I’ve always wondered wby Gods of the Underworld are so often pictured as stingy and grim — we see it with the Norse Goddess Hella too. In truth, I think They nourish and protect the dead and regardless of what ancient poets have speculated, as an ancestor worker, I have never found the lands of the dead to be cheerless or grim at all, quite the opposite actually. Sannion has written a lovely prayer to Haides here that it is a pleasure to share. See more below:
Hail to you Haides,somber Lord of the silent lands,where the chthonic Nymphs danceon the shores of the Stygian river,and the souls of great men dwell in gloom,dreaming of their days upon the earthwhen the Sun shone warmly on their faces.You see all that transpires in your shadowy realm,as you sit on your basalt throneand stroke […]To Haides — The House of Vines
Tonight Sannion wrote a prayer/poem for the rune Isa and it captures something of this rune’s potency so incredibly well that I had to share it with you here. I wish he’d do one for each rune in the futhark!
Read the whole thing at the link below.
For redeseker To Isa Hail to you Isa, indomitable Dameamong that family of Spirits which Óðinnbrought through with a terrible screamwhen he hung on the lonely, wind-swept treefor nine long days and nine even longer nights.You can withstand every blow and every scheming attackflung your way, nor can anything in all Miðgarðrcause you to budge […]Hymn to Isa — The House of Vines
Grant H. recently sent me some lovely prayers to our Moon God and I’m delighted to share them with you today (with Grant’s permission). Mani has been so incredibly lovely of late and such a gracious and protective presence in our lives. It is right and fit to honor Him always and I love hearing from people who do. 🙂
Mani, still shining The lesser lights of man have stolen the Stars from the sky; That is what it appears to be, at least. In truth, the Star spirits are still there, simply hidden away by modern light pollution. (Modern Life pollution?) And I weep for the Star spirits I can no longer see. But I still see Mani shining bright in the night sky. And that does put a smile upon my face. So I smile and wave to Mani, And - though I cannot see it with my two mortal eyes - I do see that he smiles back. To Mani Mighty Mani, shining bright; Only celestial body I see tonight. I give you this offering in honor of your sacred light. The tides flow because of you, and I am grateful for that. Life is possible on this planet because of you, and I thank you for that. I thank you Mani I thank you Mani, shining bright; Only celestial body I see tonight. I give you an offering, as is my duty and your right; Only celestial body I see tonight. I thank you for the tides, Mani shining bright; Only celestial body I see tonight. I thank you for the glowing tides, that grant the planet flowing life; Mani shining bright; Only celestial body I see tonight. White gold moon I see Mani in the sky, shining bright; Only celestial body I see tonight. He is the white gold moon Golden and bright, shining in his fullness with the moon’s blessed light. Hail the white-gold moon! (All prayers/poems copyright Grant Hodel 2021).
There is a garden in Vanaheim, Freya’s bower,
filled with flowers of every hue,
living jewels unmatched by anything
found or grown in Midgard.
My friend who is Hers saw it in a vision.
Upon waking, she lamented, “I can never grow moonflowers
of such size and beauty!” and suddenly You were there.
So, I told her: ‘You don’t have Mani visiting,
walking barefoot through the grass to relax—
grass woven of so many glorious life-giving shades of green,
how could He resist?’
Where You tread, moonflowers spring up in Your wake.
Where Your foot touches, there, that place is transformed,
having been kissed by the moon, in all His glory.
In my heart, You are incandescent.
In my heart, You have found a home.
You have infused my soul with serenity.
All I am now is longing for You.
It is fitting: it is good to long for the Divine
and all the graces They bring.
This longing fills up my bloodstream
It fills me up with the thought of You
and at night I seek Your alabaster hall
and dance in its echoing silence.
Hail to You, Mani,
and all the blessings You bring.
(copyright 2020 G. Krasskova)
I eat the holy
spewing forth prophecy and portents
too many sadnesses
my gut clenches
they double me over
gods come out of my mouth
the diamond hard fire of numen
i devour the holy
and that fire takes me over in turn
I am never far from the Tree
the crows eat my eyes
worms of revelation turn in my brain.
