Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Anything but Valhalla

It was my fault, if you want to be picky about it.  I blame the freaking Nazi’s, but it was my choice in the end.  Two limp dick losers were upset they couldn’t get a date because they were just that much of an ass that no woman was deluded, desperate or drunk enough to find them attractive, even in their most post breakup bad decision phase.  You have to work hard to be so repulsive to the opposite sex that you can’t get laid in a brothel with a thousand dollar bill wrapped around your Johnson, but these two were just that bad.  They called themselves Incels, involuntary celibates, which is the technical term for can’t get laid with a thousand dollar bill wrapped around your dick in the worst red light district known to man.  They added to their idiocy by embracing the white power movement and Neo-nazism that convinced them that university liberals were training women to hate men (even if the same universities were filled with women dating men, logic was not their strong suit).

Rather than not treat women like undomesticated farm animals, or do something radical like bathe once in a while, these two limp dick losers decided to take their anger and a half dozen guns each and go shoot up a university girls dorm.

They picked a “smart day”, meaning one where the girls were moving in for the second semester, so some men were moving around the tower, usually carrying something heavy from parking lot to room.  They didn’t really have a plan, beyond shooting every woman they saw, and hadn’t really worked out what to do when the girls locked the damned doors when the shooting started.  Not just Incels  and Nazi’s, but idiots.  I was helping my daughter move in, and like any infantry worthy of the name, moved to the sound of the guns.  I was retired, having given up playing hero for a living when my knees ran out of cartilage and the list of joints with arthritis included everything from neck to ankle, but my daughter was in this building along with a lot of girls just like her, and no way in hell those guns were getting any nearer without my doing anything about it.

In the end, it was too simple.  They were trying to shoot there way into a room, but hadn’t figured out yet that bullets are like pool balls, they bounce beyond your initial aim point, and concrete hallways can return those rounds to sender with a heck of a spin on them.  One of them was screaming and cupping a tiny little wound on his outer leg.  Honestly, it was barely a scratch, but he was whining like it was the end of the world.  I began to sprint down the hall at them, saying nothing.

They both looked up as I pounded towards them, and the big one who was unhurt began to fire in my general direction.  I felt something hit my back, probably caught a ricochet, but I haven’t got time to worry about that.  I take a second to the head and my vision goes red, my world goes silent and I lose my sense of up and down.  It didn’t matter.  I hit the one who was crying about his little nick, and I fall with the rifle between us.

We hit the ground, him on the bottom.  I smash the rifle against what I think is his head again and again until the wet feeling under my hands and the resistance on the rifle stop.  I turn towards the blur in the hallway, and punch out three shots along what I think is the intersection of the blur and the ground.  At least one takes him in the ankle because he goes down.  I walk the rest of the magazine along the blur above the ground.  I can’t see him well enough to figure out when end of the blur is important, so I walk nine rounds up from end to end, and the bolt locks open.  I can’t breathe any more, and things are getting so dark and cold.  I press the rifle into the hollow between what used to be the head of the idiot I landed on, and his chest.  I think I already pulped his skill, but just to be sure, I push my weight onto the rifle and into the soft bits of the throat until I feel the cartilage crush under me.  If he was alive, he won’t be for long.  I let the darkness take me.

Well, at least I will see my family in Hel.  I will see those who passed before me and await the day long hence when my wife and children pass on to join me.

You would think that would be a safe bet.  I thought so.  I lost.

I had the strangest impression as I faded out.  I swore I saw my old basic training Mcpl riding a great warhorse, a dappled grey on grey, like gunsmoke in fog.  When she got closer, I noticed she was not actually Master Corporal Koskinnen, but as much as I always thought she looked like a Valkyrie, it turns out I found Valkyries looked a lot like her too.

As I started to fade out, I croaked “Not Valhalla!”  I didn’t want to spend an eternity preparing for war, an eternity of blood and slaughter, endless pointless drill and battle, killing each other every day, rising from the dead to drink and revel all the night.  Good gods, It would be like being back in the infantry doing a workup that lasted until Ragnarok with no leave, no pay, and no freaking rest.

She leaned down from the horse (how the hell do you get a horse that is about seventeen hands high into the second story hallway of a university dorm tower?) and grabbed me, pulling me up, in what my hallucinating mind saw as out of my body.  As she did, she whispered to me.

“Not Valhalla, I promise” She said as my light went out for good.

Valkyrie horse

I awoke with a start, there was a strange feeling in my body, I couldn’t put a name to it, but something in my brain told me it was wrong.  Something in my lower regions told me to stop thinking and pay attention, because it was certainly standing at it.

Three things attempted to get my attention more or less at once.  First, I was somewhat less dead than I really ought to have been.  Second, I was naked, which was obvious as certain parts of me had decided saluting the third thing in the room was what we should be doing, and proceeded to do just that without the use of my hands.  The third thing I noticed was Her.

Falcon cloaked, as in her cloak was made of falcon feathers.  I don’t mean sewed of Falcon feathers, I mean it rustled like the wings of a Peregrine Falcon, if one topped out about six foot three with long blonde hair, blue eyes that blazed like lightning on bared steel and a frontal armament that let you know that this was the template that all mortal breasts attempted to match but never could.  Between them nestled a necklace of amber and gold that shone with light from a sun that was not actually present inside this large wood hall, but I guess when you are Brisengamen, you can shine with sunlight without such trivial needs as an actual sun.  There was a slight small smile on her lips, terribly expressive lips.  Pale pink and mobile they promised things it wasn’t good to think about, and yet one look at the light burning in her eyes reminded you this was Freya, the woman of every dream, including nightmares of man.

