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- Do it by Hand ~ EditorialDo it by hand. When I ask myself, “how did folks do this before?”…“By hand,” is usually the answer. From cooking over a fire, or in a hand-built stone oven, to cobbling a pair of boot soles back together; when you do it by hand your whole body gets involved. And not only that – a little bit of you is transferred into what you’re doing. Your thoughts, dreams, and intentions all get woven into your work. It’s what we’ve been doing for nearly forever, and it just feels right. Imagine being so intimate with all of your possessions and the world around you! Imagine yourself working everyday for the health and prosperity of your family and community. Doing sometimes hard but always fulfilling work, that directly supports those you love, instead of laboring in exchange for enough money to pay the bills.
- Four Dimensions of MythRecently, I re-read an early twentieth century presentation of Norse Mythology in the form of H. A. Guerber’s Myths of the Norsemen from the Eddas and Sagas. While this book presents the myths themselves in quite an aesthetically pleasing and thorough manner, the typical late nineteenth century interpretation of myth that it displays is a little grating. The main reason for this irritation comes from the trend of that era to only interpret myth from the viewpoint of what Georges Dumézil would term the “Third Function”—a function that is equivalent to the societal role of the farmers, peasants, and thralls. Although Third Function interpretations can help form a basis for the understanding of myth, ultimately, they are not complete, as they only account for the functions of the natural world to explain its meaning. And myth is far more complex than that.
- A Horse is a Bridge Between Land and Sky ~ Seasonal RecipesThe first thing you notice is the color. Horsemeat is a startling blood red in hue, an effect produced by its myoglobin content. The fat, distributed in a sleeve around the meat, is tinted yellow from corn or pasture flora and is easily sliced off. Succulent equine flesh is sweeter than beef, with a finer grain, most similar to deer in flavor (an inexperienced taster probably could not distinguish between the two), and recommended by dieticians in many countries for its healthfulness.
- RingbreakerI am he, the one eyed, terrible deity. He stares back into my eye and laughs. How absurd that we are ever not one?
- Kindred Blót (a kyrielle)We come gathered with our kin, Welcoming Ancestors in, Using sacred mead, or ale, With horns held high, the Gods we hail!
- Hollow TreeIn my visions you are an ingot of fired iron shot up through the fertile must of earth, and my fingerbones delve into that same earthself and ride the tunnel down. The underworld has many entrances. A ring of toppled Alders overtaken by ghostcolored tribes of Oyster mushrooms, at its hub the Cedar Whose lightning-burnt husk’s inner side bears a calligraphy of mudcrack char Swirling in the dank of molds and cinder, Skullwound roots which thirstless cause the creek to curdle, Motes glooming in the goblin light.
- RhinegoldTo take gold from the bosom of the earth is to rob the heart of your land is to steal the heart of your lover and bind it to your will the cost is immeasurable and unbearable though short-sighted fears make us blind to it
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- Spiritual ExperiencesTales of personal spiritual experiences by four people: Gerhard, Henry, Scott, and Molly.
- Der Wolf ist im GetreideAt one time it was believed by our folk that there was a “Getreidegeist,” a corn, or grain spirit. It lived in the last sheaf of corn, and was to be killed or caught. As the corn was being harvested, the animal associated with the corn spirit would flee before the farmers until it was cornered in the final sheaf. This was also true of other grain harvests: rye, barley, oats, and so forth, as well. If any of the reapers fell ill during the harvest, it was said that the corn-spirit “had got hol’t of eem,” or “the Rye-wolf has ‘em.” When the last sheaf was cut, it was bound, and the person who had cut it, received the name of the corn-spirit (animal) for up to a year. So and so has now become the corn-wolf (Kornwolf or Getreidewolf), rye-wolf (Roggenwolf), pea-wolf (Erbsenwolf), or oats-wolf (Haferwolf). Sometimes the sheaf itself was decorated as a wolf, and sometimes it was “killed.”
Article by Valulfr Vaerulsson.
