The Gods will let us know. Whether by voice or withdrawing their favor or lashing out and pushing us away. If the Gods have agency, they will make these things clear to us. If they need humans to enforce the proper way to think, worship, and relate to them and to shake their fingers and scold them when they’re doing it wrong then they don’t have much in the way of agency, now do they?
I am reminded of Christianity in America, where the Devil lurks around every corner, subverts every mind, manipulates every politician, controls every industry… and God, the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent needs representatives to defend him. When I hear that, it makes their God sound very weak, and their Devil sound very powerful.
You may tell me what you think of my devotion and theology and I may listen, but at the end of the day what you think of it matters not at all compared to how the Gods react to it. Thus if you have experience I may consider your words (and I do, even the ones I find distasteful) but if the Lady and the other Powers seem to be pleased I’ll move yon wagging finger away from my face and encourage you to stick it wheresoever you like – in your own business, not mine.
TLDR: My Gods matter more to me than any human agency, because at the end of the day my relationship is with them, and not you (unless it is, and then we can talk more. Still, put that finger away first).
A friend of mine recently asked me to write up the daily devotional that I do for Freyja. I decided to share it here as well. It’s heavily ADF influenced, as a lot of my private practice is. Thus you’ll see the fire, well, and tree (although establishing the sacred center was inspired by a similar process that I’ve seen Patricia Lafayllve do, shared with credit to her, and her permission). I also cleanse the space through invocations to Her. I know a lot of Heathens call on Thor for this, but I don’t work with him often, and She is the Priestess of the Sacrifice and as such can be called on to aid in hallowing and cleansing. Other than the sacred center and the prayer adapted from Galina the rest is my own work, including the invocation.
“I light now the sacred flame. Let us pray with a good fire.”
Hold the candle in front of you. Move it up and down and back and forth in front of your body, saying:
“Sacred flame, in Freyja’s name, cleanse me and bless me, banish from me all baleful wights and wills and make me whole and holy. Oh sacred flame, in Freyja’s name, so be it. Hail Blotgydja.”
Walk candle around the room, saying:
“Sacred flame, in Freyja’s name, cleanse and bless this space and banish from it all baleful wights and wills and make it whole and holy. Sacred flame, in Freyja’s name, so be it. Hail Blotgydja.”
Asperge self with water from bowl, saying:
“Water from the sacred well, in Freyja’s name, cleanse me and bless me, banish from me all baleful wights and wills and make me whole and holy. Water from the sacred well, in Freyja’s name, so be it. Hail Blotgydja.”
Asperge eight directions of room, ceiling and floor, saying:
“Water from the sacred well, cleanse and bless this space, banish from it all baleful wights and wills, and make it whole and holy. Water from the sacred well, in Freyja’s name, so be it. Hail Blotgydja.”
“Hail Freyja Blotgydja!”
Establishing Sacred Center
Pass hand through candle flame, saying:
“In the south, the realm of flames and sparks, Muspelheim hight.”
Dip fingers in the well, saying:
“In the north, the realm of water and mist, Niflheim hight.”
“In the center, in the void, Ginnungagap hight, the fires of the south met the waters of the north. SSSSSSSSSSS (hissing sound). From this meeting, all things were made.”
Touch representation of Yggdrasil, saying:
“In the center, all things connecting, nine worlds supporting, a mighty tree, Yggdrasil hight.”
Calling to Freyja:
Raise arms, saying:
Hail Mardoll Freyja, Lady of Passion, Lady of Power.
Hail to Freyja, cat-chariot riding!
Hail to Freyja in passion abiding!
Hail to Freyja in red-gold lust screaming!
Hail to Freyja in deep seidh trance dreaming!
Hail to Freyja on falcon wings flying!
Hail to Freyja on dwarven bed sighing.
Hail to Mardoll in brightness and beauty.
Hail Blotgydja in your sacred duty.
Hail to Freyja in Passion and Power!
Hail to Freyja, bright Vanaheim’s flower!
Hail Mardoll Freyja, Vanadis!
