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April 1 — For Loki

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)

 

Loki Appear flickering fire Encircle the rock with thy flame Loge Appear Arthur Rackham painting illustration 1910 The Rhinegold and the Valkyrie Richard Wagner cycle ring of the nibelung nibelungen rheingold walkure

(image by Arthur Rackham)

Checking In

Hey folks, 

These are tough and strange times in which we live. You’ve all been in my thoughts and prayers (i know it’s not in fashion to consider prayer valuable, but it is a very potent spiritual tool) since this all began, both because of the sickness and because of the economic realities attending it. 

My household — Gods willing – is so far, healthy. We already self-isolate so having to stay indoors and avoid face-to-face social interaction has not been a hardship. I’ve had a great deal of anxiety over my health, the health of friends and loved ones but I am managing that as best I can. My university was really amazing in how they dealt with this all: we had the system organized for online classes two weeks before things got really bad. I’m grateful for that. I also tend to keep a fully stocked pantry so we’ve been good (plus, my husband works from home already). As someone with a compromised immune system, I am deeply grateful for all those who wisely decided to stay in and socially distance even though they themselves are young and healthy. 

I know that none of this is the case for everyone reading this. I also realize that the social distancing is especially difficult for those extroverts out there. Please reach out. Let us know if you need anything – seriously; and I urge you all to keep each other in your prayers.  

One resource that I recently found has been helpful when it came to grocery shopping so I want to pass that on. Now, I’m not sure how far nationally this goes, but i’ve been using instacart.com and they have been excellent. I recommend them. 

I have read that cardboard can hold the virus for 72 hours so wipe down whatever comes into your house, maybe open packages outside and definitely wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. 

Be kind. I’ve read horrible reports of retail workers having to go sit in their car and cry because of how horrible people have been to them. These people and your medical personnel, your postal carriers, UPS, etc. are putting themselves out there and in danger to provide what we need. Be kind to them. They’re scared too. If you are working in the medical field, may. Apollo, Asklepius, Eir, and Hygeia watch over you and keep you safe. 

For those who have relatives abroad or in nursing homes – I am so sorry that you cannot be with your loved ones right now. I can only say that I hope this resolves as quickly as possible. 

It can be hard to be stuck at home when you’re more used to being out and doing, especially being out and doing in the midst of a crisis but if you’re one of those people, know that praying is doing something spiritually beneficial, and staying home is keeping people safe. There will be time to be out and helping in a hands-on fashion when the worst of the threat passes. In the meantime, I’ve tried to find local businesses in my area to support and also foodbanks. It is frustrating for all of us. 

Know that you are not alone. We can be there for each other and our Gods and ancestors are there for us always. You are ver much not alone. 

Finally, here is a bread recipe that I found recently floating around my facebook. I was vastly dubious but tried it today and it’s actually quite good.  It’s a Beer Bread, a good option when you need bread but have no yeast. It’s very, very easy to make too. For those worried about the alcohol content, that will burn off during the baking. It doesn’t rise very much but it has a nice, nutty flavor. Here you go: 

Beer Bread

Ingredients: 3 c flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 c sugar, 1 can beer, 1/2 c melted butter.

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Mix dry ingredients.
  • Add beer. Now the original recipe doesn’t say anything else at this point, other than to put it in a greased pan, but you need to knead it a bit and to shape it into a little loaf.
  • put in a greased loaf pan
  • pour butter over bread.
  • bake one hour.
     

Enjoy, and if you’re participating in the novena to our healing Deities or a particular healing Deity, feel free to post insights, prayers, updates on how that’s going etc. 

 

 

Suggestion of a Healing Novena

One of my readers contacted me a couple of days ago suggesting that a bunch of us commit to doing a seven day “novena” for Apollo, praying for protection and health in the face of Covid 19. I think this is an excellent idea (and we’re calling it a novena, even though it’s only seven days, seven being a number sacred to Apollo). Here is the email I received:

“During my nightly prayers, an idea came to me. What if a bunch of us polytheists started a sort of Novena to Apollo to combat this virus? Well, maybe Novena isn’t the right word but I was thinking light a candle and using the prayers from your ‘Hymns and Prayers of a Polytheist Household.’ 

Thought I’d pass the idea on to you and maybe your household and others would like the idea.

Obviously, we’d keep doing the common-sense stuff, no hoarding TP, wash hands, etc. What do you think?
JR”

I think it’s an excellent idea. As JR notes, it doesn’t take the place of common-sense measures like hand washing and social distancing – our Gods created medicine and gave us common sense after all!—but it is a spiritual measure that we can take in tandem with these things. Since JR suggested the prayers from my book ‘Hymns and Prayers of a Polytheist Household,’ I’m including the Apollo prayers here.

I plan to begin this cycle tonight and I invite any of you, my readers, who are interested to join me. Thank you, JR, for a wonderful suggestion!

apollo1200x750-copy

(image by Lynn Perkins)

Seven Day Cycle for Apollo

Day 1 – for Apollo, Whose Arrows Never Miss Their Mark

It is to You Whom I turn when the night is darkest.
It is to You, Whom I cry when I am beset and surrounded,
by enemies as thick in number as an unkindness of ravens.
When I call, Oh my Lord, Your arrows gleam so viciously bright in the shadows.
I know I have nothing to fear.
You, Far-Shooter stalk those Who would harm the Gods’ servants,
Your arrows rattling in their quiver, their rhythm making the Moon smile.
You protect what is Your own. You keep pure Your sanctuaries.
You dance across the field of battle before the opponent
even realizes their last dawn has come, splendid in Your wardance.
You, Mighty One, avert all evil, all miasma, all pollution, all harm.
The glorious swan cries a paean to herald Your coming.
Great shooter from afar, Your arrows always find Their mark.
You restore, Lord of the ash, Lord of the bow, Lord of restoration.
May You always be praised. May I always praise You,
and know my place before You in service.

