20 December 2015

Yule, Elves, and a Bindrune Spell For Your Business

This article is also published as part of the Yule Edition of The Sunday Stew. Please head on over there, there are so many wonderful writers, I just know you will enjoy all of the articles.

It has been a while since I've thought of creating a new rune stave. I started thinking of Yule coming up and the pretty lights and elves and fairy tales. It is a magical time of year. You can practically feel the magic lying thick in the air. 

This made me think of a bindrune that I would like to make and see how I could connect it with a couple of fairy tales. I like fairy tales, so, if I can fit them in here, I'm going to. I also would like to discuss elves, just a little. I find the lore fascinating.

Today, I've chosen two fairy tales. Both of them show the elf personality and mentality a little. From these two stories I can gather that elves like to help those that help themselves, they enjoy being appreciated and will even reward again after being shown that appreciation.

The first story that I've chosen is The Elves and The Shoemaker. Most of us are familiar with this story, some version of it, but if you aren't I'll post it here. This version is from the Grimm Brothers, of course. Specifically, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Die WichtelmännerKinder- und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales -- Grimms' Fairy Tales), 7th ed. (Berlin, 1857), no. 39.
A shoemaker, through no fault of his own, had become so poor that he had only leather enough for a single pair of shoes. He cut them out one evening, then went to bed, intending to finish them the next morning. Having a clear conscience, he went to bed peacefully, commended himself to God, and fell asleep. The next morning, after saying his prayers, he was about to return to his work when he found the shoes on his workbench, completely finished. Amazed, he did not know what to say. He picked up the shoes in order to examine them more closely. They were so well made that not a single stitch was out of place, just as if they were intended as a masterpiece. A customer soon came by, and he liked the shoes so much that he paid more than the usual price for them.

The shoemaker now had enough money to buy leather for two pairs of shoes. That evening he cut them out, intending to continue his work the next morning with good cheer. But he did not need to do so, because when he got up they were already finished. Customers soon bought them, paying him enough that he now could buy leather for four pairs of shoes. Early the next morning he found the four pairs finished. And so it continued; whatever he cut out in the evening was always finished the following morning. He now had a respectable income and with time became a wealthy man.
One evening shortly before Christmas, just before going to bed, and having already cut out a number of shoes, he said to his wife, "Why don't we stay up tonight and see who is giving us this helping hand."

His wife agreed to this and lit a candle. Then they hid themselves behind some clothes that were hanging in a corner of the room. At midnight two cute little naked men appeared. Sitting down at the workbench, they picked up the cut-out pieces and worked so unbelievable quickly and nimbly that the amazed shoemaker could not take his eyes from them. They did not stop until they had finished everything. They placed the completed shoes on the workbench then quickly ran away.

The next morning the wife said, "The little men have made us wealthy. We must show them our thanks. They are running around with nothing on, freezing. Do you know what? I want to sew some shirts, jackets, undershirts, and trousers for them, and knit a pair of stockings for each of them, and you should make a pair of shoes for each of them."

The husband said, "I agree," and that evening, when everything was finished, they set the presents out instead of the unfinished work. Then they hid themselves in order to see what the little men would do. At midnight they came skipping up, intending to start work immediately. When they saw the little clothes instead of the cut-out leather, they at first seemed puzzled, but then delighted. They quickly put them on, then stroking the beautiful clothes on their bodies they sang:

Sind wir nicht Knaben glatt und fein?
Was sollen wir länger Schuster sein!
Are we not boys, neat and fine?
No longer cobblers shall we be!

Then they hopped and danced about, jumping over chairs and benches. Finally they danced out of the house. They never returned, but the shoemaker prospered, succeeding in everything that he did.


As you can see, the shoemaker was still trying. He had used his last bit of money on leather for one pair of shoes and he was planning finishing them to keep going. The elves arrived in the nick of time to help him. The shoemaker and his wife showed their appreciation by making clothes and for that they were rewarded again by prospering for the rest of their lives. 

