My Rite of Connection

For those of you silly, wonderful people following this aging grumpy Lokean’s journey, yesterday I performed the second Rite asked of me. However, before I go into it I feel I should explain something.

This journey is one for myself and my own spirituality. It is very much a lot of UPG based on my own interpretation of the lore from many points of view. So if you are looking for a “How To” guide, not so much. But if the methods I use could work for you, by all means use them. If my words and the tale of my journey inspires your own, awesome! Know that it makes my heart happy and me blush for people to find meaning in these ramblings.

Now, when I say asked of me, I mean I receive the inspiration from my Patron I believe, I really do. No, not words per-se, but a feeling in my heart and spirit. A whisper in the soul, an urge in the back of the mind. I am no Speaker, no direct line to the Mischief Maker. I feel the urging and nudging and follow my instinct. And before you ask, yes it’s gotten me in many “interesting” situations.

Anyway, the day started out fair normal except I slept in a bit. Got up around 7:30 a.m. just in time to meet a three year old Zom-baby in the front room. I got some toddler cuddles, and she decided hot dogs sounded good for breakfast. Eh, it’s protein. Sat down, relaxed for a bit. My spouse wakes and comes out bleary eyed around 9:30 and we had a good just conversation. I got ready and dressed, grabbed all I would need, and headed out the door. Got greeted by bright sunlight… and 26 degrees F.

My chosen location was in the green (going into the woods/forest, not weed), and about forty minutes away. Now to help understand I have some physical mobility issues and have to use a cane to hobble my butt around and walking on level ground is uncomfortable at best even with painkillers. But as most of us are, this Lokean can be damn stubborn.

So I get to Meramec State Park, find a good parking spot, and prepare for the hike. In truth the hike to my location is not really all that far and there was a bit of the remains of a trail, but hey stubborn broken Vet with a cane here, gimme a break. It took me a while to get to the spot where I meant to perform the ritual, up the side of a very steep hill on a rock out-cropping over the entrance of a cave that holds a great many memories for me, a perfect place for doing something dealing with connections.

I begin simply enough, taking my time to get into a seated position and just simply breathe and take in the view. A mix of the wild and in the distance the developed campground, a bit of proof that man and nature can reach a compromise. The air chilled my skin but it felt… good. Pure and right. Welcoming. I knew that I was at the right place. I closed my eyes, feeling the pulse in the stone under me, listened to the wind as it sung through the trees and the cave underneath me. In the distance I could just make out the sound of the Meramec river that the Park is named after. I could feel the warmth of my own body, and slowed my breathing, allowing my self to ground to this wonderful land. Feeling my pulse, the cold air being warmed in my lungs I centered my own spirit and focused on what was about to happen.

Never opening my eyes, I called aloud to each of the elements in turn to join me and bear witness. I called to the spirits of the land itself to join me and bear witness. I called to the Wights that kept the land to join me and to bear witness. I called to my ancestors to join me and bear witness. With every call, every request I felt stirrings around me. I kept my eyes shut as I felt that this was a Rite of spirit not of what can be seen, so keeping my eyes shut the unseen could safely remain so.

I then invoked my Patron, Loki, by all names I could think of even using Lie-Smith which I spit and called a false name (got the feeling in my heart that pleased Him) immediately followed by the title of Truth-Bringer. And down the list I went, with every name I felt him draw closer. After a time it felt as if He stood in front of me, looking down with that crooked smile and soft green eyes. At that point it was time. I re-dedicated myself to him, oathing my pledges, soul, and work to Him.

While in His presence, witnessed by all those who chose to answer the call, I asked that my connections be reforged and strengthened. To be braided and made stronger with the life and love in my heart, holding my hands to my chest as I spoke. With clear voice and clear intent, I named those connections I wished to strengthen, to be woven as strong a Loki’s net. I named my children, my Kindred, and those closest to my heart. Once the names were spoken I asked Loki as Worldbreaker to let any connections that were toxic and harmful to wither to ash and blow away on the winds between realms. I then with the last words spread my arms wide, casting out the energy and strength along all the lines.

Thanking Loki and those that bore witness deeply, with tears streaming down my face, I took my leave of them with love and thanks given, an offering of hair left to tie me to the rite and the place it was performed.

Now, as stated at the beginning this came from no book, no ancient lore. It was completely from my own heart and spirit because the whole rite was about connecting. A very personal undertaking and how could I use the words of another to do this? I had nothing but myself and my heart. What else did I really honestly need for tools when I contained all that was necessary? The trappings are grand and beautiful. The Hammer Rite is one of my personal favorite rituals, just for the way it’s done and especially moving if heard in Scandinavian. At least to me. So go out and learn, but not just from dusty old tomes. Be a daring Heathen and question things. Let the lore live inside you, for that is where the Divine will speak.

Go and dare to be you.

