It’s a Girl Thing! – Germanic Heroines, Warriors, Seers, Witches and Goddesses *Part 1*

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written and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

 Germanic lore is filled with heroines, fierce women, both mortal and immortal. It seems important to note that neither mortal women – priestesses and seers, amongst others – nor the Goddesses were meek, gentle loving mother figures; the warrior aspect was very strong in each of them.
Too many Pagans pervert Freija into nothing but a “Love Goddess”, completely ignoring her role as head of the Walküren. – Once the Walküren bring in the slain warriors it is not Wotan who first gets to choose the strongest, bravest and boldest ones but Freija. If you have ever listened to German or Scandinavian folk tales in which Freija angrily rides on her chariot drawn by gargantuan cats bearing their claws, you might not look at her as nothing but a gentle deity of love anymore.

The Sibyllen (Seers)

seerThe Sibyllen (seers) had a very high standing in Germanic culture.
Waluburg is one that deserves more credit than she receives these days; the Walpurgisnacht fest is named after her. On the contrary to popular belief it does not derive from Christian Benedictine nun Walburga who lived in the 700’s AC. – !
Walurburg’s name was mentioned on Greek ceramic shards found in Egypt from around 2 AD.
Another source for her existence was found on a list of Greek-Egyptian soldiers – “Waluburg, Semnoni Sybilla”, meaning Waluburg, Seer of the Semnone tribe.

It is unclar how she wound up in Egypt, it may be concluded that she was either a hostage or more possibly accompanied a Germanic troop of the Roman army. Seers were highly valued by both the Germanic and also the Roman people.

In fact, Waluburg’s name already points to her profession. Walus means stave. Sibyllen worked with rune staves but also a wand-like stave with which they directed power.

gambara

Gambara is another potent Sibylle. She was a Winnile high priestess who represented the female principle of the Goddess(es) and of her tribe, just as her two sons, warriors, represented the male principle. The name Gambara also reveals her position. Gambara comes from gand, gander, gandr = stave and bara means to bear.
The Laiamicho-myth describes in detail how the Langobards received their name and Gambara’s role in it. But it is mainly a tale about how the formerly rather Goddess-centric culture and religion of the Winniles saved their tribe from Vandal annihilation by converting to the Wotan cult, quickly spreading up North from the Nether-Rhine region. The Mother cult was long dead before the rise of Christianity for those tribes who followed the Wotan cult.

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Weleda/Veleda/Velleda of the Bructeri might be the most commonly known of the Sibyllen due to the accuracy of her predictions during the Batavian rebellion. Seers often had a great amount of political power as well. Tacitus writes in his “Germania” that Veleda was requested as a referee and witness during a dispute between the Tencteri tribe with their Roman neighbors.
On a side-note she appears not to have been held in high esteem by the Greek. A satirical poem on a marble fragment speaks of her as “That long (tall) snobbish virgin who is venerated by the Rhinewater-drinkers”. Message received.

Veleda’s name might derive from the word völva, another term for Seer or possibly from the Celtic word welet, to see. Some argue that her name might mean “good leader” from vel/vael = good and leda = to lead.

The Matronae

 

How much of the Matron cult was Roman- and Celtic-inspired is unclear. Votiv-stones were primarily Roman and the layout of the temples and altars dedicated to the Matrons reminded of Celtic traditions.
The ancient German votive-stones, altars and temples were meant to honor the Mothers, both human and immortal, with inscriptions such as “To my Germanic Mothers” or “To all Sueban Mothers”.

Interestingly, the Matrons were always depicted in pairs of three, one virgin, one married woman (as illustrated by her bonnet) and one elderly woman.
You might recognize a familiar principle here. – Maiden, mother and crone.
Matrons, similar to the Idisen, are female guardian spirits and worshipping them was a highly personal and individual matter.
In the family home this motherly spirit was represented by a serpent and little bowls of milk were offerings to her.

From Anglo-Saxon historian Beda Venerabilis (673-735 AD) we know that Yule Eve was called “modra nect” – Mothers Night and the temples of Matrons were overflowing with offerings that night.

Saxo Grammaticus (1150-1220 AD) describes how a man named Fridlevus, who was deeply immersed in prayer, approached the shrine of a Danish temple depicting three Teutonic Goddesses.

The Nornen (Norns)

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The Nornen are three sisters (here we have the threefold Goddess theme again) who weave every being’s fate from birth to death. They weave our wyrd, personal fate and our orlog, family karma/fate.

Urd is the Norne of the past. Her name comes from the word wurd and even in modern German the word “wurde” means “was”. Her name is also related to the term wyrd, fate, something that was also determined in the past.

Verdandi is the Norne of the present. In German she is“die Werdende”, becoming. – The present is a rather timeless zone, it is gone as soon as you think “now” and not just there yet whenever you think “soon”, so it is constantly becoming.

Skuld is the Norne of the future. The meaning of her name is a little harder to translate into English. Skuld can mean guilt but here it is rather debt, to owe something. Etymologically the English word “should” probably comes closest. In the future there is always something you “should” or must do.

Apart from those three there is a wide variety of other Nornen, some of them of divine origin, some of them Dunkelalben (dark alfs), Vaettiir/Vaesen (wights), Dverger or of other descent.

In ancient times it was believed that the good Nornen grant good, happy, easy lives whereas the bad Nornen granted difficult lives filled with strife, illness and bad fortune.

A runic inscription in a 12th century church (!) in Norway says, “The Norns determine the good and the bad, to me they only brought sorrow”.

What they determine for us is the law, only they know why they weave our lives the way they do and we only have a limited amount of free choice. No matter what we do, we are always being led back to crossroads or situations determined for us. Personality or conduct don’t matter, all must bow to their universal law. A harsh truth, but a truth nonetheless.

The Norns are basically the rulers of the multiverse, not even the Aesir Gods can escape the fate woven for them – they will fall in the end battle of Ragnarök to make way for the New World.

The Idisen (Disir)

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The Idisen are a group of semi-divine origin. They were named in the Merseburger Zaubersprüche (Merseburgian Incantations):

“Eiris sazun idisi, sazun hera duoder,
suma hapt heptidun, suma heri leridun,
suma clubodun umbi cuoniouuidi:
insprinc haptbandun, inuar uigandun”

Once Disir were sitting, sitting here and there.
Some were binding fetters, some were restraining the army.
Some were undoing the fetters, ????????
Free yourself from the fetters, escape the warriors!

As mentioned before the Idisen were female guardian spirits, mostly thought of as ancestors watching over their family line. In the above incantation they intervene during war, on the battlefield. I’m curious as to what the Walküren would think of that!

Etymologically the word Disir derives from the indo-Germanic root dhei. Flamish “dyze”, old Slavic “deva” = virgin and the Sanskrit words “devi” = female aspect of the divine and “dhisanas” = female godlike beings are related to it as well. The singular Idis or Dis is synonymously used as Lady (or Queen), for example Wanendis is another title of Freija, Lady/Queen of the Wanen. Jodis is another name for Hel, Queen of the Dead.

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Countless places, especially forests and lakes in Germany and places in Scandinavia attest to exactly how venerated the Idisen were. Diseberg, Disevid, Disasen, Disin (Sweden), Dispe, Dissau, Disinsfurt in Germany. Also Itzehoe (Itz being etymologically related to Dis) and hoe meaning forest.

In the same way in which the Idisen were revered as the female guardian spirits of a family clan the Alben (alfar, elves) were revered as the male guardian spirits of a clan or Hof (family farmhouse). However, the veneration, blot, sumble, libation, etc. was always conducted by the women of the house. This is also accounted for by Sighvat of Norway. In 1018 the Christian skald traveled from Norway to Sweden. When nightfall came he stopped at several farms, asking for a place to stay. The men of the houses did not answer him. Finally one woman confronts him and yells at him,

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“Do not dare come inside,
you miserable man!” said the wife.
“I fear Odin’s wrath, for we are Heathens!”

The nasty woman, who senselessly
chased me away from her farm
like a wolf said
that they were having an Alfablót inside.

The Idisen were also offered to and worshipped during the Rauhnächte (the twelve days of Yule), also still called the Mothers’ Nights in the Ore Mountains of Germany and in Bohemia (In nowaday’s Czech Republic).

Modraniht

Next up: Part 2 including the Valkyries, the White Lady: Frau Holle and more.

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The Green Pharmacy: Natural Remedies for the Common Cold

history-naturopathyby Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, Aug. 2014

If you are amongst those who do not want to support the pharmaceutical mafia and their puppets’ – “orthodox doctors” – and their twisted agenda, struggle with the countless side-effects of “conventional” medicine and would like to treat your common cold with natural remedies without side-effects or destroying your whole immune system in the process then these recipes might be interesting for you:

Horseradish Cough Syrup

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Ingredients

1 piece of horseradish root (approx. 20-30g)
150g of organic honey

Utensils

1 potato peeler
1 grater
1 dark bottle (250ml)
1 marmalade jar
1 tea sieve

Preparation

Peel horseradish root and roughly grate it. Pour honey and horseradish into an empty and cleaned marmalade jar and place it in a warm spot overnight.
Pour blend through a tea sieve into a dark bottle.

Application

3x a day 1 tea spoon full of horseradish cough syrup.

Attn!

Lasts up to 6 days! Because it is rather spicy I recommend not giving this cough syrup to children. If you are looking for a great childrens cough syrup try the elderberry-honey one.

This works great with onions too. Chop up two small white onions, add 3 teaspoons full of honey, cover with water, let sit in fridge for 1-2 hrs. Just beware that your breath will stink (so if you continue to go to work this might not be the best solution) and no, it does not taste well. However, I personally find the onion-honey cough syrup to be the most effective one.

Thyme Tea

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Drink thyme tea 3 times a day. Either from pre-packaged teabags or best from fresh or dried thyme leaves. Add a spoonful of Propolis- or Gelee Royale-honey. This is going to work wonders on your lungs, no matter whether you only caught a cold or bronchitis.

Umckaloabo

Pelargonium reniforme/sidoides

If Umckaloabo (Pelargonium Sidoides native to South Africa) is available in your country, definitely go for it. It is a miracle solution that is both anti-bacterial as well as anti-viral. It works against sinusitis and tonsillitis, influenza, bronchitis and the common cold.

Sea Salt Nose Spray

Ingredients

4.5g sea salt
6 drops of Calendula mother tincture (“original tincture”)

Utensils

1 large glass, bowl or mug
1 spoon
1 small funnel
1 nose spray bottle (approx. 20ml)

Preparation

Dissolve sea salt in 500ml boiling water. You will need less than 500ml spray, but it is easier to measure the ingredients this way with a regular scale. Stir until all salt crystals have been dissolved.
Fill salt water and Calendula mother tincture into nose spray bottle.

Attn!

Lasts up to a week. Suitable for infants and children as well.

Eucalyptus Inhalation

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Warning: If you have asthma, COPD or any other kind of pulmonary disease talk to your naturopath or healing practitioner before inhaling!!! Some people with asthma respond very well to inhaling, but for others it might worsen the symptoms considerably. Don’t put yourself in danger by experimenting without consulting a trained healer first.

You can inhale with only Eucalyptus oil or mix a few other useful and powerful essential oils in:

Ingredients

2ml essential Eucalyptus oil
3ml essential Mountain Pine oil)
5ml essential Cajeput oil

Utensils

1 small measuring cup
1 small funnel
1 dark pipette bottle
1 inhaler or one large bowl or pot
1 large towel

Preparation

Fill all essential oils together into the pipette bottle, shake/mix well. To inhale add 6-8 drops (3-4 for children) to 1 liter of boiling water.
Inhale 3x a day for about 5-10 minutes.

