When Pollution Finds You

The topic this week has been miasma and pollution and how to deal with it. I’ve a longer piece in progress that I was hoping to get done today but that didn’t happen so it’ll probably have to wait until next weekend now. Instead, I find myself thinking a lot about a slightly different aspect of miasma. Most of us within our various traditions (hopefully) have our standard regimens of cleansing before rituals, before approaching our shrines, or after encountering something that carries miasma. What do you do though, when you suddenly and unexpectedly bumble into pollution or realize – oh shit—you’re surrounded by it?

I’ve had this happen a lot because of my work and I started really paying attention to it over the past couple of months. I’ve noticed, both in myself and others, that it can have an immediate (spiritual, emotional, mental, and sometimes physical) effect. What do you do when you read something or see something or engage in some way (either in person or online), or walk into an area that carries or causes unexpected miasma? What do you do when you are, or instance, engaged in a debate and you realize that you’re dealing with a massive amount of pollution? Often it’s not tenable or even possible to withdraw and cleanse. What do you do when you are stuck?

I’m still working this out for myself. I mean, obviously, I have regular cleansing regimens, and then the tradition specific stuff that I do before rituals or tending shrines and for a long time that was enough. I almost think though, that the more we work to be clean, the more this is a priority, the cleaner we become, the more sensitive we get to that which is not clean. Things that perhaps were not a problem a year ago, might become problematic after that intervene time focusing on cleansing. So what do you do?

Right now – and I’m still working on this—I have a two fold approach. First, I have a very specific prayer that I wrote that I use when I find myself stuck or surprised by miasmic things. Secondly, I carry holy water and spritz the fuck out of myself at times. Right now that’s about it, but I hope to develop this type of troubleshooting further. I’d love to hear people’s ideas.

Here’s the prayer that I use. When I asked to which God I should offer the prayer, (I venerate the Norse Gods and the Greco-Roman Ones), I was told Apollo. I wasn’t thrilled with sharing it but I did divination and was told that it would be best to do so, so here it is.

Purification Prayer to Apollo

Holy Lord, cause my skin to crawl away from every evil thing.*

Bright Apollo, far shooting God of healers and prophets,
I offer this prayer to You today.

Holy Lord, cause my skin to crawl away from every evil thing.

Most Holy Apollo,
Klarios, Oulios, Alexikakus,
Who averts all harm,
protect me, oh my God.

Holy Lord, cause my skin to crawl away from every evil thing.

In Your Presence, oh my God,
nothing impure may stand.
In Your Presence, oh my God,
nothing impious may find purchase.

Holy Lord, cause my skin to crawl away from every evil thing.

Shining Horios,
keep my boundaries strong,
that no pollution may affect my mind,
my heart, my soul, my work.
Boedromios, preserve me,
as I wade into this filth.

Holy Lord, cause my skin to crawl away from every evil thing.

I lay my petition before You, Shining God,
that I may stand in the light of Your protection.
To You, Lord Apollo,
I pray.


(*this line is every so slightly adaped from the song “Sparrow Falls” by David Eugene Edwards)

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 February 19, 2017, in Lived Polytheism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Curious about the type of holy water you use, and how it’s made, if that’s something you can share?

    Water is an important element to me and I’ve been wondering about the ‘pagan holy/sacred water’ idea for some time.

    The closest thing I’ve used is water that’s been blessed in a pagan fashion.

    Sorry if this is a dumb question.


    • not a dumb question at all. I use one of three things: either i make khernips (a bowl of clean water, light bay leaves, douse in water with a prayer that this water purify all pollution), a cologne my adopted mom liked that i use for ancestor cleansings, or i take holy water from churches. (it is permitted — it’s not theft. lol. i”m lazy. if they’re going to make it why not use it).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! Making khernips sounds like a very useful thing to know. With the cologne, you mean one like Florida water? I use that from time to time and it seems to work quite well.


    • I’m rotating between Norse, Greek and Egyptian Pantheons. I try to use cleansing that’ relevant to each Pantheon. Currently I’m on the Egyptians again so I use what is called Natron and water. It’s equal parts Baking Soda and Salt (to my understanding). I have found pre-made Natron at SomaLuna at about $1.10 USD an ounce.


