My Spice Cabinet Altar

 

About 70% of the tools I use in my practice are found at thrift stores or garage sales. It’s a thrill finding just the perfect thing without even knowing you were looking for it. My significant other and I go on bi-weekly trips to our local Salvation Army, and on one of these visits we stumbled across this cool spice cabinet. Knowing it would be perfect for my kitchen craft and because he loves the aesthetic, my SO bought it for me.

When we got home I cleaned it, cleansed it, and began transforming it into my kitchen altar. The altar sits inside a tall, skinny cabinet in the corner of my kitchen. I color code all of my ingredients so my family and I can quickly identify if something is edible or not. The symbol on the inside of the right door is my personal sigil which came to me in a mediation. The other symbol (not the pentacle) is a sigil I made for protecting anything from all forms of harm.

On top I keep a strip of green cloth to represent earth, a quartz crystal I use for casting circles,  a walnut for protect, a birch branch to represent Frigg, and two pieces of fossilized wood.

 

Worshiping the All-Mother

Frigg

A large portion of Norse beliefs, practices, and customs faded into oblivion, and as modern day practitioners we are stuck with the task of reconstructing the old ways. There are dozens of view points, sources, and ideas that contradict one another. On my journey I’ve discovered which associations, symbols, and worships practices work best for me to connect with the All-Mother.

Symbolism:

  • Marriage
  • Motherhood
  • The home and hearth
  • Domesticity
  • Destiny
  • Dreams
  • The unknown
  • Spinning

Symbols:

  • Hearth
  • Norse spindle
  • Spun wool
  • Spinning wheel
  • Distaff
  • Keys

Colors:

  • Silver
  • White
  • Blue
  • Gold

Plants:

  • Birch
  • Buttercups
  • Mint
  • Rose
  • Mistletoe
  • Mugwort
  • Valerian
  • Flaw
  • Thyme

Stones:

  • Amber
  • Moonstone
  • Rose quartz
  • Pink tourmaline

Sacred Animals:

  • Geese
  • Falcons
  • Hawks
  • Herrings
  • Crows
  • Pigs
  • Cats

Perfumes/Scents:

  • Amber
  • Rose
  • Sandalwood
  • Myrtle

Time of the Year:

  • Right before Yule (shes spinning destinies for the new year)
  • Yule

Other Associations:

  • Full Moon
  • The Sky
    • Atmosphere, clouds, cloud spinning, storms, weather, wind, and crop growth
  • Spinning
    • Fiber arts
  • Here are some adjectives/descriptors:
    • Tender, nurturing, strong, protector, inner strength, authority, clever, intelligent, tall, beautiful, stately
  • Helps us keep our lives in alignment with our spiritual selves
  • Helps us keep in touch with our intuition

Worship Ideas:

  • Contact through forms of divination
  • I use tarot and pendulum
  • I share my morning coffee with her
    • I have a station on my altar set up for giving her offerings and I make her a separate cup and pour it into that.
  • Any type of charity work
  • Cleaning the house
    • Especially the kitchen
      • Ovens are the modern day hearth so keep it clean!
    • She hates messes
  • She has a love of adornment so that may be something to keep in mind for altar/shrine crafting
    • Also digs white candles
  • Frigg’s blessing is still invoked for birthing women and a safe delivery with a white candle that last burned during Yule

If you want more information on Frigg check out my previous article here.

Note: Since posting this I’ve been getting a lot of flack from a close minded community regarding my reference to Frigg as the All-Mother. To mitigate any potential questions about this I’m providing my source.

Krasskova, Galina, and Raven Kaldera. Northern tradition for the solitary practitioner: a book of prayer, devotional practice, and the nine worlds of the spirit. Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page , 2009. Print. Page 5 “Under the charcloth is birch bark, from the tree of the All-Mother, rich with oils that relieve pain.”

The Divine Queen: Frigg

Frigg (1)

Back in September of 216 I began considering the idea of personified deity. This was a big step for me because after I left the Catholic faith I swore off any form of higher being, and choose to worship divinity in the abstract.  After several unusual instances, research, and some in depth tarot spreads I realized Frigg had been trying to contact me for a while.

I’ve been working and worshiping Frigg since January 2017, and it has completely changed the course of my spiritual journey. I decided to write a post on her because all the resources I found online say the same thing, and I feel like her following is small. If you worship Frigg I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

A Little Bit About The All-Mother

When most sources discuss her they start with the fact that she is the wife of Odin. While this is true, she is far more than just a wife. She is Queen of the Aesir, goddess of the sky, represents divine Sovereignty,  and associated with all domestic crafts. She’s also the goddess of marriage, motherhood, the home and hearth, the unknown, destiny, and dreams.

