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Does 30% Off Tempt Your Shelf Control?

Bibliophiles that love increasing their book hoards, if you haven’t yet picked up my books “A Modern Guide to Heathenry: Lore, Celebrations, and Mysteries of the Northern Traditions” and/or “Living Runes: Theory & Practice of Norse Divination” there’s a deal right now if you order direct from the publisher. Alas, the deal is only good for orders shipped to a mailing address in the United States, but it is for 30% off. Just use coupon code SEWE at checkout from now until it expires on October 15, 2021 at RedWheelWeiser.com.



ABOUT A MODERN GUIDE TO HEATHENRY

An accessible yet in-depth guide to this increasingly popular pre-Christian religious tradition of Northern Europe

Heathenry, is one of the fastest growing polytheistic religious movements in the United States today. This book explores the cosmology, values, ethics, and rituals practiced by modern heathens.

In A Modern Guide to Heathenry readers will have the opportunity to explore the sacred stories of the various heathen gods like Odin, Frigga, Freya, and Thor and will be granted a look into the devotional practices of modern votaries. Blóts, the most common devotional rites, are examined in rich detail with examples given for personal use. Additionally, readers are introduced to the concept of wyrd, or fate, so integral to the heathen worldview.

Unlike many books on heathenry, this one is not denomination-specific, nor does it seek to overwhelm the reader with unfamiliar Anglo-Saxon or Norse terminology. For Pagans who wish to learn more about the Norse deities or those who are new to heathenry or who are simply interested in learning about this unique religion, A Modern Guide to Heathenry is the perfect introduction. Those who wish to deepen their own devotional practice will find this book helpful in their own work as well.

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. It’s basically twice the word heft of its predecessor!


ABOUT LIVING RUNES

Living Runes provides a thorough examination of the Norse runes that will challenge the experienced rune worker to deepen his or her understanding of these mysteries. The book begins with an explication of the story of Odin, the Norse god who won the runes by sacrificing himself on the World Tree. It continues by examining each of the individual runes in turn, both the Elder Futhark and the lesser-known Anglo-Saxon Futhorc. Each rune is studied not only from a historical viewpoint but also from the perspective of a modern practitioner. You will be introduced to the practice of galdr as well as the magical use of the runes and the proper way to sacrifice to them and read them for divination. Most importantly, the book specifically addresses the runes as living spirits and provides guidance on developing a working relationship with these otherworldly allies.

Living Runes: Theory and Practice of Norse Divination is a re-release of Runes: Theory and Practice. Please note there is NO new content.

Working with the Runes: Notes on Engaging with the First Aett

This is less a post and more random thoughts and insights as I work yet again through the first  runic aett. Each time I approach a rune spirit, I discover new things. Each time I approach a rune spirit, I’m taken more deeply into that rune’s mysteries. Each time I approach a rune spirit, new worlds open – at least a little – to my understanding, or at least to my awe. 

They are such potent gifts of Odin and it is Odin and Loki Who have inspired me in their use. It’s not just that they are powerful forces in and of themselves, forces that can provide glimpses into the wyrd and the architecture of the worlds, but the runes reflect the mysteries of our Gods and working with them, if one is called to such work, has the potential to open up pathways to the Gods as well, especially Odin. 

Writing this, with a blistering migraine so bad that focusing my eyes on words hurts and makes me nauseous (we’re being buffeted by Tropical Storm Henri right now as I write this, and with my migraine issues and chronic pain I’ve spent most of the day in agony), I can’t help but reflect that this is one of the key differences between working in the esoteric traditions of the Northern Tradition, and something like ceremonial magic. Working with the runes reinforces our understanding of divine hierarchy (1). I am grateful, so immensely grateful to be steeped in these mysteries, and this tradition. I am grateful to know about our Gods, to be able to honor Them, to touch – for however long or short a time – the echo of Their presence. Every moment of rune working is a reification of Their glory, Their power, the architecture of creation that They set carefully into place – every single moment. 

I am, more and more, coming to think that the runes themselves are worked into that architecture, moving, living pieces of it brought forth from the Gap. They move and flow along its threads and angles and keep creation alive, vital, ever changing. They provide keyholes through which we can tap into that vital creative power. They provide doorways to all that lies behind creation.  For this reason alone, the way they interact with each other is an important thing to consider in one’s work with them. 

That first aett: fehu, uruz, thurisaz, ansuz, raido, kenaz, gebo, wunjo is filled with life. It’s force and fire, the raw force of vitality that in Greek, I’d term Βιος. It bubbles up and fills every world with wonder and more importantly with luck and power. It’s a bright aett in many ways, the energy of it is bright but it ends in the darkness of mystery just as it began with the promise of a luck drenched hamingja. It’s probably my favorite aett with which to work. I find it surprisingly accessible on the surface (though wunjo can be problematic to access at first) just as I find the third aett, more concerned as it is with concrete manifestation, to be the most difficult (and of course, any definitive statement made about these aetts needs to be viewed as a part of the whole, not definitive, but reflective of my own experience with them. They’re complex, multi-layered beings and what they choose to show is dependent on the relationship the runester has with them, and *that* is a very individual thing). 

