A fallow summer

It’s been a very long time.

Summer has come and gone, my mundane life has progressed and my spiritual life has taken a back seat. Work has been busy, my life has been busy and I’ve become lax in all but the bare minimum of maintaining my alter offerings.

I’ve taken up music, the violin and singing and I’ve found the rest of the world has gone silent. Loki, if I sense him at all tells me firmly to go speak to the Barons Partiarch at the Cross roads and I know he means Legba.

Mostly though, it’s just silence and I know it’s my fault. I’m a little lost, even with a path directly beneath my feet. Anxiety and depression stir in the dark and even though I’m surrounded by a community, I feel alone.

But I’m trying. I have to keep trying.

The key is to start with the little things, right? I hope so. that’s all I can do, I think.

The last of the year before.

Firstly, Happy New Year! Happy wishes and alcoholic beverages for all!

I had a lovely long winded post in which I waxed lyrical about the Solstice, my dedication and everything that’s happened since then till now. WordPress ate it so… Not happening.

So here’s the short version

Solstice: The celebration was simple. We gathered, we ate, we moved to the ritual area which included climbing up stairs set into a cliff. Thathurt. It was short and simple and rathersweet with the perfect number of practitioners. 13.

Dedication: I made my dedication post ritual on the 21st and despite composing my oath in my head it cam out a bit of a jumbled mess. But it was accepted and that’s that then.

Priestesshood: It’s a big complicated thing and not something I’m taking lightly. I know it means serving the community but I also see it as a responsibility of knowledge, of learning all one can.

Myths: This has led me to think about contemporary myths, the new myths. We need to keep things going. More thoughts later.

New Years: I feel this year is a good once. It started positive, I was with my loved ones and I got a visit from Loki in the early hours where we discussed shielding and such work and altar rearrangements.

Okay… I think that’s everything for that subject.

 

Read this and join me in fury. this is why I feel that it is absolutely necessary that those of pagan faith need to join together in crafting organisations to STOP bullshit like this happening.

Son of Hel

I’m gonna start us off with a song.

Epic adventures in stories are something we all enjoy. We dream of living them. Sometimes we get to. The last three days were such a journey.

But such journeys are often marked by tragedy, and ours was as well.

My girlfriend, business partner, and love, R has a son. When she come to live with me, she left him behind because it was supposed to be a temporary stay, that became the effort to bring a new life. As soon as it looked as if she would be putting down roots, she wanted her son back. But her son’s father, and his father’s parents, did seek to deny the return of her son, though by law he should have been as it was a temporary guardianship that could be terminated at any time.

Last Tuesday, the Day of Tyr, we set off…

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The Death of the Young

I don’t need to say anything about the tragedy of today. In the US and in China. IT happened. It was horrific and in some ways, it’s not being handled well.

In Vodou, the Death of children belongs to Baron Samedi. His deaths are the violent deaths, righteous or no, vengeful death, death from murder or massacre but also the deaths that come from tragedy.

And he’ll do his job. He’ll take care of those that come to him with humour and warmth and fun you’d never expect from a being of death.

In the Norse culture, those that will go to Helheim will be cared for by the compassion of Hel herself. I don’t know how I know this, but I know she weeps for them. And those that gave their lives trying to protect the young?

Heroes. Every single one of them.

Death is never a fun subject, it’s never easy and the death of children doubly so.  So I cannot help but be FURIOUS at some of the comments from US polititions. They say hat if prayers were alllowed in school this never would have happened. THat the Christian God would have stopped this if he’d been “Allowed”. What an impotent being. Really.

There were comments to blaming the LACK of guns in school, one woman condemning a another young woman for giving her own life to protect children hidden near by. Saying she’s not a hero for that sacrifice. Bullshit.

And then the news started blaming a video game. It really boggles the mind.

And then there are the deaths in China and the children in the Middle East. It just goes on and I’m reminded… Death is. Death is everywhere. But Death is not the end.

“Death is Nothing, and Magic shall set you free” as one of my Elders is fond of saying.

I’m not quiet used to speaking on current topics from this perspective, I don’t know if it does any good for anyone, but I’m about to go raise a glass for them. A pinch of rum for those gone beyond.

All I can say is I hope everyone lost find the rest they deserve.

Hail to those taken from life, Hail to those that defended them.
Cheers to you, Baron, may they be safe in your care,
Hail to you Hel, may they find compassion in your hands.

 

What’s Next?

