Search Results for: Óðr

the taste of honey

This has been a truly trying weekend, but it was capped off with an incredibly intense divination session during which Dionysos-Óðr came through so strongly that hours later Galina had a contact high from the residual energy and could taste honey in the air. Hail Dionysos! Hail Óðr! Even now I’ve still got a buzz going and can feel his strength, joy and creative frenzy coursing through me. I needed this. Thank you for the grace of your presence, my Lord, and may you always be hailed.

To Lóðurr

Hail to you Lóðurr the Obscure, who causes
the land to be fruitful, and the people to be
plentiful and finely shaped, O force of attraction
and blazing manifestation who can cleanse
the impurity and ill-luck that comes of man’s misdeeds
by immersion in your sacred bath on Saturn’s Day.
O Lóðurr, to the Æsir you are a mystery; and the Álfar
are equally puzzled when asked about your nature
and activities. Even the ghost of the great Völva Gróa
summoned back to her mound grew tight-lipped
when interrogated about you; finally she confessed
that she saw the sons of Börr and Bestla the beautiful Gýgr
walking along the seashore when they came upon
the little capable Askr and Embla, void of destiny,
two pieces of driftwood entwined as one,
and out flew the knives of Óðinn, Hœnir and Lóðurr
who proceeded to carve mighty Runes into their bark;
the first cutting gave them spirit and life,
the second cutting wit and feeling,
and the third cutting form, speech, hearing, and sight.
Alföðr spoke their names into being with his voice
like the furious cry of the raven, and thus from humble
ashwood and elm were made the first humans, male and female.
She would tell no more, no matter how hard-pressed by Gangleri.
Even Svipdagr, when he summoned her a second time,
could not get Gróa to say whether you are a distinct God
or a mask worn by Vé, Loki, Freyr, Óðr or someone else,
and I don’t imagine I’ll find out either. So hail Lóðurr,
whoever you are and whatever you’ve been doing since
that initial act of violent creation at the dawn of the world,
and, I pray, may you be there after its twilight too.

To Ullr

Hail to you dweller in the yew dales, Lord of the Silver Bow,
son of Sif and Þórr’s stepson, glorious Ullr who holds sway
in Ásgarðr whenever Óðinn is away. Far-strider, expert tracker,
friend of chilly Kári, Ullr, you who can cross the valley
swifter than a heron, master of Sámi sorcery who carves Runes
on the bones of your enemies and then wears them as shoes.
Ullr whose word is unbreakable as a sheet of ice over a lake.
Ullr who is invoked to give the ring-oath sanctity.
Ullr who loves to race Skaði down the snowy mountainside.
Ullr whose coat is made of the pelts of every animal you’ve hunted.
Ullr who learned seafaring and ice-fishing from the kind-hearted
Old Man of the Vanir, Njörðr who delights in the company
of your mother whose smile is warm and bright as Sunna at midday.
Ullr who accompanied mad-making Óðr on his quest to icy Jötunheimr
to steal back his beloved Freyja, and left behind many a Giant corpse
full of your death-dealing arrows in trade – God of these and so many
other wonderful things, hear my praises and know that you
are deeply revered in this household, O Ullr the Winter King.

Hymn to Máni the Sweller

For Sparrow

To Máni the Sweller

I hail Máni, Mundilferi’s brilliant son and the brother
of flame-haired Sunna, who together were placed
in the heavens by the kindly Æsir
that men might have a means for the telling of time;
the Sun who oversees the everyday business of life
and the seasons which chase each other round the year
like four hungry wolves, and the Moon
which determines the best times
for planting and harvesting, births and slaughters,
when to celebrate the festivals of the Vanir,
assists in unspeakable sorcerous workings,
and serves as witness to the pledges of lovers.
Once Máni did more than that, helping
to bring together the star-crossed pair,
the mad Bear King Óðr and Freyja who won
by precious labor the indescribably beautiful
Brísingamen. But back then she was the mistress
of Óðinn whose spear never misses its mark,
and he kept her in a bower which no man,
no God and no Dwarf could ever reach
or hope to breach if they did, for he wove
powerful magic into its defenses.
And what was Óðr at that time?
A no account fosterling of Njörðr’s
whose true name and history
were unknown to all,
including himself.
But what was known is that
he was a dear companion of Máni
and the Moon God is good to his friends.
So he picked Óðr up, shrunk him down
to the size of a speck of dust in a moonbeam,
and slipped unnoticed through a window
in the high tower which none other could enter,
and then made Óðr swell large again
like fruit on the vine so that he and Freyja
could properly enjoy their beautiful reunion.
I will save the rest of the tale for another time
since it is known by one and all,
and practically every skáld of any worth
has composed verse on the theme
as if it was part of the matter of Troy,
but I will end by saying
that Óðr and his girl never forgot
this boon done them by Máni
and until the final day will not cease
singing his praises;
nor should we.