- The Edge of the Forest: Magic Mushroom Iconography in Children’s LiteratureNot too long ago, we moved into a round barn that featured a stained-glass mushroom fairy house window matching the white-spotted red fly agarics that dot the needle-strewn paths of our forest. As a child of the 60s, I had always associated them with hippie lifestyles, but as I studied the motif more closely, I confirmed my suspicions that they actually have their origin in a much older cultural landscape, one rooted in our ecstatic past as Indo-European Heathens.
Article by Elizabeth Griffin.
- Preparing a Ritual Drinking HornEvery ritual object that we fashion for ourselves is charged with much more power than a purchased object could possibly contain. This power, in turn, charges both the liquid that it will hold and the folk who will pass it in sumble or in blót.* It is a very simple task to create your own drinking horn—don’t be intimidated by the magical significance. Like many things, the result is far more impressive than the method. That said, and without further ado, here is how to prepare a horn for your self, simply and effectively.
Article by Dave Hobson.
- Kitchen Medicine & Magic: OatsOats seem to have appeared magically to the people of the North, as the opening quote seems to indicate. These sneaky grains had, and still have, a way of infiltrating fields planted with other grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Farmers believed Loki would sneak into their fields, under the cover of early spring fog, and sow oat seeds among the grain in the fields. As the weather warmed and the fog decreased the oat plants would begin to appear among the other grains and it would be said that Loki had now sown his wild oats.
Article by Teresa Luedke.
- The Language of Myth: Origo Germanica (Part Two: Archaeology)After outlining the origin of the Germanic language family in the last issue, we are left asking a few questions: Exactly who was speaking these languages? Where did they come from? And what caused them to become distinct from other Indo-European dialects? These are difficult questions to answer. Opinions about who the earliest Germanic people were have varied over the past two centuries and works dealing with the topic have been subject to heavy influence from socio-political trends. In the postwar era, archaeology began to provide a clearer picture of exactly what was going on in the north around the time that p’s were changing to f’s, and o’s to a’s. It is worth pointing out that drawing ethno-linguistic conclusions from archaeology alone can be a precarious task when dealing with any group of people, let alone the remains of a “pre-literate” society, but we can get a fairly good idea of the social and economic conditions in which our ancestors emerged from prehistory if we pair archaeology with information from other disciplines like linguistics and historiography.
Article by Antonius Block.
- Runic Symbology in Contemporary Deitsch Hexology: A Personal Artistic JourneyHexology differs from Hexerei, which is used to describe the collected practices of Germanic witchcraft. Hexology refers specifically to the practice of creating
what Lee Gandee describes as “Painted Prayers,” or Hex signs. In the Pennsylvania Deitsch dialect, they are called Hexafoos (witch’s feet) or Hexezeeche (witch sign).
Article by Hunter Yoder.
- Ritual Water Consecration and NamingWater. Our ancestors, in common with traditional cultures the world over, have long recognized its vital potency. Descriptions of sacred rivers, lakes, and springs occur in almost all mythologies, and ancient mystery religions abound with practices such as purifying baths and immersions. The ancient Egyptian “Book of Going Forth by Day contains a treatise on the baptism of newborn children, which is performed to purify them of blemishes acquired in the womb.”1 Thus, customs analogous to the Christian “baptism” have existed long before its arrival. The following brief overview will focus on the Germanic practices of ‘water consecration’ and naming, as they are attested in the written sources that have survived.
Article by Markus Wolff.
- Gandreidr ~ The Magic RideHistory and myth are replete with images of witches and sorcerers, even gods and goddesses, traversing the universes by means of magically-willed transport. This kind of travel is exceptionally prevalent within the Germanic setting, especially within the Eddas, Icelandic Sagas, and the like. For the purposes of this article, I shall use the Old Norse word: Gandreið which is defined in the Cleasby-Vigfusson as: “witches’ ride.” Be it on broomstick, wolf, or spiritprojection, this manner of far-going may be a magician’s weapon, or source of education.
Article by Gandvaldr Bláskikkja.