General Update for August

Since passing my qualifying exams in May, co-organizing/facilitating an academic conference on Syriac studies, and then teaching a whirlwind five-week theology course over the summer term, I’ve been taking some time off. Of course, my idea of taking time off involves… well, work, just different kinds of work from what I normally do. 

Right now, I am participating in an art show in a lovely town in the Hudson Valley. I’ve shown my work both professionally and internationally before, but I took a break when I started my PhD studies, so this is the first serious show I’ve done since 2019. I had invitations but painting is very, very different headspace from academic work and I needed to focus on the latter fully. The curator of the show took a serious injury about two weeks before we were due to open, so I and several other artists are filling in for her for the month of August. This means hanging the show, gallery sitting, managing sales and records, and so forth. It’s not my first time at the rodeo but it is like having an unexpected second job dropped in one’s lap. I am, as they say in German, fix und fertig!

It’s nice to be painting again. Check out my Instagram (heathenliving) to see some of my recent work and a current still life in progress. I like taking progress shots and posted two tonight of a still life I’m working on. It fascinates me even now how a painting comes together.  

 I’ve also started to study classical guitar (I promised if I passed my exams, I’d do something new that I’d been thinking about for the better part of a year). I’m loving it, though my arms and hands hurt in new and amazing ways lol. I expected this though. The good thing about this isn’t just that I love the instrument, but that it allows me to connect with so many of my ancestors: the castrati and also the dancers that I honor (I honor my ballet lineage) – because it’s music and of course that dove tails with the world those spirits and I myself moved in at one time, my adopted mom who was a musician, and my great grandmother (maternal, biological) who was an opera singer and pianist. It’s nourishing part of me as well that greatly missed that world (in my case of ballet). I found a marvelous teacher who is very patient and very focused on proper technique and I’m having a blast. 

Of course, I’m reading German every day (I decided that this summer was going to be given over to studying German – I’ve gotten rusty). I need to add Greek and Latin to it as well (lest I lose them) so I’ve started just recently alternating days: German and Latin one day, German and Greek the next. So, I haven’t been totally ignoring my academic work. The term starts Sept. 1 and I’m teaching a Byzantine Theology class so there’s also syllabus prep and such. No rest for the weary or wicked or…something. Lol. 

On the spirit-work and devotional work side of things, I’ve been focusing extensively on the ephesia grammata. I was originally introduced to this family of spirits through a colleague years ago, but they never really clicked, especially since they were presented almost exclusively as useful for divination. I put the knowledge aside and never really did anything with them. Recently however, I and several members of my House received a cleaner re-introduction to these spirits and they’re fast becoming significant allies. This was unexpected and has been taking up a good deal of my time. It’s humbling to realize how much was taken from us in the period of conversion, how much was lost. The haunting process of bringing it forward once more, of opening doorways long forgotten, of restoring cultus and speaking again the sacred names, of taking up again the sacred contracts is awe-inspiring, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to take part in this process in whatever way that I have and shall continue to do in service and use to my Gods. 

Recently, I’ve also received an email from a reader asking if I was going to finish my Freya devotional. I’ve had this on a serious backburner since I started grad-school. The request was so fervent that I am moving it to the front of my devotional “to-do” pile. This autumn, I will work on and hopefully finish my novena book – part of my pocket-sized devotional series – to Freya. After that, I hope to do one for Sigyn. So, I ask patience. 

Finally, I’d like to recommend a TV series that my husband just introduced me to: “Reservation Dogs.” It’s a fascinating series set on a reservation in Oklahoma and focusing on a group of young people who are trying to find their way through the challenges of their lives. It’s so good!!! Best of all, it incorporates elements of spirituality and treats the indigenous spirits and customs with utmost respect. It’s refreshing and I highly recommend it. 

Musically, my teacher has me listening to the guitar work of H. Villa-Lobos, so I’ve been focusing mostly on that. I go between that and vengeance country LOL. I love this particular genre of country music. 

Lest I neglect books, I recently finished a fantastic history of ballet in Australia called Dancing Under the Southern Skies by Valerie Lawson. It was one of the best books on ballet that I’ve read in years. It has extensive chapters both on Anna Pavlova and Olga Spessivtseva – both of whom I honor as part of my professional lineage and it’s remarkably well researched. The book is a bit tough to find – it’s not available on amazon—but I got an inexpensive copy on abebooks just by chance. 

That’s it for me for the night. What books, music, movies, or tv do y’all recommend? I’m always looking for good recommendations and love learning what folks are enjoying (just please, no marvel movies. They’re banned in our home by common consensus both for misusing and misrepresenting our Gods and for the anti-theistic attitude at their core). 

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 August 12, 2022, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Whoo! That’s a very large plate!

    Now I don’t watch TV much at all but I have found a few shows that my dad watches, that have me interested.

    Murdock Mysteries: Basically CSI in the Victorian Era. The show takes place in Toronto Canada in the late 1890’s and has gone on for a whopping 15 Seasons(!)

    Turn: Washington’s Spies: The show takes place during the American Revolution and is based on Alexander Rose’s novel “Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring”

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    • Both of those sound fantastic! I love CSI/forensic type shows and oooh doing one in the victorian era, really almost the birth of modern forensics..gonna have to check Murdock Mysteries out for sure. The second one looks every bit as fascinating. thank you!

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  2. I’ve been really getting into short series with singular anomalies at the center – recently I’ve enjoyed Night Sky and Outer Range.

    As for music, my latest obsession is the Siberian group Otyken:

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  3. I felt overwhelmed just reading that massive list! Much respect for having so much on your plate at once.

    I seriously need to delve back into my academic pursuits. My knowledge of Nahuatl has become shamefully rusty and I’ve put off researching traditional Chinese fox cults for a long time now. I used to be a voracious reader of non-fiction, but the only book I’ve read recently is a collection of the first three Barsoom novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. And while I do recommend them as fun adventure stories with some very relevant themes (like why racial separatism is a bad idea and what happens when a mortal attempts to usurp the role of a deity) they aren’t exactly academic.

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    • Ryan, that is so cool you’ve been studying Nahuatl. the problem with languages is that it’s use them or lose them …my ancient Syriac is so rusty I think I’d almost have to stat at the beginning again. It’s just been too long since I used it last. fox cults…ooooooh. fascinating fascinating topic.

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  4. As you know from my Leonardo Journal project, I am always in awe of polymaths but you had not let me know how exceptionally well rounded your own endeavors were! Hats off to you. I think the gods like us best when we push against our own sense of contentment and ease in order to learn to do new things.

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    • I don’t know that I’m a polymath, but I do like learning new things. I’ve always thought it a particularly Odinic trait in my case. 🙂 and I LOVE your journal project, btw. if you want to describe that here, for folks who might be interested, go for it.

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  5. As far as my spiritual research is going, I finished the Jotenbok and am now re-reading it. lol it’s very fascinating! I’m also doing more research into the Vanir ( what little there is ). Any suggestions for reading material is always welcome. Ever since my impromptu Midsummer ritual, I’m feeling a bit of a pull towards the Vanir. Any advice for a (Sub)ubanite?

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    • I can’t think of a single book on the Vanir on the market I’d recommend except “Freyr: God of the World.” There are a couple I would very definitely NOT recommend.

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  6. ganglerisgrove

    Tenpenny’s devotional slipped my mind. that one is great.

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