This seems like such a morbid subject. And maybe it is. It’s something that’s been on my mind lately. I’m observing the Parentalia. A Roman festival where the gateways of the dead are opened to the living.
When our ancestors are honored with banquets, prayers, and other offerings.
In the last week of the Parentalia, the Greeks have the Anthesteria (blossoming rites) sacred to Dionysus. Anthesteria has a touch of the chthonic in it. I have been meditating on the dead everyday. On people I have lost. Friends and mentors.
Relatives. Animals that I have loved as children. It’s not all because of the Parentalia or the Anthesteria. It’s also because I have a health scare. I am too obese for my height.
And I am hypertensive now. And pre-diabetic. I gave my mother a good scare today. All I could think of was, if I died today, how will she and my dog be? I’ve been suffering from low blood pressure lately. And I’ve been having these throbbing headaches.
I keep thinking about something my Druid master had been teaching me. I have studied death midwifery as part of my necromancy. I’ve been helping the dead since I first came into my power. Protecting them from predatory spirits. Assisting them with crossovers and also aiding their living families.
After all that, I now realized I should have made a will for myself. And paid a for my own funeral. There was a wise Santero. His wife and him were both masters of magic. And well known in some parts of Miami.
My mom is the nurse that goes to her house to assist the doctor there. She learned this man had paid for his own funeral years in advance. So that by the time he actually died, it would be paid in full. And his family would be okay. He was buried in all honors like King Tut.
Which leads me to other things. To how the ancient Egyptians believed that preparation for the afterlife was so important, you had to dedicate part of your life towards it. So what seems morbid to others is actually preparing for the next life. Necromancy isn’t some morbid fascination with death. It’s the celebration of life and continuing it and even conquering death.
Or at least living with it in a way that doesn’t scare anyone. But now I am thinking I need to set up a living will. I don’t really own much. But I need to make sure my things are taken care of so my family doesn’t have to do it. I need to ensure that my spell books and idols go to someone who would appreciate them.
Preferably someone who wouldn’t abuse them or separate them. Or sell them. They are a family and belong together. Some of them are spirits I made friends with. They need a new friend and caretaker.
Furniture and clothing to go to someone who needs it. And finally, rituals done. Funerary rituals done for me. And a 13 day purification ritual done on my home so that the spirit of death can be chased away. And my family can live in a clean and cleansed home.
In my case I don’t want or need a grave. I want to be burned. Most Cubans I know want that. Most people regard corpses as empty shells that have outlived their use. For necromancers not so much.
We understand they can have all manner of uses. But I don’t want or need someone digging me up (no I haven’t done that). And I don’t want my shell. All I want is for the ashes to be tossed somewhere and that’s that. Not even kept.
I have heard there is an environmentally friendly use for ashes now. It’s a way to contribute to life. No, I am not suicidal. I am worried. Worried that if something happens, I’m just not ready for it.
I mean if I passed away tonight, none of you would know it. I don’t have a contingency plan for it. I realize now that I need to make one. And entrust several people with how to send out the message should it happen. And not just for here.
Old relations that I have fallen out of touch with. To make sure they are aware of me gone. To get a network of people to do special prayers and rituals on my behalf. To ensure I cross over. And of course from different religions because that’s just how I roll.
To reach out to certain women I have loved in my life. Who I didn’t treat the way they deserved. To tell them that I have passed. I have been trying to make amends lately for being such an asshole in the past. But I have been unsuccessful because I lost touch with so many people.
It’s really hard.
I have been thinking of some ex girlfriends, and realized they really did love me. But I was incapable of truly loving them back. Because I didn’t know how to. My father wasn’t a good role model. Between cheating on my mom and also being an abusive prick who even stalked her.
All of my examples of a “healthy” relationship were patriarchal and sexist shit. Do I even deserve to be loved? I had it before. And I sneered at it. Mocked it. Abandoned it.
Which is why I deserved what I got a few years ago. Someone I wanted to marry, left me. She said,
“I can’t be with someone who is so angry with life,”
And she was right. In the end she did us both a favor. For her sanity and mine. I get it now. But back then I didn’t.
I lost everything I worked so hard for in just three days after our breakup. I lost the respect of my peers. I lost my job a few months after this. I lost my will to truly live my life. I lost respect in the eyes of certain relatives who told me, that my reaction was “unmanly”.
That figuratively speaking my manhood was taken away by my ex.
She basically insinuated that I lost some of my worthiness by falling apart. That I should have just let her go and move on. I couldn’t believe this person told me this and thought it was helpful critique. I didn’t know what to say to that. Which is why I didn’t even bother telling any of the male relatives, it probably would have been worse.
I ended up a thousand dollars in debt to the hospital. Turns out heartache in general feels suspiciously like a heart attack. My purpose in life was to help build us a life. I wanted her to have all of her dreams. But me taking the caretaker role was probably sexist to begin with.
Maybe she didn’t want that. Maybe I was being domineering without meaning to be. I don’t know. All I can think is that I lost myself somewhere along the way. And then lost her.
Of Dreams at Night
I keep envisioning my life alone in the future. With animals in an animal sanctuary somewhere off the beaten path. There’s this man on a Greek Island called Takis. He gave up everything to save the dogs of Crete. Guy was a nightclub promoter and he gave it all for them.
And now he has a massive land in the middle of no where with animals he saves. He gets up at dawn and works until 2am everyday. Did I say alone? Never mind. Fuck that shit. Maybe I wouldn’t go that far.
I would get bring many homeless people. And we would have a commune. And the work would be divided between a night shift and a day shift. That way it would work around the clock. We would grow our own food.
Be Vegan so we wouldn’t kill animals. Heck maybe a bunker. Why not? If some idiot presses a button we could at least survive. I’d love to just have a Mount Weather style bunker within a mountain. But I would want it to be like the Dwarf fortress in Lord of the Rings.
Some badassery right there. Maybe invite others and grow a community. Scientists and mystics, hippies and free thinkers, and artists. Librarians with every book you could imagine. These are things I often dream about but have not done.
So much I want to do. But right now I need to focus on keeping my health. And on making special plans in case something were to happen to me. Florida has become too insane even by Florida standards. Now we have road rage shootings.
Now you have to be prepared for all things.
These are just some of my thoughts at night. I lay awake in the early hours of Saturday morning. Afraid to go to sleep in case I not wake up again. The worst part? Not having romantic love. I have familial love.
And the love of my dog and friends. But you need other types of love. Someone to warm your bed at night. To lay next to and tell you everything will be okay. A true partner to adore with all of your heart and soul.
I relish that love that I took for granted once.
How I wish I could have it again. How I wish this loneliness would just die and leave me be. How could I feel so alone in a city filled with 455,075 people? I wish I knew the answer to that.
My friend Nimue Brown of Druid Life made this amazing compilation post of my blogs. Wanted to share it with all of you! I am so happy and blessed that she did this. She’s one of the great bloggers and writers on here. And she took the time out of her busy schedule to share my blogs with her readers. Please subscribe to her blog as well! 😃
I promised I would talk about this as soon as I had the chance. And I finally did. So what exactly happened the day I brought the Buddha statue and the Guardian Lions home with me? Something weird. I knew something was off. And in hindsight, I should have listened to my gut.
But I just ignored it as me being paranoid or looking too deeply into something. My friends always say that about me. And they constantly tell me to chill out. But as I tried to perform the cleansings on them, they kept being blocked. I just assumed that they had heavy residual energy from whoever owned them before.
