To Óttar

I call to you Óttar, Instein’s son, forever young, vanquisher
of Angantyr, ferocious warrior who knows the frenzy of the boar,
you who won your kingdom through cleverness and valor,
and governed your people with equanimity and just laws,
maintaining the peace of the Gods which causes the flocks
and fields to flourish. Óttar, favorite of Freyja the Vanadís,
though you performed many glorious deeds and your ancestry
is truly illustrious, filled with men such as Halfdan foremost
of the Skjöldungar, Isolf and Osolf the sons of mighty Ólmóðr,
Gunnar the Bulwark, Hrörek Ring-giver, and Sigurðr the slayer of Fafnir –
these and so many other heroes of yore that it proved difficult labor
for even the Etin Völva Hyndla to give an account of your line
going all the way back to Embla and Askr – and yet all of that
is overshadowed by your exemplary piety, Óttar the blessed,
you who built a shrine of stones for the Ásynjur that turned to glass
from the frequent altar-fires you lit to send the choicest portion
of the sacrifice wafting up to heaven as fragrant smoke,
and the hörgr was stained red from all the blood you spilled there
for the Ladies of Ásgarðr, the Álfar, and the Landvættir –
and that’s how you caught the eye of Freyja,
Blótgyðja and Mistress of the arts of Seiðr and Spá.
Óttar, while still a mortal lad utterly ignorant of who you were
and where you came from, you became her protégé
and shared the empty bed of the immortal Goddess of love and war
because what you did know well was all the ways of worship
and how to compose beautiful praise-songs for the whole host
of Holy Powers, and Freyja has always had a thing for poets,
which is why she married the God of inspired verse.
Óttar, I pray, help me to find the right words and ceremonies
to express how much I love my Gods and Spirits,
and how thankful I am for the multitude of blessings
they daily pour into our lives. Help strengthen my devotion
and make it constant as stone, so that I may walk true in their ways
and my thoughts and deeds always reflect the virtues and values
that are dear to their hearts. May I cherish and take great care
with the traditions that have been handed down to me
so that I have something of worth to pass on to those who come after.
Óttar I thank you, and will etch the memory of you in my heart
so that I may carry it with me as a reminder of how to be
for the remainder of my days, O guide and helper of polytheists.

4 thoughts on “To Óttar

  1. I love that you did this prayer. So beautiful. Ottar is one I think of a lot when I think of how devotion to the Gods should look. Thank you so much for this.

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    1. Óttar is such a fascinating figure, especially with so little having been preserved about him. I have theories about him, but left those out so it’d be a more straight forward hymn.

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