A Year and a Day Completed

So I’ve done my Year and a Day for Wicca. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t get as much out of it as I wanted. This wasn’t due to Nordic Wicca (the eclectic brand I practice because I feel more comfortable with it) as much as it was to a lot of other personal problems and interruptions that took away my time.

There wasn’t anything I could do about it and I couldn’t ignore what was going on around me. Nevertheless, I intend to keep the altar and when the mood strikes me perform a small ceremony. I do like how it ties in so nicely with yearly patterns and the changing of the seasons and moon and sun. I like that a lot. Some mornings I will ring my bell and call upon Freya and Odin to give me strength to face what’s coming that day.

I am hoping some of the personal upsets I’ve suffered this past year will calm down. They have been extremely disruptive and personally painful. If they don’t ease off I will have to make other decisions about my life that don’t (and should not) involve my interest in wicca, or anything else.

I have to be mindful of priorities in my life, no matter what else might be sucked into the maelstrom around me. Writing, of course, always comes first. That is a no-brainer.

But not all is lost. All Hallows’ Eve is coming up and I plan to do a cleansing of the house with incense and bell, a ritual I did last year and enjoyed. It’s a fun, simple little ritual that helps breathe new life into your home and yourself. It’s fun and other people like to help.

So at the moment that’s my relationship with wicca. I really do like it a lot, but personal matters are intruding in so many other aspects of my life I can’t ignore them. I will celebrate yearly events when I can and of course I will blog about them.

 

Blessed Be. )O(

 

 

Kenneth Mark Hoover Writer Biography

Kenneth Mark Hoover

Kenneth Mark Hoover

 

Kenneth Mark Hoover has sold over sixty short stories and articles. His fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, and many other magazines and anthologies. His first novel, a dystopian SF called Fevreblau, was published by Five Star Press in 2005. He is a member of SFWA and HWA. His interests include Shotokan karate and Nordic Wicca. He also likes beagles and pecan coffee.

His latest novel, Haxan, is a violent dark western published by CZP/HarperCollins in 2014. You can find out more about Mr. Hoover and his work from his blog kennethmarkhoover.me (you’re reading it now!) or his website kennethmarkhoover.com.

Invoking Freya for the Full Moon

Today is the full moon so I invoked Freya as the Mother Aspect of the Triple Goddess. Here are a few pictures from the ceremony. I did not, Freya2of course, take the photographs during the ceremony as that would have been disrespectful.

Freya is sometimes used as the Maiden Aspect of the Triple Goddess and Frigga is the Mother. I tend to use Idunn as the Maiden, however. Hela remains, naturally, the Crone Aspect.

Freya is a leader of the Valkyries and a sage mistress of cats. Her powers are love, beauty, war, wisdom, and sometimes death since she is a Valkyrie. She can be called upon for differing types of spellwork including enchantments, protection, wisdom, love, poetry and creativity. I think the reason I like to call upon her is for the creativity since that fits in well with my writing.

Freya1

Freya3

For the last quarter moon of this month I hope to invoke Hela and post pictures from that ceremony.

A Year and a Day

Nordic Wiccan AltarYesterday I took a purification bath and performed a self-dedication ritual. It went really well and I felt good afterward. I am on my way to explore the different parts of Wicca and try to deepen my connection with Nature.

As I said in an earlier post I honestly don’t know how much attention I can give to this. I will be honest and do what I can. But all in all I look forward to learning more about the seasons, and how to celebrate them.

I don’t have anything necessarily planned for the future. I found an acorn and put it on my altar. That’s a lot for me, I guess, haha. I also checked into a local Wiccan group and might go visit them one day soon. Again, it’s kind of dependent on my own schedule, which at the moment is kind of full.

But I’m in this for a year and a day and I will blog about it, and other things, when I can. Hope you stick around to read about it. 🙂

 

Making Magickal Wands for Wicca/Paganism

One of the nice things about Wicca is you can fashion the tools you need for very little expense. One of these is a wand.

I started with several choices and diameters of wood. The first two in the picture below are juniper, then I had an apple branch followed by maple. I asked the juniper tree permission before I took the branches and give it a big drink of water afterward. The apple and maple were picked off the ground from dead branches.

Wands

Here is the apple wand after I stripped the bark. I left some for a handle and left the knots and whorls and buds because I liked the way that looked.

photo(4)Next I worked on the maple….

