Legends of Thule

20 Apr

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Thule was the northernmost land according to Greeks and Romans. It was distant and unknown, as if from another world. It was the furthest away they could imagine to the north.

Today, there is much speculation as to whether Thule was in reference to an actual place or whether it was something of a lost continent like Atlantis. Some researchers think it was the name for Iceland or Greenland, islands in Norway or Estonia.

When we think of Thule, we may see far off places covered in snow, polar bears or glaciers…. or pink mountains?

Why pink mountains?

The mostly pink gemstone Thulite was first discovered in Norway. The pink color comes as a result of manganese present. The more manganese, the pinker it is.

There aren’t actually pink mountains in Norway,  but when I hold this stone I love to imagine peaks reaching to the heavens, totally in pink, with a backdrop of blue sky. that would be something of a mythical, magical sight.

Working with thulite stone doesn’t make me feel icy cold or like keeping polar bears as pets. It in fact is a warming stone, with a lot of heart centered energy. It makes me feel good in my own skin and helps me to appreciate what is. I associate with it joy and happiness, acceptance and awareness. It has a more grounded feel than for example rose quartz, which is often associated with the heart chakra.

Wearing thulite as a pendant will help you to express yourself from the heart and to articulate yourself from a genuine perspective.  It can help you to find your confidence in social situations and to feel better speaking in front of a crowd. If you have trouble saying what you mean, this stone could work for you. I feel less self- conscious when I wear or carry thulite and have less trouble speaking up.

If you would like to get your own thulite stone, I recommend you go here.

https://www.etsy.com/no-en/listing/700300007/thulite-pendant-heal-self-confidence?ref=listing_published_alert

 

 

 

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Eclogite: an Unusual Gem of Gems

18 Apr

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Eclogite is a fairly recently discovered gem mineral that forms under high pressure conditions usually only found deep within the earth’s crust. It is known as a mafic, metamorphic rock which means it is a silicate mineral that contains a lot of magnesium and iron (mafic) and that it is a sort of composite of stones (metamorphic).

Its appearance is mostly green, but contains pink-red flecks which are garnet bits. The green aspect is pyroxine jade high in sodium content. Eclogite also contains kyanite (a typically light blue stone), zoisite, quartz (a common crystal found in mountains),rutile, and even sometimes diamond.

In terms of energetic properties, eclogite is a very special stone. It is a “newer” stone, pushed forth from the core of the Earth and is a stone within stones as it is one stone containing many. In this sense, it can be used for a variety of purposes.

Eclogite can harmonize opposing forces, balance out yin and yang principles and help the bearer to overcome their own spiritual and mental dualism. This existence is rife with contradiction and we often need to rise above it to advance on this journey. This is an excellent stone for doing just that, as it is all about bringing varied compontents together and forging them into a whole not commonly seen. If you feel like parts of yourself are at war with each other, this is a perfect stone for helping you gain balance.

Jade is all about spiritual beauty and the balance of nature’s elements. Garnet boosts energy and is great for facilitating feelings of warmth within a relationship and boosting the immune system. Jade is more feminine, whereas garnet is more masculine.

Quartz is an empowering stone that strengthens the properties of whatever it is surrounded by. Thus, it increases the power and beauty of the jade and garnet  and other gems within it.

Kyanite releases blockages and promotes the free flowing of energy. It aids in relaxation in meditation. Rutile wards off negative energy.

This eclogite comes from the mountains of Nordmöre in Norway. Custom pieces can also be purchased by request.

https://www.etsy.com/no-en/listing/684794522/eclogite-pendant-from-norway?ref=listing_published_alert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amber: The Blood of Ancient Trees

14 Aug

Amber is tree resin fossilized over the course of thousands of years produced by ancient forests around the Baltic region so many years ago. It features prominently in myth as well as practical use throughout history.

Today, amber is valued for its beauty as jewelry and often thought of as a gemstone but is of course not a stone (many are astounded by its relative light weight compared to actual gemstones.)
Its current uses include as a teething necklace for babies. No, the babies do not bite the amber but some mysterious healing property of the amber appears to be activated when the amber makes contact with the skin.
More metaphysically speaking, this is due to amber‘s ability to absorb negative energy.
In terms of composition however, amber contains a compound called succinic acid which is antiseptic.
Amber has a long history of use toward health purposes and was even put to work to fumigate plague stricken areas. Those who used amber were reported to have not fallen ill.

Amber has been used in jewelry since around 11,000 BC. Romans reportedly prized the substance.

