Loki’s Hands

Pagan’s of all flavors, even Heathen, tend to recognize the ideas of the Right and Left Hand Path. And it is a simple way to speak to the ideals of the faith you follow. But let us take a look at perceptions of these two paths. 

Right Hand Paths tend toward gentler natures, soft ways, healing with Light and Love. Hope drives them forward, Life empowers them and a prevalent idea is that these types would harm none. And for my part and experience this is more than an apt description. 

They are the SJW’s fighting the good fight, they are the ones you see out there, ignoring their own needs for those who have no voice. Soup kitchens, shelters, VA supporters and workers, the doctors who travel the world to use their skills. These are all Light workers and on the Right Hand Path whether they know it or not. 

Those who walk with Loki and also the Right Hand Path seems like an oddity even among the oddities. But you would be surprised, immensely, by the amount of Right Hand Path who follow old Flamehair. Lokeans who use his blessings to bring someone close to suicide away from the edge. The Lokean EMT who makes the heart attack patient giggle, which causes muscle spasms that in turn help to stabilize the heart. The follower who works tirelessly during a crisis that seems to just go and go, boundless stamina until the threat is passed, then collapses and sleeps for two days. That old crone sitting in the corner with a twinkle in her eye? Godspouse for more years than you have been around and has led a life of light, joy, and laughter. Every little bit fought for and earned in the Light of Loki. 

You see, to me this should come as no surprise. Loki among other things is a God of Fire. Fire gives two definite things that were blessings to the ancestors. Heat, which was life in the winter. It allowed the cooking and drying of meat and fish thus providing sustenance and again, life. The second, blessing is Light. So from at least my thoughts, Loki and the Right Hand Path have been together for as long as people have had fire. 

Now the Left. That Path that the black hearted walk, causing chaos and sowing seeds of discord. Selfish and unable to be trusted, twisted by dark deeds and deals with spirits deadly and beyond nightmarish. This is about as accurate as saying all on the Right Hand are fluffy-bunny tree huggers. 

The Left Hand is the Path of shadow and twilight. Yes, those of the Left walk in the darkness where old and terrible things exist. But they don’t fear. They are proponents of the other half of the cycle and do not shy away from doing what needs be done. Walkers of the Left Hand Path see truths because they dare to look and question everything, even our Deities. The Left Hand Path is dark and shadowed and beautiful. Filled with knowledge and sights terribly beautiful. They are the mortals to dance with the Unseelie in forgotten glades. It is in that place where Honor gives way to Loyalty and the Practical. Nature is wondrous and awe inspiring, but She is also red of claw and of tooth. We accept that as the Left walk to the midnight song of stars. They know of things deadly and poisonous and they know how to stop it. The Left do not shy away from doing things that must be done, no matter how distasteful. 

And the Left Hand Lokeans? Oh now that’s the rub. You see, they are everywhere. They are the Lokean that is masked and inside the Supremacist movements feeding information to those that would be targets. The Protester that was just there and is suddenly gone only to come wandering back 20 minutes later? The wrecking crew sent to bulldoze a sacred Native American site suddenly find that their heavy equipment is totally useless. That woman at the funeral reminding everyone of the joys the person had and brought, bringing smiles to the grieving and softening the hurt? She walks the Left. The quiet older man just outside the circle at the moot who never speaks and on occasion is gone? He’s off beating the Hel out of that bunch of rednecks that like to break up the Blot with paintball guns. That crone who has walked on the Left side of Loki for decades, can throw a hex like a stone, has no fear to spill blood during ritual so others don’t have to, everyone know not to look in the eyes, but the children know she always has the best cookies and not to ask for more than one. She’s the one who quietly blesses babies with Loki’s cunning and perseverance.

What would surprise so many is what the Left actually does. You see, some, and speaking for myself now, work most often with Loki in the Scarlip appearance. The one bloody and filled with rage and fire and chaos. We deal with the sly and grinning One, the keeper of Mischief and will call out the Kindreds for being elitist. We bring with us destruction and chaos and change were ever we go. I have witnessed the fall of many groups due to infighting and petty bickering. From Heathen Kindreds to Wiccan Covens and Pagan Churches. “Witch Wars”.  Complete collapse. And yet those of kind and strong heart will still be there, while those that carried poison and toxins seem to simply move on realizing only much later it was that toxin that destroyed what was. 

