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.

Vampire burial in Poland

In Poland, a 16th - 17th century grave has been unearthed, showing evidence that the deceased was believed to be a vampire; a brick was found between his teeth, and his leg had been staked to the ground to prevent him rising from the dead and terrorising the living. According to the pagan beliefs in the area (typical slavic folklore), people who were considered bad during their lifetime might turn into vampires after death, unless of course certain rituals were held postmortem, including wedging open the jaw to prevent the vampire from feeding after death, and stabbing the deceased with an iron or wooden rod before being buried. People believed the rod would pin them down in their graves to prevent them from leaving at midnight and terrorising the wilderness. The legends formed an important part of Poland’s folklore, as well as other countries throughout Europe.

Hundreds of ‘vampire burials’ have already been found throughout Eastern Europe, including more than 100 in Bulgaria, all of them male and all prominent citizens. Incredibly, the ancient practice, which began at least as early as the 13th century, only stopped being practiced in Bulgaria 25 years ago. 
The latest discovery was made during excavations in the town of Kamien Pomorski, in north-western Poland. A brick had been so forcefully wedged in the deceased’s mouth that it knocked out the upper teeth. The remains also featured a large puncture in the leg, which suggests that the leg had been staked to the ground. It seems such vampire-slaying rituals were common in the region.

It has also been suggested that some of the beliefs about vampires stemmed from the characteristics of Black Death corpses. Mass graves were often reopened to bury corpses during epidemics, which sometimes displayed blood seeping out of the mouth and with a hole in the shroud used to cover their face. The people of the time believed that these ‘vampires’ spread the plague by chewing their way through their shrouds after death. Placing a brick in their mouths was believed to prevent this from happening.

Witchcraft and Shamanism

When we hear about shamanism, we immediately think about the type of shamanism from Siberia, or the Americas, spirituality connected to tribal rituals and traditions. When speaking of European shamanism, we have no clue what it is, or at least the first thing that comes to mind, is the type of shamanism practiced in the northern countries of Europe. However, there is an tremendous body of evidence, in anthropological and historical literature, that the historical european.style witchcraft was in fact a form of shamanism practiced by the different cultures of Europe.

Lets make it clear first, the definition of “shaman” in use here is an anthropological one. As I have written before, "shaman" is a word that originates from the Tungus language of Siberia, and has been somewhat misapplied to the religious beliefs and practices of Native Americans (which are quite diverse, some are certainly shamanistic, others not so much). 
 The shaman, in this context, is a magical practitioner who works with the help of spirits, usually on behalf of or to the benefit of his or her community, by means of healing, divination, and such. 
Shamanic experiences all over the world share some general characteristics. In the form of a traumatic personal experience and/or a visitation by spirits, the formation of a strong bond between the shaman and one or more helping spirits, and a working relationship with those spirits, frequently characterized by ritual invocation and spirit flight or trance states to achieve specific goals.

The pre-christian practices of the European peoples, had these characteristics. All the way from the Iberian Peninsula, to the far East and up into the cold North, the peoples of Europe had their own ways to communicate with the spiritual world and the natural world, which in most of the cases (speaking in such spiritual practices) are two worlds strongly connected. With time and the constant invasions of different cultures in each country, these European practices have been lost. However, during the medieval ages, these practices were very much alive and we can find it in most books that talk about the medieval times. People during that time still practiced the spiritual ways of their ancestors, it lived on in the most rural parts of each country, and it was often thought that this happened, because the people in the rural areas hadn't much access to what was going on in the city, and because these people were less educated, they continue to practice the old ways. None of this is true. In spite of each country have had a lot of invasions and the cultures changed, because people had been killed in masses, and temples have been destroyed and such, each invador kept alive the inhabitants that worked the fields and took care of the animals, because they needed people to work for them, people who already knew how to deal with the land, turning them into slaves for new masters. Those people kept the old ways and so they were passed on from generation to generation. During the medieval ages, these spiritual practices were still being held, but the christian faith was spreading fast, and people were accused of witchcraft and most people were killed. The last places to have these practices until the late medieval ages, were the peoples from the East and the northernmost parts of Scandinavia, because it was hard to get there, hard to spread the christian faith into those places.

