Ásatrú, the old Norse Paganism is the fastest growing and largest non-Christian religion in Iceland

The religious practices and convictions of Icelanders have been undergoing rapid changes in the past years. The most recent data from Registers Iceland shows that Icelanders continue to turn their backs on the National Church of Iceland. At the turn of the century 89% of Icelanders were members of the National Church. This figure has dropped down to 65.6%.

Read more: Icelanders abandon National State Church, as old pagan Ásatrú continues to grow

At the same time the old Nose paganism Ásatrú is doing well. According to the latest figures from Registers Iceland 4,375 people belonged to the two separate pagan congregations, the small Reykjavíkurgoðorð (26 people) and the much larger Ásatrúarfélagið (4,349). Currently 1.2% of the population belongs to the pagan congregations. This makes the old pagan religion of the Vikings not only the fastest growing religion in Iceland, but also the largest non-Christian religion.

To read the rest of this article copy and paste think like into your browser: https://icelandmag.is/article/asatru-old-norse-paganism-fastest-growing-and-largest-non-christian-religion-iceland

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Full Moon Esbat Gathering Wednesday, October 24th Circle

Our Esbat ritual this month was written by and will be led by one of our almost adepts Jennifer.

WHEN:

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Socializing starts at 6:00 PM CT

The Sacred Circle is cast at 7:00 PM CT

Please do not enter the chat room after the circle has been cast. The reason being is we have students casting and leading the circle as part of their learning and this could break the circle causing it to have to be recast. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

WHERE:

Coven Life’s Chat Room

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

1 White Tea Candle

Candle Holder

Lighter or Matches

Small to Medium size bowl of Water

Cookie or Cracker

A beverage of your choice

OPTIONAL FOR YOUR ALTAR:

In the Northern Hemisphere, you could use some marigold flowers or sunflowers on our altars to remind them about the coming of Samhain
In the Southern Hemisphere, you could use some daisies, lily of the valley or roses to remind them of the up and coming Beltane

RITUAL:

JEN: We call Auriel to the Watchtower of the East to help protect this circle and empower the work within our circle.
We Gabriel to the Watchtower of the South to help protect this circle and empower the work within our circle.
We call Raphael to the Watchtower of the West to help protect this circle and empower the work within our circle.
We call Michael to the Watchtower of the North to help protect this circle and empower the work within our circle.
Starting the east I point at the ground first and walk clockwise saying I close this circle with Earth that no harm may come to anyone inside or outside of this circle. I then point to the ceiling saying I close this circle with Air that no harm may come to anyone inside or outside of this circle.
I then point at shoulder level saying I close this circle with Fire that no harm may come to anyone inside or outside of this circle.
I then welcome each element by touching or lighting them and saying welcome and thank you for helping us with this circle.
What is below is above and what is above is below this circle is sealed may it protect those within and allow us to do our ritual and please the gods
I welcome the goddess Hekate (for the Samhain) and the god Pan (for Beltane) to the circle and thank them for attending and helping us with our work.
EVERYONE: Please tell us your name and where you live – just the country or state please
Jen: 
I would then ask everyone to turn to their altar and hold your arms open wide. Tilt your head back so are looking is skyward – and say
Give us knowledge with your light
guide us in this ritual tonight
pass on to us your insight
we light this candle
to fulfill this rite
to remember our gifts
as we pray under your light
EVERYONE: So mote it be
At this time, light the (Moon) candle and take 2 minutes to reflect upon the gifts you have in your life and give thanks for them.
Now hold the bowl of water to the sky. Say:
Bless this water
As you control the tides
Make it nurturing
Under your vibes
Give us your wisdom
As our own mother
Keep wary eyes upon us
While we ponder
Help us to remember
The changes of the cycle
to embrace the good fortune
And get rid of the spiteful
EVERYONE: So mote it be
Now take 2 minutes to reflect on the things which have changed in the past Moon cycle.  Have you ended a toxic relationship? Have you experienced good fortune? Reflect on all the things you would like to see changed for you by the next full moon.
We thank Hekate and Pan for joining and helping us with your power and love please to return from where they came.
We dismiss Auriel with our thanks from the Watchtower of the East for the help with protecting and empowering the work within our circle.
We dismiss Gabriel with our thanks from the Watchtower of the South for the help with protecting and empowering the work within our circle.
We dismiss Raphael with our thanks from the Watchtower of the West for the help with protecting and empower the work within our circle.
We dismiss Michael with our thanks from the Watchtower of the North for the help with protecting and empowering the work within our circle.
I close this circle by rotating 3 times counterclockwise. First at shoulder height, then at ceiling height and finally pointing towards the floor. Thanking each element for helping us with this circle and asking them to return from where they came. We all need to release the extra energy we built up down into Mother Earth to help her heal. Start with your hands above your head and then slowly bring your arms down with palms facing downward cleaning the rest of the energy from the room.
The circle is now open but never broken all my brothers and sisters please go in peace and the safety of the gods and goddesses.
Part of the ritual was inspired by the book: Wicca Wheel of the Year Magic by  Lisa Chamberlain

