One-Eyed Cat: Norse Paganism & Northern European Witchcraft

This is the magic of Freyja and I am her völva: a seer, priestess and oracle.

Sharing wisdom taught directly by the Norse Gods over twenty years of practice, I teach safer seiðr / seidr / seidhr (Norse trance work and fate-magic), reverent animism, and deeper workings with the Gods and land spirits through respect for all life and peoples.

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Shirl Sazynski

Shirl Sazynski

Shirl Sazynski is a priestess trained directly by Frey, Odin, Loki and Freyja. She is passionately committed to healing the rift between us and the ancestors and strengthening our friendship with the Gods, the land and the spirits sharing our world.
Her column, "One-Eyed Cat", runs in Witches and Pagans Magazine. An oracle, icon painter and author, her work has appeared in both popular and pagan media.
This meditation was podcast during the April 2020 Bindrune Festival

Quick and calming, this meditation is especially good for practicing mystical journeywork — and comes directly from over two decades of my own experience as a völva, a Norse seer and priestess. It takes you to a very stable and holy location, one that is excellent for meeting deities and benevolent spirit guides or teachers in solo and group guided meditations.


The World Treealso known as Yggdrasil, is a nearly universal mythic symbol across Eurasia, but it is also a very real place you can visit. Called Yggdrasil, Laerad and Mead-Tree by the Norse, this tree appears in diverse sources, from Egyptian wall paintings to the Hellenic tale of the Golden Apples of the Sun, from Slavic fairy tales to images of Buddha meditating beneath the Bodhi tree and the more familiar Biblical Tree of Life. 

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Heathen Ancestral Wisdom to Cope With Quarantine

From mundane to woo, here’s some simple advice on what to do.

#1: Honor Your Ancestors

We’re all here because our ancestors pulled through much worse times than this.Their strength, pragmatism and a good deal of mystical knowledge are all still available to us. At this time, it’s a good idea to thank them and ask for their support. Honoring the ancestors is a core part of many polytheist paths, but it may be new to you. It doesn’t take much: raise a glass to them, say a prayer, talk to an old family photo. Keep them in your thoughts. b2ap3_thumbnail_othala_20200318-204744_1.jpg

The rune Othala (pictured at left) can really help with this,
through meditation or burning a candle inscribed with it, dedicated to the ancestors. Family is important right now. Even if you haven’t always seen eye to eye, rise above it: these aren’t ordinary times, and you need each other, but don’t tolerate—or inadvertently cause— abuse. Check in with your relatives, especially more vulnerable older folk you may not have seen for awhile. It’s also a good time to sit down and listen to those oft-ignored elders, learning the family stories, and hearing how they learned to cope.

Do this now, because you may not get another chance. While this is always true, current events just underscore this.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_heathen-meme-1.jpg

For some reason, when you work alongside certain deities, outside folks loooooove to come and chat you up about Them. Only, rather than asking questions out of genuine desire to learn, more often than not, it seems to turn into a smug confessional. I’ve even gotten the literal elbow poke to the ribs from folks who’ve never met a Norse God. Wink, wink. Toothy grin. “You know what he’s like right, riiiight?”

It really makes me feel like I’m talking about Geralt of Rivia.

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Winter Solstice Song Magic: Galdrs to Sunna and Freyja out of Christmas Carols, Pt. 1: Gaudete

Do you love the breathtaking sound of old Christmas carols but want music that reflects your Heathen, polytheist and pagan beliefs? Would you also like to work some old-style Norse song magic, galdr, on behalf of the world, the Gods and your ancestors? And have fun?

Here is a very simple and potent act you can participate in that requires no magical knowledge-- simply your voice, passion and clear intention. For maximum impact in healing, join your voices in song on both the Solstice itself and the 24th. The more voices raised, the more power that builds. (You can also just sing this at any time leading up to it, or when you want to honor the Sun.) Let's reclaim several ancient songs, and the Northern, feminine sun!


It turns out that some of the oldest carols were first recorded in Finland in 1581, part of a manuscript called Piae Cantiones. That makes them Norse songs. It is more than likely that some of those songs preserve far older, pre-Christian tunes as well as ones contemporary to the time.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    So glad you're blogging about this!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Is there a video on YouTube of anyone singing the English version? I'm not good at picking up tunes from just the song lyrics. I
Seidhr: Dispelling Misconceptions about Norse Trance Magic

Misconceptions about seidhr (pronounced “seethe” or “sayth”), Norse trance journeying, abound in both the lore and Heathenrymuch of it hinging on modern fantasies or medieval corruptions and loaded with sexual politics that have no real place in approaching our elder kin. This creates fear, distrust and distance from the Gods and ancestors where there should be real affection, truth and learning instead.

It’s time to change that.

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Why are Heathen Women So Scared of Magic?

Heathen women, reclaim your rightful place of power as witches, please. It's not a Wiccan thing. It's our heritage.

Magical practice-- witchcraft-- is the great heritage of central and northern European women, as vital as the male warrior traditions to our ancestors’ communities. From noblewomen to the humblest farm wife, women were expected to work magic on behalf of their family, the sick and the woundedand to uphold their kingdoms! Bands of professional priestesses, the volur were esteemed and traveled safety over both land and rivers, surviving into the time of the Greenland colony.

These two facts can be quoted by plenty of modern Heathens, but how many actually put stock in it by their actions, attitudes and beliefs regarding witchcraft-- and the women who practice it?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    Why dont more women who identify with Germanic neopaganism discuss/use magic? I don't get it either. We have marvellous sources th
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Why not try reading Maria Kvilhaug's lovely book on the Northern mysteries (which are human understandings of the esoteric, neithe
  • Kayly
    Kayly says #
    You disappeared from this site for a long time; I missed reading your articles. Regarding magic: The Norse system has a stereotyp
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    If you get a chance to read my column, you will see that I use runes for magical purposes (they are sigils, abstract signs) and ta
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    They're scared of magic because most of them are enmeshed in patriarchal Indo-European mythology, and the retelling of that mythol

Tailtiu herself taught me this ritual way of honoring her several years ago, as I prepared for a Lughnasadh celebration with a druid grove. Do your own research, and you will discover several analogous rituals on varying dates throughout Europe.


There is no clean land in all of Ireland, no fields not blood-soaked nor polluted by tears and death, for the Great War had raged across the land for ages. The war and its reasons, the dead and their Kings, their celebrated champions no longer matter. One royal husband slain and the victor wed, and Tailtiu, still Queen of Ireland, never took part in the fighting.

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