Outsiders, Misfits, and Lokeans, oh my…

We all know them. Some of us were them, other were the bullies, and the rest? The rest were apathetic, scared, or just watched. Watched as other kids were beaten. Insulted. Degraded. Cast out. What could you do? How could you stand up to “them”, when it even included teachers at times?

These outsiders, these beings forced to the fringes of their society and kept there by societal norms. Misfits who either couldn’t fit in for one reason or another, or wouldn’t by choice because their will was stronger than to “fit in” and become just another part of the background. The ones who felt outside no matter what they were told because to trauma or abuse that no person, let alone someone of school age, should ever face.

And now? Now they are grown. Well, some anyway. Others lost the fight, the battle and in true sorrow took their own lives. And the same ones that bullied would cry crocodile tears and speak of how quiet and sweet they were. Soon forgotten by these people, only remembered by now broken families that buried a child and the ones that would continue to fight to battle. For some reason wouldn’t or couldn’t give up.

As adults, some sought to fit in, to seek solace in the mundane. College, job, family, debt. Now bear in mind I am speaking from an American perspective, but I am fairly certain that some of these statements are fairly universal. But others, they had little choice in how life would go. Controlling families, that use emotional blackmail, mental manipulation, outright abuse. Mental or physical conditions that set them apart forever. Still misfits, outsiders. And more than anything that is dreamt of, wished for, is a place to belong where they can be themselves. Where they are not judged for whatever reason other than what is in their hear. How many find that?

Some will lose themselves on the roads and the streets, crime and drugs becoming the only semblance of life they know. Others just seek love, no matter what it costs them. Cycles continue over and over and over, never broken, abuse and hopelessness becoming that which is normal. Toxic becomes the idea of what love should be. A truth of the society we live in, where you are judged by size, weight, gender identity, skin color, place of birth, or religion (just a small list).

And then there is the biggest welcome to everyone there is. Religion. Catholicism (and all under said umbrella) will judge you in a heartbeat for being true to who you are for the slightest deviation (not all but enough to make this statement). Rigid codes enforced in other practices in order to “be a part”. So what does that leave the lost soul, the outsider? Older ways. Ways that to this day in nearly 2019 are still frowned upon to the point of followers losing jobs, families ostracizing members, even as far as people/families being run out of towns. Communities persecuting children because they wear a pentacle to school instead of a cross.

I’m talking about Paganism (yes also an umbrella term). Wicca, Druidry, and all the others. Inclusive because of shared prosecution, welcome to any that would believe in their hearts, right? Not so much. I truly wish it was different, but let’s be truthful. It’s full of clique’s and circles and “in-groups”. Because of the freedom aspect it unfortunately draws the bad kind of human predators (yes there is a good kind, don’t kink-shame), manipulators, and power-grabbers more interested in titles than their community. Witch-wars that tear communities apart and polyamory being used as an excuse to screw anyone that carries the title instead of the meaning of loving more than one, as in actual relationship. Using positions of authority to demand sex from members. Even circles that run drugs.

Moving onto Heathenry. Most recently the ancient symbols of knowledge and strength are being co-opted by the alt-right and Neo Nazi groups. Organizations like the Troth are doing their best to change things, but is it too late? Heathens Against Hate work hard to fight the good fight. Yet their numbers are few. And even within these groups there are STILL those that will judge you for the Patron/Patroness you follow. Gods forgive you should you identify as Rokkatru. A follower of the Jotun. And worst of the bunch are Lokeans.

Before I get too many angry Pagans, let me say that there are groups out there that do an amazing amount of good. Covens that organize local clean up efforts. Heathens out building tiny home for the homeless. Druids that form community gardens. No, these may not be sweeping changes, but on the local level the impact is actually very meaningful. And these seemingly small acts tend to spread. And spread. And spread some more.

Now, let’s look at something. Jotun in the lore are “evil”. Loki is a Jotun accepted into Asgard as one of the Aesir (supposedly) the goodly Gods. Yet those that read the lore tells of all these horrible things done by both God and Goddess. Who is it that saves their asses time and time and time again? Loki. Who sacrificed his own honor that those who took him in would be safe and powerful? Loki. Does he get in trouble, yes. Does he do mischief? Absolutely. Does he love? Deeply and well, often. He is a God of Fire and of Mischief. The Shapeshifter. Magician. Weaver of Webs (nets). And the Mother/Father of Monsters. Husband to both Angraboda and Sigyn. And He was betrayed for speaking Truth.

We who follow him are the misunderstood, the lost and forgotten, the misfits and outcasts, and we are powerful. We are broken, and beautiful. We are twisted, and magnificent. We are the abused, and forged in fire. We are the neuro-divergent and see the world in ways that others can only hope to glimpse in dream. And our silence is done, it is over.

The Jotun are rising.

Loki and Inspiration

We’re all familiar with those nights. For whatever reason sleep just won’t come to us, and there we are staring at a dark ceiling, listening to night sounds and just can’t shut down. The brain weasels are going like a cat with the zoomies on crack. Or the dark whispers raise in volume to banshee levels, reminding you of each and every mistake you have made in your entire life.

