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Wellspring 2013

Man, it was cold. Thursday it was cold and rainy, so I had to set up in the rain. Then it was just really, really, cold. If it was 20 degrees warmer it would have been great. But it was still a good time anyway, even trying to stay warm by huddling around a fire.

Despite the cold it was fun and the fellowship was great!
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    tired tired
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I only got because of my ninja skills

Your results:
You are Mr. Sulu
Mr. Sulu
65%
Worf
55%
Geordi LaForge
55%
Jean-Luc Picard
50%
Deanna Troi
50%
Will Riker
45%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
40%
Chekov
40%
Beverly Crusher
40%
Uhura
40%
Mr. Scott
30%
Data
21%
Spock
17%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
5%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
0%
You are able to master many
skills such as swords,
plants and martial arts.


Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character am I?" quiz...

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Hobbit Nerd

I re-read the Hobbit in anticipation of seeing the movie (great movie by the way). On the map of Erebor showing the moon letters in the line "When the thrush knocks...", the word "when" is mispelled. It it spelled HWEN. Every other word follows normal English usage, merely substituting Runes for English/Roman letters.

The runes are the Anglo-Saxon runes. Later for the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien re-did the runes differently for the dwarfs, such that the rune normally the F rune became G for Gandalf. In the movie they show Gandalf scratching the newer Dwarvish G rune into Bilbo's door.

I will say that there are two things that I am very disappointed in the movie. First Radagast the Brown is made out to be a bumbling, filthy, addle-brained, drug using, hippy. Really? Sure he's close to nature, but does he have to have bird poop plastered on his hair and face? Really? I can see why they did this as he reported that the Necromancer (Sauron) had returned to Dol Guldur and Saruman didn't want to believe it because Radagast is "unreliable." But still, in the books it is mentioned that the wizards did do something about the Necromancer which is why Gandalf didn't make it to the Battle of the Five Armies until it was over. There was no mention of any friction between the wizards. Still it helps as a secondary sub-plot.

Second, they had stone giants who were actually made of stone, instead of just really large people throwing stones. This was uncalled for in my opinion.
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Real Seafood Company

It is Liz's birthday today and to celebrate we went out to Real Seafood Company. This is a really great place and we've enjoyed going there before.

Overall we had a great experience. The food was great, the service was great and it was a happy time.

And one of the best parts, just because I'm such a geek, was the menus. We were given two tablets with a menu app. There was a menu to jump to a specific section or you could just swipe to move around. Touching a menu item brought up a pop-up window that showed a picture of the dish and also a description. It was really cool. Apparently today was the first day they introduced this. I was told that the tablets were the Motorola Xoom. It looked to be running at least Honeycomb if not Icecream Sandwich.
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    geeky geeky
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Further musings on the Court of Sif rite

I bought the book Trance-portation by Diana Paxson. I also bought Seidr, the Gate is Open by Katie Gerrard. I'm reading Seidr to get further ideas for the Court of Sif rite. It's a really good book and I already see much that can be used for the Order of Raven and Falcon (an order dedicated to Odin and Freyja) further down the road.

Couple things that are now obvious to me regarding the Court of Sif is that I will need to have a drummer. Drumming will be invaluable in helping to achieve the desired mental states. According to Harner 4 beats per second is ideal, but I've been to Seidh working where a slow heartbeat kind of rythm was used. What I would like is the 4 beats per second used throughout most of the rite, but switching to a slow heartbeat when the participants are actually interacting with the different spirits. Any drummer volunteers?

Secondly there should be vardlokkurs sung. These are songs to attract spirits traditionally used in Seidh work. For this rite I figure I will simply have people do toning with the intent of attracting the courtiers of Sif to the area so we can converse. During the toning I will be singing other parts.
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    good good
ninja

Feeling Accomplished in a Manly way

Today, with the help of my brother, I installed a new overhead fan in the bathroom. It has a light and also a heater. The old one was very noisy and sounded ill. After removing it I have to admit it looked pretty grose, dirty and very rusty. And I'm not even making that up.