Slowly lower arms, saying:
Be welcome on your shrine, be welcome in my home, be welcome in my life.
Light any candles you have for Her, saying:
“Freyja, I light now these candles in Your honor. May their warmth and light and sweet scent please you and bring you joy. Hail Freyja!”
Sing Her names, whichever ones please you and call to you in whatever tune you wish. Think of Her as they flow from your heart and through your lips. Feel your love for Her.
This is where I recite my personal devotional oath to Her. If you have that or something similar, this is a good time to do it.
Then recite any prayers you have for Her. I do different ones depending on need and mood. The one I use daily is adapted from Galina Krasskova’s prayer to Freyja (changed only in that I alter “we” and “our” to “I” and “my” when I am reading it alone:
“Hail to the Lady of Amber. Hail to the Lady of Steel. Bringer of luck, bestower of wealth. You are the envy of all the Gods, the treasure of the nine sacred worlds. Freyja, mighty and magnificent, I praise Your name with my passions. Ignite within me an awareness of my own creative fire. Ignite within me hunger, to burn through the pale shadows of my life and to find integrity: in all I do, in all I dream, in all I am. Bless me, Freyja, Lady of the Vanir, and I shall hail You, always.”
I also thank Her for Her blessings at this point. I usually say something like:
“Thank you Freyja, for your blessings. Thank you for your presence in my life. Thank you for being part of my life, and for letting me be part of Yours.”
Sometimes I include other blessings and gifts that I thank Her for as well.
Spend some time in silence with Her; it can be as short as three breaths or as long as you wish and have time for. Listen to Her, feel Her presence, and love and honor Her in your silence.
“Thank you, Freyja, for coming to my home and being in my life. Be with me always.”
Snuff the candles, one by one, saying:
“Thank you Freyja, hail and blessings!”
Turn to the flame, well, and tree.
“Thank you sacred flame. Thank you sacred well. Thank you sacred tree.”
Snuff the candle flame, saying:
“I have prayed with a good fire.”
And it is done.
My friend John and I have posted our first two episodes of Gifts of the Wyrd on Podbean. We hope to do at least one per month. Here is the link; I hope you enjoy!
Thank you, Dr. Seuss. Thank you for your open heart and kindness, your greatness of spirit and courage, and the simple, deep power of your words.
Today on this day of the anniversary of your birth, I honor you, Theodore Seuss Geisel, you who are a local hero here in San Diego. Today I thank you for teaching me that many things that you have: a love of wordplay and onomatopoeia; a knowledge that everyone is special, star-bellied or not; that a person is a person no matter how small, and how when we learn that we have to help the world to understand that so no one is overlooked or unloved or treated unfairly; that the trees have a voice and a life and need someone to speak for them because they cannot; that everyone matters. Thank you, I am a better person for having absorbed your words. Many of us are.
It wasn’t just children’s books you created. You did a lot of work as a political cartoonist, at a time when the world was in a bad place, around World War 2. You spoke out against isolationism, encouraged us to help our allies and fight against growing evil that we saw in the world.
We’re in bad shape now, Dr. Seuss. We’ve been in a war so long that there are grownups now that have never known a time of peace. It’s not like it’s a just war either; it’s war to cement our financial interests and our desire for control. It’s not protecting anyone at this point.
We have someone who wants to be President who scares us. A lot of people say he’s like Hitler. I mean, they’ve said that about every leader since Hitler, but this guy is a special case. He feeds peoples’ rage and meanness of spirit, their hatred and discrimination, and pumps them into a frenzy. He wants to build walls around us, Mr. Geisel. To isolate us and cut us off from our neighbors.
Right now we could really use a dose of your guidance, your greatness of spirit, your kindness, your compassion, and your courage. If there’s anything you can do from wherever you are, Mr. Geisel, please reach out and help us. We need you right now, so badly. We need someone to remind us that we aren’t the most important thing in the world, that everyone deserves to be taken care of, that there needs to be voices to speak for those who can’t, and that a person’s a person, no matter how (fill in the blank). Wherever you are, honored Ancestor, if there’s a way you can help us please do, because we’re really afraid and we need you now more than ever.
