PantheaCon 2016

Here’s my PantheaCon schedule this year:

Things I am in (note the “all late night, all¬†trancey”¬†theme, for¬†the most part)

  • Friday 11PM “All Acts of Love and Pleasure”, Cedar/Pine
  • Saturday 11am “Njord Blot”, Heathen Hospitality Suite, 2nd floor¬†
  • Saturday 11pm “Facets of Freya”, San Jose/Santa Clara
  • Sunday 9pm: “Matronae Oracular Devotional”, Oak

The All Acts of Love and Pleasure¬†ritual,¬†run by Yeshe Rabbit Matthews’ CAYA group, is meant as a substitute for the usual Friday night Pomba Gira ritual. The structure is “person presents her or his goddess, followed by a danceable song”. There’s about 7 or 8 of us presenting various love and sex deities (Ishtar, Oshun, Venus, etc.). I’m presenting Freya, and, knowing Her, I will most likely be carrying Her throughout the ritual. I didn’t realize at the time that I was asked that this was supposed to be the replacement for Pomba, else I might have been a bit more hesitant to accept a part. Still, when I asked Freya about it, She was pleased. “I shall come down glowing and golden!” She said–or something to that effect, anyway. So the facet of Freya which will show up here will probably be along the lines of Brisingamen Freya or Self-Love Freya.

The Njord Blot is a last-minute addition to the Heathen Hospitality Hall schedule, as He has been poking at me quite strongly recently and I thought He should have a blot. It’ll be informal and, depending on how many people show up, short.

The Facets of Freya ritual is our follow-up to last year’s Facets ritual, which I have saved on the blog (tagline facets of freya). It will follow essentially the same format as the one from last year, but the facets which will be presented are different this year. This year’s facets will draw from¬†the darker sides of Freya–the seidhkona (“witch”);¬†the blot gythia (“leader of the sacrifices”); the survivor (Gullveig, and Freya post-Ragnarok); Mardoll (“She who weeps for Her lover”); and the ever-popular Chooser of the Slain (valkyrie Freya!). Our tagline is, as ever: “Five Freyas, no waiting”.

The last one I’m officially in this year is River Devora and Rynn Fox’s Matronae Oracular Devotional. I’m only on the warding staff, so I’m not as familiar with how this will be set up this year. However, I was on River’s test crew when she was originally hammering out¬†this bit of ritual tech, so I have some idea what to expect. As a side note, I think “the Matronae” as such are making a comeback, as it seems like many European goddesses (Germanic and Celtic ones, in particular) may have gone through a phase in which they were worshipped as part of the Matronae (or maybe an earlier version of the goddesses were part of the Matronae) and so, in a sense, parts of the Matronae have been worshipped more and more frequently over the last¬†30 years or so. Perhaps the “collective” Matronae entity is finally waking up now. It’s fun stuff to experience/ponder, though¬†I’m happy¬†I’m not trancing in this ritual!)

Things I would like to attend (but let’s be honest, I usually end up wherever the Gods throw me):
Too numerous to list, honestly. Ideally (in no particular order): anything about Heathenry; anything about the Greeks; anything about trance; anything about folklore; anything about horned gods; anything about love goddesses; anything by¬†Shauna Aura Knight,¬†John Beckett, Hrafnar (Diana Paxon’s kindred), the Vanic Conspiracy, Pandemos, or ADF; and anything else put on by anybody I know. (If the event is before 11AM, it’s unlikely I’ll make it; see the aforementioned¬†all late-night trance rituals this year.) Every year, I¬†spend so much time plotting out all of the rituals and workshops I’d like to attend, but¬†I rarely end up at a quarter of them. I try to let it go and not stress about it. C’est la vie.

Heathen Prayers

Do many Heathens pray? Yes. Do they admit to praying? Not all of them, apparently. *shakes head* My opinion is that part of it doesn’t fit with the “I bow to no one!” mantra that some Heathens have. Also, some Heathens are agnostic, or for whatever reason just don’t do it. It’s an individual choice. Still, as a devotional polytheist, that’s a topic that I have strong opinions about. I will definitely be taking on at some point, but that day is not today.

In the meantime, here’s a great post on Heathen prayer by Alyxander Folmer, of Wyrd Words at Patheos, and Huginn’s Heathen Hof, here). Great, snazzy-looking and sounding prayers for Odin, Tyr, Thor, Njord, Loki, and Skadi, who apparently are the top six deities that his readers¬† have requested prayers for from his website. Where are the rest of the Vanir, though, I ask? Either I, Molly Khan, or Laine Glaistig shall have to take up this slack. Challenge accepted. ūüôā

Folkvangr: quotes from the Lore

I was feeling the need for some lore. I realized that I hadn’t shared much (if any) of the Lore itself. And, though I can’t read Old Norse, I find the words themselves to be beautiful. (Sweden! Norway! I shall see you soon!)

