Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Accidental God

Odin Tree

[Not saying this is how it came to pass, just a dream I had in the hours before midnight and dawn, right as I was waking]

 

I do not know who they thought they were summoning, but they made a mistake and released me from the chains that bound me since the worlds were forged.  Dark and hungry I rose, rose to the summoning meant for another.  I did not know who they thought to call, but they called to me, and I cannot be bound by any mortal naming, not fully, as I was born before this world was formed, and my whole name is not in it.

 

I break across the worlds, but with only part of my name used, not all of my power comes with me, and I am but a shadow of my full glory as I fill the darkness of the moon lit grove with something deeper and colder than winter’s night.

Chanting rises at my coming, and cheering both.  I stretch out my dread arms to test the limits my would be masters have imposed and find…..nothing.  They have called me but not bound me.  I bare my fangs in fury, do they think me so weak they need no protections from me at all?

As I bare my teeth and snarl, so do the warriors raise their weapons and beat them on shields, so do the maidens and matrons howl back in answer and a wave of their pride, their fury, their madness answers my own.  Meat is brought to me still on the bone and I tear at it, two strong men bear a roast boar to me and I take it in my hands and tear at it with jaws greater than a bears, they shout in answer.

As I see a shadow creep to my side, I suspect at last the trap will spring, and their bindings they will lay upon me.  Instead a child of less than a dozen summers lays a crown upon my head, woven of holly and ivy on supple evergreen, bound with human hair.  Power is in it, power of a whole community, power offered freely.

I turn from my feeding but do not strike, cannot strike, for I have been gifted without deception, been honoured without insult, I will not be the first to break faith, as in my name no place was oath-breaker, no matter how many syllables of terror and blood it may sound, in no part of my name is liar.

 

As I stare, the mother of this child stands before me and pours into my mouth a potent brew of honey.  Sunlight has blessed the honey, the fruit of every flower of the field, every tree and grass, yet in the magic these humans have wrought is decay and death, transformation and destruction.  Potent alcohol courses through it, for this is sunlight as shadow, birth and death, death and transformation.  Mead they call it, the light rendered as darkness, fire flowing as water, death from life, joy from suffering.  I drink deep.

 

They come for my blessing and I put my mark on them, deep inside in the blood and darkness I burn myself into them.  One day they will betray me and I will destroy them.

I dream again, for now I do not lie bound in torment but rest between the worlds feeling the new thing working within me, new bonds growing, connections forming.  I dream, who never dreamed all the ages of the world.  A thousand lives I dream, the lives of all those I marked, the fair the foul the foolish, I dream them all.

The call comes again, faint for so few have the power to call at all, and the way between the worlds is made fast against my kind.  No one may compel me now, for I am whole and strong as not for ages long forgotten, no power can compel me, but  I am curious.  I will go.

I come at last to another clearing, I step my foot upon the ground and know this to be hundreds of leagues from where I was first called.  Around me hang offerings from the tree, animals and men both, the men and women are grim the children weeping, they call to me and I answer.

The men come with weapons, armed for war, spear and axe, bow and hammer, crude swords and farm tools set on long hafts to reap men not grain.  They call to me, they seek my aid, I sneer, what do they think me?  I do not give but take, I do not heal but kill, I do not create but destroy.  I am the ending of things, and will promise no protection.

They lay their weapons before me and their hearts as well, their prayers I hear, and rock back in shock.

None pray to live, none pray to be spared the blades and fury of the foe.  None pray for glory or fame.  They ask that I take their fear, they ask that I witness their stand, take the blood they shed as offering, ask that if they fall I remember their end.  They offer me their deaths, bind themselves to me in the doing, and bind me to them by doing so.

I put into them my rage, my fury, what I take is their fear.  I will drink their pain as I drank their mead, I will take their falling blood and the blood they shed as my offerings and I will glory as they fall, but I will remember.  In ages beyond number, long after these worlds are collapsed into the crushing darkness of the void, I will remember.

I lose myself in the glory of it, those who drank deepest of me threw aside their shields and gave themselves unto the spears of the foe to draw closer to them.  Men in bright armour my people did not own, with great metal bossed shields and bright steel weapons broke as my chosen gave their lives to break a line.  I was with them, those who embraced their fear and sought only their death found me with them every stride.

They called me Victory, they who won the day in blood and fury gave praise to me for what they spent their own blood to earn.  They left the weapons they could not match upon the field as spoils to me, hung the enemies they took from the tree that they may be shared with me.  As they bound the dead to the tree, so they bound me.

