Kennings for Loki

Waxing Hunger Moon (Age: 6 days)
Sign: Aries
Weather: cloudy, heavy snowfall
As someone who has something of a relationship with this particular deity, I do what I can to find kennings referring to him. Someone else has compiled a good list. I am sure that we can easily add to it. I would humbly add the following to this list:

Our lord of weirdness
Quicksilver tongued one
Deceiver of Fools

Having experienced him acting in such a fashion, it is my opinion that these kennings are fairly accurate. I also think that as time passes, I am probably going to wind up adding to this list. Laufey's Son seems to like when I try to creatively avoid mention his name directly. My efforts tend to get a bit of laughter out of him.

I don't think that's an entirely bad thing. After all, if the GODS can't laugh at something, then you know you're fucked.


Mark of the Goddess?

Waxing Hunger Moon (Age: 4 days)
Sign: Aries
Weather: Unseasonably warm, cloudy
with intermittent rain
As I was driving home from dropping my children off with their aunt for the weekend, I had a vision of the Goddess. I also heard her say something very clearly to me. What she said to me was:

You veil and cover yourself to mark you as my daughter among the daughters of men.

My grace is upon my children, though man does not understand it. Some may say grace is upon you from their God. You know the source where it flows. What they say does not matter, only that you continue your work.

The vision, which was very brief, showed me the Mother. She wore a white gown, it looked to be made from linen. Over this, about her shoulders, she wore a mantle of blue. Her hair was hidden by a veil of pale blue, like the color of the sky at the horizon when the sun is at its zenith, shot through with silver. Over this there was another veil, this one white, that obscured her facial features, making them indistinct.

She held her hands out before her, as though she was pouring something from them. And from her hands poured light. It started out the color of honey and grew brighter as it came down. It fell upon the Moon and then upon the Earth. And as it poured over the Earth, it was white.

I was attempting to make sense of what this vision meant when she spoke to me again. (This being several hours after the vision and not too terribly long before I sat down here at the computer.) She said:

I pour out my blessings over the Earth for all children. I am a generous Mother and I give to any in need.

You are marked in your spirit as other are marked in flesh. Because your body can not take the needle and ink, your manner of dress conveys your status. Wear the veil to hide and protect yourself. Wear the bells to that the daughters of men may know you as you walk among them.

The timing of this is fortuitous and a wee bit unnerving. I had been lamenting (privately and inwardly) the lack of communication between the Mother and I. I had been flailing a bit and feeling unsure about myself as a priestess because I felt the absence of the early ecstascy that I experienced when I was new to the Craft and more open to everything. It wasn't something that I brought up in my prayers because, honestly, I felt that it was an issue on my end that I had to resolve. If that makes any sense to anyone reading this.

So, when she decided that she was going to say hello and put some of my concerns at ease, it startled me. It was like having someone turn the light on unexpectedly in a dark room. And suddenly realizing that you weren't alone in the room like you had thought you were.

Veils, shrouds, & shawls

Waxing Hunger Moon (Age: 4 days)
Sign: Void of Course
Weather: unseasonably warm & cloudy
For years now, I have felt drawn to veiling myself as part of my spiritual expression. Just last night, as I was idly searching techniques for tying a headscarf, I stumbled on to another pagan who has a similar inclination and her blog post regarding it. It was incredibly reassuring to see that I wasn't too far out into the fringes with this recurrent urge. It was also just the little nudge I needed to begin acting in accord with it.

My thought was "Hey, I'm not the only one to feel this way! Awesome!" It was as though a weight just lifted right off me as I gave myself permission to do this. Growing up in a household that was extremely focused on propriety and meeting social norms for appearances sake, I was strongly encouraged not to act upon urges that took me to places aside from what was the most mundane. Even now, I have times where I struggle with my genuine sense of style versus what was foisted upon me.

Now, one may wonder why I'm talking about the clash between personal tastes of clothing styles and what is socially accepted as 'normal'. This is something that comes up when one adapts their manner of dress to something that is not completely run of the mill. When people mark themselves as different from the others around them, there are a few different possible reactions. Confusion, discomfort, and outright scorn have met me when I have moved away from the norm in the past.

