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!

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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.

Be a Rebel, Blow Out Your Candles

candles

Never blow out a candle or you blow away the magick. This was something all little, new baby witches were taught when I was coming up as a youngster. Growing up there were countless frustrations as I imagined I’d ruined a ritual completely by blowing out my candles at the end. Blowing out candles has such joyful, childlike association for me that I couldn’t stop myself from doing it. Then I’d have a meltdown after I did and remembered I wasn’t supposed to. Who doesn’t like blowing out birthday candles? Who doesn’t like controlling something with only the invisible force of their breath? At the time I didn’t question the instruction, but little by little over the years I’ve come at that from a completely different angle.

Breath is life.

Breath, divine breath, wakes up life.

When you’re making a gris-gris bag you breathe life into it, wake up the spirit of the bag, depending on how you make one, of course. They’re not as strong if you don’t.

Your breath is magic. When I blow out a candle I don’t see it as blowing away the magick, but rather using my breath to spread my intention into the universe. I’m adding to the magick. In my mind’s eye I’m spreading the gossamer strands of my intention far and wide with my breath, especially with ritual magick. Of course, there are times I don’t blow out candles. When I don’t want to sacrifice any of my life energy to an endeavor I don’t, but normally if something is worth doing on the magickal front it’s worth me putting any energy I can into it.

Like all magick though, if you just can’t get the idea that you’re blowing away the magick out of yoru head when you blow out candles you’re using in a ritual or for devotional purposes you probably shouldn’t do it. You program your intentions with your thoughts. That’s why mental control is such an integral part of witchcraft in general.

Appropriation: Worship Like You Stole It

Okay. Appropriation. I want to have a discussion, and here’s a thought I seem to always have when the topic comes up. As an American, everything I have is appropriated. I have not a single thing that I can claim as unique cultural heritage found only in my birth land that belongs to “my people”. The language I use-English, is an obvious place to begin. I learned Spanish. I’m not Latina. Therefore, by the broad scope of appropriation, I’ve just bungled. English itself is a mash up of other languages. I use it every day and I don’t bother giving a wit about the words that aren’t English. I don’t know the history of the words and I use them with impunity. I speak therefore I appropriate. I guess you can argue that my ancestors, or at least some of them, brought the language along with them, but some of my ancestors didn’t speak English, it was forced on them. So, am I now practicing some strange form of forced appropriation? Is there a term for that?

I’m not Native American, or at least not ONLY Native American (I believe I would be about 1/8 native American. My Great Grandmother was the ancestor in question.), so if I try to immerse myself in that culture I wasn’t raised in it can be considered appropriation. I haven’t, but I like learning about it, and I’ve occasionally thought I’d like to use some terms here or there in my spiritual practice, though I don’t out of shear laziness. It takes more time to explain something unusual than use common lexicon. I use sage-sage bundles, which are native American in origin, without knowing much about the traditional use for them. I don’t feel bad about it and I don’t know that most pagans would. I rather think of it as a tool l’ve acquired that works. Should I research it? Probably. Nothing but good would come of it. However, I’m extremely thankful for the people who came before me and realized Sage was awesome.

Because of my mixed genetic background I can say I feel free to work with any number of deities, but I wasn’t really raised in any of the backgrounds they “come from”, such as the Norse pantheon I work with now. I’m not part of the Asatru bandwagon that thinks we should only work with deities we’re blood tuned for (*cough*racisist undertones*cough* Excuse me.), but then isn’t that what the abhorrence of appropriation is all about? Don’t raid other people’s cultures for your own benefit, willy nilly. I wonder how America’s Buddhists feel about this? Either it’s okay for me to research and come to something respectfully and use it in my practice or work with deities that want to work with me, or it isn’t.

For example, most Americans almost look on Greek and Roman mythology as our own. It’s very intrinsic to our culture, at least educationally, yet, it isn’t ours. Is it appropriation if Persephone wants to work with me (I’m not Greek) if She’s decided to work with me? In some ways the entire idea of appropriation spiritually is just farcical. Some aspects of appropriation seem to negate the idea of free will on behalf of deities or the fact that some ideas simply don’t exist in other cultures. Isn’t making up new words for an idea, such as two spirit people for example, more disrespectful than simply using the original term? I realize bigender is more academic, but there was already a name for that. Maybe I’m just being a jackass and maybe I just don’t get it, but much like the rest of American culture, spiritually, there just isn’t anything unique that I can lay claim to without “appropriating”.  We don’t have many things that are uniquely our own aside from Phili cheese steaks, the Liberty Bell, and arguably, pop culture deities that originate in the States. Voodoo, I suppose, but wouldn’t that still be appropriation? Thoughts? Should I just let this go? I think that people who come from countries with their own deities and cultures get more hung up on appropriation than Americans do, in general, because of this stuff.

