What’s On Your Altar?

Let’s have a round of “what’s on my altar?” tonight.

Let’s see…two burning candles for the Blood Brothers. One candle for Loki Himself that is an autumn/fall harvest candle. It won’t burn no matter what I do to it. (I’m thinking of putting something extremely flammable on it just to see if I can make it burn because GOD DAMN IT *L* what don’t you like about that candle? I’m starting to think it’s just that the time of year isn’t strictly his domain so He won’t let it burn.) A wintergreen candle welcoming Lady Skadi (getting cold here). A piece of driftwood because it carries a calming energy with it. Another harvest candle for the Gods Who Smile on Me. Another candle for Loki Himself, a tall white candle for Odin–Loki’s Blood Brother. A sage bundle that isn’t being used at the moment. A candle welcoming bounty into our household. And a wonderful plaque a friend of mine made for my birthday. choose I love tending my altar. It’s a joyful duty, one that brings me peace and a sense of purpose.

Missing Loki

missedaspot

I don’t know if anyone will particularly find this interesting, but I thought I would share. For a while I’ve been having minor health problems. Nothing that is going to kill me today, but if I don’t get a handle on them they will certainly do so down the road. Or brain damage me, which is, about my worst nightmare. About a year ago (maybe less, but if feels like forever ago at this point) I was having some deep conversation with myself, and Loki, and the universe at large and He demanded I completely overhaul my diet.

He’s done this to me before, and I wasn’t happy, but did end up dumping caffeine, the sweet, dark nectar of the Gods. It was hell. It was horrid. It was hard. I felt much better.

I wasn’t eating terribly: my husband is vegetarian tending toward vegan, so I was eating with him part of the time. However, when I wasn’t with him I was eating drive through because I don’t feel like I have time to eat properly when I’m working. I was eating garbage fast food for breakfast almost every day of the week that I was working because it was so easy to get it and cheap. I was having doughnuts almost every morning too because the Krispy Kreme bin is right there beside the newspaper when I stop to pick it up. In the back of my mind I knew it wasn’t good, but I didn’t want to work harder at simply staying alive.

Plus, doughnuts are awesome. (As an aside: I eat organic at my house. I buy nothing but organic, wholesome foods for my husband and children, yet here I was eating fucking doughnuts.)

Loki told me to stop or I was essentially going to kill myself. NOW, when He exnayed caffeine for me at one point it was raising my blood pressure to extremely unhealthy heights because I’ve apparently developed a sensitivity to it. I can do de-caf for the most part, but even that can be iffy if there is too much caffeine in the decaf roast of the coffee. So, it’s best if I just avoid it.

When he started hinting around again that I needed to overhaul my diet I wasn’t happy. I went to the doctor and my blood pressure was pushing up to unhealthy ranges again and my other bloodwork wasn’t the greatest. Grumbling, I decided I would try to change things, but didn’t really want to. I resisted, doing well for a few days, fucking up for ten more. Then I went back and my blood pressure was even higher.

Loki: Cut the shit. No sugar. No salt. No dairy. No meat. No caffeine. Eat like your husband. He’s healthy. And knock this shit off. Why won’t you just do what you already know you need to do? It’s either shape up or die thanks to your genetics.

Me: You love meat!

Loki: No shit. Your body shouldn’t have it. You’ve known this for a while, but you continue.

Me: I know.

Loki: Then do it, Love. Stop being stubborn.

It’s food though. It’s a lot harder than it should be. I’m embarrassed to admit this has actually driven a wedge between myself and Loki, mainly because though I’ve done a lot to do what He wanted from me, I haven’t fully complied. I stopped buying sugary lattes all the time. I stopped buying cookies and doughnuts (for the most part.) I haven’t fully gotten on board though because it’s hard. I love that kind of food. I grew up on German food and rich, fatty farm food. We negotiated and he said I could have a day a month to eat as I chose, and I’ve still been having trouble getting there.

I recently found out my biological father has diabetes at 50, something I’ve been terrified of because my birth mother’s family also has it, and once again Loki has a point. My birth father is apparently not doing well either. That scared the shit out of me. I want to be around to do all the fun stuff with my family I’ve envisioned. I may get diabetes eventually, but I don’t want it to be because I couldn’t lay off the sweets. I want to be around to write and laugh and love. I need to try harder. He always has a point, and I’m so very ashamed that I’ve allowed this to come between us. I adore Him. I adore everything about His ecstatic, energetic, beautiful self, and I’ve been having trouble sitting with Him because I feel like an errant child.

