yet another week of blessings, Thursday

Our names for the days of the week,
are taken from the pages of Teutonic mythology
from the names of pagan gods and goddesses.

Today’s name comes from Thor,
familiar to many of us as the god of thunder,
also of lightning storms and oak trees—
symbols all of strength and power—
and designated, in his strength among the gods,
as protector of human kind—
destined to die of poisonous fumes on the day of Ragnarok
after killing Jörmungandr, the World Serpent,
who encircles the earth beneath the seas,
brother to Fenrir, uncle to Sköll and Hati.

Pulled in his chariot by two—okay, unexpectedly … wait for it—
two goats! And grumpy ones if their names are any indication:
Tanngrisnir, teeth barer, and Tanngnjostr, teeth grinder!
Hungry at night, Thor kills his goats, skins them,
roasts them and eats them,
throws the bones on the skins—
bringing them back to life the next day—
blessing the skins
through the power of his mighty hammer, Mjölnir.

As the story is told, on one occasion,
he shared his meal with a family of peasant farmers,
one of whom broke one of the leg bones
to suck out the marrow,
resulting the next day in a lame goat!
In face of their fear and penitence,
Thor’s rage waned, and he accepted
the two children of the family as his servants.

Thor’s day, today.
So remember, today,
the power of the unexpected—
the god with goats, of all creatures—
the god known for amazing feats of strength
yet also for sharing and forgiveness.
Remember today the blessing
that is strength aligned with protection and provision—
that willingly and fearlessly expends itself completely,
and then, of course, remember today,
the blessing of stories that do not end with death.

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