Category Archives: prayers
He who gives me what I rarely remember
Morpheus, Great God of Dreams, I have a question to ask of you:
Why do I so rarely remember my dreams?
I know that I do dream; all humans do, even my kind.
And yet, I so rarely remember mine.
And what I do remember is so tantalizing, it draws me back to sleep,
To trade the mundane of waking life for the majesty of dream.
Perhaps that is why Morpheus, in His Divine wisdom,
does not allow me to remember my dreams.
For the Gods are above us, and their gifts are Theirs to parcel out as needed.
And that has always been the way of things; though our society refuses to acknowledge it.
I understand that truth – I learned it a dream I do remember.
And now I hail He who gives me what I rarely remember.
My Dead, of whom I can always dream
Perhaps someone who does not live the veneration of the Dead,
Might naively believe that those who do never feel the pain of loss.
Sadly, that is not the case.
Indeed, some days – in my opinion – it is even worse;
We talk as though face to face, with those who have traveled to that undiscovered country,
And that makes it all the more terrible when we cannot feel their comforting touch again,
When their presence is spiritual, rather than physical,
When their voices are the muffled moans of the buried Dead.
But all praise be, to the Great God of Dreams.
For Morpheus, so noble is He,
He who allows us mortals the gift of dreams.
And we can always meet our Dead in our dreams.
And feel their touch again. And smell their smell again.
And hear their voices with our ears, not just our hearts.
Musing on Morpheus, Mnemosyne, and Mortality
The God of Dreams and the Goddess of Memories – what is the connection?
And why do thoughts of both come into my mind in connection with my Dead?
The Author of the dreams that drive us,
The Mother of the Muses who inspire us;
What is the connection?
To sleep, perchance to dream, now, that is the question;
But what is the connection?
As I ponder this, another question enters my mind:
Do the Dead dream?
The answer is, most likely, known only to the Dead themselves.
But the living are at least allowed to speculate.
And when I speculate, I feel another question enter my mind:
Are those who dream, not dead to this world while they dream?
For what is a dream, but one of two things:
A vision sent onto the sleeping by the Holy Powers;
The brain’s attempt to process random electrical discharges within it during sleep,
as influenced by the memories it contains.
And thus – the Connection.
Morpheus, the God of Dream. Mnemosyne, the Goddess of Memory.
Both are Deities of the Mind.
Both are tangentially connected to Mortality.
When we dream with the dead, we must thank Morpheus.
When we dream of the dead, we must thank Mnemosyne.
My praise to Morpheus!
Hail He who allows us to dream with our dead.
My praise to Mnemosyne!
Sing for She who allows us to remember our dead.
You rose up from the primordial grime
hand in hand with Your brothers,
savage yet determined fury
under the light of a cold-bladed moon.
You destroyed Your ancestor,
ruined Him, the indolent breeder,
clotted up his gaping maw
silenced his screeching snores and groans
that ever rattled the wyrm-like field.
You swept it all away and from his bones
built anew, a web of worlds-
bleak in their youth, rich in their promise,
rising and shining in the boughs of the Tree.
You made of his screams a symphony,
bone beautiful and clean.
There was no remorse in You
but elation, satisfaction.
Let there be no remorse in me either,
for the things that I must do
Hail to You, Loður,
Whose blood stained fingers
painted our flesh a lively hue.
(by G. Krasskova)
Taking a cue from Sannion’s gorgeous prayer cycle for Dionysos, I’m going to do the same thing for Odin: one prayer for each day of the week starting with a prayer for Monday. I suspect, given my crazy schedule, that it’s going to take me far longer than it did him to finish the entire cycle, but here is the prayer for day one.
To You, gaunt wanderer,
Who sought the counsel of the luminous God,
alone, in a stark landscape
of ice and dying trees,
secrets of unseen things,
this prayer is given.
He does His war dance,
scimitars flashing, rivaling fire as He moves,
alabaster white and shining,
eyes showing the sowing of worlds,
keen-footed steps their destruction.
The Warlord learned,
and bowed His head down
to the glory and the beauty.
