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.
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.
Note*Some people celebrate this night on December 24th. But others do it since the 21st of December (Winter Solstice). I actually celebrate it three times : The 21st, 24, and 25th (midnight) of December. Since it’s still dark even though technically it becomes the 25th at midnight, I continue the celebration. So technically it’s only twice.
Tonight we await Winter Solstice. The time of darkness. The time of silence. Of the cold wind blowing against the windows at night. Or in Florida’s case, the cold waters that fall from the sky.
Tonight we settle into the darkness. And allow ourselves to truly be consumed by it. To travel beneath the trees. And to hide in their shade. To see our breath as we exhale it.
And prepare for our rites.
I’m sure a lot of people think this is pretentious. No one is actually going around doing this stuff right? Yeah tell that to my neighbors. They all see me do it and then freak out and run away. It used to bother me.
And I used to go out of my way to hide what I was doing. Finally I said, if someone were dumb enough to watch a magical rite let them. And let them pick up something they weren’t meant to pick up. So as tired as I already am this morning from all the work and preparations, I have to stay up at midnight to perform my sacred rituals. Specifically Spirit communication since tonight is Mother’s Night.
That also means a night of divination and preparation. A night of feasting and drinking. A night of being with your family. Huddled up towards a Hearthe fire. While the Yule Log is burning.
There are so many traditions here that it’s hard to name them all. So I think every year I will write about a different one. That way I don’t drive myself crazy trying to write an Encyclopedia Britannica everytime. Also I apologize ahead of time for typos.
I am working hard to sift between clients. Plus all the rituals I do and follow. But for now let’s talk about a tradition I love very much. And it’s weird because so far I am not a Nordic practitioner. At least not officially.
Yet this became a cornerstone of my practices in Yule.
Modranicht/Mōdraniht/Modranect (Night of the Mothers)
Essentially, this feast is the beginning of Yule for many Nordic practitioners. It’s dedicated to the Dísir. It’s basically a word for all female spirits. Female faeries and ghosts. But also your female ancestors and Goddesses.
They’re honored on this night.
Much even today remains unknown about the Dísir. And points of view of them vary by regions. German scholars think they are linked to a West German Cult dedicated to female spirits. While others think they are older. At mother’s night several sacrifices in the feast dedicated to them were performed, called dísablót.
An important thing to note here is that Blót or “sacrifice” does not always mean blood sacrifices. A blot could be pouring a libation of mead to a spirit or God. Or giving cooked food to a spirit or God. There are many types of Blót out there. Although it is believed animal sacrifices were offered during this time.
But there is no right or wrong way to do this.
“The Gods and Goddesses, landwights, and honored dead have always received physical offerings of various sorts. These ranged from simple pots of food left in bogs or graves, to golden vessels and great hoards of amber, to the spectacular sacrifices of an entire defeated army along with all its animals and gear, a practice confirmed by archeological discoveries at sites such as Hjortspring, Nydam, and Illerup (see Our Troth vol. 1, chapter 4). In the sagas, a devout worshipper of the gods is called blótmaðr mikill, ‘a great sacrifice-person.‘
Even after the coming of Christianity, people continued to leave offerings at holy springs and trees and fields, and in some areas continued to do so into the modern age. People also continued leaving out offerings to the spirits who guarded their homes and farms,” – Offerings for Norse Paganism | The Troth
In this respect, I see a lot in common with Norse and Celtic views on offerings. My Druid Master even told me that you could offer up swords in ponds or lakes to the Gods. Some were offerings and others were for magic. How badass would it be to offer an entire defeated army to your Gods and spirits? That’s some powerful magic right there. But back to the Dísir,
“Generally, a Dís (singular of Disir) was seen as a powerful supernatural being that took a keen interest in families and estates. Their strength could vary greatly. Sometimes, they were described as mere guardian ancestor spirits, but their power could also inflate to that of minor local gods. The Disir would usually use their power for good—they acted as guardians to families and family farms, and sometimes even lent their protection to individual people. Yet, they did not love unconditionally and were known to take revenge against families or people who had not given proper sacrifice, or had otherwise angered their respective Dís,” – The Mysterious Disir Of Norse Religion
In many ways this sounds a lot like the Agathos Daimon and the cult of the heroes in Greece. Note I am not saying that any of this is the same thing. I’m just pointing out interesting similarities. It seems at least some of the Dísir were probably Demi Goddesses, local spirits, or ancient heroines who offered protection and blessings. The national encyclopedia from Sweden makes that even more obvious.
