The Abundance of Misinformation

When it comes to spiritwork and magic, there is a lot of misinformation. Misinformation on both spiritwork and magic abounds in both published books and online platforms. It takes experienced spiritworkers and magic workers to discern what is good and bad information within books, which is really unfortunate for those starting down spiritworking and magical paths.

Spiritwork and magic both adhere to certain rules, just like the physical world adheres to certain rules. The fact that many authors and online influencers promote methods of spiritwork and magic that often ignore the rules of the spirit world and magical workings is problematic on many levels and has a range of harmful effects.

At the least harmful level, ignoring those rules leads to a failure to connect to spirit or prevents magic from working altogether. In situations where some rules are followed but others ignored, there may be limited results that then unfortunately encourage the practitioner to continue using methods that leave holes that spirits may eventually notice and take advantage of. At the most harmful level, it is possible for someone to do spiritwork or magic using techniques that draw the attention of malignant spirits or work in ways other than those intended by the practitioner.

There is danger in assuming that any/every approach to spiritwork and magic will work perfectly. Even chaos magicians use a system that adheres to certain rules, and the two fundamental rules of magic applies to all magicians. The laws of sympathetic magic – that of contagion and similarity – are in operation at all levels of magic.

The law of contagion, simply expressed, is “once connected, always connected,” while the law of similarity is “the image equals the object.” Taken together, these are the unbreakable laws of magic; they are as unyielding as the physical reality of gravity. At a deeper level, these two laws of magic explain why magical correspondences are vital to magical workings.

It is easy for a beginner to pick up a book or go to a website that discusses magical correspondences and assume that the author knows what they are talking about – we live in a world that privileges the written word and there is an unspoken assumption that books with bad information won’t be published. The reality is that misinformation abounds both in published books and on online platforms within all spheres of life, magical and mundane.

That is why discernment is such a critical tool to develop, and to develop discernment requires a commitment to critical analysis. With my background as a historian, I can say with confidence that there are even published history books that are factually inaccurate and misleading. Assessing books for accuracy requires a commitment to fact-checking information across several sources, and it can be a time-consuming process.

The same is true when it comes to fact-checking information found in books about spiritwork and magic. There are tons of books on spiritwork that ignore the importance of developing relationships with spirits, which is critical in spiritwork. There are a handful of books on spiritwork that are incredibly well-researched and accurate, but finding them can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

The same is true for work on magic. It is well-known by experienced practitioners that books published by Llewellyn are hit-and-miss, with the majority of books being huge misses. There are authors like Silver Ravenwolf who still have huge following, even though any experienced practitioner worth their weight will tell you that none of her magical techniques make much sense.

Just like there are authors like Ravenwolf whose works are full of inaccuracies, there are online platforms that cause misinformation to circulate. There are people who use TikTok as a platform whose magical teachings confuse basic correspondences, and confusing those correspondences is a blatant disregard of the two fundamental rules of sympathetic magic.

As an example, there are many TikTok performers who suggest adding salt to any type of bottle spell, regardless of the intention behind the spell. This is an example of a harmless type of misinformation because the worst thing that adding salt to a spell is going to do is neutralize the spell. Salt is a purifying and protective substance – there is documentation for this that goes back centuries, and it is a well-known fact in the larger magical community.

Adding salt to protection or purification spells makes sense. Adding salt to spells for love or attracting wealth does not. Salt purifies and protects. It does not attract. To use it in a spell that has attraction as its core purpose makes no logical sense. Magic is unfailingly logical, and the correspondences of the components used in any spell or ritual is incredibly important.

While certain types of magicians, particularly chaos magicians, are able to develop their own systems of magic replete with their own correspondences, they do so most adeptly by learning the traditional systems and adapting what works for them into their own approaches. Chaos magicians operate on a “use what works, discard what doesn’t,” basis, and I have met only a handful of truly capable chaos magicians. Those few always operate within systems that acknowledge and use the two fundamental laws of sympathetic magic.

A lot of people on online platforms, especially TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter, are beginners attempting to teach other beginners. That is why so much of the information on those platforms tends to be misinformation. Most experienced practitioners will not teach through social media platforms. Some magical and spiritworking information is inherently dangerous, and online platforms do not allow experienced practitioners to determine who views/uses their teachings.

The misuse of magic and the abuse of spirits are difficult problems that circulate within the magical community at large, and few experienced practitioners are going to engage in any action that may potentially increase those problems.

I have seen these problems both online and in-person. I have read stories about people working with spirits who do so in abusive and exploitative ways. I have seen people form relationships with malignant spirits out of ignorance and pay a heavy price for their mistakes. Spirits have their own agency; they are capable of being both benign and malignant. Even benign spirits can turn malignant if they are abused or exploited. Attempting to coerce or control spirits can easily backfire. Approaching spirits carelessly, especially gods, can lead to deadly phenomena.

The spirit world is diverse, full of a plethora of beings. Many are benign but many are malignant. There are certain spirits that all traditions and religions have agreed are malignant towards humans, such as the succubi, incubi, and nightmare spirits. Some spirits are assumed to be malignant but may not be depending on the tradition followed. The entities considered to be demonic and malignant by Abrahamic religions may be benign spirits to those who work in the Goetic or demonaltry traditions. How spirits are approached and whether they act in a benign or malignant manner often depends on a specific tradition’s approach to those spirits. Traditions create spiritual patterns that echo throughout generations; rituals tap into collective remembering.

That is why so many experienced practitioners tell newcomers to find a magical or spiritual tradition and steep themselves in it for at least a year. Learn the patterns, the rituals, the approaches taken by one specific tradition. Magical approaches differ depending on the tradition. Ceremonial magicians do rituals differently than Druids who do rituals differently than Wiccans who do rituals differently than Conjure workers. Each system is complete in itself, and mixing/matching magical techniques is not something that can be done with ease.

Perhaps the most pressing issue caused by the proliferation of misinformation is the growing impression newcomers seem to have that magic and spiritwork is easy, when that is far from the truth. The people who are strongest in magic and spiritwork draw their strength from the years – usually in terms of decades – of experience they have working in their respective fields.

While I work closely with spirits today, that did not happen overnight. I did not wake up one day and decide to become a spiritworker and have everything immediately go well. I spent the first decade of my magical journey wishing I could communicate with spirits because I couldn’t easily connect with them. I had to reshape my entire way of thinking about the world, let go of patterns of monotheistic thought shaped by the environment I grew up in, and learn to sit and listen with intent. It took a decade of work for me to even get started on my path as a spiritworker, despite being raised in a tradition that acknowledged the existence and prevalence of spirits.

Spirit work is not easy. Neither is magic. Magic is willpower made manifest. A person must learn to understand themselves and their own will to create strong magic. They must also make the commitment to learn magic at a serious level and dedicate themselves to the process.