The objects weren’t evil or impure or whatever. But they were Haunted.
The Old Neighbor
So according to my Aunt, she was friends with a wonderful older resident. A few years ago this woman died of natural causes. I think she said it was cancer. Before the woman died, she gifted the Jade Buddha and Guardian Lions to my great aunt. It was as a way of saying thank you for always looking after her.
Now my Great Aunt is a Christian and doesn’t believe. But she didn’t want to disrespect this woman and shun her gift. So instead, she kept it in her home in a place of honor. Kudos for my great aunt! But it looks like the older resident didn’t leave. Apparently that elderly old woman was still watching over my aunt from beyond the grave.
While attempting to cleanse the statues, I discovered her presence within them. I kept trying to force the energy out. But whatever it was, it would not leave. So I realized this wasn’t the standard run of the mill imprint. This woman was living inside of her Buddha and Guardian Lions.
I hadn’t sensed her because she was so dormant, that she might as well not have been in those items. It was only after I took them to my house and started trying to cleanse them that she woke up. She had been protecting my great aunt all this time. But eventually she “fell asleep” so to speak because there was no danger.
Communicating with the Dead
I communicated with her soul once I realized there was person in those statues. I explained to her that my great aunt gifted them to me because I study and partially practice Buddhism. And that she believed they would be better off with me. Instead of just being a home decoration. She agreed, but was worried about my aunt.
I told her I could cross her over. And that once in Heaven, she could become a powerful guardian spirit and could return to my Aunt’s house with greater power. And greater ability to aid her. She agreed and I performed a simple crossing over ritual with a candle. She entered the light.
And the next day, I confirmed with Bone Casting that she was well and now watching over my great aunt. Acting as her new spirit guide. All’s well that ends well right?
Blood doesn’t always mean family. Sometimes family is the one you make. Your tribe, your people. Those whom you stand by and who stand by you. Even in death.
There is also an old Spanish Spiritualist saying,
“What my eyes can’t see, my dead see,”
Meaning what I can’t sense, they will. And they will tell me about it. My Christian Great Aunt has a new spirit guide officially added to her guides. Whether she believes that or not. Moving on, I was finally able to cleanse the statues.
And this time the ritual took. I then began blessing them and calling the spirit of the Buddha to enter his image and live there. I also did prayers for the Guardian Lions to enter their own statues. So now I have extra house hold spirits. Extra family to watch over me.
I placed the Buddha and his Lions upon my Buddhist shrine.
And for the elderly woman, I took several stones. I cleansed them. And enlivened them for her and put them on my shrines outside. That way whenever I do religious rituals, I am feeding her spirit along with the spirits and Gods I work for. That way she will never become forgotten or unnamed dead.
And she will grow stronger with each offering. As a reward for her kind heart and generous spirit. And now I keep this Buddha statue and the Guardian Lions. As a way to honor her good deeds.
Welcome to the first Random Links of the New Year! Today is the birthday of the Magician John Dee. The Founder of Enochian Magic. The personal occult advisor of Queen Elizabeth. And a powerful Divine Magician, a Mage who gains powers from holy beings such as the Angels. And his birthday coincides with Friday the 13th this year.
I had written a blog about that a few years ago but I can’t remember exactly when that happened. So to start off, here is an amazing article by Icy Sedgwick on John Dee. It includes an image of the varying crystal that supposedly was granted to him by the Archangel Uriel. By the way Icy is an amazing author who has written the Necromancer book series. A really dark version of Harry Potter.
Since writing about Otura Niko, I got curious and wanted to know more about it. I had never heard of this sign before. And I wanted to trace its origin. I think I found the possible origin. Translated from the original Spanish article here.
In the land of Yewe Inle, there was a time when there was a terrible drought. Everything was a great disaster. It was then when the main kings met with the Obá Ikú (king death), Elegua, and Iroko to deliberate in an assembly. The result of that assembly was that everyone should do Ebó. The last three, as they had no money for the Ebó, decided to ask Oba Ikú for twenty-four coins, he accepted.
But with the condition that they pay him back within three days. They formally promised to do so. When the three days passed. Obá Ikú went to Elegba’s house to collect. He found him sitting in the doorway of the house, he refused to pay.
Obá Ikú bashed him with his cane and killed him. And made a hill of crab land (Ilekan) and buried him there. Together with his hand of Ifá, he sacrificed a rooster for him, and said:
“From today onward, you will be the Orisha (God) Elegua,”
Obá Ikú continued to the house of Iroko. And found him in the heart of the mountain. He asked for his money back. But he refused. And so Obá Ikú took his cane and killed him.
Throwing two majá that Iroko had in his room, two white jars, and killing a white chicken, he sang to him:
“IROKO DILOYU, IROKO DILOYU, BABA IKU EGUN LAYE, IROKO DILOYU,”
(ROCO DILOYU, IROCO DILOYU, FATHER OF DEATH CURSED IN LIFE, IROCO DILOYU)
And he said to Iroko,
“You will become an Orisha, everyone will worship you,”
And at that moment a sacred tree rose, which is the Iroko. Obá Ikú sent an envoy to Orunmila. Who by now had made his daily divination and saw the Odu (text) Otura Niko. So he performed an Ebó, feeding his ancestors along with the land and his Ifá, and he prepared a large casserole of ajiaco.
Otura Niko becomes a child when Obá Ikú arrived
Orunmila invited him to lunch, when they finished Obá Ikú thought:
“I killed Elegba and Iroko, I must now finish with Orunmila as well,”
Obá Ikú raised his scythe to land a blow to Orunmila. But he dodged the blow of Obá Ikú. Who then pursued him tenaciously. And while he was escaping, Orunmila performed sarayeye (cleansing by rubbing a sacred object on the body) using the stick known as Espanta Muerto (frighten the dead). A cleansing to keep him safe from death.
And he arrived at the river. Out of fear, Orunmila leaped into the River. But Obá Ikú absorbed the river to catch him. But Orunmila still escaped. Then Obá Iku, disheartened, walked away.
Leaving Orunmila the victor. The river continued its normal course. And Orunmila came out of the water singing:
“IRE IRE WANWAN LELE ASHE IFA”
(GOOD LUCK WANWAN LELE DIVINE GRACE OF IFA)
Then Orula transforms into a child, to avoid being recognized and starts crying. He stands at the foot of a laurel bush, which had a lot of curujey (West Indian tufted airplant) on top and continued to cry. At that moment he meets two women who were passing through. They prepared a jar and opened one of the jugs. And filled it and leaves, some plants and placed the child (Orunmila) inside and took him to the house of Olodumare. One of them suckled him from her breast.
She was called Aiyé (life).
When they arrived at Olofin’s (GOD’s) house, the child surprises everyone by speaking to Olofin and tells him that he wants Aiyé to take him home. She rejects this, but because it was a direct order from Olodumare, Aiyé accepted and took him. She prepared a mat next to hers. When night came Orunmila returns to her in his normal adult state and says:
“I am Otura Niko and now I am your husband. With these transformations I defeated Obá Ikú. Because I am the foreman of the Egun (dead). But never reveal this secret to anyone,”
The woman was engaged and they lived happily. Where the fame of Otura Niko began to spread throughout that land.