Attn!

Take small breaks from inhaling and if you are letting your children inhale monitor them at all times. – The steam is incredibly hot and if you inhale too quickly and too deeply while the water is still boiling hot it might cause more harm than good.

All utensils should be made of stainless steel, glass (or wood). Try to avoid plastic, silicone and especially aluminum as much as possible. (Not to say at all costs.)

Apple Vinegar & Sage Gargling Solution

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Ingredients

100ml apple vinegar
300ml cooled off sage tea (from fresh or dried leaves if possible!)
10 drops of essential tea tree oil

Utensils

1 measuring cup and/or carafe

Preparation

Fill apple vinegar, sage tea and tea tree oil into the carafe and stir or shake well.

Application

Gargle hourly within the first three days, gargle 3x a day afterwards if you still have a mild throat ache.

Attn!

Lasts approx. 2 days.

Of course you can also gargle with a Propolis mother tincture solution. (I personally use the one without alcohol.) Or just plain old salt water.

Propolis Globules

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Ask your homeopath or naturopath which strength globules (D6, 12, C200 etc…) you should take with your specific kind of infection. If I have a cold or bronchitis I personally start out with five D6 globules every hour on the first day. On the second day I will take five globules every two hours. From the third day on I will take 5 globules 3x a day half an hour before or after meals.

Vitamin C

bell pepper

I can only recommend you to stay away from synthetic ascorbic acid! Its structure is different from natural ascorbic acid and is not good for the human body.

Now, you will find Vitamin C in a plethora of fruit and vegetables. Most people go for citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit and lemon immediately. However, bell pepper (yellow, then red and green) is much more potent and so are guavas, kale, kiwi, broccoli and berries. Also high in Vitamin C – but less so than citrus fruits – are tomatoes, peas and papaya.

If you are allergic to citrus fruits or lemon gives you stomach issues try squeezing the juice of a grapefruit, adding 250ml boiling water and 2 teaspoons full of honey.

Limb Pain Tea

This tea is great for the forebearers of a cold or flu – limb pains and muscle aches.

Ingredients

50g dried meadowsweet
50g dried elderberries
50g dried lime-blossoms

Utensils

1 small sieve
1 thermos
1 tea caddy

Preparations

Pour 300ml of boiling water over 1 teaspoon full of the herbal blend. Let steep for approx. 10 minutes. Add honey if you like. Drink at least 1l a day.

Onion or Lemon Compresses

onion lemon

I use onion compresses for the chest (and alternately for the feet, but that is mainly just for a general detox and not specifically for a cold). I also sleep with one or two freshly chopped onions next to my bed when I caught a cold or bronchitis.

Lemon compresses are for the throat. Only use fresh lemons, no limes. Wash the lemon(s) and cut into approx. 1.5-2cm thick slices. Place lemons onto a kitchen towel or scarf (maybe not exactly your favorite one; the acid from the lemon might have a bleaching effect when you wash the scarf later on). Press your hands onto the lemon compress before applying, so that the lemon juice will moisten the scarf/kitchen towel.
Take off compress after an hour. May only be used once!

Undoubtedly, there are plenty of other great remedies such as garlic soup (not for everyone, I know…) but these are the most potent ones that have proven to work well for generations of my family. So all there is left to say is: get better soon!

An Introduction to Crystals & Crystal Healing

crystals_healingwritten and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

Originating in the womb of Mother Jord, from deep inside the Earth, crystals are the keys to her living energy and ultimately keys to align ourselves with our Mother again.
Each crystal represents different aspects of her, vibrates on a different frequency and – just like a regular key – only unlocks specific doors.
Crystals are used to activate the own inert healing energies in peoples’ or animals’ bodies, minds and spirits, in meditation, for protection, to purify water, your home, workspace or even yourself, to help channel the right energies in rituals as well as dozens of other things.

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Finding the right Healing Crystal

Now, the term “healing with crystals” is actually quite misleading. Like most things in nature they themselves do not heal, they activate our own inert healing energies by helping us realign with (our own) nature.
Our own energies or life spirit may stop flowing and pulsing steadily or completely the more our Chakras are clogged. The latter may happen because of stress, the usual troubles that come with living in such an unnatural society as ours today or actual physical illness for example. Although the latter is not as common as school medicine will have you believe, most illnesses are psychosomatic in nature, a fact that luckily healers, homeopaths, naturopaths do not neglect to the contrary of “orthodox” medicals. (On a side note: The term “orthodox” appears rather strange, considering that “alternative” healing has existed for fare more centuries with less of a death-quota than “orthodox” medicine!)

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Unfortunately, it has become popular to advise people to just pick any crystal they feel is the right one for them and their specific problem. Especially in New Age the emphasis is on emotions and whims, rather than based on actual (Pagan) knowledge as acquired over the centuries and a holistic approach in which emotion (spirit/soul) is included, but not the foundation of healing.
You cannot do harm by using a crystal vibrating on a completely different level than what you would require to activate your healing energies, but you could as well pick a glas pearl or plastic stone – it will simply not do anything in terms of solving your problem.

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There are several things to observe before Crystal Healing may occur:
In order to learn to reliable identify the source of your being unwell I strongly recommend acquiring not one but several reliable books on Crystals, Crystal Healing and Chakras. Study them and experiment with crystals, lower and higher frequency crystals and crystal combinations yourself on a regular basis. If you are a witch or Wiccan you may write your observations down in your Book of Shadows, as a Pagan or Heathen do keep some kind of written record of your experiences.
In other words it helps if you don’t only check your private library every once in a blue moon when you are actually ill or unwell.
Frequent study will give you more security in identifying the remedy required and trust in your choice.
You may find that one author suggests the Amethyst to regain clarity while another recommends Rock Crystal and get confused or start doubting your choice once you picked a stone. (Self-)Doubt does not have any one particular frequency, doubt vibrates on all frequencies, blocking you further and inhibiting the activation of your healing powers.
But if you knew that the Amethyst (Greek ametusthos: “not intoxicated”) was especially helpful in assisting you regain clarity in the matters concerning the mind, that it helps still the mind and keep outer influences or energies at bay (and in that way connects you to your higher/true self as well) then maybe you could already make an informed choice. Even the better if you knew the legend of this stone in different cultures, especially the Greek one appears to be of significance here.
On the other hand Rock Crystal, a “cold” stone, rigid-looking as ice, is the symbol of chastity, purity of thoughts, innocence, modesty and fidelity and may help reduce stress caused by brooding as well as help reduce headaches, migraine, fevers (on a side-note it does quite a lot of other things not related to the mind/clarity as well). In this context it would be easy to discern between the different kinds of clarity and choose the crystal right for your uses.
If you were a student seeking help with concentration, Amethyst would be the way to go, and I recommend combining it with Rainbow Fluoride. Keep them both on your desk and in your book back close to your study material! Meditate with them resting on your crown or third eye Chakra, use them in a ritual, rededicating yourself to your purpose.

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I hope this illustrated nicely that if a friend tells you they need help with concentration simply just throwing a list of crystal suggestions out there doesn’t do the trick. You wouldn’t go to a doctor and accept several prescriptions for random potent chemicals (“medication”), hoping that one might do the trick with your actual problem, would you? You can’t just google a symptom and throw a few crystals at it. You have to understand your symptoms, what caused them, which specific physical challenges it might also cause, what your desired outcome is, etc, etc…

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This was a rather simple example in that it only pertained to one level, the mind. However, the more your Chakras, Meridians or energy points are clogged the more overwhelming on an emotional and even physical level your problem or illness may become.
So. If your psychosomatic problem is already physically perceptible you will have to treat it on more than one level.
For example: Let’s assume you have a very demanding job, you have to swallow your replies when dealing with customer complaints or your boss, maybe you have to be unusually diplomatic on a regular basis. –
In that case the energy of the unsaid words may remain in the body, the frustration of not having been able to be honest and speak them may turn into frustration and the words, the energy of the words, get stuck in your throat (Chakra). (Please note that this is just an example, different people react to stress with different symptoms of course.)
Now you have a pressing throat-ache, frog in your throat, a constricted feeling around your neck. If you ignore this long enough you may have to deal with psychosomatic (“stress-related”) asthma attacks, you might find yourself getting colds or bronchitis more frequently and chances are that the unreleased energy will keep building and then spreading to the other Chakras, clogging you completely and causing you severe chronic illness.

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If you do not listen to your spirit and mind, then your body will tell you exactly what is wrong, and it will increase the pressure for you to act by giving you more and more alarm signals. This is, essentially, a beautiful thing if you think about it.
There are different methods on where to place the Crystals. Some place them on the according Chakra, on the body part that hurts, some just meditate over them, and so forth. In this case what feels right is exactly what is right (for you).

If your health problems have either become severe on a physical level or are solely physical in nature I think it ought to be “crystal clear” *wink wink* that working with crystals, gems and stones alone will not be the answer here!
There are many ways of healing and luckily many can be combined. However, some are embedded so deeply into cultural traditions that it would be energetically unwise to separate them or unwittingly combine them with others. (This is true for Magic also.)
Crystals, on the other hand, are a global phenomenon and they were known and used in every ancient culture, so combining them with other forms of healing such as (either) homeopathy, acupuncture, acupressure, Meridian therapy, Chakra healing, Schüssler salts, Bachblüten therapy or naturopathy (herbs, essential oils, teas) in general work very well empirically.

ucs1Crystals Colors

If you have identified the right stone for your current problem you may get confused that it comes in different colors or rather types. Tourmaline is such a crystal. Generally speaking it helps with change. A black Tourmaline deflects negative energy (protective) and helps you focus on the positive aspects of the change, a green one may stabilize your emotions during this turbulent time, the different kinds of red Tourmaline all work in different ways in terms of change as well.

Keeping your Crystals vitalized

After obtaining a crystal, either by buying it, finding it or having received it as a gift, you should clean it immediately.
Just as the crystal’s energies can cause a reaction in you, it works the other way around as well. Crystals take on the general life energy of the person using or touching it, that counts for both positive as well as negative, healthy and sick energy. For them to “work as new” they need to be cleaned before use.

