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Requiem Aeternam Dona Eis: Some Thoughts on Misruletide

’Tis the season. But what season? This is an interesting time of year.


A time of rest.

The land stands fallow and sleeping.

The days shorten, the nights lengthen.

The shadows stretch, the darkness grows.

What season?

There is a time, a time outside of time. A season? Certainly. Better, a time, a tide.

A time outside of time. The Time of Misrule. The Tide of Misrule. Misruletide.

I’m not talking just about the Christmastime, Christmastide, celebration by this name, but the portion of time starting at All Saint’s or All Hallow’s and extending to Candlemas. I’m talking of a year ending at Hallowtide and starting at Candletide. The year has ended. The year has not yet began.

It is a time of rest. Certainly. A rest for whom? The land, well, yes, but who else? If it is the Time of Misrule, the Season of Misrule, the Tide of Misrule, we should start with what Misrule is, both in the festival use of the word and how we mean it here.

I won’t go much into the festivities or history, but the tradition of Feast of Fools and similar celebrations on Christmas and around that part of the year, was a celebration where everything was turned on its head, socially. It was a time or revelry and irreverence, a time of no rules, or, namely, misrule. Depending on where and when, it was sometimes a large scale celebration and sometimes a private affair. Regardless, the “ruler” over the festivities was among the peasantry or the lower clergy, taking the role of king or abbot. In Britain, the Lord of Misrule. One aspect of this, anything trying to hurt or cause problems for those higher in society would be mislead into going after those low in society as well. I can’t rule out that this aspect was not a part of things as well.

This is the sense I am using for this part of the year, from its end at Hallowmas to its beginning at Candlemas. The Time of Misrule, the time when the normal order of things is tipped on its head.

It is during this time of year, at various points, in various forms, that we see lore of the Wild Hunt and traditions and folktales that have descended from the Hunt. In its many forms, the faeries or the dead or witches or other beings ride abroad. They are lead by various figures, Öðinn, Frigg, Frey, Freyja, Holda, Frau Holle, Berchta, Diana, Gwydion, King Arthur, Nuada, Herne, the Devil, Sir Francis Drake, Manannán, Arawn, Nicnevin, Ankow, and many others. The Wild Hunt is said to occur, depending on the lore, on All Hallow’s Eve, on Midwinter’s Eve, on Christmas Eve, or on Twelfth Night (Epiphany Eve), or simple during the winter months, during the Misruletide we are discussing.

The variations veil and hide things, for it is the nature of lore to shift, but under it all, we see a Hunt lead by a figure, or two figures, and a host of the Dead or of spirits. It is interesting to note that the lore of All Hallow’s Eve is of a time when the Dead or spirits roam in the world of the living. This is not the “normal” state of things, it doesn’t follow the normal rule. And many of the figures seen leading the Hunt are either dead folk heroes or gods or goddesses of death.

If we consider the parallel of a time when the Dead walk lead by a lord or lady of death with the Feast of Fools led by the Lord of Misrule, the idea becomes apparent.

Consider for the moment an image.

See a woman dressed in black robes with a red veil hiding her face. She stands in a stone chamber deep beneath the ground, a round chamber with stone benches carved in the sides. There are two thresholds in the room, an empty doorway with no door to her right, and a pair of massive doors to her left. A figure stands before the black doors, watching her, still as death, silent as the grave. In front of her is a black altar, a cube of unworked black stone, the colour of deepest night, deepest shadow. A body rests on this altar, or a Thread, there is less difference than there seems. The body is familiar. In one shrivaled hand, she holds a rod or wand, wood, made of a blackthorn root. In the other, she holds a knife.

When the time becomes full, when the tide is complete, the knife drops, the Thread is cut, the blood flows from the body, blood black in the shadows, covering the black altar. This time has ended, the Thread cut, the Cutter’s knife has fallen.

The woman raises the rod and points at the doors, and the figure before it moves. The figure it tall and thin, covered in black tattered robes. His face is hidden in the shadowed cowl. Folded at his back is a pair of skeletal wings with shadow stretched between the bones. His hands, sticking from the arms of the robes, are nothing but bone. In one hand, he holds a book, chained to his wrist. His other hand is em

When the woman raises the rod, the winged figure wipes a line from his book with one skeletal finger. The ink flows like smoke off the page and a figure rises from the body and joins it, the two becoming one, a spectral image of the body still on the altar. The figure reaches and opens the doors wide. Beyond, it is both as dark as the night and bright beyond imagination. A wind fills the cavern, and the body crumbles to dust and blows away.

