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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Visibility Project How To

 

What is the Project?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Visibility Project Getting Results

The Project has enough images now so that when a journalist asked what images were available I was able to direct them to the #heathenvisibility hashtag and to Project galleries on Deviantart and Shutterstock. We always need more images, though, especially images that illustrate specific ideas.

The Project works through search engines, keywords, and hashtags, so tracking our success in getting Project images into search engine returns is an important part of the Project, so we can see what to try next. A standard Google search for the hashtag yielded some great results, for example, these links:

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 Still life with vegetables | Татьяна Скороход | Flickr

 

The science is undeniable: people that regularly eat large quantities of vegetables live longer and healthier lives. Like pretty much everyone else in the US, witches need to eat more vegetables.

Well, you can't hang over their shoulders at every meal. Feasts are another matter, though.

All you need to know are three magic words.

For years at family holidays like Thanksgiving, I would dutifully set out a tray of crudités with some recondite dip of my own devising (North Indian dry dip, classic tahina cream...). I would eat a few pieces of broccoli. A few hours later, I'd pack up the untouched veggies and put them back in the refrigerator.

Finally one year my sister said: “I'll show you how to get people to eat vegetables.”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    The single most important thing that anyone can do to reduce her carbon footprint is to become vegetarian. Just because it's a tru
  • John Zelasko
    John Zelasko says #
    My 3 magic words are, "go vegan now". It's a moral imperative to me. After all, how could I claim to honour the earth, the animal

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Fruitful Magic

While we often think of herbs and flowers as having special properties, it is much less commonly known that fruits also contain much magic you must try for yourself:

  • Apples: This beloved “one a day” fruit is associated with the goddess Pomona and contains the powers of healing, love, and abundance. Samhain, the high holiday of the Wheel of the Year, is also called the “Feast of Apples,” and they are used on the Halloween altar during this festival. Cutting an apple in half and sharing the other half with your beloved will generate magic so that the two of you will stay happy.
  • Apricots: This juicy treasure is associated with Venus and the power of love, and it is believed that drinking the nectar will make you more romantically appealing. The juice of the apricot is used in rituals and love potions. Truly a food of the goddess!
  • Avocados: The luscious avocado is not just delicious, it also brings forth beauty and lustfulness.
     
