Saxon Wicca Rites
From THE TREE: THE COMPLETE BOOK OF SAXON WITCHCRAFT by Raymond Buckland
copyright 1974 - Samuel Weiser Publishers
NOW OUT OF PRINT
posted for PAN, the ORIGINAL Psychic Awareness Network at 1-703-362-1139
by MATRIKA, co-sysop
Legend of Woden/Odin retrieving the Runes
The Snake came crawling and struck at none
But Woden took nine glory-twigs (pieces of wood on which were carved runic
inscriptions) and struck the adder so that it flew into nine parts
This quote shows how Woden/Odin was a master magician and drew his power
from the runes. To this day many Saxon Pagans work much of their Magic
with runes, inscribing them on candles in candle magick, incorporating them
into talismans or symbols of protection that they wear, carry or keep in
their homes (can also be for other purposes, etc. They can even be put
somewhere invisibly by tracing them with a scented oil. For example, a
rune or runic monogram (several runic letters overlaying one another) can
be inscribed on your place of business in Money in Abundance oil or some
other money - oriented oils of your own preference. For healing a rune or
runic monogram of healing can be written on the body of the patient with an
oil of Healing, after the regular transfer of Pranic energy or "laying - on
- of - the - hands" healing has occured. (including use of crystals, if
that is so desired) Etc. etc. etc. Why are runes so important? For the
same reason that they were in Kabbalistic Magick among the Jews and in
Sidha Yoga. In India among the Sidhis the Shakti or Feminine aspect of
DEITY (as Shiva is the male) has many aspects through which the world was
emanated - one of the more important aspects is MATRIKA SHAKTI or the power
of sound to create via the letters of the alphabet forming themselves into
Words. In both systems - Kabbalah and Sidha Yoga - it is believed that the
universe was created by words. This is reflected in modern New-Age work
with Affirmations used by such diverse sources as Marion Weinstein, Diannic
Witch, as described in her book POSITIVE MAGIC (phoenix Publishing) and the
Unity School of Christianity as well as the Religious Science and Christian
Science and Divine Science and all the other "science" churches. Shakti
Gawain, author of CREATIVE VISUALIZATION teaches it from the New - Age
perspective as well. It is through words we create out own reality and
right use of them for good and in loving ways is one of the most powerful
of Magicks. NOTE BY MATRIKA
From the old Norse Verse, Lay of the High one, stanzas 138, 139, and 141
Woden/Odin is speaking
" I know that I hung there
on the windy tree
swung there nights, all of nine
gashed with a blade
bloodied by Odin
myself an offering to myself
knotted to that tree
no man knows whither the root of it runs
None gave me bread
None gave me drink
down to the depths I peered
to snatch up runes
with a roaring screech
and fall in a dizzying faint
Wellspring I won
and wisdon too
and grew and joyed in my growth
from a word to a word
I was led to a word
from a deed to another deed
As you can see this legend, which in the original sources pre-dates
Christianity, has much in common with the legend of Jesus's
Crucifixion/Resurrection in the Newer religion - but then there are
simillar themes in the story of Tammuz from the Middle East, the story of
Osiris in Egypt and in many other sources. The story of the fallen God who
is ressurected with great power and wisdom reflects the Shamans's
confrontation with his own death - either in a literal sense through
sickness or accident, or in a Psychological sense or by other means such as
the mild, natureal hallucinogens used by the Native Americans and other
tribal peoples. (NOTE, I AM NOT ENDORSING THERE USE; THEY ARE COMPLETELY
UNNECESSARY - but nevertheless, this is the practise in some cultures,
where they know how to handle the power of these drugs and guide one safely
through the experience. It is important to note this is not done lightly
or playfully either and that the drugs they use are NATURAl substances, not
the harsher chemical ones abused in our modern society for recreational
IT also represents the natural cycles of the year - the grain grows and is
cut down or sacrificed only to be reborn again, the trees lose their leaves
and seem to die only to resurrected, (which is why the tree of life/cross
image develloped) some animals hibernate and come back, etc. etc. etc
Now here is the legend of the Goddess in the Saxon form as the search by
Freya for the necklace Brosingame - a silver circlet worn about her neck as
a chaplet. As with the Gardnerian Wicca legend of the descent of the
Goddess to the Underworld, it reflects the cycles of the year - when
fertility seems to sink into the earth and vanish during winter's barren
months only to have the Lady and her bounty return to us in the spring.
1. All day had Freya, most lovely of the Goddesses, played and romped in
the fields. Then did she lay down to rest.
2. And while she slept; deft Loki, the prankster, the mischief-maker of
the Gods; did espy the glimmering of Brosingame, formed of Galdra (magick)
Her constant companion. Silent as the night did Loki move to the Goddess's
side and with fingers formed over the very ages in lightness did remove the
silver circlet from about her snow white neck.
3. Straightaway did Freya arouse; on sensing it's loss. Though he moved
with the speed of the winds, yet Loki she glimpsed as he passed swiftly
from sight into the barrow (burial mound) that leads to Dreun. (land of the
dead, the underworld)
4. Then was Freya in despair. Darkness descended all about her to hide
her tears. Great was her anguish. All light, all life, all creatures
joined in her doom.
5. To all corners were sent the Searchers, in quest of Loki; yet knew
they. they would find him not. For who is there may descend to Dreun and
return again from thence?
6. Excepting the Gods themselves and, alzck, mischieovous Loki.
7. So it was that, still weak from her grief, Freya herself elected to
descend in search of Brosingame. At the portals of the Barrow was she
challenged, yet recognized and passed.
8. The multitude of souls within cried joyfully to see her, yet could she
not tarry as she sought her stolen light.
9. The infamous Loki left no trail to follow, yet was he everywhere past
seen. Those to whom she spake held to Freya (that) Loki carried no Jewel
as he went by.
10. Where then was it hid?
11. In despair she searched an age.
Hearhden (also known as Heindall) the mighty smith of the Gods, did arise
from his rest to sense the bewailment of the souls to Freya's sorrow.
Striding from his smithy, to find the cause of the sorrow, did he espy the
Silver Circlet where Loki Mischief-maker hsd laid it; upon the rock before
13. Then was all clear.
14. As Hearhden took hold of Brosingame (then did) Loki appear before him,
his face wild with rage.
15. Yet would Loki not attack Hearhden, this mighty smith whose strength
was known even beyond Dreun.
16. By wiles and tricks did he strive to get his hands upon the (silver)
circlet. He shape-shifted; he darted here and there; he was visible, then
invisible. yet could he not sway the Smith.
17. Tired of the fight, Hearhden raised his mighty club. Then sped Loki
18. Great was the joy of Freya when Hearhden placed Brosingame about her
19. Great were the cries of Joy from Dreun and above.
20. Great were the thanks that Freya and all People gave to the Gods for
the return of Brosingame.
This tale and the Gardnerian legend of the descent of the Goddess into the
Underworld (told in the 2d degree initiation) and similar myths from around
the world, such as the legend of Kwan Yin's descent to the land of death
and her being expelled for spreading mirth and joy, show that women also
shared a very important role in the shamanism/priesthood of the European
Pagan traditions and also faced the ordeals - i.e. the physical or
psychological confrontation with death. And again, it reflects the times
of darkness and light in the year - the waxing and waning of the moon each
month and the waxing and waning of the sun each year from Yule or Winter
solstice to Mid-summer's night or Summer solstice when the light grows
stronger and the remainder of the year, when light grows weaker.
More on the actual rituals used to celebrate these cycles and to practise
Magick will be posted in future text-files
(another note by Matrika)