This becomes even more complicated of a matter when one begins to consider religious expression. When dealing with a religion as decentralized as Wicca, one finds that there is no 'norm' for how to do anything. As a result, we tend to 'default' to the predominant cultural norms for dress and social behavior that we engage in the secular environment. Special dress for religious purpose becomes cumbersome when one is torn between maintaining a 'normal' appearance to ease their interactions with society at large and the urgings of their spirit. This is especially the case when one's faith does not have an 'official' dress code like in Islam.

Now, that I've rambled on in that direction, let's get to where I wanted to go in the beginning. That is, in short, how the three items I listed in the title of this post are important. Veils have been used for countless millennia for, among other reasons, to protect the sacred and set it apart from the mundane. The shroud has been used as a similar covering (aside from being a garment for the dead).

Shawls can be used in the same fashion. I do that often. When I feel a pull to wrap myself in a shawl, there's a lot of different reasons. Most frequently, it's practicality. I get cold easily. But, there are times where it serves to 'contain' spiritual energy. Or it serves to protect (at times from a purely psychological point).

I had more I wanted to say but it's drifted off into the aether. Right now, my youngest child is terrorizing the house. So deep thoughts are going to have to wait for later.


Mother Goddess & Mary

New Hunger Moon (Age: 0 days)
Sign: Aquarius
Weather: Partly cloudy, windy,
intermittent rain & unseasonably warm

So I have a few things to ramble on about tonight. First, to all who are celebrating, I wish you a blessed New Year (as this is the start of the Lunar year). There are many cultures that celebrate this as the start of the year, thus I am not going to focus on just one culture over the rest. If you're curious as to who is celebrating this as the beginning of the new year, check out the link.

Secondly, I have another blog that I will be updating at the new and full moon for each month. I am not going to be mirroring the material here but I will link to it when I do make posts. There may be material that is discussed in both blogs, but I don't plan on that being the rule. As the web community that I have joined has a large population of neophytes and seekers, I will be making an effort to post topics friendly to someone just starting out in Wicca or witchcraft.

Now, to get to the point of this blog entry (which I'm sure you were eagerly awaiting LOL), I have been considering my relationship with the Great Mother and how she has been guiding me over the last several months. I don't believe it is strictly a matter of coincidence that I have been feeling a strong prompt to view the Blessed Virgin Mary as an avatar of the Great Mother or to incorporate elements of the iconography surrounding her in my shrine(s) to the Mother.

Images such as the one above have been catching my eye for a while. When I was considering converting to Catholicism, I felt a strong pull to a Marian devotion. (Sadly, I do not know who the artist is that produced the lovely image. If it is YOUR work, please contact me.) Even now, I feel something of a tie to Mary. My history with the Blessed Virgin is ... odd.

My first experience channeling was to serve as her mouthpiece to convey a message to a Catholic friend of mine who was experiencing something of a spiritual crisis at the time. The Great Mother for a time placed me in the care of the Blessed Virgin. (It was a time of much confusion for me and I truly believe that Mary watched over me during the times of crisis that came to me during that period.) My middle name is Maria, which at one point my Mom said was because of a song and at another time it was supposed to be in honor of Mary. (I honestly don't know which statement, if either, is correct. My Mom regularly made confusing statements about things like that.)

Now that I have returned to Wicca (several years ago, to be honest), I still am drawn to the Marian iconography. The images of the Blessed Mother holding her babe strike me as incredibly powerful images of the Great Mother. The majority of these images that resonate the strongest with me have her holding a child of indeterminate gender. Oddly, I find it reassuring that the Deanists (also known as the Children of Dea) uphold the iconography of Mary as an orthodox presentation of the Great Mother.

To see that others also find the Great Mother in this guise puts some of my anxiety to rest. It helps to ease the fear that I am simply driving off into wilderness and have little to turn to in the way of fellow travelers. (I recognize that this fear is a manifestation of other issues that I have been struggling with. I also recognize that the Mother is pushing me past these issues. Thus I must choose if I go along or get dragged. Either way, I am still going.)

A lot of other people within the pagan community have written about how the Marian iconography can be used for fostering one's relationship with the Mother. I am not going to waste your time with a rambling commentary on this when there are so many commentaries on this topic (some of them quite well written and others less so). I am instead going to talk about how the Great Mother has been guiding me down this path.