Unfortunately, social media platforms have beginners posing as experts and spreading misinformation about magic, and the younger generations are so used to getting information through social media that they rarely stop to question the validity of the information they are receiving.

It isn’t easy to find experienced teachers, since the majority of us only teach in person for reasons I’ve already explained, so many people have to become self-taught practitioners. That is possible to do, but taking that path requires more dedication because it requires more experimentation and more guesswork than learning from someone directly entails.

There are good resources out there, but most of them aren’t going to be found on social media. Some of the best resources may be hidden in local or university libraries. Often, popular books contain the least accurate information (though that is not always true). There are certain authors that can be trusted and others that can be ignored. It takes dedication to discernment and critical analysis to determine which books are good resources and which ones aren’t, and learning to do that is in and of itself a way to create a solid foundation for discernment in both magic and spiritwork.

My Take On ChristoPaganism

ChristoPaganism is a word sometimes used to describe the blending of Christian and Pagan beliefs. I myself blend the two in my understanding of God. Get comfortable because this is going to be a long one.

It occurs to me that any conversation about God is going to run into problems unless we explain exactly what we mean. God has gotten a bad rep because of some of the truly atrocious things done by organized religions. So many have been taught to believe that God is an angry, vengeful old man with a beard Who chooses favorites and punishes those He doesn’t like. The thing is though, this could not possibly be further from the truth.

Since time immemorial mankind has looked to the heavens and wondered. Wondered why we are here, how did this world come to exist and how we came to live upon it. In answer to these questions humans have invariably come to a consensus, there is some higher power at work. A conscious intelligence that creates, maintains and destroys. 

This higher power has been conceived of as spirits, a plethora of deities or one deity depending on the individual belief system yet one thing remains almost universally consistent: humanity recognizes a Creator and feels the need to know said Creator. Religion came to exist out of this need, the word describes a system of beliefs and practices invented by humans in order to honor and seek the higher power.

Throughout time people have adapted their beliefs based on personal experiences, contact with the beliefs of others, progression of thought and direct experience with the Divine. It was only with more recent thought that religion and spirituality were considered rigid, the ancient peoples blended whatever beliefs made sense to them with no fear that their Creator would punish them for it.

Even among the early Christians there was blending of beliefs and practices. The Bible even seems to suggest the existence of multiple gods. Genesis 1:26 states: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”(KJV).  Jesus Himself spoke out against the rigid and intolerant views of religious authorities of the time. Furthermore the prophet Micah proclaimed a time when all people would be at peace, worshiping their gods in a brilliant example of religious freedom. “Micah 4:3-5 “…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hat spoken it. For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.” (KJV)

So too did the Pagans show tolerance and respect to the early Christians: “Acts 28:30-31 “And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.” Also, according to the Bible many early Christians taught that you didn’t need to be a Christian in order to enter Heaven: “Romans 2:14-16: For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” In other words, The apostle Paul wrote that Jesus taught His disciples to be good people and if you are a good person (regardless of your religious beliefs) you will go to Heaven. Lastly the Bible warns that we should take care not to be offensive to other religions but to treat them with respect: “1 Corinthians 10:31-32 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, orwhatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:”.

Not only this but the Roman governor Pilate’s own wife (who in later tradition is named Claudia Procula) was said to receive a dream from her gods that Jesus was a good man.  If Jesus and the Pagans were so at odds then why this acceptance of Jesus on the part of Pagan deities? The maligned but simple answer seems to be that there is no contention between Christianity and Paganism other than what later religious leaders with an axe to grind created.

God isn’t purely masculine either. Remember, Genesis told us that God made us male and female in God’s image. Hosea 13:8 compares God to a mother bear: “Like a bear robbed of her cubs, I will attack them and tear them asunder…”. Deuteronomy 32:18 refers to God “giving birth” and Isaiah 49:15 has God asking: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” In Isaiah 42:14 God says: ““For a long time I have held my peace, I have kept myself still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor, I will gasp and pant”. Again in Isaiah 66:13 God proclaims: “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem”.

These are but a handful of the occasions in which God is described as feminine in the Bible. Other times God is considered masculine. In the Bible John explains that God is a spiritual being and does not literally possess gender. Instead, God has the ability to appear to us as masculine or feminine (or genderless) depending on what will bring us comfort and understanding.

Throughout history deities have been male, female or any combination of gender or sex. That this concept continued into early Christian belief is a testament to the fact that Christianity was inspired in large part by other spiritualities. This is not a criticism of the belief but rather evidence of a living, thriving spirituality that is capable of growing over time. Without some growth and change it would become stagnant and lifeless.

The Bible is not an ineffable source, we know as a historical fact that it was written by human beings over a long period of time. However it is useful as are all spiritual writings because it helps us to understand the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of the people who wrote it. When we look to the world today we see violence, cruelty and death. In the face of this it can be difficult to see the good in the world. I would argue though that there is still more good than bad. Every single day new advances in medicine allow people to live longer and healthier lives. Every moment of every day there are good people engaging in acts of kindness and new love blossoming upon the earth. We are so used to these things that we tune them out, only paying attention to the ills of this world. I am in no way attempting to make light of the problems facing our planet but instead to point out that we are capable of greatness and goodness if we set our minds to it. God is love, pure and simple. When you read the Bible or any other account of our Creator read it through the lens of love. If it makes our God out to be some cruel and manipulative being then you can be assured what you are reading is purely of human origin. Only humans are capable of such mindless cruelty.

So countless deities or one almighty God, which is it? That ultimately depends on your own personal beliefs. I have been taught through my own experiences that there is one God and that all of the gods and goddesses throughout the world are aspects of this God while also being individual personalities. This belief is known as Monolatry and will be covered in detail later on this book. Your mileage however will vary and it is not my place to tell you what to believe. I can only hope that this book provides helpful guidance and validation for all of us who walk a blended path. May God bless you.

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Christian Witchcraft 

Many (though not all) of us who practice some from of Christian Wicca or Christian Paganism also practice witchcraft. There is no single definition of witchcraft but in modern spiritual circles a witch is typically seen as a person who works with natural spiritual energies to manifest change in their physical reality. This can be as simple as lighting a pink candle with the intention to promote self love and acceptance or as complex as a long and elaborate ritual designed to protect one’s home. Witchcraft is ancient and has been practiced in nearly all societies before and alongside religion.

Witchcraft can be secular or religious, It is entirely dependent upon the practitioner. Christian Wiccans often practice Christian Witchcraft, essentially witchcraft performed within a Christian inspired framework. Some people question how Christian witchcraft can be practiced since the Bible forbids any form of witchcraft. Or does it?