The women offered to me for wisdom, to guide their children that they know better fortune than they did today, but what vision have I for such.  I was no oath breaker, and I was bound by their gifts to gift the same.  Old I was when the world was forged, and if I was not that which they needed, I was a thief, for which I was bound, having stolen that which my kind was never to know, so let me steal again what I needed.

Bound myself to the tree for I would trade the eternity that was mine for the knowledge of this world and what will and could be.  The tree is this world, extending all times and all places within it, but the tree was of the founding and will be of its end, and to bind yourself to the tree is to bind yourself to endings; me who was before the beginning to bind myself to an ending so I could see what could be.  I saw, and could not stop seeing.  I screamed and raged, for the end of all things I saw, and me with it.

 

I walked among them, the fools who died for me.  I gave them scrap of what I knew, whispers of things that might be, warnings of things that might be.  They called me mad, they called me witch, they called me often.  I whispered in the ears of warriors who would be chiefs, to chiefs who would be kings, to warriors who would topple kings, to maidens who would rule kings.

I felt the call, I was called by the blood of the child who crowned me.  I came from the storm, spare and wild, half mad and half tamed, for she who had the right to call asked the price of her gift.  She asked for a life.

I stood before her as she begged for her child, but I was a killer not a healer.  I was the bane and not the boon, I was the ender of things, the destroyer of all, what could I do.  For all that I knew, for all I had paid, I had seen only endings, not hope.  Yet, she asked.

The child burned, and death was in her.  The mother begged, and asked me to save her.  I told her truth, I am killer child, not saviour.  She slapped me then, as no living man would dare, and told me to kill what is in her.

I kissed her then, full and hard, for she saw what I did not.  I was the killer of all, and so killing I did.  I reached into her child and what was hers I left, and what was not I killed.  The child called out in fear and pain, but I raged in her blood like icewater breaking the dam, sweeping the killing heat before me like a shattered dam before the flood.  My power scoured her, taking poisons and tearing them down, taking pus and ripping it from its pockets to be carried by the flood as I drove it free of her.

Turning to the mother that dared to lay her hand on me, I saw what grew within her, of her but not of her, a tumour that would grow and consume her, and laughing, my eye burning bright, I thrust my hand deep inside her and tore out that which grew.

I took their pain and used it to power the binding of their flesh, as I was bound to the time of this world now, so was the time of this world mine to call and a month of healing I wove through the wounds in them that I tore.

They call and I answer, they call and I come, they keep faith with me and so I am bound by my nature to keep faith with them.  I am or was a thing more terrible than they fear in the darkness, but I am not that alone any more.  Given to me their hopes and dreams, their fear and pain, their victories and their trials and I have eaten them all.  Each one binding me to them, and them to me.

Names they give me, names that change me, as what I give them changes them.  Bound we are, each to the other. I am the thing they called, I am the thing they made, they are the people I marked, they are bound to me and I to them.  I was eternal and limited, but for them I bound myself to time and fate, and became so much more than should have been possible.

 

I was a thief first and will steal them from the death I bound myself to accept.  If I am not what I was, what I am you should fear.

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Asatru, Current events, Heathen, Heathentry, Pagan, Uncategorized

Not offering thoughts and prayers

I am not going to offer my thoughts and prayers to those mourning the twenty dead or many more injured in the El Paso shooting.  I am tired of the call for Thoughts and Prayers on the same platforms sending out the call to arms, the cry to action, to rise up and strike against the very people who are even now lying dead on the ground, innocent of any crime other than being non cis-hetero-white-Christian conservative enough to satisfy the fear mongers.

From the Pulse nightclub to Walmart in El-Paso we see the effects of these alt-right hatred spewing demagogues.  It’s not news, when the first demagogue Demosthenes of Athens, Marius or Sulla of Rome, perfected the arts of enflaming the passions of the common man against their target groups all lead to viscous acts of violence targeting those listed in their speeches for violent death.  When we see Muslim mullahs giving calls to Jihad we call it terrorism and demand that something be done to stop it.  When it comes from the sitting President, from rich white men, alt-right radio and TV hosts, internet bloggers, its suddenly OK.  The gays, pro-choice supporters, Muslims, Mexicans are being targeted and aren’t they the real threat?  No.

The nice white people calling for thoughts and prayers today across my feed, I have looked upon your own walls and I have seen the support for the same people calling for this hatred.  You are the ones empowering these brutal slayings.

