Thursday, November 21, 2013

The 13 Witches' runes

The 13 runes

There is a complete rundown of the 13 Witches' runes on the Saturness blog. However, the owner of the blog does not seem to want any infringement of the material. I wanted to simply name the runes and give links to the Saturness blog.

Starting from the upper left (see above image):

Column 1 - Scythe, Flight, and Star

Column 2 - Man, Woman, and Sun

Column 3 - Eye, Rings, and Waves

Column 4 - Crossroads and Romance

Column 5 - Moon and Harvest

The 13 Witches Runes

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Comet ISON now upon us

Comet ISON

C/2012 S1 (Wikipedia)

C/2012 S1, also known as Comet ISON or Comet Nevski–Novichonok, is a sungrazing comet discovered on 21 September 2012 by Vitali Nevski (Виталий Невский, Vitebsk, Belarus) and Artyom Novichonok (Артём Новичонок, Kondopoga, Russia). The discovery was made using the 0.4-meter (16 in) reflector of the International Scientific Optical Network near Kislovodsk, Russia and the automated asteroid-discovery program CoLiTec. Precovery images by the Mount Lemmon Survey from 28 December 2011 and by Pan-STARRS from 28 January 2012 were quickly located. Follow-up observations were made on 22 September by a team from Remanzacco Observatory in Italy using the iTelescope network. The discovery was announced by the Minor Planet Center on 24 September. Observations by Swift in January 2013 suggested that C/2012 S1's nucleus was around 5 kilometers (3 mi) in diameter.

Comet ISON is apparently a previously unknown comet that will be orbiting around--and very close to--the Sun; after which it will be be visible to the naked eye as it continues its orbit past the Earth. I have heard that it possibly may appear as large as the Moon. YouTube is on fire with Comet ISON videos, from many different perspectives. For the casual seeker, looking up news articles may be better. What is rather creepy is that this is the one, and probably only orbit of this comet into the solar system. For all we know, it could crash into the Sun. The Sun will at least break it up somewhat, possibly leading to it's demise before our very eyes. There is an element of the unknown here. Some small debris has been hitting the Earth for several weeks now.

The comet will apparently be visible to the naked eye in a few days at predawn. I have heard the date of November 28 as the beginning of the faze where it will be easy to spot in the night sky. I have also heard that we may need binoculars to spot it. The "experts" seem to be at odds about how this will unfold. December 14 seems to be the date where it will be the most visible. Naturally it will be best observed away from the urban lights. Even a small distance away from urban centers make a big difference.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Methuselah: The world's oldest living tree

At 4,841 years old, this ancient bristlecone pine is the oldest known non-clonal organism on Earth. Located in the White Mountains of California, in Inyo National Forest, Methuselah's exact location is kept a close secret in order to protect it from the public. (An older specimen named Prometheus, which was about 4,900 years old, was cut down by a researcher in 1964 with the U.S. Forest Service's permission.) Today you can visit the grove where Methuselah hides, but you'll have to guess at which tree it is. Could this one be it?

The world's 10 oldest living trees (Mother Natural Network)


Saturday, November 16, 2013

‘The Conjuring’ (movie review) - Ghost programs and the metaphysical issue: Part 11

From The Conjuring Wikipedia page:

The Conjuring is a 2013 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson star as Ed and Lorraine Warren who were American paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent cases of haunting. Their reports inspired the Amityville Horror. The Warrens come to the assistance of the Perron family (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor), who are experiencing increasingly disturbing events in their farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island in 1971.

The Conjuring was released in the United States and Canada on July 19, 2013, and in the United Kingdom and India on August 6, 2013. The film has received positive reviews from film critics, and has also been praised by audiences. The film was also a box-office success, grossing over $313 million worldwide from its $20 million budget.

A Google-search shows that this movie has been reviewed many times in its four-month life. However, the point here.. is the study of the metaphysical world. Mainstream science studies 1) Earth, 2) Air, 3) Fire, 4) Water…. but never 5) Spirit. The mostly-false perception is that "they (scientists) must not be too quick to draw conclusions." NO.. they never study it, period! The Hegelian dialectic is more and more often now: Abrahamic religion vs. Atheism. Now what do these two competing concepts have in common? With very few exceptions, they simply will not study this subject objectively. Perhaps they were set up for just this very purpose?

