My daily morning practice:
-Sit or Stand before Shrine/Hallows/Altar/, My tradition calls for a representation of the Sacred Tree, Fire, and Well.
“I come this day to keep the ways of my Ancestors,
To keep the ways of the Aesir and Vanir,
and to keep the ways of the Gothi and Gothar.”
” Today I sit beside the Sacred Well, waters of life,
Of first wisdom and chaos.”
- Drop coin into waters.
” May the waters of the well rise this day in this Grove and Ve.”
” I sit beside the Sacred flame of living and life,
beneath the great sun and immortal sky and the fires of reason, power, and passion.’
-Drop a pinch of spice or incense into flame-
” May the fires flame here this day in this Grove and in this Ve.”
” I sit beside the Sacred Tree, great Yggradisil,
holder of all worlds,’
-Smudge of oil onto Tree representation-
” May the Tree rise here from earth to sky, from chaos to reason this day, in this Grove and Ve.”
Brief pause for reflection on Well, Tree, and Fire
” Fire , well , and Sacred Tree
Grow and Flame and Flow in me.
I Stand between the Earth and Sky,
Rooted deep and crowned high.”
-Dip fingers into Well and aspurge area-
” May the Waters of Well open as a gate, that my words may resound within.”
-Hold hands over the flame to feel the warmth of the flame or light incense-
” May the fires of the Flame open as a gate this day that my words may a-light within.”
-hold staff or touch Tree icon-
” May the great Tree open as a Gate that this day, that all worlds may know my words and deeds.”
Brief pause for reflection on opening of gates.
At this point I conduct any work I have planned for the morning. This could be silent meditation – offerings to gods, beings, ancestors – Stadhagaldr (Rune yoga) – Blessings or Workings for health/prosperity or the like on behalf of relatives or myself.
Once the work is finished I close the devotional
“I go this day warmed by the Fire, refreshed by the Well, and sheltered by the Tree.
With Joy, Beauty, and Compassion in me.”
-This is said while feeling the warmth of the flame, touching the tree, and touching the waters.
Address any beings offered to and dismiss with love and honesty or Contemplate the brief devotional and what has occurred.
“By Will and Right, Troth and Might, finished this day is this Rite.”
-Blow out candle and wait for smoke to dissipate before leaving room, altar, or harrow.
Lately I’ve been utilizing prayer beads.
I created a meditation bracelet using tiger eye and a similar color of dark bead – I don’t remember what it is exactly. I’ve different sizes to represent the things I want to focus on while meditating or while in prayer.
My prayer bead bracelet contains 58 beads:
24 beads that represent the elder futhark then a single bead to pause and reflect and another 24 for the elder futhark. The beads for the various Runes are different sizes as I reflect on each Rune specifically.
Also I have 9 beads that are meant as meditational queues for the contemplation of the 9 virtues found within ADF liturgy, they are also used to represent the 9 worlds of Norse cosmology.
These are not just for meditation however, I wear them while working and thumb through them if I can. I’d like to get into the habit of thumbing them around while waiting in line at the supermarket or similar such things, just to shift my consciousness to a more aware state. I’ve had the honor of being in the presence of Buddhist monks from Tibet and Bhutan and find it a wonderful thing to see them spinning through their prayer beads while holding a conversation
For me the bracelet is a reminder that Paganism is indeed a contemplative religion and needs to be seen as a means of reconnection with Self, Time, Place and the Now. So often we see modern Paganism as a religion of “doing”, when it is also a religion of silence and “non-ado”. Sitting in sincere silence and contemplation is enormously beneficial to ourselves and others.
Another dreaming insight:
In a dream I was explaining some of the finer points of Norse Mythology and History to some old friends, which friends I’m not sure exactly, but many were from my hometown – where I will be visiting next month. The topic of ancestors came up…I’m not sure how or why.
I remember addressing the concept of the Norns with the group. Somehow I began speaking with knowledge that didn’t seem my own.
The thing that struck me upon waking was my insight about personal Norns and their relationship to the ancestors. The Norns in Norse Lore are not only limited to the big three better known as URD/VERDANDI/SKULD, Norns are also doled out to individuals at the time of their birth as stated by the High One (Odin) in Sturlson’s Prose Edda, pg. 44;
One caveat to this would be that according to the research I’ve done into the birthing practices of the Pagan Norse a child wasn’t necessarily considered a full person until named by it’s Father, so perhaps only after named or claimed does a child receive a Norn or Norns. The text goes on to recount that Norns are also malevolent and/or beneficial as per the Norns personality.
In my dream what was pointed out to me via my own mouth and words was that in keeping with every child receiving a Norn, a line of Norns, possibly genetically linked , leads to an unbreakable spiritual fate or heritage connecting every ancestor to its descendants. This of course is in keeping with the Norse concepts of Hamingja and Orlog where a kind of karmic web is both inherited from one’s ancestors and also personally generated that interacts with the present and the future. Yet my dream revelation is somehow different and adds to these concepts.
