One-Eyed Cat: Northern European (Germanic, Celtic and Slavic) Paganism

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

Sharing wisdom taught by the Norse Gods over twenty years of practice, I teach safer seiðr / 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. We'll also explore the wider Eurasian influences on central and northern European religion, including Norse, Slavic, Celtic, Baltic, Siberian, Mediterranean and ancient Indo-European beliefs and discuss how to apply them to contemporary practice.

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Shirl Sazynski

Shirl Sazynski

Shirl Sazynski is a priestess trained directly by Frey, Odin and Freyja. She is passionately committed to returning the Gods' magical and spiritual wisdom to our awareness, healing the rift between us and our 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 and she also writes as /@Modern_Volva on Medium. An oracle, icon painter and author, her work has appeared in both popular and pagan media.
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

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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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Easy Ways to Purify for Imbolc, Disablot and Candlemas (or any other occasion)

Just as autumn leaves compost and fertilize new spring shoots, the old and outmoded must be cleansed to make way for the new.

The upcoming holiday, whether you call it Imbolc, Disablot, Entschtanning, Gromnitsy or Candlemas, is traditionally very concerned with a deep purification of the soul, body and space. Purification is a big deal in Northern European practice-- and an even bigger deal if you engage in any type of trance work, like seið.

But how do you start? It’s really not hard or complicated to perform a basic clearing. Physical cleanliness is an important component, and, once that’s done, the energetic cleansing is much easier.

Here are a number of articles I’ve written on such clearing rituals:


 

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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: Real Life Examples of Norse Oracular Trance Magic

There are many ways of performing seidhr-- Norse trance magic, mediumship and fate weaving. Here are two real-life examples of the results, drawn from several sessions I witnessed or participated in, illustrating the pitfalls, challenges, divine connection and deep lessons that come with this amazing work.

Seidhr For the Hel of It

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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
  • 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
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    But the myths themselves are not so patriarchal! That is an over-simplification and due to the emphasis of scholars and prejudice

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