Saturday, June 28, 2014


In terms of when grounding and centering comes in the order of ritual, it varies a lot.  Some practitioners will ground and center before setting up their altar, some will do it after they’ve set up and before they perform their act of ritual purification (like a ritual bath or smudging), some will perform grounding and centering just before they cast the circle, etc.  Depending on the order of your own ritual, how you view grounding and centering, and when you will need energy for your working, you can move it around based on your personal preference.

Centering puts you in touch with your personal power, connecting your mental and spiritual bodies.  Centering involves clearing your mind of outside business and focusing upon the task at hand.  For rituals and magic to be meaningful and effective, you should not be dwelling on what you had for lunch today or your plans for tomorrow.  'Be Here Now' is a phrase that nicely sums up the idea of centering.

Another important part of centering is your awareness of yourself; becoming aware of the Goddess that lies within us all.  This awareness promotes stability, confidence and a healthy ability to express your will.

Psychically, centering allows you to work from a stable foundation, helping to keep you from being magically thrown off balance.  The Eastern philosophy of chi is a very good way of explaining the psychic aspect of centering.  Our physical bodies have a center of gravity that moves and shifts as we move.  Likewise, our energy field has a center that corresponds to our center of gravity.

Male and Female bodies are shaped different and so have different centers of gravity.  The center of gravity for a man is usually between the navel and the base of the sternum, whereas the center of gravity for a woman is usually between the navel and the pelvis.  Focusing your mind on this area brings your awareness to the center of your energy field.  This allows you to use more of the energy you have available, while still drawing energy from Mother Earth.  There are several good books on increasing the chi, with exercises that are excellent for working on centering.

Meditating is one of the Thirteen Goals of a Witch.  If you've done any meditation before, it may be a bit easier for you to center, because it uses many of the same techniques.  Find a place where you can work undisturbed.  Try and feel the energy in the Earth and feel it travel up through your core into your body, or you can think like a vacuum and feel it when you've sucked it into yourself.  Allow this to fill you up - this can feel like tingling throughout your body.

Once your breathing is regulated, it's time to begin visualizing (picture in your mind) energy.  Rub the palms of your hands lightly together, as though you were trying to warm them up and then move them an inch or two apart.  You should still feel a charge, a tingling or warm sensation between your palms.  That's energy.  If you don't feel it at first, don't worry.  Just try again.  Eventually you'll start to notice that the space between your hands feels different.  It's almost as though there's a bit of resistance pulsating there if you gently bring them back together.

Now that you can tell what energy actually feels like, you can start playing with it.  This means you can focus on that area of resistance.  Close your eyes and feel it.  Visualize that tingly area expanding and contracting, like a balloon.  Try pulling your hands apart, and stretching that energy field out, as if you were pulling taffy with your fingers.  Try visualizing the energy expanding to the point where it surrounds your entire body.

After some practice, you'll even be able to fling it from one hand to the other, as if you were tossing a ball back and forth.  Bring it into your body, and draw it inward, shaping a ball of energy inside yourself.  It's important to note that this energy is all around us at all times.  You're not creating something new, but simply harnessing what's already there.

Make sure these are positive energies!  Keep your mind on the idea of bringing calm, positive and happy energy into your body from the Divine.  Some people find that it's easier to regulate their breathing if they count, or if they chant a simple phrase, like "Ohm," as they inhale and exhale.  A runic or personal mantra would also work if it helps to focus.  Other people will also raise their arms to the sky and envision energy coming down into them.

Generally to end this process, one might envision their channels returning into their body.  This is important to do, or you may lose energy and this can leave you light-headed or even cause a drain if you aren't careful.  Try to do this closing without disconnecting from the Goddess or Earth - it can bring reassurance to be able to feel this presence throughout your day.

Each time you center, you'll repeat this process.  Begin by regulating your breathing.  Then focus on your energy.  Eventually, you should be able to control it completely.  The center  core of your energy can be wherever it feels most natural for you - for most people, it's ideal to keep their energy centered around the solar plexus, although others find the heart chakra to be the place where they can focus on it best.

