Blog Archives

Bookversary: Consuming Flame

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First published in 2014, Consuming Flame is a devotional devoted to Loki and his family.

Consuming Flame brings together everything written to date on Loki and His family by noted author and priest Galina Krasskova. It includes the texts of “Feeding the Flame,” “Honoring Sigyn,” and “Sigyn: Our Lady of the Staying Power” with a significant portion of new material venerating Loki, Sigyn, Angurboda, and Their Children. This omnibus edition provides the reader with the result of twenty years of engagement with this most controversial of Gods. “

Don’t have a copy yet? You can pick it up via amazon, or through bookshop which supports independent booksellers.

Bookversary: Skalded Apples

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Today is the ten year bookversary of the release of my devotional to the Norse Goddess Idunna and the Norse God Bragi.

Idunna and Bragi are two of the best beloved and most fascinating figures within Norse cosmology. In them, we have a Goddess of renewal and a God of creativity and artistic expression, two Deities beloved by folk of the Northern Traditions the world over. The blessings of Idunna and Bragi unite the conflicting worlds, tribes, and politics of the other Gods, just as this anthology unites devotional perspectives from across the globe in honor of this divine couple. Skalded Apples is a collection of prayers and poems, articles, rituals, and recipes lovingly collected from polytheists of every stripe who have in some way, been touched by this divine couple. Their blessings are many, and rooted not only in the spiritually sublime, but most of all – perhaps even best of all – in the everyday grace-notes of Midgard.

The book is currently out of print, you can find it through resellers sometimes on amazon, halfpricebooks, abebooks, etc.

Bookversary: Living Runes

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Today is the three year anniversary of the release of Living Runes: Theory & Practice of Norse Divination.

Living Runes provides a thorough examination of the Norse runes that will challenge the experienced rune worker to deepen his or her understanding of these mysteries.

The book begins with an explication of the story of Odin, the Norse god who won the runes by sacrificing himself on the World Tree. It continues by examining each of the individual runes in turn, both the Elder Futhark and the lesser-known Anglo-Saxon Futhorc. Each rune is studied not only from a historical viewpoint but also from the perspective of a modern practitioner. You will be introduced to the practice of galdr as well as the magical use of the runes and the proper way to sacrifice to them and read them for divination.

Most importantly, the book specifically addresses the runes as living spirits and provides guidance on developing a working relationship with these otherworldly allies.

Living Runes: Theory and Practice of Norse Divination is a re-release of Runes: Theory and Practice. Please note there is NO new content.

Not in your library yet? Increase your book hoard by purchasing it from amazon, via bookshop in support of independent booksellers, or direct from the publisher RedWheelWeiser.

Bookversary: Sigdrifa’s Prayer & Walking Toward Yggdrasil

Affiliate Advertising Disclosure

Today I have two book publication anniversaries, both books published 15 years ago today.

Bookcover for Sigdrifa's Prayer

“An investigation into the meaning of one of the few surviving prayers from pre-Christian Heathenry. Drawing on her experience as a Heathen priest, Ms. Krasskova delves into this prayer line-by-line offering her own unique insights. This monograph is as much an examination of prayer and its place in modern Heathenry as it is an analysis of Sigdrifa’s prayer itself. She raises many questions as to the nature of Heathen devotion and seeks, in her own inimitable style, to provide a few thought-provoking answers.”

Is Sigdrifa’s Prayer: An exploration & Exegesis in your library? You can grab it today on amazon.

Walking Toward Yggdrasil is a collection of devotional poetry dedicated to the Norse God Woden. These poems celebrate the intimacy, intensity, passion and the terror that He is capable of arousing in His devotees. It is a joyous offering to the All Father by a woman who has served Him for over a decade. The text of the book is given both in English and German.”

The book is now out of print, but you can find all the English language content presented with additional material in He is Frenzy available on amazon or you can purchase it on bookshop to support small, independent booksellers.