Yes I walk with the Loki in the forms of Trickster, Sorcerer, Worldbreaker. My own life has been torn apart many many times and I bear the scars. Yet from the ashes I built and grew something better. I cannot speak for other Lokeans, only myself. But Papa has shown me real madness, truly broken mentally. I was hospitalized. I sought out help, got better, grew and changed. He showed me fire and how to dance with it, become one with it, and how to make it a partner. Loki the Sly rode with me in Iraq, laughing as we bounced through the desert. With strength I made it home. He destroyed abusive situations I was in and set me free when I didn’t even know until later I was being abused. 

Now, here is the rub, the con, the trick whatever you wish to call it. As my friend Rev. Brian Young said, “Two hands are attached to one body”. Lokeans tend to be fluid people, so while there are the Right Hand Path and the Left Hand Path, we are all Lokeans. We know Flamehair for who he his. Fire-bring, Gift-giver, Father/Mother of Monsters, Blood Brother of Odin and Thor. The Husband of Sigyn the Patient and Angraboda, Chieftain of the Iron Wood Tribe.  He is the laughter and light that leads through the darkness and he is the needed blade to the throat from the shadow. Lokeans accept our Patron in all his aspects no matter the Path we walk. 

Right or Left, we are Lokean. THAT is the truth. We have given ourselves over to the Shape-shifter, oaths made and fealty given. Lives dedicated. Why? Because again we are Lokean, Right or Left, and we, like our Patron, have either always been or became outcasts. Through Loki we embrace it, know that to be different in anyway is something special. We are misfits, we the broken, the forgotten, the scapegoats. And we know the power of being Other. Shun me for who I am and I grow stronger. Because there are others out there, and we are finding each other under the banner of Loki. 

We are Lokeans. We are the hands of Loki in Midgard. And we are all part of the greater whole. Be ready for our touch for it can bring joy or destruction. We are blessed and cursed by Sly Loki, for we are on the Path of the Trickster, Left or Right. We are the ones to bring lessons. To share wisdom and if that means genitalia tied to a goat to bring a smile, lesson learned. Watching someone die that deserves a Darwin Award? Lesson in what NOT to do. 

To sum up, Right Hand Path or Left Hand Path, we all follow Loki.

And our hands are free…

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A look from within…

No, I do not carry a fancy title in front of my name or alphabet soup behind it. There have only ever been three things to preface my name and none of them involve Doctor (though I wouldn’t mind being a madman in a blue box). 

This being stated and said this is to approach the recent issues with The Wild Hunt and their failure to properly respond to the Siegfried article. Now this rebuttal has been making the rounds, https://ladyofthelake.blog/2018/12/02/group-lokean-letter-the-wild-hunt-declined-to-publish/, and is VERY well written. 

I have been Lokean for over 20+ years and used to feel the need to hide the fact. Shame for being drawn to follow Papa Flamehair. Follow a Jotun? Only a tainted or bad person did that, right? Why was I called? Then I realized a very VERY important fact. I didn’t give a fuck. My heart was called and I readily answered. If my choice of patron makes other people nervous, not my problem. There is no single reason for me to feel shame to follow a trickster, no more than followers of Coyote, Ti Malice, Set, Anansi, and Raven. 

You see, I DO walk a Left Hand path, thus dealing with the darker aspects of Scarlip. But I also work with the asshole that is full of giggles and mischief that gets the serious to laugh at themselves. Too many think that to be Lokean is an excuse to be an chaotic mess and/or a selfish idiot. No. To be on the Left Hand of Loki is to deal with horribly negative aspects not only within ourselves, but Humanity at large. To laugh in order to show others it is ok to do so. We are the ones to weave the Emperor’s clothes. We are the ones to teach others what NOT to do. 

Is Loki to be the Worldbreaker? Yes. I, for one, am entirely ok with this. Read, truly read, the lore and you will find that Aesir and Vanir aren’t nearly as perfect as they are made out to be. From Odin to even Sif, none are above complete reproach. Why? The mortal concepts of good and evil do NOT apply here, because they are above such moral constructs. There is dark and light, dusk and dawn, morning and twilight.  So what if Loki is Jotun? So is old one-eye. Thor is half-blood. Freya and Frey aren’t Aesir, yet dwell in Asgard among the Gods. Confused yet? Good. Very good. I hope so. 

