Happy Birthday to my Mother

Today my mother was born, Fuensanta Arismendi Plaza. She was fierce and bold, fierce in her devotion to her Gods, wise beyond words, and she was the miracle presence that transformed my life. Every year when her birthday comes around I always want to write something beautiful and profound, something that would give some indication of how important this small, bird-like Swiss woman was in my life and every year I fail. I sit down at the keyboard and all I can think is “she’s gone” and all the ancestor practices in the world won’t bring her back. Oh make no mistake, the ancestor work keeps me in contact with her and it’s lovely but it’s not having her here in the flesh and I miss her every day. In many respects I think she took part of me with her when she died and I’m only now finding my way back to the living.

I have reams of letters from her, huge binders that I keep carefully secured in a duffle. I sometimes think I should post some of them, share the beauty of her mind and soul with others but I haven’t been able to bring myself yet to read through them all again. In time, it will come. In the meantime, I give her offerings of flowers. She loved flowers, and made a point to buy organic ones. She loved pink but had some clothing taboos from her Gods and so was very rarely permitted to wear it. She was sensitive to color and it would nourish her quite a bit. Her home was bright and airy, milky whites, sweet, muted yellows, and a stone hearth that was her household shrine. It was a holy place for me and I grew up there in so many ways.

She loved her gods fiercely. Those are the words that I think she would want as an epitaph and they are true and her devotion fired others in theirs. I wish to carry her legacy on, never, ever giving up on my service and commitment to my Gods (and after her death it was close). That is the legacy she has left me, never giving up on my devotion to the Gods. It’s the thing she would, I think, want me to emphasize the most about her: first, last, and always, she loved her Gods.

Now, I’m going to stop typing and go out and get her some flowers.

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About ganglerisgrove

Free-range tribalist Heathen, Galina Krasskova, has been a priest of Odin and Loki since the early nineties. Originally ordained in the Fellowship of Isis in 1995, Ms. Krasskova also attended the oldest interfaith seminary in the U.S.- the New Seminary where she was ordained in 2000 and where she later worked as Dean of Second Year Students for the Academic year of 2011-2012. She has even given the opening prayer at the United Nations Conference “Women and Indigeny”. Beyond this, she took vows as a Heathen gythia in 1996 and again in 2004, She is the head of Comitatus pilae cruentae and a member of the Starry Bull tradition. She has been a member of numerous groups through the years including the American Academy of Religion. She has also served previously as a state government contracted expert on the Asatru faith, and been a regular contributor to various print and online publications geared towards modern pagans and polytheists, and for a time had her own radio program: Wyrd Ways Radio Live. Ms. Krasskova holds diplomas from The New Seminary (2000), a B.A. in Cultural Studies with a concentration in Religious Studies from Empire State College (2007), and an M.A. in Religious Studies from New York University (2009). She has completed extensive graduate coursework in Classics (2010-2016) and is pursuing a Masters in Medieval Studies at Fordham University (expected graduation 2019) with the intention of eventually doing a PhD in theology. She has also been teaching University classes in Greek and Latin. As part of her academic career Ms. Krasskova has written a number of academic articles, and also presented at various academic conferences including Harvard University, Claremont University, Fordham University, Ohio State University, Western Michigan University, Villanova University, and the City University of New York. An experienced diviner and ordeal master, her primary interest is in devotional work and the reconstruction of Northern Tradition shamanism. Her very first book, The Whisperings of Woden was the landmark first devotional text to be written in modern Heathenry. Ms. Krasskova has a variety of published books available running the gamut from introductory texts on the Northern Tradition, as well as books on shamanism, runes, prayer, and devotional practices. She is also the managing editor of “Walking the Worlds,” a peer-reviewed academic style journal focusing on contemporary polytheism and spirit work and the first journal of polytheology. While very busy with teaching and school, she does also occasionally lecture around the country on topics of interest to contemporary Heathenry and polytheisms. A passionate supporter of the arts Ms. Krasskova enjoys going to the opera, theater, and ballet. Her affection for the arts began early as she discovered dance, which she pursued professionally becoming a ballet dancer: first with a regional company in Maryland, then in New York City. After suffering career ending injuries, she would find new forms of expression in the visual arts. For a few years Ms. Krasskova co-owned an art gallery in the Hudson River Valley of New York, and over a course of numerous years she has studied a multitude of art mediums: glassblowing, watercolor, acrylic, photography and more! She is now an avid collage artist, acrylic painter and watercolorist and has even enjoyed placement in international artist-in-residencies programs in New York, New Mexico, and Poland. Her work has been exhibited globally from New York to Paris. She has taken her passion for the arts and polytheistic devotion, to create the Prayer Card Project. Since so much religious iconography has been destroyed, or defaced in the course of human history, she is actively making new religious prayers and iconography available to the various modern polytheistic communities to support those who are building their religious communities, building their devotional practices, and hungering for art that represents their religious faith. All while also supporting the artists within these burgeoning communities.

Posted on May 4, 2016, in Ancestors, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Peace and Light to your Mother’s Spirit.

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  2. Unless my deep subconscious recognized the date of her birth was near, I can’t explain why yesterday and today, when I was in my Shrine, I had a very definite sense of her…and I don’t know her at all! Hmm…

    I know you didn’t favor the idea before, but I wonder, given what you’ve written above, if (when you’re able to come around to it) publication of some of her correspondence, with a brief biographical portrait, might not be a useful thing for many people. It isn’t to suggest she’s an exemplary figure, a Sancta, or an Ancestor to be honored and recognized above any others by any stretch of the imagination (though I suspect a strong case can be made for some of those distinctions…!?!); but, as modern polytheists, we need as a community to know what devotion is like, what a life of devotion can be, and to have some model of what someone who wasn’t a major recognized author, group founder, or “person in the spotlight” did and conducted themself and carried their duties and responsibilities honorably and gracefully, and Fuensanta Plaza is a very good candidate for such a person, I think.

    Obviously, you don’t have to make a decision RIGHT NOW, but it might be something to think over in the next year or so. Given that I seemed to get a “ping” from her last night/today, this turns out to be her dies natalis, and I otherwise have no connection with her other than having seen the photo of her at your PLC presentation (and reading one or two things by her in your various publications, and reading what you’ve said of her on your blog), I’m taking that as something that isn’t mere coincidence. But, do with it what you will. 😉

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    • ganglerisgrove

      I actually very much venerate her as a sancta, as does my House. Eventually I will probably put together a small collection of her letters but that day is not today.

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  3. I also still have all the letters I ever received from her in storage. Her handwriting was a work of art! 🙂

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  4. Beautifully said Galina

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  5. May your mother be well, happy, and at peace.

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