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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Uncategorized

MayDay Magic

Mayday!

This is the story of young Andrew McLain, of oaths taken at twilight, faery dating, sacrifice, and the healing power of love.

Andrew loved Jenny with all of his heart, and most of his lower regions.
Jenny liked Andrew, but had been known to be fond of Kurt, and his lower regions as well.
On this fine Mayday, Andrew had called upon Jenny with a diamond ring,
only to discover Jenny taking Kurt for a vigorous canter across the sofa.

“Damn all women anyway,” he snarled as he stumbled out into the twilight of the first of May.
He stopped at the forest edge and howled out his youthful pain to the listening woods:
“Screw women, screw springtime, and SCREW LOVE!”
He staggered into the woods, not heeding where he went. Opening the bottle of Champagne he´d brought along and still had in his hand, he poured the foaming liquid into a ring of mushrooms at the base of an old oak muttering,

Fairy RIng

“This was supposed to toast our love, but now there’s not a woman born I’d share it with!”
Then, with a cry he hurled the diamond ring into the woodland stream, screaming:
“Take that love, and screw you too! I say, screw every inhuman one of you!”.
Dangerous words already on a Mayday evening, made worse by how he ended it……
“Gods, I’d rather die than love again. Let love just take the heart she ruined anyway!”

There are strange things that lurk in the forest deeps.
There are things that walk the borders between the night and day, things ancient and inhuman; just listening and ever so hungry.
There are two powers that even gods must bow to: Love and fate.
This is a story of both.

Andrew stomped his way further into the campus forest, kicking mushrooms and ferns as he passed. Little noting the sun dipping below the horizon, he stalked into the Mayday night, into the dark primeval forest, and another age. On certain days, when the world hangs between dark and night, between the seen and unseen, the hills open, and the paths to Alfheim open again. In the dark of Yule, the knights of the Wild Hunt ride behind the coursing wolves of the Allfather, but in the wild night of Mayday, on Walpurgsnight, it is Freya who leads the ladies of the elven court in a wild hunt of passion, the stuff of dream and nightmare.
Andrew stopped and turned, aware at last that something was amiss. He heard a sound like sirens in the near distance. Not quite sirens, not like trumpets, more like the conch shells he had heard in Hawaii. The sound came again, this time with the baying of hounds and the faint strains of laughter.

It sounded like the fox hunts you saw in some old movies, but what would something like that be doing in the University forest? With a start, Andrew saw a dozen slim silver steeds with belled and richly tooled harnesses sweep into the clearing.
Gowned ladies of eerie beauty and cold perfection sat easily in split skirts in high saddles with lances sheathed by the right knee. Inhumanly cold beauty stared at him from all sides, cold white faces and bloodless lips in a smile that could teach a cat cruelty, and eyes that burned with smoldering passion. “Look,” rang a voice like a silver bell,“The night’s stag!”

elf maiden

While slim white hounds circled him, Andrew protested he was no stag but a man. Each denial made the perfect inhuman beauties smile wider. Finally, surrounded by hounds and mounted ladies with drawn lances,
a final figure rode astride the neck of a golden boar the size of a rhino. More beautiful than the pale elfin beauties, this woman burned like fire in the night. Shining white skin, with a golden necklace burning bright in the hollow of her half-bared breasts, her laughter rang like birdsong at dawn, and her smile brought a stammering blush to Andrew’s angry features.
“Now then, young man,” purred the golden woman with a sensuous smile,
“You poured out an offering at the Faery ring, and threw a golden offering in my sacred waters, and made strong oaths before us.

You summoned my ladies on my holy night, and you promised to ‘screw my women, to screw the springtime, and to screw love’.”
Laughter rang from the inhuman beauties around him, and set the hounds to snarling again.

“My women ride, the spring is newborn and hungry this evening, and I am love.If you would play stag in these woods, little man, you will need more than rage. You will need Hoof and Horn!”

Her voice echoed strangely and the women began circling and chanting, “Hoof and Horn, hunt till the morn!”

Over and over they chanted and circled until Andrew fell down, confused and burning. His hands and feet merged into stags split hooves, and proud antlers sprung from his brow.

With a shout Andrew sprang from the circle and burst down the trail, desperately fleeing the spears of the women, and fangs of the hounds. On through the forest Andrew bounded, his muscles bunching and stretching with effortless power.

Stag in Forest

All the rage of frustrated love burned within him, and he fed on the thunder of his blood, growing in power and rage with every bound. Soon his pride and power could not abide the chasing hounds, and he spun at bay. Flicking his antlers left and right, he smashed two hounds against the looming trees, and spun with his hoof to catch the hamstringing third. He charged among the hounds with the fury of his frustrationand humiliation, reclaiming his manhood in fury and blood. At last he stood at bay in the clearing, the living hounds slinking behind their mistresses.

“The stag is come!” shouted the golden goddess on her gleaming boar.
“Come to me!” she called, throwing off her cloak and shining in naked glory before him.

Maddened with rage and lust, Andrew lunged. In a cat-like move, the boar danced aside, and Andrew’s proud antlers
became stuck in the tree, with his legs raised in the air in his aborted lunge at the naked rider.

One by one the circling ladies cut at him shallowly with their lances as they passed. Roaring his rage, Andrew wept,
once again tricked and humiliated by women, he waited for the final thrust that would end his pain.

One by one the maidens slipped from their gowns and from their horses. Trailing fingers in the wounds they dealt him, they stroked his strong thighs and heaving chest. With burning kisses and lightning touches they transformed and enflamed him until he stood, a naked man, blooded but unwounded, crowned with a proud stag’s crown.

Cernunnos

Down they pulled him to the earth, and the golden goddess brought him low with a single kiss. She whispered to his fevered ears in tones of honeyed fire,

“Love is death and rebirth, love is pain and healing, love is forgetting and forgiving, love is my gift and my worship both.”

With a cry she mounted him, with a cry he answered. With laughing maidens kissing and caressing, he did as stag’s duty, and knew a man’s healing. As the night ended, and twilight again lit the trees, Andrew cried at last, and let go his rage. He whispered her name softly, and she smiled.

Freya stood with her elfin maids, and looked down at her lover, her prey, and smiled.
“You will know a long hunt, my stag, before you find your mate.
Run you as hard for her as you ran from me, and you may yet find her.
Fight half as hard to get her as to flee me, and you may win her. Love her just as fierce as me, and you will please her.”

Goddess Freya

Dawn found Andrew standing by the Faery ring. He looked down on the Champagne bottle he had thrown to the ground; thoughtfully he picked it up. Dropping to his knees, he also retrieved the cork and wire from the green ground, and other bits of garbage. Finally standing up and stepping away, he made one last heartfelt, if clumsy, bow to the now unseen powers he had known.

With a smile he turned and walked into the dawn and his future, whistling a love song.

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