Philipp Grot Johann, "The Elves" (1841-1892)

The next story is The Servant Girl and the Elves OR The Servant Girl Who Stood In As Godmother For Them

This version is also from the Brother Grimm; Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Kinder- und Hausmärchen (1812), no. 39/II

Once upon a time there was a poor servant girl who was diligent and neat. Every day she swept out the house and shook the sweepings onto a large pile outside the door. One morning just as she was beginning her work she found a letter on the pile of sweepings. She could not read, so she stood her broom in the corner and took the letter to her employers. It was an invitation from the elves, asking the girl to serve as godparent at the baptism of one of their children.

At first the girl did not know what she should do, but finally they convinced her to accept. It would not be right, they said, to decline such an invitation.

Three elves came and led her to a hollow mountain where the little people lived. Everything there was small, but more ornate and splendid than can be described. The new mother was lying in a bed of ebony decorated with pearl buttons. The covers were embroidered with gold. The cradle was made of ivory, and the bathtub of gold. The girl stood in as godparent, and then wanted to go back home, but the elves asked her fervently to stay with them for three days. She agreed to do so, and the time passed with pleasure and joy. The little people did everything to make her happy.

Finally she wanted to return home. They filled her pockets with gold and led her outside the mountain. She arrived home. Wanting to begin her work, she picked up the broom that was still standing in the corner and started to sweep. Then some strange people came out of the house and asked her who she was and what she was doing there. It was not three days, as she thought, that she had spent in the mountain with the little men, but rather seven years. In the meantime her former employers had died.


Again, as you can see, we have a person that is poor but diligent and always trying. She helped them and she was rewarded. We also see that elf world time is different from our time.


I've been reading a bit about elves here and there. If you are lucky in your decisions dealing with the elves, you will be rewarded. However, if you make the wrong decision, are greedy, or take advantage of them, you will be punished. Both of these stories show reward, but dealing with elves or the fae in general is dangerous business. You don't want to be doomed to a life of bad luck, or blinded, or be poor til you die. There are rules in dealing with elves. A good set of guidelines can be found in the book Elves, Wights, and Trolls by Kveldulf Gundarsson. A couple of these rules are:

1. Do not refuse their food or favors, in general. 

2. Don't boast about your favors or gifts they have given you.

There is a complete list of 13 "rules", but the general guidelines go against be greedy, expecting something for nothing, being disrespectful, etc.

They are inclined to pay a visit to you during Yule, you would be wise to welcome them and clean your house in preparation for their visit. 

There is a custom in Iceland called "bid alfs to your home" or bjóða álfum heima. You offer the alfar and vaettir hospitality, and in return they are bound to behave as guests and may bring blessings… provided you are a good and gracious host.

You sweep and clean everywhere, leaving no corner untouched, and then fill the house with light. Put lights wherever there’s a shadow. You then go out and walk around the house (or apartment building, or whatever) in a circle three times (doesn’t matter which direction) and say Komi þeir sem koma vilja, veri þeir sem vera vilja, og fari þeir, sem fara vilja, mér og mínum að meinalausu(Come, those who wish to come; stay, those who wish to stay; and fare forth, those who wish to fare, harmless to me and mine).
(Árni Björnsson, Jól á Íslandi, pp. 138-139.)
According to Feilberg, II, p. 162 Alfs enjoy celebrating Yule with dancing, feasting, and lighting candles. 
Make offerings of milk and always ask nicely for help. Hope for their help, but don't expect it. Don't be greedy. 
For this rune stave or bindrune I've chosen to use the following runes:
Dagaz: To bring about a bright new day with a fresh start, good luck is coming. To help one to advance in life.
Wunjo: Rune of success and happiness. Will of your handiwork to bring joy and prosperity.
Uruz: Creates sudden change, manifestation, producing results.
Othala: This one is for calling upon your ancestral powers or the power of spirits. Alfs or Elves have been called "the spirits of dead men", so this will be useful in asking them to aid your bindrune. (Not all elves are considered spirits of the dead, some are the nature spirits.) This rune can also help build business partnerships and build a family legacy and also protection of fortune. 
I'm going to name this bindrune Kite (because it looks like one) and as with a kite you have to work to make it fly, this too will be the same with this rune. You will have to put effort into helping yourself make your money to give this stave flight and make it work. It will help you help yourself.
I don't want to chant the word Kite while I'm drawing it, so I'm going to give it the Norse word for kite, which sounds much cooler while you chant it; papirdrage

