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Prayer card update

(Leto by Grace Palmer)

It's high time that I give an update on forthcoming prayer cards, as I have quite a few in process. 

The most recent card, "Leto," is now available for purchase. "Jormungand" may be pre-ordered. 

I have one artist working on another Cardea, one on Venus. 

I have also just approved designs for Minerva, Sulis, and the Goddess Disciplina is also underway. 

If you would like to sponsor a prayer card, please contact me at krasskova at gmail.com. 

My latest at the Boukoleon

My latest post, wherein I discuss Dionysos, Odin, ordeal, and panic is up at the Boukoleon.  Here is a small excerpt for you to enjoy:

"I wonder at the relationship between Dionysos and Pan. I know fear and it is conscious and immediate. Terror - panic- is something quite apart from that. It roils up from the pit of the soul, from the dark twisting innards of the gut, from the lizard brain of instinct, fight, or flight that we all possess. There's no logic to it. There's no panacea. It comes in waves, buffeting consciousness and must be ridden to its end. I very rarely experience panic and its peaks and valleys were new to me. Yet when I called to Dionysos, it seemed as though those feral rhythms were a cloak that He could wear at will, a weapon, a tool, a gift. It coiled around His hands like a serpent around the arms of a temple dancer. The gift He gave me, sending His priest to help, was this: to be in the conscious flow of that panic and not be overwhelmed by it. I got through my MRI with no problem, in fact, I was quite calm once it all began. I was also, as I only realized much later, in a deeply altered state.  More and more I'm gaining insight into how He uses altered states to cleanse, purify, challenge, to open one up to whatever mysteries one's Gods and wyrd might have in store."

Agriculture, Inequality and Cremation in Iron Age Spain

One of the major debates in archaeology is when do we begin to see inequality among human groups, and what caused this this to happen. Social inequality has been defined […]

Coming soon…

My newest book will shortly be released by Sanngetall press. It's the book I would say that people ask me for the most: Honoring the Ancestors. You can find out more about that here

In the meantime, i still have two copies of "Dancing in the House of the Moon", my pocket-devotional to Mani, available for $22 plus $5 S&H. each book comes signed, personalized, and with the Mani prayer card of your choice. 

that is all. More updates will follow soon but the semester will soon be starting and I'm scurrying around getting prepared. :)

Sovereignty Then and Now

  We talk a lot about goddesses of sovereignty, especially in Irish polytheism, but there is a disconnect between the ancient understanding of what those goddesses did and what they are seen to do in a modern context. Often the way that sovereignty is perceived is heavily colored by modern ideals of the value of the individual and of individual freedom, while the ancient view saw sovereignty as the right of one person to exert control over others. This disconnect is born from a misunderstanding or romanticism of the historic concept and yet may also represent a way in which the old gods are evolving and adapting to a new world.
   To begin, sovereignty itself may not be a very good translation of the Old Irish word flaitheas, although it is one given by the dictionary. Flaitheas more properly should probably be translated as "rulership" or the right to rule, which is also another of its meanings. The ancient goddesses of sovereignty gave the kings and chieftains the right to rule over the people, effectively legitimizing their kingship. To have the blessing or approval of the goddess of sovereignty, to symbolically marry her, was to be given the divine right to rule. In the context of ancient Irish culture this was a very important thing because only with the approval of this goddess, only with flaitheas, could a king prosper in his rule; through right relation to the goddess of flaitheas a king could bring abundance and security to his people and land. Angering her though would lead to destruction, one way or another.
   Where this gets tricky linguistically is that the word sovereignty in English not only means the authority of someone or something over a group, but also freedom from external control. While the Old Irish word means ruling, and is even used as a word to mean a kingdom or realm, the English word only partially overlaps these meanings and includes connotations of independence and freedom that are entirely lacking in the Irish. In this case the choice of words in translation is very important, especially since the newer understanding has grown largely out of the concepts surrounding the English term, not the Irish.
    Many people today when they see the word sovereignty used interpret it not as the right to rule a place and its people but rather as a word relating to personal autonomy. This may be inaccurate in a historical context, but for those of us living in a place without a functioning monarchy what else would sovereignty be? When there is no king to marry the land, no chieftain to be chosen and blessed by the goddess, then what becomes of the concept of sovereignty itself? How can we not internalize it and make it personal, make it about our right to rule over our own land, which is our body, our own kingdom, which is ourselves. When we honor the goddess of sovereignty in our lives we are honoring a modern concept of sovereignty, but that is no less impactful or important than the ancient one. It is different, and more personal, but just as powerful in its own way to call on a goddess of sovereignty today as ever.
    What does a goddess of sovereignty do in a culture with no kings to crown? Perhaps she adopts a new understanding of sovereignty in line with a new time that sees the value in the individual over the value of the group. Perhaps she shifts her view from weighing the merit of kings to rule the land to the merit of the individual to rule their own life. She will test us, she will judge us, she will weigh our worth.
  Let us strive to be worthy. 

