"Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers. "
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This lesson about community brought to you by the Super Friends!

By Del Tashlin




So what you need to know about the image above is that Apache Chief's special power is to grow very large. In fact, that's what he's best at. So even though what is likely needed to stop the Moon Monster is someone very large, Superman decides he's the best one for the job and runs off without thinking it through.

I saw this in an article and it immediately struck me that this is a problem I see in the spirit worker/shamanic demographic that drives me crazy. Most of us, in most situations involving clients, are Superman – we can do a lot of neat stuff, and be of general use, but we don't always have specific knowledge or power that can address the specific need. Or maybe we have a base knowledge of something like ordeal, but there are other colleagues out there who have training in the sort of ordeal your client requires. Maybe we're a bit bored with doing the same sorts of services over and over again, and a client with a different need poses an interesting challenge.

However, we don't refer as often as we should. In some cases, we feel like we're the only ones doing this sort of work around, and since the client is right there in front of you, it's much easier to try to serve the client yourself. There's a bit of pride involved, too, in being a good or useful shaman; how does it look if a client asks for help and our response is to say, “Well, I think I need to phone a friend...”? With whatever amount of choice we were given, we chose this path because we wanted to be of service to a community. It feel intrinsic to what we do, who we are. We might be afraid that if we refer the client to someone else, the client may decide not to follow through, and won't seek out the help they need after all.

I know I'm not faultless here. When I started offering ordeal services, the only ones I referred out were ones that wanted/required a kind of ordeal I knew I was incapable of doing, like rope bondage. But I definitely took clients who were looking for a kind of ordeal that wasn't my main focus. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with diversifying; there is a small number of us, and having more skills makes you well-rounded. However, it's also good to know that if I have no interest or aptitude in a specific kind of service, I don't have to (dangerously) fake it, or do a little online research and then take a swing at it.

I know many of us feel alone; we may work for Bosses that no one else does, or serve a specific Boss in a way/relationship that's different from the other shamans and spirit workers. Maybe you're reading this but you've never personally met someone who does the same sort of work as you. Before I met Raven Kaldera, I was doing all sorts of spirit work for myself, my Bosses, and my clients, without having a framework or name for what I was doing. I didn't know it was so rare, either. But I'm happier now that I have a functional Rolodex of people doing all sorts of things for clients, so I can offer up a bunch of names when someone is looking for a specific type of experience.

Recently, I was reading the blog of someone who has a relationship with a Deity that needs to be formalized. Although I knew this person in meat space, and had done ordeal work with them in the past, I hadn't talked about this new relationship with them, nor had they sought me out for guidance. However, their Deity downloaded what the ritual was going to look like into my head, and I knew there was a role in it that I could accomplish with ease. I took a very gentle approach with the client – I told her that no one had the right to dictate to her what her ritual should look like, and that I was happy to share the details of my vision if she was interested. When she indicated she was, I gave a dispassionate description of what I was allowed to tell her, including the part that I thought I was qualified for. When I described that part, I told her I could do it, but I also gave her the names of three other spirit workers who could as well. I didn't want to insert myself into her ritual just because I was the one who got the vision; I also didn't want to assume that she wanted to share this experience with me just because we've shared ordeal space in the past. I let her make her own decisions, because after all, it's her ritual.

I know too many spirit workers who take a different tack; I know because I frequently get their dissatisfied clients on my doorstep. They assume that because they were the conduit through which the Deity communication occurred, that means that any further work with that Deity, including the possibility of possessory interaction, is automatically the responsibility of the same spirit worker. This is just not true. You may not have the right body for the job, or whatever may transpire during the possession may jeopardize the client's ability to work with the spirit worker outside of that context again (“I'm sorry, but every time I look at you, I see Odin instead, and I just can't relate to you in any other way.”). Spirit workers also sometimes assume that they are the ones that the client needs to go through for any further communication with said Deity, or that the spirit worker is the best qualified person to dictate what the client's further actions with that Deity are. None of that is necessarily true.

