Yesterday, a friend called you “Kinsman of the Unquiet Thought” and I recall something similar was my mother’s favorite heiti for You. It encapsulates Your sneakiness, and it is not deceit as so many claim, to keep us aware and on our toes. It is a grace, gift, and kindness. Let us ever and always be “unquiet” too, lest complacency smother our devotion. Hail to You, Loki, enemy of Acedia. Hail Hugreynandi Hoenis, Tester of Hoenir, You test us as well, to make us stronger, to make us better, to root us in courage, confidence, and piety. We grow under Your caring hands, whether we would or not; and our worlds expand as the worlds expanded in the beginning of time, under the will of You and Your brothers, and Your capable hands. Hail Holy One.
You, oh God, were the comfort of my youth, my strength in times of weakness, my salvation when I otherwise would have been lost. You held my head above the waters of terror. You sustained me in isolation and poverty. There are no words that I can say; no gift that I lay at Your feet, can ever equal the care and protection that You gave me, all unasked. Ever will I eat the fire You proffer in Your hand, ever will I allow it to polish my heart, to anneal it, to transform it into a gleaming anvil, upon which You may hammer out the contrapunto of Your desire. I will always be grateful for the gifts You have given me; and ever and always will I praise You. I will lay gifts at your feet every day of my life. I will make thousands of offerings, as many as I can, always and ever in joy, and always to You, before my time here is done. Hail Loki, always.
Ten years ago this year, I began celebrating Loki specifically in the month of July. It’s not that there aren’t other feast days for Him during the year, but July for a number of reasons, including the rising of the dog star Sirius, which is associated with Him, is a very potent month for His veneration. For awhile, a number of years actually, I would write a prayer for Loki every day from July 1-31, and I believe I was the first to make this commitment, but the last couple of years I haven’t done that. Instead, I’ve made offerings to Him and done my household devotions and gotten about my devotional life. Today, a friend reminded me that I’d started the July practice in 2012 – maybe even earlier. I’ve honored and loved Loki so long it seems like decades and decades -- and I thought maybe it was time to do this practice again. So here goes. For Loki on July 1 Slyest and most cunning of Gods, Laevisi Loki, Protector of our House, I hail You on this day, when the heat batters down upon us, and auguries of birds whisper tales of Your clever might. Bölvasmiðr, Mischief-maker, better than any other God at stirring up trouble, getting the necessary things accomplished, and shattering the walls we set around ourselves, I pray to You that our thought-worlds may never be small. May our devotion rage like a wildfire through all the many halls and hazy turnings of the world we have created for ourselves, until there is nowhere within our lives You have not been. God of fire and transformation, open us up via Your grace to all the glories the Gods have made. Let us exalt and celebrate all that is Holy and when we are confronted by evil, may it be Your maegen we call upon to see us through. Hail to You, Loki, best-loved and ever honored as every God should be, now and forever.
(Ten years ago today, I gave the opening prayer at a conference held at the “Breaking the Silence: Beginning the Healing” conference held under the auspices of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and which was a part of their year-long focus on the effects of the Doctrine of Discovery. I was likely the only Heathen there, and I was asked to open the gathering with a prayer to our collective dead. This is the prayer I gave, and while some of the language rings much differently today (to the point that were I writing this prayer today, I would rephrase certain elements to avoid association with the left), the core message stands).
Let us begin our work today by calling upon our ancestors.
Let us call upon the Algonquin, the Wappingers Confederacy, and all other Native peoples who walked this land and whom this land remembers.
Let us begin by calling upon the mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers of our lines, all the way back to the time our respective peoples began.
Let us begin by reaching into the past, to the strength and wisdom of our forebears, for guidance, as we seek to transform our present.
I call now to our collective ancestors, women and men who laid down their lives, who faced conquest, struggle, potential obliteration, who stood strong and proud so that each of their descendants might have a chance at survival, at life, at continuance. I call to those men and women whose joys and sacrifices, struggles and successes culminated in each one of us sitting here today. Hear us, oh honored dead.
Those of you who came before us, living lives rooted in your own ancestral ways, be with us here today. Be with us as we come together in dialogue and peace. Inspire us that from here, buoyed by the strength of our collective passion, our collective words, our collective insights, we might go forth and transform our oh-so-damaged world. Root us, oh Ancestors, in our respective indigeny. Root us in the knowledge that indigeny is about celebrating the dignity of every living being on the planet; indigeny is about recognizing that we are indisputably connected to the earth, the land, and most of all to each other. Oh ancestors, let our work today honor that awareness with grace.