  • Bananas: A bunch of bananas packs a magical punch with powers of abundance and fertility for both men and women. Anyone who gets married beneath a banana tree bower will have a lucky marriage. One caveat: never cut a banana, only break the fruit apart. Otherwise, you’ll bring bad luck to your household.
  • Blackberries: Blackberries are the medicine that pops up anywhere, offering a delightful snack as well as serious healing, love, and abundance. Both the vine and the berries can be used for money-bringing spells. Thorny blackberry vines are wonderful as protective wreaths for your home, and the plant vine and the berry can be used for prosperity and money spells.
  • Blueberries: These berries are almost like a shield against the evil eye made of fruit, as they offer great protection. You can tuck them under the mat at your front threshold to ward off bad energy and evil if you feel someone is attempting to do you harm with hexes or sending bad energy your way.
  • Cherries: Beloved for their bright red color and taste, cherries are associated with romance as well as powers of divination. Useful in love spells, the Japanese believe tying a strand of hair from your head onto the blossom of a cherry tree will bring a lover to you.
  • Figs: Figs hold a place in our culture from the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Unsurprisingly, they are associated with sexuality and fecundity. If eaten ripe off the tree, this fruit will aid in conception and help men with issues of impotence. A fig tree grown outside the bedroom will bring deeply restful sleep and prophetic dreams. Outside your kitchen, a fig tree will ensure there will always be plenty of food for your family. Anywhere a fig tree grows it will bring luck and safety. A folk charm holds that gifting someone a fig grown by your own hand binds them to you. Wield your figs wisely.
  • Grapes: Planting grapevines grants you abilities for money magic as well as gardening and farming. The ancient Romans painted pictures of grapes on the garden walls to ensure good harvests and fertility for women. Eat some grapes for mental focus, and magical spell workings for money are abetted greatly by placing a bowl of grapes on the altar.
  • Lemon: This beloved member of the citrus family confers the rare power of longevity as well as faithful friendship, purification, love, and luck. The juice from lemons mixed with water can be used to consecrate magical tools and items during the full moon. Dried lemon flowers and peels can also be used in love potions and sachets. Bake a lemon pie for the object of your desire and he or she will remain faithful to you for all time. Imbibing lemon leaf tea stirs lust.
  • Oranges: Like the joyful color of this fruit, oranges are a fruit of happiness in love and marriage. Dried orange blossoms added to a hot bath make you more beautiful. A spritz of orange juice will add to the potency of any love potion. Orange sachets, pomanders, and other gifts made with this fruit offer the recipient utter felicity, thus it is an ideal gift for newlyweds.
  • Peaches: It might seem obvious, but eating peaches encourages love. They also enhance wisdom. An amulet made with the pit can ward off evil. A fallen branch from a peach tree can make an excellent magic wand, while a piece of peach wood carried in your pocket is an excellent talisman for a long life.
  • Pears: It is believed this uniquely shaped fruit brings prosperity and a long life. Somewhat similarly to peaches, the pear nourishes powers of lust and love. Shared with a partner, pears can be used to induce sexual arousal. Pear wood is also very good for magical wands.
  • Pineapple: While renowned as a symbol of hospitality, pineapples represent neighborliness, abundance, and chastity. Dried pineapple in a sachet added to bath water will bring great luck. The juice hinders lust when consumed. Dried pineapple peel is great in money spells and mixtures.
  • Plums: Plums are for protection and add sweetness to romantic love. A fallen branch from a plum tree over the door keeps out negative energy and wards off evil.
  • Pomegranates: Here we have powers of divination, making wishes come true, and engendering wealth. Eating the seeds can increase fruitfulness in childbearing; you can also carry the rind in a pocket sachet. Always make a wish before eating the fruit, for your wish will come true.
  • Raspberries: This sweet berry has tremendous powers for true love and home safety. Hang the vines at doors when a person in the house has died so that the spirit won’t enter the home again. The leaves are carried by pregnant women to help with the pains of childbirth and with pregnancy itself. Raspberries are often served at table to induce love. Raspberry leaves are also carried for luck.
  • Tomatoes: Reminder: the tomato is a fruit! An easy money spell is to place a fresh-off-the-vine tomato on the mantle every few days to bring prosperity. Eating tomatoes inspires love. They are great to plant in your garden as an aid to ward off pests of all kinds!
 
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs


Recently there was a discussion in the Asatru Facebook Forum that evolved a subthread about Godan, the name of Odin among the Lombards. I received some gnosis, and so, since this blog is Gnosis Diary, I'm going to tell you all about it.

As background to the Godan discussion: The main thread had been affirming the original poster's exploration of Asatru as a possible path, which grew into discussion of Unitarian-Universalist style religion, which eventually branched into the Godan discussion. It was pointed out that the name Godan was the origin of the English name God for the Christian God. This led to a question of whether they were the same god.

At this point Odin spoke in my head. (Which is not unusual for me at all, as you see if you read the past few years' blog posts, and we had just been communicating during my daily morning coffee ritual a few minutes before, so this was not a remarkable occurrence except that he had a message he wanted conveyed.) "I am not the same god."

Since the original post was a new seeker's intro post, when Odin joined the conversation in my head I wanted to be sure to express it in a way that would not be received as argumentative or unwelcoming. I remember very well how people reacted to my first few reports of messages from the gods, like "Don't poison the Earth," which I had to completely recast as "Love nature and care for her" before people found the message acceptable, when I first started receiving this type of gnosis a few years ago when I was opened to the gods by writing fiction. So with that in mind, I crafted my comment.

Additional background: the comment to which I was responding also mentioned the "chosen people" thing, which I why I included a reference to it in my answer. One of the differences between Odin and YHVH is that Odin doesn't have a chosen people. Some of the heathen gods were patrons or ancestors of species tribes or nations in historical times-- the Lore specifically says the Langobards were named by Frigga who favored them in a war, for example-- but they never said other people couldn't worship them. So the comment to which I was responding started off by commenting about the name Godan being borrowed for the name of xian God, and also included a reference to YHVH having a chosen people.

