One of my publishers, Red Wheel / Weiser Books is having a sale of 30% off their entire inventory, plus free shipping for those in the continental United States. So for those who like a deal and who have been waiting to pick up Living Runes, or a Modern Guide to Heathenry, now is your time to act and increase your book hoard. Better act fast if you’re interested, the deal expires on April 14, 2020.
For many Loki-friendly Heathens, April 1 is one of this God’s feast-days. While there are many recognized paths to this God, April 1 honors Him specifically as a trickster, a meddler, a wrench in the machine of entropy. Loki challenges our assumptions and pushes us well beyond our comfort zones. He demands that we grow and learn and confront our own bullshit. He’s a truth-teller, irreverently so at times but however uncomfortable His presence, wit, and wonder-working, sustains by His actions the architecture of the worlds.
Tonight, my household will be making offerings to Him. Sometimes we do a full ritual on His feast-days but we will have to abbreviate that tonight (I am down with a migraine unfortunately, though courtesy of modern migraine medication I am at the point finally where I can type and read). Still, He will have offerings, prayers, and praises and always we will celebrate Him and all the myriad ways that He calls us to greater attention, greater responsibility, greater mindfulness in our spiritual work and in the world at large. Praise Him.
Prayer to Loki
In the blistering furnace of our hearts,
may You be hailed.
In the fierce rantings of mind and memory,
may You be hailed.
In the tumultuous storm of our senses,
may we gasp, and chant, and sing Your praises.
May our lips burn with whispered adorations to You.
May our bodies shake in the onslaught of Your presence.
Where You are honored, there be in all of Your glory.
Where You are reviled, there also be,
and work Your cunning wiles.
May You ever be the unquiet thought,
the unruly impulse, the unwary stirring
of holy cravings, the longing for internal revolution,
the descant-mad, dervish-driven
prophetic-spewing roar that drives us
ever and always, unceasingly, unmercifully
into the arms of our own liberation.
Hail Loki, Liberator,
cunning, wild, and wise.
May You ever be hailed.
(By G. Krasskova)
(image by Arthur Rackham)
Our world right now is revolving around the developing global-impact story of Covid-19. This is an unprecedented event. In times of stress, it is only natural that we turn to our Gods. Awareness of Their blessings can help us get through the next few weeks, likely to be trying, of quarantine and social distancing–the measures on travel bans, schools and businesses closing or shifting to telecommunications is all about two things: curtailing the spread to protect the most vulnerable in our community, and to slow the spread so we don’t overwhelm our medical services.
To bring a bit of light in a time of anxiety for so many, I thought to give away some prayer card sets for the healing deities, and thought the requirements of the giveaway would be to actually create prayers, artwork, or music to the healing deities from our various polytheistic traditions. It seemed fitting, and a lovely reminder that outbreaks may come and go, but our Gods endure.
With such a rich abundance of polytheistic traditions, we have so many deities traditionally associated with healing. Here’s just a few to inspire you: Alatevia, Apollo, Asklepios, The Aśvins, Aurboda, Bjord, Bleik, Blith, Brigid, Eeyeekalduk, Eir, Endovelicus, Frith, Hlif, Hlifthrasa, Hygeia, Isis, Ixtlilton, Mengloth, Odin, Osanyin, Salus, Sekhmet, Sirona, Sukunabhikona-no-Kami, Sunna, Thjodvara, Wong Tai Sin, Żywie, and so many more!
How to Enter:
draft a prayer, create a visual artwork, or compose a song to a healing deity from a polytheistic tradition
- post your entry below in the comments, or if you want to share it at your blog or preferred social media account just do so publicly on your chosen platform and place the link in the comments below.
Deadline: Enter by March 31, 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time.
Winners Receive 1 of the following Card Sets
- Norse Healing Deities Prayer Card Set
- Featuring: Aurboda, Bjord, Bleik, Blith, Eir, Frith, Hlif, Hlifthrasa, Mengloth, and Thojdvara.
- Roman Healing Deities Prayer Card Set
- Featuring: Asclepius, Hygeia, Salus, and Panacea
- Healing Deities of the Sun Prayer Card Set
- Featuring: Apollo, Sunna
*I have variants for some of the deities in these card sets. So some deity images may differ than what is shown here in the final prize set.
Winners will be randomly selected from all valid entries. There will be at least 3 winners, but the more entries, the more winners, up to a final tally of 9 total winners.
