modern practice · odin · Uncategorized

Grimoire Update

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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.

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Jewitch · odin · Uncategorized

Public Service Announcement

Since people have had questions, and I can’t blame them for being confused, here is a brief explanation in plain speech. During the past year and a half to two years I have undergone a spiritual crisis which was triggered by severe burnout. I am still recovering, so please don’t be offended if I point you towards this post instead of explaining again.

Yes, I have gone back to Odin. (He says I have never left Him, that He went with me on my strange inner journey whether I knew it or not.) No, I have not gone back to heathenry. Although I have Irish and French blood ancestry (which I know because my daughter had her DNA tested; I still need to save up to have mine done), I was raised by a Jewish adoptive mother, with help from a pushy Jewish grandmother. But I have been neglecting my Jewish adoptive ancestry for years now—and if you know anything at all about Odin, you know how He is about the ancestors.

I’m not going into detail about the hows and whats of the spiritual crisis I’ve been through; I’ve taken down the posts that pertained to it, because they aren’t relevant to anyone except me. But the upshot of the crisis and the journey it entailed is that I am now going to be an eclectic Jewitch, working with and for Odin as my Beloved and also honoring Asherah as my goddess (in addition to getting to know other gods, other magical systems, and other cultures—including pop cultures–as He guides me to do so).

For those not familiar with Asherah: She is the forgotten goddess of the Hebrew people. She originated with the Canaanite mother goddess Athiratu and also included elements of the goddesses Anat and Ashtarte. She was the consort of Yahweh when the Israelites were still polytheists, and was swept under the rug with the onset of Jewish monotheism, but survives in modern Judaism as the Shekhinah, the “feminine aspects” of God. The term “Jewitch” is not a slur, and it does not mean I am now a monotheist; it is a term used by many people who have Jewish heritage and follow a partly Jewish path but are also polytheists and/or witches.

Jewitch · odin

A Lesson

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I skipped Shabbat this weekend. My reasoning was admittedly stupid: I figured that, since I’ve patched things up with Odin, my adventures in Jewitchery were now over, and I’d just go back to being a good little Heathen again.

“Since when were you a good little Heathen?’ He asks me, eyebrow arched.

Um. Nevermind.

Anyway. Friday night was spent at my altar with my Beloved, but on Saturday, instead of observing the Shabbat, I worked on the store. Sort of. Mostly I fretted about the store and its currently slow sales, spent hours more than necessary making six sets of mini prayer beads (some I had to restring up to five times–no, I’m not joking), and then made lunch for Jo, an exercise I had to repeat four times due to both errors in judgement and timing.Clearly, something about this day was not working. Or something wasn’t supposed to be working and was trying to–namely, me.

It also felt vaguely wrong, as if this was the day I was supposed to visit my grandparents, only I didn’t go. (“I’ll visit your grandparents with you. You put up with My family, after all.”)

A vague sense of guilt and sadness.

Apparently, I am still going to be a Jewitch, only with Odin. How interesting.

Apparently, I am not going back to Heathenry, but simply going back to Odin–alongside worshiping the Hebrew gods.

Apparently, this is the deal He made with my adopted ancestors–so all of this sightseeing in other times and other cultures has not been a waste of time, it has simply been an ambush.

This path is not going to win me any friends in either Heathenry or Judaism. Which is sort of the point. I am to follow where He leads, and to Sheol with the rest.

About me · odin

Updated About Me page, revised 9/5/17

Hi, I’m Laurie Beth, aka Beth Wodandis. A red-headed witch since birth, I’m now in my early Cronedom and showing some silver. I live with my wife and assorted critters in the beautiful [but currently very smoky] Pacific Northwest.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you most likely know me as a long-time Norse polytheist and seidhrkona (since roughly 2002).  Over the years, I’ve written reams (or the electronic equivalent thereof) of material about my path and about being a godspouse; most of those writings are now private, no longer available on the web, due to a major burnout I suffered from the spring of 2016 through the summer of this year. I now suspect this episode may have been more along the lines of a nervous breakdown, or even a psychic break, and I am rather ashamed to admit that I initially blamed my gods for it, but have since come to realize that I have no one but myself, and my past failure to set proper boundaries, to blame.

During this time period, my personal practice and spiritual life have been on something of a roller coaster ride until, very recently, I made the executive decision to put the hand break on. I am now in the process of peeling away all of the suspect layers of said practice, back to what truly matters: myself, my Beloved, my family.

Peeled back to my essence, I belong to Odin, to myself, to my wife and family, and to those with whom I choose to share my time and energy. (That last category spans across the globe and various dimensions; I consider myself very fortunate in those–mortals and spirits alike–who have chosen to befriend me.)

Please note that comments are closed on this blog at this point simply because I do not have time to moderate them. (This may change at some point in the future.) My email is always open [lauriebethdawe at gmail dot com]; however, do not assume privacy. If what you have to say is belittling, derisive, or malicious, it will be publicly shared for the amusement of my blog readers.

Has something I’ve written or shared on this blog, either in the past or recently, resonated closely with you or helped you on your path? Have I been especially helpful to you via a Tarot reading or my now-defunct free oracular seidhr practice? If so, please consider contributing to my household’s monthly expenses via my Patreon; there are some pretty nifty rewards available, too! 

Updated September 9/5/17