Her voice rang out then.  It wasn’t loud.  Nothing crude like that, but her voice sang in my blood, in my bones, and my heart hammered and my poor frigging cock and balls did their best imitation of living stone.   Her voice filled my mind, vibrated the air in my lungs as my ribs hummed with its echoes and the phrase echoed from a scream to a whisper a thousand times and a thousand ways through a brain suddenly filled with ten thousand images of her and I from her astride me in sexual climax, her tearing the beating heart from my chest and eating it before my eyes.  In each, she shone with golden fire a thousand times brighter and hotter than the sun, and in each I felt my body shuddering and shaking in a climax beyond any I had known in life.

“Do you know where you are?”

Honestly, if that is what I get from a short phrase, gods help me if she ever has to explain something to me.  I don’t trust myself to speak, but her question had the power of a command, and besides, fear has never ruled me, nor good sense or anything resembling wisdom, so I answered.

“Fólkvangr, your grace. Hall of the Einherjar who serve the Van-Dis, Brisengamen’s Mistress, the Lady; Freya”

I lived an idiot, and died and idiot, so there was no reason to switch from what worked at this point.  I rushed on to finish my thought before her beauty drove it out of my head.

“I cannot be here Lady.  I am a married man, and my wife will not understand my being here.  I mean Valhalla I could write off as away on Ex, she put up with that in the Army when I was alive, but she knows the most beautiful women in the Nine Worlds live in your hall, and that those who you gather are yours until Ragnarok.  No way she is going to believe I am not at least thinking about……”

She threw back her head and laughed, arms thrust high above her shoulders and the Valkyries gathered around her laughed as well.  I felt their eyes on me, and my eyes on them and with the mortal flesh and its age and damage given limits removed it seemed every cell of whatever I used for a body here was already presenting its own plan for what I would like to do with whom for all the women in the room, and from the predatory smiles on all their faces, both the Valkyries and Freya read each of them like a book, and marked the pages of the ones they would like to reread in more depth later.

Touching my lips gently to stop my babbling, Freya shook her head and glanced over at one of the Valkyries.

“Sina, before our young recruit says anything else more foolish, see that he is armed and armoured appropriately.  He might do well to focus on something a little less frightening, like two hundred thousand elite berserkers trying to cut him into cat food for my babies”

Freya swayed out of the room with the sort of prowl you would expect of a cat, if they topped out around six foot three, wore cloaks that thought they were wings, and gave off the same light and heat as the mid day sun on an early summer morning.  There were two actual golden cats following her, or cougars, they shifted from one moment to the next as if unconcerned with consistency.

Sina, for that was the Valkryie who brought me, took me to the armoury.  I could choose from any weapon ever made, and some that perhaps hadn’t been.  In the rack was Hella, my first battle rifle.  Long replaced by a soulless 5.56mm for modern service, my first love had been my FNCIA1, a 7.62x51mm semi automatic wood and steel weapon already a generation old when it came to my hands.  I lifted it down, and saw the serial number was my own.  I felt a sudden weight settle over me, as my old webbing suddenly draped me.  I checked my pouches, my magazines were empty so I set about filling them with ammunition from the stripper clips in the box on the table before me.  I strapped a longsword through the back of the webbing, as there was an oversized frog on left hip and right shoulder top for a right side top draw, and something told me that battle here would frequently end in quarters too close for my rifle.

I turned to Sina and told her firmly, my mind and body anchored by the weapon of my long service into the hard channels of duty that ruled me my entire life.

“Sina, I am serious, I cannot be in this hall.  I am married.  My wife won’t understand.  I have to go”  I spoke with great seriousness, and she regarded me with the calm of an RSM who has heard every version of every complaint, fear, objection and request that any troop could possibly come up with often enough to not be able to fake surprise at any of it.  She just nodded.

“You could always just let yourself get killed.”  She offered.

Not the stupidest bit of advice when you thought of it.  Getting killed got me here.  Maybe getting killed gets me out of it?

I nodded, she took down a Heckler & Koch MG5 light machine gun with box drum of ammunition as if the whole assembly weighed less than my rifle, strapped a second and third drum to each hip and grinned something that a shark would be terrified to see in the mirror and threw back the bolts to the great gate.

We made our way into nightmare.  If every war ever fought intersected into a mad maze where you could step out of Gordon’s Khartom facing Arab camel cavalry, to find yourself taking fire from a Panzer IV 75mm gun, roll into a trench to find yourself nose to shield with a Roman legionnaire at close quarters.  I took fire from a line of Arquibisers I swore were under Gustavus Adolfus himself,  fought house to house in a Belgian stone village of uncertain vintage under constant 7mm fire and occasional grenades.

In the end, I caught some nerve gas from some Frog 7 rockets of Soviet manufacture.  I saw Sina go down, starting to twitch as the droplets hit her.  I grabbed the autoinjector from her helmet and rammed it home, then reached for my own.  I had taken a gladius blow to the helmet before I had been able to clear my own sword and drive the pommel through the open faced helm after my tackle took us both to the ground, trapping his sword beneath his tower shield.  I guess I didn’t notice he had shattered my auto injector, because my own was broken and empty in my hands as the numbness set in.

