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.

Ataegina Lusitanian goddess

I have talked about the Lusitanians recently and one of the most famous gods of their pantheon, so you might want to check the posts of April 2013 for more information about it and about the Lusitanians and who they were, for in this post, the main theme is another deity of their pantheon so i will not waste time in resuming who the Lusitanians were or i would skip the subject.

I will talk about Ataegina, after Endovélico, this deity was also very famous not only among the Lusitanians and other Celtic tribes but also to the Iberians, Celtiberians and to the Romans, she may have been of a greater importance than what we know today, for the Lusitanians like all other Celtic tribes had a culture that wasn't supposed to be written or leave any evidence about their culture, so most of we know about the Lusitanians is in the exact same way we know about the other Celtic tribes all over Europe, by what the Greeks and Romans have written about them by watching how their enemies behaved towards life, their rituals, gods, celebrations, religion etc. which leaves us with a knowledge about these people not very plausible or accurate, since they were enemies to the Romans and the religions and spiritual beliefs were so different but archeology helps a lot nowadays.
So Ataegina or Ataecina was a very Celtic-like goddess, probably her name among the Lusitanians wasn't this one since they were Celts in nature, because the name Ataegina sounds a lot with a more latin language, and the romans actually adopted this goddess for their own, associating her with Proserpina or Persephone, so once again it is hard to know the true name of places, people, deities etc. in old Lusitania, we know about these through the Romans who started to write about these things in their own fashion with their own language, giving that latin touch, it's not like the Lusitanians didn't knew how to write, like all other Celtic tribes they had and alphabet they learned about it, they knew about numbers and other symbols as well, but in their culture the use of those wasn't of primary importance. People say that her name might come from the Celtic words atte- and geno- which means "Reborn" or from ad-akī (in Irish - adaig) meaning "night", i can't tell you if this is true because i know only a few words of Celtic, my field is old Norse, but what we can be sure about, is that her name was something between those words for she was a Celtic goddess.

Ataegina is the goddess of Spring, of nature and she is associated with all things that die and are reborn, she isn't closely associated with death itself although that i a natural part of the cycle of life, she is linked to life itself, the transformations of life, this is why she is associated with Spring, the season when nature is reborn after Winter when all natural things wane and die, the transformation of a dead carcass into rich minerals that will give life to some creatures and also to the earth, generating fertility soils that will give life to flowers, grass and trees which in turn will give life to other animals. She is also associated with the goat, the sacred animal. In these times the Celts like most other European cultures used to sacrifice animals, giving them as gifts to the gods, sharing with them the meat we mortals consume, also reading and interpreting the fate of the community or a certain person in the entrails of the animals, animals were also sacrificed in order to ask the gods the various gifts they can give depending on the field of expertise of each deity, so speaking of Ataegine the goddess of nature and transformation of death into life, the sacrifices were probably placed directly into the natural soil, giving it to the earth, this might be a reason why there isn't any temple found in Portugal nor in Spain, for Ataegina's temples were probably in the forests, in the wilds, made of some stones and wood, no fisical structure. 
Ataegina is also associated with magic and with the night, which is the part of the day most mystical and filled with symbolism in the Celtic culture, which is interesting to know that people say that the Portuguese are night people, and the night is very important to them as it was to the Lusitanians the ancestors of most Portuguese, for these people made most structures, from religious ones to the social ones, at night and also some harvesting was made at night, again a close association with nature. Ataegina is the goddess that symbolizes the moon and the most mystical place in Portugal and the stage of thousands of mysteries and stories with spiritual and religious themes is Sintra or the so called "Monte da Lua" which means Mount of  the Moon, a place filled with wondrous natural diversity, so this might have been the place where Ataegine was most venerated, worshiped, were her priests and priestesses dwelled, and she might have been of such importance that her very essence still lingers in the name of this place after a few thousand years.

Now... those of you who have read my blog and know about the themes i write in here, know the importance of shamanism and how i work with shamans, but all in the Northern-Tradition paganism, the Norse gods and wights and you might also know about my own spiritual journeys with the Norse gods, so i will share with you here my personal spiritual journey with Ataegina ( although being very brief and with no importante knowledge obtained whatsoever ) so far the only non-Norse deity i have ever had any contact with, so it is a very personal story.