After some time,
Shango, Egun, and Oshumare come to visit Otura Niko. To receive them all worthily, he tells his wife, Aiyé, to cook great delicacies. She replies in front of Shango:
“I have no time,”
Then Otura Niko threatens her. And she mocks and insults him, saying:
“You are only great because you are the foreman of the Egun (dead) and capable of shape shifting,”
At the moment, Otura Niko took his Irofá and ran after her. She was on her way to Olofin. But before arriving, Otura Niko caught up with her and gave her a blow from his Irofá and killed her. Then he said,
“I killed you for violating your oath,”
(You see, his power was in that he had become the foreman of the dead. And apparently, no one knew that. Nor that he was such a mighty shape shifter. To know the secret was to share in the power. And I suspect that Orunmila also didn’t want Iku, the Orisha of death, to know the secret of his survival).
Immediately, he made a pact with Shango. Also giving him the secret and the ashé (power) of Otura Niko. He took Aiyé and buried her. Then he put his Ifá next to her tomb and gave 2 black chickens to the spirit of Aiyé. Along with his Ifá.
And put the chickens with Ekó to Egun. They lowered the vultures and ate them. Letting him know the power of Egun that he had.
Prayer of Otura Niko, Otura Ogbe
“Otura Niko adifafun iku alashona oumbo wa ni eshu ishonshon oba lele iroko oba lele orunmila ore lawa oba iku yen ore amaiyekun belele iya lele lokua ariku omi orunmila oun sede otura niko umbo atefa ni egun agboran iku agboran olofin yewe inle oba iku onika ododo sekun iroko segun gbogbo iya kalalu elebo owunko elebo moyeni iku orunmila akue ye akualosiña iya laye oba iku,”
(Otura Niko, the death of our child’s mother, is the God’s faith, the king, the king, the king, the king of death, the king of death, the eternal friend of the mother, the king of heaven, he is the king of heaven).
It’s unknown if Otura Niko was named after him. Since he ritually becomes the “foreman of the dead” after this. Or if the Odu (text) already existed prior to him taking on this title. But that doesn’t really matter at this point. As the Foreman of the dead, Orula is immune to death.
He’s also shown to be a masterful shapeshifter. So he could take on any variety of forms and escape Iku. And foreman is another term for supervisor. Perhaps it even means he could command the dead in this form. Or command Iku to leave him be.
I’m not sure yet. I have to ask my Babalawo about his knowledge concerning the text. And see from there what happens. Take care of everyone. And as usual, be safe.
I started this first week in the New Year in mourning. I lost my Great Uncle and my neighbor who was a good friend all at once. I’m using Santero rites to cross him over. He was a fellow practitioner. So for me, the above image makes a lot of sense.
Because death and it’s energy has been with us this beginning of the year.
And I am ready for this shit to go. Despite the darkness, I’m still hopeful for this year. So with that said, here are the astrological links. Here we have all full moon dates and names for 2023.
Happy Late Christmas Sunday everyone! Originally this post was made yesterday. But WordPress is being an ass. And it posted my report as if it was an article from last year. So I had to duplicate it for today. My apologies!
That’s the first Sunday after Christmas. So New Year’s specifically finishes with a tone of ending things that need to be ended. Or endings as new beginnings. Which is the same thing we have experienced for the last few years. It seems the Gods and the spirit folk are tired of telling us to do things more than once.
Before going forward, if you haven’t read my New Years Rituals blog you should now. To get on the right path. To clear away all unwanted things. To bring good luck. And to be blessed for the new year.
So they’re going to keep pushing this until we get all our shit together. To emphasize this, our New Year’s Day is a Sunday. The last day of the last week of the old year. And it’s a Christmas Sunday. Now technically we are still in Yuletide.
There are several Christmas in January traditions. Even ranging to the Three Kings Parade we have here in Miami. Which celebrates the Pagan Magi who visited Jesus as a child. And no, they never converted to Christianity. They remained faithful Pagans to the end.
But getting back to the point, Christmas Sunday isn’t normally a Christmas in January sort of thing. It normally happens while the old year is still in progress. This adds once again, to that tone that this is a year for ending things. And I keep thinking,
“How much more shit do we need to end? Gods, can’t you bring something else to fill the void from all of this loss and reaping of the old?”
And they keep responding the same way,
“We have, you just don’t see it yet,”
To make it stranger, I noticed that barely half an hour after midnight had passed. And everyone went to bed. I can usually tell if a year will be shitty or…..extra shitty based on how long the celebrations are. Everyone went to bed early. Just like in 2019’s New Year.
You remember that year right? It was fucked up and a prelude to 2020. Again I say, how much more shit needs to be “ended”. Unfortunately, I got my answer : People need to get off their asses to change things. That means
* Militant political action, not just voting for the same assholes in both parties who change nothing. Actually stand up and protest and demand fucking change. Until then, we’ll have more years like this.
* Stop dreaming so much and wishing and hoping and praying and go do something. Actually change your life.
* Step out of your comfort zone and grow
* Try new things
* Go on Adventures
* Organize, Unite, and share information and resources
* Reject the model of materialism and self enrichment, and focus on enriching the community and the people as a whole.
I know American Capitalism teaches people the BS about the “American Dream”. And how it’s supposed to be a utopia based on all of us making money and being rich. It’s pretty obvious by now that’s bullshit. If it was true, we’d all be rich by now.
Especially those of us who actually work. Wealth comes from stealing from others and stepping atop their corpses in this country. So we need to remove ourselves from that self destructive tendency. Here we have our current New Year’s Report with all the Gods and spirits I can find. I separated them based on culture and religions.
First, we explore the Chinese pantheon and astrology. We are entering the year of the Water Rabbit. Click on the article to find your Chinese zodiac animal and see the forecast for your year.
Now we explore the Tai Sui for the year 2023. A Tai Sui or Grand Duke of Jupiter is one of 60 Divine Generals under the Jade Emperor. Once a year, one of these Gods will become the Grand Duke in charge of the planet Jupiter. The Ruling planet. What this means is that, the chosen God is the ruler of that year.
In fact, the Grand Duke of Jupiter is so important that whatever direction in Feng Shui is sacred to him needs to be appeased. If you do anything to offend the Tai Sui, it can screw up your year. Even indirectly.
Such as by having your Zodiac animal be in contradiction to him. Or accidentally making too much noise in the direction sacred to the Tai Sui. The Ruling Grand Duke of Jupiter for the year 2023 is General Pi Shi.
The year 2023 doesn’t really sound like it’s going to be a peach. But General Pi Shi was a skilled leader in life. Both militarily and politically. And he was able to find solutions to problems very easily. Because of this, the year 2023 will have the right leaders to aid with problems.
Just don’t expect those leaders to always be political. Search for the leader inside yourself. And keep your eyes open for other leaders to work with. In life, this General had military and political commendations since he was very young. He quelled both rebellions and invasions.
And was given key appointments by the Emperor. So appealing to him for improvement and advancements are very good. Especially in making yourself better.
Numerology of the number 4
In many cultures, number four has a negative aspect numerologicaly speaking. Even in Santeria we are told to never light four candles in a house. Because it symbolizes death and the dead. This is from the time before electricity was being used in Cuba. When funeral parlors were using candle sticks.
Two at the head of the casket and two at the foot of the casket. However, as in many things, four has positive aspects as well. In Chinese beliefs the number rules over relationships. Whether it’s romance or friendship. Or business partnerships.
