New Normal, Nithing, and Necrophilia

So if that title didn’t get your attention I am rather surprised. What follow is purely personal, and not taken from any sources anywhere else. And consider this the standard CW/TW for content.

.

.

.

.

.

So, that should be far enough to keep accidental notice of the writing, and if the pic didn’t put you off, welcome! Keep reading and I hope that maybe it will make someone else feel not as alone as I do. If the pic turned you on, well I don’t kink-shame.

The title pretty much sums up life at the moment I think. While I can’t speak for everyone, I can for myself and isn’t that what this is for? A running journal in the life of a Lokean? So dear readers here we go.

Rage. Anger. Irritation. Depression. Worthlessness. Laughter. Self-Hate and Loathing. Overpowering Love. Mundane Living. Dying Slowly. Paranoia. Just a few of the themes in my life lately. As a disabled vet and a person that isn’t a fan of people in general (Get off my lawn before I set you on fire!), I tended to Hermit myself anyway. So what everyone is calling the “New Normal” I am actually loving it. Limited people in stores? A 6 foot personal bubble? Fuck yes! I am having an easier time being in public places than I have in a long time! I’ve been social distancing for a while so for me this change isn’t that great of a thing.

The stumble is at home. Family challenges to put it mildly, enough so that I am nearly ready to declare one of my own blood as Nithing because of something they did. Yes the state got involved, yes we have had visitation from CPS (Child Protective Services), and yes said blood is no longer anywhere near. The damage however is done and my youngest daughter is safe. I know all this. My oldest child has even decided that she wants to stay with us! So the logic sides of me are overjoyed with this complete feeling.

What I witnessed being done with my toddler by another family member I cannot move past, cannot let go. Love and Hate are twisting inside me and being pulled by Rage. It took place in my home, the sanctuary for everyone. And as a Father I failed my toddler and the other family member. I have been a heartbeat away from declaring them Nithing and yet I cannot bring myself to do it. I am supposed to be able to protect my family, keep them safe. And this happened under my roof, on my watch. Trust was instantly gone, replaced by a white hot anger that felt like burning ice in my veins. What am I supposed to feel? How do I react to what I witnessed? It is burned in my memory and I won’t be forgetting any time soon. The threat to my toddler was removed from my home in less than 24 hours and taken literal states away.

It has caused a mental domino effect and triggered my own paranoia and hyper awareness so that my PTSD and depression have come roaring back. Anxiety is running rampant and I do whatever I can just to not think, it hurts so deeply. I have failed and nothing can change that. I failed to protect, to properly nurture, to be a father. Parents out there can understand what I’m talking about. Mundane life has me spinning and feeling like I just took a K.O. blow to the soul. I… I feel dead inside, questioning how anyone can care for me after that failure. Feels as if these people are loving a corpse, a shambling dead thing that can only go through the motions. I have turned as numb as I can just to function.

I know, I know, you have to face things. When I do I am going to be an absolute mess and will need to be cared for, something that just simply cannot be done for the welfare of hearth and home and family. Too much to be done as yet. I mean, I have been assigned a therapist, and they are very good. Still, the inner void continues to grow. And this time it is growing quickly.

As a Lokean how do I cope, how do I deal with the turmoil? I trust in my path. I seek guidance from my Patron and hope for some comfort in my beliefs. I read the Lokasenna and look for guidance through His trials. The Havamal offers some mantras that offer some comfort. Yet, like you, I am mortal and not a Divine Being. I am flawed and broken, often driven by emotions for better or worse. I have even begun to question my worth as a devotee to Loki, are my failures too great and will I be cast out? My body is a broken machine that can never be fixed. My mind and heart are once again cast to the four winds. What isn’t empty is filled with doubt and rage and loss. I’m writing at the behest of a beloved friend and sister, otherwise I would be keeping this to myself. I am NOT looking for pity or anything like it. I do NOT want charity. I put these words down in the hope of lifting a tiny bit of weight. My amazing wife stands with me, my daughters… well toddler and a teenager. Yet all 3 are still giving me love and support that I feel I do not deserve, that they are trying to animate a dead man.

Today is the 22nd of April. It’s my oldest and dearest friends birthday. It is also the New Moon and a day for rituals. I still feel His presence and that is both comforting and frightening right now. Tonight I mark and tie myself to the land here, make offering to the Wights, and more. Perhaps how it goes will be my next entry.

Life, Hope, Loki, and Other Four-Letter Words

Well. Been a bit. Life has been busy and hectic here, to the point that some parts have been getting put on the back burner and really shouldn’t.

