Enigmatic Gods, Gender Non-Conforming Gods, History, Culture & Worship, Reference Sheets, The Gods, War Gods, Worship, Worship Practices

The Alcis: A Reference on the Germanic Gods of (Possibly) Elks, Brotherhood, and Male Youth

Please note that this work is subject to updates and that the most recently updated version will always be the document in my google drive linked to on my Resources page. Please also note that you should not accept any of this at face value and always research any of the information I make available yourself. This is intended to be a simple reference and jumping-off point.

Second Discovered Gallehus Horn The Alcis
The Alcis (the two human figures on the far left) as depicted in a drawing of the second Gallehus Horn, which was discovered in 1734, and stolen and destroyed in 1802, etching by J. R. Paulli

Continue reading “The Alcis: A Reference on the Germanic Gods of (Possibly) Elks, Brotherhood, and Male Youth”

Enigmatic Gods, History, Culture & Worship, Relationships Between Gods and Mortals, The Gods, Worship, Worship Practices

Some Thoughts on The Alcis

Tonight, my unsated curiosity about the Alcis, the pair of divine brothers worshiped by the Naharvali tribe according to Tacitus, got the better of me as it tends to do quite often. Once again, I found myself looking for more sources, and things I may have missed in the sources I already know, to aid my understanding of the brothers. Though I had some trouble even keeping up with my own thoughts, I tried to make what follows as coherent as possible:

Continue reading “Some Thoughts on The Alcis”

Adorations & Devotionals, History, Culture & Worship, Worship

Adorations for Þórr (Thor) of the Earth

When the Earth made you, Þórr, she flecked your skin with seeds,
tossing handfuls of black soil all across your shoulders
and sowing in your body the strength to thrive.
Your hair grew like man’s first fire,
red and thrashing like a fish in the sea,
the sea where, now and then, your mother feeds you the flesh
of those scorched ones whose ships fear your fanned red skies.
They find their burial mounds in the deepest sands
under the flash of your light,
the dead who feel your firm black soil again at the doors of your hall
and make themselves full with food and drink
and Hellos to friends so long and fervently missed.

© Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com, 2018. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Adorations & Devotionals, History, Culture & Worship, Worship

Adorations for Þórr (Thor) of the Indomitable Spirit

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South Dakota Tornadic Supercells (Roger Hill @ SilverLiningTours.com)

O Þórr, please hear me now as I declare for you my adoration:

You are in the straining of my muscles and the feeling of strength in my arms when I labor unceasingly to achieve beauty in my own space. You are in the satisfaction I feel when the task is done.

You are in the way I assert my authentic self and stand up for my own beliefs and demand my right to decency and happiness.

You are in the way the house shudders and sways in the wind when the thunder echoes in the distance, and in the way its power makes me feel utterly invincible.

You are in the full-hearted words of my friends, in the embrace of my loved ones, and in every smile I earn, and because you give these things to me, I will devote myself to repaying you for your kindness.

Hail to Þórr and hail to the thunder! May Mjǫllnir’s strike never fail!

© Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com, 2018. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Adorations & Devotionals, History, Culture & Worship, Worship

Adorations for Baldr, the Mortal Whose Sorrow Made Him into a God of Joy

(Note: I base this praise off of Saxo’s writings on Balderus and on my own UPG.)

Rival Sons - Manifest destiny pt 1 by Jasmin Wolff
Rival Sons – Manifest destiny pt 1, Jasmin Wolff

Baldr, who shines like the sun and even more beautifully, please hear now my adoration for you:

If the mortal whose loss in love and miserable end made him a god most beloved is called Baldr, then the road to Love is called Loneliness, the road to Redemption is called Sacrifice, and the road to Life is called Death.

Baldr of beautiful things, of gentle encouragement, of kindness, of warm and unconditional love: You are an inspiration to me, and more than that, you are the picture of a love that I want to embody and to give and receive. If beauty is Baldr’s domain, then nobody who truly knows him could ever mistake him for being anything less than absolutely selfless, for beauty exists in every corner of the world–in every flower and every weed, in every innocent smile and every set of snarling fangs, in every noisy crowd and every gentle song, and even in every thing that is ever called “ugly,” because most importantly, beauty exists in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is Baldr’s gift to those who know him, but also to those who do not, and so Baldr is kind and giving and a believer in the fundamental goodness of humanity.

To honor you, Baldr, I promise to give often, to love selflessly, and to strive for all that you embody.

Praise be to Baldr, who shines like the sun and even more brilliantly. May his gifts never go unnoticed, may his sacrifices never go unappreciated, and may his kindness inspire the whole world.

© Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com, 2018. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Adorations & Devotionals, History, Culture & Worship, Worship

Adorations for Loki the Clever

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Winter’s beauty at America’s national parks (U.S. Department of the Interior)

Hail Loki, whose flame-red hair appears for
but a moment where there are tricks to be found.
Loki, with sharp tongue and nimble toes,
let us be swift and sure in our dealings.
Let us be strong as the children you begot;
mighty as Fenrisúlfr, resolute as Hel, and awe-inspiring as Jǫrmungandr.
Loki of quick wit, who weaves truth through lies,
none can best you in a contest of cleverness.
Wherever we go, may you hold the mirror in which
we see you in ourselves, cunning and lively.
Hail Loki, who is never far, and ever a playfully flickering light in the dark.
May you find entertainment in the strife for all your days.

© Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.wordpress.com, 2018. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
History, Culture & Worship, Worship, Worship Practices

Prayers Don’t Need to Be Overly Specific

I wanted to say this just because it was on my mind for a bit today:

If you’re like me and have a tendency to over-specify what you’re asking for in prayers to the gods out of fear of repercussions that might stem from unspecificity*, know this:

The gods are wise. They are very wise, and they can tell what it is you’re asking for even if you don’t specify the extraneous minutia of everything. If you have their favor, you will receive it. If they are determined to cause you to suffer or to twist your words to excuse such a thing, they will find a way to do just that. All you can do is offer your prayer, and with everything I just said being true, it is better to focus on whether or not your prayer is heartfelt rather than whether or not it is specific enough for a trickster robot genie to understand.

Continue reading “Prayers Don’t Need to Be Overly Specific”

History, Culture & Worship, Quotations on Pre-Christian Spirituality

“Man Fears Time, But Time Fears the Pyramids” (Quotations on Pre-Christian Spirituality)

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The Pyramid Of Djoser

This isn’t exactly a quotation on spirituality per se, but it does appeal to my spiritual sensibilities anyway, so I’m making it part of this series.

Earlier today, I was reading Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, and I came across an Arab proverb that really resonated with me:

Man fears time, but time fears the pyramids.

This proverb reminds me of another quote by Muhammad Ali (January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) that shares the same spirit:

I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.

…And this quote in turn reminds me of one by Anita Roddick (October 23, 1942 – September 10, 2007):

If you do things well, do them better. Be daring, be first, be different, be just.

I interpret the Arab proverb to mean that decay and death are a fact of existence for human beings, but even so, humans can leave legacies that time has difficulty destroying. The earliest pyramid in Egypt is a step pyramid (a pyramid built out of progressively smaller “stepped” platforms, similar to Mesopotamian ziggurats, rather than the later pyramids with smooth sides) called the Pyramid of Djoser, constructed some 4,650 years ago, give or take a decade or so. Today, it still stands.

As the proverb implies, time has been unable to tear down the pyramids of Egypt. Each pyramid alone is a testament to the greatness of human endurance and the power of synergy, but the pyramids together are a testament to humankind’s ability to say “I have achieved inconceivable greatness before, and I will do it again and again.” It takes the concept of “impossible” and barrels through its walls, battering ram in its collective arms and declaring to what exists on the other side, “There is nothing in this universe that I cannot pull down from the heavens and grasp in my own mortal hands.”

Whatever you perceive as being your best, know that you are capable of better. No matter how long you toil, know that you can toil for another moment longer. For each successive piece of greatness that you manage to grasp, know that tomorrow, you will have an opportunity to reach higher. This is the miracle of being human: to be able to achieve the impossible, and then say, “Tomorrow I will achieve more.”

© Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com, 2018. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
History, Culture & Worship, Relationships Between Gods and Mortals, U/SPG (Unverified/Shared Personal Gnosis), Worship, Worship Practices

Reintegrating the Gods into Daily Life: Matching Religion With Worldview and Ending Those Lonely Disconnects Between Us and Them

The Creation of Adam (detail) (Michelangelo)
The Creation of Adam (detail) (Michelangelo)

When in the early sixteenth century Michelangelo painted one of his greatest masterpieces, The Creation of Adam, the general concept of a man touching the hand of god was seen as a much loftier goal than it was to the pagan Romans of not much more than a thousand years before he was born. As far back as in the city of Eridu in Ancient Mesopotamia, and eventually slowing to a halt starting in Southern Europe, history has recorded the ordinary and the supernatural simultaneously, on the same pages and in the same sort of language. To the historians of yesteryear, and more importantly, to the common person, there was very little separation, if any, between the menial tasks of daily life and the divine interference of the gods, for the gods were present in all things. The loss of that presence is the reason for much of the loneliness experienced by modern polytheists, and it is something I have finally found the words with which to provide the solution.