The effects will really be felt on the 4th of February. That’s when the number 4 star becomes the dominant force for 2023. This brings both blessings but also curses for the year. Besides symbolizing death, the negative number four also symbolizes betrayal of a relationship. Married couples are in danger the most this year.
If you are in a relationship, you need to proactively resist temptation in all of it’s forms. Arguments. And all other things. This may also mean divisions and betrayals even in political and business alliances. The thing to remember about the negative of any number is look at the positive.
Use the positive force of that number to cancel out the negative. It can’t fight itself. But you can resist and shield yourself with the positive attributes of that number.
Focus on it’s powers and energies. And allow it to protect you. Call for it to immunize you against its own negative aspects. Call it’s good energy into every part of your being. You can burn a golden candle with a number 4 you etch into it.
In Santeria, the Ruling Gods are Obatala and Oshun for the year 2023
Obatala, the King of the Yoruba Gods or Orishas. And his daughter Oshun. The Goddess of love, lust, prosperity, nature, rivers, and witchcraft among other things. The King of the Gods and the Goddess of love magnify and bless every single one of us. Normally I translate the entire letter of the year but I found out Ashe Pa mi Cuba does it themselves.
The letter of the year is the results of divination for the new year. It’s done by the Babalawos or high priests of Orula. The Orisha of Divination and Magic. They call upon him to see into the future of the year. Then they give all of their predictions on the coming year.
And prescribe rituals for it to get better. The Divination of the year can be found here. Now as beautiful as it is to have Obatala and Oshun rule this year, the predictions are not beautiful at all. Remember what I said about this year being used to finish more shit? Yeah it’s about that. The reigning text or sign of IFA used in this divination is Otura Niko (The Foreman of the Dead). There’s a whole story about how Orula defeated death himself.
And shape shifts into Otura Niko the Foreman of the Dead. In the next few days I will write about that story. But for now let’s get to the Ebbo.
Curujey is a name for the twisted air plant. Usually found in Cuba. In addition to this, Oya in the early hours of midnight asked me for something. I performed a Spanish tradition of putting 12 grapes in my mouth to ask for good luck. I had both green and purple grapes.
I ate the green grapes. But there were 9 purple grapes left. Nine is Oya’s number. And darker colors like purple are usually for her as well. I had no idea this sign was going to come up.
I just did as she asked. I took the purple grapes to a shrine for the dead I have outside. And I found a half empty bottle of Merlot on the way. She likes red wine. So I gave her the grapes and the wine.
Then asked for her and the dead to intercede on my behalf against any dangers in the new year. And to bring many blessings. When I actually took the time to read what the sign was about it left me stunned. That actually speaks to another theme of this sign : listening to your spirit guides and also following instructions. You will find many blessings that way.
There is another Ebbo for protection during this sign that I found during the study of the Oddun. It’s as follows. Warning this is only for Santeros. Don’t try this one if you aren’t, or don’t have sufficient training yet. I added this portion for purely scholarly reasons.
Ebbo (Cleansing) of Otura Niko
So that good comes. (I’ll go Umbo)
1) Three bottles of brandy
2) A white plate
3) Cascarilla or blessed eggshell powder
4) Otura Niko is tied and prayed
This Cascarilla is poured into one of the bottles of brandy, and given to the dead, the others without the powder, one for Orunmila and the other for Eshu (Elegba). And this is the cleansing offering to ensure protection. And then of course you despose of them in accordance to divination. I have shrines for the dead and the Orishas so I know what to do with them.
It has a mix of good and bad omens for us all. This one I had to translate into English for everyone here. Or rather translate the aspects of it. Not the word for word text.
This sign is the foreman of the Eggun (dead). For which it is written on the tile when sacrifice is going to be made. Wisdom is the most refined beauty of the Babalawo.
* The agitation of the sea
* The nervous system in the body
* That death is frightened and respects the living.
* And the Oparaldó
* The disfigurement of the human being at death.
* Eggún’s communication with Olófin
* Good and evil threaten the awó
* Send to prepare things on time
* Speak: kutone
* The country or land of Eggun where Otura Niko is the foreman
* It is an extension ifá
What does this mean?
* Orunmila lived in the Iyesá land
* In Otura Niko you do not eat caimito, zapote, octopus, or squid
* No ants or insects are killed
* It speaks of the human races
* It is an ifá of weariness and loneliness
* The son cried in the mother’s womb
* It was where Orunmila’s jars were hit
* Oshun hid the money under the caimito bush and Shango his treasure
* Shango stole a thing from Olofin and hid it
* It is forbidden to go to the river
* Elegbá is for good and for bad
* There is a tendency to vices
* The most important thing is the spirit of the father
(This last one is interesting because the Letter of the Year mentions that Godsons and Godfathers should be closer to each other this year)
* It was where the king threw the raffle and Otura Niko took it out
Recommendations of the sign Otura Niko:
The children of this Oddun must be generous, because in this way they will be enriched. They will have to comply with everything, so as not to be accused of being irresponsible. For three days, bring a bottle of brandy and money to your Godfather’s Ifá. The secret of this Oddun is to feed his father’s spirit or his spiritual guide. He is given a white rooster.
The pregnant woman must make sacrifices to ensure a healthy child. Place food with syrup in the corners of the house so that the ants come and with them luck. Bathe with canutillo and other times with French macaw, red fig, and Iworiyeyé.
(Remember these are the rituals of the Yoruba people. No one is actually telling you to do this. The prescribed rituals are the ones in the screen shots I took. This is all part of the Oddun).
Another interesting thing is we are told to not kill ants. Ants are the lucky animal this year. They must be treated well. I will give an offering to the ants where I live for good luck. Also, Ants are an animal associated with Elegua.
Which I found curious. But that curiosity was later answered when looking up the Orixa Regente of 2023.
Sayings of Otura Niko
The iron wanted to fight with the candle. The Sun rises for everyone but you. He who does good in droves, will receive it in droves. The broken jar will never be filled. The broken jar will never be called justice.
The father says: If you are not happy in your house, you better come with me. Good and evil threatened the Babalawo. In the land of the dead, I am foreman. He who wept in the womb is blessed.
Prohibitions of the sign of Ifa Otura Niko
It is forbidden to eat pork. For this is offered to Eggun. No ants or insects are killed. It is forbidden to go to the river.
Ifa Otura Niko says:
“You will do a favor that you will not appreciate. In her house there is a person who has a cast womb, there is also another who is pregnant, and the child who is going to give birth is a boy and will be called a Know-it-all, because that child is going to be a Babalawo. They will send you to find a place forever, take care of your child. Where they live they have had money and today they have nothing to eat. Thank you Shangó. Feed your father’s spirit so that luck comes. If you don’t feed him, he will go where he is,”
It has a bit of Mayombe, be careful, because that slows it down. Don’t put pins in your mouth. Be careful where you eat, don’t get sick. Don’t ask for so much money, as it can be used for your burial. He cannot be stubborn and beware of treason where he can be poisoned.
Be obedient to your elders so that you can live happily. You can’t bathe in the river. You have to beg for your head. In his house there was a brunette woman with a red blanket, if he returns, he immediately gives Shango a ram and two roosters, which will then come with three very large lots.
She left her house in search of money and was introduced by three lovers, clinging to her guardian angel. In order for him to get such money, he must have an apron and buy lottery tickets, which others despised. The day you feed the saints, don’t work. He doesn’t have a son because God is angry with his behavior. Thank you, Oshun and Orunmila You can not get wet in rainwater, let alone bathe in a downpour.