If you are at all familiar with the argument against Christian Witchcraft then you’ve likely read the passage from Exodus (22:18) that reads: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Now, there’s some serious debate about the translation here with some suggesting the word is actually “poisoner” and not witch. Others claim that it is truly the word witch in this translation. Personally I am of the stance that it doesn’t matter either way. Here me out for just a moment. Over the course of history words change their meaning. What a witch was to people in biblical times is most definitely not what the word witchcraft means to modern witches. 

The people of those times had every reason to be wary of those who practiced magic “tricks”, consorted with malicious spirits and used their knowledge of the natural world to inflict suffering upon people. While it’s true that the Bible warns against the use of such “witchcraft” we must remember two things. First, we have already covered how the Bible was written by humans who lived in a certain point in history and in a certain culture. Due to this it is only rational that their writing be influenced by the society they lived in. Secondly, Jesus was quite explicit in saying that He came to Earth to form a new covenant between mankind and God. In the same way the old Jewish laws do not apply to Christians it is reasonable to say that the prohibition against witchcraft no longer applies as long as we practice in the name of God and the highest good. This is more clear in the cases of those Bible verses in Leviticus that condemn witchcraft. These same verses contain the lists of old Jewish laws, laws that Christians are free from having to follow because of Christ. Not only that but if you begin reading these verses condemning “witchcraft” you will notice a common theme, the lack of God in the act. Typically these “magic users” were petty thieves and frauds who preyed on people’s emotions to con them out of their money. There is nothing wrong with using our own innate, God given spiritual power in order to better our lives and to help those around us.

The charge of witch was levied against people In order to discredit their magic by claiming it had an impure source. The same tactic was even used against Jesus as His miracles were labeled “witchcraft” by His enemies. The idea was to at best paint him as a quack and at worst a wicked man who spoke with impure spirits. 

That makes sense until you think about what Source Jesus was drawing His magic from. God is the purest source of magic from which anyone could draw. Modern witchcraft is often used for healing and we see Jesus doing just that in the stories of His life. He made the lame to walk and healed people from various physical and mental disabilities. He spoke with angels, turned water into wine, performed weather magic, provided an otherwise impossible amount of food to feed the hungry, restored a severed body part and more. 

Many early church leaders took great pains to state that what Jesus did were miracles and not magic. However, with our modern understanding of witchcraft as a potential force for good and, if we take the source of our magic to be God then my stance on “miracles vs. magic is this: tomatoes, tamahtos. What it all basically comes down to is this: the “witchcraft” described in the Bible refers to one specific culture’s idea of what witchcraft was at one point in history. That “witchcraft” has nothing to do with the witchcraft practiced by modern witches. 

Obviously as the son of God, Christ’s magic is on a more grand level then ours but we too have the ability to use magic. Think about it, God made us in God’s image, God is a creator. Doesn’t it make sense then that we have some power to create? Some Christian Witches have gone so far as to refer to Jesus as the greatest witch Who ever lived.

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Jesus and Mary

I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to write about both of the famous Marys In the Bible and their relationship with Jesus Christ. I’d like to talk about the Virgin Mary first simply because as His mother She was chronologically first in His life. She has been known by many titles and honorifics including: St. Mary the Virgin, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Mary, and Mary Mother of God. She is considered by some Christians to be the greatest of the saints and it is said that after Her Son She is exalted by divine grace above all angels and men.

Tradition holds that She is the daughter of Sts. Joachim and Anne and that She was born in Jerusalem. After taking a vow of virginity at the Temple She was visited by Archangel Gabriel with  the news that She would become the Mother of Jesus. She was then betrothed to Saint Joseph and went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was giving birth to John the Baptist. Saint Joseph’s lineage was through the house of David, a wealthy and powerful family.

After giving birth to Jesus, Mary presented Him in the Temple. After receiving a warning of King Herod’s fury from an angel the family escaped to Egypt. While we don’t get much information on the Holy Family during this time There are various traditions regarding what happened. The Church of St Sergius in Cairo is held by many believers to mark the spot where They resided. Coptic Christians believe that the Holy Family visited many places in Egypt including: Al Adaweya (a church in a suburb of Cairo, believed to be the spot where the Holy Family began their journey up the Nile River) and Deir al-Adrah (a sacred place for Coptic Christians, it is built near a cave the Holy Family was thought to have stayed in. Eventually They returned to Jerusalem after learning that Herod had died.

The Bible is essentially silent about Mary’s life during the next few years except for a visit to the Temple in Jerusalem where Jesus learned from the Temple elders. This is another important thing to note. Again according to “The mystical life of Jesus” this is more compelling evidence of the prestige associated with Jesus’s lineage. Jesus was still a child at the time, to not only let Him into the Temple but to allow Him to speak with the Elders illustrates that He was not a poor man.

Mary played an important role in Christ’s first recorded miracle. During a wedding in Cana She explained to Jesus that there was no wine. It was at this point that Jesus magically transformed the water into wine. While this seems like a simple act we must note that having wine at a wedding was seen as a vital part of being a good host. In her book “The mystical life of Jesus Christ” gnostic Christian Sylvia Browne points out that the seemingly simple act of Mary telling Jesus that there was no wine suggests that Christ Himself may very well have been the host. Otherwise why point it out to Him and not whoever was hosting the wedding? This of course brings up the further question: If Jesus was hosting a wedding then who’s wedding was it? I’ll get back to this in a moment but keep it in mind.

Mary, Mother of Jesus was deemed pure enough to bear God’s Son. It’s amazing how often we forget this but it’s not surprising. The early church was extremely patriarchal and did it’s best to minimize or even completely cover up the place of the feminine in spirituality. Jesus Christ, Son of God and the Divine made flesh was born of a woman. That is a deeply powerful revelation because it tells us something profound about women in particular and humanity in general: while God wants us to become the best version of ourselves we are already good enough. Good enough for God to love us and include us in His/Her plans. Countless years of telling women that they are impure in the eyes of God is rendered absolute nonsense.

Mother Mary is loved the world over as an overflowing fount of mercy, compassion and love. Various traditions hold that She appears to humanity to comfort and issue prophecy. For many Christian Wiccans She is not simply a blessed human but a goddess. This may seem odd to some but it actually makes a great deal of sense. From the very beginning of belief humans have instinctively known that the higher power is both a father and a mother. There has always been sacred feminine in balance with sacred masculine.

According to tradition Mother Mary was living just outside of Ephesus, Turkey with John and Mary Magdalene in order to escape persecution. Ephesus has a long history of being especially sacred to the feminine Divine. It was a worship center for the goddess Artemis. It is no Coincidence that this center of goddess worship became an important hub for Mary veneration. The concept of a mother goddess is almost universal in the ancient world I and many others believe that God/dess ordained Mother Mary come into this world as a representative of God as Heavenly Mother.

