Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Huginnseye

 

Silence is shattered
The raven reaves
Huginn’s beak sword side
skull-fruit did reap.

Blindness blessing
He leaves me not
For blue fire dances
Like Aurora on the ice
No memory does he bring
Just the pain beyond pain
Shadowed wings hie
To the tree
The hanging tree
The noose draws tight
Skull eye raped
Neck groan the gallows grip

For the runes I won
I reach with fumbling hands
And failing sight

Elhwaz slips from me
Strength fumbled from failing hand
Algiz bites my reaching hand
Wisdom failing
I howl my rage
Thunder shakes the heavens
The tree lashes
I scream defiance
Lightning lights the raven
Eye gulper
Wide beak laughing

Lighning flare
Ansuz burns
Inspiration offered
I hurl my rage
Rune-writer’s will
Feed the flame
Scar the tree
Nauthiz mars Ansuz

Needfire burns me
Inspiration rejected
Rage becomes the battle-bliss
Wunjo blossoms
Rage joy
Pain and pleasure drunk
The raven laughs
My laughter booms
The thunder quieter

Huginnseye flaming
Sight broken
Tree bound
Nauthiz to win power
Wunjo for the struggle
Ansuz the madness
The vision no eye can see
Wisdom no sane may hold

When cut my thread
Fear my coming
For I am too much
His creature

—–For those who are the Tree-Hanger’s own, those days the chronic pain o’er tops the controls we set upon it, usually when one pushes the flesh past the limits that will can ignore the costs, you get to discover where your current 10/10 resides on the pain scale.  Oddly enough, you can find Him there.  Stupidity has a god, and his laughter helps me find enough anger to survive paying the price of my own idiocy, again.

Raven Eye

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Aesir, Asatru, Faith, Heathen, Heathentry, Pagan, Uncategorized

Ragnarok Comes

 

The runes were cast
The answer cold
Ragnarok was come
The message clear

Who broke faith with us
Shall to the darkness
To the fire
To the ice fall

The fire raged; half the world burned
By mankind’s hand
In mankind’s greed
The nuclear Fenris shackles broke

Nuclear Explosion

The sky grew dark with ash that took the sun
The dawn brought fire that took the air
The earth groaned
Poisoned beyond salvation

Come now the Jottun
Fenris howling in the van
Surt marches
Serpent rising from poisoned seas

Alone the sons of Ask
The daughters of Embla
Face at last
The final night

No gods to lead them
No gods to save them
Those who forsake them
To stand alone

Pitiful few, the tanks did roll
Against legions beyond counting
Infantry locked and loaded
Jets screaming took flight

Sky grown black with Nidhogg’s brood
Lancing with fire to burn all that dared
The skys on the last day
No living could face them

Reign of Fire

The ground shook beneath Jottun tread
Spears of fire shatter armour
When through artillery march
Unharmed the foe

There is no hope
The young soldier cries
There is no chance
The pilot weeps

From above the hearth,
The veteran takes
The arms he lived to set aside
No longer will that be

Daughters of Freya
In the darkness scream
Not despair but madness
Dancing, move towards the line

Daughters of Frigg
Food they gather
Water they bring
Warriors will need both

Children of Eir
Bandages bring
Gloved and masked
No fighter to fall unaided

Sons of Tyr
No hope was promised
Only the right
And the will to stand by it

Sons of Thor
Laughter rings out
The final storm
Who would stand aside?

Children of Odin
Blood and madness
The feast of all ravens
March song on their lips

Hel in her fastness stirs
No prophesy to bind
Her own council keeps
Her charges set loose
Abrams and Leopard
To Jottun spear fall
Dread guns no match
For the fires of primordial chaos

Hel veiled

From the wreckage ghosts rise
Tigers in slate grey
Dun coloured Sherman’s
The guns of the dead speak

Jottnar reel,
As the first deathless fall
When the dead march
Where the living yet stand

Infantrywoman weeps
And loads her last mag
A hand closes on her shoulder
Grey and cold