Razor edged leaves flens and flex
Shearing bits and pieces of me
Until the blood brown body
The spine of the worlds
I met a wayfaring strnger once
In the tangled thorny woods
In which my heart took refuge.
He was a brutal man
He took me down
With the resonance of His voice alone.
He was not a man.
He was not a man.
I saw Him die and walk again.
I saw Him tear the words apart
Yet we live.
I saw and the crows spat gold
Where before my eyes had been.
It burns and this man not man laughs
And tells me to bend myself forward
And drink of the holy
Then my prayers will burn too
Like napalm from my tongue
And I will be the worm
Gnawing on the brain of the world
I will be the crow opening the door
Through which the dead will come.
I will bring revelation.
I met a wayfaring stranger once.
He was not a man.
He wore the skin of being.
He keened with a voice
Like a razor wrapped in velvet.
His hands were long, his nails were cold
He ate my heart
And breathed his icy fire
into the space where it had been.
I breathed his madness
He brought me to life.
(by G. Krasskova)
I’ve been meditating on Sigyn quite a lot the last few days. My husband has a poem about Her in his new book (which will be available shortly) and I want to share a line from it that so perfectly encapsulates Her power:
“She is as old as the mountains and as young as yearning.”
However She chooses to present Herself, this, more than anything else I’ve ever read on Her, or at least that i’ve read in a very long while, so beautifully describes Her.
Sannion is working on a new book but he’s not been posting any previews. This morning, however, I talked him into letting me share this one, based on what happened in our hof last weekend. I cannot wait for the whole book to be out!
Something to Sing About
by H. Jeremiah Lewis
I’m perched on the edge of my seat,
my whole body rocking to the rhythm
of the drum as the apprentice of the Vitki
cleanses pollution and bad vibrations
from the room, while another sings
an Anglo-Saxon fire song,
circumambulating with a beeswax
pillar candle on a red and black plate.
I can see the face of world-breaking Loki
dancing in the flame,
and behind the apprentice,
as he winds serpentwise round the shrines
burning away the dross in the air,
a legion of those who fell in defense
of their blood and soil and ancestral traditions
against the encroachments of the giant
tyrant Charlemagne, stand at his back
lending their potency to his words and deeds.
Another passes by, sprinkling everything with
ivy-leaf chernips – everything including
the husband of the Vitki, who growls
wolfishly and shakes his head
when the holy drops splash him.
The girl smiles and rushes to finish the room,
as he goes back to chanting, “Nothing can be
so firmly bound – by illness, by wrath or by fortune –
that cannot be released by the Lord Dionysos,”
and shakes a femur rattle.
The Vitki is not home.
Oh, her body is standing right there
before all of them, savagely beautiful
with shaved head, white
ash upon her face and Runes inscribed
in red ochre, blue and silver
Evil Eye charms dangling from her ears,
white shirt, black pants and a red belt
strung with bells and charms,
amulets and chaplets,
and a hand-forged blót knife
sheathed at her side.
She is pacing about like a brooding,
impatient bear who has a hell of a lot to say
and there’s a set of knucklebones,
a pad of paper, and a pen
just sitting right there on the table
waiting for him, so let’s get to it.
Oh fuck. Odin’s not just making a direct call
– he’s here, in the flesh so to speak.
The Vitki’s husband is already shooing
the apprentices out of the room, drilling
them on what will need to be done
by way of aftercare. This is a spontaneous
possession, with no time for prep.
And Odin enters rough.
I sit on the floor facing him,
give a respectful nod,
and prepare to act as sacred scribe,
as I have so many times,
and for so many mediums before.
His voice, when it comes, is crabby
and cold like the gnarled branch
of a cemetery tree after an overlong winter,
like an old man who deals in philtres,
herblore, abortions, bindings and unbindings,
does strange things with animal bits
and has suffered much to come
by his dark knowledge.
Most of all he is like something
that has gone mad on the battlefield,
and stopped being entirely human.
It was an effort to maintain eye-contact
with him as he didn’t quite sing
and didn’t quite speak
and didn’t quite caw
or furiously roar
or rant or rage
with the voice that remade
the raw viscera of his father’s corpse
into the ordered world we inhabit
– but it wasn’t not like all of that either.
No matter how experienced you are
it is always fucking nuts sitting
face to face with your Gods.
