Saturday, 17 February 2018

Valkyries by Stormlover Wolf

Valkyries by Stormlover Wolf




“Choosers of the Slain!” These female warriors working under Odin actually directed the course of battles, choosing those they favoured to go onto Valhalla and those left to die that the Valkyries did not feel worthy.

Tradition says that there were 13 warriors. All were directed and trained by Freyja. They are seen as helmeted goddesses with spears, crowned with flames and mounted upon flying horses (Pegasus) whose manes can drop either gentle rain or vigorous hail.

Valkyries were originally seen as sinister spirits of slaughter, dark angels of death who soared over the battlefields like birds of prey, choosing the fates of the warriors in the name of Odin.

In later Norse myth, the Valkyries were then romanticized as Odin's Shield Maidens, virgins with golden hair who served the chosen heroes everlasting mead and meat in the great hall of Valhalla, or as lovely swan-maidens or splendid mounted Amazons. This more appealing portrayal shows vulnerabilities over their more fierce predecessors, that the swan-maidens often fell in love with mortal heroes. These swan-maidens were at risk though, they could be easily trapped on earth if they were ever caught without their plumage.

It is said that some Valkyries had the power to cause the death of the warriors that they did not particularly favour; others, especially those considered heroine Valkyries, guarded the lives and ships of those that were dear to them while others were taken down under.

Valkyries were associated with fearlessness, war, death and fairness.

Some names and meanings of some of the Valkyries are:

Brynhild, Geironul, Geirskogul, Goll, Gondul, Gudrun, Guth, Herfjotur, Hervor (Warder of the Host), Hild (Battle), Hjorthrimul, Hlathguth (Necklass Adorned Warrior Maiden),
Hlokk, Hrist, Mist, Olrun (One Knowing Ale Rune), Randgrith, Rathgrith, Reginleif, Sanngrid, Sigrdrife, Sigrun, Skeggjold, Skogul, Skuld (Necessity), Svava, Svipul and Thruth.

The following describes the fall of Brian Boru to Viking forces at the Battle of Clontarf, 1014.

Darradarljod


Blood rains from the cloudy web
On the broad loom of slaughter.
The web of man grey as armor
Is now being woven; the Valkyries
Will cross it with a crimson weft.

The warp is made of human entrails;
Human heads are used as huddle-weights;
The huddle rods are blood-wet spears;
The shafts are iron-bound and arrows are the shuttles.
With swords we will weave this web of battle.

The Valkyries go weaving with drawn swords,
Hild and Hjorthrimul, Sanngrid and Svipul.
Spears will shatter shields will sprinter,
Swords will gnaw like wolves through armor.

Let us now wind the web of war
Which the young king once waged.
Let us advance and wade through the ranks,
Where friends of ours are exchanging blows.

Let us now wind the web of war
And then follow the king to battle
Gunn and Gondul can see there
The blood-spattered shields that guarded the king.

Let us now wind the web of war
Where the warrior banners are forging forward
Let his life not be taken;
Only the Valkyries can choose the slain.

Lands will be ruled by new peoples
Who once inhabited outlying headlands
We pronounce a great king destined to die;
Now an earl is felled by spears.

The men of Ireland will suffer a grief
That will never grow old in the minds of men.
The web is now woven and the battlefield reddened;
The news of disaster will spread through the lands.

It is horrible now to look around
As a blood-red cloud darkens the sky.
The heavens are stained with the blood of men.
As the Valkyries sing their song.


We sang well victory songs
For the young kind; hail to our singing!
Let him who listens to our Valkyrie song
Learn it well and tell it to others.

Let us ride our horses hard on bare backs,
With swords unsheathed away from here!

Whether you choose to see them as heroine's or not is up to each of you. I would like to think that I may have been a Valkyrie in a past life, but of course not the vicious ones!


StormloverWolf


Sources: Richard Wagner “Ride of the Valkyries
Image from Gods and Goddesses Colouring book by Rachel Patterson

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Sapphires by StormloverWolf

Sapphires by StormloverWolf



Sapphires are a form of aluminium oxide also known as corumdrum, one of the hardest materials apart from diamond.  It is coloured by titanium and iron.

Colours: Royal Blue, black green, pink, purple, star sapphire, white and yellow.

Black is protective and centring.  It imparts confidence in one's own intuition.  This stone heightens employment prospects and helps in retaining a job.

Blue is a seeker after “spiritual truth”.  Traditionally it is associated with love and purity.  It is extremely effective for the earth and chakra healing.  This tranquil stone helps you to stay on your spiritual path and is also used in shamanic ceremonies to transmute negative energies.

Green can improve vision, both inner and outer and improves dream recall.  It stimulates the heart chakra bringing loyalty, fidelity and integrity.  This colour enhances compassion as well as an understanding of the frailties and unique qualities of others.  It honours trust and respect of other's belief systems.

Pink acts like a magnet to draw into your life all that you need in order to evolve.  It is a fast-acting stone that teaches you how to master your emotions, clearing emotional blockage and then integrating the transmuted energies.