Her grandfather to one side
His grandfather the other
Grey and cold the guns of the dead speak
Where the living dare stand

Surt in his fury
A sword of entropy bears
That no god or man may stand
Yet Frey grows from the earth
Antler in his hand
About him the poisoned earth
Gives forth green life
And fire burns it not

In the air the dragons scream
Red Baron soars
Bishop on his wing
Hurricane and Spitfire behind
Messerschmitt and Mustang
Phantom and MiG
While the living dare the sky
Will the dead make their slaughter

The Serpent from the sea boils
No force in nine worlds may face
All fleets shatter at its coming
Yet Thunder does sound
Where men and women flee
From warships serpent shattered
Does Thor stride to the shore
Hammer raised and joyous cry

Odin dances in the madness
Runes of victory he casts
Spear making great slaughter
Mad his laughter
Bright his eye
No hope do I offer
No hope do I bring
I am the promise only of death
Yet I am the promise kept
The battle embraced
The price paid
That no foe shall master thee
That no night shall befall
The children of Ask and Embla

Wolf Fenris howls
His dread jaws close
The Victory Father’s thread cut
By the wolf of war

Silent and bold
The son of the King
Viddar the jawbreaker
Fenris bane wrought

 

While still stand to battle
When all hope is lost
The sons and daughters of men
Shall never stand alone

The dead will uphold
Those who keep the watch
The gods will give strength
While still you dare fight

Will the dawn rise?
Will tomorrow come?
Will it to be mortal,
Then make it so

Rainbow dawn

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Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Accidental God

Odin Tree

[Not saying this is how it came to pass, just a dream I had in the hours before midnight and dawn, right as I was waking]

 

I do not know who they thought they were summoning, but they made a mistake and released me from the chains that bound me since the worlds were forged.  Dark and hungry I rose, rose to the summoning meant for another.  I did not know who they thought to call, but they called to me, and I cannot be bound by any mortal naming, not fully, as I was born before this world was formed, and my whole name is not in it.

 

I break across the worlds, but with only part of my name used, not all of my power comes with me, and I am but a shadow of my full glory as I fill the darkness of the moon lit grove with something deeper and colder than winter’s night.

Chanting rises at my coming, and cheering both.  I stretch out my dread arms to test the limits my would be masters have imposed and find…..nothing.  They have called me but not bound me.  I bare my fangs in fury, do they think me so weak they need no protections from me at all?

As I bare my teeth and snarl, so do the warriors raise their weapons and beat them on shields, so do the maidens and matrons howl back in answer and a wave of their pride, their fury, their madness answers my own.  Meat is brought to me still on the bone and I tear at it, two strong men bear a roast boar to me and I take it in my hands and tear at it with jaws greater than a bears, they shout in answer.

As I see a shadow creep to my side, I suspect at last the trap will spring, and their bindings they will lay upon me.  Instead a child of less than a dozen summers lays a crown upon my head, woven of holly and ivy on supple evergreen, bound with human hair.  Power is in it, power of a whole community, power offered freely.

I turn from my feeding but do not strike, cannot strike, for I have been gifted without deception, been honoured without insult, I will not be the first to break faith, as in my name no place was oath-breaker, no matter how many syllables of terror and blood it may sound, in no part of my name is liar.

 

As I stare, the mother of this child stands before me and pours into my mouth a potent brew of honey.  Sunlight has blessed the honey, the fruit of every flower of the field, every tree and grass, yet in the magic these humans have wrought is decay and death, transformation and destruction.  Potent alcohol courses through it, for this is sunlight as shadow, birth and death, death and transformation.  Mead they call it, the light rendered as darkness, fire flowing as water, death from life, joy from suffering.  I drink deep.

 

They come for my blessing and I put my mark on them, deep inside in the blood and darkness I burn myself into them.  One day they will betray me and I will destroy them.

I dream again, for now I do not lie bound in torment but rest between the worlds feeling the new thing working within me, new bonds growing, connections forming.  I dream, who never dreamed all the ages of the world.  A thousand lives I dream, the lives of all those I marked, the fair the foul the foolish, I dream them all.