I wasn’t very familiar with James Wan, but he did a good job with this. He let it be what it was, without overdoing it. It was a very scary movie; for me, partly because it was based on a real story. This was an entirely different type of movie than say the recent ‘Evil Dead’ remake. The basement from ‘The Conjuring’ was maybe the most frightening “horror movie cellar” ever seen on film.

Ed and Lorraine Warren are probably the most well-known paranormal investigators of all time. The book and movie ‘The Amityville Horror’ were based on one of their investigations. I wasn’t familiar with the actors here, but they were all good in their roles. Lili Taylor is popular because she brings a certain spirit and integrity to her characters. One of the early episodes of ‘A Haunting’ may have been based on this case, but I’m not certain.

‘The Conjuring’ starts out with the Warrens investigating a 1968 case, and debunking it. I think it was to show that most investigations don’t lead to anything paranormal, and in part.. to present both families’ lives prior to them coming together. Carolyn Perron was portrayed as having asked the Warrens to investigate their house after one of their public presentations, which was very proactive of her.

At the end of ‘The Conjuring’, a quote of the late Ed Warren was shown on the screen:

“Diabolical forces are formidable. These forces are eternal, and they exist today. The fairy tale is true. The devil exists. God exists. And for us, as people, our very destiny hinges upon which one we elect to follow.”

Although the Warrens have done a great service, both personal and scientific, to humanity with their investigations… I don’t think that their conclusions are automatically “gold.” To say that this must be--or that everything must be--God vs. the Devil, is like saying that Democrats or Republicans are the only choices in political science. They’re not; but the masses are herded into that mentality on many important subjects.

First of all, when negative forces are subdued, it is done using any religious or spiritual belief... usually that of the residents. Wiccan paranormal investigators can get rid of negative spirits or energy too. In other words... negative entities respond to ritual, but not any specific ritual. In the movie, the dark spirit was of a woman who had hanged herself and was referred to as “a witch.” Then she was to have worshiped Satan, and tried to sacrifice her own children to Satan. Excuse me.. but that clearly means that she was a “Satanist.” What is a Satanist really? It’s very possibly a person who conjures up dark spirits. In other words, there may--possibly--not really even be any “Satan.” Just because a person is unfortunate enough to come into contact with a powerful dark entity, does not mean that it has anything to do with the Biblical Satan.

In conclusion, a Satanic woman hanged herself in 1863... and with suicides automatically preventing the soul from moving on… her soul not only remained on the property, but through circumstance she actually became like a demonic entity. Her soul may even have had assistance by the dark spirit(s) that she dabbled in during her life. In any case, ghosts can sometimes achieve great power after a certain amount of time. Usually they just fade away. Ed Warren, who was a Demonologist, conflated this circumstance with his Christian faith. I just don’t believe that this connection automatically applies to every case like this.

Lastly, it should always be factored into any metaphysical study that the positive far outweighs the negative. When great things happen to people, they just accept it; but when terrible things happen to people, they take notice. Maybe those great things occurred with the assistance of positive/good spirits? I hate to say it, but the vast majority of us are probably "spiritual ingrates." The metaphysical world is one of the last frontiers. The other being space travel.

Atheists, in reality, are acting in a highly unscientific manner when they are too smug with anti-religious politics that they dismiss metaphysical science. It's either all or nothing to them. At least a small number of Christians think that this is an area worth study. So far, this study has concluded that there is a "soul process," but not necessarily a god(s). Personally, I think that the god or gods of antiquity are actually powerful spirits... good, evil, and everything in-between. It's not necessarily a fair spirit-world either. We have to fix this world; they can merely assist us.

A sequel to 'The Conjuring' has already been announced.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

That first winter feeling – Part 2

I had stated earlier that the cold and rain season was upon us. However, with temperatures this week in the late 60s and 70s in northern California--and with no rain in sight--I was wrong. Usually there's a sharp break, with the Indian Summer quickly graduating into early November cold. Somehow we're having a strange late quasi-Indian Summer. However, with the Harvest Festival at the San Mateo County this coming weekend, this weather seems to fit the mood.

Last evening, I was hiking in my usual walk through the northern Santa Cruz Mountain chain starting at twilight. Soon it was dark, and the moon illuminated the trails. There's almost something magical in how the moonlight (about 80-85% full) lights the trail only... while the brush, shrub, and forest remains dark. Still, in the wooded trails, the moonlight shines through the treeline... creating a beautiful panorama of light and shadow. The warm air, the illuminated wood, and occasional eye shine caught at the end of my flashlight beam.