I died of nerve gas in a corner of a world war three we never got to fight, choking out my life as I grew too paralyzed to breathe, watching a Spad and Fokker biplane duel in the sky above me.  At least I was free of Fólkvangr.

This time I woke up bouncing.  Bouncing up and down as I was being carried over the extremely athletic shoulder of Sina.

“I died!”  I tried to shout, not actually possible while being carried over someone’s shoulder, it came out as a loud sort of grunt.

Sina patted my ass and chuckled.

“Yes, but very well, and very late.  We are all very impressed.  Good first day.  You even saved my life, so I claimed you for first night.”  She offered happily.

“I am married!”  I protested again.  She tossed me casually to a fur draped couch of really excellent carved wood construction.

Striking a pose with hand raised and the other over her heart she intoned very seriously.

“Forsaking all others, until death do us part.  Well, you parted twice, now we party.  You should have known dying won’t get you out of Fólkvangr; after all, its dying for love that got you in”

She had a point.  Getting killed more than twice gets you quite an appetite.  I had begged for anything but Valhalla of the Valkyrie as I lay dying in my daughter’s dorm hallway.  Fólkvangr is not Valhalla.  The gods have a sense of humour, and a hell of a determined set of recruiters.

If my wife does not understand, she can kill me every day for as long as she likes and it still won’t interfere with my duties.  Freya bless me, its all in the benefits package.  I kid you not.

Goddess Freya forest

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Aesir, Asatru, Faith, Heathen, Heathentry, Pagan, Uncategorized

Ragnarok Comes

 

The runes were cast
The answer cold
Ragnarok was come
The message clear

Who broke faith with us
Shall to the darkness
To the fire
To the ice fall

The fire raged; half the world burned
By mankind’s hand
In mankind’s greed
The nuclear Fenris shackles broke

Nuclear Explosion

The sky grew dark with ash that took the sun
The dawn brought fire that took the air
The earth groaned
Poisoned beyond salvation

Come now the Jottun
Fenris howling in the van
Surt marches
Serpent rising from poisoned seas

Alone the sons of Ask
The daughters of Embla
Face at last
The final night

No gods to lead them
No gods to save them
Those who forsake them
To stand alone

Pitiful few, the tanks did roll
Against legions beyond counting
Infantry locked and loaded
Jets screaming took flight

Sky grown black with Nidhogg’s brood
Lancing with fire to burn all that dared
The skys on the last day
No living could face them

Reign of Fire

The ground shook beneath Jottun tread
Spears of fire shatter armour
When through artillery march
Unharmed the foe

There is no hope
The young soldier cries
There is no chance
The pilot weeps

From above the hearth,
The veteran takes
The arms he lived to set aside
No longer will that be

Daughters of Freya
In the darkness scream
Not despair but madness
Dancing, move towards the line

Daughters of Frigg
Food they gather
Water they bring
Warriors will need both

Children of Eir
Bandages bring
Gloved and masked
No fighter to fall unaided

Sons of Tyr
No hope was promised
Only the right
And the will to stand by it

Sons of Thor
Laughter rings out
The final storm
Who would stand aside?

Children of Odin
Blood and madness
The feast of all ravens
March song on their lips

Hel in her fastness stirs
No prophesy to bind
Her own council keeps
Her charges set loose
Abrams and Leopard
To Jottun spear fall
Dread guns no match
For the fires of primordial chaos

Hel veiled

From the wreckage ghosts rise
Tigers in slate grey
Dun coloured Sherman’s
The guns of the dead speak

Jottnar reel,
As the first deathless fall
When the dead march
Where the living yet stand

Infantrywoman weeps
And loads her last mag
A hand closes on her shoulder
Grey and cold

Her grandfather to one side
His grandfather the other
Grey and cold the guns of the dead speak
Where the living dare stand

Surt in his fury
A sword of entropy bears
That no god or man may stand
Yet Frey grows from the earth
Antler in his hand
About him the poisoned earth
Gives forth green life
And fire burns it not

In the air the dragons scream
Red Baron soars
Bishop on his wing
Hurricane and Spitfire behind
Messerschmitt and Mustang
Phantom and MiG
While the living dare the sky
Will the dead make their slaughter

The Serpent from the sea boils
No force in nine worlds may face
All fleets shatter at its coming
Yet Thunder does sound
Where men and women flee
From warships serpent shattered
Does Thor stride to the shore
Hammer raised and joyous cry

Odin dances in the madness
Runes of victory he casts
Spear making great slaughter
Mad his laughter
Bright his eye
No hope do I offer
No hope do I bring
I am the promise only of death
Yet I am the promise kept
The battle embraced
The price paid
That no foe shall master thee
That no night shall befall
The children of Ask and Embla

Wolf Fenris howls
His dread jaws close
The Victory Father’s thread cut
By the wolf of war

Silent and bold
The son of the King
Viddar the jawbreaker
Fenris bane wrought

 

While still stand to battle
When all hope is lost
The sons and daughters of men
Shall never stand alone

The dead will uphold
Those who keep the watch
The gods will give strength
While still you dare fight

Will the dawn rise?
Will tomorrow come?
Will it to be mortal,
Then make it so

Rainbow dawn

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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, Pagan, Uncategorized

The Bet

One morning Freya had been listening to a translation of the newly recovered Hamaval. In particular she was listening without amusement to Odin’s words on the fickleness of women. Her ire aroused, the passionate Vanir confronted the one-eyed wanderer and took him to task.

