My Folk Magic

I have been reading some blogs, and my brain is whirling. What is my own magic in actual words?

It is my ritual blacksmithing, the chants and work that I do to create ritual tools, knives, spears, and now hatchets. Once my freight arrives my metalworking will be taken to a new level. It is my ritual powders that I use to work with the world around me, inhaling my sacred smokes and sharing them with my Ancestors, feeding my Artificer that works with me and protects my home. It is the coffin nails imbedded in my Nothing Post, whiskey imbued with mugwort, wormwood, and mullein stalks to drink with the wandering dead. It is my ritual beads being used in chanting as I walk down the street, of visiting forgotten crossroads by the light of the stars above me. It is the art of being primal in a country setting, on the fringe of society – tucked out of the way.

And even that doesn’t cover it. My brain will be swirling for a bit on that. Such a simple question cannot be so simply answered.

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Emerging from the Madness

Well, it has been pure madness. New career, new schedules, new people met. The month was a whirlwind, and now that I have a moment to myself, I figured I would update this blog. Much has been happening lately.

I have been studying Uert, or fateful weavings in my reality. Divination, and trance work to follow the tender web. Realizing the in-depth correlation between myself and the wider world has been illuminating. I am not some small person, but one strand made of many connected to theirs. One action can upset the web, and sitting still can be thunderous.

Looking into the web also showed me how much I have left to re-balance my own Uert. It is the most permanent way to change your luck; however one’s end fate cannot be altered. You can change how you get there, but you will end up there. There is much interaction and one can change the shape of the web, but the final Uert is just that.

The final cleaning of my new skulls is nearly complete, and I will be welcoming my new additions. I am prepping my old temple room and turning it into a proper Bone Room, complete with full rennovations. And, I couldn’t be more thrilled. Working, working, and more working. It’s going to take some time, but I am fixing the problems in my life. Finally.

Finished many projects:

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Finished another knife, and it’s extremely sharp. The temper on it took wonderfully.

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Finished another chain, and I really like it.

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My ritual beads, with the addition of the songbird foot.

Got more earned tattoos. I earned them in previous years, but I was unable to get them until this past month. So, on the Cold Moon of January I sat on the bench, and had those sacred prayers inked into my skin.

IMG_0973IMG_0972Sorry but the content of them will be kept private.

And on the eve of February, as I did in October I did here, but with His fair lady, Daughter of the Bear. I feasted on eggs, steamed vegetables, fish, and offered milk, honey, sugar, red wine, and tobacco. I drummed at sunrise, and searched for any heralds of spring: the rabbits. Sadly, I did not see any foretelling of a long winter.

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Hail to the Sacred Smithy! Shine on Daughter of the Bear!

IMG_1008IMG_1010I blessed my new seeds that I will be planting in March, and I played my harp in tribute to Her. I hope your spring is fruitful, bright, and pleasant. Hail to the Daughter of the Bear!

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Rauhnact/ Yuletide

My Rauhnact was spent in solitary fashion; quiet and peaceful. I had a few gifts to open, and time to myself.

Rauhnact means “Rough Nights,” and it is the darkest night (we all know) of the year. The Bear Mother gives birth during these nights, as the winds howl in her stirring. They will rise at the New Year at Ostern. The Antlered Weaver turns to Huntress of Souls, as it is the apex of the ‘Season of the Dead,’ of which Her hunt rides in it’s fury. I spent time with family and friends, which equated to quite a bit of driving. While I did not want to be outdoors, I didn’t want to be anti-social (though I am). It is a twelve night celebration of gifts, merry-making, laughter, and story-telling.

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Fumes of yarrow, pine, cedar, lavender, and chamomile filled my home.

It was a night of oracles, divination, and I dined with my Ancestors. I laid out my prognostication for the next twelve months for weather predictions, and I lit my tri-wick candle (because I am still without a fireplace sadly).

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Bones and Beloved Dead.

I dined on slow-roasted duck, steamed vegetables, and mashed potatoes (I was by myself mind you), and I saved the heart for future workings. The duck was filled with a cranberry, hazelnut, and chestnut stuffing. I did my best to play ‘Hock,’ which is an old game of stacking hazelnuts.

I donned my bearskin, and put on my ritual attire besides, and Sannion would’ve been proud of the estatic dancing I did around my house to the beat of my drum, long into the night.

Offerings were given: butter to the Midnight spirit to prevent mischief; Red Wine to the Huntress of Souls, Cream for the wandering souls, saltless bread for the returning dead, and milk for the Good Neighbors.

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Offerings were blessed and set outside. This is a terrible picture, you can’t see all of them!

I blessed my house and home, from summit to stay, base to ceiling beam – and the combination was done in two stages, of which the second (done with bones) I didn’t feel comfortable taking a photo of.