I made a direct statement in the dream to my friends about there being an unbroken stream of Norns going back as far as one can imagine. I was very sure in my dream that the Norns do not leave a family, that they follow the descendants of an ancestor, that the Norns of the present person work together with the Norns of the previous generations. This would be very similar to how the Disir, matronly ancestors, follow and watch over their descendants. There seems to be an overlap of duties here that is not at first apparent – Both the Disir and Norns are likened to the Valkyries (the relationship never seems entirely clear however), but the Disir, or even the Alfar for that matter, do not seem to turn the fate of a person but only bless and protect, whereas the Norns fulfill a deeper and more entangled purpose having to do with Soul, Yggdrasil, Fate, the Multiverse, and Time – and I don’t feel that the Norns on a whim manipulate Fate, they merely push a persons fate without care or malice. The Disir/Alfar on the other-hand are called upon to bless a home and positively impact a persons life.
To conclude, I took away one phrase from the dream, ” A Thousand Norns”, it was something I said to those gathered, being as much a listener as a relayer of knowledge. As with any arcane wisdom or UPG received in this manner it demands many hours of contemplation.
This is the second part of my Star Wars Tarot post, the first part can be found here: Episode1
Episode 1 showed some of the Major Arcana and discussed a few of the specific cards and how they relate to the traditional Rider-Waite deck. This post will be similar, but will highlight the Minor Arcana.
So the main reason why I chose the deck I did for the creation of the Star Wars Minor Arcana is because of two things; the Pictures are great and every card image is unique, second each card along with an image has an individual quote from the films. Tarot is about symbolism and the images are very important, not just for the reader but also the querent – If there’s one thing that’s important to Tarot it’s the images and what they represent. Now, being that I’m creating a deck here from cards that have been massed produced without the intention of holding any symbolism other than for mundane play not all the cards excel at presenting the ideas found in the Tarot…but surprisingly most do, and hit the mark dead on.
When I use normal playing cards as a Tarot stand-in my system of correspondence is this: Wands=Clubs, Pentacles=Diamonds, Cups=Hearts, and Swords=Spades. This makes sense to me, but I have seen other correspondences around and in books, but this works well and with the Star Wars deck it works to near perfection. As long as you understand the correspondences you have assigned to the deck prior to readings you’ll be fine, I’m not one to get to caught up with how things “should be”, my main goal is that things work.
Here’s an example of some of the cards
7 of Cups/Hearts
9 of Swords/Spades
Ace of Swords/Spades
Ace of Wands/Clubs
10 of Pentacles/Diamonds
Queen of Pentacles/Diamonds
Highlights from the Minor Arcana:
The Six of Cups: Generally this is a card showing Hopes rejuvenated, recreated, or returning. Leia being saved here by Luke is representative of that hope. This is the first meeting of the two siblings and the card details well the turning point in the first film and in the Saga – A new beginning.
The Seven of Cups: This card has to do with wishful thinking and/or illusions that come from within and effect our lives. Obi-wan and Anakin are meeting for the first time in the card image and it’s fairly easy to embed the traditional meaning onto this card. Both Anakin and Obi-Wan can be seen here as harboring thoughts and feelings about the other that are illusory…both immediately as in the scene presented and down the road as their relationship evolves.
Nine of Wands: I won’t get into this card to much. Resolve – plain and simple
Ace of Wands: Vadar here with the super statement that had fans quaking. Motivation and actions of Determination are what this card is about. Both themes are readily seen here. Vadars motivation is apparent, and he is Determined to push his will onto the Galaxy and onto his son.
King of Swords: Force of Will. It’s important to know that Swords as a suit represents mental aspects of the self. Here Palpatine in full Sith transformation mode represents the complete ruler of his will, no longer hiding, no longer a shadow of the man he was…he is fully truthful to himself and others and therefore an honest being. Good or bad do not factor in here…the King of Swords is beyond such things.
Ace of Swords: Luke in Episode 1, about to work his magic. Swords, again is about mentality. The Ace of any suit holds the purified intention and meaning of the whole suit. This card is about the Clarity of Intent. To me the Ace also signifies intellectual clarity…and Luke, recognizing the power of the Force, here for the first time, is shown clearly understanding the Force as real and intellectually accepting the peace and calm that comes from that knowledge.
The Ten of Pentacles: This card is about wise investment, having the insight to look to the future and understand the need for prudent management of the present leading to beneficial consequences. Here Luke confronts Vadar in Episode 6 with all the wisdom he has been granted by his teachers…easy to see the meaning here.
Queen of Pentacles: For me the Queen of Pents is about earthly intuition. This intuition relates to money, physical life, and material based wisdom. Amidala is a ruler and knows the burden of understanding, body and soul, the needs of her kingdom and people. She must make intuitive choices that come from within based on her compassion for her planet – choices that are made quickly.
This deck is used and quite frequently. On thing with this deck is that it has no Knights being that playing card decks don’t have Knights. Not a big deal in my opinion, but others may have a problem with this. The power of decks like these that hold common social imagery readily recognizable by most in our modern culture is that the querent brings to the table her/his own ideas of the scenes and characters displayed. Not only are my interpretations in play, but also the person getting the reading. I enjoy this aspect of reading, it’s a two way street and a conversation instead of merely me as the reader interpreting cards.