Appealing to your ancestors

Yes, I know the topic of ancestor work can be a controversial one in the pagan community, because so many of us have deceased family members we wouldn’t call on if it was the last option open to us. For example, if your late Uncle Mort was a child molester, chances are you don’t really want to be inviting him into your home. Also, as many of us are first generation pagans in monotheistic families, we might feel alienated by some of our immediate ancestors, feeling that they can’t possibly share very much with us and unsure why they would want to help with our relationships with pagan deities, demons, spirits, or what have you.

But we all have bloodlines that go back more than just the few generations we might know about. Whether you know it or not, whether you can trace it objectively or not, you have a bloodline that reaches back into the pagan past, into the depths of antiquity. Depending on what country your ancestors came from, what ethnicity you are, you have ancestors who worshiped Odin, or Cerridwen, or Isis, or Ogun. Some of our ancestors, granted, return to the “primordial soup” that provides a source for new souls at the birth of children. Of those who qualify as Mighty Dead—those who managed to distinguish themselves in life in some way—some may be reborn as themselves (with their individual spirit intact), in a new body; some may choose to dwell in the spirit realms and join groups of spirits such as the Wild Hunt. But every bloodline has one or two who qualify to be ranked among the Mighty Dead and who choose to remain attached to their own blood lineage, to watch over their descendants. These are the people to turn to when you get yourself into a sticky situation with a god, demon, or other entity who you seem to be stuck in an abusive relationship with (assuming you have tried to work things out directly with that entity and it has failed, or it isn’t possible or advisable to deal directly with them for whatever reason).

To read the read of this article please click on this link: Ancestors

24 Hours in a Day Can be More Then Enough to Find ME TIME Daily

Most of us live busy lives work, household chores, laundry, maybe a significant other and/or children. Along with maybe book clubs, arts and crafts alone or with others and handworks like sewing, crocheting, or knitting, building things etc. Besides some of us be adults students with homework to fit in. Anyway I could go on and on with this list but I am sure you all get what I am saying, “There’s often there is not enough time in 24 hours” to accomplish everything and still have time to relax, meditate, sleep, etc and don’t forget unexpected things like traffic problems, or an emergency can pop up out of nowhere to throw your daily schedule completely off. While we cannot plan every day down to the last minute most days are basically the same in most of our lives. Below are a couple ideas I have started using that you may find helpful too. Finding ways to prioritize helps you to keep a balance in your life thus making it less stressful and this, in turn, brings more positive energy to you in many different ways. Whereas when you are stressed you bring more negative energy and other nasty things towards you.

For spells and rituals, I have a section in my BOS where they stay until I have the entire thing finished. This includes the day and Moon phase that is best to do the spell and/or ritual on for what I’m doing, items needed for the spell and/or ritual, the entire spell and/or ritual and most importantly how I want it to manifest in my life or whoever I am doing it for. A small reminder here when writing a spell and/or ritual keep the outcome you want from it in your mind while you are writing it.

I have 2 special notebooks I use. One is a 3-ring binder, so I can add pages as needed and wrote “PROJECTS” on the front. With a project, I write what I need to do for the project by writing down each different step 1st, 2nd, etc how long I want to spend on each step with the last step being finished. I put a line through the step and then rip out the page when the project is completed.

For my 2nd notebook for my day to day responsibilities, such as making sure there is something new on CL and student or other people emails are check and responded to, most days I have what’s for dinner on it, I use calendar page made using a spreadsheet that I print off from my computer leaving a space at the very bottom where I can write in by hand last minute things that I may pop up that I need to do that month. (See example at the bottom) I have these sheets in a pocket folder all start the pages start on the right side and get moved to the left on the last day of the month. I take each month and put it on the wall next to my spot where I use my laptop the most, so I can easily check it out either before bed or in the morning with while having my first cup of coffee. I have typed in all the regular things I do day to day and month to month I have to do down along the first column that I make wider than the rest of them and write the month and dates for that month along the top.  Here again, I write down a certain amount of time I want to spend on each responsibly next to that responsibility in the second column. When I finish something I make a check mark in its column under the corresponding date. Even if it a one-time thing for that month, like a doctor appointment or a class I am attending that month I write them in at the bottom of the everyday list. My doctor and other appointment type things I also put into the calendar on my cell phone with reminders set to go off the day before and then a second reminder with extra time for getting to where I have to be.

