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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Heathen, Uncategorized

Women in Heathenry

Women In Heathenry

Sumble Troth

You know, I thought we were getting it right.  OK, for all of those who like to talk to me about white privilege, I will freely acknowledge I know nothing about growing up anything else, of course they know jack sh*t except fairy tales about my life either so we will leave it at that.  I have however spent a life growing up looking after and protecting my little sister, have spent twenty years married to my amazing wife and raised three daughters.  I have been there for them as best I could in challenges beyond number.  I had, I thought a pretty good read on what they faced, in every community.

 

Of all the communities, and sadly I must definitely include my beloved Armed Forces, Heathenry was the one that did the best job of accepting men and women equally and in all the myriad expressions of their femininity.  I know, the Wiccans in the audience right now are rising up in righteous fury, but they are as blind to their intolerance as I am to anything resembling taste in fashion or social tact. No if you are the right kind of woman, you can find acceptance reguardless of your level of function or dysfunction in that community.  If you are not the right kind of woman they are as unwelcoming as any right wing Christian sect.  Opposite ends of the spectrum, equal practice for all practical senses.

 

Inside Heathenry, in each and every Heathen community I have been invited into I have been amazed, not by the men, half of them I knew before in some capacity, but by the women who were so far beyond the norm in their hundred different competences that I walked away with both a right and wrong though paralleling in my brain.  I was struck by how amazing our women are (true) and how by gods, we must be getting it right to have so many outstanding women among us (sadly, not as true as I wanted it to be).

 

I set myself the task of highlighting some of these amazing women, of getting their stories, not to tell their stories for them (some of them are better authors than I by a fair margin), but to draw your attention to how many different KINDs of awesome they are.

 

There is no one Goddess that represents “proper femininity”.  There are as many different way of expressing strong feminine heathenry as there are breathing women to express it. Our goddesses, our saga are filled with so many different examples that you can find an exemplar of the virtues you hold most high in our lore, no matter what kind of woman you are, what your skills, abilities and ambition call upon you to become.

 

Gods, we have so many strong female voices, I was thrilled to see the responses I would get from them about their experience of being a woman in Heathenry.  I was thrilled, and then I began reading.

 

OK, the first thing you have to understand is that the women I asked to talk about being women in Heathenry are our best.  These are women of great name and accomplishments.  Some I have worked under, some I have worked with, some I have been honoured to have in my own kindred under my own Aegis.  To any one of these women I would send my daughters to apprentice without a second thought.  These are literally, the finest women that I know, the most esteemed women in Heathenry.

 

What they had to say about my community was an eye opener.  For one thing, they accepted much that I find unacceptable, and they have had to.  They have had to accept that their voices are more easily ignored less often sought than men of lesser accomplishment and status.  That for all their achievement and status, when their gender becomes an issue, every other source of status and worth somehow can be ignored.  That is horse sh*t.  I would love to say it was an aberration of one generation or one region.  I would. I can’t. I got that response from both coasts, Canada, the US, from the south, centre, and north.  We are getting it wrong.

 

Aha!  Not all women felt as equally disadvantaged.  What is their secret?  How is it that they are able to better navigate the waters, perhaps there is something I can share to make it easier for the next generation of Heathen women!  Except the ones who did the best described themselves either as gender-fluid, or flat our said they socialize more as men than women.

If there is an Old Boys Network in Heathenry, surely I must be a part of it.  I am an Old Boy, and have had a fair amount of influence for one reason or another in one part of the community or another through my work.  Surely if such a thing had been going on I would have noticed.  Except, I did.

 

I am remembering a man I worked for, a well respected leader, pulling me aside and letting me know that I had to “handle” a woman in the community as she was “emotional and high strung” yet he freely admitted the organization would have foundered on the rocks without her efforts many times.  She was treated not as an honoured part of the leadership, but as a high spirited horse to be kept happy in harness.  I remember at the time being disappointed with this, otherwise great, man.  Yet I smiled and nodded, taking from the conversation the fact that I was right in judging this woman’s importance and contribution and utterly wrong in my assessment of that particular leaders understanding of his own community.  I did not call him on it.  I think due to the politics of the moment, that was the best decision, but the fact he could speak so, and to me, with the expectation that I would think the same leads me to believe such an experienced leader must have cause to think so.