In Northern Europe, amber was prominent in Norse legend. The Viking culture believed amber was the crystallized tears of the goddess Freya. Freya wept so for her lost love (the god Od or Svipdag in other tellings) that her godly tears became beautiful amber „gems“. Her tears fell into the deep sea below as she wept in her giant cat drawn chariot in the sky.
Practitioners of Asatru inspired witchcraft can use amber to call upon the goddess and invoke her qualities in ritual. The amber as a symbol is ancient and time tested.

If you would like hints on where to get it:
Get your own amber https://www.etsy.com/no-en/shop/NorthSpiritRunes?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

The Oseberg Ship: Pagan Ritual Tool or Means of Transportation?

14 May

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The Oseberg ship, along with several other ships found in Norway  during archaeoogical excavations, is on display at the Oslo Viking Ship Museum (Vikingskipshuset). Visitors from all around the world flock to the exhibitions to catch a glimpse of real Viking history. They imagine fierce warriors poised in the ships, navigating the high seas in search of adventure and mischief, commerce and crime. Perhaps their thoughts wander to the image of heathens of yesteryear, as the Vikings became christianized only after their misdaventures began.

Besides the aforementioned Oseberg ship, the mighty Gokstad ship (in its well-preserved state measuring  23.8 meters long and 5.1 meters wide) stands to be viewed. The Gokstad ship was found at the site of the “Kings mound” (Konungrhaugr in old Norse)  or Gokstad mound in Sandefjord Norway. The skeleton of a man in his 40s or 50s was found buried along with this largest of ships found in Norway. The skeleton is thought to have belonged to a powerful king or chieftain. The ship and mound date back to the 9th century.

Similarly, the Oseberg ship date back to the 9th century and is believed to have also been involved in some sea voyages.  The length of the ship was measured to be 21.58 meters and was 5 meters wide. In contrast, the Oseberg ship was ornately decorated with intricate knotwork, as compared to the more simple and utilitarian build of the Gokstad ship. The skeletons of two women were unearthed. The exhibit text refers to one of the women having been a queen.

Upon closer look and some mental “reading in between the lines”, you might come to notice some curious points not clearly discussed in the exhibit’s accompanying text.

While the Gokstad ship is somewhat larger than the Oseberg ship ( a good meter plus) the Oseberg ship features carvings decidedly more ornate. The amount of time and care that such demands is not insignificant. The Oseberg “queen” was likely not just a queen, but a priestess whose status was based on the role she would have played for her people.

Items such as a ritual rattle (seen below) , a meditating figure seated (reminiscent to a Buddha figure) and other unusual things besides jewelry and vauables indicating status were also uncovered.IMG_1932

 

Such a rattle would have been wielded and used to create rhythmic sound, perhaps similar to that of beating a shaman drum (several of which were found in Finland and also Norway, belonging to the Sami peoples )

The only individuals accorded higher status than a king would be those holding spiritual power within a society.  In indigeneous societies even today, the shaman is charged with traversing the other world, navigating the world of the spirit, gleaning information or helping the dying cross over, or to bring back the sick or wounded. Similar in function in Norse mythology/legend were the Valkyries, women who helped the dead find their final resting place. This coincides with the thought that the Volva, or seeress/shaman-like figure was a woman who could divine using runes and other instruments and go into trance-like states to obtain useful information for her tribe.

The Oseberg ship served as the priestess’ burial vessel and contained many items that would serve her in the afterlife. Perhaps symbolic, or recepticles containing energetic residue that would resonate with her while she and her companion (a family member or perhaps a helper) found their way to the afterlife.

It is still a shame that museum authorities do not see the evidence for the Oseberg “queen” being compelling enough to refer to her as a priestess. Enough artifacts are present to deduce this however as private persons visiting the site. The curious can take their travels to the site where the ship was found and observe whether it “speaks” to them, if they are intuitively inclined or sensitive to energy.

Seasons of the Sun and Moon

22 Jul

 

The written word is not only a mode of transfering information, but an art form in itself. As music and art work more with the psyche and the emotions (whereas most “modern” media exploits these as well as capturing one’s intellect) poetry takes the reader to new realms of thoughts and feelings.

For most of my life, I’ve been working with the poetic and lyrical form to capture a specific thought or especially frame of mind or specific mood. Many of the poems have made it to song form, but most of them have never been seen by eyes besides my own.

I thought it was time to share with those who still, in this day and age, have an eye for poetry and want to transport themselves into another world with the written word.

Here is the paperback of my poetry collection (chapbook) Seasons of the Sun and Moon.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1521894353

If you have Kindle, you can download the works here:

 

Temple of Lemminkäinen

11 May

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The mythical temple of Lemminkäinen is a stone structure, perhaps natural in formation or with some assistance by the hands of man. It was believed by Ior Bock and others to be a site of ancient worship to the Finnic god Lemminkäinen. Located about 30 km east of Helsinki in Sipoo, the stone formation can today be viewed as a cave often too filled with water to physically enter.

