divination

Advice for New Pagans (by Beth & Jolene Dawe)

After delivering a Deity Communication or Deity Identification reading to a customer, I often receive a quick “thank you so much!!!” response. In many cases this is followed by–a few hours to a day later–by a message asking, “So, how do I connect with these deities?”

My best advice would be to start slowly, and build from there. If you are able to, start by setting aside a space for Them in your room or in your home. (It doesn’t have to be a large area; a corner of a bookshelf or dresser will do for now as long as it is set apart as belonging to Them.) If you are unable, due to your living conditions, to set aside a permanent space, I suggest keeping your shrine items (see below) in a box that is dedicated to Them, and setting up your sacred space each time you are able to spend time with your deities. This box could be a decorated or painted shoebox, a toolbox if stealth is required, a storage bin or tote, a reused mailing box, a pretty box or tin from the craft store, etc. Whatever you already have on hand, can afford to acquire, or feel drawn to use will be perfect.

As for your shrine items: Put a candle in your sacred space (whether that space is permanent or temporary).  If you are in a situation (such as a dorm room) where you cannot have real candles, feel free to use a battery-operated one. I don’t feel it lends quite the same ambience, but my wife actually prefers them for safety reasons, and it’s certainly better than nothing. Also, print an image of your deity from online and get a frame for it. (The dollar store is a good place to find frames). The picture will give you something to contemplate, and the candle will lend light and energy to your sacred space. The image you choose need not be something traditionally associated with your deity, or something other people would associate with Them, as long as it calls to you.  It need not be a visual image, either, because some people are not visually-oriented, and maybe that includes you. It could be something tactile; maybe there’s a stone that makes you think of your deity, or a piece of fabric, or maybe there’s a smell, a certain essential oil or fragrance.

You can then begin to give Them offerings and talk to Them in this special area you’ve reserved for Them. Start by offering something very basic, such as a glass of water that you refresh daily; all spirits love water, and because water conducts energy it makes it easier for us to connect with Them. As time goes on, you can offer up part of whatever you are having for dinner, or if you want to make a really special offering you can research what foods are sacred to your deity in particular, and/or what foods were common to Their geographical region and culture, and prepare a special treat for Them. (Feel free to enjoy this meal along with Them, as in most ancient cultures the food offered to the gods was shared with their worshipers.)

You may also find it helpful to hold your devotional rituals at night. The night is a psychic quiet time when people are either asleep or resting, rather than rushing around on daytime errands. This makes it easier for us to expand our senses beyond the physical at night, and begin to be able to sense and communicate with spirits and deities.

I recommend establishing a daily practice, but this can consist of anything you choose, no matter how simple. In fact, it is better if you start simply, because consistency is much more important than elaborate ritual or fancy words. (That being said, don’t beat yourself up if life interferes and you miss a day–or a week–here or there. Simply begin again.) And all worship is best when it comes from the heart. You can serve Them a cup of tea if you like as long as you are truly present for it, not simply doing it by rote. (But having said that, rote happens, and don’t give yourself a hard time when it does. When you catch yourself doing things by rote, take a moment to hold that, to be aware of it, and then refocus.)

You can also light a candle, gaze into its flame, and offer up a prayer to Them. Do not overanalyze working with the gods; working with the gods is simple. It is as simple as sitting down and having a chat with a new friend, and along the way you may quickly find that They are in fact a very old friend. 

I definitely support learning what you can about Their culture of origin, how They were worshiped in antiquity, and how They are worshiped by modern people today, but I would also suggest maybe putting this off until a habit of regular devotion/touching in has been established. Ultimately, it’s about knowing yourself, right? If you’re the sort of person who tends toward perfectionism, knowing too much about your deity’s background or how other people work with Them could derail you at the outset, or make you feel overwhelmed. Allowing yourself to get to know the Spirit in question, just between the two of you, can be beneficial before adding in the cultural trappings. 

