices made by the subconscious.

Even back in Ancient times, there was a remarkable understanding of the human psyche.  The Norse recognized cause and effect and the interconnectedness of all things.  The word to describe this interconnectedness was wyrd.  Wyrd is a concept in Anglo-Saxon culture roughly corresponding to fate or personal destiny.  It can be pictured as a web, like that of a spider.  When the spider steps onto a thread (a path) the vibrations affect the entire web (the community) and that which is contained within the web, just as our actions affect our immediate world and those around us and the actions of others affect our lives.

There were seidr rituals for divination.  When one does a runic reading, one usually addresses a particular issue, and examines the past, the present and the future, or rather what will be if one follows the path one appears to be on.  An attempt to peer onto the Web of Wyrd.  The future is always perceived as mutable and changeable.  The runic reading is done as an evaluation process, not as fortunetelling.  One has an opportunity to look at what has occurred in the past (regarding the issue being questioned), what is occurring right now and what direction one is headed.


I start with the little saying below after finding a suitable place to do the reading.  You do not want to be disturbed.  Try to sit facing North if possible, the direction of the Gods in Norse mythology.  Place a small white cloth on the surface in front of you.  White is the symbol of truth and purity.  You'll work with the runes on this cloth.  This cloth protects them from getting dirty and also forms the boundary for the casting.  Any colored clean cloth, board or slab can be used. 

For some, depending on the question, the time of day, moon phase or even the weather are other factors to note.  Some people say that castings should only be done during the day, outside, with the sun shining.  The weather can also affect our mood and the one thing that we want is to be in the best frame of mind.  For others, candles, music, water, feathers or other items are involved.  But overall, I say be comfortable and relaxed.
Carefully form a question in your mind.  Take your time doing this, as it is very important that you do not change the question midway through the reading.  Do not ask direct questions, such as those with yes or no answers.  Instead ask leading questions, those starting with who, what, where, why, when, etc.  Write the question down on paper if needed to help focus.  The Rune Site, link below, has some pre-made black forms that can help.  Once you have the question firmly fixed in your mind begin to gently mix the runes in their bag or container.  Continue to mix the runes until you feel compelled to take up certain rune.

Continue to stir and select lots until you have the correct number of runes in front of you for the layout you will be using.  Keep track of the order in which the runes were pulled, laying them in their proper position in the layout as you pull them.  You can also use your paper to write the drawn rune down and use the paper to help examine the read.

There are many different layouts.  Some just grab a handful and cast them on the cloth.  The upside down ones are ignored and the right side up ones are read.  There is also the Norn Cast, Nine Rune Layout, Odin's Spread and more.  I use a Four Corner Layout. 

If you are new to casting, a good way to start is the One Rune Cast.  As you might imagine, this method is designed to provide a quick, concise answer to a specific question.  It can also be used daily as a subject for meditation or as a general overview of the day before you go to bed.  Think of a specific question.  Pull a rune out of the pouch and look at it.  The answer may be an obvious yes or no, or the rune might provide a more conditional response.  If the rune you picked seems to make no sense at all as a response to your question, ask another question or try again later.  This cast is also a good way to study and learn the runes.

Each rune means many different things.  It is up to the runecaster to decide how these meanings apply to the question at hand.  You may get even deeper interpretations through your own 'gut' reactions to the rune's definition.  However, don't delude yourself in thinking that you have a completely different understanding of the cast than indicated by the traditional interpretations.  Stick to the recognized interpretations, but learn to expand on their meanings through insight and meditation.

If you were using paper, it can be burned after a reading to close the session.  It can also be saved in a journal for further study and review.  Keeping a rune log is a great way to learn the feel of the runes and to develop the skill to rune read.  I always close a reading by saying, this read is closed and thank the Divines. 


Recently there has been a new found interest in New Age items and there have been a revival of using the runes for casting and divination.  You can now buy a set of runes almost as easily as you can buy a deck of tarot cards.  However, if you want your runes to be special to you there’s no better way than to make them yourself.  Make your own runes and layouts based on what you know and feel.  Have fun!  Blessed Be! 

All Father Odin, the Rune Master.

Lead me to true knowledge

of the sacred runes.


Freya, Mistress of Beauty,

reveal to me the future paths.


Heimdall, Guardian to All,

escort me through the past.


Tyr, Master of Justice,

guide me to present glory.


So may it be.



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunna's Day

Calendar of the Sun

suna is the Goddess of the sun.  Every day, she rode through the heavens sky on her chariot, radiating the sun's light.  She was chased during the day by Skoll, a wolf that desires to devour her.  Solar eclipses signified Skoll had almost caught up to her.  It is fated that Skoll will eventually catch Sunna and eat her; though she would be replaced by her daughter.  Sunday is named after her.

Day of Sunna

Colors:  Red and gold
Element:  Fire
Altar:  Upon a cloth of red and gold set an image of the Sun in a chariot, nine red and gold candles, an incense brazier, a clay bowl of mead and a bowl of polished colored glass stones.
Offering:  Incense of frankincense and cedar.  Loving and kind act.
Daily Meal:  Lamb or mutton.  Mead.  Orange.