 

For Apollo – Day 2: Who Protects His People from Evil

You are terrible in Your wrath, Son of Leto,
when You stride into battle, gleaming arrows
rattling in their golden quiver.
Rage is too small a word, for the fury
that radiates from You,
more fiery than the sun,
deadlier than any blade.
You protect Your people,
raining plague upon those
who trample upon Your servants.
You strike down the impious,
and stop the evil-doer in his wake.
With Your raging war-cry,
You shatter pollution,
scattering to the winds,
all who would oppose You.
When You let fly Your arrows,
Your aim is ever true
and You destroy them.
None may escape You.
Howling Ares in His battle frenzy
may indeed match Your war-dance,
but You are cold precision, ice to His fire.
You never miss Your mark and when You take
the field of battle, Your heart is empty of mercy.
Agrios, best of hunters,
let Your fury fall upon all
that would seek to challenge divine order.
Set loose Your ravens, turn lose Your wolves,
that they may rend and tear Your enemies,
until You stand unopposed and triumphant.
Be our shield against evil, Bright Son of Zeus.
Hail to You, Apollo.
We will reverence You always,
not out of fear – for we will be ever pious—
but in love, and awe at the terrifying beauty
of Your majesty.
Hear our prayer, we pray.

 

Day 3 – for Apollo: Who makes Whole that which has been Broken

Hallowed One and hallowing,
You make whole that which is broken.
Your gentle hands bring healing,
tenderly encouraging growth and restoration.
Medicus, by Your grace and generative power,
You gifted Asklepius to the world,
and from His children, Mighty Sons and Daughters,
struck a blow against miasma and hurt.
Your temples are sanctuaries and so powerful Your blessings
that even the Christians hailed You, calling You angelic,
and best defender of the heavens.*
On this, they were not entirely wrong.
Yours is a purifying healing force against which
no possible pollution, illness, or malefic spirit may stand.
Your face is glory. Your touch a beautiful solace.
Your very presence is undiluted joy, ecstasy of mind, heart
and most of all, spirit. You move our tongues to praise,
our hearts to reverence, our bodies to celebration.
Enfold us, oh God, sweet and noble Lord, in Your light.
Restore us, Brightest Lord, we pray.
Renew us in all ways, that we may praise You more fully,
and every day with greater joy.
Preserve us, Holy Lord, from all the dank, impious places
we must walk in this world.
Fill us with Your light until no pollution remains
nor the possibility for it to fester and grow.
With this prayer, let us be aligned with our Gods,
with You, mighty Healer, as our advocate.
Hail to You, Apollo, may the warmth of Your blessings flow.

 

Day 4 – For Apollo, Who Bestows Prophetic Power

Frenzied speech You give, the oracle-woman bowed back
with the force of Your Presence in her head,
with the force of Your words erupting like a volcano
from her heart and mind, dancing and blazing on her tongue,
every synapse burning bright, as though she had fallen into the sun.

Frenzied speech and prophetic power You bestow, Great Lord,
weaving like a serpent through the brain, opening doorways
through which Gods and spirits might howl triumphant.
This is a high art, and You train Your women to wield it
swift and sure, mercilessly and sometimes cruelly,
like a surgeon’s blade, deployed keenly and without hesitation.

It is this Power, like the blistering force of a thousand suns,
that shines the wisdom of the Gods into mortal lives.
Those who heed it uphold the will of Zeus,
the immortal hierarchy of the heavens, the glory of the cosmos.
Those who ignore these whispering women glory-sent,
wreak their own destruction and order is again preserved.

It is the pristine ratio dancing, ever turning, ever re-harmonizing in Your hands.
You maintain the radiance of its song, the cosmic majesty of its dancing sequences
through which worlds are born, pass away, and are born again.
Preserver, Savior, Eternal God, Your songs soar in the hearts of those who love You,
and through the cosmos too, restoring order to all things touched by the sourness
of spiritual decay.

May we too join in this dance. May our hearts be patterned for Your song
that like wood in the blazing fire, we may be transformed, into light and heat
and conduits of Your goodness to our sad and broken world, every day of our lives.
Hail to You, Apollo.

 

Day 5 – for Apollo, Whose Love is Fierce

Your love is a terrifying thing to bear,
Sweet and searing, You penetrate to the core.
It is like walking off a precipice,
and whether we fly or fall is all the same
when the ending is You
and the conflagration of Your affections.
Oh Sweet God, burn away all that keeps us from taking that leap.
Let us not be like Kassandra, inconstant, aching,
so hungry for You and yet so afraid. She was a slave to Her fear.
Let our fear never win. Let it instead be the spice
that flavors the feast of the senses You proffer.
Free us from the chains of our terror.
Let us rise proudly into Your embrace
counting as small the consequences of such devotion.
There are always consequences to devotion.
Let us pay the requisite price gladly;
and then let us throw ourselves madly
into the heat of Your Presence.
Hail to You, Apollo, most-longed for God.
Hail to You, and all Your hungers
that fuel the fires of our veneration.

