Aesir, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

The Bet: Does love or gold rule the hearts of women?

 

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.

Edwardian lady holding white cat, ca. 1920s:

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.

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.

Frontiersman II

 

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.

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.

Donkey Kiss

 

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Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Pagan, Uncategorized

Decoding Slut

man-woman-at-barRecently I heard a joke which seemed to both capture our societal attitude towards female sexuality, and struck me in a very heathen sense as being deeply wrong. The joke compared men to keys and women to locks and concluded that a man whose key opens many locks is awesome, while I woman whose lock opened to many keys was worthless.

Everyone seemed to find it funny, but what strikes me as strange funny, rather than amusing funny, is this joke would make total sense to ISIS, whose belief that women are property can thus view a woman’s sexuality as being her husband’s property, and infringing on those property rights would make that property less valuable.  As deeply offensive as that attitude is, it is at least consistent with their misogynist ethic.

Whether you stone sluts or merely make jokes about them, the acceptance that women who have the same sexual freedom as men are sluts seems to be accepted quite broadly
I thought rather than arguing about whether we should use the word Slut, be proud of the word, or ban the word, it was time we should decode the word. It is time we took a look at what it means THAT we use the word slut. Heathens understand worth, so we actually understand the mechanism that is at work when we build or tear down our own, or another’s worth, so perhaps we above all should be the ones to decode “Slut” and examine what it says about the society that uses the word.

For a westerner to laugh at that same joke is disturbing.  Examine what this paradigm requires to be true.  For if a man’s worth is increased by sexual knowledge of many women, and a woman’s worth is decreased by sexual knowledge of many men, then a man is literally taking a woman’s worth away by having sex with her.  This is the language of conquest, for in making love we are not exchanging anything, I am taking from you.  The job implied by the joke is for men to prove their power or worth by conquering many women, and cautioning women that their worth could be easily lost by such conquest.

So basically western thought still accept the premise that all heterosexual sex is rape.  That my wife and I do not make love, I rape her.  Those women that I have known over my life I have taken from, not an honest exchange of love and or pleasure, but the outright theft of their worth, as I built mine by taking hers away.

Oddly enough, I have a problem with this.  In our own lore I think of the origin of Brisengamen, the necklace by which the goddess Freya renews the earth, the focus of the ever renewing bounty of this earth.  To win this necklace, Freya had to sleep with all four of the dwarven smiths who had taken the fallen amber of her tears and the gold from deep in the earth to forge this token of power.

Freya and Dwarves

If you wish to apply the label of slut to a woman of many lovers, you must certainly apply it to Freya, but do so with caution my friends, for the sexuality of women, and that of men, was more truly understood by our pre-Christian ancestors that those of us who live in the hate filled age that follows the people of the book placed men and women not as partners or symbiots,but predator and prey.

Freya took no husband, but loved how and where it suited her needs or her whims.  Rather than being a slattern of no worth, she was desired by all those of high estate or low, and beyond the power of any to compel.  The myth of the building of the wall of Asgard and the Lay of Thyrm both have as their driving force that the Jottuns risk all, and generally lose it, for the chance to lie with Freya.  Were she a slut as we envision things today, a woman of no character or worth made base by her lack of husband and her having multiple lovers, it should have been easy for any to persuade her, but indeed Odin himself could not compel her.  We see Freya helping Thor dress in a wedding gown in her place to retrieve his hammer rather than Freya.  Why?

Thor in wedding dress

The answer is simple, because a woman’s worth is not lessened by her lovers, and the power of Freya was treated with respect.  Equal to Odin in might and magic, she received half the slain, and first choice at that.  Is this a woman cheapened and lessened by the laying with four dwarves to win her necklace?  Hardly.  Trifle with Freya at your peril, what she gives is by choice and is a blessing indeed, but no god or giant can compel her.

Freya Goddess Falcon cloak

To be a man in this western age. is to have to question the definition of manhood that we inherit.  I am no rapist, and to slut shame a woman is to say some important things we need to think about.
First: For a woman to be shamed by loving a man, men must by definition be unworthy of that love, for if we were worthy of the love she had shared with us, neither one of us would be lessened by it.

 

You see the truth of this statement?  Do you see the ugliness implied in it?

 

If a woman can be shamed by consensual sex with a man, if her worth really is found in NOT sleeping with men then the choice of men is to be rapist or failure.  To be a successful predator, or a failure. No where is there worth to be found for men in love.

Alright, lets ignore feminism altogether, this deal sucks for men.  You are either a monster or a weakling.  Piss on that.  That is Christianity and Islam speaking.

When two people come together, reguardless of gender, in love it is a sacred thing, a beautiful thing, and a binding of not only the two people, but of two lines that stretch in both directions to the most ancient ancestors, and forward to the last of the descendants yet unborn.  We speak of witnessing and solemnizing the vows, to witness before the community the covenant of union between two people that we marry.  We do not wave a magic wand, or use some special licence to join these people, their love and their troth, their desire, their hard work, their commitment, their love and understanding of each other have made the magic, and we as a community, and as officiating priests are here to bear witness and recognize what two people have made together.  This is a new thing forged from the love of two people, something greater than either of them alone, and more than the sum of their selves.  This is not passing ownership of the bride from father to husband (or wife) like some chattel or farm animal.  This is not the groom taking the worth of the bride, this is both bride and groom (two brides, or two grooms, whatever) coming together in love to plight their troth and join themselves in union forged of love and mutual dedication into something stronger.  This is a sacred thing, a powerful thing, and a worthy thing.  To make it ugly with violence, hatred, scorn or manipulation is to make what should have been holy profane instead, but that is true of any duty.  If a duty can build worth done well, it can destroy worth done poorly.

When two people come together in passion, whether seeking to see of such a deeper relationship may one day be possible, or just because they wish to brighten each other’s lives with shared moments of joy, this too is a blessing.  Not as great an offering, not as great a reward, but a powerful affirmation of life, a true exchange of joy.  This too is a thing that builds rather than destroys worth, if done with mutual respect and affection. Again, you can make a bright thing foul by duplicity, violence, or manipulation, but done with honest love and joy it is a bright and blessed thing indeed.

To accept that love lessens a woman is to state that men are unworthy of love, and to know it is to be either thief or rapist.  I reject this.  To say a woman must either be virgin or without virtue is to take her power away, make her prize rather than person.  A woman who chooses to love, or not love following her heart may earn worth based on being true to her feelings and treating her partner with the respect she expects to be treated with in return.  A man who chooses to love, or not love in the same fashion likewise builds his worth by honouring those relationships.

Take back your sexuality, I don’t care if you are gay or straight, but know that if you love truly and honestly, you are building your worth.  Know that the joy you bring your partner does not lessen you, rather it, like any reciprocal gifting relationship, builds your worth even as it both strengthens and sustains you.

Hail Freyr, ever rampant Hail Freya ever loving.  I embrace love as a path to worth and reject utterly the language of Slut and the definition of men and women as predator and prey.  This was never our way, and it is time we remembered that.

Ken and Mary Joy Wedding

 

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