Life happens. Shit happens. It happens to each and every one of us at different times and in different ways, but it happens. We take the hits as they come and we do our best to roll with it. Hey, part of being Heathen right? Standing and showing our strength to keep going? It’s certainly sounds noble and Heathenish. Yet I’m not Heathen, not really. I’m Lokean and I am Rokkatru. I am also mortal and as such am prone to the entire spectrum of emotions with faces for each mood and thus reflecting the shape-shifter that I kneel before.

You want me to bury my pain? Fuck off. Swim the river of tears or drown in it. I shouldn’t give voice to my anger? Suck it. I will howl my rage to the moon if I so choose. The love and hope I feel should be kept down? I will laugh as I dance over your bones.

For months now I personally have been riding waves of emotion, setting my spirituality aside for personal reason. And that is as unhealthy for me as if I were to stop eating. But I REFUSE to think any of my Gods or Goddesses would want me to suppress any emotion that I have, that burn within my breast. Emotion is the primal in each of us trying to be free. Deny it and you deny all those who came before, so be stoic and unfeeling to the world outside your circle. You say being a Heathen, I say being afraid of yourself.

I can already hear the cries across the interwebs of “I feel! I’m not afraid to show emotion!”, and that’s fine. Everyone is different. However, let me tell you this so listen close, you just might learn something. That random person you see, silently weeping in public? Yeah the one who so many would think of as weak or a loser? I see a soul in pain that is so strong that they aren’t scared to be perceived as weak.

What does any of this have to do with Loki? A great deal, for just imagine if He were to be ashamed to be thought of as weak. Can you? The gifts he has given not only to the Aesir but to mankind as well. To show his pain if front of others, including beloved Lady Sigyn. To be laughed at, ridiculed, used as the scapegoat and still he returns. Glutton for punishment? Not really, but the one that sees the need and does it. The one that stands and says, yes I did it and I will fix it. The one to fix it even when He wasn’t the one to fuck it up.

Life. Hope. Loki. Emotions. All tied together in a beautiful knot with so many other things that it is almost painful to contemplate. So the next time you meet the Laughing Lokean, join their laughter. Next time you see someone in tears, join them quietly. When someone is so angry, howl with them. If you are brave enough.

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!

Modern Rökkatru Warriors

20 per day. That was the number of military suicides in 2018 (both veteran and active duty). Not friendly fire. Not enemy attack. Suicide. Does the word make you uncomfortable? Suicide. By the modern warrior. That’s 18% of suicides everyday in the US. And yes, I will be making citations at the end of this piece.

Now, what in the name of Hel does that have to do with the Rökkatru? Over the years I’ve been looking into spirituality and the Modern Warrior, for personal reasons at first and growing into more as sad and worrisome numbers came to light. As a ordained minister, a role I do take seriously, I got very curious as to where spirituality fit into this equation for the human state. So I have been looking into that and what did I find? Sadly very very little.

So I question others, talk to people, both BNP’s (Big Nose Pagans) and the solitary practitioners. I have and will still attempt to get my own information, but here and now with the state of the country I feel that something does need to be said on this. Why? Because at least a quarter of the Pagans I know are either directly military (active or veteran) or come from military families. In the Northern Traditions this number is higher by more than a little. So these are people I care about, and they are at risk. I know for a fact that I am. Later for that though.

Add in the LGBTQ+ and Non-binary factors and numbers climb. I was surprised to see the crossover of these factors but they were plain to see. Worrisome is a pale way to describe the sheer chance at suicide among lone and outed Modern Warriors, not just the actual successes but the sheer number of attempts. All the while the modern climate in the US is regressing faster than a Senator with a Diaper and Mommy Fetish (no kink-shaming intended).

What does it all have to do with the Rökkatru? We ARE the outcast, the shunned, the lost, the Other. We alone are at staggering risk of losing the battle in ourselves. Add to that factors mentioned above and others like POC, and the risk becomes staggering. Waves of hopelessness crashing down on a spirit, crushing despair. Even the strongest can only stand for so long. “What can I do to help this?” I asked. What can WE do?

Here is what I have found. Faith and spirituality, belief can be a rather important factor because it makes us feel less outcast. To find a Path for the heart and soul that we feel called to and belong on is a huge thing in and of itself. To walk that path and KNOW it is the right one for you can be a shield certainly against those horrible waves, holding you upright for longer. And you still slip and slide because you are fighting your own mind that is actively tearing you down from within.

So the Modern Warrior of the Pagan paths have a touch more of an advantage because for many, they walk with and/or among their Divine. But the battle can still be lost for many reasons. From family disowning you to your friends and community turning their backs on you

, to just a streak of misfortune. Financial, divorce, mental health, all factors in the battle.