The runes pair off in interesting ways. This is particularly evident with that first aett. This aett is sometimes called “Freya’s aett” by rune workers of the generation preceding mine and while the runes are part of the Odinic retinue (2), that appellation makes sense to me. It’s not just that I think this generation latched onto the phonetic use of Fehu as the first letter in Freya’s name, but that this entire aett contains the kind of life and vitality so strongly part of the mysteries of the Vanir (3).

Fehu and uruz work extremely well together. I never really thought about this until recently. I’ve just started going through this aett with one of my students and doing it in a systematic order has been very revealing in terms of patterns and relationships that might otherwise not stand out or that might be taken for granted. Thurisaz and ansuz do the same, likewise raido and kenaz, and the sacrifice of gebo leads to the mystery and power of wunjo. Kenaz pairs well with all of them, elevating and opening the way. Raido I haven’t quite figured out yet in this capacity. It contains such an intense forward focused momentum that I feel like it aids the other runes in moving over and past (or through) blockages. It and kenaz are the outliers in these pairings for me in a way that bears further exploration. I’d add that when I say pairings, these are special relationships within this aett. They don’t preclude other working partnerships (thurisaz works extremely well with uruz for instance, or wunjo with fehu, and so forth), but I think these are particularly important in teasing out the overall power and mystery of this particular aett. The order of the runes is important on some level. How do these runes choose to interact with each other and what does that accomplish? 

Working through the aett this time, I’ve realized how much Wunjo is a bitch of a rune. All the rune books talk about how it means joy or perfection (and it can). That is only on its surface. It’s also raw, ecstatic inspiration, frenzy, ekstasis. This is the rune of Bolverk when He won Óðrœrir. It’s crafty, clever, and sometimes cruel. Sometimes the force of inspiration really, really hurts. Sometimes, it demands a sacrifice of one’s preconceptions of morality, of right/wrong, one’s comfort. Sometimes it fills the space left by those sacrifices with glory.  It’s the wand-rune of a God that doesn’t mind a body count, that doesn’t mind the consequences of necessary sacrifice. It’s far, far more vicious than thurisaz, which is clean and upfront in its hungers. The two of them have … a perplexing relationship that I’ve only begun exploring. Wunjo and dagaz have a similar working relationship with each other.

Notes: 

  1. It’s not that ceremonial magic can’t do that too, it’s that the way it’s so often taught is unbalanced by lack of attention devotion. Then you get ceremonial magicians who think they are God instead of competent practitioners rooted in the divine hierarchy from which the structures they are wielding flow. 
  2. The Runes are Odin’s mysteries. Other Gods may use them (and DO!) but they are specifically Odinic mysteries and thus part of Odin’s retinue of spirits, just like the Valkyries.  
  3. This just briefly discusses the relationship between the runes of the first aett with each other – and even there, only in brief. It should not be taken to imply that the runes of this aett don’t interact with the runes of the other aettir. They do. 

Rune Working Notes: Thurisaz

Friday August 20, 2021

Tonight I was teaching my assistant how to work with thurisaz. She is slowly working through the runes again, this time really drilling down into each one. We did things a little differently than we usually do, and I think this is the way we shall go into these rune sessions from here on out. 

We began with our household evening prayers. I lit a candle and sang a fire blessing song that calls on Thor to hallow the space. Then I verbally prayed to Thor, Heimdallr, and all our ancestors to protect us as we prayed. Prior to going into prayer space, we’d been discussing a client who is suffering deeply physically, mentally, and emotionally (yes, I have recommended therapy. She’s being treated on a three-fold front: medical, therapeutic, and spiritual). Her ancestral presence, i.e. the presence of her ancestors was strong and through their guidance, I realized there was an element of spiritual attack happening with her too. Often illness and depression will attract bottom feeding spirits that like to revel in the negative crap. Add to that the fact that this person has a deep and rich prayer and spiritual practice and that can sometimes attract more focused evil spirits too – anything to distract us from the holy and fill our souls with despair. I had been praying about her a lot because she is suffering so, and is floundering, and this was a piece I had not considered but which fit precisely with how these things work. I should have seen it sooner. Anyway…this becomes relevant when we get to the rune calling because I needed a reason to call a rune. I didn’t want to just waste its time.

Before that, we did our regular household prayers and it was lovely. Afterwards, instead of closing with Sigdrifa’s Prayer as is our wont, we left the space open and decided to transition into discussing the rune. Thurisaz is one of my favorite runic allies but his energy can be very, very kinetic and if, like my student, one hasn’t engaged with him before, it can be overwhelming. I figured staying in sacred space would help her feel at ease and also help ground out some of the awesome kinetic force of this rune. 

