Update: devotional art now available to buy

Devotional icon art for Wōden, by me. Available to buy here.

As I’ve written about before, over the last months I’ve been inspired and moved to create devotional art for my Gods. I’ve developed prayers and ritual around this, and it’s become a meaningful part of my practice. After giving it a fair amount of consideration, I have now opened a Redbubble store so that anyone who may wish to can buy prints of my work for their altars, shrines, etc.

Also (as outlined on my new page about this), if you would like to commission a piece, I am open to discussions, so get in touch. I am busy and I wouldn’t want to take on anything I didn’t feel I could do justice to, so I don’t make promises, but I’m always happy to chat if you have ideas, suggestions, or commissions.



Icon art for Saga by myself. Available to buy on Redbubble.

Sāga is cited in the Grímnismál [1] and in the Prose Edda [2] as living in Sökkvabekk. In the Grímnismál it is said that She drinks there happily with Óðin from golden cups.

Sāga’s Old Norse name may be related to the verb sja, to see, or simply to saga [3]. Saga is another ON word that translates directly into Old English, meaning a story or a saying [4].

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Thirteen Full Moons: a calendar of observances

Photograph of a bird silhouetted against a full moon.
The start of a new year seems an auspicious time to discuss calendars. Photo by Sierra NiCole Narvaeth on Unsplash

As I’ve alluded to a few times on my blog, for my ritual year I follow the Gregorian calendar, with the months referred to by the Old English names recorded by Bede for the lunisolar months. I observe a variety of seasonal festivals, and personal and secular or historical days of note that also have meaning for my praxis (eg, Armistice Day). Additionally, on each month’s Full Moon I give particular cult to a different God or set of Gods, thus ensuring that in the course of the year I honour and make time for a variety of Gods, including those Who are dear to me but not part of my most regular cultus or a separate festival unto Themselves. I’m in my third cycle of this schema, and it has been working very well for me, so I wanted to write a little about this in the hopes it may interest or inspire others.

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The Wren and her sister: a myth of Frīg

Photograph of a wren, a very small brown bird with a short tail that stands straight up.
The wren, called in folklore the king of birds. Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash

On a walk on the heath this Boxing Day, I happened to see both a wren – which I see often around my neighbourhood – and a pair of goldcrests, which I had never seen before. Goldcrests are quite common but hard to spot, being extremely small and fast. I was very moved by this sighting and spent a little time reading about the folklore of the wren, and the goldcrest, which was considered in the past to be a relative of the wren. I felt what I can only call the spark of Divine inspiration that these little birds were the missing part of a myth I had been considering about Frīg bestowing the gift of fire to humankind. This is that myth.

Notes on the myth: This is all, needless to say, personal gnosis and hierophany. If it means nothing to you, discard it. I would encourage anyone interested, however, to approach the myth with a spirit of: what does this tell us about the Gods? What does this tell us about how to do our religion? And an understanding that all myths are equally true.

Continue reading “The Wren and her sister: a myth of Frīg”

Some personal reflections on my devotional relationships

Photograph of a wooden bench under some trees in a fen.
Prepare for the word “devotion” to stop looking like a word. You have been warned. Photo by Ilse on Unsplash

From the start, heathenry was for me about devotion. In the summer of 2012, deciding to take steps away from generic neo-Wicca and toward polytheism, I began making offerings to Óðinn. One of these very early rituals became an ecstatic hierophanic experience that catapulted me into a close, passionate devotional relationship with Him that would characterise the next six-and-a-half years of my life.

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On Frīg and Her position in my cosmology

Photograpg of a comfortable wicjer armchair beside a fire in a rustic stone fireplace.
The quiet contemplation of an armchair by the fire: quintessentially the All-Mother. Photo by Bjarne Postma on Unsplash

As I develop and publish aspects of my cultus to the Twelve, I feel it would be helpful to also lay out how I see Frīg and the role She has come to play in my cosmology and worldview. The Twelve are Her court, Her confidantes and Handmaidens, and Their roles and importance to me are interlinked with Hers.

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Ār (Eir)

Ār icon art by myself.

Ār is the OE counterpart of Eir. In the Prose Edda, Eir is cited as a Goddess who is a great physician [1]. Her name is also included in a list of Valkyrie names [2]. In the Fjolsvinnsmal, She is listed as one of several maidens who serve the Goddess Menglöð, who if offered to will protect men from danger and pestilence [3].

The University of Texas Indo-European lexicon lists Eir as related to the ON verb eira, to spare or protect, and noun æra, glory or honour [4]. The related OE words include ār, meaning both glory or honour and kindness [5]. This is the word I have chosen for the name of my Eir counterpart.

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The Inundation of Doggerland: a myth of Helle and the Dead.

Photograph of a rolling sea wave against a cloudy sky.
Water is inherently liminal, a gateway between the worlds. Photo by Silas Baisch on Unsplash

For some time now, I have considered Doggerland – the land beneath the North Sea that once connected Britain to continental Europe – to be where the realm of the Dead is situated. I will write more about this and how it affects my practice another time, but the following myth about how Doggerland came to be the land of the Dead has been bouncing around my brain for a while, and with my festivals of the Dead approaching apace, it seemed an auspicious time to post this.

Notes on the myth: This is all, needless to say, personal gnosis and hierophany. If it means nothing to you, discard it. I would encourage anyone interested, however, to approach the myth with a spirit of: what does this tell us about the Gods? What does this tell us about how to do our religion? And an understanding that all myths are equally true.

Continue reading “The Inundation of Doggerland: a myth of Helle and the Dead.”

The map is not the territory: taxonomy and classification

Image of an old-fashioned map, with drawings of buildings representing towns and cities, and hills, trees, and rivers.
The map is by necessity a simplification. Where map and territory differ, the only option is to abide by the territory. Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

I have been reflecting recently on how as animist-polytheists we seem to often get into discussions about how to classify and draw boundaries between different sorts of beings. Where is the line between a spirit and a God? Are land-wights the Dead? Are they different to the Fair Folk?

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On marriage as initiation

Photograph of two wedding rings.
Rings have a long history of signifying oaths of all kinds. I wear a ring with three interlinked bands, redolent of much symbolism for me. Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

I’ve been married now for somewhat more than a year. I wrote a little before about how marriage, like my religion, is not a destination but a journey, a constant practice. I’ve also been thinking a lot for the last year and a half, since the start of my (very short) engagement, about the Heathen religious/spiritual significance of marriage, and particularly, marriage as an initiation.

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