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Bookversary: By Scalpel and Herb, Blood and Healing Hands

Today is the 3 year anniversary of my devotional book 📕 dedicated to the Norse Goddess Eir. 👩‍⚕️

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By Scalpel and Herb, Blood and Healing Hands is a novena booklet to Eir, a Norse Goddess of Healing. It provides an introduction about this Goddess and nine days of prayers in Her honor.

Available on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

Who owns a copy?

Day 6 – for Frigga

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:
shiny-hooved Hofvarpnir,
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,
maintaining harmony
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)

GIVEAWAY TIME

This giveaway is designed for FACEBOOK, so that means entries must happen on facebook. Here’s the direct link to the appropriate post: ( http://bit.ly/2WMLxNs ) . Deadline is end of the month, I wanted to give people a chance to get their copies in.

living_runes-giveaway

 

In case anyone is having problems viewing the image with the giveaway information above, I’m also including it below as text.

 

GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the release of Living Runes: Theory and Practice. I’ve decided to run a giveaway. The prize consists of a set of 20 prayer cards featuring Frigga and her retinue (Saga, Eir, Gefion, Fulla, Sjofn, Lofn, Hlin, Syn, Snotra, Gna, Var, and Vor), as well as Odin and his sons (Thor, Baldr, Vidar, Bragi, Hermod, and Vali). I will select one US winner, and one International winner randomly from all valid entries. Each winner not only receives all those cards, but actually receives a duplicate set of those cards that they can gift to one very lucky friend or divvy up the awarded prayer cards to share among as many friends as they like. So, this is actually one giveaway that entering with your friends can increase your chances of coming away with something.

Here’s how to enter:

Take a picture to share of Living Runes: Theory and Practice. This can be you reading it, or for those that don’t like to post pictures of themselves you can show it on your bookshelf, in your reading nook, posed with your cat, beside a cup of coffee, with your runes–you get the idea. For those of you with ebook copies, just show the cover on your chosen electronic device. I’ll even accept pictures in bookstores, or in libraries (for bookstore and library pic entries please be sure to list the name of the establishment and the city/state/country you found it in). Once your pic is ready:

  • Like and Comment on this giveaway post on the Galina Krasskova – Wyrd Ways FB Page: http://bit.ly/2WMLxNs

    • include your Living Runes: Theory & Practice picture
    • tag at least one friend
    • include the name of the country in which you currently live
  • Share this post on FB (toggle the “include original post” option)

  • Deadline: June 30, 11:59pm EST

 

 

Literary Updates

I have two things of note to share and one upcoming project. 

Firstly, the Eir novena booklet is done and has been passed on for formatting and design. It should be available in perhaps two weeks. I’ll keep you posted. 

Secondly, the Hermes devotional that I have long been working on is also finished. It has, however, gone through a number of changes. Instead of a 31 day devotional, I have turned it also into a novena book (I’m really quite taken with this format). Because of that, I was not able to use the bulk of the prayers that people contributed. My apologies and please know you will each get a copy of the finished devotional. My decision had absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the prayers contributed — all of which were wonderful– and everything to do with my decision to do a novena book instead of a book of hours. I want to thank everyone who contributed and with permission, I’ll hold onto those prayers for a future project, perhaps a collection of prayers for the Gods. (Of course, feel free to post and use elsewhere in the meantime). 

Finally, I’m going to be working on a novena booklet to Freya. Stay tuned. That is all for now. 

Here is a sneak peak at the Semele prayer card image. This is not the best image — i need to get a better photo in better light which I”ll do this weekend– but you can see what the card will look like. 

Semele

Update and Contest #2

Ok, so I have finished writing the Novena booklet for Asklepios and I am deeply grateful for His help and benevolence over the last few weeks. On Sunday night, I’ll do the div to choose the title and then it should be available next month (maybe sooner, depending how I publish it). I’ll keep y’all updated. 

I will be doing the same type of novena booklet for the Norse healing Goddess Eir. It occurred to me as I was working on the one for Asklepios that I really should honor Her too. I focused on the former because my husband isn’t Heathen and I prayed primarily to his Gods and Their relations first and then my own. it seemed fitting, but I did petition Eir as well and She deserves more cultus than She gets. So…same deal, folks. I desperately need help with a title! 

If you have any suggestions for a title for a novena booklet for Eir, email them to me at krasskova at gmail.com by 11pm EST on the 17th. On that day, i’ll put them in a bowl, on Her shrine, and divine to see which She wants. The “winner” will receive a free copy of the novena booklet, signed and personalized, and one each of the Eir prayer cards. please help. I want to do right by Her, as I have tried to do for Asklepios. 

Healing Prayers, Healing Gods

So many people seem to be getting ill lately. I half jokingly said to a friend that June was a really shitty month for people’s health! But no joke, my husband just got out of surgery last week, and I’m hearing of at least three people in my social circle who are either going in for quadruple bypass surgeries or have serious heart issues that were recently diagnosed and the friends I have with chronic pain are beyond number (and I myself live with it every day and it’s been bad of late). I think sometimes that our world is so out of whack that our bodies and psyches absorb it. We wade all the time in poison and pollution and while our bodies do their best, eventually there’s a cost to that, and not just for the patients themselves. The stress and exhaustion visited on their families is immeasurable. So if you’re struggling right now with recent or chronic illness, in yourself or a family member, my heart and prayers go out to you. I want to encourage you to reach out to friends, to your community for support. None of us should have to go through such things alone.

