Friday, April 24, 2015

A to Z Challenge -- U -- SPIRITS, OTHERWORLDS, AND CANDLES


Yggdrasil, F. W. Heine image 1886
UNDERWORLD -- Cultures from the beginning of man to now believed that the physical realm was interwoven with many different planes of existence or Otherworlds.  The underworld was/is one of them.

Every culture has an underworld of some kind, or places where spirits reside, but this is only the tip of a complex paradigm.  Many cultures, like the Norse, had a multitude of realms. Those that held the dead, those that held beings other than humans, and those that were the physical plane being among them.

One example, Niflheim was the realm of the dead for the Norse.  Vahalla and Folkvangr were reserved for warriors who died in battle and resided in Asgard, realm of the gods.  The Norse light elves, dark elves, dwarves, and giants had their own worlds, which are Alfheim, Svartalfheim, Nildavellir, and Jotunheim respectively.  Midgard was the name of the human realm.  These realms were all connected by the Yggdrasil, the World Tree.

Shamanism, one of the oldest spiritual and healing arts, has a deep history with the realms of the nonphysical world and are said to travel these realms.

At one time or another, there were shamanistic practices spanning the globe. Name a culture, and they more than likely had some type of shaman in their history.  Depending on the culture, shamans were either male, female, or some had both.

I won't delve any more into shamanism because there are so many ancient and modern versions that I could never do it justice.



URUZ -- This rune is comes from the Futhark system.  As a rune it symbolizes Auroch, the wild ox.  It is strength and power but revered it is the opposite.

Some Wiccans use uruz to represent physical health.  So this rune is used to cast a healing spell.  One way is through candle magic.  It's carved into the candle and burned.


Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.

16 comments:

  1. I loved the Greek version of the Underworld.

    Good luck with the A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/

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    1. I found at least 5 levels in the underworld for the Greeks. I didn't know about the one for unrequited love?? I think it is. I didn't want to delve too deeply into it, but I was looking at Wikipedia for a starting point when I read about it. So who knows.

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    2. I didn't know the Greeks had an underworld for unrequited love, haha. I imagine a bunch of poets milling around there, trying to outdo each other with their grief.

      Great post. Yggdrasil will probably always confuse me, though. ;)

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    3. Me too. But Norse was the easiest one to show multi levels of otherworlds.

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  2. There can be so much "fun" in the Underworld when one looks at the Gods and the humans who visit there

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    1. Exactly. Sometimes you can check out even after death. Dead is never really dead usually.

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  3. I finally found your blog! I apologize that I haven't been returning your comments, Djinnia. The link you leave on my posts doesn't direct back here.

    I'm of Norse heritage and love this post. I find their mythology so interesting.

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    1. That's all right. I love reading your blog posts. I never remember to place my addy on my comments anyway. Not your fault at all.

      I'm getting into it more since my sister took Norse in college and had to translate some of the text to English last year.

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  4. Fascinating stuff. I don't believe in any other planes of existence but then who knows what happens to us?

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    1. I don't know, and I can wait to find out.

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  5. Most interesting about the rune. I was reading about underworlds on another blog today as well - they mentioned the Hawaiian underworld which seems like a rocking place :) (https://storytellingmatters.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/daily-ghost-post-u-is-for-underworld-ghosts/)
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation. Will check it out. I was pulling at straws for this letter. And x too.

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  6. There are so many details to mythology. I think that's why it's so popular. You have stories to explain the stories and the characters.
    Play off the Page

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    1. Some mythology has barely any stories because of conversion and lost history. Like a lot of Eastern European myths.

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  7. Love this, you are right, we definitely are touching similar stuff (and we both did Underworld :) ). Looking forward to going through more of your stuff! -- Jeri from storytellingmatters.wordpress.com

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