The figure beacons, silent, and the spectre walks through the Gates of Life and Death, which are closed fast behind them.

It is finished.

This is the normal rule, the Quick die, becomes the Dead, cross through the Gates, and rest until the time comes for them to return, becoming Quick again. But this is the time of Misrule, the Dead don’t always stay dead, sometimes the Wild Hunt rides.

But who sides at the front of the Hunt? Who leads the Dead? Death. Like Hel leading the people of her domain in Ragnorak, like the Queen of Faerie leading the people of her domain forth, like Odin or Freyja leading the Dead they have gathered forth, Like King Arthur leading the knights that died, Death rides forth at the front of the Host.

But, if Death leads the Hunt, who guards the Gates? Ah. The Time of Misrule. The Quick caught up in the Host become Dead, and the Dead beyond the Gates can walk. This is Misruletide. Among other things.

Now, when the Keeper of the Lost sits as Regent, and the Quick and the Dead can switch station, now is when things aren’t always what they seem.

So, what do we have at Hallowtide? Not just All Hallow’s Eve. It is the Eve of All Hallows, of course, All Hallow’s Day, All Saint’s Day, which is followed by All Soul’s Day. Three days focussed on the Dead, in different ways. But let’s look specifically at All Soul’s Day.

This is of course best known in the part of the world I live in as the Mexican celebration of Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, when masks are worn and feasts and presents are prepared for the Dead, often at grave sites, is a similar fashion to the tradition practiced by many of my Craft brothers and sisters in a Dumb Supper on All Hallow’s Eve. The giving of food to the Dead is present in many cultures throughout the world and throughout time, though not always this time of year. It is common this time of year, however.

In Catholic practice, All Soul’s Day is a day of commemoration for the “faithful departed”. This is a somewhat enigmatic phrase to many. It’s taken to mean those who have died and are in Purgatory. The phrase is, “fidelium animae”, fidelium, fidelis, fides, faith/belief/trust/confidence, so faithful, believing, or trustable, animae, anima, soul/spirit/life/air/breeze/breath, so spirit of the dead in this context. Those that believe but haven’t obtained heaven, basically.

Misruletide begins with a focus on the dead, and another use of the phase “fidelium animae” gives some interesting things to consider. A prayer has been commonly prayed for the “faithful departed” is as follows:


Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon them. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine. Et lux perpetua luceat eis. Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.

The last phrase, many of us are familiar with, at least in English, “rest in peace”. This has become the most common expression for those who have died, though if you read lore of the dead from many times past, this directive implies a desire for the Dead not to be unrestful, not to rise. The Dead don’t always rest peacefully, that the Gates aren’t always sealed, as we’ve been discussing.

Consider this phrase in Latin for a moment, “requiescant in pace”. “Pace” is “pax”, meaning peace or harmony. The sense is not in terms of no war, like we often see in in English, it’s the sense of being silent, not being dissident, not conflicting. “Pax!” was also used like we would use, “Be silent!”, or “Hush!”. “Requiescant” is “requiesco”, to rest or repose or sleep. Rest in peace, sleep peacefully and don’t cause me trouble. If you pardon my humour.

But “requiesco” is “re-“ and “quiesco”. “Re-“ means back, backwards, or again. Basically, to go back to a previous state. “Quiesco” means to rest, cease, sleep, repose, abstain, cease, stop, and similar ideas. It is from “quies” and “-sco”. “-sco” changes a verb to have a meaning of starting to or beginning to. “Quies” means to rest, repose, quiet, and figuratively, to dream. So, getting to the root, we have the same meaning as we started with, but the combination implies a bit more specific sense than we saw with the original meaning. “Quiesco” would be, to begin or start to rest, repose, or be quiet. “Requisco” would be, to return to a state of beginning or starting to rest, repose, or be quiet. But beginning to rest or repose would be to go to sleep, basically, and to begin to be quiet would be to stop making noise. So, returning to these would be to go back to sleep, or to become quiet again. A returning to a previous state of sleep or quietness.