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Now, there’s a lot of hysteria regarding lending your crystals to others, which mainly derives from uninformed New Age superstition. – Anything (!) alive in this universe can be cleansed and restored to its original state again, energetically and spiritually speaking. From person to situation to object, anything can be “healed” and be returned to its original spiritual state. And that is after all, how Crystals themselves work, on a spiritual level. They may cause physical or emotional reactions as a chain reaction to activating your inner healer, to reawakening your spirit and reconnecting you to Mother Earth. They are essentially a spiritual tool.
Now granted, I personally wouldn’t lend my Crystals to someone I dislike, but that is less of a spiritual and more of a psychological thing, because knowing this person touched “my” Crystals would make me feel uncomfortable and probably always remain in the back of my head. Which would in turn not be very conductive to my own Crystal work.
If you go to a healer check if he/she actually really cleaned the Crystals! Some healers clean them in front of their charges, which is probably the best option. Especially the gentler ways of healing attract many charlatans for some reason and inexperienced people may fall for their routines.

making-gem-essences

There are different ways of cleaning your Crystal and revitalizing it. The simplest probably being rinsing it under luke-warm to slightly cool water. Knowing when the crystal has been rinsed of excess/foreign energies is another matter of experience.
I personally can hear the vibration of the crystal. One with a lot of foreign energies clinging to it sounds “heavy”, it is a dark-pitched tone/hum/vibration. The cleaner and ultimately cleaner the crystals gets, the higher-pitched its vibration. Whereas – again – different stones have different vibrations, so an Obsidian has a different “tone” than rose quartz for example. It all depends on experience.
This is also why I recommend rinsing crystals one by one and not in bulks!
Maybe you will not hear a tone or the vibrations but find a different way of knowing when your crystals are clean.
New Agers and non-Pagans sometimes resort to a lot of hocus pocus in order to find out whether the crystal is really clean such as consulting the pendulum or the Tarot for every single crystal cleaned. While I’m a fan of different Oracle Cards as a way to tickle your subconscious and lure it forth into consciousness and show tendencies rather than the future, my personal opinion is that consulting them in this case is – mildly put – overdoing it. To each their own though…
If a Crystal breaks during or after rinsing, do not use the broken parts anymore. Dispose of them (in gratitude). It is not just the Crystal that is broken (“dead”), but the energy. Nothing lasts forever, don’t force it, just buy a new Crystal.
There are different opinions on this, but I only clean my Crystals when I need them nowadays. Otherwise the high and mixed energy of the Crystals can get intense, depending on the size of one’s collection. You, your family or pets might suddenly appear like they have ADHD and have trouble falling or staying asleep, because of all the great positive energy coursing through your house.

crystal-grid-21

A friend of mine doesn’t just protect her house but spiritually cleans it every week, which includes all items in the house. Another friend says she can’t raise enough energy in order to do that, protecting and shielding is all she can do, the rest – like cleaning crystals – she has to do manually. My point is: don’t think you are less powerful than someone who can raise more energy of a certain type; you are your unique Gods-created self and have different talents and abilities. There is a reason the Gods gave us each the set of skills, abilities and interests they did. Don’t try to be someone else, just go with your flow.
If you are amongst those that prefer to clean their Crystals regularly for religious, spiritual reason or because you use them frequently I recommend keeping your collection in an energy-blocking box and out of your bedroom. I sometimes put one or two Crystals on my bedside table when I have trouble sleeping, but this is a deliberate choice with specific energies, so still a big difference.

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Except for rinsing them under running water you can also clean and charge your Crystals with the light of the full moon. Keep them on the windowsill during the three nights of pre-, full and post full moon. During the day, wrap them in a cloth and keep them from the sun.

You may choose to put your Crystals in a bowl of salt water (approx. 3 tea spoons to a quart work well for me personally usually, depending on the size of the Crystal) and let them sit for 3-9 hours. On the contrary to the rinsing technique you can put several crystals into the salt water.

Plants

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You can energize your plants with Crystals, but to be quite frank with you, I do not possess enough qualified knowledge on the exact techniques or how-to’s. I am not good with potted plants, have none at home and thus have no idea how to energize them hence.

Water

You cannot only energize drinking water but also bath water for example. Please note that Crystals do not clean physically contaminated water! They do not kill off germs and bacteria. Let’s remember that Crystals help unclog and boost natural energy, they are not disinfectants or have the same effect such as chemicals (“medicine”). They have no “killing” properties.
In order to energize water leave the Crystal(s) in it for 3-9 hours.

Meditation

You can meditate over a Crystal, meaning if you have read about it, try to see, feel and be the Crystal, try to understand it inside out, hold an image of it in your inner eye or stare at it while trying to connect with it.
If you are meditating in combination with Chakra-clearing you may place a Crystal on the according Chakra and meditate until you move on to the next.
You may build a little circle of Crystals around you or find a different way that works for you.

Rituals and Magic

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Some people use Crystals instead of Candles in order to mark their Sacred Circle or they use them to motivate certain energies, elementals, deities to come aid them in their magical work. Some just use a Crystal instead of a bowl of earth or salt to represent the element of earth.

I’m sure there are several other ways of using Crystals I haven’t even thought of right now or that I either don’t know or just don’t personally appreciate. This was only a short introduction and I recommend not relying on my personal experiences and opinions solely. My tradition is of course influencing my views and methods and if you follow a different path you might also need to focus on different things. I can’t stress this enough: read, read, read and practice makes perfect!

The Lenormand Cards – #6 The Clouds

Lenormand #006 The Cloudswritten by and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

Key words:
blockage, hindrance, obstacles, throwback, an ex, old man, rain/storm (also metaphorically)

General description:
The Clouds-card has one light and one dark side. In case its light side is juxtaposed to a person card (man, woman, snake, bear, dog, etc…), an object card (book, house, etc…) or a subject card (clover, stars, etc…), hindrances are going to be removed. In case the dark side is adjacent to a person, subject or object card these hindrances are going to persist a while longer. For example: If the dark side of the cards points to the letter card, a message, letter, e-mail or other may have gotten lost or been forgotten, it might be necessary to take action then.

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If you picked the Clover in for your Daily Tendency Card:
Sit back and relax, this is not the time for decisions or life-altering changes.

Love
Dark side of the clouds: If you are in a relationship you might be going through a rough patch. If you just met someone, this person is most likely not the right person for you and/or might be dishonest with you.

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Work
Dark side of the clouds: Bullying and bossing, setbacks at work (maybe your co-worker got the promotion you’d counted on?), pay cuts, etc…

Health
Generally: Your health is at stake or is getting considerably worse. Inhale an infusion of essential oils, work with compresses or put a warm damp cloth with herbal tincture on your stressed skin.
Specifically: It is possible that you might catch a cold, bronchitis or suffer from asthma attacks.

Time Factor:
“long”, persisting, several years

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Thjazi of Thrymheim, a Frostgiant in the Norse and Germanic traditions

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written and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, June 2014

Thjazi (Thiassi, Tjazi, Thaffi) is one of the Norse Frostjötnar (frost-giants). His father is Alvaldi (“almighty”), his brothers Idhi (“the hard-working one”) and Gangr (“gait”), his mother is unknown. When Alvaldi died he left all his gold to his three sons. They divided it by each taking a mouthful so as to divide it equally. This is why the Eddic description “the speech of Thjazi, Idhi and Gangr” is a metaphor for gold itself.
Like most Jötnar Thjazi, who resides in Thrymheim, was a shape-shifter, and it was in the shape of a giant eagle that he made his first appearace in the Eddas. When Loki, Hönir and Wotan were traveling they got hungry and decided to cook one of the oxen they saw grazing on a meadow. As they began wondering why the oven did not warm they heard a voice from one of the trees above. It was Thjazi, who admitted he was prohibiting the oven from warming, but if they would share the oxen’s meat with them, he would gladly heat it up for them. They agreed. Yet when Thjazi went for the best and thickest shares of the meat Loki struck him with this staff so hard it clung to his side. Thjazi escaped high into the air, dragging both staff and Loki with him. Loki begged for mercy and Thjazi made him a peace offering. If he would bring him Iduna and her apples, he would spare Loki’s life.
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Honoring his promise Loki lured Iduna out of Asgard, alleging that he had found even more miraculous and juicier apples than the ones she had. She should bring hers to compare them.
When eagle-shaped Thjazi kidnapped Iduna, the Gods began withering, growing old without Iduna’s magical apples of youth and strength.
When Loki was found out he borrowed Freyja’s falcon cloak and flew into Thrymheim and rescued Iduna. Thjazi, outraged, flew after him, but the Gods were already awaiting the Jotun.

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They lit the walls and towers of Asgard on fire, burning Thjazi’s wings and killing him.
His daughter Skadi swore revenge and made her way to Asgard. Instead of avenging the murder of her father she settled with an Aesir husband (Njörd) and a “bag full of laughter” (which Loki provided). On top of that Wotan cast Thjazi’s eyes into the sky where they became stars, forever watching over the nine worlds. The formation Auguthjaza is the only Nordic star constellation ever mentioned in the Eddas, yet which constellation in the sky is referred to remains unknown.

On a side-note, in the Ring of the Nibelungs it is not Thjazi but Fafir and Fasolt who kidnap Iduna with a completely different background story as well. This as a small reminder that different Germanic countries have different mythologies, folk tales and lore which are all equally important and “true”.

Etymologically Thjazi might derive from Sanskrit Twast(i)r, one of the chief Gods in Hinduism. In one of the early myths Twastr steals the “divine drink” of the Gods. Later on in the Vedanta and other texts there was no mention of him in bird-form anymore though, yet he was often accompanied with the giant bird Garruda or the God Indra in bird-form.

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Naströnd – “Hell” in the Germanic and Norse traditions

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written and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, June 2014

Heathens and Germanic Pagans will often be quick to tell you that there is no hell in their religion, but that Helheim is the place of those who did not fall in battle but died of old age, due to illness and such. While Helheim means nothing else but “Hel’s home” (home of the Goddess of the dead, Hel) Niflhel etymologically already hints at something more sinister. “Dark beyond” or “’cloudy beyond” doesn’t sound like an inviting place at least.
In Gylfaginning King Gylfi learns that Niflhel is a place where “evil’” people go. Now, the Eddas are already full of Christian mythology and a good vs. evil approach, originally foreign to our Germanic ancestors. A more detailed description to what “evil” or wrong is can be found in the tales of the the Sibylle (seer) in Völuspa. She tells us: Naströnd, the “Corpse Shore” or “Dead Man’s Shore” is a place in the realm of the Goddess Hel, a place where the dragon Nidhögg lives and chews on both corpses as well as the roots of the world tree Yggdrasil. Who goes to Naströnd? Nidings, (cowards) in other words: Murderers, adulterers, blood-oath- and just general oath-breakers. And even suicides as suicide was viewed as something just as abhorrent as oath-breaking by all Germanic tribes alike.

“…a hall I saw standing
remote from the sun (From the realm of the living/life)
on Dead Body Shore (Naströnd)
Its door looks north (Into eternal darkness)
There fell drops of venom
in through the roof vent.
That hall is woven
of serpent spines (Reference to Loki being bound with his sons’ intestines)
I saw there wading
onerous steams
men perjured
and wolfish murderers
and the ones who seduces
another’s close-trusted wife.
There Nidhögg (=Malice Striker) sucked
corpses of the dead,
the wolf tore them. (It has been debated whether this wolf would be Fenrir or possibly another of Angerboda’s children)

Naströnd is sometimes described as a realm cut off from Helheim, bordering on it but only on the margins of Hel’s jurisdiction, and sometimes Naströnd is referred to as a castle within Hel’s kingdom, which is made up of venomous snake skin, poison dripping from its walls and toxic fumes filling it.
In German folklore both Nighögg as well as Naströnd survive Ragnarök, Nidhögg continuing to gnaw on the roots of the tree that Lif and Lifthrasir survived the end battle in. Even in the “new world” there will be a place for those who did not use their chance of living in an uncorrupted world butwho choose to do evil. And the dragon/serpent Nidhögg will stand guard of this place, continually poisoning the bolverkers (evildoers) with his toxic breath and dripping venomous saliva in order to keep the ergis in Naströnd.
Unlike the rest of Helheim’s citizens, who will either be reborn or be called to take their place on the ship Naglfar, in order to bring forth Ragnarök, the lost souls of Naströnd will remain stuck forever, never being granted a chance to re-emerge again.
For Saxon parents the warning, “Nastrond fahan dig!” (Naströnd will take you!”) was a common warning or curse towards disobedient children.