“In Norse mythology, a dís (Old Norse: [ˈdiːs], ‘lady’, plural dísir [ˈdiːsez̠]) is a female Deity, ghost, or spirit associated with Fate who can be either benevolent or antagonistic toward mortals. Dísir may act as protective spirits of Norse clans. It is possible that their original function was that of fertility Goddesses who were the object of both private and official worship called dísablót,”
– Nationalencyklopedin (National Encyclopedia from Sweden)
But they all agree on the same thing. They were a collective of Goddesses, heroines, and regular female entities. And they were so powerful that apparently like the Nourns, they could manipulate fate. Which makes sense if you realize that this is a massive faction of spirits including Goddesses. Just with the Goddesses alone there is more than enough power to manipulate fate itself.
Now imagine every woman who has ever existed in every race. Both human and non human alike. No wonder even the male Gods and spirits feared them. There is no defending against such power. So Modranicht is a very special night.
And Modranicht especially holds a special place in my heart. I have always felt a pull towards it though I don’t know why. It feels like home to me. Later I will explain how this holiday is special to me in other ways. But now I have more or less defined who the Dísir are.
Now it’s time to define the other Mothers.
What’s interesting here is that they are found not just in Nordic religion but all over Celtic religion as well. Their images and motifs seem to surround shrines of various countries. Going back to even before the Roman Empire. So who are they? The truth is we don’t know. We think they might be Triads of Goddesses who are aligned to each other.
But they could also be the same Goddess in Trinitarian form.
Whoever they are, they seem to be the main, all powerful spirit beings amongst the Dísir. Who they were and why they were so revered remains a mystery. What we do know from all the offerings granted to them, is that they granted a lot of prayers. The only thing we do seem to know about them is their origin is Germanic. This is based on their clothing in all of their depictions.
They’re appearance shows that they come from the Ubii tribe from east of the Rhine River. We know that their power is great. And this is shown by how they take leadership over the assembly of the Dísir. Even amongst Goddesses, they are the highest of the high. Could they somehow be the living embodiment of the primordial feminine?
Dísablót for the Dísir
In the case of the Matronae, we know what kinds of offerings they had because of the inscriptions on their votive stones. We know they received incense, pigs, bowls of fruit, and also decorations of fruits, trees, and plants. We also know that their worshippers would leave idols of them at holy temples or other buildings. So any of those things are good offerings to leave them. Well except for the poor piggies.
Sorry but I am of the opinion that sweet innocent creatures need to be left out of sacrifice. I have no problem sacrificing a wife beater or a child molester. Or someone who abuses the elderly. Just so long as I don’t get caught and arrested. Just kidding (or I am?).
But there’s something I learned in my temple when doing certain sacrifices. You can make an effigy of an animal or person to sacrifice. And you can bring it to life via rituals. Heck you can even just write what you want to sacrifice : a bad habit, an obstacle, or even a problem in your life and light the paper on fire. Simple.
This was a huge building dedicated to the Dísir. And the altar where their sacrifices were given was the hörgr. From what little I have been able to gather (I am sure there are more learned sources than myself) there was a high priest and priestess. The priestess sacrificed an animal and “reddened” the altar with blood (Hervarar Saga). Now it doesn’t actually say it was a priest or priestess.
The one who reddened the altar was Alfhildr, the daughter of King Alfr. But she was performing this ritual herself. In many occasions, Royals assumed a priestly role in ancient religions. But later we see the Kings of Sweden perform the ritual themselves as high priests of the temple at Uppsala (Ynglinga Saga).
We know this because a King named Adils died while doing the ritual at the altar site. The ritual had something to do with him riding around the stone altar with his horse. Which is another magical tradition you can find in different cultures. Thus we know that men could and were also involved in a priestly capacity. So we know that the rituals could be gender neutral and done by anyone.
In the eyes of the Dísir, we’re all just mortals. And therefore not one of us is better than the other. Though I think it’s obvious women have a higher status. Given the fact that this celebration is focused on the sacred feminine.