 

Day 6 – Apollo, Who Ever Purifies

Holy Lord, cause my skin to crawl
away from every evil thing.

Bright Apollo, far shooting God
of healers and prophets,
I offer this prayer to You today.

Holy Lord, cause my skin to crawl
away from every evil thing.

Most Holy Apollo,
Klarios, Oulios, Alexikakus,
Who averts all harm,
protect me, oh my God.

Holy Lord, cause my skin to crawl
away from every evil thing.

In Your Presence, oh my God,
nothing impure may stand.
In Your Presence, oh my God,
nothing impious may find purchase.

Holy Lord, cause my skin to crawl
away from every evil thing.

Shining Horios,
keep my boundaries strong,
that no pollution may affect my mind,
my heart, my soul, my work.
Boedromios, preserve me,
as I wade into this filth.

Holy Lord, cause my skin to crawl
away from every evil thing.

I lay my petition before You, Shining God,
that I may stand in the light of Your protection.
To You, Lord Apollo,
I pray.

 

Day 7 – For Apollo, Glory of Olympus

You, Kyrios, are the glory of the Sun,
washing the world clean with Your light
every moment Your horses thunder across its heavens.
Your very presence restores, as light drives out darkness.
Your very song reorders, as its resonance shatters stagnation.
In Your hands lies the balance, the ratio of all the spheres,
A scaffolding of perfection, a purity of sound,
Divine harmony resolving into beauty, through Your music,
You keep those holy chords whole and add to their substance,
filling the world with Your whispered descant,
the potential for regeneration. So, it is with You, oh Medicus.
Your hands bring healing and restoration to us too,
Restoring the harmonies of our flesh, our bones, our rattled synapses.
You hear our most desperate cries, driven by pain and fear, lost in illness,
You hear and the moment Your attention is caught, pain begins its retreat.
The sound of Your attention, the gentle and firm touch of Your power,
Begins again, a dance in which illness has no place save its flight,
Alexikakos, from Your power.
You are the glory of Olympos,
And Your blessings fill the world with beauty.
Hail to You, Apollo Medicus, Father of Healers,
Whose charmed arrows never fail to hit their mark.

 

(All prayers here written by Galina Krasskova, published in “Hymns and Prayers of a Polytheist household” copyright 2020). 

In Praise of Sigyn

I need to post something a little more wholesome after my last post — I’m sitting here shaking still. I’ve read monastic rules, I’ve read accounts of christianization but I just never, ever connected all the dots until today and it’s nauseating. So…the cure for that is prayer, to our Gods, to our Glorious Ones, to our ancestors and all those holy spirits who sustain us. Today, for me, that is the Goddess Sigyn.

In Praise of Sigyn
by G. Krasskova

You are unyielding
You will not be moved.
Let others rant and rave and curse.
Where love has rooted itself in Your heart
even the might of the mountain is weak.

You are fierce: a she wolf defending Her own.
No one expects it of You, Sweet Sigyn.
Because You do not wear Your might
as others might wear gleaming jewels,
no one thinks You strong,
a force with which to reckon.

Yours however is the power
that grants no acknowledgment
to that which would turn You from Your course.
You are His North Star, forever constant,
a gleaming beacon, His only comfort
a whisper of half forgotten joy
in the abyssal eternity of the cave.

Your eyes are on Your task,
Asgard truly should fear,
and then pour out offerings
to whatever Powers the Powers honor
lest You turn Your heart to justified vengeance,
on the day You and Your Husband
rise from the pit.

Vengeance is rarely Your way, however,
it is often too great a luxury to nurture in Your heart
in light of the work You must do.
Some sacrifices after all must be made
and You are pragmatic.
Vengeance will not return a murdered son.
Vengeance will not remake a shattered God.
Your way is simply to endure,
which is not so simple at all;
to endure and hold in Your burning heart
the knowledge that nothing lasts for ever.
There is only the wyrd woven
strand by black and bloody strand,
in the crucible of necessary choice.
There is only a strength beyond courage
and the heart and character of valor
plucked from amidst the weaving.

To You, Lady, I bow my head.
Lady of Enduring Grace,
Lady of Valor,
Lady of Victory.

 

sept 18 2019 sigyn shrine

(Her shrine today, with a few simple offerings)

our new book is available

Our household prayer book is now available on amazon for those who might be interested. 🙂 

polytheist prayer book cover

Folks can order here

Seven-Day Prayer Cycle for Pudicitia

Day 1: She Who Preserves

You rise by moonlight, bright and shining,
cover Your head and seek the grace of offerings.
The resources of the home are at Your disposal.
You garb Yourself in respect, modesty, and self-control.
You are mindful of Your position and the obligations therein.
The incense You offer carries Your prayers to the Heavens,
for even the Holy Ones pray for a continuation of goodly order.
The wise wife follows Your example,
inspires the women in her home in piety,
honors her man with her integrity.
She is an adornment to Her home,
wealth beyond measure.
Goodness and bounty flow from her hands.
She restores and holds true to her commitments.
Bless us oh Goddess of chastity,
with the grace of mindfulness,
that we may honor You and the Holy Ones
in all we do.

