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)
To He who is Glad-of-War
War is Your delight, Oh Tester of Men.
It is Your sacrament, a sacred sieve,
where fire and ice meet anew.
Our ancestors knew Your voice,
howling, terrible, a thousand winds,
raging and fighting in Your song,
runes spat forth, ferocious,
wiping generations clean.
Raw and raging like a bear,
with the viscera of prey
between its jaws, You come.
Visage rust-red, bright and bloody,
adorned with scars of victory,
Ash spear hungry, gleaming razor bright
in the oozing mire of war, Oh You come.
Shield-shaker, Attacking rider,
thighs grip fast the gallows horse
as You ride, and there is no prey
You cannot find. No place
for Your enemies to run.
Bring the world to heel,
with the maelstrom of Your battle cry,
and may Your Valkyries feast.
May we too feast fast in the knowledge,
that there is nothing greater than You,
and nothing we need ever fear,
with You at our backs.
Hail, Haptabeiðir, Roaring God,
Hail the Father of Hosts.
(by G. Krasskova)
You rose up from the primordial grime
hand in hand with Your brothers,
savage yet determined fury
under the light of a cold-bladed moon.
You destroyed Your ancestor,
ruined Him, the indolent breeder,
clotted up his gaping maw
silenced his screeching snores and groans
that ever rattled the wyrm-like field.
You swept it all away and from his bones
built anew, a web of worlds-
bleak in their youth, rich in their promise,
rising and shining in the boughs of the Tree.
You made of his screams a symphony,
bone beautiful and clean.
There was no remorse in You
but elation, satisfaction.
Let there be no remorse in me either,
for the things that I must do
Hail to You, Loður,
Whose blood stained fingers
painted our flesh a lively hue.
(by G. Krasskova)
I recently found this piece of poetry that I wrote several years ago. It’s a good way to start the new year.
To be wed to a God
It is a mauling,
a joyous evisceration.
It is the agony of knowing
that human flesh is weak:
one can never be fully filled
completely with one’s God.
We claw our way forward anyway,
addicts aching for our next fix;
and the merest breath of His presence
strengthens us, makes us whole,
sates that terrible hunger for a time.
But only for a time.
We are all virgins here,
no matter from whence we come.
There is no experience like that of being claimed,
no penetration quite so deep,
as being taken up by the Gallows God;
taken, from the inside out, and outside in.
But I don’t think anyone claimed by Him was ever innocent.
He devoured that before we even knew it was there and found it sweet.
How does one wed a God, you ask?
Vows are whispered in urgency and need,
hunger, desire, and the agony of separation.
“I will love You and serve You always,
in each and every way You ask.
I will be whatever it is You need me to be
all for the barest taste of You;”
and then You delight and pour Yourself into me.
I lose my place in the restrictive fabric of being for a time.
The joy is too great.
If only if were that simple.
Here’s how it went:
I brought a dowry of courage and raw, ruthless pain,
of hunger, and an uncompromising will to serve.
I brought passion and promise,
and a thousand possibilities
all marked and tumbled with a warrior’s pride.
I brought stubborn commitment
and a terrified love.
It was enough.
My courting gifts were many, too many to easily count.
I did not know how lavish my Bridegroom had been
until seeing His paltry gifts to another.
It awes and frightens me even now.
We pay in service for every gift. That is wyrd and
He was generous, this God who loves the storm,
and hungers always to devour knowledge.
I did what any besotted bride would do:
I opened my arms in welcome,
to His hunger for devouring me too.
Love like this is the slim sweet shaft of a blade
pressed deeply between the ribs in the dark.
Love like this is the iron jawed maw of a hunter’s snare
From which the predator has no escape.
Love like this gnaws belly to bone,
Shredding the heart like ravaged meat on the butcher’s slab.
You might think this is a terrible thing.
It is not.
It is beauty beyond comprehension
but the cage of my words
is too frail and weak a thing
to contain the reality of this intoxication,
to capture the richness of my ensnarement,
to convey the holiness of this bliss.
I must use those words that strip away the trite,
that penetrate beyond our human shallowness;
even if those words are ugly and harsh.
He is like that too sometimes: obliteration.
If this is madness, then I shall be mad.
If it is delusion I shall count myself lucky to be so deluded.
Maybe instead I shall laugh, and dance and whirl and spit–
because my body is not strong enough
to contain the depth of the joy my Husband brings.
And because those who would demand I ‘come to my senses’
have not had their senses kissed by the cold fire of this God.
and then let me tell you how it is.
I am His bride and His whore,
His servant and His valkyrie,
the meat He grinds between His teeth,
the wine with which he salts His palate.
I am whatever He needs me to be.
I’ll kiss that knife that slides into my heart gleefully,
cavort and caper wantonly
in whatever way brings Him satisfaction.
My joy at being His bride is as vast and great
as the Gap from which His ancestors sprung.
If that be called madness, that is a small enough price to pay
to take within me His storm.
By Galina Krasskova
In Flanders Fields
by Major John McCrae, MD
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.