Monthly Archives: June 2022
Hail to our ancestors! Wow…a shock for the morning
After close to two decades of searching, this morning the names of my Lithuanian great-grandparents (for my grandmother) were dropped into my lap. I’m still sitting here in shock. That is all I have to say save hail our honored dead, now and always.
If Y’all are doing genealogy to try to sort that all out and hitting walls, don’t give up. Just keep making your offerings and doing what you must. It might take a longtime, but eventually, the tangled lines will be opened. This has happened to me several times always out of the blue. Just be patient and consistent in your veneration.
Now I’m going to stagger off to make offerings. just…wow. Thank you, Ancestors!
A medieval abortion reading list — Going Medieval
A fascinating list by one of my favorite medievalist blogs. Check it out below:
My loves, I know I promised you part two of medieval kink this week, but world events have overtaken me. Instead, I have put together a list of articles about abortion in the medieval period, and I believe that reading them is likely a better use of your time. Later today over at my podcast, […]A medieval abortion reading list — Going Medieval
So, it’s a bad day in the US today.
- SCOTUS shot down Roe V. Wade so now abortion goes back to the states. In about half the states across the country, women are going to be denied access to abortion. Seems like our Supreme court has no problem defining what a woman is, at least 8 of the 9 of them, and especially when they want to remove rights. Medical care should not be a political issue. A woman’s access to abortion should not be impinged upon by Christian nutcases. Your religion has no right to reduce any woman to the status of chattel slavery, which, imo, is precisely what forced pregnancy does. Thing is, women let this happen. You want a right, you fight for it. If you’re not willing to fight, well, too fucking bad when you lose it.
Access to Plan B/morning after pill is being cut off by Amazon and other online providers to states that have anti-abortion laws set in motion by this ruling. Therefore, women can’t even order online. I have maybe half a dozen packets (haven’t checked my medical kit in a while – I keep a fairly well stocked med kit at home) that I’m happy to send to any woman in one of these states but maybe what we need to be doing is putting together a USPS underground to get abortifacients to women in need.
2. The Senate passed a bipartisan gun safety bill. I’m against any restrictions to the second amendment whatsoever. Let’s blame guns for everything instead of providing competent health care and mental health care to our citizens. *sarcasm* I’m particularly against “red flag” laws. Who gets to decide what or who is dangerous? I fully believe that the only requirement for anyone 16 and over to purchase and carry a gun, concealed or otherwise, should be a training course and a set number of hours clocked at a range (and not a training course like the one-day workshop the NRA offers, but an actual multi-week course). Without the second amendment, we can kiss the rest of our rights goodbye…which we seem to be doing, and quickly. I expect this stupidity from liberals (just as I expect foolishness on abortion from conservatives) but any conservative who signed this law is a fucking coward who ought to be removed from office. Midterms are coming, motherfuckers. Midterms are coming.
3. Finally, SCOTUS limited the courts’ ability to enforce Miranda. Read the story here. If you have to deal with the police, the ONLY word out of your mouth should be “LAWYER.” https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/23/politics/supreme-court-miranda-rights/index.html
EDIT 1: And I just read that Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring opinion with the Roe decision stating that SCOTUS should “reconsider” Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell” – those are the rulings that allow, respectively, contraception, the legality of same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage. This comes as no surprise. I said months ago that if this court went after Roe, the next on the list would be Griswold and then they’d just work their way down.
On a single positive note, JP Morgan announced that it would pay for its employees to travel to states that allow abortion should the need arise.
Bookversary: Consuming Flame
Affiliate Advertising Disclosure
First published in 2014, Consuming Flame is a devotional devoted to Loki and his family.
“Consuming Flame brings together everything written to date on Loki and His family by noted author and priest Galina Krasskova. It includes the texts of “Feeding the Flame,” “Honoring Sigyn,” and “Sigyn: Our Lady of the Staying Power” with a significant portion of new material venerating Loki, Sigyn, Angurboda, and Their Children. This omnibus edition provides the reader with the result of twenty years of engagement with this most controversial of Gods. “
Don’t have a copy yet? You can pick it up via amazon, or through bookshop which supports independent booksellers.
I hope you all have a lovely solstice. We’re celebrating a day or so late this year due to nasty weather because we are intent on having a bonfire (and it can be kept anywhere between the 19th – the 24th. My preference is always to celebrate on the 21st). This marks the transition into a new liturgical period, a new season and I hope that it is one of richness and joy for us all. May the blessings of Freyr and Sunna fall upon each of us driving out pollution and opening us up to an abundance of goodness. Happy, happy Solstice.
