Category Archives: Heathenry
You tore out Your Own eye,
greedy fingers fast as the bite of a serpent,
shoved your own fist into Your brain,
plucked that ocular wonder free and tossed it down.
There is nothing You will not do.
When the worlds were made,
old Ymir’s corpse repurposed,
You and Your Brothers didn’t sit back
awash in self-congratulation,
cooing to each other
about how good it was. No.
The three of You stood around and sighed.
‘It’s all so meta,’ Loður drawled.
“Yeah, meta boring” You responded,
Hoenir rolling His eyes.
Then the three of You took up some driftwood
gnarled, ugly, a little bent, but it had some promise—
pretty much like we’ve remained—
and created humans.
That spiced shit up, didn’t it?
People think creation ended
when the worlds were made.
They have no idea.
Infrastructure doesn’t sustain itself.
What do they think that incident,
the one with Rind was all about?
You were battling fire and ice again,
like an artist with rather violent media.
The worlds need ever renewing,
by Gods and humans alike after all.
No time to rest. Renewal purifies
drives back Your enemies for a time,
and Yggdrasil grows.
That end justifies any means.
Oh, frenzied God,
You are ever laser-focused,
a formidable Power.
Let no one think Your wanderings
are without purpose.
You are the Architect of Creation
and if it takes a little more blood,
gore, and guts to make that creation last,
that’s just fine with You.
It will continue as it was begun,
and You will too.
You fill the head of Your devotees
with ice and fire, flickering in a desolate wasteland,
with glimpses of creation, and that which is to come.
May we ever be smart enough,
devout enough, and sensible,
to aid Your work or get out of Your way.
May we never oppose You,
but nourish Your fury
with venerative fire of our own.
Hail to You, Odin,
Hail to You, Atriði, Eternal Enemy of the Wolf.
You are the whirlwind that does its own reaping,
the whispering terror on every field of battle,
walking will and brutal splendor.
We are Your grateful retainers.
Hail to You, Odin.
(by G. Krasskova)
On fb scholar and Heathen Mathias Nordvig posted the following and graciously gave me permission to share it as well. It’s a very, very important point. We distract ourselves with trying to categorize and compartmentalize the Powers and that can lead us down very fruitless paths. What is important is Their holiness.
Dr. Edward Butler, in response to this (we’re conversing about it on fb) said rightly, “Any name which has been preserved is precious. We have no way of knowing what sort of cultus They may have had. Chances are, if a name was preserved at all, it’s because it was important to somebody.” So much was lost to Christian conquest, all the more reason to treasure what we have and to devote ourselves to veneration. Religion, in the polytheistic world, is about right relationship to the Holy, and the ongoing cultivation of those relationships. Through that cultivation and devotion we continually participate in the ongoing process of creation. We sustain the work the Gods have done and continue to do. We do our part.
Holy One, Great One of Heaven,
let all right-thinking people
bow their heads before You.
Your Presence purifies.
It restores divine order.
It radiates glory
and fills the soul with joy.
You, Graced and Gracious,
are the ever-renewing Source
of the holy power that
sustains the scaffolding
of the cosmos.
You, Sweet and Glorious Goddess,
Restore rightness to the world.
Weaver of Clouds, lift us up.
Teach us, gently, to turn our minds
to holy things, to indulge the longing
of our hearts for devotion,
and to live our lives
reaching ever toward You.
Holy Mother, Giver of good things,
Bestow Your blessings upon us,
That we may truly see the rightness
Hail to You, Frigga.
Hail to You, Holy One.
(by G. Krasskova)
You are the Mighty Witch Queen,
Oracle and Seer of the Gods.
The threads of Fate are at Your fingertips
and the Nornir alone equal Your skill
in reading those sometimes-twisted skeins.
It is from Them that You learned
to lay those mighty threads
and You have honed that power well
nurturing it deep within
the ferocious fastness of Your breast.
You work Your will, Weaver of charms,
through conjure and cunning.
Often Your techniques are hidden
behind the modest ways of the well-run home:
spinning and thread-craft, cooking and care,
the management of Fensalir,
the overseeing of servants,
and most of all the keen-edged-threat
of Your ever-so-gracious hospitality.
Your ways preserve the Aesir
and by Your power order is sustained
across the architecture of the cosmos,
the rainbow bridge little more
than another thread
through the needle of Your will.