I was shrouded by fog, a very soft mist gently and slowly passing through the land, i was walking on an unpaved road, no more than a dirt track, and i went off my course to the left into a vast field of grass, fresh and green, wet with dew drops so it might have been at dawn, yet the sky was grey but bright. As i went further, i saw one huge shape forming in the mist, as i got closer, i saw it was a green hill, so tall it was that another path was carved by foot steps in a serpentine manner all the way to the top, or at least it seemed, i couldn't see the top, what was veiled by the mist, this aroused the curiosity in me and so i followed the trail that led to the top of the hill. Once i was on the top i saw two or three people in white tunics and leather belts with daggers made of bronze, one of these people had a torc, i couldn't say if they were all male of female, but they were very busy doing something which i didn't pay much attention to, actually these people were like shadows in the mist, blurry to my eyes because i was focused on a great stone, as large and tall as two big cars with other two on top of them and steps stairs were carved into the stone and they led up into a wooden house built on top of the stone and i entered the house. Inside i noticed the floor was the top of the great stone where a hole in a shape of a rectangle was carved and another larger in the shape of a square and deeper filled with water where a person might wash herself, and a wide and large stone with straws on top of it, it might have been the bed. There wasn't any window and the door was on the ground where one might go down stairs to the outside where i came from, and there wasn't a nywall on the west side of this house, one could see the entire landscape below and to the distant horizon. There was a figure in the middle of the house, a woman with a light brown hair ending in a pigtail, brown eyes and pink skin, she was wearing a white tunic fastened to leather belt and also a white skirt all the way to her ankles, she wasn't wearing any kind of footwear, but she had beautifully bronze made jewelry, a necklace, a bracelet on her left arm, some bracelets on both wrists and some rings, one with a green emerald stone in the left hand. She was very beautiful and she looked at me but she didn't talked, not with words ar least but in my mind i heard a gentle woman's voice telling she was Ataegina, only this, she stretched her right arm towards me and gave me a woolen bag with something inside which i dare not to look, but it wasn't heavy, but i knew i was to deliver that to someone and i went off down the hill and a light rain started. When i reached the bottom of the hill, the mist disappeared and the sun ripped the clouds, suddenly the sky was painted of a very light blue, cloudless, and i could see the surroundings so green and bright. I made my way into the only forest there into the north, where a tiny stream of a great river flowing to the south ended, children giggling and running behind me like butterflies, playing some sort of game, waking up from winter, embracing the happiness of that spring day and thus... i woke up...

Note: The artwork to illustrate this post is a drawing of Ataegina 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 -->

Scotland's Iron Age: Into the Underworld

There has been a lot of recent discoveries about the Iron Age period in Scotland, which shows us the mystical and magical way of living in those times, how people act when the people closest to them died, how they treated their dead and also the their daily ways of living. One of the recent findings, perfect to talk about the Iron Age, was in the Isle of Skype, such a wonderful place rich in Iron Age culture and History, and of course a good insight of how people traditionally interact with subterranean spaces. The place is called  High Pasture Cave, where people once carved steps leading down into a cave where they used to deposit the remainings of butchered pigs. Well we know that people all over Great Britain in the Iron Age and before, had specific places where they would poured the remains of what they ate, some kind of ancient recycling acts, away from the community, in proper places where the smell couldn't spread and attract wild animals and possible threats, and also a place where those remainings would undergo a change and feed the earth with the minerals that come from rotten things in decomposition ( this reminds me of the post i have written about Nidhog in the month of April of 2013, you might want to check it ). The High Pasture Cave wasn't just the place to deposit such things because also a woman and her two children were left there, a new born and one still a fetus. Well this might seem strange, but it isn't rare to find these things especially in places that gave origin to the Celtic Myths of the Underworld, by entering a cave, a tomb, a hole in the ground, well any place that could lead to a dark chamber, the symbolism of two places completely different, the world outside, and the dark places on earth below, the entrace was the boundary between the two worlds, and such a myth comes for the Neolithic times as such - these were the places of transformation, where things passed through the process of transformation, in these tombs in addition of being found the remains of animals and also people, it is often found pottery, and this has tree meanings that always comes to mind, the need to leave with the dead their belongings so they may take with them to the afterlife, objects according to their social lifes, their place in the community, their works and their gender, another meaning is that they used to feast with their dead especially on seasonal celebrations in order to be in touch with their loved ones, closer to understand the true meaning of death, to ask aid and wisdom to their ancestors, also the other meaning ( which is exactly the purpose of this post ) is that these people use to make their cooking here, not only because of the reasons i have written previously but also because of that i have already said, this was a place os transformation, where the raw fish or meat apparently inappropriated to be cosumed, would become something  life-sustaining, the carcasses of animals would become food, the remainings of what couldn't be eaten, would feed the earth and the recently dead of these people's communities would also pass through the transformation of death, when they leave their body and start a new way of life and are united with their ancestors.
In many places in Scotland we find a Broch right on top of a neolithic tomb, this isn't a coincidence, of all the places to build, they had to build right on top of these ancient neolithic chambered tombs and caves, and also the entrances of the Brochs were aligned exactly with the entrance to the tomb, also the people that build the Brochs in most places when these tombs hadn't an opening on the top, they would build an entrance right to the tomb again, so it is possible that the people in later times were still using the neolitich tombs to place their dead, because the newly built passage had carving symbols associated with death and the burial rites, as it is the good example of the Broch at Howe on Orkney.
Some tombs where also found, that were not covered by later houses, such as the Calf of Eday, also in Orkney, seem to have been the focus for feasting during the Iron Age, as pottery and animal bones were discarded around them. Moreover, at Unival on North Uist, the chamber of a tomb was incorporated into an Iron Age roundhouse and used as a cooking pit. This also matches High Pasture Cave, with its collection of butchered pig remains.
Such places are an interesting view of the the mind of these people in ancient times, places laced with symbolism and meaning, the opposite of two worlds and how people naturaly interacted with them.