So here is the comment I created to convey my gnosis in a way that other Asatruers would find unobjectionable:

True. So if people want to reclaim the name God / Godan for Odin that's fine. The being most people mean by the name God is someone else entirely, who may or may not be still the same god whose name was taboo; since that god did have a chosen people and most modern day xians are not from that people it begs the question who that guy really is anymore, but that's beyond the scope of a study of heathenry so I have no answers there. One thing I do know, well two things, firstly that all outlooks from atheist to unitarian-universalist to soft polytheist to hard polytheist are part of modern Asatru and are welcome here, and secondly that Odin is not YHVH because he told me so. That's another thing that is welcome here: gnosis. Because the gods are here now.

(comment finished with smiley face emojis.)

So, here is my opinion about what it's like to have gnosis like this: it's easy to communicate with the gods. What's hard is figuring out how to talk about communicating with the gods in a way that other people won't knee-jerk want to argue with. I think there are probably lots of people who have gnosis like this and just don't talk about it because it's so hard to talk about. That's one of the things I want to help with by writing this blog and also by running the forum: to normalize talking about gnosis so it will be easier in the future.

I know I succeeded in crafting my response correctly because my comment led to a nice discussion of the other person's gnosis and opinions. Which led to the related but distinct discussion of how different is Odin from Godan from Wodan, and how different is one person's Odin from another person's Odin. I think Odin, Godan, and Wodan are simultaneously different and the same. And for the second question, I like the metaphor of the godphone, where everyone has a distinct phone number and might get the wrong voicemails if they dial in from someone else's. When I receive gnosis I always know if it's just for me or intended to be conveyed to other people. The very few messages I receive to convey are such a small percentage of the conversations I have in my mind with my gods that they stand out like a red tree among yellow and green trees. Like looking a hillside full of trees in autumn and there is only one maple tree in the whole forest. Usually the only time I can just directly relay a message without trying to craft a way to say it nicely is when I'm giving a rune reading, in which case people already expect and want a message. This is a skill it took me years to learn, and I'm not sure I'd really say I've mastered it yet; if I had, perhaps it would be easy. lol.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Love Apple Brandy Spirits

Here is a delightfully easy recipe that will produce a flavorful homemade liqueur that smells as good as it tastes. If you are interested in making a hassle-free bottle of special spirits, apples are a wonderful way to start. Start with these ingredients:

  • 4 apples, sweet ones, not sour
  • 2 cups brandy
  • 2 cups vodka
  • Clean and sterilized one-quart Mason jar

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Premium Vector | Falling christmas shining snow, fog and wind at dark night  sky. winter holidays storm with heavy snowfall, snowflakes flying in the  air.

Anyone that lives in Minnesota knows that it's less work—a lot less work—to shovel two inches of snow six times than it is to shovel 12 inches of snow once. 6 x 2 ≠ 12 x 1.

Call it Minnesota arithmetic.

It's our first big snow of the Winter. They're saying 8 to 12. Yikes.

All day, the city has been in battening mode, preparing. The grocery stores looked like the day before Thanksgiving, as everyone stocked up.

It's an annual ritual, and everyone's invited. For one brief moment, partisanship and denominationalism are laid aside; for now, we're all in this together, a Blizzard Fellowship. Neighbors help each other shovel out, and strangers push strangers out of snowbanks.

I go out to shovel the first two inches. It's really coming down hard. That's fine with me: call me crazy, but I actually enjoy shoveling snow. I'll take a good blizzard over your hurricane or lava flow any day of the lunar month, thanks very much. No wonder I live here.

I clear the driveway and front sidewalk, then the sidewalks of the neighbors on both sides, just for good measure. "Why do we live here again?" a woman asks, walking past. It's the traditional question.

I give her the ritual answer: "Because we're all clinically insane."

She laughs. "I keep forgetting," she says, trudging on into the wind.

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