I decided to give a demonstration of actually galdring thurisaz. I really like him and I knew my student was nervous. Thurisaz does have a reputation for being brutal and difficult. He’s actually quite cheerful, very focused, and completely, gleefully bloodthirsty. I grounded and centered myself (with galdr in general and thurisaz in particular, one must be much, much more grounded and centered than for one’s day to day activities. It’s just a lot more force and power pouring through one’s channels), then, since I hadn’t offered to the runes in awhile, I took a lancet and drew blood and made my offering (and received, totally unexpectedly, some really amazing new tech in return (1)). All the while I was prepping and doing this, I was explaining to the rune what I wanted. (In this case, I wanted it to drive away some of the bottom feeding spirits from my client, so she would no longer be harassed on that level). He came strongly, so incredibly present, and before I began to galdr, had eagerly agreed and gone (he and I have worked together a long time and this particular spirit is one of my best allies). I think the speed with which he came and went shocked my student. 

Because I still needed to demo galdr for her, I asked him to let some of his army of spirits linger and began to galdr. He game as an eagle with razor sharp beak, bloody talons, soaring over a high walled city looking for enemy prey. He came as a siege engine, a flight of arrows, a sleek, searingly sharp spear, weapons beyond number, a laser scalpel, a raucous laugh. At one point, I saw the ancestors gathered around – mine and my client’s – and thurisaz flew into their hands, and they each raised him up a hatchet in their hands and soared forth to conquer their foes. 

He was cold and focused, kinetic and gleeful. The sharp focus surprised my student. She’d thought thurisaz was all about out-of-control energy (partly because of the kinetic presence he brings). He’s not. He’s very, very focused. He can help the mind to focus too. He’s about focus and focused will. He spoke, in response to the healing my client requires, about the importance of good fathers. He said that when a father is absent nor hurtful – for whatever reason—it is like the wall of a city under siege has fallen and damage will happen to the child’s hamingja, to their maegen, to other parts of their soul. The mother protects too and between the two of them it is an interlocking set of protective wards around the children, the home, and all that creates. It is crucial (and around the parents are the grandparents, the extended family) and it is from these units a community is made. When one-part falls, someone must step in or that wall will be breached even more. He can heal some of this damage, but when a father is absent there is always damage on a soul deep level. I never expected a lesson on the importance of family from this rune. 

My student wrote down what thurisaz said about it and allowed me to share it here, “A good father is a ward and a shield for the entire family and the mother is within that shield, they are concentric circles.  When the father for whatever reason is absent, it is as if the walls of the city have fallen down.” 

Because my student is more focused on healing work than protective work, thurisaz spoke to her of his ability to heal blockages, to root out disease, of how he can work with uruz to restore proper flow of life energy (litr). 

It was a long session. At the end, I thanked all the Gods and spirits who had been called, thanked thurisaz, and prayed Sigdrifa’s Prayer. Then I realized that the rune had been in me strongly enough that had it been a Deity, I’d have called it Deity possession. This confirms something that I have long considered, namely that with a good galdr-master, there is a union of rune spirit and rune worker that is very similar to Deity possession. I was ravenous and thankfully had organic hamburgers at hand. I cooked up a passel of them and scarfed down two almost immediately. 

The rune terrified my poor cat when he arrived (though he was quite cheerful and wouldn’t have hurt her). His presence was just so strong. Poor Elena ran upstairs and hid under a bag that holds part of my husband’s portable Dionysos shrine. She fled to Dionysos! Don’t worry, she got lots of yummy treats afterwards and is now snoozing happily in her cat tree with a full little belly. 

Notes: 

  1. As a rune worker, I long ago realized that runes require feeding. A relationship is established by giving a drop or two of one’s own blood to begin. This is an identifier, a link to one’s entire ancestral line. It is life and power. I use alcohol wipes, diabetic lancets and maintain proper sterile standards. 

Learning the Runes – A Few Tips to Those Starting Out

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One of the key mysteries of our tradition is that of the runes. The word itself, rúnrúnar (1) means just that: ‘secret’ or ‘mystery.’ Our high God Odin (Oðinn) hung on Yggdrasil for nine nights and nine days in agony, pierced by His own spear, a sacrifice to Himself. The result of this ordeal was acquisition of the runes and the knowledge and ability to wield them. There is much the story doesn’t tell us, starting with where the runes originate, what they are, and what their connection to the fabric of creation might be. 

I talk about all of these things in my book Living Runes, so I won’t focus on that too much in this post. In short, I think they originate in the Ginnungagap, are a family of living, sentient spirits, and are worked into the architecture of existence in numerous ways, creating loopholes through which the holy can seep (or work) again and again. When I think about this, they’re so often in motion, coursing through creation the way platelets, plasma, and blood cells course through our veins. They may rivet the more liminal parts of creation in place, or they may whirl and dance through the world working His will and their own. I think it varies and it’s something I’m still exploring in my own practice.  

