Wight of the Nine Worlds


I welcome thee free spirit, which thou shalt come with an open heart, open mind and an open soul, for what you are about to read can only be understood by the wise who are eager to learn and to embrace the roots deep and forgotten in the hearts of the free people of Europe, by accepting who you are and where your roots lie, is half way into the great road of life. We will journey unto where our spirit takes us with the knowledge we gained. Learn and teach.

Halloween and the Pagan origins

October is coming to an end, we are so near the day we have all been waiting for, Halloween! or All Saints Day, a very traditional Christian celebration for thousands of generations. But is it really a celebration from the Christian holidays calendar? Or an adaptation from a very ancient past before the christianization of Europe?

In truth, Halloween comes from the harvest festivals held by this time of the year by many European cultures, since immemorial times. We know about the Celtic Harvest festival given the recent Gaelic name of Samhain, a day that marks the end of Summer, connected to the harvest, also to the dead and the ancestors and the Celtic new year.

The medieval Christian churchmen and their Christian leaders often placed their holidays near popular pagan celebrations to wean the people that were recently converted, away from their pagan festivals and beliefs. Like so, Pope Gregory III moved All Saints Day from May the 13th to November the 1st. People wouldn't complain that much now, since they would still celebrate their old pagan holyday but in a different manner and turned to the new faith.
Even with such a new faith introduced, this day never lost it's former essence, and much of the popular imagination and superstition from the earlier period of this celebration is still associated to the fall pagan festival and came to our modern days because some people ( including chuchmen ) preserved some of the cults of the ancient era. Much of the superstitions were around the dead, but by this time, the harvest celebrations took place, bonfires, the coming of autumn and the natural world changing, metaphorically speaking, this was the beginning of the very death of nature, the magical passage to the winter, when the days grow darker and the skies at dusk are "painted" with the colors of fire and the very land takes this form. All of this was thought to be held most prominently during the evening before All Hallows, from where the modern name Halloween or “All Hallows Evening" comes from. The term itself originated in Scotland.
By the passing of time and with the coming of the christian faith and all the tales from the old pagan past that were told to people to scare them and never think about the pagan beliefs again, new customs evolved that had little to do with both the pagan celebrations and the christian All Saints Day or later called All Souls Day on November the 2nd. 
Some people burned candles or used lighted hollowed-out turnips (“jack-o-lanterns”) to drive away the malevolent spirits of the dead on the eve of All Hallows that would enter the world of the living at this very night. The custom of adults and children disguising themselves to trick the spirits or the living and beg for coins or food is the origin of "trick or treating". However, to the Celts, it was true that they believed that a gap between this world and the next, could be indeed opened, and the spirits of the dead, other beings and even the gods, would come to the mortal world. Some people held the celebrations for the dead, hoping that they could have any contact with their ancestors, others would disguise themselves with masks because they feared that in this day, the spirits or the gods would come and take them to the next world, since this was also the day that the deities and their helpers came to collect souls.
All over Europe, before the christianizations, people rejoiced at this day because they knew that this was the day that they would be so close to their ancestors. In northern Europe, there were many celebrations held during the month of October, such as the Dísir, honoring the female ancestors and the female deities. The Alfablót, to honor the spirits of the land to help in the harvest or to thank them for the harvesting time during the year. This was also the time were no stranger to the families living in each farm, could come near, because it was a time for very private celebrations for each family, when they could join with their deceased and feast with them near their buriel mounds at the farm. There was the myth, all over Europe, that this was also the time of the Wild Hunt, and each culture has its tales of the gods, the spirits of the ancestors and the spirits of animals, running across the sky searching for souls, to take away those who were dying, to take people at random if the gods thought that their time had come or to take brave heroes, worthy to be in the presence of the gods.

As Celtic immigrants from Scotland and Ireland came into the United States during the XIX century the spirit and essence of Halloween was rekindled. The American pumpkin replaced the turnip to make the jack-o-lanterns, and as such tit became the most prominent decoration of this holiday in the American culture.

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Shamanism in Seidr and the Völvur

The other day I wrote about Shamanism in the Northern Traditional Paganism and I left you all with the glimpse of the idea that women were the only ones to work with magic, rune Reading, shamanism etc. in the old Norse comunities, and in this post I will go further on that and explain why women were so importante in these fields of expertise.