First Night of Sunwait

We held our first Sunwait ritual for this coming Jul just a couple of hours ago. It was simple but fulfilling. I know that I will be meditating on Fehu and its blessings, Sunna and Her blessings and the way that She is able to work through the lens of fehu as I move throughout this coming week. As an aside, I spent the last several months trying to get my ancestor and ritual room in order. It took a long time and a lot of labor but I completely reworked the room and now we have a really beautiful ritual space. This was the first formal rite that we held in our new space. Anyway, here is a picture of our shrine (or part of it) and the prayer that I wrote for tonight’s rite.

Sunwait Fehu Week – Prayer to Sunna
(By Galina Krasskova)

Life giver, beloved of the earth, of Erda, beloved of all those who work the earth, and of all those spirits inhabiting it, who depend upon Your generosity, who look up to You in hope and pleasure: oh Sunna, we praise You. 

Your might brings healing, and You stand with Your mighty kin
maintaining balance in the world, sustaining the Tree, its holy architecture,
each of the nine worlds, bringing joy and growth and protection to all who gaze upon You. 

Your husband Glenr delights in Your glory, parting the clouds 
as You make Your daily transit across the sky, allowing all to see and feel
the warm bounty of Your presence. 

You ride, unrestrained, fierce, exhilarated, counting the circuits of Your fiery horses,
and counting the days of each man, woman, and child, blessing Them with Your light. 

You are brilliant, and the Aesir call You All-Shining, the Jotnar, Everglowing, the Alfar, Lovely Wheel, and the Duergar, Dvalinn’s deluder. None are able to match the fleetness of Your steeds, 
or the ferocious glee of Your passage. You are the fire that delights both sky and air. 

You keep us honest, Lady Sunna, and inspire us to excellence. When we heed Your counsel and accept Your blessings, our lives are filled with joy, health, and luck. 

You begin Your daily journey washed in the light of the grey-clad moon, Your brother Mani, the two of You so radiant even the other Gods can hardly look upon Your glory. Day Star, Fair-Wheel, Graceful Shining, Red hued Goddess, mighty warrior, fair in Your blessings, joyful One: by all of these names and more we praise You. 

Bless our farmers, Great Goddess, we pray, and the food that we eat, and the lives that we lead, looking always to You as the guard and guide of our luck, our world, and our blessings. 

Hail to You, Sunna, on this first night of Sunwait. 

Sunwait Week 1 Glimpse of Sunna’s shrine by G. Krasskova

Getting Ready for Sunwait 2021

I must confess. For years, when I first learned about Sunwait, I handled it about the same way that (also for years) I handled the existence in my town of Kennedy’s Fried Chicken. I was wrong (on both counts). Hear me out. LOL. 

When I moved to my town in 2009, there was — and still is– a Kennedy’s Fried Chicken on our main street. I laughed about it and called it a knock-off of Kentucky Fried Chicken and thought no more about it, save that I’d snicker occasionally when I drove by. Well, a few months ago it was almost midnight, I didn’t feel like cooking, and we were hungry for chicken. The only thing open was Kennedy’s. I broke down and tried them and… OH MY GODS had I been missing out. The food was really good, and the service fantastic. Moreover, since it’s also halal, I suspect a ton more care goes into the selection of the meat than at the better-known KFC. I was forced to eat crow …and a metric ton of chicken. Ha ha. My experience with Sunwait was much the same…minus the chicken. 

I poo pooed it for years as a knock-off of Advent. Then, last year, my household decided to keep the Sunwait cycle. I don’t remember now why we suddenly decided to give it a shot. I think a friend of mine had mentioned her own family preparations for it on twitter and since I respect her, I thought that maybe I’d see what it was all about too. It was amazing. It completely transformed the way we approach Yule. Once again, I was forced to (metaphorically) eat crow. All of this had been completely unexpected too. 