To make this;

This time I decided to make this one on a piece of wood disc and use my woodburning tool. Now, it just so happens that the only disc I have on hand at the moment is a disc of hawthorn. Since hawthorn is a tree of the fae, I'm hoping it will give it a bit of a kick.  Please excuse my sloppiness with this one, I've been in a bit of a rush all day. I have Yule gifts to make and decorating the home took a bit longer than I thought, I really wanted to get this finished tonight, so my design is not the neatest. 

The entire time that I drew the bindrune, burned it, and painted it with red, I chanted its name...papirdrage. 


Now for the incantation (be specific with runes)

This runic stave by the power, energy, and magic of its runes brings change for the better to my business. Through my hard work and determination this runic stave brings success and prosperity to my business. This runic stave protects my business and my handiwork while producing the manifestation for the better of my business. This runic stave works absolutely without any harm to myself, my children, my spouse, my animals, my properties, my material possessions, and my business. This runic stave works immediately and is activated by my breath.

(Omit and add as you see fit in the incantation) 

Hang in a place near your work area that you can see it. If you would like to add a drop of your blood to the rune, do so.

Take Odin and Freyr an offering. I do this under a tree outside.

If you would like to read more about elves, here are a couple of interesting sites.

Thank you and I hope that you have enjoyed this blog.

Happy Yule to you and yours!


26 October 2015

Samhain/Halloween Reading for the Family 2

This was originally published as a Sunday Stew article. You can view it here.
I thought that I would also publish it here because the original Samhain/Halloween Reading is a pretty popular post. You can view it here

Collecting children’s books is a personal hobby of mine. Some favorites are about witches, magic, or Halloween. I like to have a wide variety, and I also try to collect each one of a series. Sometimes that is easier as a thought than actuality, because the older books are hard to come by. I like to collect favorite books that I enjoyed from my childhood as well as finding new favorites. I do have grandchildren, so when they visit I love to read and share my books with them.

I’ve compiled a list of fun reads today. I wouldn’t really call them educational, with the exception of the first one; it touches on the history of Halloween in a simplified manner.

Some of these will have to be found as used books on Amazon or Ebay. Finding new versions is possible, but it could be expensive.

Some of these aren’t specifically Halloween stories, but are good reads nonetheless.

Let’s Find Out About Halloween by Paulette Cooper published in 1972, has delightful artwork by Errol Le Cain. It takes the reader through Halloween beginning with trick-or-treating. The origins of Halloween are told, as well as beliefs from other countries, in a simplified manner. Its main focus is on the modern childhood celebration of Halloween. 

Old Black Witch by Wende and Harry Devlin (illustrator) first published in 1963. Nicky and his mother are looking for an old house to buy and turn into a tearoom in New England. They purchase Old Witch’s home and end up letting her live in the attic and make blueberry pancakes for the tearoom. Old Witch saves the day by turning some burglars into frogs. BONUS: you get the recipe for blueberry pancakes on the back of the book.

A Very Scary Witch Story by Joanne Barkan, Illustrated by Jody Wheeler, 1992. The illustrations contain pictures that glow in the dark, so it’s helpful if you read this one by flashlight.  We first purchased this book when my daughter was in Kindergarten through one of the Scholastic magazines. The story is all about a young witch named Wisp. She wants to be able to go to the Witch’s Ball on Halloween night like her older sisters, but she has never flown a broom and her sisters tell her that she can’t go until she can do so. After her sisters leave for the ball Wisp is determined to get there. The story is all about the young witch’s perilous flight to the ball. TIP: If you are unable to get the glow-in-the-dark pictures to work, put the book in the freezer for 30 minutes. The freezer activates the glow.