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Steeped rosemary water, Florida water, yes I had a tad of ‘bluing’ to it, and three oils. Spread by a freshly cut pine sprig.

My Rauhnact isn’t over. There will be another post soon. After much divination’s my decision is made clear. In the next ensuing months I will be pursuing something near and dear to me, and I know the Gods will be with me on this. I know my Ancestors support this. I know my spirits.. Well, want to see what happens.

I hope your celebrations are filled with laughter, funny stories, new stories being written, love, righting wrongs, and as the Bear Mother stirs – may your inspiration stir as well!

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December Moon: Rough Nights Moon

My month has been busy, and spent in a whirl. Working, running around, and in the chaos I have spent communing with my Gods, spirits, and Ancestors. The world is spinning around me, yet I feel that at times I am standing still. Seeing the dark side of good people, and the good in bad situations. The wisdom is coming slowly through the trials, and I learned long ago that true wisdom is never free.

I am no superhero, but I have done my best. I’m still standing… That’s got to mean something.

Spent my time walking in awesome places, the dust of forget gave the air a linger of sorts, and I relished it. It was wonderful to walk through history, and even better to reach out and touch it.

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A projector window in an old theater, which is now a furniture store. Still, hearing the steel doors creak made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Epic.

Went off to the Gem Show, to view the beauties hidden within:

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Jackpot. I almost bought the entire bin.

IMG_0769IMG_0772Greeting the new additions:

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Allowing my new bobcat skull to cozy in with the others.

I am letting my altar settle with the new additions, and everything is going quite smoothly. My first working with my male bear skull was wonderful and enlightening. I learned how to allow the snow to fall off the branch, and how to allow time to flow simply observing. Sometimes, sitting still is the wiser action, for many things will come to you. I hope that makes sense.

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My bear claw addition to my stange. With the mink skull, and wolf fur, my steed is more potent than ever.

Got my metalworking itch scratched, as I am still debating on re-opening my online store. I closed it due to the chaos my life had taken, and it will remain closed until I feel everything has settled more fully. However, private commissions are still available. Just ask!

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Some will have oak handles, some will have antler, and others will be the simple wrapping.

Finished my amulet choker to protect me in both my Workings and in daily life. Made of bear teeth, wolf teeth, one horse, and mink teeth it was blessed during the December full moon.

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Potency at it’s finest, and it sits so wonderfully on my neck. I adore this piece!

And during the December full moon I enacted some… Harsher rituals.

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Because sometimes shit’s gotta to get done.

And on the eve of Rauhnact I spent my time playing my violin and harp, offering milk and food to the Wild Hunt, threw the bones, and hailed to the Antlered Weaver’s assembly.

Hail to the Huntress of Souls!

I will post on this tomorrow. For now, my plans are not yet finished. Selig Rauhnact!!

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Dark of the Year

I walk outside, and feel the air.

I can almost hear the footsteps here and there.

I do not give in to my inner fear,

As I walk outside, during the dark of the year.

I think of the faces, of the silent hosts,

What does one do? With living, breathing ghosts?

Hollow shells that I encounter far and near,

As I walk outside, during the dark of the year.

I work my rituals, and hear a knock,

I pause, like a frozen clock.

Into the darkened atmosphere, I peer;

And I look into the veil, during the dark of the year.

At a crossroads I leave an offering, in the dead of night,

I pull up my hood, to fight the snowy blight.

An offering for the Gods, and Ancestors I revere;

As I whisper my troubles, during the dark of the year.

I turn around, homeward bound,

I pause every so often to listen, and look around.

I can see the shadows of Those most austere,

And I realize: I should get myself home, tis’ the dark of the year.

Home, I drink darkened tea,

And warm my bones, quite calmly.

I add some whiskey, for some added cheer,

I open a book, warm my toes by the fire,

Memory’s souvenir.

I think, I remember, I ponder,

During the dark of the year.

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November Moon: Dark Moon

Spending the evening in quiet solitude, welcoming the first of a series of new additions:

IMG_0730It’s my male black bear skull. Found as is, and most of His teeth are missing. That’s ok, nobody’s perfect and this skull has a profound wisdom with Him. I spent only a few hours with Him and the communication has been very earthy, very settled. I am ecstatic to welcome Him, and I will give this next moon phase to allow Him to settle into my household. Finished my ritual bird foot talisman and blessed it in the light of the full moon.

A nice, quiet, and peaceful full moon. Casting the cards by lamplight, and learning how they speak to me. I have been reading more into tarot symbolism in a ritual context, and I am still very much in love with the deck.

Hope your full moon is full of potency, ritual, and warmth as the chilled bony winds blow!