Thoughts and Prayers

I am Asatru, I am Heathen.  My gods lay a strong charge upon me

127. I rede thee, Loddfafnir! | and hear thou my rede,–
Profit thou hast if thou hearest,
Great thy gain if thou learnest:
If evil thou knowest, | as evil proclaim it,
And make no friendship with foes.

I see evil and I proclaim it.  I call upon the right wing conservatives of North America to own the blood shed in their name, to rise up like the bloated pigs from the trough of privilege and admit that their reflexive defense of their place of monopolizing the political power in North America is bought with the blood of innocents murdered in the streets for the crime of not being exactly like them.

You cannot use the rhetoric of hate to demonize the Mexican, the Muslim, the immigrant, the black, the native, the LGBTQ, the pro-choice of all genders and then buy yourself out of all responsibility for the crime by calling for “Thoughts and Prayers” when what you called to happen was done.

By your call, by your will is the same as by your hand.  This blood is on you, and now I demand you answer for it with word and deed, not empty thought and prayers, while you end that with a qualifier that makes it clear you understand where he was coming from.

In 1170 Archbishop of Canteberry excommunicated a number of bishops sympathetic to King Henry II of England. Henry said at a feast to his knights

“Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”

Four of them rode and cut the Archbishop down in his own church.  Everyone understood that Henry called for the murder, using indirect speech to distance himself like a coward from the consequences of his call for murder.  The Pope of the time forbade him mass until he did public penance in 1172, because even in medieval Europe where law was a sword in one hand bribe in another it was understood that some acts of cowardice and deliberate murder were just wrong.

Now we have our modern King Henry offering thoughts and prayers, distancing himself from the actions done to fulfill his desires while not ever wavering from his support of the political machine of hate he rode to power, and whose blood soaked means and ends he empowers in turn.

 

Trump Tweet a1Trump Tweet 1

All 2018 extremist killings link to alt-right

 

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Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Pain: When you can’t hide it

Yesterday I was taking my girls on what turned into something out of a video game or DND quest when it should have been a simply handset replacement of a phone offered to the gods of sky and road by my daughter.

I was in the passenger seat of a car one of my daughters was driving and the other in the back when my skull/neck issues decided to play tug of war with my lumbar issues and crush my chest while they settled the issue.

Pain went from the resting 5/6 to 10 as the world began to grey out as an inability to move air out of my chest became a real issue and my natural drive to conceal all hurt yeileded to the survival imperative and I did what I had to do to shut things down.

Problem is, half measures don’t work.  You either get out in front and power through it or you let it build to the point past which you cannot compensate and find out for yourself what that looks like.  I don’t recommend it.  I don’t ever plan on revisiting, and chose not to yesterday.  I summoned all of my power,  ramped my adrenaline to its highest commendable level, used the muscles under my conscious control in my outer core and periphery to literally pry the lock open on my chest wall and use gross arm/chest opening and closing to force the bellows of the chest to pump oxygenated air in and carbon dioxide heavy air out.  In the process either forcing the muscles contracting the chest to release or tear, either will work, and let the power of the stomach muscles and diaphragm again move air in a grossly overpowered manual override of a system that had locked itself down.

My daughters are asking if they need to take me to the hospital, honestly, the only reason I didn’t tell them to fuck off was that took too much breath.  This is something I deal with maybe a dozen times a week.  I hide it from everyone, except every once in a long while I can’t.  Too bad.

One of these days I will probably have a heart attack and not notice because its actually not as bad as the usual Tuesday thing, so they can be forgiven for overreacting, on paper, this is a 911 call, but lets be real, all they could do was piss me off and get in the way of dealing with something outside the scope of their training.  I remember the days it was outside my own scope of training, its called pre-injury state, and I could almost masturbate to the memories of how that felt, they are that seductive compared to life today.

Afterwards, I am exhausted, mentally a little bit, physically a lot.  Mentally and emotionally there are loads of spiritual techniques available through the Heathen Seidr and Galdor practices that can be applied with a frightening degree of success. Physically I am in excellent cardio vascular shape, have the kind of muscle tone that is expressed in layers of cables in uniformly large slabs of muscle; functional not decorative.  I heal very well, I have enough fat laid on that when I must go days without eating, or at least successfully, I can maintain my energy level and blood sugar enough for full function.  I am as well prepared for being torn up like polar bear leftovers as anyone could be, but polar bear leftovers are still in terrible shape, and not without extended cost to repair.

I am told I wasn’t particularly polite to people while maneuvering through the various interpersonal and business concerns of the day.  I didn’t hit anyone, so I call that a big win on the survival not social priorities in play.

This is where I usually say something nice and inspiring, but the truth is that would be a lie.