Our mothers, our fathers, our foremothers, our forefathers all the way back to the time of the beginning are calling us to action. I know you all hear that call. May our warrior ancestors, who never, ever went gently into the good night of conquest, who fought and laid down their lives sometimes en masse for the survival of their traditions, our traditions, be with us, let us call upon them now. Defiant Ones, proud and enduring Ones, men and women both. Give us the strength to reject that which would poison and corrupt our connections to our ancestors, our Holy Powers, this land upon which we live, and each other. Give us the wisdom to know in our bones that sustainability does not come from disconnected governments and avaricious corporations but from the belly of our ancestors and the traditions they called their own, traditions that are our birthright, our inheritance.
Oh Ancestors, give us the courage to confront privilege – our own most of all – to actively engage with ideas and concepts that may be painful, to engage with mindfulness, respect, and authenticity.
Most of all, let us never give up, never surrender, never step back from this fight, no matter what hostility or pressure we might face. We too are warriors in a struggle that has spanned generations. Stand with us, oh our beloved dead. Grant us a measure of your strength. We carry the medicine of our ancestors. Oh Ancestors hear our vow: no one here will be legislated, educated, starved, murdered, shamed out of existence. We will not allow our traditions – whatever those ancestral traditions might be, for here we sit from all corners of the globe united by a common purpose – to be forgotten. We will not allow the land that cradles the bones of our foremothers and forefathers to be devasted. Many things can be lost or taken by the rushing press of dubious progress, or through the violent devastation of conquest, but indigeny is not one of them. It flourishes in each of us. It is in the soil upon which we walk. It is hidden in our skin and blood and bones, in the connection from parent to child to grandchild and beyond. Oh our mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, help us stay consciously rooted in that knowledge.
May we hold strong. May our ancestors sustain us.
It will take both sides, living and dead, to right the balance of this world.
May we hold strong and never bow our heads in fear.
We are each our ancestral lines walking. The time is now and I call upon our ancestors: give us ears to hear and eyes to see and the courage to go fearlessly wherever we must go, to do whatever we must do, to protect and heal our broken world.
With the blessing of the ancestors – all of our collective and honored dead – may we be given strength and may we always remember: we do not do this work alone. We are our ancestral lines walking. We come with nations of our ancestors at our back. May they be honored. May they be hailed. May they be remembered. May they inspire us.
My friend Sparrow recently wrote this lovely prayer to our moon God Mani. She was kind enough to give me permission to share it here.
Readers, feel free to share your own prayers to Mani in the comments. I’m prepping for exams and don’t have the mens rea atm to run an agon for Mani, but I promise that once my exams are completed, I will do just that. In the meantime, let’s praise Him with prayers and poems and inspire each other as we do.
Thank you, Sparrow, for sharing this prayer with us.
He Knows Me by Sparrow
You know me in my pain
You know me in my joy
You know me battered and broken
You know me as a conquering Hero
You know me at my worst
You know me at my best
You know my public face
You know the real me
You know my dark Shadow
You know my bright Self
You know my ancient history
You know my unknown future
You know my complexity
You know my simplicity
You know my hard edges
You know my soft places
You know the tears I’ve cried in private
You know the secret longings in my heart
You know me and for that I will be forever grateful
Hail to you Mani!
King of the Night Sky
Protector of Midgard
Friend to our Ancestors
May you forever be praised
(written as a gift to my friend Tove)
Prayer to Gullveig We praise You, Gullveig, thrice arisen from the fires of Your own immolation. We praise You, Heiðr, Bright and burning, drenched in the gold of power, bearer of every Honor. We praise You, mighty Völva, Prophetess wise in magic, bringer of joy to clever women. We praise You, Challenger of the Aesir, unyielding, unmerciful, embracing even Your own destruction. We praise You, Gold Drunk, weaver of Wyrd, Gandr-clever, Bearer of the sacred staff. We praise You, She Who anneals, Goddess Who brings initiation, teaching us to rise again from the ashes of our misfortune. We praise You, Bringer of Ecstasy, Who revels in the delight Your magic brings. Oh Seething Sacred Fire! Oh One Pierced by Odin’s Spear! Oh Door of Sacred Splendor! Oh Gold-drenched Bearer of Mystery! Oh Divine intoxication! Oh Ruthless Wielder of Power! Oh Unyielding Singer of Charms! Ever do You challenge us in our reverence, ever do You proffer initiation. Ever are You dangerous oh ancient One, and ever do we praise You, Bringer of rejuvenating Might. Hail Gullveig, now and always.
(by G. Krasskova)
We praise You, Aurboða, companion of Eir, companion of Mengloth, great in the ways of healing. We praise You, Aurboða, wise and pious in making offerings to the land and the spirits therein. They are Your allies and a source of Your power. Yours is a bond of mutual respect. We praise You, skilled in herbs and medicines, great apothecary of Lyfjaberg, Whom even other healing Powers consult. We praise You, Canny Seeress, Who knows the ways of reverence, Who easily untangles the snarled skeins of wyrd and reads them rightly. We Praise You, Mother of Gerda, Who raised Your daughter in the ways of Power, a jewel in the hall of the Mountain tribes, Carrier of Your peoples’ sovereignty. Oh Wisdom beyond Measure! Oh Mighty Healing Power! Oh Tree of richness and plenty! Oh Caretaker of the land! Oh Protector of all the spirits of the earth! Oh Jewel of Prophetic Wonder! Mighty Apothecary of the Gods, ever and always do we praise You! Hail to You, Aurboða! Teach us ever and always we pray, to make good offerings, to walk in the ways of respect and reverence, and to honor the land that has shaped us, every day of our lives.