Especially when they have as much to say
as Odin did that night.
And also, he was pissed
– like p-i-s-s-e-d pissed –
especially when a little black ant
scuttled into view.
He leaned down and galdered at it.
Odin’s voice was terrible,
violent, mad, like
the shriek of a sword
or a beast’s claws
scratching at the door
– and the creature withered up on the spot.
I knew more was going on behind the curtain,
so I closed my eyes and there in the dark
stood Odin the Slaughterer, Gallows Meat,
the King upon his Mound, Storm-Bringer,
He held his spear up in greeting
and dangling from it was the corpse
of a thing that looked like an ant
but was the size of a large dog.
It did not always look that way
– we had seen its various forms
over the last couple weeks,
in our restless sleep,
as shadowy movement
out of the corner our eyes,
as the smell of shit and random spikes
in anxiety, depression and surliness
for no discernible reason,
and once as a nag with no head
standing in the mist beyond our yard.
Before I could express my gratitude
I was snapped back to myself by the Vitki
who was seething and singing
how the Runes were revealed
on the wind-swept Tree,
and I oathed to the Old Man
right there on the spot
that I would make poetry of the story
to thank him for protecting
the members of our household,
who are dearer to me than my birth family.
And so I have. I pray, Lord, may I, my Vitki
and our apprentices be always
safe, secure, prepared and immune
to the snares and attacks of our foes
in this and the other worlds,
so that our household may be
a welcoming place for you
and the Gods and Spirits
who stand with you always,
with plentiful offerings,
and acts of worship beyond counting
to please your hearts.
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)
He who gives me what I rarely remember
Morpheus, Great God of Dreams, I have a question to ask of you:
Why do I so rarely remember my dreams?
I know that I do dream; all humans do, even my kind.
And yet, I so rarely remember mine.
And what I do remember is so tantalizing, it draws me back to sleep,
To trade the mundane of waking life for the majesty of dream.
Perhaps that is why Morpheus, in His Divine wisdom,
does not allow me to remember my dreams.
For the Gods are above us, and their gifts are Theirs to parcel out as needed.
And that has always been the way of things; though our society refuses to acknowledge it.
I understand that truth – I learned it a dream I do remember.
And now I hail He who gives me what I rarely remember.
My Dead, of whom I can always dream
Perhaps someone who does not live the veneration of the Dead,
Might naively believe that those who do never feel the pain of loss.
Sadly, that is not the case.
Indeed, some days – in my opinion – it is even worse;
We talk as though face to face, with those who have traveled to that undiscovered country,
And that makes it all the more terrible when we cannot feel their comforting touch again,
When their presence is spiritual, rather than physical,
When their voices are the muffled moans of the buried Dead.
But all praise be, to the Great God of Dreams.
For Morpheus, so noble is He,
He who allows us mortals the gift of dreams.
And we can always meet our Dead in our dreams.
And feel their touch again. And smell their smell again.
And hear their voices with our ears, not just our hearts.
Musing on Morpheus, Mnemosyne, and Mortality
The God of Dreams and the Goddess of Memories – what is the connection?
And why do thoughts of both come into my mind in connection with my Dead?
The Author of the dreams that drive us,
The Mother of the Muses who inspire us;
What is the connection?
To sleep, perchance to dream, now, that is the question;
But what is the connection?
As I ponder this, another question enters my mind:
Do the Dead dream?
The answer is, most likely, known only to the Dead themselves.
But the living are at least allowed to speculate.
And when I speculate, I feel another question enter my mind:
Are those who dream, not dead to this world while they dream?
For what is a dream, but one of two things:
A vision sent onto the sleeping by the Holy Powers;
The brain’s attempt to process random electrical discharges within it during sleep,
as influenced by the memories it contains.
And thus – the Connection.
Morpheus, the God of Dream. Mnemosyne, the Goddess of Memory.
Both are Deities of the Mind.
Both are tangentially connected to Mortality.
When we dream with the dead, we must thank Morpheus.
When we dream of the dead, we must thank Mnemosyne.
My praise to Morpheus!
Hail He who allows us to dream with our dead.
My praise to Mnemosyne!
Sing for She who allows us to remember our dead.
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)