Another thing I have started doing to save time when grocery shopping is looking at my calendar to see what’s on the menu for that week, then check my pantry and freezer to make sure I have everything in the house to make it. I then use a tip my younger daughter gave me, I make a shopping list on my cell phone so as I think of things we are running low on or something special I want like ice cream I can just add it right away and not forget about it.

It may seem silly to some people that I use different notebooks beside my BOS but this is what works for me. The day to day one is really important for me because I have Fibromyalgia and with it come memory problems. I have found all of this helps me to prioritize what I have to do so I can have some me time every day for meditation or reading or nice hot bubble bath or whatever I want to do for me time.

Example of my monthly calendar (I purposely left the time I assign to each thing out so it would fit right on here):

NAME OF MONTH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
CL Posting
Answer Emails
Walk & Feed Girls
Shower
Work 11 A – 2 P
House Chores
Work on Book
Cooking
Baking
Laundry

Copyright 2018 Lady Beltane

Good Wednesday Morning To All Our Brothers & Sisters Of The Craft!

Please read Lady Abyss complete message. Her spirit and heart are very sad and somewhat confused right now because she may have to choose between saving her familiar’s, Kade, life and keeping her website Witches of The Craft (a.k.a. WOTC). She has done so much for the pagan community as a whole to show the world we are kind, caring, loving etc people even if we choose to follow a spiritual and magickal path in The Craft instead of a mainstream religion. I ask you to please pray for her and her familiar Kade. To send them strength, comfort, and love. Please pray she finds the funds so she does not have to sell WOTC’s domain and thus her website to some stranger. Also, write her a short note or comment on this post on WOTC not here on Coven Life letting her know she has your love and support no matter what happens with WOTC and you understand that her familiars, Kade, comes before anything else. Write to her at witches_of_the_craft@outlook.com In the Subject Line put “For Lady A Only” that way no one else on the WOTC staff will open and read your private message to our wonderful, considerate, kind, and giving sister Lady A. When she started WOTC back about 20 years ago she was a trailblazer as very few if any other websites dedicated solely to The Craft were on the world wide web. I for one would hate to see her have to lose something she has dedicated almost 1/2 of her life to which has made it easier for those of us that have followed her over the years to come out of the broom closet and allowed myself as well as other pagans to feel safe starting their own website.

Now, this next part is our secret please check out WOTC’s store Magickal Necessities you may find something you would like to purchase or give as a gift to someone remember Yule is not that far away. Thank you very much for reading my addition and the post-Lady A shared yesterday.

Witches Of The Craft®

Good Morning
I hope everyone is having a very blessed Wednesday. I wanted to talk to you about a decision I might have to make within the coming days. The decision involves my familiar Kade and this site or domain. It is a decision I have been weighing for several days now. I know some of you know a little about Kade but I would imagine others don’t. Kade is a cute, adorable Pomeranian and my familiar. I had one before him named Kiki for 13 years. She passed away in my arms several years ago. When she passed, it was one of the toughest things I believe I had ever been through. To this day, I still cry when I think about her. We had a very special bond and part of heart when into the ground the day we buried her.

After Kiki passed and I was still a basket…

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Asclepius GRECO-ROMAN GOD

Alternative Titles: Aesculapius, Asklepios
Asclepius, Greek Asklepios, Latin Aesculapius, Greco-Roman god of medicine, son of Apollo (god of healing, truth, and prophecy) and the mortal princess Coronis. The Centaur Chiron taught him the art of healing. At length Zeus (the king of the gods), afraid that Asclepius might render all men immortal, slew him with a thunderbolt. Apollo slew the Cyclopes who had made the thunderbolt and was then forced by Zeus to serve Admetus.

