In Praise of Thor – a Stream of Consciousness, Meandering Meditation
“Thor’s Fight with the Giants” by Marten Eskil Winge
As I write this, it’s nearing dawn – I have been up reading and working most of the night. It’s quiet and cold and Ms. Elena the cat is curled up next to me on the sofa, ever alert to what’s happening in her world. Everyone else in the house is, I believe, asleep. I plan to stay up until I can do the morning augury at first light and then go to bed. I am unsettled. There is evil and there is miasma and some days we all just feel run ragged with it. It grinds us down. Having to stay vigilant, having to step into the dark places and hold it back as some of us must is exhausting on every possible level. Tonight, I feel it moving outside the protective space of our home and it angers me.
I talk about spiritual combat sometime, but never to the degree it deserves. It’s hard to find the language and really, I’d rather spend my time writing about the Gods. That’s what’s important and it is to Them that our attention should be given. Also, let’s be honest, there is nothing stronger and more potent than our Gods and They are that which holds our world, our reality together. Evil is there, it lurks, it lingers, it attempts to poison all that is good, to bring us into despair, desolation, bitterness, and hatred (and we as a species make poor choices that allow it purchase in our world). In the end though, it is trifling, and, in its insignificance, it screams and rages at us, we who rest so securely in our Gods’ protection. It tries to set us against each other and cause us to stumble. Our Gods though will always help us up though and we have at our disposal the gift of prayer, a weapon and force more potent than anything else I know. I know these things and as I sit surrounded by darkness, I think on them again.
There is a prayer that devout Catholics sometimes pray (and I’ve been known to say it myself, though I’m not Catholic. It’s a good prayer, and I like ST. Michael). It’s a prayer to Michael the Archangel to protect us from evil and drive it back to hell. I mention this because it’s the translation, the meaning of Michael’s name that I have been pondering just now: Who is like God? That’s what His name means and for years and years I thought that it was a simple question and probably referred to the nature of this Being. It wasn’t until I found myself under intense spiritual attack and called upon our Gods, and saw malignant spirits, driven back that I realized: it’s not a question. It’s a challenge to anything malignant or evil that would dare to challenge the order the Gods have made, and those who serve Them. Who dares to think it is the equal of a God? Who dares attack that which the Gods ordained as good? No evil spirit, no matter how terrible it may seem is as big, as powerful, as mighty as our Gods, and those Gods are there, every willing to stand between us and the evil powers that haunt and stalk about the world seeking to destroy. We need to know that to our core, and I can think of no better God to really manifest that reality than our good God Thor.
When it seems darkest and the most hopeless, I call upon Thor and He comes. I ask Him for protection — that He or one of His retinue (I rather think all Gods must have Their retinues) come and drive back whatever evil spirit is molesting us, drive back and banish whatever malignancy or miasma is at hand, and shows us the way to renewal. Thor answers and His presence lightens the heart. I am grateful to be able to entrust myself to Him.
I feel so incredibly blessed and lucky to have the capacity, the knowledge to call upon this God. I am glad that I know His name. I am glad that Odin led me to developing a devotional relationship – and just in the past two years too—with His Son. I never expected that but every damned day I give thanks that I have Thor at my back. He lightens the load we have to carry. He is restorative in His presence and sometimes I feel like He holds us all under His protection. I pray sometimes, like tonight, that we have a breather, a moment, to catch up, to rest, to restore and I know that He will grant it.
Thor, Thunar, Donner, (Wikipedia even gives Thunaraz… proto-indo-european for “thunder” as one of His by-names), the Deep minded One, Son of Fjorgyn, Husband of Sif, Lover of Jarnsaxa, Father of Thruðr, Magni, and Modi, Foster Father to Uller, Friend of Loki, Son of Odin, Protector of Midgard—He is a God with such a huge, wonderful heart. It inspires me to want to live up to that example. Whether our struggles are physical or spiritual, we cannot allow ourselves to be torn apart, rendered, run down by them. We cannot yield the territory of our heart, no matter how hopeless a situation seems. That’s the time to reach out to our Gods, and with Thor, it’s as though I have lifted up a hand and he has gripped it strong in a warrior’s grasp. Thor is capable of driving back wicked spirits of all kinds. He’s capable of realigning us after such engagement too.