Zalmoxianism (Romanian Paganism)

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written and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, June 2014

Due to the lack of written records little is known about the Thracians (~2000 BC – ~375 AC) who settled in nowadays’ Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania).
Information may be scarce, but also there are no two sources that will agree upon who and what the Thracians were exactly, how they lived and worshipped. They were mentioned in the Ilias and Odyssee, by philosophers like Herodot and described as hard-drinking and rough-necked, which paint them as some sort of bon sauvage.
Since Roman and Greek philosophers’ accounts of history and other cultures are best taken with a grain of salt it is unclear whether these depictions of them are somewhat correct or rather misinterpretations of the actual Thracian culture(s). Greek and Scythian sources mainly speak of them as people dedicated to art, “just war”/justice and courage.
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Amongst reconstructionists the debate whether their forefathers’ spirituality was a monotheistic, monistic, partly pantheistic or simply polytheistic one has been avidly discussed on various online forums.
Some of the confusion might stem from Herodot’s accounts of the Thracian people. He writes, “These Thracians, when there’s thunder and lightning, shoot arrows towards the sky, threatening the god, because they think there is no other god than theirs.”

The Thracians were one of the oldest and largest indo-Germanic people, consisting of about 90 tribes which yet were never unified. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ancient_tribes_in_Thrace_and_Dacia Each tribe/community was led by a high priest often called priest-king, basically a shaman.
Even within the Thracian spirituality different tribes worshipped and acknowledged different Gods or adopted foreign tribes’ Gods who lived in close proximity to them. (>Greek Hestia, Zeus etc. part of several Thracian pantheons.)
Now, whilst this is a common Pagan phenomenon, it is not exactly comparable to Germanic Paganism for example, where the same Germanic Gods were known under different names, depending upon the tribe, yet rituals and religious conduct were the same or at least very similar to each other. Thracian spirituality and culture was geographically specific and there were only marginal overlaps. This is one reason it is so hard to paint a complete and reliable picture on “THE Thracian belief” – there simply was no such thing.

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The creation myth of the Thracians (southern Carpathians) speaks of an impenetrable darkness and its ocean from which a God emerged. First, there were a worm and a butterfly both floating on the ocean. The butterfly, madly and desperately batting its wings, rose from the ocean, whilst the worm remained ‘trapped’. When the butterfly was first transfigured into a handsome young man and shortly after into a God, the worm became a kind of ‘devil’.
This further illustrates the Thracian belief of a life of struggle (for perseverance, self-sufficiency and justice) even further. From the butterfly mankind descends, and once they “fall”, sin, do evil etc. they “lose their wings” and regress to the “worm state”. Life is all about maintaining their “wings”.
In most creation myths there was a “void” or “chaos” in the beginning – without any mention of any creature or being as in this early Thracian tale though.
This reminds of the Babylonian Enuma-Elish and other Mesopotamian and the Zoroastrian creation myths in which pantheism and monism played a role.
Zoroastrian Ahriman was also a “worm in the dark” and even in the Finnish (Ugric) Pehlevi scriptures, which were influenced by the Persians, the original “evil” entered this world in the form of a worm, a lower being without (common) sense, slave to its animal desires, while the ‘true’ God was depicted as pure light or a winged creature representing light, everything good, pure and free from human boundaries (the body).
Interestingly, the Thracians did not only have contact with the Persians (today’s Iranians) but were ruled by them for a while, which might explain the similarities in creation myth.

Amongst the Thracians were the Getae and Dacians (who resided in the area around today’s Romania and Moldova) with their own distinctive pantheons and culture.
Gebeleizis was one of the main Gods of the indo-Germanic Getae, the God of thunder and lightning, often depicted with a spear, lightning or arch in his hands facing/battling a snake.
It is not only this but also his bushy large beard and bright red hair that remind of another God of thunder – Germanic Thor.
Gebeleizis, also called Derzelas, Derzis or simply “The Thracian Knight” can also be found in Macedonian mythology as well as the Greek one where his name was Zeus. (On a side note, the main God of the Saxons, “Saxnot” aka Týr, Teiwas, Tiw, Ziw was also known under the name Ziu or Zius. Not only by name but his traits did he remind of Zeus).
It is from Gebeleizis that the Armenian Hetanists (Armenian “Heathens”) adopted him around the 7th century BC and gave him the name Vahagn, God of War and the Sun, the “snakeslayer” who was also equated with Zeus.
Traces of him can even still be found in the tale of “St. George” slaying the dragon.
As Gebeleizis name was greconized to Zbelsurdos beliefs of a female alter ego started forming as well. Her name was Bendis, in other traditions she was named Kotys, the Great Mother Goddess, deity of the moon, womanly cycle and the hunt, (>Artemis) often depicted standing between a deer and a snake, representing her role as a deity of balance and the cycle of nature.
The Mother Goddes(ses) were highly revered and worshipped by both men and women. It comes as no surprise that although the cultural roles of men and women were clearly defined, spiritually they had the same rights and freedoms.
Thracian/Phrygian Sabazios, the King (rather: shaman) of the “horsemen” possessed traits of Wotan, especially in his regard to his eight-legged horse Sleipnir and the fact that he was linked to the underworld and realm of the dead. Although Gebeleizis and Zalmoxis are often equated Sabazios and Zalmoxis appear to have more commonalities.
These just as a few random examples on how complex, interwoven and yet distinctive from each other the Thracian Gods within their sub-cultures and traditions were.

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One thing that almost all scholarly sources agree upon (and even the cantankerous online folks) is that Zalmoxis/Zamolxis/Salmoxis/Zalmoxe was the high God of the Dacians and (most of) their sub-tribes.
It is unclear whether Zalmoxis was a man, namely a slave of Pythagoras, who then was elevated into “Godhood” or not. We only know that he was and is worshipped as a God, albeit with the connotation “man-God”, which might just as well describe his role as the “God of man(kind), the main god, “All-father figure” et al.)
However, his followers believed that they would join their God in the afterlife for eternal pleasure after a hard-working life striving for justice. To ensure this, they “sent a messenger” to him every four years. – Meaning a human sacrifice.
To be chosen as a sacrifice was considered an honor, now whether the “sacrifices” (victims?) agreed we’ll never know… The sacrifice was chosen by lot and he/she was then immediately cast high into the air and onto 3 sharp spears.
Needless to say the victims did not die instantly in most cases and were visited during their long, painful hours of slow but certain death by family who cheered them on or asked them to deliver messages to Zalmoxis.
In some cases however, the sacrifice did not die. This was considered to be proof that the sacrifice was “unworthy”, that he/she had lived a life in vain, one of evil or sin. (The concept of good and evil was deeply embedded in the Thracian mindset.) Once a sacrifice lived, another one was chosen instantly.

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Dacian life revolved around Zalmoxis and the (rewards of) afterlife. It was Herodot who mentioned the similarity of Zalmoxis, the “man who became (a) God”(6 BC) or “daimon” to Pythagoras who is sometimes said to have been his slave-master and/or teacher. The set of religious ideas whose origin is attributed to Zalmoxis does indeed resemble Pythagoreanism. Besides immortality, Zalmoxis is said to have also taughthis followers a highly praised form of psychosomatic medicine based on incantations, magic and charms, whose purpose was to bring healing by unifying the soul with the body. (Plato: Charmides)
This medical tradition appears to have been long-lived, as 40+ Dacian names of medicinal plants were inserted in the famous Materia medica of the Greek physician Dioscurides and in De herbis (3rd century CE).
Today’s Romanian incantations (folklore, “folktro”), rituals of the dead, folk dances like the Hora etc. still bear resemblance of what is known of the Dacian culture(s).

If you visited Romania recently, maybe you took notice on the plenty of bars, pubs, sports clubs or even stores which carried the name “wolf” in them. The word “Dacian” means nothing other than wolf itself (daos=wolf).
They were the wolf people, pack people. In battle, much like the Germanic berserkers frenzied themselves into battle rage, the Dacians would imitate the wolf’s howl and ready themselves for battle. They fought for their “pack”, for justice for their pack. It is surprising that they appear not to have had a Goddess like Germanic Angerboda, wolf/pack mother of Iron Wood.
Another animal sacred to them was the serpent, or more specifically its mythological variant, the dragon. Even today’s Zalmoxianists revere and celebrate the “holy fire” and wolf and dragon adorn many a flag, banner or are found in the logos of neo-Pagan organizations.

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In the spirit of “ye olden days” today’s Zalmoxianism is not “one religion” and its followers are not unified. There is an ongoing debate between the various groups on who actually follows the “true” Zalmoxianism. A debate inherited by early 20th century historians such as Nicolae Densușianu, Vasile Pârvan, Giurescu, Jean  Coman, Constantin Daicoviciu, and Mircea Eliade. Their claims and research material is still as controversial as it is incomplete and often takes a political or (Christian) religious character.
However, it is true that 21st century Zalmoxianism heavily leans on Romanian folklore rather than actual Geto-Dacian or general Thracian spirituality hence.
The ethnologist Ion Ghinoiu states that the Romanian lives in the proximity to the divine and that he personifies stars, creatures (animals, birds, reptiles, insects), plants, natural phenomena, illnesses, sentiments, soul feelings. And indeed most neo-Zalmoxian worship and practices are pantheistic in nature or embed core pantheistic elements in their set of beliefs.
For the early Indo-Europeans, the worship of fire was central to their beliefs as it was pivotal to their survival. (Comp. Armenian Hetanism and Tseghakron – https://paganmeltingpot.wordpress.com/category/armenian-paganism/)
Nowadays, no one sacrifices animals or even humans in Zalmoxian ritual anymore of course, instead their fire worship is of rather meditative nature. Candles or bonfires are lit, sometimes hymns and songs are being sung or a few prayers to Vesta, goddess of fire (not the similarity to the holy book of the Persian Zoroastrians – “Avesta”) are being spoken.
At Zalmoxis’ Temple in Detunata, Romania, followers gather annually to celebrate the revival of their ancient Gods together. During this ritual celebration of the “fire of creation” the deceased are being asked to reincarnate and spirits are being called upon to manifest.
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But even here rituals are not entirely free from Christianity. Alongside the 6-petaled flower the Christian (Celtic) cross is bowed to, it is placed in the center of the altar, those Zalmoxians believing in “Dumnezeu” (The Lord of Lords, also the Romanian name for the Christian God) even call upon Jesus. Undeniably this is a kind of eclecticism that doesn’t make much sense anymore in terms of a fulfilling or somewhat traditional (logical?) spirituality. To each their own of course.
In 2010 the attempt of writing the “Book of Zalmoxis”, basically a Romanian Bible, was initiated. It contained the collected interpretations of historians, philosophers, poets like Mihai Eminescu and even scientists. The blanks were filled in with other related indo-Aryan beliefs, mixed in with tidbits of Christianity. The symbol chosen for this Romanian Bible was declared as the new symbol of all of “Zalmoxiana” – Zalmoxis’ cross. (Astonishing enough since there is no mention of a cross in connection with the God Zalmoxis anywhere in historic documents…) It is an equal four-arm cross displaying The Flower of Life symbol, reminding of the original (non-political) swastika (Hindu/indo-Aryan symbol of good luck and life).
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Other modern symbols regarded as sacred are the square (symbol of masculinity and linearity), the crescent moon (Bendis/Kotys), triangle (Bendis/Kotys), Hexagon (unification of male and female principle), circle (of life).
The book claims to state historic facts, yet it is at best mainly a curiously eclectic and speculative work. Zalmoxian babies are baptized in the name of Zalmoxis, polyamory and(spiritual) polygamy are the new hit (…) and although there is no mention of it in any historical records why not throw in some sex rites and orgies in the mix, too.
Zalmoxians celebrate the usual Pagan holidays (wheel of the year) along with a few other more Romania-specific, semi-political ones. A few traditions still stem from Roman times or the Gothic occupation.
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As is often the case the organized reconstruction of ancient Pagan religions, complete with a “Bible” to go along with it, it doesn’t work. It is in fact against the core of common (ancient) Pagan spirituality, which was mostly un-dogmatic, adoptive and free-spirited, relying on ideas rather than set rules, “commands” and regulations.
There are several Pagan movements out there today whose political extremism (both left- and right-winged), religious intolerance, Christianized mindset, sexual deviance and confused eclectic rituals have turned them into one big embarrassing mess after all.
Anyhow, the largest reconstructionist Zalmoxian groups in Romania are the “Societatea Gebeleizis” (Society of Gebeleizis) with approx. 500 members split into 15 branches. Due to their core values and motto of the Societatea, “O Familie, Un Neam, Un Teritoriu” (One Family, One Nation, One Territory), left-wing extremists have accused the society of being nazist. There are rumors of scandals within the organization, however I personally haven’t found any concrete proof regarding these alleged “scandals” nor their nature. (Should anyone have information on this please do contact me though and I shall revise this entry.)
Other well known groups are Zalmoxe and Terra Dacica Aeterna as well as several smaller and lesser known ones.
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Quick Facts – Tsukumogami, The Tools with a Soul

