On days like today I make prayers and offerings not only to the Sons and Daughters of Muspelheim, but the Sons and Daughters of Nifelheim. I smoke to the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits to keep me safe as I go to work. To keep me on the road. To keep me safe from harm. For the snow to be gentle with me, to work with my car. I smoke for my car, that it carries me well, and gets me safely to my destination.
This is where my metaphoric rubber meets the road. When I engage with the world I engage with the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits. There is no, can be no separation. If there was, then the cold Ice around me as I walk to my car would not touch me nor inspire equal worship to the Fire I cradle in my hand as I light my pipe when inside it. If there was truly separation the cold could not touch me in heart, or body, inspiring words that praise the pristine beauty and fierce bite, and the heat would not inspire words or prayer to praise the warmth in my hands or the small flame I put to tobacco to say my prayers. There can be no separation because the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits are all around me.
Yes, even in something so mundane as starting my car there are spirits: the spirit of my car, the spirits of all those that fill its tank, the spirit of Fire that makes the engine go, the spirits of Earth that form the car, the spirits of Water that lubricate the car, the spirits of animals whose bodies line the cars’ various innards, the tires themselves made from rubber with spirits of their own, the spirits of Ice that keep the car cool in the summer, and the spirits of Air that help to warm my car. There are Gods and spirits of roads and crossroads, local and large, great and small. There are Gods to pray to, to worship everywhere one turns, if one but pays the mind and chooses to. I could split myself into a million millions of me and still not have enough of me to pray to, offer to, worship all the spirits great and small that surround me. So, I do what I can. I light the tobacco after a prayer to It and Fire, and smoke and pray to all Who wish to hear to my words, praying to my Gods, Ancestors, and spirits, speaking to the breathing, living Jörð and all Who share this time and space with me upon Her. I pray to Odin, my Father, through His heiti Gangleri the Wanderer and Traveler to help keep me safe and keep me keen, first among the many Gods I will pray to quickly before I pull out of the drive.
There are the landvaettir all over, some I would call local Gods, such as the rivers that run near town, and Others that live in the heart of parks and Others that live with humans, landvaettir and housevaettir. There are spirits, vaettir, all around, and though I may not worship Them all (how could I, They are so many?) They all are due my respect as I pass through Their homes, territories, holy places. I pass what I view as a herme each and every day on the way to work; one of my neighbors has 3 large stones set one upon the other, and there is a spirit there that, when it catches my eye, I nod to in respect as I drive past it. The ground I walk on is full of life, covered in snow. The sky is alive with little spirits that twinkle in my headlights, some landing on my windshield, melting from the heat of my car.
There is no place I, or anyone can go where the spirits are not. I am truly blessed.