On this addition of random links of the day, we have some interesting articles on places and magic. And magical places in some cases. I kept getting so many of these articles that I made them into a random links addition. We’ll also be exploring ghosts and at least one article on haunted objects. Let’s get started!
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.
It looks like the long winter goes on, as death continues to reap the living. After the intense period of the Super New Moon in Aquarius, we have all been left shook. New Moons are times of the dead and bad luck. But a Super New Moon is like Mother Nature was on her period and flushed all the nasty negative shit out. And you better watch out that you don’t get swept in it too. s
As mentioned this year we are in the sign of Otura Niko, the Foreman of Death. And this year is full of death in every which way. My friend just lost his other friend to a car accident. I had to perform a ritual to cross him over last night. And there is the incident of the dead woman who was attached to a statue I had gained.
The irony is that the signs of the spirits are all saying the same thing : drop your to-do lists, relax, be present. Don’t worry about the next thing to do. It’s kind of hard to do that when you have friends and family dying off. Or when you have to constantly watch your ass to make sure the sky isn’t falling. I have a headache.
But not a normal headache. It’s more like a spiritual headache. And I need a pill that lasts the whole year.
Today was a mix of good and bad. But I had to navigate through the wads of shit. Quite literally. The first thing that happened was I stepped on a massive pile of dog shit. It looked like a bull had emptied his ass. I had to clean that off my shoe as throughly as possible.
Then later, my damn belt broke in the bathroom of the Olive Garden. And my pants kept falling down afterwards. I felt like I was in a fucking Cantinflas movie. With me needing to make sure I didn’t moon anybody with my fat ass. Then finally, well you don’t need to know what else happened.
Needless to say, this new moon has been kicking my ass worse than a Waffle House employee.
So here in the spirit of the fuckery that is the New Moon in Fucking Aquarius I give you new Astro links. And damn you sarcastic Aquarius sign assholes to Hell.
Oh and I forgot to mention, it’s a fucking Supermoon too. That’s what I get for being a Magus who isn’t up to date on astrology. The original Magi are rolling around in their graves right now. Fucking Hell.
Tonight is Hekate’s Deipnon, and I figured I would write this. I was also asked to write this by a client who needed her home and personal space cleared of negative energies. After I took a heavy curse off of her. The following is a ritual I came up with from various practices. But I made this ritual neutral so that it can be used by any religion and any God.
The following is what you need.
1) Holy Water
3) Vessel to contain negative energy (an idol or sacrificial representation, even a bag filled with garbage or a bag of food will do)
4) Offerings for whatever spirit or God will get rid of the negativity.
Part 1 : Pharmakos
In Ancient Greece they used sacrificial animals, people, food, or even idols called Pharmakoi. The idea was that they were vessels that retained the bad energy. And that when you sacrificed them, you were killing the bad energy. So the first part of this is a Pharmakos cleansing. You’re trapping the bad energy into a vessel.
You have to map out where you are going to go. For instance you need to know every nook and cranny in your house. Every corner. If you have an attic, start there. And make sure you go to every spot in your property and home.
Ending in the basement as well as outside your prosperity. You have to pray, or chant, or do a spell. And you command all negative energy and bad spirits to be bound to the vessel. You do this while you are walking around. The vessel is a sacrifice that soaks up all of the bad energy around.
You also rub yourself, all members of the house (including pets) with the vessel. This is done so that any attachments or bad vibrations can be drained into the vessel. You’ll know it’s done because you will feel the property be instantly lighter. And you and those around you will feel lighter as well. If this was a bag of garbage, toss it into a public dumpster or community dumpster ASAP.
And say that no one will be harmed by this bag. That you consign the dark energy to its own dark world never to return. To be bound to chaos forever. Chaos meaning the primordial void. Then turn around and walk away without looking back.
If it was food, you need to go to a crossroads, railroad, or body of water, even a pond will do. And call upon the spirits of those places (in the name of your God/Goddess) to remove the bad spirits and energies. And that as the animals eat the food, they will not be in danger. That they will destroy the negativity. Again turn around and walk away.
Position your car so that you don’t have to turn around to face the spot when getting inside. You don’t want to look at the area even by accident. Make sure you can leave and leave fast without turning around. The reason for this is that all the negativity will go to you worse than before if you do. Or worse, you might see the spirits that are going to take away the bad energy.
Which can be dangerous by itself. Another possibility is you will see the bad spirits that you bound and they will be freed instantly to haunt you. Make sure you leave the proper offerings at the site for the spirits or God you called upon. Go home.
Part 2 : Casting Aspersions
The term “casting aspersions” comes from this. It’s a form of cleansing with holy water. You basically flick holy water on the walls. On the ground. On anything and on everyone even pets.
That’s what casting aspersions actually means. This is to bless everyone and everything the water touches. So with the water you blessed with your own prayers, bless the home. You will need an Aspersorium which is a fancy word for an object that you can use to flick the holy water with. The church uses fancy metal devices or even brushes or small buckets to do this.
