Solar Eclipse of the Heart

As much as I’m into the moon and her cycles and power, I’m also into the sun. In Norse mythology, the sun is divinely animated by the goddess Sunna (or Sól), who rides through the sky on a horse-drawn chariot. Fenrir’s offspring (or Fenrir himself under another name), Skoll (which translates roughly to “mockery” or “one who mocks”) chases Sunna across the sky. (Sunna’s twin brother, Mani, divinely animates the moon, and is chased by the wolf Hati, but more on that another day).

“The Wolves Pursuing Sol and Mani” by J.C. Dollman (1909)

“The Wolves Pursuing Sol and Mani” by J.C. Dollman (1909)

To honor and connect with Sunna, I went down to the beach to watch the eclipse this morning. Although we reside a few hours out of the totality band, the eclipse was still amazing to watch. I sat with my mom, and best friend, and enjoyed my family. I made solar eclipse water. I watched the shadows as the sky grew dark and the air around us got chilly. And then I felt the sun warm my skin again as she emerged from the eclipse.

As I sat there witnessing the eclipse through all my senses, I thought about Sunna racing across the sky. Some lore attributes the solar eclipse to Skoll almost catching up to Sunna and taking a bite out of the sun. But as I was out sitting on the beach watching the sun disappear with folks I love, I thought about Sunna and Mani passing each other in the sky, giving each other a high-five as they passed, and saying “way to keep outrunning your wolf!” I think it’s an image I’ll hold on to.

After the eclipse, I wanted to hold quiet space for myself. I did a three card reading for the solar eclipse and asked

  1. How can I best serve the outward aspects of my life right now?
  2. How can I best serve my inner personal needs right now?
  3. How can I best balance the duality of my outward obligations and my inner needs?
Solar Eclipse 3-card spread using The Wild Unknown L: Card 1, 8 of swords. R: Card 2, 10 of swords rx. C: Card 3, 3 of wands.

Solar Eclipse 3-card spread using The Wild Unknown L: Card 1, 8 of swords. R: Card 2, 10 of swords rx. C: Card 3, 3 of wands.

I was thoroughly called out by The Wild Unknown (this deck never ever fails to call me out with hard truths) with the 8 of swords, the 10 of swords rx, and the three of wands, respectively. There are no soft, warm hugs here at all, just hard truths. But I suppose when you ask for Sunna’s guidance you should expect glaring and obvious truths, no matter how much they burn.

Happy solar eclipse, y’all!

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Gaiman’s Norse Mythology: A Witchy Summer Beach Book

NorseMythology_Hardback_1473940163The days are getting shorted here in the Pacific NorthWest, but it’s still summer and we’ve got at least another good 6 weeks of warm weather before the rain begins to fall. Which means a few more trips to the rocky beaches where I can prop myself up against a drifted log and read a book while my kid chases crabs along the tide-line. My perfect beach book consists of casual writing style and tone, an easy to digest story, relatable characters, and drama that isn’t tooooo close to home. And Gaiman’s Norse Mythology fits all of these categories, making it a near perfect beach read.

The stories aren’t new, of course, but Gaiman shows us these flawed deities through a his modern lens of tone and casual style, refreshing Norse mythologies and making them much more relatable than the 1200 BC prose from which they are derived. We are taken from creation to the end of the old gods and goddesses days in a choppy yet easy to follow flow. Gaiman shows the gods and goddesses in their fallible existence–their vanity, fierceness, selfishness, mortality, crassness, manipulation, and often indifference to the trails of humankind.

The book isn’t a comprehensive tome on Norse mythology by any means, and the stories lean masculine. But it is a little trail of breadcrumbs, a window lovingly cracked open inviting us in to explore. It’s a great witchy beach read, and perhaps as the season’s change, and we settle into a time for darker, richer stories, it acts as an arrow pointing us to a hearth-side reading of the Poetic or Prose Edda during the winter months.