Americans don’t have anything that we haven’t stolen.

Satanists are Pagans Too

SatanistsandLokeans

This meme was fueled by a discussion on a widely used pagan forum about whether or not to give a booth to Satanists …because they’re Satanists and “not pagan”. Excuse me? When did that happen?

And Satanists are generally no more disruptive than other Pagans at events. I’ve seen many a drunken, naked participant, especially at week long camping circles.

I mean, I know it might not be a popular idea, but I can’t think of anything so opposed to Christianity, as Satanists are. If they are squarely in the Abrahamic paradigm, which many Satanists are not, even then shouldn’t we welcome them? They’re worshipping a different god than the Christians, and that, really, is all it seems to take to shelter under the umbrella of Paganism. That’s not even getting into the discussion of Luciferianism and the Satanists that don’t accept the Abrahamic paradigm. The ones who go, NOPE, these gods existed before the bible and the bible got it wrong. (I’m kind of in that camp, since genesis talks about a council of gods making the world if you read it in Hebrew and understand the different nuances of the word forms.)

Where does all this self righteous Paganism come from? It reminds me far too much of the Heathens who cower from Loki because he’s “evil”. Loki’s not evil, He’s just got shit to do and He gets it done. I suspect Lucifer is the same way. I’m sure His people Adore Him, He has His Loves, and does His good deeds and bad deeds in the world just like every other entity.

Lokeans probably share a special empathy with, or would that be sympathy for, Satanists. Both of our deities get single sided stories told about them, are feared and constantly maligned, and then people are surprised when They get shitty with the occasional irreverent mortal who doesn’t expect anything better from them and calls them up anyway. That’s assuming folks even get the real Lucifer or Loki on the line. I’ll always defend Satanists because I would hope someone would take up the cause of Loki’s people in our absence.

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.

I’m the Thunder, Not the Cloud

I’ve always thought it was important to be out there with what I do. Maybe this is because I’m from the generation of “overshare”, but if what has happened to me in my life can be useful to anyone else, why not share it?

When I was younger it was important to me to be a “loud proud pagan” simply because I didn’t know any other pagans. I was lost in a sea of fundamentalist Christianity. It wasn’t pretty. I spent a lot of time defending myself, and after a while I got bitter before I stopped caring all together what other people thought.

Obviously, what we do as pagans frequently touches on mysticism, which can’t be quantified by the mainstream world. If it can’t be quantified, it isn’t “real”, if it isn’t real, then it isn’t true. If it isn’t true and you claim you’re having mystical experiences, you must be crazy. Even Christians don’t quite trust their mystics to not be crazy. If you’re talking to St. Paul or Loki or Isis, there’s a fair chance others are going to think you’re crazy.

And I don’t disagree with caution. I think we should evaluate people on a case by case basis. Usually this stuff is only singularly useful anyway, but, even if you clump it into a person meditating with internally generated Jungian archetypes, it is useful to the person meditating.

When I try to keep stuff to myself I’m always about to burst with the not sharing.

So, I’ve been dithering. Some of you may have noticed I’d pulled down my blog for about two weeks. I did this in advance of a potential legal situation with my family (actually having nothing to do with my being mentally balanced or not-though I don’t doubt they would go there). I was afraid this blog and my spiritual practices would be used against me in the court system. I’ve gone from afraid to seriously pissed off that I have to be afraid: for my freedom of religion, for my freedom in general, for keeping custody of my children potentially, simply because my family is angry and would try to attack me on any front possible. I’ve even considered a pre-emptive mental evaluation just so I can have something to wave in the face of any judge or social workers who interview me.

But, I cannot live my life in fear. I’ve never been afraid of being pagan. I’ve never been afraid of being different, and if someone tries to use my spiritual work against me? Well, bring it. My children are well cared for and if I have to fight not to be pathologized because I’m a Lokean instead of a devout Christian (which is still fairly socially acceptable at this point), so be it. Loki’s path is never a quiet one.