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written by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, June 2014

In Japan, household items and tools that have passed the 100-year mark receive a soul. They are called Tsukumogami and the holiday dedicated to them is the Sweeping Soot, during the festivities old tools are thrown out into the alleys all over Japan.
There is a tale from the Kenpo period in which the Tsukumogami are having an avid discussion about having served their human owners and masters for such a long time without finding much recognition at all or receiving even the slightest hint of gratitude. They are complaining about such treatment and eventually decide to take revenge. The old tools, amongst them a bat and beadroll as the main aggressors gang up on their old owner Ichiren-Bonze and almost beat him to death.
The moral of the story is that all creation is equal and that all things created by God and also by man are Yin and Yang. The tools decide to wait for the Bean-Throwing Festival when Yin and Yang are counterchanged and ask that they – as soulless things – be given a soul and a life free from servitude. On the night of the Bean-Throwing Festival all tools anxiously gather together and in a flash of light, are being granted their wish, transforming into men, children, other changing into beasts, monsters or curious looking tools with somewhat of a face and extremities. Out of gratitude, they decide to build a shrine to the God of Creation and worship him as the “Deity of Transformation”.
Meanwhile, Ichiren-Bonze, deeply moved by his near-death experience, becomes an ascet and dedicates his life to spirituality and learning to treat all living and inanimate things with respect. After much strife and battle with the humans who looked with contempt and terror upon the Tsukumogami, they decide to find Ichiren-Bonze to have him teach them about Buddhism (Singon sect)and spirituality. With his help they attained Buddhahood at last.

Quick Facts – The Dama Dagenda of the Huli people (Papua New Guinea)

Written by and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, 2014

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The Huli people of Papua New Guinea knew a terrifying creature named Dama Dagenda. They fiercely strike back against mankind inhabiting and conquering their jungle territories. Their hatred towards manking is mainly founded in the fact that they view humans as utterly destructive and a virus to the Earth. There is no bargaining with these spirits who mainly reside in or on trees and they will lash out at child, woman and man setting only one toe into their “realm”, punishing them with great pain, loss or even death. They speak all the languages of the tribes in the region and the only way to avoid their persecution is to seek out a medicine man/shaman and learn an ancient or new dialect from him; when transversing the jungle the Huli sang or loudly spoke this unknown dialect in order not to be harmed. Some Huli adopted the practice of singing or shouting complete nonsense, so that the Dama Dagenda wouldn’t recognize them as humans and hence leave them be.

Quick Facts – Nareau the Creator, the “Spider Lord” of the Gilbert Islands

Written and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

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Nareau the Creator – whose name means “Spider Lord” – is an Oceanic high god of the Gilbert Islands. Before time was, Nareau’s full name was Nareau te Moa-ni-bai, Weaver Lord of the First Things. The legend is that in the beginning there was only Nareau who walked Te Bo ma Te Maki (the darkness and cleaving) in solitude. The creation myth is unclear, some say that Nareau wove the first two beings. Some say that when the darkness and cleaving started merging and producing substance, Nareau made Na Aribu and Nei Teukez out of sand and water. They in turn created the other Gods, amongst them the Ocotpus Lord, The Eel, The Wave, The Woman Between (the worlds – basically the first “witch”) and last was Nareau the Younger, the mischief maker. (Similarly to Heathens debating the role and character of Loki there are those that vehemently reject the idea that Nareau the Younger was a mischief maker, but that he was a deliverer.)
Nareau the Elder considered his work in terms of creating Gods was done and appointed the task of creating a world of and for man to Nareau the Younger. So that man would not be alone and separate from him, Nareau the Elder told his son to slay him and create the Earth out of his body. His right eye became the sun, the left eye the moon. His brain was scattered across the sky and became the stars. The Octopus Lord Na Kika helped form islands out of his flesh and make trees from his bones.
Nareau the Younger gave the children of the earth wit, spirit, conscience. Like his father, he was a weaver and thus he wove each man’s fate, tempting, testing and constantly putting obstacles in their ways, but with the intention that the children of the earth might disentangle themselves from his web and become their own masters, their own Gods.

The Lenormand Cards – #5 The Tree

Copyrighted and written by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, 2014

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Weekly Lenormand
Madame Marie Anne Lenormand (1772-1843) lived during the time of the French revolution and it is in this time of upheaval that the Lenormand cards were born. Albeit the symbols on today’s Lenormand cards were created without her input; she used regular playing cards, some of them with handwritten remarks, astrological and other symbols on them. That is why today’s Lenormand decks always include a depiction of the value of the playing cards on them. Once you have mastered learning the symbols you can easily use any card playing deck for your readings as well.

Card #5 – The Tree (7 of Hearts)

Key words:
illness, (health), medicine, long period, growth, ripening

General description:
If you are a spontaneous, impatient person you will not be pleased to see the tree anywhere near the cards answering your question. The tree card means things will take time (to evolve), a lengthy period of time even. Otherwise the tree is the medicine and illness card. If not in combination with positive cards such as the sun, the bouquet or similar it does not stand for health and advises you to take good (better) care of your physical well-being. However, the Tree in combination with the Moon – usually a positive card – means mental illness or significant emotional distress.

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If you picked the Clover in for your Daily Tendency Card:
Something has been on your mind for a long time. Now is the time to explore it in depth and find the right answers for yourself.

Love
Got your eyes on someone? This is someone you might have a long and happy relationship with. (Note: long does not necessarily equal forever…!) Still, you have to be patient and tend to the seed of this little flirt in order for it to unfold its true potential. This process of ripening can’t be sped up by anything, keep the goal in mind but also enjoy every stop of the way toward it.

Work
All medical fields and related professions.
Especially when bordering on the #35 Anchor card long-lasting troubles at work are awaiting (or if combined with/surrounded by positive cards long-lasting troubles at work, such as bullying for example, are about to finally end). This card asks you to hang in there and keep on doing your best so that you will be able to reap the reward of your hard work – even if it will take a little longer (than expected…)

Gilded Reverie Lenormand bear tree mountain

Health
Take extended walks in nature and meditate, quieten the mind, do breathing exercises, connect with your higher self, find your higher purpose. Allow yourself enough alone-time to fully explore your different dimensions, feel every scar, every hurt, injustice and pain and give it to the Gods to heal. Letting go of the pain does not mean you are somewhat invalidating what happened to you and that it was wrong. The tree card advises you not to let things fester. It is in most cases emotional upheaval or repressed feelings causing actual physical problems, health issues or chronic illness.

Time Factor:
Within the next few years. (Usually up to five).

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Spread: Small Health Oracle

1. This is the root cause of your issues.

2. What led to your current situation.

3. What you need to do in order to change the situation for the better.

4. The most likely outcome.

5. How the situation will most likely progress if you do not initiate change.

Spread:
Pentagram-shaped: Top, top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right.

Quick Facts – The God Kári

Copyrighted and written by Penny Rebel

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Kári [Kah-ree] is the Norse God of winter, frost, snow and the Northwind – or rather – he IS the Northwind itself. Like hardly any other God Kári represents the harshness of the Northern climate and overall life in Scandinavia and Germany. Fathered by the frostgiant Fornjotr he is brother to Loki (fire) and Aegir (water). On 18th century German paintings he is sometimes depicted as a youth in a spring setting and as an old man in winter settings; an indication that he changes and ages with the seasons.
The only mention of Kári in the Eddas is in one of Snorri’s thulur (rhymes) but traces of him can also be found in the Finnish Hversu (as the ruler of Finland) and Orkneyinga Saga. It is unclear whether Kári is father of one son named Frosti (frost) according to the Orkneyinga Saga or whether his name is Jökull according to the Hversu or whether these are two different sons. By Frost’s son Snaer, however, he is great-grandfather to Fon (snowfall), Drifa (snowdrift), and Mjöl (powder).
Although he is often accompanied by reindeer or depicted as riding a reindeer, being a God of the air and sky he is also associated with Northern birds such as the snow goose, snow owl, robin and it is also from thence that he started being regarded as the ‘patron’ of singers, bards and those who otherwise use their voice artistically or professionally. In spring Kari’s own voice is the gentle breeze caressing the first buds and leaves, but in winter his song is more of an eerie howl or screech as he haunts the North with blizzards and snowstorms, bemoaning his own age and approaching “death”. Alas, he will be born again in the ever-repeating cycle of the seasons.

Crystals, Gems & Stones: Vesuvianite

Copyrighted and written by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, 2014

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Zodiac: Capircorn, Sagittarius
Origin: Mount Vesuvius, Italy
Colors: green, brownish, yellowish, very rarely red or blue
Chakra: Heart, Third Eye (sometimes associated with Solar Plexus)
Physically: Strengthens the tooth enamel, bones and fingernails, restores body after an illness, helps banish depression,

Vesuvianite also goes by the name of Idocrase. It offers a soft vibration of loyalty and sense of community to all humans and is hence often described as the “Patriot Stone”. If you would like to facilitate cooperation between humans, especially in charity work, with humanitarian efforts but even if you are with the armed forces, this crystal is the one to use for clarity, insight and protection. It dispels negative thought patterns and helps detect and releases hidden fears and unhealthy attachments, prejudice and aggression. Vesuvianite is a provider of easy access to your higher self and true integrity.

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Quick Facts – The Hindu Goddess Chinnamasta

Copyrighted and written by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, 2014

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Chinnamasta, a Hindu Goddess with origins in Nepal and Northern India also acknowledged by Buddhists, is a Goddess of (sexual) abstinence and self-sacrifice. Emphasizing the latter of her main traits, she cut off her own head and thus her name literally means “She whose head is severed”. Depictions of her usually involve her standing on a copulating couple with blood spouting from her decapitated neck. In offering her own head/third eye and crown chakra to the world she represents the triumph of willpower and spirit over flesh. Unsurprisingly, she has few followers and is known as a ferocious and merciless Goddess to those that stray from her path of enlightenment. Her worshippers mainly include yogis, certain kinds of Tantric practitioners and askets or other world renouncers.
Although Chinnamasta is a Goddess, she both possesses as well as grants “demonic” powers to her worshippers. These include control of one’s foes by “poetic speech”, removal of obstacles, ability to sway kings or authority figures in genereal, conquest over the “weak-willed” and finally, salvation.