What I wanted to discuss today is one of the techniques that I employed when I was first learning how to really engage with the runes. This is also something that I give to my apprentices when they are learning the runes for themselves. Usually, this is done after one has initially met the runes through offerings and galdr – a round 1 of ‘getting to know you,’ shall we say. Once a student has passing familiarity with the runes, knows what they are, has maybe galdred a bit, or meditated with them, once he or she has his or her own devotional relationships to Gods and ancestors securely established (2), when that student is ready for the second round of in-depth engagement, this is what I have each of my apprentices do (and no, this isn’t in my book). I do this myself every now and again myself. One never stop learning after all!

Before I describe this, I want to offer one caveat. If you are going to do this, begin with Odin. He is Master of the Runes (Rúnatýr – God of the runes) and they are first and foremost His mysteries. Afterwards, next approach the Deity or Deities in turn to whom you are dedicated, Whom you would consider your fulltrui, Who hold the most significant place in your personal devotions. This is simply a matter of both protocol, and courtesy and respect. 

Now, onto the exercise. 

A). Make a list of the various Deities that you venerate or Whose insight you might be interested in gaining with respect to the runes. For instance, Odin, Frigga, Freya, Loki, Sigyn, Thor, Sif, Heimdall, Mani, Sunna, Sinthgunt, Eir. (Make your own list, starting with Odin. This is just an example, though it’s close to the list one of my apprentices recently employed). 

B). Each night, meditate upon and galdr the same rune, first making offerings to one of these Deities, and then to the rune itself. So, start with Fehu. Set up a working altar or shrine, some place where you can make offerings to the rune of the night and to whatever Deity you’re approaching. If you have a personal household shrine (and if you’re doing this, you should (3)), you can go ahead and use that. The first night, make an offering to Odin. Offer prayers to Him and ask Him if He would be willing to teach you something about fehu. Make an offering to fehu itself, asking it if it would work with Odin and teach you something about itself. Then galdr the rune, meditate on it, write down your insights. Thank the two powers, Deity and rune invoked, and you are done for the night. Work through your list of Deities meditating on the *same* rune. When you’re done, move on to the next rune and go through the list again in the same order. 

What you’re essentially doing is building your own book of correspondences as you engage in this process. I would also repeat this, either approaching the same Deities or perhaps with a new list (though always begin with Odin. He is the doorway to the runes in many respects), every few months. Be polite when you approach both Powers. You are not after all, entitled to Their wisdom. As with anything, the more polite you are, the more productive this is likely to be. Even having worked with the runes for close to thirty years, I still keep this in mind every time I approach them. At the end of your list, or even somewhere in the middle of it, do one night where you do NOT approach a Deity, but work only through the rune itself. 

I stumbled on this process of approaching various Deities like this accidentally. I was having a bit of trouble with something and struggling to figure out how to work the rune I had decided to call upon. Completely unexpectedly, Sigyn sorted it out giving me an unexpected bit of insight. I thought, ‘wait. You know runes?’ Now, I shouldn’t have been surprised – She is a Deity after all –but when we have deeply personal devotional relationships with our individual Gods, it can be easy to forget that They are well, Gods. It can be easy to think that we know Them as we might know a friend down the way. We may indeed know a little given that relationships are mutual processes, but no matter how much experience we have in devotion to a Deity, THEY are always so much more. 

One of the things that I really like about this particular exercise also, is that it allows the one doing it the opportunity to approach Deities he or she may not have previously considered approaching. It allows for a potential devotional relationship to bloom. It gets one out of one’s comfort zone, away from the regular way of doing things and allows room for unexpected insights to occur. 

There are things to consider when you are engaging in this process: how does the rune feel? When you galdr, do you get any images running through your mind, any words popping up wanting to be worked into the galdr, any other sensory expressions of its presence (and that may include taste and smell too)? How do you feel before, during, and after? Has your impression of the rune changed at all? Do your best to keep a good record of this. It is helpful when you’re going back to check your progress. Be sure to stay hydrated and maybe eat a little protein after your nightly sessions. I would also be sure to center and ground well afterwards.

 Finally, the futhark tells a story. Each Aett (4) contains its own mysteries. It is normal that some runes will prove harder and more difficult to access than others. That’s ok, and the reverse is also true. Most will have one or two runes stepping forward as a guide through the futhark and through one’s work therein. When you encounter a rune that just won’t open, that’s ok. Be respectful, do your best, make your offerings and come back to it later. There are runes (for me, mostly in the third aett) that have taken years before they allowed me to so much as dip a toe into their mysteries. Again, as with so much spirit-work, you’re building a relationship. Part of the process of learning to work with runes is that they are learning your mental patterns, internal language, internal symbol set and you are learning something of theirs and the two of you are building this pidgin (is that the correct linguistic term?) by which you can communicate. You’re learning each other’s language and building a shared syllabary through which you can productively communicate. That’s going to take time. Some things cannot be rushed. 