Note: A Broch is an Iron Age structure of a type only found in Scotland, great examples of the most sophisticated architecture ever created. The theory was that these buildings were defensive military structures, the Iron Age equivalent to castles but as you can read in this post, was also more than that.

Note2:  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

Endovélico - Lusitanian God

The main theme of my blog is the Northern-Tradition Paganism, working with the runes, with the gods, the kind of shamanism that was performed, the Norse language and culture and so on, but it is also a blog about European history and since i have recently talked about the Lusitanian people, it seems fit to talk about their pagan gods.
As i have written before in another post, the Lusitanians were the Celtic tribe who came to the Iberian Peninsula around 1500 B.C. (b.c.e. - before the common era ) however, the Celtic tribes from where today is Germany and Czech republic started their migrations in 3000 B.C. so it is possible that the Lusitanian tribes arrived to the Iberian Peninsula earlier, what we know for sure is that these Celts already had settled there way before they came to Great Britain in 1000 B.C.
The Lusitanian tribe ( possible had another name, more germanic-like, maybe Leukaeke, their language was the Leukantú, for the name Lusitan was the name given to them by the Romans ) settled in what today is Portugal, more then half of the country was theirs, and they also had lands in todays Spain in its center. It is interesting to know that all around the world people see Portuguese people as Latins with dark skin and black beards but their ancestors were very germanic, in truth, they have been germanic for almost 3000 years because even after the Romans came and brought their language ( the latin ) the people from Portugal were still germanic in most regions, after the Celts, the Swabians came and the Wandalns (Vandals) and the Vikings and so on, but the main language that stood there was the Latin and so many cultures settled in Portugal, including the Muslims, that you can find a wondrous variety of people, from dark skins, brown eyes and black tick hair to the most white and blue eyed blond hair almost as white as the snow.
The purpose of this introduction, resuming who the Lusitanian people were is to tell people what kind of pagan gods the Lusitanians had, very Celtic and Germanic like in their nature. One of the most famous gods was the god Endovélico, the god of medicine, magic, protection and he was also a solar god. This god was so famous that the romans adopted him and he was very much worshiped in Rome and also by the romans settled in Lusitânia ( Portugal ). This god was known by all the Lusitanian people, however he wasn't a god that could be called from any place all over Lusitânia, he was a god of place. The meaning of "a god of place" is when the a spiritual deity works in a specific region of the mortal realm and not on the spiritual world ( even if they can go to and fro between worlds and have dwellings in both places ). Endovélico was such a deity, the regions where he lived in the mortal realm was where today Alentejo is in Portugal, to be more accurate, it was the region between two great rivers, Tagus ( today Tejo ) and Anas ( today Guadiana ). This god looks very much like a Druid but with a more variety of clothing,  and a long hair and beard white as snow, walking with a staff. Legend tells that he was first discovered when a traveller was passing by in that region and he appeared to him showing where his dwellings were, high in a rocky hill. Right there in that place he as chosen the traveller to be the first person to build a temple for this god and from time to time people began to go to that region to worship the deity, trying to be healed, and in that region the first great cities appeared. There was only one priest in Endovélicos' temple, and before this one died, the god himself had already chosen a new priest and it wasn't a person from the region, it was always a foreign man from other regions of Lusitânia, chosen by the god when they slept in his temple or in the shrine or cave where people would sleep the night before they went to the temple. Before anyone could visit the temple of this god, they had to be cleansed, so they slept in a cave near the region where the temple was, closed by a wooden door or even a door made of stone, in complete darkness where they were bathed and prepared by the priest. The priest was the one who was going to get the people who wanted to speak with the god, at the first rays of light of the next day, all who entered in his temple, were forbidden to go inside with any metal object, even the the sacrificial knife was made of stone. Inside the temple the god would visit the people in their dreams, a very shamanic scenery, he would only visit people in their dreams outside the temple if it was on the cave where the people previously slept and if the person was to be next priest or a person of great importance in a manner of being directly tied to the fate of a tribe or a nation, or in the course of great events.
Archaeologists found  his temple in São Miguel da Mota, Alandroal in Alentejo in Portugal, a lot of human figures performing worshiping rituals, and also animal figures, Some offerings were still there, amphorae for exemple, the containers used for the transport and storage of various products, both liquid and dry, but mostly for wine. But it is hard to tell how the first temple really was, because when the Romans came, they re-built the temple in their own faction, in a very classic type of architecture and after Chrsitianity came and spread in the land, the Temple was brought down and a Christian chapel was build in its place, the cult of Endovélico was held till the V century of the common era. Today in the Archaeology Museum of Lisbon there are many inscriptions made by the romans to praise this deity, with all kinds of prayers, asking all sort of things ( under the domain of the god ), unfortunately there aren't inscriptions made by the Lusitanian, being a Celtic tribe, it wasn't something they would do, writing for other to read, for the Celtic culture wasn't to be told to anyone, only passed down in speech from tribe to tribe under the same ethnic group, however it is possible that some of the inscriptions may have been written by Lusitanians when they started to study the Latin language to suit their purpose when trading goods with the romans, for many Lusitanians went to Rome itself to study.
Today the neo-pagan people from Portugal still whorship him in the manner it seems the best, for the lore tells us too few about this god.