Well tonight is one of those nights for me. Since the Rite I performed recently my mental/emotional/spiritual state has been in an ever increasing state of flux. I feel like a jar that is trying to contain a maelstrom. It even at time feels like I’m going to go mad before this internal storm calms or I find some shelter.

Something that I have found to help though is to talk, digitally, to people. Writing it out and instant feedback is much easier than words. And while I do this I tend to play music through headphones to keep my lizard brain occupied. And trust me when I say my tastes in music lean toward the eclectic. However it is somewhere between the use of my conscious thought and the occupation of the subconscious that my spirit and heart calm enough for inspiration to strike, the feeling of a familiar hand on my shoulder.

For days I have been trying and trying to make sense of all the things screaming to the surface. I can feel it, the change and growth that had so long been stunted. I know this is going to be a long process, but I still feel it. And yes, some is incredibly painful as I described in my last blog. Still, there is some undefined thing, a component that has been set free in the maelstrom that I can only catch glimpses of. It shines like light reflecting off obsidian. It bothers me that I can’t catch it, reach it. Yet.

There’s the rub though, isn’t it? The shiny thing just out of reach. And so here I sit with music from Emerald Rose to Skrillex to Powerwolf playing and chatting about a many various topics of the Book of Faces. And I feel it. That touch and that feeling in my heart. And just like that, for a split second the maelstrom parts and I see the next step. The next ritual to perform, the next thing I must do. This is one I do on my own.

I want to make a quick note; none of these Rites are “official”, these are UPG and drawn from various sources, often guided by instinct in the moment. And for those who are curious, no I do not cast circle when I do this. (Holy crap I can actually hear some of the gasps as I write this) I will let what would be a part of it, be a part. I do not control the magic and what is drawn, only guide it. In a public ritual or one in a home yes, but personal and out of doors? No. Come what will. Chance. Chaos. I call on Loki with purpose and trust my patron.

It came first as a name, the meaning following it. Like reading from a tome full of such things, the name at the top and the how to following. Like shining water, I was inspired to the Rite of Open Heart. A call to re-dedicate myself to Loki, and to those I love. To open myself to new possibilities and paths for myself and loved ones. To grieve what I haven’t allowed myself to grieve and speak love kept within myself. To spiritually strengthen connections already there and reinforce them. A Rite to show and prove to me and my demons that I am not alone.

Remember that. None of us are alone. We just need to remember to reach out.

A Severing of Bindings

CW: Abuse (Emotional, Physical, Mental), Self-Harm

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There are those of you that have been following this journey and the purpose with which I undertook it. To free myself of burdens that I had taken on and chains that I had placed upon myself to satisfy the needs of others.

There are some who may be reading this as the first blog of mine you have come across. If so be aware I’m no experienced author, just a Lokean that has been at making Mischief for over twenty years. I simply write about the lore and my experiences from my perspective and hope that my grammar and spelling aren’t too horrendous.

Yesterday I performed the second Rite in my journey of finding my core and call it the Severing. See, myself and someone whom I trust went for a little bit of a trip. I went home. As in the place I grew up, was raised, and lived until my early twenties. Now some of you that had childhoods where you moved, either once or often, will say that sounds great! I suppose from a point of view that stability would be nice. I spent my entire grade school time with the same people, I knew the area like no one’s business, and everyone knew us.

But in my case you would be horribly wrong. I had a mother that was abusive mentally, physically, and emotionally. She was malevolent and I had no doubt. She would be kind and loving in public, or more controlled if there was company. I know some of you understand what I’m talking about here. She was ALWAYS on the phone or volunteering for one thing or another and had little to no time for me, except to punish, berate or degrade.

Understand that we lived in a very rural area, rural enough that the screams of a young boy in pain would go absolutely unheard. There were plenty of marks just where they couldn’t be seen. You see, I hadn’t known it then, only finding out about a year and a half before she passed that she had dementia from around forty and she had me at thirty-eight.

My young years involved daily beatings and berating. And I know that I am not alone. I was isolated, both physically and emotionally when I started school. I was the weird kid, the quite kid, the one that wouldn’t make eye contact and would flinch at the sudden movement of an arm. The sound of a raised voice still to this day makes me flinch internally. I’m very very aware of tone of speech, because while her volume and cadence of speech was steady I knew KNEW by her tone she was going to beat and degrade me. And the older I got, the worse it got.

Dad was there, but he wasn’t. I honestly thought for a very long time he agreed with her or just simply didn’t care. He would come home from working long hours on a very physical job, and collapse into his recliner to watch TV and relax. On weekends, he would go fishing, hunting, or work on the family vehicles. Mow the yard sometimes (which later became one of my great many chores), or target practice with his hunting rifles. He and my Mom would fight, for hours they would scream and yell while I would hide so that I wouldn’t become her target. See, if I got a beating there would be blood. But Dad never ever stepped in.

