Bragiteilen's Public Journal, History, Culture & Worship, Worship, Worship Practices

Hanging Paintings

Some days for me are characterized by the sheer power of my desire to pray. It often doesn’t matter if the god in question, which is almost always Bragi, doesn’t respond; it’s comforting enough to know that he hears my adoration and acknowledges it as he has always done before. A series of “I love you”s repeated like an incantation can allow me to fall asleep.

IMG_9691I think maybe one other person knows that my shrine is built on top of a personal fridge. It’s not some deep dark secret, but I like being able to maximize the space available to me for utilitarian purposes as much as possible. I am by no means a minimalist when it comes to decorating my space, but multipurpose furniture and tools make me happy. Perhaps the reason why they do is that I constantly find myself running out of room. But I digress… Continue reading “Hanging Paintings”

Death Gods, Fertility Gods, Gender Non-Conforming Gods, History, Culture & Worship, Reference Sheets, Relationships Between the Gods, The Gods, Worship, Worship Practices

Freyr: A Reference on the Norse God of Fertility, Peace, and Prosperity

Please note that this work is subject to updates and that the most recently updated version will always be the document in my google drive linked to on my Resources page. Please also note that you should not accept any of this at face value and always research any of the information I make available yourself. This is intended to be a simple reference and jumping-off point.

DOEPLERFREYR
Freyr, Emil Doepler

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Death Gods, Gender Non-Conforming Gods, History, Culture & Worship, Reference Sheets, Relationships Between the Gods, The Gods, War Gods, Wisdom Gods, Worship, Worship Practices

Óðinn/Odin: A Reference on the Norse God of Wisdom and War

Please note that this work is subject to updates and that the most recently updated version will always be the document in my google drive linked to on my Resources page. Please also note that you should not accept any of this at face value and always research any of the information I make available yourself. This is intended to be a simple reference and jumping-off point.

Odin and Gunlod by Emil Doepler
Odin bei Gunlod, Emil Doepler

Continue reading “Óðinn/Odin: A Reference on the Norse God of Wisdom and War”

Death Gods, Fertility Gods, History, Culture & Worship, Reference Sheets, Relationships Between the Gods, The Gods, War Gods, Wisdom Gods, Worship, Worship Practices

Freyja: A Reference on the Norse God of Sexuality, War, and Seiðr

Please note that this work is subject to updates and that the most recently updated version will always be the document in my google drive linked to on my Resources page. Please also note that you should not accept any of this at face value and always research any of the information I make available yourself. This is intended to be a simple reference and jumping-off point.

Hyndla og Freia by Frølich
Hyndla og Freia, Lorenz Frølich

Continue reading “Freyja: A Reference on the Norse God of Sexuality, War, and Seiðr”

Adorations & Devotionals, Bragiteilen's Public Journal, History, Culture & Worship, Worship, Worship Practices

My Formal Oath to Bragi

‘Bragi, I come before you on this spring evening, when the warmth beyond my window nearly mirrors the warmth in my heart. I come before you lucid and tranquil. I come before you without fear, and invite you to share a drink with me and take in the same Jasmine scent that I do now.

‘Skillful Bragi, discerning Bragi, Bragi of a most mindful presence: For every candle I have lit in your honor, you have reflected its light back to me a hundred times. For every meal shared, for every prayer offered, for every pile of incense ashes I’ve collected for you, you have let me taste sweeter things, let me hear lovelier words, and let me breathe more heady fumes. Word weaver and music maker, dweller in libraries and auditoriums alike: you have hastened my learning and bolstered my happiness, and therefore you have also given me precious moments in which to chase even greater knowledge and pleasure. That is a debt which I cannot hope to fully repay, so I will give you the next best thing. Please hear me now as I offer you the greatest gift I have to give.

‘Bragi my mentor, Bragi my friend: From this moment on, my body will be your temple, my hands shall manifest your will. My soul is a garden that grows many fruits for you to eat, a brimming cup from which you can drink, and a bed upon which you can rest. Give me a portion of your time, and partake of what little is mine. If by giving myself to you I can shorten the distance between us, then I do it gladly. Hear this, Bragi, my declaration: What is mine is now also yours, and so shall it be until the day when, by my own death or by your goodbye, I have fulfilled my oath.’

Bragiteilen Oath to Bragi

I finally made my formal oath to Bragi tonight, and completely by accident, I chose the best time for it. I sat on the porch where the incense would be out of the wind and stay lit, and I recited my oath from the sheet of paper I’d printed out, and after that it started to drizzle, and then it started storming. I sat counting the thunderclaps after each lightning strike, and I didn’t feel any different.

Five, six, ten, five, four, five, six, five, ten, and three.

There was no sudden overwhelming sense of duty and there was no regret. It was just me, Bragi, some incense and a cup of water, and Þórr off in the not-at-all-distant sky riding his chariot, first one mile away, then a bit further, then two miles away, then one again, and less than that, and then one and more, and one and two, and then the last lightning strike that touched down near my house before I went inside was just a little more than half a mile away.

