Who am I and what do I believe is a blog post that has been a long time coming. I didn’t share before because many of my students are witches of a variety of paths and it was my goal to focus on practical witchcraft to help all of them. However, this ended up not only being a disservice to my Gods, my ancestors, the spirits I work with, and myself, it is also a disservice to my readers and clients. So here I am, sharing who I am, the best way I can at this point. I’ll start by saying, I Am A Northern Tradition Pagan Polytheist Witch.
I’m also an Appalachian Folk Magick witch. I’m a Modern Millennial Witch as well. However, Northern Tradition Pagan Polytheist Millennial Appalachian Modern Folk Magick Witch is a really long title for a blog post and person. It also doesn’t fully convey what it is that I believe and don’t believe or do for that matter. All the same, I wanted a blog title that would catch an eye and that was heavily filled with who I identify as in a short glance, so there you have it – Northern Tradition Pagan Polytheist Witch.
In this post I’ll break what all that means down for you as well as give you some resources via links (some are affiliate links) throughout the post. The goal in all being to share more of myself so that if there is anyone out there reading this will feel less alone, will find something that they can learn from, and might find a signpost along their own magickal path.
My Path as a Witch
Like many witches, I always felt different. I don’t remember a time that I didn’t feel like an outsider or odd in general, even as a very young child. I was drawn to the occult like a moth to a flame even in my earliest memories. My mother once told me that she struggled as a teen mom with me as a colicky and cranky infant so she “gave me to God” to assure that I was taken care of. I jokingly say to my husband and friends that I don’t think the Gods that took me on were the ones she had in mind.
When I was 10 years old I got my own library card and was left to roam the books unattended. I discovered the New Age and Spirituality section of the public library and Silver RavenWolf’s books – Teen Witch, To Stir a Magick Cauldron, To Ride a Silver Broomstick. I found the manuals that would introduce me to real, live witchcraft.
As I got a little older and was able to peruse the internet I also found Witch School – a fantastic resources for those wanting to learn witchcraft. They offered a lot of free courses on magick, Wicca, divination, and more. This was where I built my foundations as a witch and I will be forever grateful to the Correllian tradition for all the work that they do. Witch School is also my most recommended resource to people who request advice on how to become a witch, Witchcraft 101 reading, etc.
Over the years, as I studied beyond the 101 books, I began to dig into the history of witchcraft and experience more of the world. I found that Wicca did not resonate with me despite my attempts to force it in hopes of finally finding a community that would accept me. Finally, I left Wicca, just as I was about to enter the Correllian priesthood in fact.
Life happened, I moved around and had my highs and lows. I began experimenting with different magickal paths. During this time I had some very intense experiences. I had a Demonic Exorcism to remove an attachment. I worked with deities like Ganesh, SeKhmet, Anpu, and Hekate. I also did Faerie magick, got my Reiki attunements to master level, and learned about the power of crystals for a while and built a strong energy practice. Studying herbs brought me to learn about the energy and importance of place and location – here is when I began working with and honoring what I now call Landvaettir or Land Spirits.
Called By The All-Mother and Queen
By 2013 I had quite a lot of magickal learning under my belt. I still hadn’t found what I would consider my spiritual home or path though. Then, Tragedy Struck.
December 20th, my birthday, I found I was pregnant. I’d suspected as much for a while but when I began puking in the midst of my birthday celebration at the smell of popcorn, I knew it was time to get a pregnancy test. It was positive.
My husband and I kept it a secret, planning to tell everyone on Christmas. We couldn’t get in to see a midwife until after the holidays but were thrilled all the same.
The day before Christmas eve, I pulled my tarot cards like I did every day and the Tower scowled up at me, warning me. I felt the fear of it but ignored the message. That night I miscarried.
My anger and grief was a pit I drowned in for weeks. Finally, I decided I would strive to be a good mother and prepare my body to try and get pregnant again when the time was right. I did this with nutrition and care but also with magick.
It was during my magickal quest to become healthy and have a baby in 2014 that Frigga, the All-Mother and Queen of Asgard, began calling me.
I’ve never studied Norse mythology and other than a vague idea of Thor and Fenrir, I didn’t know anything about them. My background educationally was in Classics with an emphasis on Rome. I was working with Hekate and Hermes when Frigga began persuing me and, at first, I thought She might be Juno. Divination said no as did intuition.
New Years 2015, I conceived and a week or so later, Frigga told me her name in a dreamy haze between sleep and awake. I Googled it and was shocked to learn that there really was a Goddess of that name! Thus began my working with a Goddess, building a relationship, and speaking with Her and Her speaking through me at times.