Whether you decide to dive into research right away or delay it for a bit, don’t allow any of this information to intimidate you or make you compare yourself with another worshiper unfavorably. There is no contest; you are simply getting to know Someone, just as you would in any other relationship. This is an ongoing process, not a race to the finish line. As time goes on and you learn more, you may want to incorporate some of what you learn into your own practice–or you may not. Either is fine. Your relationship with this deity is yours–not anyone else’s to make judgments about. Allow Them to guide you.

How will you know if it’s working? Ultimately, it is really just going to take time and experience to know what it feels like when They are present in your space, and what it feels like when They are communicating with you. In the meantime, just go ahead and talk and trust that They hear you. 🙂 You can also watch for signs–bits of overheard conversation as you go about your daily routine, animals or birds you see, feelings you may get that don’t seem to come from you, etc. Some deities communicate with us by talking inside our heads, but not all of Them do. Some communicate by means of emotion, visions, or just an instant sense of knowing something. Many of Them will tailor Their preferred communication method to better connect with the person trying to work with Them. Again, it will just take time to see how things will play out in your particular relationship.

If you’d like to go more deeply into the ins and outs of deity communication, I recommend a book called Trance-portation by Diana Paxson that discusses how she learned to communicate with deities, having started out being what she called “headblind.” It’s widely available via Amazon and basically wherever books are sold. Diana was my mentor in the Troth’s clergy program (which I successfully completed but then chose not to take the organizational oaths–and thus did not become official Troth clergy), and her own past struggles with deity communication make her insights into the topic so much more valuable than what I can offer in a brief blog post here.

divination · videos · YouTube

Murder of Crows Tarot | Deck Walkthrough

A quick walkthrough of the Murder of Crows Tarot by Corrado Roi, published by Lo Scarabeo. (With a guidebook by Charles Harrington.) This is a dark, moody deck perfect for the dark half of the year and I’ve been getting a lot of use out of it, especially in the Deity Communication Readings I offer in my Etsy shop.

divination · Etsy · Tarot

Introducing the Two Paths Reading

This new reading is designed to compare and contrast two competing paths that lie before you, with the goal of helping you decide which path is best for you. These two paths might be spiritual traditions, relationships, or even two job offers–any situation in which you have two alternatives before you and need to make a decision.

In this reading, I draw four cards for each of the two competing paths (eight cards in all). These cards address the following questions for each potential path:

1. What does this path offer me?

2. What does this path NOT offer me?

3. Where will this path ultimately lead me?

4. A message from Spirit concerning this path.

This reading is conducted in a trance state and may involve my drawing additional cards if I feel they’re needed for clarification. I may also draw runes or use my pendulum during the reading if I feel this is needed.

You will receive an email with a downloadable pdf of your reading including a clear color photo of your spread. I will email your reading to you within 3-5 business days of your purchase.

You can book your reading in my Etsy shop!

divination

It’s back! My new and improved Deity Communication Reading!

This is a brand new version of the Deity Communication Reading I used to offer a couple of years back. This original spread, designed by me in the summer of 2020, consists of six cards and addresses the following questions:

1. What does this deity want from me?

2. What can They offer me?

3. How can we best work together?

4. What should I NOT expect from Them?

5. What can be negotiated with Them?

6. What is the most likely prognosis/probably future of the relationship?

This reading is conducted in a trance state and may involve my drawing additional cards if I feel they’re needed for clarification. I may also draw runes or use my pendulum during the reading if I feel this is needed. Prior to the reading, I make an offering to your deity and request Their assistance in supplying you with the above answers.

You will receive an email with a downloadable pdf of your reading including a clear color photo of your spread. I will email your reading to you within 3-5 business days of your purchase.

When purchasing your reading, please include the following in your “note to seller”:

– Your name and email address
– The name of the deity you would like the reading to focus on. (ONE deity per reading please.)
– Any background information you think is needed or that that you would like me to keep in mind while reading.