It is a good idea to do this before bed and when you wake up.  Grounding and centering is also useful before prayer, introspection, meditation, visualization, healing work, energy work, ritual, or any other spiritual or emotional experience in addition to serving as an aid to connect with deity in everyday life, when we feel lost, rushed, scattered or unfocused.  Regular practice will help improve your general mood and attitude towards life.

Keep in mind, it may take some practice to get the feel of this; it can be difficult for some to recognize or gain a feel for energy, but try not to be discouraged by this - it takes practice to learn skills.  It may be hardest for people who have not practiced meditation before, who are depressed, or have little or weak connection to nature, but that's okay, because the point of this practice is to fix that!

Another note, make sure to thank the Goddess!  This can be as simple as thinking kind thoughts toward her and saying 'Blessed Be'.  After you've been doing this for a while, it will become second nature.  You'll be able to center anywhere, anytime... sitting on a crowded bus or stuck in a boring meeting.  By learning to center, you'll develop a foundation for energy work in a number of different magical traditions.


"Centering is a process of finding out who and where you are. It involves increasing your holistic perception—that you are a whole person, not just a collection of parts. Where grounding is a connecting experience, centering is often a soothing one. To center is to locate that part of ourselves where we perceive our true and whole self to reside, the center of our spirit, and to function from and with that center. Life is often reactive; to be centered is to behave based on free will at all times, not in response to stimuli." ~ Deborah Lipp





Friday, June 27, 2014


In terms of when grounding and centering comes in the order of ritual, it varies a lot.  Some practitioners will ground and center before setting up their altar, some will do it after they’ve set up and before they perform their act of ritual purification (like a ritual bath or smudging), some will perform grounding and centering just before they cast the circle, etc.  Depending on the order of your own ritual, how you view grounding and centering, and when you will need energy for your working, you can move it around based on your personal preference.

Grounding is usually the first step taught in many spiritual practices.  Whatever your beliefs, this simple practice can make a significant difference to your life.  This consists of connecting yourself energetically to the core of Mother Earth.  You will find that grounding before meditation or astral travelling will aid inner focus.  If you are feeling spacey or disoriented grounding and centering will help tremendously.

Grounding links you to the healing energy of the Earth, bringing stability, calm, and awareness of the physical body and the world around you.  Being grounded means that you have established a firm connection with the physical world.  The largest physical object that each of us experiences throughout our entire life is beneath our feet, the Earth.  Focusing on the Earth makes us more aware of the physical world that surrounds us.  Awareness of the physical world keeps us from being swept away by the subjective feelings and inner experiences of the moment.  Instead, we become able to experience these feelings with a balanced awareness that is both objective and subjective.

Psychically, a firm connection with the Earth hooks us to the largest psychic battery that we have available to us.  The Earth is a storehouse of psychic energy, and when we connect with Her we channel that energy through us instead of relying solely on our own energy reserves.  Grounding properly helps prevent weakness, headaches and the other possible side effects of energy work.

Meditating is one of the Thirteen Goals of a Witch.  Probably all Witches meditate, more or less, to some degree.  They use these skills when they use a grounding technique, do creative visualization, take a trance journey, focus on a spell or create a ritual.  

Grounding is actually fairly easy.  Remember how you manipulated energy when you learned to center?  That's what you'll do to ground - only instead of drawing that energy inside you, you'll push it out, into something else.

To begin, stand in a quiet place with minimal distractions.  Your feet should be shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent.  Or, if you prefer, you can be seated with your feet planted firmly on the ground and you're back straight.

Start by closing your eyes, and taking long, slow breaths.  Inhale deeply, breathing through the nose, filling the stomach and the chest with air.  Then, exhale through the nose, slowly releasing and contracting the stomach.  Feel your body relax with each breath you take.

Next, bring your consciousness down to the soles of your feet, feeling their strength and firmness.  Visualize (picture in your mind) tree-like roots extending from the soles of your feet.  With each breath you take, these roots grow far and wide, sinking deep into the Earth, through the bedrock, and into the healing soils below.  Imagine the negativity, illness and/or stress you feel seeping out of your body, draining from your head down to your toes, through your roots and into the Earth where it is harmlessly absorbed and dispersed.  Take your time.