I Am A Pagan Polytheist or “What Do You Mean You Spoke to Frigga?”
I thought I would write a clarification by what I mean when Frigga and I have a conversation. Going to go ahead and say here, I expect some people to think I’m making this up or that I’m completely crazy – that’s ok, I accept this and am trying my best not to be upset over any commentary regarding that. This post if for those of you, like me, who went looking for others who were also speaking with the gods. When Frigga came to me, I went looking and, thankfully, had a friend who connected me with others like myself. This made me feel less nuts and actually helped me to figure out where I was and what I needed to be doing. So, if you’re in similar shoes, this post if for you.
Joshua Tenpenny writes on his blog, Serving Gods, a very clear post about having conversations with gods and how it works for him. I found his blog post comforting and inspiring and while I encourage you to go read the whole post, I wanted to share a key piece here:
If you are talking to someone who doesn’t believe all this, they want to know precisely what level of implausibility are you claiming…Basically, they want to know whether you are a Grade-A Nutter, or just someone who bizarrely chooses to interpret normal life situations in some kind of weird religious context.
From the standpoint of a hard polytheist, some people have waking visions and some people have subtle hints, and unless there is some other reason to question the validity or accuracy of the message, the means of communication are as irrelevant as whether Susan invited you to her birthday party in person, by email, on Facebook, or mailed you a physical invitation.
So here is the short clarification:
I am a Pagan Polytheist and I believe all the Gods are real, individual entities. I don’t believe the Gods are just facets or faces or names for One God. They are individual, deserving of honor, and just as real as you and I. I also believe and practice Pagan Polytheist Devotion.
I have had dreams and waking visions of Frigga wherein she is either here with me, like someone physical sitting beside me, or I am with her in Fensalir, walking through her hall or along the misty marsh and we talk.
For non-believers, this is the penultimate of bonkers and that is why I quickly looked for reference among others with similar experiences. Happily, I found some and even had a reading with another devoted Pagan Polytheist that assured me that this was what was actually happening and not something my brain was just misfiring and making up.
Is this the first time this has happened?
Yes and No. I have been in the presence of Gods before, however, these situations were usually after deep meditation, a request for their presence, and usually after days, weeks, or even months of a certain spiritual practice connect with that deity. For example, I did 108 mantras to Ganesh for 108 days before I was in His presence (btw, He is HUGE).
I have had guardians and spirits contact me in this jolting and unexpected way but Frigga is the first goddess to contact me without my first initiating the contact.
How do I know its Frigga and Not Something Else?
This is a blog post all its own but…
I know its Frigga and not my own Higher Self or Ego because of 2 things – 1) she has requested a few actions and set in place a few taboos I’m not entirely comfortable with; nothing crazy or dangerous, just out of my comfort zone. 2) Someone who isn’t emotionally connected to my situation did a reading and confirmed it was Frigga.
I know its Frigga and not a malicious entity because of 2 things – 1) I have experience with malicious entities and have my own system of vetting spirits that come to me. 2) see #2 above.
My Recommendations for Those Being Visited by the Divine?
- Get a reading from a divination expert, shaman, or other spiritualist that you trust. These people will be able to vet your situation and tell you what their form of divination says as well as give a little bit of clarity on what the god or entity that is visiting you wants.
- Simply ask the god, spirit, or entity what they want. This is huge and if they are legit, they will answer.
- Remember, you have the right to stop communication or say no any time you want. Free will does exist and if you don’t want this entity as part of your life, you can say so. If the entity does not leave, get a reading from an expert or consider taking steps to exorcise/banish the entity. Remember that the gods aren’t all that interested in forcing someone to work with them – malicious entities however will linger while they can.
But Where Does the Witch Part Come In?
One of my favorite quotes that you might hear or read a lot of devoted Pagans say is that there is nothing “Mundane.” Everything and anything is made sacred or part of sacred, spiritual practice when you begin walking on the path of devotion to the Gods.
For me this means everything I do – cleaning my home and making meals with my Ancestors, Tomte, and the Godesses Frigga and Full and Frau Hulda in mind – is made a sacred practice. The more mindful of my mundane life being sacred, the more I see openings for spiritual practice or, for me, witchcraft.
I believe magick and witchcraft are gifts of the Gods given to mankind at our creation. We hold the breath of Odin within us and we are created by powerful beings from a powerful being. We have that spark inside of us to create the world around us as we see fit. We do that with magick and witchcraft.
So I say I am a Witch because I purposefully work with magick to effect change in the world around me. I do this with the Gods and my Ancestors, and other Spirits in mind.