Homer, in the Iliad, mentions him only as a skillful physician and the father of two Greek doctors at Troy, Machaon and Podalirius; in later times, however, he was honoured as a hero and eventually worshiped as a god. The cult began in Thessaly but spread to many parts of Greece. Because it was supposed that Asclepius effected cures of the sick in dreams, the practice of sleeping in his temples in Epidaurus in South Greece became common. In 293 BC his cult spread to Rome, where he was worshiped as Aesculapius

To read the rest of this article please click on this link: Asclepius GRECO-ROMAN GOD

A Thought for Today

In following a pagan path we have more freedom to practice our spirituality in any way we chose. Some may follow only one tradition such as Wicca or a specific pantheon such as Nordic or Celtic or even what is referred to as Non-Paganism or Native American beliefs…well I think you get the idea. We are not strapped into following just one God and/or his son and having to attend church in a building to show we are faithful followers like in the mainstream religions. Now don’t get me wrong if a mainstream religion works as a spiritual path for a person than I think that’s great but after years of following more than one, I found the way to my peaceful and fulfilling spiritual path to be an alternative one.  We also do not have to follow just one of the pagan traditional paths we can study many of them and combine our own path from parts of many traditions. My spiritual path combines a few traditions such as Celtic, Native American, Wicca, Egyptian and Greek pantheons, Buddist. But this may change at any time as I study other spiritual paths.

So when I first dedicated myself to The Craft in 1978, I was a young 20-year-old who had just finished her novice studies in a regular coven. But I felt stifled in this particular coven because the High Priest and High Priestess only wanted us studying the materials they felt were the best offered at the time, remember we are talking way before the computer age as we now know it (back then computers were more glorified calculators and typewriters…lol) and when being a witch was being thought of as worshipping the Devil. I decided I had no choice but to find a coven that was more open in what traditions of paganism members studied and with the Mother Goddess’ help I found one. This is the coven I would eventually become High Priestess of when the current one retired. My High Priest and High Priestess along with the Priest and Priestess of this coven encourage us to study whatever pagan paths we wanted to. The coven had a small meeting room in the back of a restaurant owned by one of the members and we were welcome to go into it anytime the restaurant was open for business. This room beside having all the coven’s ritual tools stored there it had a wonderful library covering many topics and many authors of books about The Craft. The Elders of the coven were readily available to answer questions about spirituality and magick. If we were not sure of the information we sought they would ask the person who had come to them questions to help that person figure out what direction they wanted to go with their studies.  Because of this experience and Lady Abyss encourgement, I started the Coven Life coven and website which shortly led me to open the Coven Life WItchcraft school.

Now you are probably asking yourself what does all of this have to do with doing a dedication to The Craft/The Old Ways. To me doing a dedication ritual is saying, “Yes this is the spiritual path I want to follow and learn more about. It is me asking the Gods and Goddesses to help lead me through working with them and my Spirit Guides to following the path I am supposed to be on for spiritual growth and to lead my coven and school to the best of my abilities.”

Every person that does a dedication ritual whether it be to The Craft and/or a God and/or a Goddess it is for their own personal reasons. Every person anywhere on Mother Earth that practices any type of witchcraft has their own reasons for doing a dedication to whomever they want to. Those that follow a pagan spirituality are not taught to be like a cookie cutter person like people are in mainstream religions.

Blessed be dear brothers and sister of The Craft and The Old Ways.

Happily Heathen: The Positives and Negatives of Dedicating to a Deity

As my name implies, I am dedicated to the Vanic Goddess Freya and consider myself Her daughter. My spiritual path has always been guided by a desire for a direct, personal relationship with deity (not unlike that of the Christian or Sufi mystics), so my relationship with Freya is as close as, if not closer than, my relationships with my family members and my partner.

However, my relationship with Her is also closer than my relationship with Her brother Freyr, to whom I’m also dedicated. My relationship with Him is much newer and less intense, and fills a different role in my spiritual life. There are a wide range of levels of devotion and types of devotion among devotional polytheists. (I would argue that this kind of relationship, by default, has to be one of our most idiosyncratic of practices.) Just like relationships between humans, relationships between humans and deities–even devotional or dedicated relationships–can vary greatly. Just as you can be involved in a many different friendships for a variety of reasons, so can people be devoted with the Gods in many different ways. The experiences and opinions I share here are really only reflective of me and my relationship with Freya, who has been my primary Goddess.

When I first started working for her, I was full of zeal and love for Her and I couldn’t really figure out why everyone did not want to honor Her and devote themselves to Her. (Laine deLaney of The Lady’s Quill wrote a lovely description of Her here.) ….

To read this rest of this article please click on this link: Happily Heathen: The Positives and Negatives of Dedicating to a Deity