In the time of the Norsemen (before the christianization of the area which began in the 11th century) women were the head of the home in most aspects. As the Divine Queen, Frigg has associations with giving mead and all the social implications of that action.

She’s also a goddess of frith. Now frith is a complex subject, but basically it is the maintaining of peace and social order. This was especially important in Nordic culture when blood feuds ran generations back, and it wasn’t uncommon to attack enemies in the open. It’s not very productive to have fights breaking out when trying to plan or discuss anything, and it can be worse when those involved are gods.

Hospitality was one of the core values that Norse life revolved around. It could’ve been the difference between life and death, and had a direct impact on one’s wyrd, innangard, and kinship with others. Life wouldn’t have survived without the expertise of women, and their duties were of the utmost importance. This shows how prominent Frigg would have been to the Norse culture even though little record of her worship is around.

She wove fates and is associated with intimate foreknowledge which suggests a nonlinear omniscience .  This, and her cloud spinning, connect her with spinning, weaving, and all forms of fiber crafts. She also practiced Seidhr, which is closely connected to weaving as well. She’d never speak of what she knew.

A Liminal Goddess

liminal

  1. 1:  of, relating to, or situated at a sensory threshold :  barely perceptible or capable of eliciting a response liminal visual stimuli

  2. 2:  of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition :  in-between, transitional in the liminal state between life and death — Deborah Jowitt” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

A while back I read this wonderful article on water and the concept of liminality. It’s a bit long, but covers the subject thoroughly, and gave me some interesting insights into Frigg.

Her hall is named Fensalir, and it’s located in a marsh. Not only does the water give her dwelling a liminal aspect, but it’s also a geographical area where water and land intermingle. Its a transitory space between the two elements.

As the article states, early Germanic people placed offerings in bogs and marshes because they viewed these areas as gateways to the divine. Because of this Frigg can be seen as a gatekeeper between the two worlds. He association with keys also lends credence to the idea.

The Death of a Son

When it came to one of her sons, Baldr, she tried to change his course, but in the end her efforts failed and he was killed. She went to every single thing and made it promise to never harm her son. When she came to the mistletoe plant she thought it insignificant and moved on without it swearing to her. This caused the Gods to randomly attack Frigg’s handsome and shining son as a form of entertainment, and because of the promises no harm ever came to him.

Loki, being the trickster that he is, went to Frigg disguised as an old woman. After some questioning Frigg mentioned the mistletoe plant. Loki fashioned a dart out of it, gave it to Frigg’s other son, Hodr, who was blind, and helped him aim. The dart struck Baldr and killed him. According to other sources, the Gods were able to bring Baldur back from Helheim, the dwelling of goddess Hel and the dead. Frigg then declared mistletoe a symbol of love and vowed to plant a kiss on all those who passed beneath it.

Life with Odin

One important way of understanding your deity is to look at who they spend their time with. Frigg is the faithful companion of Odin, the All-father. Now most religions have a similar head figure, a being in charge of the rest: Zeus, Jupiter, the Abrahamic god. All of these beings are relatively similar, but Odin is an exception. He’s a weird, unusual, and dark character.

While he’s the leader of the Aesir, he often leaves his post, wanders the cosmos, and goes on self-serving journeys. He is  associated with war in modern times, but he is more interested in the chaos and frenzy which often consumes the battle field. After a fight has ended Odin gathers the fallen (with help from the Valkyries) and takes them to his hall of Valhalla. Odin has been closely tied with necromancy, and this is one reason as to why that is. These warriors drink, feast, and prepare for Ragnarok.

His thirst for knowledge and wisdom led to self-mutilation when he cut out his eye and tossed it in the well of Mimir, and to self-sacrifice when he hung from the branches of Yggdrasil, pierced himself with a spear, and stared into the depths of the Well of Urd for 9 days and nights to prove himself worthy to the runes.

“Equipped with the knowledge of how to wield the runes, he became one of the mightiest and most accomplished beings in the cosmos. He learned chants that enabled him to heal emotional and bodily wounds, to bind his enemies and render their weapons worthless, to free himself from constraints, to put out fires, to expose and banish practitioners of malevolent magic, to protect his friends in battle, to wake the dead, to win and keep a lover, and to perform many other feats like these.” (Norse Mythology for Smart People; The Poetic Edda, Hávamál, stanzas 138-163)

He is known as the All-Father because he’s considered to be the father of all gods according to Snorri Sturluson. Odin is often listed as being a divine ancestor to numerous families with and without royal blood. In the The Poetic Edda, Völuspá 17-18 it describes Odin (or Othin) giving two pieces of driftwood, carved into humanoid shapes, the breath of life referred to as “sense” in the poem.

