Monthly Archives: March 2014

G is for Runes

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G is for Runes

In the Anglo Saxon Futhorc there are two G runes. One is pretty well known, as it is part of the re-created Elder Futhark, whereas the other one, whose inclusion as part of the Northumbrian extension, is a bit of am mystery of it’s presence.
Gebo
The first one, appearing in the First aettir is Gebo or Gyfu. The gift. Part of my understanding behind this rune is the idea of exchange that creates connections. By exchanging gifts, you become friends, family, lovers, business partners, Governments and people that are governed. Connections are made. Contracts are agreed to. To be human, is to participate in the exchange of creating a social unit, a social unit which can be varied, diverse and complex, as you try to understand the exchange that you have with everyone, who all have different exchanges with each other. When the exchange fails to happen, when the gifts are not shared, is when that connection falls apart, and the social order separates. Sometimes this leads to divorce, or ending of friendships. Other times it creates wars between nations, or revolutions between people and their government. Thinking that you are independent, self made, or not reliant on other people is a mistake, because we all, in fact, rely on others all the time, and in this day and age, sometimes that exchange is so assumed or expected that it has become invisible, and thus forgotten and disrespected. Respect the exchange. Share your gifts. Only be sharing will betterment of yourself and others come about.

Gar

The second G rune, that of Gar, which means Spear. The spear was the oldest and most widely used weapon among Northern peoples. Lacking widespread availability of iron, swords were rare and usually reserved for the wealthy, and typically made of other metals. When Iron and steel swords became available, it was usually through trade with other cultures. But spears were easier to have and produce. Only the spearhead needed to be metal, and depending upon the length of the staff, it could be a weapon for close combat, or useful and dealing with distant foes or even keeping foes as a distance.
Yet, at the same time, the spear could be a metaphor for many other things. It could be a symbol of the world tree, a pillar around which all of creation is upheld and revolves. It could also be the spear that marks the turning point of the heavens, now days identified with the star Polaris. The axis of the sky and creation, which everything either revolves around, or is turned by. The point of the spear is the center of all creation, the source and end, the beginning and ending. All potential and all realization exist there, and can be found. But it is also a blank slate, a tabula rasa. Nothing is written, but could be. There is only possibility and potential that can be formed and realized. So what will you do? Where will you go? What shapes and forms will you give release to and how will it change and affect you? Now you can create anew, just be sure of what you are creating.

F is for Fascination

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F is for Fascination

Fascination. Glamor. Enchantment. The art of making friends and influencing people or rather The Art of making friends and influencing people. One of the most common bases of magic practices, and well attested to in pop culture, but also in the accumulated knowledge of esoteric traditions around the world. While in a certain sense all magic is about influencing something or someone, it is the magic of Fascination that deals with that influence specifically and directly.

I specifically like the world Fascination. There is a certain ring to it that just tickles the forces within and around me. To fascinate another and make yourself into the sparkling, glittering being or object that cannot be resisted. To magically improve your charisma, wit, or subtle appearance that people are drawn to you, either with love, with trust, or loyalty, or any other emotion that draws people together into various bonds and commitments. That is the means of fascination.

How do you fascinate people? There are many ways. Some of the most mundane ways begin with simple things. Dress nicely. Smell nice. Stand up straight with good posture. Speak clearly. Make a point of remembering people’s names, even if you have to come up with some kind of sleight of mind trick to do it. Present yourself with grace, wit and ease, even when it would seem impossible in a certain situations. Fake it till you make it.
Some more complicated mundane tricks can also be used. Things like NLP aka Neuro Linguistic Programming. Social Proof. Books like The Game as well as the endless titles of books for women on how to catch men, that introduce various tactics and methods and even specialize with certain types of men. A lot of the sociology, psychology and just plain subtle manipulation that is taught in these books walks a very fine line of being nearly magical in the results that they produce.

The archives of magic are also filled with endless ways to enchant, glamor and fascinate people. The most simplest of ways relies upon personal effects. Bathing in dew collected on Midsummer morning collected from plants. Washing yourself in an herbal tea that is said to make you eloquent, or draw romantic partners to you, or even reunite you with a straying lover. Many a love oil can be used to fascinate people or persons, to find the desired partner, whether it’s for a lasting relationship or short fling.

