What’s On Your Altar?

Let’s have a round of “what’s on my altar?” tonight.

Let’s see…two burning candles for the Blood Brothers. One candle for Loki Himself that is an autumn/fall harvest candle. It won’t burn no matter what I do to it. (I’m thinking of putting something extremely flammable on it just to see if I can make it burn because GOD DAMN IT *L* what don’t you like about that candle? I’m starting to think it’s just that the time of year isn’t strictly his domain so He won’t let it burn.) A wintergreen candle welcoming Lady Skadi (getting cold here). A piece of driftwood because it carries a calming energy with it. Another harvest candle for the Gods Who Smile on Me. Another candle for Loki Himself, a tall white candle for Odin–Loki’s Blood Brother. A sage bundle that isn’t being used at the moment. A candle welcoming bounty into our household. And a wonderful plaque a friend of mine made for my birthday. choose I love tending my altar. It’s a joyful duty, one that brings me peace and a sense of purpose.

July for Loki 2015 or Lokkasplosion on My Life

firemeditation

I believe this will be my third July for Loki. It seems like I should have been at this longer for some reason. I’m excited this year in a way I wasn’t quite last year, and I think it’s because I haven’t been getting in as much time with Loki as I’d like. Having a month that I know I’m going to be setting aside time for Him is a huge deal for me. I’m not planning on addressing the origins or reasons for the Month for Loki in this blog post—though I think the practice originated with Galina Krasskova—as others cover the topic more thoroughly and knowledgably than I, but the month roughly corresponds with the rising of Sirius which varies from region to region. Read more about Sirius here. According to the simulator I found Sirius doesn’t rise in my region until late July (though I’m not entirely confident I’m reading the results right.) But, that’s no reason not to go ahead and give him the whole month.

I have some exciting plans for this month and a few things I’m already planning on working toward. I think my major focus is going to be meditation. I’ve had varying degrees of success with traditional meditation, but I thought I would branch out and try a few different things, such as focused meditation (using an image or other tangible object for meditation), chanting (what words or tones remain to be seen), and art as a form of meditation. I’m also going to try to tackle meditating with and around children and children’s schedules, as my youngest keeps the same hours we do it often makes it difficult to do anything especially deep as far as meditation goes. When you have to keep an eye on your candles for fear that small fingers will be in them it does tend to put a damper on things. To round out the art extravaganza I’m also going to attempt to have a few pieces of flash fiction here and there as well as some poetry.

A major focus of my work this month is also going to be prayer. I’ve created some small prayers for Loki previously, though nothing I’ve ever been especially good with remembering the words to, and I would like to start shaping something that will be useful to me overall. I’ve also been meaning to figure out a regular meal time prayer for my family for quite a while, as it’s something my husband has mentioned he would like more than once, which isn’t exactly Loki related, per se, but is something I think this time would be good to be used for.

Yet another goal of July is to start working my witchery back into my day to day living. There are various ways to do this with such simple things as cleaning my house “with intent” to cleanse negativity at the same time, to cooking with joy and love, as well as remembering to sage the apartment at least once a week. There’s so much I could do with this. My daughters have also been coming home with Willow branches after rainstorms from our local park and I’m thinking of making them into besoms. I should probably add some simple crafting to my list then, as well.

So, that’s the “Loki’s Amazing Fun Month of Chicanery” so far as I have it mapped out. I’m fairly certain this will be augmented with some beach trips to meditate as well, but I haven’t set out anything in stone. July Fourth we have plans to celebrate the Independence of our country with some friends, but that won’t be time off for me. Loki likes celebrating, so I’ll be inviting him along too.

One last teeny tiny thing that I’m working on that is a special request from Loki Himself, is being cheerful. Yes, he’s asked me to be cheerful and less negative. It’s not good for anything much to be stuck in a rut, including health, magickal workings, or my family.

What are your plans? I hope everyone aspires to a wonderful month of happiness, even if they aren’t celebrating for Loki.

Be a Rebel, Blow Out Your Candles

candles

Never blow out a candle or you blow away the magick. This was something all little, new baby witches were taught when I was coming up as a youngster. Growing up there were countless frustrations as I imagined I’d ruined a ritual completely by blowing out my candles at the end. Blowing out candles has such joyful, childlike association for me that I couldn’t stop myself from doing it. Then I’d have a meltdown after I did and remembered I wasn’t supposed to. Who doesn’t like blowing out birthday candles? Who doesn’t like controlling something with only the invisible force of their breath? At the time I didn’t question the instruction, but little by little over the years I’ve come at that from a completely different angle.