My personal practice
This is my own version of the Modranicht feast. Part of it is eclectic and part of it is a reconstruction. I mostly follow my reconstruction based on personal research. Which I hope to find more answers and evolve this a little more. So I start with a family feast.
I have been blessed with a good mother and sister. They’re both pains in the ass but I love them. I buy a large dinner for the three of us and eat on the eve of the solstice. I give an offering to Goddess of the Home and Hearthe. All of them, before and after the food is eaten.
I do a special prayer to them. And I also honor all of my spirit guides in the name of my female spirit guides. I also honor both of my dead grandmothers and my dead cousin. I told you earlier I was going to tell you why this tradition is special for me. Ever since my grandmothers and my cousin died, it’s given me a way to touch base with them.
To honor them. To communicate and know the ways of the wise spirits. I honor my female Fae, and other spirits including heroines of the past. I give an offering of incense and flame, as well as fruits or vegetables to the Matronae. I also sacrifice something to them.
Usually bread. They seem to like the Cuban cheese bread that I offer to Hekate. So I give them that. Or Cuban bread. If you live near Cubans, you know you could live off that stuff.
Sometimes when I really have money I try to find German markets to get them food. But they also exist in Ireland and other places in Europe so sometimes I alternate. To the other Dísir, I give them a rare or medium rare steak. And I leave it on my chothonic altars outside. Let them eat through the animals.
If not that, then I give them whatever I could find that they would like. These offerings I give before midnight. As preparation. Then I take a cleansing bath to be pure. And I await till midnight.
I give my final offering at the stroke of midnight. A candle I burn for them. My personal Dísir. Those Goddesses and spirits to whom I give offerings. And many more whom I don’t know.
The Dísir who visit me aren’t just European. All the female Orishas join in. Female indigenous spirits like the Hopi Spiderwoman and the Hawk Maidan. I also converse with Sunna and Amaterasu. And I await the arrival of my grandmothers and cousin.
Who signal the arrival of my foremothers. I see them all coming down from on high.
Like they are descending from a beam of golden light, itself encompassed by a white light. And we begin to talk for about an hour or so. Because I have to get up early I can’t really talk the whole night like I used to. So I make arrangements for them to speak to me in my dreams.
And with that, here ends my writings.
🌚🎄🎅Some other links on Yule and Winter Solstice and the coming New 🌒🌑🌘
Welcome to the dark time of the year everyone. I hope you’re all comfy by your fire or space heater. I also hope that you have sufficient food to eat. And a nice warm blanket to be tucked inside of. The dark time of the year is here again.
Providing both comfort and fear for many.
During Christmas, it was an English tradition to tell ghost stories in the winter. Winter being the dark time of the year, when the Fae and all other spirits had full run of the land. It seems natural for people to have associated it with the dead. After all, things go bump in the night when the sun is gone. And only the holy power of fire can keep them at bay.
But there’s one problem with that. We don’t use fire hardly ever anymore. We don’t even have proper Hearths. And people don’t believe. Does that protect them? I’m not so sure it does.
If anything it debilitates them. Like an immune system that’s been weakened. How are you supposed to protect yourself from things you don’t even know are there in the first place?
This story was so good I just had to share it with all of you. It’s a YouTube video for your listening pleasure. Enjoy. Sit back and relax.
The beach is already legendary among us Floridians. The official name is Chastain Beach. It’s on Hutchinson Island. But most people call it Seven Skulls because once seven human skulls were found there. Every time a Hurricane hits that area in just the right direction, skeletal remains are always discovered.
It’s led to many believing this is an indigenous burial ground. As you can read from the article on it, it’s also believed to be a mystical place. People who live in the town of Stuart say that the bones should be buried again. That interfering with the bodies is bad. Unfortunately the authorities don’t listen.
They were removed from the beach already. Probably on their way to a Museum.
Recently I had talked about a strange Supernatural occurrence during Hurricane Ian. In which I believe a Wild Hunt was unleashed. Some people in Central Florida heard the hooves of Horses on their roofs during the Hurricane. Something none of us have ever reported hearing before. I tried debunking it.
And couldn’t. So I turned to magic. And I saw a horrifying visions. They looked like legions of angry souls. All of them seeking revenge in one form of another.
This video show it from the beginning. The Seminole Nation has claimed the bodies and the beach as belonging to their ancestors. I just thought this was something odd and interesting to put here. Be blessed my friends,