Help with Prayer Cards
Folks, I need your help with prayer cards. I have five cards that desperately need prayers, but none of them are to Deities that I particularly venerate. I’m posting here in the hope that one of you might be willing to write a prayer for one of the cards.
If you are willing to do so and allow me to use the prayer on the card, I will send you ten of the prayer cards in question once they’re printed (and of course note you as the author of the prayer on the back of the card). While I can write the prayers myself, I always, ALWAYS prefer to have a prayer from a devotee of the Deity in question. It feels more respectful toward the Deity.
Here are the cards for which I need help (those still needed are bolded):
Irish Goddess Aine – DONE
Irish God Lugh
Irish God Midir – DONE (but I wrote it so if there’s anyone out there who wants to submit another, I’d much rather have one from a devotee of Midir).
Lithuanian Goddess Jurate
Baltic and Slavic Goddess (I believe Her veneration crosses borders) Lada. — DONE
If you’re able and willing to help, please contact me at krasskova at gmail.com.
Happy Belated Father’s Day
A very happy belated Father’s Day!
A blessing on all good Fathers today and every day. Fathers are the backbone, the protection, the support of a family and good fathers sacrifice so much to make sure their families prosper. When I think of a good model for a father in our cosmology, I think of Njord, the father of Freya and Freyr, and in my tradition, the foster-father of Sigyn (1). The enormous love that He has for His children, His willingness to do whatever He must to see that they are safe shines through in His every surviving story. What a wonderful support and strength, what a wonderful example to have at one’s back growing up.
I think of Thor, Whose love for His children is ferocious and legendary, or Loki, Who is a loving Husband and Father (and the only one of our Norse Gods Who is also a Mother, having given birth to Sleipnir). Going back to Njord, we even have an example of a friendly, responsible divorce – His marriage to Skadhi did not last, but They remained allies and friends. In fact, it was Skadhi Who first noticed when Freyr became lovesick over Gerda. I think of His kindness in recognizing how miserable She was (She hated living in Noatun) and His generosity in helping Her return to Her home – He even tried to live there too, but it just didn’t work. That is a beautiful example of a loving man.
On the Greco-Roman side of things, I think of the God Ares, who loved His daughter fiercely. When She was raped by the son of another God, Ares took vengeance for Her as a good father should, defended His decision before a court of the Gods, and won. Zeus too is a marvelous Father to His daughters Artemis and Athena, and to many of His sons as well.
I could go on, but these will suffice. I’m not generally in favor of taking moral exempla from the stories of our Gods. That’s not what they were for, but in this case, I consciously make an exception. These exempla the Gods have provided us are important models of masculinity and fatherhood, models that are all too often sadly lacking in our world today. Lack of a good masculine role model is one of the number one factors in whether or not a child will be successful in life. We need good mothers, good fathers, and where, for whatever reason good or bad, one of those is lacking, role models of till the gap. This is what guarantees that our children will be healthy. We need cousins, uncles, aunties, grandpas, grandmas but none of that really takes the place of a father. Just as we honor our mothers and mother figures on Mother’s Day, I think it equally important that we honor our fathers and father figures on their day.
Feel free to share your stories about your dads or father figures here. By their presence or absence, we are formed, and it’s up to us what we do with that.
There is a devotional to Njord available here.
Vesta in the Modern Home
Lovely piece about Vesta and hearth cultus.
For the better part of the year, I have been having problems with my water heater. Many plumbers later, I discovered that the pilot light of the heater kept going out. To protect the flame from drafts, the last plumber fashioned a shield to stop the wind gusts from gutting it. (I live in an old building.)
Then I realized that the pilot light was Vesta, the Goddess of the Hearth. The Eternal Flame, Vesta gives the fire for cooking, heating and light. Therefore, the hearth is the sacred focus of the home. In Rome, Vesta is the Goddess of Hearth of Private Homes (and of Rome, itself).
Since the fire is the axis mundus, the hearth is the place to commune with the Ancestors. It is the place of welcoming for Them to be with the living family. In the singing of the fire, the voices of the Ancestors…
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Bookversary: With Clean Minds and Cleans Hands
Affiliate Advertising Disclosure
Today is the fifth anniversary of the publication of With Clean Minds and Cleans Hands.
“Miasma, or spiritual pollution, is a frequently misunderstood concept within contemporary polytheism. While recognized as vitally important to guard against and treat in most traditions, it is nonetheless often ignored or even dismissed as a concern today.
And yet, everything good and solid in our practices begins with purification. It is what prepares us for devotional engagement, for encountering the Holy, for developing discernment, for being a practicing and devout polytheist. We can never hope to properly approach our Gods without taking into account the need for cleanliness in our work.”
