I found this fascinating. And it actually gives us an idea of how to do Apotropaic magic without anyone figuring out what it actually is. It would be hard for anyone to discover it as being magic in the modern day. Really good investigative article on the subject.
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.
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.
Happy Late Christmas Sunday everyone! Originally this post was made yesterday. But WordPress is being an ass. And it posted my report as if it was an article from last year. So I had to duplicate it for today. My apologies!
That’s the first Sunday after Christmas. So New Year’s specifically finishes with a tone of ending things that need to be ended. Or endings as new beginnings. Which is the same thing we have experienced for the last few years. It seems the Gods and the spirit folk are tired of telling us to do things more than once.
Before going forward, if you haven’t read my New Years Rituals blog you should now. To get on the right path. To clear away all unwanted things. To bring good luck. And to be blessed for the new year.
So they’re going to keep pushing this until we get all our shit together. To emphasize this, our New Year’s Day is a Sunday. The last day of the last week of the old year. And it’s a Christmas Sunday. Now technically we are still in Yuletide.
There are several Christmas in January traditions. Even ranging to the Three Kings Parade we have here in Miami. Which celebrates the Pagan Magi who visited Jesus as a child. And no, they never converted to Christianity. They remained faithful Pagans to the end.
But getting back to the point, Christmas Sunday isn’t normally a Christmas in January sort of thing. It normally happens while the old year is still in progress. This adds once again, to that tone that this is a year for ending things. And I keep thinking,
“How much more shit do we need to end? Gods, can’t you bring something else to fill the void from all of this loss and reaping of the old?”
And they keep responding the same way,
“We have, you just don’t see it yet,”
To make it stranger, I noticed that barely half an hour after midnight had passed. And everyone went to bed. I can usually tell if a year will be shitty or…..extra shitty based on how long the celebrations are. Everyone went to bed early. Just like in 2019’s New Year.
You remember that year right? It was fucked up and a prelude to 2020. Again I say, how much more shit needs to be “ended”. Unfortunately, I got my answer : People need to get off their asses to change things. That means
* Militant political action, not just voting for the same assholes in both parties who change nothing. Actually stand up and protest and demand fucking change. Until then, we’ll have more years like this.
* Stop dreaming so much and wishing and hoping and praying and go do something. Actually change your life.
* Step out of your comfort zone and grow
* Try new things
* Go on Adventures
* Organize, Unite, and share information and resources
* Reject the model of materialism and self enrichment, and focus on enriching the community and the people as a whole.
I know American Capitalism teaches people the BS about the “American Dream”. And how it’s supposed to be a utopia based on all of us making money and being rich. It’s pretty obvious by now that’s bullshit. If it was true, we’d all be rich by now.
Especially those of us who actually work. Wealth comes from stealing from others and stepping atop their corpses in this country. So we need to remove ourselves from that self destructive tendency. Here we have our current New Year’s Report with all the Gods and spirits I can find. I separated them based on culture and religions.
First, we explore the Chinese pantheon and astrology. We are entering the year of the Water Rabbit. Click on the article to find your Chinese zodiac animal and see the forecast for your year.
Now we explore the Tai Sui for the year 2023. A Tai Sui or Grand Duke of Jupiter is one of 60 Divine Generals under the Jade Emperor. Once a year, one of these Gods will become the Grand Duke in charge of the planet Jupiter. The Ruling planet. What this means is that, the chosen God is the ruler of that year.
In fact, the Grand Duke of Jupiter is so important that whatever direction in Feng Shui is sacred to him needs to be appeased. If you do anything to offend the Tai Sui, it can screw up your year. Even indirectly.
Such as by having your Zodiac animal be in contradiction to him. Or accidentally making too much noise in the direction sacred to the Tai Sui. The Ruling Grand Duke of Jupiter for the year 2023 is General Pi Shi.
The year 2023 doesn’t really sound like it’s going to be a peach. But General Pi Shi was a skilled leader in life. Both militarily and politically. And he was able to find solutions to problems very easily. Because of this, the year 2023 will have the right leaders to aid with problems.
Just don’t expect those leaders to always be political. Search for the leader inside yourself. And keep your eyes open for other leaders to work with. In life, this General had military and political commendations since he was very young. He quelled both rebellions and invasions.
And was given key appointments by the Emperor. So appealing to him for improvement and advancements are very good. Especially in making yourself better.
Numerology of the number 4
In many cultures, number four has a negative aspect numerologicaly speaking. Even in Santeria we are told to never light four candles in a house. Because it symbolizes death and the dead. This is from the time before electricity was being used in Cuba. When funeral parlors were using candle sticks.
Two at the head of the casket and two at the foot of the casket. However, as in many things, four has positive aspects as well. In Chinese beliefs the number rules over relationships. Whether it’s romance or friendship. Or business partnerships.
The effects will really be felt on the 4th of February. That’s when the number 4 star becomes the dominant force for 2023. This brings both blessings but also curses for the year. Besides symbolizing death, the negative number four also symbolizes betrayal of a relationship. Married couples are in danger the most this year.
If you are in a relationship, you need to proactively resist temptation in all of it’s forms. Arguments. And all other things. This may also mean divisions and betrayals even in political and business alliances. The thing to remember about the negative of any number is look at the positive.
