Submissions to Odin’s Agon

For Óðrerir’s Brewer

You kindled in me a love for brewing
Water, honey, yeast
Sacred magic, old magic

Kvasir’s brood, your spit

Relaxing and maddening

Teasing out the ties
Inspiration strikes
Fury froths

Growling forth from each sip, each gulp

May each brew be a worthy working

Each bottle a sacred vessel

Each glass a welcome offering

Alliterative Poem to Odin

Wind and wound

Scream and spell

Health and harm

Scar and sense

Wrath and release

Power and purpose

Grey and gold

Eye and iron

Hanged and hale



Making Midgard


When the Sons of Borr took up the spear

No ravens flew or wolves roamed

Nifelheim was far too cold

Muspelheim far too hot

They dreamed of more than ice and mist, fire and smoke

A World teaming with life, with warmth and with cold

A World full of flowing waters and rain

A World between the the Worlds

So when They slew Ymir

The Sons of Borr took up the best of all Worlds to make Midgard

Fire from Muspelheim gifted by Surtr

Ice from Nifelheim taken from Ymir

Fertility from Vanaheim gifted by Freya, Freyr, and Njordr

Wildness from Jotunheim made by the Jotnar

Riches from Svartalfheim dug deep by the Dvergar

Liminality from Alfaheim made by the Alfar

Death from Helheim overseen by Hela

Potential from the Ginnungagap woven by the Nornir

Within the Middle Yard each World was woven to the others

Crafted with care by the Sons of Borr

The #DoMagick Challenge Day 2

Uruz

Uruz (Wikimedia Commons)

Today I did galdr with Uruz.

As yesterday, my work was done entirely outside from start to finish from about 8pm-9pm.  It was a little chilly, but I was comfortable.  Maybe if the weather turns cold and harsh I will bring it inside.  Until then, we will see.

As before, I smoked Großmutter Una to cleanse and prepare myself.  I eased into the galdr work after all the prayers were made.

Breathing deep, my body was warming up, and my body was filling with power.   I felt myself a great beast, filling with air, with potential, with power.  I felt mySelf, my animal within me stir.  Another animal rose as I finished my prayers of connection with Uruz.  The first time I galdred Uruz, I could feel the auroch as I lowed.  Uruz came three times from my lips and that animal came bellowing out of me.

When I continued to galdr Uruz, it was connecting to power, within and without.  It was power, but not only for destruction.  It was the primal power that when you look into someone’s eyes, they understand and do.  It was not charisma, it was the primal pull that tells someone something needs to be done, and then to go do it.  

It is rising heat and muscle put to work.  It is the potential energy of those muscles at rest, the potential of a round piece of wood to be made into a torch.  It is the ability to do great violence, and the ability to do great things.  It is ferocity and will, patience until the time to act which is done decisively.  It was animal, it was primal.  Damn did it feel good.

After finishing my prayers of thanks and cleansing with the meditation done, I spent time cleaning out my pipe and coming back to normal headspace.

Link to the Daily Ritual for the Challenge.

#DoMagick

The #DoMagick Challenge Day 1

Fehu

Fehu (Wikimedia Commons)

Today, I did galdr with the Rune Fehu.

When I galdred Fehu I was outside.  It was cold, but not too uncomfortable.  My first galdr I did three times and sat in the quiet, frigid evening.  It was almost midnight.  When I was not galdring, I had my pipe between my teeth or in my hand with whisps of Großmutter Una’s burning body rising up before me.  I felt the tingle of the Rune’s response.

I galdred three times, and breathed deep with each galdr.  The last round had been shallower, lighter.  This one was deeper, huskier.  A light breeze was blowing, but what I felt more than the cold was the latent warmth of the Earth beneath me.  The pulse of Midgard.  Not as vibrant as, say Summer, but still quite there.

I breathed in the sacred smoke three times, blew out, and then galdred rough, growling.  A lot louder than I had been. When I finished I could hear the echo out over the abandoned farm country behind the house.  Then, to my surprise, a cacophony of coyotes kicked up in response to the first galdr.  I galdred again, and they returned with howls.  The third galdr, and the continued to howl and yip.  I had a flash of seeing animals tucked away in little buildings, coops and the like, and another sight of winter wheat though we have none planted right now.  Warm things, baked things, and also hunting, of tracking things over cold land for a good meal.

I breathed for a bit and took in the presence of the Rune as the coyotes continued for a bit.  It was an interesting dichotomy, between the warmth of bread and soup in a warm house and hunting down warm prey in the cold.  To chase and tear on the one hand, and to dig into stores and settle down for the cold of Winter on the other.

Link to the Daily Ritual for the Challenge.

#DoMagick

 

Where Does It End?

I ask myself every time I see a proposal like this from Graymont, or another Oil Pipeline repair or request from Enbridge Energy.  Where does it end?  When is enough money, resources, and ecological destruction enough?