You see, many that refuse the shifting nature of Loki will succumb to a madness of one form or another. To raise a horn to Odin and not his blood brother is in direct opposition to his wishes. And many a Kindred have fallen to infighting and the like. Correlation? Not a clue. I don’t dare speak on behalf of a Divine Being. I would have joined the Troth a while back, but their stance on honoring Loki in public ritual even as they honor Odin has held me back. Don’t get me wrong, they are an amazing organization and have done amazing things. Yet still for as forward thinking as they are, they still have no place for the Jotunar. 

Please do misunderstand me, please do argue, but do some research first. Learn about it. Loki is the dark mirror that doesn’t hold lies but something much MUCH worse. He is the reflection of truth. Ourselves, our desires, our most deeply denied secret wants. For this he is called Lie-Smith. A true Lokean will be one of the most truthful and caring people you will ever meet. They will give up everything to help you if you truly need it. But if you are using a Lokean to your own ends, well on your own head be it. 

Nokeans say we “taint the Wyrd of the community”. I say we take the stains into the light. They say we can’t be trusted to keep Troth. I say we refuse to hide and protect racism, abusers, and prejudice. They say we ignore the nine noble virtues. I say we see them in a different way. Loyalty before honor. I would quite literally do anything for my loved ones even if it was considered dishonorable if it meant my Kin lived another day. I have my own honor and while to others it may seem twisted, it is still there. I just don’t let it get in the way of doing what must be done. 

Does this bother me? No. No, it doesn’t. Not anymore. I walk in the dark and converse with monsters, giants, and trolls. I seek the wisdom of corpse-eaters and hags. What many call “evil” I see as the shadow side of what you find in the light. All have a purpose and a reason. 

But Jotun aren’t Godly. Only the Aesir. SO by that logic, Loki isn’t a god. But neither is Frey, Freya, or Odin. There’s only one thing that makes Aesir godly and that is the Apples of Idunn. Access to magics that they took. Gifts from a certain red-head. So if anyone wants to ignore all the factors, and go with strictest interpretation of lore and stories that is completely your choice, but know that to me you are no better than the Christians that like to quote Leviticus to suit their purposes and ignore the parts that would make them look bad. 

What I have found, what I believe, may come in a later post, but not this one. Many, many people think that the Wild Hunt was wrong to post the article that started all this. I say no, they weren’t. I say they were wrong to refuse the rebuttal. But they did do a “sort” of placation while at the same time not coming right out and saying that by doing so their own retort was that the followers of Loki were again thrust to the edges. 

Yes, we are misfits. Yes, most Lokeans are broken in some way, or outcast. Yet here we are. We are at your events. We stand beside you in circles. We are the Other. And we dare to bring truth and laughter, among other things. We bring change and chaos where it is needed. We are the outsiders, the different, the cast offs. 

Hail Loki! Hail the Misfits! Hail to the Others!

Day of Thanks, Day of Memory

On this day many will sit at large tables surrounded by those related by blood. When you do, you will gorge on tasty food (hopefully the host has some talent for cooking) and most will laugh and cheer. But stop for a moment. Look around the room, the house. Almost certainly you will find that one relative, off alone, looking mildly miserable and/or out of place.

You know the one. The guy that has no interest in sports or cars, the woman that hates gossip and parenting talk. On their phone or their book they simply try to find a quiet place to spend the appropriate amount of time before they can escape. Perhaps you, dear reader, are that person.

If by odd chance that you are reading this and are NOT that person, ask yourself “Why are they apart?”, “Why don’t the join in?”.  The answer is that they are a vastly different person from everyone else in the family and other than blood feel no deep connection to the others that are there. Probably even mocked at worst, or at best met with passive aggressiveness about their look, demeanor, beliefs, life-style or a number of other things. Every. Year. And yet, they are still there. A quiet steady presence that none seem to acknowledge other than the initial hello and whispered ridicule. Yet there they are. Every. Year.

Until they aren’t. Finally driven away by so many factors that relative could simply have chosen not to come this year. Perhaps they are sick and can’t get out, but no one seems to know for sure. Maybe it is the worst case scenario and they are gone permanently and hardly anyone really noticed. And deep inside you wonder, who were they, really? What happened that they are gone?