Purple awakens.  It helps with meditation stimulating the kundalini rise and the crown chakra as well as stimulating the 3rd eye.  It activates the pineal gland with its link to psychic abilities and can stimulate visionary qualities.  This is an extremely “calming” stone for those that may be emotionally unstable.

Royal Blue eliminates negative energies from chakras and stimulates the inner eye to access information for our growth.  It can also teach responsibility for your own thoughts and feelings.  It can help treat brain disorders, including dyslexia.

Star Sapphire has a five-pointed star shaped formation in its depths that is seen through the surface.  This rare stone draws you in and can open your intuition.  It aids you in centring your thoughts and aids in anticipating the intentions of other people.  It is said to assist one in contacting extra-terrestrial beings.

White sapphire has an extremely pure energy.  It opens the crown chakra and it can take spiritual awareness to a very high space, therefore opening your cosmic consciousness.  This is an extremely protective stone that removes obstacles to your spiritual path.  It can assist you in accessing your potential and your life's purpose.

Yellow can attract wealth to your home and can be carried in your wallet/pocketbook to increase prosperity and earnings.  If worn, it should touch the body.  It helps stimulate the intellect can assist in overall focus.  As an elixir, it removes toxins from the body.

Attributes:  Sapphire is known as the “Wisdom Stone”, each colour having its own particular wisdom.  Sapphire focuses and calms the mind and releases unwanted thoughts and mental tensions.  It brings a peace of mind and serenity and sapphires align the physical, mental and spiritual planes and can restore balance within your body.

Sapphire enhances self-confidence.  It is long known as a “badge of royalty”.  Sapphire also links the throat, 3rd eye and crown chakras opening spiritual and psychic perception.  It enhances clear and truthful communication.  It can aid you by releasing depression and spiritual confusion and stimulates concentration.

Healing:  Sapphire calms overactive body systems and regulates the glands.  It helps to heal our eyes removing impurities and stress.  It can help treat blood disorders and can help alleviate excessive bleeding.  It can strengthen veins and can improve their elasticity.

StormloverWolf




Sources:  Judy Hall “The Crystal Bible”

   Jennie Harding “Crystals”
Image - Wikipedia

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

A Hellenic Valentine's Day by Starlitenergies

A Hellenic Valentine's Day by Starlitenergies


As a Hellenic witch and hopeless romantic, Gamelion or (Jan-Feb) is one of my favourite months as it centres around the celebration of love, relationships, marriage and social stability. The festival Theogamia, Gamelia or Hieros Gamos (the sacred marriage) is celebrated on the 27th of the month and in 2018 the 27th Gamelion falls on 14th February according to the reconstructed Attic calendar published by Hellenion.

Theogamia/Gamelia celebrates the anniversary of the marriage (gamos) of Zeus Teleios (of marriage rites or authority, head of the family) and Hera Teleia, as the patron Theoi of marriage, making Gamelion the ideal time to marry, perhaps because spring and new beginnings is just around the corner. (Parke 104).

I get caught up in my modern construct of what marriage is, in ancient Hellas it was no doubt a means to an end, you got married to have children and strengthen community and family connections. If love did blossom, I’d like to think that this festival is the day to celebrate it.

There’s not a great deal of information surviving about the festival itself, what we do know is it was likely a domestic festival, and feasting was likely involved. I would think sexual intercourse was expected. It’s thought that unmarried men were free of religious obligations on this day and were most likely found “out on the town”.

We know Hera Teleia (Goddess of new beginnings and marriage rites) is the primary deity honoured, closely followed by her husband. Some believe the marriage of Zeus and Hera was enacted by participants, the Iliad has an epic account of how a divine union might have been imagined:

“With that the son of Cronus caught his wife in his arms
and under them now the holy earth burst with fresh green grass,
crocus and hyacinth, clover soaked with dew, so thick and soft
it lifted their bodies off the hard, packed ground…
Folded deep in that bed they lay and round them wrapped
a marvellous cloud of gold, and glistening showers of dew
rained down around them both. And so, deep in peace,
the Father slept on Gargaron peak, conquered by Sleep
And strong assaults of Love, his wife locked in his arms.”
—Iliad, 14.413-421, translated by Robert Fagles

I believe despite the commercial onslaught that comes with Valentine’s Day, that this is a time to honour our relationships. You could talk about the last year, reflecting on your relationship, the good, bad and ugly. Make this a time to clear the air and the slate, we all argue, we all have annoyances and worries about our relationships future, so how about talking about your dreams again, setting some goals to work toward as a team.

This is a reminder to give some time to your spouse, leave work early, get a baby sitter, have that dinner together, cultivate some romance, and dare I say it… have an evening of blissful, all-consuming love making!

Happy Theogamia!




Sources:

Fagles, Robert, translator, The Iliad, 1990, Penguin, New York
Parke, H.W., Festivals of the Athenians, 1977, Cornell University Press, London