The call comes again, faint for so few have the power to call at all, and the way between the worlds is made fast against my kind.  No one may compel me now, for I am whole and strong as not for ages long forgotten, no power can compel me, but  I am curious.  I will go.

I come at last to another clearing, I step my foot upon the ground and know this to be hundreds of leagues from where I was first called.  Around me hang offerings from the tree, animals and men both, the men and women are grim the children weeping, they call to me and I answer.

The men come with weapons, armed for war, spear and axe, bow and hammer, crude swords and farm tools set on long hafts to reap men not grain.  They call to me, they seek my aid, I sneer, what do they think me?  I do not give but take, I do not heal but kill, I do not create but destroy.  I am the ending of things, and will promise no protection.

They lay their weapons before me and their hearts as well, their prayers I hear, and rock back in shock.

None pray to live, none pray to be spared the blades and fury of the foe.  None pray for glory or fame.  They ask that I take their fear, they ask that I witness their stand, take the blood they shed as offering, ask that if they fall I remember their end.  They offer me their deaths, bind themselves to me in the doing, and bind me to them by doing so.

I put into them my rage, my fury, what I take is their fear.  I will drink their pain as I drank their mead, I will take their falling blood and the blood they shed as my offerings and I will glory as they fall, but I will remember.  In ages beyond number, long after these worlds are collapsed into the crushing darkness of the void, I will remember.

I lose myself in the glory of it, those who drank deepest of me threw aside their shields and gave themselves unto the spears of the foe to draw closer to them.  Men in bright armour my people did not own, with great metal bossed shields and bright steel weapons broke as my chosen gave their lives to break a line.  I was with them, those who embraced their fear and sought only their death found me with them every stride.

They called me Victory, they who won the day in blood and fury gave praise to me for what they spent their own blood to earn.  They left the weapons they could not match upon the field as spoils to me, hung the enemies they took from the tree that they may be shared with me.  As they bound the dead to the tree, so they bound me.

The women offered to me for wisdom, to guide their children that they know better fortune than they did today, but what vision have I for such.  I was no oath breaker, and I was bound by their gifts to gift the same.  Old I was when the world was forged, and if I was not that which they needed, I was a thief, for which I was bound, having stolen that which my kind was never to know, so let me steal again what I needed.

Bound myself to the tree for I would trade the eternity that was mine for the knowledge of this world and what will and could be.  The tree is this world, extending all times and all places within it, but the tree was of the founding and will be of its end, and to bind yourself to the tree is to bind yourself to endings; me who was before the beginning to bind myself to an ending so I could see what could be.  I saw, and could not stop seeing.  I screamed and raged, for the end of all things I saw, and me with it.

 

I walked among them, the fools who died for me.  I gave them scrap of what I knew, whispers of things that might be, warnings of things that might be.  They called me mad, they called me witch, they called me often.  I whispered in the ears of warriors who would be chiefs, to chiefs who would be kings, to warriors who would topple kings, to maidens who would rule kings.

I felt the call, I was called by the blood of the child who crowned me.  I came from the storm, spare and wild, half mad and half tamed, for she who had the right to call asked the price of her gift.  She asked for a life.

I stood before her as she begged for her child, but I was a killer not a healer.  I was the bane and not the boon, I was the ender of things, the destroyer of all, what could I do.  For all that I knew, for all I had paid, I had seen only endings, not hope.  Yet, she asked.

The child burned, and death was in her.  The mother begged, and asked me to save her.  I told her truth, I am killer child, not saviour.  She slapped me then, as no living man would dare, and told me to kill what is in her.

I kissed her then, full and hard, for she saw what I did not.  I was the killer of all, and so killing I did.  I reached into her child and what was hers I left, and what was not I killed.  The child called out in fear and pain, but I raged in her blood like icewater breaking the dam, sweeping the killing heat before me like a shattered dam before the flood.  My power scoured her, taking poisons and tearing them down, taking pus and ripping it from its pockets to be carried by the flood as I drove it free of her.

