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Cat’s Paw

Since we are entering the time of year when certain emotionally and mentally stunted morons decide that Halloween is time to do bad things to cat’s it is time to remind you that there are things to be feared in the dark, and those watching whose attention you do not want to draw; not at this time of year.


Cats-paw


Lisa was a bright and studious girl, who was just established in her own apartment for the first time. A junior at University of Victoria (UVic), she rented a room at an old house just off campus that was subdivided to make six mini apartments for students. They shared a kitchen and untidy communal living room, but her room had space enough for a desk, bed, bookshelf, mini-fridge, and litter-box for Amber.


Amber was Lisa’s cat, while she was the families cat in theory, he had lived in Lisa’s room, been cared for, and walked (you can walk a cat if you are determined enough), by Lisa every day, and when Lisa left home, Amber and Lisa simply accepted it as a fact that they would leave together, and so it was.


On the corner of Lisa’s desk was a small alter and offering bowl, every day she would pour out a measure from her first coffee to Freya, goddess of magic, passion, and she had decided the patron of those seeking degrees in education (teaching=herding cats). She also left offerings at the battered garden gnome at the front door, for the house wights. She was pretty sure that Aiko (the Japanese girl) was doing the same.


Friday morning she got dressed, threw on a hoodie (UVic Vikings) against the fall chill, and snapped on Amber’s leash. Off to the local Bolshevik-Bean, with its tattered red star and fading Che Guevara poster, she ordered her week end treat of breakfast wrap and Pumpkin spice latte with extra whip. Amber patiently awaited her share of the whip cream, while rumbling a happy approval at the all-organic actual whipped cream the hippy owners insisted on. Across the café, one brooding boy observed the girl and cat with a smile that had much more cat-cruelty than anything human.


He was not young, unlike the bulk of the clientele being neither student nor staff of UVic, but a local worker at the video game store. He wore a Satanic T-shirt and inverted pentacle, bore a sloppy mixture of tattoos of various arcana, from Celtic to Egyptian, wearing a short goatee and fierce glare that clearly intended to shock or challenge. This effect was clearly lost on a crowd of busy college students who hailed from a number of faiths and ideologies whose happy clash was the norm for the University and faded into the background, unnoticed.


His name was Greg, but he had begun to go by Stavros, because he felt that was far cooler, and was truer to his own nature which he felt was dark and powerful. Through years of social rejection from peers that didn’t get his interests he had decided he was deeper than other people, and when his fascination with the dark, with atrocities and need to continually shock others caused those in the gaming communities to reject him, he turned to magic. He had tried the local pagan communities, and even the local Satanists, and all had rejected him. They were afraid, all of them, like that little bourgeois feeding her cat across the way. She was pretty, but wouldn’t look at him twice. He sneered, he decided he had a use for her, and her cat would help him get it. Laughing, he finished his coffee and waited for her to leave. He would follow to see where she lived.


Leaving a small piece of her morning wrap at the garden gnome, for the house wights, Lisa traded cat for laptop and binder, scratched Amber behind the ears, and asked her to guard the place for her until she returned. As she left Amber bathing herself in the window, she noted the “creepy guy” from the game store was on the sidewalk out front. Funny, she had never come this way before. Thinking little of it, she ran to catch the bus into campus.


Stavros waited until the little student bourgeois all left for the drone academy, and went to the old window that the cat was in. Knowing the old houses, he used his belt knife to push the lock on the window open, then forced it open. The cat hissed and backed away. Having heavy work gloves on, he grabbed the cat, and stuffed him into the gym bag, and zipped it quickly up. Now he had what he needed for the full moon tonight. A little bit of blood, and he would get for himself the fear and respect he deserved! These bourgeois children knew nothing about real power…..


When Lisa got home it was almost dark, and her room was bitterly cold. Her room had been robbed! Her iPod and charger will still there, her electronics were all there, only her alter had been disturbed, as if Amber had retreated to it, and been taken from it. Her Freya statue was broken, and her offering bowl was chipped. Amber was gone! Who would steal a cat, when the SPCA had so many? Anyone who would give a good home to a cat could get one, so why break in and steal it?


The police were little help, with nothing stolen, and with no known enemies to question, the only thing they could do was give her a complaint number, and add to her fears. Before they left, the police told her that some “sick freaks” like to kill cats as part of that “black magic and shit” they said while pointing at her little alter. Too shocked to be insulted by the police implications that her Freya alter was black magic, she suddenly had the fear that someone might have taken Amber for the purpose of hurting him. There were, after all, people the SPCA would NOT give a cat to after all.