What then is the answer, especially for those who are even different from the “normal” societal outcasts? Oh I wondered that for a very long time myself but the answer was always there, around me. Community, but community of YOUR choosing. Accept absolutely nothing less than acceptance and know it is ok not to immediately trust. Even if it is a virtual community, it can still be YOURS.

And for the Rökkatru, there are no covens or circles or kindreds. There is only Tribe. A Tribe that measures you by deed and soul. A Tribe where you are safe to be your amazingly Wyrd and wondrous self! Where the supposed “monsters” gather, where the laughter of giant and troll and Völva ring together around the fires. When one of the Tribe begins to slide, the Tribe is there. Some to hold them up. Others to stand beside and deflect. And more still to stand in front, ready to help fight any demons lurking in the waves and storm. Is it perfect? Hel no. But it is community, and that alone will keep us going sometimes.

“Who would mourn me, miss me? They would be better without me being a chain around them, holding them back. I have no TRUE worth, it’s all smoke and lies. I deserve to be forgotten and left to rot away. I’m a monster for what I think and feel deep inside, I shouldn’t be allowed to live. That thing in the mirror, it’s so disgusting how could any want it? Love is a lie just being used against me by those that want something. I will never be or amount to being truly anything. I am a joke at best and a failure if I’m lucky, for that’s the kindest words for me. Soon they will scream IMPOSTOR and drag me even further down and I will deserve it. I don’t deserve the gift of life with the things that I have done.” Words, each a cut. A blow to the body. A stab in the heart. Words that haunt and tear each of us who fight. How do I know what it is that goes through the mind of Warriors and Modern Warriors alike? Because these are just a few of the thoughts I face everyday.

You see dear readers I face a multitude of mental issues and I fight them. With my Doctor and medication, with my family, with my Faith, and with my TRIBE. The Rökkatru. For I Believe, I believe my Deities walk with me. My ancestors walk with me. Everyday. I have ideations, and I know they aren’t going to go away. So I fight, and when my Will is strained I have Family and Tribe.

Not everyone is as blessed in their fight. Many are lost and alone. Many, too many lose the fight. The LGBTQ+ teen that comes out to their parents expecting love and is thrown to the street. The Soldier who comes home and just can’t stop seeing what they had to do to survive. The non-binary individual that just can’t be accepted for their choice by their church. What is the commonality between them? They are alone. Feel abandoned. How many of us know that feeling too well? Suicide. It’s inviting to just quit, to lay down arms and let it take you when you are so very tired of the fight. Peace. Why fight? Because those voices? Those thoughts? ARE LIES!

You will fight and MAKE a place! My Tribe, the Rökkatru, we have made a place and found each other! Make YOUR place! Whether it is 3 people or 3000 does NOT matter! Gather your Tribe/Pack/Congregation/Circle/Coven what-the-fuck-ever it is that YOU need! Why? Because just maybe they need it too.

Hail the Rökkr! Hail the Rökkatru! Hail the Tribe!

References:

Jaimie Lusk, Steven K. Dobscha, Marek Kopacz, Mary Frances Ritchie & Sarah Ono (2018) Spirituality, Religion, and Suicidality Among Veterans: A Qualitative Study, Archives of Suicide Research, 22:2, 311-326,DOI: 10.1080/13811118.2017.1340856

Amato, J., Kayman, D., Lombardo, M., & Goldstein, M. (2017). Spirituality and Religion: Neglected Factors in Preventing Veteran Suicide? Pastoral Psychology66(2), 191–199. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11089-016-0747-8

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/06/21/va-reveals-its-veteran-suicide-statistic-included-active-duty-troops.html

Being Rökkatru Today

Before I really get going, if you have any questions about what Rökkatru is or who the Rökkr are I completely recommend that you check out the blog Divine Multiplicity. Specifically Tahni Nikitins’ contributions which can be found here.

The reason that I suggest the above is that I am going to be speaking from more opinion/observation (when don’t I) than from any academic position and may even throw in some (ready the outrage and horrified shock) UPG. It will also be centered geologically from the point of view from within the United States, because that is where I am located.

From an individual point, I am Lokean, 44, disabled vet (not you don’t get the list), and stay at home Dad. My writing and work on various projects will always take a back seat to the need of the Adorable Overlord, my little threenager. So there are times when a blog will take me literal hours to write as I stop to care for my little Jotun-child. She is my primary care and concern, along with my two teenagers. No, I will not go into detail about them in this setting other than to say that this particular blog was inspired in part by worry for them. I am also married to an amazing and beautiful Freya’s-woman, my soulmate and an amazing Mother.

