Monthly Archives: February 2016
I’ve been thinking of Mani a lot the past few days. I have His shrine on the landing of the stairs between the upper and lower floors of my house. It’s expansive, going from eye level to the floor (though almost impossible to photograph given it’s location) and I’m sort of in the process of re-doing the shrine and greatly wishing I had even more room, though I like where it’s positioned overall. I’m waiting for an etsy purchase to arrive: some pretty cotton kimono cloth in deep indigo with fish on it. Once that arrives, I’ll take the entire shrine apart, clean it, and re-arrange everything as well as make more offerings. I can’t wait. In the meantime, I’ve been carrying around my Mani Devotional “Dancing in the House of the Moon”—the book is pocket sized on purpose– and using some of the prayers for contemplation. He has seemed very close of late.
This is one of the pieces in that devotional (p.94-96) and I share it with you now:
The Moon Wears Many Masks
Graceful, courtly, and gallant,
He is a dancer,
Keeping time with a thousand jangling strands of beads.
He trips gaily, impeccably, wearing the mask of the fool
But His eyes are sardonic
To those who know enough to look
Beneath the gaiety of His expression.
He hides His face,
Moaning His anguish
His eyes are dark then,
But His people wait
And so He dons a placid mask
To walk among them.
They do not need to see
How feral He once was,
And sometimes still is.
He was a warrior once, the moon.
He danced with two gleaming scimitars
Moving in lethal beauty
Amongst a thousand tribes
The names of which
Not even He recalls.
I have seen Him dancing still
And I know He was not always
He moves amongst the Svartalfar
And they adore Him.
He comes with music
And they bring Him camellias
And break things for Him.
It is their way.
Sometimes they get
To hear Him laugh.
His hands are those of a magus
And He orders the heavens
The flow of time.
Of what House He was born,
And Who His kinsfolk are.
Sometimes He feasts
With the wolf that chases Him.
Other times He laughs
And the two take up Their game again.
It is a diversion, for now,
Lest eternity become a bore.
He has chosen His masks carefully
Out of a keen sense of duty.
But the moon was wanton once.
To see this alabaster God cast those masks aside
Is to see a beauty for which ancient kingdoms
Bartered themselves into slavery.
I will say no more on this thing,
Nor on the other masks He wears.
Suffice it to say,
Were I not already owned,
I would be the most desperate supplicant
At His feet.
Hail the Moon,
And every mask he wears,
Especially when He walks amongst us.
It’s that time again, folks, and Walking the Worlds Journal is seeking submissions for issue #4. This time, our topic is Polytheism and Philosophy. Check out the journal and our submission guidelines here. Deadline is May 1.
The Mimir card is fully funded! Thank you!
So the next cards up will be Njord (almost fully funded, not quite), Sigyn (I’m funding her), Mimir, and Kari (Norse God of the North Wind).
Though it will be awhile before the images are finished let alone ready to send to the printer, I’ve commissioned personal icons of the Goddesses Flora, Pietas, and Pudicitia and when they are ready, I’ll be turning them into prayer cards as well (with the artist’s blessing — thank you, Wayne!). So stay tuned.
Shoot me an email at krasskova at gmail.com if you’re interested in contributing to these or any forthcoming cards (for the ones posted here, the cost is only that of printing).
I”m also making a list of the suggestions people have been posting here as to what Deities you’d like to see depicted on prayer cards. It might take me awhile to work through them all, but we’ll get there.
This article by Dver is so spot on…we are *never* done. We will never have learned enough, gone deeply enough, torn ourselves open enough. We will never be devoted enough: we can always do more, be more, strive for more….and the moment we forget that I think we render ourselves mediocre, and useless to our Gods.
check the link here for Dver’s piece:
“The problem though, is that too many of us are convinced we’re already at the endpoint, that we already know all that we need to know. Bullshit. That’s like seeding a quarter of a field in e…
Source: The long haul
The Heimdall card is fully funded. Thank you, everyone!
The Njord card still needs some help. If you’d like to donate, please contact me at krasskova at gmail.com or paypal me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will also be a Sigyn card in the next couple of weeks (but I am sponsoring this one myself in its entirety).
Which Deities would you guys like to have cards for? Doesn’t matter the pantheon — let me know here. 🙂
While I’m doing this push to raise money to finish up the Heimdall card (still need to raise $150), it occurred to me that some of you may not know very much about Him. I know that not all my readers are Northern Tradition.
A few years ago, before I moved my blog to wordpress, I ran a ‘Deity of the Month’ thing where i would post articles, prayers, poems, etc. about a specific Deity each month and people could contribute to that. I took a hiatus (that i’m still on lol) from doing that, but during the time I ran that series, Heimdall was one of the Deities covered. Here is the main article that I did about Him. He’s one of those Deities with Whom I wish I had a closer relationship.
In the meantime also, here is the prayer that’s going on the back of the card:
Prayer to Heimdall
Strength of the Aesir,
Holiest of Powers
I hail You.