The whole house having searched the neighborhood, and put posters up of Amber on the nearby telephone poles, Lisa returned home dejected and scared. Amber was gone, and there was nothing she could do. She stopped at Bolshevik bean to get her nightly pumpkin spice, but hadn’t the heart to drink it without Amber. She stopped at the garden gnome on the way into the house, and poured the whole coffee and whip onto the stones. She looked up into the night sky, at the rising full moon and asked Manni the moon to watch over her cat, Amber, then she begged Freya to see Amber got home safely. Normally Lisa was careful not to do magic, or curses, or to ask the gods for anything that could harm another person, as she was very uncomfortable with how her father and his army friends were so quick to see violence as an answer; but the thought of Amber being taken to be hurt angered her. She concluded her prayer thus: “Great Freya, if anyone sheds one drop of my Amber’s blood, I hope they frigging die!”
Lisa went inside to cry herself to sleep. Outside in the night, three neighborhood cats came to lick the foam from the gnomes offering bowl, and the moon shone down white and cold above the now empty bowl.


Stavros didn’t like research, it was way too much work pawing through boring book after book either by archeologists who didn’t believe anything, or by fuzzy brained pagans or stoned loser Satanists who believed everything. He watched a couple of horror movies that really struck him though, and through his gaming had found gods that promised power, the kind of power that would make him feared by all the little people who thought it was safe to laugh at him.


There was a big mausoleum in the cemetery. He knew that the graveyard was the right place to do the spell at full moon because that’s the way they did it in the film. There was one mausoleum that looked like a great granite table, supported by four carved stone pillars. Inside were the remains of a few generations of families, but in the moonlight it looked like a black stone alter. He set his candles at four corners, and spray painted his pentagram on the alter. He had written out the spells from the movie; three hieroglyphs that were supposed to inspire fear in men that saw him, lust in women that saw him, and bring him victory over his enemies. According to the movie, you had to draw them in the blood of your victim first, then kill them to make it happen. Of course in the movie, the heroes stopped the priest while he was doing some stupid chanting and praying, so Stavros was just going to do this fast, and get out before a security guard or cop showed up.


Pulling the cat out of the bag, Stavros almost lost the little thing, as it clawed and scratched at him, even through the gloves. Slamming it down against the alter so hard it was stunned, he cut it with the knife he lay beside the alter and started to paint the symbols on the surface of the stone. It was hard with the cat writhing, and the candle and moonlight shifting, and the need to speak his spell at the same time.


“Set god of darkness, by this blood—-stop it you stupid cat— I summon you. Fear in men, lust in women, victory and power I call”


A woman’s laughter seemed to come from all around, and the little cat went very still. The moon light burned clear of the clouds, and Stavros stood in a pool of white fire as the shadows drew back from him. Blinded by the light, the knife gleaming wetly in his gloved hand, Stavros paused as he heard the woman’s laughter getting closer. Set wasn’t a chick, was he?


Four glowing gold eyes gleamed in the darkness. Alternating between high and low as they seemed to flow seamlessly and soundlessly over the coffins and headstones, they were wide set, like large dogs, but slit like snakes or cats eyes. A deep rumbling joined the night, like the growl of jungle cats.


“Fear, little man, I give to you. Lust, little man, I will share with you. Victory, little man, I will work on you.”


A woman strode through the graves with languid prowl, as much like a cat as a dancer. A necklace of amber and gold flashed from her amble cleavage, and her hair caught the moonlight like sunsets own fire. On her hands were gloves of soft fur, like catskin.
Left and right, on the headstones leaped great golden cougars. Their ears flat, their fangs gleaming wide and white in the moonlight, their throaty growls now turned his blood to water, and loosed his bladder down his leather pants.


“That is fear, little man. That is first. This cat is not yours, little man. He is mine, and another’s. Tree-Gold and Bee-Gold here are mine as well, she gestured languidly at the mountain lions whose tails lashed in blood hunger and hunt-lust. One who also owns this cat had offered me your life’s blood, should you draw Amber’s blood. Your knife is as stained as your pants little man”
She laughed again with the casual cruelty of a cat, and with a throaty purr continued


“Your life is Freya’s”


“Run swift, sweetling, my children like to play with their food. If they don’t get a good run first, they take their time with the finish”


Stavros ran screaming, but in the darkness, the graves themselves tripped him up, and he fell again and again, each time being savaged by one or the other cat, until at last he was slow to rise, and Bee-gold took the killing neck bite.
Cooing softly, the golden woman took up the wounded cat.


“Little Amber, let mother see to you.” Moonlight flashed like so much fire upon her necklace, calling sun-colour to moon dark, until it seemed that gold ran down the woman’s arms onto the bruised and bloodied cat.


