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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in grain gods

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Barleycorn's Revenge

You know the Grain God: him they call John Barleycorn.

You've heard the songs; you know the stories. It's pretty disgraceful, really, what they do to that poor guy.

They cut him with scythes. They tie him up. They stick him with pitchforks. They beat him with sticks. They crush him. They drown him.

As if that's not enough, they eat his flesh and drink his blood.

Not to worry: he's a god, after all. He always springs up again.

And in the end, he'll have his satisfaction.

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  • tehomet
    tehomet says #
    I came across this guy making beer using ancient Egyptian murals as a reference... https://pacificsun.com/beer-issue-barleycorns-r

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Corn Dollies: A Harvest Tradition

Since I can remember, my mom has had two small corn husk dolls. I’m not sure where or why she got them, but it was before I was born, so they’ve always been there, through all my family’s moves from city to city, country to country. Even now, they’re nestled among other knick-knacks in the enormous Bavarian schrank my parents keep in their formal living room. They are quaint, dainty little things, and they’ve always held a kind of mystery to me that, for a long time, I couldn’t quite pin down.

As an adult, I learned that corn husk dolls originated among the Iroquois, and the tradition was picked up by European settlers who had similar traditions. In some ways, corn husk dolls are the indigenous American cognate to European corn dollies, which are usually not so much “dolls” as we think of them as they are decorative objects taking a variety of shapes: hearts, handbells, lanterns, horseshoes, to name just a handful. Another difference is that corn dollies are often made of wheat, barley, or oat sheaves, not the ears of maize used to craft corn husk dolls.

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  • Hugh Gadarn
    Hugh Gadarn says #
    Fascinating. I find corn dollies intriguing and there are examples in early Britain. On the eve of St. Bride's day girls used to m
  • The Cunning Wife
    The Cunning Wife says #
    Thanks for sharing, Hugh! I love learning about the similarities and differences in corn dolly traditions across European cultures

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Message in Coins

One time during the time period when I was learning how to follow the Goddess Diet to honor the goddess Sif, I was preparing for a potluck, and I went to the grocery store. I saw some corn on the cob. I thought, “That would be great to bbq. But I don't know whether it's GMO or not.”

Then I remembered that the GMO corn is a yellow corn. If the corn is some other color then it's not GMO. So I checked it and it was white corn, so I bought some. At the checkout, I was thinking, "I really hope I'm right and that I did this right for Sif."

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  • Megan Gypsy Minx
    Megan Gypsy Minx says #
    I've never personally looked at coins before but it's truly amazing how the universe provides insight everywhere.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've come across Canadian pennies before; though I understand they've stopped making them, but I've never come across an Australia

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Sif's Wheat, Part 2: Her Idol

The Sif doll seated on the harvested wheat. This is a Lithuanian doll that I bought in an amber shop along with some amber in 1989. Shortly after I dedicated part of my garden to Sif last year, I was walking past the display of folk art in my house where I used to display this doll and it called to me to dedicate it to Sif. So I did a dedication ritual, which I related in my post A Doll for Sif. I moved the doll to my Spiritual Souvenir display, which is kind of a wall altar.

I almost always make, remake, or repurpose things to dedicate rather than buying things new for that purpose. I feel that conserving resources is part of how I live as a heathen.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Sif's Wheat, Part 1: Harvesting in June

The Wheel of the Year is different for me than it was for the ancient Northern Europeans. I live in the Mojave Desert in southern Nevada. Part of respecting nature is respecting local conditions rather than trying to stick to what a book says should be because that's the way the ancestors did it. 

Last December, as I related in my blog post Planting Heritage Wheat for Sif, I planted locally adapted arid-lands wheat in a small garden area dedicated to her. Here are my results. I harvested this wheat in early June. 

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi, thanks, I haven't ground and baked it into bread yet. At the moment it's on the table as a display for Sif. I'm posting a pic
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've never tried growing wheat before; though I did try growing sweet corn one year, but it looks fine to me. The real proof is i

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Planting Heritage Wheat for Sif

I lost 20 lbs. on the Goddess Diet. I've been avoiding GMO wheat and corn products because I received gnosis that the goddess Sif wants me to. I'll relate the somewhat amusing story of how I avoid them in another post. As I mentioned in the Fireverse 1 post, while I was writing my probably-unpublishable behemoth Some Say Fire, I received a scene showing that GMO wheat is fatal to Sif, the goddess of wheat. This is what I call novel-gnosis: information about the gods presented to me by them as fiction but which I think may also be applicable beyond the Fireverse.

Once my head was cracked open to hear the gods while writing, I received messages from them as well as being inspired with scenes for the book. I got a strong impression that she wanted non-GMO wheat in real life.

I said, "It would take a revolution to get that for you. An actual revolution."

Sif said, "Get on with it already. Aren't you already talking to Loki?"

It turns out, I was wrong. It didn't take a revolution. Heritage wheat still exists in the world. It might not be in the bread aisle at the grocery store, but one can grow some if one has land on which to do so. Native Seed Search (nativeseeds.org) has some. I ordered some of that wheat to plant for Sif.

When I planted the wheat, I did a ritual to have it blessed by Sif, Thor, and Loki. The what itself is Sif's sphere of influence, and rain is Thor's. The earth itself is Jord's, also known as Fjorgynn, Thor's mother; the place where I was planting already had a dedication to her on it, written on the bottle wall in runes. Clearing the ground relates to one of Loki's spheres of influence. I had to dig up the dead things that were in the planting bed. Also some live things had to be dug up and potted and moved. The ground had to be leveled. I added compost, and turned the soil over. Only then was it ready for Sif's wheat to be planted, and only after that was it ready for Thor to rain on it to make it grow.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've been signing lots of online petitions for GMO labeling. I used to subscribe to Organic Gardening magazine so I know there ar

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Doll for Sif

I dedicated a small doll to the grain goddess, Sif, to keep in the Spiritual Souvenir Shrine on my wall. I had had the doll for years, having bought it in the Soviet Union when I was in college, but one day I suddenly looked at it and thought "Sif." It has pale yellow hair, but its hair was all messed up from the years, so I restyled it. While I was trying to smooth her hair down, some of it fell out!

I had to fix that somehow. So, of course then I had to make the hairstyle better than before, because in the myth where Loki cuts her hair and then goes and has the dwarves make her new hair, the renewed hair was better. So instead of retying the pony tails with the orange thread the doll came with, I retied it with gold thread. I completely unintentionally re-enacted the grain myth where her hair is cut and then replaced with hair of gold, symbolizing the harvest and regrowth of the grain. Now it's a Sif doll for sure!

Image: Sif by Relotixke

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