 

During the Bragaful, the round of boasting and bragging, I find the men in the community are using it properly, to share their struggles, to share their accomplishments and to dare themselves before the folk to set the bar higher, to grow and achieve what they must become, not rest where they are.  The women oddly need to be prodded and challenged to speak of themselves.  Often a woman who has a great accomplishment of her own I expect to hear about will speak instead of her pride in the accomplishment of another.  This is noble, but it denies them their glory, denies them the tool of the community’s empowerment.  I had thought, that the women were making a mistake, that they were not taking up the tools the ancestors left us.  That they only needed to be prodded a little to take their proper half of the glory that they have won for all of us.

 

No.  What I was seeing was the acceptance of proud women that they will struggle on, doing their best for the community without any expectation of equal recognition.  They are Heathen women, they don’t cry, bitch or whine, they simply shake their head, pick up their tools and get back to the task at hand.  It is not for them to complain they do not get the glory that men would get for similar deeds.

 

That has to end.  NOW.

 

We in the Heathen community are blessed with the finest women on this good Midgard.  There are no finer women living, and I have never been more deeply ashamed in my life than to admit our community takes from them full measure for every gift they have given us, and we give back perhaps one part in three in return.  A gift for a gift is our way, is the truth given us in our lore and from our gods and we are FAILING.

 

Many outstanding women rise to power and prominence in our community.  These are serious ass kicking heathen women.  Some are quietly amazing, others loudly amazing, but all of them are shining beacons of what our community attracts and produces.  We are looking at the champions who fought their way past the glass ceiling with a battle axe, who literally overcame the collective weight of our bullshit to rise to prominence anyway.  For each one of them that made it, how many of them were not able to bear three times the burden for one third the recognition to make it to where we need them to be?

 

Heathens function on a meritocracy, mostly.  We are our deeds.  You do great things, you show us you are devoted to the community, a person that makes wise and frithful decisions, that has a strong commitment to building community, and you earn the chance to lead, so that people with those skills and commitment are making the decisions that will affect us all.

 

We aren’t getting the best though.  We are getting the best men, and the few among the best women who fought through the bullshit and survived; as long as they are able to sustain the fight to tear them down again for the crime of being a successful heathen woman.

 

The fix on this one is dead simple.  Guess what, I can even speak to the ones who need to change it. I speak the language.  I have a beard as big, and testicles as hairy as any other in this community.  I can thump my chest and shake my spear with the best of them, so here it goes.  Men in this community have to let go that Christian baggage about a woman’s place.  A woman’s place is where ever she sets her feet.  A woman’s job is whatever challenge she undertakes.  We are our words, we are our deeds.  I do not care if the voice that spoke the words is a pleasant alto or a raspy baritone.  I don’t care if the shoulder that pushed the wagon beside me had a long flowing beard draped across it, or the swell of breast upon it.  If they gave their strength to the task I judge them by the strides they took, and know from my own struggle to take those strides how to measure the effort they put in.  That is what matters, not the beard, or the breast, but the stride.

 

We are failing at that.  Do better.  We are not Christians, we are heathens.  Most of us were not born that way, and too much of the baggage of the cannibal cult crossed into heathenry with it.  We need to leave that at the door and honour our fine Heathen women for their words and their deeds.  I was not wrong in stating that our women are indeed a shining credit to the Heathen community. I contend and will defend ours are the finest, most capable women on this good earth.  It is now time we deserve them.

 

John T Mainer

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Uncategorized

Honour Killings

Hanged Man Tree

You know, when I heard the term, I agreed with it, until I found out what people were doing and calling honour killings.  More honestly, most who use the term should be calling what they do “ego killings” or “possessive asshole killings”.  What I assumed people were calling for are actually still required.