Winners will be announced on the blog (krasskova.wordpress.com) by no later than April 6, 2020. Winners will have until April 22, 2020 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time to contact me from that announcement with their legal name and shipping address to claim their prize. Failure to do so, will result in a forfeited prize.
Open to worldwide participation. Please keep in mind that as borders close in response to Covid-19, delivery of items might be held up with any impacts upon domestic and international shipping systems.
I encourage those of you who plan to enter, to please use the hashtag #HealingGods.
Let’s fill the internet with our many Gods.
and Who’s rhythms bind my life together. Odin. Blessings on these gifted singers and on those who listen.
now, go make offerings.
I recently signed a petition, and urge you to do the same. The issue: trademark protection of the word “Heathen”. I’ve seen how luxury brand Hermès has used their trademark to go after religious items for Hellenics and their God Hermes. We have a chance to try to save the Heathen term.
“Dave Lancaster owns a company called Heathen Productions which produces a t-shirt line known as Heathen Nation, who holds a Trademark on the word Heathen. His company has been serving vendors, crafters and merchants who even so much as use the word Heathen in their description box for their product with take down orders and threatening legal action if they do not comply. He is not a Heathen himself but he is affecting the livelihood of many Heathens just trying to support their families and or kindreds.”
You can sign the petition here: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/heathens-vs-heathen-nation
To my British fans, today (January 25, 2020) is the UK release of A Modern Guide to Heathenry: Lore, Celebrations & Mysteries of the Northern Tradition from my publisher Red Wheel / Weiser Books! Some of you were impatient and imported the book already, for the rest of you, happy book release day!
The book takes what I created in Exploring the Northern Tradition: A Guide to the Gods, Lore, Rites, and Celebrations from the Norse, German, and Anglo-Saxon Traditions (2005) as a foundation and significantly expands upon it with more than 70,000 words of new material especially on devotional work, honoring the ancestors, and theological exegesis. It’s basically twice the word heft of its predecessor!
What the Back Copy Says:
An accessible yet in-depth guide to this increasingly popular pre-Christian religious tradition of Northern Europe
Heathenry, is one of the fastest growing polytheistic religious movements in the United States today. This book explores the cosmology, values, ethics, and rituals practiced by modern heathens.
In A Modern Guide to Heathenry readers will have the opportunity to explore the sacred stories of the various heathen gods like Odin, Frigga, Freya, and Thor and will be granted a look into the devotional practices of modern votaries. Blóts, the most common devotional rites, are examined in rich detail with examples given for personal use. Additionally, readers are introduced to the concept of wyrd, or fate, so integral to the heathen worldview.
Unlike many books on heathenry, this one is not denomination-specific, nor does it seek to overwhelm the reader with unfamiliar Anglo-Saxon or Norse terminology. For Pagans who wish to learn more about the Norse deities or those who are new to heathenry or who are simply interested in learning about this unique religion, A Modern Guide to Heathenry is the perfect introduction. Those who wish to deepen their own devotional practice will find this book helpful in their own work as well.
Available For Purchase from these and other booksellers
For Heathens, this is one of our holy symbols. It may, in fact, be our holiest of symbols and it’s certainly the one that the majority of us wear to indicate that we are Heathen (in much the same way a Christian might wear a cross or a Jewish person a star of David) (1). I’ve been meditating a lot on what the Hammer means, especially since it seems I cannot wear it these days without questions and occasionally direct hostility. The more I think about it, the more I realize that this gift, crafted by the duergar, given by Loki, wielded by Thor for the good of the worlds is the most important symbol we will ever bear.
Thor is a God Who brings holiness. There is nothing foul or polluted, wicked or spiritually wrong that He cannot conquer. He renders His protection without contract or stipulation. For this reason, He is called “Friend of Man.” More than any other God, He watches over Midgard – the human world, our world – ensuring that it maintains its integrity (despite our own depredations of our home). He travels with Loki, the God most gifted at finding loopholes. I think this is particularly important. I think that very special care must be taken when the Gods act directly in our world, that doing so promiscuously threatens to weaken the very scaffolding They seek to maintain, and perhaps Loki is Thor’s favorite traveling companion because between the Two of Them, They can find all those loopholes too, never missing an opportunity to drive back evil and entropy threatening existence (2).