Keen Eyed Watchman
poised upon the mighty bridge,
keeping safe those Gods to Whom
You have sworn Your duty,
I honor You.
Nothing may pass You.
Nothing can overcome Your might.
You are the inviolable Power,
You the shining shield
standing between the Gods
Be Thou ever hailed.
Hail, Warder of Bifrost.
Now it’s just a matter of finishing the funding of the card. 🙂
Here is the Heimdall card by G. Palmer. It is still only partially funded. I still need to raise $200 . If anyone would like to contribute, you’ll receive six cards in return. Contact me at krasskova at gmail.com or paypal me at email@example.com.
I’ve been offline for most of the past four days thanks to a vicious flu that really laid me on my butt and badly (my husband almost took me to the ER against my wishes and only a call to my doctor at home prevented him from doing so. It was *bad* folks. Take care of yourselves — there’s some nasty shit going around this season). Today is the first day where I’ve felt well enough to do anything really and then not much. It’s also the first day I’ve been able to eat. Weeee applesauce! joy. >_<.
Anyway, Sannion pointed out that this sickness occurred during Anthesteria when, for purgative and cleansing purposes, some devotees would chew purgative herbs that caused …gods help them…many of the symptoms that i had (you know that scene in the Exorcist with the pea soup…..). I decided as miserable as I was, to try to use it as a time of spiritual cleansing. I don’t know how successful I was, but today I felt well enough to putter around my shrines a little bit. I fixed my Odin shrine up, because doing so helps me to feel ordered and after the terrible miasma of the past few days, I needed to be so, and taking photos of a couple of the others which I had recently attended before I became ill. I’ve been moving things around, consolidating shrines, separating some others, making others still more elaborate. I was only about half done when i got sick, so I’m eager to get back to it.
Anyway, this morning I finally got my Odin shrine, which had been quite disheveled, into some semblance of order. I’d moved it up in boxes from downstairs to the master bedroom where I have better altar space.
here it is, also with sections for Loki and Thor and some of my working tools.
I’d also recently redone my small Dionysos shrine:
It’s small and compact, but in a powerful space and while you can’t see it here (i was too tired to take many photos), it’s surrounded by further images of Dionysos and a veiled icon of Ariadne. [The red altar cloth is a scarf, showing a stylized starry bull available here.] In the upper right, you can also see a snipped of a huge, hanging tapestry that belonged to my adopted mom. It shows Ran, Aegir, Njord, and the Nine Daughters of Ran and Aegir. The tapestry was made for her by R. Kaldera and I inherited it when she died. It takes up an entire wall and hangs over my collective working shrine here:
You can see just the bottom shadow of the fringe from the tapestry in the picture above. This is my collective shrine (many of the Deities here have shrines elsewhere in my home too). There is Odin, Loki, Loki’s children, Sigyn, Freya, Gerda, Nerthus, Frey, Mani, Sinthgunt, Sunna, and a tiny bit for Sekhmet, Dionysos, and Hermes. I don’t usually mix pantheons even on a shrine but…i’m running out of space and this is purposely a collective shrine and altar. Many of the pieces on this shrine were inherited from my adopted mom.
I also have, in addition to the tapestry, which serves as the primary part of Their shrine, a smaller section, an annex if you will, for Njord, Ran and Aegir, and Their nine Daughters:
There’s also the start of a shrine to Kari, God of the North Wind and His children and Siblings here, but that will most likely eventually have its own space.
Finally, I moved many of the Healing Deities into one space:
To the left, sitting atop a green turn of the century apothecary cabinet is my shrine to the Norse Healing Deities; Eir, Mengloth, Their Retinue, and Sunna. Right now, i’ve also put a statue of Freya here (it seemed appropriate when I was recently gifted a lovely statue of Her riding Hildsvinr), since She does bring vitality and passion.
The, on the table, which is, in reality, a nineteenth century French writing desk (a gift from a friend for Yule one year) there is the shrine to Apollo, Asklepius, and the Graces (I did div to see if I should put the Graces here and was told yes. The grace notes of living are part of healing and of living a healthy, rich life). Above, there are images of the Nine Muses (likewise, the gifts They bear are necessary to true health). Dionysos is also present because He handles mental health (or lack thereof), and finally on the small shelf is a shrine to Brigid, with Whom i’ve had something of a devotional relationship since my FOI days. There is also a symbol for Sunna (who has Her main image on the apothecary cabinet), a card for Sulis, and a plaque (also a gift) for Hygeia. The mortar and pestle on the table is one of a group that I was lucky enough to find at a local antique shop. they’re about 150 years old (perhaps older) and I got them for an absolute steal. I use the two smaller ones, and the huge one here is my offering bowl for the Healing Deities.
I’d struggled with what to do with all of these shrines for a long time. I don’t have a *strong* relationship with any of these Deities, but I do petition Them regularly, pray to Them if not regularly then at least with some ongoing consistency and it seemed They needed more than They were getting from me. Creating a shrine not to any specific Deity but rather to the Deities that I honor in a specific way turned out, at least for now, to be the right move.