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Here is the apple wand completely carved and sanded and polished. It is 13-inches long. I don’t think I will paint it or glue crystals to it. I prefer a more natural look. But if you decide to make your own wand you can do whatever feels right for you. There is no right or wrong way, it’s the intent that matters most here. You can even buy one from a metaphysical shop if you wish.

photo(7)

Here are all three together. (Sorry for the blurriness.) At the moment the apple wand is on my altar. (Oh, you didn’t know I have an altar? I guess I should blog about that!) I think I might carve the big fat juniper wand with sigils and decorate with hair, feathers. At the moment I’m happy with the apple and maple wands so I doubt I will mess with them further.

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Apple, juniper, maple wands.

Different woods have different magickal properties. Maple has feminine and masculine energy which fits with the God/Goddess dual aspect of Wicca. A horned owl is considered the sacred bird of this tree.  Maple wands are used for spiritual healing. They enhance  knowledge and communication.

The Apple tree represents female energy and is a symbol of fertility. Since I am doing Nordic Gods it fits with Iduun who grew golden apples to convey immortality to the gods. Apple is good for fairie magick, love, peace, harmony.  I have yet to find information on juniper. Not that it matters. It’s not the wand, it’s the witch who holds the wand that is important, along with his intent. Don’t have a wand? You can use your finger. It’s not the tool…it’s the intent that is always most important in Wicca.

Blessed be!  )O(

Loki_and_Idun

Loki stole Idunn’s apples which, as you might guess, caused quite a lot of consternation among the Nordic gods.

Relating the Thoughtforms of Animism to Everyday Modern Life

One of the tenets of Wicca/Paganism is the idea that everything around us, rocks, trees, clouds, is alive. This animistic idea that animals, plants, even natural phenomenon itself have spiritual essence is ancient and very, very attractive.

As I move into Wicca/Paganism I find these ideas do enlighten my perspective toward the world around me.

Foggy street outside my house this morning.

Foggy street outside my house this morning.

Now if you ask do I believe a rock is alive in the sense we understand the makeup and biological processes of living things, no, I do not. But if you ask does that rock have a significant role to play in the overall makeup of the world and its environs then, yes, I can kind of see that.

I guess more than anything it’s being aware of the interconnectedness of things around me. Being Wiccan/Pagan gives me a jumping off point, or a skill set if you wish, to be more definitive about this worldview. The breadth of understanding it gives to my writing is, in my opinion, incalculable.

This morning I got up early and went outside to see a foggy street outside my house. The idea of animism really came home to me in that instant. No, I do not believe the fog itself is alive. I do think it has an interconnectedness with the things around it, however, certainly in a physical way, and in my mind, perhaps spiritually as well.

And I think that’s the key to much of this as regards the spiritual side of Paganism. It’s a reflection of our own minds, and what we bring to the world through our own observations and thoughtforms that helps us relate to the world. Then again that’s the motive of all religions. As a writer I find that fascinating, and very, very enlightening.

Noticing the Four Elements of Wicca

Since I have started turning my attention toward Wicca for reasons I set down in this earlier post, I have become increasingly aware of certain things around me.

In Wicca the elements, Earth, Air, Wind and Fire play an important role. Not surprisingly, I have become more aware of their influence and existence.

When I am walking outside I notice the wind moving through the tops of the trees. How it feels against my face. I notice the rain and listen to the sound it makes dripping off the roof. How the ground feels beneath my feet, what it smells like. The shape of fire in the pit and how it gyrates.

Earth is my body

Water is my blood

Air is my breath

and Fire is my spirit.

Now of course I have always seen these things before and noticed them. You can’t help but get stuck in the rain and not notice that. Or be hit by a hurricane or whatever. But I guess what I am trying to say here is because I am sort of focused on trying to understand Wicca I am more aware of these things than previously. I didn’t need Wicca to help me find this connection to Nature. It’s just a way that helped me focus, I guess is what I am trying to say.

So anyway it’s been pretty cool. And as a writer it really does help me to see these things around me in a different light, so to speak.

As I mentioned earlier I have been doing a lot of research. I learned there is a facet of Wicca called Seax Wicca that does use the Norse Gods. I looked into it but I still think a solitary, eclectic path will fit me best. I have decided, however, to seek out some other Wiccan groups in the area later and perhaps contact them. They have little meetings and get to know you lunches and whatever every week and if nothing else it will help me (force me) to be more social. Which is something I always struggle with. (Just ask my writing buddy!)

So that catches you up on everything Wicca this week. As for my writing I have to finish the short story and really search around for a new project to work on. I may return to the hobo novel or go in another direction. I haven’t written a good hard SF story in a long time, I might think about that.

