Happy Yule to those up in the Northern Hemisphere and Merry Mid-Summer/Litha to those of you here in the south.
So another year has nearly come to an end and so much has happened this year. I have been very distant this year and I think it comes down to not wording my intentions correctly.
I have, however, been participating in an instagram challenge created by Australian Witchcraft Facebook group:
Anyway, back to my absence and crappy intention setting. You may recall from January that I posted my intentions on my Facebook Page, and I explained how much luck I had the year before. Well…
This year I did get what I asked for just not how I expected… I certainly disconnected… From everything and everyone… I have blogged and vlogged before about mental health and this year was a huge year of mental health issues for me… I am okay and I did seek help.
My second intention was to expand… and I did by 15kg 😦 This was due to the disconnection, an injury and my mental health. The moral of this tale is beware the words you use to set your intentions. In 2016 I said that I wanted it to be my year for love and to receive it in any form, which it did. 2017 I pretty much said that I wanted to dosconnect and expand. I knew in my head what I meant and I did say it in my post but I did not say it with my intentions.
This coming January 1 I will be very wary of what words I say when setting intentions. I also have another big move near the end of the year when I return to Far North Queensland.
In the mean time I have big things planned… I want to keep busy, do a couple videos for my YouTube channel, do some more connecting in the right way. I have enjoyed not living on Facebook but it was a double edged sword as it was the wrong disconnection.
Keep your eyes on this blog my crazies as I will be back in January.
This was me in August before my injury beginning my journey to getting better again. Hail Sunna!
Southern Hemisphere – Australia – Far North Queensland
Before I go on to tell you about Modern Heathenry in Australia’s Far North Queensland, I need to discuss with you about what I see as Modern Heathenry.
Modern heathenry in the 21st century will not and never can be like heathenry in the 7th, 8th or 9th centuries. To try to recreate it is illogical, in my eyes, and totally an unnecessary waste of time. Did Odin not wander so as to learn and grow? Did our ancestors not forge through the years learning new technologies to improve life? I see heathenry as an ever growing, ever changing, spirituality. If our ancestors were not able to change & grow with the times they would not have been so successful in trading or merging and assimilating with other tribes e.g. Irish, Scots, Rús etc.
Forget about the Christianised books that tell you how to heathen! Our ancestors didn’t listen or in fact read them! Deep down, when you meditate or just sit in quiet contemplation you will be taught how to heathen. Modernity is an inevitable constant in our lives and so we should embrace it.
I can just imagine it now, Thor’s Instagram filled with pictures of Mjolnir, Freya’s YouTube vlogs on how to achieve next seasons look, Nanna’s Etsy store for Oracle & Tarot readings, Loki’s latest book on Amazon on ‘How to Raise Unique Children’, Frigga’s ‘Cooking with Frigga’ T.V. show right after Ullr & Skadi’s ‘Wipeout’ and don’t forget Odin’s latest Periscope from his current world tour.
Go on, it may sound absurd but I bet you had a good laugh imagining it all. But is it really so hard to accept that you too could see the Gods in the same light? Living in the Now! So we should be doing it too, living in the present not the past. Utilise what the present has to offer and look forward to what the future has without being stuck in the past.
I know most people would have been expecting some sort of academic piece on Modern Heathenry, but let’s face it, there are already a multitude of articles on the subject, you just have to go to academia.com to find them. I wanted people to see how I view modern heathenry from a personal perspective.
Now on to the locality issues of being a Modern Heathen in Australia’s Far North Queensland. Australia is huge, I mean really, really big. Think North America without Canada or Alaska. Think the entire continent of Europe. Oh and we have some little neighbours off to the side that you would be familiar with too and no I’m not talking about the Hobbits… just because LOTR was filmed there does not mean there are actual Hobbits running around… It’s New Zealand.
Well about 2/3 of Australia is uninhabitable, 2/3 of the country is desert and it’s really hot and dusty out there… You can literally fry an egg on your bonnet (car hood), so hot that one desert town actually resides underground… Yes, underground (Coober Pedy)!
Ok so where do I live in the scheme of all things? Currently I live in the Far North of the country (I am relocating to a southern region in the new year for personal reasons.
Just to get an idea here is a picture of Texas compared to the state I currently live in…
Yeah, Texas isn’t so big anymore…
Australia has a very wide spread community and Heathens are not always close by. My closest fellow Heathen is 326km (202 miles) away unfortunately, so I only converse with this person via Facebook. The closest Universalist Heathen is well and truly over 1000km (620 miles) away.
Distances make it hard so most Australian Heathens are solitary or are members of their local Pagan Community groups. This is still not the same as having a group of heathens to bounce ideas and discussion off of. But at least it is community that we can engage with and most Pagan groups are all too happy to share their Celtic holidays with us or to learn more from us and most are inclusive.
