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Wednesday’s Devotion

Prayer to Odin

(begin by lighting a candle and pouring out an offering if you’re able – water is ok. It’s always a good and acceptable offering).

Hail to You, Odin: Wizard, Shaman, and King. You breathed into us the gift of our souls and You fill Your followers with burning frenzy. You create; You destroy; You hunger. You took the raw matter of primordial Being and with the help of Your Brothers, forged it into nine mighty worlds. Yours is ever the keenness of a forward thinking, knife-like mind.  Yours is ever the restless fury of a heart never sated in its quest for more. Knowledge and the power it bestows to weave one’s will, to shape one’s world, to sustain one’s creative endeavors, to endure is Your ambrosia. From You, devotees learn to hone their minds, to hunt for knowledge and experiences fearlessly, to know that learning (and teaching!) are sacred endeavors and through them, we imitate You. Through learning and exploring our world, we engage in something sacred, and we bring ourselves that much closer to our Gods when we allow ourselves the privilege. This then, is my prayer for today: may my thought-world never be small. May I never curb the hungry curiosity of my mind. May I never fear experience, may I never fear failure. Grant me courage, oh God of war, that in the war to tame and hone myself, I might be victorious. Hail to You, Odin, God of many names. For everything, I thank You.

“Odin” by W. McMillan

Quote of the Day

“Power is not revealed by striking hard or striking often, but by striking true.

–Honore de Balzac

“The World Tree,” my photo.

Today’s Meditation

Why do we have all these heiti for our Gods? Each of our Holy Powers has numerous epithets or by-names. Many of these are contradictory. Some are relational or regional. Some are iterations of that Power’s primary areas of interest, Their particular skills, expressions of Their unique and very individual power. When a particular by-name is used, it provides a window through which the God may act. It becomes one way out of oh so many that the God can reveal Him or Herself. Sometimes, when we feel blocked devotionally praying to one of our Gods under a well-known or well-loved epithet, switching it up and meditating upon a different by-name can be productive. Moreover, I think sometimes our normal, well-trod devotional paths to our Gods have to be blocked specifically to force us down different, more obscure paths. Why? Because each heiti is a way to know a God differently, more deeply. Every by-name, every epithet is a mystery. It’s a word of power. It’s a doorway into a very specific face of a God. It’s multi-faceted and complex, and each and every one has a life of its own. Consider your favorite names for Odin. Where do they take you? What do they bring to mind? How do they tie into our cosmology? How did you first come to know this God? What by-names would you like to explore? Which ones scare you? Which ones intrigue you? Consider diving deeply into a new heiti and seeing where it leads. 

Recommended Book 

Neil Price, The Viking Way. This book is an exploration of Old Norse magic, shamanism, and sorcery of the late Viking Age through the lens of archaeology and history. It touches on so many things: Sami influence on Norse magical practices, the use of battle magic, women’s magic – and sorcery specifically as women’s magic, Gods, ancestors, gender expectations, transgression and more.  If I could choose one academic book on this particular topic, this would be the book and it’s written by a very generous scholar who was kind enough to answer a few philological questions from this Heathen on terminology for our modern tools, and to do so at finals time no less! This is one of four academic texts that I strongly suggest to my students that they own. It’s really quite invaluable.

Daily passage for Meditation and Lectio Divina: Gylfaginning 20-21 passim

Hann heitir ok Hangaguð ok Haftaguð, Farmaguð, ok enn hefir hann nefnzt á fleiri vega, þá er hann var kominn til Geirröðar konungs:

Hétumk Grímr
ok Gangleri,
Herjann, Hjalmberi,
Þekkr, Þriði,
Þuðr, Uðr,
Helblindi, Hárr,

Saðr, Svipall,
Sanngetall,
Herteitr, Hnikarr,
Bileygr, Báleygr,
Bölverkr, Fjölnir,
Grímnir, Glapsviðr, Fjölsviðr,

Síðhöttr, Síðskeggr,
Sigföðr, Hnikuðr,
Alföðr, Atríðr, Farmatýr,
Óski, Ómi,
Jafnhárr, Biflindi,
Göndlir, Hárbarðr,
Sviðurr, Sviðrir,
Jalkr, Kjalarr, Viðurr,
Þrór, Yggr, Þundr,
Vakr, Skilfingr,
Váfuðr, Hroftatýr,
Gautr, Veratýr."