This brings to mind discussions of Charon the ferryman being silent, and of the Dead being silent until Odysseus provides blood, and other stories relating to the silent dead being given speak though blood or other methods. Bran the Blessed’s cauldron returned the Dead to life, but they were silent, unable to speak. This is common in much of the lore, the Dead cannot speak, they are silent, unless voice is brought by some means. To be Dead is to be Silent. “Requiesco” implies a return to a state of sleep and silence, a return to death.

In modern Catholic context, the prayer implies those in Purgatory moving on quickly to Heaven, but the wording has other repercussions, and begs the question, as this prayer was introduced by St. Benedict in the sixth century and is believed to be older still, was the meaning always what it is now seen as? The formalized beliefs concerning Purgatory were much later, though the concept existed in deferent forms back before Benedict. It seems possible, though, that the implications of the prayer as that to keep the Dead at rest is not impossible.

“Requiem aeternam” is of note. “Requiem” is of course from requies, also, a “place of rest”. “Aeternam”, “arternus”, is translated as permanent, lasting, eternal, endless, immortal. Hence, eternal rest, or an eternal resting place. The second word comes from “-rnus”, making it an adjective, and “aetus”, meaning lifetime or age. The root meaning is more about a resting place that will last a lifetime than the modern sense of eternity.

So, my tongue and cheek transition:

A place to sleep until we all die, O Lord please give them, and let the uninterrupted light shine on them, and those of the Dead who are trustworthy, by the mercy of God, keep quiet and not bother us. Amen.

Misruletide is a time when the Dead can walk among the Quick, and when much of the feasts, fasts, celebrations, measures, folk traditions, and rituals are concerned with keeping them from doing so, or misdirecting them so they don’t succeed in whatever they seek to do.

And, I say:

Hail, oh Builder of Storms, Keeper of the Lost, Regent of the North, Ruler of the Time of Misrule, bringer of Change.

Hail, oh Cutter, you whose Knife cuts every Thread when the time comes, the Last Witness, Priestess of the Black Altar.

Hail, oh Guardian of the Gates of Life and Death, Darkling Twin, Shadow of the World, Keeper of the Book in which all is written and all is erased.

May the Time of Misrule bring its secrets and lore and surprises, may the storms bring the life of spring, may the Dead speak when speech is needed, be silent when it is not, ride forth when it is time, and rest in peace when all is accomplished.

Dance, oh Spirits of Misruletide, dance through the long dark nights, and may the lights of the new year find us when Candletide comes again.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine. Et lux perpetua luceat eis. Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.

~Muninn’s Kiss

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Posted by on November 24, 2016 in muninnskiss


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The Name of the Dreamer

I walk in the night that is not the night, the darkness that is not the darkness. Dusk was long ago, fading and vanishing, twilight has come and gone, I can hardly see. But this is not night. The clouds hang high in the sky, lit by the city lights. No wind blows. All is stillness as I move away from the places of people, still in the Dreaming, yet not in it, a part but apart, walking the edges, far from the edges.

And I walked, and I crossed a threshold, a gate, a gate in a fence. And I spoke the names of the Guardians of the Edges, the Keepers, the Builders, the Bringers. I spoke them starting with her that wanders the North, the Keeper of the Lost, the Builder of Storms, the Bringer of Tears. I spoke the name of the North, then the East, then the South, then the West. And the First Gate was open.

The Storm Gate stands open,
The Keeper stands aside,
The North Gate is open,
The Stone is moved aside.

And I walked on, and I called the wind, the Wind, the Wind Between Worlds. There is a wind that blows between the worlds. It is a strange wind, like no others. It is all others. Between worlds it blows, and when you feel it, you know. A flag flapped in the wind, straight out, taut. Just before it had hung limp, now a strong wind whipped it.

And I walked, and I crossed a threshold, a boundary, the boundary of a field. And I spoke the names of the Guardians of the Edges, the Keepers, the Builders, the Bringers. I spoke them starting with he that wanders the East, the Keeper of Ways, the Builder of Paths, the Bringer of Dawn. I spoke the name of the East, then the South, then the West, then the North. And the Second Gate was open.

The Dawn Gate stands open,
The Keeper stands aside,
The East Gate is open,
The Stone is moved aside.