We got to go up in the attic, which was very hot and played with electric wires and had to figure out the wiring and everything. And best of all we only made one trip to Home Depot, Usually our projects require 3-4. There was one bit of trouble. After we got the unit installed and it was time to attach the light and the outer housing, we noticed that the screw on the inside didn't come down far enough for the light fixture to connect. This was a problem as that was the only means for the outer housing to stay in place.

So we did the manly thing and drilled a second hole and used a longer screw to secure everything. Then we (including my beautiful wife, who had come home by then) all went out to Applebees for dinner.

I like spending time with my brother. Being twins (fraternal) we were constant companions growing up and now I rarely see him as he lives 45 minutes away.
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    accomplished accomplished
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Still More on Court of Sif

Got the bracelet things the other day. They are cloth and have simple knots to expand or constrict the band. These should be ideal for making into trance working bracelets. I plan on using Rún Valdr to make the bracelets magical. They will act to help one achieve a useful trance state, keep one protected and to still the more subjective parts of the mind so that a more objective experience can be gained. There will also be symbols to help with one's astral sight and hearing. Everyone will be able to keep the bracelet to take home afterwards, so that they continue to use it on their own. Should be quite neat. I love the idea of magical technology.

Rún Valdr also has a very good grounding symbol which skylark913 can attest to. I plan on using this a great deal for the group after the working is done. I'm also thinking of having available stones attuned to the grounding symbol that people can take when they leave the ritual.

Also my order of rowan wood from MagicalDruid has shipped! I basically just ordered the 9 sacred wood package but asked for only rowan wood. This will be used for the offering to Hlif, the Chieftain of Protection.
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    good good
odin

More on the Court of Sif

So I thought I would go ahead and mention the Chieftains of Sif to give some more information to those interested in the ritual at Summerlands. I also wanted to show a bit of the work I have already put into this project to show that I'm not just talking out of my butt but actually have a plan. Forgive the length. I hadn't intended this to go on and on. But as Odin said, "One word led to another word..."

After getting the idea to do this after attending Ian Corrigan's Court of Brigid last year I first made contact with the Goddess Sif and asked if She was willing to do somethig similar. She was. The next step was to find out who the Court of Sif consisted of.

Essentially the idea is that you start with the Norse Goddess Sif. She has authority over several different areas. To help Her, She has Chieftains, kind of like vice-presidents or department heads. Under the Chieftains you would have all the worker spirits, as it were. The purpose of the Court of Sif rite is to make contact with these worker spirits in order to gain magical allies for specific magical workings. Just like the Goetia grimoire lists various demons, their sigils, and what they could do for the magician.

In Ian's Court of Brigid, he called Brigid's helpers, Powers, or the Queens of Brigid. Sif told me to call her helpers Chieftans and that there were 5. I looked through the Troth Book, Our Troth, second edition, volume 1, in the section that talks about Sif, identifying the various areas that Sif holds power and making notes of each. When I was done I found I indeed had 5. These are beauty, abundance, kinship (especially by marriage), prophesy, and protection. I won't go into the details to save space, but if you want to see my reasoning check the Troth book yourself. The Chieftain are 5 women who, if not goddesess in their own right, are pretty close in terms of power.

I then made contact with the Chieftains using trance journey techniques and asked each if they were willing to work with me to find worker spirits in a rite (the one to be done at Summerland). They were, so I then asked what they would want as offerings for future workings. As I interacted with them I made note of their appearance. I later went through an Old Norse dictionary looking for Norse words to describe their functions. I'm not sure if the words I picked are appropriate, but they sound nice and later the Chieftains approved of them, so it seems that what I came up will work. So Norse language purists, please forgive me. I should work on getting symbols to represent them.

Sigils for spirits is a very traditional part of spirit magick, and I know Ian has come up with an Irish variation to create sigils for each spirit. I would take a more radical view and ask the spirits themselves for symbols that represent their presence or their essence. I started this with my Rún Valdr practice with my Deities. With the Deity symbols when you use them you are immediately filled with their presence which feels wonderful and is perfect for devotional activities. I like the idea of asking the spirits for a symbol rather than randomly creating something. I plan on having the people attending the Court of Sif rite get a symbol from the spirit when interacting with them.. I realize this may tax some people, but we'll see what we get. I actually tried this when I made contact with a spirit under the Chieftain Gnott. The symbol I got is very different from what I normally get for my Rún Valdr symbols.

