Terms of Service- A Little Polemic About Being a Godslave

I am a godatheow -  a godslave. Many of the spiritworkers and shamans that I know are also godslaves, in other words, outright owned by their Deities. It rather goes with the territory and I have found it to be one of the dominant paradigms of service in contemporary Heathenry and Paganism (though not the only paradigm. I suspect there are as many types of service as there are people serving). Lately, I’ve been asked over and over exactly what I mean when I say I am god-owned. To me and others in … [Read more...]

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Wyrd Designs: Finding Asgard

Sometimes understanding the cosmological map of the Northern Tradition can be most problematic. Unlike Christians, our origin story isn’t neatly laid out in chronological seeming order in a book (like Genesis). To find our origin story and learn of the nine worlds we have to read, compare and contrast the information from multiple references: Völuspá, Grímnismál, Vafþrúðnismál, Alvissmal, etc.Combine this confusion with the fact that because Christians took up the name for our underworld of 'He … [Read more...]

Stinginess is not one of the Nine Noble Virtues

I firmly believe you cannot give too much to the Gods or ancestors, that it is, quite frankly impossible for a human to offer too much in devotion to either the Gods or the dead. They made us. They offer continual blessings and protection. We carry that connection with us always. It is nourished through the sacred reciprocity of sacrifice and offering. But for the Gods and our ancestors, as I have said many times before, we would not be. How could we ever give too much in return? This is … [Read more...]

An Interview with Anya Kless, author of “Lilith: Queen of the Desert”

by Galina KrasskovaThis week saw the publication of a new devotional by author Anya Kless titled “Lilith: Queen of the Desert.” While the past five years have seen the publication of a plethora of Pagan and Heathen devotionals, this book is (to my knowledge) the very first devotional anthology dedicated to the Goddess Lilith. Now Lilith is a controversial figure, even within modern Paganism. Even more controversially, Anya Kless herself doesn’t just honor Lilith, but also Odin and Loki (and tho … [Read more...]

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Wyrd Designs – Working with the Ancestors

To be Heathen is to be an animist, meaning that in addition to worshipping the Gods and Goddesses, we also honor our deceased ancestors as well as the land wights. But while most people coming to our religion have some concept of how to honor a deity… when it comes to honoring the ancestors they are stymied as to where to even begin to work with them.I find that a great place to begin is to set up an altar for your ancestors. All you need to do is find space: part or all of a bookshelf, part o … [Read more...]

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Blabbermouth for the Gods

People often ask me why I write about my relationship with Odin, why I lecture about devotional work, why I feel the need to write about ordeal work and other practices that are either part of my spiritual work or part of my shamanic work.  For many years I wondered the same thing. I only knew that I was pushed very directly by the Old Man (as Odin is sometimes called) to be very public about experiences that I personally would much rather keep quite private.  It wasn’t until I started hearing fr … [Read more...]

The Development of Heathen Culture – Part II

William Arnal writes that “no statement about what religion is can avoid at least partially explaining what religion does, where it comes from, and how it works.”(Arnal, p. 22). This is an issue not just for the specialist but for would-be theologians within the Asatru community as well. There is, especially given the rising denominational clashes within the religion, no fully accepted consensus on any of those things.Leaving aside semantic questions of definition, I believe it is possible to d … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs – Ritual Symbolism in the Northern Tradition

Most of those who come to our religion, come first from some form of Christianity. Let's put ourselves in a hypothetical situation for a moment. Let's say you know nothing about Christianity, and you find yourself at a Catholic service. At the conclusion of the service, Communion is given to those appropriate believers in the church. As an outsider you can watch this process, and somehow understand that the bread/wafer they're eating, and the beverage they're drinking has some sort of ritual … [Read more...]

Being Yourself – Not Always The Easy Path.

I have a story to tell.It is not an easy story.  I don't like this story, and I don't want to tell it; I tend to avoid it, skip over it, make light of the details.  But I feel it is the right thing to do, for the Pagan community at large, and the Heathen community in specific.But first, some of my background.  (I promise, this is information relating to my story.)I first became a Heathen in college; I had a Heathen friend, B., who invited me to all the Heathen gatherings.  Since I was(and a … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs – Sigdrifa’s ~ a Prayer and a Song

Sigdrifa's Prayer is the only surviving, complete,  non-Christianized prayer that exists in the lore. As such it is a precious remnant, but unfortunately a little known gem. It's nestled in the midst of the Sigdrifumal, one of the heroic lays found in the Poetic Edda."Hail, day! | Hail, sons of day! And night and her daughter now! Look on us here | with loving eyes, That waiting we victory win."Hail to the gods! | Ye goddesses, hail, And all the generous earth! Give to us wisdom | and goodly … [Read more...]