A Dark Path And The Smoking Mirror

Oh! You found me! I really wasn’t expecting to meet anyone else here, so few would dare to walk here. Yes, yes I know you seek what is calling to you or you wouldn’t be here. Oh, don’t look so worried. It is safer for our kind than you realize right now, but you will come to understand that.

Our kind? Why those of the Left, of the darkness and night and twilight. Rökkatru, Jotunkin, Lokean. You braved the thorns and many trials to get here, so sit and rest. My fire is warm and I have food to spare (just don’t ask where I got it). Water too.

Who am I? Am I an elder? Pffft. I’ve been called that but simply don’t see it or really feel it. Besides I’m on a journey myself, and probably always will to some extent. So sit and relax.

When the Rökkr call we answer. When set on a journey we go. It isn’t a demand like a command from the Aesir on high. No simply a “This is needed. You should do it”. This grove you see is the end point for many peoples journeys. They get to this point and the further darkness, well, you get the idea. Beside you can walk the path that brought you to this grove over and over and learn new lessons every time. I’ve walked it many times myself, but I’m a dedicant of Firecrotch so by promises made and oaths sworn I walk. Have walked. Until know, but that is another story.

I see a sadness in your eyes, the sadness of loss perhaps? It was? Ah, I see. Yes it does happen especially for those of us who carry the Primal Wyrd of the Rökkr. Oh, trust me I understand all to well. Those who carry themselves with Truth and speak it are almost always driven away or turned on. Same reason that is has left a bad taste in my mouth for many of Old One-Eye’s followers. Of course it hurts when we trust and they finally see or we are forced to speak Truth despite the pain or the fallout.

Yes, the result can be incredibly venomous and I too have felt its’ sting. Words hold power and whether those words are positive or negative there are consequences. I know, it’s ok, tears aren’t weakness, let them fall. Hel, offer them to the fire. Loki knows I’ve shed my share. You are still here, so you must know that they turned on you due to the Truth. They caught a glimpse of it in the mirror that is you, in either you being honest with yourself or calling them on their serious bullshit. I know, no one wants to listen to a Lokean.

Don’t worry, the dagger is for rituals not for you. The only flesh it will know is my own. You see we, like our Gods/Goddesses know the Truth and the opinions of others matter little to us. We are the individuals who will stand and say “That is not right” or “You shouldn’t do that”. But then again I suppose we are also known for “Hold my mead and watch this”. The thing is though how often are we RIGHT?

They will say you have no honor, no loyalty, and are poison to the Wyrd of the community. Our poison is insidious. It’s the truth, it’s the power to question anyone and anything. We will answer things about ourselves with truth or circle talk depending entirely on the situation.

You look nervous, why? Oh yes, there are things moving just beyond the fire light, just behind the trees. Yes the can be dangerous. And frightening. Just like everything else. But here on this path, those like you and I are one of them in a way.

So whenever it is you return, remember that you are the smoky mirror who reflects truth. It is why you are so often blamed for things you would never do because what some see in you is actually what is in themselves and they can’t take it. They lash out, try to break the mirror. But they can’t, and it just fuels their anger further.

Get some rest, I’m sure your journey calls to you. Me? Oh no, no I am not going back down the path this time. I have been called to go further. You’re very observant, there is no clear path. What would be the point of faith if there were, if we were always shown the place to go. That’s boring. I’m going on my journey into that fully understanding I may not come out ever again. But I have no fear. Worry, but no fear.

Fair well young traveller, may your lessons never cost you too much.

Getting Wood

Ok, so now that I have you perverts attention this is an actual post about the continuing journey that I am on.

It started with I would receive a task, ritual, or something else and then would be given another. However, of late the tasks have been coming much more rapidly and I there was no way I was going to be able to finish one before the next came in. As such for the sake of keeping them all together and to remind my dumbass, when I get one it is added to a word document title, “A Journal of my Journey”. While this blog logs things as I do them and have come to pass in order to possibly help others, the other are for things yet to come. No, I haven’t been given a specific order just “Do these things as they are needed.” And before asked, no I do not know where I am being led with this. I just know these are things I NEED to do. Thankfully my partner is beyond supportive.