Invocation to Sunna

One day spins to an opening.
You come forth, Great Lady,
With your shrill cry,
Avatar of the sun's light.
You ride on your golden chariot
Across the sky each day,
And look down upon us in all your glory.
Teach us to shine, Great Lady,
And to reflect your light.
One day spins to a close.
You run across the earth each day,
And look down upon us in all your glory.
Teach us to love and light, Great Lady.

(Pass the mead and pour out the rest as a libation.  Put out the candles and go.)

Saturday, March 22, 2014


The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System.  It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields.  Chemically, about three quarters of the Sun's mass consists of hydrogen, while the rest is mostly helium.  The remainder consists of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon, neon and iron.

Sunrise or Sun up is the instant at which the upper edge of the Sun appears over the eastern horizon in the morning.  Solar noon is when the Sun is at its highest elevation in the sky.  Noon (also midday or noon time) is usually defined as 12 o'clock in the daytime.  Sunset or Sundown is the daily disappearance of the Sun below the western half of the horizon.  Solar midnight or midnight is the transition time period from one day to the next; the moment when the date changes.

Like other natural phenomena, the Sun has been an object of veneration in many cultures throughout human history.  Humanity's most fundamental understanding of the Sun is as the luminous disk in the sky, whose presence above the horizon creates day and whose absence causes night.  In many prehistoric and ancient cultures, the Sun was thought to be a solar deity or other supernatural phenomenon.

A solar deity is a God or Goddess who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it, usually by its perceived power and strength.  In Chinese mythology, there were originally ten Suns in the sky, who were all brothers.  In Baltic mythology, Saule, is the Goddess of the Sun and fertility.  The Old High German Sun Goddess is Sunna.

In many traditions of modern Pagan cosmology, all things are considered to be cyclical, with time as a perpetual cycle of growth and retreat tied to the Sun's annual death and rebirth.  The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals.  Among Wiccans, the festivals are also referred to as sabbats.

Sabbats are celebrated in honor of the Divines.  There are 8 Sabbats that make up the Wheel of the Year.  The Sabbats are solar, seasonal and represent the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. 

The English weekday name Sunday stems from Old English (Sunnandæg; "Sun's day").  Worship of the Sun was central to civilizations such as the ancient Egyptians, the Inca of South America and the Aztecs.  In religions such as Hinduism, the Sun is still considered a God.  Sunna is the Sun personified in Norse mythology.  Many ancient monuments were constructed with solar phenomena in mind; for example, stone megaliths accurately mark the summer or winter solstice.
Sun-Earth Day is a joint educational program established in 2000 by NASA and ESA.  The goal of the program is to popularize the knowledge about the Sun, and the way it influences life on Earth, among students and the public.  The day itself is mainly celebrated in the USA near the time of the spring equinox.  However, the Sun-Earth Day event actually runs throughout the year, with a different theme being chosen each year.



The Sun is out of sight, resting old age. This is the drowsy time for beauty, dreams, psychic dreams, psychic awareness, spirituality, sleep, sex, purifications, love, friendships, peace, releasing stress, healing wounds.  A time for the Dark.  For Earth and Winter.

God is born during Yule, the God is a youth, unsure of his strength.  He, like a boy from birth to adolescence, doesn't really notice the Goddess.  She herself is recovering from his birth at Yule, cleansing and regaining her maidenhood.   Dark Divine reigns as the year and Divines transitions.

Midwinter (Winter Solstice or Yule) has been recognized as a significant turning point in the yearly cycle since the late Stone Age.  The ancient megalithic sites of Newgrange and Stonehenge, carefully aligned with the solstice Sunrise and Sunset, exemplify this.  The reversal of the Sun's ebbing presence in the sky symbolizes the rebirth of the solar Goddess and presages the return of fertile seasons.  From Germanic to Roman tradition, this is the most important time of celebration.

Imbolc is time for purification and spring cleaning in anticipation of the year's new life.  In Rome, it was historically a shepherd's holiday and among Celts associated with the onset of ewes' lactation, prior to birthing the spring lambs.  The Sun gets a little brighter, the Earth gets a little warmer and we know that life is quickening within the soil.


Sunrise in one's life depicts the heralding of a new beginning.  Day begins as light stretches out from the eastern horizon, an infant. This is an excellent time to perform rituals involving purification, business success, study, employment, breaking addictions of all kinds, travel, releasing guilt and jealousy, healing diseases and the conscious mind.   A time of air, spring, Maiden and Warrior. 

The God is man, holding his rightful place in the sky as the waxing Sun.  He is king among the deer herds and the Goddess has taken him as her rightful consort once more.  Seeds have been planted and the Goddess is becoming a Mother once again.  Warrior God.  Maiden Goddess.

The spring equinox, in Germanic traditions called Ostara, inaugurates the new year on the Zodiacal calendar.  From this point on, days are longer than the nights.  Many mythologies regard this as the time of rebirth or return of vegetation and celebrate the spring equinox as a time of great fertility.  After the spring equinox the Sun begins to wax again.

