To Serve a God of the Dead

Ashes, the noose, corpses,
All these gifts my Lord brings me
For healing and learning.
My god is Consciousness.
He sees impermanence in all things.
He brings death, wishes, and joys
To those who know how to ask
A death god of such matters.
To honour Him is to know how to make the right wish.
My Lord’s death is kept waiting
In the mouth of a wolf.
My Lord is always dying
On Yggdrasil, singing the runes.
He wishes for life, for knowledge, for love.
His Valkyrie croon His name,
Joyously dancing on the winds.
His name lurks in the eyes of ravens
And is etched in the teeth of wolves.
He wishes for ecstasy, for joy, for breath.
Queers haunting forests and witches
Lurking in cities speak His name,
Hoping to hear a hint of His frenzy.
For in being friends with Death,
You learn to delight in life.
He wishes for reverence, for blessings, for company.
Great is my god for convincing me
Of life’s worth when I thought it had none.
Benevolent is He in His patience as
My health returns. Gracious is
He with His many gifts.
He wishes for seeds, for growth, for sweetness.
I would gladly smear ashes on myself.
I would joyously cut down the noose.
I would humbly lay the dead to proper rest.
All for Him.
I wish for Odin in all His splendor, joy, and laughter–dead, dying, or alive. I wish to know Him in all  shadows and aspects.
May His name always be spoken:
Odin, my beloved god.

[Oliver Leôn Hêrês is a nom de pagan for a Canadian journalist, poet, and author. They are the editor of Burning Heart Press‘s forthcoming trans and queer pagan anthology Multiplicity. They have been reading tarot for six years. When not praying to Team Norse, they like to spend their time doodling, painting, or reading. You may contact them at for a tarot reading or to say hello.]