August to December at Wayfaring Woman

In the last third of 2016 I took a bit of a break from writing and significantly reduced¬†my work here at Wandering Woman Wondering and at Wayfaring Woman (my column on the Agora at Patheos). I’ve included links below to the articles that I did not previously link here. Some of them are updates and revisions to work that I previously presented here on Wandering Woman Wondering, and some are new.

reed-1666746_1280

Magical Masking and Dionysos

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/2016/08/wayfaring-woman-magical-masking-and-dionysos/

The Roman God Mercurius – An Introduction and Ritual

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/2016/08/wayfaring-woman-the-roman-god-mercurius-an-introduction-and-ritual/

Gifts From the Heart – An Autumn Spiced Guided Meditation

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/2016/09/wayfaring-woman-gifts-from-the-heart-an-autumn-spiced-guided-meditation/

Guarding and Protecting Your Magical Workings

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/2016/10/wayfaring-woman-guarding-and-protecting-your-magical-workings/

Hekate’s Hounds – Warders Between Worlds

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/2016/10/wayfaring-woman-hekates-hounds-warders-between-worlds/

I hope you find these to be useful stepping stones along your own path, or at least intriguing in some way ūüėÄ

Wayfaring Woman: Honoring Hekate in the Rite of Her Sacred Fires

Hekate Kerberos Herakles

Hekate with Twin Torches, from ancient Greek vase

I have updated my Wayfaring Woman column at The Agora on Patheos.com. Check out my latest post, Honoring Hekate in the Rite of Her Sacred Fires!

The Divine Androgyne Speaks

“Find your own vastness, and from that vastness find your balance, your fulcrum. I am not a single pair of balanced scales any more than you are. I, and you, are wheels, spinning around their center. We are all the spiral of existence, whirling and dancing around the staff of life.”

Thus spoke the Divine Androgyne, the Holy Power honored each year at Ecstasis by the Brotherhood of the Phoenix, a Pagan order based in Chicago for self-identified men who love men. Ecstasis took place on October 11th this year and is the only ritual open to the general public. And so I felt especially blessed to attend and receive the Androgyne’s healing words. For two hours I joined with 40-50¬†celebrants to sing, trance, and dance in the power and grace of the Divine Androgyne. At at the climax of the event, the Androgyne walked among us and gave rede. This year the message was indeed mighty.¬†The entire (reconstructed) message offered by the Androgyne at Ecstasis 2014 can be found here.

In my own meditations I often reflect on the meaning of balance. Having three planets in Libra (Moon, Mars, and Saturn) I am consumed by the magic and mystery of that concept. Over the years, the notion of balance has expanded in my consciousness into a question of harmony. Balance as the Androgyne reveals is often about binaries, but harmony is about systems of multitudinous and varied elements in dynamic relation to one another. The Androgyne ministered to a part of my psyche that I had forgotten in recent months, and¬†reawakened and re-membered it in queer ritual space. All that thrives between the extremes of my own binaries was laid out for me to magic and move, to reimagine and envision, to sing and dance. Joy and sorrow, celebration and grief, they were there and all their mighty cousins too. In queer space which doesn’t feel compelled to be either/or, gay/straight, male/female, this/that, I dissolved and resolved into Harmony; pure magic. And I danced and sang my whole soul awake for the first time in many months.

Ta kya te¬†(meaning ‚ÄúMy heart is open to you‚Äú in the language of the Brotherhood).¬†The Androgyne’s magic is powerful, and I am overjoyed to have been a part of it.

Dream Note: The Mead of Change

Last night I went to bed with Freyr on my mind and had yet another colorful dream. In it I was attempting to facilitate a blot for Freyr for an increasingly large group of folks (first about 5 then 20 then like 60). The blot never even began. Some of those gathered were distracted and/or fairly unruly. Each time I tried to call the folk to order many would attend to the task at hand for a few precious moments and then wayward others would descend again into disarray. When I first woke up from the dream I thought that it might have been a bad omen for a future ritual in honor of Freyr but as I reflected on other parts of the dream, I realized that might not have quite been the point of the strange dream.

A large part of the dream involved explaining the process of toasting the gods, drinking from the horn, and passing the mead onto others gathered. As a prop for my explanation I had a very large, very heavy, wooden horn. The horn was not properly shaped to be a drinking vessel. It looked more like a large and awkward version of an early¬†trumpet-style hearing aid. Despite it being a hearing horn¬†rather than a drinking horn I had filled it with golden mead from a bottle marked Svipal. As you may know, Svipal is actually one of Odin’s heiti meaning Changeable One. I have read through Odin’s praise names in the past but I have not studied and worked with Odin in even 80%¬†of his aspects so the name Svipal meant little¬†to me in the dream; I had not recognized it as a byname for Odin at the time, but I knew that it was important. It was after Googling it this morning that I situated its significance.

The horn was overflowing with the Svipal-mead I had poured in. Not only was the bottom dripping but the wide end of the horn was spilling a narrow steady stream of mead as well. I quickly tried to catch the spilling liquid with my mouth. I drank some in but I ended up with mead all over me as well. I remember feeling like I had something meaningful and valuable to share and that a subset of those gathered wanted to receive that gift, but others were not their for that purpose. During the dream the Svipal-Mead pouring everywhere just seemed like a big mess, but this morning I think I understand the nature of the mess. I think the mead was a loud indication that it is time for something to change in my ritual practice in general or perhaps in my blot facilitation in particular. In the dream while my attention was on Freyr the background clamor seemed to stress that I needed to change my perspective and change my approach in some way. Some were indeed there to honor Freyr and some were there for maybe unrelated reasons. Actually I recall two major groups of distracting elements. One was a group of women talking, laughing, and reading divination, and the other was a sprinkling of men beyond the main circle whispering to others within the main circle.

Maybe the rogue ones need to be addressed and specifically asked to join or at the very least not trouble the blot and its attendees. I have participated in rituals in the past (about three or four years ago) that attend to this sort of politicking but I have not integrated such a practice into my own work. Perhaps this dream connects with my previous reflections on the Jotnar. I am reminded of a common verse from Apple Branch Protogrove ADF rituals that I attended before the protogrove disbanded some years ago:

“All you of the Primal Dark,
Outsiders, Nightmare spirits, banes ‚Äď
This tithe is yours, this offering yours.
Leave us be, pass by in peace, and trouble us not in our working!”

Perhaps with some minor modification to make it a bit more congenial it could fit snugly into my blots as a way to acknowledge the Jotnar and their might, show respect for their Work, but also invite them to pass by (or join in) in peace!! Thinking of it that way the gods’ presence in the dream makes sense, with Freyr the God of Frith, and Heimdallr as he who hears and sees all stirrings in the Primal Dark and border places, and of course Odin Svipal who adapts in all ways that are needed to stay The End.