Lemminkäinen is thought to originally have been a god comparable to the norse/Scandinavian Baldur. A god of fair face, much loved yet also sacrificed and reborn through the affections of his mother. The Kalevala, the epic “rune” poem gathered by the Finnish scholar Elias Lönnrot and published in 1835, features Lemminkäinen as a sort of composite figure. He is not a pure “god”, rather depicted more as a war hero and wanderer. Due to the Christian nature of the time period in which the Kalevala was written and also due to the fact that Finnic mythology was written down in text even less than the Scandinavian and relied heavily on oral tradition through the ages, much of the original meaning and “heathen”/ pre-Christian symbolism is dilluted or lost.

The infamous Swedish-Finnish Ior Bock attempted to re-kindle the pre-Christian pagan spirit of Finland in his own eccentric way. He claimed his family was the bearer of an ancient pagan oral tradition, entrusted to him to bring to public attention by his mother as she was dying.  He directly linked together the myths and spiritual beliefs of Scandinavia and Finland; that the norse gods had equivalents in their Finnish counterparts. For example, he directly claimed Baldur as the equivalent of Lemminkäinen. The Finnic Ukko and the norse Thor/Tor (German: Donner) are also similar archetypes in their hammer bearing, sky dominion attributes.

The Bock saga claimed excavations of the stone structure on the property of Ior Bock held heathen artifacts as well as proof of the saga itself. Work undertaken did revel a very large cave with a chamber, but the project collapsed under the weight of financial trouble before digging revealed anything that confirmed beyond a doubt, unfortunately.

Other locations around Finland were claimed by Bock to also contain artifacts and were of historical significance to a pagan past. The government and archaeological groups refused to undertake any examinations and so the mystery persists unconfirmed.

Perhaps most compelling of Bock’s tellings was the notion that Finland and the surroundings were in fact the cradle of civilization. Findings recently prove that the Arctic region was inhabited long before the pre-conceived assumption of 10,000 years. The Artic region in fact has revealed evidence of having been inhabited for up to 45,000 years. http://arctic.ru/analitic/20160704/386534.html

One doesn’t need to believe in everything that Bock and his followers had to tell or thought to be the truth to feel fascination awaken at the notion of exploring what Northern Europe’s ancestors were really made of. The world has undergone much change and to think that everything is as those who write history (the victors) would have us believe is naive at best. Any leads, any quick peeks into what was or might have been can be fruitful to simply meditate on, consider, and undertake travels and research to come closer to the heart of it all. Healthy skepticism is a valuable tool, a hearty imagination can also bring us close to the truth. Together, these elements of the human mind and spirit can take us tot he heart of things.

Much mystery still enshrouds Europe’s heathen history, and current trends lead people away from kindling interest in what remains to be seen beyond the veil of time. Still, many are sparked by what is beyond the accepted history books, beyond the direction of soulless consumerism and interest persists in those who came before.

“Frøya and Svipdag, Songs from Njartharlåg” : creativity and ancient stories

18 Sep

The world needs more creativity, more beauty and more appreciation for these elements. The world is striving for personal gain, instead of grounding and appreciation for nature. Roots are forgotten as almost entire groups of people simply uproot themselves and travel to new places. Where is their connection to the lands they come from?

Being conscious of the roots from which we originate and cultivating these roots and growing them into something more has been a focus of mine as a musician, writer, artist… I want to add to the creativity in the world. I want to share these feelings with like-minded souls. Using acoustic music as a medium to convey stories from the past, I can put in my own perspective (without taking liberties too great of course).

The latest album released by my project, Idis Örlög tells various stories coming from the pagan past of the north.

One song, related to the title of the album is about Frøya and Svipdag and is taken from the Svipdagsmål, which tells of Frøya and Svipdag being reunited. (Frøya is called Menglad here). 800px-Day-spring_finds_Menglöd

The rest of the title of the album refers to the island of Njartharlåg, today called Tysnes which is located on the west coast of Norway, not all too far away from Bergen. Njartharlåg is a place name referring to the goddess of Njarthar, or Nerthus (the latinized form of her name).

There are many sacred places on the island, which even form a sort of geometry between them. There is a stone circle, a single standing stone, an altar dedicated to nordic gods (the remains of it which date from pre-Christian times), a sacred water for Njarthar, a processional path, and many other places of high power. In a previous post, I wrote about this amazing place which so occupies my mind. It was only natural to create an album centering around it.You can order the album here: http://idisorlog.bigcartel.com/ IMG_1061 (2)