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For Mother’s Day

May 8, 2016 Leave a comment

Hail to the Mothers with us!
Hail to the Mothers who have blazed the path before us!
Hail to the Disir!
Hail to all the Mothers!
Hail Frigga!
Hail Sigyn!
Hail Angrboda!
Hail Freya!
Hail Sif!
Hail Jarnsaxa!
Hail Nerthus!
Hail Jörd!
Hail Brighid!
Hail Lupa!

Question 2: Prayers, Rituals and My Son

March 2, 2013 3 comments

From James Two Snakes:

Tell me more about the rituals and prayers you do with your son.

When I first became a Dad I determined one thing I really wanted for my son was the gift my parents gave to me: an active, living religious tradition.  A good part of this was prayers for meals, and especially bedtime prayers.  Before he could do prayers, before he could speak I would pray with him.  In the last three we’ve really come together and now, they’re a daily part of our life.

The first prayer is usually the morning breakfast prayer.  Our meal prayers are all the same at this point, and rote, so that he connects on a regular basis with all the Gods, and is mindful of Them, the Ancestors, and the spirits.  From what he has told me, he says this prayer at school, and it makes me very proud.  All the prayers used to be call and response, but as he has learned them, my son has grown into saying them alongside his Mom and I on occasion.  Sometimes, when he is in the mood, he will ask to lead the call and response.  This latest development has happened recently, and I find it a good thing to lead as it is not just a prayer, but a time for him to take charge and do without having to follow his Mom or I.  He tends to have this huge smile on his face when he does it, and sometimes it is good to hang back and let someone else take the lead.  After all, I want him to have a relationship with the Gods, not just to do it because Mom and Dad are.

The Mealtime Prayer

Thank You Odin

Thank You Frigga

Thank You Freya

Thank You Freyr

Thank You Gerda

Thank You Loki

Thank You Angrboda

Thank You Sigyn

Thank You Brighid

Thank You Bres

Thank You Lycrous

Thank You Lupa

Thank You Bast

Thank You Anubis

Thank You Spirits

Thank You Farmer and Field

Thank You Animals and Plants

Thank You Landvaettir

and

Thank You Ancestors

Blessed Be, and Ves Heil!

At first it was just the Norse and Germanic Gods, but then slowly included all the Gods we worship.  Once he started memorizing the Norse and Germanic Gods They slowly had Themselves included.  At first he struggled remembering, but now, two years or so from when we started to say prayers together, he likes to lead prayers sometimes.

Before my girlfriend and I came back together, around the same time we started formulating the meal prayer, we made a bedtime prayer.  We lived in separate homes then, so around his bedtime they would call or I would call, and we would say the prayer together over the phone.  Back then this was call and response because of delays in the phone.  It was hard, at first, because sometimes our son did not want to say the prayer either because of shyness with the phone, or he had a rough day.  Still, it was good for her and I to pray, and it was a way for us not just to connect, but to share in prayer to the Gods.

Now that we live together the night prayers are huge.  Our son loves them, and asks as he is getting ready for bed what kind of prayers we’ll be doing.  There are three kinds of prayers we do at night: The longest we call Full Altar Prayers, the next is Sigdrifa’s Prayer, and the last, Night Prayers.  Before I go further I need to explain the altar situation in our home.

My son and I live in a room together on the upper floor of my folks’ home, and his Mom lives across from us upstairs.  All of the altars are in our room, as, until recently, the cats were not allowed in.  We were afraid they would knock the altars about, knock statues down, etc.  The one casualty we’ve had so far was an older wolf statue that I had too near an edge that was knocked over when one of the cats went exploring.  Aside from that, the altars themselves were undisturbed despite being left completely alone for four to six hours.

The Altars

Our son helped to set up all the altars except the Earth, House Spirit, and Military Dead altars which are too high for him to reach.  That alone is powerful, connective Work, and a good experience for me too.  Between learning to just hang back and let the Gods tell him where to place Their representations (and leave Them there!) to gently guiding him on why we put things like the Brighid crosses together, we get to learn and teach hand in hand, at times he guiding us, and vice versa.

The Gods’ Altar:  An altar to all of our Gods that sits before a window, behind which are growing two plants from a ritual with the Church we circle with.  There are things like a statue for Odin, Anubis and Freya, keys big and small for Frigga, a Sun disk for Sunna and a Moon disk for Mani, two Brighid’s crosses for Brighid and Bres with bottles of healing water blessed by Her behind them, and a Green Man for Freyr.  If I have forgotten anyone/anything I’ll update it.