The Magic Porridge Pot written and illustrated by Paul Galdone, published in 1976. A poor child and her mother are starving. One morning the child goes into the woods to look for nuts and berries and she begins crying because of her situation. An old woman appears and gives her a magic pot, with specific instructions for starting and stopping the pot. The girl runs home to her mother with the pot and tells her story about the old woman and instructions. They use the pot and are finally able to eat. The mother forgets how to stop the pot and one day she creates food chaos for the village with the pot. It does end happily, however. 

The Witch Who Lives Down The Hall by Donna Guthrie, Illustrated by Amy Schwartz, published in 1985. A cute little story about a boy who is unsure of his neighbor, Ms. McWee. He says that she is a nice lady with a cranky cat.  There are things about her that make him unsure, however,  like her reading club and the yoga that she practices. It goes on to explain each reason that makes him believe that she is a witch. It ends with him going to her home on Halloween night and deciding that it’s okay to have a neighbor that is a witch. 

The Little Witch’s Halloween Book written and illustrated by Linda Glovach, published in 1975. There is a whole series of Little Witch books, having 14 in all. The Halloween book is chock full of goodies. There are cards and decorations, parties and celebrations, and trick or treat. The sections include crafts, recipes, and games.

Little Owl’s Night written and illustrated by Divya Srinivasan, published as a boardbook edition in 2013. This is the boardbook edition that I have. I’m going to say that it is one of the best books that I’ve ever bought my grandchildren. It reads like a bedtime meditation. The illustrations are delightful. The story is about everything that Little Owl encounters during his nighttime flying.

Countdown To Halloween written and illustrated by Patricia Reeder Eubank, 2015. This is seriously my favorite board book! The illustrations are so pleasant! Little Kitty is excited every day for Halloween to come. He asks each of his friends in turn how many days and the book is the countdown to Halloween and the friends that he encounters. 

I do hope that you have enjoyed the selections for Halloween reading this year. Have a blessed and happy Samhain.


06 October 2015

Sharing a friend's blog

I would like to point you all toward my beautiful friend Sharon's blog. She is sharing a picture of a spirit board on this one. Yes, I did paint it, isn't it beautiful? It was a custom order and it now lives in England! I have art living in another country! How cool is that?

Anyway, go look at Sharon's blog. :)

Sharon's Blog

Halloween Movies For Families

I get really sick of the lineups that networks show for Halloween. Can someone please tell me how The Hunger Games has anything to do with Halloween and why is it included in a Halloween lineup?

No. Just no.

I don't even consider the Harry Potter movies as part of a Halloween lineup. I just....don't. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Harry Potter series, but it just doesn't belong as a Halloween lineup movie series......to me.

But anyway, here is a list for your family that I consider to be a good list for some family Halloween movie time. I had a childhood in the 70's, so this list is going to reflect that a little.......okay, a lot. The 70's were the best, you know.

I'm going to start my list off with Child of Glass by Disney 1978. Growing up, this was one of my favorite movies. It took forever for this to be released on DVD, you can now find it at Amazon.
The basis book for this movie is "The Ghost Belonged To Me" by Richard Peck, for those of you that enjoy a good read, as well.

A family moves into a new home. The son is quickly befriended by a girl's ghost and he has to solve this riddle:

"Sleeping lies the murdered lass,
Vainly cries the child of glass,
When the two shall be as one,
The spirit's journey will be done."

Throw in his neighbor Blossom and good murder mystery and you have a Disney classic.


The next movie is also Disney, The Watcher In The Woods. The basis for this movie is "The Watcher In The Woods" by Florence Engel Randall.

Another move into a new home and another ghost. Moving into new homes makes for creeptastickness.

This is another one for the kids in the family. It's the creepy without the gore. Again, this one also has a book and it's by Ray Bradbury, "Something Wicked This Way Comes"

For the younger kids this should always be on your list of shows to watch. This is a classic and one of my childhood favorites.