We know of many Norse deities that are connected with the runes and magic, with shaman practices who are both male and female, the Aesir, Vanir, Jotnar, Alfar, Duergar and such others from the Norse cosmology work with such magics and are linked to them, but the powers of Seiðr are in fact an exclusive spiritual path that belong to the Vanir tribe of gods, and from them, all others gained the knowledge to work with such powers, as such, the Vanir gods aren't just connected with Nature, Agriculture, Fertility and Love, they are also connected to Magic, to shamanism, to Seiðr. Afther many gained this knowledge, including Odin, taught by the Vanir deities, it was also passed down to us mortals, and such works were only practiced by women in the Norse communities, this doesn't mean that men couldn't do it, but to the eyes of the Norse society of that time, it wasn't seen as the right thing for a man to do, nor was it dignify. So women were the workers and practitioners of  Seiðr, and were so called Vǫlva ( or Völva in Icelandic ), plural vǫlur in Old Norse and völvur in Icelandic.
Freyja is the divine archetype of the völva, a professional practitioner of the Norse/Germanic magical tradition known as Seiðr. This was a form of magic concerned with discerning and altering the course of destiny by re-weaving one part of the destiny’s web. To do such things, one would enter in trance, such as a shaman does, and go throughout the Nine worlds in the spirit form and accomplishing her intended tasks.
Freyja as a female deity closely linked to sexuality, fertility, love, magic, household, sensuality, is the perfect patroness of women in the old Norse community and the one closely connected with women that did spiritual work.

During these ages, the völva wandered from town to town and farm to farm prophesying and performing other acts of magic in exchange for room, board, and often other forms of compensation as well. it was their job and all jobs must receive any kind of payment according to the importance of the job. The most detailed account that we might have access to of such a woman and her doings comes from The Saga of Erik the Red,  but numerous sagas as well as some of the mythic poems (most notably the Völuspá, “The Insight of the Völva“) contain sparse accounts of seidr-workers and their practices.
As we know well that any other northern Eurasian shamans was set apart from their communities, the völva was no exception to the rule, these women were set apart from their society as well in both a positive and a negative sense, a Völva was simultaneously exalted, sought-after, feared, and, in some instances, reviled. However, the Völva is very reminiscent of the veleda, a seeress or prophetess who held a more clearly-defined and highly respected position amongst the Norse/Germanic tribes for many centuries both after and before the common era. The women practitioners of these arts held a more or less dignified role among their people.
Speaking of a dignified role among society, such wasn't usually the case for male practitioners of these arts, of Seiðr. According to traditional Norse/Germanic gender constructs, it was extremely shameful and dishonorable for a man to adopt a female social or sexual role. A man who practiced Seiðr could expect to be labeled ergi (Old Norse for “unmanly”) one of the gravest insults that could be hurled at a Norse/Germanic man in those times.  Still, this didn’t stop numerous men from engaging in seidr, sometimes even as a profession. the female position in society and their professions was very important in the role politics and economy, while men took care of the defence of a community, or other warfare acts, hard work in the fields in agriculture, fishing and so on, women were left behind most of the time to do all the hard work in the farms as well, while men were gone at war or died, and also taking care of the house, the great halls, the children, and anything that might have been done in a community of those times. Think of it as time of the Great World War II, most men were dead or crippled, and society was forced to take the women in and scattered them in many fields of expertise, in order to save the economy and keep the countries running, but in Norse/Germanic societies, this was completly normal and accepted with no problem.

Note: The artwork to illustrate this post is a drawing made by me of two women practitioners of Seiðr. If you have any questions for me or if you want to see my artistic works, check out my Facebook page and make a Like if you can by following this link --> http://www.facebook.com/ArithHarger

Hela The Goddess of the Underworld

Hela is the goddess of the Underworld in the Norse cosmology, that is what everybody knows and hears about her, but she is also the goddess of death and one of the most powerful Jotnar. She is the eldest child of Angrboda and Loki.

Hela usually appears to people ihalf rotten or half skeletal form, at one side and a completly normal figure on the other side. Her hair is usually pale and long on the normal fleshy side, although sometimes it is black, no one is really certain about it, it is possible that she changes are appearance according with some situations, it is also possible to see her sometimes with her living  appearance above the waits andtimes as a pale white woman who merely smells of rotten below it. One thing is certain, she choses to appear in such forms to remind people about death, to show them its true forms and to force people in accepting it the way it is, as a natural part of life, as another part of nature itself, so people might respect this natural process of all things.

Hela is a tall figure, usually wearing a robe with the colours of black or grey. She is very calm, actually the atmosphere around her is quite calm and cold, as if the very air was frozen and still. Her only forms aren't just the rotte or skeletal ones, because she also appears as a beautiful woman, perfectly normal when it comes to welcome people into her Halls or the villages for the dead, so we can't be sure what her true form might be, but the "death mask" she wears is certainly to be used when she needs to deal with death or anything linked to that ( which is quite often ).