He is also called God of the Hanged, God of Gods, God of Cargoes; and he has also been named in many more ways, after he had come to King Geirrödr:

We were called the Masked One | and Wanderer,
Warrior, Helm-bearer;
Welcome One, Third, | Lean (or Pale) One, Beloved,
Hel Blinder, High.

Truthful, Changing One, | Finder of Truth,
Glad of War, Thruster;
Flashing Eye, Flaming Eye, | Bale-Worker, Concealer,
Hooded One, Swift in Deceit (or Wise in Magical spells, or Maddener), Very Wise.

Broad Hat, Long Beard, | Victory Father, Overthrower,
All Father, Attacking Rider, God of Burdens;
God of Wishes, Resounding One, | Just as High, Spear (or Shield) Shaker,
Wand-Wielder, Grey Beard.

Wise One, Calmer, | Gelded One, Nourisher, Killer,
Burgeoning One, Terrible One, Thunderer;
Wakeful One (or Awakener), Shaking One(1), | Swinger of Gungnir, Sage,
Ancestral Power (2), God of Being (or God of humanity)."


(text and translation from this site, though the actual translation of the individual names is mine)

Hero or Heroine of the Day: 

I thought long and hard about this, because very little of my hero cultus is given to Saga heroes. Driving home from an appointment today, however, I found myself thinking about Starkadr. There were actually two of them. The first is the Starkadr who kidnapped a woman while she was performing religious sacrifice. He’s hardly a model of piety and eventually, at the bequest of the woman’s father, Thor kills him. The second is his grandson. Gautreks Saga tells how he was a great warrior, favored by Odin. 

In this Saga, Starkadr aligned himself with a King named Vikar and went about engaging in battle and raiding for this king. All debts eventually have to come due though and so it was with Starkadr and the King. While traveling with his warband and King Vikar, it was revealed through divination (done by Odin in disguise) that Odin required a sacrifice to ensure their survival and fortune. As was the custom, the warband drew lots to determine whom the sacrifice might be.  Every time the band drew lots, however, Vikar came up as the chosen sacrifice. This makes sense, since Odin is a God of kings and also had allowed Starkardr to serve Vikar as a great warrior AND had given Starkadr many, many blessings, which were put in service to the king. TANSTAAFL. Of course, while Odin may have favored Starkadr, Thor didn’t due to his ancestry. Throughout multiple lifetimes, Thor prevented Starkadr from having children, and in every lifetime the warrior carried a particular blood-line curse courtesy of Thor: he would commit a crime, he would never be satisfied with the amount of property and wealth accrued, he’d always take terrible wounds in battle, he’d be hated by the common folk, etc.  For every curse Thor laid on this man, Odin countered with a blessing. 

So, once Odin tells the warband that a sacrifice must be given, and repeated drawing of lots show that Vikar is intended to be that sacrifice, things get a bit strange. Starkadr encourages Vikar to perform a mock sacrifice, setting things up so that the king won’t really die. The plan is that they’ll go through all the symbolic motions, but the king will walk away alive.  It will all be a performance. Odin is not fooled, and some of the sources indicate that Odin arranged things with Starkadr, to ensure that Vikar would put himself in the proper place and position for sacrifice. The God gave Starkadr a spear that appeared to everyone else to be a simple reed-stalk. The king was hung with calf guts, which should not have born his weight. When the moment of death came, which everyone expected to be fake, the guts turned into real rope and the reed into a mighty spear and Vikar was sacrificed for real in the Odinic manner. (I vaguely remember reading at least one source where Starkadr did not know the reed was a spear and honestly intended to spare the king by cheating Odin. So, either Odin arranged the trickery of the king with Starkadr, or Starkadr tried to trick Odin on his own…the results were the same). After this event, Starkadr has to flee to the protection of a neighboring king. 