I am currently walking the Path of Ordeals, an outline of which can be found by following the link. Yes the writer of this is Raven Kaldera, a figure that brings a LOT of mixed feelings in various groups. Not long ago I was tasked to do and complete certain things during a meditation, an actual “Honey-Do” list passed to me I fully believe by my Patron. The purpose of all of it was apparently not on the need-to-know list (grumble).

If you have made it this far (because a great deal of the above has been gone over in previous blogs), then get ready. Here is where it is going to get bumpy and more than slightly uncomfortable for some people.

I am White. I am Straight. I am Male. I am Privileged just because of the prior. I am also Pagan, Lokean, Rökkatru, an Ally, and believe that all hearts beat with life. I don’t care what you look like, how you identify, or the path you follow. I will give you respect and I will expect it in return. If I make an error and cause unintended insult or offense, PLEASE take a moment, call my ignorance and educate me!

Rökkatru are by their very nature are outsiders anyway. We should be learning from one another, not fighting with each other. Our fight here in the U.S. is with a much more dangerous threat. Today, RIGHT NOW, in my own home country there are concentration camps where children are dying after being separated from their parents who don’t even have the basic things given to actual US prisoners! Everyone talks (well thanks to digital attention spans not so much now) about how Flint, Michigan has poison water, when a UN investigator came and found worse than 3rd world conditions in the Southern U.S. such as open sewage and tainted water. The number of veterans that are homeless or commit suicide is staggering, along with LGBTQ+ youth. And what do we see on the news? Crap. Ten seconds to tell you that someone got shot and then fifteen minutes on sports where the players make more money in one season than most residents of the U.S. will see in their life.

And so very much more disgusting things. Thanks to so much media picking and choosing it has finally happened. They have managed to put polish on a turd and call it pretty. Convince so many it’s fine when the truth is that no matter how shiny they make it, it is still a piece of shit! And this is where how many live? Bigots and others like them screaming “Send the immigrants home!” and I say, “YES PLEASE! Send me back to Scotland(Mother’s side) or Denmark (Father’s side)!” Get me out of here.

Then I stop. I think. No, I was born HERE. THIS is my home. I am Lokean. I am Rökkatru. And while we are all still figuring out precisely what that means, I am fairly certain that running and quitting is NOT a part of that path. My children deserve to be safe and happy. My wife should NOT have to fear for her health because of corrupt politicians deciding what is best for HER body. No, no running. No hiding my Faith and Path. I’m done with all of that. My Deities are Primal and fierce and frightening for a reason. They accepted me for a reason. Loki accepted me for a reason those many years ago. So fuck them.

Rapists are getting six months in jail, while a teen from the inner city gets sixteen years for having some weed? Farmers crops fail and instead of Federal aid they are bought out by corporations, the government makes deals for the same crops elsewhere and banks get multi-billion dollar bail outs? Fuck that.

We as Rökkatru NEED to figure out who we are, what our Deities would ask of us, and how do we go about bringing the needed CHANGES to this nation? To this world? Yes, world. Why not think big? My own ways are bit… on the dirty fighting side. Hey I am Left Hand Path. The black and shadows don’t scare me. The spirits and entities don’t frighten me. I’ll throw a Hex/Curse with no hesitation if I believe it is deserved. Yes, I believe in more than most realize. But none of that matters as it is personal.

If you are Rökkatru, what does that mean to YOU precious reader? And what are you willing to do to follow that path? I know my answer. I know what I am willing to give and what I’m not. Imagine if the Rökkr had the united front the Aesir have. What could be accomplished? Because for us here in the United States it is only a matter of time. Before the outsiders and the different are the hunted. ICE is already raiding suburban neighborhoods to take natural born citizens into custody and forcing them to prove they are citizens. How long before it is illegal to worship in any way that doesn’t involve the cross here?

I hold a great deal back for my family. If something happens to me, it would send them into a tailspin and would lose too much. I can’t allow that to happen, but I still do what I am able. I protest until my body and mind force me away from the crowds. I write and call government bodies and representatives and demand to be heard. I do what I am able. If I could do what I want… well that is a completely different tale.

So at the end of the day, what does it mean to you to follow the Rökkr, the Deities of Twilight? What does your heart and soul demand of you? We have no need of circles or kindreds. We have Tribe.

Grief of a Lokean

Well. This is a blog I didn’t think that I would have to write about for quite some time yet. Here we are though, as for us mortal creatures death is inevitable and we all realize at some point life is transitory.

