Saturday, February 25, 2012

Galina Krasskova

Hello and Happy Saturday!

First up I wish to thank Courtney for her wonderful interview of last week. I very much enjoyed reading your answers and learning more about your faith.
Thanks so much for sharing with us Courtney!

Today we have a new interview so please welcome Galina Krasskova.
Galina is a Heathen and I know you'll enjoy her interview as well!

Here Is Galina Krasskova's Introduction:

Galina Krasskova is a Heathen priest and Northern Tradition shaman. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies from New York University, and is currently pursuing a second MA in Classics. She also has certification in interfaith ministry through The New Seminary. As both a shaman, a devotee of Odin, and a fervent ancestor worker, Ms. Krasskova’s primary focus is on reclaiming Northern indigenous spiritual traditions and furthering devotional practice within her community. She is the author of several books, including “Exploring the Northern Tradition,” and “Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner.” She may be contacted at
my blog is

1) What religion do you practice?
I am Heathen. That means I practice the polytheistic and animist religion of my Northern European ancestors.

2) Are you a convert/revert or were you raised within this religion? If you converted, what did you need to do to convert? And what did you practice prior to converting?
I was raised Catholic but I left the Church at 12. Then I read and studied and worked hard at extricating myself from monotheism. When I was 19 I had an intense personal experience – out of the blue- with the Goddess Sekhmet. She took me in hand and eventually, through very roundabout means, this led to my being given over to Loki and eventually Odin, who owns me.
There was no ritual necessary for conversion. It was only a matter of learning the discipline of devotion and of working hard to rid myself of the filters of monotheism with which I had been raised. That’s really the hardest part about returning to one’s indigenous practices.
3)Within your religion are there degrees of observance (ie. Orthodox,conservative, moderate, liberal)? What are the defining differences between the degrees of observance?
I believe there are. Contemporary Heathenry has a number of different denominations, none of whom agree on the proper way to do things. But even within each denomination you see folks who just want to do the occasional ritual and have as little to do with the Gods as possible, and those who throw themselves into devotion. We even have our shamans, spiritworkers, mystics and God-owned, though this is highly controversial.
4)Within your religion what degree of observance are you ((ie. Orthodox,conservative, moderate, liberal) ? Why did you choose this degree of observance?
I am a shaman and godslave owned by Odin and in serve to several Gods. I’m about as observant as one can get. I didn’t choose it. It was chosen for me. It’s part and parcel of being owned by a God. I chose to love Odin and to serve Him and the other Gods. The depth and degree of my observance flowed from that and, in order to serve well, is a necessary component to it.
5)What is the Afterlife within your religion? For example: what happens when a person dies? Are there places for reward/punishment? (such as a Heaven/Hell concept)
We have several options within Heathenry. Most people who do not die in battle will go to Helheim, the realm of the Goddess Hela who nourishes and nurtures the dead. Those who die in battle are divided between the Goddess Freya and the God Odin. Those who serve a specific God may go to that Deity’s hall. And then there’s reincarnation. I think that the soul has options after death but I don’t pretend to understand how that works. I know that some people stay around to look after their descendants, some reincarnate…how and why, I don’t *need* to know. My job, my option if you will is to honor the dead.

6) In your opinion, does everyone make it into heaven/paradise? If they do not, why?
Um, I can’t answer this question because we don’t have a concept of heaven or paradise in the way I think you mean.
7) What makes your religion a good fit for you?
That makes it sound far too much as though it is a matter of convenience. It isn’t. Convenience has nothing to do with spiritual engagement. However, Heathenry is a good fit for me because I love Odin with every breath of my being. He is my all. I love the Gods and Goddesses and to serve Them is a joy.

8) What are your holy days and what do you do to celebrate them?
We have roughly eight holy days: Winternights, to honor our ancestors, Winter solstice/Yule, Charming of the Plough in February to bless the land and our creative endeavors, Ostara/Eostre/Spring Equinox, Walpurgisnacht in May, , Litha/Summer Solstice, Lammas, a harvest holiday, Mabon/autumnal Equinox.

Sometimes I will gather with friends and co-religionists and we will hold a ritual in honor of the Gods that rule over a particular holiday. Often we will make special offerings to the Gods, the land spirits, and our ancestors. We celebrate, usually with ritual, always with devotion. It varies from kindred to kindred, person to person, house to house.

9) Do you consider people of other faiths to be your friends?
That really depends on the individual person. I wouldn’t exclude someone from becoming a friend because of their faith.
10) Would you ever join people of another faith to celebrate one of their holy days? Please explain why?
Yes, provided my Gods had no problem with it. In fact, I have done so before. This is the beauty of polytheism: we have many Gods and it’s no “sin” if you will, to be respectful to one outside of one’s personal devotional practices. Sometimes, it is a matter of hospitality: if I am invited by a colleague to attend a ritual that is important to them, I usually will. Sometimes it is a matter of a particular life event, like a funeral or wedding of someone outside of my faith. If I am invited then it is appropriate to attend. I may not participate in prayers that advocate monotheism, but I will be respectful in my behavior.
11) What are your thoughts on the burka, and Shariah Law?
It is yet one more example of the poison of monotheism in action. It’s sad and misguided.

12) Are women allowed to hold religious office (priest, minister, rabbi, iman etc) in your religion and how do you feel about it? Yes, of course they are. I think that gender is largely irrelevant to religious competency.
13) Does your place of worship segregate? If yes, how does this make you feel?
No, not that I have ever heard of. Nor do I see why one would. There is nothing in what survives of our sacred stories to advocate racism.

