Category Archives: Odin
People ask me sometimes “why Odin?” I’m always boggled by that question. It’s asked with honest curiosity of course and it’s not something that ever gives offense, still I always find myself puzzled when it comes up: how could it not be Odin?
Firstly, the question presupposes that I chose Him instead of being called to service by Him and my experience was far more the latter than the former. I’ve talked about this aspect of devotional work before, that sometimes it’s the Deity calling the human forth. I’m not going to focus on that here. Instead I want to tackle the question in the spirit it’s usually asked: why would I cement myself so deeply to Odin (if I had any other choice)?
Even writing it, this boggles. How could I not? It’s not a matter of being a godatheow, it’s not a matter of being in service and having given my consent and choice to Him a long time ago … none of that is enough for a truly good and positive devotional relationship. More and more I’m coming to think that to be in the best relationship possible with one’s holy Powers, one has to make that choice again and again, every single day: when I wake up, I can choose to order myself, inside (heart, mind, spirit) and outside (actions) around Him and my understanding of what He wants from me or not. He doesn’t have to force this. It would have little worth if it were forced again and again. This is something that I compel myself to do … it is a turning of my own heart inside out for Him every day. This is a daily renewal of our relationship, our bond of service, my love for Him, my devotion. This is what I do to maintain a clean, healthy relationship with Him while being in service to Him. Could I serve Him without this mindful recommitment? Sure, I suppose so but it would not be vital, it would not be clean, it would not be done well. I care about such things: I want to love Him well.
The argument usually given when this question is asked is “but He’s so hard.” Yes. He can be very hard upon those He claims but He is hard upon Himself, harder than we can ever imagine. I often think that all of the Powers have the potential to be demanding in ways for which we, raised as we are in a culture unaccustomed to reverencing clean and honorable service, lacking in some cases even the definition of what this might be, are scarcely ready. We come to our devotions terribly unprepared. This steepens the learning curve of course and, I suspect makes the process more difficult than it otherwise has to be. Ironically I also believe that it’s precisely this spirit of clean devotion: to the Gods, to the ancestors, that is the curative for that cultural disconnection.
I often feel tremendously sad for our various communities (and let’s not pretend that there’s any one Heathen community; there isn’t. There are many intersecting and often opposed communities). We have such a long way to go before we grasp even the most basic understanding of what devotion is all about and the many ways it can benefit not just the Gods but the community itself as well. We fight the very medicine that would make us stronger and more cohesive. The learning curve is very, very steep.
Why Odin? It’s Odin. He is my everything. He is the breath upon which I live and die. He holds my heart. How could it not be Odin? Even in mortal love, we seldom have the luxury of choosing to whom our hearts are given in adoration. The heart knows its master. It knows its best shelter. It knows wherein to find its most fulfilling joy; and if that joy requires a bit of sacrifice now and again, such things only make the whole thing sweeter. That’s why Odin; because there are conversations of devotion between us that even I have no capacity to translate. Because He did not have to write Himself into my heart, He was already there. Perhaps because, just because, I never had to ask why.
I’m often asked if I ask Him for things. Usually only one: let me love and serve you cleanly and well. Anything else I need will flow from that as inevitably as the sun will rise.
May He always be hailed.
(Excerpted from “He is Frenzy” by Galina Krasskova, Sanngetall Press).
I fully intended to sit down tonight and write a bit of poetry for Odin. I wanted very much to do this thing but poetic fire comes but seldom even to one who has tasted of the Old Man’s heart, and swallowed breath from the roughness of HIs lips. I am a savage thing, and when the bite of His fire spends itself within me, there’s often little of me left for poetic musings.
He breaks open the head. All Gods do, I suspect. They wind Their way into our hearts, They seep into the fissures in our minds, They expand. They fracture us. They break us down. I have been a thousand broken shards lying in a glittering pile at His feet. I have been an anguished scream echoing in a heart too weary to loose its pain. I have been on fire, joyous, a madwoman dancing, leaping through the charnel House of a dozen savage worlds. Or maybe just nine. One loses count after awhile. I have been His Valkyrie and I have seen the glee born on the razor edge of His spear. Of these things I will not speak. This world would break in the onslaught of that pounding pleasure.
He has wrung me out, this God Whom i adore. He has wrung me out until I am a broken trembling thing awash in fear and the passing breath of His ecstasy. He has wrung me out. I have lost count of the many masks of me He has devoured. I have lost count. What I remember are the rhythms of the Tree, the rushing flow of wyrd, the incantation of His presence, the melodies of power whispered to those who paid a price in blood to hear them. I remember the gifts He has poured into me—I am empty enough to hold so much—and the careful selection of the one into whose hands I have been placed. I have been blessed indeed, but there are times, in the midst of my blessings when the echoing remembrance of His passage through my world drives me to my knees again, that I might remember the broken places He tore away.
