A firestorm of Freyas….

Todays’ Facebook fun included a long thread on naming groups of deities, along the lines of “a murder of crows” or “a gaggle of geese”. My favorite creations:

  • A firestorm of Freyas
  • A disdain of Gerds
  • A suspension of Odins
  • A harvest of Freyrs (all my other ideas were not safe for work)
  • A cascade of Skadis (Andrea)
  • A competition of Ullrs
  • A whisper of Friggas (Mary)
  • A thunderstorm of Thors
  • An observation of Heimdals
  • A racket of Ratatosks (Becky)
  • A judgement of Tyrs
  • A revelation of volvas….

30 Days of Gerd, Day 8: The Skirnismal

(Yes, I’m skipping forward a bit.)

One of the workshops I love doing is an activity called Myth Embodiment. I have an entire section of the blog dedicated to it. Essentially, it involves a group of people “embodying” or re-enacting a myth, with all of the bits being portrayed–the deities, the scenery, the named objects. During the reenactment, we stop and each “character” gets a chance to give their pov of whatever event is taking place. It sparks some great discussions and helps really fill out less-well-known or less documented deities and myths. A few years ago, the Vanic Conspiracy did a myth embodiment for the Skirnismal, (“the Journey of Skirnir/Skirnir’s Story”). At the time, it helped me address some deep-seated issues I was having in working with Freyr, because at surface value this myth shows Freyr’s servant Skirnir forcing Gerd into marriage with Freyr using extremely creatively horrible threats. Our analysis is hosted on my blog here. My longer description and analysis of the myth from several different perspectives is available on Huginn’s Heathen Hof.

 

30 Days of Gerd, Day 2: Basics

Gerd (Gerðr) is a beautiful jotun maiden, daughter of the jotun Gymir. She was out minding her own business when Freyr spied Her from Hlidskjalf, Odin’s High Seat from which he can view all of the worlds. She was at her father’s hall, standing out in the garden. He saw her flashing white arms, and He fell violently in love. Skirnir woos Her for Freyr, and She comes back to marry Him. (This is the short version; the long version is found in the Skirnismal, or Skirnir’s Journey, which I will discuss ad nauseum later in this series.) Here is an illustration of Skirnir “wooing” Gerd in Her father’s Hall. Though it is not my favorite depiction of Gerd, I find it amusing as it attempted to compare the “small” Skirnir, of which race we know not, and Gerd, who is of Jotun kind. As Jackson Crawford explains in many of his videos on the subject, the jotnar were never meant to be understood as a completely different species of being; they were more than likely just seen as a tribe of outsiders, and not that much different from the Aesir or Vanir.

Skirnir and Gerd

Gerd: 30 Days of Devotion

It’s Spring. Can’t you tell? Freyr knows this. Freyr makes it so.  Freyr, the inexorable coming of Spring, it all ways that it can come.

In honor of Spring, Gerd, and myself, I’m doing a 30 Days of Gerd. This will be an unorthodox (?) 30 Days Devotional, in that I’m not following any specific pattern of questions. I’ve decided to just let it grow

(wait for it…)

organically. (Vegetation puns FTW!)

First up: A description.

Imagine a snow-covered glade in the mountains. The snow has melted a bit but is still mounded up here and there, with frozen patches over lakes and ice-filled river water just starting to flow at normal speed. Where the snow has melted, the ground is black and dark brown, covered with little bits of dried grass and dead leaves. The earth looks bleary and shaken and not quite awake; kind of how I feel at the moment, two days into Springtime. The land and I are of one accord, now, and so is Gerd. Though, having been through this process a millennia of times more than I ever will, She’s taking it with much more grace and dignity.

early spring forest

A frost jotun awaits her lover, the Summer King. But she does not do so passively. Jotun are anything but passive. She is Lady and Keeper of the Fields and Hall while he is away. In my mind’s eye these last few weeks I’ve seen her sweeping the garden, weeding out the plant-boxes, and making the earth ready. I’ve see Him hovering just beneath his lands, a force awakening and ready to erupt. Does Spring come quietly? Or in an explosion? Time will tell, I guess.

 

Misc. Update, February 2018

This past season has been tough. I’ve just finished up four months of working overtime, upwards of 40 hours OT per month. While this has been great for my bank account, it’s sucked up a  lot of time and energy that I could have been devoting to other things. Plus, with it being winter and Freyr down in the mound, SAD kicked in pretty strongly. Now, both Winter and the massive amount of OT are ending, and Freyr is back, so things are looking up.

I’ve been keeping up with my monthly blog at Huginn’s Heathen Hof, Modern Heathenry. I’ve also been a part of helping to grow a new Heathen group in the Chicago area, which has been a ton of fun even though their events are a bit of a drive to get to. I’ve also tried my hand at running a Trance Class, based primarily on Diana Paxson’s The Essential Guide to Possession, Depossession, and Divine Relationships. I’d taken Diana’s trance Class three times in the time that I was out in California, so I know her methods and opinions and the attendant benefits and pitfalls. I blessed with a good core group to work with, and we are working with Hellenic, Celtic, and Norse deities. It’s spiritually satisfying work, and a lot of fun. So, while I feel like I have been under a log for the last four months, I have actually been pretty busy.

This winter has also seen me working with Ullr while Freyr has been in the mound. He’s kind of like a “winter Freyr”, if you will: a hunter rather than a farmer; a god of the woods rather than a king surrounded by his community. My connection to the land in the winter is darker and starker than it is in the summer, and I feel that Ullr fits that energy well.

As I’ve started the Trance Class, I’ve been feeling the pull of the Hellenic deities that I used to work with–Hermes and Zeus, mainly. One of our class participants is dedicated to Poseidon, and though He’s never been one that I connected that strongly with, even on the West Coast, He’s bound to start popping up.

Finally, this is February was the first time in 17 years that I’ve missed PantheaCon. The last few years I had been very active, running rituals and, for the first time last year, a Hospitality Suite. However, one of the things I’ve tried to focus on since moving back to the Midwest is financial prudence, and I have a bad track record of being extremely sick at PCon, so I decided prudence was the better part of valor, at least for this year. It’s hit me really hard; which I expected, but that didn’t make it any less so. Fear of Missing Out, to the tenth degree, because I know exactly the type of things I’m missing. Hopefully this prudence will pay off later, though.

That’s about all there is to report. Now I’m off to finally see Black Panther, woot!