You can book a reading with me in my Etsy shop here.

divination · readings · Tarot · Uncategorized

Even more self love!

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A belated Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my lovely readers!

Due to the enthusiastic reception they’ve received (thank you!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ), I am extending the Limited Edition Self & Divine Love Readings for Witches & Pagans in my shop through the end of this month (February 2019). There will also be a new Limited Edition Spread debuting shortly, so stay tuned for that!

divination · Tarot

Readings are Available in the Shop!

Dear ones, we have just been notified that as of March 1st our rent is going up by $75 per month. Given our current financial situation (where my shop is more or less a hobby, and we’ve been trying to make it on one salary due to my health conditions), this is close to untenable.

So, I’ve added the following readings to the shop as of today:

Deity Communication: the perennial favorite

One Question: a quick intuitive reading to address your most pressing concerns

And, from now through Valentine’s Day, February 14th, there is also a limited edition reading: Self & Divine Love for Witches and Pagans!

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This limited edition four-card spread will be available ONLY now through Valentine’s Day, February 14th.

The reading addresses the following questions:

Card 1: How can I love myself more in 2019?

Card 2: How are my deity relationships affecting (either positively or negatively) my ability to love myself, and my self-esteem?

Card 3: How can I love my spiritual practice more in 2019?

Card 4: How can I foster better relationships with the deities I want to go deeper with?

For all of these readings, you will receive an email with a downloadable pdf of your reading including a clear color photo of your spread. I will email your reading to you within 5-7 business days of your purchase.

Readings are available in my shop here.

devotion · divination · fiber arts · Fiberwytch · frigga · handspinning · heathen · northern tradition · odin · seidhr · spiritual musings · tattoos · writing · wyrdworking

2011 in retrospect…and the path ahead

Ordinarily, I look back on the passing year, and do a divination for the year ahead, at some point during Yule; these are some of the ritualized introspective processes that mark the dark of the year for me. This year, however, I felt so drained throughout December that it is only now that my daughter has gone home and Yule is over that I find myself able to sit down and begin to pull together the threads of the past year and weave them into some kind of pattern. Jolene commented tonight–and it is true–that all of 2011 was like a dark half of the year for me.

I find that I have not been so relieved to see a year come to an end since the passing of 2008. While not the worst year in recent memory (as opposed to 2008, which was frankly horrid), 2011 had more low points than high ones, and some of the low ones were truly terrible, while most of the high ones were simply quietly good, not thrilling or outstanding. It was overall a year (for me) of withdrawing, of pulling back, and of preparing and waiting. There were significant losses and several major crises: moving, having to give up two of our cats, the loss of a position I enjoyed, Jolene being laid up with a sprained ankle for several months, a legal crisis back east, the death of a beloved pet, the dog’s slipped disk episode–the list goes on. It wasn’t all negative, to be sure. Balanced against these things, we found a new apartment we love and wonderful new homes for the two cats we could not bring with us to the smaller place. The stress and the isolation drew us closer together and solidified our relationship as never before. Also, Jolene finished and self-published her wonderful collection of short stories written about and for the local land spirits, while I acquired two spinning wheels, began making friends and connections in the local fiber arts community, and opened my new fiber store on Etsy. All of our downtime also allowed me the time for plenty of spinning practice, letting me develop my skills to the point where I have now sold about 12 skeins of my handspun yarn (in my first six months as a handspinner!).

For me, wordlessness was also a major theme for the year. A writer my entire life, this year I found myself largely unable to formulate words, to discuss my thoughts and experiences, to think of things to share–about my spiritual life, my fiber arts, or even my mundane activities–and translate those things into written words, anecdotes, insights. As a result, posts to this blog were few and far between, and were generally not very verbose when they did occur. Writing about my spiritual life or my Marriage or virtually anything else of deep importance (Sassy’s death being the sole exception) became particularly impossible. Married to a god of language as I am, every time I sat down to write my mind and fingers went numb and I fumbled and stammered, usually giving up and going off to spin or dye some wool. I felt lost, inept, cast adrift–not from Odin Himself (far from it!), but from the skills I had nurtured and honed all my life and that had always formed part of my self identity, the basis of who I am.