 

Day 2 : She Who Guards

You are our first line of defense
in guarding our homes, our kin,
the integrity of our very souls.
It begins with the lessons You teach:
mindfulness, modesty,
the careful cultivation of virtue.
Nothing escapes You, oh Vigilant One.
Nothing is too small to warrant Your care.
With Your help, we will drive out pollution.
With Your help, with will remain clean
in our work, our hearts, and most of all
in the hallowed places of our spirits.
With Your help, nothing will shake us
from our reverence.
It begins with You, Pudicitia,
mindfulness in our words, our deeds,
our dress, our conduct, and everything
that we allow into our world, and most of all,
most importantly of all, with everything
we allow to shape our inner world.
With Your guidance, Oh Goddess,
may we make good choices.
Hail to You, Pudicitia,
called Patricia, because Your gifts
ennoble, called Plebeia, because your gifts
are for all.
Hail to You, oh Goddess. Always.

 

Day 4: She Who Inspires All

The ancient Romans knew how important Your blessings were.
They, a people whose history is strewn with inter-class strife
venerated You across those boundaries.
Your blessings were for everyone.
You sustained patrician and plebeian both
and so integral to the holy peace of the Gods were Your gifts,
that women alone tended Your shrines,
because women alone in that time and place
ordered the home passing on Your lessons to their children,
and ensuring each successive generation knew the rightness
of giving You honor.
Our world is very different today,
yet not so different in our need for the knowledge You bear.
Perhaps we need it even more than our ancestors did,
for our world, for all its marvels, is a far uglier and impious place.
Your blessings are there for us too,
if we have the sense our ancestors had,
to seek You out in veneration.
To learn Your lessons well,
and to work hard at maintaining them.
Your most important lesson,
(and one we generally do not like,
though we’d all do best to heed it well),
is that of the rightness of feeling shame
when we have wronged the Gods,
behaved un-virtuously, carelessly,
or when we have been needlessly cruel.
Yours are the gifts that tell us loudly and unswervingly,
when we have crossed a boundary more terrible
with every foolish step.
The pious awareness You grant warns us to reconsider,
and helps ensure that we maintain those sacred habits,
the precious relationships with our Gods and ancestors,
in good and working order.
It is by these things that we too are best sustained.
You give us the strength and the grace
to aid in our own cultivation,
to govern ourselves,
and to develop, if we persevere,
proper and nourishing instincts
toward the holy.
May we persevere,
and Goddess, Who looks wisely
upon Her people, of all classes,
all colors, all ages, all genders,
all everything,
and strives to teach us rightly,
grant that these instincts to piety,
that we should be working so hard to cultivate,
never fall into the mistake of scrupulosity,
anxiety, and fear.
May the habits of goodness You help us to cultivate,
ever be rooted in joy and a deep and abiding sense
of love for the Gods, and the rightness of devotion to Them.
Hail to You, Pudicitia,
may we ever heed Your lessons well.

 

 

Day 5: She Who Sustains the Heart
(by G. Krasskova & T. Vitta)

Great and Gracious Goddess,
this is my prayer to You today.
I come to You with humble heart
and in devotion.
Teach me to honor myself,
so that I may go into relationships clean.
teach me to love, without fear of commitment
those to whom I have chosen to commit,
to cultivate steadfastness, respect, fidelity,
to honor my boundaries
and the boundaries of those around me.
Teach me to be vulnerable
both in strength and submission
that I may never misuse my heart and my needs
in those relationships, I cherish.
Teach me to tease through the complications
in ways that bring value to my relationships, my home,
my commitments, that love may grow and be shared
in ways that honor You and all parties involved.
For when we truly honor ourselves and respect who we are,
and what those things mean to us,
that is when we can more fully love those around us,
respect them, appreciate them
and thus, better fulfill
our commitments to the Powers. 

Help us, oh Goddess, for when we do not know ourselves
we run the risk of being subsumed in the needs of others,
and in so doing forgetting ourselves, our sacred work,
our obligations to Gods, family, community, and our own souls.
Bless us, Oh Goddess, with the wisdom of growth,
even when we struggle.

Hail to You, Goddess of boundaries,
for honoring boundaries is the first step
to cultivating a deep and abiding love.
Hail, Pudicitia, called Patricia, called Plebeia.
Honored by high and low alike.
Hail.

 

Day 6: She Who Teaches

Your lessons are about self-preservation
and cultivation, Oh Goddess.
You are firm and rightly insistent
that we must hold high standards for ourselves,
because in the end, mentored or not
by human beings, we each alone
are responsible for our devotional lives,
our relationships with the Gods, the ancestors,
the spirits of the land in which we live,
and our communities too.
We cannot foist the blame off
on others, for what we ourselves
have failed to accomplish.
We cannot lay at the feet of strangers,
responsibility for our own poor choices,
be those choices of action or of inaction,
no matter how much we might like to do so,
or how much our culture says it’s ok.
You are there to remind us, Patricia,**
that we are each expected to cultivate,
to the best of our ability, piety,
devotion, and good sense,
toward the Gods and ancestors,
the spirits of the land,
and toward those people in our world
whose lives touch ours.
There are no excuses for what we fail to do.
Our life’s challenges are there to inspire us,
and like an athlete honing his body with weights,
to hone our character too.
Like a good and proper Roman matron,
we have been given a house to tend,
and it is up to us to do that well.
But You are there when we ask for help.
and though You accept no excuse,
You will help us up when we stumble,
and give us guidance when we ask,
and ever support us in our devotions,
that we may become the best person
it is within our living capacity to become
on the inside where it truly counts,
and in our lives writ large as well.
You do not care about our pretty words.
It is our conduct day to day, and especially
in sacred matters
– and everything is a sacred matter to You—
that You would have us govern ourselves.
Hail to You, Patricia.
May You always guide us in this endeavor.