Your friends and family are sick of hearing the truth.  No one wants to be disturbed by the reality of chronic pain, and the fact that your 10 today bears no resemblance of their idea of the maximum pain any human being could experience, and would drive most of them into shock and/or unconsciousness, but you have to work, live and deal with people in this state routinely.

Survive, remain functional, other people can honestly deal with their “feelings” about what they witnessed on their own time with their own energy.  I have nothing left beyond immediate survival, and don’t care if this bothers people.  This doesn’t make me a bad person, this means your feelings about what I am going through are your problem, and as you can see, I may or may not survive my own so take your issues elsewhere and deal with them yourself.

Two bits of insight I will offer those in the same boat that I am in.  I grant that not everyone will see them as wisdom, but they work for me.

First; It doesn’t matter if no one else understands what you are going through.  You don’t require they do, it doesn’t affect the reality of your trauma or we could do away with suffering altogether by singing kumba-fucking-ya.

Second; You are not hurting others when they react to your pain.  You do your best to mask your pain, but when it is too powerful for you to mask, your primary duty is to survive, not to care for others.  If they suffer from their personal reaction to your pain, that is their problem, their issue, theirs to deal with.  Honestly, if you had the ability to deal with your own problems right now you would be masking the pain you are in and since we have established that is a burning pile of wreckage behind you, why not concentrate on surviving, and let them worry about their precious emotional reaction to YOUR pain on their own time and dime.

The god that teaches me to deal with pain is the Tree Hanger, the Feeder of Ravens, the Battle-Glad.  If it sounds like I am a care bear about to hug you, you need to do less potent drugs.  When I am fighting for my survival, I am quite willing to shut someone up by taking them out simply to allow my to focus more clearly on my immediate survival.  If you think I have energy to spare beyond “try not to kill anyone you might regret later” you have got to be joking.  You also probably don’t want to know how short the list of people I would regret is.

Stop apologizing to a world that doesn’t care for doing what you have to, just to survive the day or night.  We do our best to keep our struggles private, but if you find yourself witness to the things we struggle hard to hide, treat it like walking into a stranger taking a crap in a public washroom stall and grant them the privacy for what is an embarrassing and uncomfortable moment, do not intrude yourself and make a bad situation worse, or expect us to take time and energy we can’t afford to pretend that your reaction is truly the most important thing in our life at this exact time and place.

We don’t need your support, we need privacy to deal with our struggle until we are up to facing the world again.  We get this level of pain isn’t part of your world, trust me, we all used to think the same and would give a lot to still be one of you.  It is a part of our world, and we would love to keep it and you far apart for both our comfort.

Burning man

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Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Pagan, Uncategorized

Repossession: The arts of identity and aftercare

Those who have taken part in trance journeying work or in trance possessory work will be aware of all the cool things you can do and experience, but that is not what I am here to talk about.  I am not here to teach you how to open yourself to trance possessory work, or how to journey.  I am assuming you have been part of such a thing either as a participant or as a warder and are facing the question of how do I get people, or myself, back into my head, and alone?

 

There are a whole lot of really potent and skilled practitioners who can show you the bells and whistles of how to get you there, and what you can do with the amazing opportunities it can create, but I am not one of those amazing practitioners, I am one of the support staff who makes sure everyone gets back safe who went out, and everyone leaves not only in their own body, but in control of it.

 

Let me share with you some of the general background on repossession.  It sounds like doing vehicle repo work because it is.  This adorable little meat sack is the car you drove to ritual, but you let a god go driving around in it for a while, and now you kind of need your ride to get home.  You need to get back into the car, and you kind of need to be alone in the car before you are safe to drive home.  Why is something that those who haven’t experienced trance possessory work probably need a bit to understand.

You will have to pardon my metaphor choices, but I learned with Odin and he is a very visceral presence so the imagery I use will be on the order of crude but evocative.  If you are offended by the images, you have correctly grasped what I am attempting to convey, so regrettable or not, they worked.

