A Meditation for Imbolc and Charming of the Plough

Poet T.S. Elliot called April the cruelest month, but I’ve always thought February fits that appellation far more thoroughly and resolutely. I detest this month, though I have to admit that it wasn’t always so.  My adopted mom died in February though and since then everything, from the snow and ice, to Valentine’s day decorations, to the joyful celebrations of Chinese New Year remind me of her passing. For me, it’s turned an otherwise innocuous month into something bleak and grim. … [Read more...]

Religious and Pro-Choice

Also see Star Foster's and K.C. Hulsman’s posts on abortion. We’ve just passed the anniversary of Roe v Wade and I am filled with dismay. In the forty years since this landmark decision was made, abortion rights have been chipped away little by little each year rendering it an empty victory. This saddens and angers me. I wasn’t initially planning on writing anything today. Certainly I wasn’t planning on commenting on this anniversary, but I strongly feel that at least one religious … [Read more...]

A Meditation for Yule

Yule is one of my favorite holidays. Perhaps this is simply because it’s so commonly associated with Odin and the Wild Hunt within Heathenry and I love Odin dearly. Perhaps it is because I treasure the dark time of winter, the emotions evoked by the decorations and festivities of this time, and the sense of solitude that for me, comes with the shortening of the days. Perhaps it’s a combination of the two. I don’t know. For whatever reason, however, I gravitate toward those holy tides that … [Read more...]

The Promise and Perils of Heathen Prison Ministry: An Interview with Gythia Jane Ruck

I have been involved with prison ministry for several years now. For many years prior to that, I’d resisted doing this type of work. It was the hard work and shining example of Heathen gythia (priest) Jane Ruck that inspired me and eventually encouraged me to move past my initial resistance. Jane’s work on behalf of incarcerated Heathens has been ground breaking and in light of the current battle between Patrick McCollum and the CA prison system, I sought Jane out and asked her a few … [Read more...]

Remembering 9/11

(Warning: some of the descriptions below are graphic and may be disturbing for some readers.) It’s the aftermath of 9/11 I remember the most: people wandering like ghosts through silent streets for days after the towers fell; the echoing silence everywhere, a silence so profound it was nearly palpable; the scorched and smoky smell that permeated everyplace Downtown, that made the heart jump and the throat close up with remembered horror; the open-hearted camaraderie that reached across … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs – The Holy Tides – Hlæfmæsse /Freyfaxi

When it comes to religious, pagan celebrations most people are familiar with the eight holy days or sabbats that comprise the Wheel of the Year. In the Northern Tradition, we do not call these celebrations sabbats. Instead, based on words (like the Old Norse hátíðir) used to describe the most holy of these celebrations (like Yule) as high tides, we tend to call the various religious celebrations we recognize today as holy tides (since not all of the holy tides are considered high … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs – Free bookmarks to Heathens serving in the U.S. military

Sigdrifa's Prayer is a rare remnant in our lore, as it's the only non-Christianized, complete prayer that we have from the historical sources. In it's short simplicity, it is a microcosm of the vast macrocosm of Northern Tradition cosmology. It holds a very special place in my heart, which a few of you might remember from my previous blog entry: http://www.patheos.com/community/paganportal/2010/06/07/wyrd-designs-sigdrifas-a-prayer-and-a-song/ I have created bookmarks featuring this prayer, and … [Read more...]

Book Review: Exploring the Northern Tradition by Galina Krasskova

A good, solid, human and engaging introductory text to a religion, particularly a minority religion, is worth its weight in gold. Crafting an introduction to a religious practice, mythos, cosmology and values is a bit like walking a tightrope: too far to one side creates a text that is inaccessibly esoteric and too far to the other side leaves you with a “dummies guide” that even the most ignorant novice will scoff. In Exploring the Northern Tradition Krasskova has created a beautifully … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs: Q and A – Ritual Quarters?

Star Foster asked: The Asatruar rituals I have seen call on the four dwarves holding up Ymir’s sky-skull. It’s an awful lot like calling the corners in Wicca. Is there any controversy over the similarity? To answer this question, I’m going to back out a bit to the bigger picture to hopefully explain the connection from what we know of the ancient past, to certain aspects of the evolution of the modern religion and how it is practiced today. When someone goes searching through the vast … [Read more...]

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When Faith is Tested

Witch hunts still exist and pagans and anyone outside the dominant religious paradigm are still fair game. This lesson has hit home harder than ever this week for me. I am being tested. Like most others, I was raised in a religious, monotheist household. Like most others, I tried like mad to be the person that my parents needed me to be. I also tried to do this for my husband and his family. Thus I found myself caught between religious Jews and religious Greek Orthodox Christians, at different … [Read more...]


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