Honoring the Ancestors: Samhain and Beyond

There’s a great deal of focus around Samhain on honoring one’s ancestors, and honoring the dead in general. Whether we celebrate Samhain or Winternights, that’s what this holiday is all about, right? Well, yes….but ideally the celebrations that mark the end of October, should be the culmination of a year spent regularly and consistently interacting with the dead, honoring them, and recognizing their role in the continuing evolution of our spirituality. Honoring and interacting with the ancestors … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs: Understanding the Words – Asatru

A factoid that not many outside of the Asatru faith realize is that the term Asatru is entirely a recent invention. The ancient followers and believers of the old Gods of Germany, Scandinavia and Anglo-Saxon England did not have a name that they called their religion because their religious identity was simply part of their cultural identity. It wasn’t until Christianity encroached on these ancient polytheistic cultures that the term Heathen (used by the 4th Century Christian Goth Ulfilas in his … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs – The Nine Worlds

In Heathenry, our cosmology is comprised of nine worlds. Unfortunately, descriptions of the nine worlds don’t appear all together, but rather stretched out over a variety of sources in the lore (such as: Alvissmal 20, Volupsa 2, Vafþrúðnismál 43, Gylfaginning 34). By lore sources alone we are given two different lists of the nine worlds. This makes it difficult to try to piece together or visualize how these worlds interact with one another.Adding to this problem are little nuances to trans … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs – Radical Protesters at Veteran Funerals…

I think in all the recent attention to politician Christine O’donnell, we’ve overlooked another equally important news story, one that hasn’t just appeared out of nowhere but that has been an on-going plague of religious fundamentalists protesting at the funerals of U.S. veterans for years. At the moment the Supreme Court is reviewing a case concerning free speech as it applies to a lawsuit filed by Arthur Snyder, father of a deceased soldier against one of those groups: the infamous Westboro Bap … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs – Finding the Music…

When it comes to religious expression and the religious experience it’s easy for us to think of rituals and prayers… but there’s so much more available to us as well. Many philosophers will speak of the power of words… but even beyond mere words there is an inherent power in music that can move our souls to joy or to tears. Music can be shared as an outward reflection of our religious choices. Sometimes we enjoy the music because it’s merely entertaining and fun, and in other circumstances that m … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs – Just Say No To Libricide

I’m sure by now many of you have heard of the Christian pastor, Terry Jones, of a small Florida church who plans and is encouraging people to burn copies of the Quran, Islam’s holy text, on the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the United States.In the scheme of history, it is always the small-minded who burn books. It has not yet been a hundred years since the famous Berlin book burning of 1933, when Hitler’s trusted Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels encouraged the students of German Unive … [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 tides). Since we … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs: Understanding the Symbols Part 6 – Vegvísir

As is often the case, some symbols are more commonly known than others within the iconography of any religion or magical tradition, and in this regards the Northern Tradition is no different. The Vegvísir, is a magical symbol of navigation and may also be connected with actual compasses. The Vegvísir literally means in Icelandic ‘guidepost’ and is sometimes colloquially called today a Runic or Viking Compass. … [Read more...]

Announcement: Lightning Across the Plains

As a service to my readers, I thought there may be some interested to learn of a forthcoming large gathering of Heathens in the Midwest of the good ole U. S. of A.  Please note that neither Patheos or myself are affiliated directly with this event.On September 24-26, Lightning Across the Plains will be held again at Gaea Retreat (a pagan campground) near McLouth, Kansas. Last year there were about 120 attendees, and the hosting Jotun's Bane Kindred is already expecting more this year.Planned … [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...]


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