Because of the mass executions held during the medieval times, most of the information we have about this subject, comes from trial records and interrogations. The accused were subject to torture, it can be hard to sift truth from confabulation. 
Several point out that the folkloric material was not what the interrogators were interested in, and in fact was considered a distraction, subjects of interrogation would be pressed to describe a formulaic encounter with the Devil wherein they traded magical power for their immortal souls. Instead, accused witches often described encounters with fairies and the dead. This is consistent with what we know about fairy beliefs, that Elphame or the realm of the Fair Folk was also the realm of the dead. External evidence for the folkloric material, including beliefs about fairies and specific beliefs to do with spirit flight, doubles, and familiars, combined with the fact that interrogators actively discouraged it, lend a degree of confidence to the picture they paint of what medieval witches were up to.

Witches during these times, worked alone, or in groups (but most of the time, alone). They often had named spirit helpers who appeared to them frequently, these spirits might be in the form of a cat, rat, toad, bird, a human being, or a non-natural creature. They also encountered other figures, including the King and Queen of Elphame, who sometimes presided over gatherings and sometimes helped them directly. They described leaving their homes and flying or going forth in the forms of animals, generally a cat or hare, which is also frequently mentioned in shamanic practices. Their interactions with spirits, flying, and other seemingly fantastic or impossible activities are described as straightforward experiences. They also performed numerous acts of witchcraft, ranging from healing or other beneficial spells without distinction between what we would now consider herbal medicine and what we would think of as “magic.” This is consistent with books of “home physic” from that time period and later, which often include both an herbal concoction and an incantation in a single cure.

This is absolutely similar with the way that shamans from other cultures describe their experiences as well, but is so far from current Western ideas as to be feared as pathological. Another thing to take into consideration is that becoming a witch fully is something that you can neither inherit nor study nor buy, but only receive as the gift of an ongoing relationship with the spiritual world from other beings, such as it happens with shamans. One does not simple becomes a shaman just because he/she wants it, a person becomes a shaman because it was chosen by beings, spirits, gods and so on, something out of the person's control. That has profound implications for how a witch seeking to be traditional will approach such things as training, teaching, and joining an initiatory lineage.

Cave Paintings - Early Man Battling Inner Demons

An archaeological team from the University of Cambridge discovered cave paintings in the northern parts of Spain, Cantabria, that suggest prehistoric humans battled against their own inner demons, fears, and insecurities that bothered them as they struggled with life’s demands during the Paleolithic era.

The images found on the limestone walls and ceiling of the cave trace back to 14,000 B.C. and seem to indicate that early hunter-gatherers were often anxious about their ability to kill game animals, reeled from the challenges of raising a family.

While these pictographs are crude in terms of their rendering of human anatomy, they have a vivid expressive quality that led the archaeological team to surmise that Ice Age humans had an awful lot of personal stuff going on.

Some of the images in the cave include a downcast man apparently being mocked by potential mates for his inability to start a fire, a woman using a stone chopping implement to cut her own body, and a seated man seemingly resigned to his fate at the approach of a charging mastodon. Further chemical analysis will have to be conducted to determine if the ominous red handprints along the walls were symbolic works rendered in red ochre or simply the result of anguished early humans striking the stone surface until they started to bleed.

Remarkably, with just a few basic pigments and the most primitive painting tools, our ancestors could so intensely portray their dread of dying alone or their toxic jealously of alpha males. Only a highly skilled but extremely alienated artist could use nothing but melted animal fat blown through a hollow bone to convey his dismay at having no one he could consider a close friend and realizing he was too old to make new ones. It’s clear that these humans felt so disconnected from one another, so unable to constructively address their problems, that they used these sad, disturbing paintings as their sole outlet for comfort.

The paintings not only represent the ability of Late Stone Age humans to express their immediate emotional torment but perhaps also to construct larger, more elaborate narratives of their prolonged, agonizing downward spirals. Through paint-application analysis and radiocarbon dating methods, Reddy said his team was able to determine that individual artists sometimes depicted their unraveling over a series of months or even years.