If you're someone who needs to feel something a bit more tangible, try a catchphrase to trigger grounding - it can be something as simple as 'Aaaaand it's gone'!  This phrase can be used as an energy release when you need it.  Or carry a stone or crystal in your pocket.  When you're feeling over-energized, let the stone absorb your energy.

Now that the negativity is drained out, let the energies of the Earth replenish you.  When you are ready, envision the Earth’s healing energy flowing up your roots and filling your body with light.  Feel the loving warmth as the energy sinks into you; allow it to move and flow throughout your body.

Slowly raise your arms to the sky, and visualize the golden energy of the Universe flowing through your fingers, down your arms, and into your body.  Feel the energies within you meld together as the healing energy of the Earth, the warmth of universal energy and your own energies mingle and become one.  Take a nice, deep breath, allowing yourself to accept these energies into your heart.

When you are ready, lower your arms and feel the roots recede back into your feet.  Take a few extra deep breaths and open your eyes.

Try it before a ritual, grounding creates a safe conduit for divine energies and unifies you with the others in your Circle.  Or before divination, solid grounding technique opens your mind to understand what the Divine is trying to say.  Or even before healings, it protects you from being receptive to taking on harmful energies, and purifies the energy you are using and minimizes the risk of harm to the other.  You can also do a grounding any time you find yourself in a stressful situation or when you want to perform your best.

Grounding and centering heightens your sensitivity to unbalanced energies within yourself and the world around you.  Performing this meditation on a daily basis is a simple way to commune with the Earth, while healing yourself with attentiveness and love.

The more you practice grounding, the more automatic it becomes.  If you take even a few minutes a day to practice, you will not only have better energy in your daily life; you'll be able to ground quickly and instantly when you're in a tense situation.


"Think of a three-pronged electrical plug, which has the third prong in it to help ground the excess electrical energy if it builds up…When doing energy work of any kind, you should always have a connection to the earth so that you can safely shunt excess energy away from your own energy center.  This avoids an overflow of energy in your closed system which can lead to the system shorting out." ~ Arin Murphy-Hiscock




Sunday, June 22, 2014

Eir's Day

Calendar of the Sun

Eir's Blot

eir is the matron Goddess of healing, and health-care workers, she is called on against sickness or injury.  In ancient times, only women could learn the art of healing amongst the Germanic tribes.  Spring is her season.

Colors: White and blue
Element: Air
Altar: Upon cloth of white and blue set twelve white candles, one sky-blue candle, a great jug of mead, and a pot of healing salve. Throughout the next three days, the altar stays the same, and one more candle is lit. On this day, light the blue candle and nine white candles.
Offering: Inventory the medical supplies. Help those who are poor and ill. Do things correctly.
Daily Meal: Soup or stew. Bread with cheese, meat or jam.

Invocation to Eir

Hail, healer of Asgard!
Physician who ministers to many wounds,
You teach us that there is never enough healing,
Never enough time, never enough resources,
Never enough hope that anything will survive,
And yet even in face of this helplessness
You teach us that we must go on,
And never give up until the end.
And this is the wound of Creation,
That can never be healed
And yet we must keep trying.
For Perseverance is more than merely stubbornness,
It is the living embodiment of Hope.

(A libation of mead is poured out for Eir, and the jug replaced for the next day's ritual. Honor should be given today to those with chronic illnesses and they should be given privileges for their perseverance in the face of pain.)


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Thor the Bride

Thor the Bride

Translated by Angela Hall


One morning, Thor awoke to find his hammer Mjollnir missing.  This was no small matter; without the thunder God’s best weapon, Asgard was left vulnerable to the attacks of the giants.  In a rage, he searched everywhere for his most prized possession, but it was nowhere to be found.

The Goddess Freya owned falcon feathers, with which one could change one’s shape into that of a falcon.  She lent these to Thor and Loki so that the hammer could be located.  Loki, who knew how to shift his shape, donned the feathers and flew off in search of the hammer.  He quickly surmised that it had probably been stolen by the giants, so he rode the winds to their homeland, Jotunheim.