As amazing and wonderful as Mother Mary is we must now move on to discuss Mary Magdalene. Sometimes She is simply referred to as The Magdalene. The first thing to point out about Mary Magdalene is that there is absolutely no evidence that she was ever a prostitute. This common but inaccurate idea arises from the fact that Mary was an extremely popular name in Biblical times. Mary was occasionally but unfortunately identified with various other women by that same name. It was only later and through careful scholarly work did people realize their error. The Catholic Church issued a public apology but even so the idea stuck.

Mary did however suffer from an unknown affliction which was cured by Jesus. After this She went on to have a special place among the disciples and was one of the few to remain with Jesus during his crucifixion. She was an incredibly intelligent and spirited woman who often traveled with Jesus, even preaching which in those days was not something women did. She was basically a one woman gender barrier smashing work of nature. Mary was also the first person to witness the resurrected Christ.

We don’t know that much about Mary’s early life except that she left her home in Magdala to follow Jesus. We do however know that She enjoyed an intimate relationship with Jesus. In some accounts this relationship included a physical aspect and kissing. It is due to this that some disciples actually expressed jealousy over the relationship. They believed that Jesus loved Mary more than them and even asked Him about it. Their concerns make sense in the light of how women were usually treated in the ancient world as opposed to the high status granted to Mary and Jesus’s other female disciples. Rather than treating them as “simple women” He treated them as equals to His male disciples.

The Magdalene and Mother Mary often traveled together with other female disciples. The fact that they were women allowed them to have special perspective when speaking with other women. Again, having such powerful women amongst Christ’s followers demonstrated the equality between men and women in God’s eyes. By having women remain at the crucifixion of Jesus and witnessing Christ’s resurrection the point is explicitly made that women are just as capable of participating in spiritual matters as men. 

Just as with Mother Mary, The Magdalene is also considered by many Christian Wiccans to be a goddess. She too embodies an aspect of the feminine Divine. Often compared to the goddesses Isis and Venus She is considered by many to have been ordained by God/ess to demonstrate God’s aspect of strong and independent woman to Christians. She also embodies loyalty and dedication, having stayed at Christ’s side no matter what.

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The Trinity 

The trinity is a Christian concept which expresses the Divine as one God in three persons. Essentially it describes God as having three main forms. This is very similar to the Wiccan belief that Goddess is triple (Maiden, Mother and Crone). The three aspects of the Trinity are: The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost. Some Wiccan thought holds that God has three forms as well though they are typically not as well defined.

The Father of course represents the masculine and Fatherly side of God. The Son represents God as Jesus Christ, the sacred mixture of human and Divine. The Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost) is the feminine side of God, Goddess Herself. If that surprises you then you’ll be even more surprised to know that the Bible actually bears this out. Jesus used the term “Ruach” to describe the Spirit, Ruach is a feminine Aramaic term that is translated as Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost in English. It wasn’t until the later Romanization of Christianity that Ruach was changed to be masculine.

In an early collection of Gnostic Christian writings known as the Nag Hammadi gospels The Holy Spirit is specifically referred to as female. The Phillip Text reads: “Some said, “Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit.” They are in error. They do not know what they are saying. Whenever has a female been impregnated by a female”? Revelation speaks of a woman in heaven “clothed with the sun, standing on the moon and crowned with twelve stars”. In the vision she is described as having bore a son who had taken up the throne of God. Furthermore this child was said to have been attacked by a red dragon but had escaped. Archangel Michael and his Warriors attacked the dragon and drove it from heaven. The dragon tried to revenge itself upon the woman but she was winged and flew from him into the desert. In it’s anger it attacked her other children. These other children were defined by John as those who bear testimony to Jesus (Revelation 12).

Now, Revelation is an extremely confusing book of the Bible and is highly metaphorical. If we take a moment to consider this mother in heaven who gave birth to a king (Jesus), was attacked by a dragon (a metaphor for the devil), was defended by angels and whose other children were Christians we can only arrive at one conclusion: She is The Holy Spirit, Queen of Heaven, The Goddess.  Within a metaphysical context we can view Mother Mary and The Magdalene as embodying two of the three forms of Goddess. The Magdalene represents the Maiden, Mother Mary is of course the Mother and The Holy Spirit is the Crone. 

If all of this sounds overly complicated then just keep in mind that these “aspects” or “phases” simply exist to help us to try and understand our Creator. No one system will ever have “the whole picture” but by putting them together we can benefit from the collective wisdom they provide. This I suspect, is the main reason most people have come to follow this blended path in the first place.

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Monolatry

Earlier in this book I explained that I hold a belief known as monolatry. Monolatry Is a term that was coined to describe eastern religion’s conceptions of God, later it was applied to Egyptian religion (Kemeticism). Essentially it means that you believe in one all powerful being of Whom the other gods are considered aspects/manifestations as well as individuals in Their own right. To give an example of how this works one only needs to look at Hinduism. Hinduism describes an incredibly complex array of religious beliefs and practices that found their start in India. Monolatry is common in Hinduism in the sense that many consider it’s innumerable gods to be aspects of one almighty Creator. These deities still have personalities, likes and dislikes but They are all part of one God.

God is all things to all people so it only makes sense that our Creator would take on different forms in order to interact with us. People are different, we think differently and we process information and experiences differently. Perhaps to one person it makes sense for God to appear to them as Jesus and to another God appears as Anubis, Artemis, Buddha, Krishna or any other deity or deities.

However, because God is the ultimate creative source, God’s personality is infinitely complex. Think of a massive diamond, it is one stone but you’d be hard pressed to count all the facets. God is the diamond as a whole and the facets of the stone are the various gods and goddesses of the world. They all form one whole but still occupy Their own spaces and can be interacted with separately.

Sometimes monolatry is also referred to as modified polytheism or inclusive monotheism. It is often summed up by describing God as “the One and the Many”. There is a Hindu saying which explains Monolatry very well; God is huge, too indescribably complex for us to experience directly. In this way God is like the sun, we can’t look directly at the sun. Instead we experience it through it’s rays. God is the sun and all of the gods are the sun’s rays. 

While it is certainly not the only school of belief in Christian Wicca it is a popular one and the one I hold in my heart.

Egyptian Amazons

Famous(or infamous depending on who you ask) the Amazons were described as a society of fierce warrior women who lived apart from men. They fought the most famous heroes of Greek mythology and captured the imagination of writers both ancient and modern.

The Amazons have always interested me, especially after stumbling upon the work of author Adrienne Mayor and her book simply titled “The Amazons”. In the book she dives into the histories of ancient nomads from the Steppes who may have inspired ancient authors as well as the myriad of Amazon legends themselves.

There are many misconceptions regarding the Amazons, one of the biggest being that they were only to be found in the Greek world. These fascinating heroines were also to be found in tales among the Persians, Romans,Syrians, Egyptians, and other ancient cultures. As someone who primarily identifies their religious beliefs as Kemetic the stories based in Egypt are of particular interest to me.