So, after my big decision I was left wondering how the hell to proceed. There’s no real set path (for any of us, really) but there’s pretty much nada in the Norse traditions unless you work with a Hearth. Which for the moment I don’t and I can’t hang about waiting for one to form or sit on my hands looking for one. There’s things I should be doing now and I’ve figured out some of them.

One of my elders, S, is a godhi, a priest to the AllFather and I tapped him out to talk about what I can expect and what I should do in the eman time. The conversation was rambly but I found a kindred spirit in that he’d literally been where I was at that moment in time. He shared his experiences in that he’d been as Odin was, a catalyst for change for the betterment of people or a necessary change. Just as I in a way have been as Loki can be, an element that brings change, someone that speaks uncomfortable truths (and I have a history of doing that) and goes and fixes things for people.

We spoke also of some of the things I’ve come to know about Him and myself, memories and half believed truths that S has confirmed in a way. Which is huge and scary. We spoke also of the Myths and Lore and the Religion it’s self which has led me to a conclusion and something of a goal for myself now that I’m there.

As for what I’m doing, it’s quite simple. Study. Were I walking as a Druid or any other path I feel it’d be much the same. Study and learn. Learn the sagas, the Lore, the poems and the myths till I have them memorised or close enough. Learn to understand kennings. More than that I’ll be filling a book with things on Loki, kennings for Him, things I learn and remember and snippets of myth that concern Him.

In fact I’ll be writing everything down, notes and extensions of my thoughts because I feel in a way it’s my duty to do so.

We’ve lost so much in the way or Lore and what we do have is wonderful… but also antiquated. But these are thoughts for another and definitely more contraversial post.

My point is, we need to find our path again, whether we reconstruct from the old or recreate with the Gods themselves. This shit needs to be written down and it needs to be recorded, because almost everything else was lost.

This is a thought that I can’t move from, a fact that makes me ache to the core and I want to do someting to mend it. And maybe I will.

So what’ next for this priestess-to-be? All the research, all the reading and all the wriing. I’m at University again it seems like. Which isn’t so bad to be honest.

And He wants a playlist. Yep.

Choice

I’ve been dealing with a number of things lately.

Physical, emotional and metaphysical burnout from completeing the ritual in the Cave, moments of fear, of anger and frustration at my own weakness, lack of learning and experience and doubts regarding my sanity, my faith and my ability. It’s not been a fun ride and though I haven’t suffered in any shape or form, I’ve not been comfortable. And that’s okay, the discomfort is serving it’s purpose. It’s itching me and prodding me, keeping me awake till I find just what the problem is. Or in this case; Problems.

First: Failure. While the ritual succeeded, I decended into the Cave, I bore the cup, I spoke with Loki and Sigyn both, I still fucked up big time. Dealing with godforms such as these, potent and powerful beings requires preperation, especially if one has a great deal of empathy (and I do, to an extraordinary level). I did pretty much fuck all. While I grounded and cast a minor circle, I didn’t do anything else to properly prepare myself and as such, I burned for it. The only reason I’m recovering as well as I am is because Loki booted me from the proceedings before I was hurt too much.

I fucked up because I rushed and I hate it.

It was a perfect lesson in what not to do when dealing with Big Powers and while learning from ones mistakes is a good thing, I’m a bit of a Hermione Granger in that I’d rather succeed in the first place than much up and learn more. But I fuck up. And I have learned the lesson well and probably won’t be repeating it a second time.

Second: Arrogance. It’s a requirement of this craft, like it or not. Magic being essentially enacting ones will upon the universe, how can someone expect anything the cast to work if they don’t believe that by their will alone, not only will the spell work but it should all ebcause they decide it will.

I have none, or rather very little. What I do have less concerns the craft and more my intelligence (there’s another reason why I tend to approach things in a very cautious academic manner like Hermione. I’m a nerd and I’m a very clever girl. When I’m not being a daft idiot.)

Having the arrogence required to say I am Magi and My Will is Universal Law or some such is a difficult thing for me to manage. I’ve been brow beaten into humility by a number of people, I care what others think of me and arrogance to me is a flaw.

Third: Doubt. I constantly doubt. I doubt myself, my own worth, my experiences. I doubt it all. I doubt Loki is real or that He is who he claims to be. I doubt my place amongst my friends, my worthiness of certain things. And while my Elder gave explained to be a difference perspective, essentially affirming my importance in the universe as a Practitioner and more, it doesn’t quite sink in. I understand it with my mind but I don’t know it. Not with my heart and that’s a hugely important difference.