Turning to the mother that dared to lay her hand on me, I saw what grew within her, of her but not of her, a tumour that would grow and consume her, and laughing, my eye burning bright, I thrust my hand deep inside her and tore out that which grew.

I took their pain and used it to power the binding of their flesh, as I was bound to the time of this world now, so was the time of this world mine to call and a month of healing I wove through the wounds in them that I tore.

They call and I answer, they call and I come, they keep faith with me and so I am bound by my nature to keep faith with them.  I am or was a thing more terrible than they fear in the darkness, but I am not that alone any more.  Given to me their hopes and dreams, their fear and pain, their victories and their trials and I have eaten them all.  Each one binding me to them, and them to me.

Names they give me, names that change me, as what I give them changes them.  Bound we are, each to the other. I am the thing they called, I am the thing they made, they are the people I marked, they are bound to me and I to them.  I was eternal and limited, but for them I bound myself to time and fate, and became so much more than should have been possible.

 

I was a thief first and will steal them from the death I bound myself to accept.  If I am not what I was, what I am you should fear.

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Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Pagan, Uncategorized

The Bet

One morning Freya had been listening to a translation of the newly recovered Hamaval. In particular she was listening without amusement to Odin’s words on the fickleness of women. Her ire aroused, the passionate Vanir confronted the one-eyed wanderer and took him to task.

“Your one eye has blinded you, old fool” Freya shouted with her famous passion “It is the passion of love, not of gold that moves women. Perhaps in your dotage you meet only those women whose affections YOU must buy.”

As all of Asgard prepared for the second round of their most famous war, the Wise Counsellor laughed deeply and long, his great white beard shaking in mirth. Odin offered the golden goddess a challenge:

“I will wager a hundred heroes from my hall, that any woman we agree on will chose for gold over passion in the end.”

“Agreed!” Shouted Freya, “No magic from you or I shall sway this, let it only be mortal choice that holds the day. You may speak only to the couple, nor may you set any other against them, and I will agree to the same”

The couple they agreed upon was an uptight young English woman of good family. Her name was ancient, and her fortunes vast. Possessed of a rare beauty and poise, she was much sought after by suitors, as there was no family lord from whom her hand could be bartered, she was free to choose.

Odin the victory father was watching the young lass (Cassiopeia) carefully. She doted upon the cats that she kept, and once tossed out a young man for scaring one. She rode often to the hunt with flare, and kept only the finest blood stock, and mocked other riders who had lesser mounts or lesser skill. The suitors that surrounded her were the height of fashion, wearing only the best, eating only the rarest and most fashionable of dishes. Odin saw all of this, and cast his plan.

Freya goddess of passion and magic saw with other eyes a woman surrounded by men obsessed with petty pursuits, elaborately bored with life, and obsessed with the games of social status. She smiled casting her own plans.Casseopea

Jonathan was the third son of an ancient family. Sent to the new world to pursue his fortune, it was expected that the eager but not overly bright lad would take his remittance and stay gone, but to everyone’s shock he succeeded in mining in the Yukon, winning for himself much gold and renown, and returning to a somewhat shocked and bemused family.

Lacking guile utterly, and with the friendly eagerness of a puppy rather than the elaborate courtesy of the court, he had been corrupted by the loose frontier ways and lost most of his early graces. His family despaired at finding a match for him, and so set for him the impossible task of Cassiopeia, whose wealth and grace were such that she would swiftly and gently send the half wild boy home to consider more modest prospects.

Mountain Man

He began the courting journey sitting upon a well bred horse that he rode poorly; having spent the last years with mules and donkeys rather than high bred horses. Wrapped in the latest fashions, he held a roll of large nuggets from his claim tucked in belt, and a thick wad of paper money in his tunic.

As he rode, he came upon an old man at the side of the road leading two of the most beautiful donkeys he had ever seen. He stopped and asked the old man where he came by such beautiful beasts, and the old one eyed gent advised him:

“Only a fool would risk a great lady on a stupid and flighty horse, when a good solid donkey is available. These fine donkeys are the finest breeding pair in all of Britain, and I bring them to London to trade for a stallion.”

