A Global Day of Mourning and Invoking the Gods of the People


I read on wild hunt.org today that Jack Prewitt, a California Pagan has called for a Global Day of Mourning on April 18 in response to the destruction of antiquities and sacred sites by Daesh (to use the acronym ISIL legitimizes them and they are in no way legitimate). Why April 18? I was curious and read his site- you can get to it from the link above— and I almost burst into tears when I read his reasoning: it’s World Heritage Day. These living bags of excrement have destroyed two Unesco sites. They’ve spat upon the holy places of their own ancestors. They’ve set scholarship back in ways I can’t even begin to imagine. This is all in addition to their depredation of their own, and their terrorizing and torture of women.

I know some of you reading this are wondering what setting aside a day of mourning could possibly hope to achieve and maybe you’re right. I think, however, that this could be a powerful act of focused intention, of prayer and of magic. I would like to envision Pagans, Heathens, Polytheists of every denomination coming together with shared intent, with the shared focused will that this terrorist group be stopped, that the Gods of these lands —the indigenous Gods of these lands, the Gods of Sumer, Assyria, and Babylon—rise up and drive out the usurper, and that no other ancient sites fall victim to their destruction.

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, pretty much since I first heard of Daesh attacking a Unesco site. I threw up. It was and is a desecration beyond comprehension. I thought then, maybe we should be making offerings to the Gods of those lands, calling Them back, asking for Their help. They may have been forgotten by Their own people, enslaved as they are to the yoke of monotheism, but that does not mean They have been forgotten. I’m not a soldier. I can’t go against this scum with bullets. I”m not (oh Gods we know I’m not!) a diplomat. I can’t attack and try to bring them down by weaving treaties. I’m a priest, a vitki, a spirit-worker. *This* is what I can do. This is the piece that has been give to my tending. I’ve decided to commit to a weekly offering ritual on Fridays to just this purpose. I will lay myself down before these Gods in homage, and ask Their help.

It will not be easy. I believe these Deities have been damaged, wounded even, long ago. They have been forgotten for a very long time. Their own lands turned away from Them. With few exceptions They are not even given veneration amongst contemporary polytheists. No, it will not be easy. Starting this Friday, in the evening, I will sit and pray and divine and choose how to dedicate that night’s ritual. I do not yet know which Deities I shall include in these Friday rituals, though I do plan to keep the selection relatively small, in part so that I may concentrate on developing a clean, respectful devotional relationship. I will have to sit down and do divination to figure that out. Right now, at the very least, I intend to focus on Assur, Inanna, Ishtar, Enki, (perhaps Sin and Nanna, perhaps Nergal), and Ba’al (Canaanite). I don’t know why, but I feel moved to include Him. I may expand this list after doing the divination, but for now this will very likely be my starting point.

There was a great deal of commerce, trade, and interaction between Mesopotamian cultures in the ancient world, and also to some degree with the Levant, even to certain cross-over (within Mesopotamian cultures) of ritual format. This will help. I do not know if I will honor every Deity Who steps forward in the divination on every Friday, or whether divination will point me toward One of Them only, a different Deity each Friday. This week will involve quite a bit of div. to sort these things out. I do know this: we need to reach deep, to dig deeply into our roots. We need to call upon those men and women who once honored these forgotten Gods, who once protected and nourished their people and their land with generations of veneration. We need bid them to rise up to inspire the hearts and minds of their descendants. We need bid the land to remember to Whom its true allegiance is owed. We need to help restore what was broken.

Daesh has promised to come for Egypt next.

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on March 17, 2015, in community, Polytheism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Allat will be high on my own list…Hadrian himself paid her cultus in Palmyra.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t necessarily believe that all of these particular Deities are wounded or damaged – Ishtar is still going quite strong, and Inanna as well (and yes, They are two separate Goddesses in my book) – but some of Them almost certainly are, and I’m sure They’ll appreciate your help.

    I also appreciate your decision to do this on Friday. Friday night marks the beginning of Shabbat in Judaism, but the concept of a weekly night and day of not working or traveling for fear of rousing divine wrath goes all the way back to Mesopotamian polytheism. These “shappatu” nights were based on the lunar phases rather than days of the week, but in my opinion at least, our modern concept of the weekend was essentially given to us by the Sumerian, Akkadian and Assyrian Gods. So your choice in this regard seems fitting to me, as an Egyptian/Mesopotamian polytheist who observes a weekly Sabbath.

    The siege of Nimrud and Hatra is a hate crime, a war crime, and a despicable act of sacrilege. I think the Gods and the ancestors probably care more about what these agents of Apep have done to other living people, but eliminating these ancient cities and smashing their treasures certainly isn’t going to help their case when these psychopaths are finally dragged kicking and screaming to the Hall of Judgment. May Pazuzu cause them to defecate their own innards, and may Ammut gorge herself on what’s left of their black, corroded hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pending the results of a divination, I’ve gotten a bit of an indication that I’ll probably be doing some strong devotions to Set-Ba’al during this period as a bridging of the gap between the Caananite and threatened Egyptian lands.


  4. This idea is fabulous, especially since two Gods I work with are Mesopotamian (Enki and Nusku). I hate Daesh for what they do, and I hate to admit I see nearly the same thing (though different in practice) happening at home. Joining you and the others in this practice is an honor.


  5. Reblogged this on Freya: The Gold Thread and commented:
    Not a bad idea, all around. I’m not interested in adding more to my devotional load, but I do think that having a day of mourning is called-for given the circumstances.


  6. This is repulsive. I’m not close to any of the Mesopotamian gods, but I’ve always had a deep respect for Assur and His people, and seeing their holy sites desecrated (again) makes me very angry to say the least.


  7. I don’t know much about the Mesopotamian gods and goddesses but will take part in this. It’s such a shame these people feel so insecure they think they can just obliterate thousands of years of heritage. If they do head for Egypt next I shall truly mourn, I feel Luxor especially is my spiritual home.


  8. It’s on my calendar, and I’ll be looking into arranging some observance at my library.


  9. Thank you for this, and in particular for naming this group as Daesh. Names matter.


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