Another book by Ray Bradbury was made into a Halloween special. The Halloween Tree is one of our family favorites. The cartoon follows the book pretty closely, but every family should read the short story. It's a great read for the Halloween season.

This TV special is made of cheesy goodness. Featuring Uncle Arthur from Bewitched and adding into the cauldron stars from that time, including KISS, Witchie Poo, Donnie and Marie, and Margaret Hamilton in her witch outfit from The Wizard of Oz! 

Oh my stars, it's perfection!

Speaking of Uncle Arthur.....ANY of the Bewitched Halloween shows make for a good laugh. 

There's "The Witches Are Out" from Season 1. Samantha and Endora protest the use of the "stereotypical hag witch" for the use of candy sales.

"Trick Or Treat" Season 2 Endora does not like the fact that Darrin wants Samantha to stay at home to entertain during Halloween and she causes him to turn into a werewolf. 

"Twitch Or Treat" Season 3 Endora and Uncle Arthur have fun at a Halloween party thrown at Samantha's.

"The Safe and Sane Halloween" Season 4 This is the one with Tabitha and trick-or-treating with the storybook goblins.
"To Trick Or Treat or Not To Trick Or Treat" Season 6 Endora turns Darrin into a stereotypical witch.

Disney's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" 

The Witches, based of the book of the same name by Roald Dahl. This movie has magic by Jim Henson and Angelica Huston as the Grand High Witch. That's really all that needs to be said.

Lloyd Alexander wrote a series called the Chronicles of Prydain and the second novel in the series is "The Black Cauldron". Disney made it into a cartoon movie (loosely based) in 1985. An evil king wants to rule the world using a cauldron, and a young pig keeper wants to prevent that from happening, so he sets out to destroy the cauldron.

No Halloween family movie night would be complete without this one. Hocus Pocus has captured everything in this movie, all the colors and sights of the season wrapped up neatly with magic cast by 3 witches running amok. 

Casper, based on the cartoon character, Casper The Friendly Ghost, it's a delightful movie with Christina Ricci and Bill Pullman. I really enjoy this movie, it has a great storyline, characters, and sets.

The Worst Witch is a book series by Jill Murphy and it's brought to life by The Worst Witch movie with Fairuza Balk as Mildred Hubble, the Worst Witch. It also has Charlotte Rae and Tim Curry. This is THE witch school before Hogwarts was known by all mankind. Let me tell you, I do get a just a bit annoyed by the screaming scene, but it's a great movie and deserves it's place in a Halloween lineup.

Ah, the Grinch. Doesn't he deserve to have a place on this list? Yes, he most certainly does. But wait, he had his very own Halloween special! This is not How the Grinch Stole Christmas, this is Halloween is Grinch Night! 

Scary Godmother is a book series too! Scary Godmother by Jill Thompson, is about a funky fairy witch saving the Halloween day! 

Scary Godmother Halloween Spooktacular and Scary Godmother The Revenge of Jimmy

Halloween Spooktacular

The Revenge of Jimmy

Every list needs Halloweentown. All of them are great, but the first is my favorite. 

Halloween ends with a bang on Monster house. This is one of our favorites!

Geena Davis, Wynona Ryder, and Alec Baldwin with Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice and you have one of the best movies EVER. 

Another Tim Burton that I like better than The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Corpse Bride. 

Before there was the CGI Frankenweenie, there was Frankenweenie with Shelley Duvall.

This one is a Rankin/Bass classic!

Halloween With The New Addams Family

This one seems a bit creepier and was suggested by my friend James. I would suggest it for the older kids in the family. I can't wait to watch it. Thanks James!

This one was also suggested by my friend, James. I look forward to watching this one, as well. After reading the description, I would also suggest this one for the older kids.


I had another friend suggest the Goosebumps series and movies. I agree! Just enough for a good fright, but not too much to scare the pants off of a child.

That's it for the list....so far. If you have any suggestions for non-gory Halloween shows or movies, please feel free to comment!

Bright Blessings,