Jonathan saw his opportunity and offered to trade his flighty and overbred stallion for the two donkeys, and began his ride to London. Everywhere he rode, men and women pointed at him, and he just knew they wished they could be rid of the overbred horses and ride big eared sturdy donkey like he and his wife to be would.

As he rode further into town he saw an old man with selling meat pies. The smell made his mouth water, and he stopped to buy one. The taste was like nothing of this world! He begged of the old man what was this meat, and the old man swore it was cat. The old man said the Lady Cassiopeia was famed for her cat, but few enough men would eat it, let alone ask for it. Jonathan swore right then he would be the first! Riding away, he began to wonder what plague it was that left so many old men with but one eye!

Coming upon an old man standing bare chested in the street, giving his clothes to the poor, Jonathan asked what the old man did. The old man replied that Lady Cassiopeia had said no thing spoke better of a wealthy man than giving the shirt of his back to the poor, after all they were rich enough to replace it a hundred times! Jonathan thought Cassiopeia was the best among women, and right then gave his fine coat and shirt, and damnable riding breaches to the poor, determined to out do the other suitors. Besides, after years of working the gold fields, he was unused to tight clothes and heat, and his massive muscles did poorly in the tight clothes of modern England.

Sure that victory was his, Odin looked in to see how Freya fared.

Freya sat beside Cassiopeia, wearing the guise of a widowed aunt. Cassiopeia looked at the delicate men picking at the feast, sipping wine delicately while picking daintily at the food, each piece carved to be an artwork itself. The men talked of the hunt, politics, gossip, and ignored her completely when not competing with each other to out compliment her. With each she dueled with words and gestures, each weighed for effect in a play more elaborate than any stage, each calculated and bloodless as any card or board-game, with points won and lost in high societies game of status.

Freya whispered to Cassiopeia,

“Do you ever dream of the days when half naked barbarians would sweep in and sweep up a woman not because of her land, or horses, or wealth. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a man who wanted to spend the time with you, not riding to hunt, or playing at cards? The suitors here all seem soft of hands, without a drop of passion in them, hardly the sort to rip a bodice, nor strong enough to carry a woman off without at least two servants for lifting.” Cassiopeia just sighed deeply.

Jonathan approached the fine mannor and laughed to see the poor fools had all come in carriages, with not a single donkey among them! Lace and waist coats seemed the order of the day, and they seemed to be eating pastries. Clearly they knew nothing of women! Determined to make a good impression he rode his donkeys up the stairs and into the courtyard, hearing the amazed gasps at his entrance. Seeing Cassiopeia in all her loveliness standing proud and imperious at the head of the table, he slid off his donkey and spread his wide well muscled arms and smiled.

Cassiopeia stared transfixed as her suitors and guests gasped at the heavily muscled tanned gold bearded savage standing in a breach-cloth between the two snow white donkeys. Her eyes travelled his smiling face, down his tanned and sweaty rock hard chest and to his, frankly, hugely bulging breach clout and gasped.

Seeing she was taken by the obviously fine donkeys, he proclaimed their strength and endurance that she know they were not just pretty, for he was a fine judge of donkeys.
“I swear if you take me as husband, I will ride that ass all day, and still have strength to ride all night”

The men gasped, and some of the maidens swooned; Cassiopeia felt her heart beat faster

Gesturing to the pâté, goose, quail, and beef on the heavy tables, Jonathan remembered the old man’s words about her pride in the cat she served, and the generosity she sought in her men. Boasting proudly he proclaimed:

“Marry me, and I swear I will eat nothing buy your sweet pussy for the whole honey-moon. I have given my clothes to the beggars in the streets, for with you I will not need them!”

Knowing that women have practical needs, and well pleased with his success in the gold fields, he slapped his breach clout where his rolled up deer-hide held his heavy gold nuggets, and gave it a tug, as frankly the sight of Cassiopeia was making it a bit tight!