Being possessed by your god or goddess is like sex with Frey.  That big shiny gold god-penis is the kind of attractive gravity wishes it could be, addictive as heroin tries to be, and way bigger than the place you are contemplating sticking it.  Yes, that is the key bit right there.  We are not gods, and they are.  The scale of difference means a god can cheerfully stick his or herself in a dozen heads at once and still have oodles of inches left.  The gods who enter by invitation are like a particularly well hung partner who enters with consent, yes it is welcome, but the size brings with it a couple of issues.  Firstly, it is hugely distracting.  The presence is so very potent, so blazing across all the senses you knew you had and a few that were a surprise that often you are too busy experiencing to pay attention to what your body is telling you about how capable it is of handling the load.  Second, its huge.  I mean that in a very literal sense, the god or goddess is not actually infinite, but that is a bit like saying the Pacific Ocean is not infinite when we are taking a look at pouring it into your head.  For all practical purposes the godhead is infinitely larger than the brain we are squeezing it into.  It overflows, often spilling between multiple people in the same ritual to such depth that without anyone intending it, the participants get swept along and end up getting a little bit of each other spread around everyone’s head inside the larger god.

This is all awesome, and has a lot of useful things other people can teach you to use, but here is where your warder would like to point out, its really easy for you to get lost.  For the bit of you that is trying to make sense of this to be overwhelmed and initiate a fear response at being overwhelmed.  It is a really big thing, and often we overestimate our ability to stretch the first time.  For those who start exhibiting such a physiological sign of distress, your warders will begin grounding you back in your flesh, repossessing your body.

For those who are quite enjoying the ride, when the ritual ends, often times you have literally had your mind blown.  You are working on letting go of the god-presence, but so much of it filled your head, that you have been swept away from your usual connections between mind/body/spirit that you can’t bridge across the gap without holding onto the god or goddess to bridge the distance you didn’t notice being opened.

Now its time to talk about how repossession, or the act of grounding in yourself actually happens.  There are a bunch of techniques that come to us from the ceremonial magician school, and they are effective if brute force techniques.  Scents like smelling salts, bitter citric acids and salts, and harsh discordant tones can be used to shock a person through administering a physical agonist that the body will trigger an alarm the mind will have to answer to, which will cause the mind to spur the spirit to get back in the meat sack to figure out what is burning down (hopefully metaphorically).

 

While we are using the metaphor of the great shiny god penis, it is worth mentioning that Odin is renowned as a seducer, and when it comes to dealing with the size issues of the great shiny god penis, a good seducer knows that foreplay is essential.  The funny thing about this metaphor is that in magic a metaphor isn’t just a way of looking at things, it is a model that provides you predictive tools for how something will progress, and useful tools for how to affect change.  In this case, the foreplay is how we can lure you back into your body gently, without shock.  Unlike the gross shock methods of the ceremonial magician, they don’t require an external agonist to work, but can be performed by you if you find yourself unexpectedly god ridden at the end of a ritual, or not wholly contained in your own skin.

 

Repossession really is grounding in yourself.  The tools that are strongest to do this are voice and touch.  The god experience is a whole lot of things, but it isn’t you.  It extends far beyond this world, but it doesn’t feed your cat, doesn’t know where you put your keys, or if there is gluten in the potato salad you bought.  The mundane world and its trivial details are ours.  The connections that define us are powerful anchors, and for this reason reminding ourselves of every connection to this world binds us through our body to that physical world in a very immediate way.

Using the foreplay metaphor, we are trying to caress, cajole and seduce the person back into their own skin, not shock or force them.  Gentle touches, gentle voices, feather soft layers of connecting threads as we weave them back into themselves, not thick hawsers and winches to yank them back in.

If you are warding, and a person is not tracking well, touch their arm gently and call them by their mortal name.  They may or may not outwardly respond, but you have brought close to the surface the part of them that is beyond the godhead, the part that remembers owning a body.  Now ask the person who made that pretty cloak clasp?  Was there any gluten in the cookies you brought?  Were you still having trouble with your knee because of the surgery you had?  These are questions the shared godhead of the deity who is riding them cannot answer, so to get an answer they will have to reach into their mundane brain to get it, or reach out to their own body and figure out if dancing on a knee you required a cane to walk on had any effects they should maybe take notice of.

 

If the person is too far gone to questions and answers, you do not have to resort to shock or using a whole mass of your own power to blast them out of the ecstasy of contact, there is another way.  Kennings are Odin’s favorite thing, he has more bynames than any god in history.  There is a reason for it.  Odin is Gangleri, the far traveller and knows well the power of names in journeying.  Each name is a root that connects you to this world.  Each kenning is a real connection to a person, a place, a key deed in your history that is part of what defines you.  Each is useable to summon you home, to bind you back to your own flesh.