For some the reason of this will not be understood or thought foolish, and honestly they can. I don’t care. We recently had to say goodbye to our beloved feline companion, Rosie. She found her way to us and I think that the adopting was a mutual thing. She was not what many would call a beautiful cat, but for us Rosie was the bestest pud-pud in the whole world. She was missing an eye because before she came to us some teens with a pellet rifle decided she would make a good target. Half her tail was missing and what was left had a badly healed break. Yet despite all this, she was the gentlest and most “proper” cat I have ever known. She never got on counters. Wouldn’t get in your face. Would only beg treats when she saw the treat bag (or Momma had milk).

Rosie was a member of the family, not a pet, not a companion. She was a member of the house and was always taken into consideration when household decisions were being made. And now she’s gone from this life. She got ill suddenly and went downhill quickly. The hard decision was reached not to let her suffer and so we took her to the vet clinic for mercy. I do not know how many of you realize that it’s a two part process; one shot as a sedative, a second to complete the transition.

The sedative was administered and the staff left the room to give it time to work. My wife and I were there with her, giving her touches and comfort to so she would know she wasn’t alone. As the sedative took effect her purr slowly faded. And so did her breath, which slowly and gently stopped. The second shot wasn’t even needed, Rosie let go quietly and peacefully, her family with her as we promised.

She was buried under the shade of a tree in the country, a place where birds nest and lightning bugs gather. My wife and eldest daughter had prepared the grave ahead of time, with silent tears and reverence we gave her back to the Earth. When it was done my wife and daughter went to wash the shovels, I stayed. I felt the need to say a farewell and a blessing (as a reverend it just seemed needed), and so I did. And at the end of it I asked the spirit to say Hello to my beloved boxer when she got to the bridge.

It was then, standing there alone, after all was said and done, that I broke down into tears. Hard, powerful tears full of loss and grief for the loss of a family member. This was two days ago, and I still grieve. I still feel the loss.

At this point I am sure that you are wondering what does this have to do with the grief of a Lokean. Well let’s take a look back at the way Lokeans are perceived by both the general public and Heathens. It can range from MCU super-fans to Norse Satan Worshipers and everything in between. The truth is that for me personally, and for Lokeans I know, emotions are powerful and always just below the surface. We tend to feel things VERY deeply from love to grief to anger to hope. What most of the world will see however is what we WANT them to see. The mask.

But grief? Strong enough greif, any emotion felt too strongly, but especially grief can make that mask slip. I joke about not being allowed at funerals, but it is true. I really shouldn’t go for the sake of the grieving. Because my grief, as well as for some others I know, comes in the form of the normal tears yes, but also a fierce need to celebrate life! To remember the one passed on and make certain their name is etched into the hearts of all in attendance! For death is a reminder we are all simply on the same journey and we have free will. Do we honestly weep for the departed or do we weep for ourselves and our loss?

I BELIEVE in my path, in what comes next, and my Gods and Goddesses. I have FAITH that what I believe is true for ME. And I know that whatever waits on the other side of that veil for me will not keep me away from those I love, no matter where they are residing. My grief will come in the form of determination, to keep moving forward with those passed on etched into my heart. I will celebrate their life with joy and laughter and LIFE! I will give offering to Loki and Hel and other Rökkr for the departed. And in this case a prayer of veneration to Freya to watch over Rosie with love and kindness. Yes, I hurt, I am in pain, but how does this do honor to the memory of one who also knew these things and survived, kept surviving, and found her place finally?

The Grief of a Lokean is the low burning fire that kin gather around and share stories and laughter. It is the stories of the departed that are silly and amazing and proud. It is the tears of a heavy heart that fall over a wide smile. It is the lone scream in the night for our own loss. And it is the moving forward with more stories to carry.

Fire and Fluff

There is something I am noticing within our little Lokean community, and it is a trend that is more than slightly distressing. A growing tendency towards the “Us vs. Them” mentality in our own community! I mean truthfully as Lokeans we have always been on the fringe of Heathenry at large for a multitude of reasons. But we are so very prejudiced against in enough areas because of who we choose to follow, we are going to turn on each other? Over what?

What it comes down to is on one hand you have those that deal and see the aspects of Loki that are kind, loving, and caring due to the fact He was/is the scapegoat, the outsider, the abused. That Loki is a Father/Mother figure and a Deity that will welcome anyone, no matter how strange, or broken, or “other” you are. And these are the traits these people will pick up and try to emulate along with the trickster nature and, BOOM! The Flame Haired Trickster that is up to mischief and has a hand to hold, a story to tell as you drift off to sleep, loves all things cute and shiny and uses change to bring about the positive.