But He doesn’t care the way I think He does. He doesn’t hate me because I’m having trouble. I’ve been tossing my human baggage His direction.

He gives a shit about me.

I have so much trouble with that concept. I’ve finally realized that I’ve been pushing Him away even as I’ve been lighting candles on His altar because of this enslavement to the food I want to continue eating when I shouldn’t. It’s insane. I’m addicted to crappy fucking food that isn’t even as good as the home cooked food I make.

I guess I’m writing this post because the struggle is real. Sometimes They ask us to do things we already know we should do. Sometimes They ask us to do things that seem ridiculous on the outside, but are perfectly legitimate because They have a longer view. And we don’t want to do it. We don’t want to do whatever they are asking because it’s HARD. Well, change isn’t easy, but Loki is a God of change. This piss ant struggle over what food I should and shouldn’t be shoving in my face capsized my entire religious practice because I didn’t want to change. I started to gradually change the way I was eating and my blood pressure has been getting steadily better. I started doing the things I should do. Then I relapsed a little, took a half a step back. Now I’m struggling forward again. But, I want it now. I spent almost an entire summer without Loki. I have been ignoring Him, and I know He hates that. I want to do things differently. Loki has been around. I’ve felt him checking on me frequently, but I haven’t been engaging.

Shame is a powerful thing.

But fuck that noise.

I’m getting healthier for myself and my family, and I feel like I can’t truly work with Them unless I’m healthy enough to delve into the energy work and that’s where I’m at with Loki. I’m trying to get healthy enough to do that with Him again.

I’m trying to think of a good way to tell a God I’m sorry.

Maybe something like this?

I’m so sorry I’ve been absent in my practice, my Sweetest Friend. I know I’ve been with you in spirit when I’ve been engaging in creating, in art, but it hasn’t been quite the same. I miss you and I’m sorry.

I’ve also missed My Sneaky Starshine, whoever you are.

And thanks, Odin, for not forcing the issue. I know you could have and you are letting me work it out on my own.

Thank you Lady Sigyn for showing me the perseverance is in my realm of control. Thank you for being Victory Woman.

Hail to the Gods!

Let’s Play Name that Deity

Long black hair. Bold eyes that have a touch of madness sparkling in their depths. Feels like excitement and dread all rolled into one when he looks at me during a meditation. And he does look. Pale. Tall. Masculine. Prefers black. He stalks my dreams and his lessons are bitter tears I haven’t wept salting my tongue.

He lingers in the dark, dirty gray bricked room of a temple with a gray cement throne. He doesn’t like to sit on the throne.

He doesn’t want the throne.

Is that you Jor? The son of the Trickster radiates similar vibes to the father. I’m simply not sure.

Or is it someone else?

His love would be like fangs, sinking in deep, cutting on their way out. There’s something off about Him in the best way possible. I hate it when They don’t identify Themselves.

Musings on My Muse and His Bloodbrother

Where Loki goes, Odin follows, usually at a sedate pace, sometimes just to check things out because Loki does some interesting things when he’s left to his own devices. Where Odin goes, Loki stalks by his side, because Odin doesn’t usually mix it up unless it’s important. I experience Them as Loki fiercely devoted to Odin, though I think Odin is every bit as devoted to Loki-He just doesn’t wear it on his sleeve the way Loki does.

I’m convinced when working with One we usually, at least peripherally, will experience the Other. Sometimes Their energies mix together and blend and are a beautiful new thing. Sometimes working with Loki I will suddenly realize perhaps I’m talking to Odin instead, though rarely vice versa.

They’re tricky, Those Two.

The Pagan Experience Project Post-The Letter C

February 23, 2015

Baby, it’s cold outside. The cold is usually inspiring for me, rather than tiresome. I live in what I’ve been calling the Frozen Northlands for a few years, and I love it.