I also study witchcraft practiced by my ancestors – I am descended from Northern and Western Europe (Norse and Irish predominantly) that migrated to America and settled in the Appalachian region. I focus my magickal practices on their folk traditions. For this I study Appalachain folk magick, Trolldom, Seidhr, and some Druidry though I have found my tastes and skills lie predominantly in the first three areas.
What does “Northern Tradition Pagan Polytheism Witch” practice look like?
All of this probably looks rather boring to most people.
- In the morning I make a meal for my son and I drink coffee, an herbal ally I adore. While I drink coffee I silently send out words of gratitude. I do send these words to what you might consider my first line of magickal defense and support – the Tomte (house spirit) and to my Ancestors. I often offer my Ancestors coffee as well as many of them drank it. On certain holy days I leave an offering of porridge and mead for the Tomte and a larger offering of food, coffee, chocolate, and tobacco to my ancestors.
- Cleansing is a huge part of my practice. Miasma, negative energy, non-beneficial energy, etc is chaotic or low-vibration energy that clings to you and can hinder your health, practice, connection with the Divine, and communication with other people. We are constantly collecting this every as well as possible malicious energy such as the evil eye or Onda Ogat. Cleansing removes that energy and sends it on to be transmitted to beneficial energy that can be better used. I cleanse with ritual bathing, burning herbs like bay, using essential oils like hyssop, and with crystals like Selenite.
- Divination is a big part of my life. Not only do I offer readings to my clients, I also divine for myself. This looks like cleansing with herbal smoke or spray, lighting a special candle dedicated to this purpose, calling upon the Goddess Vor to help and bless me and my work, and laying out tarot cards, oracle cards, casting runes, or using my collection oracle or pendulum. As you can tell from the list, I have a lot of interest in this area of witchcraft that my tradition calls Spaedom.
- I cast spells for myself, my family, friends, and clients. For this I focus a great deal on astrology, moon phases, and divination. Spells like a charm to help my husband and his step-dad catch fish that involves a request to the God Njord and, later, an offering to Him.
- I spend a lot of time on my phone and computer – more than I should probably. There are sigils of protection, communication, and more on both for various purposed both personal and business related.
- I bake a lot as it is a way I deal with stress. I give part of my baked goods in offering to Frigga and Frau Hulda. In the kitchen I am mindful of the magickal properties of ingredients and the magickal intentions going into my food including the way I stir a pot or roll my dough.
- I also write a lot and call often on my Muse as well as the Goddess Saga. This involves candle lighting, prayers, and offerings. This led me to write for various witch, Pagan, and new age publications that you can find links to on my About page.
- It even effects my hobbies. Learning to belly dance I intuitively also learned ecstatic dance and raising energy with drumming and movement. When I write to my pen pals I think of the Goddess Gna, swift of foot and messenger of Asgard. When I crochet, I pray to and honor Frigga as well as imbue the item I am creating with magickal energy and often make items that I later use in spell work.
- If someone is sick, I work with the Goddess Eir. I might do a novena to Her if it is a large illness. I ask for her blessings on herbal medicines I make as well as over the counter and prescription medications. If I’m making the medicines, I choose herbs that not only work on the ailment but also by their metaphysical associations. I see the very act of making a salve or syrup as a magickal practice.
- If things are stressful between my husband and I, I pray to Frigga as wife of Odin as well as Odin who often works through my husband. I light a blue candle anointed with rose oil for loving communication with my spouse. I ask that our ancestors bless us as they have had many marriages and know how they work.
- When I sing to my son, I sing Pagan chants, songs by Heathen and Pagan artists like Damh the Bard and Heilung, and songs I made up to honor my Gods. He learns these and is now singing parts of them with me.
- My family and I attend Pagan events such as Pagan Pride Festival, Sunnablot and Shadowmoot hosted by Friends of Raven Moon Hearth (a local heathen group), and events hosted at local occult shops like Aromagregory where we buy most of our supplies that we don’t make including our daily soap.
- When we need money, I do money magick and also do a cleansing to remove blockages between us and that money. This might look like cleaning out a wallet and anointing it with money drawing oil. I honor our Tomte and give it offerings so that it will bless our home. I also recently discovered a Troll formula for a Spiritus I intend to try that supposedly will send a familiar spirit to collect and bring money to me.
I Am A Northern Tradition Pagan Polytheist Witch
This has been a long post and if you’ve read this far I applaud you.
Thank you for reading and being on my website.
Please let me know if you have any questions by commenting or by emailing me at december at Startwitchin dot com.