This was not just an arbitrary occurrence. After years of struggling with Frigga, of simultaneously courting Her interest and pushing Her away, I believe my embrace of spinning was what finally let Her into my inner world for once and for all–and along with Her came an inner quiet I had never before experienced, a nonverbal mode of thinking that was completely alien to me and that left me needing to make a thousand inner adjustments before my innate verbal gifts could once again begin to assert themselves. At some point, not knowing whether or not this change would be permanent, I even surrendered the notion of myself as a writer, something I have clung to all my life whether or not I was actively writing anything major at the time. It was almost as if Odin (while still remaining my Husband, of course), had handed over control of my education and training to Frigga for the year. It was an intensely sobering, and humbling, experience. Even the urge to write vanished–along with the urge to study the runes, mix herbal formulas, or do most of the other things that had characterized my development in the past. In return, however, Frigga guided my fingers as I spun so that I learned skills it might otherwise have taken me years to acquire, and showed me–wordlessly–how the threads of fiber relate to the threads of Wyrd, how manipulating one can be a tool for manipulating the other, how form and order can be coaxed from formlessness and fates can be read in the twisting of wool and the winding of a skein. Lessons I could not hope to repeat or share in words (not at this point, anyway), were somehow internalized nonetheless.

And with them came a calm, a quiet confidence, I have never before possessed or even imagined possessing. Even when I thought of myself as a writer as a default for so many years, I agonized continually over words and whether or not I actually had anything worthwhile to say, just as I agonized over whether, as Odin’s wife, I had anything worthwhile to contribute to “the community” (either in person or virtually). Under Frigga’s influence, suddenly all of that self doubt and agonizing was gone, and I simply knew–without hesitation or question–who and what I am, my role and my purpose, and the value of the contributions I might make, should I choose to do so. It was not a matter of proving myself, as I had so often sought to do in the past, or of the pressure to either conform or compete with others on similar paths; these things were so much less than relevant, and suddenly concerned me no more than Odin’s travels concern or worry Frigga. It was a case of simple bone-deep knowing, of an assurance that had always been there, part of my very foundation, if I had ever slowed down my constant frantic pace or silenced the babble of voices in my head enough to take notice of it. People in Heathenry often speak of Freyja as the supreme example of self assurance, of a goddess who unshakably knows Her own worth. I won’t argue that, but I will say that Frigga most certainly does as well–and perhaps on even a deeper level, a level so deep that there is absolutely no need for Her to press the matter, or to even mention it. “Your confidence is quite sexy,” my Husband commented approvingly earlier tonight, noticing (as, of course, He notices everything) these changes in me.

Do I really need to mention that, as soon as I had reached this point and was able to begin framing these realizations, the words I needed in order to express them came flooding back to me? Except now, of course, the agonizing is less than before as well, having fled along with the self-doubt. I am sure the wordless periods will recur from time to time (since they seem to be one price of Frigga’ gifts), but for now I am bursting with things to write (far too many to fit into one post), along with writing projects that I intend to try to fit in somehow in between my fiber arts activities in the year ahead. One project Jolene and I plan to tackle in concert is a book on magic and the fiber arts, an area that has been explored before but not in the same way we envision, with our penchant for the dorky mining of historical and literary material. (The sagas alone are rich in such references.) I am also once again considering a devotional manual for working with and honoring my Husband, along with a novel idea.

