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Posts Tagged ‘Hel’

Outdoor Practices and Shrines: The Shrine to Hela and Niðogg

April 29, 2014 6 comments

With the Spring finally here in Michigan, I thought I would take some time to go over some of the practices I keep outside.

I maintain an active shrine to Hela and Niðogg. It is rotten, and full of life-giving soil.  Snakes have lived in it, and it gives much-needed nutrients back to the soils when we incorporate it in the gardens we keep. It is a compost pile. When I take the compost to it I make a simple prayer: “Hail to the Gods of Death and Rot. Hail Hela and Niðogg.” This one of many devotional acts one could offer to these powerful, and sometimes maligned and misunderstood Goddesses.

Given so many of us are going to Hela’s realm, whether ourselves or others, I would think cultivating a good relationship with Her would be a good thing to do. She is a holy Goddess who houses our Dead, who gives the Ancestors comfort and rest. It is rude to denigrate the Hostess of our Dead. So I praise Her, and thank Her for housing my Dead, for letting Them speak with me, for helping me to hear Them.  In building closer ties to death and Hela, we better appreciate and revere life.  Through Her we connect with our past and our Ancestors.  For that alone She should be given deep respect and praise.  

Niðogg’s presence in the world, eating the poison given to the Tree, gnawing at the dead roots of Yggdrasil and traitors and oathbreakers is one which is needed. It is not pretty. It is often thankless. She is the eater of our most rotten Dead. The liars, the oathbreakers, the traitors. She eats the poison and the rot from the Tree, and helps the Tree to grow even as She does eat at the healthy roots.  In appreciating the poison Niðogg takes on, it should inspire actions to prevent the poisons that ravage our planet, our nations, our homes, and our communities.

Yet, like a great many small or simple devotional acts that build on themselves, the results are wonderful, perhaps profound, when built well and with frequency. The effects on the garden, when we do these things, are good. Our Gods do not exist only in some ‘out there’ sense. If we are living in good relationship with Them, that will have some kind of effect in this world. It does not need to be dramatic; Hela and Niðogg do not come burrowing out of Jörð to declare to me the compost is good and sacred. It is sacred because the respect for Jörð, the landvaettir, Hela, and Niðogg is present whether I am alone, or my son or his mother helps offer the compost. It is sacred because I have maintained the shrine to these Goddesses, and the landvaettir have allowed the space to let us work with Hela, Niðogg, and Them so we may eat. We are the landvaettir’s guests and friends. We have invited the Gods to come to this place. In doing this, our family has chosen to be a bit closer to death and rot, and to build respect and good relationships with both.  Doing this we invite the Goddesses to share in Their blessings with my family and I.

The Shrine to Hela and Niðogg in the backyard.

The Shrine to Hela and Niðogg in the backyard.

Wyrd Dharma

October 14, 2013 Leave a comment

This was an older piece of poetry I wrote while in my Hinduism course in my last year at college.  During this course I wrote a comparative essay on the Bhagavad Gita and the Havamal.  Good times, and good food for thought.  This was one of the results of thinking on Hindu religion and looking at my own.

Is it in my nature to fulfill my Dharma?

Or is it Dharma’s nature to prompt my Wyrd’s weaving?

Is it the weave and weft of Wyrd to fulfill Dharma’s drive?

Or is it only the choices we make that determine where we lie?

If in death I find a pull, a push, a paradox

Between the way that I am and the way that I was

I will know the way between Dharma, Wyrd, and Way

From the fullness in Death I take from Life

Wherever my soul’s to stay

So whether I am in the Halls of Hel, Sessrumnir

Or Valhall’s shining stone

Or enter into nirvana with the Gods

Or nothingness alone

I have made choices, changing Wyrd within my Path

At the end my choices are all the means that I have had

Mordgud

July 13, 2013 Leave a comment

Death’s Defender waits

She watches, white eyed, white-haired

Over the Dead’s grim Gate

 

Her spear glistens in the snow

Arms arrayed in black

and sword hangs on Her hip

 

None but the invited pass

Beyond Gjallarbu’s gaze

Beneath the wary watcher

 

 

