Archive for December, 2010

Mannaz: Double Joy for the Holiday

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Happy Christmas! My wish for you is that everything that you need to create the best year ever comes to you with ease and grace. My hope for you is that you embrace the dream you’ve been afraid to dream and  let your light shine.

  

The winter holidays bring out the best in people. We open our homes to friends and family, and we spend hours seeking and choosing the perfect gift for each person. People waiting in long lines strike up conversations and wish each other well. Children make gifts for Mom and Dad, and unexpected phone calls brighten our days.  We can feel a magic in the air that seems to only happen in the dead of winter.

Exploring the Mannaz rune, I see that it the perfect rune for this holiday season. Take another look at it and see that it is really two Wunjo runes facing each other. This is the reason some call it the “double joy” rune. It is two people facing each other, looking for and seeing the best in each other; as equals. Differences are set aside, and we meet on equal ground. We are there to support each other—partnership is implied. Mannaz is a rune that is experienced in communication with other people. As a people we seem to be united if by nothing else, in our search for meaning in this dark time. And in our determination to celebrate life and renewal in the middle of winter.   

There is also an aspect of Divinity meeting man in Mannaz. If we are all children of our Gods, then we have that Divine presence within us. Looking at each other—we recognize the joy that is present within. The God in me recognizes and rejoices with the God in you. Namaste` as we bow to each other. 

The Christ story  brings Light into the world through the birth of child.   The Druids worship the return of the Cosmic Sun that is accompanied by lengthening days. I believe that each of us gives birth to the Light every time we choose to do what is right, even if it is hard; asks what others need instead of asking what’s in it for me; when we ask what love would do, then act accordingly. 

May you all receive the blessings of Mannaz. May your light be recognized by others and reflected back to you in joy.

In Her Light,

Deb

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Wunjo Peace and Bliss—ours for the sitting… 2010.12.22

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I just returned from a Sai Maa Diksha meditation. The intent of this meditation is to experience deep peace and bliss by releasing that which no longer serves you. While this is not my spiritual path, I find the practice of meditation is helpful in shifting me into a calmer, happier state. I arrived late and harried, and after the first hands on diksha blessing I was centered, moving on “slow time”, and felt at peace. After the second round I was certainly experiencing joy.

Wunjo is the Joy rune. It is the symbol of the world in balance; the magic that happens when everything just falls into place perfectly. This is the joy that feels as if it will last forever. And this can only happen when the spirit is free from anxiety, fear, guilt, and other judgments. This is the heart that is measured against Maat’s feather and found to be pure and acceptable.

Wunjo is the power of now. Suffering is found in attachment to the future or the past. But all we really have is now; in the center of the sacred circle—which lives within each of us. We have the ability to choose our mood at any moment—despite what may be going on around us. The power of now is available to us and visualizing Wunjo can help us make that shift to joy.

Runic Yoga is a practice of taking a pose that imitates the runes. You can also create runic mudras with your hands. I find that taking the pose of a rune really helps me embody it and experience it fully. And whenever I am working with Wunjo, I always spend time in gratitude for the experience and send a blessing to others and the planet that they may share in my joy.

We closed our meditation with the following chant:

Loving kindness
For all beings
From the One
Beyond the stars
Through the darkness into light
We behold the gift of peace…

Shades of Sowilo remain—that cosmic light lifting us and our spirits out of the darkness. I am filled with joy that the returning light brings. And so mote it be.

Deb

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Sowilo The Sun Returns This Solstice Day 2010.12.21

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Ahhhhh, the Sun returns on this longest day. We lifted our eyes to the hills and we saw the Sun arrive in all her golden splendor. How reassuring to people’s of old that the Sun stopped its progress across the sky and started its return signaling that warmer days were ahead. Especially in the lands of the Rune Readers—where the Sun nearly disappeared in the deep Northern winter. People lighted their homes with candles, created blazing bonfires on the hills and in their hearths in acts of sympathetic magic to encourage the Sun to return. It really was a matter of successful crops, enough fodder for the herds, and literally life and death. Part of the feasting in the deep winter was practical—the animals that would not make it through the winter became the feast—leaving more grain/grass for the younger and stronger stock to survive the winter. Sowilo is the life giver; that which banishes the darkness, heals and nourished us. All that lives on Earth owe their existence to the Sun.

Our family practices a Pagan Advent, and we gather on the 4 Sundays before the Winter Solstice. I learned of this tradition from my dear friend Joanna Powell Colbert—who is the creator of the Gaian Tarot and hosts absolutely Fabulous Santa Lucia Parties every year. Every culture has a story about the return of the Sun—and our family gathers together to read several stories and light a candle for each week of advent. On Solstice we light all 4 candles of Advent and a middle candle for the Solstice Sun.

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Tonight it is just my husband Michael and myself. We read the stories of Solntse and Grandmother Spider.  We sang Santa Lucia and the lyrics that I rewrote to the tune of “Angels We Have Heard on High”. The second verse was inspired by the northern myths and features Sowilo. The third verse was inspired by the Japanese story of Amaturasu being lured out of hiding in her cave.

As the seasons turn around, darkness starts to lose it’s hold.

Longest night turns in to day, lighting up the sky with gold.

Mo-ther, Mo-ther, Mo-ther Sun

Bring your rays to warm us;

Mo-ther, Mo-ther, Mo-ther Sun

Bring your rays to warm us all. 

Thaw the lands that She has stole,

Isa Queen of Frost and Snow.

As you have since days of old,

Ransom them with Rays of gold.

So-wi-lo, So-wi-lo, So-wi-lo

Bring your rays to warm us;

So-wi-lo, So-wi-lo, So-wi-lo

Bring your rays to warm us all.

Hidden deep within your cave,

Darkness reigns there is no day.

We laugh and dance with gaity,

You peek out, yourself to see.

A-ma-tur-a- su, A-ma-tur-a- su, A-ma-tur-a- su

Bring your rays to warm us;

A-ma-tur-a- su, A-ma-tur-a- su, A-ma-tur-a- su

Bring your rays to warm us all.

—and then we gave thanks for the promise of another year. Health, joy, mirth, rebirth. Welcome Yule! Welcome Yule! Welcome Yule!

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