Quick Facts – The Japanese Goddess Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto

Copyrighted and written by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, 2014

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Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto or simply Uzume is the Shinto Goddess of myrth, revelry, dawn and dance. She is also praised as “the Heavens’ forthright female”. As a reference to her capacity as a Goddess of dance Uzume translates to “whirling”. A name suiting her well, since she is also associated with life-giving streams and waters. Lore has it that when Susano, God of storm, vandalized the Sun-deity Amaterasu’s rice fields, she withdrew into a cave and refused to come out until he had apologized. The world was thrown into darkness and despair. The Gods could not convince her to return to earth, but clever Uzume turned over a large tub near the cave entrance and began a whirling, joyful dance atop it. When the sound of feet on the tub was not enough to lure Amaterasu out of her hiding place, Uzume began tearing off her clothes, prompting the crowd to cheer and laugh. Curious now, Amaterasu carefully peered out of the cavern entrance and found herself face to face with her own reflection in a mirror placed at the cavern entrance by Uzume. Thus Uzume convinced Amaterasu to return into the sky instead of hiding her beauty and light away.
As a reward for restoring the world to balance, her brother Ninigi married Uzume to the God who guards the Floating Bridge to Heaven.
The dances of Uzume are still found in today’s folk rite of waking the dead, the one of planting seeds and the Kagura, traditional dance-mime.

Quick Facts – The Yoruba Goddess Yemaya

Copyrighted and written by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, 2014

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Yemaya is The Great Mother in the Ífa’s and Yoruba’s beliefs and rules over the seas. Just like in many other traditions water is the symbol of life itself. Yemaya is maternal and nurturing, though not in the traditional sense. She nurtures her children much like Angrboda, Wenet or Lilitu by testing their willpower, strength and determination. She is not a meek Mother Goddess figure but represents the hardships of life (birth, rebirth, childbirth as well as death and demise). Her punishments can be terrible, but she’s fair minded and forgiving when remorese is shown and amends are being made. Yemaya is a wise yet cunning Goddess and she is praised for her bravery and unselfishness by her followers. When she goes to war on behalf of her children (followers), she wields a machete and no one can defeat her. She’s often depicted as wearing long flowing blue-white dresses, representing the waves of the ocean – the “waves” (ups and downs) of life.

Thursatrú – “Norse Satanism”

written and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, 2014

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The first response to my mentioning “Norse Satanism”, better known as Thursatrú, in a Norse group on facebook was complete and utter astonishment, followed by reluctance and ridicule at the various “trús” that have befallen us modern Norse followers.
Someone dared ask if there was such a thing as Alfatrú and Disatrú as well. Now, whilst I have no idea regarding the two latter, Thursatrú has existed prior to Vexior’s Gullveigarbók in disorganized form for at least around 15 years.
My religious studies brought me to be with a group of MLO Satanists  (MLO = Misantropisk Lucifer Orden or in translation from Swedish: Misanthropic Luciferian Order) at the cusp of this millennium. I was not a member of the MLO itself and even the members I personally knew blended different Satanic traditions together randomly.
A few in this commune desired to have a Chaos-Gnostic Satanism free of even the last trace of Christian influences.
They wanted to connect with Chaos in a more native way.

Attending “ecumenical” Pagan and Heathen meetings rather regularly, they were met with skepticism and the unwillingness to make room for them and their ideas, but they still took away a few of our ancestors’ practices and principles and eventually creating a new left-handed “trú” – Thursatrú, the belief in what they deemed anti-cosmic and chaotic Gods – the Thursar (a tribe of giants). The Jötnar (forces of evolution WITHIN the multiverse) were and still are looked at as enemies. Only destructive forces are venerated.

It would be false to say that this kind of “Norse Satanism” isn’t reactive, Satanism is always an anti-religion, from the literary kind to the Process Church to the Temple of Seth, Church of Satan to “youth Satanism” which usually has no philosophy in itself but devotes itself to vandalism.
In Thursatrú Odhinn – instead of YHWH for example – is viewed as the demiurge who out of the desire to rule and be above everything/everyone else created the universe, and rather violently too.

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from Vexior’s Gullveigarbók

The early and disorganized brand of Thursatrú that I was allowed to look into drew from Crowley, Eschner and ceremonial magic (much like Wicca, but in a very different way of course).
It included pain- and fear-training, destruction of form and order any way possible and some really risky and sloppily performed rituals at least of the group I briefly joined. I would like to state that this hardly reflects what we know as Thursatrú today, religions grow, evolve or at least change, and so did this one apparently.

Thursatrúr these days often insist on not being called (Norse) Satanists, mainly due to the reluctance of labeling themselves anything to do with Christianity, but also because the term Satanism unfortunately has rather negative connotations. They prefer the term Chaos-Gnosticists or Anti-Cosmic Gnosticists.

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MLO “pentagram” as used by Jon Nödveidt and Dissection on stage as well. The top is open so as to symbolize the possible escape from order and form back into the chaotic formless state everything once had.

Where the MLO worked with the Liber Azerate, Thursatrú’s main sourcebook is the already mentioned Gullveigarbók. It was written by Vexior who is also known as Shamaatae from Swedish Black Metal band Arckanum or simply under his birth name of Johan Lahger.
The insistence by several facebook-Odinists that it was Heathen author and left-handed dabbler Edred Thorsson/Stephen Flowers who wrote it is completely false.
Despite the Gullveigarbók (http://de.scribd.com/doc/58774173/Gullveigarbok-by-Vexior) the Prose or Poetic Edda is a large source of radically reinterpreted information they draw from.
Sagas and folk tales, such as this one (http://www.naturestory.com/Goodies/skollandhatia.html) also play a role. Vexior points to Swedish historian Viktor Rydberg’s “Studies in Germanic Mythology” (1886) who has been widely discredited due to acknowledging the darker aspects of Norse cosmology and offering alternate interpretations.

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from Vexior’s Gullveigarbók

Ragnarök, the end of the Nine Worlds and the Cosmos in general, are central to Thursatrú beliefs, albeit in a different way than for Rökkatrúr. Rökkatrúr are inclusive in their beliefs and looking forward to “the New World” after Ragnarök. The end of the world is a metaphor for some, a big leap for others, the next step in evolution, the new cycle, fresh start, welcomed. Thursatrú’s goal is the formless (chaotic) state after utter desolation of the multiverse, the return to Ginnungagap, the “great nothingness”, because only then will (their) spirit roam freely, we will all be one great consciousness. The tale of the two humans Lif and Lifthrasis hiding out in a hollow tree to recreate the New World are Christian fiction to them.
The two religions are neither the same nor are they compatible in essence.

For those who believe that Thursatrú is not Heathen or is “evil”, consider that while our ancestors were rather simple people who had little time to deeply ponder philosophical questions but relied on folk tales, mouth-to-mouth propaganda, they were still open-minded enough to adopt new Gods into their pantheon (from Týr as the AllFather to foreign God Odhinn) and whose beliefs varied from tribe to tribe, being much less dogmatic and organized than nowadays.
Thursatrú might not be historical or a “reconstructive” religion, but it is a religion nonetheless. And it is on the fringe of Heathenry, whether Heathenry will like or acknowledge it or not.

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from Vexior’s Gullveigarbók

On samfundetfornsed.se the member Garm wrote that, “[…] In the darkness there is all wisdom: Odin looked into the Underworld (author’s note: by hanging himself from the world tree for nine days) and from there he received the runes. From Loki he received Sleipnir who is also a Thurs. With Sleipnir’s help Odin can travel the Underworld to gain more knowledge.
Mimir is a Thurs and his well’s source is in the Underworld. Odin sacrificed one of his eyes for wisdom – and even this only with the closeness/interference of a Thurs. Odin is the wanderer who wakes the dead hence studying the darkness and the unknown. […]
And if you now look at this from a chaos-gnostic perspective – like an adept of darkness he will be devoured by the Fenriswolf at Ragnarök and this can be viewed as his entering so-called Chaos.”

odin mimir befragend questions head walhall illustration emil doepler norse mythology mythThis perspective is interesting, although not Gullveigarbók-Thursatrú since there Odin is viewed as a demiurge who will suffer the consequence of  his greed of wanting to rule all and be the “AllFather”, alpha God.
In other words, just like within Heathenry and Paganism there is no one way or set of beliefs within this path. In fact, it is less insistent upon dogma derived from reconstructionist attempts but a rather modern and intellectual path.

Thursatrú’s main (religious) practices are sorcery and meditation (called Setas). Vexior prompts to “Experiment and innovate, become eclectic and syncretic in your sorcerous practice; as long as you keep to elements which correspond to the Thursian Powers.”
This is interesting because while many of Vexior’s followers are not fond of eclecticism, here he basically states that there is a universality to “darkness” or chaotic, anti-cosmic powers. Later in his book he mentions Lilith and Ereshkigal, obviously Sumerian/Mesopotamian/Babylonian Goddesses and – nowadays – Judeo-Christian “devil” kind of types.

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Chaos Star popular in chaos-gnosic spirituality, but also popular in Lokinism and Rökkatrú.

Thursatrúr usually will have one altar, called stallr, for weekly devotions and meditations as well as one outside in a remote area. On their stallr they’ll have an offering bowl inscribed with runes and bind-runes, hlaut – blood mainly drawn from themselves or any willing participant; a blót-knife, a cencer or bowl/cauldron to burn herbs and incense, an offering plate, black candles, talismans and fetishes as needed.
Talismans may vary from crows’ feet, bones and skulls or a sword representing Surtr the Fire Giant of Muspellheim etc…

ImageGods/Thurses acknowledged due to their hostility towards the corrupt tyrant Gods, the Aesir (Vanir and Jötnar) Gods and most or all of creation are amongst others: Gullveig, Nidhhöggr, Thjazi, the Thursatrú “AllFather” Ýmir (also called Aurgelmir), Surtr, Vafthrudnir, Fenrir, Jörmungandr and Hrimgerdr. They are  especially revered and rituals and meditations dedicated to them and what they stand for.

Without speaking for nor against Thursatrú I still have to remark that it is indeed a heavy flaw of much of modern Heathenry and especially those who call themselves “Ásatrúr” to mainly overlook all other worlds except Midgard and Asgard and deny the beings, Kings and Queens of the other seven realms the respect they deserve. Why is Odhinn called “the God of the Dead” when it is Queen Hel who reigns over Helheim, the Underworld? He is a self-proclaimed God of the Dead, a self-proclaimed AllFather who himself WAS created from out of the Chaos of Ginnungagap, related to the very Thurs – Ýmir – that he slew so viciously.

Frolich32OdinandVafthrudnirOdhinn has mistakenly been described and accepted as “the wisest God of all”, although even the Eddas clearly renounce this assumption. In Vafthrudnismál Odhinn excitedly praises the giant Vafthrudnir’s wisdom and revelations to him. If Odhinn was the wisest of all, why would Vafthrudnir have anything new to reveal or teach to Odhinn at all?
Just like Christians believe that the fruit in the garden was an apple although the nature or name of the fruit has not been revealed in the Bible once, Heathens and Norse Pagans accept “truths” that are easily disproven by the Eddas, simply because they are popular beliefs as pushed by (Ásatrú) kindreds and global Heathen organizations.

The MLO heritage is still imminent in (some of) Thursatrú due to the fact that it acknowledges not nine, but eleven worlds. (The #11, along with 218 and a few others bears significant meaning in the MLO and in many occultist traditions 11 representing Lucifer/the adversary), and there are several other links and connections of course.
In Thursatrú you have Asgard, Vanaheim, Midgard, Ljusalfheim, Svartalfheim, Muspellheim, Niflheim, Helheim, Jotunheim just like in “traditional” Heathenry, but they are accompanied by Ginnungagap and Utgard.

