As I'm writing this (and recording this episode), you'll find me in my back garden enjoying the glorious April sunshine in my little witchy corner. Where I've started my forays into 'Green Witchery', though truly my path is so eclectic it's more that I'm answering a call to my natural instincts of spending time outside. I'm not sure which of my deities are calling to me to be outside more, but it's certainly a thing - and my dog Charlie is with me, he's the Podcasts supervisor in chief for the Solitary Pagan Podcast.
We don't get a lot of sun in the UK, so for me I tend to try and enjoy it when I can, so I do hope things aren't too noisy in the background. It's just soothing to hear bird song around me, admittedly interrupted by the drone of cars and off road bikes looking to access places they certainly shouldn't be going - at least in the case of the bikes - and the occasional chatter and laughter of neighbours spending time in their gardens. I've done my best to turn that space into a sanctuary, but enough about where I'm recording the episode from and lets go into the body of this which is the podcast itself.
Greetings, Traveller, come pull up a seat and join me in the circle of the firelight as we prepare to discuss many things - we'll be covering the myth of Kvasir's blood - and the creation of the great and lesser Skalds of Norse times. We'll be talking about ways I've experienced my deities talking to me, of which I have three, and they all use very different ways. Finally we'll be sharing how we read the rune Kenaz. As ever if you wish to give me any feedback, or just want to drop me a line, please feel free to contact me via email - firstname.lastname@example.org
The books I'll be using as reference can all be found in my resources master post, that you can find in the same area, and I'll update the books list as I either reference them, or mention them as recommended resources.
I'd also like to give a massive thank you to Amanda for the email last Monday, it warmed my heart to know I'm having such a positive effect on another practitioners life, and reminded me why I started the Podcast. The lack of resources for anyone who practices a solitary craft, whether that's temporary due to Covid-19, or because of their personal nature and beliefs. For me I don't want to feel tied to having to worship with people, I've seen it happen to my Grandma who's a firm Christian and feels the only right way to worship is with other people around. I give worship when I take a quiet walk through a forest, or exploring the countryside. I give praise and thanks before I cut the turf when I'm adding in a new bed for someone when gardening. I ask for protection and the wisdom to hold my tongue when I'm working my retail job. The Deities I worship are all around, they are the wind, the warmth of fire, the green growing things, why would I need to be restricted to certain times of worship, with other people?
I also want to make this promise to all of you - that I've decided the Podcast Show Notes of the past will likely be added as and when I have the time to listen through. Going forward though every episode is going to be typed up, or hand written with show notes first, because the hiatus was due to a feeling of inadequacy and not managing my time efficiently. In the past I've recorded this podcast totally on the fly, and sometimes I felt like the episodes weren't as strong as they could have been. So from now on, I want to give you a much better polished experience, so I will be providing show notes, written out from the short hand notation I use to remind me what to talk about. There should be considerably less 'uhms' other than when I'm using them as a pause. That's a habit I'm working out of.
Kvasir's Blood - Notes
I'm using the Epic Tales - Norse Myths and Legends for the Reading of Kvasir's blood, but there's a few notes I'd like to make as well. You're welcome to read along with me if you have the book, and if anyone wants to disagree with anything I've found - I'm open for discussion.
The first point for me and the stand out point for me was the fact that although as a rule the Norse pantheon are far less creepster than the Greek Pantheon, Odin I have to say it. Kissing Gunlodd awake was kinda creepy. Also this version glances over the fact that Odin's tarrying was also time for him to have intimate relations with Gunlodd, which is also kinda creepy, but if it was consensual? She was very lonely after all, and Odin apparently had a beautiful face.
Odin also must have done a really good disguise given this was after Mimirs well where he sacrificed an eye for a draught of wisdom, so how Bragi didn't realise it was Odin when he offered his services, I'm not certain. Typically when Odin is disguising himself to walk among men he frequently wears a wide floppy brimmed hat, pulled low so his eyes are in shadow, walking hunch backed with a stave, but mayhaps he used a different disguise for this one.
