‘Gretchen Ruins Heathenry’ YouTube series announcement

Hi friends!  Contrary to the world’s ambitions, I am not dead.  I’ve been away from the blog because I’ve got some projects going on, one of which is this here:  I started a new YouTube channel, and started a series.  I’m calling it Gretchen Ruins Heathenry, and it’s gonna be an exploration of the history, folklore, religious practices, and languages of Northern Europe, with fun supplemental bits here and there.

Our first video, Who Were the First Heathens?, is embedded down there at the bottom of the post, and it presents some conjecture about where and when Northern European paganism originated, so if you want to learn about that, give it a watch and listen to my horrible Man Voice™ narrate at you over a slideshow of relevant pictures.  The next things I’ve got coming down the pipe will (probably) be a discussion about sexual mores in the early Medieval period, and then an analysis of Egil Skallagrimsson’s Saga (b/c he is bae).

Be sure and subscribe and share and whatnot if you like it, and/or if you’re sick and tired of the narrative being dominated by fash trash.


In Caldragh Cemetery on Boa Island, Ireland stand two statues that have not yet been satisfactorily explained. The smaller of the two is a single sided statue of someone who appears to have one good eye, like the Norse god Odin. It was found on the nearby island of Lusty More and has been called “Lusty Man”, then brought to Boa Island. Gender is not obvious. The larger of the two is a Janus, back-to-back male and female figure. It was found here in Caldragh Cemetery but the matching lower portion of the statue was then discovered in 2003 on Lusty More island, where the smaller statue was found. This suggests the two were originally located there and at some point in the distant past, the Janus figure was transported here. 

• Some have speculated these are Celtic gods, and that seems to make sense. Some claim they are much older while others contend they are much younger and perhaps were created in the middle ages by a pagan cult remnant. The notion that there is a Norse connection is a fascinating suggestion but as of yet no conclusive explanation has come forth. Regardless of their origin, they stand testament to the rich and curious ancient history of Ireland.

Oaths and Offerings: Making Deals with Deities

I want to touch on something very serious. I know that a lot of people have various opinions on what and how, what’s right and wrong. But tbh I’m only going to share my experience. You can take that or leave it as it is. I’m not looking to discuss it because I know there are large variations for what I’m talking about, I just want to talk about the dangers for a moment.

Okay so, I think I need to make this perfectly clear. Gods are not humans, they may be able to understand our rules and boundaries, but ultimately they are like literal forms of nature in one way or another. Expecting them to treat us the same way we would treat another human is like asking the wind to take on corporal form and expecting it to happen.

When you make a deal with a deity, under that circumstance you need to understand and accept one simple factor. They can trick you, they can lie, they can hide truths behind it all to make you want to. The point is, you chose to make the deal and thus submitted yourself to that. It’s not to say that what they do is always right.., but when you look at ancient lore, you begin to understand just how dangerous it is. Oathing yourself to a god is not a good thing in material. It’s not something you should do on a whim. You need to be aware of what you’re getting into. Which means asking questions but also being aware they may not be entirely honest or forthcoming with you. They can hide things from us and we would never know, but at the same time once you make a deal you can’t just walk away from it. At least when you don’t you have a chance of walking away. Either way, it’s a thing which should be discussed with them personally.

Of course the variations of such things are very wide. I can only speak on the experiences that I and others have been in. You need to understand that while yes, they are similar to us, they don’t play by the same rules or regulations. If you ask for something, be specific. If you say “please help me and I’ll give you” xyz, then you were specific. However, if you say “please help me and I’ll do anything within reason.” That is not specific! What is within reason for a god?! Uh, almost anything! Put the limitations on by being specific and you will avoid matters like touching yourself while they watch (yes I’ve heard of this), or other ridiculous things that put you in an uncomfortable and maybe even impossible situations that you’re not sure how to handle or perform the right action to.

To work with deities is to work with forces that far outstretch who we are. They are wholly who they are, multifaceted dimensional beings who have the power to affect culture, the minds of people, and the wind, the waves, and even pull the strings for death and luck. I mean that’s some serious shit right there. So before you go walking into an oath, make sure you’re aware and set those limitations! However if it’s just an offering, if all you can give is a candle or a scent, a lock of hair, etc, then give that and tell them that’s what they get and nothing more. If you don’t then you’re bound to run into trouble at some point.

(Like I said this is just based on my own dealings with them. I only wish to share that experience as a word of advice on the matter.)

Fenrisúlfr, Hati & Sköll

According to the lore regarding Ragnarök there are two wolves, named Hati and Sköll, who chase the moon and sun.
Hati will catch and devour the moon, Sköll will catch and devour the sun and all the stars will cease to shine. The earth will shatter and shake, mountains will come crashing down and this will enable Fenrisúlfr to break free of his chains, signalling the beginning of Ragnarök!

Words by hedendom
Artwork by exileden


Heathen New Year (5th January 2015)

As Sól’s light falls on the final day,
A year on Miðgarðr is washed away,
A brand new chance to show Óðinn my deed,
In Yggdrasil’s branches a new year takes seed,
Hail Frey, prosperity and virility,
Hail Freyja, lust and fertility,
Hail Þórr, strength and protection,
Hail Óðinn, wisdom and intention,
Hail Skaði, valour and redemption,
Hail to the powers as the days start to lengthen.

- hedendom

T E E N A G E  G I R L S  +  M Y T H O L O G Y: Skaði

She’s the one who goes skiing every holiday, her teeth as white as the snow over which she glides. There is something cold and lonely to this girl of winter, the way she dismisses that which does not please her with a glacial stare. Her pale skin is swaddled in thick jumpers, always shivering as if chilly. Or scared. The mountains call her, their presence ominous and ever-looming on the horizon. They watch with unseen eyes, beckoning her frosty touch.