Before I close, I want to take a moment’s focus on the first aett. As with our sacred texts, there are numerous ways that one can approach and interpret the narratives that we’re given. Since there are numerous patterns in the way the runes relate to each other, one can tell many stories. While these stories are not direct engagement with the runic powers, they are a means of conceptualizing and learning from them. They are doorways into each rune’s power. Here is a very brief way of reading through the first aett connectively. Fehu is the luck that flows through our blood (ancestral luck, hamingja), vitality, wealth, abundance, power. Like a sap through a tree or chlorophyll through a leaf, it flows through our veins and the veins of our soul body giving it life – just like Loður gave us sense-awareness and color, and the roaring pulse of our heart’s blood when the Gods created humanity. Uruz is raw power, maegen, the ability to tap into, access, and use one’s luck. It is initiation that awakens us to the Powers, challenge by which we earn the right to use what we have been given. Thurisaz is a challenge to focus, to discipline, to hone and temper our power. It’s the hard work we do to strengthen our spiritual and ethical muscles. It is the force that shatters our illusions,  clears us out, devours what no longer serves, frees one – sometimes violently – from constraints, burns like napalm in the soul until we order ourselves rightly and leave our bullshit behind. (Edited 3/7 to include ansuz, as I was writing with a migraine and accidentally left one of my favorite runes out). Ansuz is divine inspiration, ecstasy (in the classical religious sense), surety and confidence in the Work. It is the touch of the Gods, grace that allows us to persevere in our spiritual becoming even when it is hard. It is the opener of the way, that, if we are working to become rightly ordered, will show us the way forward. Raido is movement, momentum, overcoming of obstacles, the progress made when we accomplish the first three runic lessons and are rightly ordered with the Powers, and the power by which we may find our way through any obstacles in the way of that. Kenaz is the torch, the hearth fire, the offering fire, a candle on a shrine, the light of knowledge, piety, and devotion. It is that which we have been given to tend, to keep fed and bright and warm (our devotion, our traditions). Gebo is the process of exchange between us and the Holy powers, the law by which we are called to live our lives, the pious sensibility underlying every positively ordered engagement with the Powers, and with each other. Wunjo is the fulfillment of fehu, pleasure and ecstatic awareness of the powers, perfection and glory, joy and transformative power. It is the sum total of the other seven runes in this aett. One cannot access the fullness of wunjo, without first accessing and understanding these preceding runes. Wunjo is also the mead of inspiration, of frenzy, of magic, of inspiration on every possible level. How will you drink of it, how will it shape itself to your mind and talents? It will enliven you for the work to come with the next aett, which takes us down immediately into the place of the dead. This is the foundational work one must do in order to access the Mysteries, in order to be of use to our Gods, in order to become functionally realized human beings. It is ongoing work, and the runes can reflect that, though they are also so much more (5). I would also stress that this is only one way of lightly tapping into their insights. 

I’ll wrap this up for now. As all rune work begins with Odin, so too should it end with praises to this God Who had the will to win them. 

Hail to the God of the gallows,
Terrible and unrelenting.

Hail to the Wyrd-riven Wonder-worker,
Who leaves ecstasy in His wake.

Hail to the Bale-eyed Beguiler,
with His whispered charms
and savage conjurings.

Hail to the Lord of Asgard,
Architect of the Worlds
Who breathed us into Being,

Eternally let us praise Him.

Notes: 

  1. These are the nominative and genitive singular forms respectively. 
  2. It goes without saying that the runes are a specialty, as well as being a Mystery all their own, and not only does one not have to work with the runes to be a good Heathen, but those who don’t already have their spiritual houses, i.e. their devotional world, in some semblance of order, should not work with them. They are tools of magic and divination and it becomes very complicated, very quickly. 
  3. Really, if you don’t have the most basic devotional space set up and active in your home, you’re not ready to work with the runes no matter how far along you think you are. 
  4. This word just refers to a set of eight. There are three sets of eight that make up the elder futhark. 
  5. They are sentient, amoral, non-human spirits. They have their own agendas and are allied to the All-Father Who also has His agenda. It’s healthy to never forget that. 
AM 28 8vo, Codex runicus

Yuletide Shopping Guide – Northern Europe Products – Part 5

I created the Yuletide Shopping Guide in part because Yule is one of my favorite times of year. The guide features items polytheists would enjoy seeing in their homes or under their tree this yuletide. All with the hope of spreading some holiday cheer in a difficult year by finding items that can help feed our devotions within our polytheistic traditions, but also to hopefully along the way lift up some of the artisans in our midst too.

So far I’ve included resources for crafters, makers, and DIYers: cookie cutters, crafting molds, fabric (MesoamericanEgyptianGreekNorthern Europe), machine embroidery designs, cross-stitch and embroidery patterns, as well as knitting and crochet patterns. I’ve also highlighted some items on a Krampus theme. I’ve spotlighted items you can use to deck the halls and trim the tree. 

Check out the Greco-Roman themed products relevant to devotees of Cultus Deorum and Hellenismos, the Egyptian themed products ( Part 1 & Part 2 ) relevant to devotees of Kemetism, and Northern Europe themed products ( Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 ) relevant to Northern Tradition polytheists. Primarily these items are Norse-centric, but there’s a small scattering of Celtic and Slavic goods too in the mix.