The Ancestor Altar:  An altar to all of our Ancestors, including the Elements.  There is a bottle of rainwater and Florida Water for Water, a glazed clay bowl of stones and willow leaves for Earth, a harmonic from my Great-Grandpa and an incense holder for Air, a granite square with a pillar candle and a bowl of matches, lighters, and a sparking fire-starter for Fire, and for the Ancestors in the center is a four-person circle crafted out of clay holding one another, with a stone in the center in the offering bowl, and behind it on either side are tree-shaped candle holder for Ask and Embla.  When I am not wearing them I place my Ancestor necklaces on either side of the altar for the Disir and Vatter (Alfar), and my Ancestor prayer bead necklace before the four-person Ancestor circle statue.

The Earth Altar: An altar to the spirits of Earth, with three stones representing Gebo, the Earth, and the Landvaettir (with a stone from the property we live on), a representation of the Earth Dragon made out of ceramic, a Gnome similarly made out of ceramic, the moneyvaettir with a plate of money from different places and times and a large jar in the middle of the play containing spare change and change we felt should go in it.  On this altar is a tied off bunch of wheat that forms the bed for a representation of Ramses II, who, when I was a bit younger and mainly working with Anubis as His priest, after I saw his place had been desecrated, knowing what it meant that his bones lay out in the open and his rest disturbed, wrapped up a doll into muslin and did rituals, and invoked spells from the Book of the Dead.  He now has a place on the Earth altar, and it is my goal to eventually get him a gold-leaved box to put him in.

The House Spirit Altar: A simple altar with what was a wooden birdhouse, and an incense holder on a granite square.

The Military Dead Altar: An altar that sits on a filing cabinet for now, with an incense holder, a large vase-shaped candle holder, an earthenware pot of graveyard dirt, taken with Their permission, from Veterans’ graves.

Night Prayers

Full Altar Prayers

Full Altar Prayers are usually done on the weekends, as it takes anywhere from half an hour to forty-five minutes start to finish.  We start by kneeling at the Gods’ altar, taking the selenite and cleansing our energy bodies with it, doing the front of our bodies starting with the crown, then handing off the crystal to someone near and allowing them to get the back of our energy body.  Then, our son and I cover our heads with bandanas, he with a black one and I a white one.  He’s asked to get his own set, so when we get the opportunity next we’ll do some shopping for him so he can have his own white bandana rather than borrowing my black, all-purpose one.  The white bandana is specifically saved for night prayers, the red for Ancestor Work, the blue for Landvaettir, and black is, as mentioned, all-purpose.

After we cover we do the Negative Confession.  While this is not the version we use, it gets the point across.  We read the Confession in the call-and-response style.  After this, we perform Sigdrifa’s Prayer.  Again, this is not exactly the prayer we use, but these are excellent sources, and for song music and the prayer in both the English and Old Norse available, they are available here.

When we say “Hail Day!  Hail Day’s Sons!” we open our hands and upraise our arms to Daeg, God of Day.  When we say “Look with love upon us here and bring victory to those sitting here” we bow to the window, to Nott, the Goddess of Night.  When we speak “Hail to the Gods!” and “Hail to the Goddesses!” we bow to each of Them in turn.  When we stand to hail the Earth, we go to the Earth altar, and say “Hail to the mighty, fecund Earth!” and then, turn to the Ancestor Altar which is next to it, and say “Eloquence and native wit bestow on us”, and return to the Gods’ altar, saying “And healing hands while we last!”  We end with “Blessed be, and Ves Heil!”  At the end of all this, we go to each of the altars, bowing, and say “Ves Heil!” to each, hailing all of the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits that work with us.

Sigdrifa’s Prayer

These are a lot like the Full Altar Prayers in that we do all the ritual actions for Sigdrifa’s Prayer described above, and we may or may not do the selenite cleansing, and we may or may not cover.  It’s a hard and fast thing that our son and I cover, though his Mom does not, for Full Altar Prayers.  Sometimes we do, and sometimes we do not for Sigdrifa’s Prayer.  The biggest change between these is that we do not do the Negative Confession.

Bedtime Prayer

This is a prayer his mother and I made  together.  At first it was a lot like the Mealtime Prayer and it branched out from there.  In it, we address each of the Gods, Goddesses, Ancestors, and spirits we worship, thanking Them for Their blessings on us, and our lives.

The Bedtime Prayer

Thank You Odin and Frigga for the World around us

Thank You Freya for the Love in our lives

Thank You Freyr and Gerda for the wonderful Food

Thank You Loki, Angrboda, and Sigyn for Laughter, Protection, and Perseverance

Thank You Brighid and Bres for Inspiration and Truth

Thank You Lycrous and Lupa for Ferocity and Kindness

Thank You Bast and Anubis for Pleasure and Opening of the Ways

Thank You Spirits for Your Friendship

Thank You Landvaettir for our Home

Thank You Ancestors for our Lives

Be with us when we sleep,

Be with us when we wake

Blessed be, and Ves Heil!

