The Well

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A short story by Kilokean

“Please, my God, please.”

Darkness. Running through a forest of ancient trees underneath glaring stars. The smell of loam and rain shimmers on the air. She had been running forever. One foot plodding, dropping, the other dragging behind. Her ankle is gnarled and bleeding leaving a trail for the dogs to follow. They bay in the distance. Her brown dress is bunched between white knuckles pulled up freeing her for motion and absorbing sweat. She staggers onward. 
 
In her mind she can feel his golden glow, though it does nothing to allow her to pick a clear path in the pitch of night. The nameless God. The one she’d been worshipping in secret. He fills her with strength she is lacking. 

“Hold on,” he whispers on a breeze. “Sanctuary is a bit further.”

Gasping, lungs screaming and searching for air she runs. Crying out she forces her ankle to bear weight. The reaching fingers of trees hang low tangling her hair and scraping her face. 
 
Falling. Terrifying. There is no light here. As the last of the ground crumbles beneath her feet she drops, plunges, hangs precariously in the air. She doesn’t scream. Death will be better than life at the hands of a monster. The golden glow envelopes her with comfort and the fear wanes. 
 
Icy water. She bursts beneath it back into life. Soon she is swimming. The invigoration of living fills her limbs with purpose. Her dress, sodden, pulls her down attempting to make her oppressive thoughts of demise from before a reality. A momentary struggle and the fabric is lifted up and off. Her undergarments follow, as they are still dragging her down. Cold water soothes layers of bruises from almost a year of tyranny. Frigid water cleanses scratches and scrapes from the forest. Slowing her cutting strokes sluices through the water since she can’t see she rolls to her back and floats, shivers, and trusts. The enervating golden light warms her insides as her flesh turns to goose pimples and her fingers and toes numb. The warmth she clings to is visible in the eye of her mind only, for she still has no idea where her journey will end. 

In time, as happens when enough of it passes, the sun rises. Bold illumination, sharp and sudden, penetrates the underground shocking the cave from a hole above. A new battle ensues. Her eyes wanting to close as she hungers for the assurance the sunshine brings. A bucket plunges down from above splitting the dazzling rays. Finding the ability to move she pulls her body toward it. Clean, pine wood and finely woven rope greet her. The bucket is only big enough for her to plant her feet on both sides as she grasps the smooth rope with both hands.  

If someone threw it down they must pull it up again. 

She waits. And waits. Finally, the bucket starts a slow ascent to the surface. Water and a naked woman creeping toward the fire of day. A warm breeze wraps the scent of apple blossoms around her thawing flesh and a smile she thought she had lost skitters across her pleasant face. 
 
The rounded walls of the well, when they come into view, are sturdy gray stones cut and stacked together with skill. The rope is being turned by a handle onto sturdy, hewn, log set in a large structure with a roof to shelter all who come from the weather. Frightened and shaking she waits for the journey to end. A kindly, old face comes into view with a halo of white hair tossed behind shoulders.

“I knew you were coming-today or tomorrow or maybe four days. Come along.” The ancient woman has a joyful look and stretches her thin skinned hand out to steady the young woman. Surprised, she looks down in modesty at her newly unblemished body. Golden hair plays in the breeze as she shakily hops to the packed soft dirt beside the well. Her savior is dressed in a soft light gray dress and thick darker gray cloak. She dries the girl quickly with a red cloth moving numbed, shaking limbs this way and that. Gently she ties back the girl’s hair before slipping a dress, one of her own, over the girl’s head. 
 
“Our sister died just yesterday, but there must always be three, you understand. Always. And the ruler of the present must come from sturdy stock, my dear. It is hard constantly being aware. Always being real.”

“I do not understand. Where am I? My…husband will try to find me.” She shifts her body on her feet now capable of carrying her far and fast.

The elderly lady chuckles, putting a slim, wizened arm around her waist. 

“No. Not here he won’t. You will live a good long while in our pleasant company. You will use your hands to carve the stories of today. Of now. I will whisper in your ear the twists and turns of the narrative and our other sister, whom you shall shortly meet, will read your work and continue it on.” 

The golden haired girl laughs heartily, “Grandmother,” she says merrily,” I cannot carve words.”

“You will learn. Your first words will scar the wood in horrifying ways. They will be terrible to behold. Therefore, we will practice with your ex-husband’s tale. Our sister left his days for you when she passed. And you will live long here, outside of the hand of time, so you shall have his whole tale to tell.”

