Author: thehouseofvines

Day IV. To Þórr Hlórriði

I call upon the loud-riding Storm God,
the rumbler and stirrer and striker from afar,
Thor who sends the nourishing rain
and winds that shake loose stagnancy
and pollution. You are joyful when you come
home to your wife and many dear children,
quick to laugh and always ready with
a humorous story from your travels,
especially when ale trickles down
your thick red beard, and lovely-eyed
golden Sif is at your side
to wipe it away and kiss the lips
that so often have professed
undying love for her.
Nothing pleases Thor the yeoman’s God
more than plowing Sif’s fields
and scattering seed into the tight furrows,
and many months later reaping
a bounty of swollen fruit and wheat
the color of her lovely curls,
not even walloping ill-tempered þurs
or putting arrogant jarls in their place.

Day III. To Þórr Véþormr

Hail Thor, protector of the shrine,
preserver of the lore and sacred rites,
friend of the priest, and defender of the poet
– for you know how important these things
are to the health, longevity and well-being
of the people and without them how
vulnerable we are to the nothing
that seeks the annihilation of all existence,
a greater threat than ever Ragnarök could be.

Day II. To Þórr Harðhugaðr

I hail the powerful soul of Thor, defender of the
downtrodden and one who sets things to right,
God of the raging storm and the awful destruction
it brings, Lord of lightning strikes and thunder claps,
rowdy, raucous, and reveling son of crafty Óðinn
and the lovely Giantess Fjörgyn;
never, Thor, have you encountered an adversary
in the Nine Realms that you backed down from,
even when whole hosts were arrayed against you.
You can crush mountains with Mjölnir, grasp anything
you please with Járngreipr, and wearing Megingjörð
drag bullish rivers from their bed, changing
their swiftly rushing courses entirely.
When the elements are out of alignment,
and divine order is in danger of unraveling
it is you, Thor, who rushes in to fight
the cause of the corruption, injustice and hate
and through their defeat you hallow all once more,
O Prince of Ásgarðr and delight of your father.

Day VI. To Þórr Atli

Hail Thor whose name brings terror
to the hearts of the unrighteous and impious,
slayer of the wicked and monstrous,
strong one who drives back chaos and destruction,
wielder of the staff Gríðarvölr which renders
curses, disease, and grievous wounds powerless.
Once, they say, you and your charge Þjálfi
were on a great sea-journey when you came
ashore at Hlésey, where the Gods often feasted
in the great hall of their good friend Jötunish Ægir;
but this day there was no banquet or plentiful
horns of mead to be found, but instead an island
entirely desolate, sorrowful and unmanned.
All the womenfolk had been driven mad from their
homes into the wild places by Óðr who was furious
with them. She-wolves they seemed, and scarcely women
any longer as they danced and ran about screaming
with hair unbound, wearing beast-skins with serpents for torcs,
and nothing on beneath, brandishing iron cudgels and axes
as if they weighed nothing, and eating the raw
and bloody flesh of animals they captured
and with their bare hands tore to pieces.
Þjálfi had not even finished securing your ship
when a throng of them rushed down onto the beach
and began flinging iron, rocks and leafy missiles
ripped straight from the tree at you and servile Þjálfi,
who fled the scene in abject fear. You endured their assault
Thor, and then smote each of the false-bitches in turn
with Gríðarvölr, restoring their stolen sanity to them.
You then walked the length and breadth of Hlésey,
hunting the women down and informing
their trembling husbands that it was safe to come out
of hiding once more, and Þjálfi came too.
To this day your festival is kept among them
loud-roaring and thundering redeemer,
and your memory shall endure among us forever too,
O Thor the mighty, vanquisher of his foes.

Day I. To Þórr Eindriði

I call upon you Thor, the one who rides alone
in your cart drawn by Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr
through lands near and far, visiting the high
and the low alike, testing the hospitality
and other noble virtues of the sons of Askr
and daughters of Embla. You are called
friend of the common man, for oft have you found
that those who have the least are quickest
to give the most. Likewise those who know well
how brief, brutish and uncertain life can be
make the best use of what has been given them;
they know too that simple pleasures are the fillingest,
and being scarce must be enjoyed to the utmost
when and where they are found. And oh, son of Óðinn,
do you graciously reward the generosity of the folk,
sending a sudden rainstorm so their crops will prosper
rather than succumb to drought, and their goats
produce plentiful bleating young as their nets strain
to contain so many fish and somehow there are
more cheeses in their larder than their pails collected milk,
all because they set out for you humble traveler’s stew,
crusty bread and a flagon of homebrew, the best
that they had. Thor, may every house receive you so,
and each treat you better than the one before.

Day VII. To Sigyn, North Star

We hail you Sigyn, brave, calm, steadfast
and enduring Goddess who is there
for your husband in his time of greatest travail
and can bring Loki back from the brink
of destructive madness with just a touch
or a soft word, Sigyn we hail you! You who are full
of quiet wisdom and certainty, no matter how bleak
and hopeless things may seem, Sigyn we hail you!
You who unfailingly point the way to the true,
the right, and the holy, Sigyn we hail you!
You who preserve the home, the family, and tradition,
Sigyn we hail you! You who are always there
to offer the lost, the suffering, and the weary
your loving support, grace and gentle guidance,
Sigyn we hail you!

Day VI. To Sigyn, Fetter Shatterer

May my words be pleasing to you, O gracious Sigyn,
as once your words were pleasing to Loki’s son Váli
when he returned from playing in the golden groves of Iðunn
with a bruise on his knee, grass and leaves stuck to his clothes,
cheeks pink and damp from tears and blue-grey eyes 
full of confusion and hurt. After hugging him tight
you brushed him clean, took out your lunchbox
with ladybugs on it, and sat him down on your lap.
He seemed so small and fragile then, and you would
protect him from all that the Nine Worlds hold if you could,
but some things are beyond even the power of the Gods.
You bid him tell his story and it seemed he had been playing tag
with Þórr’s boys Móði and Magni, Kōmos, the son of Óðr and Freyja,
his older sisters Hnoss and Gersemi, and Váli the giant child
of Óðinn and Rindr who was foreordained to avenge
his fallen brother Baldr (even though Loki had not yet
sharpened the dart of mistletoe.) Without provocation
the burden of Rindr’s arms flew into a fury, pushed little Váli
to the ground and when he staggered to his feet got all of
the other children to give chase, shouting horrible things at him
until they had hounded the boy to the boundary-marker
of his father’s property and into the arms of his mother.
Wise Sigyn, you spoke to your son until you had
broken the fetters of his sorrow and were rewarded
with a chubby-cheeked grin and musical laughter.
You opened your lunchbox full of treasures rivaling
anything a Dvergr has ever crafted, and allowed
your Váli to draw out whatever he pleased. He chose
a diamond-shaped bullroarer gifted you by Óðr
and a little red rubber ball that also came from him.
With these trinkets all his pain, humiliation and rage
were forgot, and he toddled off to play by himself.
Sigyn, likewise I pray, speak the words that cut through anger
and bring us back to our rational senses, and help us not
to be cruel or to needlessly prejudge others.