The thing that I found so remarkable was how well it prepared us for the Yule season. We eased ever so gently through the weeks preceding Yule into the full dark wonder and mystery of this holy tide. By the time Modranacht (Mother Night, the night before Yule proper) finally arrived, we were already in the head and heart space to enter into the rites and rituals fully and with much greater understanding than in any previous year. I was just shocked. 

It really made me think about how many of our holy days, feast days, ritual cycles have gotten lost in the [forced—never forget that] conversion of our ancestors, in the flow of time, in the rank secularism of modernity. For instance, I was just talking with my assistant and we were speculating on whether or not there was a similar cycle of rites leading into the summer solstice. It would make sense if there was something that allowed for the same type of mindful descent into that celebration as well. One has to prepare to enter holy space and to experience holy places, times, and rites after all. There is so much more work to do in restoring our ritual cycles. 

Some people are actually starting the celebration Sunwait tonight (Wednesday), but we do ours on Friday, because it is such a lovely way to conclude the working week. To be honest, Sunday would probably be a more logical day to hold this rite, since it is Sunna’s day, but that doesn’t seem to be the trend anywhere that I’ve encountered yet. 

Anyway, we’re going to have our first celebration this Friday, and I shall post mini-recaps each week, just like I did last year for our first Sunwait. Are any of you, my readers, celebrating this? Please feel free to post in the comments. 

Sunna by W. McMillan

RIP Stephen Grundy AKA Kveldulf Gundarsson

I was shocked this morning to learn that Heathen elder Stephen Grundy (June 28, 1967 – Sept 29, 2021) passed away on September 29 of a sudden heart attack. Some of you may know him from his works “Teutonic Religion” and “Teutonic Magic” as well as his long-standing involvement in The Troth. A full bio/obit may be found here.

May his journey to his ancestors be swift. May he be met with joy and celebration. May he eat honey out of their hands. Hail to him and my deepest condolences to his family.

Happy Thor’s Day – July 29, 2021

I’ve been trying to deepen my prayer practice lately. I feel like somewhere in the rush of grad school, I fell away from some of my regular practices and that’s not where I’d like to be. I plan on writing more about how and when I pray, sharing prayers, quotes, and other ideas that have helped me and maybe might help my readers. 

I don’t think there’s anything more important than prayer. It’s one of *the* most basic, most foundational practices we have in building a solid, personally sustainable spiritual life. It can be difficult to know where to begin, especially if one wasn’t raised in a devout household (I realize more and more that I was so incredibly lucky to have good devotional models growing up). There are formal, “set” prayers, extempore praying, and quiet contemplation, the type of daily engagement that roots one deeply in awareness that we are surrounded by Gods and spirits and this is good and holy. We move through a world graced with the sacred. Having grown up praying (which doesn’t mean I have a good prayer practice. I don’t think I do.), I never thought of this as a potential problem, but more and more, folks have been asking me about prayer, how to do it, and what is right or wrong in the process. I’m happy to answer questions to the best of my ability to send your questions along and I’ll do my best. In the meantime, I’m going to talk about my Thursday routine. 

Firstly, the moment I open my eyes, I usually try to mutter out Sigdrifa’s prayer (from the Sigdrifumal, the translation I use reads: Hail to the Day, and Day’s sons; Hail to Night and Her daughters. With loving eyes look upon us here and bring victory. Hail to the Gods! Hail to the Goddesses! Hail to the mighty fecund earth! Eloquence and native wit bestow upon us here, and healing hands while we live.).  Because this prayer really sort of reifies our entire cosmology (I read “Hail to the mighty fecund earth” as including our ancestors, whose bones rest in the earth. Also, we are formed in part from the minerals our parents and their parents, and so forth back generation by generation have eaten courtesy of the food and water taken from the land) I usually say it multiple times a day as the mood strikes. 

I’m not a morning person, but once I’m mobile, I start the Mundilfari adorations, which you can find here.  These are brief prayers for waking, noon, sundown, midnight. I usually manage them all and what I miss, my assistant catches. 