If YOU are that person, the one who feels like you’re on the outside looking in, that there’s no place for you, that you don’t belong for whatever reason, STOP. PLEASE STOP. Don’t go. That whole idea of blood is thicker than water? Most people do not know the full saying and thinks it mean blood family is more important than anything and if you say wrong there is something wrong with you. That is incorrect. The original saying is “The blood of the covenant is stronger than the water of the womb”.  Meaning that your CHOSEN family those you choose to give your heart and trust and respect to, those who freely give all that in return, those are your real family.

Those of you with no where to go? Create one! Host a place for those you know alone like yourself. A simple meal with 2 or 3 friends can be a wonderful holiday. If money is an issue, everybody bring something to share, have stone soup (google it), it doesn’t matter. Companionship matters.

For those of us of the Nordic traditions today is one of the days of memory. Remembering those who came before, their deeds, their names. I will set a place for my ancestors for dinner tonight and have a quiet dinner with just my wife and daughter.

Later today I will call my older children, my Dad, and my Sister. Because I choose to. Because they are my literally part of my family legacy. I have other family, yes, but they for the most part don’t even really know me as a person. I would love to have a huge feast and the food coma and the laughter! The clink of glasses toasting loved ones gone before and silly stories of their shenanigans. But not this year.

No, this year is going to be quiet for many and multiple reasons that I don’t care to dwell on at the moment. We are going to have an early dinner of Steak and Potatoes, and then my wife and daughter are going to her family gathering so our little bug can see/meet her cousins (and the wife wants to see the new baby).

I will stay home, by myself. I will have a moment of quiet to reflect on those who came before. I will light a candle and set it at the place saved at the table and ask any ancestor that wishes to come and join for the evening that they are welcome, even the blacksheep. Especially the blacksheep. I will speak with them of deeds done and ones yet to accomplish. I will talk to them about hopes and dreams and fears. Because they will listen. They will judge only my heart.

So remember, dear reader, blood-family or not, there are those that love you and would welcome you to their table. If you already have a table, perhaps you may have room for one more.

Such a simple thing could potentially save a life during the holiday season.

Heading Into a Valley

So here it comes, the downward side of the ritual performed. I can feel the shadow calling deep and enticing, that very dangerous place where madness dwells and reason will flee in terror. A place where one loses sense of self, sense of certain concepts. Yet there remains certain constants.

 

As I begin the descent it feels not as a slide or a tumble, but a purposeful rappelling into the valley. I go there willingly and with eyes open, knowing that in order to scale the other side I must traverse the dark places where light doesn’t touch. A personal Midian, a home of monsters and things meant only to be kept in the dark. Not due to shame, but because it is where they live, their home. And they can be gracious hosts.

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Would you willingly sit and talk to a demon if you knew that it would do you no harm? Would you if there was a chance it would? Would you face it as an equal, a superior, or a guest? Would you offer it a sandwich?  And what if there were more than just a demon or three?  Manifestations of fear, rage, and lust joining the journey. Would walk with them, speak with them, or would you ignore them brushing away the wisdom and power they offer? That is the place I find myself going to now, in this part of the journey. Some points will be like visiting friends long lost. Others will be new and frightening. Most will be parts of me or spiritual entities I chose to entreat long ago. I would like to say coming out the other-side I would be perfectly fine, but those in the know would recognize that as a lie. Old wounds will be made fresh, scars reopened. And the monsters will be there waiting, watching, and ready for their toll which will be paid. But I will NOT be less for the tolls and they will give their own due for taking them.

 

Who or what waits in that valley? No clue. Same as anyone else that goes to walk the shadow. But it is a journey I am not unfamiliar with. I know for a time my sense of Self will be a bit “off” and control will be there but questionable. Most would call this willing descent to be giving in to the Evil that resides within the hearts of all of us. I say Bullshit. We are being of light and dark, and to forsake one over the other is what makes us incomplete. In the days/weeks to come some of my actions may be seen as cruel or wicked. Heartless even. But none will be done without purpose. None done out of hatred or the like. Anger, spite, lust, resentment are things that weigh every human heart and these things too need to be fed just as does love, kindness, joy, and togetherness.