This bit, which describes Freya, Freyr, and Njord, is from the Gylfaginning, in the Prose Edda. The translation is below.

XXIV. Nj√∂r√įr √≠ N√≥at√ļnum gat s√≠√įan tvau b√∂rn. H√©t annat Freyr, en d√≥ttir Freyja. √ěau v√°ru f√∂gr √°litum ok m√°ttug. Freyr er inn √°g√¶tasti af √°sum. Hann r√¶√įr fyrir regni ok skini s√≥lar ok √ĺar me√į √°vexti jar√įar, ok √° hann er gott at heita til √°rs ok fri√įar. Hann r√¶√įr ok f√©s√¶lu manna. En Freyja er √°g√¶tust af √°synjum. Hon √° √ĺann b√¶ √° himni, er F√≥lkvangr heitir. Ok hvar sem hon r√≠√įr til v√≠gs, √ĺ√° √° hon h√°lfan val, en h√°lfan √ď√įinn, sv√° sem h√©r segir:

Folkvangr heitir,
en √ĺar Freyja r√¶√įr
sessa kostum í sal;
halfan val
hon k√Ĺss hverjan dag,
en halfan √ď√įinn √°.

Salr hennar Sessr√ļmnir, hann er mikill ok fagr. En er hon ferr, √ĺ√° ekr hon k√∂ttum tveim ok sitr √≠ rei√į. Hon er n√°kv√¶must m√∂nnum til √° at heita, ok af hennar nafni er √ĺat tignarnafn, er r√≠kiskonur eru kalla√įar fr√≥vur. Henni l√≠ka√įi vel mans√∂ngr. √Ā hana er gott at heita til √°sta.”

“Nj√∂rdr in N√≥at√ļn begot afterward two children: the son was called Freyr, and the daughter Freyja; they were fair of face and mighty. Freyr is the most renowned of the √Üsir; he rules over the rain and the shining of the sun, and therewithal the fruit of the earth; and it is good to call on him for fruitful seasons and peace. He governs also the prosperity of men. But Freyja is the most renowned of the goddesses; she has in heaven the dwelling called F√≥lkvangr (“Folk-plain, Host-plain”), and wheresoever she rides to the strife, she has one-half of the kill, and Odin half, as is here said:

F√≥lkvangr ’tis called,
where Freyja rules
degrees of seats in the hall;
Half the kill
she keepeth each day,
and half Odin hath.

“Her hall Sessr√ļmnir (“Seat-roomy”) is great and fair. When she goes forth, she drives her cats and sits in a chariot; she is most conformable to man’s prayers, and from her name comes the name of honor, Fr√ļ, by which noblewomen are called. Songs of love are well-pleasing to her; it is good to call on her for furtherance in love.”

And from the Grímnismál (Poetic Edda) we get the same information. (The translation is cheesy, but I like the way it flows.)

“Falcvanger’s towers claim my song,
These to Freya’s right belong;
Who chief presiding at each feast,
Appoints his place to ev’ry guest:
Half of the slain by her’s possest,
But Odin daily claims the rest.”

(Grímnismál; trans. Amos Simon Cottle, 1797)

For Njord

I’m been getting the “I love you and all, but no, really–I love my kin, too, so….” from my dear Lady. Which is true; I sometimes focus on her to the exclusion of her otherwise cool and much adored kin–Freyr and Njord, in particular. Freyr and I have an interesting relationship, in that it’s more of a dance that a relationship as of yet, but I’m sure that will change in time. Njord, though–Njord I love. He is a Daddy and I am a Daddy’s girl, particularly as I’m one of Freya’s. I have never received anything from him but generosity, love, and joy. He’s like the great-grandfather I’ve always wanted but never had.

So, for Njord, I offer an Anchor Steam beer, and this:

Ode to Njord

Hail to the wise, sea-weathered God
The generous and calm Van
Father to Freyr, and Freya, his sister
Peacemaker, oathkeeper
Who brings the fishermen safely home to their kin
with tales and treasure in equal measure.
Hail to the father of the Vans
Husband to Skadi, a huntress bright and sure
And dweller of N√≥at√ļn, when not visiting his independent bride.
Perhaps no one would have partnered better with her than him,
(he did raise strong-willed Freya, after all).
Hail to this comely God, of the shining white feet,
and the hearty laugh, and the happy home.
Hail the father of the Vanic twins!

–Cara Freyasdaughter