One myth tells of the Syrian Amazon Queen Serpot (“Blue Lotus”) who fought against the Egyptian Prince Pedikhons, the conflict eventually ending in single combat between the two rulers. However the two were evenly matched and ended up joining forces.

Another tale centers around Amazonian Queen Myrina who was famous for conquering the city of Cyrenê. After conflict with the famous Heracles, Queen Myrina found herself traveling through Egypt. This was far back in mythic times when the god Heru (Horus) was directly ruling the country as Pharaoh. Queen Myrina allied with the god and went on to conquer Libya and portions of Turkey.

While we cannot be for sure on the birthplace of the Amazons, many ancient writers place it in North Africa particularly around Lake Tritonis (southern Tunisia today). The primary source of information regarding the “Libyan Amazons” seems to come from Greek historian Diodorus Siculus and places a great deal of importance upon the worship of a goddess known as Tannit among them.

Tannit was known to the Egyptians as Nit (Neith), Tanit to the Phoenicians and later identified as Athena to the Greeks (by Herodotus). The name Tannit was said to mean Ta-Nit, which translates as “the Land of Nit“, referring to North Africa as a whole. Nit’s major cult center amongst the Egyptians was the city of Tanis.

Now that I’ve established a little bit of a background and connection here it’s time to discuss the Amazons and modern Kemetics. Are these mythical warrior women relevant to modern day worshipers and if so, in what way? It’s important to note that the legends we have of Amazons in Egypt come primarily from Greek sources and not Egyptian. On the other hand, the Tannit-Amazon-Nit connection is a fascinating tidbit that could imply and older association. 

The story of Queen Myrina is interesting because it places her life and rule rule during the earliest days of Egyptian mythical history, a time when gods and mortals walked side by side in the flesh.

I still have a lot to ponder and research but I will definitely be covering more of this subject in the future.

Kemetic Body Positivity: Beautiful Bellies

Today’s self love reminder: Ancient Egyptian’s thought rolls were lovely and painstakingly drew and carved them.

In some ancient cultures being heavier was a symbol of power because it meant you could afford to eat.

Egypt was a little unusual in that regard. Being well fed was definitely a status symbol for higher class people. The pharaoh Akhenaten had a very large stomach and he flaunted it as a sign of the prosperity his reign would bring to Egypt. We know from physical remains that a large number of pharaohs were quite heavy.

That being said, the relative calm and predictable nature of the Nile’s flood meant that agriculture was fairly easy compared to what other cultures had to go through. We even have surviving art that shows farmers just chucking seeds behind them in a field.

Droughts and famine did happen and could be severe but they were the exception rather than the rule. Egyptians ate a diet mostly consisting of bread, beer, root vegetables, fish and fruit. They loved to drink and party and ate lots of red meat and waterfowl during festivals. They also made junk food sweetened with honey. Pharaohs ate lots of candy.

Because food and drink was plentiful compared to other societies you didn’t have to be upper class to eat well. We actually have art of heavyset peasants.

It’s fascinating because they would be so confused by our culture’s obsession with thinness. To them, rolls and plump stomachs were good things. There’s a reason that in hymns to Hapi He’s referred to as “fattening the land of Egypt” and that “every belly is made glad”.

Odin, Loki, and Elohim

I have a friend who came back into my life recently and approached me asking for advice on how to connect to the divine. Like most people in the United States, he was raised with a Christian worldview. Unlike most Christians, however, he told me that he had gotten in several arguments with other Christians about the evidence of multiplicity and plurality within the Bible. He also told me that he had never managed to really connect with the Divine because of the skepticism he has always held towards religion in a general sense.

That conversation led to introducing him to a Christian friend who does ritual work with Elohim and many angels. She did a ritual that my friend attended and he met Michael through that ritual, and he has been able to connect to the Divine ever since. He has also started to learn more about energy work and magic, and it seems that he has been called to the path of the mage. He may eventually become a Christian high magician.

Throughout all of this, I saw Loki’s touch on my life because the work that I do for Loki often consists of helping people and the gods connect to each other. I don’t always help Loki and those meant to walk his path connect with each other – it is often other gods. I’m not entirely sure why I am called to connect gods with their intended devotees, but I have no problem doing the work. Some of my greatest joy in life comes from seeing someone connect deeply with the Divine, no matter who the gods are that they form a connection with. There is something indescribably beautiful about seeing gods and their devotees come together.

To be honest, though, I found the whole series of events a little frustrating because while my friend was able to connect to Michael and Elohim, he was having trouble conceptualizing the other gods as being just as real as Elohim. He told me that because he hadn’t experienced them as real, he couldn’t really conceptualize them in the same way. I personally found that frustrating because I understood that him coming to me about wanting to connect to the Divine came from my gods pushing me to help someone connect to the Divine.

Interestingly enough, Odin helped with that. I did a midsummer ritual to Odin the other night to reaffirm my oath to him. My two Christian friends, ironically, were the only ones there to witness the oath. The night after that, both of them came over to discuss the ritual they had done and to continue with energy work lessons. When he was centered, I had him just open himself up to feel the energy in the apartment. At first, his immediate reaction was “I feel negative energy.” And then he caught himself and said, “No. Not negative. Foreign. Unfamiliar.”

Then Odin stepped forward and asked for a drink. And Loki stepped forward and asked for chocolate. I provided the drink and chocolate – the intent wasn’t to try and get him working with Norse gods! – and I basically got confirmation through his experience that Odin had heard and accepted the reaffirmation of my oath to him. I was kind of amused at Odin’s attempt to get my friend to give him an offering (that did NOT happen; I poured out the offering myself) and found myself reminded that Odin is just as much (if not more so) a trickster than Loki himself.

For me, it was just evidence that the Gods do what they need to do to connect to the devotees they choose. Odin and Loki made themselves known to a Christian practitioner to demonstrate to him that they are just as real as Elohim, and the politics of the Gods are not the politics of humans.

Body Positivity And The Gods

We’ve probably all heard the expression “So-and-so has the body of a god”. But with so many traditions and pantheons full of deities what does that mean and why does it matter? This is my take, one that has helped bring me comfort in the face of an increasingly harsh, shallow society.

Most people in the Western World are familiar with the Greek and Roman gods. At least in terms of Their names and how They are depicted. Male gods shown with muscled frames, defined abs and legs that appear to be carved from steel. Goddesses have a bit more body diversity but still tend to conform to a certain “ideal” type.

This is what most people have in mind when they think about what gods “look like”. And there’s nothing wrong with that. This isn’t a slam or argument against any particular depiction of deity but rather an appeal to explore others.

Modern artwork showing deities is often characterized by this concept that all gods are muscle bound and all goddesses are slender with big breasts and tiny waists. I remember coming across a lovely work of photo art from a modern Hellenic temple showing the smith god Hephaestus as a slightly heavyset man. The comments on the work were extremely disheartening. “Gods are supposed to look perfect!” “He wouldn’t be able to do His job like that!”