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Geistfest

I had an early celebration due to work schedules, however I didn’t think the timing lacked in any way. I got out of the house, saw a film (Horrible movie called Ouija), walked around the restless streets, and paused every so often to listen to the breezes. The air is certainly stirring. I started the day with pomegranates, tri-fried eggs, and toast with my Ancestors.

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Breakfast

I offered them milk, spirits, apples, pomegranates, and tobacco (most of my recently departed loved ones smoked), as well as other treats I could remember they liked in their lives. I bedecked the table in white fragrant flowers for them, and looked over old photos and held old momentos. I did my best to remember them, their sayings and habits, and how their presence in my life shaped me into the person I stand as today.

I cut an apple ribbon in one slice as I chanted (Which, as I found… Takes talent! To those who can with one swoop, I tip my hat to you. I think I had luck on my side for mine.) and let the ribbon fall onto my counter to see what initials my ‘true love’ (if he even exists) would be. Well…

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Not really seeing initials. Maybe I did it wrong?

Started my wreath for the dark season, it’s in a bare-bones form for now, but as the season progresses I will be adding to it.

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My new wreath, it’ll be added to over the years, but this is the starting point.

Finished another spirit house. I am not sure if you can see it, but I have been working with more insect spirits, as well as my wasp.

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A safe haven for my most fragile spirits.

IMG_0713As night fell, I prepared my meal with the Midnight Bull, and His dear Lady. I cooked meats in red wine, poured wine into goblets I use in ritual meals, cleaned the table and swept the area. After anointing the candles and setting them, it was finally the right hour:

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Hail to the Midnight Bull!

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Cannot forget his Dear Lady!

A glass for me, and a glass for Him and his Lady. I dined with my Ancestors and hosted my Guests in silence. I cleaned up in silence, and it wasn’t until the cream was left outside for the wandering souls that I spoke a word.

I cast the bones, I spread my cards. I had many questions, and I think I had pretty clear answers. I asked questions a few colleagues were wanting answers to, and I wrote them down. My house was filled with the fumigated smoke of lavender, wormwood, chamomile, yarrow flowers, and mugwort. Believe it or not, it smelled wonderful!

The fat and bones of the meat will be given traditionally, and afterwards I left a lamp lit while I slept to aid me in dreaming of my Ancestors.

As the All Hallows Eve dawns, I hope yours is full of divination, laughter, merry-making, spirit work, and a glimpse through the veil.

Glucklich Geist Jagd!

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The Wandering Hermit

Living a monk-like hermitage has afforded me not only rest, time, reflection, but the freedom to contemplate and focus on the mysteries my former life wasn’t allowing.

In my new job, placing a practical application to the societal mysteries has been illuminating. It would seem that folks put up an illusion around themselves, and become so swarmed with it many cannot see even their own partner, spouse, or the person standing next to them. Noise, or interruption of their illusions make so many angry (including myself) because being part of the world is a ritual act in and of itself. It is the illusion of isolation that was created – and it is damn hard to break.

Took me most of this year to get out of that habit, and I’ve noticed the grandmother sitting with her granddaughter feeding the ducks at the park, the cat who was foiled again by the neighbor’s squirrel, a teenager severely hurt by being single for the upcoming dance, and the grumpy old man sitting on the bench being bitter. All this by standing at the crosswalk.

On a foggy morning, catching the glint of the wandering deer, returning home watching the wasps building a low nest (sign of a harsh winter ahead):

“If hornets build low,

Winter storms and snow;

If hornets build high,

Winter mild and dry.”

With the changing weather, I can almost hear the Ancestors in the leaves as they rustle down the street, there is definite movement in the air. This weekend I am carving several plants into lanterns to set on my windowsills, and I have been prepping for my Ancestral Feast.

I have tried in vain to make sugar skulls, and I have failed. I have my limitations. However, instead of giving up on the entire idea, I went to the store to purchase a popular decoration: a skull. How many of those do we see these days? (And not to mention other holiday stuff already!)

I painted them, and affixed a candle atop them.

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Combining German folk design with the Sugar Skull motif – I think they turned out pretty well.

Spent many nights in my bearskin and melding with her anew. No rituals, no trance-work, just communing with the skin into my own. Just letting my mind wander, collecting and listening. Hearing the birds outside, the creaks in my floorboards, the cold on my skin; letting myself simply be still with Her.

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Not such a good photo of Her, but still She is a reliable companion.

Bought a new set of buffalo horns, which the buffalo, auroch, as well as other cattle, livestock, and the pastoral rituals as associated with The Ploughman, which I will be honoring as the Midnight Bull on the eve of November. In February, I will be honoring the Daughter of the Bear.

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The photo doesn’t give the breadth of the horns justice. These horns are magnificent!