It is a good thing that we have resources like this blog (however inactive it's been lately), to interact with each other and get to know the strengths and specialties each one of us brings to the table. I see nothing wrong with the fact that I have a solid network of colleagues I can refer a client to; it doesn't demean my ability or status or cool factor. It makes me a better, more capable shaman. I can do more because I can call on others to assist, either through referral or by asking someone to join me in helping the client. It means that I don't have to spend a lot of time learning a little bit about all the sorts of things a client may ask of me; I can reliably send bloodwalking clients to Elizabeth, or clients seeking magickal knowledge to Winter, or clients walking a Warrior path to Galina. I know a little about all of these things, but they are experts. As a client, I'd rather know that I was working with someone who knew their stuff, rather than whomever was most convenient. I know this isn't universal of all clients (some clients don't take referrals well, especially if it might require them to travel more than half an hour), but at the very least I'm giving them a choice, an informed choice. If proximity, or fee, or availability, or gender, or experience, is the most important factor for a client, so be it.

If, by any chance, you are reading this and you really don't know any other shamans or spirit workers, well, now you know me. And I know a really good bunch of them. So if you find yourself with a client that you feel you may not be the right person to service them, drop me an email with what the client needs and I'll do my best to make a good referral – or be honest if I don't know anyone who can help. That's a start. Another way to get to know other spirit workers is to offer to hold a spirit worker “coffee clatch” at your next pagan gathering – it doesn't have to be an informative workshop, just a place for people who do this stuff to get together and network. I usually do this under the guise of a “discussion”, where I have everyone introduce themselves and give a short synopsis of who they work for and what they do. Then I ask a bunch of questions to get people talking. At the end, I leave time for people to swap contact information and encourage them to stay in touch. Voila! More people in your Rolodex.

I also haunt a few (not many) online pagan haunts, looking for people who post things that sound like they may do spirit work. I also try to follow blogs of people who are writing about this sort of thing; especially those who are working with Deities or pantheons that I don't, or who use modalities I don't. It seems intutive to follow blogs of people who share the same experiences as you (and I'm not saying don't do that), but if you're looking to broaden your network, it's actually better to find people who are working in a completely different way.

Also, don't be afraid to bring in “contractors”. By that, I mean, people who aren't spirit workers, but who have a specific skill set that will give your client the sort of experience that they need. If Artemis wants your client to learn to bow-hunt, it doesn't have to be a spirit worker who teaches him how. If your ritual requires someone to “stand in” for a Deity, it may actually be easier if it's not you, so you can focus on walking with your client and supporting them through their experience. If a client is interested in a kind of devotional work that you don't do, it may be better for them to talk to someone who does, spirit worker or no. (For instance, I don't do prayer beads, but I know lots of pagans who do!) The contractor doesn't even need to know that this is part of some spirit-work thing; the client can manage that on their own, according to their preferences.

Being Superman isn't a bad thing. After all, Superman is very useful, and has a lot of kewl powerz that help a lot of people. However, he is only one member of the Super Friends, and sometimes the job calls for Wonder Woman, or Aquaman. Okay, so very few jobs call for Aquaman, but that's a different essay for a different blog.


Del is a child of Loki, and a neoclassical shaman who primarily works with the Norse pantheon. He teaches on a variety of subjects, from kink spirituality to devotional work. He writes a blog about his experiences with chronic illness and how it relates to his spirituality at http://www.dyingforadiagnosis.com. He can be emailed (for those referrals!) at awesome.del@gmail.com.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Becoming An Animist, Or Why I Gave Up All My Shit

By Fionnlaech

When I was thirteen my parents told me that they would buy me my weight in books.


