I wrote this Yule King prayer and painted this icon directly from a vision close to the Winter Solstice.
Yule King Prayer to Ingvi
Because I could not kiss your lips
I kissed my lover instead;
Because he never danced with me
I dance with you instead,
here on the far side of midnight
where sun hides
and moon cannot be jealous.
blood-drops strung among crisp leaves
as you bend your head
to accept them.
I will tell you a secret, child:
Freyja’s tears are not gold, but amber
blood of the World Tree.
She roamed the world once, it’s true—
but not in search of Odin.
Ingvi is an ancient name of the Norse God Frey, whose name means “Lord”. It’s also the source of name ‘England’ via the tribe of Angles… (like the Ingavones before them, the people of Frey) which would make Frey the ancestral God of the English-speaking world. I usually see Frey as blond, in keeping with his links to the sun, and when I first had one part of the visions spun into this hymn he was a golden-haired boy crowned by his mother. But as I worked on the painting, night became day, Frey matured… and I was guided to give him Odin’s dark hair, instead. Dark hair is the mark of underworld… and earth deities. Sif appeared to me with hair the color of rich loam, not the gold most Heathens associate her with due to Snorri Sturleson. (Holly, by the way, is an underworld-associated plant, the tree of Hella. Its thorns are strongly magically protective during a vulnerable time of year.)
The armlets are the horse and stag for the life and death of the God, and common symbols of Gods of virility in northern Europe. In some ancient northern cultures, a young woman or man was given a crown made from tree branches or flowers as a mark of coming of age and the right to court and marry. Jarilo, the youthful Slavic God of fertility, sunlight and life-giving rains, is depicted as wearing a crown of flowers in the spring. In a Saami myth, the Sun’s youngest daughter who visits the earth is given a juniper crown by her adoptive human parents to mark her transition from a teenage maiden into womanhood, along with her adult independence. Polish girls still perform traditional dances with flower crowns and ribbons to this day.
The hill in the background is the cosmic hill found throughout Slavic myth and where I always find the world tree, covered by the primeval wood. It’s a real place in the Otherworld, and the best spot to begin any seidhr journey you aren’t called directly into.
My Yule King prayer first appeared at Odin’s Gift, where you can find many other modern hymns, prayers, poems, sheet music, mp3’s, myths and stories.
See also: Odin: A Vision of the Yule King
Cross-posted to my PaganSquare blog for Witches and Pagans at: http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-paths-blogs/one-eyed-cat/a-winter-solstice-prayer-to-ingvi-freyr-the-yule-king.html