Facts About Völvas

modernnorseheathen

1. A völva is a type of shaman/seeress within the Norse religion.

2. In old Norse, ‘völva’ means ‘wand carrier’.

3. Another name for völvas, ‘fjölkunning’, means ‘plenty of knowing’.

4. Völvas practise shamanism, sorcery and prophecy.

5. Historical and mythological depictions show that völvas were held in such high esteem that even Odin himself consulted one, to learn the fates of the gods.

6. In Norse society, a völva was an elderly woman who travelled widely, freely and alone, and was usually summoned during times of crisis – for a rather large fee!

7. Völvas were often considered to have greater authority than aristocratic women, and sometimes even men.

8. Important women would give up their thrones to show respect for a völva.

9. Archaeologists have discovered wands in 40 graves, along with valuable grave offerings, showing that völvas belonged to the highest level of Scandinavian society.

10. Some…

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Cultural Appropriation in the Path of Poisons

Photo 4-4-17 10 00 26We have already spoken about dangers in the Path of Poisons, the implications of Fear, the threat of Addiction, etc. all of those topics which, it was concluded, were caused by great degree of misinformation and lack of real or deep contact with nature dwelling spirits. Now, something that comes up to mind is the existence of cultural appropriation and whether it is possible in the Natural/Spirit world.

A complicated topic, this one. What would we mean when if we spoke about cultural appropriation in the Path of Poisons? Under this category we could consider, in the first place, the misuse of certain plants, a deviation from the customary/ancestral usage of a plant, or not taking the spiritual/folkloric/cultural/territorial context into consideration when dealing with a plant spirit. Spirits, as they have character, have also a cultural legacy that must be taken into account. This does not mean we can generalize when we talk about Spirits…

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Gathering Spirits: Periwinkle

17310422_10158568937975107_125502494_o An offering rite of Periwinkle flowers

Gathering plants resembles, at times, a rite of seduction, at times, a rite of slaying, at times, a rite of sacrifice, and at times, a rite of grief. In those ceremonies, the wanderer must have a clear aim and adequate attitude towards the Spirits and the goal behind it, and so the rite must be pleasant and fitting towards them.

Today we share with you the story about the harvesting of Periwinkle flowers (Vinca Major), a plant called Viola de Bruixa, ‘Sorcerer’s Violet’, in our mother tongue, also known as ‘Maiden Flower’ or ‘Daphne’s Laurel’ in Spanish, Laurel de Dafne. This plant was widely used in the confection of decorative garlands for celebrations, and their alkaloids have nowadays been discovered to be potentially helpful in the cure of cancer-related maladies.

Periwinkle was also customarily related to rites of protection, love, and lust for a long time. It is…

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The Hunter Blend

IMG_7198 2The Hunter Blend, inspired in old smoking blends from the European rural areas used in the past as substitutes of tobacco. The Hunter Blend incorporates mullein, the basis of most tobacco substitutes, regarding as pulmonary tonic, a forgotten medicinal plant which acts also as a powerful envigorating agent for spirit and Will to Power, hyssop, a protective herb, that will allow us to advance in the Wild and Untamed regions of Nature and Spirit, and henbane, the wildest of poisons, Lord of the Gates of the Bestiality, Death, and powerful vehiculator of the spirits that conform the Wild Hunt.

Thus, the Hunter Blend is a trigon of Poisons that balances itself and invigorates our body and protects our spirit, getting us ready for that Hunt, symbolic or literal, preparing us for what our spirit craves.

IMG_7195We tested that recipe repeatedly, making sure the effects were not strongly…

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Materia Venefica: Hyssop, Spirit of Protective Majesty

img_8475Hyssop (Hyssopusofficinalis) is the first plant spirit we’ll be investigating in the Materia Venefica, a series of articles regarding our experiences with endemic Pyrenean plant spirit covering all its essence and magical applications. In Materia Venefica you will not find medicinal approaches to plant usage, but folk beliefs, literary references, and, above all, our personal experience.

Hyssop has been regarded as an important plant since ancient times. Its name, in Hebrew, is azob, which literally means “a holy herb”. In the Pyrenees, it was used as an aspergillum, a tool used to sprinkle holy water onto people before entering to church, as a way to cleanse them and prevent the spread of diseases, as well as to cleanse houses to avoid the presence of demons, strigae or evil spirits. The Catalan saying goes:

Hisop, hisop que el Dimoni no em toc, ni de lluny ni de prop…

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Isis, Lady of the Star

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One of my favorite tarot images, Isis as The Star in the Ancient Egyptian Tarot by Clive Barrett One of my favorite tarot images: Isis as The Star in the Ancient Egyptian Tarot by Clive Barrett

Some people see Isis in the pale, magical light of the moon.

Some see Her in the golden, lifegiving rays of the sun.

I do find Her there. Oh yes.

But for me, the heavenly body in which I most easily see Her is the star, Her star: Sirius (Sopdet in Egyptian, Sothis in Greek). I can’t help it. And it isn’t just because of Her strong ancient connections with the Fair Star of the Waters, the Herald of the Inundation. It’s something about the way my particular spiritual “stuff” fits with Her particular Divine “stuff.” Her diamond starlight draws me, lures me, illuminates my heart and mind.

I fell in love with Her as Lady of the Star the first time I saw Sirius through a telescope. As I watched, Her brilliant star sparkled with rays of…

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