Note: The artwork to illustrate this post is a drawing of Endovélico made by me some years ago. 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


Since childhood many of us have heard great stories about dragons, how powerful they are, magical, mysterious, they can be both friendly or terrible fows! Stories that still gives us inspiration and we continue to dream on as if we were flying on the backs of these great wyrms... and so in this post i will write about the most famous dragon in the Norse myths, the thirty-foot wingless earth-dragon Nidhogg!

The great world tree, Yggdrasil, has its longer roots in the lowest worls of Niflheim and Helheim, on of those roots is at the great well Hvergelmir in Niflheim and all the rivers of the nine realms flow from its depths. Near the well lies the third root of the great world tree, so huge that goes over the boundaries of Niflheim and Helheim like a wall, as if it was a small mountain. Nidhogg the great wingless earth-dragon goes to and fro over the wall to gnaw at the great root. When Nidhogg is not sleeping or just in a watchful rest in the lowest root, he crosses the wall into Helheim and visits the shore of the dead. This specific place is where the sun never shines, or at least throughout the year it it is seldom seen in this shore, at last no one has ever been there in anytime that the sun could possible been seen, so the waters of Helheim's ocean are very dark. Corpses and shed skins of serpents decorate the shore. Nidhogg comes down periodically in her task ( yes Nidhogg is female ) as carrion-remover and eats the corpses. It's natural for many to be afraid of her because of her job, but like all natural things, there must be a cycle and a natural balance, and Nidhoog is an important part of a cycle. Nidhogg is the representation of the natural cycle when something dies and rots to feed other beings or the earth it self, nutrients and minerals of the dead will give life again. We are used to be disgusted when we see worms and insects that live by eating rotten things or the wastes of the body, we tend to clean that from our memories and from society and build a beautiful picture of the natural world, but we have to understand that theses creatures live in a natural cycle of life and nature, that is how nature works, for all the wastes of the world will be turned into rich soils that will give life, where plants will grow again to feed animals and animals will give birth to others and nourish them with the same fertile soil, and yet again those same animals will be the food of others and what is left behind, both skin, fur, bones or what comes from the body wastes, will be put into the earth again and the same cycle begins. This is what Nidhogg shows us, that this natural cycle of life led her to have a terrible fame because in the human society, these things we put aside, in shame, disgust, trying to ignore the existance of such things because we don't understand how it works and it is actually a very magical part of nature, when death gives life.

When someone sees Nidhogg by this shore, she is sometimes with her brood of serpent-children, among them are the famous Goin, Moin, Grafvollud, Ofnir and Svafnir. They are usualy at Nastrond, the Hall of Serpents, but they will not attack anyone outside the wall, by Hela's orders, but they might come to you, so do not show any signs of fear, act as if they were human, be calm and courteous, be polite.

It is interesting to see that the great world tree and a dragon at its base isn't just a myth from the Norse cosmology, but also from other different cultures around the world. Often people ask why is Nidhogg gnaws the roots of the great tree, it is simple, the world tree cannot exist or perform all its natural functions without the natural cycle of nature, and Nidhogg once again performs the same important job as i have written before, she gnaws on the tree to remove the dead wood to stimulate the new growth, gnawing away the dying parts of the tree, so new branches and leaves might grow in the rest of the tree. This shows us that we must appreciate and give creadit to all of the creatures who do the same job in the natural world, for they too are a part of a great cycle in which we all take our place. Also we seem to forget the importance of those ( speaking of us humans ) whose job is cleaning up the environment and all the waste we leave behind, those whom society likes to hid.

Heathenism and Wicca - Differences

Before i start this post, i would like to clarify this, i'm not a Wiccan nor can i call my self an Asatrú, because the meaning of Asatrú as the name indicates ( Asa = Aesir the Sky gods of the Norse Pantheon and Trú = Norse word for Faith / Religion ) it is the neo-pagan religion involving the faith to the Norse/Germanic Sky gods, and i am a practitioner of Norse shamanism and of the Northern-Tradition paganism which involves all the gods, spirits and wights.

When people start to look for or study other kinds of religions or spiritual paths as an alternative to the monotheism religions we are used to, in search for a pagan European belief, often they find Wicca as the first pagan tradition. Wicca so far is the best known form of European polytheism in its bases, so it isn't hard to find it and actually working in that field, most kids are on to it, because it is easy to perform and it has an all romanized version of the real European paganism, especially when it comes to the Celtic paganism. It seems good to make a comparison of both neo-pagan religions, but first of all, we need to know that both have a variety of spiritual strands, so for now instead of talking about Asatrú, lets give it the name of Heathenism, for the Norse/Germanic beliefs are separated in Asatrú, Vanatrú ( having the faith placed with the Vanir gods ), Odinism/Wotanism, the cult of Odin the supreme sky god of the Aesir, Irminism, Forn Sidhr, Theodism, Germanic Reconstructionism and so on. This also happens with Wicca, but more divided and yet every pagan religion known is placed "inside" of Wicca, making it a cocktail of both pagan religions all over the world and also abrahamic religions which are exactly the opposite of being pagan and actually goes agaisnt that.