Hail to Lady Hel

October 20, 2012 4 comments

The Halls of Helheim

Few alive have seen

Death’s home and Dead’s abode

Yet here within the splendorous Halls

We all may find a home

Perhaps on plains we take our rest

Upon grain and well-turned earth

Perhaps by river or field or fen

Our rest is finally earned

Perhaps in cave so hollow

Yet sweet-smelling and richly warm

Sweet Hel has a place for us

A place we are reborn

She tends to all the newly Dead

And old who’ve taken rest

All those who have taken leave of Life

Come to Her generous breast

We lay our head upon Her home

Some stay but for a while

When we leave She does not grieve

Her Gate it opens wide

For in Her a part of us remains

Waiting our return in time

So when the Dead leave your home

In gurney, mound or grave

Celebrate Life’s giving way

And new Life that is made

Hail to the Lady Hel

To Mordgud Guardian in black

Hail to the Dead our lives are owed

We all are coming back!

Mordgud

October 19, 2012 Leave a comment

She stands dressed in black, spear in hand and sword on hip

Her armor silent as Her gaze pours from Heilheim’s Gate

Death’s sentinel stands tall

 

The weary souls, the old, those who died in life’s embrace

The scientist and swordsmith, the veteran, the peaceful and the passionate

All walk the long and winding road to Gjallarbru

 

The addict and the shiverer, the starved and sold and stricken

Walk together in Death’s invitation

She watches their steps upon the well-trod road

 

The Dead pass by with Her assent

Welcomed home into the Hall

No fear, but welcome for every single soul

 

She shuts the Gate behind Them

Her sacred duty never done

For Hel and the Mighty Dead

Loki Project Day 31

July 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Thank You, Loki

For a month of celebrating You

Deepening my understanding day by day

The opportunity to come to know You better

The promise of knowing You deeper

 

Thank You, Loki

For pushing me to write each day

For making me express myself differently each poem and post

For letting me touch, if for a moment, a powerful piece of You

 

Thank You, Loki

For letting me know Your family just a bit better

For sharing Your pain with me, even if I will never fully grasp it

For letting me know Your Wives better than I did

For allowing me to know Your Children better

 

Thank You, Loki

For touching my heart through Your Love

For touching my heart through Your Pain

For touching my heart through Your Pleasure

For touching my heart through Your Patience

For touching my Heart through Your Presence

 

Thank You, Loki,

For blessing me with Your stories

For blessing me with Your Presence

For blessing me with a month full of praise to You, Your kin, Your Children, Your Wives

 

Thank You for being in my life, Loki

For blessings beyond count

For truths I have had to find inside me

For hidden feelings brought to light

For coming nearer to Your Holiness

 

Hail Loki Laufeyson!

Hail to Angrboda, Hag of the Iron Wood!

Hail to Sigyn, Lady of Staying Power!

Hail to Hel, Greeter and Keeper of the Dead!

Hail to Jormungand, Boundary-Keeper of Midgard!

Hail to Fenrir, Rage Unbound!

Hail to Narvi, Gentle Child, Victim-Bond!

Hail to Váli, Sweet Child, Mad-Driven!

Hail, Loki, to Your family, Your friends, and Your People

Your greatness, Your generosity, Your pains, Your family, Your blessings, will never be forgotten

Ves ðu heil!

Loki Project Day 23

July 23, 2012 Leave a comment

I am weary in my bones, Flame-hair

My mind buzzes with worry

My soul is troubled

 

Did You once worry as I do

for my son?

Did You ask Yourself

If You did right by Your Blessed Children?

 

You loved Them

As others called Your children

Monster!

Vile!

Dangerous!

As some still do

Your love endures

May my son know love

As enduring as Yours

In the face of all who will hate him

For his looks

For his words

For his actions

For his path

For who he loves

 

May I learn patience from You

When my son is distant

And I have a mind to be distant

 

May I learn patience from You

When my son rages

And I have a mind to rage in kind

 

May I learn patience from You

When my son seeks the hard truths

And I have a mind to sugar coat

 

May I learn patience from You

When my son is consumed in pain

And I have a mind to succumb to grief

 

May I learn patience from You

When my son is beyond my reach

And I have a mind to worry without end

 

Hail Loki Laufeyson, Mother and Father

Lover of Svalðilfari

Husband of Sigyn and Angrboda

Mother of Sleipnir

Father of Hel

Father of Jörmungandr

Father of Fenris

Father of Narvi

Father of Vali

Mother of Many

Father of Many

May I be a father worthy of the word

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