They thought to keep me down,
cast me under:
eradicate all that I was–
my magic, my power, my voice—
Transfixed by metal, there is blood:
the shafts of the spears dig into my breast,
dimpling the flesh, puncture the skin,
bore in, probe deep, drill, thrust, split:
run through my chest,
my liver and lights–
Penetrated by a forest of shafts, still I would not die.
Borne on spear-point to the pyre,
thrust into the flames,
feeling the heat melt flesh and calcine bone
rendered into ash,
still. I. rise.
Three times, they tried to kill me.
Three times, they sought to destroy me.
Thirty times three would not have succeeded.
Three hundred times three would not have sufficed.
Three million times three and still I would have risen.
You cannot kill wisdom.
You cannot kill power.
You cannot kill freedom.
There is more to me than mere meat:
I am Gold-Bright, I am Gold’s Strength, I am Gold-Drink,
and like my namesake, fire only distills me,
so that all impurity might be seared away,
leaving me only strength and surety.
I am wisdom and I am will,
and they could not winnow me from the world so easily.
Woe to those that thought thus.
They say I ‘corrupted’ the women–
What you call corruption, I call education.
I shared my knowledge with them, taught them,
gave them such gifts as the Aesir knew not–
well, the men.
And when they thought me dead–
dust and dirt, dross on the embers,
I rose again,
taking a new name, a new face, a new life.
I am the brightness of the sky,
the Sun bright as gold,
my power flowing out like that light to all women,
seeing the future,
speaking with spirits,
weaving our way between worlds,
and that is no gift nor power to take lightly.
Drink of the mead I offer,
the Gold-Drink that corrupts and liberates,
that frees the mind.
Drink and listen to the words I speak,
the wisdom that strikes off chains.
Drink and know the power within you,
the power that flows with the brightness of the sun,
and the heady heat of blood spilling to the ground.
Drink and know why they fear me,
why they will fear you.
Drink and know, as I teach you,
as we speak with the spirits,
that you too are part spirit,
and spirit cannot die.
Yes, you may say, no wonder they feared me.
If you knew one tiniest mote of what I knew,
those around you would fear you, too.