British schoolboy archaeologists make amazing discovery

It shows that you can never start a love of archaeology too early. On a site in Kirkhaugh, Northumberland (England) a local group with the lengthy title of the North...

Illegal landscaping threatens Bronze Age burial site

In Plymstock, a suburb of Plymouth (Devon, England), lies an ancient woodland, which is subject to a Protection Order, to prevent unauthorised felling of trees. Added to this, evidence has...

Finland’s love of milk dates back to the Stone Age

Evidence has been found to prove that animal domestication occurred in one of the earth's harshest environments much earlier than previously thought. A combined team from the Universities of Bristol...

August Travels

(Shiloh  battlefield, August 2014)

I just returned from a fairly extensive road trip down south. My friend Mary Ann and I (leaving our menfolk at home) went from NY to VA, TN, AL, MS, KY, OH up to Niagara falls and back home again. For her, it was vacation and a chance to visit her old stomping grounds in OH, where she grew up, for me a chance to visit Shiloh battlefield and dispense some obligations to the military dead and then we both wanted to visit Berea, KY, known for its Appalachian crafts. We were gone for nearly ten days and it was exhausting (six hours a day in the car!) but also a great deal of fun. I got to see parts of the country I hadn't had the chance to visit before. I also learned quite a bit more about the necessary protocols for dealing with the military dead. 

In VA, I ended up stumbling quite by accident (ok, I got  surreptitiously pushed by the dead and led my traveling companion right to the battlefield…completely without realizing it) on New Market battlefield and that laid me out quite a bit. I pick up the emotions of the place, the battle, those who fought there, sometimes also getting sensory input from the dead. I was totally unprepared for it but I think my dead were doing me a favor. So much of what i learned there, enabled me to pass through Shiloh relatively unscathed. I'm a quick study--thank the Gods! Shiloh was a beautiful and terrible place. The battlefield is enormous and lovely but a miserable place to die. We went through as much of it as visitors were permitted to visit. The worst was the confederate mass grave - after the battle the bodies were buried in mass graves--where the presence of the dead was particularly strong.  This is actually one of the reasons we ended up finishing our trip at Niagara Falls---while the town itself is an utterly tacky (as only Americans can be) tourist trap, the falls themselves are powerful, pristine, cleansing, and blessing. Hermes had indicated in divination that we should go to the falls rather than Elmira, NY (where we'd intended to pass a night to break up the ride back home, but which was the site of a prison camp for confederate soldiers and a graveyard for the military dead) and I realized once I was there, that it was a matter of Niagara spirit being tremendously willing to cleanse and restore. I could have stayed there for hours, despite the tourists crawling like mindless vermin over a magnificent and sacred place. i got as close to the dirt and water as I could, and as I dared. 

I wasn't online much while I was traveling. We were up and on the road from dawn to whenever we arrived at our desired destination and after sight seeing and sometimes spirit-work, I found myself too tired to worry about emails so I'm now playing catch-up. One thing I wanted to touch on here, since i've had maybe half a dozen people asking my opinion on the matter, was the Ferguson riots.  That there is racism in our society and moreover within our power structures including the police comes as no surprise at all. It's appalling and worthy of outrage, and I've seen a lot of Pagans and polytheists just that: outraged. It's a start. But I think that in our collective responses to this injustice we're missing something very important. My opinion on the matter is that we need to step back and start listening. We need to start listening to those in our midst who are too often overlooked and ignored, marginalized i think the word is: Pagans and Polytheists of color. We have a group of people in our communities that has been dealing very directly with racism their entire lives and I don't think they need us to explain to them how they ought to respond, however well meaning our 'splainin' might be.  I think that our portion in this fight -- and rooting out this type of hatred and ignorance is a fight-- is to step back, listen to what those of color within our communities have to say and then to *support them* in how they wish to address this. Their voices aren't being heard and when that happens in our communities, it makes us every bit as culpable as the racists we decry. 

To my mind, this is just common courtesy. I dislike it as a polytheist when someone outside of my community attempts to define polytheism or tell me what I ought to believe. As a woman, I get irritated by the endless 'man-splainin' that every woman has had to deal with ad nausaeum in our culture. Not a single one of us can really comprehend on a gut and bone level the impact of racism in America…too often in our privilege I think we may even contribute unwittingly to it -- and that is a sickening thought! Nor am I saying don't be outraged. I think that outrage in the face of racism is the appropriate response. I'm saying that first and foremost we should listen to those most directly affected because we don't know how to untangle this. As a white woman i'm too blinded, however well meaning I may be, by my own privilege. I've had the luxury of not having to consider it on a day to day basis. It's our time to listen and to stand behind our colleagues and friends and community members of color and that is a challenging thing: to accept that we don't know what needs to be done and to put our willingness to do *something* at another's disposal but I think that as a community we're big enough to do just that. 

So there are my two cents on the matter. I've got a few more updates that I'll be posting over the next day or so, including information on the next book forthcoming from Sanngetall Press so stay tuned, folks. 
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