As Ralph Metzner has stated, the separation of ordinary life from contact with the divine is a “loss [that] resulted from the gradually increasing emphasis, started by the Greeks and continued with Christianity, on abstract conceptions of deity rather than on the direct, sensory perception of and communication with spirits that was the norm in polytheistic animism.” Today, even with the reemergence of ancient polytheistic religions like Hellenic Polytheism, Religio Romana, Kemetism, and Germanic and Norse Heathenry, the West has yet to recover its old comfort with dining at the same table as the gods, among other things, and the religious “reemergences” I just mentioned are, for the most part, vague approximations at best, hampered by a worldview that dulls the senses which reveal the divine to mankind.

If humankind had retained regular contact with the divine and not grown the mental barriers between us and them that it has, we might today find the presence of many gods in the discovery of a parking ticket on the window shield of a car, in the modern understanding of GMOs, or even, as ridiculous as it sounds, in a toilet cleaner bomb. These things are simply the modern descendants of what the old gods once held dominion over. Finding Týr in a parking ticket today is conceptually no different than a person from a distant age finding him at The Thing, an ancient Norse gathering that occurred regularly to discuss the business of laying down and enforcing the law of the land.

Continue reading “Reintegrating the Gods into Daily Life: Matching Religion With Worldview and Ending Those Lonely Disconnects Between Us and Them”

Adorations & Devotionals, History, Culture & Worship, Worship

Adorations for Þórr (Thor) Who Leads the Weak

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Happy Arcadia (Konstantin Makovsky)

Just Þórr, mighty Þórr, quick to dole out justice,
Red-Bearded One, Hammer-Wielder with far-reaching renown,
we know you are near when the thunder comes rumbling through,
when we hear the goats run and the giants fall,
felled by a mighty swing of Mjǫllnir, grasped by strong hands.
Cowering victims do you make into champions by leading the way,
and fearful trembles become boisterous laughter.
May those who wrong you always fall to their knees in defeat,
brought low by the strength of your body and heart,
and as we honor you, may our foes be struck down as well.
Hail the just! Hail the righteous! Hail Þórr!

© Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com, 2018. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
History, Culture & Worship, Shared from Other Blogs

“Swastika and Runes; Heritage or Hate” An Insightful Piece on the Ethical Viability of Germanic Symbols by mainer74

The Norwegian Olympic team is drawing upon its cultural heritage to call for a “Attacking Viking” on the podium, calling upon their team to be motivated in a similar way to Canada’s own “Own the Podium” program.  This is drawing on what is to them, their own heritage as a positive motivational force.  Some wish to point to the fact that the Nazi’s used runes for bad things, and some Neo Nazi groups have latched on to various runes for their own mis-use, but in no way have any of the runes ever been known commonly and only as symbols of hate groups.  There is a legitimate use of these for the Scandinavians as cultural symbols.  Yes, some racists will continue to try to steal the glory and worth of the symbol for their own perverted uses, but it is clear they are trying to pervert something they don’t own.  The runes are a part of our heritage.
The Swastika is different.  We lost that one.

via Swastika and Runes; Heritage or Hate — mainer74

This is an extremely well-put and well-researched piece on which Germanic cultural symbols can realistically be reclaimed, and which ones are, for the foreseeable future, lost to the jaws of hate and tragedy. It is respectful of every culture and group of people it talks of, and I’m of the opinion that really anyone could benefit in one way or another from reading it, no matter how well-versed in the subject they believe themselves to be.

– Bragiteilen

Adorations & Devotionals, History, Culture & Worship, Worship

Adorations for Þórr (Thor) the Strong

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Union Lake at Sunset (Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen)

Mighty Þórr, whose powerful hands wield Mjǫllnir,
whose thirst lowered oceans, whose brawn lifted Jǫrmungandr,
you are the strength of our bones, the thickness of our skin,
the bite behind our bark, and the will to push on.
Kind Þórr, your compassion knows no bounds.
With a light heart do you best evil in all its forms.
Help us to find the courage to defeat our foes,
be they in the mind or on the earth.
Bring us a spirit to match yours, O Þórr,
so that we may hold our heads high when life beats us down.
Good-hearted god, lead the way and we will follow,
singing your praises wherever we may go.

© Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com, 2018. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.