On the other hand, you have those followers that walk with the darker Loki, the one bound and screaming. The Deity driven to madness from grief over the loss of almost everything He loved except for ever faithful Sigyn. The shapeshifting World-Breaker that will bring about the twilight of everything and the end times. The cunning one who is the Chaos Bringer, who destroys without a second thought. A very Dark being that would bring fire and blood, free his children to devour it all.

I would like to point out that one, these two points of view are called extremes. And that is when we start walking in dangerous territory for our faith, as it will cause us to go after each other and all those prejudices will hold true as we all go down in flames of our own making. Two, we are discussing an ancient and Primal being that depending on where you look could have very well been one of the first beings to exist. The penultimate shapeshifter who is all and more. If you begin to even think there are only those two aspects not only are you wrong, you are beyond foolish.

To dare to speak on behalf or for a Deity is folly at best. With Loki? Well it is downright dumb. Because to speak on their behalf, you claim to know their mind and will. With the Father/Mother of Monsters, you may know AN aspect, or even a few. But none of us could truly begin to fathom such immense knowledge, and if you think otherwise that’s ok. That is the arrogance of humanity coming to the surface.

I walk with the darker aspects. They are what called to me. The Loki I follow can be both kind and cruel in equal measure. He is the One that will do what is needed, not what is honorable, not what is pretty, or always ugly, but what is needed. He is a Teacher, who guides me forward and a reason to do so. I don’t have a God-phone. I am not a spouse. I am a devotee. I am no different at the bottom of it all than any of you reading this. I am Lokean. We are Lokean. And we are here, together despite the aspect we follow.

Academia, Lore, and UPG all aside we fight amongst ourselves because we are human and petty creatures. We are small and long for the briefest touch or glimpse of the greater things, and for whatever the reason Loki called to us and we answered. I couldn’t care less if your first encounter was through Tom Hiddleston and the MCU, you read the lore. You read the stories and have begun to develop UPG. You have accepted Loki’s offer and have willingly shared of your Wyrd with Him and through him his children.

I can say this with certainty. Ego has no place on the Trickster’s path unless you are willing to be the lesson for others. (Loki’s lips are just one example of this) So if you cannot accept that He can be different things to different people than you don’t accept his capacity as the shapeshifter. Just sayin’ maybe what YOU think is Loki isn’t. And yes there are exceptions. There will always be those to use Loki and His tales as a reason to be an ass. To act out and use the excuse “Loki made me do it!” which personally disgusts me.

We, together, need to get past our egos and get it together folks. Especially now with what is looming in the united states. Lokeans are coming forward like never before in my life along with Jotunar/Rokkatru (I personally like the term Rokkatru, those True to the Rokkr, the Gods of the Twilight which just happens to be where I see my path FYI). Why? I can only guess. But we have to get our collective shit together.

Some are scared of the darker aspects. Good, you should be. But acknowledge them as part of the whole. Some scoff at the lighter aspects. Don’t, for without them there would be no laughter or passions. So acknowledge the whole. Not even going to touch on the whole Chaos/Entropy thing right now, personal rant type of thing.

We are Lokean. We are different. We are the agents of change. We are the “other”. And to have an us vs them mentality is like siblings fighting, so don’t be surprised when you get put in a corner. Or set on fire.

HAIL LOKI, IN ALL FORMS!

Observations and Ramblings VIII

Been a while since I have done one of these. You see I’ve been particularly selfish as late and working on my own spiritual path. And yes, while that has eaten up a lot of my Blog lately, I won’t apologize for it. This is what is needed for me. When I write it is a form of meditation to me, allowing me to see deeper into the subject I’m writing about. I suppose I could go back to keeping a journal, but for some reason Papa Flamehair wants me to keep this blog.

This is where I come to this particular one. I do an O and R blog when I see or realize something and it gets stuck in my head like a badger in a barrel. To point, what is considered selfishness. You see, often when we go to do any form of self-care there are inevitably those that will call us selfish. Say that we are taking time away from them or from organizations we are a part of. We’re being selfish is we don’t let them help.

The problem I’ve noticed is when part of that self-care becomes removing poison and toxic sources from our live whether it is a situation or a person. There will always be those when you do this that will be pissed that you dare to step away, they NEED you. No, they NEED what you do FOR them. Or if you dare to speak up for yourself and say “No More”, then you are being an asshole. And by Loki if you dare speak Truth and become the mirror? Then all of a sudden you are manipulative, gaslighting, narcissistic, an abuser, a predator. You are labeled Villain.