“Your one eye has blinded you, old fool” Freya shouted with her famous passion “It is the passion of love, not of gold that moves women. Perhaps in your dotage you meet only those women whose affections YOU must buy.”

As all of Asgard prepared for the second round of their most famous war, the Wise Counsellor laughed deeply and long, his great white beard shaking in mirth. Odin offered the golden goddess a challenge:

“I will wager a hundred heroes from my hall, that any woman we agree on will chose for gold over passion in the end.”

“Agreed!” Shouted Freya, “No magic from you or I shall sway this, let it only be mortal choice that holds the day. You may speak only to the couple, nor may you set any other against them, and I will agree to the same”

The couple they agreed upon was an uptight young English woman of good family. Her name was ancient, and her fortunes vast. Possessed of a rare beauty and poise, she was much sought after by suitors, as there was no family lord from whom her hand could be bartered, she was free to choose.

Odin the victory father was watching the young lass (Cassiopeia) carefully. She doted upon the cats that she kept, and once tossed out a young man for scaring one. She rode often to the hunt with flare, and kept only the finest blood stock, and mocked other riders who had lesser mounts or lesser skill. The suitors that surrounded her were the height of fashion, wearing only the best, eating only the rarest and most fashionable of dishes. Odin saw all of this, and cast his plan.

Freya goddess of passion and magic saw with other eyes a woman surrounded by men obsessed with petty pursuits, elaborately bored with life, and obsessed with the games of social status. She smiled casting her own plans.Casseopea

Jonathan was the third son of an ancient family. Sent to the new world to pursue his fortune, it was expected that the eager but not overly bright lad would take his remittance and stay gone, but to everyone’s shock he succeeded in mining in the Yukon, winning for himself much gold and renown, and returning to a somewhat shocked and bemused family.

Lacking guile utterly, and with the friendly eagerness of a puppy rather than the elaborate courtesy of the court, he had been corrupted by the loose frontier ways and lost most of his early graces. His family despaired at finding a match for him, and so set for him the impossible task of Cassiopeia, whose wealth and grace were such that she would swiftly and gently send the half wild boy home to consider more modest prospects.

Mountain Man

He began the courting journey sitting upon a well bred horse that he rode poorly; having spent the last years with mules and donkeys rather than high bred horses. Wrapped in the latest fashions, he held a roll of large nuggets from his claim tucked in belt, and a thick wad of paper money in his tunic.

As he rode, he came upon an old man at the side of the road leading two of the most beautiful donkeys he had ever seen. He stopped and asked the old man where he came by such beautiful beasts, and the old one eyed gent advised him:

“Only a fool would risk a great lady on a stupid and flighty horse, when a good solid donkey is available. These fine donkeys are the finest breeding pair in all of Britain, and I bring them to London to trade for a stallion.”

Jonathan saw his opportunity and offered to trade his flighty and overbred stallion for the two donkeys, and began his ride to London. Everywhere he rode, men and women pointed at him, and he just knew they wished they could be rid of the overbred horses and ride big eared sturdy donkey like he and his wife to be would.

As he rode further into town he saw an old man with selling meat pies. The smell made his mouth water, and he stopped to buy one. The taste was like nothing of this world! He begged of the old man what was this meat, and the old man swore it was cat. The old man said the Lady Cassiopeia was famed for her cat, but few enough men would eat it, let alone ask for it. Jonathan swore right then he would be the first! Riding away, he began to wonder what plague it was that left so many old men with but one eye!

Coming upon an old man standing bare chested in the street, giving his clothes to the poor, Jonathan asked what the old man did. The old man replied that Lady Cassiopeia had said no thing spoke better of a wealthy man than giving the shirt of his back to the poor, after all they were rich enough to replace it a hundred times! Jonathan thought Cassiopeia was the best among women, and right then gave his fine coat and shirt, and damnable riding breaches to the poor, determined to out do the other suitors. Besides, after years of working the gold fields, he was unused to tight clothes and heat, and his massive muscles did poorly in the tight clothes of modern England.

Sure that victory was his, Odin looked in to see how Freya fared.

Freya sat beside Cassiopeia, wearing the guise of a widowed aunt. Cassiopeia looked at the delicate men picking at the feast, sipping wine delicately while picking daintily at the food, each piece carved to be an artwork itself. The men talked of the hunt, politics, gossip, and ignored her completely when not competing with each other to out compliment her. With each she dueled with words and gestures, each weighed for effect in a play more elaborate than any stage, each calculated and bloodless as any card or board-game, with points won and lost in high societies game of status.

Freya whispered to Cassiopeia,

“Do you ever dream of the days when half naked barbarians would sweep in and sweep up a woman not because of her land, or horses, or wealth. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a man who wanted to spend the time with you, not riding to hunt, or playing at cards? The suitors here all seem soft of hands, without a drop of passion in them, hardly the sort to rip a bodice, nor strong enough to carry a woman off without at least two servants for lifting.” Cassiopeia just sighed deeply.

Jonathan approached the fine mannor and laughed to see the poor fools had all come in carriages, with not a single donkey among them! Lace and waist coats seemed the order of the day, and they seemed to be eating pastries. Clearly they knew nothing of women! Determined to make a good impression he rode his donkeys up the stairs and into the courtyard, hearing the amazed gasps at his entrance. Seeing Cassiopeia in all her loveliness standing proud and imperious at the head of the table, he slid off his donkey and spread his wide well muscled arms and smiled.