While all three batches don’t arrive, be satisfied with what you have, you have to cover the holes of the mice, for your ashe,”
Characteristics of the sign Otura Niko (Ogbe)
This sign speaks of the person’s lack of awareness because he or she has suffered loss. This is where corn came down into the world, it was born. In this Ifá was born the communication of the Eggún (dead) with Olófin (God) through Oniko, who is the messenger. So Otura Niko represents the messenger of the dead or the foreman of the Eggun. This Oddun marks, the power of evil in the people of lights.
It is an Ifá of evolution for the Awó. They speak:
“The journeys of dualities to ask Ifá for recourse. Evolution to spirits, and evil threatens the Awó. This Oddun says to prepare things with time, because it is an Ifá that does not allow delay. The children of this Oddun must be generous, because in this way they will be enriched, they will have to comply with everything, so as not to be accused of being irresponsible,”
The turmoil of the sea was born. Speak: Kutoné.
“The country of the land of the dead (Eggun). This is an Oddun of life and death. Here was born the Oparaldó, which means (kill behind the body),”
This ceremony called theOparaldó is used to cast out or remove a particular dead person from “behind a person”. It’s a ritual for removing an attachment by a spirit in other words. Especially a dark ghost (eggun buruku). This may also be a sign that we need to protect ourselves from darker energies more so than usual this year. As we may see more attachments than normal.
Diseases that afflict this Oddun (sign/text) but also remedies we may be seeing this in 2023
* Diseases of the throat (tonsdolopathy), spine, nervous system, blood pressure.
* It speaks of the human race. The person lives with the opposite race (racial unity as a cure). This Oddun must receive Odduduwa, for a health problem.
“There is someone in the family who hanged himself, just as there is someone who was educated in a convent or boarding school for nuns.
Otura NIko is an Odu from Ifá who speaks of boredom. The person gets tired of living. This Oddun is where the child cried in the womb. Bring a gift from nature.
This Ifá sends to bathe with canutillo and other times with French macaw, red fig and Iworiyeyé. This is the Ifá of the schoolchildren, the person grew up together with other children or lived near a school.
That wisdom is the most refined beauty that Babalawo has. This is where Orunmila’s jars were actually beaten,”
As you can see, the text speaks of a great many things. There’s a mishmash of good and bad things. It feels like it’s saying this year will be a conflict between the positive and the negative.
“This Oddun is where the child cried in the womb. Bring a gift from nature. This Ifá sends to bathe with canutillo and other times with French macaw, red fig and Iworiyeyé. This is the Ifá of the schoolchildren, the person grew up together with other children or lived near a school.
That wisdom is the most refined beauty that Babalawo has. This is where Orunmila’s jars were actually beaten. Here he was born: He who sometimes dies (Iku) is frightened and respects the living. The Great Power of the Awó. Here death is transformed into bone and shadow that nobody knows, and that is why the human being is disfigured when he dies and transforms,”
So we see another dynamic here : Iku and possibly the Eggun fear the living under this sign. Which means we have some power in our corner after all.
Secrets of Otura Niko
“This was where Oshún hid her money under the caimito bush and Shango hid his treasure that was: ero, obbi, kolá and ozún naború, under the canutillo. That is why the Awó Otura Niko should not miss a caimito branch behind the door and put Shangó erú, obbi, kolá, ozún naború, and cover it with canutillo. Here Shango stole a thing from Olofin from (our) religion and hid it,”
It goes on to mention again that you need to give honor to your religious Masters. With emphasis to a male religious figure. And the importance of a connection between the Godson and Godfather. And giving offerings to The Godfather’s house. The text in relation to love is very bad.
It says that finding love is a pain in the ass under this sign. Because betrayal is right around every corner. You are not to go near rivers. Or get wet by rain. And dogs are seen as special protectors.
But they should also be protected.
Many offerings should be made to your spirit guides for protection. Especially your Guardian Deities and any Eggun you have like the ancestors (thanks for watching out for me Oya). The importance of Ebbos and other special offerings and rituals for protection and blessing.
There’s another missed up story about a farmer, who gave his guardian spirit an offering so that he could gain blessings. But at the end of the story, even though he got his blessings, a sack of money fell from the air on top of him and he died.
“There was a farmer almost ruined because of the great drought that hit the region in which he lived. The plants and their animals were dying. But his guardian angel offered him a chance and said:
‘Give me a goat, but do not work or get wet with rainwater that day,’
The day that the farmer, gave the guardian angel what he asked, soon it began to rain. And the farmer forgot the warning of his guardian angel and left happy to stir the earth, (that is, he worked) at that moment came the luck of Heaven, that is, sacks of money, which fell on him and killed him,”
I’m going to say something that isn’t in that text. Okay? Don’t crucify me now. It’s an observation. He challenged the Osogbos and his own arrogance felled him. An Osogbo isn’t just bad luck.
It’s bad energy. Specifically it’s an Ajogun or demonic spirit. So it’s believed when you are resisting bad luck, you’re literally resisting an evil spirit who embodies that bad luck. So when your patron or matron Deity (guardian angel) is giving you a specific instruction to follow, do not deviate from that instruction. All this man had to do was not work for one day and stay dry.
Easiest thing in the world to do. And by the next day his crops would have been full and his Osogbos gone. What was so hard about following these instructions? Again, obey your spirit guides and Gods. That’s why death comes from disobedience this year. So there’s three things to take from that story :
1) The importance of Apotropaic Magic
Protection from evil spirits. As well as well as properly following rituals and instructions. Don’t fuck around. Follow what you are told. And do not deviate from instructions.
2) The importance of giving offerings to your spiritual guides. Following their instructions to the letter.
3) Be wary of the Osogbos
Just because you are doing a ritual to protect yourself, doesn’t mean it can’t backfire on you. And that the negative forces out there can’t hurt you.
When Orunmila went to see Olordumare
On this road, Orunmila needed to see Olordumare to resolve the situation that existed on Earth. But he could not get to where he was. Because he did not know the way or the enchantment. Faced with this situation, Orunmila divined seeing this Oddun (text, the one for this year), which Ebbó (offering cleansing) marked him with:
A rooster, needles, colored threads, fabrics, a basket, colored ribbons, eggs, little balls of faces etc. and that after he did the Ebbó he went for a walk. Shortly after walking, he met Eshu, who was disguised in torn clothes, Orunmila gave him fabrics, needles and threads to sew his clothes. Then Eshu directed him to a place where they met an old woman, who was Orishanla (Obatala in his Goddess aspect).
Orunmila, seeing her, gave her ten chicken eggs and the old woman was very happy. Because the hens had not laid there for a long time. After this, Orishanla showed him the way that would lead him to Olordumare’s house. When Orunmila arrived at the door of Olordumare’s house, he found it closed and through the bars of a window, he saw some boys, called them and fed them the buns he was carrying. Then he said to the boys,
‘Open the door for me, so you can distribute all the little balls I have in this basket.’
The boys opened the door and Orunmila was able to enter Olordumare’s house and managed to see him and ask for advice to solve the problems on Earth,”
This aspect of the text shows us that by acting honestly and in good faith, no task is impossible. Because the Gods and ultimately fate itself will help us. It again highlights the importance of doing proper magical rituals and making sure we do things correctly.
