Nov 2015 misc

(Grabbing the rare opportunity to do some personal blogging.)

A Miscellany:

–One of the best things about having a Hela-dedicated boyfriend is that he is very tolerant of my whims. For example, while we were perusing the post-Halloween sale the other day, I found a random Nerf Thor’s Hammer. I carried it around with me through the store and occasionally smote him with it, yelling “Jotun!” While neither he nor Loki were amused, he tolerated it. I did get a lot of eye rolls, though. (I thought it was hilarious. Yay Heathen humor!)

–Speaking of my guy, he’s started a #30DaysofHela project on his blog, here.

–I”f you build it, they will come.” It’s been almost a year since I landed here, but now I finally have Heathens coming out of the woodwork. Here’s hoping they decide to stay and help form a local Heathen community.

–I had a nice short chat with my Lady this evening at a local park. I usually stop and sit by the river, but tonight I felt drawn to go into the extensive rose garden, which, like the rest of the park, is open 24/7. I don’t know why I was surprised to find Her there–it is a very popular location, with thousands of beautiful rose bushes of all different varieties, surrounding a picturesque wedding location–but there She was. She was in full Garden mode, a side to Her that I hadn’t seen previously but which makes perfect sense. (I get the feeling that the Midwest is really not Her natural habitat, not the way that it is Thor’s, for example. It kind of feels like She’s “just visiting”, or only loosely anchored here. I have no problems finding Her in California, though.)

She said:

Look for me in the roses.
Look for me in the thorn
and the prick;
In blood spilt and tears wept.
Look for me in the dark desires
seething in your soul
Which will never see the light of day.

Look for me in the garden.

I also asked Her about Her and Freyr’s obsession with pork, and She answered that pigs/boars were the most fertile and fruitful of animals, hence the connection. (She didn’t mention the tastiness factor, but I think that was assumed.)

–PantheaCon: The Facets of Freya ritual has been accepted again for next year’s Con. We’ll be late Saturday night, opposite a host of other sex- or death- related rituals and workshops, unfortunately. We’ll likely have a slight shake up in the specific Facets being presented and in the people in the ritual. Also, on one of the other nights at Con, I’ll be in EmberVoices’ Thrones of Vanaheim ritual, part TBD. I’m not yet sure how similar/different the Thrones ritual is going to be from the Facets ritual, aside from focusing on the four main Vanir instead of just Freya, but Freyr’s been heavy on my mind lately and I’ve been wanting to participate in a ritual for Him.

–SPOILER ALERT: I finally read the first Rick Riordan book in his Magnus Chase (Norse Mythology) series. I like it! He portrays the Norse gods with less superficiality than he did the Greeks. Granted, the age of the title character is much older than Percy was when the first Percy Jackson series started. And OMG was I excited when I found out who Magnus’ deific father was!!! Not a hard choice, I tell you. 😉 Given Riordan’s general dislike of the popular jock/warrior types, though, I guess it’s not too surprising. Also, he portrayed Freya in a much more positive light than he did Aphrodite (which honestly, I had been a tad worried about). And Loki is his complex, fabulous self throughout the whole book, doing classic Loki things. (Though how Riordan could ever have passed up a chance to utilize Loki to his fullest extent, I’ll never know–it’s like Loki was tailor-made for Riordan’s writing style. I guess this isn’t too surprising given that Riordan has stated that his original love was Norse mythology, not Greek mythology, and that he’s been wanting to write a Norse series for years.) My only real complaints so far are that this series is only set up to be a trilogy, like his Egypt series, and he’s sticking to his usual hero-plus-two-sidekicks vs a righteous-yet-misguided-compatriot formula. I’d have liked to have seen him use a larger central group with more deities represented. Ah, well. And the family connection to the Greek books via Annabeth Chase was really unnecessary and seems a bit forced. Every single thing that Riordan writes does not need to be tied so closely to the Percy Jackson universe. Also, Ratatosk will forevermore be known as The Squirrel, 🙂 It’s eerie, in many places Riordan describes a given god or other entity using pretty much exactly the same words as I would: for example, Ratatosk is “that shit-talking squirrel”, whom Riordan uses to great effect.

“Homecoming”, by Seanan McGuire

Last year I came across this short story by Seanan McGuire. I had seen it around, and several people strongly suggested that I read it, but when I took a look at it, it seemed mostly to be about football. While I actually have a lot of fond memories  high school football games (I played in the playing in the marching band), what I didn’t get was the connection was to Freya. Luckily I made myself reread it, and it’s been one of my favorite short stories ever since.

If you work with a God whose realm includes death or battle, I recommend that you read it. If you work with the Norse gods or the Morrigan, in particular, I recommend that you read it. Who knew mythology had anything to do with football?

(You can find the entire short story here. I’m also posting the entire thing below the cut, because I never trust that links will last.)

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TOO MUCH TO DO: The saga of an overworked polytheist

I had meant to do my “Why Freya makes me cry” post, but this is what came out instead (though they are not entirely mutually exclusive). I’m just one among many overworked people, I know. I’ll keep my bitching to a minimum.