 

We are many things, wear many masks, all of them true, all of them us, and all of them magically potent to the degree we have invested love and energy into them.  Call them by the names that belong to them and not the god and you call them home.  I would not use a kenning of a god relationship to call someone back to their skin, because that really is the wrong direction to go, but every other relationship has power.
I call them by the name of their house (surname), call them as child of (whoever, if I knew a parental name), mother or father of (child’s name), wife or husband of (spouse name).  I call them by their duties, sworn soldier of the crown, Girl Guide leader, SPCA volunteer, oathed member of such and such a kindred or coven.  If they have a magical name begin with that, but switch to their mundane to begin the path back from magical space to mortal flesh.  Heck if you know they own a cat or dog, name them;  because each and every responsibility that binds the person not the god will bring them back to their own skin to fulfill them.  Call them brother or sister, remind them of their connections to this world through the kennings or namings of them in relation to people places and things here, and you will summon them back into their own skin.  These things do not flow from the god, but from the mortal whose flesh you wish them to return to. Identity is the name we give to all ten thousand roots or kennings that combined make you a person; these are the tools to return you to yourself.

In the case of hostile possession, this is particularly powerful.  Non godly entities, unquiet dead, some toxic place spirits, may take advantage of unshielded or unwary travellers to take up residence in the body of someone who was journeying.  The thing to remember about this is that the living have power over the dead, and the spirit and mind grow from the body.

To look upon a body that has another spirit inside it and know it needs to leave is to look upon a bird sitting in a well when you have a fish that needs to go back in.  You call upon that well by every tie you can think of and that well will flow, its waters will rise and displace the intruder because the spirit that arises from that flesh is of it, and everything else is foreign.  When you start calling upon the kennings, you cause that body to fill itself up with more and more aspects of self until there is no room for anything but self.  The intruder will be forced out or destroyed.

 

If you find yourself at ritual’s end loose in your skin, or not alone in your head, try beginning to ken yourself by all the relationships you have.  Family, job, friends, pets, lovers; as you name yourself again and again you deepen the connection between yourself and this world, which is physically the link between your spirit and your flesh, and restore your awareness as the mortal and limited you, not the amazing, potent, but in no way competent to operate your car, god who was riding you.

 

Repossession is an easy and gentle action, because this was always your flesh.  Your spirit arises from it and is bound to it until death cuts that soul part away.  As a warder and participant in many of these rituals I will be the first to admit you can’t always spot the ones who have gone out, and sometimes you can be unaware of the fact that either you went at all, or didn’t all come back, and you have some grounding to do to fit all of yourself back in your head.

 

Knowing how to do this safely, effectively, gently and without external tools or ritual structure makes it easier to provide aftercare for yourself or others after deep trance possessory or journey work.

 

 

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Uncategorized

Examination of Heathen Marriage

People keep asking questions about Heathen Marriage practices, so I guess its time to share this.

mainer74

Heathen Freehold Society of British Columbia Wedding Ceremony

Heathen Freehold Society of BC

There has been a lot of talk in North America these days about traditional marriage, and family values.  That is awesome, but while people have thrown around the words, no one has really defined them, even in popular culture terms.  Since we are Heathens, we do things a little differently, starting with the need to consider just what we mean by traditional marriage and family values.
Our ancestors were not renowned for flights of romantic fancy.  There is a reason for this; the North punishes failure, badly.  To live in a marginal environment where survival requires the collective effort, and where success requires that each person lends their particular skills and strengths to their maximum advantage, there was little drive behind flights of fancy, histrionics, or grand gestures.  Practical was important, in fact, it was critical.

Folk flows from family, and family…

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Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Prayer to Freya

Tears of the sun, tears of the tree
Snowy white joy cliffs spray
Love light and renewal
Njord’s wild daughter
Nerthus bright flower
Dance for us please

Brisingamen flashing
Bright eyes and dark dreams we call
Strife stirring war witch
thrice burning renewer
Cat gloved destroyer
Delight of dark witches

Tears of the sun, tears of the tree
Snowy white joy cliffs spray
Love light and renewal
Sessrúmnir mistress
Queen of the fallen
Dance for us please

Sword age axe age wolf age
Brother slays brother
Women cursed as slattern
Women praised as chattel
Earth groaning beneath us
Seas soiled around us

Tears of the sun, tears of the tree
Snowy white joy cliffs spray
Love light and renewal
Brising’s bright mistress
Whose steps change the world
Dance for us please

Burn bright in the dancing
Light of the east
Fire of the night
Passion of the flame
Daughter of the Vanir
Lead us all in your dance

—–

So yet another friend of mine is now dying of cancer. I don’t keep count, one was too many, and every time I start a list I come up with different names, so its probably best not to dwell on it.

The world is full of loss, anger, pain, fear, and death. Everywhere we look there is darkness, want, and despair. That is not all there is, and even less is it all their could be.

