So, I started out putting together my handout on the runes, and ended up listening to an hour-long recent interview with Freya Aswynn on a British talk radio podcast. (It turns out she is still really on the ball, though not as actively involved in Heathen things as she had been for, oh, the last 30 years. Also, Freya Aswynn = the first modern Heathen devotional polytheist, eh?) All of which I only did because I was waiting for the WoW client to install on my Windows laptop, but hey–Odin moves in mysterious ways. Such is life of a Heathen on teh Interwebs.
It’s been a month of all public things, all of the time. This is what happens when I put my head down and just keep doing what’s put in front of me to do.
Started the month with a Patheos post that unexpectedly went viral. Who knew that an article about the pros and cons of dedicating to a deity would be so popular? I honestly don’t think I said much that was completely new or novel. (Would that it were also one of my better written ones. C’est la vie.)
I followed this with my first public Heathen ritual in the area, Winternights. Winternights went well, even though the boyfriend was only able to attend the last round of the sumbel. It was a great small crowd with plenty of food and a lot of people trying out a heathen ritual for the first time.
Then I did my second Patheos column of the month, on ancestor veneration. (Which as not nearly as popular. Maybe people are just ancestor-ed out by now; I totally understand.)
Then I finally fixed the settings on my email from The Troth and was able to do an intro post there, and got some great suggestions and connections for my area. Heathens! Near me! Woot!
And I found out that not only did my Facets of Freya panel get accepted for PCon 2016, I’m also going to be in another Vanic-based ritual run by EmberVoices. And Jason, editor of the Pagan column at Patheos, wants me to be part of a Patheos authors panel at Convocation 2016 (which I’ve never even attended).
And then Sunday night I got an email from the organizer of our CUUPs group that a local reporter wanted to interview some of us for an article for the local paper. One thing led to another, and somehow I (or my altar stuff) ended up being in all of the pics. Good-sized article. For my hometown newspaper. Where many of my very Lutheran relatives live.
I hadn’t realized when this all started that newspapers need to use my given name and not my pagan name.
So now I’m outed to anyone who actually reads our local newspaper (which, considering the age of my relatives in town, will be all of my relatives.) So while part of me is like, woot! I’m in the paper!, the other part of me is like, Well, no more broom closet for you…. At least my very Christian grandfather is dead. I can deal with “religious disappointment face” from anyone but him. 😦 At this point he is a beloved ancestor and I don’t think he cares much one way or the other what I get up to, religion-wise, as long as I remember him. Funny how things work out. When I left home to go to college 20 years ago, I never dreamed I be back here now, staying with my parents, and appearing face-first in an article on local pagans. It boggles the mind.
I’ve been handed so many opportunities since I moved–as if given to me on a silver platter. So much less stressful than if I had tried to orchestrate it all.
A year and a half ago I couldn’t imagine actually blogging for a real blog. Or starting my own Heathen group. Or leading Heathen events solo. Or organizing a ritual for PCon. Or being willing to be interviewed by the media for anything pagan that also included my given name. Or moving back home and dating a Hellboy. 😉 (I couldn’t imagine moving back to my hometown, period.) But here I am.
In program, we say that we need to change our reaction to what the Gods give us from “No, but…” to “Yes, thanks.” i.e., be open to what’s given to us and not have a hissy fit trying to force what we think should be happening instead. At this point, all I’m doing ischecking my fear-based reactions and just saying “yes” and trying not to have any expectations of what will happen afterwards. I’m completely serious when I say that I have no idea what will happen next. And that’s okay. I just hope whatever happens nexts involves more contact with my Gods/ancestor/landwights, my boyfriend, my friends and my growing community out here, and my family.
So far, so good?
Also known as, everything looks better the day after.
Ever have that experience where the Gods put you in situations just to get a reaction out of you? (Granted, the reaction they are going for may be “growth”, but still. Poke the bear until they finally do what you want them to.)
Since posting about the “irreconcilable differences” between Freya, Loki, myself, and my guy, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback. It’s been great to hear other peoples’ stories of having gone through something similar with their gods, or who have seen similar issues between Freya and Loki in the past. It was kind of unusual, actually, that I posted about the drama on the blog. Normally I would have bitched about it to a few close friends and left it at that. But I gut checked before I posted, and got a green light, so… I posted. And like I said, I got quite a bit out of support and knowledge in doing so. (The Gods work in a multiplicity of ways; I can’t say for certain, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this reaction was one of their side goals from this incident.)
In any event, I can now say with some certainly that I know what Freya’s goal was for me out of all of this. I had to accept my role as Queen.
Get lost in the joy of love and living! Practice receiving and giving it, and relax. All is good; take joy with an open hand. Love, Freya
So, She’s gleefully twirling around in the rain as She tells me this. Just FYI. (Because being a Vanic goddess is srs bizniz.)
And now for something more serious then my usual posts. If you read the blog at all, you’ll know that my currently developing relationship with Freyr is not one that’s gone smoothly. Despite working with Freya, his sister, for a very long time, and despite the fact that Freyr energy still makes me very comfortable and happy, and even despite the fact that if you were to put together all of the male deity characteristics that I have ever liked and admired, it would look an awful lot like Freyr, I’ve still been fighting it tooth and nail. Ever wonder why?
It doesn’t make a lot of sense, I know. Trust me, I’ve been getting flack about it from my Heathen friends and colleagues for years. “But he’s Freya’s twin brother!” they argue. “What, you thought you would get the one and not the other?” Or,”‘But he’s sexy! And has that antler thing! And is easy-going and not all battle-grr-argh like most Viking male deities, and did I mention sexy? Where is the problem?”
Yeah. So. The problem, it turns out, is my ex; or, rather, our history together. I had forgotten exactly how much the blockage was about him until I finally sat down and accepted that it was going to happen, and decided that I might as well take it like the strong Freyaswoman I know myself to be. And I ended up running head-first into unresolved issues with my gods due to my ex.
So, now you get the story of my ex. A shortened, names-removed, bare-details version of it, anyway.
“Come here,” She said, smiling, and enveloped me in Her arms. “You are too hard on yourself.”
I stood for a moment, basking in Her warmth and love.
“I feel like I keep cracking–tons of small cracking around the edges,” I told Her. “I’ll randomly start crying at commercials, or songs on the radio. I don’t know what to do.”
“You will keep cracking, ” She agreed, “like very thin ice on a river that freezes and melts, freezes and melts, freezes and melts without ever fully thawing, getting bumpier and more convoluted as time passes. But you don’t have to keep cracking. If you agree to let yourself melt fully, the ice won’t be able to take purchase and form again.
“It’s summertime. The time for ice has passed. You will need help from the Sun or a friend or a lover to heat the surface, but you must do your part to help melt the ice from below. Then, your river of creativity, love, and joy can run freely again.”
In which I try to get Ratatosk’s kin (aka squirrels) out of my head, and remember to ask the Gods for help.