If you would like a reading with these cards give me a buzz at risinginsight at gmail.com
This is a prompted response post based on this one from Patrick Dunn’s Postmodern Magic Blog and this one at Nick Farrell’s Blog. I will immediately say that I disagree with most of Farrell’s opinions on this subject – Dunn is more on par with what I think most Magicians and ‘Serious’ Occultists would agree with. But then we all are entitled to our view.
Signs that a Magician is what ye be.
1. Magicians realize that dress is a factor. Dress is both for you and for others. How you dress alters societies perception of you and also alters your own perception of self. Therefore outfits of any sort, whether they carry a social stigma or not will box you into certain social and self given subsets. Magicians are aware of this and wear whatever they want. Magicians should never assume that people who dress a certain way live a certain way or are not fellow magicians because of how they do or do not dress.
2. Everyday a Magician does the Work. This Work does not mean ritual Work or specific “I am a Magician” Work. This Work can be reading, research, or mental practice. It can even be talking the Work or developing future Work.
3. You grow as a person – Not just a Magician or Occultist. Your life improves because of your studies and due to your Work as a Magician…If not what’s the point. The trick of being a Magician is realizing that the Work is not the sole reason for the change in your life but because of the choice to be a more Awake and Alive person.
4. Being a Magician does not cause relationships to end. Being a Magician is an act of intention, some people don’t like this, many people fear those who live intent filled lives – not just Magicians necessarily. There is no reason to blame the Occult or your Work for a relationship breaking up and if you do perhaps you have other personality issues to deal with.
5 Stuff. Don’t get caught up in stuff. I’d even say to get rid of your stuff on occasion, because it’s a crutch and it holds you in the past. Stuff isn’t bad – but a Magician shouldn’t be anchored to stuff and that it somehow makes the Work more powerful. It’s fun to use stuff and it can help, but don’t get caught up in it, it’s peripheral to the Work not central to it.
6. Do the Work. Magicians do shit. Reading is good, thinking is good, creating is good. Doing is IT. Doing means you’re a Magician.
7. Magicians are curious about the world. Therefore the Occult is not their only interest. Have hobbies, enjoy the world. Any Magician or Occultist who says he doesn’t enjoy anything else or has no other interests but the Occult is a sad individual.
8. Social Lives are important. Have friends, hang out with family. Being a Magician means you forge relationships with entities and worlds outside of common experience. If you can’t handle friendships or relationships with real people you will fail as a Magician.
9. A Magician realizes that the Work is not everything. Life is large, the Work isn’t everything.
10. Magicians question everything. They wonder. Magicians choose to live within mythological constructs, social norms, and/or irrational fictions at will. Don’t let Truths and Lies be easily labeled – accept that your questions of them are valid and needed.
11. Literal and Mental are important distinctions to a Magician. Enough said. Once you know this the Work is beginning.
12. The Work of the Magician is about living. A Magician sees the Work as a benefit to himself and his life and uses it appropriately and in ways that are beneficial to him.
Now that my degree is finished I will be taking up the Generalist Study Program within the ADF system of training.
I began this program in the past, but shortly after starting it I returned to University and couldn’t dedicate time toward it’s completion. Now that College is finished, at least for the next year, I’m returning to the GSP and plan to complete it within the year.
A few nights ago I was given a message in a dream:
“With No Enemies,
We Are at Peace.”
I’ve had a few days to live with this. I’m not sure who or what said it. I only remember it being vocalized and pronounced very clearly while dreaming.
Over these last few days it’s becoming more and more powerful. Not only does it speak to the obvious problems of national conflicts, but more-so it is a very personal mantra.
What are the things we choose to confront and label as “enemy”? Life for many of us can be a series of obstacles and challenges. What I’m finding with this phrase is that it is calling me to question what things I address as “enemy” – and that being a realization of the things that push me into a heightened reactive state or force my emotional state from one of awareness or peace to anything else. These “enemies” then turn into literally anything that moves me out of a peaceful state – like an internal or external reaction to news, politics, society changes, relationships, conversations, work related challenges – anything.
I’m not necessarily saying that this phrase is pushing me toward a Star Trekian Vulcan kind of detachment – But it is insisting that I look at outside Motivators that can control my sense of internal Peace. Nor am I saying that the phrase advises me to eliminate “enemies” or things that challenge my resolve or well being. It merely states that my Peace should not be dependent upon externalities, that seeing challenges as bad or good or things that wobble my emotional state as “enemies” is illusory- that this is merely a challenge of Perception, and that Peace is never controlled externally.
Now of course you’re probably thinking this is a no brainer. I’ve heard this before as well, and have even worked quite extensively with this idea in the past. But the phrase seems more concerned with showing me that challenges and obstacles are not necessarily Real unless attached to some kind of emotional response. So it’s more about definitions that actual events – though certainly events are also in the mix. “Enemies” may be defined then only by our reaction or perception – Only after our response has been altered do things become “Enemies”.
That’s where I’m at right now with this - I’m sure I’ll have some more insights with this powerful and deeply resonating phrase as I live with it.