“The Yggdrasil-Tree is a beautiful symbolical representation of Freemasonry,” says Daniel Sickels in his General Ahiman Rezon. The book, which was intended to be read by Freemasons who wanted insight into their fraternity and its rituals, was published in 1868. Yggdrasil, says Sickels, “illustrates the character of Masonic secrecy.” Yet this was, of course, the world tree of pre-Christian, Norse mythology, and Sickels, who also speaks of the norns (the female figures who predetermine the fates of men), is certainly well aware of its character.
Sickels’ work appeared more than 85 years prior to the publication of Gerald Gardner’s Witchcraft Today — which initiated the birth (or, as some would maintain, revival) of the Pagan religion of Wicca — and just over a century prior to the “revival” of Asatru, the Germanic-inspired, and rune-based Pagan religion which emerged during the 1970s. Yet, some other Freemasons of the 19th century were inspired by northern European, pre-Christian mythology, and absorbed some elements into Masonic, or “fringe Masonic,” ritualism. Continue reading
The Wheel of the Year has turned again and now Ostara, known secularly as the vernal equinox, is on the horizon. This is a time of celebration for many, because it marks the date when the day starts to become longer than the night.
Ostara, named after the Germanic fertility goddess, has been celebrated in many forms for hundreds of years. Spring is seen as the time of rebirth and fertility; it is a time of great celebration as the warmth returns to the Earth and the plants and animals flourish. Continue reading
During my thesis year of college, I was completely and utterly stuck. After three years in art school, working within the bounds of assignments, all I wanted was to let loose and create what I wanted. But I had no idea what that was; I kept reaching into my idea-place and pulling out nothing. This thesis needed to be perfect, a representation of myself as a person and an artist, so I had to figure out what made me tick, and fast. The thing is, I had some repressed, unresolved trauma. And when you put someone like that in a room by themselves for a month and tell them to think about themselves, interesting things happen.
Little flashes came to me — thoughts, memories, emotions — but nothing I could use, because I couldn’t explain what I was thinking or why I felt the way I did. At that point I just needed a thesis topic, and during a desperate search for ideas I suddenly felt a presence near me, followed by the sensation of hands resting gently on my shoulders. I felt a message then, in the back of my mind. “Spring is here. It’s time to leave.” Over the next few days, I was bombarded with pomegranate imagery. I took it as a sign. Continue reading
The moon is full and glowing. The air is warm and sweet, as it should be at Midsummer. There is certain calmness in the circle, as if all the beasts and fae have paused in their nightly rhythm to watch you. Continue reading
As popular Wiccan opinion goes, the number one coven killer in existence is a dreadful little thing called divorce. We’ve all heard the stories; the High Priest’s and High Priestess’ relationship devolves, the marriage unravels, the trust is shattered and people inevitably pick sides. Much can be said about divorce and its effects on a coven and on an entire line by Gardnerians in the USA. But this article isn’t about the number one coven killer in America. This article is about another way that covens end; this article is about life. Continue reading
The decentralization and shifting of power from the Pharaohs to the common people in ancient Egypt came about during the period of Middle Kingdom (2050 – 1786 BCE). With the change of power or democratization, the common people, known as nomarchs, began to revise funerary spells of The Pyramid Texts (writings engraved in stone walls) that had existed from the preceding pharaoh-governed Old Kingdom.
They then inscribed those modified funerary spells on and inside the coffins, known as The Egyptian Coffin Texts, and it is in the Coffin Texts where more extensive descriptions of the goddess Hathor were found. However, her family linage can be traced back in the Pyramid Texts of the pharaoh-governed Old Kingdom, specifically in the Fourth Dynasty, between 2613-2498 BCE.
In spell 405 of the Pyramid Texts, Hathor was described as the “Eye of Ra” or “Eye of the Sun.” Ra was the sun god in ancient Egypt, and as the Eye of Ra, Hathor has come to be known as the daughter of Ra, although some accounts suggest that Hathor was also the wife of Ra. Continue reading