Faith, Belief, and Fuckery

So. I often hear people who talk about their “Godphones” and that direct connection to the Divine. Seen this is so very very many paths and in different claims of strength of the communication from whispers to full on conversations as if Deity was sitting across the table. And that is grand for those people, I am happy for them! However, the truth is that most of us do not have that kind of gift, we have no Godphone. Maybe you have heard terms like “Head-blind” or “Heart-blind”, and yes there are so many people that are like this. Unable to hear, see, or perceive the Other and have to go off of pure Faith.

These are the people that despite having very little or no direct feeling to their Deities are still on their path. That is the nature of faith, they don’t need confirmation or proof as they KNOW in their hearts that the path is true for them. From Christian (yes I went there), to Wiccan, to Heathen, and all in between there are so many that have only that faith to go on.

I count myself lucky. While I don’t have a “Godphone” I get feelings and urgings that I have come to recognize as guiding from something other than my own subconscious (my subconscious is a complete ass) guiding me. On occasion during meditation or while dreaming I am granted a vision. It doesn’t make me feel better than anyone else, but I feel blessed in that moment because I was contacted. In my view it makes me neither special or any better than anyone else, just blessed. We are NOT going to get into my self image as that would be a HUGE and depressing bit of writing.

No, I do not have those constant feelings of the presence of Loki, but I choose to believe, deeply believe, that He know and walks with me in a way. As I believe the ancestors walk with me and watch over me. See that is the point of spiritual Paths isn’t it? Belief. Just knowing in your heart that your Divinity is real and with you makes your path as valid as any other, as anyone else’s path.

Which brings me to those just setting foot on their path. Now thanks to the internet and various resources finding not only information and books have become so much easier, finding like minded or other followers is also easier even if it only through a social media site. They don’t have to struggle with fighting to find information, learning through trial and error (as much), and fearing they are going crazy or they are evil, or a hundred different things that so many of us older Pagans went through. They are able to have their faith and beliefs validated and even guided. These new people are able to have a support network, again, even if it is only virtual.

Faith. Belief. These are beautiful things and easy to have when you are able, gifted, or blessed enough to have Godphones. Yet to have them without the access to such things? That is truly astounding to me. Others call it foolish, but I will ALWAYS respect those who don’t NEED the proof. Who know the truth of their hearts.

Onto the last part of the title, Fuckery. While as a Lokean my type of fuckery is part and parcel, the fuckery I am talking about is something I have not only heard about but witnessed first hand. I’m speaking of the fuckery of those who would claim the blessing above to manipulate and use others. I am talking about the fuckery that is the rampant existence of predators in the Pagan (umbrella term usage here) community. People that purposely mislead others, especially newcomers, into doing their will up to and including sexual favors.

Now I am Left Hand Path, Rökkatru, and Lokean. I follow a path that is darker and very primal, and my nature and personal identity is that of a Predator, but in a very different sense. I am speaking of the people who start groups of any path that require the members to give up money, sex, or free will to be a part of “Their” community, and I don’t care what it’s called. Circle, coven, kindred, or congregation. If the leaders demand anything like the above mentioned things, or show any kind of narcissistic tendencies, that is the Fuckery I mean.

These people are praying on the faith and belief of others to their own benefit and as Pagans that should be truly disgusting. Yet, it has happened for years with communities turning blind eyes to the actions of supposed elders. And this goes as far as drug (not the type for just spiritual purposes) use to child molestation.

Now? Awareness is higher, and speaking out has become a much more likely event due to that awareness that what these predators are doing is one of the basest and most foul forms of fuckery. “See something, say something” is the watch words and should have always been.

Consent and knowledge folks. In any spiritual path know that these are real things and for someone to demand you do something in order to be a part of the community that you are against or something inside you says you shouldn’t, NO is the proper response. If some High Priest/Priestess says the only way for you to advance in the community is for your mouth to meet their genitalia all of a sudden, then don’t buy it for a second.

Now that all being said, sex IS a part of some traditions and if this is the case that will be explained and spoken of from the first moments of introduction. Complete transparency and openness about what may be expected, and the requirement of consent of all involved. (Bacchanals are fun)

Faith, belief, and fuckery. Remember, your Truth is yours.

Loss as a Lokean

In the past month my family has lost both of our fur babies, a wonderful cat and a impetuous ferret who were the best odd friends. Seven years ago we took them in and promised “fur”ever homes. Seven years of ups and downs, moving here and there as we needed. Finding a place of our own after the birth of my youngest. Those two were there. The grief is real and deep for my wife and I right now and I don’t know when I personally will get fully past it.

I still mourn for my late boxer that passed in 2010. I miss that floppy face every day, and while I had love for the Rosie (bestest pud-pud) and for Fizgig (Wonder Weasel), it wasn’t the connection I had to Gretchen. I’m not entirely sure if I will ever find a connection like that with a four legged family member again. I don’t know.

However the got me to thinking a lot about loss and grief. I mean honestly mourning is for the living, not the passed. We all have our own way to honor the memories of loved ones, two or four legged. Funerals come in hundreds of forms, simple to elaborate, with just as many customs. But it is the loss of the presence that hits us. Things unsaid, that which was unfinished or not even started.

