Initiation, retrospection

I came across some of my writings from around the time of my initiation with Freya in 2013. Looking back on that whole process, it occurred to me that it was all very organic.

Me, after a random public journey:

“Hmm, Freya wants me to come visit a lot?”

<I visit every day for two weeks straight. Freya shows me X, Y, and Z insights about myself and the universe as a whole>

“Cool! Now I have to thank Her! How shall I do that?”

<Series of conversations with her telling me to have a public celebration honoring myself and Her. Which I did; it was lovely.>

Me, five years later: If someone had tried to design that entire initiatory and revelatory experience for me and I had to follow along, or if I had to wait for a specific teacher that I clicked with and trusted enough to tell me how and what I should experience and when, well…. it would not have gone nearly so well. First off, I don’t do well with people telling me what I can or can’t do. I will do what I want, thank you very much. (Yes, my pride is a known character defect that hinders much as much as it helps.) Secondly, I get in my own way so often that if even if there had been an external, clearly laid out plan, likely I would have found a way to procrastinate or talk myself out of it. Who am I but some mere human? Smart, sure; sensitive, sure; but also kind of hapless, overly idealistic and often depressed. I’m just one of billions of such people walking the earth today. This way, there were no expectations because it was, quite literally, being revealed to me bit by bit. I was given exactly what I needed as I needed it and as I was able to handle it. Despite the challenges that came later, for that alone, I’m very grateful. The process was graceful and loving, though often strenuous and painful. The experience forever changed how I interact with the world around me.

Life is painful, and growth even more so. Still, I was carried then, and I have faith that I will be carried again when the time arises. Until then–

Hail and thanks to all of the powers that are greater than ourselves–those who know us more deeply than we ever can and who love us more powerfully than we can begin to imagine. Hail to my Lady, Freya!

A firestorm of Freyas….

Todays’ Facebook fun included a long thread on naming groups of deities, along the lines of “a murder of crows” or “a gaggle of geese”. My favorite creations:

  • A firestorm of Freyas
  • A disdain of Gerds
  • A suspension of Odins
  • A harvest of Freyrs (all my other ideas were not safe for work)
  • A cascade of Skadis (Andrea)
  • A competition of Ullrs
  • A whisper of Friggas (Mary)
  • A thunderstorm of Thors
  • An observation of Heimdals
  • A racket of Ratatosks (Becky)
  • A judgement of Tyrs
  • A revelation of volvas….

Words from the Vanir: In times of trouble…

I’ve been appalled and horrified, but not necessarily surprised, by the events this past weekend in Charlottesville. It’s as if the general public is waking up to the insidious destructive nature of white supremacy here in the US. I feel like it’s a drum I’ve been beating for several years now, and many other Heathens have been beating it much longer–they’re here! they’re destroying our culture and our religion! they’re destroying US, Americans, as a people, Heathens and Christians and Jews and Muslims alike! And it’s a tiny bit of a relief to finally hear from public figures that they see this too, and that they, too, are horrified. Or at least most of them are. (Our president the laughingstock is another matter entirely.)

I’ve been reading FB and news sources and other people’s blogs to the point that I’m actually getting physically nauseous most of the day, every day. And I get some hope from some of the responses of public figures, but I still feel so much fear. What is going wrong where that this even had the possibility of happening? Why aren’t the police cracking down on this at least as harshly as they would on BLM groups or any other group of protestors? Who fucked up where and why haven’t they rectified it already?? That in itself makes me more sick than any single action or post by some jackass neo-Nazi ever could.

So I’ve sat and stressed about it for four days now. Today I actually came down with a head cold and said enough was enough. I can’t handle the stress anymore by myself. So I turned to my Gods. That’s what They are there for, for me, anyway–strength in times of trouble. “How do I get through this?” I ask. “I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel any more.”

And They answered.

Unsurprisingly, Their answer was a call to arms of its own.

From Freya,

Love! Love them like they’ve never been loved before! Hunt them down and make them feel. Make them realize we are connected. That the hurt they do to others hurts themselves as well. Remind them–forcefully if necessary–that they are not alone. Break their hate with love.

From Freyr,

<gestures to the field of wheat behind him> We reap what we sow. Everything that grows here is something that we have planted, and did not weed out. Americans planted this crop, and now we gain its harvest.

When asked, What should we do? He answers,

Call to Them. You have planted Them, as well, in your fears and your hope. The Deep Ones, the Old Ones, the Many. You have reached out to Them, and They are ready. Call to the ones you need. They are all around–not just here. Not just one place; not just one group.

This is what you have called us to do, to help you in this world of yours, in the plans that you are making and the lives that you are living RIGHT NOW.  The Dark Ones are awake. Pull from their strength. Be guided by their wisdom. Attack with the power of their arms, the fire in their hearts, the beauty of their countenances.  You have asked, and They have come. Connect with them now!

And from Gerd, His jotun wife–ever-practical as always,

Build gardens that are walled, but that connect. Protected, yet connected. A web of connected places, people, groups. Don’t give your enemies a single point to focus on. If they tear down one component in a web, the web itself yet is unhurt and strong. Stand your ground. Make sure your light is on that others can see it. Make sure to meet and talk–to form new connections and make old ones stronger. Also, don’t trust that those in power will do anything with your best interest in mind. Find strength in connections between others, not in the hierarchy of the wealthy and powerful.

And from Njord the peacemaker, the least warlike of the Vanir, who takes care of us without us realizing it.

When you need to escape the battle, accept that there is time needed to heal yourself, and allow yourself to take a break from it all.