The story is told in several sagas, and it gets chronologically complicated, but this is your basic story. I think there’s a lot about not trying to cheat the Gods, about meeting one’s fate with integrity and valor, about not pissing off Gods by committing hubris, and about the sometimes heavy negotiations required in being chosen or favored by a God. We can take Starkadr as a negative example rather than a hero (if he tried to trick Odin) or a hero but a tragic one (if he worked with Odin to trick Vikar). Either way, it’s complicated as devotional things usually are. Also, Starkadr is working with very problematic ancestral curses and it’s important to note that Thor has the lawful right to curse Odin’s favorite and while Odin blesses in equal measure, neither God undoes the curse or blessing of the Other. That’s important. 

All these things and more are good food for contemplation. 

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Notes:

  1. I wonder if this refers to the frenzy of Seiðr. 
  2. My translation/interpretation.

Six Prayers to Nantosuelta

Kaye Boesme has written a lovely series of prayers to the Gaulish Goddess Nantosuelta. I didn’t know about this Goddess until reading these prayers -thank you, Kaye! I love our Gods and I want to see Them all honored by those so called, so I’m sharing these here with permission. They’re just beautiful.

Here is the link.

Tuesday’s Devotion

Prayer To Tyr

(light a candle or pour a bit of water out for Him if you can)

I call upon You, God of justice and honor to guide my thoughts and deeds today. May I walk with integrity. May I walk in devotion. May I order the space of my head and heart properly according to what my Gods and ancestors would have me do. May I carry that sense of purpose to everyone I meet today. Let me never have cause for shame before the Holy Ones. Hail to You Tyr, Great God of the sword, of making the hard decisions, and of necessity. 

Quote of the Day

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. ”
― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Today’s Meditation

The quote above by C. S. Lewis is one that I return to a lot. What is courage? How do we cultivate it? When have I shown it and when have I fallen short? I can’t always answer those questions and I don’t think we always need to have answers to the spiritual questions that arise for us. The answers will come if we’re willing to face ourselves and ask the questions we least want to ask. I do know this: courage is always hand in hand with fear. It cannot exist without fear, insecurity, “imposter syndrome,” including the fear of being a bad polytheist, the fear of failing our Gods, the fear of not measuring up. There are days where we are or do all of those things and such failures are a gift – inevitable but also a blessing. They give us the opportunity to re-evaluate, to reset ourselves, to consider why we failed, and what we need to do more diligently or better. We can try again and again and that is the way a strong faith and strong devotion happens: tiny step by tiny step, stumble by stumble, failure and perseverance over and over again. We have tremendous power in our own formation: we can choose to persevere, we can choose to try again and again, even when it hurts, even when our hearts feel like murky swamps, and even when we are beset by fear. That’s courage and it it truly is the beginning of all virtues. May Tyr guide us in its cultivation. 

Recommended book

Memorial: A Version of Homer’s Iliad by Alice Oswald

This is a phenomenal text, a simple list of everyone who died in the Iliad. It reminds us of the cost of war, of the price of courage, of the duty of remembrance, and that everyone, every single one of us deserves to have his or her story told. We spend our lives writing our story one way or another. May our names shine like stars in the memory of those we leave behind, and the deeds we have done as beacons on our way forward in life and finally in the sometimes-winding road to the land of the dead. As we honor our dead, we are called to consider what kind of ancestor we will be to those who come after us, and what might be the legacy we leave behind. 

Daily Passage for Meditation and Lectio Divina: Verse 6 of Sigdrifumal

6. Sigrúnar skaltu kunna, ef þú vilt sigr hafa, 
ok rísta á hjalti hjörs, sumar á véttrimum, 
sumar á valböstum, ok nefna tysvar Tý.

'You must know victory-runes
if you want to know victory. Carve them
into your sword's hilt, on the blade guards
and the blades, invoking Tyr's name twice.'

(Jeremy Dodds translation, (2014), The Poetic Edda, Coach House Books)

(My interpretation: we are the sword, graving the rune the work we do, our deeds, our choices day by day, and the mention of Tyr an exhortation to calling upon Him in prayer). 

