Two More for My Spirits

A small note

For those of you
whose voices shattered in the making,
who failed to enchant
the world’s stage,
who struggled away
in church choirs …
or worse:

I remember you.

It is a small thing, but I remember you.

You served that Muse
that exquisitely demanding daimon.
Though it drank your marrow
warm and new and young
you served it still –
bloody mortar
securing its awesome edifice
for another generation.

It is worthy work,
a worthy sacrifice,
and I remember you,


The God of Sacred Monsters

A face used to masks
I see You twice over:
lounging and languid,
slender, sculpted,
all smooth alabaster
and smoldering hunger,
ash and lust.

I can never look for long,
though desperately I want to,
want You.
I am too aware
of those perfect lips
and that sly smile
remote, exquisite
perhaps a little cruel—
pain is necessary after all
for such perfection—
and all it promises.

I see You, Enorches,
a wicked knot of movement
dancing a harlequinade
whispering in dulcet tones
“Everything I am
take to yourself
and my mouth,
full of honeycomb,
will pour nectar for you”*

Divine and noble
You have feasted upon Your own heart.

No one sees the strings,
unforgiving as ivy,
when You take them.
Like a paper thin stiletto between the ribs,
You slide in,
pouring Your sweet voice
through that flesh.
like honey
like nectar
stained with blood.


(line adapted from “La Calisto” by N. Cavalli. Image by Δ from the cover of “Toys of Dionysos” by H. Jeremiah Lewis)


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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

Posted on April 18, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I very much like Sacred Monsters, particularly the second stanza. And the placement of the line you adapted (“Everything I am ….”) is perfect. I myself am not a votary of Dionysus, but this piece resonates with me in my own practices.


  2. Ooh, that first one seems especially powerful to me because it’s something we don’t usually think about or honor – those who tried for something big and powerful and magical, but didn’t quite make it for whatever reasons, were broken by the effort – and yet, the effort still has meaning and power on its own, and deserves recognition. All the artists who have been broken by their madness, for instance, that same madness that inspired them…

    Liked by 4 people

    • ganglerisgrove

      I think about that a lot. I was a professional ballet dancer through my very early twenties and had to stop due to injury. It became clear I wasn’t going to make it in the field and that tore me up. It destroyed my identity. It was over a decade before I could watch ballet again. REcently a friend with whom I danced, who is herself now a dance teacher told me that she tells stories about me to her students to inspire them, because she never forgot my dedication and focus. That’s when it hit me that I did my part. It wasn’t what i wanted — that daimon chewed me up and spat me out broken– but i did my part. and maybe that’s enough.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it is. And in a way, it’s like how I look at relationships – they don’t have to last forever and be perfect for them to be meaningful, and even successful. Not only did ballet shape you, but you obviously contributed to it too, so that’s significant even if it didn’t end the way you wanted.

        By the way, if you can handle it, you might really enjoy the documentary called Dancer they just released about Sergei Polunin, who is an extraordinary ballet dancer who ended up quitting because he didn’t want to have the life it was forcing on him. In one way that just breaks my heart, but on the other hand I can see where he’s coming from, and regardless he did some great work.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. ganglerisgrove

    Oh Polunin pisses me off. such wasted potential. it’s one thing to be forced to quit, another to quit bc you can’t handle the discipline of the field. Moreover, a female ballet dancer wouldn’t have been able to get away with half of what he pulled. he was a beautiful dancer though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know, from the doc it didn’t seem that he couldn’t handle the discipline per se, but rather all the crap that comes with “stardom” and sort of being owned by the companies. And he doesn’t seem to actually have stopped dancing, despite his declaration, he’s just doing it slowly on his own terms now and finding new ways to approach it rather than as part of the major companies. I can respect that, because I would never want to be bound to a larger entity in that way just to practice my art.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ganglerisgrove

        I’m less sympathetic to him for a number of reasons, not the least of which are his antics. with the training and having such a fantastic company associated with the school that trained him (as is the case in Russia), you are owned by that company…at least that’s how it was perceived in the Soviet era. Even Balanchine in the US compared his dancers to ‘racehorses’ with all that entails. be a hollow bone so the daimon can work through you… In theory i completely get why he’d leave, but when I slip into the headspace of the dancer i was, with him being one of the stars of the Russian ballet….i find it incomprehensible. the only life worth having is the one being given over to the roles one performs….nothing else matters. it’s a very…unique mindset. I realize i had to be physically broken to leave it, because as my adopted mom once said, one ass can’t ride two donkeys. I’d never have left on my own…it was my religion, my obsession. there was no room for any other God in it.


      • ganglerisgrove

        But for your viewing pleasure, Dver:


        Liked by 1 person

      • That video is what made me aware of Polunin in the first place, and why I watched the doc. I have watched it over and over, it’s so incredible. He moves like some otherworldly thing.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. ganglerisgrove

    He does. it’s both beautifully danced and beautifully shot.

    Liked by 1 person

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