Use the positive force of that number to cancel out the negative. It can’t fight itself. But you can resist and shield yourself with the positive attributes of that number.
Focus on it’s powers and energies. And allow it to protect you. Call for it to immunize you against its own negative aspects. Call it’s good energy into every part of your being. You can burn a golden candle with a number 4 you etch into it.
In Santeria, the Ruling Gods are Obatala and Oshun for the year 2023
Obatala, the King of the Yoruba Gods or Orishas. And his daughter Oshun. The Goddess of love, lust, prosperity, nature, rivers, and witchcraft among other things. The King of the Gods and the Goddess of love magnify and bless every single one of us. Normally I translate the entire letter of the year but I found out Ashe Pa mi Cuba does it themselves.
The letter of the year is the results of divination for the new year. It’s done by the Babalawos or high priests of Orula. The Orisha of Divination and Magic. They call upon him to see into the future of the year. Then they give all of their predictions on the coming year.
And prescribe rituals for it to get better. The Divination of the year can be found here. Now as beautiful as it is to have Obatala and Oshun rule this year, the predictions are not beautiful at all. Remember what I said about this year being used to finish more shit? Yeah it’s about that. The reigning text or sign of IFA used in this divination is Otura Niko (The Foreman of the Dead). There’s a whole story about how Orula defeated death himself.
And shape shifts into Otura Niko the Foreman of the Dead. In the next few days I will write about that story. But for now let’s get to the Ebbo.
Curujey is a name for the twisted air plant. Usually found in Cuba. In addition to this, Oya in the early hours of midnight asked me for something. I performed a Spanish tradition of putting 12 grapes in my mouth to ask for good luck. I had both green and purple grapes.
I ate the green grapes. But there were 9 purple grapes left. Nine is Oya’s number. And darker colors like purple are usually for her as well. I had no idea this sign was going to come up.
I just did as she asked. I took the purple grapes to a shrine for the dead I have outside. And I found a half empty bottle of Merlot on the way. She likes red wine. So I gave her the grapes and the wine.
Then asked for her and the dead to intercede on my behalf against any dangers in the new year. And to bring many blessings. When I actually took the time to read what the sign was about it left me stunned. That actually speaks to another theme of this sign : listening to your spirit guides and also following instructions. You will find many blessings that way.
There is another Ebbo for protection during this sign that I found during the study of the Oddun. It’s as follows. Warning this is only for Santeros. Don’t try this one if you aren’t, or don’t have sufficient training yet. I added this portion for purely scholarly reasons.
Ebbo (Cleansing) of Otura Niko
So that good comes. (I’ll go Umbo)
1) Three bottles of brandy
2) A white plate
3) Cascarilla or blessed eggshell powder
4) Otura Niko is tied and prayed
This Cascarilla is poured into one of the bottles of brandy, and given to the dead, the others without the powder, one for Orunmila and the other for Eshu (Elegba). And this is the cleansing offering to ensure protection. And then of course you despose of them in accordance to divination. I have shrines for the dead and the Orishas so I know what to do with them.
It has a mix of good and bad omens for us all. This one I had to translate into English for everyone here. Or rather translate the aspects of it. Not the word for word text.
This sign is the foreman of the Eggun (dead). For which it is written on the tile when sacrifice is going to be made. Wisdom is the most refined beauty of the Babalawo.
* The agitation of the sea
* The nervous system in the body
* That death is frightened and respects the living.
* And the Oparaldó
* The disfigurement of the human being at death.
* Eggún’s communication with Olófin
* Good and evil threaten the awó
* Send to prepare things on time
* Speak: kutone
* The country or land of Eggun where Otura Niko is the foreman
* It is an extension ifá
What does this mean?
* Orunmila lived in the Iyesá land
* In Otura Niko you do not eat caimito, zapote, octopus, or squid
* No ants or insects are killed
* It speaks of the human races
* It is an ifá of weariness and loneliness
* The son cried in the mother’s womb
* It was where Orunmila’s jars were hit
* Oshun hid the money under the caimito bush and Shango his treasure
* Shango stole a thing from Olofin and hid it
* It is forbidden to go to the river
* Elegbá is for good and for bad
* There is a tendency to vices
* The most important thing is the spirit of the father
(This last one is interesting because the Letter of the Year mentions that Godsons and Godfathers should be closer to each other this year)
* It was where the king threw the raffle and Otura Niko took it out
Recommendations of the sign Otura Niko:
The children of this Oddun must be generous, because in this way they will be enriched. They will have to comply with everything, so as not to be accused of being irresponsible. For three days, bring a bottle of brandy and money to your Godfather’s Ifá. The secret of this Oddun is to feed his father’s spirit or his spiritual guide. He is given a white rooster.
The pregnant woman must make sacrifices to ensure a healthy child. Place food with syrup in the corners of the house so that the ants come and with them luck. Bathe with canutillo and other times with French macaw, red fig, and Iworiyeyé.
(Remember these are the rituals of the Yoruba people. No one is actually telling you to do this. The prescribed rituals are the ones in the screen shots I took. This is all part of the Oddun).