The task I am going to speak of here is acquiring a staff. I know that with most magical tools they are scavenged from what was left behind, but for what I was tasked with I needed to speak with the Wights and get permission to take a living branch. So this I did, found a willing tree, made offering, and place my forehead against the cool, damp bark. Out loud I asked permission to take a branch to turn into a sacred staff and the answer didn’t take long. It was “Yes, if you can earn it”.

At this point I knew I was in for a challenge. Why? Well let me list it for you dear reader and perhaps you can giggle as much as the Wights and the tree.

  1. I only recently have gotten mobility and a decrease in pain so physically I am much weaker than I was two years ago. Along with this I found out yesterday that my agility has also suffered.
  2. The only tools I had access to was a small hand axe and a camp shovel with a saw edge (which I now know really needs to be sharpened).
  3. Wet, green wood is a bitch.
  4. It was raining.
  5. The offered branch? It was 12-14 feet up.

So imagine if you will an out of shape 44 year old Lokean attempting to clamber clumsily up a tree into a position where he could hack and saw at a single branch. Oh, and the tree? It was a Blackthorn. So guess what else I had to contend with? I fell out three separate times landing in puddles and briars. Insert colorful language and awkwardly making my way back up. I swear I heard the land laughing heartily.

Finally I was rewarded for my efforts after an hour and more. I had the branch in hand. I removed all the sprigs there but one and planted them so as perhaps they would take root as I know live cutting stand a chance of growing on their own. The one I kept is now on my altar, shading my bust of Loki.

At this moment the branch is in a corner, drying so that I will be able to start work on stripping the bark (which will be saved), symbols and bind runes carved in, and the topper added which is going to take some time to get to me. While waiting though I can have everything else done and ready. Oh for those wondering what was shown to me for the topper? Not some crystal, but an ethically harvested fox skull.

What will come next? Well I have a whole list so we’ll just have to wait and see what opportunity presents itself or what time I am able to make to do this.

Until next time, “Got Wood”?

A Look In The Mirror

As a Lokean, I am demanded to be honest with myself no matter how painful or damning or shameful. Loki requires us to have no illusions about who we are, what we are capable of, and what we see in our reflections.

But the question becomes, what if when we look in that mirror, all we can see about ourselves are lies? For some this is narcissism (to which I have been accused of to my own shock). For others like myself the reflection shows something hideous. And these things are so ingrained into the core of our being, into our sense of Self, how can we honestly be truthful with ourselves about the reflection before us? When all our lives descriptors like worthless, ugly, fat, stupid, useless, waste of space, nothing had been used by others often enough that it became ingrained into our self image. Told you will never succeed, never be loved, never be wanted, that you were a mistake. That you are twisted or evil or damned just for what you believe in. How does that not color our reflection, become part of our identity?

I have personally been told these things and more, not just by peers but family as well. To this very day my own Self Image is lower than dirt, my self esteem near non-existent. Self confidence? Very damn little. Yet I am Lokean and look in the mirror everyday, see these things, see a twisted horrid creature staring back at me. I can’t help it. I have had years of having it beaten into me. No, I don’t want any pity. It has shaped who I am now.

How many others see the same, heard the same? How many reading this right now identify with it to the point you are nearly in tears? Being shamed for just existing. Used, abused in every conceivable way, and tossed aside like trash. How can such people see anything in their reflection other than what they have been conditioned to see?

Because choice, that is how. We may never see worth in ourselves, in our reflection. I know that I will always see the twisted horrid monstrosity when I look into my mirror. But I have learned that even though I can’t see past them, that they are that deeply ingrained, they are illusions. Glamours of hatred placed by the cruel and spite-filled. Now don’t misunderstand, I have my flaws and some of which are significant and I own that. When I make a mistake I own it. I step up and say I fucked up.

Another way to grow past and realizing what you see are lies is to use a different mirror. Use the eyes of those you KNOW love you. Look into the reflection there for it is there you will find truth. You will be able to see past the lies. And in the moment that happens, well you will begin to find many many things you thought impossible coming to pass. Maybe never to an amount of a “normal” person, but happening none the less.