Cassiopeia stared transfixed as her suitors and guests gasped at the heavily muscled tanned gold bearded savage standing in a breach-cloth between the two snow white donkeys. Her eyes travelled his smiling face, down his tanned and sweaty rock hard chest and to his, frankly, hugely bulging breach clout and gasped.

Seeing she was taken by the obviously fine donkeys, he proclaimed their strength and endurance that she know they were not just pretty, for he was a fine judge of donkeys.
“I swear if you take me as husband, I will ride that ass all day, and still have strength to ride all night”

The men gasped, and some of the maidens swooned; Cassiopeia felt her heart beat faster

Gesturing to the pâté, goose, quail, and beef on the heavy tables, Jonathan remembered the old man’s words about her pride in the cat she served, and the generosity she sought in her men. Boasting proudly he proclaimed:

“Marry me, and I swear I will eat nothing buy your sweet pussy for the whole honey-moon. I have given my clothes to the beggars in the streets, for with you I will not need them!”

Knowing that women have practical needs, and well pleased with his success in the gold fields, he slapped his breach clout where his rolled up deer-hide held his heavy gold nuggets, and gave it a tug, as frankly the sight of Cassiopeia was making it a bit tight!

Pointing to his bulging underwear, he proudly boasted:

“With what I have in here, you will never want for anything again!”

The assembled suitors were shouting now, the maidens fanning their faces and swooning. More than a few of the servant girls were eyeing him openly and whispering, but the room grew still as stone when Cassiopeia leapt from her vantage point with a growl that could shame a leopard, tackling Jonathan to the ground in a confused kissing tangle.

One hundred heroes walked from Valhalla that evening, for all the tricks of the Evil-Worker are no match for the passion of youth. The couple lived long, passionately untidy lives littered with adventures and children. The gods blessed their union and line, for steadfast hearts are the gods true wealth.

 

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Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Queen and the Cross

 

Beneath the shadow of the cross

Her children bowed

Endless chain of faith and freedom

Broken in her holy grove

To the laughter of the hate filled

Desert god

 

Your daughter’s eyes will never raise

Not even at the end of days

I’ll break them of their power and their pride

They’ll beg upon their knees to me

And never will they yearn to be

Free, because I made a sin of pride

 

Your sons will live in ignorance

Wisdom known as witchery

Love reserved only for my name

Where was pleasure

Now is only shame

 

I’ll demonize your holy name

Burning witches in your flame

I’ll kill the memory of your every rite

And teach your children to ever fear the night

 

Lady of the catskin gloves

Your daughters will not sing of love

Obedience is all that they may know

Punish pride with iron fisted blow

 

No song that isn’t raised to me

No sensual no revelry

No sacred in the wild things

No dancing in the firelight

I hold your children

And I always will

 

Fear I gave them of the grave

A fire from which my word would save

Bend to me and you will never die

I swore it

And we both know that I lied

The lady raised her amber eyes

Her laughter was a falcon’s cry

Her rage it shook the very air

No tear upon her cheek

Nor dark despair

My children will return to me

And I will teach them to be free

Passion’s in their blood and bone

From mewing babe to withered crone

Holy comes from loving while you live

That is a truth that only I can give

 

Though a thousand years they lived in chains

To me they do return again

Crown me in the woods Queen of the May

Dancing for me in the ancient way

 

The gather in the firelight

Give themselves to revelry

Dance till the music burns their blood

Feel the living earth sing in their bones

Their passion draws them on

And brings them home

 

You would make my daughters slaves

You would make a beast of men

But I tell you they return again

To look upon each other

With respect and love

Without a single fear of what’s above

 

They seek again the mysteries

The sacred arts are worked again

The power and the pride you thought long lost

They’ll take it back no matter what it cost

 

A thousand years of fear and flame

But now they call my sacred name

Dare to love in pride again

Dare to look on the sick and hurt

Dare to heal each other and the earth

 

You burned the witch to hide the truth

You burned the tree but not the root

My children learned to love

And thus learned me

While they love they come to me

Come to me and I will make them free

Goddess Freya true

 

 

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Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Goddesses and Greatness

It is International Women’s Day, and that got me thinking about my daughters, about our goddesses and about what each has taught me about the other as my daughters have faced their struggles to grow up in a world that really isn’t that friendly towards women; something that as a man you really don’t notice until you have daughters of your own.

At Parliament of World Religions last year, there was a lot of talk from a lot of faiths about the Greatness of God.  Usually singular, usually male, but the female variety also focused on the Great Goddess with the assumptions of the three O’s firmly in place.  Omnicient (all knowing), Omnipotent (all powerful), and Omnipresent (all places and times present).  That part struck me as a bit bizzarre, for I have never found it to be true, and really never found it to be important either.  It seemed to be critical in these people’s beleifs that their god/ess be absolutely everything, or their faith was in peril.

Our goddesses are a varied lot.  Skadi is a stone a killer as you would want to meet, Ran and Nerthus could give Jehova a run for his money in the unknowable and unforgiving catagories, but the more cis normative goddesses represent interesting studies as well.  Freya is a goddess whose power is peer to that of Odin, whose sexuality is most powerfully her own, bound to no husband, and whose magics are very much able to work her will in the world towards ends of her own, not always known to any save her.  Frigg has foreknowledge equal to Odin himself, but shares little of it, weaving wyrd in the lives of men and women towards ends less obvious than the overt political and military stylings of her husband, on a scale that makes a single generation barely an eyeblink.

