Calendar of the Sun for February 5th

Calendar of the Sun
5 Solmonath

Day of the Serpent

Colors: Malachite green, sea-blue, and silver
Element: Water
Altar: Set a cloth of sea-blue embroidered with a great serpent in malachite green and silver, and on it place a figure of the Midgard Serpent with its tail in its mouth. Around the room strew colored ribbons in a great circle. The ritual takes place within the circle.
Offerings: Cords or ribbons knotted into a circle.
Daily Meal: Eel. Fish and seafood. Seaweed. Salad. Cooked greens. Eggs.

Invocation to the Midgard Serpent

Hail Iormundgand
Child of the Trickster
And the Hag of the Iron Wood,
Brother and sister of Death,
Neither male nor female
But complete within yourself,
Neither forward nor backward
But eternally circling,
Neither of the earth
Nor apart from it
But forever surrounding us
In our Middle Land.
Teach us, O Serpent,
Of what it is to see the end
And the beginning as one,
To see all things
In their place on the wheel,
To live with the turning
And not mistake it for a straight line
Even when the horizon
Is too far away
For our weak eyes to find.

Chant: Ior Ior Iormundgand

(All join hands and do a circle dance around the outside of the room, just inside the serpent boundary.)

Earth Witch Lore – Bridges

Earth Witch Lore – Bridges

 

Rivers belong to the Water witch, but bridges, and the superstitions that surround them, belong to the Earth Witch. As one who finds solutions and builds foundations, who else could conceive of a way to cross running water while remaining earthbound?

 

There are a few mythical bridges that relate to other elements, such as Bifrost (the rainbow bridge leading from Midgard, the realm of the mortals, to Asgard, the realm of the gods, in Norse mythology), but more often bridges belong to the realm of earth.

 

A bridge is a gateway, because it rests between two bodies of land mass. While crossing it, you are neither in one space nor the other. The bridge transcends the two objects it connects in this manner; hence, it is a very magical and powerful place. It has been said that time does not work the same way on bridges as it does elsewhere. Some say that time moves more slowly when on a bridge, while others say that time ceases to exist all together and does not begin again until one has crossed completely over. Because of the time factor, a bridge has the ability to bring one back to a childlike state.

 

In many myths, a bridge is the path one must take after death to reach the other side. Some of the mythical bridges were treacherous, in order to keep out the living. Native American lore speaks of a shaking bridge one must cross to reach the other side. Often these mythical bridges are said to not tolerate the weight of a sinner and will cast the sinner off the bridge into the water below.

 

There is a tale in modern folklore that relates that you will hear a heartbeat if you stand quietly on a bridge. I have heard about a million variations of this urban legend with one common theme: that of the heartbeat belonging to a deceased person. While it is possible to hear a heart beat-type noise on certain bridges through out the United States, this is normally due to a nearby gas pipes or some other human invention. Yet the tale lives on because of the spooky reputation of bridges.

Because of the association with death, bridges are often said to be haunted. Celtic tradition warns that you should hold your tongue while crossing or passing beneath a bridge. The Isle of Man is home to the famed Fairy Bridge. Local legend says that if you cross the bridge without wishing the little people that live there a good day, you will not have a safe or happy visit. There is also a universal belief that two people who part on a bridge will never meet again.

 

Earth Witches know the lore to be true to this point–there is magic aplenty contained in the bridge. Spell work performed on a bridge tends to take effect immediately. Any type of magic that involves time manipulation will gain a boost by being performed on a bridge.

Trees and Creation

In the Norse Tradition, Yggdrassil, the world tree, supported the nine realms of existence. At the top was Asgard, the home of the Aesir, the principle deities, led by Odin and his consort Frigg. This level also contained Vanaheim, the kingdom of the wind, fertility and sea gods, with whom the Aesir fashioned an uneasy peace, and Alfheim, home of the light elves. On the middle level was Midgard, the land of the humans. They shared this level with Jotunheim, the land of the Frost Giants and Nidavellir, the realm of the dwarves, who guarded their treasure and made artifacts for the deities. The lowest realm was divided between Niflheim and Hel, realms of the dead and Svartalafheim, home of the Dark Elves.

In Eastern Europe as well as in Asia the mythological world tree was considered the axis of the world with the pole star at the top. Shamans, the magickal Priests or Healers of indigenous people worldwide, climb this tree in a trance to reach other realms. Look up through the branches of a very tall tree on a starry night and you will see how this belief came into being.

The tree appears in numerous creation myths. In one Maori legend, the tree was the first thing to appear at creation and on it grew countless buds that contained all created life. A number of Nature North American creation myths tell how the first humans climbed pine or fir trees from the underworld and broke through on to the Earth. In Viking myth the first man was fashioned by Odin and his brothers from an Ash (Aesc)and the first woman from an Elma tree (Embla). The Gods found the trees while walking on the seashore.