And I walked on, and I thought of the Lost. There are those that wander the Veil, those lost in the mist. They have lost themselves, the world has become too strange. They wander the Veil, and in and out of the Dreaming, in and out of the Gleam. You encounter them sometimes, odd encounters, odd conversation, surreal and strange. You’re not sure what you experienced, aren’t sure who they were. Nor are they, for they have lost themselves, these Lost have. I’ve encountered them from time to time, but saw none this night.

And I walked, and I crossed a threshold, an edge, an edge between human fields and wild fields. And I spoke the names of the Guardians of the Edges, the Keepers, the Builders, the Bringers. I spoke them starting with he that wanders the South, the Keeper of Treasure, the Builder of Pleasure, the Bringer of Laughter. I spoke the name of the South, then the West, then the North, then the East. And the Third Gate was open.

The Pleasure Gate stands open,
The Keeper stands aside,
The South Gate is open,
The Stone is moved aside.

And I walked on, and the world was strange, half in, half out, like walking through mist but seeing clearly, like bright sunshine in a rain storm. like dreaming while you’re awake, or waking but still being asleep. Half in, half out. An in between place. Liminal. The Edge of the Veil.

And I walked and crossed a threshold, half wild places to something more, something on the verge of the Gleam, or just on the edge of the Veil. And I spoke the names of the Guardians of the Edges, the Keepers, the Builders, the Bringers. I spoke them starting with she that wanders the West, the Keeper of Secrets, the Builder of Foundations, the Bringer of Dusk. I spoke the name of the West, then the North, then the East, then the South. And the Fourth Gate was open.

The Dusk Gate stand open,
The Keeper stands aside,
The West Gate is open,
The Stone is moved aside.

And I wandered across ground that could be foot thick dry moss, or could be sagebrush, or could be brittle dry bones crumpling under my feet. I wander across dry places and wet, dust and mud.

And I wonder about a name. What is the Name of the Dreamer? What is the Name of the Spinner of Dreams. That young girl who is the oldest of all. What is the Name? How is the Fifth Gate opened? How do you find that path past the Dream Gate, that Gate of Horn and Bone, past the Dream Gate to that Black Altar that sits before the Gate of Life and Death?

~Muninn’s Kiss

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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in muninnskiss


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Gate 12: Aleth-Mem (אם)

א – Aleph – Air, Strength, Silence, Separation, Mirror, and Union.

מ – Mem – Water, Wisdom, Womb, Love, One, and Pregnancy.

אֵם – ’em – Mother of humans, figurative mother of the people (Deborah), mother of animals, point of departure or division
אִם – ‘im – if (conditional), no or not in oaths, if, whether, when, whenever, since, but rather
לְאֹם – leom – a people, nation (Lamed as a prefix is to/for; for the mother, people or nation)
אָמָה – ‘amah – maid-servant, female slave, maid, handmaid, concubine. (Heh as a suffix makes a pronoun; pronoun of mother rather than the mother herself)
אַמָּה – ‘ammah – cubit, distance the length of the forearm, 18 inches. Metaphorically beginning, head, foundation of a thing. “Mother of the Arm”, forearm.
אֻמָּה – ‘ummah – people, tribe, nation
אֲמָם – ‘Amam – their mother
נָאַם – na’am – to prophecy, utter a prophecy, speak as prophet, say
נְאֻם – neum – utterance, declaration, revelation
אָמַן – ‘aman – to support, confirm, be faithful, uphold, nourish, foster-father, foster-mother, nurse, pillars, supporters of the door, to be established, be carried, make firm, sure, lasting, verified, to trust, to believe in.
אָמַן – ‘aman – to take the right hand, to turn right, choose to the right, go to the right, use the right hand
אָמָן – ‘aman – master-workman, artist, steady-handed one, artisan
אָמֵן – ‘amen – verily, truly, amen, so be it
אֹמֶן – ‘omen – faithfulness
אֱמֶת – ’emeth – firmness, faithfulness, truth, sureness, reliability, stability, continuance, true testimony, true judgement, divine instruction, truth as a body of ethical or religious knowledge, true doctrine.
אָיֹם – ‘ayom – terrible, dreadful
אָמִי – ‘Amiy – bond-servant, descendant of Amon, Solomon’s servant.
מָא – ma’ – (Aramaic of Hebrew מָה, mah) what, how, of what king, whatsoever, whatever, how now, why, wherein, whereby, wherewith, by what means, because of what, the like of what, how much, how many, how often, for how long, for what reason, to what purpose, until when, how long, upon what, wherefore, anything, aught, what may
שַׁמָּא – Shamma’ – desert
מֵאָה – me’ah – hundred, 1/100th
מְאָה – ma’ah – hundred, one hundred
מָאן – ma’n – vessel, utensil
מָאֵן – ma’en – to refuse
מָאֵן – ma’en – refusing, unwilling to obey
מֵאֵן – me’en – refusing