(by G. Krasskova
This is written in the style of the German mystic Mechthild of Magdeburg — I was quite taken with one of her poetic meters and have been using for prayers to our Gods for years now.
I know this is a little belated, Sunwait having ended last week, but I just realized I’d forgotten to post this. This is the prayer we offered to invoke Sunna in our ritual last Friday.
Prayer to Sunna in Kenaz by G. Krasskova Tonight, on the last night of Sunwait, Mani gleams brightly in the sky, Luminous and bright. The air is chill, portending the coming of winter. The world glistens adorned with lights and greenery, a reminder Of the blessings of yule to come. Tonight we hail Sunna. She comes awash in beauty, powerful, radiant. She comes with open hands showering Her blessings On every heart willing to receive them. She comes, generous and proud, joyous and fiery Filled with the wisdom of a Goddess Who has seen The worlds themselves created. Kenaz crowns Her, weaving itself through Her light, Opening the way to knowledge, wisdom, and well-being, Strengthening our hearts with courage, Our minds and souls with devotion. Sunna is our guide and kenaz the fire She bears. It is illumination, sacral understanding, And the capacity to carry Mystery into the world. It is our light through the darkness, the dark night of the soul, The darkness of our world. May we tend it well and joyously Knowing that no matter how grim the night Sunna and Her retinue will always come And Her presence alone, drives back darkness. Hail to You, Gladness of the Heavens. Hail to You, Oh Sunna, on this, The sixth week of Sunwait.
I realized today that I had forgotten to post about week five of Sunwait. It’s gone quickly this year — I can hardly believe we’re less than two weeks away from Modranacht. So, before I let this go any longer, here is the prayer we used in Friday night’s ritual. We spent a great deal of time sitting in the ritual space during this rite, sharing a horn, and praising our Gods and ancestors and reaped the fruit of that, I think, in the beautiful Lussanatr rite in which we participated last night. Truly our Gods are so incredibly good to us and never cease bestowing Their blessings.
Prayer to Sunna coming in Raido (By G. Krasskova) Hail to You, Glorious Goddess of the Sun, Coming with fiery momentum, Driving back darkness Driving back entropy Driving back fear. We praise You, And Your shining retinue. Hail to You, Sunna, A mighty force, Against which no malefic power may stand. You are our pace setter, And under Your guidance, we shall not falter. You sustain us, Great One, When all hope seems lost. You open the way for us, When we cannot move forward. In love and praise we bow our heads before You, For You sustained our people age after age. May Your blessings fall upon all right minded people, Blessings of protection, ferocious love, abundance, and health. May we never doubt that we live nestled in Your protection, For Your skills are mighty, and the equal of many a battle god. Hail to Sunna, riding and unstoppable, in raido. Hai Goddess of the Sun.
You lurk in the marshlands, a pale and ghostly figure. It is Your treasured abode. The creatures there know You well. They heed Your will and do Your bidding, carrying Your messages far and wide. Once, before creation truly was, You stood with Your Brothers: Fury and Fire--Frenzied inspiration and Holy Power-- at the moment You all slaughtered Ymir, thus becoming Architects of creation, erecting the pristine structure of the worlds. You were the will that held it all together in those first crimson-encrusted moments. Before it was done, You saw it all unfold. Wyrd is a flicker of light on Your bone-slender hands, and You weave it as You will. You are the silent Watcher, often overlooked and under-estimated. That is fine. Nothing escapes Your notice and silence won You freedom once. You save your incantations for moon drenched nights in the fens. Then You willingly unleash Your power. You are a God of strange and liminal places, and the mind is the most liminal threshold of all. You gave us this gift, cognition, worlds unfolding within us, divine in their potentiality, imprinted the senses on our souls, when Loður gave us our physical sensorium. It is both a grace and blessing. Thanks to you, we may walk in many realms, tasting the savor of the liminal, and that is Your gift to us too. Everything is full of meaning. Three Gods made us. Three Gods loved us enough to carefully craft us into being. The persistence of Their regard holds us all together. May I ever see with the eye of my understanding, and hear with the ears of my soul, all the glories You and Your Brothers have wrought. Hail to You, Hoenir, Wili, Lord of the Marshlands. Hail Great God Who blesses the work of my mind. Ever and always will I praise You. (by G. Krasskova)