 

Day 7: She Who Safeguards

You have been honored by empresses,
by the elite matrons of Rome,
and by humble wives of plebeians too.
Your shrines have been beautiful temples,
but also, a modest room within a woman’s home.
Yours is the royal road of wisdom
that every foot is invited to walk,
and You hear all prayers offered to You.
Women have ever been Your special retainers,
You have charged them with a heavy task:
that of being good examples to all
within and without the haven of their homes.
You want Your women to be seen,
that their carefully cultivated examples
of Your most sacred cardinal virtues:
modesty, piety, and respect,
might be seen as well.
Thus, do You firstly teach,
through those who espouse Your veneration.

Your shrines were always tended by married women only.
Girls unmarried were too young and too inexperienced
to be trusted with such a task.
It would have been a cruelty
to expect maidens to uphold the values You teach,
without guidance, without support.
You are not cruel and those values enhance the world
and our devotion to the Holy Powers within it.
They are not meant for harm.
To a child on the brink of womanhood,
wrestling with the challenges adulthood soon brings,
it is better to have exempla of her elders to guide her,
than to shoulder such a heavy, heavy burden alone.
No, Your ways are meant to be cultivated little by little,
taught from mother to daughter, and yes, mother to son,
so that when the world beckons,
Your wisdom will already be knit into our souls.
You are She Who inspired Lucretia,
and fierce Verginia, who refused to be denied
veneration of You, and rightly so.
May we have the stubborn courage to refuse as well,
when those in our world foolishly undermine
the values You teach.
Hail to You, Plebeia,
May I never close my heart
to Your tutelage.

 

Pudicitia

 

 

** “Patricia” from the word ‘patrician’ was one of Her epithets, as was “Plebeia” from ‘plebeian.’

(prayers by G. Krasskova; image by W. McMillan).

Seven-Day Prayer Cycle to Pietas

Day 1: for Pietas, Who Brings Blessings

In the morning, before the sun rises,
while the moon still illuminates the sky,
gently inspiring with His beauty,
You rise to tend Your day.
Before the frenetic rush and riot
of family, work, and all Your daily tasks
vie for Your attention,
You seek out the comfort of the moon,
moments of serenity in which to order Your tasks;
and in that ordering, in the sanctuary of heart and mind,
Your finger each sacred obligation, each connection,
each covenanted commitment like the precious jewels they are,
and You remember, calling to mind their value, their importance,
and all the reasons You hold them true.
May we too do the same, oh Goddess,
may we restore and renew in the fastness of our beings,
all the sacred covenants to which we are bound.
May we remind ourselves again and again,
why we do this, and the love we bear
for our Gods and dead.
Hail to You, Pietas, may Your name
ever be spoken in reverence.

 

Day 2 – for Piety, Who is Mighty

She is a Goddess,
and Her name means grace,
righteous balance, and devotion.
She knows all the ways
In which to right our world.
She knows and proffers them to us
With holy hands.
She is harmony,
The resounding melody
Of all the spheres
Dancing in perfect rhythm.
She is ratio and perfection.
She is the royal road
Open to us all.
She has no need of armor or spear,
Sword or terrifying mace,
Though Her blessings fall
On every right-minded man
And woman too
Going forth to do their duty.
She has only to reveal Herself,
To enter a place, a heart, a home
And it is transformed
Into a victorious field
Where enemies of the Gods
May no longer dwell.
Hail to You, Pietas,
Sweet Perfection,
A Beauty found only in You,
By which we are raised up.

 

Day 3- for Pietas, Who Nurtures Tradition

Oh Goddess, Keeper of the most ancient and necessary of virtues,
Cultivator of the Holy, Guardian of sacred traditions,
Kindle within us the flame of fervent devotion.
Protect us from acedia, from pollution, from lack of care.
Inspire within us a desire, always, to do what is right and proper:
For our Gods, our ancestors, the land from which we draw sustenance,
And our traditions, the delicate and holy trust which have been given into our care.
Show us, Mighty Mother, how to tend these duties fully and well.
Let nothing deter us. Let nothing interfere, least of all our own fears
That our work will not be perfect.
Inspire in us a motivation as fierce and unstoppable
as the very turning of the seasons,
that we may cultivate within ourselves,
all the virtues necessary,
to live a life of devotion
pleasing to our Gods.
Teach us, Oh Goddess both gentle and firm,
To develop in ourselves the virtues of loyalty, fidelity,
Commitment and care, caritas toward the Gods
And each other.
Let us nourish what must be nourished.
With hearts and hands ever lifted in prayer.
Hail to You, Pietas, now and to our final breath.