Grim news and good news. There is no disbelieving the sincere wrinkled face. Tears stream from youthful, blue eyes. Vengeance had never gleamed in her heart, but justice thrummed there. 
 
“Thank you, Grandmother.”

“Don’t thank me. It is what is.”

As they walk arm in arm the girl’s eyes spy him. Fair hair to match her own and a fair smile to buoy her day, his entire presence an unmistakable balm. And she knew she would never feel the scratch of misery and loneliness again. 

~*Incense*~

I’ve been digging on a combo burn of Sandalwood and Cherry Almond for a general Hail to the gods lately, but I don’t have anything I like to burn specifically for Himself (though he does have a Vanilla Bean candle that smells good enough to eat). I would like to discern a go to incense for His enjoyment.

Angrboda seems to enjoy a burn of Night Queen and African Musk. I would like to get some of the high quality Night Queen (I can tell the difference) for devotional/meditation work with Her specifically.

I am having trouble deciding on a regular set of scents for Him because so often He is so calm and happy to simply exist with me I don’t necessarily associate the more energetic scents with Him. I feel content and at home with Him and this leads me towards smells of baked goods and fall. Snuggling weather. I tried to burn Red Dragon incense for Him, but the mix was off putting to me.

I’m sure He will let me know his preferences eventually.

Maturing My Grasp of His Essence

I was journaling last night about Himself (along with several other things) and I started to write:

“Loki is first and foremost a God of Change.” When my pen got to the word change I couldn’t write it.

“No, no, no…that isn’t right,” is whispered in my mental ear.

This is what happened next.

“Loki is first and foremost a God of Passion. I would liken him to the primordial, pre-modern thought of Eros in many ways. He is a God of the Chase, a God of Intense Feeling~ passionate love leads to chaos and change. His love or our love. Passionate love leads to caring and helping and giving and sacrificing and dying and bleeding and weeping and coming back because of a passionate promise to do it all again with the same Gods and people as often as necessary.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Passion is the kindred link between Odin and Loki. Passion wrought in blood. Passion and fire are so closely linked that calling Him a fire God is a see through mask for His burning drive and His exquisitely piercing core. The core of Him is Passion.”

This came from the ether and from inside of me and from Him. How much from where, I’m still sorting out.

 

Dream Wheels Turn to Stories

So, I won’t go into the entire thing, but I had a strange daydream/dream waking story thing the other day about a character that I write with frequently in a situation that I would have trouble working that character into.

He was meditating and became …horsed by Loki. He was quite willing and was Loki’s husband, so it wasn’t any type of violation. Some people came in upon him while Loki was stalking around in his body and Himself went on quite a rant about how important loyalty and family is-though family not necessarily of birth, but people whom we choose to draw into our inner circle as well.

The phrase that keeps kicking up in my skull is spoken when the character got into his father’s face while being ridden by our intrepid God and uttered this phrase:

“The beloveds of MY beloveds tend to succeed, but put him in danger and you won’t see many more days.”

There is more to the scene, but that in particular keeps coming back to me. Not sure why this would be important, and I am considering maybe writing out the story. It is a fun/interesting/exciting story, and maybe this is more a prompt to let Him play out as my Muse than anything else.

Feeling Loki’s Rage

Normally, I get a low level feel good buzz when Loki is hanging out with me. Sometimes, I would say about twice a day, He is “closer” and we can have a small back and forth about whatever I’m up to or whatever He’s been up to. It isn’t as clear or definite as trance work and frankly I think I would be able to do this more often if I weren’t as stressed with my kids and trying to generally make my life work.

I guess the point of this is that on the average it isn’t something overwhelming. As with most relationships if I choose to I can ignore what is going on with Him or if I am too involved in my own life it happens.

Today my hubby and I had a big blow out and we were going at each other with every problem we’ve ever had and all of the current ones and inventing some new ones just to add some spice to things. This seemed like any other fight we’d ever had. Formula: Fight+tears+screaming=Air Cleared and General Feel Goods Returned…also kissing.

Well, today-during this fight, my husband said this to me:

“I’m going to sew your mouth shut, so that you can’t keep talking.”