Thank you, Dr. Seuss, thank you Theodore Seuss Geisel. You’ve given us wisdom and wonder and beauty and joy. Thank you for your good gifts to us. On this day you are remembered, and what is remembered lives, and may your name and work never be forgotten.
This is beautiful! Let’s do this, for the Van-father!
The Njord card (by Grace Palmer) is finished. Y’all have been great with the fundraising — thank you. I still need to raise $100 to finish paying for this one. If I can raise half of that, i’ll donate the last fifty myself. Anyone able and willing to donate? You’ll get a number (6) of free cards.
Please contribute to the Njord card! I can’t wait to see the Van Father’s card and given the new push to Vanic rites in our area, I want to have them to give out!
The Heimdall card is fully funded. Thank you, everyone!
The Njord card still needs some help. If you’d like to donate, please contact me at krasskova at gmail.com or paypal me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will also be a Sigyn card in the next couple of weeks (but I am sponsoring this one myself in its entirety).
Which Deities would you guys like to have cards for? Doesn’t matter the pantheon — let me know here. 🙂
If you post a bigoted comment on my blog, it will be removed. No, I don’t like what you have to say, and I don’t care to have my blog used as a platform to support bigotry or discrimination. This is not something I’m going to argue or give leeway on, use your own voice in your own space. If you track mud into my Hall, I will show you the door and mop the floor. I do not intend to argue or negotiate on this, and if you don’t approve, you can simply not come here.
So I was invited to write and lead the ritual for the local ADF Grove (Coast Oak Grove) for the Vernal Equinox. Given that I’m used to adapting Norsey stuff to ADF, it didn’t take me long, and I’ve long wanted to do a public Disablot rite. Disablot was performed at different times of the year, and one of them was the Vernal Equinox (or thereabouts) so I thought it might be a timely rite to perform at that point on the ADF wheel. It follows the standard ADF Core Order of Ritual, more or less (some parts are consolidated)
The Grove hasn’t given me the thumbs-up on it yet, but I thought that I might share the rite here for any other ADFers who might be interested in incorporating or adapting it.
(To give credit where it is due, the Recreation of the Cosmos is adapted from Patricia Lafayllve’s method, as she performs in public rites and is outlined in her Practical Heathen’s Guide to Asatru. The Purification is from the standard working that the Hrafnar Kindred of the Bay area perform.)
Ritual equipment for Disablot:
Bowl (with water) for asperging
Sweet wine or mead.
Initiating the Rite
Sing “Come we now as a people.” Bring people into the ritual space, have them arrange themselves in as much of a circle as they can be. Sing it nine times, enough so that folks who aren’t familiar will be able to hear it, learn the words, and join in.
Stand outside of the sacred space.
“Oh Outsiders, those who would bring mischief or bane to our rite, those who are not invited, accept this offering and leave us in peace.”
Pour wine/mead for the Outsiders.
Move to a different spot.
“Syn (Pronounced: Seen), Handmaiden of Frigga, powerful Goddess whose name means Denial, who guards the gates, protect our rite and prevent entry to anyone and anything that would bring harm or disruption to it. Thank you. Hail Syn!”
Pour wine/mead for Syn.
Walk around ritual area, asperge participants and area with water from the Well and say,
“With water from the Well of Wyrd
all ill that has been,
all ill that is becoming,
all ill that shall be,
I banish away.”
Honoring the Earth Mothers
Kiss hand and place it on the ground, saying:
“Jord, Mother Earth herself,
Nerthus, who brings us the good gifts of the Earth,
we thank you for your blessings, our bodies, our food,
our lives, and all the good that you bring.
Hail Jord! Hail Nerthus!”
Pour offering of grain upon the Earth.
“Jord, Nerthus, accept our offerings!”
Statement of Purpose
“In some places in the Northern lands in times past, people would gather at the Vernal Equinox to honor and make sacrifice to the Disir. The Disir are the feminine spirits who watch over us, protect us, and provide us with victory and abundance. Today, we gather in a manner similar to that of the days of old to give to the Disir, to thank them for their blessings, and to ask them to bless our communities over the coming year.”