And finally:

Fourth: Choice.

This is the Big one. Despite what I like to believe, I’m a reactionary creature. I react to things rather than be proactive most the time. I react to the people around me rather than do things on my own steam. I work best when there’s something external pushing me to get busy and stay that way and some of my greatest strengths come from reacting to the things that trigger my Anger and or my Defiance.

I don’t choose. I react.

When I went into the Cave, it was from reaction, rather than choice. When I went to go find myself a job, it was from reaction over choice. Even dealing with Loki is a reaction, rather than a choice. The only Big Thing that I’ve chosen for myself recently was to go out and attend a relaxed gathering of pagans where I met my Elder and the people I now call friends.

Discovering that thought I had a very uncomfortable moment where I saw myself anew. Did I deny what I’d come to understand? No. I accepted it. If you don’t know what the problem is, how can one fix it.

So I made a choice, witnessed by NSS.

I chose to have Faith in Loki. I chose to see my experiences regarding him and from them draw belief. I decided to do it, I didn’t simply react. I chose. And I chose another thing.

There’s been a decision has been hanging over my head for a while. A subtle request from Him at least asking me to thinnk about it. Not react, not wander into it like The Fool from Tarot. But to choose for myself, yes or no. It’s so easy to say “He’s asking me to do this” but that… That’s a lie, one I’m ashamed to attribute to Him. He suggested… Something along the lines of  ‘I would like you to think about becoming this.’ and ‘I’d like this path for us to take together but the choice is yours.’

No godly demands, no “I want this”, no ‘This is your path, so there’. It’s a simple ‘I think this would be good for you and us.’

So I’ve decided. I’ve chosen because I want this for myself. I want this path and I’ve decided to walk it.

I will become a Priestess devoted to Loki.

On December 21st as the Age ticks over, I’ll make a vow to walk beside Him on this path until I can no longer manage it. And I’ll walk it. Because I’ve chosen to place my faith in Him. Because I’ve chosen this path, suggested as it may be.

Thinking over these revelations, I can’t help but think of this whole thing as lesson and as life lessons go, it’s very much in His style. Choice would be important to Loki as there’s an edge of greater responsibility for something you’ve chosen to do over something you’ve had to do as a reaction to some external influence. And tricksy as He is, Loki owns everything that He is, including his fuck ups and bad choices. He takes responsibility for them.

Lesson learned I suppose.

 

 

 

 

The Cave

I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want that pain, the despair that comes with seeing someone dear to you suffering. Love drove me, a fierce ferocious feeling that can and will move mountains and watch the world burn. I’d do it for that, for the small comfort I could give.

My soul that day was shrouded in black, funeral garb. I was mourning and as the time grew closer, that terrible anticipation got worse.

But I went. I went with an ally at my side, following glimpses of a dead child and his brother, hearing their phantom laughter while weaving through paths till I found the Place They thought was best.

Neat, well trimmed hedges that formed whimsical shapes. I slipped through them and found a place to sit. I pulled my scarf over my head and took the bowl in hand and I prayed.

I centered, I breathed and I went to the Cave going down, down deep into the earth. It was hot, unpleasent and stank of sweat, sulphur and body matter. And I saw Him bound down, I saw Her tending to him. She beckoned me over urgently.

“The cup is almost full, quickly _____ .” I didnt hear the name she said but I knew it was mine. I moved forward, raising my bowl to capture the thick drippings from above. I don’t see the snake but I hear it, it’s scales rasping against stone.

Looking down I see Him and He’s smiling, looking almost releived.

“There you are… You’ve been missed.” I don’t answer. I can’t. Words escape me as pain and sorrow well up. I focus on the bowl in my hands, held over his head. It’s halfway full.

“It fills up so fast.” I hear Her say as She strokes His brow, looking everybit the grieving mother and wife, but there’s an anger there deep beneath the surface.

“Too fast.” I say and look down again, straight into His eyes. I know them, I know them so well. Memories flicker and pass too fast for me to catch them buut I’m starting to believe the things I’ve been told. She moves her cup to cover mine.

“I’ve got it. Empty yours.”

I go to the far end where the rock hollows out into a dark drain. I pour the venom in and wince at the smell. It’s making me dizzy and I wonder how They can take it. I return and She smiles at me as I reach a hand to His shoulder.

“Go ahead. You have time.” 