They did this too encourage the stunted growth in my taste for reading. Well... it worked. I read all the books I could (mostly science fiction and fantasy) and for the first time I started to collect stuff with the intention of keeping it for a long time. I collected sci-fi books, Magic: The Gathering cards, music, and comics. They bought a computer for me and I began to use it for games and surfing the internet. Years passed and I built up a decent book collection (1000 books ish) and card collection ($1500 when I sold it). When I left for college I took everything I could with me and put the rest in storage. I picked up new interests and started collecting camping equipment, weapons, and religious tools. During my time in college and after my household grew by, in no particular order, several fish, a wife, two snakes, two cats, a husband, and a few dogs. In addition I kept a good deal of clothes, machining tools, and a large collection of stuffed animals.

But I was unhappy.

The reasons why I was unhappy are far too complicated to get into in this writing but a little piece of it was stuff. I kept feeling that I had too much... stuff. When I got divorced I took the opportunity find homes (I now deeply regret that “home” mostly meant “landfill” at the time) for my MTG collection, clothes, stuffed animals, weapons, camping equipment, games, and most of my books. Just doing that made me feel so much better... but I didn’t know why. Fast forward a year.

I was unhappy again.

The end of a relationship had brought the happiest 6 months of my life to a close and I felt uncomfortable with my living space again. I had a tv, computer monitor, tables, chairs, other furniture, appliances, utensils, xbox, wii, the remainder of my book collection, and I was trying to figure out what the fuck to do with it all. After much consideration I decided to give it all away (I found better homes this time) which made me feel much better, but again I didn’t know why. This time I decided to figure it out.

I’ve been mulling it over in my head for a while and I have an hypothesis: it’s all about animism. For those who aren’t familiar with animism I’ll use Graham Harvey’s definition: “[Animism] ...is a way of living that treats the world as a community of living beings, persons, most of whom are other-than-human.” My paganism always had a quietly animist thread but as the years have passed I have found it braiding with other parts of my wyrd to become an increasingly large part of my spirituality. If we take seriously the idea that EVERYTHING in our lives is a person (who just doesn’t often happen to be human) then what does that say about the stuff we touch? Your Wii is the gaming buddy who comes over and hangs out with you. Your forks, knives, and napkins become your caregivers. Your handkerchief becomes the friend you invite over when you need someone to be there when you cry.

I’ve known for years that I am not a really social person. I like have a few close friends and cordial, but shallow, relationships with everyone else. What I unconsciously realized is that my life made no sense unless I applied that to the non-human persons in my life. When I was living with my husband and wife I think a part of me felt that I couldn’t have the kind of intense relationship that makes me happy if I had so many roommates (furniture, shower curtain, microwave) and friends (books, computer games, camping equipment) who lived with us, no matter how much I enjoyed their company individually. The living space in Seattle didn’t work because I brought most the stuff I had with the thought that someone else would be spending a great deal of time there. Imagine how you would feel if you signed an apartment lease for three people, moved in, and the third person never showed.

This helps me explain some of my past motivations and aids my understanding of current relationships in my life. Clothes for example. I’ve noticed that since I got rid of so many clothes over the past year I have enjoyed the company of the clothes I have much more. In addition, my buying patterns have changed. If entertainment objects are the friends of the non-human world our clothes are surely our lovers. The are constantly in contact with us, touching us, caressing us. We take the clothes we find most attractive out on dates. They see us at our most vulnerable. They are frequently the only external objects we take with us to the grave.

Last year, with a few exceptions, I stopped buying new clothes. I now shop almost exclusively at thrift stores. The change was partially due to cost but a big part was that what I looked for in a relationship changed. I wanted clothes that were experienced, that have scars, that have stories. Not some naive freshly starched virgin shirt that I have to patiently train about the ways of the world, about loving. The exceptions are for clothes that already seem perfect for me (how often have we all disobeyed our iron-clad dating rules for that one hottie who seems into us). I now understand my clothes much better. If I look at my favorite clothes the way I do a lover my feelings make much more sense. In my human lovers I look for people who will accompany me on otherworldly journeys and whose blood I can share. My corset, my hakama both make much more sense to me if I think of them as fluid-bonded lovers, the gods know I have bled on them enough.