 

Day 4 – for Pietas, Who teaches Devotion

Without piety, Oh Goddess, we are nothing.
Upon what other foundation ought our lives be wrought?
That gift of grace and understanding that You bear is precious;
and from the moment we were formed in our mothers’ wombs,
essential. Upon what else ought the work of our souls be focused?
It is a joyful, sustaining duty that You teach us,
to tend well our world of family and home,
city, town, and state, to render well the service
that rightfully ought to be given to these things.
But most of all, best and highest of all,
You teach us what it means
to be in right relationship with our Gods and ancestors,
with the land that nourishes us and all the spirits therein.
You help us to live in a way that nurtures these relationships,
that gives our own lives purpose and ensures that we contribute
to that which the Gods have built in ways that allow us
to rightfully pass it on into the hands
of those who come after us,
leaving all these things in better shape than we received it.
Hail to You, Pietas, may we always be mindful
of the sacred duty* for which we were born.

 

Day 5 – For Pietas, Whose Grace is Love

Piety is not a harsh, unyielding thing.
It is not heavy and vicious,
a burden to bear instead of a blessing.
Those who learn at Your feet,
who heed well the lessons You gently teach
learn the truth: that it is the sweetest joy
a mortal may taste in this world.
Piety is the honey-gold link of love
that ties us ever to the Gods and They to us.
It is the rich ambrosia that allows us to share
in the eternal feast of the Immortals.
It is wealth beyond measure,
that opens our lives to every abundance.
It all begins with Your lessons, Gracious Goddess,
and our own willingness to learn those things
that are Yours first and foremost to teach.
May we always be willing to do so.
may our hearts be filled with Your wisdom.
May our mouths feast on the sweetness of Your words.
May our souls rejoice in the beauty of this knowledge;
and may You bless us in this endeavor, every and always,
especially when we struggle the most.
Hail and honor to You, Holy and Sacred,
Hail, Pietas.

 

Day 6 – for Pietas, Who Keeps us Clean

It is Your grace that nourishes us
in times of deepest distress;
Your power that lifts us up
out of the muck and poison of modernity;
You, unyielding and unhesitating,
Who shows us a healthier, better way
in which to weave the tapestry of our lives.
It is You, Sweet and Gracious Goddess,
quietly formidable, ever-holy Keeper of our Traditions,
Who sweeps away the dreck, cleansing and purifying,
who lights before the eyes of our souls,
a torch that will lead us to the brightly hallowed
hearth of our Gods,
should we but cultivate the fortitude to follow it.
Help us to do just that, Pietas,
to cultivate within ourselves that precious fortitude.
Help us that we may be valiant in following You
and those things, intrinsic and integral
to the good of our souls, that You teach.
You, Oh Goddess, the sacred Presence
in which nothing wicked, nothing polluted, nothing evil
may find purchase, help us to but stay the course,
knowing that however dark and lonely the way may seem,
under Your tutelage we are never alone,
but stand resilient and whole with generations of forebears
who knew the rightness of honoring You,
supportively at our backs.
With your grace, we too may one day stand
with that august and hallowed company,
urging on in support, the next generation
of devout and pious polytheists
to but stay the course.
Hail to You, Pietas,
ever and always our guiding star.

 

Day 7 – to Pietas, Who Brings Joy

You, in Your quiet way nourish the Gods,
as Helios in His bright-streaming chariot
nourishes the earth with His journey.
You tend and turn the hearts of mortals,
to right contemplation of the Gods.
You inspire the hearts of philosophers,
to meditate upon the virtues.
You encourage artists in their work
of bringing beauty into being
lifting up aching souls to the heavens.
You whisper in the ear of the home-maker,
and call to mind the wisdom of the dead.
Your blessings fall on soldiers,
who protect their people,
on the teachers, who nurture
the next generation,
on bankers, secretaries, lawyers, farmers,
mechanics, on everyone,
on all those who work hard
to sustain themselves and their world.
Into each and every ear You whisper encouragement,
devotion is for everyone.
You hold out glimmers of promise,
that the Gods are here,
that it is right to honor Them,
that it is a joyful thing to make one’s life
a celebration of Their blessings.
You teach us that everything is sacred.
Everything is a secret doorway to the Holy,
and everything a means by which the Holy
can find its way back into our world
over and over again. You place into our hands
the key to that door bidding us to open it wide.
If we are brave, if we allow ourselves
to hear Your voice,
if we but run laughing in the direction
You encourage, then we too
in our own small way,
might blaze like Helios across the sky,
(hail Him, joyously!)
and light the hearth of our world,
with hallowing fire,
until any and all pollution
is burned away.
You are the ultimate Mystery,
the ever Glorious One,
and to You always and ever I bow.
Hail, Pietas.

 

Pietas

*the meaning of the Latin word ‘pietas’ that is also the name of this Goddess, is duty: to Gods, ancestors, land, city, family, state, etc. it was all bound up in the meaning of piety for ancient Romans, and from this came the Pax Deorum.

(prayer cycle by G. Krasskova; image by W. Mcmillan)

Seven-Day Prayer Cycle to Odin

Day 1: for Odin, Who Ever Seeks Wisdom.

To You, gaunt wanderer,
Who sought the counsel of the luminous God,
alone, in a stark landscape
of ice and dying trees,
whispering
secrets of unseen things,
this prayer is given.

He does His war dance,
scimitars flashing, rivaling fire as He moves,
alabaster white and shining,
eyes showing the sowing of worlds,
keen-footed steps their destruction.

The Warlord learned,
and bowed His head down
to the glory and the beauty.

May we too be open to such wonder,
now and always.
Hail to You, Gangleri.

 

Day 2: 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,
You come.
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.

