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)
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.
In case anyone is having problems viewing the image with the giveaway information above, I’m also including it below as text.
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
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)
To the Keeper of the House
In the morning before Her household wakes
She sits in silence, taking counsel from the dead.
She reads the passage of stars, patterns in the wind,
listens to the voices of the fire dancing in the hearth.
She is wise this Lady, Maintainer of Her Home,
a fierce Defender with blade and spear,
an Equally fierce manager at wheel and loom.
There is no equal to Her quiet force,
and it is She Who orders Asgard,
ensuring its bounties flow.
Before Sunna streaks across the sky,
relieving Her brother to His daily work,
the Queen of Asgard, whispers with the Moon,
and Mani tells Her of things He has seen far and wide.
There is no secret hidden from Her keen eyes,
no power She does not understand,
though She holds Her knowledge secure in Her breast,
shared only with a trusted sister, perhaps,
and never with the man Who shares Her bed.
(by G. Krasskova)
For the Lady of Sokkvabekk
by E. Blakely
This singing surge of substance without form
Ever flowing through the Realm of Sokkvabekk.
Warded by Saga Odinsdaughter, Frigga’s Handmaiden.
How deep does it flow?
As deep as the Generations that add their Substance to the Stream.
How clear does it flow?
As clear as Truth given form and served in cups kissed by the Light of Day.
How cool does it taste – refreshingly cool or bitter cold?
Only the taster can judge this.
Truth is what it is and each Generation that feeds Sokkvabekk paid the price for inclusion.
Blessed Saga wards this stream – this Flowing Shrine to Lives Lived.
Lives of countess Generations distilled, rendered into Its purest form, but not horded in a well or kept in casks.
The song of our Ancestors given voice, still active and vital and accessible through Saga of Sokkvabekk.
I am going to sponsor an online shrine each to the Goddesses Pietas and Pudicitia.
If anyone has prayers, rituals, or essays about either Goddess, and would like to have your material featured on the information page of the shrine, please contact me at krasskova at gmail.com.
I’ve been reading quite a bit on Sekhmet lately. She was the first Goddess that ever came calling for me and I was ordained Her priest in 1995. Eventually, right around the time I was ordained, She directed me toward Odin, but I still have powerful devotional ties to Her. She’s one of the Goddesses that is bright and shiny and very popular in certain segments of the Pagan community and frankly, I think She’s one of the Goddesses that gets shown the most disresepect. To put it bluntly, I really get tired of people taking Warrior Deities, like Sekhmet (perhaps especially Sekhmet) and trying to turn Them into lunar, and/or “Mother Deities.” She is not, god damn it, a Mother Goddess. She may be the mother of the God Nefertem by some theologies but that does not mean She is a “Mother Goddess.”*
I was going to write about this at length but I think my colleague Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa said it better than I ever could:
This false idea of Sekhmet as a squishy, cudly lion or generic “Mother Goddess”, crone, wise woman, etc., comes from the New Age hippie generation of the Goddess community who are unable to approach the authentic textual sources we have which confirm that the ancient Egyptians venerated and very much feared Sekhmet as destructive goddess known to bring plague, storms and Her “Seven Arrows”, which could annihilate humankind. Sekhmet was NEVER the “Mother Goddess”, crone or wise woman to the Ancients. She was a war goddess FIRST, and a destroyer. Her reputation as a healing goddess emerges later, but the warrior goddess always predominated, and does to this day.
I was having just this very conversation yesterday with the Arch Priestess of Temple of Isis Nevada, and she was expressing her disgust for the New Age view of Sekhmet as the crone, wise woman, shaman/ healer archetype, which has absolutely nothing to do with the very real history of how this great goddess has manifested in the historical record, in the authentic texts and temple inscriptions. We know the Egyptians feared Sekhmet, and did everything to appease Her wrathful nature. They knew that Sekhmet is as likely to curse as She is to bless, to kill as to grant life or heal.
I was ordained as a Priest of Sekhmet by Lady Olivia Robertson, and when she performed my anointing, she said to me, “like Sekhmet, go forth to combat evil!” Sekhmet has always been a warrior, a destroyer and a goddess of divine vengeance. She destroys those who dishonor the names of the Gods, those who refuse to live by Ma’at, and those who become enemies of the Gods. Sekhmet is not a Goddess of mercy or kindness in a human way we would recognize. She gives no quarter, She does not stroke the ego or make us feel better in our ignorance or complacency. She wakes us the fuck up in the rudest manner possible, and She is truly a terrible goddess, a holy terror. She cannot be other than feared and venerated without conditions. She receives our pain and suffering as an offering, and She may very well be our annihilation. (–Ptahmassu Nofra Uaa, quoted with his kind permission).
I see the same thing with other Warrior Goddesses like the Morrigan. These Goddesses are immense and fierce and I can understand the impulse today to soften Them, but I think we need to diligently resist that impulse. These Goddesses aren’t there to make us comfortable, They’re there to be venerated and doing so can be a life-changing practice.
*and this is not even touching on the insipid way we tend to present Goddesses Who ARE Mother Goddesses.