The core of the gate is אֵם, ’em, mother. Aleph-Mem, is like Gate 1, Aleph-Beit, Ab, Father, ox-house, strength of the house. ’em, Mother, ox-womb, is strength of the womb. The point of departure or division is the lips parting to reveal the womb, strength of the womb shown in childbirth. Mother. Or, looking differently, Aleph is separation, and Mem the womb, bringing the idea of the point of departure or division. A people or tribe or nation, leom and ‘ummah, is the fruit of the womb and the mother, those that come from her. The use of Aleph-Mem as metaphorical mother, the mother of a thing, is important. We see this in the vocal words, na’am and neum, prophecy and utterance. Speech is the beginning, the mother, of action. “God said…and it was so.” In ‘aman, we find meanings of nourishment, commonly seen as part of what it is to be a mother. A craftsman, ‘aman, can be seen as the mother of his or her art. In ‘amen, so be it, we see the commitment to something, and that commitment is the mother of it. Reversed, the core is מָא, ma’, though this is the Aramaic form. Ma’ is questions and exclamations. This links well with mother, for questions are the mother of discovery, and exclamations bring forth. In a way, ma’en/me’en, to refuse, refusing, unwilling to obey, are the opposite of their anagram, na’am/neum, prophecy, and the opposite of the point of departure/division of ’em. But this isn’t quite true. Refusal and unwillingness to obey is it’s own departure and division from the authority that is refused, and this act is the mother of what comes of it. Ma’n, vessel or utensil, relates well make to the womb, for the womb is a vessel. Mystically, Nun is a servant or vessel of the divine. Ma’n can be seen as “Who is the vessel of the divine?” The vessel of the divine is filled with the divine in the same way the womb is filled with the unborn baby. Or ma’n with the anagramic meaning, ’em, could be the mother of the vessel, or the vessel that is of the mother, the womb. Shamma’, desert, is a bit harder. Shin is the tooth, and symbolically, this is nourishment. But desert? The desert by definition isn’t nourishing. But Shin as a prefix changes a verb into the doer, so Shin-Mem-Aleph, Shamma’, would be One Who Mem-Alephs. One Who Questions? That Which Questions? Does this imply the desert is that which brings questions? I’m not sure. It is interesting that the word is made from the Three Mothers, from Shin, Fire, Mem, Water, and Aleph, Air. Me’ah/ma’ah, hundred/hundredth, is problematic as well.

Aleph (1) + Mem (40) = 41. Or, with the final Mem, Mem is 600, so 601. In addition to ’em, 41 is fecundity, ram, force, hart, My God, to fail or cease, Divine Majesty, terminus, to burn, terror, to go round in a circle. 601 isn’t anything by ’em. 41 reduces to 5, Heh, and 601 reduces to 7, Zayin. Heh is the window, and mystically the first breath. Zayin is a weapon, and mystically marriage. 5 is also mist, vapour, back, food, elevation, top, pit, water-hole. 7 is also lost, ruined, desire, good fortune, was weary, riches, power, fish. Fecundity fits well, productiveness in offspring, vegetation, intellectual pursuits, basically to be good at giving birth. The others are harder. The destructive and ending words from 41 seem to be the opposite of birth and motherhood. Same with many from 7. But marriage fits well. And a water-hole could easily be seen as a womb.

The 12th Gate is definitely the Gate of the Mother. It is akin to the 1st Gate, the Gate of the Father, but a different type of strength. The 1st Gate is about protecting, the 12th about nourishing. While not every male is a protector and not every female is a nourisher (and in fact the reverse can be true), the role of the Father is as protector and the role of the Mother is as nourisher. The Gate of the Mother is the Gate of Nourishment. The lesson to learn, to cross the gate, is how to nourish those things we create, those things we give birth to, in our lives.