One commenter explained in detail that he was unable to connect with deities not depicted as “physically perfect”. I remember being completely taken aback not only by people’s complete disregard for the fact that the model was an actual human being but also the association between a specific body type and “perfect”. Perfect by who’s terms? Are you saying that despite His noticeably strong muscles He wouldn’t be able to perform His work because His stomach isn’t flat? Absolute absurdity.

“Physical perfection” is a demonstrably artificial concept anyone. Perfect for what? A sprinter isn’t built like a football player, a strongman doesn’t have the body of a swimmer, etc. Outside of our shallow, image obsessed media it has no actual definition. We have been collectively trained to strive for a “perfection” that simply doesn’t exist so that companies can sell more products.

Cultures across the world have carved, drawn and imagined their gods in a wide variety of different ways. The Egyptian god Hapi is shown with a large chest and big belly, representing His associations with abundance.

Another god Bes, (also Egyptian) is envisioned as short and plump. Despite these features (which would be labeled as “flaws” by our modern society) Bes was beloved in ancient times an in the modern day by Kemetics.

Fertility and mother goddesses the world over are given the image of a curved woman with a large, round body emphasizing Their creative powers. These ample goddesses are beloved and venerated in nearly every tradition. Their images adorn jewelry, altars, artwork and books.

Another much loved god Who doesn’t match the image of a deity so many have in their head is Hotei, Japanese (as well as Chinese) god of happiness and contentment. His image can be found not only in temples but also outside of bars and restaurants, of which He is considered the patron god.

Yet another of the “Seven Lucky Gods” of Japan can be included here. Ebisu, patron god of fishermen, luck and wealth. Ebisu is described as a “full-figured” man dressed as a fisherman. To this day He plays an important role in Japanese culture, appearing in many mediums.

One of the most popularly worshiped Hindu gods of all time is Ganesh or Ganesha. Considered by some branches of the Hindu faith to be the Supreme Being, Ganesha is shown in images as an elephant headed man, sometimes with multiple arms and a large protruding stomach. Depending on the tradition this can represent everything from satisfaction to the infinite number of worlds existing within Him.

These aren’t the only body types that are left out when we view gods through the lense of modern ideas of “physical perfection”. As I don’t have infinite room here however I’ll have to discuss them next time!

What does all of this mean thing? It means that the images we create of our gods reflects ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with buff gods but there is also nothing wrong with heavyset or even fat ones either. People aren’t meant to look alike or have the same builds and neither are our gods.

Netjeri: The Divine Spirits

We just love “Net” words in Kemeticism.


For the average ancient Egyptian the world was filled with gods and spirits. Spiritual entities and creatures lived alongside the physical world and could be interacted with.

These creatures were often considered spiritual manifestations of physical phenomenon with medical treatments combining medicine with prayers and rituals aimed at influencing these creatures.

Amulets were worn to encourage protection of the person by the gods but also by these spirits. Or to keep them away entirely. Some of these beings are identified as serving specific deities while others do not.

Accounts of the ancient Egyptian underworld also populate it with a vast array of different spirit beings and creatures. While they seem to be less popular subjects in modern media Egyptian religion and mythology is not far behind that of the Greeks in terms of exotic, amazing mythological beings.

Such spirits include Sha beasts, Bennu birds (Phoenixes), griffins, sphinxes, serpopards, stas and more. The Sha is a sleek canine with large, square ears, a forked tail and long snout.

The Bennu is a heronlike bird with connections to the Phoenix myth. Serpopards are beings with the body of a leopard and the long neck and head of a snake. Finally, Stas are described as having the head and neck of an asp (a venomous snake) and a large, catlike body.

So we know these spirits were considered important in ancient times but what about nowadays? Working with various spiritual entities is common in many religious and/or spiritual traditions. In the Kemetic Orthodox tradition the name netjeri is given to any and all nonhuman, non god spirits.

Because the ancient Egyptians would often incorporate aspects of other religions into their own faith many modern Kemetics have no issue calling upon spirits from other cultures (angels and fae are common examples) in addition to traditional Kemetic spirits.

Certain gods such as Sekhmet (though certainly not limited to Her) are known to have spirits who serve as emissaries. These emissaries are often referred to as Arrows or as members of a deity’s retinue. It’s highly likely that all Netjeru have these emissaries in Their service.

Pysanky and Egg Healing

Image From: kinderart.com

This post is extremely belated, but the environment we are currently living in has made it difficult to keep up with a lot of things for many of us, and induced a lot of stress. Now, I hope many of you have been able to take some time to rest and recoup. But, regardless of if you have, or haven’t, I really wanted to add to the healing process. Which is why I wanted to talk about a wonderful Slavic shamanic practice—egg healing.

Egg healing is a huge part Slavic shamanism, which is a “branch” of shamanism that puts heavy emphasis on healing. Now, while it’s hard to find a lot of information on a lot of Slavic traditions, egg healing is more widely known, as it’s extended its reach into other practices. That’s not to say it’s easy to find proper information on it, though. Even when you can find someone well versed in Slavic shamanism (a Znakharka, or healer), there still tends to be an air of mystery they maintain around their techniques. But there are indeed some basics out there that make this something you can practice yourself and on others when you need a bit of cleansing.

Traditionally, Shamans will instill within decorated eggs (called pysanky) blessings, healing powers, and protection charms. The egg will then be used in these healing ceremonies or as a talisman. Sometimes the eggs are rolled over the body and used to pull out fears and other dark energies from within the body.

For a bit more detail on why egg healing is so powerful, I think Itzhak Beery puts it best when he says: “Eggs are excellent tools for healing…[t]he egg absorbs energy though the seven thousand pores of its mostly calcium shell…[a]ll life begins with an egg. Bird eggs are the largest single living cells in nature and are a metaphor for the universal life structure” (Shamanic Healing: Traditional Medicine for the Modern World). In short, the egg is the perfect symbol to represent the life force that started us all, and, because of its physical structure, it becomes an absorbent force for different energies.

One problem that one might run into when wanting to do egg healing is that, traditionally, a fertilized egg with life forming inside it is use, as that egg is actively absorbing energy to keep that life alive. But this doesn’t mean you can’t use regular eggs to perform a healing—like I think in any practice, it’s the process and intention that matters the most.

These eggs also aren’t just used to help the body. They’re used to protect one’s home and family as well. Pysanky are truly powerful and full of magic, and there is so much more that can be said about them, their meaning, how they’re used, and even how they’re decorated. However, there is just too much to dig into for one blog post.

This divine feminine symbol has layers upon layers that can be unpacked, and maybe I’ll write more about them in the future. For now though, I’ll leave you with this to say: If you’re in need of some healing, I hope I have opened you up to looking deeper into the amazing power of egg healing.