Even violence has it’s place once it is accepted and recognized as the choice that it is. If your child was about to die at the hands of another, would you stand by or let the red rage take you places you have been scared of your entire life? Hate me if you will, but I do not fear those places. They are part of me and who I am. Does this make me evil to you? So let it be. But know that I will not hesitate to savage another or shy from blood if it means ending a threat no other way to those I hold dear, those I love. These are constant within me, no matter the state I am in.

The loss of sense that was mentioned comes from the giving into these supposed “negative” aspects. Yet I see them as older than humanity’s concepts of positive/negative or good/evil. Instinct, the guiding factor buried by centuries of supposed evolution? So very sorry to tell you that’s just another pretty lie that humanity likes to tell itself. It is no more than a domestication process. That valley is where lies hold no place, and there are dark miracles and magik to be found, where legend and myth can be found. Where the Satyr and the Faun dance to music of moon and stars. Where the howls of the hunt are the song and the lust of flesh and life is the rhythm.

So seek your own valley. Be afraid. Be scared. You may very well get lost. You may meet demons and monsters and more. It’s up to each of us to find our own way at times, but we are not always alone. And if you make it to the other-side of the valley? Prepare to climb. Prepare to be changed. Prepare to touch madness.

Observations (or Rambling)

Let this begin with the understanding these are entirely my own thought and opinions, not a record of any type nor advice of any kind. Simply my own thoughts.

That being said, let me state the subject of this particular post: People.

Humanity at large has become a group of spoon fed, panicky, herd animals who will follow the loudest and/or strongest personality in the group tending toward those who seem harmless but are rather predatory in nature. This isn’t just indicative of the United States, but the base nature I have personally observed around the world. Allow me to give a prime example of this nature and how it can cross language and cultural barriers going to the very core of humanity as this anecdote will show.

While in Germany I was lucky enough to be able to attend Samhain/Halloween at “Frankenstein’s Castle”, an event that honestly would have freaked most Americans out if for no other reason than the actors on site were allowed to make physical contact with patrons. Yes, it was an actual castle, after dark, and a wonderful overall experience. However, there was a path that led around the grounds, lit by torches and easily seen. Halfway through this I happen to look to my right and see a smaller path leading away from the main thoroughfare. So I did what I do and turned down this smaller path, no light and no clue. I had a few friends with me who asked about where I was going and I replied, “Down this path.” This particular path turned into little more than a wildlife trail that wound around a very sheer cliff and a misstep would lead to at least broken bones. Hey, I was raised backwoods Missouri, a bluff pass wasn’t uncommon so I forged onward. To me the view was spectacular and it was an exhilarating peaceful walk that seemed to be just simply forgotten. Eventually it did lead back to the main path that with the exception of actors was oddly empty. Only then did it occur to me to look back, because none of my group had said anything. I realized that not only did my group (who knew my curiosity) follow me, but apparently EVERY OTHER PATRON behind us followed this treacherous goat path. For no other reason than one person in front of them went that direction. I felt like a cat that was being followed by a herd of sheep. And this is but a singular example.

Look no further than television and news broadcasts and the realization that the general public is not just spoon-fed, but apathetic about existence. Simply following the herd so long as someone stands forward and says “This way!”.  Right and wrong are concepts forgotten and left behind for the sake of anything that makes life easier. And if you step out of that idea, that pattern? You are labeled and branded as an outsider. This is a basic concept found in Sociology about human behavior world wide. And keeping in mind that EVERY group has an extremist side, not just religion.

Sounds pretty bleak doesn’t it? Humanity being led willingly to the slaughter and caged. A world society of agoraphobics. And yet… and yet there is a spark, an ember within each. It’s dimmed with age, but never dies. Will determines how it is fed or smothered. Fed, it can flame into a star bright fire that will draw others who also burn bright. Smothered, well you wind up voting for Trump. Led by fears and with only popular opinion that is mistaken for thinking for the self.

Now let me speak on those I consider to be non-“People”. Those outside the herd, those shunned by differences that simply are who they are and by Will refuse to give in. These are the dreamers, the artists, the wild ones. Different by wiring, choice, both. Embracing that otherness whether sexuality, identity, religion, or whatever. These Outsiders, once shunned by and large (and still are) are growing in number. These different ones, outcasts, and misfits are increasing. These are not “herd”. They are the ones that despite ridicule remain true to themselves. You see, to me this is important because times are changing despite the fighting of the status quo.