This is why animism appeals to me as a way of life (animism, as I think about it, is less of a religion and more of a way to walk through the world) that will foster a more sustainable future. If you try to live an environmentally friendly life it is easy to get turned off by all the choices thrust upon you. Here’s a thought path that I cycle through. “Ok, I want to actually act environmentally friendly on a daily basis. How should I do that? Should I take public transport everywhere? What if I like visiting friends outside of the bus route? Do I buy organic or local? Which is better? What if I don’t have the money for that? Why should I buy expensive light bulbs? What is the right choice? ARRGGHH I GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!! *sigh* I’ll try this again when I have more money.”

Animism makes simpler for me, although not easier. Animism doesn’t ask us to always make the right choices about stuff, just that we treat it with dignity.

Every. Single. Thing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

TANSTAAFL

cross-posted from Notes From A Barking Shaman


There is a well know platitude that reads: When the gods close a door, they open a window.

Admittedly, I took a few pagan liberties there with my pluralization, but I am confident that the essential sentiment remains unchanged.

While undeniably clich├ęd, this sentiment has an element of truth (or perhaps truthiness) about it. However, there is a inverse truth that has failed to achieve quite the same level of Hallmark success.

When the gods open a door, they close a window.

Most people know me as “Wintersong Tashlin.” Granted it is not the name I was given at birth. Nor is it the name that adorns my state and federal ID. I was given this name in February of 1999, and in 2005 my legal name was amended so that “Tashlin” became my legal surname. For a number of sentimental and practical reasons I decided for the time being to leave my first name alone. However, the list of people who call me by my birth name is quite short. Nearly all of them are related to me by blood.

My life and Work as “Wintersong” has open many doors. Regardless of what community I am in, this is the identity I am known by. The freedom that has allowed me made it possible to establish a reputation working at the intersections of the communities that I hold dear: pagan spirituality/magic, kink/BDSM, queer/LGBT. With separate “scene” “circle” and “real” names, it would have been impossible to do much of the Work I am proudest of. Additionally, I have never made much effort to separate “Wintersong” from my legal identity. It seemed a loosing battle and one that I could never be happy while fighting.

The question of identity has always been one of interest in my life. The collection of poetry I wrote as an adolescent (some of which is surprisingly decent) asks the question “who am I” and “where am I going” with the frequency one might expect of a disabled queer kid that age. There are times I wonder, would ELL see his own future in WST? Would my childhood self understand the path our wyrd took? Or instead would he resent me for such gross deviations from the course he had envisioned for this turn of the Wheel?

In his wildest dreams, my younger self could not imagine the doors the gods have opened for me. Starting with those gods themselves, and continuing to spouses, lovers, friends, community, and a family of choice that, along with my family of birth, has made it possible to experience richer joys and weather greater pains in the last twelve years than some people experience in a lifetime. Of course there are moments I would love a do-over for, but never have I regretted the path itself.

Not regretting one's wyrd however, doesn't not prevent mourning what has been sacrificed to make it possible.

For instance, my life as a godatheow (god-slave) does not allow for children. I was raised to believe that as a parent, one's children have to come first, an idea incompatible with my oaths. Service to the Lady is my highest priority, before my partners or potential children. Germain to this essay moreover, my public identity as “Wintersong” effectively eliminates having children in our society. I am sterile, and someone on record as an openly unabashed polyamorous pervert has little chance of getting approved for the adoption process (note: I'm open about being poly AND a pervert, one does not automatically equal the other). A part of me longs for children, but even if an arrangement could be reached with my patron, there is no feasible way to become a parent with the openness my Work requires.

Career options have their own limits too. A friend and colleague of mine recently raised the prospect of some potential employment that would dovetail well with my current Work while fitting with my disability and schedule needs. However, the position requires being able to pass a level of hostile scrutiny that my legal identity cannot withstand. Googling my legal name ties it to “Wintersong” on the very first page of search results. Taking that into account it was obvious I was unsuitable for the position. Disappointing as that was, there was also relief. For most of my life I lived openly and doubt I possess the fortitude for a closet. My time at the car dealership would indicate that I do not. Hiding under the refuge of my legal name was an emotionally distressing experience (I should note that, to PCN's credit I was out as queer without issue).