Upon his arrival, he changed back into his God-form and approached the chief of the giants, Thrym.  When questioned regarding the hammer, Thrym answered that he had indeed taken it, and that it was buried eight leagues below the ground.  And, added the lonely, ugly giant, he had no intention of returning it until Freya was made to be his bride.

Loki flew back to Asgard and told this news to his fellow Gods, who were alarmed and furious – especially Freya.  Thor pressed the Gods to accept the proposal, but Freya was furious and refused to go.  As they sat in counsel, Heimdall put forth the following solution: that Thor go to Jotunheim disguised as Freya and thereby win back his hammer and take vengeance on its thieves.  

Thor protested, saying that this was a dishonorable and unmanly thing to do, and that all of the inhabitants of Asgard would mock him for it for the rest of his days.  Loki pointed out, however, that if he didn’t consent to Heimdall’s plan, Asgard would be ruled by the giants.  The Gods thereby obtained Thor’s acquiescence.

No detail was spared in the assemblage of Thor’s bridal dress.  They dressed Thor in bridal linen, tied the necklace of Brisings around his neck and housewife’s keys about his waist.  Then they pinned bridal jewels upon his breast, and dressed him in women’s clothes, with a dainty hood on his head.  After the humiliated God had donned the costume, Loki offered to go with him as his maid-servant.

Thor and Loki
The pair climbed into Thor’s goat-drawn chariot and made their way to Jotunheim.  When they arrived, they were welcomed by the Thrym, who boasted that the Gods had at last brought him the prize he was due.

Once the bride had arrived Thrym took them inside and showed them to the high seat for feast.  He spoke to his bride and teased her, but Thor refused to speak.  This alarmed Thrym, and he turned to Loki and asked, "Why does she not talk?"

Loki answered "Oh, my lord, she was so excited when she heard that she was to be your wife, she shouted for joy for eight whole days.  She has made herself hoarse."

At dinner, Thor and Loki found themselves again in trouble.  Thor singlehandedly ate an entire ox, eight salmon, and all of the dainties that had been prepared for the women – not to mention the many barrels of mead he drank.  This made Thrym suspicious, and he declared that he had never in his whole life seen a woman with such an appetite.

Loki quickly devised a response: “The fair Goddess has been so lovesick for you,” he claimed, “that she hasn’t been able to eat for a week.”

Thor and his Goats
Thrym accepted this answer, and was overcome by a desire to kiss his bride.  When he peeled back the veil, Thor’s eyes glared at him so intently that they seemed to burn holes right through him.

He exclaimed, “Never have I seen a maiden with such frightfully piercing eyes!”  Loki, the master of deceit, explained to the giant that while Freya had been unable to eat, she had also been unable to sleep, so fierce was her longing for him.

The ceremony soon followed.  As was customary, Thrym called for the hammer to hallow their union.  When Mjollnir was laid in Thor’s lap, he grabbed its handle and slew first Thrym, then all of the guests, before contentedly returning to Asgard and changing back into his preferred clothes.  And Asgard was safe from giants. 


Thor and his Hammer

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Rune Yoga

The runic system of writing may have been developed as early as 200 BCE.  It is certain that the religious practices of the Ancient Germanic people were aided by the use of many runic or rune like signs.  Along with general everyday writings, they are etched into stones all over Scandinavia.
Exercise the body is one of the Thirteen Goals of a Witch.  Various forms of Stadhagaldr are still practiced as folk customs in Iceland and parts of Scandinavia.  Stadhagaldr or Runic Yoga is an active system that consists of the runes into postures or gestures.  Gestures and postures form some part of almost every religious school.  They can be seen from the simple folding of hands in prayer to the extremely complex system of asanas.  Stadhagaldr is balanced in this respect.

The practice of both ceremonially and informally meditating on the runes is a source of wisdom and guidance.  The number and intricacy of the postures are varied enough to be expressive but none require extensive training.  (see your physician first)  With practice you should be able to control your body, control your thoughts, control your breath, control your emotions and control your will.  You will become aware of the runes, yourself and the World. 

The intent of these exercises is to allow total identification with the runes that will reawaken the Ancestral blood memory and improve the physical overall health.  During a particular runic posture, you should visualize and actually feel ourselves becoming embodied and completely united with the runes.  You are visualizing the rune with your inner eye, as its form is being represented by your body and the energies are flowing through your body.