***

Works Referenced:

Beery, Itzhak. Shamanic Healing: Traditional Medicine for the Modern World. Destiny Books, 2017.

Lynn, Christa. “Slavic Shamanism – Egg Healing Ceremony (Pysanky).” Shamanic Spirit, Shamanic Spirit, 6 Aug. 2013, http://www.shamanicspirit.ca/blog/articles/slavic-shamanism-egg-healing-ceremony-pysanky.

“Springs Rebirth: Slavic and Balkan Pysanka.” Elder Mountain Dreaming, eldermountaindreaming.com/2018/03/18/springs-rebirth-slavic-and-balkan-pysanka/.

Marduk and Tiamat (“Enuma Elish”: The Babylonian Epic of Creation)

At first glance the story of Marduk and Tiamat in the “Enuma Elish” seems to be a creation story of Mesopotamia as told by the Babylonians. However, the subtext tells how humans mastered the volatile environment of Mesopotamia. Also, the myth grapples with understanding and accepting the cosmos as they understood it.

Layered below this creation myth is the rise of Babylon to become the principal power of the region. The “Enuma Elish” (Note 1) describes the lives of the succeeding generations of Gods, their conflicts with the Gods before Them, and ends with Marduk as their ruler. Each generation of Gods probably represents a prior group of peoples who lived the region. Since Marduk is the major God of the Babylonians, this myth then becomes the story of how Babylon came to rule Mesopotamia.

The myth starts by describing the ancient landscape of Mesopotamia, thousands of years ago. Apsu, the sweet water, mixes with Tiamat of the salt water. The symbol of their union is the mingling of the Tigris and Euphrates with the sea to produce the salt marshes. The sea was much farther inland then, and tides had more effect on the people living there. The landscape of the area is one of river bottoms, tidal marshes, swamps, and wetlands. Even the names of their first children, Lahamu (female) and Lahmu (male) which means “silt,” reflect this as well.

Into this watery beginning, Anshar (male) and Kishar (female) – the Gods of the Horizon and of the Rim of the Earth – are born. These two Gods are the parents of Anu, the Father of the Gods. Anu, the Ancestor of the Elder Gods, is the parent of Nudimmud, Marduk’s father. (Note 2). (Note 3).

The next generation of Gods were Enlil and Enki of the Sumerians. Unlike the first group, these Gods focused on developing agriculture and decreeing divine laws. While Anu ruled the Gods, Enlil granted kingship, and Enki created people. (In a similar story to Apsu and the noisy Gods is Enlil and the noisy humans. In both cases, the Gods tried to destroy the noisemakers, since the activities of farming disturbed them.)

In Tiamat’s case, the noisy ones were the next generation of Gods, who were replacing the original ones. They were draining the swamps, digging the canals, and irrigating the fields. These Gods were taming the “sweet water”, thereby killing Apsu as a God. The efforts of the new Gods threatened Tiamat, since They were transforming the salt marshes into farmland.

The “Emuma Elish” relates it as following: The noise was so great that Tiamat wanted those Gods gone. Apsu, Her Consort, tried to convince Her otherwise, but failed. When Enlil discovered Tiamat’s intent, He killed Apsu. Enlil’s reasoning was to allow the original waters of Apsu to become many forms of being such as canals.

Furious, Tiamat raises an army, which metaphorically reflects the violence of the times. Through continuous irrigation, salt made the land of the Sumerians infertile. Faced with dwindling resources including water, the various cities fought each other to gain these precious resources for their peoples. During this awful time, the suffering Sumerians wrote lamentations describing their misery — bodies melting in the sun and cities shrouded in smoke. Into this war-torn landscape came the Amorites, who adopted the Sumerian culture, and established their main city of Babylon. Under their king, Hammurabi, the Babylonians cemented their empire and imposed law and order in Mesopotamia.

This creation myth, the “Enuma Elish,” relates how the Babylonians came to power and recreated the world, making order out of chaos. Their principal God, Marduk, assumes power over the other Gods and defeats Tiamat. Unable to defeat Tiamat, the Sumerian Gods, Enki and Enlil cede their power to Marduk by granting “Enlil-ship” to Him. Meanwhile, the other Gods confer “Anu-power” on Him. Hence, several generations of Gods pass from importance. The “Enuma Elish” says, “We gave You (Marduk) Kingship, power over all and everything.”

After adopting the myths from the Sumerians, the Babylonians rewrote the creation myth to include the rise and rulership of Marduk. After Tiamat came Anu, who was the original head of the pantheon. With each succeeding generation, Anu shared his power first with Enlil and then with Enki. While They ceded their power to Marduk, Anu remained in the titular rule. In the “Enuma Elish,” the Babylonians acknowledge their predecessors, the Sumerians and the others. But they end the myth with Marduk recreating the world and establishing his reign. He does this by building the world on the bones of Tiamat, one of the Gods of the original peoples living there. Marduk remakes the world as the Babylonians remade Mesopotamia.

Note 1: The Mesopotamians have several creation myths. This is an analysis of one of them.
Note 2: An alternative interpretation has Ashar and Kishar be the children of Lahamu and Lahmu.
Note 3: The Sumerian myths have Ki, as the wife of Anu, help to create the heavens and the earth. Their children, Enlil and Ninlil create the world, and Enki sets the order of everything in the new world.

Works Used.
“Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses.” U.K. Higher Education Project. 2011. Web. http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/amgg/index.html .
Black, Jeremy and Anthony Green, “Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia.” University of Texas: Austin. 1992.
Cicero, Sandra, “A Guide to the Babylonian Tarot.” Llewellyn: Woodbury, MN, 2006. Print.
King, L.W., “Babylonian Religion and Mythology.” Wisdom Library. 1903. Web. http://www.wisdomlib.org/mesopotamian/book/babylonian-religion-and-mythology/d/doc7086.html .
Dickie, Lloyd and Paul Boudreau, “Awakenings Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer.” Inner Traditions: Rochester (VT). 2015.
Jacobsen, Thorkild, “The Treasures of Darkness.” Yale University Press: New Haven. 1976.

Odin and Autosacrifice

About 10 years ago, I found myself reading Norse mythology and all the books considered part of the Heathen lexicon of lore. The whole reason I started reading books dealing with Norse mythology, history, and lore – I saw an unsettling picture of Odin on a website. The picture displayed him as an elder man with an eye-patch, but the look in his other eye came across like a leader offering a rebuke while simultaneously extending his hand.

The way that picture unsettled me actually prevented me from doing research into Heathenry for about six months. I was not sure I was ready to deal with another god after I had spent the majority of my life feeling betrayed by the Christian god; I certainly wasn’t sure I was ready to deal with a god that had the kind of unsettling presence I felt in that picture. I wrestled with the desire of wanting nothing to do with another god and wanting nothing more but to follow one. Internally, I waged a war against myself for half a year before I made a decision. I would brave the unknown.