There were some artists and artisans who offered a range of product across pantheons, or whose work focuses on a tradition that I didn’t have enough items to spotlight on its own. So I highly recommend that you carefully peruse the spotlighted artists and artisans in my miscellaneous ( Part 1 & Part 2 ). You will find offerings encompassing a vast array of traditions: Norse, Slavic, Celtic, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Hindu, Polynesian, Mesoamerican, Minoan, Assyrian, Sumerian, Welsh, Asian, Native American/Inuit, and more!

Today is the fifth installment of Northern Europe themed products relevant for fellow Northern Tradition polytheists.

PantheonSkulptur

PantheonSkulptur based in Sweden, features the artistic gold or silver gilded statues of Norse or Celtic Gods and Goddesses by Stina Jarenskog. Since ever piece is handmade, sometimes there’s nothing in the shop as she’s sold out. Just be sure to bookmark the shop and revisit.


FatefulSigns

FatefulSigns is the online storefront for illustrator Sam Flegal, who has done work for gaming companies and concept art for movies. He has some truly stunning images of our Gods and Goddesses, and offers the original for sale, as well as prints. He’s also decided to do his own illustrations for sections of the lore, which you can find in his two books: the Illustrated Havamal, and the Illustrated Voluspa.


Grimfrost

Grimfrost is a Swedish based company that specializes in items inspired by and related to Viking Age culture. They have some replica statuary and jewelry, but also some truly unique things based on the familiar. Some highlighted items are the Sleipnir Post Earrings, a Freya Drum, a replica of a ritual procession, and replicas from the archaeological record of our Gods.


Norsies

SummitCollection’s Norsies features painted cold cast resin figures of Norse Gods & Goddesses.


Miscellaneous

Not every item listed below is depicted in this image.
  • Poster of Travis Bowman’s prayer to Odin 
  • Norhalla’s Sleipnir Plush Toy
  • ArcanicaArt painted Frigg
  • MailoniKat’s Fox Cloth
  • DeBaunFineCeramics Valknut Pendant
  • HeathenTreeCreations – Vanic Deities Statues
  • Dharmalus – Valknut wall shelves
  • SevenOaksGrove Rune Cloth
  • ShirePost Ullr and vegvisir zipper pull
  • The National Museum of Denmark’s Gift Shop has a wide range of products too!

We’re almost done! Just one more post to go.

Sunwait Week 5: Sunna and Raido

We always begin our rites with a fire blessing that ends with the words Thunor weoh three times. Thor hallow. He is the one to Whom we turn, along with fire itself, to protect, cleanse, and gird our sacred space, and tonight He, along with Sunna, was so very present. Our ritual was humbling and it left me in tears. I have never before had a particular devotional relationship with either Thor or Sunna…until this year, and with Sunna, that didn’t really happen until this Sunwait. Suddenly, I have a sense of Them, Their Presence, and the mysteries They bring. I never expected this, and it is a blessing. Sitting in ritual Their presence – Sunna, Thor, and even raido– was so soothing and peaceful, so very there. It has completely transformed the room, something we all felt, and I think from here on out, it may well have likewise transformed my devotional relationship with these Powers. I am so very, very grateful for even the barest sense of Them, and the way I felt Them tonight, it really underscored what a tremendously holy time Yule is, and certainly why our ancestors honored both Thor and Sunna so fervently (1)!

It also occurred to me during the ritual that there is a very potent relationship between Sunna and Thor (as colleagues), particularly when it comes to hallowing. It was the last thing I expected to sense. I think in part, there is a genealogical connection between Them too. In the tradition I follow, Nott is Sunna’s aunt, but She is also Thor’s grandmother through Her daughter Jorð, the Goddess of the earth. That makes Thor and Sunna some type of cousins, I think first cousins once-removed (it also means that Dagr is Thor’s uncle, since Dagr is also a child of Nott – though with a different father than Jorð. Nott had three husbands and She had a child with each) (2).

Raido surprised me too. At first it was difficult to capture its rhythm in the galdr, but then that rune came showing itself as a gauntlet worn by Sunna, as a power that opens the way, as a force that barrels right over any obstacles, brooking no resistance, and also as a rune whose power has been knit into the very fabric of the cosmic architecture (3). 

For the ritual tonight, my housemate Tatyana and I co-wrote the following prayer. Instead of our regular prayers last night, we meditated on Sunna for a time, and then I wrote the first line of each couplet, and she wrote the second. We each tapped into different aspects of Sunna, which was really powerful. I think I want to take some serious devotional time this year to really explore Sunna and all the ways She may manifest. 

Prayer to Sunna with Raido
(by G. Krasskova and T. Vitta)


Hail to Sunna, Who roars across the sky, 
skipping in a half circle through the clouds. 

Hail to Sunna, Whom no force can stop, 
a rolling, roaring fire, unfolding, expanding, and glorious. 

Hail to Sunna, wielding the magic of fire, 
burning away all darkness, ensuring survival. 

Hail to Sunna, mighty Magus,
driving out all pollution, wickedness, and harm 
with Her unstoppable force. 