Frigg weavingFreya chariot

Nowhere do you see the three O’s implied of them; for the goddesses are great, their power so far beyond our own and our own understandings that we simply accept that much is possible to them that ought not to be possible at all. Wyrd weaves as it will, and even the goddesses cannot overcome it.  They are wise, but not in the same way, for each has a power and wisdom that is deep and distinct, where each might have an answer to a problem, seldom will it be the same answer, neither the tools used nor end sought being the same.  There is no doubt they are wiser than we mortals, but again, no implication that they know everything; only that should they seek it, little or nothing that can be known may be hidden from them.

Our ancestors accepted that the world was a complicated place, that there were many forces driving it that were beyond mortal strength to resist, or even understand.  They lived knowing that they could never possibly know everything, but that every scrap of knowledge they could have would increase their chances of making good choices and steering between those forces they could not stop or turn aside.  They did not need their gods to be the answer for why everything happened in the world.  Freyr didn’t kill uncle Olaf, the tree he was cutting turned unexpectedly when it fell, and it killed him.  Frigg didn’t kill your mother, childbirth is risky and this time she did not survive.  The gods and goddesses were powerful and wise, but not the root cause of everything that happened.  We were never told to turn away from the world, trust in the goddesses to tell you what you need to know.  We were taught to look to the world, to turn to your gods, goddesses and ancestors for wisdom in how to learn from the world, how to better understand and make better choices.

I look at my daughters, so different, yet so amazing, and I see the wisdom, the very great gift that our ancestors left us.  Our gods are not the source of all greatness, not the one truth of the universe.  Our gods and goddesses are greater than us, wiser than us, but enough like us that they can inspire us to find that within ourselves that can be great.

No one goddess teaches you to be a woman.  No matter how you will define yourself, there is a goddess, or even a god, whose path and tools will allow you to become the most successful version of yourself, the most capable and healthy version of yourself that you can be.

The goddessess are not perfect (the gods even less so), but that does not make them less worthy of worship, it makes them more worthy of worship because they are not so great that we must hurl ourselves at their feet in abasement knowing we could never be worthy of their regard.  No, they are so great that they are banners, beacons, inspirations and instructors to what we could be.  They are the great roaring fire that makes the tiny sparks inside us dare to blaze a little brighter.

The world is vast and complicated, it is moved by forces that simply are, and whose nature is knowable but immutable.  These forces are personified by the jottun, as described by our science, the primal forces that drive all life.  Wyrd weaves as it will, and before it even the gods must bow.  We do not have the luxury of blaming our gods or goddesses for our success or failure.  Some things are our choices, some are decided by our strength, skill, will and preparation, some by the will and resources of another, and some simply by forces beyond our will or comprehension, be they natural, political or economic.  Our goddesses never pretended otherwise, and the wisdom they have always offered has been to teach how to recognize those forces and move in harmony with them (or at least not to waste your energy opposing them), while learning how to develop your own potential to most powerfully affect those things that are within your power to change.

I sit and look at the requirement for all knowing all powerful god or goddess as the root cause of all things and see it for what it is, an escape from personal responsibility, an escape from having to learn, to adapt, to change.  I see this, and I am moved to bless and thank Freya, Frigg, Idunn, Ran, Nerthus, and Skadi for never selling us this fiction, for never claiming to be so great that we need never grow to become more to face our own challenges.  Our goddesses are not Omnicient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent, they are wise, and strong, and will listen if you ask their aid in growing wiser, stronger, and more aware of how YOU may become greater than the challenges you face.

My daughters move into a world beyond the shadow of my sword, where they will face their own challenges more and more on their own strength and skill, their own wisdom and vision.  As they grew up, I never taught them the gods and goddesses would fight their battles, would make their choices for them, would tell them what was around the next corner.  I sought to teach them to love to learn, to seek always to know the world and themselves as fully as possible, to be open to the touch of the gods, goddesses and ancestors that they may draw upon them when they needed to grow beyond what they were to face the challenge of the day, or to find a new answer.  I thank the goddesses most humbly for providing them so many paths to greatness, so many powerful ways to be a woman, whole, sane, strong and successful, that they never feel tempted to deny or cut away a part of themselves to conform to some imagined ideal right way to be and to strive.

Most of all, I thank the goddesses for their losses.  I mean it.  Frigg knows more than any, yet with all her knowledge Baldur fell slain.  Freya and Skadi both faced trials where all their might and majesty availed them not, and they had to settle for what they could salvage.  How inspirational is it to have one who can never fail, will never be wrong, has never known loss, as your guide?  How can you not turn away, knowing you cannot measure up, knowing that you can’t ever be that perfect, nor can a perfect one have ANYTHING to teach you about your own loss and its cost.  How much greater a goddess or god that has power beyond your wildest dream, yet still failed.  Why would you hide your wounds, your shame, your fears from one who openly bears their own?  When your need is most dire, when your own feelings of worth are the least, it is not to the unreachable perfect you will reach, but to one whose scars tell you your wound may be survived, one whose tears tell you that they know the words you cannot speak.  Only from them can you receive aid when your own strength is spent, your own vision sees no more choices.

Death of Baldur

Our goddesses are not that great, and that is awesome.  Not Omipotent, not Omnicient, not Omnipresent; they are something far more important, reachable, understandable, and useful.  They won’t part an ocean for you, but when you are drowning in your struggles, they can and will show you how you can win your way out.  They are great because they inspire greatness in us.

