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 unyielding
You will not be moved.
Let others rant and rave and curse.
Where love has rooted itself in Your heart
even the might of the mountain is weak.
You are fierce: a she wolf defending Her own.
No one expects it of You, Sweet Sigyn.
Because You do not wear Your might
as others might wear gleaming jewels,
no one thinks You strong,
a force with which to reckon.
Yours however is the power
that grants no acknowledgment
to that which would turn You from Your course.
You are His North Star, forever constant,
a gleaming beacon, His only comfort
a whisper of half forgotten joy
in the abyssal eternity of the cave.
Your eyes are on Your task,
Asgard truly should fear,
and then pour out offerings
to whatever Powers the Powers honor
lest You turn Your heart to justified vengeance,
on the day You and Your Husband
rise from the pit.
Vengeance is rarely Your way, however,
it is often too great a luxury to nurture in Your heart
in light of the work You must do.
Some sacrifices after all must be made
and You are pragmatic.
Vengeance will not return a murdered son.
Vengeance will not remake a shattered God.
Your way is simply to endure,
which is not so simple at all;
to endure and hold in Your burning heart
the knowledge that nothing lasts for ever.
There is only the wyrd woven
strand by black and bloody strand,
in the crucible of necessary choice.
There is only a strength beyond courage
and the heart and character of valor
plucked from amidst the weaving.
To You, Lady, I bow my head.
Lady of Enduring Grace,
Lady of Valor,
Lady of Victory.
(by G. Krasskova)
Beloved in the Arts of War
Serene and elegant,
let no one misunderstand:
You are the power-broker of Asgard.
Even more than Your Husband,
You weave strategies and plans,
owning the field of combat,
whatever it might be.
Victory has already formed in Your mind.
You have woven it into wyrd,
before any conflict ensues.
None may challenge Your mastery.
You must. It is Your duty:
to guard Your territory,
to protect those within.
One Who loves Her people,
does what She must
to ensure Their safety.
You are nourished
on the thunderous joy of winning,
especially against Your husband;
when You clash wits, the worlds tremble.
Clever Goddess, You are fire and ice
and everything in between,
and You hold the worlds in Your hands.
May we always honor You,
in the fullness of Your being.
Let us always celebrate Your glory.
Hail to You, Beloved Frigga.
(by G. Krasskova)
A History Teacher’s Prayer to Sága
by S. Stockton
Sága, Goddess of Ages, bless my endeavor to pass on the history of my land, my morals, my people.
Help them to listen, Record Keeper of the Æsir, so that perhaps they will not repeat the mistakes of ages past.
May they hold fast to the histories of their Ancestors.
May they hold fast to the histories of their heroes.
May they hold fast to the histories of our land.
Strengthen my resolve, oh story-seething Sága, so that I may honor You in my lessons day by day, year by year, generation by generation.
May they never forget how their blessings came to be, and may they remember who they must honor for those gifts.
May they never forget the shame that may cling to them, and may they seek restoration by righting the wrongs of the past.
Hail, Saga of Sokkvabekk
by E. Blakely
Desolate, I wander across a peopled landscape of concrete and steel.
Parched, I tread the wooded trails littered with debris of those who tread this trail before me.
What value this Life, this Generation, this Tide in the History of Mankind?
I collapse – the burden is too great; the future too bleak; all fades in oblivion.
What wakes me first – the sound of the brook? – the hand upon my shoulder? – the cool cup offered by caring hands?
Saga of Sokkvabekk is beside me.
She supports my back as I drink deeply from the cup She holds.
I linger with the Lady of Sokkvabekk for a time.
I am refreshed. I am restored.
I take up the burden which is no longer too great; I look to the future which is no longer too bleak.
The way is clear and I step forward into the Tale of Me once more.
Let the cool waves flow over us
The glimmer of light reflecting on cave walls
The taste of honey and the decaying whispers of generations
It stings and it bites and it is languid like a summer night
A chord that strikes and you feel it vibrating not in air
But in the stuff your soul is made of
They say you are one of the protective goddesses
Oh, how you protect us, Lady!
What would life be without this gift of poetry?
Madness distilled until it is drinkable, flavored with the wisdom of ages
It changes us
Sweet as it goes down, sweet as song and thunder
You and the All-Father and the All-Seeing, All-Knowing, and The Beloved
We hail your gift with all we are, with desperate longing,
With satiety and peace beyond all understanding that you bring
Drunk on mysteries and gladness and story
When we hear your voice
For Saga, the Lady of Words
By Amanda Artemisia Forrester
I sing now to Saga of the Sunken Hall,
Whose home is beneath the cool waves of memory.
She is the Lady of Words that flow like ale,
The Rememberer of those who came before.
Laughing Goddess, Bearer of the golden cup,
Surely You are a Power to be reckoned with,
To be called a companion of Odin, the most powerful (and fearsome) of the Aesir!
It is You, Saga of Sokkvabekkr, Who keeps the memories of our ancestors alive;
The storyteller, the wise woman, the historian, the myth-maker.
Lend me Your inspiration, bless my pen as I spill this ink in Your name.
Lend me Your words, bless my tongue as I as raise my voice in Your name.
And I will provide endless tales for You to collect.
What is the saga of Saga?
by Grant E. Hodel
Saga of Sokkvabek,
She who stores the stories,
The Genealogist of the Gods,
The Lady who records the Legends,
The Lady who IS the Teller of the Tales,
Scheherazade of the north who serenades Odin with tale and ale.
What is Your Story?
We have many tales from times long past,
Past down to this generation from our ancestors,
Divined by poets and prophets, skalds and seers,
Written down for all to see written,
Written down for all to hear spoken.