But first, before anything, He broke open my head. He spat fire into the gaping maw of me. He allowed my heart to be shredded until for Him, I was transparent pain. He swept me up in a joy so vast it shattered worlds. He bound me together in ecstasy and hunger. He knit me up with sinews, wrought of His will and vicious power. He taught me to dance in the crackling wyrdfires of the Gap. He taught me to sing as He sang when the runes pilfered what passed for His soul.
Do you know what it’s like to be destroyed by a God? Do you know what it is like to be plunged into madness, shoved into death, cast deep into the terrible brine of the Gap and to be pulled back again? I know His secrets now, this God of death and madness. I know what He saw when high He swung in the boughs of the Tree, the Tree that knows neither mercy nor satisfaction. I know what His eye sees, having been plucked by His own bloody fingers and cast away in exchange for power. I know these things. I have seen those dark places that haunt His eons. I have seen the nightmares of a God, and i have tasted the heat of His dreams. These things have made me. They have washed my humanity away.
Because of Him, I hear the worlds screaming their secrets. There is a clamor in my brain. Even silence holds no quiet on days when the dying place exerts its claim. Because of Him, my soul gleams like a polished damascened blade and cuts as keenly too. Because of Him, I bear a map of scars marking all the many places of His passage in the terrain of me. Because of Him, I am a madwoman dancing, or shrieking, or sobbing, or laughing, spitting forth runes, spasming with His power, vomiting up oracles, and standing down His foes. Because of Him, my flesh marks the Tree. Because of Him, its fire runs in my veins. Because of Him.
I do not know how to end this thing the force of Him through my world has writ. It is monstrous, as He is monstrous. It is beautiful beyond longing. It is a key or a lock, or a tiny crevasse through which one may creep. I do not care. I would poison the world with Him if I could. I would breath Him out with every word and carry Him into every threshold. I would scream Him into being in the desiccated flesh of Midgard. I would scream Him into being through the window of me.
People ask me all the time: how do you know you are His. How do you know it’s Odin. Howdoyouknowhowdoyouknowhowdoyouknow. and i laugh and laugh and whirl about madder than any dervish. fuckfuckfuckfuck. How can you not? Knowledge of Him comes not through the lips, or careful words carried in muted tones from bloodless lips and ancient tomes. It comes with the wrenching tightness of His hand on your heart. It comes with the punching blow of His fist through the cavity of your world. It comes and when He has come nothing is ever the same again.
So laugh and dance and wail and plead…He will not heed you but go ahead and plead….and swallow the joy He brings, and roll around in the pain and throw yourself into every abyss His bloody hands carve out for you and in you. You’ll know. You and me, the Godfucked few. You’ll know. and then your world will burn. Then you, if you tend your lessons well, will burn the world in your turn. Praise Him.
(Excerpted from “He is Frenzy,” G. Krasskova, Sanngetall Press).
My friend Markos recently gave me this drawing of Odin. The art was done by W. McMillan at Pan Fine Arts. It’s much older than I generally see Him, but powerful.
Starting March. 9, 2013 I will begin offering oracle work on behalf of Odin to the community (communities) at large.
While I have been a diviner for upwards of two decades now, oracle work is different. Instead of reading, translating, and interpreting what has been given as is the case with divination, when serving as an oracle, the seer/ess is used directly by the Gods. They pour Their message through him/her and the diviner becomes a conduit rather than an interlocutor. Preparation for the process is also very different as the receiving of an oracle is much more grueling, intense, and physically demanding.
For that reason, I will be offering this service once a month, on the ninth of each month. I will prepare myself ritually and call upon Odin’s presence and handle the incoming questions from folks via ecstatic trance and direct communication with the Old Man.
Anyone interested in having their questions addressed may email me before the ninth of each month and I will add your question to the list to be addressed in my oracle session.
There are some guidelines that I”m permitted to set:
a) This is an intense (and largely uncomfortable) spiritual process and craft. Please refrain from asking the really mundane questions like ‘does johnny like me?’
b) There is a limit to the amount of questions I will take from folks: limit it to three questions at a go, please.
c) While I do charge for regular divination, I am not charging for these monthly oracle sessions. Still, this is sacred work and ideally gebo comes into play, so i encourage folks to consider making a donation to the House (paypal: tamyris at earthlink.net). It is not, however, required.
d) because this is an oracle rather than divination, I will not be able to offer follow up clarification to any answers received. You get, what you get-a one shot deal. I’m not usually in headspace after receiving an oracle where I can question Odin for further info. This is a major difference between receiving an oracle and doing divination for someone.
e) Please do not send questions for any other Deity outside of the Northern Pantheon. It’s one thing to have Odin seek out an answer from Freya or Mani or Loki, et Al; it’s quite another for Him to go to Isis or Cerridwen, or Hanuman. My impression is that this takes much more negotiation. It’s not really appropriate as these questions should be addressed ideally to an oracle of that Deity, but at the very least to a Deity in that particular family of Gods.
I will post a notice a week before any given oracle date as a reminder to my readers. Questions may be directed to me at krasskova at gmail.com.