Eagle’s Mead Anniversary and Patreon Update

Today, March 20, 2022 marks the three-year anniversary of the release of my second poetry book, Eagle’s Mead, in the midst of my PhD studies at the time. In those three years, it’s received three ratings (all five stars) but no reviews on Amazon. In comparison, my first book, Viking Poetry for Heathen Rites, has 34 ratings and six reviews. If you’ve read my Eagle’s Mead, please consider celebrating its anniversary by leaving a review for it. It’s the book that I like most of my poetry publications so far, and it is very much a “Skaldic Eagle” book. (As for VPfHR, its five-year anniversary is coming up in early July.)

In other news, my Patreon launch continues to go well, and I have twelve patrons at this time. So far, there have been three main content posts on each Wednesday of this month, plus a few extra tidbits. If you look back to my post of January 23 this year, you’ll see mention of something called “Book 3”—the first preview of a tiny portion of it will be coming to my Patreon site this Wednesday, March 23, for my patrons at the Feed the Eagle tier. The post will look at some of the Norse gods associated with poetry.


Launched! A Skaldic Eagle on Patreon

With the new moon on this Woden’s Day, I’ve launched my patreon site! Here’s the link:


You’ll also see that the link has been added to the sidebar.

The launch poem, “A Skaldic Eagle in the World” is available as the first post-launch poem for patrons at all tiers. And this just the beginning. I’ve got lots of other exciting things in the works—see my patreon site or some of my earlier posts this year for details or hints.

I’m going to fly quite a distance with this. Will you be joining the journey?

Less Than 10 Days Until My Patreon Launch!

Today I have an update about the kind of content and tiers that I’ll be launching my Patreon site with, on March 2 in the early afternoon, and, of course, eagle themes abound.

“Ready the Roost” is the first of three tiers, at $3/month. For my “Roosters,” I’ll be posting poems and audio recordings of poems.

“Build the Nest” is the second of three tiers, at $6/month. My “Builders” get those poem & audio recordings, plus my essay content, both esoteric and academic excerpts. Note that the essay content is especially unlikely to ever appear on this blog.

“Feed the Eagle” is the third of three tiers, at $9/month. My “Feeders” get everything mentioned so far, plus access to exclusive posts in which I teach what I know about writing “Viking Poetry” in English in today’s world. These posts certainly won’t appear on this blog, and they probably won’t appear anywhere else until they’re collected into a book in a some years’ time.

For those unfamiliar with Old Norse poetry, the name of this final tier comes from kennings used in skaldic poetry, where to feed an eagle, wolf, or raven is a metaphor that means killing enemies in battle, since corpses are food for these creatures. You can see examples of this in the kennings for “corpse” that are listed on the Skaldic Project’s website. But for $9/month, you can feed this Eagle without having to kill anyone in battle. And there are still “corpses” involved, it’s just that they are pictures of dead people on green pieces of paper. 😀

Those are the main tiers and what will comprise the regular content posts. I’ll probably have the occasional off-topic posts also.

My Poetry Is in a New Rune Poems Anthology!

That anthology I mentioned a few weeks ago has now been announced by the publisher:

The Rune Poems: A Reawakened Tradition
Edited by P.D. Brown and Michael Moynihan
Published by Arcana Europa / Gilded Books

It is now available for preorder at the publisher’s website. I have contributed the following three rune poems to this anthology:

  • The Elder Fuþark
  • A Tally of Staves
  • Rúnagaldraljóð

I proofread the whole thing for P.D. and Michael, so I have already seen first-hand how truly amazing this book is. My fellow contributors are a very august company to be printed with. The 15 contributors include writers, poets, musicians (including three lead singers in renowned neofolk bands), occultists, artists, and scholars (five PhDs, including myself).

Part 1 of the book includes the well-known traditional ancient rune poems (Old English, Old Icelandic, Old Norwegian, Abecedarium Nordmannicum) with excellent new translations by Dr. Michael Moynihan, with an abundance of helpful notes. There is also much new material on the little-known and little-studied Early Modern Swedish Rune Poem, complete with a translation.

Part 2 is where the magic is, with a collection of new modern rune poems that reawaken and continue the rune poem tradition. There are 19 written poems, 15 of which are written in English, with one poem each in German, Polish, French, and Old Saxon, all with English translations; plus 1 visual poem, consisting of 24 wood-burned images. I’ve seen the original 24 woodblocks of that visual poem, and while black and white photos ultimately cannot do it justice, I think this book treats us to the best possible black and white capture of it. The written poems are all profound, deep, and overflowing with the Mead of Inspiration.

The cover art of this fine volume is by Dawid Rudziński, who also made the above-mentioned visual poem and the stellar artwork that graces the covers of my Eagle’s Mead.

This is a must-have volume for anyone who seeks esoteric wisdom through either the Runes or the Mead of Poetry.