The major difference between being a Wiccan or a Heathen, is that in the Wiccan rites, they invoke deities from several other cultures as i have stated before, while the heathens stick to the gods and goddesses from the Norse/Germanic beliefs. Wicca also sees all goddesses and other female deities as aspects of the great goddess divided into the archetypes of Maiden, Mother and Crone in a very Celtic way, and all male deities as the Horned god ( most of the times the male principles don't exist or are completely forgotten ) this makes wicca religion almost monotheistic-like, the worship of the great goddess in the three fases of life and of nature. While heathenry is more polytheistic-like, worshiping a range of gods and goddesses from the same culture and beliefs, equal in statues and each of them can stay alone without the need for a male or female complement.
Now this tiny paragraph shows us why Wicca is the most popular neo-pagan religion, it is the tiny step that people make while leaving the other abrahamic based religions such as Christianity, the worshiping of one deity, into a religion of the same sort but with pagan themes and rituals, making it look like something very familiar not to seem so shocking, and different, and very often Wiccans see Jesus Christ as the Male god and Virgin Mary as the archetype of the great goddess. The previous paragraph also shows us why in Wiccan, 90% of its followers are female, because the great goddess most of the time is the only deity with great importance and all the faith goes around her, leaving the male completely apart, it isn't strange to see that most wiccans are lonely women who can't have a love relationship and eventually are conform with the fact that they do not need a man. 
I like to think that religions have strong beliefs when they are practiced by strong people, we shape those with our strong personalities, but with the lack of personality one religion can be very hollow, and women shouldn't be the kind of women who need men, but rather the kind of women that men need, this is why we see a lot of Wiccans who have no idea what paganism is and actually give it a bad name and the reason for laughter because strong personalities always end up following the best virtues and people without personality end up confused, sad, frustrated and dig deep their own mud holes.

In Wicca the spirits of nature and everything that surrounds us are organized and divided into the four elements, which are earth, fire, water and air. Heathen cosmology is focused in the elements of fire and ice as opposing principles, chaos and order, the constant struggle for peace and maintain everything in harmony such as nature is, with the clear idea that one can't live without the other, and we also can't live in a magical eternal paradise where everything is good, we can't be always happy, we have to experience sadness and other negative feelings so we may give the proper value to things, because if all was good, we would become lazy, ignoble, ignorant, and there is always the need of constant evolution of our personalities, of our own being, to become better. Go ask a wiccan about the meaning of the four elements, 86% or more will not be able to give you an exact answer, and this is due to the fact that people do not study deep their beliefs, they do not question it, they just stay with what is givin to them and they accept it how it is, they are like sheep, blindly following what was told to them, in a constant need to be guided because of the lack of personality, they can't do things for themselves, they are not self reliant enough, they lack of a strong will and spirit.

In Wicca as a spiritual belief of community, covens are made, groups of people start to gather with the purpose of develp their members spiritually and magically in several initiations, everyone will become a priestess or a priest eventually and it will turn out to be a very lonely spiritual path because people will perform all the rituals are their homes, in a more intimate environment, in contrast most heathens form a kinship, and the rituals/blót and celebrations are formed within a family or household, each of the people have their own place in the group according to their choosing and skills, some may work in a shamanic way, other with other kinds of Germanic magic, some will specialize in brewing, woodcarving, other crafts for the community and other skills that are needed into the group or family, but the main purpose is to provide spiritual community. There are also rites of passa within the kindred, but these tend to mark life changes rather than magical achievments. In terms of rituals, wicca practice is often decended from medieval ceremonial magic, for heathens and practitioners of Norse/Germanic beliefs, rituals and modeled on folk practice, less formal, but also in a very much Seidhr form, in the old ways, in the shamanic performances of the Norse people as far back as memory and history allows us.