Some more complex methods involve the manipulation of energy. Learning to project your personal energy by your eyes is probably the most obvious form of fascination, where literally your gaze charms and enchants the target(s) as you draw them to you. This would then be followed by surrounding them with your breath (hopefully pleasantly smelling) and then perhaps sealing it with a kiss or touch that is also a means to deliver further enchanting forces. Although, once you’re close, you could turn to more heavy handed techniques where you gain the personal effects of the target, from hair to bodily fluids, which are then used in spells to bring influence, love, or control and domination, depending upon what you are desires or needs are. If you cannot gain their personal effects, then you instead leave enchanted items for them to walk over, on, or through or under or consume, that will cast the spell upon them. From powders laid secretly down for the target(s) to walk through, to feeding them foods magic with magical herbs, perhaps with a bit of your own personal effects mixed in for extra measure. This breaks the separation between you, uniting you and your target together, and filling their being your essence.

More spiritual methods are also available. You could literally call on a wide range of spirits, from pagan Gods to spirit allies that you encounter, to help you influence people. You could also influence them spiritually by visiting the target(s) in dreams, and through the sleeping or subconscious mind plant what you desire into their being, to bring about the influences and results you desire.

One way that I find interesting I learned from the Crystal Silence League. It is known as developing the sexual force, another name for animal magnetism. By developing this force, which is inherent in all people, to a healthy and vital level, not only will it support your health and vitality, but it also attract desired or healthy partners for sex and romance to you, but also friendships, even working relationships. Because that animal magnetism goes beyond just sex and love, but into all aspects of life. To work with this sexual force, you need to find it’s source, a power that slumbers in the subtle body, located in the general area of your sex IE your genitals. Find that source and feed it with pleasure, with breathing exercises, with understanding your sexual nature and it’s healthy and natural expression that is personal to you. Use these things like throwing fuel onto a fire. Start small, with kindling, and when it begins to grow stronger, you can feed it more and more, until it becomes a might blaze that will then surge through your channels and centers of your body. Work with that energy. Listen to it intuitively. What does it tell you about yourself? How does it want to influence and attract people? What makes you feel like a precious jewel, that is desired by all? Who does it attract you to and who does it push you away from? Follow this intuitive push and see where it leads you.

The art of fascination can take many forms, some of which will work better for some people then others. Find which parts tick for you and work well. Enchantment is a subtle and demanding art, because if used to roughly and bluntly, people often will realize that they have been or are attempted to being manipulated, which often creates the opposite of the desired reaction. Remember that one of the major keys to Fascination is empathy. Know how to relate to people, if you really want to enchant them. It is also what turns you into a controlling robot, who is jerk, and into a sensitive human being, who knows how to relate to other human beings.

F is for Feoh

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F is for Feoh

Feoh

Feoh or Fehu is the first rune of the runic alphabet. It is from this letter that begins the general name of the runic sequence Futhark or Futhorc. The meaning attributed to Feoh is that of wealth, gold, valuables and by association from older cultures, cattle, the medium of understanding how wealthy a person or household might be. I mainly think of it as just wealth or gold as the best representation for modern day understandings. The name of this rune is see as the foundation for many modern words like finances, fees, fiscal and other words that relate to money and wealth that start with a similar sound.

After love magic, I would say that most people coming looking for magic to help make them prosperous, wealthy, rich, or at least financially stable, free from the upsets of unexpected losses, bills, fines and complications. Considering that the major cause of so much stress for many people, couples, and life in general in the modern US is based around wealth, including some of the biggest issues of economics, jobs, employment, social security, the costs of healthcare and so many other things, it can really get a person or a family down.

Wealth and prosperity magic is probably more practiced in some ways then love magic. While some people have various ethical reservations about getting someone to love them through magic, most people do not feel as complicated as doing spells to get themselves to get jobs, find money, or ensure financial favor and support. I know that I myself certainly have no problems with it, and work it often enough. Yet, so much of our culture has this divide between “materialism” and “spirituality”. When you meet a spiritual teacher or practitioner who is rich, people often look askance at them, seeing something questionable and perhaps fraudulent in what they are doing. Yet at the same time, some of these same people might completely ignore long standing spiritual and religious institutions who have more wealth then most of the developing countries in the world.

Yet, I myself find it particularly valuable in seeing the spiritual side of wealth, as well as the spiritual benefit of being enlightened, and applying that wisdom and gaining and managing my wealth, but also the wealth of states and nations. I think it would be much better to have someone who has compassionate enlightenment and reason to be thinking about how to best serve the management of the wealth of a nation then the greed and corruption which clearly plagues the economic systems of the world now.

