Monday, May 14, 2012

Well, it is hard to ignore

I have been going back and forth with Woden ever since Yule. As I wrote then, we felt something as the Norse deities were honored, and we started reading up a good bit on the Norse and Anglo-Saxon hearth cultures. For my hearth culture ADF book review I chose "Gods and Myths of Northern Europe" by H.R. Ellis-Davidson. We also read "Travels Through Middle-Earth," a look at Anglo-Saxon paganism by ADF member Alaric Albertsson.

Eventually, we reached a difference of opinion. Lynda has been feeling an affinity for Frigga, while I had been slowly concluding that the Germanic culture was maybe a bit more stark and austere than I cared for and began reconsidering the Irish pantheon.

But Woden has stayed in my thoughts, especially as we've been reading "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman on audiobook, where the mysterious "Mr. Wednesday" is Woden/Odin traveling incognito.

Then yesterday, after services at our UU church, I was in the lounge and caught a glimpse in the woods behind the building of a large black bird in the trees. A raven? A crow? I can't be certain, I am no expert at bird identification, but I do think it was most likely one of the two.

Since I had been thinking of Woden/Odin again, I wondered whether I should consider the sighting to be an omen. This morning, I rose early and dusted off the home shrine (we still have been negligent in practice, probably mostly because we've had no clarity on just which deities we felt called to work with) and performed a very brief ritual: I simply lit the three candles, put some water into the bowl we use as a well and asked the All-Father to give me one more confirming sign, if indeed he was trying to get my attention. I poured a small offering of olive oil into the offering bowl, letting a drop or two fall onto the candle flame.

Then I went outside to sit on the porch and watch the dawn brighten. After about 20 minutes, movement in the corner of my eye drew my attention ... I looked up to see another large black bird, wings spread wide, coming in for a landing on a tree branch.

Well then.

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