Getting back to the Chieftains, they are:

1. Beauty - Frithr or Fridr (the th should be the d/th weird looking norse letter). She appeared to me as a tall, blonde woman with long wavy hair and blue eyes. The offering she would like is locks of hair. It should be noted that hair was pretty important to the ancient Norse. In the sagas whenever they described a beautiful woman all they talked about was how long and lovely her hair was. Sif is described as the most beautiful of the goddesses and Her main attribute is Her hair made of gold. Which leads to Her second Chieftain.
2. Abundance - Gnott (there should be an accent mark over the o). She appeared to me as another tall, blonde woman, but her hair was long and straight and her eyes were gold. Her offering should be coinage of some kind. Should be actual currancy.
3. Kinship - Froendi (the o and e should connected) could also be Fraendi. She appeared to me as a matronly woman with curly medium length, light colored hair. Eyes were gray in color. Her offering is bread, homemade if possible. It occurs to me that Amish friendship bread is perfect as you are expected to give starter packages away to neighbors and friends.
4. Prophesy - Spa (there should be an accent mark over the a). She appeared as a woman of medium height with curly medium length dark hair. Her eyes were dark. Her offering should be mead.
5. Protection - Hlif. She appeared as a tall woman with straight, longish, black hair with bangs. Her eyes were blue, but very light in color. She carried a rowan staff. Her offerings are rowan wood. The wood should be touched to the tongue first before being offered.

So that's about it for now. I see that Ian has a rite to do the working part after getting a listing of the spirits and what they do. I may need to either steal this or modify it for my own practices. In my studies I find it better to try to interact with the spirits on a more mental plane than trying to achieve corporeal manifestation on the physical plane. Thus any rite I come up with would be half physical and have mental/trance journey. Working with an inner nemeton or temple would go a long way towards this and thus except for the physical offering, the real interaction would be non physical.

Also thinking back to the ceremonial formula of "Enflaming oneself with prayer" I'm thinking it would be good to make offerings to Sif, then to the Chieftain who rules over the worker spirit, then making the offering to the worker spirit, then switch to a trance state to do the summoning and interaction. Also if you gain a Deity symbol (in this case for Sif) using that throughout the working would further grant you the authority to treat with the spirit. This would be the enflaming oneself with prayer part where you are literally channeling the energy and presence of the Deity throughout the working. Thus we see the short-cuts Rún Valdr brings. No need for long sessions using Barbarous names.

So even following ADF core order of ritual, a brief outline could be such:

Outdwellers
Earth mother
Bardic Inspiration
Open Portals/Gatekeeper
Kindreds (ancestors, nature spirits, shining ones)
Sif offering
Chieftain in question offering
Worker spirit in question offering
Trance induction to inner temple/nemeton
Summoning of spirit (use of symbol as a focus, calling by the authority of Sif and the specific Chieftain) Ian has some nice formula for this that could easily be adapted to a Norse audience.
Interaction with spirit (asking for task to be done, settling on final price)
License to depart and thanks to the worker spirit
Thanking Chieftain
Thanking Sif
Thanking Kindreds
Thanking Gatekeeper/closing gates
Thanking Bardic
Thanking Earth mother
Thanking Outdwellers
End of rite.

This rite can be shortened by skipping Earth mother and Bardic as they seem extraneous to a magical working. The kindred also seem a bit extraneous as well for this kind of focused work, but I'm sure that could be debated. I would stick with treating with the outdwellers, maybe even doing a variation of a magic circle, perhaps using the rune Othala, which represents a safe place, that which is known, one's homestead. It delineates the safe and known (where you are working) and the unknown and dangerous (that which is outside your working space).

In the ADF style ceremonial magical ritual that I wrote many years ago I had the idea of using the portals as power sources to the realms of Land, Sea and Sky. Not sure if that would be appropriate here as you are trying to get a spirit to do the work rather than raising energy yourself to get the job done. Most likely it is for another kind of ritual other than spirit work.