As the misfits grow in number year by year, we find one another. It’s a silent drawing of kindred spirits of shared pain and joys. And those numbers only continue to grow. As a father, I recognize that “otherness” in my children and I actively do my best to encourage it. They are their own people, and will in time make their own choices. I will love them no matter those choices even if counter to my own, because they are my children. I will love and support them.

But I have noticed something. Our numbers are growing with an increasing rate every passing year. We are finding one another and bonding together. The thing that was once an isolating weakness has become a empowering strength. Adults today are actively choosing to question more and see fewer differences. “Otherness” is slowly becoming admired and it gives me hope.

After Shocks

In the last post, “The Breakening”, I spoke of a ritual I went through in order to free myself from years worth of poison and toxin taken in not only from my own issues but my environment. Now comes the fallout and the aftermath. Mental and emotional exhaustion while I try and put the pieces back together.

You see, I had hermited myself away for nearly 2 years. I had gotten to (and to a degree still am due to mental issues) the point where I would only leave my home if I had no choice. And as such, I had become isolated and alone. Digital connection is not the same by far as sitting next to loved ones for discussion or movie or just even sitting in the same room while you read a book. I realized recently that I am not a solitary creature and am leaving the Wanderer phase of my life.

One of the things that I am facing is the admission of my own needs, needs that ensure a complete Self, not just a mask that I have forced myself to wear for the comfort of others. My family, my children, the community in which I live. I am strange and different and weird. I believe in the Old Norse Gods with all that I am, and that faith has been there for a long time. I do not and probably will never love myself, and that is ok. Because other love me for me. At least I hope will over the coming weeks as things settle back into place without the fetters and walls holding things back and I finally feed all parts of me instead of hiding and starving parts to satisfy the comfort of others.

Does this scare me? Yes, greatly. I fear the loss of those I love simply for letting the truth of me out. Some will stand beside me and the bond will become all the stronger. Others may walk away in disgust. I fear the harm that I may bring or do. I fear allowing myself to be occasionally selfish. I fear losing myself to my Self. But just maybe it’s time. For a Lokean change is inevitable, and mine has been held back for too long.

Realizations other than those already mentioned: I need my people, my Tribe, my Pack. I cannot continue alone any longer as it affects me on multiple levels. I have in the past been far to giving and never stopped to think about what it cost my family, so in a way I need to become far choosier in who and how I help. Family and Tribe first. My heart is far larger than I realized with a capacity I did not know I held. Desires buried so long have come screaming forward again, of the flesh, of the spirit, of the mind and heart. Those desires are what I am trying to comprehend and integrate. My spirituality can no longer take a back burner as it is far too much of who I am. I have been feeding neither the destructive or creative sides of me.  My mental challenges are a much bigger deal than I thought. I must come to terms with my physical state, the degradation of my body. I am deserving of happiness, not just contentment or survival. I do have a violent and vengeful streak that will hold a grudge for years. I am not a victim, I am a survivor of many many things. My life now is good. But it can be better.

It WILL be better. For myself and my loved ones.

The Breakening

So. New post, another day, an interesting week. Shenanigans all around, madness, tears, joy, anger, hate, regret, remorse, guilt, grief, friendship, love, inspiration, enlightenment, and spirituality.

I have found that as a Lokean, a journeyer on the Left Hand Path, and as just “me” I must occasionally Break. The word is capitalized because it was the entire focus for me this week and will be for some time yet. It was a destruction, a shattering, a freeing. We Rokkatru tend toward being on the odd side to begin with.

Allow me a moment to step back. Too often Heathen, Asatru, Northern Pagans will snap to judgement when you follow a being that is seen as “tainted” (I apologize not trying to offend TOO many people and have chosen to keep terms simple). This is essentially the core deities that comprise the Rokkr group/sub-pantheon in modern Nordic tradition. Even well established and well known groups do not allow them mentioned as part of official rites. There is much lost by this, and it is caused by the same reason humans shun other human. Fear, difference, and serious lack of knowledge.  So we become the outsiders of the various Northern traditions, the black sheep of the family. And have found in this shunning my tribe. Keep your Kindred (Heathen Circles). Keep your hearths sealed from my kind and our “tainted” Wyrd (Spirit, luck, take your pick). I know my home and place therein. ESPECIALLY after this past week.

