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A Shovel Song for the Gods and Vaettir of Nifelheim

February 2, 2015 1 comment

Inspired by the songs I learned as a child that miners and lumberjacks used to sing out here, I made one up for the Gods and vaettir of Nifelheim as I helped shovel the drive.  While the shoveling proved rather fruitless to the whims of these Gods and vaettir, it did seem to please Them.  In terms of how I sang it, think of an old song, with the beat on every two to four heartbeats.

Did the song sound exactly this way?  No.  A lot of it was made up on the fly, and so, what I am writing here is what I remembered and what makes sense.  These aren’t set in stone, and a good, made-up song can be the perfect offering for a God, Goddess, and/or vaettir.  Anyhow, here is the shovel song for the Gods and vaettir of Nifelheim:

Hail to the Sons and Daughters of Nifelheim!

Hail to Ice Itself!

Hail to the Sons of Nifelheim!

Hail to Ice Itself!

Hail to the Daughters of Nifelheim!

Hail to Ice Itself!

Oh hail hail hail!

Oh icy, frosty ones!

Hail to You who blow all around

Ice and snow has come!

Hail ol’ Jökull

icy bearded Jotun!

Whose frost hangs low and drips to snow

Hail you old cold Jotun!

Oh hail the frosted cold

Hail the elder Jotun!

Who come in with cold

and freeze our bones

and make our Great Lakes rise!

Hail to the big ol’ snowy one!

Hail to You, O Snaer!

Who freezes flesh and chills the blood

and freezes up our hair!

Hail to You oh frozen one,

Who blows all around!

From in the air and on our homes

and crunch beneath the ground!

Hail hail hail!

Hail the mighty Jotun!

Who comes from far off colder North

and visit us here at home!

Hail to the ground beneath my feet

The ancient one, Ymir!

Who forms the mountains and the clouds

The world that I hold dear!

Hail Auðumla’s adopted Son

Old frosty Ymir!

From Your blood the lakes and oceans flow

and bones the mountains speared!

Hail to You oh slain One

Who fell and made the world!

Whose body rose and made our home

All covered in the snow!

Whose body brought forth Goddesses,

good Jörð, Jarnsaxa, Nerth-us

Who gave our Ancestors form and flesh and

brought us to our birth!

Hail O hail to the icy gail, the Kari Northern wind!

Who cuts us with His coldest breath

and brings the snows again!

Hail to You who blows about

the frost and ice and snow

Who makes us glad for heat and home

and the feeling of our skin!

Hail hail hail!

To the Sons and Daughters of Nifelheim!

Hail hail hai!

To Ice Itself, Ancestor old!

Hail hail hail!

Be gentle with us, for we are cold!

Refrain placed wherever it feels right:

Hail hail hail!

Hail to the Icy Jotun!

Hail hail hail

to the frosted [frozen, icy, snowy] ones!

Hail hail hail!

You old cold Jotun!

[alternately]

Hail hail hail!

O Elder coldest Jotun!

Communion

January 14, 2015 2 comments

The hoarfrost bites.  The rain is frosty, pelting my hat, my trenchcoat.  I take out the little sacred pipe, and kiss it nine times all over its sacred body.  I load it with tobacco after offering to the Directions, to the Spiritkeepers, to the hidden Sun, the Earth beneath my feet, to the Sky above me that has opened up, to one of the Creators, to the Disir and Väter, to the Ancestors, and to the Gods and Goddesses.  The tobacco has been in my pouch so long it has become dried powder, and it packs deep.  The last of the tobacco goes into the sacred pipe.  I make my prayers to the Sons and Daughters of Muspelheim, to the spirit of Fire Itself, and light it.

It takes to the offering, and I make short, quick puffs to encourage the Fire to spread.  I offer the smoke to all those I have just offered tobacco to.  I walk over to a small boulder that serves as the main vé for our unknown Ancestors who extend Their hands to us.  I blow smoke upon the stone, and thank Them. As I walk by the oak tree my father planted when we first started living on the property, something about it in the frost strikes me, and I ask if I can take its picture.  Of course, I have forgotten my phone inside, but that is fine.  It assents, and I offer it smoke in thanks.

20150103_165836 20150103_16590020150103_170118  20150103_170006

I walk on into the sacred grove.  The ground is sodden.  The lengths of birch I bought from a man half a year ago are in disarray.  It occurs to me, starting to right them again for perhaps the third time since I bought them, that this is how they wish to be for now.  I leave the rest go, and head over to Odin’s godpole.  He is here, as surely as He is at our altar to the Gods.  He is here.  He is waiting.  Odin had called me to come out, and give offerings after I had given offerings to Hela and Niðogg.  These had been our compost; used coffee, rotten food, broken eggshells, all dead things come to give new life in time.

I kneel before His godpole, and I hail Him.  I take three drags, always three when I offer to a God, Ancestor, or vaettr, and blow it over the wood.  Then, partly feeling compelled and partly feeling it a good thing to do, I take three drags and place the pipe into His carved mouth, and He smokes.  I do it again, and I can feel Him breathe it in, the smoke rising.  One last time, and the smoke rises lazily from the pipe, and I am sure He is here, and with me.  Here, in the midst of my hands tightening under the cold and frost-rain, I feel my God, World-wise and powerful, and here. I smoke with Him for a few moments.  We speak, being with one another in the moment, but it is less like speaking, and more deep than words.  Communion, perhaps, is a better descriptor.

There are words; we greet each other, and He is at once in the cold, and cold Himself, and yet warm too.  He is pleased, and it is time for me to go.  I kneel on the ground, offering smoke, and thank the landvaettir for allowing me to come, for allowing this space to be.  I take off my hat to Them and to Odin, and leave the sacred grove walking backwards. I bow once I have reached the boundary. Then I turn to the house, and offer it smoke.

I sit on the deck for a few moments, and smoke, and the Ancestors are near.  Many have endured this kind of thing without all the benefits I have, most especially a grand house that sits at my back.  They tell me They want me to smoke with Them, but as I reach for the sacred pipe, many insist I go inside.  Some of Them do so for my sake; my hands are aching with cold.  The Others want to enjoy the warmth of the home and do not want to smoke with me in the freezing rain.  So I go inside.

Each tree received offerings of smoke, and each has given Its permission to be photographed.

Prayers to the Primal Powers

November 20, 2013 Leave a comment

I’ve been doing this prayer I made for awhile by rote whenever I light a fire, from matches to vaettr Fires:

“Hail Sons and Daughters of Muspelheim

Hail to Fire Itself

Hail Loki

Hail Glut

Hail Logi

Hail Surt

Hail Sinmora!”

I had nothing for the vaettir of Ice for a long time, so I made this prayer:

“Hail Sons and Daughters of Nifelheim

Hail to Ice Itself

Hail Skadi

Hail Ullr

Hail Frosti

Hail Kari

Hail Ymir!”

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