Some days for me are characterized by the sheer power of my desire to pray. It often doesn’t matter if the god in question, which is almost always Bragi, doesn’t respond; it’s comforting enough to know that he hears my adoration and acknowledges it as he has always done before. A series of “I love you”s repeated like an incantation can allow me to fall asleep.
I think maybe one other person knows that my shrine is built on top of a personal fridge. It’s not some deep dark secret, but I like being able to maximize the space available to me for utilitarian purposes as much as possible. I am by no means a minimalist when it comes to decorating my space, but multipurpose furniture and tools make me happy. Perhaps the reason why they do is that I constantly find myself running out of room. But I digress… Continue reading “Hanging Paintings”→
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.
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.