Breath is life.

Breath, divine breath, wakes up life.

When you’re making a gris-gris bag you breathe life into it, wake up the spirit of the bag, depending on how you make one, of course. They’re not as strong if you don’t.

Your breath is magic. When I blow out a candle I don’t see it as blowing away the magick, but rather using my breath to spread my intention into the universe. I’m adding to the magick. In my mind’s eye I’m spreading the gossamer strands of my intention far and wide with my breath, especially with ritual magick. Of course, there are times I don’t blow out candles. When I don’t want to sacrifice any of my life energy to an endeavor I don’t, but normally if something is worth doing on the magickal front it’s worth me putting any energy I can into it.

Like all magick though, if you just can’t get the idea that you’re blowing away the magick out of yoru head when you blow out candles you’re using in a ritual or for devotional purposes you probably shouldn’t do it. You program your intentions with your thoughts. That’s why mental control is such an integral part of witchcraft in general.

Loooki, Juxtaposition

I’ve listened to native Icelandic speakers say Loki’s name online probably …well, more than the average person would consider healthy. He didn’t prompt me to do this, it was something I took into my own head to go about. Sometimes I practice though…and when I practice?

He notices that.

I’m not sure He likes it because I’m saying it the “right” way (not that he dislikes my accent, I’ve been assured), or if it’s simply that in the end it becomes a chant of His name.

Say MY NAME.

Yeah…

So, this morning I was practicing saying His name. Frustratingly, I can’t ever get my tongue to match up with what my brain tells me is proper. I was in the bath and not particularly paying much attention. I became aware of His energy, lounging there, sitting on my toilet, watching me say His name.

Singularly the strangest juxtaposition of the mundane and spirit world I’ve ever directly experienced.

Hail Loki, The God Who Makes Himself at Home Anywhere.

Happy Yule 2014!

Happy Yule all!

Yule at our house this year meant soul food. I’m not sure how or why that happened, but I’m partially blaming the inspiration on Loki Himself.

Our Yule turkey was bacon wrapped and slow cooked for about 8 hours, the mashed potatoes had an entire quart of half and half as well as a stick of butter (luscious…they were like velvet), there were sautéed mushrooms and asparagus in simple wine sauce, and this was all rounded out with a cheesy veggie bake. By the time we worked our way through this Yule feast no one minded that I’d forgotten to make the ginger cake for dessert.

Candles are lit in our windows and I have a special offering for Loki and Odin ready to go out this evening. (White chocolate and strawberry chocolate as well as a Rootbeer candy cane and some seasonal beer.) I hope you all have a wonderful time with your family and boast long and loud about your Beloved Gods.

The Cauldron

He lingers near the lady’s fire soot collecting on his white shirt while he attempts to raise the courage for this endeavor. She sleeps in her small wooden home not even ten feet away, and he’s terrified to wake her. She is sure and true with a slap or an arrow, so he knows better than to anger her, yet constantly finds himself on the wrong side of her wrath. He quite expects to wake some morning as a squirmy little bug the pretty witch can stomp. He shivers. His strawberry blond hair shines golden in the flickering flames while he struggles to lift the cauldron from the hook, but he’s half her height, and his arms are still filling in with the muscle of manhood even though he’d gone through a growth spurt this past summer. The cauldron is hung too high for him to easily pull it down. The chill autumn air bites through his shirt as he sweats and struggles to lift the half full black metal pot from its resting place.

“Hurry or we will be caught,” his best friend whispers. With his dark hair and clothes he blends into the darkness much better, and he’s safer crouched behind a nearby tree.

“Help me and we shall be done twice as fast,” he hisses back. There’s a small chuckle then a boy a few years older than he is emerges in his dark green tunic, a shadow to the first youth’s light, and together they heave. The cauldron clunks off the hook into the embers.

“Ouch!” the blond whimpers brushing the sparks from his bare feet. The other boy in his boots elbows him aside fondly and braces himself lifting the cauldron.

“Quiet,” the raven haired teen groans eyes darting to the round wooden hut nearby, but no incensed witch comes screaming out after them. He pulls their treasure away from the fire and together the two teens struggle to make a fast get away with the heavy pot dangling between them.

“This is a lot of trouble to see the future,” the shorter boy grumbles to his best friend.

“Knowledge is worth some pain,” the other boy says with a sly grin jerking his head to the side to try to get his long dark hair to fall out of his clear blue eyes.