It seems that before Hela, the daughter of Loki and Angrboda, there used to be another Hel, she was the goddess of death or at least the keeper of the dead, in a time where human folk didn't exist yet, so she was the keeper of all the dead souls of the Jotnar kin. But when this old Hel died or retired, the dead walked on every place of the Nine Worlds, so there always must exist a keeper of the dead, and so Hela, the daughter of Loki and Angrboda took such a task. We don't know if her name comes after the first goddess of the underworld in homage, or if Hel/Hela is a title that the one who replaces the previous deity of death takes, but one thing is certain, this new Hela reshaped the entire place, Helheim, giving it a better look, wonderful, cosy, eternal Autumn like landscape, and she definitely loves all those who come o live with her and she takes good care of them.

Note: The artwork to illustrate this post is a drawing of  Hela made by me. If you have any questions for me or if you want to see my artistic works, check out my Facebook page and make a Like if you can by following this link --> http://www.facebook.com/ArithHarger

Helms - Runic combinations

As I have written about Rune Staves and Bindrunes, I would like to tell you about the so called Helms, which most don't use or don't know about it, even I came to the knowledge of these after at least 2 years already working with the runes.
Helms or sometimes called Shields, are more powerful than rune staves and easier to create than bindrunes. This consists in a circular symbol with four, six or even eight lines/spokes radiating from a central point, and at the other end of each line a rune or runes is/are placed. For example, one Helm/Shield much known is the aegishjalmur symbol, now you may have a clue what a Helm is when talking about binding runes into a unic symbol.
It isn't just the aegishjalmur symbol that has survived from the periods before the Christianization of Europe, many other symbols such as that one have survived, especially in Iceland which helped us a lot in reviving ancient customs.

Helms/Shields are very useful for protection and are often used for such purposes, you might have guess now that the word Helm or Shield, suggests a sort of an armor, that is what these symbols are in a manner of speaking.

Now.. as I have written on the other posts about bindrunes and rune staves, when creating these unic symbols you are also adding runes that you were not supposed to add, but it is inevitable, it will create whether you like it or not and the power of that rune will be added to the symbol as well. So in the case of Helms this also happens of course, for example, when you creat an Helm with only four lines/spokes it will automaticaly create a fifth rune, Gyfu, so when creating these, people usually use them for the effects linked to partnership, for such is the power of Gyfu, this means it can be any kind of partnership, in business, love or just a deep friendship you have with someone, so keep that in mind, if you want to creat an Helm with four lines, keep in mind that it will help you on partnerships, and as such, you will be adding to the end of each line, runes that enhance that effect.
Helms with six lines will form anothor rune, this time Ior is that rune, the rune of adaptability. Usually Helms with eight lines are the most favored, because they do not create a rune as the four or six Helms do, and perhaps that is what makes them so special, because they had the power of another rune.

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Galdor - The Power of Speech

Recently I have been writing about Rune Staves and Bindrunes and such ways to work with the runes, but the final thing one must do to make these type of magics work in the end, is with Galdor, or in other words, the power of speech.

The first people to work with such things, knew that the power of sound was crucial for the magics to work. The person who specialized in incantations and magic songs was known as Galdre. Calling upon the power of the runes, calling by their names, is a way for the spirits of the land to hear you and help you, and the very spirits of each rune will also be "awaken".

Some of the Anglo-Saxon verbal magic were preserved, and we know that there were a lot of incantations for various purposes. For you to have a simple idea of what this is ( because it is very hard to understand in its all even for those who work with Galdor ) Tolkien as you might know, researched everything that was possible to place his hands on when dealing with Norse mythology and Norse culture, and in his books it is possible to have the precession that he knew about Galdor, or at least its purpose in the lore, for example, the power of language or song all over his books, especially when it comes to the Elves, while singing, every mark of sadness embedded in the soul of the characters fades after hearing the elves sing or tell stories in the form of songs, Bilbo himself goes to Rivindell to rest, hearing the wonderful songs of the Elves, it touches everyone, or perhaps Gandalf, when he uses the back speech of Mordor or even the creation of Arda ( Middle earth ) in the book Silmarillion ,when the One, Eru Ilúvatar, comes forth and there was nothing, and the first thing created was sound, sound that started all the creation by its very power. It seems that the power of sound in Tolkien's fiction stories, has the power of both creation and destruction.

In our own Middle Earth, our physical plane, words too have the power to create and destroy, for example when people chant to themselves words of wisdom and strength, they are casting a spell upon themselves, to improve, its psychological, but with repetition of the words, we begin to have more strength and believe, because sound propagates and resonates within ourselves.
We are the only mammals that have this ability to verbalize, that alone makes us special, and Galdor takes the act of out creation to a different level.