I have a huge set of prayer beads that I use and I often find myself going through these when I exercise. I don’t use the beads themselves at the gym, but keep count in my head – I try to get to the gym a couple times a week. Often I will dedicate the workout to Hermes, Thor, or one of our Healing Deities. 

I try to pray before meals. This is the one I forget quite often because with my work schedule, I tend to graze rather than have sit-down meals at a set time. I’m working on this one though, to be more mindful.  I think it’s important and I’ve gotten into a bad habit of not being mindful about this here that’s proving harder than I’d like to break. 

I also offer a prayer to various Gods (usually Odin, Mani, Loki, et Al) before I begin my work. Sometimes I’ll pray to other Deities (Hermes, Apollo) if I’m feeling more pulled to the Roman part of m practice that day. It depends on what I’m doing, what I’m teaching, etc. I also read quite a bit of early Christian material for (academic) work and there is quite a bit of good information there, so I parse that out when I find it and tuck it away. Why reinvent the wheel? So I’ll try to also read something polytheistic to cleanse my mind just in case, and center myself in our Gods. When I find a good piece of Christian writing though, I will add it to the florilegia I typically keep. Likewise any other writing including secular. If it helps, it helps. I try to read or meditate on something like this a little each day. I ask myself what this can teach me about my own practice. What can I learn? How will this deepen my relationship devotionally to my Gods? Lately, also, I’ve been spending a great deal of time contemplating our [Norse] creation story. I think this is maybe the most important part of our lore and every time I meditate on it, I go more deeply into it and come up with greater insight. It refreshes my practice and it’s this that taught me that when we do ritual or prayer, we’re reifying the moment the Gods came together and set the architecture of the worlds in motion. It taught me the deep need to align our wills and our hearts and our souls with our Gods too in every possible way (even if we have to keep plugging away at it for the rest of our lives to get it right). 

Sometimes in the morning there is a small ritual I do as a spirit worker, but that is a simple greeting to all the Powers with some minor offerings. I also tend our household Lararium and make offerings (usually candles, water, coffee, or liquor) to our ancestors. 

In the evening, on most days (we miss here and there), we gather as a household and pray. There’s no set time for this: we pray as long as we feel like praying and often conclude with prayers for those in our families and household who are sick or struggling, or the well-being of those we love. There are also certain prayers of protection we do regularly. 

Lately, and I’ve just gone back to this after a fairly long absence, I’ve been trying to make special offerings and prayers to whatever Deity rules the day. For Heathens, Monday is Mani’s Day, Tuesday Tyr’s, Wednesday Woden’s, Thursday Thor’s, Friday Freya or Frigga’s (we honor Them both), Saturday a day for cleansing. Originally in Latin it was Saturn’s day. Personally, I tend to give special offerings to Loki and Sigyn on this day, and then Sunday of course, is Sunna’s. 

Thor is just amazing. I’ve written about Him before here here

Because today is His day, I intend to pay special focus to Him all day, turning my mind to His stories, His nature, the feel of His presence when He is invoked, and the incredible way that He cleanses away pollution and evil as though it were nothing at all. He truly is the great Protector of humankind. I want to center my day, each day, around gratitude to the Powers remembering always how deeply blessed I have been in my life. It changes the way we move in the world to think of these things, to consciously choose devotion, faith, and gratitude, to choose to cultivate that which most benefits our devotion to cultivate. I pray to this God of strength and fortitude, that I shall always have the strength to make the appropriate choices in these things, especially when it is most difficult. Here is a prayer that I have written for Him today:

Today, I want to call You by Your English Name: 
Thunor, God of Thunder, Mighty Hammer Wielder, 
Friend of Humanity, and Protector of all the worlds. 
You protect our sacred places, our groves and sanctuaries 
and most of all the shrines and holy spaces of our hearts 
that we may lay ourselves down before our Gods 
in adoration, in love, in deepest gratitude without fear, 
without hesitation knowing that You, 
Great-Hearted Husband of Sif, 
Generous beyond measure, 
will always guard our comings and goings. 
You are a loving Father to three joyful children 
and just as You would no more allow Them to come to harm, 
so we too may rest securely in Your watchful care. 