As Stavros screams turned to broken moans, the cooing of the woman began to be answered by purrs of the little cat, as if his wounds themselves burned away in her light. Setting him down, they walked together to the broken man upon whom the two mountain lions were feeding. With the aplomb of any cat, he shouldered his way between their two great heads, and lapped delicately at the life-wine spilling from his throat. Sharing an amused look the twin lions returned to their mistress to leave their cousin to his revenge repast.


The woman looked up at the bright moon in the sky and said


“I expect you to see him home again. My little friends are less welcome on the streets”


Lisa woke the next morning shivering in the cold. In the night her window opened again, and her beloved Amber was curled up on the bed spread behind her knees. As she took up her beloved pet in wonder, her eyes caught her alter, where her broken Freya statue was somehow restored. Looking upon the blood her cat was happily and smugly licking off himself, and remembering her evening prayer, she wondered….


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Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Pagan

Deplatforming Sex Workers; Shame not Safety

The Oldest Profession, is generally a phrase used to describe prostitution, or sex work. In all honesty, there are two oldest professions, young women (and boys) could sell their body for sex as prostitutes, and young men could sell their bodies for combat as soldiers. Those rich old bastards with the political and economic power exploited those without for whatever their bodies were most useful for.

This managed to last from the stone age into our modern times with little changes save for the specifics of the transaction, and how much danger the exploited were exposed to. I was a soldier to pay my way through school. For a few years I dated a stripper who was using that summer job to put herself through school. I served the CF, and they pimped us out to the UN. Of the two of us, one left with a body less than intact, with anger issues relating to trauma, serious issues with how we were used. The other was her.

Funny, she was the one described as selling herself, yet she is the one whose hands, and conscience were clean. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the result of good marketing. Society teaches us to accept being the product, the expendable resource for those who find us economically and politically useful.

Now we come to the modern age. Prostitution, pornography, sex work in all forms has always turned women into commodities, and a great deal of money has been made off them. Now comes first Tumblr, and then OnlyFans. These platforms allowed women to shift from being simply the product, to being the content producers.

No one was angered that pornography existed, banning pornography and prostitution has always been about making sure sex workers were properly kept in their place, persecuted and poor. This has consistently exposed them to routine abuse, and made them the natural target of everyone looking to kill human beings who won’t be missed.

No, the conservatives lost their minds, and dropped their masks when the sex workers moved from being the exploited product, to being the content creators. The women were safe, financially secure, and generating content that was no longer message controlled by an industry with a very firm idea of the message they were to market. The LGBTQ+ community flourished in these spaces. An acceptance for different body types, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations flowered. The sex positive culture weakened the traditional mass market pornography selling a body image that agreed with the diet, makeup, fashion industries unnatural body stylings.

Sex positive women, sex workers, LGBTQ+ people and those of non traditional gender expressions built the communities and the economic success of Tumblr and OnlyFans. In return, the received a safe space, community, affirmation, and economic control of their own content.

Apple gave Tumblr the choice, remove porn or lose being supported on the Apple platforms. The banks gave OnlyFans a choice, remove porn or lose banking services.

Let’s be clear. NO ONE is looking to shut down Pornohub, or the thousands of industrial pornographic producers who are still selling young women as product, where big business reaps the profit and they workers just get fucked, literally and financially. The only ones being shut down are the sites where sex workers had agency, had physical safety, had financial security, and the full choices about what they would choose to do for money.

I hear a lot of “stop child trafficking” bullshit from the right wing. I call it bullshit because they are the ones creating the shadows, and driving sex work into those shadows, that allow, empower and protect the sex traffickers and expose the sex workers to nothing but abuses and predation.

Europe has looked at sex work and decided to reduce the harm. They brought sex workers into the light, into full protection as workers. Those nations chose to accept that prostitution or sex work was never going to go away, but the drugs, the diseases, the coercion, sex trafficking, physical abuses, could be eliminated.

Can you get rid of sex trafficking of minors, of the women kidnapped into the lifestyle when all sex work is driven into the shadows? Hundreds of years of law enforcement have given us the answer; no. Can you get rid of those same abuses when you bring the sex workers into the light? Yes. Take the haystack away and needles aren’t too hard to find. Keep the needles in the haystack and no, we can’t ever find enough to matter.

Corporate conservatives are not opposed to sex work, they are opposed and actively at war, with women being economically secure sex content producers, not economically oppressed carefully marketed product. The Conservative church, conservative politicians, and conservative big businesses have always supported keeping women and vulnerable underage boys, available for their use, without any protection or choice in their use, on the streets and in the shadows where they were aware they were always and only product to be consumed. The “scandals” of the abuses of these sectors with vulnerable sex workers, frequently underage have been so common for as long as I was alive they really have to be spectacular to even make the news. They don’t want to get rid of it, they want the sex workers to remain vulnerable, without physical or economic security.