What else will 2012 bring for me? Well, much of that remains to be seen (and I have yet to pull runes for the year ahead, as is my usual custom after Twelfth Night), but in the very near future I plan to: write a few more blog posts (on my recent reading, and the god-spouse “kerfluffle”–as Jo puts it–that has been sweeping the web), upload a bunch of new items to my Fiberwytch Etsy store, meet with the Eugene Etsy Street Team regarding cooperative marketing plans for the new year, spin and dye quite a lot of yarn while listening to audiobooks (on tap: Jane Boleyn by Julia Fox and Before Versailles by Karleen Koen; and, as an aside, I most definitely need a drumcarder!), start a couple batches of mead, play with some formulas for magical oils and incenses, firm up and post my festival calendar for the year ahead, and begin planning for the next festival on my agenda, Ewemeolc. (Speaking of which: check out the sidebar to this blog, wherein I have posted my oracular seidhr dates for 2012. By request, I have added two new dates, to roughly correspond with Ewemeolc–a very important holiday for me now, with my involvement with sheep and wool!–and Lammas.)  I also have plans to get a new tattoo for my Husband early on in the new year, perhaps for Valentine’s Day.

And that’s enough for the moment, I suppose! I will post more pertaining to the above within the next few days, but for now, join me in (virtually) toasting 2012. AND check out my newly updated “About Beth” page, too! During the next week I will also be checking and updating all of my blogroll links to make sure they are still functional and relevant (since my reading of other people’s blogs has fallen greatly by the wayside this past year–something else I plan to remedy as I can), and of adding some new ones. Cheers!

ancestors · Anglo-Scandinavian · death · devotion · divination · fensalir fiber · festivals · fiber arts · god marriage · god-spouse · godspouse · handspinning · heathen · mighty dead · necromancy · odin · sacred queenship · seidhr · spirit work · spiritual musings · threads · wild hunt · witchcraft

And so it begins

I’ve written before here about how, in our household, Samhain starts early.  For us it begins at the end of September, during the week when we’ve repeatedly lost beloved pets and on the day when, two years ago, I pledged my service to the Wild Hunt.  This year, that day was marked with an inadvertent bloodletting when the Hunt, not satisfied with the efforts I had made thus far on their behalf, aided me in slicing open the knuckle of my right index finger almost to the bone with a pair of sewing shears.  (Followed, of course, with a expensive trip to the emergency room and several weeks of limited ability to do anything–including typing and crafting–with that hand.  The Hunt does not play.)

It continued the following week when I made a trip to one of the city’s oldest cemeteries (and bear in mind that here on the west coast, “oldest” means the 1800s, and the most ancient looking monuments, crumbling with apparent age, are not truly ancient at all but merely rain-damaged).  I brought with me home-brewed mead and bone meal, to feed the dead, and locally harvested apples for Sleipnir, Odin’s giant eight-legged steed.  (Eight legs, by the way; have you ever thought about that?  Why does He–the horse, that is–have eight legs?  Spiders have eight legs.  So does a casket, when borne aloft by four mourners.  Sleipnir is, indisputably, a horse of death, a steed to carry one to the land of the dead–which, throughout the Norse myths, is exactly what He does.)  I discovered an area devoted to the Civil War dead, which startled me because it seemed the wrong coast for that, but the monument statue of a soldier in uniform and the plots of the military dead exuded an aura of welcome for me, a kinship with the “once human” contingent of the Hunt, with Odin’s fallen heroes.  Here was succor and support, and so it was here that I marked the stones with my blood, freshly drawn from my finger (not the one with stitches!) using a lancet.  (The dead were especially interested in and enthusiastic about the mead, by the way!)

Read more…

divination · Fiberwytch · fixed candles · northern tradition · odin · prayer beads · runes · spirit work · spiritual musings · wild hunt · Yule

And so it is Yuletide

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(Reblogged from my PaganSquare blog, Threads)

And so it is Yule. Unlike Christmas (and even unlike the Winter Solstice itself), Yule is not a single day, and its arrival is not determined by a single calendar date. It is a dark tide of energy that arises, generally on or around the Solstice, and Yule proper lasts for twelve nights, ending in Twelfth Night (which usually falls on or around Christmas Eve).