I leave you with Earth, Wind and Fire. We will take Water on account.      )O(

 

My New Path into Norse Wicca

Freya is one of the gods I will use in my journey through Nordic Wiccan.Many years past a couple of friends and I were talking about religion. What we liked, what we didn’t like. I said then, “If I had not been born a Catholic I would have followed Wicca.”

I never forgot that. To be honest, I never realized at the time what being born, or not being born Catholic, had to do with following any religion for any reason.

But there were parts of Wicca I always liked. Its close relation to nature. Ritual. Reflection. Seeking wisdom. Acknowledging the old ways and the old gods. Forming and shaping parts and elements of the belief to fit your own worldview. A very personal and eclectic system to be built, if that’s what you wanted.

Over the years I wondered if that was what I wanted. I remain unsure to some degree. But I have decided to follow Wicca for a calender year (loosely, Samhain to Samhain) and delve into it and learn.

My reason for this is twofold. One, just by learning more about this cannot but help me with my fiction. I write a lot of dark fantasy. I have never been well-steeped in some facets of that world. Knowing more about it, learning more about it, can only help me as a writer if I continue to write.

And I will continue to write.

Second, I honestly do like the nature aspect of this. Helping me connect more to nature can only be a positive thing. Anyone who follows my blog or knows me well knows how much I like camping and getting away and being by myself. I am hoping I can find new synergy Odin is the male god I will worship in my journey through Norse Wicca.here. Maybe, maybe not. I don’t care. It’s the journey that interests me most. As a writer I am always more interested in journey than in endings and beginnings. Seeking wisdom. Looking into yourself. Being alone without being lonely. That has always been who I am.

I’m going to blog about this and I am going to approach it legitimately. Now, I certainly do realize that with my deep background in physics and chemistry and skepticism leavened with an INTJ personality there may be some bumpy roads ahead. That’s all fine. For what writer alive thinks  human life isn’t about conflict? At the core of things, what else is there to write about? What else do we write about?

So I am going to be very honest with myself about all this. I know there are some things I am going to have a hard time accepting. I may never accept any of it. Maybe I won’t like it. Maybe I’ll get tired of it. Maybe the pressures of the every day world will find a way to tear this idea from my consciousness.

I’m all good with that. I’m a writer first. You think I am going to pass up the opportunity for potential story ideas?

I don’t know how much of this I can do, either. I want to be honest about it and approach it openly, but I can’t lie to myself. I doubt I am going to have the time to celebrate the many-fold parts of this. But I will be honest about it, and my intent will be good, so I’ll see where it goes.

So for one calender year I am going to follow Wicca, learn about it, do it, perform it, be honest to it. If I don’t like it I will stop. If I do like it I will keep going. No matter what happens I will blog about it and write about it here, and use all those experiences to broaden my fiction.

Valkyries and gods seeking wisdom. What's not to like in Nordic Wiccan?There are many ways to seek the path. I think the eclectic one, a solitary path, is right for me. I am not interested in covens or anything like that. In Wicca there is often the Lord and Lady you pay homage to plays a prominent role. But you can choose other pantheons. Lots of witches do and that seems to be a path I would like to explore. The Norse gods have always interested me and here’s a way I can delve more deeply into that mythology. To really get at the bones of the myth and immerse myself in it without being fanatical about it all.

That’s why I have decided to go with Odin and Freya. Perhaps Frigg in place of Freya? I’ll have to think about it and do more research. It remains to be seen which one speaks to me the most. Conventional Norse choices, I suppose, but they seem right to me at the moment. Which is not to say I might not turn to Lord and Lady or even other gods like Egyptian, Celtic, Japanese, or what have you. There are a lot to choose from. You can follow whomever you like, who speaks to you, as long as you have good intent. But I think Norse feels right to me in a very deep and personal way. Especially these gods known for wisdom and strength and knowledge and beauty. I like that. I like that a lot.

The eclectic part will work better for me rather some something more structured like, say, Asatru. Although there are parts of Asatru I like as well. Oh, well, I also get to decide if I use a Pentacle, Valknut, or Triquetra on my altar. Not that I have an altar. Gotta make that someday. Fun!

So there you have it. This is what I am going to do. Well, aside from writing. I’m going camping tomorrow in Santa Rosa, NM and later Palo Duro if I’m not too tired. I intend to finish the Haxan story while camping, do a ton of reading and think about this decision at more depth.

While I am out I am going to look for a wand. They say the tools of your altar find you when you are ready. We will see about that.

This is something that has been building in the back of my mind for more than half a decade now. Now I am going to do it and learn what I can and have fun.

So mote it be.

)O(

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