Monthly Archives: September 2015
At my bone blog, I just posted an article about visiting the grave of a local hero (for those of you who wonder what I do on my days off lol). I had a great time and I learned about a truly remarkable and courageous young girl. Check it out.
Really, really good post. really good. read it.
One of the tenets for those of us who work in Northern Tradition polytheism, is that not only do we honor the old Gods and Goddesses, and the spirits (vaettir/wights) of land and sea, but that we also honor those who came before us: our ancestors who paved the way. So what makes more sense than to take that road paved on their blood, sweat, tears and bodies, and walk in remembrance?
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I am so very excited about my ossuary calendar: “Walking the Bone White Road.” I got to preview the proof on Thursday and I’m expecting the calendar to be ready to ship later this week. I’ve already had a number of pre-orders and those who preorder between now and next week (as well as those who have already preordered) will receive your calendar, with a small surprise gift, as soon as I have them in my hot little hands.
For those interested in preordering, please contact me at krasskova at gmail.com. I am doing a very limited run. 60% of the proceeds will be donated to the Doe Network. You can read more at my original post about this project here.
In the meantime, I have had one of my bone pictures turned into cards. Check out my etsy shop Wyrd Curiosities here and take a look at the reliquary card packs. If there is enough interest, I might print up one or two of the ossuary photos as cards. We’ll see.
I”m also offering four devotional bundles. I was at the local flea market last week, and one of the venders had a huge box of wrapped items. You paid your money, chose your package sight unseen, and you got a small antique. None were very expensive, but all were interesting (i got a turn of the century pill box, which went right on my shrine to Eir. This was the way pills were given to you at pharmacies instead of bottles up until the 20th century in places). I thought this was a great idea. It appeals to the kid in me who would love to find buried treasure. ^_^. Anyway, I’m doing the same thing here.
I’m offering devotional packets. Each packet is $75 plus $10 shipping and handling and will include a minimum of five devotional items. The value of the whole thing will very likely exceed the seventy five dollar cost. I have four of these available: Three Norse and
one Hellenic. If you are interested in purchasing one, contact me at krasskova at gmail.com and let me know which you want: Norse or Hellenic. First come, first serve on these. If people are interested enough, I might make more.
That is all for now. Here are some bones. 🙂
RiverWinds Gallery at 172 Main Street, Beacon NY is presenting a two-hour workshop, Letters to the Dead: Beyond Words, led by Jennie Chien, Saturday, September 26 and another one October 24,
10 am – noon, at RiverWinds. This workshop gives an overview of the project, guidance in writing, and supplies materials, offering participants the opportunity to send a letter to someone who has passed away.
“The letters to departed ones will be collected, shredded and cast into paper Spirit Houses,” explains Chien, “which will be the vessels that hold your words.” On November 1, the shreds of their original letter will be used in a raku firing of a clay Spirit House. The burning paper infuses the clay spirit house with the spirit of their written words. Participants will receive both a paper cast and a raku fired Spirit House.
“Grieving is a primal emotion that can be uncontrollable. The physical act of writing to someone who has died engages the higher process of the brain and memory, which helps to control the grief. It doesn’t eliminate the grief, but having processed it, the grief becomes a part of you rather than controlling you,” Chien says. “My father died 25 years ago and I could never talk about him without tears in my eyes. After sending him a letter and infusing the words in a spirit house, I felt more at peace with his memory.”
The paper houses will be burned to release the words to their intended recipients, in a ceremonial raku firing at the Rockland Center for the Arts in West Nyack, NY on November 1, 2015. The firing is both cathartic andtransformative. Theshreddingsfromtheburntlettersinthefiringinfusestheclaywiththespiritofthe written words. The cast paper and raku Sprit Houses will be displayed in March 2016 at the Nyack Library, after which they will be given to the letter writers.
The workshop is a preview of Chien’s Featured Artist show, The Spirit House: Beyond Words, at RiverWinds Oct 10 – Nov 9, 2015.
Ooh my ossuary calendar has been sent to the printer. I am very, very excited. It looks even better than I expected! If you’re interested in ordering, see this post here.
I am doing one printing, a very limited run.
Set needs a prayer and a sponsor for His card. 🙂 Email me at krasskova at gmail.com if you’re interested.
This will be the last prayer card until the New Year. In Dec. I’ll post a poll to see which cards you would like me to do first from the list I have and then and I will be doing one a month. (Antinous is in the works, so technically HIS card will be the last. It’s just taking longer than expected). This is an expensive project for me. Depending on the artist, costs for art and printing run from $50 to $450. I am grateful for every single person who has donated or sponsored or otherwise supported this project and it will continue. I will however, need to slow down. (I’ve been averaging three cards a month and that’s mostly all out of my pocket). If you’re interested in donating toward this project, please contact me at krasskova at gmail.com. One of the goals that i’ve set for my Patreon account, is to allow me to keep this going as long as possible. I like having images of our Gods out in the world, especially portable images and as more and more we live in a world where some groups think it’s ok to destroy sacred statues, temples, and images of polytheistic reverence well, I think it’s important. This is my small way of giving something back to the Gods.