So Galdor at its simple effect, is about the repetition of the words, empowered by your own voice, whenever you have a need, be it sleeping, have the will to do a task or any other thing that works directly with your psychological nature thus empowering your physical self as well, you use the power of Galdor, the power of speech to encourage yourself. In a simple way, it is like telling someone "You can do it! Go on! You can do it!" and that gives hope to the person and actually gives a sense of power to go on.

Rhyme is perhaps the most common and effective form of Galdor, it implants messages into your mind and creating them, also helps you to think, using your brain, activating and improving the form of reasoning. It is proved that after many years of not hearing a rhyme that we used to hear often in childhood, we will remembered it better than any other phrase that does not rhyme. This also applies to Galdor, and liek this you can have a glimpse of its power and how it was used by the Norse/Germanic Peoples, and by many others worldwide. We also see this in Shamanism, the chants that help inducing altered states of mind.

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Values of Rökkatru

In the Norse/Germanic pagan beliefs and in other pagan or spiritual beliefs not based on abrahamic beliefs, there isn't such thing as Good deities and Evil deities, especially in the Norse cosmology, there is just the chaotic forces and the forcer of balance, which is the most simple way to describe nature itself. Like I have said in the previous post about what Rökkatru is, I will write now its values and how important it is to understand the other side of nature, the chaotic side, the side that deals with the things that aren't appealing to us humans and we tend to run away from, but it is important for us to understand that nature isn't just beautiful, it is dangerous, destructive, there is death and rebirth, there is loss and sadness, but all of that is part of what we are, of what nature is, and the better we understand that, the better we can live in harmony. When people speak of the underworld deities and spirits, we tend to connect that to Evil, but in truth, those deities and spirits are just as helpfull and honorable as any other, and they have more to teach us than we imagine, we tend to get away from that, but it is just getting away from the other half of nature, the missing piece in us.

Death isn't to be taken lightly, but we fear it so much that we often try to see into the future, or when we have any kind of difficulty, we try to think what the future will be like in some years from now? or even after we are dead? We can't live with the things we aren't certain about, we can't think of what might happen after so many years, one step at a time, live each day without the thought on the far future, because what might happen in the future isn't the result of what you make right now, it is the result of many steps you take, many paths, many choices, that will come one day at a time, building slowly your future. However, before you act, react or speak, think ahead of that, what it may cause to you and others, and don't take things too personally, because when we react when someone or something, or an event damages us, we often do worse to ourselves, let that tide pass, calm down and act accordingly with the situation. This is how the goddess Hel/Hela might teach us, all that we do might have a negative or a beneficial impact in out lifes and the lifes of those around us, and step by step we make our own paths, and it is the choices we make that will build our future.

Telling the truth is important, even when people are avoiding it out of fear, be it good or bed, always tell it, but truth doesn't always comes from speaking, one must be true to himself, to his convictions and to his beliefs, one must know himself well enough to act accordingly with the truth that lies before him. The truth of things might hurt, or might take you into troubles, but if you follow the path of truth, and never lie to yourself, trust will be placed on you by others and you will act without fear. Loki is such a god, one that many see as an evil one, but in reality, he is a god that acts as he thinks is right, to is own good or the good of others, or some times to the misfortune of others, but never afraid to fail, never afaird to be judged, always true to himself.

Rökkatrú isn't just about the gods or the spirits of the land or each element, but also about other beings who have their role to play, it is about diversity, such as Angrboda the ruler of Ironwood, the place where so many of the giant race comes, in many sizes and forms, even with deformities, we must learn to respect each other, not just by out looks, but because of so many different aspects we have from each other, be that gender, colour of the skin, cultural background, history, the lifestyle, sexual preferences. Unfortunately we pick on the tiniest aspects that show something different in others from ourselves, just to criticized, tell it is wrong, to judge, that we waste a great amount of time damaging others and we don't gain anything from that.

Being true to your love, such as Sigyn is, you also might learn that being faithful to those you love, friends, family, lovers, is also being true to yourself, no matter of what others say about those you love, if they love you back in the same way, that is more important than being accepted by anyother group, if they don't understand you, if they don't understand that you are being true to love, they do not deserve you, because with true love and being true to those who love you back, you gain true friendship for the rest of your life and beyond, and you can always count on them as they expect to count on you. Don't fail them.

Sometimes war is necessary, some times there is the need to fight back, but try to seek more ways to make peace, as such, you will also bring joy.

The underworld gods are connected with death but also with rebirth, the recycling of nature, and you to must recycle, respect nature, such as Nidhogg that gnaws upon the roots of Yggdrasil, it helps recycling the dead bark, helping the tree to rejuvenate. Don't waste your life, always try to do new things, thigns that bring you joy, but also that have a meaning, a purpose, a purpose greater than yourself, something that also might help others.