Oh God of the oak, God of holy places, 
God of the mound, I shall never for sake You. 
Please, I pray, watch over my ancestors, 
those of blood and those of spirit. 
Grant that our dead may rest in peace, 
strengthened by Your care, 
the vitality only You, son of Odin bring. 

That is my prayer for today. 
I am so grateful for the chance to honor You, 
so grateful for the chance to pay You homage. 
Hail Thunor, Thor, Thunder-riding God of Asgard. 

A Prayer Against Malefica

From my household prayer book, a prayer for those who feel the strain of the times, who feel the weight of spiritual pollution, or who feel themselves under spiritual attack.

Prayer against Malefica

Odin, You Who are known as Bolverk, Galdrfaðr, Runatyr, and many other names; You Who are expert at working every type of woe and weal, every type of sorcery or magic, Whose whispered will alone can shatter any malefica launched into the worlds, I call to You now. I petition You, Mighty One, Sigtyr, Whose ferocious and unyielding will created the very architecture of the worlds within which we live, Who hung for power, sacrificed to Himself on the boughs of the Ancient Tree, to win the power of creation, hear my plea I pray. 

You are the best of healers, the best of magicians, and the best preservation of our souls. You are the restoration of all those devotees who turn to You in prayer, devotion, and ecstatic adoration. I beseech You now, Goðjaðarr, (God-Protector), to render powerless the evil arrayed against me. Banish and drive out every diabolic power, presence, and machination. Crush and dismiss every evil influence, every servant of the enemy – whether they realize their infernal alliance or not. Oh, Ítreker (Splendid Ruler), drive back and destroy all malefica, all envy, and all evil aimed against me and those of my household. Where there is envy, malefica, and degeneracy, grant that my soul may be sustained and infused by an abundance of Your oðr, Your blessings, Your ferocious joy. Grant me victory in the face of my enemies. Grant me victory in the face of infernal assault. May Your cloak and spear shield me and mine, Your hungry, ravening wolves rend and tear that which assaults us, Your ravens show us the way forward in faith, piety, and devotion. Oh Sigmundr (Victory-Protection), Sigrhöfundr (Victory-author), Siggautr (Victory-Lord), from the glorious heights of Asgard, reach out Your powerful will, extend over me, Your unyielding beneficence, and come, Great God, to my aid. 

Send Your wolves, send Your ravens, send Your valiant and vicious Valkyries to protect my body and soul. May they vanquish every evil power, every poison or malice invoked against me by wicked, degenerate, shallow, corrupt, and envious people.

Oh Vakr, Ever Vigilant, I place myself under Your authority and Your protection, confident in Your power, and ever shall I proclaim, gratefully that YOU are my protection, YOU my restoration. Odin, whom should I fear? My God is mighty, Hagvirkr, Hangaguð, more powerful than any wickedness that dares to stand against me. You are more powerful than any opponent. I have zero cause for fear. Ever shall I praise You, Aldaföðr, my strength, every hour in every age. ALU. 

Our Household Shrine to Ask and Embla

I promised that after the Solstice, I’d share a picture of our household shrine to Ask and Embla. Here it is. It’s small — we have numerous household shrines and we’re running out of room!–but potent. We started seriously paying cultus to them during this past year’s Sunwait and realized what a powerful thing it was, and how it added a foundation to our practice hitherto lacking. I had initially thought to put their shrine with the rest of our ancestors, but that didn’t seem right. They are the first and thus special. So, they have their own place as you see. It will grow as our understanding of and devotion to them also grows.

Ask and Embla shrine. Photo by G. Krasskova