ImageWhat, some of you may wonder, is so special about Gullveig, that Vexior’s book is not entitled simply “Thursatrú” but Gullveigarbók?
It is common UPG (unverified personal gnosis) that Gullveig is the same as Angrboda. [footnote *1] As I wrote in my blog about Angrboda https://paganmeltingpot.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/angrboda-and-the-dark-mother-figure-across-the-cultures/) before she is not only the Rökkr/Thurs’ Loki’s wife/lover who bore him Hel (Queen of the Dead), Jörmungandr (Midgard Serpent) and Fenrir (the mighty giant wolf) but she is the “hag” or “witch” of Jarnvidhr, Ironwood, the place in which she prepares her offspring for the battle of Ragnarök. She is, in essence, the mother of Chaos, herself.

Religious holidays of Thursatrú:

Varblót

April 30.
The Spring Ritual is held on Walpurgis Night and is looked upon as the beginning of the Múspell-workings. The winter has ended and gives way to the heat/fire of summer.

Miðsumarblót

June 21.
The Summer Solstice Ritual is on Midsummer Night and is looked upon as the climax of the Múspell-workings, and should thereby have a grand ritual which includes the full Múspell-working.

asatru rueda solar ardiendoHaustblót

October 31.
The Autumn Ritual is on Samhain Night and is looked upon as the beginning of the Nifl-workings.The summer has ended and the winter approaches.

Miðsvetrarblót

December 21.
Winter ends.

On a personal note the celebration of something as mundane as the seasons, especially “Yule” – or here: Midhsvetrarblót – comes as a genuine surprise. It is marked as the beginnig of the Nifl-workings, nifl being old Norse for “dark”.
Thursatrú isn’t shy of praising the quality of darkness and the adversarial or dark powers and Gods of course. But paying respect to the return of light/sun by honoring the dark/nifl is a twist of some sort. Does this light have Muspell qualities? Is this a metaphor for the burning of the worlds and the “darkness” that will follow? (Muspilli itself is another word for Ragnarök after all.) For some “regular” Heathens Yule marks the return of Sunna, sometimes the return of Baldr after Ragnarök, neither of which would bear significant meaning in Thursatrú.

Anyone having more insight on this – please use the contact form below or post a comment, thank you.
All in all, Thursatrú, as a chaos-gnostic/anti-cosmic religion seems to be anti-dualism most of all.
If we take that into account, neither revering darkness nor light makes much sense. “Chaos”, then, would be something else, something other than either dark or light, something beyond, something that cannot be grasped with limited human senses but only with the heart and soul, it is but an inkling;  something vague but grand to be hoped for, but maybe too vague to actually turn into an intellectual, philosophical or religious concept in a dual world as ours – ?

1357608_24437769-390x600Footnotes:

[*1] My personal thoughts on the interpretation that Gullveig is the same as Angrboda are that this is a misconclusion.
Gullveig is a Rime-Thurs, a frost giantess, being “of ice”. She was burnt thrice and yet returned every time. Now, what happens if you burn ice? It melts, it vaporizes, it vanishes.
Loki on the other hand is known as a shape-shifter turning both into male as well as female form. As a fire-giant he would have an easy time escaping “death by fire” as fire would not harm him one bit.
As an agent of Ragnarök, would he not gain more by starting the Aesir-Vanir war in the guise of Gullveig?
Why would Angrboda, packmother, move away from her Ironwood abode where she is known to tend to her offspring to nurture and nourish them to make them strong for the end-of-the-world fight? In Ironwood, she is protected – iron being a ward against “evil” or adversary forces in Norse cosmology and the Aesir – at least in Thursatrú and partly Rökkatrú cosmology being the most evil of them all.

Under Attack: Ways to protect, reflect, cut and bind

Written and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt 2014.

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Most of us have faced situations or phases in which we were being attacked, either physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or magically. Be it by the bully at work or school, one of our family members constantly criticizing us or the psi-vampire “friend” who is regularly in need of a friendly ear, helping hand or financial support, sucking the life right out of us.
Other times we got on someone’s bad side who then spiritually tries to harm us.
Personally I am a rather fervent advocator of trying to solve whatever issues befall you by mundane means, albeit with the spiritual guidance of our individual Gods, lore and such. There may be times when this is not enough though and we wish to protect ourselves and rid ourselves of the negative energies directed towards us.
Some may call this magic, witchcraft or even hocus-pocus, whatever it is that hasn’t been explained by conventional science yet, it works if applied right.

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I suggest that if you are a new Pagan of whichever path you don’t dabble with spells and rituals before having studied as many books on your path and witchcraft as you can though. It is wise to have started building up your spiritual powers slowly and gradually, too, instead of jumping from nothing to complex rituals and spells. I have no experiences with ceremonial magic as I find it disrespectful to command rather than invite the universal powers, but whichever works for you – go for it, there is no right or wrong, just personal preference.
That being said, here I will list a few ways to protect yourself, which have helped me in the past and that have proven effective for me personally at least.

There is a “right way to pray” or “work witchcraft”. What I mean by that is not that there is only one true ritual or Pagan religion, but simply that many Pagans and witches, especially those new to the Pagan religions and witchcraft, use energies, thoughts and emotions not conductive to the desired outcome.

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Prayer

When you pray, do not focus on the despair of the original situation, do not focus on how the Gods will give you yours, do not focus on the need, do not pray as if the desired outcome is in the future. Pray in the knowledge that the Gods, your divine parents, are always and forever taking care of you. Pray in gratitude, yes, even in gratitude for the issues which have befallen you. It is by pain that we learn the most after all. Pray with emotion, feel that the situation is already taken care of and trust in this. Do not pray over and over for the same thing as if you are afraid you were not heard, you were. The Gods know and hear all and they will work according to their own timetable which differs from our understanding of time. Pray in the hope towards the best outcome for everyone involved. Send out love rather than hate. If you are Wiccan, you will be familiar with the rule of three and if you are Christo-Pagan you know that “what goes around comes around”. This is a universal rule found in every religion and spirituality.

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Ritual

Just as with prayer the golden rule of ritual, whichever ritual, is “forget about it” once you have worked your witchcraft. What? Sounds impossible? Well, what is meant by that is that it is not productive to keep obsessing about this ritual with thoughts or deeds, do not repeat rituals. They work just fine if you only conduct them once. Anything else indicates doubt and insecurity. This creates an imbalance and most likely nothing will happen (other than you will have wasted candles, ink, matches, herbs or oils. 😉 )

Depending on the magnitude and severity of the negative energies sent towards you, you can choose from the following (or create your own personified ritual of course):

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Binding

Binding someone is the simplest form of keeping someone from harming you. Meaning that if you are “under attack” but the situation is not too damaging or dangerous yet a simple binding might just be enough.
For any ritual or spell, however small, I suggest clearing the space around you. Clearing the whole house is another option, too.
Some Pagans or witches create a circle, calling the corners and/or inviting their Gods, angels, wights, fae, their Fylgia, ancestors, Disir or whichever guardian spirits and beings they work with to their aid. Norse Pagans, Norse Wiccans, some Heathens create a Vé, their own sacred space. How exactly you do this, either by calling the four dwarves or corners, assigning Gods to each element depends on the path.

You will need a white or black band or (short) rope. White and black are both non-colors, they absorb energy and do not have qualities other than what they are infused with. It is a dangerous superstition that white is “pure” or “good” and black is for “evil witches” or grey/dark magic.
Many witches bind a photograph, painting or drawing of the person harming them. Others are in the possession of a personal token of this person (in case of an ex-boyfriend turned stalker for example). The more the object is infused with this person’s energy (sweat, tears, blood, smell, saliva etc) the better. If you have none of these writing down the name of the person in question on a piece of paper, even followed by their qualities, likes, dislikes or traits of personality works just as fine.

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If you are also a Germanic or Norse follower and work with runes and bindrunes, write these on the band/rope. (Runes are NOT to be toyed with or worked with light-heartedly! They are a complex system deeply imbedded in Norse cosmology which should NOT be torn out of context! This may bring more harm than good!)

As you bind the band or rope around the photograph or token, speak, whisper or even think of what you are trying to convey. The most important thing is that the words come from the heart, whether they rhyme or not is not important, they should mean something to you. Feel them, breathe in and out the meaning of them, BE them. This is my own personal (!) choice of words, also taken from my understanding of Norse cosmology and German folk tales:

“(Name), I bind you from doing harm to others as well as to yourself.
By the Earth and all its powers, by Fjörgin, our great Mother Jord, buried be this harm.
By the Fire and all its powers, by my Father Loki, by King Surtr the destroyer and deliverer, consumed be this harm.
By the Waters and all their powers, by Queen Ran and King Aegir, by the Undinar, drowned be this harm.
By the Air and all its powers, by the four dwarves Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri, by the four stags Dáinn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr and Duraþrór, blown away be this harm.”

I speak these words facing every corner while binding.
Once the object is completely bound, I burn it in my bowl/cauldron (fire and air), then lower it into the bowl filled with salt water (salt=earth and – obviously – water standing for water 😉 ) and after thanking the Deities and opening the circle dump the muddy leftovers off of my property. If you live in the city and a forest or park is hard to come by you can even flush them down the toilet. The important thing is that they don’t remain with you.

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Reflecting

Also known as return to sender spell or mirroring spell. Especially the Pagans of meeker traditions are concerned whether they upset the universal balance or even work harmful magic themselves by reflecting someone else’s negative energies. I say this is not so, as the person who created the imbalance is the harmer. You simply refuse to accept his energies and reflect them away from you, back to their original source. This is a simple matter of “what goes around comes around”. The person sending you negativity or wishing you ill is the “what goes around” part and with your witchcraft you complete the “comes around” part, this is not an infinite circle where he sends, you send back and this will then come back to haunt you again and so forth. It might come as a surprise but magic is not supernatural and random, it is tied to the same physical laws of nature we all live by here on this planet.

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You will need a mirror, black mirror if you have and either one red and one black or a red-black candle, which will be placed directly in front of the mirror. (You can obtain the latter in any well-sorted Pagan/witchcraft store or even make them yourself.) On a piece of paper or parchment write (something like):

“(Name), from me to you, this spell I reflect.
Return to sender by 3×3
The imbalance that you weaved.
Its path for the higher good now ends
And back to you the spell I send.”

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Again, these are my words. The numbers 3 and 3×3 or rather, 9, are sacred in Norse cosmology. If you follow a different tradition re-write the words to suit your religion’s cosmology. Cherry-picking from foreign traditions which you know nothing or little about can end with unwanted and unexpected results. There is nothing wrong with eclecticism if you know what you are doing, but it takes time, dedication and practice. And a lot of study!

Create a sacred space and if you like invite your patrons, matrons or guardian spirits and beings to your aid.
Light the candle(s) and recite or read the words, roll up the parchment and place it before the mirror.
Roll up the parchment and place it in front of the mirror, between the candles or in front of the one candle if you only use the one.
Thank your Deities and guardians and open the circle and let the candles burn down. It should go without saying that fire should not be left unattended, but as a favorite saying in my region is, “You can never think as stupidly as people act” I will mention it anyhow!
Some people told me that they would prefer not to break the circle and asked me if they couldn’t “cut” a gateway into the circle in order to step out and then reseal it. What this will do is lock the energies carefully raised and focused into the circle and nothing will happen. The point of opening the circle is that the concentrated energy may then be released, you ARE after all intending to do a return to sender spell!