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Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

A touch of Coffee

Dana looked at her pictures taped to the mirror.  Her promises of what she was, and what she swore she would be again.  It sometimes seemed like a brighter idea than others.

 

Two years ago, her hair had been long golden waves that Sif would have been proud to claim as her own, a face darkened by sun, eyes marked by laugh lines and bright with the promise of tomorrow. The picture a year ago before going for chemo showed the glory of her hair crowning a face haunted by the fear that she might not see another spring, fixed smile painted over screams she dared not start lest she could not stop.  There was the strength that she held hard against the fear, but then, and even now, she had no idea how it could be enough.

Looking back at the face in the mirror, she took in the bald skull, the perfection of her bones had not changed, but the skin over them was drawn tight over the cheek bones, hollow in the cheeks, yet puffy around the dark hollows of eyes whose blue no longer shone like a spring sky, but the deep blue of the tidal surge that shattered ships and shore alike.

 

It took the better part of an hour to put on her makeup, her wig, and restore her face to the woman she used to be.  Her husband, her children, her friends were happiest with it.  She was happiest with it.  She looked in the mirror and did not know who it was who looked back at her.

 

Yule had passed, and with it the lives of some friends.  It was the dying time, the veil between the living and the dead was thinnest, and she would be lying if she didn’t feel the fingers of the cold deep in her bones, didn’t hear the whimpers in the quiet of the night, the memories of those times it was too much and she just prayed for it to end, for this to be the last night.  You can’t shake the memories of those nights as easily as stepping into the sunlight, for some chills are written in your bones, some screams written into your silences, and can never be forgotten.
Today she didn’t have it in her.  Today she didn’t care.  Let others shy away, let others shudder at the spectre of the fate her face whispered of.  Today she would not pretend she didn’t see, pretend she didn’t care.  Today she just didn’t have enough left to carry anyone else’s fear, or anyone else’s shame.

Coffee.  She needed coffee, and humanity could just frigging deal with it.

She scraped the windshield as the car heated up.  Her kids were already at school, and this was her time.  The coat was heavy and caught the wind when it gusted, she had not the weight she once had, and sometimes the wind sported with her more than she liked.  Her toque and scarf kept her warm, the cold Atlantic winds could bring colour to her pale cheeks, and make her fingers clumsy, but her strength was coming back and it could no longer make her tremble.  Caffeine, she needed caffeine.  She had an article in her laptop she wanted to read, but it was not something to read un-caffeinated.  One coffee there, and a second to take home should do her.  Her reward for a week survived.

She spotted the new coffee shop that had looked so interesting.  A pair of amber cats framed the sign Golden House.  Sure enough, two regal looking cats, about the size of lynx, observed the customers from a cat tree that dominated the wall opposite the counter.  The place was a happy untidy babble of conversations from a dozen dark hardwood tables that looked a lot like the benches of a mead-hall, heavy dark chairs, high backed and post carved offered hanging for coats and hats, as everyone had clearly done.  A roaring fireplace filled the wall opposite the window, and the firelight gave the place a warmth that made the outside winter hard to remember.  The smell of fresh coffee and mouth-watering baked goods made her stomach remind her she had not felt up to breakfast this morning, but perhaps now she might?

 

The owner of the coffee shop was dancing between the tables, there was no other word for it.  She had long golden hair and a figure that was as opulent as Dana’s had been before the choice had been to offer her breasts to the knife or her life to the cancer, and leave a battle long fought half won.

Goddess Freya true

Where you would swear there was not room between the tables to pass a ruler she spun and twisted with a heavy tray in one hand and a second that seemed to alternate between waving to those far away, and patting those she passed between, somehow letting each know they had her complete and joyous attention for one glorious moment.  It was easy to see why the place was packed.

 

“Take off your coat, stay a while.  I hardly ever bite unless asked nicely”  The woman’s voice rolled over Dana like the finest mead over the tongue, sweet and smooth, unleashing a warmth at its passing that bypassed thought altogether and undid the knots of tension, pain and fear that held her wound tight as a sewing bobbin.

Without thinking she shrugged off her coat hung it and her toque upon the chair before she remembered that she didn’t wear her wig today.  Freezing in fear, she tried to turn and snatch it back up again, but before she could, impossibly strong hands gently pushed the throne like chair under the bench, seating her at the table as smoothly as if it and she weighed nothing.

Turning to look at the figure who had pushed in the chair, her breath caught.  He was dark haired, wild maned with long and bushy hair and beard, a body long and rangy under a loose fisherman’s sweater with a woven pattern of giant wolves alternately devouring men and being torn asunder at the jaw.  He wore heavy boots, not quite work boots, nor yet biker boots, they were somehow brutally and uncompromisingly functional in the way a thing put together without any care for appearances can somehow acquire a stark majesty almost despite itself.  Nodding respectfully to her, he walked around the bench and gestured at the cinnamon buns fresh from glazing, still warm from the oven, and made a vague motion similar to a seated bow towards Dana that seemed to suffice to the owner as an order, causing her to laugh.

“My silent friend her is quite taken with you, and asks if you would care to have a fresh baked cinnamon roll with your coffee, I recommend the Egg Nogg latte, it’s a little on the rich side, but if you don’t allow yourself any guilty pleasures you will just die innocent, and we can’t have that now!”