~Muninn’s Kiss


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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in muninnskiss


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לס, the 179th Gate

Long ago, I started a series of posts on the 231 Gates mentioned in the Sepher Yetzirah, the Book of Creation (or Foundation).  I posted a summary, then the first three gates, in my LiveJournal, then took a break and never got back to then.  A person approached me a few days ago, asking me what my thoughts were on the Samech/Lamed Gate.  So I wrote up the following in the form of the three I had done before.

(The LiveJournal posts can be found at

The 179th of the 231 gates is לס, Lamed Samech.

ל – Lamed – Ox Goad, Staff, Prod, Go Forward, Tongue, To Learn, To Teach, Secret Heart of Eve, Tower Soaring in the Air, Heart that Understands Knowledge
סַ – Samech – Prop, Support, Turn, Beginning, End, Endless Cycle, Equality, To Be Satisfied with Your Portion, Dependency, Support of Heaven by Earth and Earth by Heaven.

סַל, Cal – Basket (woven of rods)
בָּלַס, Balac – To gather figs, tend sycamore trees.  [root]
סָלָה, Calah – To make light of, toss aside, to flout, reject, to weigh, balance, to be weighed.  [root]
סֶלֶה, Celah – To lift up, exalt, Selah, a technical musical term probably showing accentuation, pause, interruption
סֻלָּם, Cullam – Ladder

סַל, Basket, is the heart of this gate.  This is a round or oval basket woven of slender rods, or reeds, or rushes, tightly woven, a wicker basket woven tight enough to be water proof.  Though it’s not the word used, this can be seen in the basket Moses’ mother placed him in.  Samech is the supports the rods, the reeds, the rushes, that form the support for the basket, the outside of it.  You can see Samech in the shape of the basket.  Lamed is that which is inside the basket, hidden, the secret knowledge, the occult knowledge, the dark space within.  And the hollow, round basket with a secret within is of course a Womb.  While Mem is the Womb of Creation, the Womb from which the physical, the revealed, the manefest, comes from, Samech is the Womb of Wisdom, Womb of Understanding, Womb of Knowledge.  Mem is the lower Womb, and Samech, pregnant with Lamed, is the upper Womb.

The meaning of a tower in the air, Lamed, and of the cycle of Samech gives us a tower, spinning without motion, which is the heart of Mystery.

Lamed (30) + Samech (60) = 90 which is Tzaddi.  Tzaddi is the fish hook or to hunt, but the newer name, Tzaddik means righteous, and the Aramaic word means Chaos.  Tzaddi is total, complete wisdom, but the wisdom below and the wisdom above, like Samech which the complete cycle, the the beginning and the end, which are one and the same.  90 is full consciousness, also complete and total, like the circle of Samech.  In the Manna and it is Mem, water, everything we need to survive, complete and total.  But when is a basket total and complete?  When it’s full.  So we come back to Lamed within Samech.  90 of course reduces to 9, which is Tet, the Good, Tov, serpent.  We’ve all seen the cobra rising up out of the basket to the music of the snake charmer.  The serpent is often associated with teaching of man.  The most well known verion, or course, is the serpent teaching Eve and through Eve Adam to become like G-d (for good or for ill).  Lamed is the teacher.  And if you look closely, you will see that Lamed is a slithering serpent, and Samech is a curled one.  The symbol from Greece of the snake, the Ouroboros, eating it’s own tail.  Or Jörmungandr, the Midguard Serpent in Norse mythology, encircling the world.

The lesson of the 179th gate is creating a place for the wisdom, the understanding, the knowledge we receive.  Create an outer support for an inner secret.  Make the basket and it will be filled.  And allow it to be filled.  Listen, digest, take in the teachings that come to you and allow then to fill that space you prepared, the place where only you will know what fills it.  And when it is full, when you’ve chewed it over, you will find the Mystery buried within.

~Muninn’s Kiss
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Posted by on October 15, 2011 in muninnskiss


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The Fallen: Wisdom and Death, Arddhu and Anna

What can popular media tell us about spiritual things?