Soon I was upon a spot in the trail where about ten weeks ago a tree had fallen. Strangely, very strangely, the thick lower stem seemed to just break in half. It had shredded in half like a popsickle or toothpick would if you snapped it in half. Initially the smell of cedar was strong, just like a cedar-scented box. About two weeks later, after a wet night followed by a warm day, the cedar smell was powerful. Last night though, it was almost gone.

Finally I made my way through the darkness to what I have started to call "Raccoon grove," where the woods turn to heavy brush, and a clan of about two dozen raccoons have made their home in the last year. About five days ago, although I am aware that many will doubt me since I have no photo evidence, about fifteen racoons met me directly upon the trail. I stopped, and they stopped. Some of them stood up on two feet, perhaps in an attempt to intimidate me. Finally I scrapped my shoe against the ground a bit, and they began to part to the side of the trail. Raccoons can never be taken lightly. They can weigh up to thirty pounds, possess powerful jaws and sharp teeth, and hands that can grasp with very sharp fingernails. Once I saw one which must have been at least forty pounds.

However, on this evening, they were more scattered. There are two young raccoons who are particularly curious that I saw yet again. About a week ago, they were both on two feet as I walked down the trail. They seemed to be concerned about something... as they kept looking down the trail ahead, and back to me again. Finally, like from a segment from a nature program, a baby raccoon galloped up the trail, turned next to the two older ones, and moved quickly into their brush den. Clearly, as though they were human, they were concerned about the little one... and me, being a potential threat.

A little further down the trail, I saw a thirty-pounder on the side of the trail. Raccoons are only really dangerous if they feel threatened, but I always am wary of them. I shined my flashlight back at it as I passed. I don't know if I ever really thought of a raccoon as a "beautiful animal," but that's how it struck me as my light illuminated the big animal. As I have stated before, I see them as like "little bears." The woods would be a ghost town without them.

I have noticed that the blackberry bushes are still ripe with blackberries. I have observed more blackberry picking this past year than I have seen before. However, I was thinking, aren't those blackberries supposed to be for the animals? Humans get angry if animals raid their crops; but aren't the blackberry bushes the "animals' crops?"

It's probably pretty safe to say that by two more weeks, the cold and rain season will be in full swing. I look forward to a few of those delightfully chilly morning hikes through the foothills. Although it's about four miles from the Pacific coast, the cold breeze is of the ocean... and I enjoy those morning coastal hikes at about nine-hundred feet elevation.

In Odinic tradition, November 11 is called "Ancestors' Blot." A blot is a Heathen ritual gathering. Over the last few years, I have sort've just non-voluntarily developed a ritual that I now call my "Yule walk." On a clear cold late-fall evening, I take a walk through a place where I feel a connection to the past. I may not really be able to put the feeling into words, but it's my own "ancestors' blot" you could say. I see the "Yule walk" as being an individual ritual. Only you know what day, time, and place works best for you; and what deep-timeless connections that you wish to make.

As with the sunny weather of late winter, I come to enjoy the early cold season once I incline myself to let go of the fall weather. For some unknown reason, I can really recall some harsh weather we had in the second half of November 88. It stuck in my memory because for the first time I remember the slightly ominous feeling that our ancestors must have had with similar November weather... with the knowledge that there was still months of similar weather ahead.

Living against the mountains.. during those dark rainy winter mornings... I love to look up at that great treeline, and into it's wonderful darkness. The one trail leading into it appears dark. The tall treeline, reaching up to one hundred feet, looks like a tall wooden fence against the side of the last paved road before the mountain assent.... guarding the mysteries of the mountain.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

'Samhain Song' - Lisa Thiel

"Samhain" (pronounced "Sah-win") is actually on November 1st at midnight. Although a few days late, this is a nice song.

