As I continue to explore the legends and lore of my ancestors, I stumbled across Sigdrifa’s Prayer, and was moved by not only it’s simplicity and beauty, but for how it accounts for so much of what I myself call upon when occupying sacred spiritual space.
Sigrdrifa is a well known Valkyrie in Norse literature; she is also known as Brynhilde the Victory-Granter. She was retired from battle and put under a sleeping spell by Odin the All-Father when she willfully felled a warrior Odin had promised victory to. Sigrdrifa was laid to rest in a fire-ringed castle on a remote mountaintop made famous in Wagner’s epic opera, The Ring. This is also where we see the original seed for the story of Sleeping Beauty get planted, as it was a dragon-slaying warrior named Sigurð who was to rouse Sigrdrifa from her slumber. Immediately upon being awakened by Sigurð, Sigrdrifa/Brynhild recited this prayer:
Hail Day’s Sons
Hail Night and her Daughters
Look upon me with loving eyes
That waiting I gain victory.
Hail all the Gods and Goddesses
Hail the generous Earth
Give me goodly speech
And healing hands life long.
It fascinates me that in researching those ancient practices, I am finding resonance with my own, here in the modern day world. It speaks clearly to me of the common threads of humanity, of ancestral memory, and the truth of the sun and the moon rising and setting each day bringing patterns of gratitude and growth to our lives.
Hailing the night and the day comes naturally to anyone following a Pagan path… “May my hands do the work that my ancestors can be proud of” is my own personal invocation in the spirit of Sigdrifa’s Prayer.