In July I will be building and hosting a shrine room for Skaði at Many Gods West, and I would like to invite donations of devotional writing, art, and other materials. Here are a few guidelines.
Skaði’s Shrine Room will be assembled in my hotel room as a meditative space designed to facilitate quiet prayer and contemplation of Her mysteries. It will feature shrines (of course), art displays, devotional writings, decorations associated with Her myths (snowflakes, bow & arrows, mountains, wolves, etc.), and a beautiful devotional playlist of dark ambient music continuously playing in the background.
Small offerings for Her (e.g., coins, stones, mementos, beaded jewelry, etc.) will be welcomed. There will also be a “Dear Skaði…” box to hold written prayers and words of praise.
I will be putting together a small binder with drawings, poetry, and devotional prose for Her, and will make this available for guests to look through. I will accept electronic submissions for the binder, as I can print them out in black and white on a home printer.
If you have statues, figurines, craft items, miniature skis or snowshoes, etc. to offer, please bring them to my hotel room at the conference. (Preferably on Friday, before official open hours for the shrine room start – it will open at 6 PM on Friday, July 31.)
The devotional playlist of dark ambient music that will be heard in the shrine room has been carefully curated to facilitate praise for Her, and includes several tracks I often use for my ritual dance project.
For a preview of the music, check out the following sublime tracks…
…all from the (criminally underrated!) German musical project named after Her.
And speaking of exciting musical news: I have confirmed that the devotional playlist will feature an exclusive new Gydja track, “The Iron Pine Tree’s Daughter.” It was generously crafted for the shrine room by the brilliant Abby Helasdottir, whose work has inspired my own, and whom I recently interviewed for Heathen Harvest.
No liturgy, libations, ritual, or performance will take place. My intention is for the shrine room to be an intimate retreat for contemplation and prayer, set apart from the hustle-and-bustle social environment of the rest of the conference. As an introvert, I have often wished for hermit-friendly spaces like this when I’ve attended events – a place to retreat and recharge my batteries where I’m not expected to speak or be “on” in any kind of public way, and can focus my attention inwardly. I am pleased to have the opportunity to create and hold a space like this for Skaði and for the polytheist community.
Here’s a list of things I can accept, providing you can bring them to the conference or they can be electronically submitted:
- Devotional poetry and prose (e.g., “Dear Skaði…” letters and prayers)
- Statues & figurines
- Crafted items for Her (e.g., miniature snowshoes, skis, bow & arrows)
- Devotional art and photography featuring winter scenery, mountains, etc.
- Scarves and “wintry-looking” fabric remnants in white, silver, black, and dark blue (for draping over tables)
Scented items could be problematic, as I have fragrance allergies and other sensitivities, so please check with me in advance if you would like to make any kind of scented offering. If you’d like to contribute something that isn’t on this list, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.
Official open hours for Skaði’s Shrine Room are 6 PM to 9 PM on Friday Jul. 31 and Saturday Aug. 1 only.
For ideas, check out some imagery on Pinterest or Tumblr, or explore Skadi’s shrine at the Northern Paganism site.
And here’s my short bio:
Danica Swanson is a freelance writer, devotional polytheist, animist, and dark Pagan monastic. She is best known for her influential writings on alternatives to conventional employment, and her expertise on dark ambient music for ritual and meditation. Her solo devotional dance project, Shrine of Skadi, is inspired by ten years of service to Skaði accompanied by “music you can’t dance to” – dark ambient. As resident hermit and anchoress-in-training at The Black Stone Hermitage, a private Portland-based sanctuary, she lives in a haven of solitude made possible only by a web of thriving community relationships.
Contact: shrine.of.skadi AT gmail.