Not only did Exploring the Northern Tradition provide me with a wealth of information on my target Goddesses, Freya and Hel, it also introduced me to the Goddess Saga, who immediately connected with me and provided me with a new mission for projects in my next cycle of my Women's Thealogical Institute, Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess, International program. I learned a great deal about the Goddesses functions, sacred objects and holy tides.
I also enjoyed learning about the ritual Symbels. This affirmed more of what I believe to be inherited (Viking) memory, as I have always had a notion of a time of honor where stories of successful deeds are told and the guest of honor is the one to give the gifts rather than receive them. I have been thinking of having a ritual on my 40th birthday, and I would love for it follow the format of a Symbel with the opening speech (the hallowing), the assigning of a female ealu bora to pass wine to the attendants but first to me as symbelgerefa so that I may toast the Goddesses, the Maegen (luck) of those gathered and then to speak of my accomplishments and state my upcoming goals. Then wine would be passed to the group so others may state their goals and/or take pride in their accomplishments. I might select a Thyle whose obligation is to challenge any goals they think unrealistic, and to keep all on track. Then I would love to honor those people who have had significance in my life with gifts. The Northern tradition relies heavily on hierarchy, and so it would certainly be appropriate for some gifts to be more extravagant than others.
As my heritage is Scandinavian and German I feel very drawn to the Northern Traditions. I feel it like a memory; I know it in my soul. However, Ms. Krasskova describes herself as a heathen and makes a point to draw a heavy line between the term Heathen and Pagan. Neo-Pagan is nearly put forth with disdain in the writing, and Ms. Krasskova warns that some orthodox heathen groups tip into racism. As a practicing priest of Heathenry for over 12 years, I think Ms. Krasskova would not make such a statement lightly. As one who has been called to serve Diana and Persephone, I know that I could never join a Heathen kindred where the requirement to join would be to ignore the summons of my Greek Goddesses. Saga though has plans for me.
I witnessed a bit of Saga's power during Milwaukee Ostara. One little girl and two young women in their teenage years were so taken in by my role as Persephone in Ruby Sara's and Johnny Rapture's ritual and then again when I sang, that they made a point to speak to me during the festival. They honored me by their words and again when the littlest of them gave me her painting from the children's area. She said that she had made it specifically for me. Music and poetry are in and of themselves, magic and sacred. I wish I could meet those lovely ladies again, for I would invite them to my 40th Symbel as honored guests. They were the very voice of Saga, and they helped me realize my path: I have more music to sing.
Upon seeing Saga's name written in Ms. Krasskova book I realized that I am Viking Skauld in my soul and my blood. Saga immediately whispered that my next project should not only honor her, but others like her. I believe that I have known Saga for ages; and she doesn’t care that I’m one of those annoying “neos.” She is calling me and the fact that I’m Viking, well, she considers that a bit of a bonus.