Another interesting thing is we are told to not kill ants. Ants are the lucky animal this year. They must be treated well. I will give an offering to the ants where I live for good luck. Also, Ants are an animal associated with Elegua.
Which I found curious. But that curiosity was later answered when looking up the Orixa Regente of 2023.
Sayings of Otura Niko
The iron wanted to fight with the candle. The Sun rises for everyone but you. He who does good in droves, will receive it in droves. The broken jar will never be filled. The broken jar will never be called justice.
The father says: If you are not happy in your house, you better come with me. Good and evil threatened the Babalawo. In the land of the dead, I am foreman. He who wept in the womb is blessed.
Prohibitions of the sign of Ifa Otura Niko
It is forbidden to eat pork. For this is offered to Eggun. No ants or insects are killed. It is forbidden to go to the river.
Ifa Otura Niko says:
“You will do a favor that you will not appreciate. In her house there is a person who has a cast womb, there is also another who is pregnant, and the child who is going to give birth is a boy and will be called a Know-it-all, because that child is going to be a Babalawo. They will send you to find a place forever, take care of your child. Where they live they have had money and today they have nothing to eat. Thank you Shangó. Feed your father’s spirit so that luck comes. If you don’t feed him, he will go where he is,”
It has a bit of Mayombe, be careful, because that slows it down. Don’t put pins in your mouth. Be careful where you eat, don’t get sick. Don’t ask for so much money, as it can be used for your burial. He cannot be stubborn and beware of treason where he can be poisoned.
Be obedient to your elders so that you can live happily. You can’t bathe in the river. You have to beg for your head. In his house there was a brunette woman with a red blanket, if he returns, he immediately gives Shango a ram and two roosters, which will then come with three very large lots.
She left her house in search of money and was introduced by three lovers, clinging to her guardian angel. In order for him to get such money, he must have an apron and buy lottery tickets, which others despised. The day you feed the saints, don’t work. He doesn’t have a son because God is angry with his behavior. Thank you, Oshun and Orunmila You can not get wet in rainwater, let alone bathe in a downpour.
While all three batches don’t arrive, be satisfied with what you have, you have to cover the holes of the mice, for your ashe,”
Characteristics of the sign Otura Niko (Ogbe)
This sign speaks of the person’s lack of awareness because he or she has suffered loss. This is where corn came down into the world, it was born. In this Ifá was born the communication of the Eggún (dead) with Olófin (God) through Oniko, who is the messenger. So Otura Niko represents the messenger of the dead or the foreman of the Eggun. This Oddun marks, the power of evil in the people of lights.
It is an Ifá of evolution for the Awó. They speak:
“The journeys of dualities to ask Ifá for recourse. Evolution to spirits, and evil threatens the Awó. This Oddun says to prepare things with time, because it is an Ifá that does not allow delay. The children of this Oddun must be generous, because in this way they will be enriched, they will have to comply with everything, so as not to be accused of being irresponsible,”
The turmoil of the sea was born. Speak: Kutoné.
“The country of the land of the dead (Eggun). This is an Oddun of life and death. Here was born the Oparaldó, which means (kill behind the body),”
This ceremony called theOparaldó is used to cast out or remove a particular dead person from “behind a person”. It’s a ritual for removing an attachment by a spirit in other words. Especially a dark ghost (eggun buruku). This may also be a sign that we need to protect ourselves from darker energies more so than usual this year. As we may see more attachments than normal.
Diseases that afflict this Oddun (sign/text) but also remedies we may be seeing this in 2023
* Diseases of the throat (tonsdolopathy), spine, nervous system, blood pressure.
* It speaks of the human race. The person lives with the opposite race (racial unity as a cure). This Oddun must receive Odduduwa, for a health problem.
“There is someone in the family who hanged himself, just as there is someone who was educated in a convent or boarding school for nuns.
Otura NIko is an Odu from Ifá who speaks of boredom. The person gets tired of living. This Oddun is where the child cried in the womb. Bring a gift from nature.
This Ifá sends to bathe with canutillo and other times with French macaw, red fig and Iworiyeyé. This is the Ifá of the schoolchildren, the person grew up together with other children or lived near a school.
That wisdom is the most refined beauty that Babalawo has. This is where Orunmila’s jars were actually beaten,”
As you can see, the text speaks of a great many things. There’s a mishmash of good and bad things. It feels like it’s saying this year will be a conflict between the positive and the negative.
“This Oddun is where the child cried in the womb. Bring a gift from nature. This Ifá sends to bathe with canutillo and other times with French macaw, red fig and Iworiyeyé. This is the Ifá of the schoolchildren, the person grew up together with other children or lived near a school.
That wisdom is the most refined beauty that Babalawo has. This is where Orunmila’s jars were actually beaten. Here he was born: He who sometimes dies (Iku) is frightened and respects the living. The Great Power of the Awó. Here death is transformed into bone and shadow that nobody knows, and that is why the human being is disfigured when he dies and transforms,”
So we see another dynamic here : Iku and possibly the Eggun fear the living under this sign. Which means we have some power in our corner after all.