  2. The purification ritual I use is adapted from one that was in use when Kyklos Apollon was very active (which, since I know its visibility may have decreased, is the thing that Todd Jackson started to synchronously offer Apollon stuff at the exact time of Delphi Dawn on Sundays, usually in the middle of the night for people in our time zones). The one I use was developed by someone else and was not 100% Hellenic, but I adapted that one to have a more traditionalist ritual structure.

    I also read from the first book of the Iliad during the purification ritual, the part where Apollon is propitiated by the Akhaeans. Now, I typically don’t do Kyklos Apollon because it’s too hard for me to be awake at 3 AM like I could be back in college, but I do purification rituals (or at least a prayer to Apollon when my work schedule is hectic) according to the lunar calendar I use, on the 18th or 19th day. The way I make holy water is typically by making salt water, setting fire to dried herbs (usually rosemary), and stopping the fire in the water after a prayer to Hestia.

    I don’t do more than basic pre-prayer washings outside of the home because I think that anything truly miasmic I encounter would need a full ritual, and I don’t think that social arguments or literature or writings are particularly miasmic under normal circumstances, with the exception of one piece of erotica I read a few years ago that involved Artemis of Ephesus that made me wickedly uncomfortable. (I am trained to read analytically and tend to approach blogs as I would approach Early Modern English memoirs and diaries — it’s honestly more consistently interesting to examine blog prose in terms of its social reception, rhetorical effectiveness, and virality.) Situations that arise from broader social and political situations are on a different scale, though. I did a purification ritual after the elections, for example, in which I propitiated the Erinyes in addition to Apollon. It’s interesting that you do that spritzer thing.


  3. Given that I work in a hospital setting, I have had to get cozy with the vaettir of sanitizer and sterilization agents.

    Whenever I take off my gloves or have need to wash my hands in water, I make a prayer like “Thank you water/watervaettir for cleansing me within and without.” I do a similar prayer for the sanitizer/sterilization agents, tailoring it to what They clean, especially being careful not to include myself in the prayer, but say ‘this table’, ‘that chair’ instead.


  4. Ly, I’ve used FLorida Water in the past, but the cologne I like best is a German cologne called 4711. my mom *loved* it and often used it for cleansing so it has strong ancestral connotations and puts me in that headspace.

    i’ve also used Sandalo 1800


  5. A part of the keeping clean and clear process I have been paying more attention to is having good ins with the landvaettir and watervaettir. They’ve warned me when stuff is coming up, and since they’re the vaettir running through my hands and beneath my feet sometimes they catch things.

    When hit with a wave of miasma I usually make sure to hit a bathroom ASAP so I have time to calm and if needed do a more involved cleansing.


  6. This is a great prayer. Thank you for the share. Having also read Sophie Richter’s book upon your recommendation, I also start every day by grounding myself, and there is a method I have adapted over time that I think of as the Tree Mediation anchoring myself between Earth and Sky, and also venerating that most august of trees, Yggdrasil, through which meitation I sort of also add buffers that turn away most negative energies… This usually helps until I can get home and shower away the gunk…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was always taught that grounding and centering were essential daily practices. 🙂 People often don’t realize just as you can pull energy up that grounding cord, you can *send nasty shit down* for the earth to transmute. it also all aids in discernment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I appreciate your sharing this prayer, Galina.


  8. Thanks for sharing the prayer. I spritz my shrines with Florida Water before I begin my devotions to my Gods. While I am spritzing, I say things like “I bless this sacred space in the name of Hermes, Messenger of the Gods of Hellas, Son of mighty Zeus and shy Maia, etc).

    My Mom is in the hospital right now so I visit her a lot. I’ve noticed how depressing and negative the hospital can be. There was a smudging by a First Nations person in the hospital’s chapel the other day. I went to that and felt a lot better.


    • Sparrow, I am sorry to hear about your mom. You’re right: hospitals are very depressing and they’re places of immense miasma (sickness, fear, pain). I’m glad they have someone who can smudge. If they allow, spritz your mom’s room with Florida water. I’d also be sure to cleanse yourself before and after visiting. You could use khernips instead of Florida water too.


  9. I have a bell made from a 50 caliber brass shell with a 9mm bullet for the clapper (obtained at a Biker Rally) attached to my purse that signals I am coming. That tends to clear the way. I also carry a bottle of Palo Santo essential oil to ground and seal the perimeter if I need additional protection.

    I have two BindRunes that I use (visually, vibrationally and vocally) for grounding and centering. They initially took shape while tending and working at my Shrines and I learned later that I can call on Them when in distress.

    Liked by 1 person

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