 

Honour killing; when I was a boy I absolutely understood what this meant, due to the instruction I received from my own father and grandfather about a man’s duties, in preparation for the day that I had both a man’s power, and drives.  As simply as I can put it, for every woman raped, there should be a rapist’s corpse hanging from a tree.  Now I will grant you that we won’t catch all of them, but to hear that a man has multiple rape convictions and not only lives, but is free to walk our streets makes me wonder what happened to the honour of men.

 

When a man rapes a woman, a child, or any other he has power over, he is defecating on the honour of men.  This is my honour, and I treasure it.  I have loved hundreds of women, perhaps not always wisely, but never has a woman gone to my bed other than willingly, nor left other than happily.  I am a large man, skilled in violence, and with a face that is known by many for laughter and smiles, but can just as easily be seen as harsh or brutal.  Women who do not know me, frequently keep their physical distance for the very simple reason that they have learned to equate men with predator, and that immediately puts me into the predator, large, dangerous, category in their eyes.

 

This is called paying attention.  They are right.

 

Here are the numbers

 

  • Of every 100 incidents of sexual assault, only 6 are reported to the police
  • 1 – 2% of “date rape” sexual assaults are reported to the police
  • 1 in 4 North American women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime
  • 11% of women have physical injury resulting for sexual assault
  • Only 2 – 4% of all sexual assaults reported are false reports
  • 60% of sexual abuse/assault victims are under the age of 17
  • over 80% of sex crime victims are women
  • 80% of sexual assault incidents occur in the home
  • 17% of girls under 16 have experienced some form of incest
  • 83% of disabled women will be sexual assaulted during their lifetime
  • 15% of sexual assault victims are boys under 16
  • half of all sexual offenders are married or in long term relationships
  • 57% of aboriginal women have been sexually abused
  • 1/5th of all sexual assaults involve a weapon of some sort
  • 80% of assailants are friends and family of the victim

 

That last one really says it all.  80% of the rapists held positions of trust.  Women have to learn that even the men they have the most reason to trust may well be the rapist they need protection from.

 

Sumbel is a magical ritual practiced by the Asatru, also known as Heathens, in which we come together in the sight of the gods and ancestors as a community and we share with each other.  We boast of the deeds we have done, the struggles we have faced, and the things we have overcome.  To hear the boasts of what each has done makes the community stronger, as it shows each of us what we can do if we try, even as it brings glory to those who have accomplished the deeds so boasted.  Then there are the brags, the things we stand before our community and say we will do, we take oath before those we must face again and again of the things we WILL do.  This is a challenge thrown to ourselves, and the whole of the community shares part of the luck you will gain in keeping this oath, as we are witness to it.  So too do we have a stake in seeing your brag fulfilled, because failure to do so is mostly yours, but also partly ours as well, since we stood witness to it.  In this way we have a stake in the success of each member of the community.

One of the things about sumble that makes it powerful is that the things we share are often deeply personal, the silent struggles that are behind the quick answer we give socially to the question of “how are you doing”.  Sumbel with those that you trust is the place to share your battles to overcome the internal wounds, the things that take everything you have, and sometimes more than you alone can offer, just to keep going.

 

One young woman shared her struggle.  Now I had known that she had been assaulted, but not the particulars.  This young woman had undertaken to serve others, to put her body between citizens and danger, to make of her life an offering of service.  She had made the cut as one of the select few to qualify for training, been near the top of her class in that training, and yet, among those she trained with, who should have been her brothers in service, was her rapist to be.

It has taken years for her to rebuild, but she is returning to complete her training, carrying the wounds of treachery from those she had been training to trust with her life, as they were all training to be entrusted with the lives of us all.  Her honour is unstained and shining.  Somewhere out there is a worthless piece of shit rapist whose blood needs to spill upon the stones before men everywhere can meet this young woman’s eyes with pride again.

