Sunday, September 25, 2016


There are a lot of powerful Goddesses to be found in Norse mythology, but Elli was nicknamed 'the Giant Crone'.  She is a very tall, matronly old woman with long, loose white hair and wrinkled features.  Elli used a long walking staff.  She challenged the God Thor to a wrestling match - and won.  To be fair to Thor though, the whole thing turned out to be a bit of a trick.  Elli, although the weakest of the giantesses of Utgard, was the personification of old age. 

Simply attempting to face off against the personification of old age is daunting.  Limbs turn weak, and the heart grows cold as the thoughts of inevitable mortality creep into the mind, even to a God.  Elli strikes an opponent, rapidly draining their strength for a period.  The longer they remain near her, the stronger the effect becomes until they succumb.

This can serve as a valuable lesson not to underestimate senior citizens.  We often think of the elderly as unfit, forgetful and out of touch with modern times, but they have a wealth of knowledge and can often give good advice.  They are also not necessarily as helpless as we imagine.  There is a good story online of this point.  It was about a shoplifter who had been apprehended.  The manager shouted "Stop! Thief!", as the criminal ran to the door with something he had stolen.  The shoplifter tried to barge past an old lady without thinking.  But it turned out the pensioner had a belt in Judo.  She grabbed the thief's arm, twisted it and in an instant he was on the floor.
And this is just a snippet of what can be found in, 'Who Are Your Divine Friends?'.
Color: black, grey, white
Rulership: old age, wisdom, strength
Runes: Uruz, Stan, Perthro
Symbol: clock, elder
Healing Prayer to the Gods
Thor, support me to get my strength back,
Give me good stamina and staying power.
Frigga, grant me comfort under your cloak,
Give me trust in the doctors and my self-healing powers.
Sif, lend me the life force to rejoice in small steps of recovery.
Eir, grant me relief, let healing fully unfold.
Community of the Gods, give everyone around me courage and confidence;
In your company, everything is lightened and eased.
~ German original "Göttergebet um Heilung": Michael Schütz
On the hillside drear
The fir tree dies
All bootless its needles and bark
So falls she who birthed the one
Who likewise brought forth me.
Cattle die
Kinsmen die
And so dies oneself
But what seeds have sprung from what is lost
May feel the sun return
Prepare the grave
Lay down the bones
Let the ice winds take your tears
Let daughters take up mother’s tasks
As mothers to daughters return
Crone to Disir pass with death
Maiden to Mother with birth
Mother to Crone with wisdom learned
As the wheel of time still turns.
On the hillside drear
A fir grove stands
Its needles richly green
Sheltering heart in its center marks
Where the mother of all has been.
~ John T Mainer

Ancestors are family
From days long past
Maidens and Men
Mothers and Fathers
Grandmothers and Grandfathers
Warriors, Farmers, Poets, and Priests
Weavers, Tailors, Brewers, and Bricklayers
They lived in lands far, far away
Feasts and Festivals on Midsummer’s Day
They lived and died, as we all must do
With each generation born to follow threw
And down through time we are connected still
Blood to blood and the Gods will
Close as a shadow and yet forever apart
Listen closely and you can hear their heart
You may not know their names
But rest assured, they know yours
Watching over the family
At the edge of Midgard’s shores
~ Wolf Helser
The Old Ones
Old ones laying in the lichyard
Under mound and tree and stone
I hear Your sacred Voices
I hear the call in Home
The bones sunk deep in earth
The ashes scattered wide
I seek Your sacred places
Where Your spirits still abide
Disir and Vaettir, ancient Trees
Whose roots reach so far down
I am here and listening
Where You all are found
~ Sarenth Odinsson
Being underestimated can be a good thing.  You may have people in your life who think you are a lot less than you are, but you are going to surprise them.  When people underestimate you, don't let it get to you; stand up and let them know that they're wrong.  Stay positive and concentrate on yourself.
Elli is appealed to for old age, wisdom, elders, and strength.  Honor her friendship by volunteering at an elder home or by serving meals at a shelter.  Elli is not mentioned in any other extant source but the notion that not even the Gods are immune to the effects of aging is supported by the fact that they must consume the apples of Idunn on a regular basis in order to remain young.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sabbat Autumn Equinox

Sabbat Autumn Equinox

It is the time of the Autumn Equinox or Mabon and the harvest is winding down.  The fields are nearly empty, because the crops have been plucked and stored for the coming winter.  Mabon is the mid-harvest festival and it is when we take a few moments to honor the changing seasons and celebrate the second harvest.  On or around September 21, for many Pagan and Wiccan traditions it is a time of giving thanks for the things we have, whether it is abundant crops or other blessings.

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.