“Better yours than mine. Next time you’re not rousing me from bed for your foolishness,” the younger one grumbles with a laugh as they finally figured they were far enough away from the witch’s home to drop the cauldron to the forest floor. They were in a clearing, tall trees reaching with naked fingers to the sky. The water inside the pot was pitch in the night save for the silver of the moon vibrating in the steaming water.

“How do we use it?” the smaller boy asks his friend cuddling up to his side for warmth. They huddle there with the frost forming on the grass for several moments contemplating the cauldron.

“I don’t know. She stares inside and sees her future,” he concedes with a smile and a shrug. The younger boy sinks an elbow into his stomach and he grunts holding his side. “You’re getting strong,” he laughs. The glare he gets sends him into another peel of laughter that he stifles with a hand over his mouth. “You’re full of courage, are you not? Look,” the older one demands wrapping his arm around the smaller boy, drawing him closer.

“You want to know. You look,” the younger boy demands, but he does as he’s asked with half a smile. He leans forward and inside the moon swirls in his vision. He sees nothing in the cauldron, however, as he stands there wrapped in the warmth of the friend he loves most, the only person he’d die for aside from his dear mother, the moon shivers and trembles. Not in the cauldron, but in his mind, scenes lost from time unfold. He gasps in horror at the secrets yet to be unfurling, but through it all there is love as well. The constant presence he’s come to count on. Looking away he burrows in closer to the taller boy, pushing his face tightly to his friend’s chest, shaking his head. He doesn’t want to know everything. He certainly does not, but it’s good to know they will always be together.

“This was a fool’s errand. You are right. You are always right,” the darker boy gasps out the words after several minutes, but his hunger for knowledge keeps his eyes fixed on the endless darkness inside the battered, old, soot dark pot. For all that he claimed not to be the brave one, he hadn’t closed his eyes. He hadn’t looked away.

“Idiotic brats. I know it was you. Bring it back now.” A young woman’s irate yell sounds from outside the tree line and both boys jump in their embrace. Sharing a look they’re jolted from the seriousness of the moment. The short blond snorts out half a laugh, mischief lighting his eyes. Together, holding hands, they race as fast as they can through the darkness away from the clearing to search for a safe warm place to hide in and sleep away the little bit left of the night.

Lady Laufey

UPG heavy today folks. Ye be warned.

***

Today is a classic fall day for the Northeast, rainy, cold, gray, and most of all, perfect tea weather. It goes well with the autumn ritual I’ve been ruminating over while I wait for the trees to burst into fiery glory near the end of September. The ritual is for Lady Laufey, mother of My Beloved Loki, Sweetest Friend and Muse.

Her presence has been strong with me lately and I would genuinely love to thank Her with more than a few simple words. She and Lady Victory, Sigyn, have been the calm I’ve needed. Laufey is the Earth. Healing. The green growth and the tap root.

A ritual for Her will be best performed near the water in the trees overlooking the surf where the sand dunes mound around their mighty toes and the stringy long grass tickles their bark. The perfect day would be one full of sun when the bright dying leaves begin to waft one by one to the ground.

Her throaty laughter chases on breezes through those trees where She dances, long hair flying behind Her, skirts bunched up in Her hands to allow Her feet freedom. Her blackish green eyes are brighter than incandescent seashells when they catch the rays of the sun.

Her ritual should be performed during the day and should be one of motion, however you can incorporate it. She is never still. Trees are constantly growing, moving, dancing, vibrating with life, and so is She.

Her personal bouquet is musky like dark earth, laced with the tang of the sea, and touched with sweet fruit. Any fruit of the season wouldn’t go remiss as an offering for Her, as She prefers foods in their natural state. She’s especially fond of fish. Flowers are a delight for Her, but only if they are potted or harvested in such a way that benefits the plant or if you intend to use the plants for some other purpose after She has enjoyed them. She doesn’t like plucked plants for no other reason than looking at them.

Her colors are green and blends of orange and red-no solid colors in the drapery she chooses for her body. She is dynamic like Her Son.

A Prayer for Laufey

Lady Laufey, whirling in your bright skirts

May we dance with You at the edge of the Earth

where sand meets sea?  

My gratitude for Your kindness

Is a drop in the tide.

You sway and dip with the shrieking winds

Smiling, always smiling.

You’ve learned to flex instead of break.

Healing dances from your fingers

Faster than your feet race.

You are a current rather than a task master, even when you are a rip tide,

Guiding never dragging.

You teach. You sooth. You heal.

Your Bright Eyes are a balm.

I shall always faithfully welcome you into my home.