I call to Freya to bring back the glory of Brisengamen to this world, to bring the dark and the wild, the bright and passionate the flame that is death and rebirth. I call upon her to lead the dance, but I call upon us to follow it.

There had best be more than the raven’s feast to this life, or why should we bother.

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Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Two Wolves

Two Wolves

Chris was in a good place, everything was coming up roses, all of his plans were on track or even ahead of schedule.  Even his personal and romantic life was flowing smoothly, everyone was more than happy with him right now, yet something was bugging hims.  He kept looking into the mirror, expecting to see the smile everyone loved, and seeing a resting face that looked like it was waiting for news it wasn’t going to like.  He had come to the park to think.  Away from people, down among the trees and silence Chris was free to set aside the almost aggressive optimism he faced the world with.  There was something around the sunny edges of his world that was threatening to cast a shadow across his future, and he couldn’t see what it was.  Maybe it was him, maybe in the absence of external conflict he was creating his own?  Muttering a phrase he got from one of those eternally cheerful memes that pass themselves off as deep, when pretty much they just reassure you that you don’t actually need to think or change, you are already fine he was surprised when his words were answered from outside his head.

“There are two wolves within each of us”  Chris muttered absently as he strode between the trees.  Be damned if he could remember how the meme ended, but before he could dig up the memory, a loud rasping laugh derailed his train of thought in untidy flaming wreckage.

“Boy if you have two wolves in you, you are some kind of screwed.  I saw someone come close once.  Poor tyke zigged when he should of zagged, or maybe a passing Valkyrie thought he had a nice ass, because he caught about a two second burst from a PK(M) machinegun from left hip to lower right floating rib.  His kibbly bits got sort of spread about an arm length or so on either side of him.  Two wolves came to play tug of war over his gut-sausage, and from the look on his face, I don’t think it was as much fun as it sounds”

The old man was wearing an old green gabardine coat, looking like something out of an old WWI or WWII officer’s kit, and holding two hot dogs.  With a wink from the one eye showing from the shaggy grey hair that hung down over his craggy face, he tossed one hot dog in the air and his two hounds, great shaggy long jawed husky cross breeds that must have been part moose to be nearly that size snapped jaws as long as Chris’ forearm down on the hot dog, then snarling proceeded to tear it apart in grim demonstration of what two wolves playing tug of war with a dying man’s intestines might look like.  Chris shuddered, his mind caught in the image of a battlefield so far removed from his world of meetings and deal making.

The old man looked Chris up and down slowly, and for a second, his gaze reminded Chris of his grandfathers.  Chris’ grandfather had been an electrician, worked building and renovating homes most of his life, and retired to a slightly less demanding position working to maintain a local mills electrical systems.  The old man had listened patiently to Chris as a child trying to spin whatever misadventure had gotten him into trouble, and stripped it of all the layers of spin and shading to leave a very small and clear picture of a mistake he would then ask Chris how he planned on fixing.  Over the years Chris got a whole lot better at not making mistakes, but few enough of his business partners, or romantic ones had ever had the knack of stripping away all Chris’ spin and sleight of hand to point out where his substance didn’t quite cover the cheques his style had written.  Nodding slowly, the old man pointed to his huge dogs.

“Anyone who has two wolves in them is about out of problems, but I will tell you a secret about running with wolves for real boy. I run with two.  One is named Word”

He pet the right hand hound who preened under his hand like a puppy and not a two hundred pound murder machine.  He continued.

“The second one is called Deed.  They are brothers, Word and Deed, but like most brothers, they are competitive and quarrelsome.”

The second wolf let his wide white mouth fall open cheerfully, floppy tongue playfully lapping at the old man’s hand, long white teeth as long as Chris’ fingers flashing dangerously in the sunlight.

The old man looked seriously at his one remaining hot dog, then at the two dogs, and lastly at Chris.  His grin was a flash like lightning, bright and then gone as his face turned to cold unforgiving stone.  His tone went playful, but Chris felt his body go very still, as a rabbit will when it finds itself trapped under an eagle’s gaze.

“Now I wouldn’t say this applies to you.  Perish the thought, far to wise to fall into this trap, yet I have known men who fell into this trap, rose high in might and fame, fell in flames and fury, leaving no name worth owning and a huge expensive mess for better men and women to clean up.  These poor fools ran with wolves, like many of us do, and they knew how to get the most out of the gifts they had.  You see, they took great care to feed one wolf, they fed Word, and he was happy and grew strong and bright, pulling them onward and upward to glory and fame.”