I often think that Thor is one of the Gods most often underestimated. Despite one of His by-names being “Deep-Minded,” despite the fact that He is the Son of Odin, despite the fact that He is the son of the earth (Fjorgyn), the Goddess Who provides all we need to sustain our world, He’s quite often dismissed as … a dumb jock. He’s pigeon-holed in a way that I also see with Goddesses like Freya. We reduce Him in our minds to a one-dimensional character in a book. I don’t think this is purposeful or intentionally disrespectful, I think it’s what we’ve been programmed to do by popular culture, by the way our Gods are treated in academic writing, by the way they’re treated in comparative lit., and by the way They were treated by the working-class founders of American Heathenry. But our Gods are not characters in a set of stories. They are living Holy Powers, Immortal Beings, the Creators of our very existence and the space in which it plays out.
Consider a few of His by-names (heiti ): Atli (The Terrible), Einriði (One Who rules alone – in other words, I interpret this to mean that He is more than capable in and of Himself of purifying and rendering holy, and carries the blessing of the sovereignty of the land through his Mother), Harðhugaðr (strong spirit, fierce soul), Rymr (noise, which makes me think of how sound, like rattles, drums, bells, chanting, etc. is often used to clear spiritual pollution and purify people, places, and things), and last but not least Veurr (Hallower, Guardian of the shrine). Thor hallows. Wherever He is, whatever He touches, wherever He chooses to make Himself manifest, there He hallows and in hallowing creates space where the enemies of the Gods simply cannot exist.
Thor’s hammer, then, is a sign that the Gods are engaged with us in the ongoing process of creation. It is a sign that They guard us, that Thor girds the world against dissolution, against entropy, against all that would threaten the cosmic and divine architecture. Like His mother, Thor provides. He sustains. Like His Father, He battles back the enemies of the Gods. Like He, Himself alone, He renders holy those places He has been, those spaces through which He has passed. When we wear the Thor’s hammer, we are signaling that we too are aligned with divine order. We are signaling that we stand with Him in maintaining, protecting, and most of all nourishing that which the Gods have created.
So, wear the hammer proudly. When people ask you about it, or the ruder ones challenge you for wearing it, explain exactly what it means and hold your ground. We must not give up a single inch of space, not in mind, not in body, and not in soul. That hammer signifies that we are hallowed ground, reclaimed, rededicated, consecrated to our Gods, committed to Thor’s protection. Wear it proudly, wear it mindfully, and every time you touch it, give thanks to this God Who sustains His Father’s creation.
- Some Scandinavians will wear it as a cultural symbol and then of course it’s endlessly misappropriated by individuals who have no faith in the Gods, but you see the same thing with other religions’ symbols too, at least the latter use by the godless.
- I think there are cosmic rules that the Gods adhere to, blocking how directly They may act in our world. This is hinted at most fully in the Homeric corpus but I believe it holds true amongst our Gods as well, that the more they violate those structures They Themselves have put into place, not only the more They weaken the cosmic architecture, but more importantly, They provide openings for the Nameless, that unnamed force – the Kemetics called it Isfet, Native Americans had different names for it – that ever hates and threatens divine creation to also come in. I think there’s a cosmic détente and no God is better at finding ways to act without violating that détente than Loki.
Today marks the 10th bookversary of my published book Runes: Theory and Practice originally released by New Page. Just this year my new publisher, Weiser Books, re-released it under the new name of Living Runes: Theory and 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.
Tomorrow is St. Nicholas Day. In parts of Germany and Switzerland, children would receive small gifts, and certain sweet foods would be shared. There are smells and tastes that I associate with this day alone – something I was reminded of this morning at work when a coworker walked in with gifts of coquito for her advisor. That too is something typically made only for Christmas and she said the smell of the cinnamon when making the drink conjures the holiday spirit like nothing else. I get that. St. Nicholas day is like that for me.
My mom always called it Oski’s Day and keeping the same custom would honor Odin as the Gift-Giver (Oski) on this day. She’d make leckerli (sort of a Swiss gingerbread), we’d have dates, candied walnuts, and mandarin oranges and we’d burn beeswax candles in offering to the God. That combination of scents brings me back powerfully to all the winter holidays we shared, because while Dec. 20 is traditionally the start of Yule, for us it started on the 6thwith this small exchange of gifts.
For those wanting a taste of this holiday, here is a traditional recipe for Basler Leckerli.
Odin is a God of so many things, awesome in the oldest sense of the word, terrible but He is also the winter king Who fills our homes with abundance, Who comes sharing wealth, warmth, and joy. He bestows sweetness. In the midst of the dark and the cold, He is fire burning.
(image by Righon)
Edward Butler comes to the rescue (I’d have missed this deal otherwise).
Today many of the books I’ve published through Lulu can be purchased for 30% off sale, this includes a large number of my devotionals.
Deal only good for today (December 2, 2019).