When time comes for acceptance, it is also time for hospitality, such as the weak beings are welcomes and protected by the Jotnar, or by Hela, Aegir or even Surt into their realms, beings not of their own kind, but still they welcome them for protection, a kind and simple act, you too must do it, and hospitality isn't just the door you open for those in need, those who ask it of you, but it is also opening your heart. The first time you meet someone, be generous, gracious, give them your hand, until the time comes to reveal their trueself, and then you shall decide if they are worthy or worthless of your kindness.

Note: If you have any questions for me or if you want to see my artistic works, check out my Facebook page and make a Like if you can by following this link --> http://www.facebook.com/ArithHarger


When the faith of the Norse/Germanic old pagan traditions came after so many years hidden because of Christianity, there was given a new name to this neo-pagan belief based on the old ancestral traditions of the Northern peoples of Europe, the name was Ásatrú. The name comes from the word áss or in plural Aesir, and Trú meaning faith or religion in Old Norse, Faith to the Aesir gods. This is the neo-pagan beliefs in the Norse gods of the Aesir tribe, the gods of sky, war and culture, which includes Odin, Bragi, Frigga, Heimdall and so on. But others were more focused in working with the Norse deities of agriculture, fertility, love and magic, more focused in working with the Norse gods of the Vanir tribe, such as Freyr, Freyja, Njord and son on, so it was decided that those people would be called Vanatrú. Then came a new concept called Rökkatrú, for those who worked with the Norse deities of the underworld, like Loki, Hel/Hela, Surt, Fenrir, Sigyn and so many others. Most who really worship the Norse gods, not just one of its pantheons, don't have the need to call themselves by one of these three names, but this concept of Rökkatrú was created to remind people that the deities of the Norse/Germanic old pagan beliefs aren't just the Aesir and the Vanir, there are other gods, more linked to the ancestors and the spirits of the earth which are as important as any other deity or spirit in their own ways. The concept of a world tree isn't exclusive in the the Norse/Germanic beliefs, it is a worldwide concept in many cultures, it is a spiritual concept in shamanism, when a shaman or a spirit-worker journeys into other worlds, to facilitate the explanation of this idea and also facilitate their own spiritual journeys, there is always three levels, above, middle and below or heaven, earth and underworld, and a shaman has the job to travel between worlds, so the world tree is what connects the spirit to these three levels, in the Norse cosmology it connects to Nine worlds, all equally important, all important to the functioning of Yggdrasil.
Worshiping such deities and spirits of the underworld is some times seeing as something Dark, and such deities are Evil, but this is an idea that came from the Christian concept, which in many ways infiltrated many interpretations of the old European Beliefs, so worshiping or working with the underworld deities and spirits isn't evil, because in a shamanic perspective, death is a natural part of life, and the powers of the gods are often expressed through nature, but nature isn't just the beautiful route of the sun in the sky, nor the rain falling, the wind howling or the passing of seasons and theur beauty, nature is also dangerous, chaotic, destructive, death is also part of nature, and this part of nature is often put aside, especially when it comes to neo-pagan beliefs that have picked up all the wonderful aspects of the old pagan beliefs, the most fantastical, which leaves such beliefs incomplete, because the other part of nature is so incoviniente to us, but if we accept it, we can understand the ways of nature in a better way and learn how to live with it.

Nowadays we are concentrated in Heathenry (reconstructionist Norse/Germanic religion), and people prefer to worship the Aesir gods and the Vanir gods, but the gods aren't divided into good and bad, all of them are worthy to honor, all of them have their "area of expertise", all of them are connected with specific things that we need to understand and also work with, to balance our lifes with the natural world, and have balance within ourselves.

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Bindrunes 2nd part

As I have written about Bindrunes/Bandrùnar the other day and about Rune Staves, I would just like to remind you the difference between those and what Bindrunes are, because some people tend to be a litle confused.
The Bindrune consists in a number of runes, usually 3 to 5, of if you already have a great skill in it and need a powerful symbol for diferente actions and events all at the same time, some people do them with 9 to 12, but a Bindrune is the junction of runes superimposed over each other. The result in the end is a completly unique symbol of your own creation, it is possible that someone somewhere might do it similar, but in truth when you are doing one Bindrune, it is your own creation and at that moment, the symbol is yours and yours alone, and from all the runic symbols Bindrunes are the most personal symbols one can get but its creation is similar in many ways to the creation of Rune Staves.
The difference between Bindrunes and Rune Staves is taht you are making the runes directly on top of each other rather than in a linear type, the final outcome of the junction of the ruens of your choice will be just one symbol. Just like the Rune Staves, you have to know if you want a charm with permanente effect of a finite effect, as such, you will choose carefully the appropriate médium to work with. Take into account that by creating a Bindrune, some runes can disappear in the symbol, but as you created them, you have placed them there and for each one you have called upon them and their powers to aid you. If you are uncertain that this symbol will work because one of the runes disappears and you are afraid that the effect of that specific rune will not work with the others, you may have to think carefully if that rune is apropriate for the matter and choose another or try to make the symbol in a way that all the runes are visible. Bindrunes are very tricky, but they are a good exercise for the mind. It might also happen that in that symbol, you might see or it might appear runes taht your didn't intente to place there and their powers will work, either you like it or not, and adding a very interesting fact to this, this is why the rune Is is never places on a Bindrune, at least not intentionally because it is a straight line and can be found anywhere, a very special rune, hidden, but it is everywhere, a mystery rune that warns us that things are not as they seem to be.
The first symbol in your Bindrune will be clearly marked, and then the second one superimposed over the first one and so on. With the power of galdor ( which i will be writting on another post ) you will empower this symbol at the end of its creation.