Likewise, I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support during my husband’s recent illness. It really meant a lot to know how many people were there and holding him in prayer. Thank you.

You know, we have lots of healing deities and in the ancient world many of Them had extensive cultus. I’m surprised that isn’t the case today (though granted, They tend to not be the sexy Deities. Lol. They’re more about hard work and wading into sickness to find a way through). I’d love to hear from people who venerate Healing Deities specifically.

In my home, while I’m Heathen, my husband isn’t so we have a religiously blended household. The Greek and Roman Deities (especially the Roman in my case) get Their share of veneration. But I also honor the Norse healing Deities, and have sporadically for many years. Of course Odin does have “aspects” if you will that venture into healing – the Merseburg Charm for instance names Woden as a powerful healer—but overall that is in no way His primary area of expertise. (1) Or rather, I should say that it is not the way that He has come to me. I hope one day to be able to explore a relationship with Him as Healer, but generally, when one speaks of Norse Healing Deities, Odin is not amongst Those that immediately come to mind.

The most well known of our Healing Deities is probably the Goddess Eir. Many of us associate Her with combat medicine and surgery and She is referenced in the Poetic Edda as the “Best of Physicians.” If we plumb the lore well enough, it becomes apparent that She has many other colleagues in Healing and They’ve gathered a small cultus today. There’s Mengloth, the healer of Lyfjaberg, and an entire retinue of other healing deities with specialties ranging from respiratory care to pharmacy. Goddesses like Hlif, Hlifthrasa, Thjodvara, Bjort, Bleik, Blith, Frith, and Aurboda all have Their areas of expertise. Likewise the Goddess Sunna, governing as She does the healing power of the sun, may also be invoked as a healer. (2) I have also known many to go to the Vanir for such things, which makes sense since They are Deities of life, abundance, and vitality. I myself have two shrines to Freya: a personal one, and then Her image is also included in my shrine to the Healing Deities honored in my home.

I keep wanting to take a month with each of our Norse healing Deities and do intensive meditation, prayer, and devotional exploration with Them but I never seem to manage it, at least I haven’t successfully yet. I hope to do better in the future (I feel the same way about Frigga’s retinue – of which Eir is also a part).

Since I do live in a blended household (and I practice a bit of cultus deorum myself), my healing shrine also has a section devoted to Apollo and Asklepius. The statue of Asklepius came to me on a trip to London. I walked into this store and saw it and got hit with “I need that.” It was so strong a feeling that even though I didn’t have cultus to Him, I bought it and eventually incorporated Him into my shrine. I have great respect for Him. In the ancient world He had a tremendously popular cultus. Apollo, while a Greek Deity, had cultus in Etruria by at least the 6th Century B.C.E. and in Rome by around 431 B.C.E, the latter specifically as ‘Medicus’ or ‘Healer’. Asklepius is the son of Apollo who achieved that rare honor, one shared with Herakles: He was a mortal son of a God who was elevated to godhood, taking His place amongst the denizens of Olympos.(3) I also honor Dionysos on my healing shrine (plus He has His own shrine elsewhere in my home) since He heals issues of the mind, heart, and spirit.

It’s funny: neither Dionysos nor most of the Norse Deities seem to care overmuch for protocols of cleansing before one approaches Their shrines. I mean, one should be clean and of course I wash my hands but They don’t seem to want extensive protocol. Apollo and to some extent Asklepius (though by far especially Apollo here) do seem to require more in the way of cleansing before approaching Them. It’s a completely different mindset when I go to Their shrines and with Apollo at least, there’s much, much more formality.

Someone reminded me that one of the traditional offerings to Asklepius was a black rooster, noting that even as he went to his death, Sokrates’ main concern was that such a debt to this God be properly paid. This time, in exchange for His help I promised not a rooster (I have given Him such in the past), but cultus. I think I’ll use it as an opportunity to do the same for Eir and Her retinue.

Anyway, if you have ongoing cultus to one of our Healing Deities, or would like to share insights or prayers, please feel free to do so here. It’d be a grace and a blessing all around to see Their cultus grow.

 

Notes:

  1. The structure of this charm is strikingly similar to Appalachian healing charms. Likewise Odin (Woden) is referenced in the Nine Herbs Galdr, as a Healer driving out illness and pollution. It seems that He cleanses the situations that cause ill health, but again, while I discuss this briefly in my book “He is Frenzy,” I don’t generally relate to Him as Healer. 
  2. She is likewise noted in the Merseburg Charm along with Her sister.
  3. I’m more familiar with the Roman material than the Greek and Ovid in his “Metamorphoses” tells the story of Asklepius’ fateful birth and later transformation/ elevation into a God. See also the entry on Asklepius here