You can find it on amazon.
Very Cool Ephemera or Clothing Maketh the Man (and the Woman)!
When I teach, I always try to bring in bits of material culture (buttons, medals, coins, glass, jewelry, seals, icons, ritual implements, cloth and so forth – the things we use every day in various ways), because it can tell us every bit as much about a people, place, or in my case since I teach theology, a religion as the written word. We tend to privilege the text in academia and in western culture in general, but I find that when my students handle oh, a 10th century manuscript page, or a ritual drum, or a religious statue, when they see and get to *touch* some embroidery or a prayer shawl, or shaman’s coat, or liturgical vestment, some of which may be quite old, the subject I’m teaching comes alive for them. It’s the same when I immerse them in religious music of whatever tradition I happen to be discussing. So, because I use these things in my teaching, I tend to be a fairly avid antique buff.
Saturday, the local historical society was having an antique postcard and ephemera sale and of course I went. My friend and I spent about an hour and a half in a high school gymnasium, where the sale was being held, looking through lithographs, books, cards, and various types of ephemera (paper antiquities). Thanks to my friend MAG, boy did I score. I’m sharing it now just because it’s cool and it was only five dollars! This is a picture, I’m guessing mid-nineteenth century, maybe a little earlier, of an actress. What made me buy the image is the careful depiction of her hand quilted pink silk petticoat. It’s just glorious, omg. Yes, I have a side interest in textile and fashion history. Check it out:
I’m not sure I can use this for my theology class, but it’s cool nonetheless, especially since I have an actual handmade replica of a pink silk hand quilted petticoat (longer than the one pictured here) tucked away in my dresser upstairs.
Clothing really is fascinating. I often suggest that people cook for their dead or learn a little of the language of their ancestors or do genealogy research. All of these things are a powerful, powerful way of connecting with our honored ancestors and teach us useful and practical skills as well. Handling the garb that they would have worn every day, maybe even wearing it oneself on occasion (I have dressed in full 18th century garb when giving talks on the castrati, and it does tend to impact some of my ritual wear just a little) can likewise be educational. I connect more strongly to my female ancestors on my mom’s side when I’m wearing clothing similar to what some of them might have worn (even if it’s just a token handmade apron, which I do wear when I cook) than at almost any other time, save when I’m doing handwork. I completely understand why some people choose to do full, clothing-authentic reenactment as a type of ancestor veneration.
Even if you’re not interested in going that route (and I admit, I don’t for the most part, save for the occasional ritual or special lecture), handling and learning about the things our ancestors wore and how they moved in their world is helpful. The clothing we wear impacts how we engage spatially; it impacts how we are able to move in veneration of our Gods, the positions we can take, what ritual acts we’re able to comfortably do –I’ll give you an example. I have a coat that I wear as a spirit worker/shaman that is very heavy leather. It has ample charms and metallic pieces sewing all down the front and back in various patterns and a fringe of metallic charms. It is almost impossible to make a full prostration in that thing. I can do it, but it is really, really uncomfortable.
Here’s another example. I never understood why Victorian furniture was so hard and stiff; then I wore a corset for the first time (they are so very comfortable for someone with L4/L5 spinal damage. If I could stand to do it, I’d wear one daily. My back never hurt when I was in one). I sat down on my 21st century couch and nearly drowned in my cleavage. I suddenly realized that the stiffness of the furniture reflected the needs of women who were corseted all day, not just a little bit to help my back like I was. The furniture supported them in their garb. It was a eureka moment and it occurred shortly after I attended a conference on medieval textiles and fashion wherein a presenter pointed out that every single piece of cloth was valuable to our ancestors. Even high-status women and men would wear clothing that had patchwork and careful piecing because cloth was a commodity both difficult and time-consuming to make.
That conference completely changed the way that I looked at the work my female ancestors did, and it changed the way I looked at cloth in general. I began to embroider more and to be much more mindful about the clothing I bought (I can’t sew save for basic repairs, though I very much would like to learn one day). I stated mending and repairing much more frequently, and ever so slowly began trying to buy only natural fibers. This latter was partly due to my assistant who prefers natural fibers and partly due to learning that synthetic fabrics are basically plastic. I had another epiphany thanks to one of my ancestors, where I realized that we couldn’t dress the way we do today without the blessing of central heating and air conditioning.
These are, I realize, small things in the grand scheme of the world, but they were moments of understanding that helped me to deepen my connection to my ancestors, and my appreciation of all the crafts and skills that they had to do to survive in and better their world. Clothing really does tell us so much about how a person lives, how they love, and even how one honors the Gods. Here concludes my bit of rambling fun for the day.