For those who know me outside the virtual world and in the real one, that confidence some have seen? The self assurance? A mask created by survival instinct and longing. Fire performance and no confidence or esteem? Yup, a mask. When I dance with flame alone or with just a safety it is much different than dancing with an audience.

But how? How did I find this capacity? From Loki. The outcast, the odd man out, the one that was always the scapegoat. I learned that illusions can be pierced. I learned that there is resilience and strength in all of us, we need only find it. I am learning that I don’t HAVE to go through things alone. And these are lesson any can learn.

Yes, to some I will always be the Villain who plots the downfall of everything. The monster that will devour any who get in the way. And you know what? They aren’t wrong. There are instances when I will be both of those things and proudly, because it is needed. I can be and am a Villain. I can be the monster. Come after me or those I love and there is no wrath like the wrath of a Trickster.

Loki has taught me a great many things of the course of years. Lessons that any who would look into the mirror and see only disgust could learn, if they followed Loki or not. Find your strength. Find you resilience. You are going to get knocked down. You can either stay down or you can rise once more. Yes it is exhausting. Yes it is draining. No it isn’t easy and never gets easier. But that reflection in your mirror? It will start to change a bit. You will notice you stand a bit straighter. You’re a little less disgusted. A little less ashamed.

So what does your reflection hold?

Losing My Mind, Finding My Soul

So this might be on the shorter side. I have been doing what could be considered communing with my Patron, hoping and hoping to get a clue of where to go next. My altar to Loki is set up and I like it. I don’t change it for the seasons, I make offering now and again, and will on occasion say a prayer. BUT everyday I will stop, lay my hand on the altar, and say thank you to Papa and the Rökkr for another day of life. Every. Day. Just two simple words and in that moment I will open my heart to that dedicated and sacred place. And I can feel Him, or at least a part of Him, with me.

And not long ago I was slammed with a deluge of requests from making my own staff to going through the Ordeals of the Nine Realms. I have been feeling two steps to the left out of synch with everything else for awhile now. It is starting to dawn on me that I am meant to be there, that I have been trying to hold center, but it isn’t my natural state. And that natural state is part of what I believe I will (re)discover, along with many other things.

I have started a journal because when this journey began, it was a slow thing starting with the Breaking and leading up to severing of ties and rededication to Loki. Now the “messages” (because I don’t get spoken to directly very often) have been coming consistent and I can’t keep up with them in my head so I have started writing them down, and thankfully I have a rather decent time limit once I begin. I must finish healing first.

I have mobility back. Pain remains but lessened. I have lost stamina and strength and must get them back. I have great list in the journal and have a feeling that it will be added to in the weeks to come. I will be pushing myself harder than ever I have save once and I don’t know what will die, what will remain, who will emerge.

I know this finally. I do not have to walk alone.

Possibilities

So many in our age from scholars to Brosatru have made statements that indicate the belief that Ginnungagap is a void, that which swallows everything. They want to think of it like the Nothing from Neverending Story (if you don’t know the reference I feel sorry for you). A black unfathomable hole that would swallow everything if it could. An outlook, I feel and think, that is perhaps subconsciously motivated by the instinctual fear of the unknown.

And yet, it was from Ginnungagap that all realms would eventually come to be. It is not a void, an endless space. It is pure and absolute creation without form or structure. It is the chaos which gave life to the spark from Niflheim and Muspelheim thus was Ymir created. Dig deep enough into the lore and you find that Ginnungagap is Chaos. Primal Creation. That from which all life sprung. Endless potential. But why is it always thought of as a black void? I have given that more than a little thought, and I think that perhaps I have an answer. An answer that any high school science or art teacher can give you. When you take all colors of the spectrum and mix them together you get black. Black, deep and endless. Black is not the lack of color, but the result of EVERY color.

As mortals we are at the mercy of our natural rhythms that come from millennium of evolution, and yet we are one of the MOST adaptable species on this planet, on this plane. As we have progressed we have quit trying to tap into that primal source and have only been utilizing one or two things. We are meant to evolve and change, but does that mean we forget the other parts that make us? Yes our intelligence has grown, and so has our greed. Our compassion as a species has withered. Where once the natural world had a certain harmony with us, this is no longer the case. And spirituality? Only really within the past few generations have people started to question and become seekers again.

