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!

30 Days of Njord, Day 18: Rune of Gambling

I was journeying and checking in with Njord and a few others last week when I finally told Him that I was out of inspiration for His 30 days. (I’m pretty much burned out on a bunch of things, and my devotional practice is getting the worst of it, unfortunately.) His response? “Focus on the rune of gambling.”

My first thought was, the rune of gambling? WTF is the rune of gambling? I assumed he wanted me to create a bindrune about gambling, but I was unclear what the focus should be. Like, for gamblers, so they win? Or to help people take risks? Do we even have a God of Gamblers, or stories about them? So I went away a bit bewildered, but let it pass. These things generally make more sense as time goes on.

A few days later, I was putting together the usual handout that I use in my rune classes. This month, our runes are Eihwaz and Perthro. It wasn’t until I was literally typing the up the section on Perthro and looking for a picture of a dice cup to go along with it that I realized that the “rune of gambling” was Perthro! Perthro, the dice cup, which is “a source of recreation and amusement to the great, where warriors sit blithely together in the banqueting-hall.” Duh. I took it as a sign that I should get back to my rune work. (That’s the gods for you; ever helpful in keeping me on track.)

But yes, one aspect of prosperity and generosity is gambling, which fishermen and Vikings also did while waiting out the hours on those long boat rides around the world. Hail the pastime of sailors!

dice cup

Gambling–what I also do each time I open myself up to hear the Gods and agree to do Their work. 🙂

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

Gods-matchmaking, July 2015

Busy, busy, busy.

My apologies to all for not posting much recently. I blame this on 1) starting a new relationship (NRE, yay!); 2) my trip back to CA; and 3) starting a Patheos bi-weekly column (pretty much at the last minute). These are all good things–I can’t complain–but together they have commandeered all of the resources I have available. So, my #90DaysofOdin has slacked off quite a bit (though I still find myself talking about Him and defending Him pretty regularly, so I will count those days). And my other minor plans for world domination have also slacked off because, well, love. Love, people. Got to have your priorities straight.

Continue reading

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/