It isn't hard to see the rituals in Wicca being so closely similar to medieval times or with a great connection to the Arthurian legends which was believed  that Arthur was a great king in medieval times because his legends gave inspiration to a lot of medieval writers, in a time where politics were very hard and harder was to have the society in order and peace, so the stories of Arthur gave the perfect political order to be followed, stories that date back to the roman times which we can read the stories and legands of Wales and Irland, of a great king and his warriors, all their deeds throughout the land, all of these stories were romanticized in France in later centuries in a tipical medieval way, full of splendor, magnificence, glamour, the perfect political order and harmony on the land, heaven on earth, where common men would become nobles and nobles would become knights, and a king od such power and purity that god himself would light his path. At the time the romanticized version was written, it was also the time when christianity was already the main religion of Europe, and so to the Arthur stories and legends it was added the search for the holy grail, as in ancient legends the search was for magic and the realms of the other world, the spiritual world and items of power. The mixture of celtic paganism with the romantic times of medieval Europe and the Arthurian legends, gave the perfect flavour and combination to the Wiccan religion and people tend to fantasize a lot, they are blind and they can't see the truth of it because the wondrous tale is more appealing to the heart and soul. I have read the real Arthutian legends from Irland and Wales in the real time where they occurred, the story is fantastic and it is actually a more accurate part of history, less romanticized, and more precise, people should also read it, i might talk about it one of these days. This leads me to what i have said before, people don't question their beliefs, they do not study, they don't try to comprehend it, in heathenism people tend to be much more formal and precise than wicca in the relationship with the lore, because we have a lot of lore to work with and Wicca is essentially a modern tradition with the lack of lore even being a great mixture of cultures, they do not search for it. Those who practice Norse/Germanic pagan traditions are encouraged to read the primary sources as well as scholarly works discussing them and debating their meanings rather than accepting the interpretations made by others with less contact with the themes, it is a religion/spiritual path always in constant evolution as we human beings also are, adapting to the new needs of the society and of the individual. Many of those who practice the Norse/Germanic paganism, study Old Norse or Anglo-Saxon so they may examine the sources in their original languages.

Another difference between wiccans and heathens is the way taht ethical principles are articulated. In Wicca has a single advice, not harming anyone and doing what we will and also the law of whatever someone might do it will come back to the person tripled, heathens mostly hold to the Nine Noble Virtues ( for that you might want to read my post about them --> [Link] ). While Wicca has a simple statement of what not to do, much like christianity and the 10 commandments, the Norse/Germanic pagan tradition offers a more elaborate statement of what we should do, there is also the great importance of our ancestors and family values such as the friendship and its important bonds.

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Rind the protector of women

Billing the Master trader of the Vanir had a daughter called Rind who became a very powerful sorceress, she became very reserved and distante living at one of her father's dwellings in the cold mountain range of Jötunheim. Her powers are concentrated in the ability to work with weather, more with snow and frost to be accurate and she also knows how to move through time in many ways. This frost-giant and goddess of women's protection is little known among those who practice the northern traditional spiritual ways, and in the lore there are a few passages talking about her, has the one who bore one of Odin's son, Vali, after Baldr's death, to avange his brother. For all of those who don't know about this story, i will resume it for you.
Nothing could kill or injure Baldr/Baldur, with the exception of mistletoe, and Loki tricked Hoder the blind god, by "helping" him shooting an arrow made of mistletoe, just to practice, what Hoder didn't know, is that he was aiming towards his own brother Baldr, he killed him. This was a tragic day for all of the Aesir, and by force, Odin took Rind to bore him a son capable of avenging his other son by killing Hoder, thus Vali was born and within a day he grew old enough to kill Hoder. This story is a confusing one, a god born just with the purpose of killing his own brother, an horrible deed devised by Odin to be accomplished in such a hurry, killing one innocent helpless blind god and his death would solve nothing of the problem and the true responsible , the one to be blamed was Loki and everyone knew it. This story is also the link to an other story, of how Ullr came to sit on the throne of Asgard, because Odin did an horrible deed, by forcing Rind against her will, raping her, and the Aesir were so horrified by his act,  of raping an innocent maiden, that they ousted him from the throne placing Ullr in his place. A tale that makes no sense, and no one knows why Odin, the god of wisdom and magic and also he who trys to bring harmony between worlds and races, did such a thing, a story that only the gods know why all of these deeds were done. Anyway.. going back to the main subject of this post, i had to bring this story, not only because of the horrible connection of Rind to it but also because since this happaning, Rind became the goddess of women's protection, especially to protect women who were raped or abused, to be free of such things and memories, to be able to stand on their feet and to continue their lives, to be strong, confident and fearless. Be aweae, that she only aids those who want to be helped and who want to get out from those horrible chains and suffering, because she has no patience with those who continue to be weak even if all the chances to be strong and get out from that, had been given to them. She can be called only when women know they are ready to break free, ready to work in becoming stronger.
As i have written, Rind is also a sorceress, a very powerful one, and she can work with time, how to stop it, how to move through it, this is why Odin chose her to bore a son that was fully grown in one day, that "day" may have been some several years.

New Lable : Archaeology

History might help us to know our past, the ways of our ancestors, to find out our roots and our identity, the long course which led us to paths that helped us in building our societies, religions, cultures, arts, laws, politics and all the other things that made us evolve, but without archaeology we wouldn't understand nothing of it, it is a science that goes deep into every part of history, digging up our own roots, it is like the very philosophy of history, asking questions all the time but giving the clues that helps us prove why a variety of actions were made by us, and for what purpose. So i decided to add a new lable called "Archaeology". I hope you enjoy what i will be writing there, most of it will be about archaeological findings in Europe.