I’d never felt Loki rage before, but rage He did. I hadn’t realized He was even around until I got a tidal wave of…the best translation is “I will ruin him if he even tries.” So, then I had an enraged God in my mental ear and a husband merrily carrying on our fight without my input as I tried to batten down the hatches and deal with my anger, HIS anger, and my husband’s anger.

This has easily been one of the most overwhelming, unpleasant experiences I’ve ever felt emotionally.

So, while my husband continued on I literally had a time out where I explained to Loki that my husband was kidding. He wouldn’t physically harm me. They were words. He insisted that I address this with my husband, as I have times before, and in a way that I really put an end to it this time. I tried, but I don’t know if I succeeded.

But then I considered, I don’t say things like that. I don’t say things I don’t have any intention of carrying out, and to some degree I don’t think Loki does either. In some ways I feel adrift in our society of easy whims and words.

At the end of it all I ended up sitting on the floor holding Loki’s alter candle and feeling his warmth envelope me. Hail Loki!

Whisky Ritual

Do I have the salt? No, it’s in the bathroom. Do I have the whiskey? Yes. Do I have it in the circle? No, shit. Okay, whiskey IN the circle.

Cleanse the area, cast the circle.

“Okay, Loki. I’m going to try to do this thing, where I am conscious of offering you what I’m taking into my body. I have no idea how to do that, but…here goes.”

Whiskey-no taste at first, then a smooth burn down my throat. Warmth settles in my belly.

I move into meditation.

I’m in my temple, but for once the sky is overcast. It is NEVER overcast here. The wind is blowing and I can see the World Serpent out in the primordial waters over the churning waves. It is a black sea in a black night, but my temple is illuminated. Fingers card through my hair. Turning I see a man with no clear face.

“Why can I never see you clearly? I never have a face to go with these sweet caresses.”

“You’re looking too hard to see.”

I’m pouting. I know I am and the whiskey is warming me from the inside out.

“Whiskey tastes good on your lips.”

And I’m slammed back into my body.

 

This meditation and ritual offering brought to you by Jack Daniel’s Black Label.

Meeting the World Serpent or Thanks for Having Such Interesting Kids

My initial idea last night was to meditate for a few minutes. Just a few. I wanted to say that I’d done it. Kind of like rushing through your homework so that you can go out to play when you’re a kid. I know I should meditate daily, but sometimes I am just too tired or too brain dead by the end of the day (which is the only time I have to do so).

I turned on some light music, but it had words, so even when I sat down to meditate things didn’t go as smoothly as usual. I never mediate with music because I know it distracts me, but for one reason or the other I did this time. My meditation cycle was more like tuning into an old television set than the high def with surround sound I usually have.

I got flashes of a shape changer-fangs-a white mask slipping off-a large snake weaving and striking-

Fight or flight was trying to click on in my body. My immediate impulse was to run out on this. I was only going to mediate for a few minutes, anyway. I wasn’t going to do any heavy lifting tonight.

The time before this that I meditated Angrboda gave me a lesson in fear. I’d tossed it off as her having a bit of fun with me, but now I think she was preparing me. She’d pulled me into the primordial waters surrounding my temple (an area that I had never previously considered frightening) and laughed at my indignant sputters as I hauled myself out. She’d told me, in a haunting voice-she hadn’t been corporeal…err…well, whatever-, “We’re working on fear now, my dear.”

We’re working on fear. I sat through my fear instead of pulling completely out of my meditative state even though I fell a bit out of it. Then suddenly, again like turning a dial on an old television set, I was in my temple. I stripped, as per usual, and took a dip in the pool, and then he was there.

He was there in a humanoid form, and he hovered over me. For a moment the rolling energy reminded me of Loki, but it wasn’t He. Then the transformation began and I saw his face, such a massive snake. He slithered away from me, but his massive body-large as an ancient tree trunk-just kept sliding by me.

“Climb on,” he beckoned. So, I did. Somehow, even though he was moving I didn’t, and his large scales were incredibly stimulating. Satisfaction and chuckles were my impression of his mood, though he didn’t directly speak to me using a voice.

I’ve never come out of a meditation with a hungry need to finish what was started elsewhere, before. My, it was nice to finally meet you Jormungandr. I had trouble remembering your name until I actually met you.

Hail Angrboda! and Hail Loki! for having such pulse pounding children.

Other people said that to invite Loki into your life is to invite his entire family. It seems they aren’t wrong on that front. I’m not sure what lessons I will learn from the World Serpent, but I am intrigued.