But any object will do. You cast the aspersions from the outside in. From the front and back yard. Call on your God or Goddess and their spirits to protect and bless the property and dedicate it to them. Say,
“I dedicate this home to be your divine temple. This I holy ground and only that which you allow can enter,”
Bless the outside in. And enter the front door and bless the house from the basement all the way to every nook and cranny up into the attic. You should feel another wave of relief come upon you. Make sure you flick the water or asperse it everywhere.
Sometimes I even use the cap from the plastic bottle I keep my holy water to asperse everything. If all else fails just use your hand. You will feel the wave of relief hit and once that happens you will know the dedication ritual is done. Granted some people don’t choose to dedicate their houses to their Gods. Instead they just do normal blessings.
I’m just not one of those people. My house is a temple to the Gods. I want them to live there. Sure the upkeep is a little more stressful but ultimately it’s better.
Part 3 : Reclaim your Authority
With this part, walk around with a holy item that represents your faith after the cleansing.
And command that any unwelcome or negative spirits need to go. Command them to leave in the name of your God/Goddess/Gods. And say that only the Gods and their divine spirits can be in your home. Do this to reinforce and reassert your control over the home and property. It restored the natural barriers that exist to keep bad spirits out.
And it also re-empowers them to keep things out you don’t want.
Part 4 : Warding
This part is a long term project and it’s not something you can do in one day or night. You go through the process of learning special prayers. Or getting or making amulets to ward off negative energy. Or talismans to bring protective energy. Also drawing symbols or writing special words or letters of power is important.
You have to research your own religion. Or your culture and heritage. And find out what is useful in keeping bad influences away. This will increase the power of the dedication and/or blessing.
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.
Yes this is a year ruled by Obatala and Oshun (or by Exu and Oxum if you practice Quimbanda). But the sign of the year is what seems to truly be reigning this year. Already, it seems that the Ajogún are on the move bringing with them misfortune and death. Yesterday, my friend got into a car accident. A little while later, I learned that my great uncle had died suddenly.
Between yesterday and today, some of my magical charms for protection against death, started to become overwhelmed. I had to call on the spirits to reverse whatever it was that was sending death this way. And I had to cleanse, re-bless, and recharge all of my charms. And right now as I am writing this, I found out that my neighbor whom I always talked with, died from a heart attack recently. Either just before or after New Years.
I didn’t want to ask the date because that’s disrespectful and insensitive to his poor wife. But it was recent. So either just before or just after New Years. This year is not a good year. It’s not a year that we should all be cheering for.
It is the year of Otura Niko, the Foreman of the Dead.
Friends, things are only going to get worse from here. Before in 2020, COVID was the force used by the Ajogún to spread terror and disharmony. But this year they are mixing the tactics up. Now it’s more like a mix of 2020 with 2019. In 2019 it was more personalized attacks sent to different people.
Personal problems. And 2020 was a massive problem that struck us all. This seems to be a hybrid of both those years. It has all the force if not more, of 2020. But disseminated in ways that will effect us directly.
A friend of mine who has mixed white and native ancestry told me something recently. Now his magic is strong. He works with indigenous spirits. And when my ass has been in danger, he’s protected me. But he has this thing.
He says odd numbered years are bad luck.
And he had the feeling before I even knew it, that this year would be bad. And now here we are. But it gets worse. Last month a fellow blogger named Librarian of the Multiverse had also had a conversation with me. That she sensed that death would be coming this year as well.
In my head I was like, fuck because that’s really what we need now. Maybe it is. Because clearly humanity refuses to awaken from this walking coma we’re all in. I wonder if we have fallen so deeply asleep that the Ajogún have seen us as easy prey. That we’re being targeted now because they see us as dumb sheep that are easy to take out. But now I want to move on to something else.
The Divination (letter of the year) says to stay away from lakes and rivers and even rain water. A friend of mine who is a seer told me something that spooked me. You see, she had no idea what the letter of the year had said. I didn’t have the time to tell her. But she said that something is in the water.
That something is in the water that’s going to kill people this year. No, she’s not a nut job. No, she doesn’t normally say stuff like that. For the very first time in my life, I understood the true meaning of the term “my blood ran cold”. Because I felt ice in my veins hearing her say that.
I feel a rising death wave like in 2020. But this one is worse. Part of me feels like I’m on a roller coaster. I want off of and I am screaming my head off into the void. But no matter what no one is going to save me.
So with that said, I think I am going to give you all a simplified version of the Ebbos or karmic cleansings for this year. Along with some additional advice that may come in handy.
The Ebbos given for this year include animal sacrifices. Which I am against. But I also understand traditions and what not.
I am no one to judge my people and how they follow the ways of the ancestors. I just don’t like or agree with all the ways of our ancestors. I don’t always follow those ways. I actually considered saying nothing for fear of being rebuked by other Santeros saying I am “exploiting our religion”.
Or some other horseshit that the zealots in my faith come up with to silence dissent.