Secrets of Otura Niko
“This was where Oshún hid her money under the caimito bush and Shango hid his treasure that was: ero, obbi, kolá and ozún naború, under the canutillo. That is why the Awó Otura Niko should not miss a caimito branch behind the door and put Shangó erú, obbi, kolá, ozún naború, and cover it with canutillo. Here Shango stole a thing from Olofin from (our) religion and hid it,”
It goes on to mention again that you need to give honor to your religious Masters. With emphasis to a male religious figure. And the importance of a connection between the Godson and Godfather. And giving offerings to The Godfather’s house. The text in relation to love is very bad.
It says that finding love is a pain in the ass under this sign. Because betrayal is right around every corner. You are not to go near rivers. Or get wet by rain. And dogs are seen as special protectors.
But they should also be protected.
Many offerings should be made to your spirit guides for protection. Especially your Guardian Deities and any Eggun you have like the ancestors (thanks for watching out for me Oya). The importance of Ebbos and other special offerings and rituals for protection and blessing.
There’s another missed up story about a farmer, who gave his guardian spirit an offering so that he could gain blessings. But at the end of the story, even though he got his blessings, a sack of money fell from the air on top of him and he died.
“There was a farmer almost ruined because of the great drought that hit the region in which he lived. The plants and their animals were dying. But his guardian angel offered him a chance and said:
‘Give me a goat, but do not work or get wet with rainwater that day,’
The day that the farmer, gave the guardian angel what he asked, soon it began to rain. And the farmer forgot the warning of his guardian angel and left happy to stir the earth, (that is, he worked) at that moment came the luck of Heaven, that is, sacks of money, which fell on him and killed him,”
I’m going to say something that isn’t in that text. Okay? Don’t crucify me now. It’s an observation. He challenged the Osogbos and his own arrogance felled him. An Osogbo isn’t just bad luck.
It’s bad energy. Specifically it’s an Ajogun or demonic spirit. So it’s believed when you are resisting bad luck, you’re literally resisting an evil spirit who embodies that bad luck. So when your patron or matron Deity (guardian angel) is giving you a specific instruction to follow, do not deviate from that instruction. All this man had to do was not work for one day and stay dry.
Easiest thing in the world to do. And by the next day his crops would have been full and his Osogbos gone. What was so hard about following these instructions? Again, obey your spirit guides and Gods. That’s why death comes from disobedience this year. So there’s three things to take from that story :
1) The importance of Apotropaic Magic
Protection from evil spirits. As well as well as properly following rituals and instructions. Don’t fuck around. Follow what you are told. And do not deviate from instructions.
2) The importance of giving offerings to your spiritual guides. Following their instructions to the letter.
3) Be wary of the Osogbos
Just because you are doing a ritual to protect yourself, doesn’t mean it can’t backfire on you. And that the negative forces out there can’t hurt you.
When Orunmila went to see Olordumare
On this road, Orunmila needed to see Olordumare to resolve the situation that existed on Earth. But he could not get to where he was. Because he did not know the way or the enchantment. Faced with this situation, Orunmila divined seeing this Oddun (text, the one for this year), which Ebbó (offering cleansing) marked him with:
A rooster, needles, colored threads, fabrics, a basket, colored ribbons, eggs, little balls of faces etc. and that after he did the Ebbó he went for a walk. Shortly after walking, he met Eshu, who was disguised in torn clothes, Orunmila gave him fabrics, needles and threads to sew his clothes. Then Eshu directed him to a place where they met an old woman, who was Orishanla (Obatala in his Goddess aspect).
Orunmila, seeing her, gave her ten chicken eggs and the old woman was very happy. Because the hens had not laid there for a long time. After this, Orishanla showed him the way that would lead him to Olordumare’s house. When Orunmila arrived at the door of Olordumare’s house, he found it closed and through the bars of a window, he saw some boys, called them and fed them the buns he was carrying. Then he said to the boys,
‘Open the door for me, so you can distribute all the little balls I have in this basket.’
The boys opened the door and Orunmila was able to enter Olordumare’s house and managed to see him and ask for advice to solve the problems on Earth,”
This aspect of the text shows us that by acting honestly and in good faith, no task is impossible. Because the Gods and ultimately fate itself will help us. It again highlights the importance of doing proper magical rituals and making sure we do things correctly.
Who are the Ruling Orixas of 2023?
This information comes from Astro Center .com I just wrote the cliff notes version in English. Umbanda and Quimbanda are both religions based on Yoruba religion. Just like Santeria. They also have Orishas (Portuguese Orixa). But their divinations and some of their rituals are different.
Mostly because Santeria and Umbanda and Quimbanda where influenced by different European cultures. So what the Yoruba practitioners lost or gained during slavery in ritual and culture depended mostly on that. It’s fascinating to see how similar they both are and yet different. That’s why I always pay attention to what all these groups say. I usually find a common theme in both divinations.
According to Umbanda and Quimbanda the Orixa Regente (Ruling Orisha) of the year 2023 are : Exu (Elegua or Eshu). Exu or Eshu is the God of the Crossroads. A messenger of the Gods, and a master of business and negotiation. A bringer of good commerce. Very similar to Hermes in the Greek pantheon.
And the other Orixa in power is, you guessed it Oxum or Oshun. Who is also one of the rulers of the year according to Santeria. As a Goddess of Prosperity as well as love, fertility, and also of good commerce, she adds to this influence. However, here’s the rub : I doubt sincerely that means you and I are going to benefit from all this prosperity. I don’t mean to be so cynical.
