Offerings to Yggdrasil

Offering to Yggdrasil isn’t something that heathens normally do; in fact, I’ve hardly ever heard of anyone making offerings to Yggdrasil. I get the impression that it isn’t an entity (and it is certainly a living, breathing entity unto itself) that requires a lot of offerings. Some deities in our tradition don’t seem to be big on offerings, such as the Norns, although sometimes it truly is prudent to give Them offerings, such as when you request something of Them or They are teaching you something. They are incredibly important, no doubt, but still fairly distant from humanity and individuals who inhabit the Nine Worlds. They won’t refuse offerings even as a general honor, however. I can never see how an offering wouldn’t be well-received by any deity as long as it is given in the right spirit. However, the Norns don’t seem to ask for as many offerings as the deities who are closer to us, such as Odin, Freya, Thor, etc. I feel that Yggdrasil is the same. It is absolutely necessary for our existence, such as that of the Norns, but it’s not exactly barging into people’s lives, asking for devotional work, requiring offerings, and all the things that our deities who are more personal do. I get from UPG that the best way to honor Yggdrasil is to honor Midgard and the other worlds, keep the Earth clean and healthy, and don’t take more than you need. Yggdrasil is a tree, and trees are, well, practical, you could say. Water it, maintain it, feed it once in a while but by and large it takes care of itself and the things that inhabit it.

However, I do get the feeling that certain offerings given once in a while do delight Yggdrasil outside of taking care of Midgard. Pure water, of course, I think is the best and what you can give it the most. Yggdrasil’s waters are holy, and are the source of life for all beings in the Nine Worlds (except maybe the fire giants? No clue. There are so many mysteries). Yggdrasil’s waters run through all of our bodies in Midgard and I suspect without, as these waters are also spiritual and not just physical. They contain all memories, as in the great Wells at its roots, and we are like the leaves, offshoots of this great living wellspring. Pure water given in gratitude will be very well-received by this great entity.

This is also UPG, but a customary thing I’ve developed in giving my offerings is that if I pour any liquid offering to the Gods, spirits, and ancestors outside by the tree that grows next to my apartment, I will often flick a few drops on the tree and say “And for the tree.” It’s not only for the tree in front of me, but also for Yggdrasil. I strongly believe that any tree in our world, so long as it’s willing, can serve as a proxy for the World Tree. All trees are microcosms of the macrocosm Yggdrasil, and so we can have any tree in our world help us journey to and from Yggdrasil. Because of the relationship I have with the tree outside, it’s helped me to journey, where I felt thrust upon it and in my mind’s eye I was climbing the trunk of Yggdrasil. It was almost like pathwalking, except I wasn’t actually walking. As a holy proxy, any offerings you give to an individual tree can go to Yggdrasil if you specify. It’s like Yggdrasil is every tree’s great-great-great granddaddy, and all trees know this.

I also think that scents from wood or resins are also excellent offerings for Yggdrasil, especially if you want to invoke its wisdom. Incense and oils from things such as sandalwood, cedar, dragon’s blood, myrrh, copal, etc. would all be incredibly apropos. I’m pretty sure copal was offered to the World Tree of the Maya as well as to many other Mesoamerican Gods, as it comes from a tree… so logic follows that Yggdrasil would appreciate this, especially in a ceremony in its honor.

Of course, you also have offerings such as fertilizer and compost for trees, which I’m sure Yggdrasil would take as a service offering. Planting trees themselves would be an excellent service offering to Yggdrasil as well as Jord and Nerthus. I don’t think Yggdrasil cares about elaborate ceremonies or offerings, but I feel we should acknowledge its presence in all of our lives. It’s our literal cosmic backbone, and should be honored as such. Its waters give us life and cleanse us. Of course, they kill us too, but that’s another topic… 😉

Hail Yggdrasil. Hail the life you give us. Thank you for nourishing us and for holding us up. Hail!