She would do a great many things and I thought her absolutely creative in her cruelty. I never knew if a beating was because of her being mad at me or if I was a convenient target. But she never seemed to be at a loss for punishments, and no, I’m not going into a list of all that was done. I don’t mind sharing but even I have certain boundaries when it comes to public posting. Surprise!

She taught me valuable lessons like I was worthless. I was useless, a mistake that she wished she could erase. I was unwanted, and as my teen years came on convinced me that no-one would ever want me. None would want a stupid, idiotic creature like me. She would tell me stories of how when I was born I was covered in coarse dark hair all over my body and my sisters and her wanted to trade me for the pretty blonde baby in the nursery next to me. And this carried on and on throughout my life. It wasn’t a youth of childlike joy and wonder, it was fear and terror. Both my self-image and self-confidence was torn away until there was little left but a self depreciating humor.

Oh, and school. School was no kind of sanctuary. I was the funny looking kid in hand-me-down clothes always outdated, even some teachers would giggle. I was bullied most of my school time, and even beaten. Not just beat up, but beaten. Ah the joys of living in the country, right?

Now, I DID find a solace. Because we did live in such a rural area, wooded areas where more than abundant. Probably due to that I was able to discover my pagan soul, which led me to where I am now. But anyway, I had found an escape. I could wake up early, steal a bit of food and a drink, grab a book and off I would go, miles into the woods. I would find an area and stake my claim for the day. I would explore and climb trees. Follow creek beds and argue with squirrels. Watch rabbits and deer, foxes and hawks. I would go back to a shady spot and spend hours reading a book. You have to understand, all we had was one TV, analog at that, and cable was for fancy people. What the hell was the internet? But I would eventually have to go back, and face what was coming. It often resulted in my own blood being on the outside. It was worth it.

At sixteen I was introduced to Paganism and never looked back. Even though I kept it to myself, I was a believer. And I discovered the Norse paths, and through that Loki. I remember is first words in my heart when I was nineteen. “About damn time.” Ass. Now that didn’t stop anything at home other than the fact I was able to be home much less due to my age and access to a vehicle. I was gone as long as possible and as soon as I had a job that would support me I left.

There were some issues adjusting to this new independent life. I didn’t know it, but I had been programmed what a relationship should be like. So needless to say my first few serious ones, including my first marriage, weren’t exactly healthy. To this very day I look in a mirror and am so disgusted by what I see reflected that I want to vomit. You know what I’m talking about. You understand. And I SEE you, believe you.

Over time I learned a trick that allowed me some actual happiness. I had tried and failed to work on the Self, so through Loki I learned to shapeshift to speak. I wore masks, trusted my instincts, and had certain inborn gifts and blessings of Flamehair. And with those masks I could be whoever I wanted, could blend into nearly any situation. It became my key to feeling needed, wanted. If I could be the person someone wanted, if I paid their price, they would like me. Oh and my masks got to be flawless. I wasn’t REALLY lying, right? It’s still me, just I’m showing the aspects that were demanded. And oh, I had to be careful. If I made a mistake there would be hate and derision and ostracization.

As I grew into adulthood and developed my own likes, dislikes, loves, interests and other personal things that I quickly learned rarely lined up with those I met or liked. So what did I do? Tucked them away, chained them down, so these wonderful people would not think less of me. And it was too me survival. What I had to do in order to be part of a group. To find some kind of acceptance. Over and over and over. And if I stayed busy enough I would not have to think about it. I knew the truth of myself, didn’t mean I had to show it to others. And while I never lied, I did hold back.

Because the time in that house had left me with black voices in the back of my mind that are still there. I’m worthless. I’m shit. I’m useless. I’m unwanted, unloved, and always would be. If someone acted kind or nice they must want something or it was another trick. And while I know now these voices lie, it doesn’t make them go away, quiet them, take away their power. I know I’m not crazy, because so many of you hear them too, in the back of your own minds.

But as I grew I found a reflection that I could believe if not understand. Choose to accept even if I could NOT see it. The trick I found was to try to see myself through the eyes of those who love me. Like I said, I may never fully understand it but I can choose to accept it.

Which brings me to yesterday and the Ritual of Severing that I did.

It was only a trusted friend who could understand and I. We traveled back to my families land, to that horrid house. It was a mess, the land overgrown. The house itself was surrounded by thorn bushes. We began by walking the property and telling stories of what truly happened there, my friend simply listening. His role was was that of a Witness, someone that could identify with the pains survived as I spoke. To hear and remember. Not so as to take on the pain, but to witness its release.

From walking the property, we gathered our needed things and went to the house itself, a place where even now the malevolence there was palpable and off-putting, near sickening. After a moment to shield and steel ourselves, we went in. Room by room we went through and I continued to tell tales, letting the Rite proper begin. You see, the house was the seat of everything, not the land. I love the land, but that house…

We walked and as we came across anything that had been precious to her we smashed with a specially made sledgehammer by my friend’s wife. Furniture, objects, certain area of the walls. That hammer was used well and fed on the destruction of terrible ties and bad memories that day. I would near swear that the house tried to stop us a few different times, but it couldn’t. We wouldn’t be stopped, I felt Loki with me and my friend was walking with his Patron, Fenris. And destruction was our purpose.