Recreating the Cosmos
“In the emptiness that preceded creation, all that was was the land of fire, the land of ice, and the glittering void between.”
Offer incense to the fire.
“In the south, the land of flame and sparks, Muspelheim hight. (pronounced “height”, it means, “so named.”)
Offer ice to the well.
“In the north, the land of ice, water and mist, Niflheim hight.” (pronounced “height”, it means, “so named.”)
“In the center, in the glittering void, Ginnungagap hight (Pronounced: “Gin-oong-a-gap height”) the flames of the south met the mists of the north. SSSSSSSSS (make a sizzling sound). From that meeting, all things arose.”
Offer water to the tree.
“In the center arose a mighty tree, all things connecting, nine worlds supporting, Yggdrasil hight (Pronounced: Eeg-draw-sill height).
Opening the Gate
“Freyja, Vanadis (Pronounced: Vahn-a-dees), Blotgydhja (Pronounced: Bloat-gith-yah), Priestess of the Sacrifice, we call on you to aid us in our offerings to the Disir. Holy Goddess of mighty magick, be with us, meld your magick with ours and help us to open the ways between the worlds that our words and offerings may be carried to the Holy Powers, and that their words and blessings may be conveyed clearly and fully to us. Hail Freyja!”
Pour wine/mead for Freyja.
Get crowd chanting “Open the gates.”
The one opening the gates with Freyja’s aid will dance, spinning, as the chant raises and builds. When it reaches its peak, cry out,
“Let the Gates be opened!”
Inviting the Three Kindreds
“Hail to you, oh spirits of this land that we walk upon. Pure and holy wights of land and sky and water, wights of bird and beast and bug, of tree and leaf and shrub, of light and shade, elves and dwarves alike be with us. Come and be welcome Accept our offerings and bless our rite today. Hail to the Nature Spirits!”
Pour wine/mead for the Nature Spirits.
“Hail to you, oh Ancestors, spirits of those who came before us. Ancestors of Blood, who gave life to our bodies, Ancestors of Heart, those who we hold dear who have passed from this world, Ancestors of Spirit, mighty heroes who call to our hearts and inspire us, be with us. Come and be welcome. Accept our offerings and bless our rite today. Hail to the Ancestors!”
Pour wine/mead for Ancestors.
“Hail to the mighty Powers! You who watch us, aid us, and bless us from above, from below, from all around, from within and without, from all directions come! Hail to the Vanir (Vahn-eer), wondrous Gods of peace and plenty! Hail to the Aesir (Aes-eer), glorious Gods of humanity and civilization! Hail to the allies among the Jotnar (Yote-nahr), powerful beings of natural forces. Come and be welcome. Accept our offerings and bless our rite today. Hail to the Vanir, hail to the Aesir, hail to the Jotnar!”
Pour wine/mead for the Powers.
“In Northern lands the Disir (Dees-eer) were known and honored. “Dis” means “woman”, the Disir were feminine powers that watched over families, communities, and nations and cared for them. Some may be from among the Ancestors, as some mighty women who passed were said to be among the Disir. Some may be from among the Gods, as some were labelled “Dis” as well (Freyja and Skadi both bear this title). Some may be from among the other spirits, the alfar, the Valkyries, the Norns and others. The people in those times did not make such distinctions regarding them; they knew that they were feminine Powers that often passed along the mothers’ line. They blessed the ones that they cared for with protection, with victory, and with abundance. It is possible that the modern concept of Guardian Angels may have been inspired by the Disir”
“Holy Disir, we call to you. You have watched us, protected us, and aided us over our lives, though we may not know it. Today, we call you to come here, to thank you for the wonders that you have given us and the evils that you have protected us from. Today, we call you here to make sacrifice unto you, to give back to you as you have given to us from before we were born. Today, we call you here to ask you to bless us and our communities, the ones close to us whom we hold close in our hearts and upon whom we rely for our lives and livelihood.