Activities: Wine Making, Adorning Graves, Community, Dancing

Animals: Dogs, Wolves, Birds of Prey, Squirrel

Attunement Teas(Individually or Blended): All Berries, Grape Drinks, Heather, Hops, Sassafras

Colors: Brown, Orange, Violet, Maroon, Russet, Deep Gold

Deities: Wine Deities, Aging Deities, Crop Deities

Foods: Wine, Grapes, Nuts, Apples, Corn, Oats, Mead, From the Garden Foods

Goddesses: Cessair (Welsh), Harmonica (Greek), Rennutet (Egyptian), Snake Woman (Aboriginal), Epona (Celtic-Gaulish), Lilitu (Semitic), Modron (Welsh), The Muses (Greek), Pamona (Roman), Sophia (Greco-Hebraic), Sif (Norse)

Gods: Dionysus(Roman), Great Horned God (European), Iacchus (Greco-Tuscan), Hermes (Greek), Thoth (Egyptian), Thor (Norse) 

Key Action: Give Thanks, Equality, Sharing, Veterans' Care

Meaning: Celebrating the Second Harvest, Balance, Honoring the Aging Deities, Honoring the Spirit World, Darkness Overtaking Light, Celebration of Wine

Mythical Creatures: Andamans, Cyclopes, Gnomes, Gulon, Minotaur, Sphinx

Other Names: Second Harvest, Festival of Dionysus, Alban Elfed, Cornucopia, Mabon

Plants: Vines, Ivy, Hazel, Cedar, Hops, Tobacco, Sage, Sunflower

Ritual Oils: Apple Blossom, Hay/Straw, Black Pepper, Patchouli

Stones: Amethyst, Yellow Topaz, Amber

Symbols: Grapes, Wine, Vines, Garland, Burial Cairns, Rattles, Horn of Plenty, Indian Corn, Sun Wheels

Taboos: Passing Burial Sites and not honoring the dead

Autumn Song

Autumn´s Bliss tumbles to the ground,
A floating leaf of Red,
Twisting and gliding a graceful dance
To furnish the land.

Acorns´ ripe prize, the golden fruit
feeds the land as it feeds the boar
Boar´s final sigh as the spear finds home,
We shall feast on his sweet flesh.

Rain from above with Thor´s sweet kiss
Drips from skeletal boughs
Drops into rivulets, rivulets to rivers, rivers to the ocean roar.
Hammer song cleanses the air.

A kiss of winter fills the nights air,
The teasing our cheeks with its cold breath.
The fire warms our hearts as
The Ice is kept at bay a little longer.

The folk sing strong and proud
Of Summer´s adventures and heat´s demise
Let us gather tonight in frith and faith
The Harvest is in, and Winter draws nigh.

~ Dana Runkle

Tide of Harvest

In this tide of Harvest, a longing awakens in me
for the mad, cold, dark of winter's wailing winds,
belling like the hounds of the mythic hunt of old. 
I grow fey in the season of reaping and cutting
and remember ancient days and dreams. 
I am kin to another time and an older way. 
I am the reaper, the scythe and the grain. 
I am the vine, the grapes, and the knife. 
I am the apple, the press and the cider. 
I am the wealth of the land and the lash of the storm queen,

~ Laurel Mendes

A Crop Song, for Sif and Thor

All through this summer's run,
We children of the Sun
See gold wheat sway,
And we shall pray
For a rich harvest won.

May Sif, Thor's golden bride,
Bring us her fertile tide;
Her gilded bloom
We may consume,
New strenght to us supplied.

This god and goddess great,
Man's friend and gentle mate,
Let's honor now;
Their sacred plow
Brings food to our plate.

Let's sing a song of praise,
And thankful voices raise,
Daughters of Sif,
For every sheaf
We gained in summer days.

O sons of Thor, rejoice
In merry solstice joys!
Thor's goats race by
Through yonder sky
Amidst his thunder's noise.

And after days all warm
Come wind and rain and storm,
Cold days draw near;
To bread and beer
Our harvest's now transformed.

So in the winter's reign,
To those who gave us grain,
To Thor and Sif
Bring gift for gift--
May plenty come again!

~ Twa Raven Motifs

Vetrsongr (Wintersong)

The bride of Báleygr
has given us
the bounty of her bosom;
summer’s work is ended,
the harvest has been reaped
we await the coming cold.

Let the strong mead
be set to age
within its oaken cask;
meats hung in the smokehouse,
fish be salted,
winter’s provision is set.

Time to give thanks and honor
to the Holy Powers
Gods and Elves and Wights;
time for kith and kin
together to feast
enjoying Jördh’s bounty.

~ Hrapp R Normansson


Swords, stones and bones,
Coins, cloaks and combs,
Potshards and pollen
Are all we have left
Of our forefathers.

The songs that they sang,
The tales that they told
Are heard in no hall.

Writings that were wrought
By the foes that they fought
Tell a false tale.

Brooches in bogs
Tell us the truth.

Swords, stones and bones,
Coins, cloaks and combs,

Potshards and pollen
Are all we have left
Of our forefathers.

~ Vivian

Apple of my Eye

Apple of my eye.

Arrow in the night.
Arrow from my quiver.

Star in my sky.
Second of seven in sight.

Little fish swim down ancestral river.
The Ladies whisper

From that Weird Well,
"Wake the Gods, raise the banner."

Follow your sister,
Like Fetch in human shell.

Learn the sign of Red-Beard's Hammer.
Let it grow

Like our tree

Slowly and with patience.
Few will know

What you see,

Arrow of the Ancients.

~ Izak Sample

For the Nordic, it is time for a Winter Finding ceremony to bid farewell to the passing summer and to prepare for the rigors of winter. The Norse, like the other pre-industrial societies of Europe, depended heavily on a successful harvest in the fall to make it through the winter and so they took this time to thank the Gods for all that had been given during the harvest and to ask their protection during the cold of winter.   

In some Germanic countries, people worried about the fate of their grain harvest.  If there was a great deal of wind during the harvesting season, it could be because Odin wanted a share of the crop. To keep him happy, a few spare sacks of flour were emptied into the wind.