Eleven Mighty women stand proudly in Your service.
Every Queen needs loyal retainers
and They are the lynch-pins of Your court.
They are Your eyes across the winding paths of Bifrost,
Your ears wherever human or alf,
dwarf or God or errant wight might wander.
Let me list Them. They work Your will.
and Their names are power:
First among Them stands Your sister,
golden-tressed and stately Fulla.
She is Keeper of all Your secrets,
nearly as wise as You,
and there is none more trustworthy in any court.
Her counsel is precious, her judgment unerring,
and She is Your loyal,
(sometimes red) right hand.
Then there is Gna and Her steed:
second only to Sleipnir
in endurance and speed.
She carries Your messages
across all the Worlds,
and carries information back to You in turn.
Few think to watch their words in Her presence.
They underestimate Her at Their peril.
Like Heimdall, She hears all.
Thus, like Heimdall, do You as well.
A Queen requires a ferocious guard.
Doubly powerful and weapons-wise
stand Hlin and Syn in Your service.
They guard Your door from usurpation,
battling malicious wights,
driving back enemies and pollution
from Your holy spaces.
They bear the cost of this well and firmly,
for They allow nothing malignant
to impugn Your holiness.
Also within Your Hall,
the heartbeat of Your court,
amongst Your many
potentially fractious guests,
sits Snotra, elegant and wise.
Nothing escapes Her notice
and there is no plot She cannot untangle
(and no treachery She cannot engender,
should You desire it, kind and sweet
though She may seem).
Lofn and Sjofn do Their part too,
moving amongst Gods and mortals both.
They foster affection and love,
sometimes lust and longing—
whatever pleases You or furthers Your plans.
These gifts They bear are sacred
but also powerful distractions.
This is often convenient.
Your Husband knows this too.
At Your counsel table sits Gefion,
regal, great, and mighty,
She too a Sovereign Power.
She fosters alliances between Gods,
land-wights and kings.
In politics and cunning,
amongst Your retinue,
only You are greater.
In like fashion keen-eyed Var,
mind as sharp as steel,
stands unswerving witness
to all negotiations and contracts,
be they small or large,
pertinent to Your interests.
Woe betide any foolish enough
to break their given word.
She does not forgive
and vengeance is also sacred.
Eir is Your court’s physician,
the mightiest Healer amongst the Reginn.
She is Your hand in battle
and Her mercy is as unyielding as the dead.
Like Fulla, She keeps silent counsel.
Like Fulla Her hand too is sometimes red.
Saga brings to Your use the magic of Story.
She sits often in Your hall,
when not working in Her own,
listening and crafting Her word-spells,
teaching the ways of holiness and valor,
of honoring the dead,
of nourishing tradition
to those wise enough to listen.
She whispers glory in Her word-art,
and She is the memory of all the worlds.
In Her youth, She apprenticed at Urda’s well,
drinking deeply of its bounty.
Finally, Vor, Your most gifted Seer,
stands at the threshold of all the worlds.
She serves as Your assistant
when You spae upon the threads.
Every volva should have a singer of charms
an invoker of chants to open doors,
call the spirits, ward the space,
and bring the volva back to Herself again.
Long and lengthy, this list of Your allies;
through Them Your reach is lengthy too.
You have no need of endless wandering,
You have Power come to You.
This is one of Your greatest secrets.
This is one of Your greatest spells.
Through Your inspiration,
and through the example of Your Holy Women,
may we learn well the ways of reverence.
May we be efficient and ruthless
in supporting the sacred order of the Gods
through devotion, piety, and right action.
May we nurture what ought to be nurtured.
May we prune what ought to be pruned,
in our minds and hearts most of all.
Teach us to be gently unyielding
in our commitment to veneration.
Let nothing deter us from walking
the royal road of reverence,
that our faith and our communities
might flourish for generations.
Hail to You Frigga, mighty Queen,
Preserver of the Heavenly Court,
and Hail Your holy retinue.
(by G. Krasskova)
You are His Best-beloved and Partner in crime.
No One knows Old One-eye as well as You,
and No One else can match Him as easily
in wit and ruthless cunning (No One else would dare).
It is a game You play, Husband to Wife,
and as in chess, it is You, the Queen,
Who reigns most powerful on the board.
He delights in it, especially when
Your wit and cunning triumphs over His.
You are ever gracious in Your victories after all,
and He so loves that You are formidable and not afraid.