To meditate and contemplate wealth, prosperity, and abundance not only of spiritual things, but of how it can serve to turn material things into their true spiritual natures is something that can be gained through working with Feoh. Carve it into a candle, or write it on a paper which you then dab with some kind of money related condition oil. Draw the rune from your rune bag and sit with it, either before you, or held in your hands. Chant the name, or draw it in the air with energy and intent and press it into your etheric and astral bodies. What does Feoh tell you about your relationship with Wealth? What would be enough? What do you really want and need to be prosperous?

E is for Empowerment

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E is for Empowerment

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First some ideas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empowerment

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empowerment_(Vajrayana)

I like the concept of Empowerment. While it has a more social and political and cultural implications in the west, I also like it’s understanding in the terms that come from Vajrayana. I also found empowerment plays it’s role in modern American neo paganism, both in a social context and in an esoteric way. What I find is that one seems to fuel other, in it’s searching and it’s steps of slowly gaining it.

Of course, esoteric Empowerment has a different name, that is probably much better known, and much shorter. Initiation. Initiation is something that seems to be absent from a lot of contemporary spiritual practice, although it is making a come back. Some people gain it from traditions. P re-exisiting orders, Lineage, passed down from the founder. People seek in it various ways. Other methods of initiation are personal and unique. From the spirits themselves, you can be initiated, by Gods, by Angels, by the Fae, many beings. Some initiations are specific to the spirit giving it. Others might be deep, and require time and many challenges. The major initiation in modern western esoteric orders is the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Nothing could be more personal, even though the practice of it well documented and worked on by many. I think this practice also shows how Initiation is also an empowerment. It is just access to special club, or the specific rituals, but it is the power, the current of that tradition, those spirits. From the power gained from the initiation, they may be able to move mountains, metaphorically speaking. They have been empowered and so they acted with that power to change things to make them better.

In the USA, Empowerment’s twin streams very much run side by side. In the beginning of alternative spirituality movement it attracted a people of a variety of different groups. This dates back to the late 19th century. While there was plenty of men who were involved in alternative spirituality and occultism, there are also quite a few very famous women. Madame Blavatsky is a key figure that comes to mind. At a time when women had few rights and were very much limited, she worked to create a movement, a movement that continues on to this day, and has influenced much of Western occultism and alternative spirituality. Her books are still published and sold today. She very much demonstrates a power, being empowered through her spiritual aspirations she did more then many other women of her day.

With the second occult flowering in the USA in the 60’s, which brought with it the spread of Wicca, it then also picked up more of the cultural empowerment. Many minorities found the idea of Wicca, witchcraft and alternative spirituality as means to find their own empowerment, to pursue their goals of empowering themselves socially, culturally, and politically. Some minorities have always had their spiritual means of getting one up on the Man. The role of conjure doctors and spiritual workers in African American communities was often not only spiritual, but also physical, as they cared for clients physical needs with their knowledge, helping them when they were sick, not only from being hoodooed but also from colds, illnesses and injuries. The same for Appalachian folk magic, and Pennsylvania pow-wow practitioners. The Mexican curandera or curandero would be consulted for herbal knowledge for sickness just as much spiritual ailments. While not all of them are minorities, in a sense, they are often limited to specific communities, and often derided by outsiders for their “backwards superstitions” by others.

Among the gay civil rights movement, there were quite a few people and groups that embraced alternative spirituality to gain empowerment both spiritually and also to help them in their fight to gain temporal empowerment. One figure was Eddy Buczynski, the founder of quite a few American witchcraft traditions including the Minoan Brotherhood. At a time when gay men were standing up and going out, he created one of the first spiritual traditions for gay men. A magical practitioner and gay man who was also a major activist was Leo Martello, who founded a Witchcraft Anti Defamation League and Alternative Religions Education Network, who was also very active with Gay liberation during the time of Stonewall. Another significant figure was Arthur Scott Evans, writer of “Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture” in which he asserted that the Witch mania of Europe also targeted people who may have been accused of engaging in homosexual acts. All of these people in some way found the empowerment of alternative spirituality and practices, which gave them the force and power to pursue empowerment in the physical world.

