Worked on another page for my grimoire, aka 600 page sketchbook, during Shabbat this past weekend. The Wheel of the Year layout and some of the sketch/doodle ideas were borrowed from the Coloring Book of Shadows 2017 Planner, which is why they may look familiar if you’ve got that. (This page is only for my own personal use, of course.) My revamped Wheel is a mashup of the Jewish and standard Anglo-Saxon/Germanic pagan/witchcraft holidays. The crescent moon and tree is from my business card; it feels appropriate as a symbol for my blended path.
The Jewish holidays I’ll largely be learning about as I go along throughout the year–beginning with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, this coming week.We’ll be having a family feast on Wednesday night, for which I have apples and honey, which are traditional for wishing each other a “sweet year,” and will be making a vegan brisket (trying my hand at home made seitan for the first time!). I’m going to be omitting the overly Yahweh-esque festival days from my Wheel, as my focus in the Jewish part of my practice is really on Asherah, the Goddess.
The Anglo-Saxon/Germanic holidays I already know, of course, but I’m looking to make them distinctly mine this coming year in a way I don’t feel I’ve achieved before. Mine in a way that fits with my lifestyle and my practice, without an eye towards impressing anyone outside my household.
I’ve been reading Diana Paxson’s Odin book and have some things to say about that–some good, some not so much. (She had approached me about sharing my story for the book and I declined; I was still in the midst of my spiritual crisis at the time, but now I’m glad I said no for other reasons.) But one thing I’ll comment on here is that, in her chapter on the malefic aspects of Odin, she quotes part of Jung’s essay “Wotan,” in which he blames the god for instigating Nazi Germany and its consequences. I do not blame Odin for this, for what it’s worth; I blame people, who are more than capable of twisting any tradition or any spirit contact to evil ends. Regardless, the specter of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust has followed Odin around for 80 years now, and I doubt it will be exorcised any time soon. In the context of my own personal life, though, I find it interesting that it was Odin who encouraged me–through trickery, even–to seek out and honor my Jewish heritage and bring it into my practice. I wonder if, on some level, this is a healing experience for Him, through me, a small gesture towards the ancestors who suffered and died needlessly because of the evil that men yoked to His name and His symbols.