It started out with simply a desire to build a relationship with her. Somewhere along the way, I transferred the issues I have with my mother to my relationship with the Great Mother. This was something that brought me a great deal of anxiety, sorrow, and frustration. Where I had previously enjoyed a feeling of closeness with the goddess, I suddenly felt as though there was a great gulf between her and I. I realized then what others meant when the spoke of a 'fall from Grace'.

In my case, however, it was not an intentional act. I did not intend at any point in time to reject the Great Mother or to distance myself from her. Instead, my psychological illness ran roughshod over me and pushed me apart from virtually all maternal figures in my life, including the Great Mother. It was the realization that my illness was creating the problem that had given me the key to resolving it. For as I confronted and healed my illness, I would find it easier to draw close to the maternal figures in my life, including the goddess.

As I began grasping at proverbial straws for how to reweave the Great Mother into my daily devotionals, little things began to catch my eye and imagination. I do not think it is mere whimsy that has pushed me into a year long study of the Rosary and encouraged me to find a way to incorporate it into my practices. I do not think it whimsy or some sort of hubris that I have been surrounding myself with Marian images.

For a long time, the Great Mother presented herself to me as the mother aspect of Morrigan. Morrigan is a harsh mother. She has no time or patience with foolishness. She is not for the faint of heart. As a goddess of war, childbirth, and sovereignty, she holds her children up to very high standards. She rewards honest effort and exacts a terrible toll for those who dare to cross her. I sincerely believe this is why one of the men that had sexually assaulted me has since had problems finding even a prostitute willing to lie with him and erectile dysfunction. (It was amusing when he accused me of cursing him. I have never cursed any being, no matter how wrathful I've been with them. In the case of this man, I simply asked that justice be done. Mother Morrigan attended to it.)

Somewhere in the last two years, the Great Mother presented herself to me in an appearance close to that of the traditional Marian iconography. Mother Morrigan has somehow stepped back to allow this much gentler guise to come forward. I don't think it is out of some implication of weakness on my part. I believe it is because I am unwell and have need of gentler handling. Can Morrigan be gentle? Yes, of course she can. I have experienced it.

The Great Mother, however, has deemed that I am to experience her this fashion. It has done considerable wonders for easing the anxiety that I feel towards her. Where I feared that even the slightest perceived misstep would disappoint or anger Morrigan, this face of the Great Mother doesn't hold that terror for me. There is a subtle pressure against my understanding of motherhood from my perspective as a child.

The Great Mother is penetrating the defenses that I established much like a flow of water eases through limestone. It is slow, consistent, and subtle. The changes that are being wrought are for my benefit, which a part of me is bewildered by. I ask why she would care about me. And then Loki laughs at me and tells me to open my eyes.

At times, I see flashes of Sigyn. Oddly enough, she looks much like the face that closely resembles Mary. The dress is different but so very much is alike that it confuses me. And in that confusion, the Great Mother reached out and touches me. I am learning that confusion is not prelude to terror. I am learning that having someone 'mother' me is not a painful experience.

It is something that I think is going to deepen and grow more profound as the year progresses. And I am quite thankful for that.


In the Mother's Arms

Waning Wolf Moon (age: 26 days)
Sign: Sagittarius
Weather: partly cloudy, seasonably cold,
& occasional flurries
I was meditating this morning. I was prompted by the Lady to write. What is below is what I had written.


She has taken me in her arms like a child. I struggle and refuse to be consoled, yet she remains steady and loving. I face great sorrow and am indignant towards the cruelty I have suffered. Yet she continues to hold me and keep me close in her care.

The Mother does not wish us to be alone in our miseries. She yearns to draw us close to her breast and comfort us. It is we who push away like a stubborn, petulant child, overwhelmed by our emotions and blinded to the comfort she gives. Some of us live in that state of angst driven struggle, refusing even rest when we are weary. This is not what she wants for us.

It is when we pause in our flailing that we find true rest and comfort in her arms, even if it is for only a few moments. It is the wise who simply put aside their stubborn insistence that they must engage their sorrows with out rest. A moment in the Mother's arms may be a brief few minutes or it can be much, much longer, for eternity is but the blink of her eye.

I yearn to be comforted and yet I am restless. I struggle with myself and the old habits of self persecution, self-denial, and emotional self-neglect. I am a poor spokeswoman for curing such habits by pure force of will.