11-20-13 Addition: I wanted to add the excellent lyrics to this song:

'Samhain song'

Samhain, Samhain, let the ritual begin,
We call upon our sacred ancestors to come in
Samhain, Samhain, we call upon our kin,
We call upon our dear departed loved ones to come in

The Veil between the worlds is thin
Our hearts reach cross the sea of time
To bring our loved ones in
Samhain, Samhain we honor all our kin
We honor those who’ve gone before
As the Great Wheel turns again

Samhain, Samhain we call upon our kin
We call upon our Sacred Ancestors to come in
Samhain, Samhain we call them to come in
We call upon our dear departed loved ones to come in


1-16-14 Addition: I had meant to add something here earlier. Something that came to my mind that I thought captured the spirit of this song. I recall years ago, of watching a program on tv about "angels." In particular, I recall an account by a man who said that he remembers as a young boy that he climbed up a tall tree... and he fell. As he was falling, and possibly on his way to death, he felt being gripped by invisible hands. These hands broke his fall, and guided him to the ground safely and unharmed. Could the spirit(s) of his sacred ancestors have intervened on his behalf? This song reflects love for our ancestors, and could this account be a reflection of our ancestral spirits' love for us?


Monday, November 4, 2013

Northern Runes Radio

Northern Runes Radio had been a podcast, and is now an online radio station featuring the theme of Asatru and related music coming out of Canada. They are affiliated with the Asatru Folk Assembly. They have a regular weekly schedule, and the broadcast goes twenty-four hours a day via the music feed and rebroadcasts.

Northern Runes Radio site

Northern Runes Radio alternate site

Wodenson/NRR YouTube channel

Asatru Update/Steve McNallen posting regarding NRR


Saturday, November 2, 2013

'The Rules of Braucherei' by Silver RavenWolf

'The Rules of Braucherei' by Silver RavenWolf

Braucherei (Pow-Wow) actually has very few rules.  If we study the system and its practitioners over the last 300 years, we learn that the practice was often solitary, eclectic, environmentally and culturally driven.  There was no single one right way to practice and the methods and procedures used were as varied as the individuals employing them.  There are, however, two vital rules to the practice and they are:

1.  The practitioner must believe.

2.  Everything must be done in sequences of three.

[Above: Family Protection and Happiness Hex Sign designed by Silver RavenWolf]

For example, all chants charms and methods must be done at least three times, times three, multiplied by three.  I know it sounds a little confusing.   Every charm or chant must be vocalized a total of nine times, on three different occasions, which equals any charm or chant being said a total of twenty-seven times.  This can vary, for example, when mixing chants and charms, the numbers can change.  Therefore, this is only a general rule.  Let’s continue on with just a few more commonalities of the system, each representing a vital piece of the Braucherei puzzle.

The following common practices are not necessarily rules, but can be found in almost every working.  They are:

1.  The practice of stating the individual’s full name before beginning a session, whether it be for yourself or someone else.  It is common, for women, to use both married and maiden surnames.

2.  The practice of deep breathing before a session.  Three breaths are vital, nine better.

3.  The practice of telling the client to concentrate on their religious deity.  Often, it is suggested they close their eyes to focus more intently.

4.  The practice of whispering all chants or charms when there is any chance of being overheard.  This is an absolute must, especially around unbelievers or those who may not feel comfortable with some of the charm derivations.

5.  The practice of short breaths after each charm — the blowing of white spirit light or God/dess into the body. Some do it after every stanza, others wait until after all nine repetitions as they are concentrating on building the power and the inserting of breath, especially when learning, can ruin your focus.  These short breaths can turn into a magickal sound of your own.  If that occurs, do not be surprised.  Let the sound flow uninhibited (just don’t scare the heck out of the client — wailing would be unacceptable).

6.  The practice of sealing the work by drawing a sigil or equal-armed cross in the air with the right or left thumb (whichever hand is dominant).

7.  The practice of washing one’s hands after a working, some insist on doing this under running water, where others will have a bowl of clean water nearby so they don’t have to leave the client, and

8.  The practitioner cannot take the credit for the result, either way.  That’s why they call it trying. You can only try — the healing is up to the client and their belief.

If we dig deeply, we find the Braucherei system relies on the following foundation:

To Believe
To Think (Visualize)
To Take Action/Feel
To Be Silent

Sound familiar?

An integral part of the Braucherei system is the various chants and charms garnered from non-religious as well as religious sources.  Most of the chants and charms used in Pow-Wow system are not lengthy for the ease of remembrance and repetition.  Although planning is lovely in magick, Pow-Wow is meant to be a system that can be used any time, anywhere, for anyone.  Hence, you will find few tools necessary, and in many cases you are the only tool required.