Hermod – Part 2
Back in September, I wrote this blog post for Hermod: https://facingthefireswithin.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/hermod/
He is my most recent deity interest and even more obscure than Heimdall. We have only one story and yet I find that story strangely compelling currently. It is worth noting that I am not someone who really “hears” deity. Mostly, I honor deity and take inspiration from it but I never perceive deity directly. I have had a few guided meditations but those felt very internal and the closest I have come was what I call a spiritual gut punch once that made me ill for two days. If pressed, I can generally give a non-spiritual interpretation as well. In a case like Hermod, who is very obscure and rarely referred to by other practitioners, I scour what I can and then spent a lot of time in contemplation and speculative thought. In doing that, the deity often grows on me and I find new ways of looking/perceiving that deity and some deeper meanings. More recently, I also consider poetry although I am not very good at verse yet.
So, first, a few more thoughts:
1) His ability to ride Sleipnir shows great courage, great worth or some particular skill with a very difficult animal and possibly all three. I therefore see him as the brave rider and traveler, possibly with a talent for whatever method is necessary to reach somewhere.
2) Not only does he function as an ambassador but he is the only character in Norse myth who actually reaches Hel AND strikes a bargain. Again, we combine worthiness with a talent for diplomacy and an understanding of hospitality.
3) The only picture I could find is from an 18th century Icelandic piece but it clearly shows him armed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Treated_NKS_hermodr.jpg Like the other Aesir, he seems to have been some level of warrior even if that was not his strongest suit.
As to poetry, friends have been helping me. The songs I find most strongly suit Hermod seem to be AC/DC’s: Highway to Hell and Warren Zevon’s: The Envoy
This first poetry fragment from a friend matches the chorus of The Envoy:
“When way is woeful or deep in doubt,
Ask the Hel-farer, Hermod.
To bargain with beasts or baleful beings,
Call the Hel-farer, Hermod.”
“Hail the Hel-farer, far-traveled Hermod
Sleipnir’s bold rider, brave seeker of Baldr”
I find the chant that comes most easily for me while running or being active (I often worship at exercise) is:
Hermod… Hel rider (repeat as need but I find 9 times for the 9 nights he rode to be good)