When that was done we went to the old stone porch at the front of the house, the traditional entrance. I set a small fire, encircled by fire and chains. Once it was going I placed a blade into the flame to heat, and began a invocation to Loki and Fenris, asking for their blessing and then entreated the spirit of that house demanding that it release me from the chains that bound my spirit to the pain it held within that crumbling ruin. As I knew it would it demanded an offering. I took the blade from the fire, spoke aloud “With this last offering of pain and flesh I shed your chains on my soul” and pressed the flat of the blade to the inside of my left forearm. I swear I heard an angry scream as my flesh sizzled and I made no sound other than a sudden intake of breath. The chains were picked up and flung as far as I could. The fire kicked out with contempt. And the screaming in my head died away. I thanked Loki and Fenris and my friend thanked Fenris. As soon as he did all the local dogs and hounds began furiously barking as if cheering.

We came back to my real home then. Where my real family was. We enjoyed fellowship and games and laughter and good food for the rest of the day, not finding sleep until after midnight. And while I was shaken, in an odd shock, feeling just… different, I could only focus on the moment. And I knew looking at the faces gathered in my front room, the digital conversations I had, that I was loved. Loved for who I am.

This was just the next step in my journey and I know that I have more and further yet. Work, hard discussions, rituals, and more. And I will face it just as I did today. With determination, Loki by my side, and a trusted friend at my back.

Do whatever you must, whatever it takes. For me, it was this ritual. For you who reads this it may be something much different. But sever the toxin from your life, burn it away, cut it out whatever it takes. Leave it behind. You don’t have to forget. You don’t have to forgive. But you do have to move forward, and sometimes it is toxic chains that hold us back.

So I ask, when will you cut yourself free?

Observations (Or Rambling the Second)

It is just after 5 a.m. on the 23rd of December. I’ve been awake since 4:30 and have no real idea as to why. Lately this is the time I’ve been waking, just BOOM you’re awake, get your butt up. So I rise at this evil hour, and have actually been doing this often enough that I am beginning to like it. The world is quieter. My family is sound asleep, slumbering in peace. Local don’t start leaving for work until nearer to six a.m., and the sun still has yet to rise. I can see a few stars even due to the lights of the town I live in.

Also, it gives me time to write. I’m able to get words out without distraction or the wants/needs of others. Truly it is some “me” time. There a magic to this hour as my personal issues don’t happen due to the knowledge that most of the area is also sleeping (don’t ask, I’ll just sound crazier than I already am). I listen to various playlists with headphones and can actually enjoy music while I write. It’s… nice.

I know normally I post only ever couple of days, I don’t want to overwhelm people because for some reason this blog seems to be being enjoyed by more people than I ever thought and that makes me ecstatic and terrified. But over the next few days I will most likely be posting regularly.

See, later this morning I will be going with some one I trust to do the first Rite in following up the Breakening and continue the journey that it started. I foolishly thought that, “Ok, I’ll do this, let Papa break the chains, and I’ll be good”. Well, nope. Not so much. I have work to do and that ritual was only the gateway for me to step through. It unlocked not just a journey but a process for me to continue, with spiritual and personal work interspersed between smaller, personal rites to help refine me into someone closer to whom I am meant to be.

The rite I face later this morning, while no where close to the power of the Breakening, it will still be potent and painful. You see, these rites will be UPG, given to me through thoughts, dreams, and feelings from Flamehair. This one in particular scares the piss out of me due to the nature of the location and the memories associated with it.

Shall I tell you why? Sure, what the Hel. I’m going back to the home I was raised in, where I grew up. The rite is one of Severing due to the ties to that house. You see, my mother was abusive mentally, emotionally, and physically. From around the age of 3 to my 20’s I was beaten every day, berated for being an idiot and stupid. Told how I was an ugly worthless mistake. How I was just meant to do what I was told, treated more servant than child more often than not. Now, I know there was a reason for this. It was much later she had been suffering from early onset Dementia and it made her mean and violent, I just happened to be the easiest target. I don’t need to go into details, but it has made me terrified of that house ever since and the things I endured have been part of the things holding me back.

If I am to refine myself as Loki has asked I must be able to let go of these things, this part of my past, that house. There are spirits of a sort there that haunt me still, and have effects into the present. That still hold power over me. And it is long overdue that I cut the ties and leave it behind. The ritual that is planned will allow that process to be done.

Rituals are potent things as we call upon our Gods and various spirits to help us. The invocation of powers greater than ourselves to embolden and fortify ourselves to tasks that must be done. Now, I fully believe in the power and magic of such things. To me it’s so very much more than words and motions. Many of the Rites I perform now no longer come from books or from others. No, these are MY rituals and they work. They really work, at least for me. The magic is real, the effects are real, and they are lasting to me.