Hero or Heroine of the day: Guðríður víðförla Þorbjarnardóttir — Gudrid the Far-Traveled

Read about her here.

Yes, she was Christian, but she’s also the woman who sang the varðlokkur for the Seeress in Erik the Red’s Saga and her courage and boldness are, for the time, extraordinary. 

How do you, my readers, honor Tyr and what are your thoughts on courage? Feel free to post in the comments below. 

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A Very Belated Thought for Sunna’s Day

Sunday belongs to the Goddess of the Sun: Sol or Sunna (both names occur in our lore). She is a force, a Power and on a very frenetic and frustrating day, it occurs to me that one of Her lessons, one of Her gifts is that no matter how bad a day may be, the sun will alway rise again thereby giving us the chance to regroup, reconsider, re-prioritize, and begin again anew. No day, however poorly it has gone needs to be the determiner of all to follow unless we allow it to be so. That is a powerful lesson, one of resilience, perseverance, personal responsibility, and the cultivation of power.

Hail Sunna in Her glory. Hail Her in Her power. Most of all, hail Her in Her kindness and benevolence.

It is a privilege to praise Her.

The “Polytheist Movement” is still quite strong

Today I saw this article over at the shitshow that is Patheos. It’s utter nonsense. The “Polytheistic Movement” is still going strong. It was never about what was happening online. It was always people connecting, coming together to worship in real space. We’ve grown more discerning. After all, why bring people into your ritual spaces — spaces of necessity within one’s home–why waste time organizing conferences and expending yourself for people who will not stand behind you when you’re harassed and attacked online? There’s a ton of stuff going on, we’re just not inviting fence sitters like Beckett.

Saturday’s Work

I’ll share some of the prayers that we usually do on Saturday for basic “God of the week” devotion on some future week — we give this day to Loki and Sigyn. Usually, we use Saturday not just to make offerings to these two Deities, but we also clean ritual tools and shrines. The Old Norse word for “Saturday” was Laugardagr, which means “bath day” (or one could call it Sunnunótt (Sunna[day] Eve). Bath = cleaning so we often use this day to clean sacred things. Also, my devotion to Sigyn deepened intensely once my adopted mom Fuensanta took me in hand. She was a very devout woman (venerated as a saint in at least three traditions), specifically devoted to Loki and Sigyn. She would honor Sigyn by cleaning extensively *every day*, by bringing order to chaos. She was what in German is called a putzteufel, a cleaning devil – a label she wore with pride. For her, cleaning was sacred (and she would pray as she cleaned so that in cleaning her home, she was cleaning for Sigyn). I don’t have this gift. I use this day instead to tidy shrines and garb, gear, divination kit, travel kit, and other sacred things that need ongoing tending (as all things being used regularly do).

ANYWAY, today, I put together my candle shrine for the setting of lights practice that I shall start right after midnight tonight. If anyone is interested, in ordering a candle, contact me before 9pm EST tonight at krasskova at gmail.com. Every week, I’ll be doing this, so that’s the cut off week-by-week. I”m happy to do memorial candles too, which I don’t think I added to my initial list. So here is what it looks like for this week.

I’ll be lighting the seven candles that folks ordered after midnight today — Sunna’s Day is a particularly auspicious day to initiate this type of prayer or magic. If I am praying to a particular Deity or if someone requested that I do so, and if I have a statue or icon of some sort for that Deity, it will go on the shrine for the week too and each night I’ll add my own prayers.

Have a good Saturday, folks.

Edit: here’s a pic of the shrine after it was lit a little later 9pm:

And if you’re feeling particularly generous: check out my Buymeacoffee. Here’s a tidbit about myself that I don’t think I’ve shared before. When I was small, like 2 1/2, 3, 4, my grandmother would babysit me all day. For breakfast, she would often give me a bowl of Special K cereal (it’s sort of like cornflakes) with a bit of sugar sprinkled on it and…coffee instead of milk. Yes, my friends, it likely explains so very much LOL. Even today, it remains one of my “comfort” foods. ^____^ What are your comfort foods? Cooking and food in general is such a tremendously powerful way to connect to one’s ancestors. What foods evoke the best memories for each of you? Feel free to share in the comments.