Hail to Sunna, Whose presence brings healing,
destroying all infection, all that hinders 
the relentless progression of life. 

Hail to Sunna, Who orders the calculated roar of time, 
from summer to fall, fall to winter, to spring, to summer again, 
Inexorable Power. 

Hail to Sunna, Shamaness of the spheres, 
wielding raido in joyous synergy. 

Hail to Sunna, mighty Mother, 
Who opens the way, showering light and blessings
on all the Worlds. 

Hail to Sunna, Who paves the way for Nott, 
welcoming darkness in its rightful time, 
and bringing us to well-earned rest. 


Hail to Sunna, now and forever. 
Hail to Sunna, Glorious Power. 

There is now one more week of Sunwait,  a little over a week until Yule. The rune for next week’s Sunwait is kenaz, and that seems a very fitting way to encapsulate the blessings and holiness of Yule (4). 

Notes: 

  1. Of course, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that our polytheistic ancestors were pious, but in tonight’s ritual, I felt like I glimpsed some small measure of how fervently they must have felt about the importance of venerating these particular Holy Powers and why. 
  2. There is nothing in the Eddas about the relationship between Sunna and Nott, but some traditions accept, via shared personal gnosis, that Nott is Sunna’s aunt. Nott’s connection to Thor, however, is attested to in the Gylfaginning. It all really demonstrates though, how deeply interconnected the various families of our Gods are. 
  3. A huge part of that architecture is the cosmic cycles, the shifting of seasons, the turning of day to night to day again, the rhythm of tides and torrents all inexorable, all built into creation by our Gods. 
  4. The runes for Sunwait are really quite perfect a preparation for Yule. Fehu sets us on the right course with luck and blessings, uruz strengthens us for the journey, thurisaz challenges and cleans out any stagnation or corruption, ansuz opens everything up, clearing out the road ahead, raido increases the momentum until we reach kenaz, which encapsulates the holy fire of Yule. It’s a truly beautiful preparation. 

Yuletide Shopping Guide – Northern Europe Products – Part 3

I created the Yuletide Shopping Guide in part because Yule is one of my favorite times of year. The guide features items polytheists would enjoy seeing in their homes or under their tree this yuletide. All with the hope of spreading some holiday cheer in a difficult year by finding items that can help feed our devotions within our polytheistic traditions, but also to hopefully along the way lift up some of the artisans in our midst too.

So far I’ve included resources for crafters, makers, and DIYers: cookie cutters, crafting molds, fabric (MesoamericanEgyptianGreekNorthern Europe), machine embroidery designs, cross-stitch and embroidery patterns, as well as knitting and crochet patterns. I’ve also highlighted some items on a Krampus theme. I’ve spotlighted items you can use to deck the halls and trim the tree. 

Check out the Greco-Roman themed products relevant to devotees of Cultus Deorum and Hellenismos, the Egyptian themed products ( Part 1 & Part 2 ) relevant to devotees of Kemetism, and Northern Europe themed products ( Part 1, Part 2 ) relevant to Northern Tradition polytheists. Primarily these items are Norse-centric, but there’s a small scattering of Celtic and Slavic goods too in the mix.

There were some artists and artisans who offered a range of product across pantheons, or whose work focuses on a tradition that I didn’t have enough items to spotlight on its own. So I highly recommend that you carefully peruse the spotlighted artists and artisans in my miscellaneous Part 1, & Part 2. You will find offerings encompassing a vast array of traditions: Norse, Slavic, Celtic, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Hindu, Polynesian, Mesoamerican, Minoan, Assyrian, Sumerian, Welsh, Asian, Native American/Inuit, and more!

Today will be the third installment of Northern Europe themed products relevant for fellow Northern Tradition polytheists.

Gungnir Godposts

GungnirGodposts doesn’t have a traditional storefront, they have a facebook page, where they will post brief openings in their schedule for commissions. It’s a bit of a first come, first served feeding frenzy of a free for all to get a spot in his queue, but the hand carved godposts are worth the wait. You can also support him on patreon which gets you opportunities to commission work from him as well.


VBHandcraft

Ukraine based VBhandcraft sells Scandinavian, Norse, Viking and Celtic influenced jewelry and statues.


DebsBurntOfferings

I already mentioned Michigan based DebsBurntOfferings in resources for Decking the Halls and Trimming the Tree because of her ornaments, but she also offers more Norse focused wood pyrography goods too.


BluePaganShop

BluePaganShop features Norse and Celtic designs across a wide range of items, but certain of their designs showcase best as wall hangings. 


FehuCrafts

FehuCrafts is based in Poland, and creates products in wood for Northern Tradition polytheists.


There’s more to come tomorrow!

Yuletide Shopping Guide – Northern Europe Products – Part 2

I created the Yuletide Shopping Guide in part because Yule is one of my favorite times of year. The guide features items polytheists would enjoy seeing in their homes or under their tree this yuletide. All with the hope of spreading some holiday cheer in a difficult year by finding items that can help feed our devotions within our polytheistic traditions, but also to hopefully along the way lift up some of the artisans in our midst too.