Through Ritual I commune with my Gods/Goddesses give them offerings and receive blessings and if I am REALLY lucky an occasional message (doesn’t mean I will understand it, sigh). But everytime we sit before an altar, everytime we speak aloud to our Patrons/Patronesses this to me is Ritual. Every thank you, every “you glorious bastard”, every time we acknowledge Them, it’s a touch of ritual a touch of magic. It connects us to the higher powers and gives us strength.

My friends, do not hesitate to say a simple thank you when something positive happens, or to ask for strength when needed. Our Norse path says essentially that we fend for ourselves, the Divine won’t do for us. But they will give us all the tools we need to do the task at hand.

Today I will ask my Patron, Loki, to walk with me. Will you ask yours?

Winter Solstice with Loki

It’s been chilly this year here in Missouri, with a single snowfall thus far. The trees are bare and skeletal, but we still have some patches of green grass. It has been rain more than anything else and mud. Rather dreary, truth be told. And yet… well, there’s been something in and about this year. I, like so many others, are usually facing S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) during this time and yet not so much this year. Is it my medications? My family? My friends? My beliefs? I’m not sure.

Let’s face it, I have every reason this year to be facing it. My body is breaking down and doctors have no idea why (though we know a great deal of what it is NOT). Finances are tight enough that while I can afford gifts for my children, my wife, friends, and family are going to have to deal with hand made IF I can get out and get materials from the local area. I spend most days in my apartment with a trapped three year old little girl who has an adventure streak a mile wide. So yeah, I should be face down in tears in my pillow, unable to function as is my normal.

Yet… I’m not. This year I have been more open spiritually than I have in a long time and feel Papa Flamehair’s presence with me. Despite physical failings and mobility issues I’m adapting the best I’m able. I got to have an early Jultide with my Kindred (which is rather unique and eclectic to say the least). I’m going to get to see my elder children at the end of the month. And my heart is strangely full. And while I did what I needed to get here, I thank Loki for the resilience and strength to persevere through it all. To keep moving forward even though I so often wanted to just lay down and let entropy do it’s thing.

Which brings me to the past few days. Past few very weird, very odd days. Now, if you don’t believe as much in the mystic, spiritual, magic side of things perhaps now is a good time to just hit like, re-blog and move along, because I just might begin to wax a bit on the weird side here, but it’s my blog and if you continue to read, deal with it. Because it is gonna be a bit of a strange ride.

Truly it started REALLY hitting on Mother’s Night, with long conversations and much counseling on my end as a Minister (kind of). While it may be an ordination through the ULC, I still take the responsibilities very seriously. I have gotten up at 2am for someone before because there was real need. I counsel as I can and when over my head make recommendations. Eh, enough, I’m side tracking myself.

So many in my circle of close friends and many members of the Kindred could feel the energy climbing this year. I asked and would speak with them separately and it was always along the same description. A heaviness pressing on them, not one to keep them from going about life but the type that makes it difficult to just get moving out of bed or stand from a chair. Similar to a physical weight. And the other thing with this was a tingling energy just under the skin almost like it was trying to get out. In a few of us it manifested as something more primal, more akin to an animal pacing in a cage, a raw need to get out. Not really feeling like being trapped, just unable to run like we wanted for whatever reason we had. And not one, but three people approached me seeking help in dealing with their shadow over the past two days. Normally, I get this request maybe once a year.

And then there were the personal things. I had equal parts intense bad and mind-blowing good, neither of which I’m not discussing here because, well it is rather personal. Allow me say however both went beyond the pale in the extreme to me anyway. I received word from my representative within the VA about some benefits I am trying to receive and was told that while I may have some time to wait yet, the news was more than enough to keep me going. A doctor finally actually listened to me and has some ordered some tests that should help us more with what is going on. Been keeping in touch with loved ones and have been able to enjoy conversation, and I despise talking on the phone. If a telephonic conversation lasts longer than five minutes, it’s too long.

Now some of you might be wondering what all this has to do with that glorious bastard Loki. Well ask and ye shall receive. Two of the three for the shadow work were guided to me by communing and meditating with Him. The mind exploding good was directly connected to him. There was even a hand in the bad, which has uncovered truths concerning myself and others. And the dreams… damn. I don’t often remember dreams but lately they have been very vivid, so real that I could smell and remember touches. No, not all of them were good, but none the less intelligent.

To wrap up this particular entry, I have a van full of people of heading to visit, and should be here this evening. One of them and my self are going out to do the next bit of spirit work as I continue my own development and repair, to heal from the breaking I went through. Much time and work to be done.

I suppose that is all for now all you wonderful people.

Heathens Hydrate!

Hail Loki , He Who Brings Change!

Worldbreaker: The Price of Liminality

This is an evocative writing that rang deep inside my heart. I hope it will for you too.

A Polytheistic Life

I have been putting off writing this post because it requires me to deal with things that still make me uncomfortable to admit. That’s the nature of life though, and I did say I would write about my experience with Loki in his Worldbreaker aspect.