Its coming is not always predictable; one can plan for Yule and then feel the tide of energy arrive a day early, or a day late. In this modern era, most people are so harried by the commercialism of the Christmas season that they barely even notice when the tide comes in, if they notice at all. I own an online shop and my day job is in customer service, so I certainly am not immune to the hectic atmosphere that prevails. In the midst of the flurry of shopping and making, it can be difficult to feel the moment when the land whispers to you: “It is now.”

Our ancestors (in the Germanic countries) referred to Yule as Rauhnacht, the “rough nights” or “raw nights.” The Yuletide energy is not a gentle one; it is harsh, glaring, strident, echoing the energies of the Wild Hunt that rules this season. It actually meshes pretty well with the frantic shopping and feelings of desperation and often despair that surround Christmas. It can manifest in irritation and snappishness (tempers have been short in my household all week long), or in a surge of energy that one does not know how to channel. Many people respond to it by feeling the need to retreat from the world, to nest with books or movies—which is actually a wise choice. Traditionally, Yule was a time for gathering a home with families and friends—not just to celebrate the return of the sun, but because it was considered a dangerous time. The roads, the wildness, all of the in-between places were particularly dangerous; there was too much chance of encountering the Hunt, or even being taken by it. Only witches, seidhr folk, sorcerers, and other societal vagrants would choose to be out and about on these nights.

This Yule has been interesting to me because, in addition to my spirit work (Odin and His Hunt are part of my hearth and home—no hiding from Them for me) I am also a business owner, and this is the first year I’ve had an actual “holiday rush season” in my little store. I’ve had several months of steadily increasing exhilaration and excitement (accompanied by exhaustion)–followed sharply by a sudden stillness, as people realize they can no longer get things through the mail in time for Christmas and turn to shopping locally instead. The drop-off was almost devastating at first; I was tempted to plunge into despair. But I suspect it is simply part of the natural cycle of operating a business, and in truth, I’m happy for the break. I have fibromyalgia, and I also work at another job in addition to my business, so I cannot keep up that pre-Christmas pace (however exhilarating) forever without risking burnout. Hopefully, the dead period will end after the holiday (when people have Christmas gift money to spend, perhaps, or when they begin looking towards Valentine’s Day). But in the meantime, instead of panicking about the lack of shop activity, I can take stock, work on my (financial) books for the shop, finish up some custom orders, enjoy Making at a slower pace as I build up inventory for the new year, get caught up on my blog posting (as I’m doing right now), and focus on my spiritual work, which largely consists of providing a sanctuary, a hearth and safe haven for Odin (who calls me His home) during these “rough nights.”

Cultivating a tranquil mindset during this season—which is a hectic one both energetically and in turns of human activity—is quite the challenge. I always find that lighting candles and burning incense helps me get my mindset into a more contemplating space, so I intend to do both this week, not only for meditation and trance work but as I read, write or Make. The book Pagan Christmas: The Plants, Spirits, and Rituals at the Origins of Yuletide by Christian Rätsch and Claudia Müller-Ebeling offers a few traditional recipes for “the smudging nights,” as the twelve nights of Yule were also called, after the custom of fumigating the home against the dangerous spirits that roamed the land during this time.

  • Nordic incense for the smudging nights: equal parts of juniper berries, mugwort, fir resin, and yew needles
  • Yule smoke: equal parts of juniper, pine resin, and cedar
  • Pagan Christmas incense: equal parts of juniper needles, mugwort, ground pine resin, and wild rosemary
  • Incense for the smudging nights: ground amber, fir resin, dried fir needles, juniper tops, dried fly agaric mushrooms, hemp blossoms, laurel leaves, mugwort