You know what? No.

We are in an age when you do not need a movie studio, a printing press, a network of film distributors to get your product to market. Musicians, authors, and content creators of all kinds have taken advantage of this freedom from the mass market limitation to get messages corporate America doesn’t wish to sell us out there. Music that would never have been given radio play are now building support bases and fan bases that make a paying career possible. Authors telling stories that were not ever going to get funding for mass printing, or big budget film are building their own following, and economic support for telling the stories about characters that were not the same crap we have been offered for the last hundred years. Heroes and heroines of every body type, every racial background, gender expression and sexual orientation. No longer were we limited to the stories the Industry wanted to sell us, now we could find stories about our own communities, stories we could see ourselves reflected in.

At the same time, sex workers were given the same chance, the chance to step outside the exploitive industry that turned them into product, while denying them any creative control, or any chance of economic survival if they dared to express limits on what they would participate in. Sex workers became the content creators. Less exploitive porn, every body type, and every gender expression and sexual orientation were able to create sex positive spaces where they could explore their own joys.

Now Corporate America has spoken, they want to end this freedom. They want sex workers back in their place as product. They want shame, they want exploitation, they want physical risk, disease, and police harassment to again be the daily lot of the sex worker. They want the sex content, they just don’t want the women to profit, they want them only as product.

I am a Heathen. I don’t get the whole Christian hatred of sex workers. I read their book, and I have a sneaking suspicion that if Jesus Christ were to walk into any of the churches I have seen during a bible thumping speech drumming up hatred against sex workers that they would have the ever loving crap slapped out of them by their dear lord. He did once tell a man who tried to body shame a woman for arousing him that if he thought sinful thoughts looking at her to rip the eye out of his head. It was his issue, not hers. That was Jesus, so where his priests get their misogyny from is an interesting question, and not my problem.

Being Heathen, we have the example of Freya, a goddess with sexual agency she wields at her will and no others in defiance of any social convention in blissful unconcern. She was equal in power to Odin and had zero concern for other peoples reactions to her sexual freedoms. What are her thoughts on Tumblr and Onlyfans sex workers? I would have to say that she would bless their embracing their sexual nature, their power, and making a strong independent life on their own terms. Choosing to make a life they can be proud of, rather than accepting the will and judgement of others as to what they could or could not do with their body.

There is something so pathetic about the drive to deplatform sex workers in Tumblr and Onlyfans. It isn’t about stopping porn. It is about stopping sex workers from ever daring to see themselves as producers, as workers deserving of dignity, physical and economic security, rather than just product to be exploited for the profit of others.

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Aesir, Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Pagan

Echoes of Walpurg

The drum beat is a hearts last flutter
The hot splash of tears upon cold stone
Somewhere in the dying echo
Of the scream of heartbreak

The song haunts the silences
Where your desperate panting quiets
Where the last sob dies aborning
Where you cannot raise your cheek from the floor

Behind the silence I hear you
Behind the darkness I see
At the edge of nothingness you whisper
Messages of madness
The sickness of hope

Roaring in my anger
Laughing in my glory
Yet I pause as if stricken
By a whisper behind the thunder

Sobbing in the ashes
Eyes wept dry and sightless
Yet raised in wonder
As patterns write themselves in ashes

Behind the silence I hear you
Behind the darkness I see
At the edge of nothingness you whisper
Messages of madness
The sickness of hope

Catskin gloves in shadow
Fearsome in the firelight
Song old before man spoke first
Weaves between the darkness and the night

Her voice in rapture sounds
In the bones of the waking earth
More terrible than death
More merciful than life

–Hail Freya. Your voice sounds in the depth of the earth, and whispers in the song of our blood for those with the ears to hear, and the courage to be still to listen.

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Uncategorized

Dance Macabre

No rest for the weary
No sleep for the lost
Just the chains of fatigue
The madness
And the dance

Can’t shut out the ringing
Can’t block the jags of pain
Can’t muster the strength to care
Just the whisper
Of the dancer

Too tired to block the visions
The abyss roars its welcome
Scatters me in its storm
Lost in the dance
The madness and the dance

He is there in the darkness
He is there is the lightning
Wild white hair streaming
Wolf skins flying
Wolf howl sounding
Mad wild laughter
And the dance

She is there in the shadows
Cat skin gloves
Gold bright on her throat
Blood spilled bright on her breast
Wild laughter in her eyes
And the dance

I will give myself to the madness
I will give myself to the storm
Should I not rise again
Then I gave my soul to the dance

Soaked in sweat and snarling
My flesh half remembered prison
I come back confused
Restored, rearmed
If not rested

No promise of healing
No promise of life
Just the storm, the frenzy
And the dance

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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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