Stadhagaldr can be practiced at any location and time.  Runic yoga is more powerful outside in the fields or forests then in closed rooms.  But find a quiet place and wear comfortable clothing.  You could place your mat facing North, home of the Ancestors.
Stand relaxed, feel your roots to the Earth and adopt an attitude of feeling open.  Keep a slight space under your arms as if holding eggs in your armpits.  Breathe in slowly as you enter the rune posture, breathe out slowly as you come out of it.  Imagine a slight resistance to your movements, as if you are swimming.  Do the movements slowly enough for you to feel the energy flowing through your body.  Imagine you are forming the runes for the Gods to watch.  Allow no thoughts of limitation.

You should learn to pronounce each letter and chant them during the practice, similar to the word 'om' used by the Eastern cultures.  Allow the names of the runes to vibrate throughout your entire body, losing complete awareness of your surroundings.  The same deep and controlled breathing techniques used in Vedic Yoga should be implemented in Stadhagaldr.  Try practicing these different postures until you become proficient with the basics and attempt to hold them for as long as possible.  Start with just one rune a day.  Each day a different rune is dominant and studied in as much ways as possible.

Once you know the runes and practiced the postures, you can find your own personal way of Runic Yoga; a way of moving, visualizing and mantra-speaking.

I 1. Turn on music, listen for a bird or other animals and shake your knees.  u 2. Bend down and touch the Earth.  x 3. Stretch out your arms to the sky.  f 4. Move a hand and send light: "May all people be happy."  E 5. Make large circles with your arms.  i 6. Relax in standing for a few moments. Think the mantra into the Earth, your body and your belly.  j 7. Forward with power.  j And twirl in success.

A mantra is a word or combination of words that are chanted or sung as a prayer or incantation.  Forming your own will be more powerful but there are several examples to help you start your own:

Fehu "fay-who" f, wealth should flow.

Uruz "ooo-rooze" u, one must grab life's challenges by the horns.

Thurisaz "thoor-ee-saws" T, even good people sometimes cause good people harm.

Ansuz "awn-sooze" A, wisdom and tradition give comfort in times of great changes.

Raido "rye-though" r, to walk in another's shoes and do better, that is the most difficult path.

Cenaz "cen-awze" c, brighten the dark weary world.

Gebo "gay-boe" g, for one can give too much.

Wunjo "woon-yo" w, it is bliss to reach the state of happiness.

Hagalaz "haw-gaw-laws" h, even a good life has its days but bad times don't last.

Nauthiz "now-these" n, need is the manifestation of desire.

Isa "ee-saw" i, ice can be driven back by fire.

Jera "yare-awe" j, the Gods have bestowed upon us a great bounty.

Eoh " ayo" I, the World offers much to those who grow it.

Peortho "perth-row" p, no one can be excluded from the Gods except those who exclude themselves.

Algiz "all-yeese" x, even a plant can cause harm if used without caution.

Sowulo "soe-wee-low" s, the Sun points the way and gives us energy.

Teiwaz "tea-wawz" t, the Gods guide us and never abandon us.

Berkana "bear-kawn-ah" b, give us knowledge that new life has come again.

Ehwaz "ay-wawz" e, embodiment of Godly power is shared with all people.

Mannaz "mawn-nawz" m, be happy in life yet aware that death is waiting.

Laguz "law-gooze" l, the sea of chaos can be a creative matrix.

Othila "oath-awe-law" E, one respects the land they live upon so the land protects its friends.

Dagaz "thaw-gauze" d, we shine in the light of the deities.

Iar "ir" j, the World has us all in its grip, a cycle of birth and death.


Your body is a temple.  Pick a rune a day.  Or follow a video guide.  Or just start with a bunch and mix it up.  Some even blend rune casting with rune yoga.  It is your mind, body, spirit practice.  Play around with a few options and use what works.  Go peacefully and happily your way.

Know how to cut them, know how to read them,
Know how to stain them, know how to prove them,
Know how to evoke them, know how to score them,
Know how to send them.