Yule magic

Yule is here. A great time for some Vitki work!  As the days are lengthening it’s a great time for some seasonal magic!

As the new year dawns it’s time to consider what you’d like to accomplish in the coming year. We turn introspective during this time and what better time to think and meditate on a plan of action?  One that includes magic to bring about changes.

I always spend some time during these cold short days to re-evaluate my goals. I reassess my progress over the past year. Then I discover what I didn’t do and what I’d still like to do. I make my list of goals.

One of the most profound types of magic you can do during this time is bind rune sending. Pick one of the goals you would like to see materialize. Create a bind rune based on the outcome desired. Send it out into the multiverse through a candle sending. Or bury it in the frozen ground for the added benefit of earth energy. However you choose to send it beware!  This is powerful magic. Two years ago I sent a bind rune through a candle sending that I would have spiritual growth. I’ve had that in spades!  Careful what you ask for…

Doing Seidr this time of year is also more powerful. With ancestors trying to get a message out it’s a great time to contact them. Do a trance Seidr session where you travel to Hel. Ask to speak with an ancestor. See what wisdom they would offer you. In my experience this is a great way to help put things back into perspective.

All magic done during this season is more powerful for some reason. I don’t question the mechanics. I just reap the benefits of a wonderful Yule gift from the gods.

Full moon winter solstice

Tonight was a big double whammy. A full moon and the winter solstice. Plus the added bonus of a meteor shower. Wow!  Who could ask for more?

Unfortunately here in Chicago it was terribly overcast. So I couldn’t see the moon or the showers. But their power was there all the same.

I wanted to do a special ritual to commemorate the event. So here’s what I did.

As always before ritual I lit juniper incense. I got out my staff which is made from a branch gifted to me by “my” tree out in the forest preserve near where I live. I cast a circle of energy to make the space sacred. Then I pulled out my Druid drum decorated with a crow motif. It is dedicated to the Morrigan. I drummed and chanted nine “Awen”s. I then hailed the directions and wished them peace. I asked for peace throughout the multiverse.

I had lit a candle at the center of my ritual room before I began. I had placed an unlit candle at each of the four directions. Now I sat down in front of the central lit candle. As I focused on the dance of the flame I allowed my vision to become blurry. Soon I was in a working trance.

In this altered state I allowed my mind to wander back over the year that had passed. I thought about publishing my book and the success it has had. I thought about my progress on the path of Druidry. I thought about all the apprentices under my guidance. It has been a good year.

Then I blew out the candle. The room was totally dark. I drummed some more and called upon the light to return. Getting my lighter out of my pocket I lit the candles at each direction calling for light from that corridor. Then I lit the central candle again and the room was filled with candlelight. I hailed the return of the light with more drumming and chanting. Then I thanked the directions for being present and released them. I uncast the circle. My ritual was complete.

I realize I didn’t specifically call upon the moon. But in my intention the light I was calling included the moonlight. That’s how I chose to honor the full moon.

After the ritual I felt serene and calm. A sense of gratitude filled me. I was thankful for so much. And that’s how I would try to feel every day.

Disablot

Last night was Mother’s Night. The start of Yule. So of course I marked the event with a disablot to honor my female ancestors. Here’s how it went.

I burned mugwort incense. I hailed my female ancestors with my drum and chanting. I called upon Frigga to be with me in the ritual. I then got down to the work of a disablot.

I went into a working trance. I again drummed and called upon my female ancestors. I expected my mother or sister to come to me. They are my primary disir. I was a little surprised when my dad’s mother came. My oma. She has never appeared in my trance work before. Hence my surprise.

A little about my oma. She was a farm wife through and through. She was tall broad shouldered and could kill two chickens at once. One in each hand by the neck and she would swing them around to snap the chicken’s necks. Plain and down to earth. That was my oma.

So once I got over my surprise at seeing her I asked her what wisdom she could offer me. She thought for a moment. Then she said “I have nothing wise for you. You are a big man. People read your words all over the world. And you have students across the world. You’re a big man. What wisdom could I give you?”  I told her I was looking for some sort of earthy words from her. She replied “There you go. Earth is my wisdom for you. Stay close to the land.”  Then she faded off.

Well I live in an urban environment. The only land near me is the huge forest preserve about a mile away from my condominium. Perhaps that’s the land she meant. Staying as close to nature as possible through the acres of trees. That I could make a better effort at doing. We’ll see if I can make that a bigger part of my life. Stay close to the land. My oma says so. And she can snap a neck with her bare hands!

Yule

Yule is upon us. It begins with Mother’s Night the which occurs the night before the winter solstice. It lasts for 13 days or until New Year’s Day. How to celebrate it?  Let’s take a look.

For Mother’s Night we perform a disablot. This is a blot in honor of our disir or female ancestors.  Here we honor and hail all the women who have gone before us to help shape who we are today. This can be a very powerful blot. Lots of feminine energy can be accessed. For us men this can be an incredible boon to balancing our spiritual energies. For the ladies it gives you a chance to celebrate all that makes you unique. This is perhaps my favorite ritual of the entire year.

We celebrate during the 13 days the returning of the light. Candles galore!  Make sure to put some lights on your Yule tree. Celebrate the turning of the year with lights.  Oh and don’t forget to burn a Yule log!

On the last night of Yule we celebrate a sumble for toasts and boasts and oaths. This is the ritual where you make boasts about your accomplishments over the past year and make oaths of what you’ll do in the new year. New Years resolutions. Be bold in your oaths. Think big. Challenge yourself to accomplish great things.

Those are a very brief overview of this holiday season. It’s a time to spend time with your family and become a bit contemplative. My favorite time of the year. Here’s hoping you and yours have a wonderful Yule. Hail!

My dad the Druid

My father was very in tune with nature. This stems no doubt from being raised on a farm by farmers who lived close to the land. The passing of the seasons was paramount to their lifestyle. The raising of the sun each day marked a new beginning for them. The planting and nurturing and harvesting of crops proved to be a gateway to spirituality.

As I was raised in a small rural town but not actually on a farm my relationship with the land was more cut off than my father’s. Although I spent endless hours with my father doing his farm work I didn’t take the knowledge of the passing of the seasons and the mystery of the rising sun so much to heart. I observed rather than did.

As an adult my father became a drainage contractor as well as a farmer. He spent his life improving the land through hard work and use of all the knowledge he’d gained in his childhood and early adulthood. He would wake up at dawn to start each day. His day ended when the sun set. His ability to work was impacted by the change of seasons. Winters were spent fixing the machinery needed to do his work. Springs were spent planting crops. Summers were spent laying miles of tile to improve drainage on local farmer’s land. Autumns were spent harvesting what they had tended to during the earlier seasons. And this endless cycle continued for him. Each passing year brought new challenges and new triumphs. It was a simple uncomplicated life. And he lived it with his every breath.

He did instill in me a respect of nature. He did teach me the value of hard work. He did share with me one of his favorite memories from his youth that says to me more than anything that my father was a Druid. Although he would never admit it he was a Druid.

The tale he told me involved his farm and spring. At night when things had settled down for the day he would go out to a field and lay down on the ground between the rows of crops. And he would tell me that it was then that he could hear the crops grow. Magic to his ears. And a perfect anecdote to sum up my father’s life. It was by doing this ritual that he loved so much that I knew my father was secretly a Druid.

Years later after he had passed I was sleeping in my urban home cut off from the land and I had a dream. I dreamt my father came to me and simply said “Druid”. I immediately woke up with the word ringing in my ears. And the next morning I started my path in Druidry with the passion my father had for the land. Thanks dad.