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

Friday, December 24, 2010


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