So here it is Saturday, I returned home just last evening to my wife and baby girl. You see, I had to Break and to do so close to my family could have potentially bad effects. When a Lokean Breaks (at least me) it is a ritual destruction of the walls, chains, boxes, and bottles that all of us hold within. It is a VERY personal thing, and there must be true and absolute trust in those who would help with such a thing.

So Tuesday morning my Frith-Keeper (someone that oversees the keeping of oaths) stole me away onto a journey far. We traveled a good portion of the day with some giggles and much conversation. Along the way we spoke a bit on what was to happen, the whys and hows. Admissions of truth and trust were shared, realizations made even then.

Then we arrived at the appointed location. He who would act as the Garm (Black Dog/Guardian) had the site prepared and ready, just to wait for the appropriate time. We greeted one another with hugs and smiles, but inside I was nervous and a touch frightened. You see, these weird and wonderful people were risking much by performing and hosting the rite. All that was racing through my mind was all that could go wrong. But you see, after so long you can no longer tear down walls or shed chains without help. And reaching out for that help was beyond difficult for me. No, not due to pride but because I truly did not feel I deserved or was worth the help.

We were well and deep in a rural area and it was peaceful when we went into the house. There I was met by the one that would head the rite with our Frith-Keeper beside him and the one that would act as the anchor or ground for my very Self.  We talked and joked and laughed. We had a bit of food and some hydration. Then, too soon it seemed, it was time. You see this was all done under the dark of the moon and thus we would face darkness in darkness.

For a moment let me add a sub-note here. In the past I would do this for myself about once a year, but life, as it so very often does, happened. Then kept happening. And the walls grew thicker, the chains added to, more and more boxes and bottles. I truly could no longer feel as I once could because of the poison and toxin trapped within me. So I talked with someone who was willing to help and I asked the others to help make this happen.

I was led outside to a small fire dug into the ground, but I felt no warmth, felt no breeze, smelled no smoke and all I felt was a rising anxiousness and fear. Yet I was there, surrounded by those who loved and believed in me. There were others that wanted desperately to be there, but for many very understandable reasons were unable to attend.

We sat about the fire and the rite began. It didn’t seem very long before I could feel a tingle on my skin and the feeling that something was drawing closer. I hadn’t felt this is so very long. The cracks had begun spider webbing along the walls within. At that point an object was fed to the fire that I had brought as a physical representation for the foundation of the walls, an anchor for the chains. Then I was gone, somewhere… else. Many somewheres. All the things broke and flew apart letting out feeling, emotions, and much else buried intentional and otherwise.

Next that I was aware of was feeling, not as in touch, but feeling hearts almost calling drawing me back in. Into myself where there was such a cleaner space, cleared of undergrowth and poison brambles. That warmth drew me closer and I heard a distant drum, Boom, pause, Boom, pause. Holding my hand was the one that held my spirit and propping me up from behind was the one that held my core. I slowly came into myself once more and for just a moment, a second or two, it was as if there were spirits of the divine entwined with those there, those chanting, drumming, holding tight. And the warmth of those who were touching me physically became so very powerful, wonderful.

The one that drummed, our Garm, sat at the other-side of the fire almost in shadow yet he shone bright to me. The same warmth radiating from him.

And then. And then I saw the fire. Saw the figures dancing within. It felt I was waking from a nightmare in which I had been struck deaf, dumb, and blind. I crawled as quickly as I could to a bare patch of ground, digging my hands as deep as possible all while praying to myself “please, please, please” over and over and over again. My hands suddenly felt a faint pulse that grew to what I once felt, and I wept. I wept tears of absolute joy because I could feel again!

I remember nothing of the in between, but I do know this. Without the love and support of those I dared to let in, to trust, I would have continued down and down until I felt nothing because I was so walled away from myself. I would have been a shell if not for all those who reached out in person or in spirit. They destroyed all that I was and kept safe that which was truly me. Out of love, they destroyed. My soul and spirit have been set free.

I don’t need a Circle, Church, or Coven. I don’t need a Kindred or an official Organization. I have my loved ones that I trust implicitly. I have my Tribe, my Ithavoll. And I am no longer alone on my path.

Let the Jotun Gather.