One-Eyed Cat: Heathenry / Slavic Paganism

Exploring the wider Eurasian influences on central and northern European religion, including Norse, Slavic, Celtic, Baltic, Siberian, Mediterranean and ancient Indo-European beliefs and applying them to contemporary practice.

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Shirl Sazynski

Shirl Sazynski

Shirl Sazynski was trained by the Gods and has been practicing the Norse shamanic art of seidhr for over a decade. A wife of Odin, oracle, icon painter and author, her work has appeared in popular and pagan media outlets for the last fifteen years, including Witches and Pagans, Sacred Hoop, Idunna, Eternal Haunted Summer, Oak Leaves and books from Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

She teaches workshops on Norse spirituality and seidhr, and works as a professional shaman and oracle in Albuquerque, New Mexico, consulting the Gods at staffandcup.com.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Odin / Lugh as the Yule King by Shirl SazynskiA past December:

It's the season of mistletoe and holly, when bells are ring-jing-jing-a-ling and the year-round Northern outdoor signs that say, "Beware of Falling Ice" finally have meaning. The night is hushed in a way it only gets when there is a blanket of snow, on the eve before a holiday, when everything is closed. Snuggled in a hotel room in upstate New York, red and blue-foil snowflakes covering presents gleam out of the corner of my eye, while real ones slowly fall, dancing over the parking lot.

               It's almost midnight. Drowsy with hot cider, lying on my husband's chest and listening to his heartbeat, there's nowhere else I'd rather be…

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Yule King Freyr

A Prayer to Ingvi

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We stereotype the peoples of Northern Europe as aggressive, looting, sea-faring warriors, hauling back pillaged booty or trade goods from abroad. We stereotype Odin (blame Wagner and his Victorian romanticism for this) as the stern, grim king: father of war. Thor as big-hearted, lustily drinking smiter of evil. While attitudes have recently begun changing, portraying the Vikings' "softer side", that aggressive image sticks-- both inside and outside of Heathenry.

It ignores that there is a third strong image of masculinity, from a triad of Gods honored at the ancient temple of Upsala, Sweden: Odin, Thor and Freyr.

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  • David Carron
    David Carron says #
    But it's not peace it's Frith. Folks assure that it's the same, but it's more like détente.

Americans still haven't celebrated our secular harvest holiday yet (Thanksgiving)-- which marks the unofficial change from autumn to winter, even if the official shift falls on the Solstice. So I think it's still appropriate to honor Freyr, especially at lower latitudes.


Freyr altar with offerings- Shirl Sazynski

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I wrote this hymn around the autumn equinox, for a blot to Freyr at a far northern latitude where the leaves had already turned and the lake was skinning with ice, as farmers were pulling in the last harvests. It's meant to welcome the Norse God Freyr (Baltic & Slavic "Yarilo/Jarilo"; also called "St. John/Ian" and "Caloian") as the harvest Lord, and say farewell to him with the change in seasons.


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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Freyr is literally one of the words for 'Lord' in old Norse. In other words, it's not just a well-known God's name but his title. One of Odin's many heiti (by-names and titles) is Herjan-- also another word for 'Lord' with a warrior connotation, 'leader of hosts'. While both Gods are associated with kingship in Scandinavia, Freyr is mythically attributed in Ynglinga Saga as the ancestor of the royal house of Sweden (much as Egyptian pharoahs claimed descent from or symbolic right to rule as inherited from Osiris-- which also means 'Sire').


 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Cool picture, Shirl. It took me over half a century to realize that the 23rd Psalm only tells half the truth - the Good Shepherd m
  • Cynthia Savage
    Cynthia Savage says #
    Or to be fleeced.....maybe the televangelists have a point!
Heathen Gods and Sacrifice (and Transformation)

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Alfar
    Alfar says #
    Thank you.... I know the ladies will enjoy this... the fellas as well... but the ladies especially. They love when another female
  • Alfar
    Alfar says #
    Great work. I am an Asatru Gothi and work with prison ministry / education. There are a great number of fine heathen men and women
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Thank you, Alfar. I am happy that my writings can make a difference in other peoples' lives, including those who are trying to mak
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Thank you both, Jessica and Rebecca. Pogany is amazing. I am also fond of Ivan Bilibin and there are hordes of unknown Slavic arti
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    Terrific essay. It is very timely, at least in my case. Also, thanks for the image credits. It can be hard to find good images o

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