At present there are a number of projects vying for my attention: The first is to achieve greater market penetration and financial success as a presenter in the kink/BDSM and spirituality communities, which includes writing two books that will ideally improve my name recognition. At the same time I am working to complete and find a market for an unrelated writing project that must not be tied to the first task due to its subject matter. If, in defiance of the odds, the second writing project finds an audience and publisher, I will not be able to publicly take ownership of a work I'd be rightfully proud of. Changing gears between them would be hard enough without the knowledge that in the best case scenario I will still be unable to claim credit for the second work. The added pressure of teaching private students and trying to grow a nascent magical clan has not improved matters.

If an opportunity presented itself, I would certainly not go back in time and prevent myself from going out stargazing that night in mid-September of 1998 with the first friend I'd made at college. The encounter we had that night opened an incomprehensible door for us both, and even then, a part of me recognized our wyrds would entwine as part of something bigger than either of us. Returning home that evening battered and drained, but also exhilarated, I could sense the barest glimmer of an unimagined possibilities.

Perhaps it is merely my knowledge of what the future would bring, but I fancy that in that moment we both also felt a hint of sadness, recognizing on some level that by embracing those unimagined possibilities we were forever forfeiting a great many imagined ones. The Fates had opened a door, but over the coming months and years would close a great many windows.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Journey Into the Desert

I have practiced human sacrifice. I have been Agamemnon standing over Iphigenia holding the knife, and I have the blood of my own child on my hands and on my wyrd.

I was 17 and dating a boy that I had known for several years in October of 1997, and for a 17 year old, the sex was good. Not adventurous, but good. I was not nearly as careful as I should have been with condoms, and I am essentially allergic to most of the hormonal birth control that was available at the time. The inevitable happened, as one might guess and I got pregnant. I realized that my period was late and took the home test the week after I came home from visiting Oberlin College. I was due to graduate from High School in May. I was not conflicted as to the course I would take. I found out at three weeks, barely long enough for a reliable result on the test. I had the abortion at five weeks, the earliest that the procedure could be done. The nurse at the Planned Parenthood was actually a little disturbed at my total lack of ambivalence towards the decision that I had made. I was a practical child, what can I say.

The life of my now never to be born child is not the only life that I have taken to shape my own. I have also taken my own life. When I walked into that sterile and cold office and signed those papers, I walked out of Eden and became a demon myself. I could have given up college, I was in love with the boy, at least in the way that a 17 year old can know such things. I could have chained myself to him, and he wanted me too. He did not want to lose the tight collection of cells that would be the only thing that could hold us together in the months to come, though in truth that was his only investment in said cells. But I did not. I chose to become a hollow womb, a dark blood stained pool, and I never even looked back at the shining walls of motherhood. I walked out into the desert, and while I did not know where I was going, I was not going back.

I left home and took my blood soaked body and new self with me. I gave birth to my own demon children, ideas and magic. Not totally on my own (I am not a goddess myself, I had help). Together we made our own oasis in the desert, and They did not care that I had taken the life of my own child to be there and be a part of this new creation. I bound myself to a new goddess and a new path. I became a sorceress and I taught others what I had discovered. I learned to weave and bend the energy of the land itself to my will.

I have taken one more life (though in truth I have probably taken many) to make myself full and whole. A little more than a year ago, I made the decision to undergo gender transition from female to male. I have nothing in particular against my female self. I never felt sundered, or alien in my skin. I never felt as if I was a prisoner in my body. It was just that the whole rest of the world kept calling me “she” and "her." It was made clear to me when a co-worker asked me once “How many children do you have?” Not do you have children, but how many. I had offspring, my demon progeny, but not like she was asking. My loins were a desert that had been vacuumed out, and sacrificed on the altar next to the white cows and snakes of my youth. How could I explain that to her? I couldn't. To stay female was to be confronted with this reality with increasing regularity by those around me. This was the first hard shove over the line from ambivalence to active dissatisfaction with my public gender presentation.