I have looked at Ian's blog about the Court of Brigid and read the post by Rufus Opus and his criticisms of trying to slap neopagan names on ceremonial rites in a bad way. I can understand RO's concerns. I would agree that, for example, doing the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram using Celtic God names instead of the normal Hebrew God names would be innappriate. However doing a banishisg ritual created purely from Celtic Lore untainted by ceremonial traits would be very appropriate. Having a banishing ritual is always nice. Bad copy and paste jobs are not. I see what Ian started as taking the concept of spirit work made popular by the renaissance magicians and later ceremonial magicians and approaching it from a purely neopagan ADF way of doing things as very appropriate and useful for ADF folk.

This is similar to how Shining Lakes Grove came in contact with Ana, the Goddess of the Huron River here in Michigan as our Earth Mother. Fox was writing some rite and kept trying to come up with an appropriate river goddess to use. Irish lore has tons of these. Then he thought, hey, why don't we contact the goddess of the river we live by. In other words, trying to contact Boann would do us little good because She is in the river Boine in Ireland, not in the Huron river here in Michigan. When moving to a new watershed, you need to make contact with the goddess of that new watershed you don't keep the old. So Fox started work to contact the Goddess of the river Huron. She's no doubt native in origin, and perhaps appearance, but She was approached in a Celtic manner. We are not trying to do native american things or appropriating native ways. We are keeping true to our own ways. This kind of spirit work pioneered by Ian is similar in scope and tone.

That said, it's getting late and I'm getting tired. Please excuse any spelling errors.
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Court of Sif

Well it's official. I'll be doing the Court of Sif at Summerlands ADF festival in August. This will pretty much be the same thing that Ian Corrigan did last year with his Court of Brigid except that it will be for the Norse Goddess, Sif. Much thanks to Ian for inspiring me to do this. I was mightily impressed with what was done last year.

Ian calls this a "prospecting" ritual where we are trying to find spirits willing to help us in magical working. Think of this as neopagan grimoire magick. But instead of using the Goetia or other Judeo-Christian trappings, this will be purely from a pagan point of view. Instead of using some Golden Dawn kabalistic ritual we will be using ADF core order of ritual.

In my youth, I spent a great deal of time learning ceremonial magick. However after I became Pagan, I found that I couldn't go back to the ceremonial stuff as that was all based on the Judeo-Christian god. That wasn't my god anymore and it didn't fit. This is a way to fulfill the need for some deeper magical work, but in a way that I find approachable.

However I have to admit to a certain trepidation at the prospect of standing up there in front of everyone and doing this thing. I've not lead rituals in front of the ADF people in general as Ian has. I'm worried I won't be seen to have the same amount of ritual "clout" as he does. I'm also not much of a singer or song writer, so I really don't have any Sif specific songs to use. Nor do I have cool phrases in Old Norse.

I have the rite written up and it seems complete. Just need to gather the items for the offerings, then write up the stuff for Part one where I explain what's going on and hand out information to the people. I'm even going to try to come up with a ritual to use when contacting a specific spirit for magical working.

I'm not as strict of a ceremonialist as Ian. I'll be taking some shortcuts. For instance in his Court of Brigid, he had an annointing part to help with the spirit vision. I plan on using my Run Valdr to echant a bunch of bracelets for people to wear to help them get into trance, open their inner eye and have a better trance work experience. Also after words Run Valdr will be used to help with grounding after the ritual. You know the Run Valdr motto: I've got a symbol for that!

I suppose I need to reach out to people for a bit of help during the ritual, I'm thinking of _crow365__ for the omens. As an Initiate and a fellow son of Odin I would trust him with that. Also robsteiner to open the gates as he does a wonderful job with that. I can beg those Bardic types out there for a Sif song or two.

Well, need to go pick up Liz at work now. I took the day off.
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The Avengers Movie

Liz and I saw the Avengers movie in 3D today. I will keep this as spoiler free as possible. All I will say is that it was a great movie. Joss Whedon did a fantastic job directing. Being familiar with the characters from the comics it was really great seeing the team in action. And early into the end credits they set the scene for a sequal. And everyone has to stay untill all the credits are done. There is an extra scene that is priceless. A must see.

Overall the extra scenes at the end of the credits after Iron Man 1 & 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America all leading up the Avengers movie was brilliant as it clevery tied all the movies together and nicely set the scene for the Avengers movie. And the scene at the end of the Avengers totally capped the whole experience.

Great movie. Go out and see it.