Now, dear reader, understand that this isn’t the case with everyone in your life. No, there are those who are family or phamily that are right there to support you in that need for self-care asking, “How can I help?”. I myself am blessed by an amazing, supportive, beautiful, brilliant, badass wife. I have my Tribe. I have my virtual Phamily, people I have never ever met in person. And many of you have these things as well, whether you realize it or not.

You must understand that if self-care is equal to selfish, than there are a lot of parallels that can be drawn from that. An asthmatic that need to sit on a long walk is being selfish. A diabetic is selfish for taking the time to take their insulin. A suicidal person is selfish for being attention seekers. A cancer patient is selfish for needing chemotherapy. It is just a short jump from one to another.

So often I am told “I don’t have time” in response to the question of self-care. Hel, I was horrible about saying it and still do too often. I think that is one of the reasons Loki set this journey before me. To take care of myself on a spiritual level, which I am finding is helping my mental/emotional wellness as a side effect. I have completed the 8 Days (which I recommend for any Lokean, whether you have followed Him for 2 decades or 2 days). I have been through the first Ordeal. I am fairly sure that I have aquired all I need for the crafts that was set before me (save for some rams horns). But I am not going to rush through this. I will take my time.

I am continuing my ink therapy on June 3rd with a bind rune made out of Loki’s name and designed by Dagulf Loptson (yes I have permission from the creator). I have also decided that going down my entire spine will be various symbols, Loki’s name at the top, then the Compass, and the symbol of Wyrd. The rest yet to be revealed.

I consider all this as self-care for me. No, I am not giving up time with my family or putting us in financial danger. Thus I am able to go forward on my journey and with self care.

Going forward I hope that this reminds you, reader, that you DO NOT have to put up with anyone else’s toxins or venom. You have every right to say I’m done and walk away. The repercussions might be painful and hurtful, but in the long run you are better for it. You have support, known or not.

So be selfish. Take care of yourself. As a Lokean I know that my Patron walks with me and approves. So I will wear the title of Villain with pride.

Be True to Yourself

8 Days of Loki: Day 8

Red for Day 8, appropriate.

Fuck. Best way I can put it. I am and have been many things, but with the challenge of this day there are many things I hadn’t realized. The task was simple enough it seemed. That right there should have been my first warning as simple and Loki, well gas and match.

Today was a guided meditation, and to be able to do it I recorded myself reading the guides part and then with ear buds laid down in a room with a single candle as light, the one in the photo above, made myself comfortable, and began to play back the recording. Even though I had JUST read it through, I was not expecting the experience I had.

Perhaps the knocks to the head are catching up to me. Too many explosions in my life, too many time bouncing my head off of concrete. May be I’m finally starting to really lose my mind as all Asatru I’ve known have always said would happen. But I was there. It was real, and what I saw…

I could never have guessed it. You have to understand that the meditation makes you face personal truth as any other, but this particular one I thought I knew. And I did. A very very small part. As a soldier I was ready to lay down my life, but not for glory or honor or patriotism or anything like it. I did it for my family. To protect their way of life, their lives in the future. I fought so perhaps my children didn’t have to. That was then. I would and will always lay down my life for my family.

Reader, who or what would you die for? Anything, even yourself? Do you know? No I am not trying to be an asshole (it comes naturally), I want you to really think about that for a second. To try to understand what or who you would die to keep safe.

Now I ask you this; who or what would you LIVE for? Imagine being in the worst pain you can comprehend, would you fight to live? Why? For who or what? What would you be willing to endure for your beliefs, your home, your family if it meant that they would be safe? I understand that concept now of what/who would you live for. As someone with severe chronic depression that thought has gotten me through many days. But to suffer, to bleed or burn? I saw what and who I would do all the above for.

Who or what would you, dear reader, who or what would you?

Eight full days I have done this travel. I have experienced Loki in ways both familiar and new, laughter and tears. I have experienced the most common aspects faced when dealing with Loki. I complete the eight days as I write this, looking back. And I will honestly say this: If you have been Lokean for two days or two decades I truly recommend that you do this exercise as it is more than worth it. To reach the understandings I have, the different points of view, the new angles of thought, all I can say is HAIL LOKI!

8 Days of Loki: Days 6 and 7

Day 6.

This was a day that I was to focus on that “frisky” side of Flamehair, the seducter the fire that is life. Honestly it was a challenge due to, again, self-image. I don’t see myself as seductive or enticing in an erotic way at all, despite being told the contrary. Let’s hear it for early life brain wiring, Yay…. (insert sarcasm).