The cold does a few things for me. It allows complete attunement with my environment, which is a startling grounding experience. I tend to live in my head a lot (writer) and I’ve got an active spiritual life  that propels me to be more in tune with the unseen than the physical some days, so the cold is useful. It’s hard to ignore the cold, especially when it skates past mildly uncomfortable to something that could be deadly if you, a human, are out in it too long with your flesh exposed. Nothing slams you directly into your body like frigid air. It brings about a perfect mental clarity as well when I’m out in it, and the stars are never so clear as on a truly freezing night. The cold inspires wonder in me-wonder in the world and wonder at myself.

The cold is deadly. This time of year always has me spinning my wheels in introspective ways, which is sometimes useful, sometimes not, but I almost inevitably come around to the aspect of death. I start to think about what it means to me to die, how to square with the idea that death eventually comes for us all (I’m mostly okay with it, except when I’m not), and what it might mean to become an ancestor in my line/reincarnate/both? So, the cold has me thinking about time paradox.

Weird right? I am weird, so that’s okay.

For the record, I think you can both be a member of your ancestry line and reincarnate because time is a strange, fickle bitch. Also, the Multi-verse. It’s a thing.

Anyway, the cold.

When it is particularly frigid outside I am always inspired to Hail Lady Skadi, though I don’t often during most of the year. She’s Grandmother Winter to me, and her kenning, Grandmother, also make me think about ancestry. I think the coldest times of the year make it easy to continue the ancestor veneration that seems natural to start when the veil thins around Samhain. If I have a choice in the matter, and space, I leave the ancestor altar I construct at Samhain erected until Beltane, well after the last wisps of Winter have left us.

The cold is also a direct opposite to my Beloved Friend Loki’s core-though He may NOT be a fire god (I’ll leave that to lively debate) He is a God of Passion and giving 110%, and that’s a metaphorical fire burning high and bright. Even when He’s outwardly calm His mind is always churning over something and He’s always got his fingers in about ten thousand pies. (Oh, the horrible jokes I want to make.) So, Loki’s calm is a deceptive calm, more like the calm before the storm. The deep calm of Cold Winter is a restful quality that never seems to fully take Him, at least not that I’ve witnessed. The cold allows the Earth to regroup, nature to rest, as it were, and I find that to be not only another metaphor about life and death, and the period of calm before reincarnation, but a sweet thought as well, that the world is resting now to prepare for a hard burst toward blooming later. The blanket of snow allows me to appreciate the furtive bloom of spring all the more.

So, friends, today C is for Cold, and all that I see inside of it.

The New Year

I’ve always liked the New Year. I like it the same way I like a fresh notebook and pack of pens.

It’s nothing but possibility.

This year I intend to:

Work more on getting in a solid meditation routine.

Focus more on the shifting seasons and changes constantly happening around me.

Allow myself to feel my fear when it happens instead of ignoring it, and move through it.

Give my family the attention they need, but still make time for my work.

Expand my use of divination. Currently it’s my last resort when I’m having a problem, and I’m thinking of making it more of a part of my day to day.

I’ve also got the typical mundane intentions: Lose some weight. Exercise more. Read more classics. Make sure I’m giving time to my partner. Cook most of my meals. Then there’s some cross over here: I’m dropping caffeine entirely, so I’m going to drop chocolate as well. I’m also looking to cut dairy and sugar out of my diet completely.  The Modern American diet doesn’t agree with my body and Loki’s giving me the push to be healthy even if it’s harder than just eating whatever crap is lying around.

And the biggest on both the mundane and spiritual levels: Allow myself to lose control sometimes. Type A personality be damned.

Happy Yule 2014!

Happy Yule all!

Yule at our house this year meant soul food. I’m not sure how or why that happened, but I’m partially blaming the inspiration on Loki Himself.

Our Yule turkey was bacon wrapped and slow cooked for about 8 hours, the mashed potatoes had an entire quart of half and half as well as a stick of butter (luscious…they were like velvet), there were sautéed mushrooms and asparagus in simple wine sauce, and this was all rounded out with a cheesy veggie bake. By the time we worked our way through this Yule feast no one minded that I’d forgotten to make the ginger cake for dessert.

Candles are lit in our windows and I have a special offering for Loki and Odin ready to go out this evening. (White chocolate and strawberry chocolate as well as a Rootbeer candy cane and some seasonal beer.) I hope you all have a wonderful time with your family and boast long and loud about your Beloved Gods.