I found the site that had housed the picture of Odin that I had originally seen, and I used the picture as a tool to imagine myself beside Odin in a place where we could safely talk. I didn’t struggle to figure out how to talk to him; I’d been raised in a tradition of spirit work. Actually, I tend to feel more comfortable and confident around spirits because of that – especially non-human spirits – than around people. Initiating conversation with Odin wasn’t difficult. The hard part for me was deciding to respond to the invitation he had offered through the way he had illuminated an image of himself that I happened to see.

Within the space of a few months of communicating and working with him, I learned a lot about both him and myself. I saw parts of me in him, like the willingness to break a promise to one person to ensure the safety and health of a community. I read forums where people openly railed against Odin for breaking oaths in the myths. He does break oaths in the stories, but the only time that happens is when the risk that would follow keeping the oath would prove higher than breaking it.

In all the stories I read, I started seeing Odin as a strategist and tactician, a war genius that was always several thousand steps ahead of everyone around him. I saw how he took in everything around him, even though he did not always voice it. I saw a god who was not afraid to experience new things, who knew when to be humble and when to be bold, and who treasured his friends and his community above the sanctity of everything else.

I also saw what others consider a darkness in him – the bloodlust, the thirst for war, the frenzy and ecstasy of magic at its finest. I have come to think of Odin’s thirst for war less as a desire to see people kill each other and more as a necessity in a grim battle against the cycle that eventually causes the destruction of the universe. I don’t think Odin cares about the causes of war that people invoke him for because the war he is waging against cosmic forces is of much more consequence. In some ways, he is the ultimate utilitarian strategist.

He is also a trickster. So much so, in fact, that people often forget that he is a trickster. People who shy away from Loki because of his trickster aspect often turn towards Odin, forgetting that Odin is just as much of a trickster as Loki is. Their trickster aspects seem to come from different places and serve different purposes, but there is a reason they are blood brothers. Odin’s trickster aspect seems to originate from his ability to disguise and deceive everyone around him; he almost always has an agenda to further his own cause. He weaves illusions and snares others in traps that they rarely see coming.

While Loki is also capable of shape-shifting and disguise, he also shatters illusions and uses the truth to confound people into doing what he wants. He sets up situations so that his enemies think that they have outsmarted and captured him; he turns the tides at the last moment and proves that his cunning is far superior. His strategy seems to rely on making plans on the spur of the moment; he is not a strategist that indulges in a lot of planning. He seems more like the type to trust his ability to get him out of tight spots, no matter the odds.

Together, the two of them are unstoppable. It is thus not surprising that the tale of Ragnarok shows them pitted against each other. Odin’s main goal is to keep the death of the universe at bay; his main aim seems to be to halt the progress of death. Loki’s main goal is to keep the cycle in motion; he is the embodiment of change. It thus makes sense that Odin and Loki would be incredible friends at the beginning of every cycle because everything is growing and expanding and changing in beautiful ways. At some point, though, a peak is reached and the universe begins to spiral more quickly towards decay. It is at that point the two of them must turn from the other because their goals clash horribly.

I learned this about Odin and Loki by reading the myths and the Eddas, and I learned by listening to them as they told me their stories in the astral realm. At some point, I learned enough to realize that I would be willing to commit myself to both of them in very different ways. I swore an oath to Odin, to be part of his army as a strategist and mage, an oath that keeps me bound to him as long as my soul continues to exist in any energetic form. I took this oath knowing exactly how deeply I was committing myself – I did not take it lightly.

Part of that oath, ten years ago, was that I would avoid the Christian god and Christianity to the best of my ability – a difficult thing to do in the middle of a Bible Belt. I threw out all of my old Bibles and Christian books. I stopped listening to Christian music, including Christian rock – a feat made more difficult by the fact that many alternative rock bands turn out to be Christian rock bands in disguise. I stopped letting friends drag me with them to church services. I did everything I could to rid my life of Christianity in all its guises.

Part of the reason I added that stipulation to the oath was that I knew how easy it would be for me to fall back into old patterns of letting friends/family take me to church with them, even though it made me miserable. I also knew how badly I yearned for a community, and the Christian church provides that for people. I did not want the temptation to be part of a community to tempt me away from one of the only gods who I had encountered who seemed to understand me at all. It was a stipulation, in other words, that I forced onto myself – it was not one that Odin required of me.

Still, for ten years, I avoided all things Christian. I refused to engage with the Golden Dawn system of ceremonial magic because it was rife with Christian symbolism. I couldn’t work with angels, even after encountering one, because of the stipulation I had placed on myself in the oath I took to Odin. I couldn’t really engage in relationships with people who weren’t atheist or polytheistic (and didn’t include the Christian god in their devotional practice). There was a lot I couldn’t do, which was fine for many years.

About three months ago, it started to really bother me that I couldn’t learn the systems of magic I was the most interested in because of that stipulation. It bothered me so much that I sat down one night and had a very long conversation with Odin about potentially renegotiating my original oath with him to have that stipulation removed. I purposefully approached him with a suggested alternative; I did not ask him to simply release me from that portion of the oath. After all, I had spent ten years offering him my refusal to engage with Christianity – I thus had to come prepared with something to offer in lieu of that.

So, I offered him blood. My own blood, to be exact. We discussed what that would entail, how often it would be, and we reached an agreement. Odin agreed to release me, and we renewed the oath with a new stipulation in place of the old one. The new oath was simply that I would continue to remain bound to his service as a strategist and mage, and I would offer him my blood once a month. In exchange for my oath, I gain access to a lot of places within the astral realm and can work with any/all spirits regardless of the religion that house them.

I try to do the autosacrifice on a Wednesday, since Wednesday is named for Odin. After I sterilize my hand with rubbing alcohol, I use a lancing device to prick my finger and place at least three drops (never more than nine) in a small offering dish that I then place on Odin’s altar. It’s a very small amount of blood, but blood magic is very, very potent. It is also incredibly important to ensure the environment is sterile before purposefully making yourself bleed.

While some may see using a lancing device as a “weak” method of offering blood, the reality is that blood carries a lot of potent magic regardless of the manner in which it is obtained. As long as Odin is satisfied with the offering (which he has been fine with so far), then I am less concerned about how other people view my methods. After all, it’s not like I’m making an offering to them. 

In any case, autosacrifice is not a path meant for everyone, and I have met few gods who would approach a devotee and ask for such an offering. Among those I know who do offer their own blood to their gods have done so after discussing it with their gods. It is never appropriate to assume that any/all gods will accept blood offerings. Some gods can and will find it offensive, especially if you offer it to them without discussing it first. As with any offering, it is imperative to talk to the gods first about an offering you are considering giving them rather than assume that something you haven’t given them before will automatically be accepted. Gods can/do reject offerings, which is why developing a strong relational practice with the gods is so important.