As I watch and read the events of the day, and the responses of people, and the responses of the wide neo pagan community in the USA, I feel I notice how spiritual empowerment helps to give fuel to the physical empowerment that people pursue. There is great inequality still existing in the world. Women, people of color, GLBT people and others. Yet I am aware of many of these minorities finding power for themselves, what some might call “power within” to work to make changes, to empower others like them, and work to create a planet where we can all live together, with justice, with liberty, with equality and maybe as a global family.

thetimetobeawesomeisnow

E is for Runes

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E is for Runes

I felt like double posting this week, cause, well I can.

 

Anyway, I would have to say the letter E is probably one the more under represent vowels in the various Futhorcs.  So, it makes this easy

Eihwaz

Eihwaz – The yew tree.  Another one of those darn trees just popped up again.  You’d they lived in the woods or something, these rune-casters.  This particular rune has some interesting overlapping meanings.  The first meaning I learned for it was defense.  Different then the protection rune that follows shortly after, Eihwaz is more like the pit of spikes defense. Sure it protects you, but it can hurt you too, as well as anyone else who tries to violate it.  After working with it some more, I came to understand it’s defense a little better, that it was also the severe warning.  It makes it look dangerous to those who think about violating it.  Or it just freaks people out.  I do use this rune to protect things, and more then a few times when someone who was bad news came around, they often just couldn’t stand to be here and fled, in some cases quite literally.
The other, more focused on attribution that I have learned and seems more common, is that it is the rune associated with death, dying and ultimately, the Underworld. I understand it more as the gateway to the Underworld.  Through this rune, you can reach those dark and sometimes frightening places below, where the dead, ancestors and various spirits of underworld and cthonic power reside.  Actually, you can reach lots of places with Eihwaz though.  The underworld is actually really well connected to all sorts of places, so if you’re spiritually traveling from point a to point b, you can use Eihwaz as the medium to get there.  Of course, if really want to avoid getting lost, use Raidho, and if you want to get there fast, use the next rune, Ehwaz, but, Eihwaz opens the door.  It’s the gate of the Underworld, but also the shortcut to every else.

 

Of course, within the tree cosmology I have seen, Eihwaz corresponds to The underworld, much like Aesc is the upper world, and Berkana is the creative power, and Thurisaz is the Destructive power, and Ac is the Middle World.

Eohlx

Eohlx – The name I prefer to know this rune by, as it talks about sharp swamp grass that can lacerate skin if you handle it unwisely, or just step through it.  It is also universally known as the rune of protection.  It there is any rune that everybody can agree on, it is this one.  I don’t think I have ever come across any author or writer about runes who has indicated otherwise.  The exact source of this protection is up to debate, but it seems that the protection is inherent.  Without walls, without armor without shield, without anything, you can be protected.  A giant “who goes there?” and “back off” all in one.  It’s kind of amazing.  Use it in all protection work, seriously.  You can’t go wrong. One of my favorite aegishlamur variants is known as “Solomon s innsigli” meaning Solomon sign.  It’s basically a 8 spoked sign made up of variants of Eohlx.  I have used it quite often for protection work and made some other version of it, and they all work amazingly great and give a very solid protection against any harm.

Ehwaz

Ehwaz – Ehwaz, the horse, the rune of quickness and speed and fleetness.  It makes travels short and bearable to those riding on the horse, but remember the steed does have a mind of it’s own.  To make the journey, you need to work along side your mount, not just force to do what you want.  Steed and rider, working together as a team, not as combatants.

 

Ehwaz is find to be anything gained with speed, or quickness.  Wealth that is quickly gained and equally quickly lost.  Fast cars, Fast men, fast music, fast women.  You can have lots of fun, but don’t expect it to be anything permanent.  If that is what you’re hoping for, you’ve come to the wrong rune.  Be thankful for what you got when you got it, but don’t try to hang to it too tight.  Just remember the memory of it fondly once it is gone.

Ear

Ear – The rune of Death. The tomb. Different from Eihwaz.  Ear is more like the Death Card of the Futhorc.  Everything dies, everything rots, everything fades away. Your wealth won’t last forever.  Eventually the fortune will disappear.  Even the best of friends goes away eventually, cause you might outlive them, or they outlive you.  There is nothing too big to fail.  All things fail. It is the natural order of things.  Sometimes it’s best just to go with it.
Not all endings are “THE END” though.  Some endings are just little.  The closing of a chapter.  The time to turn over the tape or record.  Maybe it’s time to move some place else, look to someone else, become something else. It’s an ending, but the story goes.