 

Dana blushed and stammered something incoherent in acceptance.  Once she would have accepted such attention as her due, but since the cancer had robbed her of her colour, her grace, her muscle tone, her hair and breasts were only the most obvious of the blows she had taken, she had gotten used to fearing the look of her body, rather than loving it.  Granted her strength was coming back, and with it the grace she was winning day by day, step by step, thrice as hard to rebuild as to first win, but she was now not the woman she remembered drawing attention.

 

The owner glided back sliding two cinnamon rolls the size of dinner plates in front of them, the rich smell of cinnamon, the sight of tiny nuts and little candied fruit promising a heartier fare than the norm, made Dana’s mouth begin to water.

Tall Eggnog latte in large ceramic mugs joined the cinnamon buns in front of the silent man and Dana, and before Dana could muster her social defenses against men getting the wrong idea about approaching her as a married woman, the owner ran her hands with casual familiarity down the long shoulders and chest of the man, and pulled his rangy hair back to kiss him impishly upon the nose.

“Oh he does have an eye for the beauties.  He will never be any sort of a conversationalist, but the Silent One pays attention, and looks more deeply than his father ever did.  That is his second-best quality, right after knowing what a tongue is really for!”

 

Dana almost choked on her latte at the uncomplicated joy the woman took in casually discussing such things in a restaurant full of locals who roared with approval and pounded the table to her clear delight.  Dana knew there was no mockery here, but she was not willing to accept praise for what was long taken from her, the beauty she never knew she treasured until it was stolen by the thief that sought her life.

 

“I am hardly a beauty any more.  I mean…”  Dana made a hand wave that took in her bald skull, pain haunted eyes, and the flat hanging sweater that was stretched out for the generous curves she would never have again.

 

Sliding sensuously over to her side, the woman ran her hand across Dana’s bald scalp and Dana felt her entire body catch fire, back arching in helpless pleasure towards the fire of her simple touch, she felt her hands continue down the back of Dana’s skull and catch the necklace she wore under her sweater.

 

Tsking softly, the woman slowly drew the necklace from under Dana’s sweater and laid the simple Thor’s hammer below the hollow of her throat upon the soft sweater.

Murmuring softly, amber eyes burning into Dana’s blue ones like dancing fire, the woman spoke

“Such a kissable neck should be highlighted,  the hammer is a nice start, a statement of strength, but it needs a touch of fire to bring out your colour”

Taking one of the strands of amber that hung around her own neck, she softly ran the back of her knuckles over Dana’s collar bones and neck to fasten the strand of amber at the back of her neck, to lie half way between Thor’s hammer and her throat, drawing every eye to the regal curves of her shoulders and neck, the proud lines of her cheekbones and richness of her eyes and lips, the stark strength she alone could not see shining there.
Dana had not been with a woman since long before she was married, but her body trembled from this woman’s touch like it had not since those teenage days of experimentation.  Before her touch could arouse the defenses of a woman who had no intention of straying, the owner swayed away, to be replaced by the two large and graceful cats that now butted at her hands for attention from either side of the table.

Dana muttered a protest.  Voicing at last the fear that howled at her each time she faced the mirror in the morning.

“How can you say that?  I am not that pretty girl any more, I won’t ever be again!”

There was half a mile of pain and two full fathoms of fear in that cry, and it hung upon the air like a challenge.

It was the Silent One that spoke at last, his words ground like a blade on a stone, tearing away dross and damage to leave naught but the brutal purity of the naked edge behind.

“You are not the girl that didn’t know, nor the woman whom the foe found, you are she who won.  You are the face of victory”

Both their eyes were upon her now, the shining golden one who danced like flame, and the dark silent one whose eyes held the shadows of prices paid, and in them both she saw herself not as what she lost, but at last as they did, as she who won.

 

——-I have lost dear friends to cancer this year.  I have had had other dear friends who have won their fight at terrible cost.  I remember my father on his third bought with cancer, it was the fifth a decade later that would kill him.  He rewarded himself by getting his tattoo touched up.  He had got an eagle tattoo on his arm when he finished jump training in the Canadian Airborne, but cancer had carved long ropes of white like lightning all up and down his arms, through his tattoo, taking most of the colour.

When he got it touched up, he had the colour of the tattoo restored to full glory, but had the cancer scars outlines like living lighting where they defaced it, rather than having them coloured in to undo the damage done to the original tattoo.  I asked him why he didn’t hide that damage, and he looked at me honestly confused.  “Why should I hide, I won.”

 

Odin does hide his missing eye, nor Tyr his missing hand.  Our gods bear their scars openly, proudly, for they are the boasts of victors, the proof of prices paid, and victories won.  Our gods do not turn their faces from the scars of our life, not the inner ones, nor the outer ones.  The shame we heap upon scars and the prices paid by survivors is cowardice born of fear we might not have the strength to ever face such ourselves.

Freya is goddess of passion, love, and the old and terrible magics.  Hers is the raw, the brutal and primal magic of death and life, hers the first choice of the valiant dead.  Freya is goddess of that fire that screams its joy at life from the brink of death, and howls its ecstasy to stand upon the edge of the abyss and know by its own will, it will stand and not fall.

 

Vidar, the Silent One, Fenris bane is the god of prices paid, the god of leavings, the one who knows the cost of what others boast about.  He is silent, for he boasts not.  He is the god of deeds, not words, of paying the price to do what must be done, and salvaging what seems lost.  His boots are made of the scraps thrown away, yet at Ragnarok they will shatter the jaw of Fenris Wolf, for he understands what it is to grow strong at the broken places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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