Well have I asked, and well have I been answered. Hail the Gods!

Regarding Changes In My Higher Power

One of the big changes that I haven’t really touched on much yet is how Freya’s absence has affected my 12-step program. She was my strong foundation in every aspect of my life. Literally. As the 12-step program is at its heart a spiritual program that relies so heavily on an individual’s strong connection with a Higher Power, losing Her feels like it has undercut all of the trust and intimacy work that I’ve done to regain sanity through my program. Ironically, due to my move, I have a new sponsor who has asked me to work the Steps again, and I find myself now on Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to care of God as we understood Him. The is the lynch pin of any 12-step program. The question is, which God is my Higher Power now?

Continue reading

A Community of Gods Surround Me

I’ve been feeling a bit driftless since Freya left. Feeling like I don’t have an anchor, or protection, or even some of my place in this world, because if I’m not a Freyaswoman, then what am I? (Melodramatic, I know.) And I’ve been offered a huge amount of help, from Gods and humans. Through my guy, I have half of Jotunheim, and a no-nonsense take on things. Through my connection with Odin (such as it is) I have Asgard, and a lot of Gods and Goddesses there willing to step in and help out regardless of what Odin says or doesn’t say. (Even ones I have never worked with, such as Tyr.) And Vanaheim… well, I’m thoroughly rooted and enmeshed with the Vanir; couldn’t leave now if I tried. And now the Irish deities are showing up–Medb and Frigga, plotting. (I blame this on all of my Morrigan peoples.) And I have a ton of friends and strangers coming out of the woodwork to share their own experiences with this kind of loss.

I’m blessed. I just wish it didn’t have to hurt so much to make me realize that. That is what I’ve been trying to avoid, now that I’m older and more experienced. (We make plans, and the Gods laugh.) And I know that I will get Her back at some point. But maybe when She does come back, it’ll be because I’ve finally learned to work with the community of gods already surrounding me.

Njord: “You kept them all out.”
Me: “You mean, She kept them all out?”
Njord: “No, the two of you together kept everyone else out.”

Sigh. Yeah, maybe that’s why She had to go. As my guy says, you can’t create community with just one bright shiny. Everyone needs to be involved in order for it to work.

Changes

With Freya leaving me with Freyr, and all sorts of Gods are showing up, it seems bit misleading to keep the blog title. I need to do something to add Freyr in, at least. The question becomes, would it be better to create a whole new blog for all of the Gods and such, or do I revamp this one to include Freyr and the other gods? Either way, most of my blogging for the time being will focus on all of the other Gods, with some things for Freya thrown in every once in a while.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Sometimes the Gods are Sick of Speaking Sweetly

Tired of Speaking Sweetly

Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.

If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.

Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth

That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,

Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.

God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.

The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:

Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.

But when we hear
He is in such a “playful drunken mood”
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.

–Hafiz, Sufi poet (translation by Daniel Ladinsky)

I feel sometimes like I am a pickaxe of the Gods. I have been out and about and doing the Gods’ work (either consciously or unconsciously) long enough to know that I have two main uses to which They like to put me. Two main patterns have emerged, regardless of group or situation or locale. If I come cannonballing into your life–sailing with seemingly no effort over barriers you’ve long held , slipping into places no one has been to in decades–know that it can go one of two ways. Either I am a gift of supreme love, or I am a wrecking ball. And, a lot of the times, I don’t know which one it is until after the Rubicon has been crossed.

If I am a gift of love, you will receive from me complete acceptance. Understanding. Support. Lack of any criticism or judgement. I hold space for you as you cry, but I never tell you where to go or what to do next. I act as the voice of a God, and as His or Her witness. I verify that you are indeed human; are accepted and loved; have a valid voice, message, and place in this world; and, above all, are not crazy.

If I am a wrecking ball–honestly, I do the same thing. I just do it with a reeeally big flashlight at my side and with a lot less patience. (Lokeans, I know you feel me here.) This approach is sometimes needful and necessary. It is the fire the kills the undergrowth but leaves the strongest trees still standing, and makes the now-cleared earth ripe for new growth. And it sucks, and is painful for all concerned, and is not necessarily beneficial in the long run.

But I do it, because sometimes, the Gods are sick of speaking sweetly.

Strengthening Spiritual Communication, by Dagulf Loptson

Killer introductory article by Dagulf Loptson about starting and deepening your relationships with your various spirit entities: Gods, ancestors, and landvaettir (land spirits) alike. The TL:DR version: Treat your Gods and spirits the way you would treat your good friends. Visit them or talk to them on a regular basis; be courteous and respectful in your dealings with them; give them gifts; and honor any vows or oaths you made to them. It’s simple in theory, but not always easy in practice.

http://polytheist.com/orgrandr-lokean/2015/06/18/strengthening-spiritual-communication/

Dialing back

So, I’ve gone and completely overbooked myself again. Again, my own fault. No one is pressuring me to do most (if any) of it. I thought perhaps it was the Bay Area’s influence; but no, it’s happening here. It’ll likely happen wherever I go. The problem with moving is that you take yourself with you, you know.

So, now that I’ve met a bunch of people in the area and found some people with whom to do the things I’m most interested in, I’ll be dialing back again. My focus now will be finishing up/deepening ancestor work; continuing and upgrading my work with the Gods (including blogging); and starting to build Heathen community in my area. And relearning to trust other people while I’m at it, it seems. So, we’ll see how it goes :/

Any energy or blessings or good thoughts people want to send to help me achieve this balance will be appreciated 🙂

Heilsa!