I, as a Lokean and Rökkatru, look at death as natural and a part of the cycle which is the inevitable conclusion to life. Eventually the meat suit fails and all things go on to the next realm for the spirit that is eternal. And yes, that goes for our animal family as well. I know that when it is my time there will be a menagerie waiting for me, and my joy will be bursting.

Kinsmen, Tribe, Family, all die. Mortals die. That is a Truth, and as Lokean I cannot deny it or fight it. The question is after we are gone from Midgard, and the grief leaves, the mourning is over, what remains of us in this world? Our names will eventually be consigned to some bits of data or a document, and even those that knew us will pass. What is left?

Tales. Deeds. To some I have been a friend, to others an enemy. My own story will fade and I know it. I may never leave a lasting impression and I’m ok with this. Even if I were to start a revolution right now I would eventually be a footnote at best somewhere. However, I know for fact that I have left tales behind, good and ill. I have been called Monster and Angel, Demon and Brother, all these and more. And yes, I will most likely be forgotten, but the tales? The stories? Those will linger.

Just as our loved ones’ stories will linger. The tales that get passed from generation to generation. And if those tales are drunken antics or a secret recipe for a Roast, doesn’t matter. I believe that the changing of the tales, the recipes will grow and become organic, alive as much as any child.

Loki is a God far too familiar with loss. With loved ones taken before their time. I turn to my altar, not to beg or plead for relief, but to look to it and feel that I am not alone. To know that my Patron knows my heart and that gives me solace. To know that grief is fleeting and when it is right, the mourning will come to an end.

Yes, a part of you will always be a touch emptier or a new scar. It never really leaves us. But we choose how to remember, with bitterness or with a sad smile. Loki is many things to many others and even to me, but what He is truly is Resilience personified among all the rest. Perseverance in the face of even the bleakest dread, and finding a way, a reason to keep going. Yes, sometimes that reason is Spite, Anger, or even plain Stubborn and that is absolutely fine! If that is what lets you face another sunrise then do it! Don’t stay knocked down. Rise and Stand. Live. Use whatever tool you need to fight back the despair. Because that is the twin of loss isn’t it? I myself am fighting HARD against the depression right now because the despair and loss that comes with grieving. I will face it with my family and my Tribe. Just as Sigyn faces the screams of her husband, she still turns to offer him relief. So I will persevere, and I won’t do it alone.

For the sake of those who have passed, how can we do any less?

Black Moon A Risin’

So I know this is almost a week after the fact, and truth be told I’m writing this in order to honestly distract myself from another subject which will most likely be the next blog.

So. I know, I know a great number of people argued over the actual new moon, yada yada yada. I don’t care. You have your opinion, awesome. Now the way I chose to see it, it was the second Full Dark moon of the month and thereby a Black Moon. And to me, at least, this would be a sacred time for anyone on the LHP so I decided that I would honor my Patron and the Rökkr that night.

To be honest it didn’t quite go as planned. I am married to a Freya’s Woman and adore her. So when I realized that she wanted to come along and bring the child with, my plans had to change. I was still able to bless my altar sword and sanctify it to Loki and the Rökkr, but due to the change of logistics other things will have to wait until another day when I feel particularly connected to the Rökkr and LHP.

Now, you may be asking at this point why the fuck am I even posting about this experience or lack thereof? You see folks one thing I have learned about the Rökkr and being Lokean is how important Tribe is, and Tribe starts with the family you choose. No, I didn’t get to do everything I wanted to do. In return I watched my wife dance with lights at the edge of a spring, my daughter laughing and chasing her all under a gentle summer rain.

Pitch black night, storms overhead, and the sounds of pure laughter ringing off stone walls. As a follower of a Trickster and Primal Deities what could have been better than pure raw REAL emotion, all in the moment and unplanned. I thought about the aspects after and while I was thinking of blood and flesh and fire, there was the other side of the primal side as well. The infectious pure joy of a child. The ability of an adult to truly let go and be in the moment outside of their comfort zone. After the dedication of the sword, and the blessings upon it, I gathered my things, put them away, and joined in the laughter.

The Black Moon gave us the shadows we needed to let go, to truly be in the now if only for a moment for my wife. There were many blessings that night, in many forms. So what if my plans went sideways? It was an amazing evening of spirit and adventure where the three of us connected. People forget that there are positive things to be found in the dark as well as the light.

In the dark we are free to let go. Free to be who/what our truest natures are without judgement. You are hidden, shrouded from prying eyes and uniformed judgements. Solitary seekers can find great knowledge of both the self and the worlds there, but take with you those in your heart. There in that ever present black you will get to know the truth of them.

I have seen the largest masculine men break from fear in the complete dark of a forest. And this Black Moon I saw a toddler so brave she would have taken the hand of the Fey and brought them to meet us. I have seen darkness and silence cleanse a soul like no amount of light ever could. I’ve witnessed it break minds and souls.

And for us that night? The eldritch energies abounded around us in so many ways. In that absolute dark was joy and beauty and power. So take what you will from this writing. If you were expecting some grand revelation of wisdom, or sharing of esoteric secrets; well sorry, not sorry. This is what I was blessed with. And it was wonderful.

Hail Loki! Hail the Rökkr!