So now I have three lives worth of blood that trail behind me like the path of a snail. The blood is warm and I can feel it sometimes, as it runs through my now short hair and down my back, over my legs and into the flow of my wyrd flowing out behind me and stretching out before me. I can see the blood there too, sometimes, red threads and eddies over paths that now I will never walk.

Lilith and I have been courting for about a year now, and through that time I have struggled to understand what it is that she wants from or for me, why she has shown an interest in a slave bound so completely to another goddess. While I know that I will likely never understand fully, this at least is another part of the puzzle. In this way we are alike, we have been faced with the same realities and made the same choices. We have shed the same skins, and I think that she, like me looks back at the walls of Eden and if not regrets her course, at least wonders what the other path might have held.
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Surfacing

I have tried here to capture the experience of “surfacing” or “coming out of the trunk” during a deity possession or “horsing” as it is generally known.

Sleep Wintersong. Go back to sleep...

Distant voices, deep in conversation, rumble in the void like thunder beyond a clouded horizon. Wrong, this is wrong. A splinter of consciousness whispers into the dark that I should be without thought or form. Stubbornly, I cling to the fabric of the nothingness that envelopes me, like a war torn child struggling to stay buried in dreams of a time before blood and fire. The voices grow clearer one voice mine and yet not mine, and I can feel the words carving groves in my mind, and know that these scattered words will be waiting in my memory when I wake. I don't want your words, they belong to you, not me.

Wish as I might, the fabric of my void is tearing. Am I crying, can a thought cry in fear? Lightning flashes, illuminating flicking visions of the waking world, burned into my memory like pictures in someone else's scrapbook. My flesh is being returned to me prematurely and I feel His irritation, tempered with concern, though whether for Himself or for the vessel I do not know. I am sorry. Inadequacy and shame burns in my breast, or would if I had form and substance.

And then, in an instant of sickening dislocation, I do. I am a passenger in a ship born of my mother's body and I can feel Him struggling to maintain His connection. I am small. I see nothing. I feel nothing. In this Work wishing can make it so, if you wish hard enough. Whatever I can do to make room for Him I do.

Help me Master! I cry out for my Teacher and a distant echo reassures and soothes my frightened heart. I know that my Teacher will do his best to erase the grooves in my mind and white out the unwanted pictures in the scrapbook of my memory. It will be incomplete, but the effort will ease my readjustment, when the proper time for my return finally comes.

Then I feel how I don't want to feel Him reach with His/my/Our hand and grasp the hard, slick glass. The vile liquid inside hits my tongue and He rides the wave of liquor down into Our body, the spider puppet-master again ensconced in His temporary temple. Don't think about that, never about that. As the blessed void closes back over my drifting consciousness, my last awareness is of the transmutation of the alcohol from loathsome to ambrosial as His desires reassert dominance and sleep claims me again.


editor's note: this essay was originally published on Notes From a Barking Shaman

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Honoring Narvi

By Galina Krasskova

My adopted mother loved the God Narvi very much. She was a devoted Sigyn and Loki’s woman and she connected very strongly to Sigyn’s immense anguish over the loss of Her two children, especially Narvi.

For those of you who don’t know the story, when Loki spoke His piece in the Hall of the Gods (Lokasenna), He angered Them greatly. Some will say that Their anger came from discovering His role in the death of Baldur; others will say that it was because He pointed out Divine hypocrisy, those places where the Gods were falling short in Their actions. Regardless, They began to hunt Him. Eventually, though He gave good chase, Loki was captured. As part of His punishment, His son Vali was turned into a wolf. He sprang upon the other boy Narvi and slaughtered Him. Narvi’s entrails were strengthened magically and used to bind Loki to a giant rock in a dank cave. A serpent was placed above His head to drip poison onto His face. Sigyn stayed by Him, doing what She could to ease His anguish.