 

Rapists do not violate the honour of women, they abuse women.  There is no honour lost to those who are attacked, the honour of men is what is lost, and it can only be restored when we have washed our steel or decorated trees with the worthless crow fodder who have taken the honour of all men and dragged it through the sewers with their abuse of women, especially those who trusted them.

Out of Every Hundred Rapes

 

98% of rapists will never do a day in jail.  I get this, I really do.  I have helped women who have been attacked go through the reporting to police and through the emergency rooms to get the rape kit collected.  At every stage, EVERY SINGLE PROFESSIONAL took pains to explain to each of the raped women how much inconvenience her report was going to cause for each of them, how little chance it was going to lead to anything, and did she still want to waste everyones time?  The police, the nursing staff, every single level seemed to make it clear that she was really making a big fuss about this and wasting time that ought to be spent on more worthy pursuits.

 

As a soldier, the level of care the police and medical system show toward those who have been sexually assaulted makes me want to take them all out back for a motivational shit kicking.  Those who have already been abused and betrayed by those they had reason to trust are now betrayed a second time by a system that is perfectly willing to shame them further, and make them doubt their own worth.

 

Honestly, this isn’t good enough.

 

Really.

A rapist has done three things.
1)  They have committed an assault against an individual.

2)They have turned the act of love, an act designed to bring joy and even to create life, and turned it into a tool for hurting, humiliating the person they rape.

3)They have take from them the trust or respect they once held towards the gender that raped them.
I know I didn’t rape them, they know I didn’t rape them, but 80% of rapists were trusted by them already when they committed the offense.  The fact they may feel they can trust me now means nothing, as they have already been shown that is the position from which the rapist struck.
Rape kills respect and it kills trust.  It can destroy self worth in the person who is attacked, which is bloody ironic when you think about the person who was attacked has done nothing wrong, and the piece of garbage who raped them probably doesn’t feel bad at all about doing so.

 

So, the honour killing concept.  My honour as a man is besmirched when a man chooses to rape.  My honour would be cleaned if we washed it in the blood of the rapist.

 

Now some of you are going to argue about the intrinsic worth of all human beings, and I am going to laugh at you.  We are our deeds.  Those who have been raped have had their worth stolen, and those who have chosen to rape have no worth at all.

Killing the rapist will not fix the victims.  Well of course it won’t.  It will do precisely three things

  • Stop that person from ever raping anyone else. Recidivism rate among the dead is 0%
  • It will show those who were raped that we as a society really do feel what was done to them was serious, was wrong, and was so deeply abhorrent to us that we will not permit the scum who did this to breath the same air as those they chose to hurt
  • The honour of men that was dragged through the sewers by this rapist in life will be washed clean of his particular filth with his death. We are our deeds, but our worth as a society, and as a gender is also shaped by the deeds of others we permit.

 

 

Women who have been raped, and indeed men who have been raped (the latter category learn quickly there is NO safe space to talk about it) will continue to deal, or not deal, with the wounds inflicted upon them based on their own internal resources, community resources, and individual nature.  There are way too many of them, and there are more every day.  That is not good enough.  We need to do better.

 

Some of them learn to trust again to an extent, but they have learned the truth, they MUST NOT trust too far, for there really are predators among us.

 

You wish to use education to stop this?  I agree, but not when they have raped.  I want to see the line drawn against the abuse of women with zero tolerance.  You don’t get to run your mouth, as long as you don’t touch her.  You don’t get to play grab ass while you have her trapped and then laugh it off and say you were just playing around.  You want to stop rape, how about letting the police deal with this level, let education have its day now, while all they have done is terrify.  If they cross the line and rape a woman, let them hang by the neck until dead, let the crows feast on their corpse and dump it into the next outhouse you need to fill in.

 

This is my personal opinion and not the policy of any organization or group of which I am now or have ever been a member of.  I am not advocating extra judicial killing, as I really do believe the state alone has that power, they just fail to use it to protect their own citizens.

 

http://www.sexassault.ca/statistics.htm

 

https://rainn.org/get-information/statistics/reporting-rates

 

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