Another part of the struggles of being in the Southern Hemisphere is the fact that our holidays are the opposite to most of yours. We are just coming up on Walpurgisnacht (May Day) whilst most of you will have just had Winter Finding or will be preparing for the Celtic Samhain. This in itself gets confusing, especially for those new to the path.
Another aspect that I find difficult living where I do,
is the seasonal changes. Where I live there really is only two seasons, the Wet Season (Nov – Apr) and the Dry Season (May – Oct). There is no real Autumn or Winter here. Our Summers are wet and humid and our Winters are dry and warm (not cold). So feeling the change is difficult in the tropical climate. Yule is a date on the calendar not a feeling of change in the season nor is it the autumnal colour changes that come with Winter’s Night.
So as you can see living ‘Down Under’ may seem great but it is hard work when we grew up with the tradition Gregorian Calendar dates that came with our Northern Hemisphere migrating ancestors 200-250 years ago.
I am a solitary heathen living in the far north tropics of Queensland Australia (for a few more months yet) in the Southern Hemisphere on the continent just above Antarctica.
So to all my crazies this is your SouthernCrossHeathen signing off…
As I have mentioned in previous posts I am a co-admin for my local Pagan community group and with that I have helped create some generalised information and ritual documents to help out those that may not be experienced or who may just need a little help with ideas on creating their own.
I have been given permission to share these mini essays. I have found in helping create these little essays that I am also learning some valuable information that I would not normally have learnt had I not been given the role of co-admin. For that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to grow within myself and, like Odin, to gain knowledge from others.
“Gimme fuel, gimme fire, gimme that which I desire” ~ Metallica
May Day? But it’s October you say. May Day comes from the celebration being held on 1st May in the Northern Hemisphere. There are some in the Southern Hemisphere that refer to the celebration as November Day.
You may have seen all the references and pretties on the internet for Samhain/Halloween and that is because in the northern hemisphere they are in Autumn. Beltane is a Spring festival. November is the final month of spring and summer is creeping around the corner, although here in the tropics, we have already begun feeling the humidity rise (or was that just the heat from our recent Supermoon in Aries). The days now will become more humid, the summer rains are nearly upon us, in the southern states daylight savings has commenced as has the dry and dusty heat.
Although the seasons are mirrored to those in the north, Beltane is still a highly charged, spiritual event. The veil thins just as it does during Samhain with some saying that the thinning is even more prominent at this time. This will be totally up to you whether you feel one is more spiritual than the other.
Winter has definitely left us by now and we have new life all around us. Ostara brought with her the new buds and Beltane brings the lush full foliage of nature. Where Samhain is focused around letting go of the past, death & crossing over, Beltane is about life, love, living & rebirth. Siebog & Ziva (Slavic) are often honoured at this time during Handfasting festivals. Handfasting is very popular this time of year as love & marriage are in the air, the Gods & Goddesses are doing it so why don’t we. It is said that babies born from a Beltane union hold very special powers. Although some prefer to keep May Day exclusively for the handfasting of the God & Goddess only, seeing it as a sacred act reserved for the sacred unions of Kings & Queens.
Beltane translates to ‘bright fire’ and fire is used not just as a celebration tool but as a sacred element in the May Day ritual. Fire was honoured for its part in the survival of the darkest period of the year. Sorry for those that thought Aries leaving was going to cool things down again. Baelfires were lit with a wide walkway between them and cattle were herded through to cleanse them and bring good fortune for the coming seasons.
Jumping the fire (a small one obviously) is another one of the many ritual activities preformed during the festivities, as is CONSENSUAL sex. Come on, love, marriage than consummating the marriage with sex. Although plain simple courtship was also another celebrated rite of passage for those too young to marry.
Walpurgisnacht (German), Hexxennacht (Dutch) can be translated to Witch’s Night and was a celebration held atop a high mountain in Germany. May Day is celebrated in a variety of countries, all with their own history behind the day (northern hemisphere).
The Warrior God, in his masculine form has now reached his sexual peak and is ready to become the father and spread his fertility across the lands. The Goddess is now entering her Mother phase and together they spend this time frolicking happily until the seed is planted. When two become one.
List of just some of the fertility/love Gods:
Freyr, Odin, Cernunnos, Siebog, Heryshaf, Min, Aramazd, Ba’al, Fufluns, Äkräs, Aphroditus, Dionysus, Eros, Phanes, Priapus (the Greeks apparently couldn’t get enough of the fertility gods), Phallic Saints, Lono, Chandra, Wollunqua, Gedi, Innus.
List of just some of the fertility/love Goddesses:
I also came across a few Roman deities whose sole act is to consummate the marriage between the bride and groom.