What no one ever talks about in this story, what no one ever wants to acknowledge, is that here we have a Goddess who had both Her sons ripped away from Her. Here we have a grieving mother whose anguish is as vast as the star-filled sky. Here we have a Goddess with every reason to hate and despise the Aesir, and yet She doesn’t. She makes a choice to put the welfare of Her husband first and She remains by His side. My mother connected to that and through Sigyn to Narvi.

Amongst Northern Tradition shamans and spirit-workers, some have a talent for opening to the Gods in such a way that specific Deities can surge into them, pushing human consciousness aside and using the body of the person for a time to communicate directly. This we call “horsing,” the idea being that the person is like a horse being ridden by a Deity. Scholars would call it divine possession. My mother could not do this. She was neither a shaman nor a spirit-worker. She was only one who loved the Gods fiercely with every breath and atom of her being. What she found she could do, was allow Narvi to shadow her, to ride tandem in her consciousness a bit, to hook into her senses, to walk with her. Her practice was rooted in a deep, ardent love of the Gods. There was a grace and a simplicity to it that puts my own practice to shame. Because she moved from a place of love, she wanted to do something to give Narvi pleasure. Here was a boy who had never had a chance to grow and love and live. So she began simply by invoking Him, inviting Him to come with her and then going to the beach to watch the ships or the seals, or the otters. She lived in the Big Sur area in California, and for one who loves the water, it is a haven.

Many of us feel through our own gnosis that Narvi loves the water, sailing, fishing, swimming, and everything associated with the water. So my mother would go regularly to the beach and let Him look through her eyes. She would let Him enjoy a few moments, through her senses, of being alive and doing something that He enjoyed. My mom died this past February and in one of the final letters that she left for me (for we knew she was ill months before), she asked me to make sure that someone, somewhere continues to honor Narvi. “Please try to find someone who can go to the beach for Narvi,” she wrote, “or take Him for a walk in the woods, or something. I don’t want Him to have to wait again, and be forgotten again.”

So if any of you reading this feel a tug at your heart. If any of you have a love or devotion to Sigyn or Loki or Hela (for Narvi is Her half-brother), consider ways to honor Him. Perhaps taking Him to the beach is not something you can do, but a prayer, an offering, a few moments of contemplation, a toy given to a child in need….surely there is something that we can each do in His name, for Him. For those of you who, like me, have the gift of horsing, well, consider on occasion giving Sigyn’s gentlest son a half hour in the flesh. Narvi sits with Baldur now. Perhaps together They mourn the senselessness that caused Their passings.

Prayer to Narvi

Child of a Gentle Mother,
be Thou hailed.
Child of a beautiful Father,
be Thou honored.
May Your passing be remembered.
May Your youth be mourned.
May Your presence be celebrated
all the days of our lives.
May You find doorways to our world
oh son of grieving Gods,
and here may You find
some small measure of Joy.
Hail Narvi,
Child of loss.
Hail Narvi,
Child of Valour.


Those wishing to read more about Narvi or Sigyn or Loki should consider the following books:

“Feeding the Flame” by Galina Krasskova
“Jotunbok” by Raven Kaldera
‘The Poetic Edda” by Snorri Sturluson (there are many good translations available)
“Sigyn: Our Lady of the Staying Power” by Galina Krasskova

See also: krasskova.weebly.com

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Book Available

Just a quick note to let you all know that my new devotional is available: "Day Star and Whirling Wheel: Honoring the Sun and Moon in the Northern Tradition."

From the back of the book: In the Northern Tradition, the Sun is represented by the Goddess Sunna, and the Moon by her divine brother Mani. They give their names to two of the days of the week, and their rays shine down upon us, giving life and inspiration. This devotional is dedicated to them, and to their family. They are more than mere personifications; they bring joy and peace to every day of our lives. We saw them first in the sky as children, and now we can understand and reverence them even more fully with the help of this book.


It's available from asphodelpress.com, lulu.com and, in a few weeks, amazon.com.
Be well
Galina Krasskova