Words are shared. He’s bound and tormented and still he quips with bad puns and sly innuendo. He’s still everything He was while free. It boggles the mind how He can be bound. I take my turn as He speaks, swapping with Her as She offers her own words. I bear the bowl for them both and struggle to listen but I’m wearing out. I can feel the sun and I know my time is up.

He tells me to go and with a wink I’m sitting in a garden, tears on my face.
 The bowl goes away and I quietly cry, shaking with a torrent of emotions and fractured memories that fit with the things I’ve been told. I’m so tired, I miss him so badly and I feel like my hearts been torn apart anew. My ally silently gives me comfort as I collect myself and we leave when I can walk.

I didn’t want to go. I didn’t enjoy it and I know I never will… But come next month, I’ll go back and do it all over again.

 

The Call.

There’s a lot that’s been happening lately. The circle of this age is closing and things are moving faster and faster. I met a spirit of death and shook his hand, celebrated the day of the dead, met with Loki through a friend of mine, experienced a life changing and affirming revelation. I remember much of my past lives, why I’m being rushed to buck up and start doing and just how much power I do have at this moment.

It’s been a ridiculous, enriching and surreal experience. I’ve been doing small devotions as I said I would. A day set aside to carry Loki with me, colouring my hair for both myself and Him, playing with bits of magic I’ve been learning about. Seeing what I can do.

But last night, last night I recieved a call.

Last night I saw Loki in The Cave. It was nothing more than the briefest of impressions, of dark and agonsing suffering and of a being that I have loved for many lifetimes in torment. It came while I was in conversation with another and I’m proud to say that I didn’t break down then and there.

It lasted barely more than a moment, but the effect of it lingered all night. I had to walk away from the group and weep. What I’d seen, on top of all I’d been told, all I was thinking about, it was too much. It felt like my heart had been torn open. I clung to my partner as I briefly broke down, unashamed of it.
 I sat beside a tree as she got my friend, R and we spoke of it as I tried to face what I knew was coming next.

I’d read of Bearing the Cup before, of going into the cave where my God is bound and aiding in Sigyns task, taking turns holding the cup with her. It’s a hard task, emotionally and mentally draining but I’ve heard that it’s worth it. Worth enduring the pain of it for the benefit.

I remember saying that what I saw I couldn’t stand, because I can’t stop it. R said that it wasn’t my place to stop it. there are somethings we can’t stop. When my Elder joined us, he spoke of the importance of this moment. How it was a sign beyond any other of the trust and care Loki holds for me, to not only allow me to see him at his weakest, but to ask me to do it. That even though it would be a hard task, a painful one and a hard thing to face that would never get any easier, it was something potent and powerful. It could be uplifting. All I had to do was see it from another angle.

Right now, same as the night before, the thought of doing this never seemed a task. The word never entered my mind. Now that I’ve seen and I understand… This is something I know I must do. Not because He asks it of me, but because I have to do something.

Even if I’m helpless to free Him, I’m not wholly helpless to comfort Him. I can’t bear to sit and do nothing.

So, soon, as soon as I have everything together I’ll be going to the cave. I won’t be alone in the ritual, not the first time at least. Rarely before have I felt such burning need to do something.

And I don’t mind. Not one bit.

If anyone has some kind of advice or imput, I’d greatly appreciate it.

 

 

Personal devotion.

There’s a lot of thoughts running around in my head right now. Many of them have to do with Mister Mister one way or another but for now I’ll focus on this subject.

I want Him in my life, strange as is for me to admit. I was formerly an atheist and then an agnostic.
I want his lessons, I want his humour and care and I want his presence and on the name note, I want to do things for him. Otherwise why should he be here if there isn’t a bit of give to the take.  It’s like what my Elder says about Lwa, if yo don’t give them energy, they can’t manifest in this plane of existence.

He has an alatr (which I’ve been neglecting. Oops), we have converstaions, brief as they are. But I want to do more…

He’s already going to be a figure threading his way through my stories, be it a character that appears for only one moment or a reference to his myth or Him as Himself and as a story teller what better gift can I offer?

But I wanna do the little things. Ridiculous things that only mean something to me and hopefully him.

Like dying my hair a ridiculous shade of red. Like cosplaying His flame-haired, scarred-lip self at a convention and inviting him ride along and wreck havoc. Like saying “I do what I want, Thor!” when someone asks me about a decision or some such (I do that one already). Like building a playlist of songs that resonate with Him.

Setting aside days and time like I do for my partner.

These things are obvious but putting them down make them tangible.

Wish me luck.