The Oseberg Longboat

The lovers of Archaeology and of Northern European History, surely have heard about the Oseberg Longboat found by the norwegian archaeologists at Oseberg south of Oslo. The great archaeological treasure is a real master piece of northern european design, culture and art, beautifully carved with images of animals, skillful knotworks, entirely made of oak. Inside the Longboat, there were two dead bodies of women, there were also dogs, horses and an ox. A four wheeled cart was at the far end of the Longboat, the first viking cart to be discovered and there were also four sledges there, also beautifully carved. But what makes this finding so spectacular is the possible identity of the two women. Both of these women were considered elderly for the time, on was 70 and the other 50 more or less between these ages, analysis showed that their diet was very rich, meaning that these women were of an higher status in their viking society. At first archaeologists thought that these two women, buried in a burial mound far from the sea, they could be the wives of local farmers, but a treasure like this one, these couldn't be mere farmer's wives, with the help of the knowledge about traditional burial rituals and spiritual paths of the northern european peoples and with the finding of a small leather purse, these women would reveal their secrets. The small leather purse contained cannabis seeds, which induce trance when burnt, and there was also a rattle, a musical instrument also very much used for the same purpose. There were also tapestries with the women, which may have illustrated the shamanic rituals held in these times.
In the Norse society, shamanism or seiðr was the work of women, as i have written in an other post about the northern magic workers The practitioners of seiðr, known as seiðkona or völva, entered in trance using drugs, chanting or rythmic sounds with musical instruments. In the case of the Oseberg women, the cannabis seeds and the rattle may have helped them entering in trance.

The images carved or painted in stone in prehistoric times and even in more recent historical times and in folklore show us that in many cases the boat was the vessel which helped shamans reaching the other world in their shamanic journeys and helped the dead to reach the afterlife, we see this many times in Norse burial rituals when the dead were placed in a long boat with many gifts and then it was burnt, or burial mounds in a shape of a boat made out of stones. To the far north, there are thousands of images of shamans beating their drums while sailing in ships into the otherworld.

In the case of the Oseberg women, they were clearly practitioners of seiðr - Norse Shamanism - and the Longboat was obviously designed to stay on land and not with the purpose of sailing, at least not sailing in this world.

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Working with the gods: Glut

You may be wondering why i lable "Working with the gods" even when i talk about spiritual beings who are not labled as gods in the lore or minor deities or even if i write about them but i do not extend the knowledge at a more personal level of that deity or when i do not specify much how to work with a specific deity. Well this is simple, for two personal reasons, one is because i need to have a personal guide for the gods and goddesses, spirits, wights and other beings of the northern pantheon and mythology because i've been asked to aid in games where norse gods enter and they need to have as many knowldge about them as possible, and in this way, it is easy to find them all in a list that i am making here in the lable "Working with the gods" so it will be also easy for me to help hehe. Another reason is the fact that i'm not sure if people know what gods are, if we understand the meaning of the title  "god", a spiritual being who is very powerful in specific ways and it can help us humans in a variety of needs, expressing their powers over nature, being able to contact us between this world and the world of spirits, then yes.. those spirits are deities and we can call them gods and goddesses, this is why in this list, there are many spiritual beings who aren't as famous as Odin or Thor, or weren't labled in the lore as gods, but they are equal in power and greatness in their own ways and we must honor them by telling their stories and how they might help us in their field of expertise.

Anyway, going straight to the subject of the main topic now, i will write about Glut, it seems appropriate since i have start this month writing about Surt the lord of fire.
Glut was the first wife of Loki, they married when Loki was still very young, but she left him so he could marry with the giantess Angrboda. Glut is a fire-etin, a child of Muspellheim, so it doesn't seem uncanny that she would be the first one that Loki would have a strong connection, since he was born in Muspellheim. Glut's daughters are Einmyria and Eisa. There seems to be a lot of confusion with these names, because Logi had a wife called Glut and she had two daughters by the name of Einmyria and Eisa ,these names are very common among the fire-female-giants, but the Glut i'm writing here today, is the fire-giantess Glut who settled in the Iron Wood when she was still young and she was adopted as a younger sister by Angrboda. She was given to Loki as a bride by Angrboda, and she bore him twin daughters which he named them Einmyria and Eisa after the children of her long dead ancestress, the other Glut. However, this relation did not last for long, after an year, Loki lost the interest for her and Glut returned to love with Angrboda and her babies.

Glut and her daughters greant stamina, energy and strength to those on sports, athletes, practicioners of martial-arts etc. Glut can also help to heat up the passion between a couple. I haven't said this before, but in ancient times, people use to ofer a variety of things to the gods as we know it well, so it isn't different with other beings, eveything you want as an offering to a fire-etin, must be burnt before.

