Monday, April 27, 2015

A to Z Challenge -- W -- AQUA, SPOKES, AND NORSE


WHEEL OF THE YEAR -- The Wheel of the Year encompasses the eight Sabbats celebrated: Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lughnashadh (or Lammas), and Mabon.

The Wheel usually begins with Samhain and the death of the God.  It follows with rebirth of the God.  He grows in power with it culminating at Litha, the Summer Solstice.  Then his power wanes as the darkness of winter grows.

Both the Celts and Anglo-Saxon/Norse have influenced this wheel. Agricultural rites from both ancient cultures are celebrated.


WIDDERSHINS -- To move counterclockwise.  Also called withershins.  Many practitioners do not use this since it is against the sun's direction, but there are some that use it as banishment and destructive use like releasing a circle.


A Symbol for Water
WATER --  Water is one of the four Elements.  It is feminine in nature and is connected to the Goddess.  It's used for psychic workings like scrying, purification, and healing spells.  It's receptive in nature.

The cauldron and cup are associated with this element along with the color blue.


Mercury
WEDNESDAY -- Wednesday is named after the Norse god, Odin, Or if you prefer one of his other names, Wodan.  Translated, his name means master of ecstasy.  He was both a war god and loved to incite war.  He was also a poet god.  He stole the mead of poetry from a giant, which was made from the blood of a human created by Aesir and Vanir spit to cement the truce at the end of the war. (Uh, totally gross.)

His favorite peeps were berserkers and outlaws (for whatever reason) and held favor for a few amazing warriors.

What is more interesting is that in some texts it is said he was a practitioner of seidr, which is a shamanistic practice that rewove destiny.  It was considered a woman's magic and for a man to practice seidr, he was considered unmanly and was looked down upon.  So . . . yeah, interesting contradictions.

The Roman god, Mercury, or Greek Hermes, is also the name for this day.  Dies Mercurii is the root word for the Spanish miércoles.  As god of commerce, messages, luck, thieves, boundaries, roads, travelers, and eloquence, he had his work cut out for him.  What's even more cool is that he also guided departed souls to the underworld.  He was one of the few that could come and go as he pleased.



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

14 comments:

  1. Interesting about seidr (weaving) being women's magic. Makes me think of the Greek Fates, and maybe they also held a similar opinion. Though, I guess weaving in general is "women's work." But come on, if the Irish can have a female blacksmith goddess, then why can't a god do a bit of weaving? Might do him some good, that. ;)

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    1. It goes back to yesterday' spots when I talked about shamanism and how there were gender differences. This is one of them.

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  2. I wouldn't be surprised if the spokes of the wheel were connected to the agricultural calendar, celebrated to guarantee good crops. Could be totally off though. Widdershins is an easy one for me to remember - it's used in Terry Pratchett's Discworld to mean the opposite way to the direction the Disc is turning.

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    1. You're completely right. Many of them started out as such.

      Like terry pratchett. And jasper fforde. Have you read his stuff?

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  3. I don't know much about Norse mythology - although I've bought a book about it that I need to get around to reading - but what I do know I love. The contradiction about Odin is really interesting - I had no idea...Have you heard of the Thorgal comic? It's a cross between fantasy, Norse mythology and at times a bit of science fiction thrown in. I don't know how close they are to the original myths but I love their take on it.

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    1. I didn't know a lot of what I found either. Research is awesome --well, if you are passionate about what you are researching.

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  4. I was not aware of the wheel but it makes sense since they would create a wheel for the seasons. I knew Wednesday was named after Odin. I think Odin was just getting in touch with his feminine side

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    1. He was taught it by Freya I think it was. The Vanir were the ones with the magical gifts. The Aesir were not.

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  5. As a woman of proud Norse heritage, I've always thought it was awesome that the days of the week were named after Nordic gods and goddesses.

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    1. I think it's awesome too. Lots of people don't even realise this. I didn't for a long time, but then I came across this book at the library. We're my eyes opened.

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  6. I'd heard the term widdershins before and I think once I knew what it meant, now I shall have to remember again :) I always forget about Odin/Wodan and Wednesday - I need to keep that in my brain.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. It's a cool word. It just feels old and mystical.it should come back into use.

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