My current to-do list

My current to-do list for the polytheist hymnal project:

Alexander the Great
Marcus Antonius
David Bowie
Hekate (x4)
Jim Morrison
Norse pantheon
Persephone (x2)
Ptolemy Soter

Update on the Polytheist Hymnal

I was able to put in a couple hours on the Polytheist Hymnal tonight after our Sunwait ritual, and here’s where things currently stand.


Agathos Daimon
The Dioskouroi
Horus the Elder
The Hyades
The Korybantes
The Kouretes
The Lares
The Penates
The Sicilian Muse
The Greek Gods
The Greco-Egyptian Gods



Shifting focus

One thing that’s going to be different going forward is that I want to broaden my scope, since there’s a lot more to the Starry Bear proto-tradition than just Dionysos’ identification as Óðr and his interactions with assorted Scandinavian and Slavic deities, or the history of the Ukraine (and the city of Olbia in particular), important as these things are. And of course I will write about them as discoveries and insights warrant, or if folks have questions I can answer, but otherwise I really want to branch out and focus on underrepresented or neglected portions of the proto-tradition, and the Gods and Spirits who oversee it – Norse, Hellenic and other.

And one Lady in particular

According to the Bakcheion ritual calendar Dionysos is MIA from Lampteria (when the Thyiades go searching for him with torches) until Lenaia (when the Lenai rouse him from his slumber beneath the earth with their songs and dances.)

Of course, part of him isn’t gone but always remains here with us (even if another part of him dwells down below with his feasting Heroes and Heroines.) The reason that he goes unrecognized during these bitingly cold winter months is because that fragment believes itself to be Óðr rather than Dionysos.

During this period he is reunited with his Norse wife Freyja and their nuptials are celebrated on December 31st into January 1st, which is also the anniversary of the creation of the Bakcheion, hence this festival is known as Foundation Day.

Our foundations lay in love, and madness, and ecstasy, and poetic inspiration – and so on this night we let the world know it through riotous displays and masked revelry.

How do you plan on celebrating?

redesigning the Bakcheion

I am currently in the process of redesigning the Bakcheion. (My temple space, not the website.) 

When complete it will have a purification station, a divination station, and nine shrines to Dionysos, each representing a festival from our calendar and the different ways he manifests through them. 

Today I worked out the epithets for the shrines:

  • Lenaia = Bromios (βρόμιος) – “Noisy”
  • Anthesteria = Phleos (Φλέως) – “Who Causes to Swell”
  • The Dionysia = Melpomenos (Μελπόμενος) – “Who Celebrates with Song and Dance”
  • Agrionia = Thurepanoiktes (θὐρεπανοίκτης) – “Opener of the Door”
  • Aletideia = Eubouleos (Εὐβουλεος) – “Of Good Counsel”
  • Pannychia = Asterios (Ἀστέριος) – “Starry”
  • Oschophoria = Nyktelios (Νυκτέλιος) – “Nocturnal”
  • Lampteria = Morychos (Μόρυχος) – “Dark”
  • Foundation Day = Bakcheios (Βάκχειος) [Óðr] – “Frenzied”

I think this new arrangement will help me connect with Dionysos on a deeper level. At least that is my hope. 

Once I have everything set up I’ll take some pics and share them with y’all.  

Who is Óðr?

He is the wanderer and stranger, a God of madness and poetic frenzy, master of magic and shapeshifting. He is the Bear King and the Black Sun. Periodically he forgets that he is a God and becomes a suffering hero. Once the lands of the North had been his home; Óðr his name was then, an adopted member of the tribe of Vanir, husband of Freyja, blood-brother of Freyr (and of Loki), and champion of Óðinn’s warband. But during an important quest on behalf of Ásgarðr he was struck down by a nameless foe, poisoned, corrupted, and made to serve the force of uncreation. And so he would have remained, had an ancient Witch Goddess not cured and restored him. He returned to find Loki bound beneath the poisonous serpent and his wife missing. Freyja went in search of him and never returned. Óðinn will not set Loki free, so Óðr refuses to resume his position within the warband and goes to bring his wife home. Before he leaves, however, he gives Óðinn valuable information about the coming war. When Óðr breaks Loki’s bonds Óðinn forbids any of the Æsir to stop him or retaliate. As the two Gods seek the lost Freyja they plot how to win the war, collect friends from among the diverse pantheons of the world, and preemptively strike against the allies of their nameless foe. Shortly before the end Óðr and Freyja are reunited.

God of the Summer Sun


Speaking of Óðr, I’ve encountered some interesting theories about him in my studies recently.

Most scholars tend to view him as a strange double or Vanic counterpart of Óðinn associated with creative and battle frenzy, shapeshifting, shamanic ordeals and otherworldly journeys.