Magic Workers in Northern Paganism

Since childhood we have heard about those who work with magic, in stories, fairy tales, books, movies etc. about wizards, sorcerers, prophets and so on. In this post i will give you some examples and names that you might hear or read when searching for lore or academic material concerning the northern european traditional ways of magic, rune-reading, witchcraft and such, in this way you will get use to those names and you won't be lost when you encounter them.
Europeans have always been people really close to the magic arts, this may sound like something taken out from a fantasy book, but when i mean magic,  i am referring to those who practiced shamanism or any other form of tribal spirituality and divination, or those who worked with herbs and drugs in terms of healing the body or to induce trance. The first word one might hear or read a lot when searching for the Norse lore and people who practiced these things is the word "Völva" the name given to a prophetess, there are many women with such title in the lore, in the sagas especially in the Völuspá. Another word ( not so much heard ) is "Thul" the title used to for "wiseman" a sage or a bard, a person with the gift of singing and with the gift of words, a very eloquent person, who uses those gifts to tell or sing stories of truth, with morality and warnings, with wisdom and also a person who describes the lineage of kings and heroes, having great knowledge in the matter. The word Seiðr or Seidhr is a very common word to hear about, used to describe those who practice the old ways, the traditional shamanism of the northern peoples of Europe and in this field, women were the ones to prectice it, they were called seiðkona or spákona, there were also men who practiced it, but since seiðr was always closely associated with women and the female gender, men who were caught practicing these things could be outraged, insulted, reviled and even sentenced to death, but these men where called seiðmadhr or spámadhrmadhr. There is also a title for the wizard, those famous men filled with wisdom and knowledge in the magic arts, the title is "vitki". For those who read runes and are the rune masters, the title is "rúna-meistari" and also "galdra-meistari" or "galdra-kona" for a man or woman who uses spells. There are also those who deal with the black arts which are called "fjölkunning" and those who work with mysterious and sinister spirits and wights who are called "trollkjerring" however, these titles are not often used nor often seen in the lore.
The general term for magic in the old norse or the term refering to norse magic is "gand" this is the closest we can get, a term associated with magic workers, magical beings linked to the person who practices magic and also objects used for magic. The word for spell or song is "Galdr" this word may also be refering to items, objects to practice magic, since people had to use them to chant a spell, and this term is also used in such mater because spells were sung in a high voice, very much verbal.
So these are a few words you might encounter when studying the Norse lore and the old ways of spirituality.

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Working with the gods: Surt

We have all heard about Muspellheim, one of the nine realms in the Norse cosmology but it isn't a famous place as much as Asgard is for exemple, people tend to stick with the knowledge most appealing to them, we know better about the beautiful landscapes and beings of Asgard or Vanaheim or even Álfheim because those are places of light and beauty, of magic and wondrous powers, but all the other realms are equally important. What ever you might know of Muspellheim, the first thing you need to know is about the deity who rules over that realm.
Muspellheim is the eternal land of Fire where the fire-etins live, their king is Surt / Surtur the Black , whose sword gave the first sparks to create all the other realms, and it is said that he is the oldest living being in all the nine realms, few have seen him and even fewer had the opportunity to meet him, but for those who have, they have shared their knowledge with us and i am here today to talk about Surt as a contribution to the vast lore of the Norse/Germanic pagan traditions.

Surt is the king of fire, the supreme deity who has turned all his powers to the fire element in the Norse Mythology, he is also the king of all the fire-giants/etins and his realm is Muspellheim. We know about Ginnungagap, the great vast blackness of the universe and the only existing thing in the beginning and Surt appeared out of that blackness with his flaming sword eventually creating the land of Fire called Muspellheim which in some time got close enough with the realm of ice Niflheim and as such, the frozen earth melted revealing Ymir the primal frost-giant and Audhumla the great cow. Thus life was created in such matter, the meeting of fire with ice in the Norse mythology. Surt's children had connections with Ymir's children and they mixed their bloodlines. Surt was the only living thing in the beginning, lighting all that blackness with his great sword Laevateinn, and he is the oldest living being also, unfortunately, no one knows where he came from or how, or what brought him, but it is interesting to know that the element of fire and of ice is indeed the first things to appear in the creation of any planet, and so he is the very symbol of creation.
Most people don't know, but Surt is the godfather of Loki and raised him as his own son, as it is told in Loki's birth tale, when his mother Laufey came to Muspellheim to give birth to him when running away from the most powerful clans of Jotunheim after defeating Farbauti, Loki's father.
Surt is a powerful being, having the knowledge about all kind of fires, even the primal fires from which stars and worls are made of, he knows about the energy of such fires and the power of heat.
In the lore, it is said if Ragnarök comes to pass, Surt will rise up with the legions of Hela's dead beings and attack Asgard, and if that happens, Surt will kill Freyr who gave up his sword for love, after that, much of the world will be consumed by flames and Surt will rebirth it again. This is the very symbol of the power that fire has over nature, Freyr the god of fertility and light with his powers over the land, giving life to it, as we see all the landscapes around us filled with life, and when a great fire comes, in this case Surt, bringing death with him ( Hella ) burning all the land, and as Freyr will do, giving up his sword, refusing to fight the inevitable chaotic power that is too powerful to face, such as nature does, it has no powers to face the fires and it stands there, waiting to die and be consumed by it, just to rebirth after that in great beauty and stronger.

For those who want to call upon Surt and ask for his aid, Surt gives energy and courage, and the fire within all of us is lit, he is the very force that kindles the fire in all of us, that little spark that might spead into a great power which gives us the capacity to face all the hazards of life when we feel saddened and unmotivated. He can also be called upon for inspiration, for those who are musicians and those who are dancers, for all fire-etin love to dance and love to hear music.

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