My Patreon Launch Date: March 2

The date is set! I’ll be launching my Patreon on March 2—the first Woden’s Day of the month and a new moon, as is appropriate for this sort of thing. Thereafter, main content posts will be on Wednesdays—at least the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month, but I’ll aim a bit higher and post on the 1st through 4th Wednesdays of March, and hopefully April as well, and see if it is sustainable from there. For the months that have a 5th Wednesday, I think I will do something different.

What strange wonders lie straight ahead
in this unknown realm of online work?
Who among you is the Mead calling
to join this journey on its joyous start?

As a sneak preview of what’s coming up, here are some of the possible names for the various patron tiers that are planned:

  • Incubate the Eggs
  • Feed the Eagle
  • The Wind Beneath my Wings
  • The Sky that Supports Me
  • The Sun that Guides Me
  • Give Mead to the Eagle

I suspect there will be at least three tiers to start, and it’s pretty much certain that “Feed the Eagle” will be one of them. 😀

Poem Preview and Patreon Update

I continue to prepare for my upcoming Patreon launch. There’s a lot of things to put into it, such as patron tiers, various rewards, planning a regular update schedule, and so forth. And, of course, picking the exact launch date. Got a suggestion for my upcoming Patreon? Whatever it is, whether it’s for content, patron tiers, promotional opportunities, or whatever, feel free to let me know, either by commenting here, or sending me a message through the various linked social media accounts or email on this page.

Some of the content will be poetry that will be available to patrons before it appears on this blog—if it ever appears on this blog. (Don’t worry, virtually all of my poems are likely to find their way into a book sooner or later.) Here’s a preview the first nine lines of the first poem that I’ll launch my Patreon with, titled “A Skaldic Eagle in the World”:

A Skaldic Eagle must offer his Mead,
must give his gifts, for gain to the World;
the Work is imperative, a wode-filled impulse.
But defending the Center ‘gainst foes and shadows
— that its sacred light illumines unimpeded
a world of darkness — is a woesome task.
And even an eagle must often land,
and life on the ground can get one down,
with its oft-assaulting slings and arrows.

The full poem is fifty-five lines, and in many ways, it is a companion piece to “A Skaldic Eagle Takes Flight” that I posted on this blog back in February 2017.

Finally, here’s a screen-cap preview of the site’s splash page, with art (from my Hail the Gods bookling) by the extremely talented Ermenegilda Muller—you can find a link to her in the side bar:

The time to the launch draws ever closer. Will you join the adventure when this Eagle spreads his wings and soars for the sun?

Copyright © 2022 Eirik Westcoat.
All rights reserved.

Update: PhD, Projects, and a Patreon!

This blog has been pretty quiet as of late, and much of that had to do with the finishing up of my PhD and returning to the ‘States afterwards. Yes, my PhD is really finished, the defense was on October 22, 2021, and I’m now Dr. Westcoat! (I’m still not sure if it’s sunk in yet that I’m really finished.) After that, I enjoyed three weeks with my friends in Iceland, ending with a great metal music festival: Ascension. Then I flew back to Pennsylvania for a nice, solid break from Iceland. Yes, I really needed the break. I’m sure I’ll return to Iceland at some point, although when and whether it’s to live there again or just visit, remains to be seen.

Today is the 70th day of my life-after-PhD in Pennsylvania—yes, I’ve been counting up the days since my flight landed at PIT. As the days go by, they bring new wisdom and clarity to my life. I’ve had the opportunity to do some writing, both academic and non-academic, generally free from constraints or pressures, and I’ve given some thought to my upcoming publishing projects. Here’s a selection of what’s in the works, in poetry, esoteric prose, and academic scholarship, in no particular order:

  • My poetry will be appearing in another anthology soon! My fellow contributors in the heathen, occult, and runic scenes in this forthcoming volume are a truly august company to be printed with, and I’m excited and honored to be included in this collection. As to what exactly it is, I will leave that a surprise for the moment, since the publisher does not yet seem to have made any public announcement of it that I can see anywhere.
  • An academic article on the Old Norwegian Rune Poem: I’m told this is in the editing stage, and it should be published this year.
  • An academic article on the runes: this is drafted, and it’s in the pre-submission review and revising phase. It won’t be the final word on its particular runic topic (no final word is possible on this topic), but I think it will be a rather unusual one.
  • Unnamed poetry collection: This would be a small book of poems in the style of those appearing on this blog since the beginning of 2017, which are characterized by being more personal and in the Old English style of continuous verse, line after line, without stanza breaks. There’s quite a few of them I have not posted here. I think I have nearly enough poems for the book. Maybe it will come out later this year?
  • Unnamed esoteric prose collection: It’s been another long-term plan of mine to write essays on various esoteric or occult topics, and collect them into a book. Now, what do I mean by that? If you have my book Eagle’s Mead, you already have two of them: the essays “The Good of Galdralag” and “Runes for the Grails.” This has quite a ways to go before it’s ready as a book, and certainly needs at least several more essays than I have for it at the moment.
  • The publication of my PhD dissertation on the kraftaskalds. This is still in the early stages, and I don’t have a publisher yet. If you are an academic publisher who’s interested in it, or can recommend me a publisher, please do let me know. Academic publishing runs rather slow, so this certainly isn’t going to be out by the end of 2022.
  • “Book 3”: Not literally to be my third published book, but rather the third grand gesture in the trilogy that started with Viking Poetry for Heathen Rites and Eagle’s Mead. Still a very long way off, as in definitely not during 2022. A number of you out there have probably wondered when I’d publish something about how to write alliterative poetry in modern English. That indeed will be in this book, but there will be much more to this book than that.