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Severing/Cutting

You can either do this spell individually or embed it into another one. You will need a (short) rope, string, cord or band. Create a sacred space. You may call the corners, stags, dwarves or whichever equates with the Gods/beings of your tradition, speak similar words as in the Binding or Reflection while tying first knot on one end of the rope representing you and then the second one on the other end of the rope representing the opposing party, then after prayer or meditation, cut the cord in two, separating both knots/parties. Dispose of the two knot-ends in separate locations.
Someone asked me once which side of the rope represented which party. It doesn’t matter. Maybe you feel that since you are right-handed you would like to be represented by the knot on the right side of the cord. Or you follow a more left-handed path and feel better with the left side. It is really up to you.

TESV_The_Ritual_Stone

On a last note, there are various reasons for a spell not to work instantly or sometimes not at all. Any witch or Pagan practitioner insisting on never having made a blunder is not telling the truth. Everything takes practice, be it prayer, meditation or witchcraft. That being said, I hope this may help and wish you good luck! If anyone would like to give me some feedback on how these spells and rituals worked for them, feel free to contact me via the contact form below.

Hetanism and Tseghakron, Armenia’s ”national Pagan religion”

Written and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, 2014.

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Before we explore Armenian Hetanism, or in translation “Heathenry”, a bit further, let me take you on a very brief semi-political excursion.
The revival of Armenian Paganism has been widely criticized due to the political affiliations of its revivers.
Edik “Slak” Kakosyan and Garegin Nzhdeh both are known as “nationalists”. Most of us, especially in the West, have an idea on what nationalism is; we associate it with tyranny, dictatorship,racism, world wars and the death of millions.
Whilst these forms of nationalism are ghastly, fascist, absolutely and without a doubt condemnable, nationalism by definition neither includes these things, nor the glorification of violence in general. I am neither advocating nor condemning nationalism in this article, merely explaining the background of this (and other European) Pagan revival movements.
Often the survivors of a people that were wiped out systematically turn to fervent patriotism or nationalism and thus the nationalist movement in Armenia comes as no surprise.
(References re. the Armenian Holocaust by the Turks:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide and also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-479143/The-forgotten-Holocaust-The-Armenian-massacre-inspired-Hitler.html)
In 1991 Kakosyan had founded “The Order of Ari” (Order of the Aryans or also Order of Ari (the first form of men) or also Children of Man. Please note: Aryan in its original meaning also has nothing to do with nazi ideology and is just another word for indo-European. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan ), following up on Nzhdeh’s ideas, ideals and goals of the Tseghakron, “religion of the nation” as brought to life shortly after the end of the Armenian Holocaust around 1915. Kakosyan, while in exile, had also codified Nzhdeh’s Ukhtagirk, “Book of Vows” in which Nzhdeh was almost deified and compared to the Pagan high God, Vahagn, God of the sun, of war and the Aryan Armenian nation.

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(photo: Nzhdeh)

Although many were skeptical towards the latter mentioned Hetanism grew steadily, not just Pagans but even devout Christians soon started gathering at the Temple of Garni  to celebrate the ancient holy days and festivals and also celebrate their heritage. Some even insist that it helped them overcome the trauma of the genocide they still dealt with.
It has gained enough acceptance for the current president of the Republican Party of Armenia to out himself as a Hetanist. Former Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan is a big supporter of the Hetanist movement to this day.
Despite the fact that it was the conservative, republican and nationalist parties, clubs and organizations that helped Hetanism to its feet, the priests of the Temple of Garni are not allowed to join any political organizations, parties or make their personal political opinion publicly known. Hetanism is for every Armenian is the credo.

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(Temple of Garni)

Other than by Armenian intellectuals Tseghakron is favored by the rural population which often kept their folk traditions, customs and beliefs as inspired by the Old Pagan Religion. It is due to them that fragments (!) of the old poems and songs survived Christianization until this day, further filling in blanks about the nature of worship and spiritual everyday life. It was easier for them to relate to Storm- and Sungods, a spiritual duality and animism rather than Armenian Orthodox Christianity. They also often believe in the Gods as physical entities while neo-Pagan intellectuals subscribe to the concept of Nzhdeh’s “divinely inspired” Ukhtagirk: monism. –  According to this book, first there was Ar (reminding of Norse Ginnungagap or the Christian nothingness that was before God created light) and Ara the “universal architect”, who reminds of Zoroastrian Ahura Mazda or Hindu Brahma was the creator of the Gods, earth and universe and has no form, no qualities nor personality. He was later called Aramazd.
Etymologically Ar is the origin of words such as womb, blood, sun, art.
Just like many other ancient civilizations or belief systems, original Tsegakhron along with almost all sources, texts and artifacts, was destroyed by Christianity. Hence Hetanists rely on the Ukhtagirk for spiritual guidance regarding rituals, celebrations, holidays and conduct.
The historically most reliable source of information – despite single accounts of Hetanism in the works of Plato, Heredotus, Xenophon and Strabo – is the Hayots Patmut’yun, “The History of Armenia” by Movses Khorenatsi, which was written in the 400’s AD. Hetanism is only partly a reconstructionist religion, today’s followers fill in the blanks with elements from sibling-traditions such as Hellenism, Zoroastrianism and Hinduism.

There are three rites of passage in Hetanism, the Knunk, a baptizing/saining ritual for those who convert or rather, revert to their ancestors’ religion. Second is Psak – wedding and then the last rite or death ritual. These are held individually within smaller communities and kindreds or even solitary but also regularly at The Temple of Garni in the Kotayk province (ca. 3rd century BC), the only Pagan, Hellenic styled Temple which survived the Christianization and was dedicated to Zoroastrian/Armenian Sungod Mihr and Greek Zeus before it was rededicated to Vahagn.
Other Hetanist holy days include amgonst others
Terndez on Feb. 14th which is similar to Pagan Valentine’s Day,
Hambardzum (Ascension Day celebrated 40 days after “Easter”),
Vardavar which was connected with The Goddess of beauty – Astghik and her love with Sungod Vahagn. Khaghoghorhnek is a day for the remembrance of the ancestors (Sept. 20th),
Zatik is the Aryan New Year and birthday of the Sungod Vahagn  (March 21st) on which winter is separated from spring, in fact Vaha meaning God and Agn meaning Fire (note: In Hinduism Agni is the God of Fire as well) and the Navasard.

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As in all other Pagan religions the Sun and Moon were sacred, days were dedicated to each, Hetanists prayed facing the East and were also buried facing East in the hope of “rising in the afterlife”. The Moon was venerated, but also slightly feared as it was associated with (female) mysteries, death and also (evil) spirits and believed to be a “young maiden in the sky” whereas the Sun was actually a young man smiling down upon the land.
As far as we know women were still treated well, often not just equally to men but they were looked at as sacred children of the Moon/Great Mother.
Depending on the specific (sub-)cult or community, the stars were believed to be the children of Sun and Moon or the ancestors and the Zodiac, sun and moon phases were paramount in order to determine one’s destiny. They were the means by which Ara (the great impersonal life force) communicated with the people.
Bronze age pictures, statues and bas-reliefs depict the lion, bull, deer, bear, horse, sheep and ox as well as the stork, eagle, rooster, crane and swallow in a spiritual or “holy” context and indicate that Hetanism was a totemic religion.
The worship of the elements appears to also have been a part of original Hetanism, but it is their fervent worship of the element of Fire which earned them the name of “ash-worshippers” by early Christians that came in contact with this religion. Fire represented not only physical light or illumination but also metaphysical enlightenment. To this day putting out a fire, and if it is only a candle, requires more than just snuffing or blowing out the wick, for many Armenians there is a ritual to be followed in order not to invite unwanted spirits. Even less spiritual Armenians and non-Hetanists at least put out fire or a candle with care and some basic respect.
Some of the ancient Gods, demons and beings are still found in Armenian fairy tales, though they are often not called by their original names out of fear of persecution by the church back then.

I mentioned earlier that Ara(mazd) basically translates to life. Now, it is interesting to note that his wife’s name was Sandaramet and she was the female equivalent of Hades, basically Death embodied.
Aramazd’s “shepard on earth” or attending incorporeal spirit was Tir, meaning “writer”. He walked the earth, recording mankind’s deeds and thoughts, taking his accounts of it back to Aramazd who then judged each individual according to his/her deeds and thoughts after death. Tir represented both hope and fear and whenever someone had cursed loudly or spoken badly about someone whispers would be heard, warning of Tir’s possible presence.
Mihr was Aramazd’s son, the God of Fire to whom many temples were dedicated. Much like Norse Týr was replaced by the foreign Wotan/Odin, Mihr faded into the background after Vahagn became more popular.
Aramazd’s daughter Anahit’s Greek equivalent was Artemis. She was called “the spotless Goddess” or “Golden Mother”, representing purity and chastity. She was Armenia’s protector and benefactress.
Anahit’s sister Astghik married Vahagn. He was also called Vishapakagh, “uprooter of dragons” (snakes), as he roamed the lands in order to free Armenia and its population from evil spirits, demons and monsters.
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(Vahagn as Vishapakagh)

Aramazd’s third daughter’s name was Nooné. Especially the rural population could relate to her best since she was the Goddess of contrivance. Odds were often against her but she always somehow emerged from trouble, woes and tight spots triumphantly.
Except Vahagn most of these Deities were rather gentle deities, this is also reflected in the Armenian holy days which often central around love, beauty and fidelity.

Hetanism is a small religion mainly heard of and lived in Armenia itself, although the Armenian Diaspora (especially in the US) is finally starting to catch on and embrace its native Pagan roots. Hopefully it will grow and prosper just as much as the majority of the other indo-European Pagan religions currently are. At least I am hoping for some timely in-depth literature on this fascinating religion!

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(Celebrating Vardavar at Garni Temple)

The Lenormand Cards – #4 The House


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written and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt, 2014

Madame Marie Anne Lenormand (1772-1843) lived during the time of the French revolution and it is in this time of upheaval that the Lenormand cards were born.  Albeit the symbols on today’s Lenormand cards were created without her input; she used regular playing cards, some of them with handwritten remarks, astrological and other symbols on them. That is why today’s Lenormand decks always include a depiction of the value of the playing cards on them.  Once you have mastered learning the symbols you can easily use any card playing deck for your readings as well.

Card #4 – The House (King of Hearts)

21300_4

Key words:
home, estate, dwelling, homeland, family.

General description:
The cards surrounding the House-card indicate the current themes and subject matters you are facing or will soon be dealing with.

If you picked the Clover in for your Daily Tendency Card:
You will be having a cozy and comfortable day at home or with family. Indulging in common activities  and strengthening familial bonds. Take it easy, sit back, relax and enjoy!

4

Love
For those in a partnership: the right partner, i.e. the partner you need at this moment in time, is already accompanying you. For singles: The time has come to settle down. The right partner will soon step into  your life. Now is the time to start thinking about marriage, buying a house, pregnancy, a renovation or possible move.

Work
Keep your eyes open for options to work from home or become your own boss! The house might stand for a bureau, altelier, a place where you receive your clients, patients or other.
Might also indicate a phone or internet-related (IT) job.

Health
Start monitoring your cholesterine level and reduce fat. Allow yourself time at home (periods of rest and relaxation, start doing yoga, autogenic training or any “quiet” and mind-spirit-body physical activity).

Time Factor:
Starts in the morning.

141800_4

Spread: Small Love Oracle

1. Where you are in your relationship to each other.
2. What is on your mind regarding this relationship.
3. How he sees you and the relationship.
4. Advice on how to proceed.

Spread out any way you like, could be in a row, diamond-shaped or however else. Personal thought on the 4th card: It is never wise to make major life and/or relationship changes because an oracle or someone doing a reading for you tells you to. I would take this as a tendency card and keep an open-mind while watching the relationship progress (or regress, depending on 😉 ).

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