What is required of us is the sacrifice of the unhealthy, and this is not a task we accomplish alone. Just as the Goddess gives us comfort when we are struggling with sorrow, she gives us aid when we need it. Those moments of blessed good fortune and synchronicity are the signs that her hand is extended to shelter and aid us.

Just as other gods would build great things with their children, so to is the Mother. It is not manifest as the works of man in great temples and buildings. It is manifest in the changing of the culture to ways of sincerity, acceptance, and universal compassion. We have a long way to go, but she will guide us, as she always has.


The question of evil

Waning Wolf Moon (age: 20.1 days)
Sign: Libra
Weather: Bitterly cold, overcast with wind out of the west

I've been considering the question of evil for many, many years. I say question because in my faith, there is no deity or demigod of evil. There is no creed that affirms the traits of the gods to be as the Christian god, omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent. Is there cruelty in my gods, yes. But it is not malicious. It is very much so like the fate of the person who loses their home to a tornado. It is a cruel thing to happen but there is no moral judgment behind it.

Herein lies the crux of the question of evil, defining it. Some people say that evil is all form of suffering. Others say that it is to inflict suffering upon another with malice. Still others state that evil is to inflict unnecessary suffering upon another. I contend that evil can be defined as maliciously and deliberately inflicted suffering upon another being. I would further argue that there are two different categories of evil.

The first category is the suffering inflicted for the sake of suffering. Now, some people would argue that this is pure sadism. I have seen the benevolent face of sadism. It does exist. To call this pure sadism fails to consider the other variants of sadism that exist. It is when the suffering inflicted is done with out the consent of the victim. For the person who endures suffering willingly is making themselves part of the CAUSE of their suffering and become an active participant.

The second category is the suffering inflicted intentionally as part of an effort to create some type of effect. Think of the concentration camps of the Nazis. (Yes, I went the cheap route and invoked Godwin's law. It's the most recognized form of organized mass torture and murder, hence my choice.) These camps were created not only to inflict suffering upon people with out their consent but to achieve a larger goal, thereby bringing some benefit to the ones who are inflicting the suffering beyond the persecution of their victims.

Is the difference between these two forms of evil indicative of greater and lesser evils? Not really, evil is evil. There is no such thing as a lesser evil. There are different forms of evil, but the wise will reject evil in it's every form. Humanity has a talent for devising new forms of evil on a regular basis. It is something that sorrows me to see.

Is defending oneself from harm evil? No, it is a natural right. It is no more evil then fleeing from harm. Engaging in an unprovoked attack, however, IS evil and should be shunned. Do the gods engage in acts of evil? It is a distinct possibility but it is equally possible that they do not and we are misunderstanding their chaotic actions as evil, as harboring malice where there is none. To the fly that we swat, we may appear to be malicious and cruel when in actuality is was simply an action to halt the fly's biting into our skin. The fly's bite is no more evil then our crushing it with our hand.

Harm that derives from natural sources is unfortunate but a part of the experience of being alive. Evil, however, is the purview of humanity and similarly inclined spirits that are capable of the abstract reasoning that is necessary to produce it.

All of this, however, is simply my opinion.


Conversations with the Goddess #1

Full Wolf Moon (Age: 14 days)
Sign: Cancer
Weather: Seasonably cold, mostly sunny
& occasional flurries

I have been having apparently an on going conversation with the Goddess over the last several days. A part of me says I should just leave this in my journal while another part says it should be shared, in case some one else is going through the same kind of experience. The italicized text is myself and the regular text is the Lady. I hope that this provides some measure of comfort to anyone out there.

Holy Goddess, you call upon me to minister to the forgotten. You call me to develop prayers to open up the way of contemplation to the common man. You call on me to be a vehicle of your boundless love. I know I am blessed among your daughters. I remain constant in my faith in you despite the horrors and tragedies I have experienced in my life.

I am unsure where to begin in writing the prayers. You have shown me the tools you want people to use. You have left me unsure what name I should use to invoke you. You have given me great blessings and I feel self conscious asking for anything more.

Do you ever deny your child of the right to ask questions of you?


Why, then, should I? Your mother was a poor mothr in many respects but never did she deny you your right to inquire.