First, a little backstory. When I was around four or five years old, I was diagnosed with ADHD. At the time, my mother refused to let the doctors put me on Ritalin, as she strongly believed the condition could be managed without it. In addition, she told me (when I was around nine) that the reason she wouldn’t let them put on medication was that our family had a history of mood disorders, and Ritalin can worsen depression. My mother herself suffered from clinical depression and started drinking heavily by the time I was eight years old. By the time I was fifteen, she had…

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Priesthood of Change?

Recently on one of the social media sites that I am on a youngling asked, “How do I become a priest of Loki?” and the question has stuck with me for some reason. Perhaps while I write this it will come to light.

There were a few responses, all of them good answers, but all of them different. They ranged from “You will know when you are ready to claim the title” to boiled down “When your peers begin to refer to you as such”. Now between you and me and whoever is reading this, that latter answer scared the bejeebus out of me because of the connotations that it held for me on a personal level. Get into that later.

But I suppose that taking a step back, there really aren’t truly many “Priests” of Loki. I mean in Heathenry there are the Gothi and Gythia (priest/priestess respectively), but more often than not they are dedicants of the Aesir with a few I have met that are followers of the Vanir. They preside over the rites of various Kindreds and at events. Larger groups have them like the Troth and the (gagging as I type) AFA. They officiate weddings, funerals, and all things in between. But who or what decides THIS person is a Gothi/Gythia? What special process do they go through? Why do we accept that they are closer to the Gods then anyone else? There is an answer. Knowledge for one. These people have studied not just read the lore usually. Another is experience, these are people that have lived the Heathen ways a good portion of their life. Lastly, dedication. You see that is the REAL difference to me. Dedication to the Gods/Goddesses. They have made and keep oaths to live their lives for the Divine. Do they really hear Them? I don’t have a clue. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe just voices. But if they can speak with honesty and wisdom why shouldn’t they be listened to?

Now I know the Troth has a set path of learning and schooling, which is very good from all that I hear. Various 501-C3 groups have their own accredited training programs that are recognized across the states (no I won’t do your research for you). There is even the Loki University which while, small has a wonderful curriculum that leads a new Lokean well and can even teach an old dog some new tricks.

Face it folks, we never ever stop learning. Even those of us brave enough to take the title of teacher learn from each student if that teacher is wise enough to see the lesson. So live. Go base jumping. Try a kite suit (on my personal bucket list). Explore Murder World (also known as Australia) . Take a chance or a risk. Yes, you might fail. Perhaps even definitely fail. But I guarantee you learned what “NOT” to do.

Read the books, the literature, and learn the history of the culture. But make up your own damn mind. Because if you are reading this you are in some fashion connected to Loki or a Trickster, even if it is through a friend. Know what? I do not care. You decide what you believe. YOU decide who guides your spirit. Do you have a Gothi/Gythia or equivalent? Do they speak to your heart and soul? Can you feel the magics and the Divines when they lead ritual? Wonderful! By all means follow as is your wish. Learn. Grow.

But as a Lokean… do we even have those we would consider Priest(esses)? Let you in a secret. Come on, get close, I only bite if you ask. Are you listening? OK, here it is, the big secret. I. Don’t. Know. I don’t know. Honestly. Personally others have named me Gothi, Elder, Speaker, and a host of other titles (some of which aren’t appropriate for polite company). Do I take these titles to heart? No, not really, because that isn’t my perception of myself. What I do take from being called such things by others is wonderful feeling of love and respect. I may not understand why or what they see in me to name me such great things, but I choose to accept the spirit in which it was given and know those who speak it love me for who I am, not in spite of.

Yes, I took the title of Reverend some time ago through the Universal Life Church so that I could perform certain things legally such as weddings or even funerals. Why? Because I get asked. Do I charge? Damn Skippy! You are gonna feed me and maybe a place to sleep. I just bound your spirits together, gimme some pizza! But I did it in all truth because people were asking me to, and by being asked to do such a thing… I was beyond joy and love and words. And no matter the ceremony or type or setting, looking to the gathered and presenting a new couple is a spiritual experience that is love. I take that role VERY serious, and it means the world to me.

So you want to be a part of a Lokean Clerical Order? Great! Learn all you can, forge your path, and start one! Take the title and all that goes with it, the respect, the honor. But know you also take responsibility for those that give you their trust. Give you their spirit and dreams. Who come to you for guidance and in times of need for help. And know that what you do is in the name of the Mother/Father of Monsters. One who knows love and loss and trust and betrayal. And with him is a host of other spirits not known for forgiveness of enemies. You would be a Midgardian representative of a God of Fire, who warms the hearth and gives life in the coldest of nights, and let us eat of the animals that give of themselves that we may survive.