He is such a tremendously generous God too, yet I have never experienced Him wanting elaborate offerings. Sometimes even I will offer larger, more elaborate things (usually meals) and the answer I get via discernment, prayer, sometimes divination is “no, simple things are fine” and so I put a beer on His shrine and call all parties content. I sometimes feel badly that He doesn’t want the more elaborate fare but this too is a grace and a blessing. I wish I had the generosity and largeness of heart that He has with the people in my world, the people I care about, the people I work with every day who have their own stories and hurt hidden spaces to bear. I do not and often find myself reaching out to Him for guidance. Mostly, I pray that He hallow the space in which I work, that I might do my work clean, serving my Gods ‘in peace and liberty’ as I was once taught to say. I pray that He drive back the sludge, uplift my heart that I may be a better servant of my Gods. I pray even more often just in thanks, because He is a wonderful God and words do not do Him justice. The more I learn about Thor, the more devoted I become to Him, the prouder I am to wear a Mjolnir in His name. He girds not only the worlds, but our hearts too against dissolution by all that would unmake what the Gods have wrought.
I’ll end with some of Thor’s heiti, or by-names. I encourage readers, if you know more than what I have listed here, please post in the comments. My own is just a cursory list (minus accents – I’m just too tired to fiddle with keyboards and languages, so I have anglicized) and He has many more names than what I’ve listed here. I also want to note, before I finish up, that while evil is something to be vigilant against lest it try to root itself in our hearts, it’s not something to fear. We have a powerful curative at hand, namely prayer and calling on our Gods for aid. The more we pray, the better human beings I think we become. Now here are some of Thor’s names:
Asabragr – lord of the Aesir
Asa-Thorr – God Thor
Atli – the Terrible
Eindriði – the One Who rides alone
Ennilangr – the One with the wide forehead
Harðhugaðr-Brave heart/fierce Soul
Harðveurr – The Strong archer (does this refer to his accuracy with His hammer???)
Oku-Thor – Driving Thor
Rymr – Noise
Sonnungr – the True One
Vethormr – protector of the shrine
Veurr – guardian/hallower of the shrine
Vingthorr – battle Thor
I am grateful for the opportunity to honor Him. Hail to You, Protector of Midgard, Great hearted Son of Odin, Friend of humanity, Hail to You, Thor.
Posted on March 12, 2023, in Uncategorized and tagged Heathenry, Lived Polytheism, Northern tradition, prayer, Thor. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.
The prayer to Saint Michael has been one of my go-to prayers for quite awhile. As you know, I tend to lean towards the more martial spiritual beings anyway.
“ Harðveurr – The Strong archer (does this refer to his accuracy with His hammer???)” I’m reminded by this that Herakles too was known as an archer despite being remembered and pictured with a club. Perhaps this heiti of Thor is based upon some yet undiscovered or forgotten lore? Was lightning also attributed to Thor? I can see lightning “bolts” being considered celestial arrows.
May you rest easy after your long night.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Thank you for sharing this stream of consciousness concerning Red Beard. This definitely carries a “ping”; I needed what you shared for whatever reason. I’ll be unraveling this message this week.
Best wishes to Ms Elena, too.
LikeLiked by 1 person
A wonderful meditation, and very timely. Hail Asa-Thorr!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for this post. I too, feel that Evil that seeks to drive us to despair. It wants us to forget our Gods and establish poison in our lives. Sadly, I nearly forgot how this evil works and let it penetrate my home and life. I turned with fervor to the Gods and the presence fled out of my home. I received a message from Mother Holle that I now keep close to my heart.
We are always here
We see and we hear
We always listen
We always help.
LikeLiked by 1 person
that is precisely how it works and it’s clever, subtle, but arrogant. it’ll always reveal itself and once we call on the Gods with fervor, They come. I”m so glad you received that message and what a powerful one! I thank you for sharing.
Pingback: Hail Thor! – The House of Vines