Who else could possibly know Him as well?
With what other Goddess could He be more Himself,
unmasked and unmasking, unburdened by the need
for complications and deceit?
Who else could bear the glacial fire of His affections
on equal and occasionally terrifying footing?
What a pair You make and together nothing and no one,
mortal or immortal, may thwart Your designs.
Let them try and it is Your twin laughter
that will follow them to their very permanent doom.
You only thwart each other’s plans,
and that has the rich delight and savor,
of an ongoing seduction
that will outlast the cosmos.
Hail to You, Frigga,
Whom Odin in His wisdom
May we contemplate this well
and grow wiser in our own relationships –
both our human ones and our devotional ones too—
so that we never need ask our partners to become small
in order to make ourselves feel competent enough.
Let us instead relish the dance of differences
and the challenge of ever-deepening respect.
Hail to You, Holy Goddess.
(prayer by G. Krasskova, image by G. Palmer)
Don’t miss your chance to enter the giveaway and have a chance at an awesome set of Norse deity Prayer Cards. Deadline, end of day Sunday, June 30, 2019 by 11:59pm EST (New York local time). Details at the link: https://krasskova.wordpress.com/2019/06/05/giveaway-time/
I have a book review of J. Calico’s “Being Viking” in the latest edition of Pomegranate. Folks can read it here.
“Tradition” is not a dirty word either.
Nor are our traditions “open.” A tradition by its very nature cannot be. It is for “use” (if one can employ so crass a term) by those who actually follow the Gods. We do not and should not allow outsiders to run rough shod over that which we hold most sacred.* The integrity of our traditions is more important than anyone’s feelings or misguided notions of tolerance (i.e. appropriation). An “open” tradition is no tradition at all.
Honor your ancestors.
Honor your Gods.
Respect the land.
The way in which we do these things, the rites and rituals that form our various traditions are sacred expressions of these covenants. Only an impious fool would shit on them.
Those who decide to pervert our sacred symbols for racist reasons are disgusting. So are those who do the same for their “progressive” ideals.
We need to be very aware of people who are trying to turn these religious concepts into political dog whistles. Maybe they’re the ones with no place in our traditions.
*no, i don’t think one needs to be of scandinavian or german ancestry to be heathen. I think one needs to be pious and committed. period.
I’ve been meditating on Sigyn quite a lot the last few days. My husband has a poem about Her in his new book (which will be available shortly) and I want to share a line from it that so perfectly encapsulates Her power:
“She is as old as the mountains and as young as yearning.”
However She chooses to present Herself, this, more than anything else I’ve ever read on Her, or at least that i’ve read in a very long while, so beautifully describes Her.
Day 5 – For Loki
You, Loki, are the most tender-hearted of Gods.
No one knows this save Sigyn. You keep it well hidden,
preferring to present to the world a mask of careless abandon,
and to Your family a façade of unbreakable strength.
Sigyn is onto You though, this wife Whom You love beyond all others.
She knows You well and She has seen Your eyes, bright and shining
as You cradled Your sons in Your arms. She has seen You,
when all masks fall away as You play and wrestle with Your children,
those You have with Her, and those shapeshifting wildlings: serpent, wolf,
and Lady of grace and death. You are laughing, loving clay in Their little sometimes grubby, hands.
She has seen, Oh Wildfire God, the joy with which You scoop Them up,
sweet and clumsy little toddlers with their delightful cries of “Papa.”
She has seen, She knows what a balm They are to Your bruised heart.
She knows how They are Your reason for being,
and how deep Your love for Them and for Her as well flows.
They are Your bedrock, and that for which You would burn a thousand worlds,
or build a thousand up again.
You love Your family, Loki, and They are the greatest sanctuary You will ever know.
The home You have built with Them is a haven flourishing and happy.
There is such joy there and when Your friend Thor comes to visit,
Narvi and Vali raise holy hell racing and playing with Magni, Modi, and Thrudr,
and it leaks out into the worlds bringing laughter and lightness of heart
to all mortals– and Gods too –lucky enough to taste its flavor.
Sigyn knows these things and is satisfied.
A good father and good husband are gifts beyond price.
The worlds are sustained by Their hope and hard work.
Hail to You, Beloved of Sigyn,
Tender flame of Her hearth
Teach us to nourish the loves given into our care
And take joy in the process.
Hail to You, Loki.