Who are the Ruling Orixas of 2023?
This information comes from Astro Center .com I just wrote the cliff notes version in English. Umbanda and Quimbanda are both religions based on Yoruba religion. Just like Santeria. They also have Orishas (Portuguese Orixa). But their divinations and some of their rituals are different.
Mostly because Santeria and Umbanda and Quimbanda where influenced by different European cultures. So what the Yoruba practitioners lost or gained during slavery in ritual and culture depended mostly on that. It’s fascinating to see how similar they both are and yet different. That’s why I always pay attention to what all these groups say. I usually find a common theme in both divinations.
According to Umbanda and Quimbanda the Orixa Regente (Ruling Orisha) of the year 2023 are : Exu (Elegua or Eshu). Exu or Eshu is the God of the Crossroads. A messenger of the Gods, and a master of business and negotiation. A bringer of good commerce. Very similar to Hermes in the Greek pantheon.
And the other Orixa in power is, you guessed it Oxum or Oshun. Who is also one of the rulers of the year according to Santeria. As a Goddess of Prosperity as well as love, fertility, and also of good commerce, she adds to this influence. However, here’s the rub : I doubt sincerely that means you and I are going to benefit from all this prosperity. I don’t mean to be so cynical.
I believe the Gods want what is best for us. But prosperity for them and prosperity for us could have totally different definitions. That’s one, two I also sense that most of the prosperity is going to be sucked up by businesses. Not the common person. That’s what I feel.
Not because I believe the Gods favor them more than us. But because blessings are easier to get when you are already blessed. I believe that for the rest of us, we are going to have to fight like hell for those blessings. It’s not impossible. We can do it.
But be prepared to work your ass off.
From a Yoruba Priestess in the Article,
“What you can do to align with the energy of Exu, the lord of the order, is to organize yourself. The organization, discipline and good character will be necessary for you to attract the energy of the movement”, says the expert.
“Now to connect to Oxum’s energy she explains that you need to be kind to people, connect with your emotions and the emotions others, have the patience to understand the life of other people as much as yours,”
The expert adds that
“this will make all the difference in the final result so that you can connect and have a better year”.
In other words, the same thing mentioned above. If you are honest and generous you will ultimately thrive this year. The priestess also adds special baths and magic to achieve this end.
“For Exu, if you want to connect and get closer, the tip is to take prosperity baths. Try plants like Road Opener, leaf of fortune, and pitanga“, says the expert. “If you want to attract defense, take a bath of aroeira to be able to get closer to Exu’s energy and let this movement manifest itself into your life.”
“For Oxum, if you wish to manifest her sweetness and bring kindness to yourself, make a bath of fresh basil. This is a bath in which you will macerate herbs, prepare them, and wash from head to toe with them whenever you want to connect to Oxum’s energy, preferably on Saturdays”, concludes Priestess Iyá Tolomi.
Greek Gods and Hero of the Year
Now, every Greek Temple has their own way of doing things. Our religion is not centralized like Yoruba practice. But I thought I would share what my temple believes are the Ruling Gods and Hero of the year. The two ruling Gods are Hephaestus the Black Smith and builder of the Gods. And his wife Aphrodite, a Goddess of love, wealth, fertility, bringer of good fortunes and things.
You can see some of the similarities. A Goddess of love is the common factor in the Yoruba and Greek Divinations. And the presence of Obatala, Eshu, General Pi Shi, and now Hephaestus all speak to the need for hard work for prosperity to truly come. None of us are getting shit on a silver plate. I think that’s been fairly established by now.
And Herakles was the performer of the 12 Labors. And a master of solving problems using his intellect as well as his strength. Someone similar General Pi Shi. Ultimately those are the themes of this year. I hope this will aid you in going forward this year.
PS : As of 6:30pm EST my friend got into a car accident. So far they don’t know what happened to the breaks. But he crashed with a stop sign and a wall. So………the Babalawos were right as usual
Santa Klaus is a mystical figure in every way, shape, and form. Like the Grim Reaper, he’s an amalgamation of various spirits and Gods. While the reaper represents death, Santa Klaus represents unbound life even in darkness. But who or what is Santa Klaus? This is a subject that will take many blog posts across many years. But I can start that process now.
Today we are going to explore at least three major influences of Christmas. Namely Odin in his two incarnations as Oski the giver of gifts and leader of the Wild Hunt. The Spirits, and Yule.
Yule is Nordic, not Celtic
Now I am going to say something that has confused a lot of people. Yule is not and I repeat, not a Celtic holiday. It is purely Norse. The Druids observed four Sabbats. And Yule wasn’t one of them.
Yule is a completely Norse holiday. So why do so many people think it has to do with Celtic culture? Well there’s three reasons for that. One is that there is a celebration of Winter Solstice done by the Druids every year at Stonehenge. And many conflate winter solstice with Yule. Then we have Wicca which is a very new tradition.
Created by Gerald Gardener, Wicca was originally a mix of Brythonic traditions. Then other European traditions were added including those of the Norse. So the four festivals of the Druids, plus Yule was used to create the wheel of the year. That’s where the confusion comes in. I have zero problems with Wicca.
So don’t get it twisted.
The last reason, is that the Norse migrated to other parts of Europe. Many of their mixed descendants practice a hybrid version of their culture. One with the original cultures their indigenous ancestors had, and the Nordic culture of their Nordic ancestors. So there’s a sub group of Nordic Celts. Even in America, a man in a Wiccan coven I was once in, spoke to me of this.
He said that Nords and Celts are like family.
The meaning of Yule
Now the word Yule has different definitions according to different sources. What keeps getting repeated is that it means “wheel”. And it’s related to the wheel of the year. Others claim that Yule is based on one of Odin’s names. Jólnir, meaning “the Yule one” or “Yuler”.
But that’s a title for him that seems to come from the word Yule. It doesn’t explain what the word actually means. I had to consult a few language dictionaries before I could answer that. The best source I found says it’s a proto Germanic word meaning “joke” or “play”. And that the word jolly comes from this.
So Yule is a time for merriment and play. Which explains why the word Jolly is used so much in Christmas. So if this is true that would more or less mean that his name Jólnir more or less means “the merry one” or “the playful one”. This is just me theorizing. I don’t speak the old Norse language.
So I have no idea if what I believe is true. It just seems like logic to me. If you believe that his name comes from wheel, then it would mean the wheeled one. Which doesn’t make much sense. Of course it’s also a strange name for the leader of the Wild Hunt but oh well.
He’s a warrior God. Maybe hunting evil spirits is fun for him.
For people in Norway and Sweden, Yule is a time of the Faeries. Mischievous Faeries like the Yule Lads who go around stealing things. Destroying property. And in some cases eating the flesh of humans. The Yule Lads are said to be the children of the Demon Witch, Gryla.
They go around eating your food. Or stealing your money. And generally causing discord because they have nothing better to do. However, it also had more familial connections. Yule was the time when Norse worshippers believed their dead returned to Earth.
Which is why many people believe winter is the time when the dead return. In fact there is a fascinating tradition in England since the Victorian era where people tell Ghost Stories in Christmas time. A tradition I continue because I love a little Halloween in my Christmas. I believe the dead return in Winter time also. Here’s a great article by Cryptoville on that called The Ghosts of Christmas Past.
What’s interesting here, is that in modern times the Celtic Samhain is seen as a feast of the dead. And many people who practice Brythonic traditions have incorporated that belief into theirs. Maybe that’s also from Nordic influence. Among the most famous Yule spirits are…….