Pointing to his bulging underwear, he proudly boasted:

“With what I have in here, you will never want for anything again!”

The assembled suitors were shouting now, the maidens fanning their faces and swooning. More than a few of the servant girls were eyeing him openly and whispering, but the room grew still as stone when Cassiopeia leapt from her vantage point with a growl that could shame a leopard, tackling Jonathan to the ground in a confused kissing tangle.

One hundred heroes walked from Valhalla that evening, for all the tricks of the Evil-Worker are no match for the passion of youth. The couple lived long, passionately untidy lives littered with adventures and children. The gods blessed their union and line, for steadfast hearts are the gods true wealth.

 

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Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Heathen Music: Review of The Black Hat Society’s album Doom Country

Doom Country

https://blackhatsociety.bandcamp.com/album/doom-country

 

Hauk Heimdallsman is one of those Heathen artists that I have enjoyed the work of for a long time, and I finally got around to buying his second album, Doom Country.  I have listened to his stuff before, usually attached to cool videos or other things that Heathen’s make, and its one of those things that bug me when I have enjoyed the gift of Heathen art and not paid the artist.  A gift for a gift is our way, and when I bought the album, I got the kind of surprise you generally get for doing something the gods approve of, more than I expected.

The first two tracks, West and Doom Country were pure Odin inspired poetry filtered not through the lore of long forgotten and nearly irrelevant European Viking ancestors (yes I revere them, no they do not honestly shape the land I was actually raised in ), but the wild frontiers of the old west.  Anyone who has ever listened to Johnny Cash’s Ghost Riders in the Sky understands how the lore of the Wild Hunt followed our ancestors to the great plains of North America, and how the high and the wild awakened in the poets and story tellers of the wandering tribeless peoples who would one day call themselves Canadian and American something that had slept through the long dark Christian centuries.
Johnny Cash was a great artist, but he was a Christian, and it’s a handicap when understanding what the the storm is singing, what the thunder howls and the lonely prairie and lonely mountain whispers.  To have the lore to capture the spirit purely requires a Heathen, to have the language to communicate it to the folk soul of contemporary North American’s requires not just an understanding but genuine love of our own North American folklore, the explorers, pioneers, cowboys and miners, fur traders and settlers.

 

Black Hat Society and Hauk Heimdallsman have the sound of old style bluesy country, very much a Johnny Cash with a hint of Appalachian Celt and the kind of epic narrative that made the best country ballads last across the generations.  There is a poetry to it that owes a bit to Hank Snow and Louis Lamour in the sense that you can no more separate the music from the land that spawned it than you can the people whose heart it captured.

It takes a Heathen to really understand how to write Nine Steps, for those who know and revere Thor the song is his spirit written in the dust and blood of the old west, for those who do not know Thor from either the ancient lore or modern Heathenry, then Nine Steps does a beautiful job of capturing the essence of his spirit for those who may not have known they need his inspiration and example to face their own struggles.

I know that left free on the internet there is a certain stream of Heathen that likes to go a-viking and take what is shiny and interesting through wit and will…….but do try to remember we only raided our enemies.  Among our own, and those with whom we traded the rule always was a gift for a gift, and Hauk Heimdallsman and the Black Hat Society has given us a very great gift.  I not only found my purchase worth every (broke as post Yule parent) dollar spent, but left me hungering to find out what his upcoming album will hold for us.