Mental health is still looked at as a disease. Addiction as a choice. A woman’s body something to be regulated. Education dictated by those that think the world is only 2000 years old. People are dying because they can’t afford to get the care they need. Our oceans are so polluted that it is absolutely disgusting. The great wild place grow smaller every single day. And we have adults that can name each Kardashian but have no clue who won the civil war in the United States. Yup. We are really fucking advanced.

I have chosen to follow the older ways, and I mix with that lore and stories modern thought. I read into the tales and beneath the words to the emotions to the meaning found there. I read actual historic accounts (not just Vikings on the History channel) and learn about the people that lived then, how they lived, what is known of their lives.

And to any Neo-Nazi, Alt-Right, Far Right, Flag Waving Hate Mongers, Proud Boys, Wolves of Vinland, and numerous other hate groups: By all means let me see you using the symbols of my beliefs. You see the Asatru are bound by Honor. Vanatru tend toward peaceful outcomes. I, however, am Rökkatru. I am Lokean. I will TAKE back MY symbols with a flaming aluminium baseball bat (because recycling). The Nazi Party already destroyed a symbol of unity. Freedom of speech does not protect from incitement and using symbols sacred to my belief tends to incite me to violence. So by all means, march, shout your hate, scream your foul rhetoric. Don’t be surprised when you are beat down.

Because Ginnungagap. Black. Creation. Even the old Nordic folk knew the value of the heart, not the skin. Knew the value of potential and that difference added to the whole, not destroy it. Everyone want to scream about their cultures. First, ‘Murica, you don’t really have a true culture outside of holidays and persecution. The real true Americans are forced onto reservations and live often in rather sad conditions, but have HELD their culture despite trying to have it wiped out by White people.

I have chosen the path of my ancestors, because it called to my heart and felt the right place for me to be. I was called to Loki as my patron because He holds my spirit, and through him I follow the Rökkr. I am not afraid of the darkness, the twilight, the Chaos or change. Yes, it can be painful. It WILL leave scars.

And in spite of my mental demons I wake everyday. I acknowledge that each new day is one which has the potential for nearly anything to happen, and endless possibilities. You don’t have to rich to travel. You don’t NEED the latest tech, though you may WANT it. I have seen and done a great many things, and I am far far from monetarily wealthy. But when an opportunity comes, a chance arrives, there are times I can overcome my issues and force myself to take them. No, it doesn’t always work and sometime it fails in the most spectacular way. Lesson learned and a new story to tell. But the point is I do not know what each day will bring into my life. And every evening I try my best to remember to go to my altar and give thanks for the day I was given.

So. Today. Will you go outside and go for a walk, see some wildlife and be astounded by the beauty? Will you curl up and listen to rain while reading a book? Will you go to work and be miserable? Will you get a phone call with news that will leave you in tears? Will you buy a winning Lotto ticket? Will you find love? Will it be your last day on this plane? I don’t have a fucking clue, why are you asking me?

Potential. Possibility. One of the best reasons to wake up. And that thing that scares the shit out of you? That unknown factor? Chaos. Embrace it and ride the storm or sink and be swallowed. Plenty of room on this ship for those who want it.

Thurisaz – La violence

This has some wonderful insights into the lore and into the Runes, especially Thurisaz.

Soothing Chaos

La confrontation, l’opposition, l’affrontement, les ennemi.e.s, l’impact, le choc, la frappe, la surprise, la stupeur, la violence, la brutalité, les armes, la bombe, les éclairs, le tonnerre, l’épine, le coup de foudre

Il y a trois sortes de violence. La première, mère de toutes les autres, est la violence institutionnelle, celle qui légalise et perpétue les dominations, les oppressions et les exploitations, celle qui écrase et lamine des millions de personnes dans ses rouages silencieux et bien huilés. La seconde est la violence révolutionnaire, qui naît de la volonté d’abolir la première. La troisième est la violence répressive, qui a pour objet d’étouffer la seconde en se faisant l’auxiliaire et la complice de la première violence, celle qui engendre toutes les autres. Il n’y a pas de pire hypocrisie de n’appeler violence que la seconde, en feignant d’oublier la première, qui la fait naître, et la troisième, qui…

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