Honoring Thor on Thursday

Happy Thor’s Day! I love this God, Son of Odin, Mighty Warder of Midgard, Husband of Sif, Father of Thruðr, Magni, and Modi. He has been a very strong presence in my own devotion of late, and we call upon Him in our rites to protect our space before the beginning of every ritual and divination session. I never used to have any particular connection to Him or to Sif, but that’s all changed the past few years and I am so grateful for that. 

So, it is a joy today, on Thor’s Day, to honor Him. I’m finding that every chance I have to give honor, offerings, and adoration to my Gods is a privilege for which I am so immensely grateful. 

Here is a prayer for today for Thor:

(written by me)

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. 


Image by G. Palmer

Happy Thor’s Day, folks!

Wednesday for Woden

It goes without saying that I have something like seven household shrines to this God Who owns such a large part of my heart. I keep meaning to write meditations on each of His heiti or epithets, but while much meditation has happened, it hasn’t yet translated itself into my writing. Don’t worry though – several of you have emailed about this – I have a whole new year to work and eventually I’ll write some of it down here! In the meantime, Here is one of my favorite prayers from the small novena book The Ecstasy and the Fury. It’s the prayer for day three. Odin’s name – better spelled Oðinn in Old Norse (I probably left off an accent somewhere), literally means “THE Frenzied One” (or “The Furious One” – I’ve seen it translated both ways) and that Frenzy could be battle hunger, or the seething trance of a shaman, the ecstatic oracular state of a seer, or the frenzied inspiration of a poet. What of that He chooses to share with His devotees is beyond the power of words to capture. But, through poetry and devotion, I do try. 

For Odin

For Odin, He Who is Frenzy 
The raven has hooked his claws in my heart 
tethering me to the interstitial frenzy 
pouring out from gallows to God. 
Let us praise the furious One,
Who rendered Himself upon the Tree 
gore-blessed, ever-hungry,
victorious over Himself first of all.
Let us praise Gangleri,
Who wanders through
all the darkest corners
of our world,
spitting mouthfuls of glacial fire
into the heads and hearts
of fervent women.
Let us praise the One Whose spear
keen and sharp, ever finds its mark, 
Gerölnir, blistering across the field of battle 
ever ecstatic in His fury.
Let us praise the Burden of Yggdrasil, 
Corpse-God and eunuch, ever renewed 
through the agony of sacrifice.
He mounted the Tree 
and with a war cry like shrieking thunder 
swallowed the glory of the Gap – 
gasping, gripping, spewing runes, this sovereign Power.
Let us praise the Roaring Thruster, charmed and charming, 
Who scatters His seed inciting longing, 
carnal and cunning, clever and cruel, 
exquisitely adroit across all the worlds, 
Glory burning.
Let us praise this God in Whom
all opposites reside, compelling adoration, 
devouring opposition, like grist in His teeth, 
ground up and grinding, bale-eyed Beguiler, 
Who gnawed on fire, this Architect of Being,
throbbing, pounding, aching, wanting, 
implacable Force, unsparing Fever, 
unappeasable haunting Hunger,
to Whom Being itself surrendered
torn apart and structured anew.
Oh Glad of War, Galdr-Father,
Glad of Battle, God of Gain,
Blinder of Foes, sharp Wand-Wielder,
Gaunt God Splendor, World-willing Wonder, 
Incanting Hjarrandi, Herjan, Goðjaðarr,
Lord of Hosts and Valhalla’s hall,
Blazing Ravager, Renewing Ruler,
howling winds herald Your terror.
Odin we call You, vehement and lethal, 
vigorous valor, we hail You always. 
We ask that You fill us with Your thirst for knowing, 
so that our lives will ever be full of color. 
Hail to You, oh Frenzied Hunger.
Hail to You, Odin. 

(from The Ecstasy and the Fury: 9 Nights with Odin – a Novena, by Galina Krasskova, Sanngetall Press, 2020). 