Prema, goddess who holds the bride down on the bed
Subigus, the god who subdues the bride to the husband’s will
Pertuda, goddess who enables penetration
Domidicus, the god who leads the bride home
Domitius, the god who installs the bride
Jugatinus, the god who joins the pair in marriage
Virginiensis, the goddess who unties the girdle of the bride
Manturna, the goddess who kept the bride at home.
Ok, enough of the name dropping. May Poles are a symbol of the Gods manhood and the flowers represent the Goddess. Apple and pear blossoms make great circlets for the young women to adorn their heads. Flowers from the Hawthorn bush were hung about doorways and windows to ward off evil for the season.
Many Pagans, in ancient times, left votive offerings at pools, wells, fountains and springs. Commune with the spirit that resides in the water, leave a coin or flower in exchange for some water. You could also say something like:
“With grateful thanks I leave this gift;
For the Guardian of the Well (or spring etc),
For the water I have taken,
May it aid me in my sacred rite.”
N.B: I am sorry, but I found this a while ago and have no idea where, so I am unable to give credit to the author.
Here, November is a month to enjoy blossoms, they are in abundance (my streets are lined with yellow wattle blossoms right now). Escape to the cool rainforests that surround us and look out for some landwights, brownies or faeries. Dance at every chance you can and celebrate the new life that is around you. Live, love and immerse yourself in the now. Remember that you will probably still feel the energy from the previous full moon in Aries and we have another supermoon in November. Recharge as often as you can. Spend time at a local creek, or at the beach, ground yourself in preparation for the coming months.
* Beltane is a Fire Festival and we live in Australia at a period when bushfires can occur. Please be responsible in any fire use.
* Remember that you are the Priestess/Priest/Gothi/Gythia of your own rituals. You create them how YOU feel they should go. There is no right or wrong way to follow YOUR path, only what feels right or not-so-right. It is fun to gather together with a few other like-minded souls and recreate the tradition of the God & Goddess, but never do anything that you feel uncomfortable with. Remember that it must always be CONSENSUAL and if you do engage in consensual sex, make sure you practice safe sex.
This will be my final write-up for the Pagan Spiral as I am relocating to Victoria in early January and will be unable to get Litha out for you. Over the last 6 months, the admins, have ensured that each piece that we wrote contained as many references as possible, even some that we did not end up using. I suggest that you go through the lists and research for your own history and ritual for Litha. Your path is all about you growing and learning, so please do not hold yourself back.
Many blessings and much prosperity for the coming season.
With Walpurgis Night (Beltane) nearly upon us here in the Southern Hemisphere I am wondering how many others are feeling ‘different’.
Not different in a bad way but like there is fire within, like the veil has already began to slip away and we are now walking side by side with the other side.
I know the Northern parts of the world are about to celebrate Samhain so they would be feeling this energy, or vibration too. I know within myself I have felt an awakening over the last month. My spirituality has taken a shift to a higher level.
Over the years I had let myself become stuck in society, I let bad relationships control and direct where my life went. I had forgotten who I was and what I was. I had also become a mother which I had forced myself to push my true self inside so deep that I thought I had lost me forever.
This last year has given me the strength and determination to bring myself back to the surface and well this new me is fucking awesome. I have never felt so alive before. I am learning to let go of the past that was holding me back, no not back, down.
I had let myself become the victim of being the survivor. Pretended to be Superwoman when what I should have been is me. Where is all of this new fire coming from? I have known for a long time but have, for no known reason, kept it hidden.
I moved house in February and that is when it all started, well it started Dec, but the fire started in February. It was an unusual heatwave right at the time I was moving (see… fire) and I started seeing strange things, yes, yes, I know now they were signs, and pretty damn obvious ones too, that I just kept blowing them off as other signs.
I have always been Thor’s girl, not in the God-spouse sense, more like he was always there when I needed him (or thought I needed him), like a big brother would be. Very platonic relationship, although he did ‘claim’ me a few times when I had attempted to wander to another deity.
Maybe that is why I had not considered another male trying to reach out to me. Thor would have surely ‘claimed’ me again if that was the case right, right?
Maybe it was Skadi, I was yearning for the cold so badly, because there was so much fire in my life. Orange had become a favourite colour along side my ever trusty green. So I began researching her.
Elen of the Ways come through in my research after a dream of an Antlered Goddess within the forest. Deers and Stags were everywhere in my otherworldly life. There was a shift coming, you could feel it, my witchy friends had begun feeling it emanating from me for a while too.
Whilst on holiday (yes I will get to Day 2 soon I promise), I had a change cone over me so obvious, so strongly, so effortlessly, so… divinely… that I knew I needed to embrace what ever was coming. To just let it flow, from me and for me to just let myself flow with it. What ever it was…
I found myself grounding a lot with
nature and water… so much water, I couldn’t get enough water it was ridiculous, not just physically but I needed to keep hydrated as I felt myself burning alive other wise. See… Fire… so much fire.