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Bragi - the Skald of Skalds

Bragi the God of Poetry.eloquence and music in the Norse Mythology, he is also the bringer of peace and a diplomate on his own account, every one in all the nine realms loves him, and when he leaves every place he has been, people stay with thoughts of peace, Community aid and other relations of mutual help.

Bragi is the son of the god Odin, his eldest child next to Thor. The story of how Bragi was born is a very interesting one.
In ancient times when Odin still wandered much all over the Nine worlds, there was a powerful artefect called the Mead of Poetry which was kept by the giant Suttung and guarded by his daughter Gunnlod. Odin knew about this sacred mead and he was determined to take it for his own, so he took up the form of a snake and went into the cave where the mead was hidden. When he saw Gunnlod, he returned to his form and offered himself as her lover. During the time Odin spent with Gunnlod, he drank most of the magical mead and gave a child to Gunnlod. Odin returned to Asgard, where he placed all the mead he had consumed by vomiting it into barrels. When time came, Gunnlod sent their son to Asgard to live with his father. Bragi was brilliant and eloquent, with a beautiful singing voice, great musical talent, and a his presence was the joy of all, and thus he was made the skald of Asgard, but seldom does Bragi stay there. It is said that Bragi is one of the few deities to be welcomed in every place by every one and every race. Such as Ullr, he is a diplomat, but rather than being a warrior, he is a bringer of peace. Bragi is married with Idunn, the goddess who takes care of the orchards of Asgard, whose golden apples keep the gods young.
Story tells us that the mead of poetry was created with the blood of the Vanir god Kvasir, sacrificed for the matter, and that he was just like Bragi, a peacemaker loved by all, some say that Bragi is Kvasir reborn, that his soul went to the mead and was passed into Gunnlod's womb when Odin drank it, but in my opinion, it isn't so, for Kvasir lives in Helheim now and continues to be the same Vanir god that every one loved and he welcomes people at his new Halls, where everyone can enjoy his company and hear his wonderful stories. However, it is possible that his very essence was passed to the mead and Bragi got his powers.

Bragi is the closest god that as ever helped my family as far as I know, of course other deities helped, but Bragi is dear to me and has helped my grandfather and has also helped me, such as Freyr did, but Bragi is more of a friend to my family from my mother side.