The Fallen
By Seether

She’s wearin’ dresses on the borderline
(lookin good)
Or making senses that were lost in time
(make amends)
This liberation is the one they’ll love for ages (hey man I see them comin’ again)
Just cut those dresses make you look so fine (you’re a ten)
Put on that shirt and you’ll look so divine
(i’m impressed)
This generation won’t forgive those signs of aging (hey man I see them comin’ again)
I got my ticket for the next makeover
I got my ticket for a stolen ride

I believe, I believe
I believe in the fallen
I believe, I believe
I believe in the callin’

They got injections for those facial lines (make amends)
Break out the scalpel keep the nose defined
(look again)
A crucifixion of the love we’ve known for ages (hey man i see them comin’ again)
You’re much too pretty you don’t need your mind (just pretend)
Just bat them eyelids get your heart’s desires
A resurrection of the shallow and the vapid
(hey man I see them comin’)

I got my ticket for the next makeover
I lost my taste for this I’ll keep my pride
I believe, I believe
I believe in the fallen
I believe, I believe
I believe in the callin’


I got my ticket for the next makeover
I lost my taste for this, I’ll keep my pride
I believe, I believe
I believe in the fallen
I believe, I believe
I believe in the callin’
I believe in the callin’

Image from My Jewelry Blog

In my Good Friday post, I talked about how our society doesn’t like death and avoids the subject.  It isn’t just talking and thinking about it that we, as a society, avoid.  We also do everything we can to eliminate those things that remind us of death.  We use plastic surgery, as this song talks about, to avoid looking like we’re aging, because aging reminds us of death, that we will die some day.  But avoiding death makes life shallow, because death is very much a part of life.  Life loses its meaning without death.

Another way we avoid death is to take people as they get older and put them in old folks homes, and then we don’t visit them, because their age reminds us of our own mortality.  We put them away, out off sight, out of mind.  If we can’t see them, they aren’t there.  If they aren’t there, there is no aging, there is no death.  Hiding them is our immortality.  Or so we hope.

Cora Anderson, Grandmaster of Feri
Image from Harpy Books
Taken by Valerie Walker

There was a time when the elderly were venerated.  They are wisdom.  They are the ones who would teach the young, imparting their wisdom and experience, at least what the young were willing to listen to.  They might have been too old to do the heavy work required for the community, but they still had a purpose.  They were still valuable, and valued by the community.  By putting our elderly out of sight, we don’t just deny them a purpose to live for, we deny ourselves the wisdom they can impart.  With the loss of their experience, our society is getting dumber and more foolish.  “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

Death and Wisdom are very closely connected.  Robert Cochrane described the feminine Mysteries as the pentagram as Life/Birth, Love, Maternity, Wisdom, Death/Resurrection.  Wisdom is the stage that proceeds Death.  It grows out of Maternity and heads toward Death and hence Resurrection.  In avoiding Death, we avoid Wisdom.

When I think of Wisdom and Death, I think of the Anna and the Arddhu, the Feri gods returning to God Herself.  One isn’t Wisdom and the other Death, for both are both Wisdom and Death.  In this situation, they are the Divine Twins.  They are separate, yet they are the same.  They are both near Death, and both long to impart the Wisdom they have to those they care.  They are both dangerous, as Death always is, but their Wisdom is worth it.

Image from
Star of Nuit blog

It is significant that the Anna stands as priestess of the Star Goddess, not young Nimue or nurturing Mari.  It is Wisdom, standing closest to Death, which is also Rebirth, that is closest to God Herself, who can stand as the Bridge between Herself and us.  The marriage of the gods is in Death and Rebirth, an end and a new beginning, like all initiations.  The Anna stands at the Altar of the ineffable, her red veil covering her face, waiting for us to draw near.

The Arddhu stands at the Gates of Death.  But the Gates of Death are also the Gates of Life, another set of Divine Twins.  Everyone comes at the end of their life in from of Arddhu, and all pass him coming into the world.  It’s the same Gates, yet we see them differently depending on which direction we pass.  Storm says Arddhu is Guardian of the Crossroads.  Crossroads are transition points, liminal points, the passages between worlds.  As are the Gates of Life and Death.  What is Witch without the crossing between worlds?  And how do you cross without Arddhu?  All must come to him, but Witch comes early.

~Muninn’s Kiss

*And, as my About This Journal page states, this entry, like all my entries, express my opinions, my experiences, my ideas.  Though they are influenced by others and I quote others, don’t take what I say as dogma or doctrine for any tradition or religion.

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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in muninnskiss


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