 

Day 3 – for Odin, He Who is Frenzy

The raven has hooked his claws in my heart
tethering me to the interstitial frenzy
pouring out from gallows to God.
Let us praise the furious One,
Who rendered Himself upon the Tree
gore-blessed, ever-hungry,
victorious over Himself first of all.
Let us praise Gangleri,
Who wanders through
all the darkest corners
of our world,
spitting mouthfuls of glacial fire
into the heads and hearts
of fervent women.
Let us praise the One Whose spear
keen and sharp, ever finds its mark,
Gerölnir, blistering across the field of battle
ever ecstatic in His fury.
Let us praise the Burden of Yggdrasil,
Corpse-God and eunuch, ever renewed
through the agony of sacrifice.
He mounted the Tree and with a war cry
like shrieking thunder swallowed the
glory of the Gap – gasping, gripping,
spewing runes, this sovereign Power.
Let us praise the Roaring Thruster,
charmed and charming,
Who scatters His seed inciting longing,
carnal and cunning, clever and cruel,
exquisitely adroit across all the worlds, Glory burning.
Let us praise this God in Whom
all opposites reside, compelling adoration,
devouring opposition, like grist in His teeth,
ground up and grinding, bale-eyed Beguiler,
Who gnawed on fire, this Architect of Being.
throbbing, pounding, aching, wanting,
implacable Force, unsparing Fever,
unappeasable haunting Hunger,
to Whom Being itself surrendered
torn apart and structured anew.
Oh Glad of War, Galdr-Father,
Glad of Battle, God of Gain,
Blinder of Foes, sharp Wand-Wielder,
Gaunt God Splendor, World-willing Wonder,
Incanting Hjarrandi, Herjan, Goðjaðarr,
Lord of Hosts and Valhalla’s hall,
Blazing Ravager, Renewing Ruler,
howling winds herald Your terror.
Odin we call You, vehement and lethal,
vigorous valor, we hail You always.
We ask that You fill us with Your thirst for knowing,
so that our lives will ever be full of color.
Hail to You, oh Frenzied Hunger.
Hail to You, Odin.

 

Day 4 – For Odin, He Who Comes

You come like thunder roaring,
shattering, crashing, and pounding into the heart.
Howling God, breathing fury, Your frenzied shrieking
giving life to the runes, sacred synaptic power,
the Tree runs red with Your blood.
It was freely given. Your blessings strike,
like the hammer of Your Son,
like lightening’s fire, inescapable,
ecstatic terror, dancing, burning,
igniting worlds in the heads of those You favor.
A sharp-eyed eagle soaring over Hlidskjalf,
there is no secret You cannot know,
no world You will not plunder.
You and Your mighty Son,
hold up the scaffolding of the Worlds,
girding the elegance of its geometry
against entropy and destruction:
He with His might, You with Your hunger,
Your seeking, Your desire, as once You taunted Him
sardonically flyting in ferryman’s guise.
There is no world capable of containing Your frenzy,
Oh God grey of beard and ravenous of heart.

May Your favor fall upon us always,
until we are as hungry for the holy
as You are for power.

 

Day 5 – For Odin, He Who Seduces

You come, lean and pale, fingers just stroking the edges of our consciousness.
Sometimes, we don’t even realize it’s You when we shiver,
only that the hunt has begun.
You, Lord of the spear, are master of the battlefield.
You terrify, terrorize, obliterate Your foes with grit and glee.
Your battle-bright howl of victory brings even those who love You
to their knees. That works for You. You have use for them there.
Wand-Bearer the poets call You; they do not know. It has nothing to do with magic.
You need no charms for Your seductions, it’s a different type of wand You bear,
and it is mighty.
Your scent, that hunter’s gaze, and most of all the hunger echoing from the core of You,
seeping out in every move, every whispering breath, boiling beneath that glacial sear
of Your presence…Oh, it makes You the most wished for of Gods,
even when we know better.
Hnikarr, they call You, Thruster, and Njótr, He Who uses and enjoys.
Your conquests enjoy it too, even when it leaves them rendered.
You are the most welcome God of all, loved by men and women alike,
and like the best of prey when we flee, it is with the hope that You will follow,
that You will hunt us down, like a hawk snatching up
the small creatures that flee its talons. It is our purpose to be lost in You,
and found.
In You, however we are not small. In You we taste of glory.
In You, exploding through our burning synapses,
we taste the tang of creation,
beneath the iron-sweet bite of Your spear,
we become fire in Your mouth,
spat out, renewed and renewing.
Hail to You, Uðr, Olgr, Göndlir, Þuðr.
May we always be up to the chase.

 

Day 6 – for Odin, Lord of Hosts

You tore out Your Own eye,
greedy fingers fast as the bite of a serpent,
shoved your own fist into Your brain,
plucked that ocular wonder free and tossed it down.
There is nothing You will not do.

When the worlds were made,
old Ymir’s corpse repurposed,
You and Your Brothers didn’t sit back
awash in self-congratulation,
cooing to each other
about how good it was. No.
The three of You stood around and sighed.
‘It’s all so meta,’ Loður drawled.
“Yeah, meta boring” You responded,
Hoenir rolling His eyes.
Then the three of You took up some driftwood
gnarled, ugly, a little bent, but it had some promise—
pretty much like we’ve remained—
and created humans.
That spiced shit up, didn’t it?