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Heimdal's Birth

Along the coasts of Vanaheim, lives the sea god, ruler of the Norse oceans, Aegir. His wife is Ran, and they both live in their great halls, filled with the ghosts of dead sailors, it is there where they go to rest before they are sent to Helheim or any other part of the Nine realms. Aegir and Ran have nine daughters, beautiful and terrible as the sea, they are so named from the eldest to the youngest, Kolga, Duva, Blodughadda, Bara, Bylgja, Hronn, Hevring, Unn and Himinglava. The nine sisters are very protective and have great love for each one of them.
It is said that the Aesir god Odin once laid with one of the nine sisters and she bore him a child, no one knows with which one the god did this because it was an event against the will of Aegir, and each of the sisters made a pact, never to tell anyone, not even their parents, especially their mother, because they feared their wrath would fall upon them, since the Sea gods have no love for the One-eyed one. As such, the nine sister hid in the darkest depths of the ocean, never to be found by anyone until the baby was born, when such thing happened, they brought the baby to Aegirheim, and told their parents what had happened, but never told which one of them had the baby. Aegir and Ran tried again and again to know the truth, which one of them was the mother of the baby, but none of them turned against each other, and the only truth that came out, was that the baby was the child of Odin and the nine of them, this is why that in some tales it is said that Odin laid with all the nine sisters. Regardless of  the truth, Ran had no love for this child and as such, the child would not be raised under their Halls, and as the nine sisters had no love for this child either, they agreed with Ran and the child was set on a boat towards the Island of Vanaheim in the hopes that some kind fold there would adopt the child.
Odin had been waiting to see the child, and to see what would happen next, and from Valaskjalf he saw that the child was going towards the coasts of Vanaheim, as soon as he could, he intercepted the child and brought her to Frigga's Halls at Fensalir. Frigga was used to deal with his husband's children from other affairs, and so she took care of the child and named him Heimdal. Frigga wanted to raise the child as her own, but Odin had in mind other plans for his newborn son, he wanted one of his children to come do Midgard and love the Humanfolk, and Odin decided that Heimdal would live two lives, one as a mortal and one as a god. Heimdal was placed on the boat again and sent to Midgard, where a poor fisherman found him and took the child with him. In Midgard he was named Rig, and he grew as fast as a mortal child does. Rig grew happy, but he always felt that there should be more than just that life in the farm of by the fishing boat, and he had a great fear in him, an inexplicable fear for the sea. His mothers watched him from afar, from the ocean, every time he walked on the beach, but the fear of the ocean held him back, and by his mothers he never knew his true origins.
When Rig was old enough, he left the farm and wandered off to many places in Midgard, he had many women and gave many children to those women, this was part of Odin's plan, to spread his blood with the mortals and thus enrich their bloodlines.
After many adventures and battles, Rig was made King, and Odin who was always watching him, was very proud of his son. When Rig came to old age and was lying on his deathbed, he closed his eyes for the last time as a mortal man, and all that stood beside him, weeping, felt into amazement when a great cloud of birds took him a flew off with his body. Rig was taken to Asgard, where he was restored to his immortal self, and he too was in amazement, to wake up in his bed, young and in the land of the gods, and he too shared  him them the same high title and it was given to him the job of gatekeeper of Asgard. Frigga told him about his true name, Heimdall, and took him as a son and he called her mother. In time the real tale of his birth was told to him, and in anger, he holds an hatred agaisnt all the Jotun folk, for coming from one of those wombs, but not knowing which one and being abandoned to the mercy of the waves, and to this day he avoids the ocean, but he keeps a great love for the mortal folk and he is very protective to them, but his heart is hardened because of all the things he knows about his birth and his life, and every time the day of his birthday comes, a great storm is formed on the oceans near Vanaheim, created by their Grandfathers and his nine mothers, to honor him.

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Rune Staves

We have all heard about magical symbols, objects, talismans at least once, or in the context of magic and ancient religious practices, such subject is often heard, so at this post I will be writing about the Runes as talismans, or as in an object that might help in any kind of magical work when dealing with the Norse Gods, so lets start with the Rune Staves.

When those who work with the Norse/Germanic traditional paganism and have the need to possess Runic talismans for their magical work, these talismans are often constructed in the form of staves, also a work very commun when dealing with Ogham, the Celtic alphabet. As you choose runes for spellcasting, you also choose likewise to place them on a stave, usually in series of three or more according with their influences. Most staves consist in either three of five runes, because like so it is easier to manage, anything longer than this, can be very confusing, not just to you, but also with the powers you are working with, keep it simple. Before you choose your runes, you must know if the talisman you are about to create, is a permanente charm or if it is intended to have a finite effect. This is something that you need to take a deep thought, because the purpose of these talismans, are to create an event or to attract something to you or to any one you give the talisman, after the event occurs, the spell is done and the talisman has no further purpose, and as such, the talisman must be removed from this world, burnt, destroyed, have it your way. You must take into account that this kind of magical work might be simple, but you can't sit at home waiting for it to work, things don't magically happen, like I have said, the rune staves or any other talisman made of runes or even BindingRunes, help to create or attract an event in your life, and everything in this world to be attracted to something, must be near it or have any kind of contact with, like a magnet attracts iron, so if you create a talisman to find a job for example, you need to go out there, search for a job, you need to take physical action, and the talisman will help you out, it will help in attracting that event into your life, it will attract a job of your satisfaction.
You may use the same runes to attract an event in your life, but know that each rune doesn't also help in things like having a job, but also help in physical or psychological diseases, feelings, and so on, so when you use the same three runes as a talisman to attract a job, in this case a talisman with a finite effect, you will destroy it after, but you can also create a talisman with the same runes, to keep with you, to be permanent, to attract joy, prosperity, contentment etc.
Now the importante thing and harder, when you place your three runes, they have to make sense, the sense that expresses your intention regardless of the direction you read them, of left to right or backwards.

Like I have said before, if the talisman is made for a finite purpose, you will have to destroy it, so you better choose paper or wood to create your rune staves, it will be easier to destroy, unless you are sure that your talisman will have a permanent effect and you already have mastered this, you may create into a piece of metal or even bone.