Currently, my responsibilities, both real and perceived, are as follows (not necessarily in order of importance):

  1. Do Freya stuff. Subcategories: blog about Her. Blog about Heathen/interfaith topics associated with Her. Continue to collect resources about Her. Touch base with Her daily and post Her Love Notes. Journey to Her, ideally 2x a month. Continue to research Her, both on an academic level and on a UPG level. Continue to practice trancing Her. Do misc. priestessing on Her behalf, as necessary.
  2. Help run the VC (a group dedicated to the Vanir, which I helped found lo! those many years ago). Subcategories: organize and run of 2-3 events a year, including publicizing events and bring in newbies. Shake hands/kiss babies. Get trained up in the various Vanatru practices that EmberVoices puts together.
  3. Help run SB Heathens (Norse focused group). Subcategories: plan, publicize, and run 1-3 events a year; contact newbies. (Not as much of the shaking hands/kissing babies involved here, thank Gods.)
  4. PantheaCon 2015. Subcategories: Plan “Facets of Freya” rit/panel for PCon 2015 (Contact all of the Freya-type people I know; nail a few of the interested parties down to a commitment (heh, nailing!); help them all get along and communicate clearly; put together a blurb to submit; research, write, and practice to actually make it happen). Decide if and how the Love Notes should happen and mobilize people for it. Decide if and how a Freya Blot will happen. Help plan and run a Hellenic ritual, topic TBD. Finish period Viking outfit. Deal with various and sundry other things that will pop up between now and then. Also, start to worry about the nebulous “connections” and “messages” that Zeus wants me to handle for him at the Con.
  5. Do other Zeus stuff. Subcategories: Check in with Zeus 1x a month; pass on various messages to people in our Greek group. Help publicize Greek events. Do a lot of hand shaking/baby kissing; search out and chat up possible new Hellenes. Help plan, publicize, and run the Symposium in Sept.. Research and memorize a good, easy to remember yet powerful invocation for Zeus. Continue my Ancient Greek academic research. Start planning Poseidon campout and ritual. Did I mention doing a bunch of meet ‘n greet work with possible Hellenes? I don’t think I mentioned that one enough. Attend any new, Hellenic-focused events I come across. Shake hands, kiss babies.
  6. Blogs. Subcategories: Keep up with Heathen blogs. Keep up with Hellenic blogs. Keep up with various polytheist blogs. Seek out new ones to read.
  7. Odin stuff. Subcategories: Avoid talking shit about Odin. Review runes. Plot up rune reviewing plan, likely a year in length. Contact  man formerly known as Hobbit to continue Freya/Odin info swap. Continue to discuss runes with the bevy of Odinpeople I’m surrounded with. Make a new rune set because the ones I have not perfect for my purposes. Avoid avoiding Odin. I should also probably set up a journeying schedule for Him, as well.
  8. Refine my journeying practice.
  9. Continue to honor the Vanir.
  10. Ancestors. Subcategories: Continue to honor and deepen my relationship with my Ancestors. Journey to my Hall and learn from them. Probably need to schedule that as well. Refine daiy worship practices.
  11. Interfaith work. Subcategories: Keep attending Berkeley-based interfaith events with my Morrigan priestess co-conspirator. Help plan, publicize, make contacts, and shake hands/kiss babies for Polytheist discussion group, which ideally will be starting in September. Continue to build relationships with various non-Heathen groups in the area:
  12. CAYA. Subcategories: continue with Aspirants class, reading and homework. Attend holidays and full moon events. Continue forming connections and friendships and learning.
  13. SBC. Continue to attend events.
  14. Coru Cathuboda. Continue to attend events and build relationships.
  15. Hrafnar. Subcategories: Attend events. Help do Freya stuff or Vanir stuff as needed. Other stuff TBD.
  16. SF Heathens. Actually attend one or two of their events.
  17. EB Heathens (?). Attend events.
  18. The Troth. Subcategories: Renew subscription. See if there are any topics I can write about and submit articles for. Get on the mailing list again?
  19. Continue to follow and contribute to online Polytheist discussion.
  20. Read Patheos blogs more often or I will catch yet more flak about it from the PanMan.
  21. Catch up on the care and feeding of my warder/girlfriend.
  22. Reach out to the (neglected) Aesir Gods as well.
  23. Attend weekly meetings for my Other Spiritual Practice so that I can do all of this and keep humble about it and not go crazy.

So yeah, I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment; a great and exhausting balancing act. No wonder Hermes loves me so much (or so I’ve been told).

Book review: “The Gospel of Loki”, by Joanne Harris

(also posted here)

The Gospel of Loki, by Joanne Harris. A book of fiction heavily based on the Norse myths; “the myths through Loki’s point of view”. (Think Wicked and Maleficent).

(Though this book is ostensibly about Loki, it does cover most of the Norse myths. However, the author’s portrayal of Freya–and that of the rest of the Gods–leaves a lot to be desired.)

From my review of it on Amazon:

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