To make a loose incense for Yule, simply collect the ingredients for any recipes above (properly dried, of course) and burn on a charcoal disk. Unfortunately, a few of these ingredients are either poisonous or illegal. Yew needles—which have a strong association with Yggdrasil, referred to as a “needle-ash” in the Poetic Edda—are perfectly legal but I will warn you now: make sure to provide adequate ventilation if you use them, or better yet burn them outdoors, as all parts of the tree are poisonous except for the flesh of the berries. Fly agaric mushrooms (otherwise known as amanita; these are the classic “Christmas” mushrooms, red spotted with white) have a connection with Sleipnir, Odin’s steed; in their folkloric origin, they sprouted from his spittle that fell to earth as the Hunt rode past. They can be legally ordered by mail in many areas, but check your state laws first. Hemp blossoms are illegal in many states, though not all (thankfully). They are still illegal on the national level.

As you may notice, mugwort is a recurring ingredient. This plant, one of the “Nine Sacred Herbs” of Woden/Odin, plays a starring role in my own personal formulary and is the primary ingredient in anything I make for Odin, from fixed candles to incense to pre-ritual tea. Also called felon herb, naughty man, old man, and old Uncle Harry (after Harr or “High One,” one of Odin’s by-names), mugwort is a hedge-crossing herb; it promotes the transition of souls from the other worlds to earth and vice versa. Thus, it was used both as a childbirth aid and in graves, and burned on bonfires for the dead. It grows by roadsides, to signal its role as a boundary plant. It widens the passageways between the worlds, and makes an excellent base for any Yule incense blend. It was used by the Nordic peoples much the way white sage is used by Native Americans: to purify and consecrate sacred space. As a tea, it also calms anxiety and opens up the visionary faculties.

My personal Yule incense blend consists of three key ingredients: mugwort, rosemary (for remembrance of the dead, as Yule is a time for honoring and communing with the ancestors, some of whom may ride forth with the Hunt), and juniper berries, plus pine needles if I have them handy. Rosemary is a more southern plant in Europe, but plentiful in Oregon where I live. Juniper was often used as a northern frankincense, a purifying and sanctifying smoke that was believed effective against evil spirits as well as contagious diseases. And pine needles add that rich, resiny aroma that we all associate with the season. Mix these together in any proportions, sprinkle on a lit charcoal briquette (in an appropriate fire-safe holder) and sit back to enjoy.

Yule is also a time to perform divination for the coming year, and one thing I will often do is draw a rune on each night of Yule as a “forecast” for the corresponding month of the coming year. (For example, on the first night of Yule I will draw a rune as an omen for January, etc.) This can prove surprisingly accurate, if done with intent. The Twelve Nights are also an ideal time for taking stock of the year just passed. If you’re looking for a journaling exercise for this purpose, I offer this one that I wrote years ago, and have used for several Yule seasons since. If you meditate and journal on two runes per night, it will take you through to Twelfth Night, at which time you will have a solid basis for setting any intentions for the New Year.

Light a candle (and perhaps some Yule incense) and, going through the Futhark in order, meditate and journal on the following questions. (You can also put the appropriate rune tile, cards, etc. on your altar as focal points.) The questions can be altered as desired; the point of the exercise is to serve as a meditative/introspective stock-taking of the past year, through a runic lens.

1. Fehu and Uruz: How has abundance manifested in my life this year? Where is my strength?
2. Thurisaz and Ansuz: What obstacles stand in my way? What inspires me? How do I inspire others?
3. Raido and Kenaz: What journeys (either literal or spiritual) have I made this year? What have I crafted (in either a literal or figurative sense)?
4. Gebo and Wunjo: What gifts have I given and received? What has brought me joy?
5. Hagalaz and Nauthiz: What upheavals have I dealt with? What do I need?
6. Isa and Jera: Where do I need to slow down, show more caution? What have I harvested?
7. Eihwaz and Perthro: What initiations have I experienced? What time do I take for play? What preparations have I made for the coming year?
8. Algiz and Sowilo: How do I ward myself? What insights have come to me?
9. Tiwaz and Berkano: What victories have I achieved? What in me has died this year? What has been born?
10. Ehwaz and Mannaz: What has been confirmed for me this year? How do I relate to my community?
11. Laguz and Inguz: How do I work with my dreams? What seeds have I planted, and what have I sacrificed to nourish them?
12. Dagaz and Othala: What doors have opened for me? What doors have closed? Where is my true home?