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Zombie apocalypse during the Stone Ages

Nowadays the zombie apocalypse Tv shows, Movies and Games have many fans worldwide, but this zombie apocalypse thing is much more than a modern horror device, in fact, the fear of the walking dead, coming from their graves to prey upon the living, is  a subject which we can read in almost every culture all over the globe, each religion has its own form of undead, for example the Draugr from the Norse Scandinavian countries,  the ghūl / Ghoul from the Arabian folklore, the Jiangshi from the Chinese Folklore and so on... It seems that we humans have always feared the return of the deceased into the world of the living... but today at this post, I will not talk about the folklore of every culture ( which would be a very interesting subject, but too extensive ), what i will be writing about, is the fact that we thought that such creatures of myth were as ancient as the historical texts..but in truth it comes from a past, way before the first history records.

In Europe and in the Middle East Archaeologists have recently unearthed evidence of a mysterious Stone Age culture that smashed skulls. Human skulls buried underneath an ancient settlement in Syria were found detached from their bodies with their faces smashed in. It appears that the skulls were exhumed and detached from their bodies several years after originally being buried. It was then that they were smashed in and reburied separate from their bodies. This finding could suggest that these people from Stone Age believed that the living were under some kind of threat from the dead. Perhaps they believed that the only way of protecting themselves was to smash in the corpses' faces, detach their heads and rebury them apart from their bodies, which reminds me of how people in Romania back in the Dark Ages and early medieval ages used to kill the so called Vampires, or the moroi or  strigoi, by detaching the head from the body and buring it so, with the tool that was used to cut the head ( usually a sickle, Scythe or a shovel) between each part, so that the body couldn't attach the head again and like so, return. I may have "fled" from the main subject, but a Vampire is also a form of an undead, and also because I love mythology so much.. I couldn't resist.
Back to the subject, archaeologists found a very unusual thing: many of the 10,000-year-old skulls appear to have been separated from their spines long after their bodies had already begun to decompose. Why would this ritual be performed so long after individuals had died? Did they only pose a threat to the living long after their original burial and death? If this was a manner of a  ritualistic exercise, it also raises questions about why only specific corpses were chosen. All of the smashed skulls were from adult males between the ages of 18 and 30. Furthermore, there was no trace of delicate cutting. It appears that the skulls' faces were simply smashed in using brute force with a stone tool. There is always a rational explanation in everything we find, but let us delve into a few facets of zombie mythology. Zombies, as we know, are hungry for the flesh of the living, and the only way to stop them is by striking the head somehow, or the brain. In many zombie movies, this involves shooting them in the cranium. One might surmise that the Stone Age equivalent of this would be smashing in their faces with a big rock and do the most damage possible. Perhaps taking their heads off was then performed to ensure that the job was done and there was no way that these bodies could come to life again. Maybe what seems to be an unearthed body to take its head off and smash the face in, and buried again, was in fact a body that came out by itself, and only after this, it was.. killed again lets just say and placed back into the proper place. But of course, this isn't a thing to be taken into a scientific thesis, according to archaeologists working in this case it is possible that Stone Age people simply believed that they could absorb the strength of the dead young men by performing somekind of ritual, such rituals are commun in many ancient cultures. This would help explaining why all the skulls were from young men. It would also help to explain why the heads were buried directly underneath a thriving settlement. It may also have been an act of revenge.

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Iron age horse found

As the global warming advances every year it melts glaciers and ice sheets, leaving perfectly preserved relics behind, to be found by archaeologists. This was what happened in the past August at Norway. At the high alpine zone, it seems that Iron Age people used hourses to travel from one place to another, or to trade with the near by villages, but going over the mountain passages, which is something extremely difficult. At the Lendbreen glacier near Lillehammer, archaeologists are working fast against the environmental changes, deep in the ice, it might hold ancient relics and preserve them, but once the ice melts and these same relics are exposed to the weather outsider, archaeologists have little time to try to conserve the relic as much as possible in its original state.  It is important to keep the melting ice under constant observation as once an artefact defrosts, archaeologists have just days to begin preserving it.

In this area it is believed that Iron Age people all the way to the  early medieval period, used shortcuts in the mountains to go from village to village and also this might have been the hunting grounds, because when it gets hot in the summer, the reindeer will get pestered by horseflies, and when that happens they move up to the ice to avoid such insects, and this fact made the ice excellent hunting grounds. The horse whose bonés were discovered was probably used to carry reindeer carcasses back off the mountains to the villages below. Along with such discoveries. other items were found, because these people from time to time, going to hunt or trading, they droped personal objects once in a while.

The team of archaeologists have previously found perfectly preserved 1000-year-old horse manure, and horse shoes dropped in the ice. Earlier this year of 2013, they made headlines across the world when they found a 1,700-year-old woollen tunic, fully intact apart from the two patches sewed into it by its iron age owner.