Blog Archives

Salvation???

In one of my classes we’ve been talking about soteriology and someone asked me what polytheists did for salvation. The question brought me up short. Leaving aside the question of what precisely was meant by ‘salvation,’ in this context, I had to step back and think about how we order our metaphysics and where precisely we place them, because the question of salvation is a metaphysical one. That being said, where we position this thing called ‘metaphysics’ (and, I suspect, ethics too for that matter) differs greatly from the monotheistic perspective. We’re just so inculcated with the latter when the subject of metaphysics arises that I don’t think many of us think about how our own traditions may differ. They do, though, and in ways that I consider significant.

In answering my fellow student, I parsed it out as follows: it falls into a three-fold equation with philosophy providing the space for the development of the human being, how to exist in society (and hopefully make that society better), and to some degree ethics, (though Neoplatonists skew the equation a bit: there are elements of mystery cultusthere at certain points, at least I think so),  religion provides protocols for engaging with the Holy, and then soteriological questions and metaphysics are handled by various mystery cultus (which may or may not involve savior Deities — Dionysos for instance comes immediately to mind with Bacchic rites).

All of this means that when someone asks what polytheists do about ‘salvation,’ the only accurate answer that I can think of at the moment is, “depends on the polytheist” and “depends on what you mean by salvation.”

We have dozens, maybe thousands of myths that A) teach us something about the individual Gods and Their natures and B) teach us important lessons about how to be better humans and in some cases C) teach us how to be better humans in relation to our Gods. We also have many theories about what is going to happen to us after we die but to live solely to secure one’s place in the afterlife is, to my mind, missing the point. I know what our religions teach about the afterlife and I know what I personally believe about it (I think there are options depending on the Gods we venerate). I don’t think there is some petrified, unchanging “paradise.”  To live solely for the “prize” of salvation is to ignore the lessons our very corporeality has to teach. We shouldn’t need the implicit threat of absence of salvation to make us decent human beings. I’m not saying that there aren’t polytheistic soteriologies – there absolutely are, but I can’t help but wonder if they don’t function just…differently than say Christianity.  

When I venerate Odin or Mani or Apollo or Hermes, or Sigyn or any of the Deities that form part of my spiritual cadre, I do so first and foremost because I both love Them dearly and secondly because I am so grateful for all the palpable blessings They’ve poured into my hands.  I also believe that as a polytheist, this is right action, it is what I should be doing as a responsible adult. I hope that after death I will be reunited with my ancestors and brought into my Gods – to Them and ever in service—but even were that not to happen, it would not change one iota of how I conduct myself here and now. Perhaps it is a stoic thing: we cannot control what happens after we die, nor truly know but we can absolutely control what we do and how we behave while alive and it is that, those choices, that I believe I shall have to answer for to my Gods and my dead when I pass on. Nor do I think that is a bad thing. It is how we grow. It is how we learn and I do not believe that our Gods are uninterested in our soul’s evolution.

 So, there is some theology for y’all today. I am still feeling my way along these topical lines. I love being forced to think about these things. It’s easy for me to go throughout my day without ever having to consider the metaphysics of our polytheisms – I just want to love Them and pour out offerings. I think it’s important for our theological growth as traditions that we do consider these things, argue about them, discuss them, and keep doing that over and over again though. I would, therefore, welcome my readers’ thoughts as I now wrap up and head to class.

Apollo at st regis

^a cool mural of Apollo that I saw yesterday.

Bookversary: Transgressing Faith

Today is the bookversary of my more academic bent book, Transgressing Faith, which was originally submitted as my Master’s thesis in Religious Studies from NYU. 🤓

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An eye-opening and balanced presentation of the history of the Heathen revival in America and its attendant conflicts over where to draw the boundaries concerning belief, practice and identity.

Though this restoration has only been going on for a few generations there is tremendous tension within the community concerning areas such as gender, race, normative social presentation, sexuality and questions of religious authority.

All of these are explored with a special emphasis placed on how the community treats those who don’t quite fit in or are called to intentionally transgressive roles.

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Who has read it? What were your thoughts on it? Your questions?

Bookversary: In Praise of Hermes

🏺Today is the three year bookversary! 🏺

Hellenics especially might enjoy this devotional to the Greek God Hermes. ⚕️

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“In Praise of Hermes” is a novena booklet to the Greek God Hermes. It provides an introduction about this God and nine days of prayers in His honor.


Available on Amazon

Bookversary: By Scalpel and Herb, Blood and Healing Hands

Today is the 3 year anniversary of my devotional book 📕 dedicated to the Norse Goddess Eir. 👩‍⚕️

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By Scalpel and Herb, Blood and Healing Hands is a novena booklet to Eir, a Norse Goddess of Healing. It provides an introduction about this Goddess and nine days of prayers in Her honor.

Available on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

Who owns a copy?