I believe the Gods want what is best for us. But prosperity for them and prosperity for us could have totally different definitions. That’s one, two I also sense that most of the prosperity is going to be sucked up by businesses. Not the common person. That’s what I feel.
Not because I believe the Gods favor them more than us. But because blessings are easier to get when you are already blessed. I believe that for the rest of us, we are going to have to fight like hell for those blessings. It’s not impossible. We can do it.
But be prepared to work your ass off.
From a Yoruba Priestess in the Article,
“What you can do to align with the energy of Exu, the lord of the order, is to organize yourself. The organization, discipline and good character will be necessary for you to attract the energy of the movement”, says the expert.
“Now to connect to Oxum’s energy she explains that you need to be kind to people, connect with your emotions and the emotions others, have the patience to understand the life of other people as much as yours,”
The expert adds that
“this will make all the difference in the final result so that you can connect and have a better year”.
In other words, the same thing mentioned above. If you are honest and generous you will ultimately thrive this year. The priestess also adds special baths and magic to achieve this end.
“For Exu, if you want to connect and get closer, the tip is to take prosperity baths. Try plants like Road Opener, leaf of fortune, and pitanga“, says the expert. “If you want to attract defense, take a bath of aroeira to be able to get closer to Exu’s energy and let this movement manifest itself into your life.”
“For Oxum, if you wish to manifest her sweetness and bring kindness to yourself, make a bath of fresh basil. This is a bath in which you will macerate herbs, prepare them, and wash from head to toe with them whenever you want to connect to Oxum’s energy, preferably on Saturdays”, concludes Priestess Iyá Tolomi.
Greek Gods and Hero of the Year
Now, every Greek Temple has their own way of doing things. Our religion is not centralized like Yoruba practice. But I thought I would share what my temple believes are the Ruling Gods and Hero of the year. The two ruling Gods are Hephaestus the Black Smith and builder of the Gods. And his wife Aphrodite, a Goddess of love, wealth, fertility, bringer of good fortunes and things.
You can see some of the similarities. A Goddess of love is the common factor in the Yoruba and Greek Divinations. And the presence of Obatala, Eshu, General Pi Shi, and now Hephaestus all speak to the need for hard work for prosperity to truly come. None of us are getting shit on a silver plate. I think that’s been fairly established by now.
And Herakles was the performer of the 12 Labors. And a master of solving problems using his intellect as well as his strength. Someone similar General Pi Shi. Ultimately those are the themes of this year. I hope this will aid you in going forward this year.
PS : As of 6:30pm EST my friend got into a car accident. So far they don’t know what happened to the breaks. But he crashed with a stop sign and a wall. So………the Babalawos were right as usual
There’s all manner of rituals and magic for protection and cleansing in the New Year. There’s some amazing things in tradition that one should consider adding to their practice. My witch sister (as in my actual sister) has been practicing magic here with me. Preparing for the New Year’s as well. These traditions come from different groups.
So let’s take a look at some of the stuff to do.
Flowering or Blooming Cleansing
Also known as a Growth Cleansing or a New Year’s Bath, this is a bath with flowers. It opens up the spiritual channels in a person’s body. This is to allow them to release negative or unnecessary energy. While also allowing good energy to enter. The following is a formula we use in Spanish folk magic.
One prescribed by mediums for the new year.
Note* ingredients must be natural and freshly harvested
1) 5 Sunflower petals
2) 5 Red rose petals
3) 5 White rose petals
4) 5 Pink rose petals
5) 1 Rue branch
6) 5 Jasmine branches
7) 2 yellow candles
8) 2 Rosemary branches
9) 5 Daisy petals
To start doing the bath, heat six liters of water in a pot or saucepan. You’ll have to leave the water heating about 10-20 minutes. Until it starts to boil. Once bubbles begin to appear in the water it means that it has reached the ideal temperature. Remove the pot from the heat and carefully put all the materials in the water.
Once this is done, place the pot back to heat. But this time you only raise the temperature a bit and stir the materials. After another 15 minutes, put the pot to cool. When the water cools put it in the bathtub with the other ingredients. If that water is not enough to bathe, you can put a little more water without any problem.
Essentially the water you prepared, will bless and charge the regular water.
Once everything is ready, light the two yellow candles and take a bathe. Imagine yourself illuminated by the energies of the flowers. Allow the souls of those flowers to enter you. All things are alive. And when you bathe in flowers, the souls of those beings enter you.
So this isn’t just a normal cleansing. It’s a soul cleansing. It washes through you and over you by using pure souls. Those of the flowers themselves. That’s how this works.
Embrace them. Feel the negative energy disintegrate inside you. And then be flushed out naturally from your energy pathways. Allow the calm, nourishing, energy to enter your pathways. Feeding them.
Renewing them. Once you finish the bath, dry with a white towel. This is because white is a color associated with purity. If you have a special color that empowers you, you can use that instead. Then do a regular shower.
And scrub with soap as you normally would.