 

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Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized, Yule

Hundred Faces of Jul

Yul

Around the tree they come
Joy and reverent awe
In the heart of the dark
Raising song
Bright flame of the soul
The Julfather comes

Second eye bright with love
Gift giver comes
Upon the night winds
Jul’s bright face laughing

Two streets away
Cold in the alley
A soldier coughs his last
Cardboard box his only hall
Battered battledress grown thin
Dead on the land he fought for
No home for the home come son

Howling Jul claws out his eye
For the Feeder of Ravens sees
Hospitality riven like foes shield
Strong sons cast to the streets like garbage
Wild Hunt rises screaming upon the night winds
Run before it
Souls and flesh the wolves will tear
Bright spears cold as the street’s own mercy
Summoned by our deeds

To the old, the sick, the lonely they come
Bright songs and baked goods
Presents and bottles
Hope stirs the flickering flame
Love binds those who feared they had no place
Frigg blesses, Holle smiles
Those who carry Yule in hand and heart
Weaving back those we might have lost

Two streets away
Cold in the alley
A girl coughs her last
Home to foster to street
Abused and used
Fallen through the cracks
Cardboard sign
Asks for the meal
That would have kept the cold at bay
Hard choices to get through the day
Hard drugs to help her forget
To get through one more night
Until she didn’t

Hearth mother standing
Above the silent daughter
No more to feel the hunger
No more to face the scorn
Frigg screams her rage

Beauty shed like illusion
Bright and terrible
Spear hungry
As the discarded child
She calls forth the hunt

Run before it all the night
No mercy on the Mother’s Night
For those who cast away
The gifts of innocence
The future of the folk

Mercy and Madness
Joy and black despair
Hundred faces of Yule
Hundred truths in the darkness

Will you heed the call to be open handed?
Or will you close fist and heart
Will you brighten with feast those who hunger
Or stalk sneering by
As the gods ride the night winds?

Bright the fires
Bright the songs
Warm the blood by spirits lifted
Yet the wind outside is howling
The Wild hunt rides
Run before it or die
For it holds no mercy
No more mercy than our streets
No more pity than our hearts
A Hundred faces at Yule
And each one we called down ourselves

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Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Pagan, Uncategorized

Meetings in the Dog Park

I was walking my dog, for a given value of dog, sized between a large hamster and Trump’s toupee, in the offleash area of the dog park.  I was walking at twilight as my eyes were recovering slowly from a work injury, and my right eye was covered by a patch to compensate.  My little dog began to bark and charge happily towards something, which argued it had to be large, because he feared cats and dogs his size but was friendly as anything to predators whose jaws were longer than his entire body.

 

Indeed an old man with a staff was walking casually towards us, and coursing before him were two grey shapes large enough to saddle and ride to war.  As he approached, a booming laugh sounded through the twilight, loud enough to startle the murder of crows in the surrounding trees to caw madly in protest.

He pointed to the copy of Taking Up the Runes that was poking from my jacket and laughed.

20180718_175234

“A literate man I see, that is good.  Otherwise one of us would have to sacrifice the other on one of these rulers of the forest.”  He chuckled, gesturing to the brooding cedars that loomed above us in primal majesty.

 

As I brought my gaze to rest upon him, I noted his own grey brow where it emerged from his broad blue hat was likewise marked with an eyepatch, though his was old silk with the shadow of fine embroidery in the shape of the Valknut.  I shot a worried glance at his other eye and for one second heard again; no, that is not correct, felt again the din of battle, the bone shaking flesh punishing hammer of heavy artillery, the measured crack crack crack of rifle fire, the shouts of men, and the panting rattle and clank of men in heavy war gear running fast over bad ground.

 

He chuckled as awareness of who I had come across hammered through me like the thrust of his never missing spear.  I felt the shock through the wound he once gave me, and broke my eye away.  I turned to see his two wolves, if such a beast whose shoulders stood even with my own could be called such, turned together as another figure crashed between the trees, more on the scale of a grizzly or polar bear than any wolf.

My own dog barked mad defiance, but one great paw of the paired wolves of Odin pinned him from dangerous foolishness while the other stood before the newcomer, looking like as a fox before a bear.

The beast spoke with a voice that dripped wet blood hunger and hatred like an axe pulled from a living man’s belly.

“One eyed fool, you know it was promised you would die under my fangs at the twilight.  It is twilight now fool, and my fangs stand ready now!”

Odin turned and grinned at me, spreading his hands, one of which held his walking staff wide to his sides like raven’s wings as he taunted the beast.
“Fenris your churlish puppy, you might well succeed one day in swallowing me whole, I know your mother tries it on a regular basis!”