By what name do I invoke you?

Mother or Great Mother is sufficient. Some see me as Mary or Isis. Some speak of me as Diana and others name me Dana. A thousand names may be given but they do not even begin to describe me. I am the Star Queen and the Death Hag. I am all these things and more. I am within you when you minister to the unfortunate and when you care for your children, for My children.

You are Mother even as you are priestess, seer, and mystic. You are my well beloved child in whom I am well pleased. I pour out my blessings like rain so that you may grow and thrive. So that you may share them with others. Ask simply when you are in need, with an open and honest heart, as a little child would ask. The Daughters of Dea know only me and reject my male half. This is not a flaw or error, but what they need. You see through to the truth. All things are of me and no man needs saving.

[...] Is it hubris to keep back my pain in the hope to lessen the sorrows of the Mother?

What mother gives her child poison and claims it is good food and medicine. What mother does not weep at her daughter's sorrows and laugh with her joys. Ever have I celebrated you and praised you. And your kindness.

You fear me. I do not want this. I do not want your fear but rather your love. I want you to come unto me as a little child. You are a Queen in your own right, but ever on shall you be a little girl in the eyes of the Universe.

Invoke me always and keep my name on your lips. Celebrate your triumphs no matter how small. Show me your joys and treasures. Come to me for comfort in your sorrow and pain.

Do not feel shame for seeking comfort. I am your Mother and I love you. I could no more reject you then you could reject your own sons.

Lay down your burden. Do not fear. Simply be.


First post of the new Solar year.

Waxing Wolf Moon (Age: 13 days)
Sign of Cancer
Weather: Unseasonably warm,
cloudy w/ intermittent rain showers
Ave, Dea Madre! Gloria Plena!

It is the eve of the Full Moon. I have strung a fifteen decade Goddess rosary. As I strung the beads, I prayed. It sits upon my altar now, after I have taken it out into the night and shown it (and my other personal prayer beads) to the moon.

I meditated upon the Mother. I prayed to the Mother.

My heart breaks for the gulf of distance between my human Mother and I. It isn't that she lives on the other side of the country or that there is some great physical distance between her and I. It is an emotional distance. One that I suspect she is beginning to realize is the result of her mistreatment of me.

As I sat and I prayed to the Great Mother, I thought back to the first, secret pregnancy. Even as I was terrified that I'd be forced to marry the monster that had raped me, I was thrilled to carry within me a little Life. When I miscarried, I was heartbroken. I kept secret my mourning.

As I sat and I prayed to the Great Mother, I thought back to the birth of my eldest son. I thought of the joyful anticipation and excitement I felt. I felt that I was truly one of the most blessed women in all the world.

As I sat and I prayed to the Great Mother, I thought back to the birth of my youngest son. I thought of the times when I wasn't filled with confusion and terror. In its place, there was a blessed sense of peace, gratitude, joy, and anticipation.

As I sat and I prayed to the Great Mother, I thought back to the argument between my mother and I that set off the chain of events that brought me to the current state of affairs. I was torn between the desire to simply pass off her words as braggadocio and the horror I felt that she had gone so far as to threaten small, defenseless children in an effort to manipulate me. I was torn between my love for her and doing what was just.

I find myself seized with the strongest urge to pick up the phone and call my parents. To just tell them that I love them before I go to bed.

Goddess help me, I don't know what the right thing to do is. Is it to reconcile with them or to remain distant? I pray. I meditate. I cast cards and throw runes. All things leave only that question hanging in the air. There is no sign either way, so I remain where I am at.

I feel on the verge of weeping. Even the Wolf's Father's kindness isn't penetrating this overwhelming sense of sorrow. I am doing my best to leave this in the Mother's hands, but I feel like I have cut out my beating heart and laid it bleeding upon the altar. I don't know if it is the altar of my conscience, the altar of justice, or the altar of the Gods.

I only know that I hurt and that I miss my mother, as crazy and flawed that she is.


Goddess Rosary II

On the terminal:

I believe in the Mother.

On the first bead:
Our Mother, the dust of whose feet is Heaven, holy is your name.
Your love come. Your will be done by Man as it is by Earth.
Give us this day our daily bread and teach us to forgive ourselves as we forgive others.
Lead us unto wisdom and deliver us from evil.