What does Graymont want?  10,000 acres of land for open pit and underground limestone mining operations that will take place in 3 counties in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Public comment for the Canadian Limestone proposal from Graymont ends March 19th.  Please make your comments here, at the email address, DNRGraymontProposalComments@michigan.gov, and at the public mailing address listed below:

Customer Service Center, ATTN: Kerry Wieber, 8717 N. Roscommon Road, Roscommon, MI 48653

Anyone who has an understanding of modern capitalism already knows the answer.  There is never enough.  Whether to feed the profit motive or the equally hideous beast of debt, like an unholy Ouraboros, there is never enough.  Between the greed of the profit motive and the utter despair generated by the countless billions (whether personally or via their country) in poverty, there is no end.  The only end is when the beast itself is dead.

Let us take stands wherever we can, however we can, for Jörð, for Nerthus, for Midgard our home!

To this end, I nið Graymont and their supporters, including political supportersfinancial backers, and those who would speak on behalf of destroying the ecosystem of 10,000 acres of land!

Share this curse on your blogs, Facebook, wherever you deem appropriate.  Let us not give one more inch to a corporation’s greed.

Three Isa and three Thurse I give

To Graymont and its board

May your projects fail

Your stocks plummet

Let the landvaettir be riled up

May They rise against you

Wherever you dig or set down

Your foul roots

May the people be riled up

May they rise against you

Wherever you dig or set down

Your foul roots

Leave the landvaettir be

Dig no hole, cut no wounds

Into Jörð’s flesh;

Let Her forests and fields grow!

Isa Isa Isa!

Thurse! Thurse! Thurse!

Isa Isa Isa!

Thurse! Thurse! Thurse!

Isa! Isa! Isa!

Thurse! Thurse! Thurse!

The Gods, Ancestors, and Spirits Come First

Note: This is a piece that has sat in my Draft folder for some time, and I figured that it was time to get it out into the world.  Fly free, belated words!

I am going to be speaking on shamanism come the next week at Michigan Paganfest.  The discussion is “Shamanism-History, Beliefs, Lore and More”, where I and my fellow Sacred Fire tenders will be talking on the forms of shamanism we are engaged in.  While it says “Jim will share his knowledge and experiences in an open discussion about the practice and path of Shamanism. You are encouraged to share your own experiences and knowledge, as well as, ask questions and seek greater understanding and insights to assist you in your own journey” Jim was kind enough to invite myself and Joy Wedmedyk to share in the discussion.

I like these kinds of workshops.  I enjoy genuine back-and-forth dialogue and digging into the meat of a topic, even if for a little while.  In thinking on this discussion, I look to my own traditions.  I won’t go overlong into what I’ll hash out in the coming week, but more into what it is pushing me to think about.  What is shamanism?  What is the history of shamanism within the context of my own path?  What are the beliefs I bring to the table as a shaman, and what are the beliefs of shamans in my path?  What lore is there to support or bring clarity to shamanism?  What is essential to being a shaman?

At the title above says, the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits come first.  They have to.  They gave us life, give us blessings each and every day, and walk alongside us.  There is nothing in this world untouched by Their hands.  It is essential to shamanism that the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits come first.  They are our allies, our friends, our loved ones, our Fathers and Mothers, our eldest Ancestors.  They are what makes us a shaman: Their call, the insistent call that cannot be ignored, is what makes a shaman a shaman.  No course, no workshop, nothing we go through or engage in can make us a shaman without that call from our Gods, Ancestors, and spirits.  Shamanism is an engagement, not a practice.  It is a calling in my tradition to sacrifice all else that I would have done and put the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits first, and to aid the communities I am in with engagement with Them.  It is setting aside personal ambitions to fulfill purpose that the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits lay upon me.  It is to give over all that I am to further Their Work.  Even being a father has a place within my path as a shaman, and it is subordinate to that Work.  It serves the Work, as does everything in my life.  Even writing here serves It.

What is essential is that a shaman serves.  A shaman serves the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits, and in so doing, does serve their community.  They may serve their community in other ways, aside from keeping right relationship in their own lives, by performing required rituals, healings, divination, and so on.  They may do work, such as Sacred Fire tending, or teaching.  They may just sit down and listen to someone’s struggle.  They may do this after they die, which is probably what will happen to me when I pass over.  The point is that a shaman serves and that service extends to every area of existence.

What lore is there to support bring to clarity to shamanism?  Well, as few pieces of lore survive in our tradition there’s not much, as a good chunk of the lore we do have is more concerned with the Gods and Their families and conflicts, or mythological portrayals of kings and conquests.  What does survive suggests that there were spiritual specialists such as spákona and spámadr, female and male prophets, for instance.  However, as the lore that we have is fragmented, written down by Christians and absent of anything older than Iron Age, much of the lore contains terribly little in regards to a shaman’s practice.  Even the words that might frame the way that shaman does is absent of our language, and in any case much of my practice and that of my elders is spirit taught.  Lore is more of a map to cosmology, how the Gods have interacted with us and one another.  It is a springboard into engagement with the Holy Powers, as all of the lore that survives contains little to no religious instruction.  The lore serves, then, a secondary role to direct engagement.