“Odin” prayer card by W. McMillan

(from The Ecstasy and the Fury: 9 Nights with Odin – a Novenaby Galina Krasskova, Sanngetall Press, 2020). 

I’ve also written a compilation of all of my work on Odin up to the time of its publication (it does not include the novena work) that includes the full text of Whisperings of Woden, and the English text of Walking Toward Yggdrasil.

Of course on Woden’s day, I’ll be making offerings to Him but I’d also like to offer a rune pull for anyone interested- one rune, no questions.  Just shoot me an email at Krasskova at gmail.com by 9pm EST tonight. You can support my work at the Buymeacoffee link below if you are so moved. 

Have a happy Wednesday, folks. I’m still waiting for cold weather…this damp, chilly crap is killing my joints. When in my head, I think I’m 20, my body quickly reminds me that No, oh NO, I very much am not. I hope those of my readers who like me have chronic pain issues are doing well. Pain flares are terrible things, but they do not last forever no matter what it seems at the time. As an Odin’s woman, I learned to dedicate the pain to Him, to elevate it and give it purpose – may He feed on it and be nourished, or transmute it into something useful in His work of sustaining creation. It helps me to bear it, so I pass this on. Not every God may want such an offering (I’m not sure if Odin *wants* it so much as sometimes graciously accepts it from me) but if it clicks, if a God accepts it, it does make it easier to carry. Regardless, I wish you well and I wish all my readers health in this new year. 

Here’s the link to Buymeacoffee. I like coffee, and tea too and this is a lovely site that allows readers to participate in the work of those writers, artists, et al. whom they follow. It is very much appreciated and I thank all of you who have contributed to my work either at this site, or via PayPal, or by your prayers to the Gods on behalf of my house — particularly when my husband was sick. THANK YOU. You do matter and I firmly believe you are seen in the eyes of your Gods. May They ever hold you kindly in favor.

Tuesday: Honoring Tyr and Our Military Dead

Thank you to everyone who sent me prayers to put on Mani’s shrine. I made offerings to Him last night and printed or hand wrote (depending on what each person requested) your prayers and they are tucked carefully behind a large hourglass on His shrine. I will offer this every Monday for Him and I’ll post reminders throughout the year. 

Today is Tyr’s Day. Tyr is a God of valor and justice, honor, and is strongly associated with the sword. His most sacred mystery involves the binding of Loki’s son Fenrir, the great Wolf. In essence, Tyr broke His word to protect His people, which is a powerful mystery: the sacrifice of honor by a God of honor and one that I will leave to Tyr’s people to discuss. 

We actually don’t know very much about Tyr other than this story about Him and Fenris. One mythographer Jakob Grimm suggested that Tyr is the husband of the Goddess Zisa (1). We also don’t know very much about Her, but I find this very intriguing. It’s one of the things that I want to research when I have more time. She does have some cultus amongst modern Heathens. 

The surviving sources are even unclear about Tyr’s parentage but that isn’t surprising. We see this sometimes with the Gods. If you look at the cultus of Dionysos, for instance, while the majority of sources give His mother as Semele, others list various Powers including Kore. It depends on region. More importantly, it depends on how the God Him or Herself wishes to be entwined into the stories and cosmic architecture of a region and for a people. I think this is, in part, a way the Gods created connections with the land and the people of a particular place. I also think it’s a powerful, powerful mystery. Is Semele Dionysos’ mother? Yep. Are the others? Yep. Is Odin Tyr’s Father? Yep. Is Hymir? Yep (2). This ability of the Gods to birth and rebirth Themselves, to embed Themselves in the sacred stories of scores of different people, to create new connections and relationships is something that opens up the road to devotion to our individual Gods in a thousand different ways and if there are places where the edges don’t meet, where the stories conflict, where they disagree then that is a good thing. It is an interstice of life and vitality where we can learn to venerate Them in new ways.  

Now, one of the ways that I’ve been able to connect to Tyr is through the rune Tiewaz, which is the warrior’s rune, and which is inextricably connected to Tyr. It speaks of a warrior’s obligation to protect his or her people, of responsibility, of strength, courage – the courage to stand in the face of evil. That opens up a pathway for me to honor Tyr, as one Who goes into the darkest places, who stands alone on the border of the Godly worlds and protects, fighting against that which would bring corruption and wickedness, warding against that which would attack the structure of creation…and bearing the terrible price of doing so. 