So gather your Kindred about you. Learn and give of the blessings. Learn how to console a grieving parent or child. Be ready to hold to a hard path and hold your head high as you let your deeds speak louder than words. Wed people in the traditional ways (have fun with mediation), hold funerary rituals for the departed and send them to their Hall. Hold with the High Days, and celebrate! The role of Gothi/Gythia is truly sacred and an honorable way to live for it is a life. You chose to give your life in service of the Gods and your people remember?

But also remember; DO NOT ABUSE THAT TRUST. Yes, Old Flamehair will be watching. But begin something like that? I will be watching as well. Or others like me. And we don’t take kindly to those who would use the name of Loki to bring harm to those who don’t TRULY deserve it. Taking people for money? Using your position to convince others into sex unwanted?

Well we tend to be a highly creative lot of dedicants to the Trickster.

The Next Step, Rebuilding from Breaking

I am a disabled vet and have physical problems that limit me in various and pride killing ways. I cannot stand and walk without aid from a cane and went for a very long time with my only relief coming from overdosing daily on Tylenol because Doctors refused to prescribe something for pain because tests kept coming back negative for problems. Something I know that far too many people are familiar with. Finally one listened and I was prescribed Gabapentin, and life has gotten better. Mechanical problems remain, but the pain is greatly lessened. 

I do no say these things to garner pity or sympathy and want none. I speak of it for context for the words to come. A basis of understanding how I came to the realizations that I have come to. 

Most days I am stuck in a chair while trying to care for a very active and curious little blonde three year old Valkyrie. Hey don’t judge, she has a sword and chain mail coif and battle steed named Mommy. We’re working on the battle cry, “FOR FREYA!!”. 

What I suppose I am saying is that I have had a very good amount of time to think and reflect. A real chance to look into my own mirror and study the flaws and defects within the reflection. Was it painful? Of course it was, but it was also freeing in a way. Because of the Breaking Rite I went through (covered in The Breakening), I had a lot of , well, crap released that I had put aside to be able to deal with more immediate things and never got back to. Well now these things are coming crashing back in and old ghosts are screaming back with a vengeance. 

Many, many realizations from over the past seven years. Some are freeing and good things where I look back and can say with certainty there was no reason to hold that, it was needed, or I was not at fault despite feeling like I was. Others… not so much. All that time ago I had become a toxic person full of rage and spitting spite like venom anytime I could. Unfortunately one of the targets for that was my fiance. By all rights she should have left, saved herself and ran. Yet she stood by me, despite the poison. 

Then I had a mental break, and it was bad. Fetal position, crying, couldn’t move, shaking type of bad. After that those three words came out my mouth that would change everything. I NEED HELP. It wasn’t just a request or a begging, but an admission at the same time. And I sought out that help. Now I have the medications I need, and am in regular therapy. I can proudly say I am a different person in a great many positive ways. 

See, Loki is all about holding that mirror out and so very often we are called on to hold that mirror to others, but we also have to hold it to ourselves. How can we dare presume to think others should face their Truths if we are unable to face our own? We are not above the Truth, not immune to it, nor should we be. Hence why so many actively seek out to do Shadow Work (if this is an unfamiliar term feel free to message me or ask around) and self improve. 

Which brings me to my present. I had a long, productive, and wonderful conversation with my wife about the way I was, her need and wants going forward, what can be done for her happiness. My wife is my best friend and we have been together for a decade and married for six years. I love her deeply then as now. But a decade and people change, it’s a given thing. And I swore to her I was going nowhere and let her know that I was no longer afraid of her leaving (self image issues on my part).

The next thing I realized that to continue in this vein of breaking so I can become lighter again is that I MUST continue with spiritual work. But I am unable to truly move forward due to being held back by the past. It occurred to me that I have to cut out the festering wounds where those threads are bound. So back I go, to where many of my problems started. I have to go home, the place I grew up, where abuse started and so many of my ideas of self were cemented. 

One other and myself will take a trip and together we will perform a rite to cut, burn, and destroy the bonds holding me back there. Granted it’s only one step, but a step nonetheless. I will face the abuse done in that collapsing old house. I will scream and rage. I will NOT go until I am free and that place no longer has a hold over me! With fire and blood and sacrifice I will sever all bounds  to that trap me!

Hail Loki! Hail Freedom!

Sensing the Sacred

Lady Of The Lake

When I was little, I could get lost in the rain, the waves, the sparkle of dew on the park’s grassy lawn. Snorkeling in La Jolla Cove brought me face to face with moray eels and the neon-bright children of garibaldi, California’s state fish. Sunrises and sunsets, and that sad time before both, were numinous moments for me. Anything that emerged from the fog was…magic!

LaJollaCoveHouse1 I once lived in the house that’s highlighted in this postcard. La Jolla Cove.

And then I grew away from all that, reaching instead toward that which seemed bright and glittering and adult. And then later, all that which was in reality tarnished, ironic, and dystopian. I drew strange pictures in pen and ink, created costumes of vinyl and electrical tape, and always dreamt vividly.

Later, as a new wife and mother, the immense mystery of gestation, birth, and the unfolding of child spirit and…

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