As my Druid Master recently told me : in our tradition, any form of washing with water is a cleansing. And this is true in more ways than one. In Jewish mysticism, it’s said that water loves bad or impure things. It was made that way by God to absorb the impurity out of things and people. That’s why most cleansings use water as a basic ingredient.
How my sister does it
My sister uses the same traditional flowering formula as described above. The only difference is that she uses Christian Magic to empower it further. In conjunction with the new moon prior to the new year. She also used my balcony shrine which is filled with various plants and astrological idols to empower it. She also adds a few secret ingredients to make hers stronger.
She also added some power to it from a portable altar she brought with her.
But because they are a secret taught to her by her teacher, I can’t reveal that. What I will say is that she combines it with Catholic Masses. She does a mini mass in the bathroom with a specific Gregorian chant playing on her phone. The combination of the potion with the holy music adds to the power of the cleansing. She uses special rites associated with the Catholic Church.
As well as the new moon, and Saints to empower the water. New moons are good for new beginnings.
How I do it
I do it also not only with Christian Magic but with Santero magic as well. I appeal to Ossian the Orisha of nature and plants, Aroni his faithful servant, and Inle the Orisha of Medicine. I do special Santeria prayers with them. And I charge the potion on my balcony shrine as well. It’s a shrine to both nature and the astrological signs and celestial bodies.
I ask for them to charge it with their powers over night. And once I do this, I leave the potion in a plastic container for the night and allow them to fill it with their Ashe (divine grace). It’s pronounced Ahhh-sheh. Sometimes it’s spelled Ache by Cubans. Which confuses the hell out of English speakers.
I also add Cascarilla and some secret ingredients to the brew like my sister does. Though mine are different. Once charged, I wait until New Year’s Day to bathe. Like literally a few minutes after midnight. Then I try to dress in light colors.
I have a specific color I use to be empowered.
Santeria Cleansings & New Year’s Traditions
These are cleansings taught to me by my Godmother in Santeria. The traditions here I also learned from my Babalawo. First up is the feeding of the Earth.
Feeding the Earth : The Story of theJorojoro
This one was taught to me by my Babalawo Warning! Do not do this ritual. Only a Babalawo or high priest of Orula cando this. I am just outlining the basic ritual and the origin. Doing this the wrong way can actually kill you. This isn’t a joke.
You’ve been warned.
According to our sacred texts, it’s said that when the daughter of God ile Oguere reincarnated, she became the planet Earth. Orula the God of Divination and Magic told her she needed to do a special cleansing called an Ebo. This is sort of like a karmic cleansing to change your fate. She did not. As a result, her children (humans) abuse and hurt her.
The Ebo would have prevented that.
A few years later after humanity had populated the Earth, the Orishas (Gods) had invented death itself. This was to prevent overpopulation. They assigned Iku to be the Orisha of Death. And everyone hated Iku. They all wanted to live forever.
What was worse is that back then when people died, their bodies just lay around. Burying a body hadn’t become a custom yet. Imagine seeing your loved one’s body just laying on the ground. And it looks as if it’s still them. Just sleeping.
It must have been terrifying.
One day ile Oguere and Iku were spending time together. She complained that her human children abused her. And he complained that her children hated him for doing his job. So she had an idea. She made a pact with Iku.
“If you kill as many of my children as you can, I will absorb their bodies into my body,”
The problem was, it was going to be difficult for him to do it on his own. So he said,
“My wife Arun (disease) will have to do this work with us. She must be given power over everyone equally. The rich and the poor, the young and old, kings and their vassals, the wise and prideful, thieves and honest people. Everyone equally,”
She thought about it, and finally said,
“I accept, however I demand that all people grant me tribute of whatever food they eat. And if anyone does not do this, you will be in charge of collecting their debts,”
From that day forward, Iku sends natural disasters and all manner of unnatural death to fall on humans. And in exchange, ile Oguere will suck down human bodies into her own body. When this happened, human bodies began to decompose. Because the Earth began to call them home. Now since then, many rituals to appease the Earth have been made.
As well as many rituals to ward off Iku. And some ceremonies like this one, do both. The Jorojoro is a hole, representing the mouth of the Earth. Usually, a group of Yoruba practitioners led by a Babalawo go into a barren land. They open the Jorojoro, and perform a ritual which has many prayers and components.
But part of it is a technique called Sarayeye. Basically, this is cleansing your body or a place with a ritually charged object. This can be an idol. Food. Or even the body part of an animal like feathers.
In this case, everyone carries a plate full of food and perform Sarayeye with that food. The cleansing absorbs all the bad energy. Bad luck, death, disease, curses, obstacles in the New Year etc…then one by one, the food is dumped into the JoroJoro to feed the Earth. The Jorojoro has to be deep so that it can absorb all of the food. Then, the ritual is closed, by sealing the Jorojoro shut.
The Earth Mother will be appeased and she will give you powerful blessings. At the same time she is draining all the osorbos or bad energy away from you. Including Iku or death. This is done every new year by Babalawos. The ritual is expensive but well worth it.
But I must warn you that only a Babalawo has the authority to perform this ritual. If anyone tells you they can do it without being a Babalawo, run away. Because doing it incorrectly angers ile Oguere. And it results in death. This is because the Earth is hungry.