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Frey Says “Slow Down!” And Other Musings of the Vanir

Frey is not a God I have a very close relationship with (of all the Vanir, I feel I’m closest to Nerthus), but I tend to His shrine on my bookcase quite often. I extraordinarily admire His gift of sacrifice, and I offer barley, wheat berries, or honey to Him once in a while when I have these on hand. After all, the lore teaches us that He is literally the body of the grain that we partake, whether it be in solid or liquid form (hail beer! Amirite?). This is such an intense lesson we need to learn: you are not alive unless something else dies for you. Plain and simple. There must be sacrifice for life to flourish. And our Lord Ingvi-Frey voluntarily sacrifices Himself so that we may live. I don’t know why He is sometimes underestimated. Any God who’s willing to get Their throat cut open, blood spilled, and walk the Hel Road each year so that we may live is a bad-ass to me. Yes, He’s a God of peace, but peace can have its terrifying aspects too.

Anyway.

He is very much a God of seeds. In his rune, Ingwaz, we see a seed, the grain that which grows the staff of life for so many of our ancestors. Some people also see the shape of bound sheaves of wheat after a harvest, which I feel is true as well. Some people see a vulva, which I could also see even though it is typically a rune associated with male sexuality. Others see a doorway, and I believe it can serve as a doorway to Frey and Vanaheim.

Ingwaz has been pretty prominent in my life lately in that I keep thinking about it constantly, and the idea of seeds and their wisdom is something my mind drifts to quite a bit. This was started by my relationship with Nerthus, who I believe is also Goddess of seeds, and She told me that Ingwaz was also one of Her runes. Even though I know many say that She is the mother of Frey, Her constant showing me of Ingwaz with a line drawn through it and up and becoming a stalk was a bit confusing to me. Then I learned that the Anglo-Saxon futhorc letter for Jera is Ger… and it resembles Ingwaz with a verticle line running through it! So I wasn’t delusional. This, along with the Elder Futhark Jera, is her rune, and so the bindrune of Ingwaz and a double-sided Fehu emerging vertically from it is Hers as well. It looks like grain emerging from its seed, and a prominent lesson of Nerthus’s is the mystery of soil, of growth from the fecund Earth. The double-sided Fehu also represents wealth, but in this bindrune it’s not necessarily currency-it’s the wealth of the Earth, the food that we grow lest we starve. It’s the grain, the grasses, and all the various seedlings we rely on. We’re certainly wealthy in many ways if the crops grow healthily to give us a good harvest, even for those of us who aren’t farmers! Most of us at least buy food from the store, which was originally grown somewhere and was at some point along its history a seed, a seed that was harvested.

So it is with Frey. He is a very patient sort of God, in my opinion, and He doesn’t have the same sort of frenetic energy that His sister or even Odin can have. He has His own Ecstasy, of course, but it’s not frenzy. He is gentle light, and fertile soil. He is like the plants he embodies. Even the fastest growing plants don’t move as fast as most animals can, and such is the wisdom of plants. They take their time. They don’t move out of their rooted spot. They harness the energies of fertility and reach towards the sky. Frey’s wisdom is a lot like this, I’ve personally found. YMMV, of course, but my impressions of him are a lot like the stereotypical Taurean energy-methodical, patient, slow but in a good way… just like the life cycle of plants. And, like Taurus, there’s a lot of fertility and sexual energy tied in with Him-I mean, look at His cock! Sexual organs create, and some of those things created we eat. Thus continues the cycle of life.

I was in front of my shrines recently, meditating and communing with the Gods, when I heard a gentle voice from within, and I knew it was Frey. He said something along the lines of “You’ve been stretching yourself so much, wanting to get everything done now. You shouldn’t. You need to slow down, see the journey unfold. Enjoy and savor the moments of the process. Be slow and gentle with yourself.” I’ve been stressed lately with lots of responsibilities and taking care of a lot of lives (human and non-human) on top of dealing with finding another job and cleaning an apartment that seems to never stay clean in a physical AND energetic sense. So, Frey was remarking on that I won’t feel at peace unless I go through the motions more mindfully and savor the slow process of growth. Such an approach will certainly reduce blood pressure! It seems like such simple wisdom, like maybe even a God wouldn’t bother to say such obvious things, but They do. The wisdom and mysteries of the Gods can be the most simple, and therefore the most profound. They can show up anytime and anywhere in your life, and their advice, support, and criticisms can be ample, lol. Frey, as an ever-abundant and fertile God, seems like a perfect candidate for profound and simple wisdom that nevertheless lies beneath all things. And that is why he is God of frith, prosperity, happiness, and abundance. Hail Frey!