Interested in previews of most of the above, long before they get into print, as well as other exclusive content that will never appear on this blog? How about how-to’s on alliterative poetry? Looking for a way to support me to make sure that more of my writing gets into print?

Join my upcoming Patreon! Yes, that’s right, I’m finally making a Patreon. It’s still in the early development stages, so it’ll be at least a number of weeks before I lunch it—gotta have a solid plan for it first. The bane and boon of having such a platform is the necessity of regular content for one’s patrons, and making it sustainable. And finally, I think I can do that. Keep your eyes on this blog (and my other social media presences), as there will be plenty of announcements for it as it gets closer. The exact and elected launch date for it has yet to be determined, but will probably be in early March.

The Kraftaskalds: Available Article Translation and an Update on My PhD Studies

My PhD studies are nearly done—I submitted my dissertation back in February, and I’m only waiting for the final evaluation and then the defense. My dissertation is titled: “Chanting Up the Kraftaskalds: An Investigation into Their Image, Roles, and Magic.”

And what are the kraftaskalds? They are poets from Icelandic folktales who do magic through their improvised poetry. They use this magic for a wide variety of purposes: cursing enemies, blessing those who treat them well, chanting down walking corpses (draugar), changing the weather, managing animals, and much more. Folklore about kraftaskalds is mostly post-medieval, with the bulk of the sources having been recorded in the 19th century. But the phenomenon goes back into the medieval period—Egill Skallagrímsson and Þorleifr jarlsskáld are the prime examples. The magic poetry of kraftaskalds is generally in the rímur forms that dominated Iceland throughout the post-medieval period. The tradition of Icelandic folklore is rich and complex, and just as worthy of translation and scholarship as the more famous saga tradition. Yet while the sagas are widely studied and translated, Icelandic folklore is still largely obscure in comparison. And I’m happy to say that I’ve been working on one of the most fascinating and uniquely Icelandic parts of the Icelandic folklore tradition—for instance, trolls and similar creatures are quite widespread in European folklore, but this sort of magical poet, not so much.

Once my dissertation is defended, I plan to revise it into a monograph for publication through a scholarly press. For that reason, my dissertation will likely be closed access and thus not publicly available on a website, although I will have some printed copies, of course. I know that many of you are eager to see what I’ve been working on, but it’ll be a while before the monograph is finally in print.

However, there is something I can share now! In 1961, Bo Almqvist, a renowned folklorist, published an article in Icelandic, “Um ákvæðaskáld,” about the kraftaskalds, at roughly 8200 words in length. It is a superb and unbeatable short introduction to the phenomenon, even after 60 years. And so I made a translation (with Teresa Dröfn Njarðvík) of it, and that was published as “Concerning the Icelandic Spell-Poets” in the middle of last July by the journal Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft. I haven’t said much about it until now, since it’s published under what is called “Green Open Access,” which means that it is kept with the journal (which is behind a paywall for most people) for an embargo period (in their case, one year) before the author may make it open-access available on a public website. So now that it’s been a year, I’ve posted it on my academia.edu page, where you can read a short introduction to the really cool topic that I’ve been writing a book about.

Side Project: The Eagle as Editor

The Skaldic Eagle occasionally flies off on side quests, and did so this past winter, editing and proofreading a short novel of about 27,000 words. Recently, it’s been released as an ebook: 20 Years of Sloth, by Agata Borghesan.

The author is an amazing, multi-talented artist, model, and a wonderful human being, whom I first met in Iceland in Spring 2019. She originally wrote and released the novel in her native Italian, and recently translated it herself into English. I helped with editing and proofreading the English translation. (For the record, I don’t know any Italian.) I greatly enjoyed working on the project, and I’m glad to have helped get the translation out into the world. There’s some rather intense and unique material in it. The ebook is also illustrated with her distinctive drawings at the beginning of each chapter.

Here’s the link to the ebook (in epub) format, available through Lulu. (Please note that page lists an “18+ Explicit Content” warning for the book, one that is certainly warranted. Certain content may be triggering to some readers.)

You can find her other work at a number of websites, including: Solitude Skinny Scars (Instagram)Agata Borgehsan Art (Instagram), and Solitude Skinny Scars (Patreon).

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus

The truth, sans untruth, most true and certain:
As below thus above, as above thus below,
these make when unified the miracles of the One.
All things are One, and all things, by Work
and Rework of the One, from the One they come.
’Tis sired and mothered by Sun and Moon,
waxed in Wind’s womb, and wet-nursed by Earth.
All the world’s works of wonder it causes;
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