“Holy Disir, powerful women, be with us today. Come and be welcome in our rite, in our homes, in our lives. Come and let us honor you and give to you as you have given to us, to strengthen our bonds with you and receive your blessings! Hail to the Disir!”
Pour water, wine/mead, and milk into the offering bowl.
“Thank you for coming, Holy Disir.”
“We will begin to sing, and as we sing, feel free to come forward and pour an offering of your choice into the offering bowl on behalf of yourself, your family, and your community. Once we have all given, we will sanctify the offering to the Disir. The offerings are three, water, milk, and wine. Water is the gift that flows through all of us, touches all of us, fills all of us. Milk is the gift given that nourishes us and protects us from sickness in our youth. Wine is the gift of the flower and fruit, that which has come to be at ripeness and fulfillment and fruition and blesses us with warmth and community.
“Holy Disir, mothers’ line, help us blossom on your vine.”
When all offerings have been made, allow the singing to slow and come to a stop.
Prayer of Sacrifice
“Disir, mighty and many, in this bowl our people have poured our gifts to you. Gifts of thanks, gifts of love, gifts of community and connection. May our gifts please you, and may you find within them all that you want, and all that you need. We thank you, we love you, and we honor you. Hail the Disir!”
Offering is poured at the roots of the tree.
Question 1: “Disir, do our offerings please you?”
Question 2: “Disir, what blessings will you convey upon us?”
Question 3: “Disir, what message would you convey to us as a community?”
Calling for the Blessing, Hallowing the Blessing, Affirmation of the Blessing
Raise pitcher of milk.
“Disir, we thank you for your gifts and blessings. We ask that you bless this milk, gift of life and motherhood, that it may convey your blessings upon us and our communities. Pour your blessings of love, of abundance, of protection, of (insert rune drawn from 2nd question of Omen here and its meaning) into this milk, that we may share it and take it into ourselves. Hail the Disir!”
Sing, “Holy Disir, Mother’s line, help us blossom on your vine.” three times.
“This milk has been blessed by the Holy Women.”
Fill cups from the pitcher. Before each filling, ask participants, “Do you accept the blessing of the Disir?”. When it is affirmed that they do, pour milk into their cups.
“Disir, we thank you for your blessings!” Everyone drinks their milk.
Thanking the Beings
“Holy Women, mighty Disir, thank you for attending our rite in your honor. Be ever welcome in our sacred spaces, in our homes, and in our lives. Be always with us. Hail the Disir!”
“Mighty Powers, we thank you for attending and giving your blessings to our Disablot! Be ever welcome in our lives. Hail the Vanir, hail the Aesir, hail the Jotnar, hail the Powers!”
“Ancestors of Blood, Ancestors of Heart, Ancestors of Spirit, we thank you for attending and giving your blessings to our Disablot. Be ever welcome in our lives. Hail the Ancestors!”
“Spirits of Nature and the world around us, elves and dwarves, we thank you for attending and giving your blessings to our Disablot. We thank you for your presence in our lives, and for letting us live on and walk through your lands. Hail to the Nature Spirits!”
Closing the Gates
“Freyja, Blotgydja, Vanadis, we thank you for aiding us in opening the gates for this rite. We ask you now to meld your magic with ours again, to help us to close the gates that we once opened.”
Get the crowd to start chanting, “Close the gates.”
The one closing dances in reverse while the crowd chants. When the chant reaches its peak, the gate closer calls out, “Let the gates be closed!”
Thanking the Earth Mothers
Kiss hand and touch the Earth.
“Holy Jord, Mother Earth, we thank you and honor you. Holy Nerthus, who brings us the good gifts of the Earth, we thank you and honor you. Thank you, Earth Mothers!
Closing the Rite
Have crowd repeat each line after the priestess.
“And now the rite is at an end
for each who goes or stays.
May all good Powers be your friends,
and blessed be your days.
I’ll hold you closely in my heart,
I’ll hold you in my mind.
And should our branches grow apart,
our roots will stay entwined.”
“Hail Syn, thank you for guarding our space!”
“The rite is ended! Blessings to all!”