My autumn project, calendars featuring images from my ancestor pilgrimage, is almost ready to go to print so I am taking pre-orders for this item. I will be donating 60% of the proceeds (i’m keeping enough to make up what I will have to spend for printing only) to charity. I’ve chosen the Doe Network. This project, run largely by volunteers, is dedicated to putting names to unknown dead, and returning them to their families. That seems a particularly fitting cause for my project to support.
Several people emailed me with suggestions for charities and they were all really good ones, so this decision was difficult (I’ve donated to some of the other charities suggested out of pocket) but the Doe Network seems particularly relevant and I got a very, very strong feeling about it from my ancestors. I can’t help but remember an experience I had on my very first pilgrimage, when I went to a handful of Civil War Battlefields. I started at Gettysburg and worked my way down to the Confederate Cemetery in Richmond. As I was tramping around the latter cemetery, I came across the grave of a solder —name unknown—who had died at the battle of seven pines. I reached out and made special offerings to this young man and got blasted with such pain and frustration and anger. he wanted his mother to know where he was buried. He wanted descendants to be able to visit. he wanted his name known. he didn’t want to have been condemned to obscurity. there was a world of anguish there, more than I had the skill to sort out as an ancestor worker. I made offerings and took a photo of the grave (actually, my friend MAG took the photo, but she gave me a copy for my shrine). I promised this poor young man that he would be venerated on my military shrine as a representative for all the unknown soldiers in the world, that this was the best I could do. I’ve never forgotten, however, the raw pain of this spirit at having been buried unknown, his grave unmarked by any name. It brought home to me the importance of bringing our dead home, and of doing all we can to find their names, and tell their stories.
For those who are interested in purchasing a copy of this calendar, please contact me at email@example.com. (eventually, once i have the calendar in hand, I will post a listing at etsy.com, but i want to wait until it’s actually printed and in my hand).
2016 Ossuary Calendar
Cost: $12 +5 shipping and handling
The equinoxes, solstices, and monthly ancestor feast days (drawn from numerous traditions) are listed on the calendar. I decided NOT to list specific sancti as I wanted this to be a useful thing for polytheists of all traditions, and that got tremendously cumbersome and confusing very quickly. Moon phases will also be noted.
I am printing a finite amount of these. There will be *one* printing and I do not plan to reprint so if you’re interested in these, best to order sooner rather than later! Each calendar will be sent out with a small gift included as a thank you.
I’m not sure why comments are closed on my article “Odin and His Masks.” I didn’t close them. At any rate, Edward Butler sent me this comment, not being able to post it there, so I decided with his ok to post it as a separate piece, so that people could continue the conversation here.
“This is a very fine post. To me the core of it is when you say that “in order to act upon that which They have created without transmuting it into something wholly other, there had to be a process of becoming.”
Proclus states in his Elements of Theology (prop. 131) that “Every God begins his characteristic activity with himself.” And so when, as you say, devotion gives the Gods “a point of focus upon which to solidify a Self for engagement,” we can say that in order to relate to us, They must create a vehicle for that relation which will in turn be implicated in it, a changeable vehicle in order to exert change on the plane of Becoming, because the divine power to exert change will begin from changing the God Himself. Hence there will be “masks”, because there has to be a separation of some kind between the God as unchanging and as changeable.
On account of this separation, we can see how these masks can be available for more than one God to use, as you suggest. But beyond that, we may say that we, as worshipers, are ourselves masks of the God, too. There is a notion in bhakti theory, bimbapratibimbabhāva, the relationship of a reflected image to its original, which is the idea that in devotion we become the reflection of the God, or rather discover that we always were. This sort of relationship is often used in Western religious discourses to emphasize our limited capacity to perceive the God, the attendant “distortions” in it or the “perspectival” quality of our experience of the God, but there is another side to it altogether, which has to do with what the God becomes in us. This is what, I would say, makes our peculiar experience valuable, and also enables us to talk about the Gods “changing” without getting confused about Their own status: we are the vehicle for the change. And this ties in with something you say later on, about aspects of the God that we could not possibly engage with. Some activities of a God are too universal in scope for me to be a vehicle of those processes, at least as “me”.
Profound indeed is this remark of yours, that “those Who carry the blessings of creation, Who choose for whatever reason to remain engaged with Their creations are mad, mad Gods.” For every property of the Gods there is, I would say, some effect in the cosmos, because the Gods are creative in every aspect of Themselves. I think that the madness of Gods, much like Their wrath, is immediately connected with Their creative dimension. Divine wrath would be no petty anger, but has to do with creating an order of beings, mortals, whose birth dooms them to death, and hence their very creation is an act of wrath. Something similar can be said about Their sorrow and Their laughter. Egyptian theology says that humans come into being from the Gods’ tears, while other theologians speak of the Gods’ sport or play in creating our world. In the same way, the madness of Gods is no mere breakdown, but creates something. Platonists see the dismemberment of Dionysos, for example, as that by which souls have diverse faculties within them, this differentiation being also a fragmentation and hence a kind of original madness, the dismemberment of Dionysos and the madness He causes being one and the same, the operation of His activity first upon Himself, and thence upon the rest of Being.” (E. Butler)