Do you love to sing, especially at this time of year? Or does your system require a little “liquid courage” to belt out those familiar tunes? Perhaps it would help to sing something a bit friendlier to your spiritual sensibilities? To that end, I’ve composed a Heathen Yuletide carol, which is sung to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” I dedicate it to my Heathen friends and to the God Bragi, Whom I invoked during my own group’s Winter Solstice celebration last night. If you sing my song or share it, please respect my copyright–that’s all I ask. Oh, and sing it with gusto with some mead, please! Enjoy and have a blessed Yule!
“The Twelve Days of Yuletide: A Heathen Carol”
© Anna Applegate 2017
On the first day of Yuletide, my true love gave to me…
A rune set carved from a pine tree
New to my Etsy site, JackalMoonDesigns: three devotional necklaces to very powerful Goddesses. One is dedicated to Freyja and two pay homage to Kali Ma. Continue reading
Well, if rowdy Mars opposing transformative Pluto conjunct the ambitious Capricorn full moon last night (based on my time zone) has taught me anything, it’s that I can get worked up into a devotional jewelry-making frenzy. I worked on three Mjöllnír (Thor’s Hammer) necklaces alone, two featuring striking sterling silver pendants and the third a bone one. All told, I made four necklaces in the span of a conventional workday. The bone pendant Mjöllnir, which was cool because it depicted Jørmungand, the World Serpent, coiling around Thor’s Hammer, sold as soon as I made an announcement about it to my Facebook friends and uploaded photos. So I have three necklaces I’ve added to my Etsy site, JackalMoonDesigns–have a look and let me know what you think! Continue reading
While many practitioners of alternative spiritualities associate the full moon in May by annually commemorating the Wesak of the Buddha, I choose instead to light fires of welcome for my Patron Deity, the Goddess Hekate. Since 2010, the Covenant of Hekate has issued a global summons of Hekate devotees to participate in its annual Rite of Her Sacred Fires, which always occurs during the full moon in May. Continue reading
This past Saturday at World Tree Healing, I led a workshop on “Loving and Serving ‘Dark’ Deities.” It was a well-attended workshop and for the first hour, I engaged the participants in a series of discussions based on the following prompts:
- How has staving off criticism from mainstream religions made Paganism afraid of its own shadows?
- How do you help outsiders to your tradition distinguish between “darkness” and “evil”?
- Has anyone ever had an experience of invoking Dark Deities in a group ritual context and then been castigated for invoking Them?
- How is the function of the Trickster valuable to a society? Who is devoted to Trickster Gods?
- In his Manifesto for his powerful Apocalyptic Witchcraft, Peter Grey has declared: “We call an end to the pretense of respectability.” What are your thoughts on this? What do Pagans lose by attempting to claw their way to the interfaith table, begging for scraps of acceptance from Abrahamic religions?
It was a great discussion that appeared to make two people with Abrahamic allegiances very uncomfortable, so they left after I had announced that we’d be taking a short break before our ritual to Nephthys would begin. Good riddance, I thought. I certainly didn’t want the miasma, or spiritual pollution, of their presences to spill over into my devotional ritual to my Patron Deity. The major risk of hosting a public Pagan ritual is that you never know what kind of people may show up, especially folks with overtly hostile ideologies (read: patriarchal monotheists) who attend solely to destabilize the gathering, which is why I absolutely favor doing private ceremonies in the company of fellow devotees I can vouch for.
Note: A former coven mate of mine shared this with me–hence the British spelling and the Gardnerian references to scourging and the like. I cannot speak to this work’s true origins.
Mark your calendars, Chi-Town readers! My next Polytheist-centric workshop at World Tree Healing metaphysical resource center in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood will take place on Saturday, April 15 (the day Venus goes Direct!), from 5 to 7 p.m. Behold, my glorious marketing copy: Continue reading
This past Saturday evening, I had the pleasure of leading a workshop on ancient Egyptian magic at World Tree Healing bookstore and metaphysical resource center here in Chicago. Called “Hands-On Heka,” the workshop I devised featured an overview on the three types of magic, as I classify them, that we know that ancient Egyptians of all social strata practiced: funerary magic, ritual magic, and everyday (sometimes referred to as “crisis-mode”) magic. From this latter category, I devised a devotional ritual to the great goddess Sekhmet, Lady of Power, which featured a historically verified spell meant to reverse the Evil Eye. The spell involved the creation of a papyrus talisman, which we did together as a group based on a hieroglyphic prayer I created to evoke Sekhmet’s aid for spiritual protection. However, there was follow-up work for the ritual participants/workshop attendees to do once they returned to their homes: once activated, the papyrus talisman had to be “put to work” in what is arguably history’s oldest form of the Witch Bottle.
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring Equinox is a little more than three weeks away. Many of us partake of time-honored rituals this time of year that have to do with purging and purifying our homes, from thorough physical scrubbing and scouring of our living spaces to donating old clothes and housewares that no longer meet our needs. As we discard the old and unwanted, we open our heads, hearts, and homes to receiving the new, as it should be.
As invigorating as a good housecleaning can feel once you’ve finished, I don’t believe in resting on your laurels. Better to follow up work done on the material plane with a thorough spiritual cleansing of your home, which should occur during the day and not at night (morning is ideal, but anytime after the sun has risen). I have a recipe my Oluwo (Godfather) in Ifá recently shared with me in person and which I have permission, in turn, to share with the aleyo (non-initiate) community. Continue reading
Like a lot of other Pagan witches in the U.S., I wholeheartedly celebrate both Halloween and Samhain, the former being a secular, cultural (and certainly, commercial) interpretation of the greater themes of mortality, ancestor reverence, and the celebration of the Witches’ New Year/the Third Harvest that find expression in ritual celebrations of Samhain (“Summer’s End” in Gaelic). October 31 has always been my favorite day of the year ever since early childhood. Continue reading