However a number of Neopagan authors apparently regard him as the God of the Summer Sun, and specifically heat, vitality, fertility and rejuvenation, with his absence in Winter prompting Freyja to go in search of him.

Something about that really resonates, although I’m not sure their arguments necessarily hold up to scrutiny. Then again, so little has come down in the lore concerning Óðr that most arguments end up being fairly speculative, mine included. (This is where being an Orpheotelest and mantis really comes in handy.) 


I have always loved this song by Sigur Rós:

The aural world it conjures is just … *shivers* Ah, yeah.

And because of the stunning visuals I included the video on numerous playlists for Dionysos, even before I started tapping into the Black Sun current. (It has obviously taken on added significance since then.) But I don’t think I ever bothered looking up the lyrics – which, as it turns out, are just as relevant.


Við skerum á
Nú stingur í
Nú bræða óf
Svo flæðir inn
Nú teygir sig og togar
Og togna út við örmunum [Vonlenska]
Reyna að móttaka [Vonlenska]
Og brestu yfir hrapa stað
Rennur blóð í æðum
Í skinninu
Yðar á
Krækir klónum í
Og klórar í
Nú teygir sig og togar
Og togna út við örmunum [Vonlenska]
Reyna að móttaka [Vonlenska]
Og brestu yfir hrapa stað
Reisum mér búkinn
Hryggjasúlan æðu
Rennur blóð í æðum
Ekki segja neinum frá
Ekki segja neinum frá
Ekki segja neinum frá
Ekki segja neinum frá
Ekki segja neinum frá
Ekki segja neinum frá
Nú teygir sig og togar
Og togna út við örmunum [Vonlenska]
Reyna að móttaka [Vonlenska]
Og brestu yfir hrapa stað
Reisum mér búkinn
Hryggjasúlan æðu
Rennur blóð í æðum

Which, when Englished, becomes:


We plunge in
A glance
Then strikes
A blinding light
Then they melt
The end
And flows in
The daylight
Now it drags and pulls
And tears out every particle
Joints ache
And crack, they are dislocated
Blood runs in the veins
In the skin
Your (skin)
It digs its claws
And lacerates
Now it drags and pulls
And tears out every particle
Joints ache
And crack, they are dislocated
We raise our bowed bodies
The spine we straighten
Blood runs in the veins
Don’t tell anyone
Don’t tell anyone
Don’t tell anyone
Don’t tell anyone
Don’t tell anyone
Don’t tell anyone
Now it drags and pulls
And tears out every particle
Joints ache
And crack, they are dislocated
We raise our bowed bodies
The spine we straighten
Blood runs in the veins

Pure gold, man.

And the word Vonlenska? It means:

Vonlenska (Eng: Hopelandic) is a term coined by the band to refer to the vocalizations that Jónsi sings in lieu of lyrics in Icelandic or English. It takes its name from “Von”, a song on Sigur Rós’s debut album Von where it was first used. However, not all Sigur Rós songs are in Hopelandic; many are sung in Icelandic.

Vonlenska differs from both natural and constructed languages used for human communication. It consists of strings of meaningless syllables containing non-lexical vocables and phonemes. There is no grammatical relation between or among syllables, nor are they accompanied by clearly defined word boundaries. Vonlenska emphasizes the phonological and emotive qualities of human vocalizations, and it uses the melodic and rhythmic elements of singing without the conceptual content of language. In this way, it is similar to the use of scat singing in vocal jazz and puirt à beul in traditional Scottish and Irish folk music. The band’s website describes it as “a form of gibberish vocals that fits to the music”. It is similar in concept to the ethereal vocals used by Cocteau Twins singer Elizabeth Fraser in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of the syllable strings sung by Jónsi are repeated many times throughout each song, and sometimes throughout the whole album.

Óðr’s poetry.

Freyja does not have “fur-children”

Argunov portait ofa ukrainian woman and cat

Freyja’s cats are mentioned twice in the Gylfaginning, first in his general description of the Goddess:

Sessrumir, her hall, is large and beautiful. And when she travels, she drives two cats and sits in a chariot. (24)

And again when Snorri describes the Gods attending Baldr’s funeral:

…Freyr drove in a chariot with a boar called Gullinbursti or Slíðrugtanni. But Heimdallr rode a horse called Gulltoppr, and Freyia her cats. (50)

Additionally in the Skaldskaparmal we are told:

How shall Freyja be referred to? By calling her daughter of Njörðr, sister of Freyr, wife of Óðr, mother of Hnoss, possessor of the fallen slain and of Sessrumir and tom-cats…

And that’s pretty much it until the Romantics.

Nowhere are their names given, which has led Neopagans into some rather fanciful speculation. 

Most people are probably familiar with the names Diana L. Paxson provides in her fantasy novel Brisingamen: “Tregul” (Tree-gold, or Amber) and “Bygul” (Bee-gold, or Honey.) 