Focusing on the fire that lives in all of us at the base of the spine, fueling the erotic and desire to find another, to find and give the celebration of the gift of life. Touching on the serpent that lives there, not waking it, just caressing it and feeling the type of energy it carries. Letting the energy fill my thoughts and emotions.

The next part of the day was to dance. Find music that you feel is sensual and dance to it. The music I personally chose was tribal drumming as I have always equated that to dancing around the festival fires, the light reflecting off the bodies, the thrumming beat of the drums pulsing through the dancers, bringing out more than just dance and celebration. My problem was my disabilities which severely limit mobility most days, but I committed myself to these days.

I put on the music after creating a sacred space, stripped down, and began to dance the best I was able. The blinds shut and curtains drawn to that the only light was from candles and the TV, which had the music. It was painful, and my dancing was stiff as a corpse trying to waltz. Then something happened. The beat, the sacred space started to seep into me. I wish I had better words to explain it but I don’t.

The drumming was a two hour track on YouTube, and the longer I moved the more I felt it. The fire of my blood pounding through me in time with the drums. Burning with light from divine fire. And I danced. I was the serpent coiled and waking. I was the flame that dances. My heart pounded in my chest, just another drumbeat to move to. And I don’t think I could have stopped even if I wanted to. I was aware of the pain, but it was distant and far away in that moment. I began to sweat from the dance and saw the sweat shine in the candlelight and knew the drive of life. The more I danced the better I felt in my spirit, closer to the otherside. It began to feel as I was dancing surrounded by writhing bodies.

Dance and dance, it went on and on until my physical body could take no more and I collapsed in the middle of the sacred space. Heart pounding and racing, mind racing even faster with the thoughts of how close I was. As I lay there breathing heavy and covered in sweat, I SWEAR I felt hands touching and caressing my body. Legs, torso, loins, face, arms everywhere. I gave in to the sensation, feeling so alive, savoring that gift. The gift given by Loki. And I laughed, in joy and ecstasy, I laughed.

For the first time in quite a while I felt very old desires rise to the surface, aching for release, to share that feeling, that ecstasy. I could barely walk and all I wanted was to touch hot flesh and be touched. To celebrate life!

It is that fire, divine and blessed fire, that was gifted to use by Lodur/Loki that drives us to seek connection of flesh, of spirit.

Orange for day 7.

This day was about perceptions and reality and bringing change to these things. Not only for myself but for the world around me. There were many suggestions and ways to do this in “Playing With Fire“, and while I did take one of them I put my own twist on it.

You see, on this day I had my wife with me as I had to go to St. Louis to the VA Hospital to get a steroid shot in my knee. While in the waiting room I had a pen a sticky pad and began writing. I wrote a few large pages to plant in various locations and took and tore some into strips with simple words on them. The first I used, was on my Doctor. While he wasn’t looking I slipped one of the strips in his pocket. I left a note on a chair in the front lobby asking people to please not sit there due to an experiment in quantum phase shifting.

And that is how the day went, except I had my daughter start taking the little strips of compliment or wisdom to strangers (I was watching closely of course). Left notes on car windows, posts, and bathroom doors. Things that would cause most people to stop and go “WTF?”. But also make them think, take them out of their normal daily paradigm. Doing this and watching reactions I was able to witness perceptions change. A normal day suddenly took on a bit of joy or mystery or laughter.

That evening I had to get out of my own way of thinking, so I put myself in the minds of what it was like for my parents as I was growing up. For my Father who worked 10 hour days for over 30 years. A love of hunting and fishing, good with his hands. Exhausted at the end of everyday he came home, so tired as to have little to no energy left for interaction with a hyper child. But every Friday that old popcorn maker would come out, and we would have fresh made popcorn and Star Trek, it didn’t matter how angry or tired he was, there would be popcorn.

For my Mom, well, that is much more difficult. Dementia (undiagnosed) for years, always on the phone, always angry. Willing to beat their child for making to much noise while fixing food. Giving more time to her “organizations” or some such that they became more important then her than her own child. Forgetting said child’s birthday and beating him for being upset and reminding her (at 9pm).

These made me glad for my own perceptions in so very many ways. When I look at the night sky without light pollution and can see stars I can see so much more. I can see diamonds scattered by some divine hand. I can see holes poked in the fabric of space. I can see in my minds eye each star with is own set of planets, mystery upon mystery. I sit and look at a forest and I see a chance of a home and discovery. In public places I get reminded far too often just how much I can’t stand most of humanity.

But I was shown not only is the perception of the world entirely dependent upon the viewer, but it can be altered in a single moment.

And change is wrought.