To all of my readers, thank you for making me part of your life throughout 2014, and I hope you’ll continue to stick with me in the coming year (as I have a lot of exciting things planned, both for my writing and for my store). Have a blessed and safe Yule!

Image: Photograph by me, of a hand sculpted Odin icon I purchased from Lykeia’s Botanica, partially repainted by me.

divination · Uncategorized

Tarot Readings are Back in the Shop!

I am currently offering four different Tarot reading options (three of which also include runes) in my shop.

deity communication

One of my most popular spreads, this reading takes a look at where you stand with a specific deity in your life, especially in cases where the relationship is new or things are uncertain for whatever reason (period of spiritual crisis, reconnecting after a period of estrangement, etc).

one question

This reading involves one single question. This reading is ideal for focusing on your most immediate need or a pressing situation. I will draw as many cards as I feel are needed to adequately answer your question (usually between two and four), using a custom spread designed just for you. I will also draw a rune to help confirm, qualify, or add nuance to the answer the cards give me.

two questions

This reading allows for two questions. I will draw as many cards as I feel are needed to adequately answer your questions (usually between three and five) using a custom spread designed just for you.  I will also draw a rune (or two) to help confirm, qualify, or add nuance to the answers the cards give me.

three questions

This reading allows for three questions. I will draw as many cards as I feel are needed to adequately answer your questions (usually between four and six) using a custom spread designed just for you.  I will also draw a rune (or more) to help confirm, qualify, or add nuance to the answers the cards give me.

When you purchase any of the above options, you will receive an email with a downloadable pdf of your reading, including a clear color photo of your spread, within 3-5 business days.

I will probably be adding additional spreads as time goes on. Equally, I am very likely to take occasional breaks from offering my reading services as the need arises, so if you’ve been wanting me to read for you, don’t delay!

ABOUT ME & MY APPROACH TO THE CARDS

Beginning in 2005 and continuing for about seven years, I undertook intensive training in oracular seidhr, otherwise known as Northern Tradition trance work and prophecy. This work is aimed not at predicting the future as such, but instead at propitiating and receiving input and advice from the deities, the spirits, and the universe in general, to help us move forward in our spiritual development as well as with our goals in life.

As a reader, I am fully equipped to seek answers to your questions concerning most areas of life (love, career, relationships, personal development–everything except health and legal matters) but my specialty lies in petitioning the Divine for input into our lives and our progress, especially in regard to spiritual and religious pursuits. If you are a “hard polytheist” to any degree, this would involve my seeking messages on your behalf from individual polytheist deities. If you are a pantheist, nontheist, or anything else along that end of the spectrum, it may involve helping you seek answers from, and communion with, the divine as it resides within you.

Despite whatever degree of deity input comes through in my intuitive reading of your cards, I hold firmly to the concepts of free will and personal choice. Whatever a deity may say, imply, or not say, I will not ever tell you what you “should” do or what “will” happen; all power of choice remains with you.

I read your cards in a ritual setting within my sacred space, often in a semi-trance state. For this reason, the wordage length of your particular reading can vary. (Some messages and concepts require more words to communicate, others far fewer.)

POLICY AND ETHICS:

– Everything we discuss in connection with your reading is completely confidential and stays between us.

– I will not read for questions concerning health, legal matters, or any other issue that I deem better handled by a licensed professional.

– While I love feedback, I am unable to provide additional insight or clarity on readings for free. Please contact me to purchase a custom clarification reading if you feel more information is needed.

– I reserve the right to decline a reading and refund payment for any reason.

– I am unable to offer a refund for readings.

– I will not perform readings concerning the thoughts and feelings of a third party (such as a boyfriend, or your boss).