A Prayer of Acceptance and Surrender

In sitting down with myself the past few days, I find myself filled with fear. Now that I’m settled physically, and am no longer leading a nomadic life, I can allow myself to feel that fear. Hopefully in feeling it I will also be able to release it, and move on to a happier life that my Lady has promised me. “So, this change is a good thing, then?” I had asked her before I left. “That depends entirely on you,” She had replied. That’s a very scary answer to hear, when I’ve spent so much of my time relying on her–first in my program, and then as I worked my way back into the Heathen community from which I had temporarily withdrawn.

Still, my experience in recovery points to two solutions: Do the footwork, and rely on Her. Do the footwork, and rely on Her. And do the footwork. And rely on Her. So I fall back on a program prayer to help see me through, when I am feeling too full of fear to reach out to Her the way I know I should. Trust in the process, says my program. And here’s hoping that, like every time in the past, it helps pull me through. Paradoxically, I have often found that my greatest strength and peace of mind comes when I gracefully and willingly surrender myself to Her.

A Prayer to Freya

Freya, I offer myself to you,
to build with me
and to do with me as you will.
Relieve me of the bondage of self,
that I may better do your work.
Take away my difficulties,
that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of you power,
love, and benefaction.
Help me do your work always.

(11/30/14–edited to remove unnecessary biblical language)

Heilsa, my lovely Lady.

“Ithaca”, by Constantine P. Cavafy

One of my favorite poems about life, the journey, and coming home. By modern Greek author Constantine Cavafy. Based on the travels of Odysseus.

Ithaka

When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, with what joy –
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey in the slightest.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn’t anything left to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn’t deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you’ll have understood what these Ithakas mean.

Freya gratitude: Thanksgiving 2014

Freya is a gift-giver; it is always a good idea to remember the gifts that She has given me.

Gifts from my Lady:

1. My family, and the healing relationships therein. Support and love from them.

2. My recovery

3. My love for myself

4. My relationships with the many beautiful, interesting, spiritual, creative, and otherwise awesome people in my life

5. Seeing beauty in the world, when I choose to open my eyes and see it

6. Hope–that tomorrow will be even better than today

7. The ability to help others and do good in the world

8. The ability to connect with my Lady in a way that many others can’t

9. The opportunity to worship and honor those deities, spirits, and ancestors when and how I want

10. A loving, healthy cat with me, and a good fostering situation for my red-haired tomcat

11. A job. It was clearly a gift from her, and because of it I have money and flexibility.

12. Technology. I do love my gadgets.

13. My health.

14. Community, in every sense of the word.

Heilsa Freya!

Love notes from Freya, 11-25-14

All day today, and most of yesterday, when I checked in with Her, I got this image: her donning fancy clothes, getting ready to go out. Not “out” as in to a party, nor “out” as in to a battlefield, just–out. Fur, cloak, rings, necklace, headpiece; determined expression. Pure “game face”. Dressed to go outside and get started, on whatever it is that She is doing.  She has places to go. Maybe diplomatic stuff? I dunno.

Sorry, ya’ll. That’s all I got.

A whisper of hope for when the night is long

In your bed, you toss

wide awake–

Weeping, sighing

helplessly analyzing

your choices, in harrowing detail.

You. Yes, you.

Did you think that you were alone?

Unloved? Unlovable?

Stuck on the path that you trudge

spinning you wheels in fear?

Yeah. Me too.

Me, too.

But we are not alone, you and I;

My darkness may be different from yours.

Mine may suffocate, while yours shrieks.

Mine may sabotage, while yours seeks justice

in an unjust world.

The world isn’t just

but, luckily, neither is love.

Love does not know of

“good” or “bad”,

or if you’ve made mistakes

that can’t be fixed in the here and now.

Love does not care if you’re a Nobel laureate

or a high school dropout

or anything in between.

These things do not matter.

Do you exist? Then you are loved.

Love is not conditional; it just is.

So when you fear

and the night takes you

with every unseen horror that’s ever

stalked your heart

remember—

You are loved. You have always been loved.

Nothing you do will ever take that love away.

Seek out ones who know this already

and throw your lot in with them.

So, in time, you, too,

can reach out a hand

to those who are strangling

in the noose of their past,

present, and future–

soothe away her fears

and let him know

that they, too, will always be loved.

Cara Freyasdaughter, 2014

Love Notes from Freya, 11/21/14

Love Notes are back!  Getting back into the saddle….

Collect and recover the pieces of your past; organize them; and spread them out ahead of you. These are your options for the future. Which path will you take? Everything we have now is a result of past choices. We cannot change the past. It is only in the future that we have the possibility for change.

This smacks me very much of seidh practices. I’ve been getting the seidh message strongly recently. (Not surprising with Odin stepping back into the picture, and me now dwelling the land of my ancestors). Still, I hope that this note was aimed at others as well.

A Higher Power vingette

I consider myself lucky in that I have an understanding of spirituality that is reinforced within my 12 Step program. “But the Steps all say, ‘God’ this and ‘His’ that, how is that pagan or polytheistic?” you might say. True. But the Twelve Step program is a spiritual program, one teaches us to connect to and rely on guidance from a divine power (literally any divine power, even the ones that haven’t been invented yet). Each time I go to a meeting, I get to hear exactly what I needed to hear from Freya that day. I just never know whose mouth that message is going to come out of.

This quote came from a round-robin meeting I went to about six month ago. It struck me then, as it does now, as an honest statement of the type of spiritual growth that many of us in the program go through. I’ve been wanting to restart my Love Notes from Freya, and She recommended starting with this first.

My understanding of “Higher Power” changed daily. My extreme thinking encouraged only two possibilities: a Higher Power who abandoned me, and a Higher Power who engulfed me. Any images of God between these extremes changed, altered, and slipped away. I longed to take Step Three [“Made the decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him”] with a clear belief in a healthy, positive, trustworthy Higher Power, but I found myself unable to hold on to any one image. I believed that I could not work Step Three unless I understood who or what my Higher Power was.

Eventually I gave up trying to control, and surrendered my lack of understanding. Instead, I sought a relationship with the God of my not understanding, whom I call “You”. I prayed by talking to “You”. When I meditated on the Twelve Steps, I thought of my Higher Power as “You”. As I allowed my relationship with “You” to develop and change–to be fuzzy and unfinished, I relaxed into an understanding of my Higher Power that carries me through my days.

I find that if I am beating myself up about doing journeywork, or not be able making this whole polytheistic/Twelve Step thing work perfectly, or getting behind on devotional work or something–if I just let myself relax, I find that She’s just sitting here, watching me stress and loving me despite myself. Any angst that I feel about theology is all about me; it’s never really about Her or anything She stands for. The Gods all reveal what they want to reveal when they want to reveal it. I think that the best that we can hope for some days is to not get in the way of that understanding when it comes.