And the worst thing you can do, is to leave the hole open. She will devour the energy of the person who didn’t perform the ritual the right way. Pull their soul down into death.
Cleansing with the Goddesses at the Beach
This cleansing was taught to me by my Godmother in Santeria. Oshun and Yemaya are the Goddesses who symbolize cleansing and prosperity the most. Inle does too. But a lot of people leave Inle out. What you do is take a bottle of melao or sugar cane syrup to the beach.
And once there, you pour some in your hair. And the rest into the water. Obviously you have to be in the water when you are doing this. This is an offering to Yemaya, the Goddess of the Seas and Oceans. Really all water everywhere belongs to her.
She is the Mother of the Earth in our tradition. Because without water, no planet can survive. Now, when you do this, it’s an even more powerful cleansing than the flowering ritual mentioned above. Yemaya can open your roads to greatness and bestow blessing so powerful than no force or enemy can stop you. It may take a while with the flowering bath to disintegrate the bad energy.
As well as renew your strength. But this cleansing with the beach is faster. It’s also more powerful because this is a loci specific ritual. A ritual that uses the power of a location to help you.
A variation of this ritual, uses a honey comb or honey. Personally, I prefer to use a honey comb. You can buy those in the supermarket. It’s like a bar of soap made out of honey. You can scrub yourself with it.
Like you are talking a bath at the beach.
They’re usually in square plastic containers like this. Though if you can’t find honey combs, just rub regular honey on yourself. Then pour the rest in your hair. Like the offerings of the sugar cane syrup. Oshun is the one you call with this cleansing.
And you are asking her to pull all the impure energy out of you. All bad luck, everything out of your energy field. Then, you toss the honey comb into the water as far as you can. That will be the offering for Oshun. But I would recommend you bring a change a clothes with you.
Bring shorts or a bikini to enter the water. Because regular clothing in sea water smells like a rotten animal. Better to remove the wet clothing and change back into your normal clothes afterwards. Bring a bag with you for your wet clothing to seal it up until you can wash it. Likewise you can do something with Inle as well.
She is the Doctor of the Orishas. And has great power to heal. What I normally use for her are vines and leaves which symbolize healing. I ask the Earth to charge it with great power. Then when I go to the Ocean, I ask Inle to drain all that is bad from me, to the vines.
And all the good energy from the earth and water to enter me. Then I toss the vines into the water far away from me. And that will be Inle’s offering.
Egg Cleansing with Elegua
We have already discussed the powers of the Sarayeye technique. And how ritually charged objects can be used in cleansings. This is such a cleansing. My Godmother taught me this one too. The one and only ingredient here is an egg.
If you want you can bless the egg to make it stronger. That’s up to you. On the first Monday of the new year, in the morning, rub an egg from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet. And pray to Elegua. Ask him to take all the bad energy out of you from the old year.
You will wait until you feel lighter. As if everything that was on and in you will be devoured by that egg. Eggs are living objects. They have living organisms inside them. So they are the best things to use for a sacrifice.
Once everything has been pulled from you, you throw it backwards so that it will break. Do not look behind you. Because if you do, whatever negativity you had removed, will return to you. And worse than before. Now you cannot eat eggs for seven days.
Because if you eat the same food you cleansed yourself with, it will also return the negativity to you. Seven days is the cut off point. After the egg fast the day after the seventh day, you will be able to eat them again. You can wash the egg with holy water to give it an added charge. Or anoint it with a holy oil or powder.
If you can’t do this in the morning then do it at night or the afternoon. The point is doing it while it is still Monday. Elegua is the God of the Crossroads in Yoruba religion. He opens all roads and brings success in all things. No ritual or prayer can be done without giving the first and last offerings to him.
He is the Lord of the New Year and Old Year and will open and close all doors. Doing this ritual with Elegua will be sure to remove all obstacles. He is the divine child God and Prince of our religion.
Throwing Water out the front door, the Window, or the Balcony on New Year’s Day
In Latin America and Spain, people throw out a bucket of water at the very moment of midnight of New Year’s Day. Others like the people of Uruguay, do it from December 31st. The water absorbs the old energy of the old Year. So when you cast out the water from your home, you are casting out the old year. Santeros have our own variant of the ritual.
My Godmother puts Cascarilla into the bucket so that the positive energies of the new year can be invited in. Some use a bucket of Catholic holy water.
Puerto Rican women of the older generations also did the same thing. But they would follow that up by burning church incense inside the house to bring blessings. They’d be doing this and praying deep into the early hours of the night. And to ward off evil. I burn Gold Rain incense that I dedicate to the laughing Buddha to bring in money.
New Year’s in the Ozarks
The Christian Magicians in the Ozarks in Arkansas have similar beliefs. They believe in sending out the old year. And bringing in the new year. But instead of using a bucket of holy water, they open their windows. Just a crack, not open all the way.
The old year slips out through the same small opening. And at the same time the new year slips in. There are other beliefs concerning the New Year’s in the Ozarks. Namely that a visit from strangers isn’t very good. But especially not from a woman.
Why that is, has never been explained, at least not to me. Only that your year is supposed to be crap if a woman is your first New Year’s visitor. That actually happened to me once. And it wasn’t just any woman, it was an extremely neurotic neighbor. One that drove her family crazy.