Bookversary: 11 years of Root, Stone and Bone

Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s been 11 years since this book–a joint venture with my mutti, Fuensanta–released. Focusing on the Duergar Andvari, there are many lessons in the book about having healthy relationships with money.💸

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Andvari is one of the Duergar, the Dwarves of ancient Germanic cosmology, and a little-known figure in modern Northern Tradition devotional practice. Yet there are a small number of people who have experienced Him as a God of great wisdom, particularly concerning right relationships, right ownership, mindful consumption and proper utilization of resources and finances. In our age of rampant consumerism, where spirituality has become yet another commodity to buy and sell, Andvari’s lessons are needed more than ever. This devotional, the first to honor Him, explores His nature, the ways in which He may be honored, and powerful lessons for developing a honorable relationship with the spirit of money.

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 

So what in this book helped you the most?

Bookversary: Into the Great Below

9 years ago today the devotional to the Sumerian Goddesses Inanna and Ereshkigal released.

 

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Into the Great Below is a compilation of devotional poems, prayers, and rituals celebrating two magnificent Sumerian Goddesses: Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Erishkigal, Queen of the Underworld. In these pages you will find a map traversing the shadowy places between these two Holy Powers. Here, you will read about Inanna’s courage, Her journey and decent into Irkla, and Her vulnerability before Her sister. Here too you will find prayers celebrating the wisdom of Erishkigal, Her power, Her fury, Her mercy. In this book, you will hear from contemporary devotees of these ancient Powers and through their words possibly glimpse the ways in which both goddesses touch Their devotees lives today.

Available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XXXO2c

A Reader Teaser is now available of my new book: A Modern Guide to Heathenry

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A sneak peek teaser is now available for my forthcoming book A Modern Guide to Heathenry: Lore, Celebrations & Mysteries of the Northern Tradition. 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.

 

Click Here to Read the Teaser Now at Calameo

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A Modern Guide to Heathenry releases in the US and Canada on December 1, 2019,    with the UK release following on January 25, 2020. The book will be available in both paperback and ebook formats from a variety of retailers, including: AmazonBarnes & NobleIndie Bound, and more.  Pre-order your copy today! 
 
Please feel free to share!

 

Bookversary: He is Frenzy

Sometime it’s hard to believe just how much time has passed when these bookversaries come around. It has been six years since, He is Frenzy was first published. As a devotee of Odin, I have published several books around Him through the years: my first devotional (and the first devotional in all of Heathenry/the Northern Tradition) Whisperings of Woden, followed by Walking Toward Yggdrasil, He is Frenzy and then most recently a little chap book of prayers Nine for Odin.

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He is Frenzy collects all of the essays and poetry that Northern Tradition author Galina Krasskova has written to honor the God Odin since 1995. Providing a survey of His ancient and modern cultus, it is also a deeply personal exploration of devotion, ordeal work and what it takes to walk the Odinic path.

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 

 

 

 

So for my loyal readers who have read these various books around Odin, what was your favorite, and why?

Polytheist Quotes

One of the projects dear to me is in re-building a devotional practice to our Gods. Devotions are the very backbone of religious praxis and experience. There was a meme circulating a while ago stating: “What they won’t teach you about the founders of western science, math, medicine and philosophy is that they believed in the ancient Gods.” This is sadly in most cases very true.

I’ve decided to start a new project, pulling authentic quotes and prayers to share across social media as a reminder that these great minds were Polytheists, that they themselves would have engaged in devotional practices. They weren’t afraid of theophany, direct experience with the Gods. They recognized it for the blessing it is. If you care to contribute your own favorite quotes feel free to share them in the comments below. These graphics are meant to be shared, so please do share them.

The images will be housed and updated over in a photo album on my official Facebook author page. This album will be added to as time and opportunity permits.

The first couple are below.

dionysos

Αἰσχύλο (also known as Aiskhylos, or Aeschylus) was born circa 525/524, and passed away circa 456/455 BC. He was an ancient Greek playwright, sometimes colloquially called the father of tragedies. Only a few of his estimated 70 plus plays have survived, among them is his trilogy of plays in The Oresteia (comprised of Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides) represents the only complete trilogy of Greek plays by any playwright still extant, and it has been theorized that he was the first playwright to create stories told in trilogies. He also seems to have introduced to the theater more complex character interactions and more characters into his works then what had been standard before then. His plays won him first prize in the coveted Great Dionysia (a great festival dedicated to Dionysos) on more than one occasion.

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In this direct quote from Aiskhylos, we see an understanding in why we engage in devotional practices and veneration to the Gods.

It’s the 10th Anniversary of Sigyn: Our Lady of the Staying Power🎉

Bookversary today!!! 🎉🎉🎉

Time has flown, and it’s so hard to believe it’s been 10 years since this devotional first published. My mutti was deeply devoted to this goddess, and this Goddess has been part of so many blessings that have filled my life. Long may Sigyn be Hailed and Honored. 💖

 

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Sigyn, the Norse goddess of constancy and compassion, is the second wife of the Trickster God Loki. She gathers broken things, and people, to her breast to heal. In this book, Galina Krasskova reveals the beauty of this little-known Goddess whose name means Victory Woman. With prayers, poetry, personal and group rituals, this is a manual for all those who would offer to devotion to this gentlest of divine figures.
Amazon: https://amzn.to/32nTZCA

 

What do you do for your devotions to Sigyn?