I also connect to Him through honoring the military dead. My first introduction to Tyr –and this has really stuck and colored every other interaction—was as a God of warriors and soldiers (3). Today, on the first Tyr’s Day of the New Year, this is how I chose to honor Him: by honoring the military dead, especially those Ukrainian soldiers who have fallen fighting for the independence and freedom of their country. 

I keep a special section of my ancestor shrine (which fills nearly an entire room – I gave over my dining room to it years ago) specifically for the military dead. I’ve felt called to honor them as a group for the better part of twenty years now (along with a couple of other groups). Today, I plan on cleaning and re-ordering their shrine – as with Mani’s shrine, even though I dust it and refresh offerings regularly, this shrine needs a good top to bottom cleaning at least once a year. I make offerings to the military dead as a whole, and also to those in my immediate family, most especially my father John Dabravalskas (1917-2006) who fought in WWII and Korea and remained career military; my maternal grandfather Roland Hanna (1903-1991), my first cousin twice removed S. Wesley Heffner who died in WWI (1898-1918).

I invite you all to share your own stories of your beloved military dead in the comments section if you like. Today is a good day to remember them, honor them, and maybe pour out an offering. Regardless, may our military dead be hailed, and may Tyr ever be honored. Happy Tuesday, folks, from your occasional insomniac vitki. 

(image “Tyr” prayer card, image by G. Palmer)

Notes:

  1. Many other scholars, including Rudolf Simek, reject the idea of the Goddess Zisa based on insufficient historical evidence. 
  2. See the Skaldskaparmal and Hymiskviða respectively. 
  3. As I write this, I suddenly find myself thinking strongly on the Goddess Athena, Who is also a God of soldiers, but then also of strategy, wisdom, weaving, textile arts, craft…and in some cases prophecy. Our Gods can be so many things to so many people, and have facets we cannot even imagine. I wonder often about our tendency to categorize the Gods as we do. I think it is excessively reductive. Gods are *Gods* and while we may like to restrict Them to neat categories, the reality is very different. Still, such reduction does help us to conceptualize how to begin devotion so maybe there is an upside. I wrestle with this all the time. 

Our Divination for the Year 2023

Tonight, as part of our work, my husband did the divination for our House for the entire year. I’m sharing that here for those who may find it helpful. Last year belonged to Idunna and I am so intensely grateful to Her for Her care. I believe that we are alive today, and reasonably healthy all things considered, because of Her. Hail to the Goddess of apples, the Gods’ delight. Hail Idunna.

This year’s div was to me, surprising. Here you go, for all my Northern Tradition readers:

The year belongs to: Baldr
Rune for the year: Berkana

January – Isa
February – Othala
March – Raido
April – Sowilo
May – Fehu
June – Hagalaz
July – Kenaz
August – Algiz
September – Laguz
October – Mannaz
November – Jera
December – Ehwaz

Today only, that is January 1 until 8pm EST, I am offering to do a very simple rune and card reading for folks. No questions. For those interested, I will pull a card/draw a rune, maybe include another system too and interpret and send you the results. I’m charging $15. You may paypal me at Krasskova at gmail.com but please also email me letting me know that you want a reading so I both know (sometimes paypal is really slow about sending notifications) and know where to email you.

If you don’t feel in need of a reading but would like to support my work, here is a new thing that I am trying (I’ve seen some authors whom I very much respect using it): Kofi – Buy me a Coffee, which you can do here if you’re so inclined. Either way, I enjoy my work and your support is greatly appreciated. 🙂

[For those of a more Bacchic bent, Sannion also divined for the Bakcheion. For those interested, that can be read here).

Also, for those interested, I have decided that my next novena book is going to be devoted to Idunna. I’m working on it slowly but surely and hope to have it finished by the summer solstice.

(The image above is a scribe working at his writing desk. Read more about medieval manuscripts and their construction here).