Saturday, June 29, 2013

Holle's Mill

This post is spurred on by an article in Denali Institute of Northern Traditions' May 2013 issue of True North. The article, The Magical Mill, referred to the presence and role of mills in various European mythologies, including Norse and Finnish.

As is the case with so many European folk religions and traditions, Urglaawe retains lore and knowledge of a major mill from Braucherei oral tradition. “Die Miehl” is by the hall of Holle, and it is in this mill that Holle takes the souls of the departed for processing between lives. 

The mill is said to separate the different pieces of the soul in order to release the returning components. In Urglaawe understanding, the portions of the soul that are released are the Urleeg (Ørlög) and the eternal Hoch (Higher Self; the divine spark). The Glick (Luck/Hamingja) is sometimes also passed from construct to construct. Additionally, the Folyer (Fetch/Fylgia), which, in Urglaawe, is seen as an independent entity that attaches itself to a new soul constructs, is freed to find another symbiotic host. The Urleeg, Glick, and Hoch may remain together or be separated into new soul constructs.  

The purpose for the milling is, in Urglaawe belief, to prepare the Hoch quickly for a continuing upward spiral of advancing consciousness. In the deities’ effort to thwart the forces of chaos (which in Urglaawe feature ignorance, apathy, rootlessness, and unenlightened self-interest along with the physical threats described in the story of Ragnarök), the advancement of human consciousness is one of their biggest investments. 

With each lifetime and variation in the interaction of the soul components, the Hoch is to increase its ability to understand existence and to assert its will into improving the existence. In short, the deities want us to be, at the end of this cosmic cycle, where they were at the beginning of it. It is, therefore, in the deities’ interests to keep the Lewesraad (the cycle of life, death, decay, and rebirth) moving along expeditiously.  

In fact, the Urglaawe view of the Wild Hunt pertains directly to this battle with chaos. In our oral lore, it is Holle who leads the Wild Hunt (though Wudan and She are often together, too). Her purpose is to find any souls that have fallen out of the Lewesraad cycle and to bring them back into it. She is followed through the skies by the souls that She has found or that have sought Her out. It is for this reason that the Deitsch culture associates Allelieweziel (Halloween) with the departure of Holle from this plane.  

In Braucherei, there are intervals in the spiritual year that the veil between the physical and spiritual planes (or among the worlds of the multiverse). Allelieweziel and Grundsaudaag (Groundhog Day), in particular, are times at which many Braucherei practitioners engage in soul work to direct lost or distressed souls towards the Miehl. It is also noteworthy that the same processes and cycles pertain to animal and plant spirit constructs, though they differ from those of humans.  

Holle’s Miehl plays a central, critical role in the purpose of human existence, purpose, and advancement. Many of us believe humanity is currently backsliding due to the dereliction of responsibility for one’s own advancement (another article unto itself), and it up to us to aid our deities’ efforts by striving to live our lives more deliberately, being conscious of the impact of our thoughts, words, and actions.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dingsege and Vorsetz (New Year's Resolutions)

The Wonnetzeit (Time of Joy, May 1-June 21) is flying by. Even with the odd weather patterns, the gardens of the Deitscherei are overwhelmingly green, and many plants began to bloom early. We're finding ourselves harvesting some herbs a whole month earlier than usual. 

In the course of our daily lives, we must pause and remember any Vorsetz (New Year's Resolutions; singular is Vorsatz) that we made back in January. Throughout the course of the year, we have checkpoints that help us to keep our Vorsetz obligations. The Wonnetzeit is the time in which all resolutions should be in place and functioning.

Not all Vorsetz are created as equals. Some are simple and easily achieved. Others are a constant battle against one's life experiences. It is for this reason that Distelfink Sippschaft encourages people to undertake only one or two Vorsetz at New Year's Day and to make the Vorsetz small. 

For example, if, on January 1, 2013, you had not already been going to the gym at least four times per week for at least six months, it would be silly to make a Vorsatz that states that you will go to the gym every day for the entire year.  You would be highly likely to falter. A more reasonable oath would be that you will go to the gym three days per week for two months. That oath you may be able to plod through, even if you discover you are struggling with it.

Remember, it is better to succeed with a small oath than to fail with any oath. It is also better to request an amendment or adjustment to an oath than to let it fail. Keep in mind, though, that not all oaths can or will be amended or adjusted.

If you made a Vorsatz before the deities or the community and are not properly progressing, the time to adjust it is now. Distelfink's Dingsege (Thing Ceremony) is coming up on June 22, and one of the considerations we will be undertaking is any oath that a member has that is causing that person a problem in fulfilling. 

If the oath was to the community, we will hear the issue at hand and decide whether to allow for change or find ways to help make the oath successful. If it was taken to the deities, we will help the oath-taker to decide whether/how to proceed in petitioning and making appropriate offerings. 

Dingsege is the ceremony to Ziu (Tyr), and one way to honor Him is to take our oaths seriously. If you have an outstanding Vorsatz that is not progressing, please check yourself on it now. Find ways to make it work or let your community know that you are struggling. Oaths are a serious business.

If you have already completed your Vorsatz, you may always make another reasonable oath for making  personal progress. Hail to you in your success!