So far I’ve included resources for crafters, makers, and DIYers: cookie cutters, crafting molds, fabric (MesoamericanEgyptianGreekNorthern Europe), machine embroidery designs, cross-stitch and embroidery patterns, as well as knitting and crochet patterns. I’ve also highlighted some items on a Krampus theme. I’ve spotlighted items you can use to deck the halls and trim the tree. 

Check out the Greco-Roman themed products relevant to devotees of Cultus Deorum and Hellenismos, the Egyptian themed products ( Part 1 & Part 2 ) relevant to devotees of Kemetism, and Northern Europe themed products ( Part 1 ) relevant to Northern Tradition polytheists. Primarily these items are Norse-centric, but there’s a small scattering of Celtic and Slavic goods too in the mix.

There were some artists and artisans who offered a range of product across pantheons, or whose work focuses on a tradition that I didn’t have enough items to spotlight on its own. So I highly recommend that you carefully peruse the spotlighted artists and artisans in my miscellaneous Part 1, & Part 2. You will find offerings encompassing a vast array of traditions: Norse, Slavic, Celtic, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Hindu, Polynesian, Mesoamerican, Minoan, Assyrian, Sumerian, Welsh, Asian, Native American/Inuit, and more!

Today will be the second installment of Northern Europe themed products relevant for fellow Northern Tradition polytheists.

HellesTeeth

HellesTeeth offers something for the little Heathens in your life: teething rings. Let mjolnir protect your ears from the fussy screams of an unhappy child as their first teeth emerge.


LadyBuckThorn

Jessica Trainham’s shop LadyBuckThorn offers stunning Heathen works in wood encompassing ornaments, altar icons, plaques, and decorative boxes. I’ve learned the hard way, never open a package with goodies from her when others are present, if you hope to keep it.


AricJorn

Michigan based AricJorn is a talented sculptor focusing on Norse mythology and culture.


RuyaN

The Russian based Ruyan workshop specializes in Norse themed jewelry creations to shop gold and silver work visit their RuyaN storefront and you can find their more affordable bronze and silver plated work at their RuyaNBronzE storefront.


ArtFays

ArtFays features hand painted wooden peg figurines of the Norse Gods and Goddesses, as well as figures from other traditions and folklore.


Stay tuned for more installments! I am not done yet.

30% Off Sale (US Only)

If you haven’t picked up my books “A Modern Guide to Heathenry: Lore, Celebrations, and Mysteries of the Northern Traditions” or “Living Runes: Theory and Practice” you can currently enjoy 30% OFF through December 31, 2020 using discount code FORT at checkout direct from the publisher’s website: redwheelweiser.com. Please note that this deal only applies for orders being shipped for delivery to the United States.

As a reminder, my book A Modern Guide to Heathenry (2019) 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. It’s basically twice the word heft of its predecessor! Living Runes: Theory & Practice, however is a re-publication under a new title of my earlier work Runes: Theory and Practice book.

Sunwait Week 4: Sunna and Ansuz

With this week, we move into the week of Ansuz, thank every God that is. The week of thurisaz was rough, even though it brought many productive and fruitful epiphanies. It was really, really rough though and while I work very well with the rune thurisaz, and consider him one of my primary runic allies, I must admit with all respect, that I am breathing a sigh of significant relief as we move into ansuz. I will say though, with thurisaz at the helm, I got quite a lot of work done! He really helps to focus one’s energy and intellectual might. I’m grateful for that. 

We began our rite as we always do, with an Anglo-Saxon fire cleansing, then offered the following prayer (which I wrote –Tatyana and I have been trading off, but thurisaz and ansuz were my weeks). 

Prayer to Sunna
 
Havamal verse 148.
A fourth I know: if men make fast
in chains the joints of my limbs, 
when I sing that song which shall set me free,
spring the fetters from hands and feet.
 
And so it is.
You Sunna, come with ansuz. 
You wield it like a mighty spear, 
a battle cry, a flight of ravens in Your brilliant light. 
It is the incantation with which You open all roads before You. 
 
This then, is my prayer:
Come with the power to loosen the fetters that bind us. 
Come with the power to open the way before us.
Come with the power that causes all roads yield to Your command. 
Obliterate all obstacles that keep us from clean devotion. 
Your words have power. Speak the runes that restore creation,
and teach us the prayers to support You in this work. 
 
Hail to You, Sunna, Shining Glory of the sky,
Blessed Power of the House of Mundilfari. 

After the prayer, I galdred ansuz, and while this is a rune that I consider a particular ally, it was difficult to find the rhythm appropriate to ansuz and Sunna. It came through – I asked the rune to show me – and the galdr was very productive. We shared a horn of a lovely grapefruit flavored rose (I usually have much more high brow taste in wine but damn the rose was good! I’ve never seen the horn empty quite so quickly lol), offered more prayers and finally concluded with pouring out offerings and Sigdrifa’s Prayer. Yule is one more week closer!