Woden: An Informal Study

Lays of Mad Sigrún

A picture of Gandalf smoking beats another use of the same damn Odin portrait everyone else uses.

So, it’s not exactly a secret that the top deity of my personal praxis is Woden; being a witch, a poet, and a horrible gremlin of a scholar, it’s probably the most natural pairing since salt and the sea. Many an offering I’ve made to him, poetry I’ve dedicated, and though I don’t personally put him at the very top of the pecking order in my own somewhat eclectic reconstruction of cosmology, his centrality is still key.

Now, there have been times where I’ve seen Woden discussed, largely in the context of the more well-known Odin, and I’ve noticed people acting confused when I, or anyone else, bring up that the two are actually somewhat distinct. And honestly, I don’t blame anyone; a lot of deities map very well between Germanic cultures (Thunor…

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Reflections on Mōdraniht

Ceremony has its place, and so does praying over a hot stove. Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash Mōdraniht is an Old English holiday that comes to us from Bede, who recounts [1] that it was celebrated by the pre-Christian heathens on the night before Christmas. The name means Mothers’ Night, though there are (naturally) […]

Reflections on Mōdraniht

‘Twas the Night Before Yule

‘Twas the night before Yule, and all through the houseNot a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;The children were tucked into bed with great care,They lay hoping that Woden soon would be there; Cookies and milk were left out for Father Yule,Because it is said that a gift for a gift is the rule.The […]

‘Twas the Night Before Yule

Swords & Plough-shares: reflections on the Wild Hunt

Deer, especially stags, are a key element of Wild Hunt imagery for me. Photo by Vincent M.A. Janssen from Pexels The Wild Hunt is one name for a folkloric/mythic motif that crops up in different guises across North & Western Europe: a phantom hunt that rides through the night sky, often seeking out evildoers and dangerous to behold. […]

Swords & Plough-shares: reflections on the Wild Hunt

Alliterative 101: The Basics

Hwæt! Wē Gārdena in ġēardagum þēodcyninga þrym ġefrūnon, hū ðā æþelingas ellen fremedon. Oft Sċyld Sċēfing sċeaþena þrēatum, monegum mǣġþum meodo-setla oftēah. Eġsode eorl, syððan ǣrest wearð fēasċeaft funden; hē þæs frōfre ġebād, wēox under wolcnum, weorð-myndum þāh, oð þæt him ǣġhwylċ þāra ymb-sittendra ofer hronrāde hȳran sċolde, gomban ġyldan; þæt wæs gōd cyning! These […]

Alliterative 101: The Basics

Hrēðe, Tīw, and encountering almost-forgotten Gods.

Sometimes this is how I feel in prayer and meditation, waiting for the Gods to place the next delicately-balanced stone. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash I have written here before about my calendar of monthly observances for seasonally appropriate Gods. In this scheme, March corresponds to Hrēþ-mōnaþ, the month of the mysterious Goddess Hrēðe, […]

Hrēðe, Tīw, and encountering almost-forgotten Gods.