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Raven Silhouette

THE VALKYRIES

By AmberSage

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and is the intellectual property of the author.


The Valkyries are the corpse goddesses in the Old Norse Religion, represented by the carrion-eating Raven.

They are called, among other things "Choosers of the Slain", and are the female warrior-attendants of Odhinn (The Norse All-Father). Other names include Waelcyrie or Waelcyrge (an old English form of the word Valkyrie also meaning Raven), Walachuria and Valakusjo. They are related to the Celtic warrior-goddess, the Morrigan, who likewise assumes the form of the Raven.

According to legends, the Valkyrie range in number from 9 to thirteen (corresponding with the number of moons per year), they are represented as beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed, fair-skinned women who wear scarlet corslets and carry shields and spears. The chief of the Valkyries is the goddess Freya who travels on a golden-bristled boar or in a chariot drawn by cats. Freya posses a magical cloak of falcon feathers and gifted the Valkyries with "feather coats" or cloaks that allows them to shape shift and fly as well.

The primary duty of the Valkyries is to choose the bravest of the slain and gather them into the deserving after life of Valhalla. Here the Valkyries shed their shields and serve the warriors they have chosen. It is often said if you saw a Valkyrie before going into battle you were destined to die. Often times the wives of the bravest soldiers would fight along side their husbands so they could die together and be reunited in Valhalla.

Brynhilder

Brynhilder courtesy of
http://www.geocities.com/moonsilk3/OOAKbrynhildr.html

In addition to their Raven form, it is believed that the Valkyries are also swan maidens or wish maidens. If you were to capture one of these beautiful creatures, you would be granted any wish you desire.

The Valkyries are also associated with the Raven Banner that was displayed at wartime over the Danish lands. This banner was woven out of the cleanest and whitest silk by the Valkyries and during times of peace there was no picture displayed. If the Dane people were going to win the war, the sign of the Valkyrie, the raven appeared on the banner with its beak wide open and its wings flapping. If the Danes were going to loose, the Raven did not stir at all. The Valkryie also had the power to bind a warrior with terror or release a favored warrior so he would survive. The Valkyries were worshipped as disir, and often offered sacrifices.

Raven Banner

Other Associations:

The Valkyries are also the messengers of Odhinn and their armor sometimes causes strange flickering light that is called the "Aurora Borealis", (Northern Lights)

Any Maiden who becomes a Valkyrie will remain immortal and invulnerable as long as they obey the Gods and remain virginal.

Other animals: Horse and the Wolf

Runes: Elhaz which signifies protection

Colors: Black

Astrology Sign: Cancer

Worship of:

While in the past the Valkyries were worshipped with sacrifices (some human, some animal), today they have a much more benign association in our everyday lives. They have been changed from war goddesses to represent that part of us that is unafraid of dark places in our minds and hearts. Because of this, with a Valkyrie by our side we can journey to those places and come out stronger. The Valkyrie is here to remind us that just like the seeds we plant in the dark earth, our spirit also needs some time in the darkness in order to grow.

Valkyrie Ritual:

For this meditation ritual you will need the following:
  9 or 13 black candles, one of these should be larger than the rest,
  a notebook and pen to record your thoughts, and
  an athame (if you have one).

Set the candles within your circle, saving the largest one for your altar (or circle center). You may also want to have a snack and water to ground yourself after the meditation.

Cast your circle in your normal way using your athame if you have one and call the quarters:

  Greetings spirits of the North, I invite you to join me in this time within a time, in this space within a space as I journey into the darkest part of my soul to face my fear(s) and spread some light so I may grow.

  Greetings spirits of the East, I invite you to join me in this time within a time, in this space within a space as I journey into the darkest part of my soul to face my fear(s) and spread some light so I may grow.

  Greetings spirits of the South, I invite you to join me in this time within a time, in this space within a space as I journey into the darkest part of my soul to face my fear(s) and spread some light so I may grow.