With a flourish the old man tossed the hot dog off to his right, and the one hound lunged to take the dog in his mighty jaws.  It disappeared in three happy gulps.  The big dog gave a happy skip and twirled and thoughtless spin that casually knocked Chris to the ground, then he proceeded to lick the prostrate business man, causing him to laugh.

The old man smiled indulgently, and his voice softened a bit from the heavy sarcasm of before, becoming almost gentle.

“Now that is fine, that is good, but look behind you boy.”

Chris looked over his shoulder, and his laughter froze in his throat, the other dog was eyeing him with cold hungry eyes that seemed to shine in the shadows like moonlight on a knife edge.  A low throbbing growl sounded from the dog, who looked less like an over large puppy and more like two hundred pounds of tireless killing machine, the kind of wolf that spawned ten thousand years of scary stories whispered around fires, staring outward at the hungry dark and the shadows that haunt and hunt it.  Chris’ bladder made it clear it was seriously considering the kind of failure he had last experienced in kindergarten.  The old man continued casually.

“Nothing wrong with feeding Word boy.  Nothing wrong with fame, with glory, and oh the adoring looks in a fair maids eyes.  Gods know no one has ever accused me of being humble but I will tell you boy, its just not safe to feed Word alone.  Word and Deed boy, feed them equal and you can outrun the sun, reach the moon, and never miss a step.  Feed Word and not Deed, and the day will come, Deed will have his due, and you won’t like it when he takes his own, rather than you giving it.  Understand me boy?”

Chris felt it then, the weight not of the old man’s gaze, nor even the snarling maw of the wolf, but the weighing gaze of his grandfather, stripping away the spin, stripping away the style, and weighing carefully the substance with a craftsman’s care, and a builder’s eye for what will last.  He let a long sighing breath out.  That was it, that was the thought that had been nagging him, the shadow that would not be banished no matter how much sunlight he threw it.  His grandfather wasn’t the only one who could see the substance behind the style, Chris never really fooled himself either.  He guessed he had been cutting more corners than he should because he could convince everyone he had things under control.  Maybe it was time to take some time to make sure he actually did.  Style got him the chance to show what he could build, but it was substance in the end that either proved you built something that would last or not.

Getting up carefully, Chris nodded to the old man.  Avoiding admitting any wrongdoing as carefully as the old man avoided accusing him of it, Chis dusted himself off, and gestured back to the hot dog cart and offered.

“It occurred to me sir that in thanks for your advice, it would please me if I might purchase a hot dog for Deed so he can match Word more closely.  I would take it as a favour if you would allow me to get some for us as well,”

The old man nodded, and the two men and great hounds moved towards the hot dog vendor.  His voice sounded one more time, this time sounding more human and less like judgement itself.

“Very hospitable of you son.  I approve.  Its always a good idea to keep Word and Deed equally fed.”

——We have a problem in our society with these two wolves, Word and Deed.  Almost everyone feeds them enough, but rarely do they feed them equally, and the problems are hurting us.

On the whole, we see larger than life figures who feed Word almost exclusively, politics is home to many of them, rewarding style over substance with the chance to write bigger and bigger cheques their substance can’t cash.

Our own Heathen ranks have seen some spectacular examples of this, big name train wrecks that have cost us a lot, and left us juicy gossip to keep insiders in stories for generations.  I won’t lie, this is most common among our menfolk.  Sorry guys, I am one of you and this is the side we tend to err on when we cast off the chains of false Christian modesty (empowring hypocrites and cheating people of actual worth since year zero current era).

The other error is those who feed only Deed, but not Word.  These are the selfless, self effacing, frequently women, who give far more than they take, and take no credit for it.  They are not getting in proportion to their giving, and thus are hurt by participation in our community, being drained of strength through their offerings when balancing Word and Deed would see them gaining the word-fame and status their actions deserve, returning to them twice the energy they invested and empowering rather than burning them out.

Our ancestors understood the use of the boast and the brag to dare us to great works, to inspire us at the struggle and triumph of those in our community to better empower our own drive to achieve our own goals.  They understood to boast in a community like ours meant that Word and Deed would be measured to the ounce, and the difference between them noted, frequently loudly or in catchy verse if the balance was bad enough.

Feed the wolves, dare great things, but feed them evenly.  Match your deeds to your words, and if you can’t reach your stated goal, own it, and make the next goal one you can reach.  Build your worth solidly, don’t blow up a baloon of unrealistic expectations and wait for wyrd to supply the pin to pop it.  It will.

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