The most well known of the Yule Spirits are the Swedish Tomte or “homestead man”. Also called the Nisse in Norway. These are Elves associated with the winter time. Nisse is believed to come from the name of St. Nicholas. But others say it comes from the word niðsi (“dear little relative”).
And these creatures are the reason Santa Klaus looks the way he does. The way he is portrayed in blue, red, or green clothing as well as the cap he wears, is due to Oski’s appearance as an Elf. The Homestead Man or Dear Little Relative is akin to a house elf. Only these faeries only live on farms. Like all household fae, they protect and bless the home owners.
They range from half the size of a man to the size of a child. They have super strength surpassed only by other supernatural creatures. If a farmer treated the Tomte living in their home well, they would be blessed for life. And anyone fool enough to harass or injure a farmer who had a guardian Tomte or Nisse, was in for a surprise. The homestead fae would stop a thief with their superior strength.
Or perhaps hex a nasty neighbor. Or go over to that neigboor’s house and start a haunting.
The Tomte could become a powerful spirit guide. Even talisman to the person who knew how to work with them. You had to give them proper offerings of porridge with butter, milk, cream, or honey. Or any sweet and sugary substance you could find. And then make your request of them.
They would often sleep with the farm animals to protect them.
But also out of love for them. They would assist the farmer in the chores. And make the crops abundant. Some of the Tomte may be the dead reincarnated as nature entities. This seems to be a trend in a lot of cultures.
Eventually, the Tomte were paired with the Yule Goat. This may even have been an animal that was sacrificed in ancient times. But eventually, the Yule Goat was a goat made of straw that was ritually burned at Yule. The origin is that Thor had a chariot pulled by Goats. And Thor is also one of the origins of Santa Klaus.
But we’re focusing on just one origin at a time every year. Later the Tomte became Santa’s helpers. In fact, some traditions have them going from house to house with the Yule Goat. Giving gifts to children instead of Santa himself.
There are also stories of Odin riding his eight legged horse Sleipnir to watch over his people.
So I’m going to say something that will throw people into confusion. But it’s the truth. The month for Yule is actually two months long give or take. It starts in mid November. But doesn’t end until the first weeks of January.
If you notice, this is why the Orthodox and a few other people celebrate Christmas in January. That’s why I have “Christmas in January” as the tags in some New Years articles. Some people have a mini Christmas. My own people, Cubans, have the Three Kings Parade in January. It’s a mini Christmas or after Christmas that takes place in the new year.
And children believe the Three Pagan Kings will come to their houses baring them gifts.
Later it was changed to December and early January. But if you want to be traditional, the mid week of November is the first week of Yule. At least according to the ancient Germans. And then more or less a week or two weeks into January is Yule Month’s end. That’s what the Venerable Bede, a Saint, English Monk, and Historian said.
He witnessed the rituals himself allegedly. And he wrote about the Matronae on Modrenecht as well. Which lends credence to him being a good source.
This is a Midwinter festival. Which means people are starving. And they need to keep warm. Many animals including boars and livestock were killed. Their blood was poured into vessels called HlautbolliorBlótbolli.
With twigs, they would sprinkle the blood all over the temple. On the idols of the Gods. And on the pedestals. Even themselves. This is a form of purification known as aspersion.
Then a fire was started in the middle of the temple. And the flames would be used to cook the sacrificed animals and begin the feast. But there were also sacred kettles with the ale being placed over the fires. Then came the toasting. This blót was performed by offering up drinks in the honor of spirits or Gods.
Or even living people. The first toast is for the God Odin so that the King would have victory and great power. The second toast is to the Sea God Njörðr and his son Freyr the God of the weather, fertility, peace, kingship, and pleasure. This is for good harvests and for peace. The next toast is for the King himself, and finally the minni or memorial toast for departed family and friends.
The minimum that Yule lasted was for three nights. However, the holiday would not end until all the food and drink was finished. Which means it could span several nights.
Other rituals were followed on Yule. Such as Heitstrenging (oath swearing). This was a social-political and religious practice. Basically, you take a sacrificed animal, or a drink. And you swear on that drink or animal that you will do something.
And it becomes a binding social contract on your honor. If you don’t fulfill it then you had no honor.
Good luck trying to form any alliances in the future. On Yule it was usually done on a Sonargöltr, or “holy pig”. Freyr is known to have had a divine animal known as the sun boar.
So this was done in his honor. Later the animal was sacrificed and eaten.
Up Hella Aa or Up Helly Aa : The end of Yule in the Scottish Shetlands
As mentioned before, the Shetlands in Scotland have a Nordic-Celtic heritage. They don’t end Yule until the Up Helly Aa festival. It means “Up Holy Day All”. There’s actually many of these festivals happening in different parts of the Shetland’s. But they mostly follow this formula.
Many people carry lit torches. The people known as Guizers are dressed as Vikings. There’s an honorary “Jarl” or Earl who is leader of the event. The group sings the Up Hella Aa song till they get to the place where the replica Norse longship is.
This ends with the ceremonial burning of the Viking Galley. Thus marking the end of Yule for the Shetlands in Scotland. This new year it’s Tuesday, the 31st of January. The lyrics to the Up Hella Aa song are as follows.
Words by J. J. Haldane Burgess, M.A. Music by Thomas Manson
“From grand old Viking centuries Up-Helly-A’ has come, Then light the torch and form the march, and sound the rolling drum: And wake the mighty memories of heroes that are dumb; The waves are rolling on.
Grand old Vikings ruled upon the ocean vast, Their brave battle-songs still thunder on the blast; Their wild war-cry comes a-ringing from the past; We answer it “A-oi”! Roll their glory down the ages, Sons of warriors and sages, When the fight for Freedom rages, Be bold and strong as they!
Of yore, our firey fathers sped upon the Viking Path; Of yore, their dreaded dragons braved the ocean in its wrath; And we, their sons, are reaping now their glory’s aftermath; The waves are rolling on.
In distant lands, their raven-flag flew like a blazing star; And foreign foemen, trembling, heard their battle-cry afar; And they thundered o’er the quaking earth, those mighty men of war; The waves are rolling on.
On distant seas, their dragon-prows went gleaming outward bound, The storm-clouds were their banners, and their music ocean’s sound; And we, their sons, go sailing still the wide earth round and round; The waves are rolliing on.
No more Thor’s lurid Hammer flames against the northern sky; No more from Odin’s shining halls the dark valkyrior fly; Before the Light the heathen Night went slowly rolling by; The waves are rolling on.
We are the sons of mightly sires, whose souls were staunch and strong; We sweep upon our serried foes, the hosts of Hate and Wrong; The glory of a grander Age has fired our battle-song; The waves are rolling on.
Our galley is the People’s Right, the dragon of the free; The Right that rising in its might, brings tyrants to their knee; The flag that flies above us is the Love of Liberty; The waves are rolling on,”
I personally celebrate Up Hella Aa as the end of Yule. So by now you must be wondering : How the hell am I supposed to incorporate all of this into my practice? I know what you mean. Seriously, should I sacrifice the animals myself or go to the butcher? Can I swear oaths over a holy vegan hamburger instead of a holy pig? And can I burn my ex’s car as a bonfire instead of going to a holy temple?
Well! These questions and more are about to be answered!