I had a few otherworldly experiences whilst away that I enjoyed and will keep to myself but I will share the most awakening experience, almost like a life epiphany experience. I was at the beach on the way back home from our trip, it was my cousin, myself and our kids. I was not going into the water, until I was sitting there and I felt a pull… I had to go and stand in the water… but I needed to bury my feet in the sand too… See water and grounding, always grounding.
I stood there, the waves (only small) washing back and forth around my legs… there was no more pull towards the ocean… only a desperate need for stillness… How the Hel are you meant to stand still in the waves? But I did, I was so still, so steadfast, I could see the water coming and going in slow motion, I could feel every single grain of sand surround my legs then whittle away as the waves returned to the deep once more. I could smell the salt in my nose, I could feel the sticky salt air in my pores, I could feel the earth slowly rotating… What… Yes… the earth, Jord, Gaia, Mother… I could feel her, I was her, she was me.
I know it sounds absurd to those that are not spiritually connected to nature. But it happened, and it happened to me. It made me realise how small I am in the universe, yet how gigantically huge I am in the scheme of life. It was a true awakening, I fell in love all over again to my spirituality, to me, to life.
Then when I got home and relaxed, I could still feel the fire within, like a volcano, with its lava bubbling, just waiting to explode. Well the volcano did erupt. It erupted with such gusto that it felt like I have been reborn.
I was recouping after a great weekend catchup with one of my best friends, scrawling through Facebook when I came across a photo of a candle. (I am writing this on my mobile so will add links and photos later). It was a candle with an image of Freyr, standing in a forest with antlers on his head. There it was, there HE was, it was like a slap across the face… or arse in my case 😉 … This last 9 months has been about Freyr trying to connect, and with Thor’s permission obviously.
I needed to become a woman again, I needed to earn the fire within, I needed to earn the desire for life. Well I have, I have done the hard yards, and I have reached he pinnacle of my spiritual puberty to become the woman I am looking forward to releasing.
This does not mean I am letting go of my big brother, no, this just means my big brother has let go of my hand. He has shared my last teen dance with me and is now handing me over to the next stage of my spirituality. To experience life with new eyes and a new dedication to all that is.
This brings me back to the start of this post about the energy around us at the moment. There is a shift in the spiritual plane, an energy shift that has occurred. Is it just me or is it all? Are you feeling the fire or are you feeling another vibration all together? Is it just this time of year or is there a shift happening, a stirring, a change, an otherworldly primal shift in the universe itself!
Let me know my fabulous crazies… or is it just me, going… well crazy?
For those of us that live in the southern hemisphere, celebrating the seasons can be a very difficult experience, especially for those new to the path. Winter is Summer, Autumn is Spring and it can all get very confusing. Even more so for those that live in tropical, desert or polar climates that do not have the typical Summer-Autumn-Winter-Spring format.
Whilst most of you that are reading this blog (well I hope you are reading it), are about to embark on Autumn/Fall and getting ready to celebrate either Winter Finding or Mabon (whichever wheel you prefer) we down here in the southern part of the globe have just come into Spring.
So here is what most of you would see when looking at a Wheel of the Year. These are northern hemisphere dates so will be very familiar to most of you.
Now here is the process that goes in to making them fit with the southern hemisphere seasons.
Which then becomes this:
Feast of Thunar
July 20th – Aug 18th
Jan 20th – Feb 18th
Charming of the Plow
Sept 19th – 21st
March 19th – 21st
Oct 31st – Nov 1st
April 30th – May 1st
Dec 20th – 21st
June 20st – 21st
March 20th – 21st
Sept 20th – 21st
April 30th – May 1st
Oct 31st – Nov 1st
April 30th – May 1st
Oct 31st – Nov 1st
June 21st or 22nd
Dec 21st or 22nd
June 21st – July 2nd
Dec 21st – Jan 1st
I am still in the process on trying to create a nice and aesthetically pleasing Southern Hemisphere Heathen Calendar but I do have a Southern Hemisphere Celtic Wheel.
There are a number of books and websites that I use to help with the conversion of these times and dates.
Dancing the Sacred Wheel – Frances Billinghurst (you can purchase this through either Kindle or Wordery)
As mentioned in previous posts, I have been involved in researching and writing up some Celtic Wheel of the Year rituals and events for my local pagan community and so am currently focused on that, hence the table above. I will hope to have something out by December 2016 ready for 2017. So stay tuned for updates.
So for now my crazies I will leave you with the excitement of either Ostara (yay I love the colours of Spring but hate the pollen & hayfever), Mabon or Winter Finding.
Oh if you find an error or feel that something should be added or rearranged please leave me a comment.