Anyway, there it is. I’ll be posting more interesting things later this week hopefully. I’ve a couple of articles i’m working on and I want to give an update on Njord and Heimdall. We still need $350 for Heimdall and $175 for Njord. Contact me at krasskova at gmail.com if you’re interested in donating. I’ve posted perks in previous posts about this — i’ll do a separate one about it later. i’m tired now.
Very interesting article. I wonder what the appeal of monotheism was for the early Israelites. Madness. all of it.
They worshiped Her under every green tree, according to the Hebrew Bible (what Christians call the Old Testament). The Bible also tells us Her image was to be found for years in the temple of Solomon, where the women wove hangings for Her. In temple and forest grove, Her image was apparently made of wood, since monotheistic reformers demanded it be chopped down and burned. It appears to have been a manmade object, but one carved of a tree and perhaps the image was a stylized tree of some kind.
The archaelogical record suggests that Asherah was the Mother Goddess of Israel, the Wife of God, according to William Dever, who has unearthed many clues to her identity. She was worshiped, apparently throughout the time Israel stood as a nation. In many homes, images like the one above decorated household shrines.
Who was She, this lost Goddess of the Hebrews?…
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So I have been following the issue with offerings (started by relative outsiders to Morrigan cultus commenting on whether or not it was appropriate to make certain offerings to Her) with growing dismay. I want so much for our communities to be more devotionally sophisticated than some of these debates allow us to appear. Perhaps though by the very act of discussing and debating these things, we’re forced to consider our own position, and that relative to our traditions and those are good things. So, I’m going to be wading in.
Markos, the Dionysian Artist has been talking about this here (and he gives all the relevant links) with Rhyd Wildermuth and others. Rhyd posted an article to which Markos responded and the conversation continued via facebook. I flat out questioned the relevancy of Rhyd’s argument, which seems to me to be little more than reducing our gods and Their cultus to meaninglessness to which he responded:
“On the contrary, rather than reducing anything to meaninglessness or getting out of something inconvenient, this is doing the really, really inconvenient work of worlding a god beyond just what we give them. Gods can’t be bought off with offerings anymore than humans can; what they want (as you well know) is what we really have to give them: the world. That’s how they become our meaning and we theirs, and how they become known to others through our actions.”
To which I will now share my response, because these are issues in which we should all have a vested stake.
“Ah I see your confusion. I should have realized this would be difficult for someone with a Marxist mindset to understand. It’s really quite simple: the purpose of offering to the gods is not to buy Them. It is not the equivalent of bribing a human being. The purpose is an expression of devotion that interweaves Them into the fabric of our world and that augments and develops a “language” if you will by which we may engage and that is a tremendous privilege.
What you are suggesting is no different at its core than something John Halstead might write. You are denying the Gods a material presence in our reality and privileging the human fear of meaning, of infinite relevance. You’re also privileging your own personal leftist dialectic over the parameters of devotion (parameters that the gods have clearly already laid down for us — sometimes the work is done for us, not often but sometimes), parameters that mark a clear and cosmic hierarchy in which our “place” is a limited one (yet one with infinite potential to evolve and grow). It’s a position that ignores that the gods do not need us to give Them relevance; instead maybe we should be looking to Them and the navigation of our relationship with Them, to define our own relevance.
As much as you rail against power structures in your writings, what I see here is no more than resistance to Their sovereignty.
The Gods already have the world Rhyd. As much as They are transcendent Powers, They are likewise deeply immanent and inscribed in every atom. They don’t need us to give the World to Them. Perhaps They need us to wake up and realize it is already Theirs and return to right relationship with it and Them but the world is not ours to give.
That is in part the paradox of devotion: There is nothing we can give Them that They do not already possess and yet perhaps we in some way are cleansed and ennobled spiritually by entering into the offertory cycle. It nourishes that right relationship. Not as alley Valkyrie assumed is it the culmination of ones relationship devotionally with the Gods. It is the beginning, the baseline, and act of vulnerability that positions us relative to the Gods as suppliants, those who acknowledge Their sovereignty as Gods with all that implies.
You also high handedly criticize those who would accord to the ways of our ancestors, who would restore rightful and pious practices like sacrifice. You not only do so with us but with all the many indigenous religions in the world that reverence rites of sacrifice ( the Afro-carribbean religions, Hinduism, etc.) and all because you have a knee jerk reaction to acknowledging with our offerings the capacity for devastation inherent in each of our Gods. For someone who criticizes oppression of the Other and condemns racism as you do in your work, I have to say that was very white of you.”
I encourage people to read all of the relevant articles and to familiarize yourselves with the parameters of this debate. The future of our traditions is something that should involve us all and in which, we should all have a vested interest. It’s important not only to know what’s happening but to understand where ideas may ultimately lead. To venerate the Gods has consequences in our lives, each and every day. That’s no small thing.