Devotion

On Thursday I struggled with a writing assignment, and returned to the mantel of my hearth atop which sits my altar of sorts with an offering of fiery red curry and a glass of absinthe for the All Father. I needed the breath of inspiration again, as I had asked the week before in a whorl of job interviews for a dream writing job. I did well in three interviews in four days, the right word always to hand. A gift was owing, and with it I asked again for help.

Later that day, at the end of yoga (when we are all laying on our mats pleasantly spent and deeply relaxed), I meditated on the gods, thinking of Odin and Thor (as I have just consecrated by a daily prayer a new Mjollnir) At the end, when the class chants OM, I say Thorn. I treat the yogic path now just as I do in Tai Chi, as an aspect of my faith. Tai Chi  I offer to Thor as that path is a meditative form of kung fu. It was born from the quiet studies of warrior monks in China. I still make the fist-and-hand salute when we circle up at the end, although that is not the way of my current teacher. My salute is the book and the fist, the way of my first teacher who was of a martial arts bent.

Before yoga, I was contemplating finishing cleaning the front of the house, putting away the boxes stacked in my bedroom and giving that part of the front of the house a long overdue dusting and vacuuming. As I lay on the mat in a great state of piece, meditating, I felt the presence of two figures i took at first to be Odin and Frigg. It was very clear to me, however, that the feminine presence was wearing a large necklace. It was then I realized that this visitation was the Lord and Lady, who are often on my mind as I walk among my blessed oaks.

The lessons I took from all this is that Odin is not tight-fisted with his gifts, so long as he is repaid in gifts. (I got the article finished, although the editor who asked for it has vanished. Another test. Life is a series of them). I also learned that the gods and goddesses come to one as they see fit, and the amount of time I spend among the vættir of my blessed oaks, passing the fountain statue I call the Lady of the Oaks, had opened a door through which the Lord and Lady came. Tonight I took my grandfather’s wedding ring, which I wore in my first marriage, and asked Odin to cleanse it of Xian oaths as I passed it through a candle flame. (My own oath I  broke, and have paid for it. I have frith with my ex-wife who is listed on Facebook under Family.)

Tomorrow I will wash away the soot and all the rings past with pure spring water, and offer it to the Lord and Lady, to rest on my altar until I am done. Thor I shall call on every morning when I lift my Mjollnir from that same altar (I actually can’t work the clasp except I stand in front of the altar, or in front of the bookshelf at my girlfriend’s where I brought a copy of the prayer and laid it this weekend.). I will call on Odin for inspiration, and Bragi for pure poetry. The golden ring, however, will rest there always, and be ever in my mind when I enter the grove of the blessed oaks, stopping always at the grandmother oak to pray that frith and beauty ever reign in that grove, so that I and all others may daily partake of it.

 

 

Mjöllnir Blessing

71slNgsJ2HL._UY600_Thor

Champion of Asgard
Warder of Misgard
Giant bane & friend of men

Imbue this Mjöllnir
with your noble virtues
so all know by this token
it is ever my work to be

strong & courageous
honest & honorable
self-reliant & industrious
disciplined & fidelitous
& ever hospitable.

Ward all those I pledge my troth:
my love, my kin, my kindred.
Grant me the strength to act
as you would in my place.

The Lore in Our Core

I encountered Jose Ortega y Gasset’s famous line in a novel the other day: “Yo soy yo y mi circumstancia” (“I am I and my circumstance”) Meditaciones del Quijote, 1914.”  While he implies a dialectical tension perhaps not entirely in keeping with The Wyrd, I cannot mistake its echo in the statement. Spain was occupied by the Goths in the long ago, and they had a profound influence on the subsequent culture.

And then yesterday I encounter a series of excerpts from the letters of Vincent Van Gogh in which  once again the ethos of Heathenism seems to lie between every line even as he invokes Christian concepts.

He who lives uprightly and experiences true difficulty and disappointment and is nonetheless undefeated by it is worth more than someone who prospers and knows nothing but relative good fortune.
[…]
Woe-spiritedness is quite a good thing to have, if only one writes it as two words, woe is in all people, everyone has reason enough for it, but one must also have spirit, the more the better, and it is good to be someone who never despairs.

Everyone thinks of Van Gogh as a painter of France although he was of Dutch and so Germania ancestry. Am I seeing chimera where I wish to find them, mirage of water in the desert, a Lore overload spilling onto the floor? Or is our cosmos opening up its hidden, unforgotten patterns all about me?

I rather think the last, although perhaps I am suffering from an excess of enthusiasm. Then again just such an excess could be a gift of He Who Hung Upon the Tree for just such gifts, and I implored him just last week for inspiration in a specific circumstances but the gifts of the God’s do not always come neatly wrapped or on a certain date specific.

I believe in what I am seeing, the wisdom and ethos in unexpected places all around me.

First always, as sworn for my boon (a gift for a gift), Hail All Father for opening my eyes to the hidden wisdom all around me. And Hail Thor, Warder of Asgard and Migard, for the warrior wisdom of Vincent Van Gogh.

Marcus Trúasóngr

Light the Beacons

Living in the South, as I make my first outreach to The Troth steward and a local pan-pagan group, one of my concerns is obviously the possibility to turn folkishness into outright racism. Everyone raised in the south above a certain age is a racists. It was indoctrinated by elder family members and one’s peers from the earliest age, and it is a curse one struggles with as one struggles against alcoholism: one day at a time, never completely cured but stronger than the curse.

A group of heathens is organizing an event on Mayday called Light the Beacons. I let the Facebook post speak for itself:

On this coming May Day we call on all Heathens around the world who stand for inclusive, tolerant, and diverse practice to light a beacon in solidarity with all other Heathens who stand for these values in our spirituality. Whether you are lighting a candle in your home with your loved ones or are hosting a bonfire party open to the public we ask you help us shine a light on all the good work, good practice, and good people in Heathenry across Midgard.

As I have shared a few other ritual invocations of the gods (so far, but mindful of the strong women of the Heathen pantheon as well, and that sexism has no place; and I am drawn toward Nerthus as the embodiment of the The Lady in the Germanic feminine), here is a redrafted invocation after some helpful criticism from my region’s Troth steward.

Hail Báleyg

Baleful eye of the battlefield
Lord of the cohort of Asgard
Father of all troth knowledge

The Troth  of all—Æsir & Vanir,
lofty Jöntunn, bright Alfheim
& the Folk of the Troth—
are threatened by the crooked of Ásatru.
.
Shine your flaring glance upon them
as we light this fiery beacon of true troth
so that the glory of all Asgard
& the people of the holy troth
be unblemished in the eyes of all men.