Cute. Doesn’t really resonate with me, but one could certainly do worse. 

Amy Sey’s suggestion, for instance, that they are named after her daughters Hnoss and Gersemi. 

No. Just no.

Someone who so loves her daughters that she names them both “Treasure” isn’t going to turn around and give that to her cats, no matter how fond she is of them.

Unless Amy was suggesting that Freyja’s daughters were her cats which … again, just no. Besides, Skaldskaparmal calls them toms so they’d at least have the male form of the word. Though I suppose she could have more than just two cats, but I doubt any of them were named after her children, even Komos. Plus that would mean she yokes her children to her wagon or chariot, and that seems out of character to me. 

White Gold

A couple months back I wrote:

Ever since the first of January we have been in the White Season, where Dionysos acts out the role of the Magician come from a strange and distant land, bringing wonders and radical transformation in his wake. He knows the songs and ceremonies to awaken and release, and he is followed by a triumphant procession of Nymphs and Satyrs whose ecstatic revelry chases off barrenness, stagnation and malignant or at least mischievous Spirits from the land and his people.

Come April first we’ll be transitioning into the Gold Season, a time of fruitfulness and abundance when Dionysos wears a Kingly face as he revels with the Fairies and Goblins of his Retinue.

When they first started showing up in ritual it was a little confusing; they felt very different from the Mediterranean and local land-Spirits I was used to dealing with. Conversely much of the traditional Fairy lore (especially from Celtic countries) didn’t seem to apply. I was starting to get really confused until I turned up a bunch of references to them in post-Classical Bacchic literature, some of which I’ve collected here. While this was reassuring since it suggested others had encountered them too, it didn’t do much to clear up the questions I had regarding who they were, why they were so different and how they’d come to be part of Dionysos’ circle.

Of course, the whole Óðr thing suggests some interesting solutions and I’m hoping over this next Season to get a better handle on them through ritual, divination and poetic frenzy. I’d share my preliminary theories (which differ somewhat from the stories I posted here and here) but there’s time enough to get into that during our Golden Months, especially since we only have two festivals during that period on our calendar, Ἀγριώνια in Kantharos and Ἀλέτιδεια in Prosopon. 


Don’t you worry

This Scorpio-Orion-Herakles-Sandas thread will eventually loop back to Óðr and the Norse Gods – and in a way that seems both stunning and perfectly natural. It just requires a little patience. 


In one version of his story Óðr was a foundling taken in after Njörðr accidentally slew his mother in the form of a bear; in another, he was the son of Óðinn and a noblewoman of the Fair Elves raised at the Vanic court; in a third, he was a mortal prince whose uncle slew his father and married his mother, and the woman Óðr loved went insane while he only pretended to; in the fourth Óðr was a child of incomparable beauty who drowned, plunging his sisters into unfathomable grief; in the sixth he was a pious teen raised by a witch in the woods who taught Óðr magic songs and how to work with all kinds of plants and poisons; in the seventh he was a wolf who became leader of the pack and fell in love with Máni and later was translated to the stars; in the eighth he was a serf who died fat, bald and old among his many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren but whose name and deeds were completely forgot by the time the youngest’s grandchildren had grandchildren of their own. And then there was the ninth – but that story must wait, for I have others to tell first. 

The Nornir are never wrong

It was the marriage of Ítreksjóð and Ásadís and representatives from the diverse Realms had joined the inhabitants of Ásgarðr for the festivities. Unfettered joy was in all of them, and plenty of Kvasir’s finest mead too. Only Óðr stood off by himself in a corner of the Great Hall surreptitiously surveying the celebrants, and one of them in particular.

“You should ask her to dance,” Freyr chuckled, pressing a drinking horn into his adopted brother’s hands. “You know she would accept.”

“Has not Love wounded me enough? You would have me drive the thorn deeper into my breast?”

“Yes, if it’s the only remedy.” When Óðr did not drink, Freyr took the horn back. “Which it appears to be.”

“You know why I cannot.”

“I don’t. You’ve had eyes for her ever since you came to live with our family. I even backed off so that you’d have a chance. You’ll never find her like in any of the Nine Realms; trust me, I’ve tried. And she’s mad with love for you. You’re going to throw that all away because of some cryptic words by a couple of old spinsters?”

“The Nornir are never wrong.”

“Granted. But what makes you think they’ve told the whole of the story? No life is without change and suffering, even the lives of us Gods.”

Óðr looked down at his wolf fur-lined boots and then reached for the horn. Grinning widely, Freyr gave it back to him. “Whatever comes, she’s worth it. Besides, I’m tired of seeing you skulk about like some moon-eyed maid in Frigga’s Retinue. I want my brother back. And if that means you’ve got to remarry our sister – with or without Óðinn’s blessing – so be it.”