May we too be open to such wonder,
now and always.
Hail to You, Gangleri.
(by G. Krasskova)
(“Odin the Wanderer” by Dasaod.deviantart.com)
These are more formal prayers written while listening to a lecture in Plotinus, Augustine, and Platonic Beauty.
For my Castrati
May the beauty of your voices
Lift me up to my Gods.
May it strip away all pollution
And may all the fractured pieces of me
Resolve in the harmony of the sound
You, my beloved spirits, sing,
A song irrespective of time and memory.
May they resolve in the glory of Being
Summoned by your god-born voices.
May I be held to the lips
And in the mouth of my Gods,
Gnawed upon and rendered
The beauty of bone
And a soul stripped bare
Transformed by the fullness of sound
Teach me oh my Gods
To know my place before You.
Let not my human hubris and need,
My venal sufferings and hungers
Turn me from You.
Lift me up and purify my soul.
Let nothing else remain.
Let my life bea prayer,
An invocation and hymn of praise
To You, oh Glorious Ones,
Without Whom nothing would be.
Fill my senses with Your beauty.
Lift me up, I pray.
Keep my feet on the road of piety,
Oh most merciful Ones.
Corral my irreverent heart
And drown me in you
Until I am made of nothing else.
You are beautiful, oh my Gods
And it nourishes my soul.
May I know my place before You I pray.
Illluminate my mind
That I might know the rightness
Of honoring You.
Render my heart,
That only adoration of You remain.
Like an arrow, barbed and sharp,
Pierce me, open me to Your bite.
Infect my blood, make feverish my brain
And little by little drawn me to You.
I wander paths very far from my Gods.
I subsist on pollution
And move amongst the blind,
Yet always You are there.
I seek You with each step.
I serve You on each meandering road.
Hunger and longing tie me to You,
And You are the fulfillment of every desire.
I flee You to find You.
I serve You in dark places,
Illumined by Your fiery light.
You have set my feet on this path
And I shall find You at its end.
There is nowhere I can go
Where You are not.
Open me, Oh my Gods.
Let me never forget –
I am hunting my way to you,
But You have found me and claimed me
by G. Krasskova
I’m currently taking pre-orders on this small, pocket sized prayer booklet. It contains roughly a baker’s dozen of prayers — all taken from my own personal prayer book — adapted to be usable across traditions. The booklet is exactly the size of a prayer card (and is pictured here with the new Jord prayer card): 2 1/2 x 4 inches and will fit easily into a wallet, pocket, or purse.
Those interested should contact me at krasskova at gmail.com. The cost of the booklet is $5, which includes shipping and handling, paid via paypal tamyris at earthlink.net (just replace ‘at’ with ‘@’).
NOTE: you MUST email me if you paypal. I’m not getting paypal notifications and often even if i do, the mailing address is missing. Don’t just paypal! Email me.
“Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible, and your heart has turned to stone.”
I recently had someone commission a prayer to Baldr from me. I decided to share it here as well.
Baldr, I call to You now
and ask to be bathed
in the cleansing light of Your presence.
From my earliest days,
I know You were there.
You, kind and tender,
Your rich laughter
chasing away all doubt,
all pollution, all unkindness
May I be as a child,
held firmly in Your arms,
Your golden smile
filling my heart with joy.
May I always walk through my life
wrapped securely in Your grace.
Hail Shining Son of Odin,
Who holds the secrets of life and death
in gentle hands.
(by G. Krasskova)
May the Gods’ blessings be on all those suffering,
all those who despair
all those who are lost in hopelessness and hurt.
May they be comforted.
May their hearts be filled with gratitude
for all the graces large and small
the Gods have given.
May they be lifted up,
May they know, may we all know,
how deeply the Gods love us,
how deeply They care.
Fill our souls with courage.
Fill our hearts with hope.
May we be each other’s angels.
May we nurture kindness
wherever we can.
Oh Gods comke to our assistance.
Make haste to help us,
through all the complicated places
where our lives may lead.
Let us rest safely in You,
Oh great, good, immortal Gods.
Hold us secure, I pray.