My spirits and my Orisha do not care about whether or not I kill an animal. They accept fruits and vegetable offerings. But they also accept cooked animals. In other words, instead of giving them an animal that is being sacrificed and discarded I give them food. If the Ebbo asks for a roaster, I go out and find a cooked roaster.
It’s not impossible to find. There are some animals that are sacrificed in Africa that don’t exist here. So with divination and research I find what they would accept and grant them that dinner. In places that are sacred to them. I also add the fruits and vegetables anyway as an added offering.
If blood is what they want that isn’t a problem either. There are butcher shops that are willing to grant the meat and the blood. As long as they get paid they don’t care. Again, this is how I do it because my Gods and spirits allow me to. Because my Orisha allows me to.
Do a divination, meditate, and find what works for you. And if any Santeros out there have an issue with how I approach our faith, I don’t care. It has served me well up until now. And until they (the Orishas) or my spirits tell me otherwise I will continue. I am accountable to them, not to you.
Now the offerings in IFA, you can skip because that’s for the order of IFA. The practitioners of IFA divination and magic under Orula. I am going to give you a simplified version of the regular Santero offering. A medium rooster and seven colored strips.
The seven colored strips symbolize the Seven African powers. The other ingredients are only for Santeros. So this simplified version is to ask the Seven African Powers for help. Tie them into different parts of the house. Such as door knobs and in windows to ward off death.
In fact consider making a bracelet of these seven strips for yourself. As an amulet. The cooked roaster is the sacrifice that will empower the charms. They will work against death. Which will be very important because there is an article I wrote which is about charms against death.
In addition to that :
– Honey for Oshun, Brandy for Eshu, Incense or anything holy for Obatala because he’s the King of Heaven. And because Santeria is mixed with Catholicism, Christian things like blessed white candles or incense for him will do.
– And you could get another roasted chicken for Orula, his wife Odu, and the spirits of IFA and ask for their blessings and protections. If you approach them with respect, they won’t care what faith you belong to.
Leave these offerings at a crossroads with three pennies for Elegua so that he will send the offerings to the Orishas. Also this is very important, to a point even more important than the offerings mentioned before.
Offerings for the dead
You need to use any form of protection the dead can give you. Sacrifice to your ancestors. Light candles and incense to them, give them Hades Money, etc… don’t be stingy. And if you don’t already have an ancestor shrine to them, now is the time to make it happen. Because our primary protection comes from the dead.
And also our non human spiritual guides such as Angels, Nature Spirits, etc..we need all of their protections. So when you have a chance give offerings at a cemetery to Oya.
– Nine Purple Grapes
– 9 Red Roses
– Nine Pennies
– A Bottle of Red Wine
For her and for all the dead. You don’t have to enter the cemetery. Oya brings the dead to the front gates. Leave the offerings there and she will share it with the dead. Ask them and her for protection and blessing.
And for mass purification in all its forms. And dedicate that entire cemetery to her and the Gods of the Dead. You should feel different. As if something negative left your body when you pray to her. When you are done, leave a candy offering to Elegua in his Eshu form.
And ask him to send these offerings to Oya and the dead. And then leave without looking back.
Now it’s important to also work within your own religion. If you don’t believe in Santeria but want protection, research these Deities and find someone in your own religion who matches them. For instance, if you’re Christian, the Archangel Gabriel is the Messenger of God (Elegua is the Messenger of the Gods) and he’s one of the Angels of Death.
So he’s perfect for this. And instead of a crossroads or all these offerings, you make a massive donation to your church for him in Jesus name. And Jesus died and rose again. So any offering to him works. And he’s the intercessor between humanity and God which makes him a messenger as well.
Any offering you give to him, give with an open heart and perfect love. If you’re Hindu, do this with Ganesha. And look up who the God of the Dead is. One you are comfortable with and work with them instead. If you are Celtic, work with Morrigan.
She hangs out at the crossroads and she’s associated with the dead. There’s so many options out there. Protect yourself well. But most importantly of all is this.
– Personal offerings to your spirit guides
Whoever your guide is. A God. An Angel. A Faerie. A Ghost. As well as all of your ancestors.
Whoever it is, divine with them and ask what they want and keep giving it to them all year long. By feeding your spirit guide, you are keeping yourself safe. And sacrifice to your loved ones Spirit guides as well. Even do it for your pets. I am.
Finally, I leave you with this. These were special warding rituals I did when the pandemic hit. They kept me and my family safe at the height of the pandemic. We survived 2020 without getting the disease. Even though my Mom is a healthcare worker and she had to enter places that weren’t safe.
Meanwhile people around us were dropping dead. Even those who were supposed to be safe. This protected us. So please, read this old blog carefully. And adapt the rituals for what’s happening now.
Just like on that blog I will keep you updated on events with updates here. Do offerings to all those spirits and Gods. And make the same kinds of charms. Do the same things I did back then. Just adapt them to whatever fresh hell we are going to suffer this year.
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.