14) How much does your religion affect your daily life and how much thought do you give it when making a decision? Does it affect in any way your decision on abortion, gay marriage, etc?
My religion, and the fact that I am owned by a God and in service to Others impacts every single moment of every day. I live and breath that service. My having returned to my indigenous ways affects every aspect of my life. Indigenous connection is the filter through which I see the world and that certainly impacts such issues as abortion or marriage equality. I have worked long and hard with the help of my Gods and ancestors, to strip away the filter of post modernism and monotheism. I think I’ve been relatively successful.
15) How would you react/feel if your child wished to marry outside your religion?
That would depend on what religion his/her spouse was. If it was another polytheist, I would have no problem with that. If it was a monotheism, I’d be incredibly angry. I would view it as an offense to the Gods, spitting in the eye of the ancestors, all those ancestors who fought the destruction of their indigenous ways against the spread of monotheism. I do not believe I would be able to welcome my child into my house again. I would grieve.
“but I don’t have or plan to have children so for me, this question is really moot.”
16) In your opinion, if someone is not of your faith, will they go to hell?
No. we do not have any concept of ‘hell’ as there is in Christianity.

17) Who do you think is not a practicing ----- in your religion and why? ie who in the public domain claims to speak for your religion? Do you agree with them or not?
We do not have any one person who is qualified to speak for our religion publicly. There is no centralized authority---thank the Gods. Each devotee may speak from his or her heart about the nature of our faith. We may not all agree of course, but there’s no one authority. In my religion, there are people who would like to silence me and my colleagues because the concept of engaged devotional practice is very frightening to them. it challenges their worldview. It challenges their idea of themselves as the center of their devotional universe. There is no religious authority however by which they might condemn us. We are free, bound only to our Gods, not the egotism of any human being in power.
And while not everyone may have the level of devotion (or indeed any devotional consciousness at all) that doesn’t mean that they are not Heathen. We learn and grow every day in our faith, hopefully. The only person who can tell someone that he or she is not Heathen would be the Gods Themselves. That doesn’t mean that people in the community won’t *try*, but they have no legitimate right or recognized religious authority to do so.

18) Have you ever been the target of a hate crime? Please explain.
Yes. Right now I am the recipient of a campaign of hate and slander throughout large swaths of the Heathen community because I advocate engaged spirituality and because I believe that there is a place for shamans and mystics. Lies have been told about me and my colleagues. We’ve received death threats. We are targeted in private and public online groups and our reputations have been smeared and slandered. So it goes. It’s nothing that the visionaries of every faith haven’t encountered one way or another in the past. It is, however, a hate crime.
On a purely mundane level, I was once walking arm in arm with my adopted mother and we were targeted by three thugs, who assumed we were gay and started yelling homophobic slurs at us. I informed them they were about to have a *very* bad day and they backed off. Once, when I worked at Barnes and Noble, my office was vandalized by another employee and a small image of one of my Gods that I had there destroyed, and bibles left piled up on my chair. Those are the only examples I can think of right now.

19) Do you ever feel like your religion devalues you?
Those within the religion who are hostile to the idea of engaged spirituality devalue me, my Gods: never.

20) Does your religion give you peace of mind?
Yes. Being in service to the Gods is a joy.

21) Do you believe in reincarnation? Why or why not?
Yes. It makes sense.
Besides, I have strong memories of other lives and, as a diviner, one who can read the threads of wyrd: causality/consequence/being/fate, I can sometimes see connections to other lives.


  1. How very, very interesting. I had no idea this religion was still in existence! More power to you!
    But... since the odds of Galina dying in battle are small, and by that I mean, she is probably not in the army - in her day-to-day life, how do you get around the fact that one of the great things that makes her who she is in her religion probably will not occur. It's a glorious day to day in battle is important... but knowing that you may not achieve it - how does one wrap their head around it? I suppose it's all about fate, that Odin has a master plan for her. Very interesting, indeed.

  2. "Right now I am the recipient of a campaign of hate and slander throughout large swaths of the Heathen community because I advocate engaged spirituality and because I believe that there is a place for shamans and mystics."

    Wow, is this delusional. It's not because of magical practices - is because of unsafe ones. Including specifically courting and practicing behaviors to pray on the mentally unstable.

    In fact here is a independent Shamanic practitioner who notes as much, just so that we can compare apples to apples:

  3. Make close study of Islam without jealous. Be open minded while knowing about only TRUTH RELIGION "ISLAM" ON THE FACE OF EARTH. You get all answers.

  4. Dscarron, I have to ask where on Earth you got your information.

    If you actually READ the blog you linked to, the author espouses both Galina Krasskova and Raven Kaldera as people who have made him think about his potential as a shaman, and the safety of journeying methods. One quote from him is this:
    "Maybe it makes sense that I’m pondering my Ancestors so much lately. After all, that’s the one starting point that Galina Krasskova recommends strongly in her own blog (I’m still reading my way through her archive, which is definitely worth it, and I’m still slowly taking a small step or two towards following some of her advice)"

    So please, before spreading lies check your sources. I sure did.

  5. well Galina is crazy person, who in no way is representative of heathenry. 'Godslave'? are you kidding me? where do people come up with this shit?

  6. "I wouldn’t exclude someone from becoming a friend because of their faith."
    Followed, four questions later by
    "If my child married a monotheist I would not be able to welcome them into my house again."

    But you don't exclude people based on their faith? Pretty sure kicking your kid out and not associating with them simply because they married someone of a particular faith falls under "exclusion."