How I celebrate Yule
What I do is come as close to the original rituals as possible. But simplified. And in a way that is adapted to urban life. As well as not making a hole in your pocket. Part of magic is symbolism.
Symbols hold great power. We begin with the temple. That’s any sacred space you have. It can be your home. A sacred place in nature.
Or any place you can use. The most important thing here is to have idols of the Gods. If you can’t afford them, then print a massive picture out with the Gods in it. Seriously, you don’t need a wooden or stone idol. All you need is a representation.
Before I could afford actual idols, I used pebbles and other stones that I blessed for the Gods or spirits I worked with. They were easy to carry around. And unless someone knew what they were looking at, no one would have any idea that these were idols. So no insane anti Pagan relatives. No nosy neighbors.
And no enemy practitioners who would curse them or stain them with bad energy against you. That’s why I am against taking pictures of my real idols and places of magic I go to. Instead of a sacrificed animal, I offer up food as a sacrifice. Meat is what the Norse Gods typically like. And they do like blood.
So that I leave to you. You can ask for meat from a butcher and ask for the blood as well. Kept in a bottle which will act as your Hlautbolli or Blótbolli. Then pour libations of blood all over the idols. Or if you are outside, everywhere with a stick and the idols.
I wouldn’t recommend it on yourself though. Blood borne diseases and all. Or, you can do what I do. Use holy water. They drink too, not just eat.
So bless water in their name and asperse with that instead. The type of food you eat is optional. You can try to eat a Norse diet of meat. But if you’re vegan I think it’s more important to dedicate the feast to the Gods. The point here is faith and intention.
The Gods will see if you have good intentions or not. Don’t just offer to them like it’s nothing. Sometimes a simple tea light burned with faith, is more important to the Gods than a thousand fancy Viking feasts done by a wealthy person.
And if you are some asshole trying to gain their favor for money and power and not their love, good luck achieving anything. They will find you unworthy.
And the only things attracted to those feasts will be negative spirits. False beings pretending to be the Gods. Just like when Christian extremists do worship to their Deity. But end up attracting the same demonic entities that they seek to drive away. You can do bonfires, hearth fires, or chimneys, or light many candles.
Beeswax candles. As pure as possible. You can even order special candles dedicated to Norse Gods. You can buy more than one or just light a really big candle. Even a plain candle will do.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy one like I mentioned. You can also burn incense to them. Now you can drink Ale or really any kind of alcohol. They love alcoholic drinks in general. But if you don’t like alcohol then use a drink you do like.
I use water and sometimes mead if I can find it.
The important thing here is to dedicate it to them. And to do the special toastings. Now as a left leaning person, I am against the idea of human monarchies. So I don’t toast asking for “victory and power” to any King. Unless it’s one of the divine or semi divine kings of old.
Like Arthur, Solomon, etc..I do toast instead to political leaders I support. I toast to leaders of Black Lives Matter chapters. I toast to Antifa as a whole. I also toast to activists. I do on occasion toast to the power and victory of certain heads of state in countries I support.
Right now I toasted to Odin to give “power and victory” to the President of Peru against the coup regime. I do the second toast exactly as described. Asking for peace and good harvests. When I mention harvests, what I’m really saying is prosperity as a whole. For all.
Well, except my enemies.
The next toast goes to the political leaders I like and support. And the final toasts are the minni or memorial toasts to loved ones lost. Then I also make nightly offerings in the evening to the Nisse or Tomte. I call for their help in daily matters. I use Yule as my “wishing season”.
In which I conjure the Tomte in the name of Oski to appear to grant my wishes. I have a whole ritual personal to me. Which I can’t disclose for the same reason I don’t disclose images of my idols or magic places. Then I continue until Up Hella Aa where I burn an effigy of some sort. If you can you can order an effigy to burn online, do it.
Even something made to look like a Viking ship. Or even a regular boat to burn. Be creative. You can adapt these to be either solitary, or to add friends to come over and have feasts with you. And to work the rituals with you as well.
After all, these were originally celebrations with many people. And of course burning protective candles to keep yourself safe during the Wild Hunt. Which for me in my personal opinion, lasts longer than just the Winter Solstice. I personally believe that in November, Odin and the other Yule Beings are doing the job of keeping us all safe. In fact, keep burning the candles until Up Hella Aa at least.
And use the protective candles to ask Jólnir for his protection. On Up Hella Aa I do one more fire night with candles and a final feast for the Tomte in Odin’s name. And ask Odin as Oski for a great New Year. I try to go all out and give the Norse Gods the largest meaty dinner I can give. I have a stone shrine outside that no one knows is a Pagan shrine.
And I leave all their food there. When people see me they think I am feeding the cats. Which I am doing that also but that’s besides the point. Again, you can make this into a friend or family gathering. You don’t have to do it alone.
But you can if you want to.
Worship of Oski, Oski’s Day
Before Yule, is Oski’s Day. Most people celebrate December 6th as St. Nicholas Day. But worshippers of the Norse Gods have begun to reclaim it for Odin. In this form, Oski listens to the petitions of people. And grants their wishes either directly or indirectly.
As part of the celebration, people exchange gifts. They also light candles and bake traditional baked goods associated with Yule. In fact there’s a whole array of foods just for Yule called the Julbord. Which is a bunch of Christmas foods and sweets for this time of year. Ale poured in libations to Oski.
And of course prayers, and songs.
The Dark Side of Yule
But not everything during Yule is merry. As mentioned before, winter is a time of the dead and of the Fae. According to A Dictionary of Northern Mythology by Rudolf Simek, this was the time when all manner of spirits were said to be loosed upon the world. This unfortunately also means evil spirits are out and about. Jólnir and his forces would hunt them down in what is popularly known as the Wild Hunt.
And drive them back into the other world. But at least these were just spirits being driven away. The worst supernatural creatures, were the ones who had physical bodies. It was said that during this time, several physical revenants returned as well. And the worst of them was the Draugr.
Meaning “again walker.” These entities are members of the dark dead. They can be aggressive if they aren’t resting well. It was said if a person died on certain days like Yule, they would not rest well in the grave. But other reasons a person became a Draugr was if they were murdered or committed suicide.
Or were not given a proper burial. Such as not being buried on holy ground. The worst of them were evil witches and wizards in life. Evil magic users normally come back as something worse in death. And they would arise as these corporeal revenants.
Basically, these are Norse zombies. That’s an over simplification but it’s the easiest way to explain it. They are one of the most powerful revenants though. They are all said to be sorcerers who can control the weather. These are just some of their powers.
They can do a great many things. And they have the power to curse. But despite this, not all Draugr are the same. Not all Draugr are the people who died. Sometimes they’re evil spirits possessing the corpses of the dead.
Other times they really are the person who passed away. But are angry for some reason, leading to their aggression.
Now, the first legends I heard claimed that the Draugr could not be killed by weapons formed by men. That only a hero who was strong enough could wrestle them to the ground and kill them. However, the video above mentions plenty of times when weapons did kill them. When heroes killed them by decapitating them with swords. Then burned the body to ashes.
And separated the ashes into different bodies of water. So either they can be killed by weapons. Or the hero’s can make weapons kill the Draugr. These were the creatures said to be out tonight. And Jólnir was hunting them.
So tonight while you’re out feasting, raise a toast to the All Father and the Norse Gods. And remember to leave offerings for Oski and his Tomte. And ask for many blessings in this new year.