Other Prayers and Rituals

Prayers and rituals otherwise are rather spontaneous, things like taking out offerings to oak tree, and hailing the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits tend to happen about once a week.  If it is too cold we pour water offerings down the drain, and if they’ll go in the compost, that is where we put food offerings.  If we have nothing else we can afford to get for offerings we at least leave water on the altars and light incense.  Little prayers, like “Thank you Odin for wisdom” or “Thank You Freyr for this food” and similar prayers are said when the occasion hits us.  When we walk around the local parks, or we go to a new place, we hail the Landvaettir with a small prayer, such as “Hail Landvaettir; thank you for letting us walk on You and with You.”  We might walk up to a nearby tree, one that sticks out or is an oak or ash, bow, and give an offering of some kind.  Even if we have no offering to give right then, or if we’ve already given one, we’ll pick up trash as an offering to the landvaettir and the local spirits.

When I was first trying to communicate to my son why we hailed the Landvaettir, I had taken him to a park.  I did not know at the time that he had come out for our day (well before his Mom and I came back together) after watching My Neighbor Totoro.  So when I asked him if he knew why we hailed the Landvaettir, why we bowed, and prayed, he suddenly piped up “Because every tree has a spirit!  Just like Totoro!”  I damned near cried on him.  “Yes, son, that’s right, every tree, every rock, every thing has a spirit.”  He grinned ear to ear, and we bowed low to the large tree in front of us, and he, in his little voice called out and said “Hail Tree SPIRIT!”  So if you are having a hard time communicating a concept to your kids or to someone else’s, look at kids’ media.  My Neighbor Totoro, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and several amazing movies and shows communicate our concepts in a way that I have struggled at times to teach.

Every small prayer, every ritual, especially those done day after day, night after night, build up the foundation our children have in their religion to carry this special relationship into their lives.  Each and every day, each and every moment, I have found, is teachable if you let the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits in.  Giving this gift was the best thing my folks did for me, and I pray, fervently, it is the same for my son.

Prayers to the Gods and Spirits of Storm, Wind, and Sky

October 28, 2012 2 comments

Prayer 1

May the Gods of Storm and Sky

Dance lightly in the world

From coast to coast

Continent to continent

 

May Their steps be light

Sparing life where They may

Bringing life where They step

 

Prayer 2

Lightning, sleet, snow

Rain, hail, and winds

Gales, gusts, and forces

Be gentle to Your people

Be gentle to their homes

Be gentle to their loved ones

 

Prayer 3

Hail, Gods of Storm and Sky

Keep us in Your hearts

As You dance in the Skies and Upon ocean and land

About home and field and city

 

Prayer 4

Hail to You, Blessed Ones

Of Storm and Sky, Weather and Wind

May we remember

That many of us call You Father, Brother, Sister, Mother

Your statues grace our altars

Your Names grace our lips

Your Blood is in our veins

Your Breath is in our lungs

Your Holiness, in Its power and awe, abides in us

Even in fear may we hail You

Even as the rain falls and the snow piles may we hail You

Even as hardships come may we hail You

Knowing that You bring blessing with bane

That You bring comfort with sorrow

That through Death’s door come’s Life’s return

To Mother in my Fear

September 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Mother, I am shaking

Fear has taken hold

Of failing, of losing

 

I am stretched to my limit

My mind cycles

Thought to worry to fear

 

I stand tall but

I feel so low

The pressing, pressing down

 

Holy Weaver of Wyrd

Mother of Gods!

Please, hear me!

 

It is said You hold the threads

As the Nornir gather them

Weaving, weaving, ever-weaving

 

It is said You are silent in Wyrd

So all I ask

Are words of comfort, a touch

 

From Your Holy Hands or Lips

To soothe my quaking soul

The greatest of blessings

 

Hail Frigga, Holy Mother!

Know that in the midst of my fear

I ever-hold love for You in my heart

 

The Salve is Action

August 9, 2012 1 comment

I look to the news and my heart breaks

Another slaughter, another tragedy

Everyday news

 

I look to the websites and my heart breaks

Another mountain strip-mined, another forest cut

Everyday news

 

I look to the feeds and my heart breaks

Another spill, another tragedy, another wrong

Another

Another

Another

 

My heart is full of sadness, and I look to my Gods

I ask Them for comfort, and the One Eye looks to me

 

What hope would I give you?  That, you must make.

Take that burn, that grief.

Act.

 

Do whatever is in you to do.

Words alone will not console, words alone will not heal this.

Act.

 

Do until you can do no more.

Speak where you can speak, until you have no more words.

Above all:

Act.

Adorations of Jörð

July 31, 2012 Leave a comment

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

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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