The story of how Odin gained the sacred mead is also covered in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, though they did make some adjustments to where it fell in the Norse sagas - with this being Havi's way of trying to find a way to avoid Ragnorak. Interestingly - Havi is another of Odin's many names.
The last point I wanted to make was in relation to Odin disguising himself and indeed being able to shapeshift. There is only one other member of the Norse Pantheon who is explicitly stated to have that same freedom of shapeshifting. Loki. It has led to a belief, and in my own personal practice this is something I feel, that Odin and Loki are two halves of the whole, and that Loki is a manifestation of the chaotic untamed side of Odin. Both Gods are known to be cunning, but whereas Odin is likely to use his cunning to try and keep things ever the same, Loki uses his cunning to ensure things keep moving forward, that there is transformation.
Hearing your Deities
A question I see asked a lot is how do you contact or hear your deities. I'm certain there are many ways that can be used for the deities to communicate you - including ones that I've not experienced, so please don't take this as the only ways they may communicate. One of the biggest ways is through other tools - including Tarot.
Which reminds me of an experience I had with Loki once, when I was trying to decide about a particularly difficult situation, and using Tarot cards to ask how I should resolve the situation. Now I have 3 Tarot decks, each kept in their own boxes, never used together. I somehow drew 3 Death cards... which I since worked out was Loki reaching out, and it makes sense with Death being a powerful transformation card. Loki will also communicate with me via feeling, I tend to intuitively know if Loki's reached out. He'll also sometimes pull pranks on me, typically around the hiding things, but sometimes it manifests with me mirroring his prankster nature.
Most my deities, and I work with Odin, Loki and Freyja, reach out to me by feeling. I know Odin currently desires me to get myself two walking sticks. One needs to be a thumbstick style, the other a 'pistol butt' style. But both have to be either Ash or Oak. He's also giving me a strong desire to go on journeys, to go out exploring.
Odin will also occasionally with me influence candles to get me to do a rune pull, typically by making them 'dance' or flicker when he has a message through runes. Frejya is normally reaching out by pure feeling, I tend to know when I feel certain things (normally warmth) I'm looking at something Frejya -wants-.
I also identify different types of animals to normal with my deities as to how the reach out to me. For example I know Loki uses Magpies and Squirrels a lot to indicate he's around. Odin is very much Jackdaws, Ravens and Crows - but sometimes Charlie comes closer when Odin is around. Freyja on the other hand is Blackbirds or Cats. These may not be typical ones according to what is standard, but this is where your own unique personal practice comes to play.
KENAZ - The Fires of Creation
Kenaz is another of my favourite runes - and it screams of creative energy. I tend to read it a few ways, depending on the question that I've posed. I also see Kenaz in a variety of ways, either energy being channelled into a focus - or energy being directed out in a large arc. Likewise, Kenaz is a fire rune, and if you turn the rune on it's side it's very akin to large fire braziers that would have been used to light the great halls.
Generally when I see Kenaz in a rune pull it can mean the following - depending on the question posed, this is when face side up:
The creative wellspring is high. You have a lot of creative energies right now - and your possibly being pulled down a creative route.
The problem facing you may need a solution from outside the box, you may find a third unforeseen solution to the problem
You may find a new exciting relationship starting, whether that's one driven by sexual passions or it being a new dynamic and vibrant friendship
When I see Kenaz reversed it screams instead of stagnation. Getting stuck in a rut, and staying too rigidly to the same prescribed formula.
If you want to know a personal relationship with Kenaz - when I was contemplating starting this Podcast I drew Kenaz immediately, as a sign to start the Podcast.
That wraps up this weeks podcast, and I trust that you've found this podcast enjoyable to listen to, and that it has highlighted new ideas, and given new information. So have safe journeys traveller, and remember if you enjoyed this, please feel free to send me an email - and leave a review if that's possible on the podcast platform you're listening to this on. I love hearing from you, and the feedback brings a smile to my face.