People think creation ended
when the worlds were made.
They have no idea.
Infrastructure doesn’t sustain itself.
What do they think that incident,
the one with Rind was all about?
You were battling fire and ice again,
like an artist with rather violent media.
The worlds need ever renewing,
by Gods and humans alike after all.
No time to rest. Renewal purifies
drives back Your enemies for a time,
and Yggdrasil grows.
That end justifies any means.

Oh, frenzied God,
You are ever laser-focused,
beautifully vicious,
a formidable Power.

Let no one think Your wanderings
are without purpose.
You are the Architect of Creation
and if it takes a little more blood,
gore, and guts to make that creation last,
that’s just fine with You.
It will continue as it was begun,
and You will too.

You fill the head of Your devotees
with ice and fire, flickering in a desolate wasteland,
with glimpses of creation, and that which is to come.
May we ever be smart enough,
devout enough, and sensible enough,
to aid Your work or get out of Your way.
May we never oppose You,
but nourish Your fury
with venerative fire of our own.

Hail to You, Odin,
Runatyr, Gangleri.
Hail to You, Atriði, Eternal Enemy of the Wolf.
You are the whirlwind that does its own reaping,
the whispering terror on every field of battle,
walking will and brutal splendor.
We are Your grateful retainers.
Hail to You, Odin.

 

Day 7 – for Odin, a Song of Nine

We praise You, All Father, Architect of the Worlds, Who breathed us into being.
We praise You, Runatyr, World-maker, Whose keen far-seeing intellect wove the fabric of reality.
We praise You, Bolverk, for by cunning negotiation You brought us poetry and ecstasy.
We praise You, Oski, ever generous Giver of gifts, for You pour Your favors out upon Your people.
We praise You, Sigfather, for teaching us to ever strive for victory, for inspiring us with Your might.
We praise You, Woden, for sharing healing charms and the wisdom of driving out corruption.
We praise You, Galdrfather, for giving us the gift of enchantment, the continual re-sacralization of our world.
We praise You, Yggr, for Your sacrifice upon the Tree. by which You instructed us in wisdom.
We praise You, Odin, that You have elevated us by means of your nobility, driven us forward by means of Your attentions.
Oh Burning Brand.
Oh Self-Chosen Sacrifice.
Oh Sweet Wine of Ecstasy.
Oh Bottomless Well of Wisdom.
Oh unscalable, soaring Height.
Oh Fierceness without Measure.
Oh Might without Opposition.
Oh Treasure-House of every Honor.
Oh Hunger without Restraint.
Ever and always do Your people praise You.
May we always praise You too.

 

36679822_10217353951430844_9101066095707553792_n.jpg

(prayers by G. Krasskova; image a shrine statue carved for me by S. Ravenswing)

Day 6 – for Odin

You tore out Your Own eye,
greedy fingers fast as the bite of a serpent,
shoved your own fist into Your brain,
plucked that ocular wonder free and tossed it down.
There is nothing You will not do.

When the worlds were made,
old Ymir’s corpse repurposed,
You and Your Brothers didn’t sit back
awash in self-congratulation,
cooing to each other
about how good it was. No.
The three of You stood around and sighed.
‘It’s all so meta,’ Loður drawled.
“Yeah, meta boring” You responded,
Hoenir rolling His eyes.
Then the three of You took up some driftwood
gnarled, ugly, a little bent, but it had some promise—
pretty much like we’ve remained—
and created humans.
That spiced shit up, didn’t it?

People think creation ended
when the worlds were made.
They have no idea.
Infrastructure doesn’t sustain itself.
What do they think that incident,
the one with Rind was all about?
You were battling fire and ice again,
like an artist with rather violent media.
The worlds need ever renewing,
by Gods and humans alike after all.
No time to rest. Renewal purifies
drives back Your enemies for a time,
and Yggdrasil grows.
That end justifies any means.

Oh, frenzied God,
You are ever laser-focused,
beautifully vicious,
a formidable Power.

Let no one think Your wanderings
are without purpose.
You are the Architect of Creation
and if it takes a little more blood,
gore, and guts to make that creation last,
that’s just fine with You.
It will continue as it was begun,
and You will too.

You fill the head of Your devotees
with ice and fire, flickering in a desolate wasteland,
with glimpses of creation, and that which is to come.
May we ever be smart enough,
devout enough, and sensible,
to aid Your work or get out of Your way.
May we never oppose You,
but nourish Your fury
with venerative fire of our own.

Hail to You, Odin,
Runatyr, Gangleri.
Hail to You, Atriði, Eternal Enemy of the Wolf.
You are the whirlwind that does its own reaping,
the whispering terror on every field of battle,
walking will and brutal splendor.
We are Your grateful retainers.
Hail to You, Odin.

(by G. Krasskova)

Day 7 – For Frigga

Holy One, Great One of Heaven,
let all right-thinking people
bow their heads before You.
Your Presence purifies.
It restores divine order.
It radiates glory
and fills the soul with joy.
You, Graced and Gracious,
are the ever-renewing Source
of the holy power that
sustains the scaffolding
of the cosmos.
You, Sweet and Glorious Goddess,
Restore rightness to the world.
Weaver of Clouds, lift us up.
Teach us, gently, to turn our minds
to holy things, to indulge the longing
of our hearts for devotion,
and to live our lives
reaching ever toward You.
Holy Mother, Giver of good things,
Bestow Your blessings upon us,
That we may truly see the rightness
of reverence.
Hail to You, Frigga.
Hail to You, Holy One.

(by G. Krasskova)