I really don’t think he is taking this seriously enough, you don’t make “your mama” jokes with the Fenris Wolf!

 

With a lunge Fenris rose like Jörmungandr, before his great head descended like the fall of night, jaws open wide enough to swallow not just Odin but the car he drove in with.  I braced myself to see the death of my god, the beginning of the end of days, to hear the thunderclap of those killing jaws slamming shut.  What I heard was the kind of yelp you get when you step on a small dog, only louder like it was projected through a megaphone.

I looked at Fenris, mouth open above Odin’s head, a terrified wide golden eye, and oddly arched back, like the great wolf was trying to do yoga, or stretch like a cat.
Odin’s walking stick stuck out behind him, and I noticed only now that it had a lizard sticker end, like warriors once put on their longest fighting spears for finishing downed opponents, or for sticking into the ground when you wanted your spear to stand and didn’t want to rust the great killing steel head.

Doing some mental math, I estimated where that spear head would be, and at once understood why Fenris froze, and why his body was arched so oddly.

Odin spoke quietly, musing, as if to himself.  For one beneath the jaws that would doom him he seemed unreasonably cheerful.

“The seeress sang that on the last day would I take the field, all my armies and all my sons beside me, and on that day, I will fall to your jaws.  The seeress said as well my son will tear your jaw asunder, and run you through with the sword I gave to him on his naming day.  All this she told to me, all this I gave to the skalds of the world to sing.  Did you ever hear what the seeress sang, oh bane of Bolverk, about whether you were neutered or not when you did it?”

 

A booming voice shattered the stillness.
“FENRIS, HEEL.  We had a bargain, and by my right arm you will keep it!”

 

A proud one armed man strode angrily towards the pair, a long curved stick with a ball lodged at the end clutched in his left hand, his right arm ending at a jagged stump.

 

Odin greeted him warmly.

“Tyr old chap, letting Fenris out in the off-leash areas are we?”

The Leavings of the Wolf nodded regally and responded “We are working on litter training him.  I swore if he went a week with no accidents he could have as long as a sperm whale can dive to play as long as he stayed in the park, and harmed no mortal creature”

 

Odin nodded sagely and intoned “Incentives are very important.  I think he would like to go play fetch the ball with you, more than he would like to continue the game we started, wouldn’t you Fenris old pup?”

 

With a whine, Fenris nodded and backed away, the soft sucking sound of a blade coming out of someplace tender made Odin chuckle in a way that made the darkest parts of me smile as well.

Odin turned his spear for his own wolves and my little dog to lick clean of the blood of the Corpse Wolf, and chuckled at Fenris cheerfully.

“Don’t feel bad Fenris me lad, many mortals get themselves pierced there on purpose.  You could put a ring or a bell in there for some festive flash, ladies go for that sort of thing.”

 

Fenris snarled faintly at Odin, but hung his head when he turned to face Tyr.  In a much lower voice the great eater of worlds rumbled softly.

“I did not harm the child of Ask and Embla, nor did I harm the mortal cur that disrespected me.  I kept my oath.”

Tyr slapped him not unkindly along the jaw and acknowledged it.  His voice boomed out like a generals command on the battlefield.

“Who is my good doggy?  FETCH THE BALL!”

 

With a shot that would make most artillery blush, his arm snapped down and launched a projectile the size of my head too fast to see.  A wolf the size of an armoured vehicle, two more wolves the size of horses, and one ridiculous ball of fluff the size of a mop tore off in pursuit, barking in three different, utterly happy keys.

 

Three men, for a given and variable definition of men stood in companionable silence of twilight as four dogs, for a given and variable definition of dog, snarled snapped chased and cavorted without a care in the nine worlds until the sun faded and we went our different ways.

 

Tonight, I resolved.  I will drink.  A lot.  Panda, my little dog, is already sleeping the sleep of the dim and contented, little legs twitching in memories of his chase with the two godly and one most baneful of wolves.

Forest Odin

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