I've never much been one for religious jewelry, but that doesn't mean I haven't generally got a god or two tucked somewhere or other about my person. You could call them “pocket gods.”
The Norse called them hlutir and carried them in pouches. (Hlutr is the same as English lot, as in “drawing lots,” which gives one something of an idea of their cultural importance.) The witch-wife Heiðr once told Ingimund the Old, while he still lived in Norway, that he would settle in an undiscovered land west over sea, and that the sign of the truth of her seeing would be this: that the little silver hlutr of Frey that he always carried in his pouch would be lost, but that he would find it again buried in the ground when he dug to raise the pillars of his house in the new land. And so indeed it came to be when, years later, he settled in Iceland.
Which pocket-gods I carry depends on the season and the vagaries of my own thought and mood. Shown above are two that are frequently with me, both worked in Baltic amber: a Sun-disc and a Thunder-ax. Sun and Thunder are two of my best-loved gods, and I like to bear their main (power) with me as I go through my day.
I am pleased to announce that as a gift to my readers (and to Frey himself) for the equinox, I have re-released my Frey devotional Peace and Good Seasons (previously published in 2009 under the name Svartesol), a revised, expanded, and updated version.
I'm not usually much one for spells and such, but a dear friend of mine is in a very dark place right now. If we lived in the same city, I'd mow his lawn or cook his dinner. But we don't; so I'm making him magic instead.
My friend is heathen, and Frey is his heart-god. Heathen is for me a second language, but the (admittedly controversial) identification of Vana-Frey with the Horned God of Witches gives me a port of entry. And indeed, at least one 17th-century Swedish witch confessed that she and her coven called the Devil “Frö” (= Frey) (Runeberg 81). The trial is late enough that we cannot rule out the possibility of literary “contamination,” but even if this is the case, precedent is precedent. Interpretatio wiccana, anyone?
The spell is based on the famous passage from Hávamál about Óðinn's nine nights on the tree. While as a poem this may mark the piece as derivative, as a spell it sets up powerful resonances, like a jazz improvisation on a known tune.
Americans still haven't celebrated our secular harvest holiday yet (Thanksgiving)-- which marks the unofficial change from autumn to winter, even if the official shift falls on the Solstice. So I think it's still appropriate to honor Freyr, especially at lower latitudes.
I wrote this hymn around the autumn equinox, for a blot to Freyr at a far northern latitude where the leaves had already turned and the lake was skinning with ice, as farmers were pulling in the last harvests. It's meant to welcome the Norse God Freyr (Baltic & Slavic "Yarilo/Jarilo"; also called "St. John/Ian" and "Caloian") as the harvest Lord, and say farewell to him with the change in seasons.
I was gonna kick off my month for Pop with a more general post on how awesome He is, but I came across this on the blogosphere, and I wanted to quote it, because the blog it's from is about health at any size.
"When I started out, I felt like I should post every comment that wasn’t just overt spam. I believed that it was somehow cowardly to not post hater comments. I have since changed my mind – I work hard to put out good information on this blog and develop a readership and I don’t have to hand that forum over to a hater to prove anything. People are allowed to behave like idiots but I’m under no obligation to give them a place to do so."