What are the beliefs I bring to the table as a shaman, and what are the beliefs of shamans in my path?  We are hard polytheists.  The beliefs are that of people who engage with the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits as beings unto Themselves.  They are Their own Being, Whole in and of Themselves.  They do not require us to worship Them to continue Their existence, nor do They need us to exist.  They are.  The Ancestors are the foundation of us all, from our blood Ancestors stretching back to the Elements Themselves.  The spirits are all around us, within us, even.  We consume spirits to survive; the lich, the physical body, is holy, and part of the soul, and so, when we eat an animal or plant, we are consuming a piece of Their soul.  Eventually when I die, my lich will be burnt or buried and become part of the world in a different way.  The Earth, Midgard, itself, is a Goddess.  There is nothing on, in, or beyond this planet untouched by the Gods.  There is nothing in my body or mind or soul that is not touched by the Gods, Ancestors, or spirits.  So, as it ends so it begins, and the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits come first.

Odin Project: Day 30

This is the final day of the Odin Project for this 2012 year.  Thank you to Galina, who inspired me to be part of it, and everyone who has participated in it.  Thank you to everyone who has followed my blog through this month; I hope that the Odin Project has somehow touched you, or brought you closer to Him.

Long suffered He | who traded Eye and Life

for giving wisdom to the Worlds;

Praise to the Allfather | given in gratitude

for gifts heaped upon gifts

 

Hail to Odin | in times of peace

for its blessings are hard-won;

Hail to Odin | in times of strife

for oft does it visit

 

Ever-mindful is Odin | of His children

who wanders the whole of Midgard

Hugin and Munin | ever-watch and wheel

and speak news to His waiting Ear

Adorations of Jörð

I adore You, Fjörgyn

I adore You, Hlóðyn

I adore You, Midgard

I adore You, Mother Earth

I adore You, Bountiful Goddess

I adore You, Ocean-Carrier

I adore You, Green-Grower

I adore You, Desert-Crafter

I adore You, Glacial-Kissed

I adore You, Deep Cavern

I adore You, Rolling Hill

I adore You, Windswept Plain

I adore You, Mighty Mountains

I adore You, Great Lakes

I adore You, Tectonic Shifter

I adore You, Shaking One

I adore You, Constant-Spinner

I adore You, Balanced Home

I adore You, Fecund Ground

I adore You, Blasted Trees

I adore You, Frozen Peaks

I adore You, Eroding Crags

I adore You, Magma-Holder

I adore You, Molten Core

I adore You, Chaos and Order

I adore You, Cradle of Life

I adore You, Cradle of Dead

I adore You, Daughter of Annarr

I adore You, Daughter of Nótt

I adore You, Lover of Odin

I adore You, Mother of Thor

I adore You, Whose skin is the Earth we live on

I adore You, Whose flesh we burrow in to find metal and mineral

I adore You, Whose bounty is shared at each table, each plate, each bowl

I adore You, Whose rain blesses Her fields, allowing us to live

I adore You, Whose many children bless us with their lives, their milk, their fur, bone, and bodies

I adore You, Whose Children speak to us through animal, bud, leaf, flower, and chitin

I adore You, Whose Children speak to us through land, from cavern to highest mountain

I adore You, Whose Children speak to us in grove, expanse of desert, and our homes

I adore You, Whose Children live in the walls of our homes, the ground, all that allows us to live

I adore You, Whose Children allow us to live in all these places, whether through fiber or fur

I adore You, Whose blood powers the engines of our technology

I adore You, Whose flesh gives that technology form

I adore You, Who allows us live despite our burgeoning population

I adore You, Who suffers our negligence

I adore You, Whose body is ravaged by our greed

I adore You, Whose rainforests are at risk

I adore You, Whose Children still risk themselves for the sake of Your wild places

I adore You, Whose Children still risk themselves for the sake of Your sacred places

I adore You, Whose Children fight each day to reclaim our balance with You

I adore You, Whose Body is neglected and abused by Her Children

I adore You, Whose Flesh is rent and discarded without care for Her pain

I adore You, Whose skies, seas, rivers, oceans, are full of Death and Life itself there is threatened

I adore You, Who gives Life despite all these calamities

I adore You, Who still gives us Life despite all these abuses

I adore You, Who treats humanity with patience

I adore You, Who demands we change our ways

I adore You, Who brooks no path but Her own

I adore You, Who, in the face of our technology, shows our vulnerability

I adore You, Who, in the face of despair, shows us kindness

I adore You, Who is drought and doom, fecundity and flowering

I adore You, Who, if we listen, can lead us to Harmony with You

I adore You, Who, if we observe, can show us a new life

I adore You, Who, if we act, gives us the chance to make our lot, and that of our neighbors, better

I adore You, Who is my home

I adore You, Who is my Mother

I adore You, Who is the Mother of Midgard

I adore You, Midgard Herself

From barren waste to blooming garden,

From old-growth forest to icy tundra,

I adore You, Jörð