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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

My companion Tom Newman died of Covid on Friday. His patron god was Heimdall. This is the temporary altar setup I made for a toast to Heimdall and Tom, mostly composed of things from Tom's house and car. The rum had previously been used in last year's Rainbow Season ritual to Heimdall and his mothers.

When I was assembling this, originally I was only going to include the Heimdall coin as a kind of portable Heimdall altar that could go in the assemblage, but the Tyr coin literally leaped out at me. I don't know if that is because of Tom's dedication to justice or if it's because this is so close to Zisasege. That's an Urglaawe holiday but I feel close to Zisa too so although as an Asatruar I don't do the exact same full Zisasege ritual that Urglaawer do I am planning to do a little something for Zisa on the 28th. Zisa is Tyr's wife in Tyr's aspect as Ziu. So, I was opening the boxes to see which one the Heimdall coin was in and when I opened the box containing the Tyr coin it sproinged right out at me, so of course I included it.

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thank you, Victoria.
  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    My deepest sympathies for your loss. May he pass swiftly to his ancestors and add to the deep well of love, support and wisdom fo

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 34: Tyr and Zisa

Tyr is the original skyfather in heathen mythology. His major sphere of influence is justice. Zisa is his wife. Her symbol is the war boat, and she was identified by Tacitus as being the same goddess as Isis.

The Fireverse uses the names of gods as recorded in the Icelandic / Norse sources, unless the name is not recorded there. In the Icelandic, the name of Tyr's wife is not written down. However, Tyr is the same god as Ziu, and Ziu's wife's name is Zisa, so in both my novel Some Say Fire and in my personal practice I call them Tyr and Zisa.

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  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    Zisa is not mentioned by Tacitus, in Germania Tacitus mentioned that 'some of the Suevi also sacrifice to Isis' , Tacitus does not

Some people in the heathen community seem to approve of piracy, what with the whole Vikings rah-rah. Successful pirate societies don't pirate from their own. Today's Somali pirates don't pirate Somali ships. That's how it worked in the Viking Age, too; Vikings raided across the sea, not across the street.

This is an account of a ritual I performed asking Tyr for justice. My book Asatru For Beginners had been pirated shortly after the print edition came out. I was originally going to tell the entire story of what happened, and how chasing pirated versions of my book all over the net eventually led me to the file sharing section of a site engaged in immoral activities, but at that point the story really becomes about non-religious matters, so I'm just going to blog about the ritual I performed once I had done all I could do by regular means.

The type of ritual I performed is the most common of heathen rituals, the sumbel. Sumbel is a toasting ritual. It is often performed in a group, for a holiday, but it can also be performed alone. It is very simple, with a Germanic efficiency that I see as elegant like something perfectly engineered, a type of beauty completely different from flowery excess.

I assembled the things I needed for the ritual, which were my portable altar, which was necessary to hold the other things, my drinking horn, and a bottle of something to put in the horn. I chose to offer him Eau de Vie de Bourgeons de Sapin, a drink made from evergreen tree needles. The reasons I chose that drink are: 1. because it is a traditional drink from Alsace, where some of my ancestors are from, thus it has a personal connection with me, 2. because evergreen has a clean, strong flavor which seems masculine to me, and I think of Tyr as manly; 3. evergreen is also symbolic of the eternal life of the gods and of nature, so it seemed appropriate as something to offer a god, and 4. because it is a rare and special drink.

I wept as I summarized the situation briefly and asked him for justice. I ended the toast with "hail Tyr," and drank to him. What was left in the horn after the toast I poured out on the ground.

Back when I was new to heathenry, some other Asatruars said that heathens don't pray, but I realize now that they were reacting against Christianity, not following the example of historical heathens. There are numerous examples in the lore of people asking the gods for various things.  We might not pray in the way that Christians do, but we do communicate with the gods in our own ways, and we do ask them for help when we need to. When I had done everything I could do myself, I asked Tyr for justice, and he delivered it.

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