In the blistering furnace of our hearts,
may You be hailed.
In the fierce rantings of mind and memory,
may You be hailed.
In the tumultuous storm of our senses,
may we gasp, and chant, and sing Your praises.
May our lips burn with whispered adorations to You.
May our bodies shake in the onslaught of Your presence.
Where You are honored, there be in all of Your glory.
Where You are reviled, there also be,
and work Your cunning wiles.
May You ever be the unquiet thought,
the unruly impulse, the unwary stirring
of holy cravings, the longing for internal revolution,
the descant-mad, dervish-driven
prophetic-spewing roar that drives us
ever and always, unceasingly, unmercifully
into the arms of our own liberation.
Hail Loki, Liberator,
cunning, wild, and wise.
May You ever be hailed.
(by G. Krasskova)
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been seeing a growing noise on Facebook and other social media platforms that is staunchly anti-prayer. Generally, this occurs most strongly after some horror or disaster wherein people will post “my prayers are with you.” Immediately the social justice crowd pushes back, questioning both the relevance and efficacy of this sentiment. Let’s be honest; most people post such platitudes because they are moved, they care, but are (or feel) otherwise helpless to impact the situation. It is an expression of care, goodwill, and perhaps even solidarity. Take that for what it’s worth; I personally, don’t see anything wrong with it. I see a great wrong with dismissing prayer, however, and of course, those dismissals never stop with the aforementioned social situations but ever and always leech into our communities, which already struggle with understanding, prioritizing, or practicing devotion well (It’s not, after all, as though we are surrounded in our everyday lives and communities with good devotional models. I think we all struggle with this at times one way or another).
To dismiss prayer as a powerful and effective practice is to cripple our devotional lives and our relationship with our Gods. Over the years, I’ve seen many Pagans and even Polytheists dismiss prayer as something Christian. Well, it’s not. The earliest recorded prayers date from Sumer, written to the God Nanna and the Goddess Inanna. We have surviving prayers from Greece, Rome, Egypt, to name but a few polytheistic cultures. Polytheists prayed. It’s one of the fundamentals of practical religion.
Why are we so eager to render ourselves mute before our Gods?
To hold someone in prayer does not mean that one does nothing else. If there is more that one is able to do on a practical level, then it goes without saying that one should do that. I’m reminded of the Benedictine motto: ora et labora (pray and work). It’s not an either/or situation.
Furthermore, having a consistent prayer practice to the Gods and ancestors is one of the best ways to maintain devotional clarity, to keep the lines of communication open, to strengthen those devotional relationships, and to grow in faith, devotion, and grace. Cultivating hostility or contempt toward what is in fact one of the most powerful tools we have in maintaining our spiritual worlds is short sighted and frankly stupid. To pray is to open a line of ongoing communication with our Gods. It is to approach Them as petitioners, it is to give thanks, it is to express our love and adoration and a thousand other things. It provides Them with an opportunity to act in our lives and in our world. It provides us with an opportunity to accept, again and again, Their grace.
What we are instead tasked with is learning how to pray effectively. While set, formulaic prayers can be enormously powerful, it’s not enough to just say any words. Proper prayer is a matter of preparing our minds and hearts. Our hearts need to be receptive to our Gods. Our minds need to be committed and focused on this process. It’s one of the key devotional disciplines that no one seems to talk about anymore.
Ironically, as we pray, we learn how to pray and to do so more effectively. It is not in the capacity of any human being to compel the Gods. But we can reach out to Them, we can ask, and most of all we can trust that we have been heard. Prayer is powerful in part because it allows us to stand in perfect, active alignment with our Holy Powers. The more we do that consciously, the more we are changed and perhaps even elevated by the process.
Because it allows us to stand consciously in that alignment, it is a potent protection against all that is inimical to our Gods and Their ways. It reminds us, purifies us, re-aligns us again and again into our devotion. Every time we pray, we recommit ourselves to our traditions and our Gods and to living in ways that cultivate piety.
Remove purification, sacrifice, devotion, and prayer and what do you have? Certainly, not a religion.