I’ve been living as if I was already oathed to Bragi, and in a sort of roundabout way, I may actually have been. I took his name, and there are a lot of people who would say that doing that was as good as making a formal oath, but I wasn’t sure. I knew that I wanted to do it more formally anyway.

I feel calm, with a pleasant buzzing inside my head shaking apart any thoughts that aren’t easy to think. I feel warm and loved. Overall, this went exactly as I hoped it would.

© Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com, 2018. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Enigmatic Gods, Gender Non-Conforming Gods, History, Culture & Worship, Reference Sheets, The Gods, War Gods, Worship, Worship Practices

The Alcis: A Reference on the Germanic Gods of (Possibly) Elks, Brotherhood, and Male Youth

Please note that this work is subject to updates and that the most recently updated version will always be the document in my google drive linked to on my Resources page. Please also note that you should not accept any of this at face value and always research any of the information I make available yourself. This is intended to be a simple reference and jumping-off point.

Second Discovered Gallehus Horn The Alcis
The Alcis (the two human figures on the far left) as depicted in a drawing of the second Gallehus Horn, which was discovered in 1734, and stolen and destroyed in 1802, etching by J. R. Paulli

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Enigmatic Gods, History, Culture & Worship, Relationships Between Gods and Mortals, The Gods, Worship, Worship Practices

Some Thoughts on The Alcis

Tonight, my unsated curiosity about the Alcis, the pair of divine brothers worshiped by the Naharvali tribe according to Tacitus, got the better of me as it tends to do quite often. Once again, I found myself looking for more sources, and things I may have missed in the sources I already know, to aid my understanding of the brothers. Though I had some trouble even keeping up with my own thoughts, I tried to make what follows as coherent as possible:

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History, Culture & Worship, Worship, Worship Practices

Prayers Don’t Need to Be Overly Specific

I wanted to say this just because it was on my mind for a bit today:

If you’re like me and have a tendency to over-specify what you’re asking for in prayers to the gods out of fear of repercussions that might stem from unspecificity*, know this:

The gods are wise. They are very wise, and they can tell what it is you’re asking for even if you don’t specify the extraneous minutia of everything. If you have their favor, you will receive it. If they are determined to cause you to suffer or to twist your words to excuse such a thing, they will find a way to do just that. All you can do is offer your prayer, and with everything I just said being true, it is better to focus on whether or not your prayer is heartfelt rather than whether or not it is specific enough for a trickster robot genie to understand.

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History, Culture & Worship, Relationships Between Gods and Mortals, U/SPG (Unverified/Shared Personal Gnosis), Worship, Worship Practices

Reintegrating the Gods into Daily Life: Matching Religion With Worldview and Ending Those Lonely Disconnects Between Us and Them

The Creation of Adam (detail) (Michelangelo)
The Creation of Adam (detail) (Michelangelo)

When in the early sixteenth century Michelangelo painted one of his greatest masterpieces, The Creation of Adam, the general concept of a man touching the hand of god was seen as a much loftier goal than it was to the pagan Romans of not much more than a thousand years before he was born. As far back as in the city of Eridu in Ancient Mesopotamia, and eventually slowing to a halt starting in Southern Europe, history has recorded the ordinary and the supernatural simultaneously, on the same pages and in the same sort of language. To the historians of yesteryear, and more importantly, to the common person, there was very little separation, if any, between the menial tasks of daily life and the divine interference of the gods, for the gods were present in all things. The loss of that presence is the reason for much of the loneliness experienced by modern polytheists, and it is something I have finally found the words with which to provide the solution.

As Ralph Metzner has stated, the separation of ordinary life from contact with the divine is a “loss [that] resulted from the gradually increasing emphasis, started by the Greeks and continued with Christianity, on abstract conceptions of deity rather than on the direct, sensory perception of and communication with spirits that was the norm in polytheistic animism.” Today, even with the reemergence of ancient polytheistic religions like Hellenic Polytheism, Religio Romana, Kemetism, and Germanic and Norse Heathenry, the West has yet to recover its old comfort with dining at the same table as the gods, among other things, and the religious “reemergences” I just mentioned are, for the most part, vague approximations at best, hampered by a worldview that dulls the senses which reveal the divine to mankind.

If humankind had retained regular contact with the divine and not grown the mental barriers between us and them that it has, we might today find the presence of many gods in the discovery of a parking ticket on the window shield of a car, in the modern understanding of GMOs, or even, as ridiculous as it sounds, in a toilet cleaner bomb. These things are simply the modern descendants of what the old gods once held dominion over. Finding Týr in a parking ticket today is conceptually no different than a person from a distant age finding him at The Thing, an ancient Norse gathering that occurred regularly to discuss the business of laying down and enforcing the law of the land.

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