Some figures indicate people gorging on bison and growing more and more obese, apparently stuck in a lengthy cycle of compulsive overeating. The self-destructive pattern was broken only once by an extremely brief sequence of dynamic images suspected to be a quickly abandoned attempt at aerobic activity. The drawings finally stop after about 20 meters with a half-finished pictograph of what we speculate is the poor man attempting and failing to fit into his deer-hide frock and pants and then, out of apparent shame, opting not to leave his cave all day.

The discovery of the images comes just weeks after archaeologists uncovered a separate set of cave paintings in southern France, whose artists reportedly hunted, reared children, and otherwise did the best they could without taking themselves so seriously.

William Wallace - 5th of August

Today marks the day when the Scottish hero William Wallace was captured by the English and sentenced to death. 
On the 5th of August of the year 1305, Sir William Wallace who led the Scottish resistance against England, was captured by the English, near Glasgow, and transported to London where he was put on trial and executed. Along with Andrew Moray, Wallace defeated an English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in September 1297, and was appointed Guardian of Scotland, serving until his defeat at the Battle of Falkirk in July 1298. 
When Wallace was captured and handed over to King Edward I of England, the brutal king had him hanged, drawn, and quartered for high treason. Since his death, Wallace has obtained an iconic status far beyond his homeland. To the Scots, William Wallace is a national hero and an exemplar of unbending commitment to Scotland’s independence.

Shaman gathering in Tuva

The gathering of the most powerful shamans from different parts of the globe, have arrived in the Republic of Tuva in southern Siberia, near the border with Mongolia. Shamans from Sweden, Greenland, Mexico, Mongolia, South Korea, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, gathering at the festival devoted to the shamanic culture.

Asite from participants all over the world, this festival attracted shamans from four different corners of the regions of Russia. Altai, Khakassia, Yakutia and Tuva. All sorts of shamanic practices can been seen in this great event, such as drum rites, rituals, throat singing and meditation. The organizers also promise to hold interesting seminars and master classes on the spiritual practices of shamans and divination. Typical healing dances will also be taught to whoever wants to learn. The global goal of the festival is the revival of the shamanic traditions.

The festival is called "Call of 13 Shamans" and the idea came from its originator, the khoomei throat singing master Nikolay Oorzhak, a hereditary Tuvan shaman from the Black Heaven clan. 

The festival is taking place for the first time and so far without any sponsor support.

The honorary guest of the festival, the Mexican shaman Don Rogelio Carrillo, said that it was the similarity in the traditions of his people and those of Tuvans that drew him to the distant Siberian region.

Working With The Gods : Freyr

Because this month started with a celebration to Freyr, it seems that talking about him would be a good opportunity, because he is one of the most famous gods in the Nordic pantheon and many feel both love and respect and are inclined to worship him.

Freyr is one of the very few norse deities easier to work with. He is a kind god, fair, willing to help. Freyr likes homemade food, such as bread and vegetables from your farm or home garden, food as natural and organic as possible. Freyr encourages people to grow their own food. Freyr also likes meat, although he prefers fruits and vegetables, but if you really want to give him meat, make sure it comes from an animal who was raised in a farm, in good conditions, with an healthy, happy life, well taken care of until its death. Freyr isn't a vegetarian deity, he doesn't encourage people to eat only vegetables and fruits, but he his a deity that shows much respect for all living things, that is why if you serve him meat, that mustn't be from the poorly, horrible, industrial business that slaughters animals in mass, and treats them like an old sack of potatoes. Serve him food without any chemical poisons as well. Freyr also likes beer and I has a thing for cherries.

The colors of Freyr are yellow, green and gold. If you want to use a specific type of clothing just to work with Freyr in any ritual, use one made of linen, or cotton, cloths made of fiber from plants, he will be happy about it.
Take notice, that unlike many of the Norse deities who require a kind of weapon in rituals and ceremonies, Freyr doesn't want one, while working with him, be sure that you don't bring a weapon of any kind. Freyr works with both genders, men and women.