Of the Gods of the North, we have many stories from the ages past,
That legendary Age of Mythology.
But humanity made a grave error it appears, for your story is not amongst them.
What is Your Story?
I feel an ache in my chest,
And a pain in my soul,
When I realize I do not have the answer to that question.
So I scour all my books,
And I discover again who you are.
But not what your story is.
So I search the internet for answers,
As one does when the present offline materials are unable to provide such.
And I find a website with little miasma within it
– Quite a feat that –
And I find on that website, a story about how you came to be what you are.
The magic of the written word has granted me the power of knowledge.
I now know your story Saga.
Or do I?
This latest question comes forth to my mind,
In all likelihood, from another mind.
As I ponder the possible answers, it hits me,
In a flash of divine inspiration.
I have been thinking too literally and to narrow in scope,
And far too much as the monotheist I once was.
I have been asking the question “What is your story?” incorrectly.
I have been asking a time long past “Where is the saga of Saga?”
And have asked that question with the unconscious understanding that
It refers to a story that has long since concluded.
I should have been asking the Goddess Herself “What is the saga of Saga?”
With the understanding that She lived with the ancestors in the past,
Lives with us in the present, and shall live with the descendents in the future.
For this, I offer a sincere apology to you,
Goddess of genealogies,
Woman of wisdom,
Lady of Legend, Lore, and Learning.
Frigga’s handmaiden of folklore, history, and mythos.
Now I reconsider my distress from when I recognized an omission –
The stories of Saga the ancestors told each other have been lost.
And this is a massive tragedy, and I was right to feel sick from such painful truth.
Even Snorri Sturlson wrote down that
“The goddesses are no less sacred, nor are they less powerful.”
If a christian bishop can see plain as day that truth,
Then why did he not record the lost tales of you, sacred Saga,
Nor very many of your fellow Goddesses counted among Frigga’s handmaidens?
And I must meditate on that important question in the future,
If I am to be of any use to the Goddesses and the Gods,
In rebuilding the lost traditions of the ancestors – how they honored You all.
But I must always keep in mind this lesson I have learned
From seeking your story, Saga of Sokkvabek.
Your story never ended sacred Saga,
Nor did the stories of the other Goddesses end,
Nor did the stories of the Gods.
The stories of the divine are never ending,
And are as immortal as your kind are, Saga of all stories.
Hail Saga, the handmaiden of Frigga!
Hail Saga, the Goddess of the great hall Sokkvabek!
Hail Saga, the teacher of all who truly listen!
We Hail Thee.
by E. Blakely
Joy and merriment fill the Hall.
Brimming beakers raised in salute.
We hail Thee, Dame Adventure.
Through our most courageous moments, we hail Thee.
Through our most grim moments, we hail Thee.
Through our most quiet and peaceful nights, we hail Thee.
Through our longest days under the Sun that extend into the dark of a Harvest Moon, we hail Thee.
Through the journey by sea and the return Home, we hail Thee.
Dame Adventure, we hail Thee.
Our lives were lived with passion and gusto.
Our lives were filled with meaning and purpose.
We provided for our Families.
We defended our Freedom.
We respected our neighbors.
We honored our Gods.
We taught our Traditions to the next generation.
We maintained our identity as a People.
Dame Adventure, we hail Thee.
Beloved Lady, we hail Thee
Our lives distilled to their most pure essence now flow through the Sinking Brook.
In the Hall of Our Ancestors, we hail Thee.
In the Hall of Our Ancestors, we welcome the newest arrival with a brimming beaker.
With eyes filled with awe and voice shaking with emotion, they say ‘I know you. Your life was Legendary. You inspired me. Thank you.’
With eyes filled with tears of joy and voice shaking with emotion, we say ‘Yes, and we watched you. Your life was Legendary. You took what we left behind and grew a greatness that made us proud. Thank you.’
Dame Adventure, we hail Thee.
Our lives preserved in Sokkvabekk.
Our lives served with meaning and purpose to the next generation.
Dame Adventure, Lady of Sokkvabekk, Mistress of the Shrine of the Sinking Brook,
We hail Thee.
by Emily Kelly
Saga keeps a tidy house.
Spare and harmonious is Sunken Benches Hall
Saga has a set of cups
Each as different as her many houseguests.
Snotra enjoys her visits there, sipping from cool Sokkvabekk’s source
She places her drinking glass back carefully with the others.
The fine bone-china teacup is for Hela
She comes bubbling up in the frosty streamers Hvergelmir sends here.
Here is a silver bowl beaten into fine filigree
Mani’s lips have touched the rim many times
Shapely and pale is Urd’s mug of fired clay
Made of the loam by Urdbrunnr
All of gold is Odin’s cup
Unmarked and runeless
Odin’s eye can read this cup’s designs
Mimir’s well fills it continually
Frigga and Saga drink together
Their cup is kept elsewhere
Saga keeps a holy house
Home to every kind of wisdom seeker
Prayer to Saga from a writer
Mistress of Words,
who lingers over tales that reverberate
off Skvabekk’s walls like
the sound of falling
Lady of Lore,
equal in words to Odin All-Father,
I ask that You bless
my ink and tongue
so that my own words
are ever pleasing to You.
May my pen
in its quest.
to You, I pray.
Thanksgiving to Saga
In adoration I come to You
Lady of Lore and Histories.
You who hordes the words of ages,
texts known and secret,
some written only
in the hearts of man and roots of Yggdrasil.
Thank You for all that You are
and all that You do.
May I ever honor You
in my written and spoken
workings as I sift
through tale and lore and
Praise be to Saga
of Sunken-bench and
heavy tome, of
sweet meed and cool stream.
Hail Saga, be praised!
(both prayers by D.)