Pagan Culture - Literature

Valhalla With A Twist Of Lethe

With A Twist Of Lethe
Fiction by Phil Brucato
Illustration by Clayton Preston


hor made his first guitar out of lightning and oak and a few hairs taken from Freya’s head. He strung them together with passion and a little bit of envy. He used Mjollnir as a plectrum and shot sparks from his beard as he played. The sounds he made drove trolls into hiding and cracked the mountain where he stood. Amazed, the god decided to tone things down — Loki’s chains might break and the world might end! So Thor lowered his amps to 98, and the Midgard Serpent retreated to its bed again.

Thor took his guitar to Bifrost. When he played there, the rainbow bridge changed colors to match the music. As he played, Nerids writhed in their watery beds; when they woke hungry, several hundred men were drowned. Yet Thor drew only vague satisfaction from his music. It was, he realized, pale compared to mortal inpiration.

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Lies, Truth, and the Color of Faith


Lies, Truth, and the Color of Faith
short fiction by Gerri Leen, artwork by Gary McClusky

The web changes. Grandmother Spider guides my hand, and I follow the thread as it glides over the course of history, into worlds and out again, tracing the possible paths of our ship, the repercussions of our potential decisions.

Possibility collides with possibility, and one way is strong; it draws me in, takes me over, rushing through the Weaving like the rivers through the mountains in the North-lands.

It has been too long since I have ridden the rivers, and I miss them. For a moment I am there, feeling spray on my face, remembering how my mother took my hand and held on tight.

“Enjoy this, child,” she said, and then laughed, delighted by the immensity of the water. We come from a dry land; our rivers run gently, if at all. Water is never something to take for granted.

The web shifts under my hand, drawing me out of my memories. The pattern sings of conquest, of people who will not fight but have much to lose. “Oh,” I say. Then “Oh,” again as the thread turns red like the Bayeta cloth my ancestors wove.

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The Goddess

The Goddess
by William Wynne

I knew you when I was seven,
As I lay out
Petting grass,
Like Earth fur,
Gulping moonlight
In the starry explosion of
A Texas summer.

Read more: The Goddess

Shadow Realms


Shadow Realms
by Colleen Anderson

Where is the world whose noonday umbra
silhouetted smoldering herbs in grottos, and oracles
who lived darkness more than light?

Read more: Shadow Realms



by Chris Hoffman

When we close our eyes
we entrust ourselves to the buoyancy
of unknown waters,
and we leave with nothing
but the practiced habits of the heart.

Read more: Finally



there’s always that one moment
where the stars align
in just the right sign
and the planets shimmer
and the freshly frozen thaw
doesn’t seem like an ill portent
that one moment
a silent lilt
a hidden song
just one instant of just the right sunshine
that moment
when you wake up and without knowing why
need flowing hemlines around your ankles
and bangles about your wrists
and ears
when you dare to venture beyond your door
which, despite the freshly frozen thaw,
is something you are dying to do,
you bypass all other waiting pairs
and find yourself besandled
and you know
— somewhere deep inside you
with a power that comes from the beloved stars —
you know
that despite the freshly frozen thaw
and the curse the meteorologists hold over you all
somehow, you just know
that somewhere deep within the great earth mother
spring is stretching, stirring
secretly planning to take us unawares
but i
i know
and the seeds of the season yet to come
are sown and growing
to bewitch those
weary of winter

— Jennifer M. Heuft

This article first appeared in the magazine PanGaia #50
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