Like literally every once in a while there were cops or some other trouble in that apartment. She visited us to wish us happy new year just as I was about to throw the water out the front door. I actually debated tossing the water at her.
“Maybe if I throw the water at her crazy ass it’ll exorcise the bad year or cancel it out,”
I didn’t. And man did I regret that decision. Because it really was a shitty fucking year. I don’t know if it was the power of suggestion or not. But at least that time it was right.
I know in the Ozarks it usually is right. On New Year’s Day they tend to stay home. Almost in lockdown pattern. Until the next day. They also seem to have a taboo against taking something out of their home.
They seem to believe removing anything from their houses on New Year’s Day will bring poverty. For a visitor to be allowed in, that person has to bring something inside with them. Even if it’s a twig. This symbolizes prosperity. Now with me it’s the opposite.
I throw shit out as quickly as possible. I like my energy uncluttered. But every place has its own set of rules. All of this information comes from a Folklorist known as Vance Randolph. His research on the Christian faith healers and magic users of the Ozarks is considered Gospel.
Even by the faith healers themselves. He did everything he could to properly catalog, analyze, and preserve Ozark culture. Especially the magical and mystical aspects of their folk religion. He’s in essence, the Eliphas Levi of Ozark and folklore and folk magic. His second wife was a premier folklorist named Mary Celestia Parler.
And together they created the Arkansas Folklore Society. Unfortunately the society which was started in 1950, ended in 1960. But any books or papers you can get from them are good. For they are necessary if you really want to understand the culture and faith of these amazing mountain people. I became fascinated by Ozark magic and folk religion years ago.
I thought this entry would be incomplete without mentioning them.
Chalking of the Doors : Blessing your home for the whole year with Baby Jesus and the Three Kings
It was once believed by Christian denominations from Europe, that Satan temporarily losses his powers. Every year around the time of New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Some believe it’s on Christmas Day. Still, it’s important to perform special wardings and blessings. The most common blessing during this time is the Catholic Epiphany blessing.
In fact, practitioners of Hoodoo also perform this blessing themselves. While traditional Catholics only allow a Priest or the head of the family to do it. Anyone who practices the root can do this. When a Priest does this, they do it as a representation of Christ. This is commonly referred to as in persona Christi(in the person of Christ).
This is a fascinating concept. It essentially means that the Priest is making themselves empty of their personal nature. And they ritually “become” Christ. They allow themselves to be filled with his authority. Like a form of divine possession almost.
In Christianity, divine possession doesn’t always mean that a spirit takes you over. Sometimes it refers to inspiration. Gaining prophetic visions and such. In this case it’s the actual authority of Christ being transferred to the Priest temporarily. When this happens, any blessing performed by the Priest, is the same as if Jesus himself were doing it.
Traditionally, a Priest does this. But the father of the family can also do it. I find that kind of sexist because the head of the family could be a woman. So really any head of the family can do it. As long as they are baptized.
Because then they are, they’re included in the “universal priesthood” (belief that all Christians are priests of Christ). In addition to this, practitioners of both Voodoo and Hoodoo can also perform this ritual. In fact this was an old tradition for many years. I was going to write about this. However, there are some amazing articles I found that I decided were better than anything I could write.
* Blessing the home with Epiphany Water and special prayers.
Again this is me dumbing down the ritual for you. The actual ritual is a ceremony the whole family just participate in. And you are giving cultus to the Christ child by using an image of him. Now, the Catholic Church explains that the formula for blessing the house is Latin. And that the initials mean, Christusmansionem benedicat – (Christ bless this house).
However, these are also the initials of the Three Kings. Casper, Melchior, and Balthazar. And as I said, this is an old tradition done even by Rootworkers in the old days. Granted when we do it, it’s normally just the initials C.M.B., the plus signs are crosses and the numbers are the year the blessing is taking place in. For instance, the formula for this new year will be 2023 so the formula will be,
Rootworkers also believe that this chalk blessing offerings protection against witchcraft. It calls on the power of Christ and the three kings to block any malevolent influence. Be it magic or evil spirits.
How I do it
I do follow this formula almost identically to the way it’s performed by the church. I find that the chalking formula they use is better than just writing CMB. However, I don’t just write what is there. I add some things to the blessed incantation. For one, there was a Fourth Mage King known as Artaban.
He followed Jesus all his life. There are stories of heroic deeds and even people whose lives he saved along the way. But he never did catch up to Jesus. Finally he died almost at the same time Christ was crucified. And Christ himself crossed him over.
Saying that in everything he did, including saving the lives of the innocent, it was as if he had done those things for him. And There was also a Roman Witch the Magi Kings were friends with. We don’t know her true name. But she is known as La Befana in Italy. So over there it’s a Christmas Witch and not Santa Klaus who delivers gifts.
She was to join them to see Jesus as a child. However, she said she couldn’t because she was too old to make the journey. Later she regretted it. And tried to catch up to them, but it was already too late. So the sack of gifts she intended for the Child Christ, was instead given to the needy children of Rome.
So my formula is :
To invoke all of their protections.
There are a bunch of other New Years traditions to mention but they are all too numerous to write about here. So instead I brought you links and pictures from Atlas Obscura.
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.