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Antique spurs as an offering to The Horselord, of which I am happy to say was well received.

I will continue to wander, and contemplate. As much as I would love to move away from here, the spirits I work with, and the Antlered Weaver aren’t allowing for that. Sometimes roots grow on their own and you don’t realize it until you try to uproot. So, I will continue to delve into local botany, local culture (yes, even the towns in the boonies have unique customs, folklore, and history) and see what I can learn. I agree with the other bloggers: There should be more regional practitioners. There shouldn’t be a one-size type, but local variety that gave the historical practitioners such color and vibrancy.

Don’t worry, I’ll blog again. As my mind begins to word the mysteries in a coherent order, I will post them here. So tonight, I’ll go over my notes and try to put them into words.

Here goes!

*Note: My store is closing, and I will be placing my inventory on local consignment. There have been numerous local requests for my knives and metalwork, and it will be taking my attention. However, commissions online are still available – just ask.

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Herbst

A lot has happened in this past month.

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History was all around me, and I savored every moment.

I went to the Academy for training, across the state. It held my focus and attention, please forgive my absence. After graduation, I came home and offered a plethora of gifts in gratitude. I held quiet rituals in humble solitude, and before I went to bed – I blessed my polished boots.

I’m happy to be back in uniform, and it feels damn good to have a duty belt again.

The town is chock-full of history, around every corner. Old spirits, lingering like smoke in a bar. Not benevolent, not malevolent – but a neutral that took me some time to become accustomed to. They’re neither here, nor there. They’re neither listening, nor ignoring you. Neither coming, or going. It was something else.

I was haunted the entire time, by a single solitary crow. Whom eluded my camera like a pro. I do wonder if he kept coming back because I greeted him with “Why hello, my love!” Gorgeous bird.

It was in this town that I found my tarot deck. I had left it open, hoping that I would find ‘my‘ deck; but understanding the fact that it may just not happen for me. But it did!

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The Light And Shadow Tarot

I spent several evenings just studying the cards, the imagery, and their meanings. Then, I blessed it during the Brewer’s/Herbst Moon of September. (While most of my month has been spent at the Academy, I did manage to get preparations for brewing this winter. My yeast, my ingredients, are on their way!) I fell in love with the cards, each unique one. For the first time, I ‘heard‘ them speak. My fingers traced the lines, and my eyes caught each curve.

I’m thrilled to have a deck finally. Now, in the dark of the moon, I am using them for ritual purposes as well.

My skulls are almost ready, and in the next month I’ll be working with them as well. I’ve got several new additions, and I am looking forward to their insight.

I spent my time otherwise harvesting my large garden. I have more produce than I know what to do with!

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Oh no, that’s not even 1/4 of my harvest! I just couldn’t fit it all in one shot!

For a private garden, I was stunned.

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Again, just a portion of my garden.

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And… My one and only green bean.

My stove was a mess after the pickling, canning, and jams – but I’m pretty happy. Now, to find folks I can give them to!

It is Herbst today, and I honored the change in the seasons. It begins my darker half of the year, the Season of the Dead. I don’t know if I’ll have a chance to go hunting this year, but I intend to try. I held a solitary Ancestral Feast, of fresh salmon, my garden herbs and vegetables.

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Delish.

It is also my Erntendankfest, or Thanksgiving. I blessed my house, my skinning knives, and I cast the bones and read the cards. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and the signs of winter are coming in earnest.

It is the time when the Bear Mother leaves in my tradition, as well as seeing the bears of my state begin to hibernate. Some are early, some are later on. When She rests, the world rests with Her. I tended a cub over winter and most of this year, and it was time to bid farewell.

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Farewell little cub! Oh precious little one, I have brought you up in my home, And shared my nourishment. Now it is time, To return to our Mother. When next you see her, Speak well of me, And send blessings back to me.

The remainder of my evening will be spent playing my harp, leaving cream outside for the Good Neighbors, and the returning Ancestors. Their apex will be at Rauhnact, and I am prepping for my own quiet Day of the Dead coming up in October. Much Ancestral rituals are ahead of me, as I will spend my evening not alone, but with my Ancestors.

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A good tidying up is in order, with milk and bread to feed them.

I hope your own celebrations are joyful, and rich with life as the Season of the Dead begins.

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On Empty Thresholds

Left foot forward, on an empty threshold,
The door is silent, the floor is cold.
The spirits quiet, insects crawl,
Yet they remain still, and don’t move at all.

Yet when I approached, with gentle care,
I tried to be calm, tried to be fair.
But akin to us, some were angry to see,
Someone to dare to tread their carpeted sea.

Shut out of some, welcomed by two,
I await to see which will work through.
I left a whispered offering,hoping to be heard,
I shall await, for the final word.

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