On the first three beads:
Hail Mother of All, giver of Grace!
Blessed are your Names, and blessed are we, your children.
Lead us now unto wisdom.
And comfort us at our hour of death.

On the fourth bead:
State first mystery (conception) and recite Our Mother (above)

Say 10 Hail Mothers while meditating upon the mystery.
Our Mother

Repeat for remaining decades.

The Mysteries of the Mother
1. The Conception of Life
2. The Quickening of Life
3. The Transformation from Maiden to Mother (pregnancy)
4. The Suffering of Labor
5. The Triumph of Birth
6. The Suckling of the Child
7. The Growth of the Child
8. The Separation from the Child
9. The Transformation from Mother to Crone
10. The Mystery of the Great Mother (Goddess as death and bringer of rebirth)


A pagan rosary.

For months now, I have been doing research and study upon the rosary. I have examined the structure of the Catholic rosary. I have looked at and carefully considered the various pagan rosaries that I have found. I have even given careful consideration and study to the Goddess Rosary of the Daughters of Dea. They all approach something akin to what I feel pulled towards and called to do, but do not meet it.

I feel unworthy of the task of setting prayers to a witches' rosary. Even so, I find myself pushed farther down that path. Loki has remained silent upon this matter, stating that this is between myself and the goddess. Not a specific goddess, just the goddess. So, I must get over myself and give my best effort to begin crafting this set of prayers.

I have a set of beads. I have mysteries I contemplate as I handle them. I simply lack the prayers to recite. Here is my attempt. I am drawing off of the structure of the Catholic rosary and the Deanist rosary. I ask that any who wish to use these prayers to kindly do so upon one they have fashioned. I find it potentially offensive to take one fashioned for a Christian to pray upon and use it in this fashion. Offending deities or people who happen to be about you simply is rude.

On the terminal (this would be the cross on a Christian rosary)
I believe in the Goddess, Mother of all Life
I believe in the God, Father of all
I believe in the Nameless One, the unity of all that is in eternity*
I believe in the gods of my ancestors
And in the gods of my children

On the first bead after the terminal
Glory to the Gods, I believe in You

On the second, third, and fourth beads after the terminal
Hail, High Holy Ones
May your Names be blessed
Pour forth upon us wisdom
And guide us in Your ways

On the first bead after the medallion, state the mystery you are meditating upon
[For example: Conception and the time of beginnings] then add
Oh Nameless and Infinite One
Guide me upon my path
Protect me from evil
And ever remember me, your child

On the next ten beads
Hail, Nameless and Infinite One
Guide me to wisdom
and protect me, your child

On the next spacer bead, state the mystery you are meditating upon
[For example: Incarnation and beginnings] then add
Oh Great Mother of All
Guide me upon my path
Protect me from evil
And ever remember me, your child

On the next ten beads
Hail, Mother of All
Guide me to wisdom
and protect me, your child

On the next spacer bead, state the mystery you are meditating upon
[For example: Growth and Action] then add
Oh Holy Maiden
Oh Holy Hart in the Wood
Guide me upon my path
Protect me from evil
And ever remember me, your child

On the next ten beads
Hail to the Maiden
Hail to the Stag
Guide me to wisdom
and protect me, your child

On the next spacer bead, state the mystery you are meditating upon
[For example: Maturity and completion] and add
Oh Horned One
And Great Crone
Guide me upon my path
Protect me from evil
And ever remember me, your child

On the next ten beads
Hail Horned One, Lord of Life and Death
Hail Great Crone, Lady of Mysteries
Guide me to wisdom
and protect me, your child

On the next spacer bead, state the next mystery you shall be meditating upon
[For example: Death, the world of Spirit, and the Unknown] and say
Oh Nameless and Infinite One
Guide me upon my path
Protect me from evil
And ever remember me, your child

On the next ten beads
Hail, Nameless and Infinite One
Guide me to wisdom
and protect me, your child

On the medallion
Blessed be the High Holy Ones
Blessed be the Goddess and God
Blessed be the Nameless and Infinite

Hear my prayers
May it be that they please you
And bless the world

So mote it be

*The Nameless and Infinite One is the unity of all divinity, incomprehensible in its vastness. It is devoid of specific gender because it is male, female, and neutral all at the same time.