Even with all of this knowledge and power his queen is still able to outsmart and trick him. The story below is just one example of her cunning.

“The Vinils, increased in the islands of Scandinavia to such an extent that they could no longer live there together. Thus they divided themselves into three groups and drew lots. When the lots were cast and a third of the Vinils had to leave their homeland and seek new lives abroad, they were led by two brothers Ibor and Ayo, energetic young men. Their mother, whose name was Gambara, was an intelligent and clever woman, whose wise counsel they heeded in time of need. In their search for a country where they might settle they came to the region called Schoringen, and remained there several years. The Vandals, a rugged and warlike people, lived nearby. They heard of their arrival and sent messengers to them, proclaiming that the Vinils either would have to pay tribute to the Vandals or face them in battle. Ibor and Ayo sought counsel from their mother Gambara, and they all agreed that it would be better to fight for their freedom than to contaminate it with tribute, and they communicated this to the Vandals. Now the Vinils were brave and powerful warriors, but they were few in number. The Vandals approached Wodan, beseeching from him victory over the Vinils. The god answered: “I will grant victory to the first ones I see at sunrise.” Gambara, on the other hand, approached Frea, Wodan’s wife, and beseeched from her victory for the Vinils. Frea responded with the advice that the Vinil women should untie their hair and arrange it across their face like a beard, and that they should thus accompany their men in the early morning to the window from which Wodan customarily looked out. They did as they were advised, and at sunrise, Wodan, upon looking out, shouted: “Who are these Longbeards?” Frea replied: “To the ones you give a name, you must also give victory.” And thus Wodan gave them the victory, and from that time forth the Vinils have been called Longbeards (Langobards).Ultimately they founded a permanent settlement in Italy.” (Professor D. L. Ashliman, Gambara and the Longbeards)

Other versions of the story have Frigg move the bed as Odin slept in order for him to see the Vinils first.

 

Check out my other post talking more about her symbolism, traditions, ways to worships her, and a little bit about my interactions with her.

 

 

 

 

 

Dancing in the Rain: A Magickal Look at Gloomy Days

Dancing in the Rain

I love rainy days, and we’ve had a wet summer in Northwestern Pa. They remind me of comfort, cuddling up in a blanket, drinking a steaming hot mug of tea, and listening to droplets pelt the window panes. Its calming to me.

Another reason I connect with rain is because my matron goddess is Frigg, and she is associated with the sky and cloud spinning which means she’s also controls the weather to a degree. I’ve been working on an in-depth post on her, and it should be up on the blog by the end of the week.

Rain is the giver of life for the entire ecosystem. The rain waters plants which feed animals, and then we eat those plants and animals. Of course all of this can be said about any type of water. Rain is just another step in the water cycle, and I’m sure most of us are familiar with this concept from middle school science class, but just in case here’s a diagram from the NASA website.Water-Cycle-Art2A

As you can see water goes through many stages before it becomes the powerful thunderstorm. This causes it to pick up extra energy from the area around it. Of course we must be careful when it comes to handling the water we collect for this very reason. NEVER ingest rain water without following the proper precautions. In some states it’s even illegal to collect.

There are different types of precipitation, and each corresponds with different things and have unique energies. In general rain reflects cycles, creativity, inspiration, energy, cleanse, growth. A light rain is good for cleansing, but a thunderstorm is perfect for release. Always remember that what something means to you is more important than what I or anybody else says. Trust your instincts.

Rain Magick Ideas:

  • Grounding
    •  Stay in a safe space
    • Stand with your feet firmly planted on the ground
    • Feel the thunder shake you to the core
    • Visualize the rain washing away old energy and replenishing you at the same time
  • Many witches attempt to raise storms
  • Others try to reroute them
    • I don’t think as witches we have the capability of controlling the weather, but we can always try to influence it
  • Collecting storm water
    • Uses:
      • In spells for a boost of power
      • Add a few drops to a bath
      • Use to make super charged moon water
      • Make an anointing water with various ingredients to use daily or whenever you need a boost
        • Good for getting into the ritual mindset
  • Release rituals
  • Bonding with rain/weather associated deities

July 4th Altar Update

Updates and Changes:

  • Last week I picked up a nifty candy dish from a local thrift shop. It quickly turned into a container for manifestation. The same area became Frigg’s home and dedication space.
  • The green candle in a background is for drawing in and enhancing prosperity and wealth. I carved it with a bind rune last week.
  •  After much frustration, I added an offering dish and cup. I was having trouble with offerings to Frigg because I didn’t have a set space for them. It felt weak and unimportant which are never good feelings when it comes to work divinity. I’ll be keeping an eye out for a dish that catches my fancy or one that Frigg leads me to.