  Greetings spirits of the West, I invite you to join me in this time within a time, in this space within a space as I journey into the darkest part of my soul to face my fear(s) and spread some light so I may grow.

Stand in the center of your circle with your arms stretched up and your athame in your "power hand," and recite the following: "Greetings brave Valkyries, Raven and Swan Maidens, Mistresses of the Slain. I ask your presence with me now as I go into my own private battle against my demons."

Sit in front of the large black candle, but do not light it. Make sure you are seated in a comfortable position so you wonít be distracted by leg cramps, etc. Close your eyes and begin to ground yourself...feel your body becoming connected to the ground and your crown opening up. Once you feel grounded and relaxed, you are ready to start the next your journey. Picture yourself walking along in a forest, it is a beautiful day and the sun feels warm and soothing on your skin, a light breeze caresses you so you are not uncomfortably hot. You go deeper and deeper into the forest, pulled by some unknown force. You see lots of tiny animals in the trees and they all seem to be guiding you on ahead; there is even one who has been with you since you entered the forest. It runs on ahead of you and then comes back to make sure you are following. This animal can be any animal of your choice....a big black bear, a red fox, or a tiny chipmunk.

Suddenly you come upon a large hole that is big enough for you to go in. There is something very special about this hole and you know it wasnít made by any creature in the forest. All around you the animals appear to waiting...they know the decision is yours to make. You take a deep breath and crawl into the hole...Amazingly you can stand up in it! It is cool here and is a nice change from the sun. You decide to explore a bit...You are going down deeper and deeper into the earth, the slope is gradual so you donít notice it much at first, but suddenly you realize that you are cold and wish you had a sweater to through over you...You decide to turn back, but realize the passage way is too dark and there are too many tunnels...which one would you take? Your heart starts to pound and you are becoming scared. Suddenly you hear a voice ahead of you, "Do not despair, my daughter, I am here. Come a little bit closer and you will see me." You follow the voice and suddenly there before you is a small, blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman with a beautiful cloak of feathers to throw over you and warm you. She is in front of a fire and invites you to sit and join her.

Radgridr
Radgridr courtesy of
http://www.geocities.com/moonsilk3/OOAK1.html

"You are very brave," she says to you. "Only the brave at heart can find my home. I am a Valkyrie. I am here to help you face your fears." She invites you to have a drink of her tea, "just a small sip however, you donít want too much." You take a sip and begin to feel sleepy. You close your eyes to rest and suddenly find yourself in another tunnel, but youíre not alone. In this tunnel with you is one of your deepest fears. You turn and see your Valkyrie by your side. "What do I do?", you ask. "Talk to it," she replies. "Find out its name, and what it wants from you." Take as much time in the tunnel as you can...talk to your fear, find out where it came from and why it is still with you...Perhaps this is a fear youíve had from childhood; or adolescence. Talk to your fear and make it your friend and ally. When you are done, give your fear a gift and let the Valkyrie know you have accomplished what you set out to do. Once again you find yourself back in her cave; she gives you another sip of tea, this time to clear your head. The Valkyrie tells you it is now time for you to go and reminds you that she is always here waiting anytime you need to come and face your fear. She gives you a hug and a kiss and points you to the way out. You give her a gift, perhaps a rock you carried with you. You start back along the tunnel, noticing how light it is getting. When you get to the entrance, the animals are there waiting for you...they have brought you a snack of fresh berries and nuts. You share these with them and thank them for their help. Slowly you make your way back to the edge of the woods...once again feeling the warm sun on your skin and breeze across your face. As you come to the edge of the woods, you turn and thank your guides and head on your way home.

Now take a few deep breathes and when you feel ready open your eyes. Light your large black candle and write down your journey in your notebook. You may want to eat something and drink some water to help you ground. When you are done writing, thank the Valkyries and the elements for assisting you and close the circle.

Sources:

Norse Magic by D.J. Conway

Goddess Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet and Michael Babcock

The Original Valkyries - http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Ranch/6604/Valkyrie.html

www.vikinganswerlady.org

Meditation by AmberSage

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