Traditionally Beltane is the first day of summer in Ireland, in Rome the earliest celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times with the festival of Flora, the Roman Goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries.  The ceremony for the day can begin at Sunrise with freshly picked flowers.



The Sun shines far above at full strength, a strong youth.  This is fine for all Sunrise ritual purposes, as well as those that involve magical energy, physical energy and strength, protection, money and courage.  A time of fire, summer, Mother and Father.

The God is beginning to tire, his golden tresses fade to gray.  He no longer fights off the other stags as fiercely as he did in spring and early summer.  He is past courting the Goddess and is content to let the afternoon shadows grow long.  The Goddess is now the one busy in the fields, making sure all is right for the harvests.  Father God.  Mother Goddess. 

Midsummer is one of the four solar holidays and is considered the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the Sun shines longest.  The focus is nearly always on celebrating the power of the Sun.  People gather to watch the bonfire and celebrate the solstice.

Lammas or Lughnasadh is the first of the three Wiccan harvest festivals.  Wiccans mark the holiday by baking a figure of the God in bread and eating it, to symbolize the sanctity and importance of the harvest.  Pagans see this as a time when the God loses his strength as the Sun rises farther south each day and the nights grow longer.


The Sun slips below the western horizon, fully mature, signaling the time for breaking addictions weight-loss, banishing misery and pain, transforming anguish and negative habits.  A time of water, autumn, Crone and Sage.

The God passes into the underworld.  While the Goddess is a crone-like figure, welcoming her consort to the underworld.  She is still pregnant with the new God, waiting to be born once more at Yule.  Sage God.  Crone Goddess.

The holiday of the autumnal equinox is a Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the Earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the God during the coming winter months.  After the Autumn equinox the Oak King slowly begins to regain his power as the Sun begins to wane.

Samhain is considered by Wiccans to be one of the four Greater Sabbats.  Samhain is considered by some as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, pets and elders.


In addition to the eight major holidays common to most modern Pagans, there are a number of minor holidays during the year to commemorate various events depending on your path. 

Some solar events are also honored by Pagans.


Solar Eclipse

As seen from the Earth, a solar eclipse is a type of eclipse that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun.  In a total eclipse, the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon.  In partial and annular eclipses only part of the Sun is obscured.

An eclipse is a natural phenomenon.  Nevertheless, in some ancient and modern cultures, solar eclipses have been attributed to supernatural causes or regarded as bad omens.  The Emperor Kang supposedly beheaded two astronomers, Hsi and Ho, who failed to predict an eclipse 4000 years ago. 

The Black Sun in Mesoamerican mythology has many mystical meanings, among them it is connected to the God Quetzalcoatl and his penetration in the Underworld through the west door after his diurnal passage on the sky.

The ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote that Thales of Miletus predicted an eclipse to occurred during a war between the Medians and the Lydians.  Both sides put down their weapons and declared peace as a result of the eclipse.

In Norse mythology, the Gods Odin and Tyr both have attributes of a sky father, and they are doomed to be devoured by wolves at Ragnarok.  Sunna, the Norse Sun Goddess, will be devoured by the wolf Skoll.

Sun Dog

A Sun dog (or Sundog, mock Sun, phantom Sun, parhelion), is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the Sun.  Jonas Persson suggested that out of Norse mythology, constellations of two wolves hunting the Sun and the moon, one after and one before, may be a possible origin for the term.

Often mistaken as UFOs, Sun Dogs are the result of Sunlight refracting through tiny ice crystals in the atmosphere.  They develop at a 22 degree angle from the Sun, and are very common during winter Sunrises and Sunsets.


Sun Pillar

A light pillar is a visual phenomenon created by the reflection of light from ice crystals with near horizontal parallel planar surfaces.  The light can come from the Sun (usually at or low to the horizon) in which case the phenomenon is called a Sun pillar or solar pillar.

They’re called Sun pillars when the Sun helps make them.  But this the moon or even streetlights can create this light phenomenon, too, in which case the name light pillar is more appropriate.

Light pillars have also been known to produce false UFO reports.  Niagara Falls is one such area, where the mist from the Niagara Falls causes the phenomenon to appear frequently during the winter months.



Similar to a rainbow but appears in a clear sky, without rain and does not arc to Earth.  A bow or arc of prismatic colors like a rainbow, caused by refraction through a spray of water from a cataract, waterfall, fountain, etc., rather than through droplets of rain.  Some ancients saw these as a the Gods smiling down on them. 

A Prayer to the Sun

The Sun is high above us
shining down upon the land and sea,
making things grow and bloom.
Great and powerful Sun,
we honor you this day
and thank you for your gifts.
Ra, Helios, Sunna, Aten, Svarog,
you are known by many names.
You are the light over the crops,
the heat that warms the Earth,
the hope that springs eternal,
the bringer of life.
We welcome you, and we honor you this day,
celebrating your light,
as we begin our journey once more
into the darkness.



Always take precautions while observing any Sun related phenomena.  Never look directly into the Sun.  Always wear protective glasses or use objects to block the direct glare of the Sun.