PantheaCon 2016

Here’s my PantheaCon schedule this year:

Things I am in (note the “all late night, all trancey” theme, for the most part)

  • Friday 11PM “All Acts of Love and Pleasure”, Cedar/Pine
  • Saturday 11am “Njord Blot”, Heathen Hospitality Suite, 2nd floor 
  • Saturday 11pm “Facets of Freya”, San Jose/Santa Clara
  • Sunday 9pm: “Matronae Oracular Devotional”, Oak

The All Acts of Love and Pleasure ritual, run by Yeshe Rabbit Matthews’ CAYA group, is meant as a substitute for the usual Friday night Pomba Gira ritual. The structure is “person presents her or his goddess, followed by a danceable song”. There’s about 7 or 8 of us presenting various love and sex deities (Ishtar, Oshun, Venus, etc.). I’m presenting Freya, and, knowing Her, I will most likely be carrying Her throughout the ritual. I didn’t realize at the time that I was asked that this was supposed to be the replacement for Pomba, else I might have been a bit more hesitant to accept a part. Still, when I asked Freya about it, She was pleased. “I shall come down glowing and golden!” She said–or something to that effect, anyway. So the facet of Freya which will show up here will probably be along the lines of Brisingamen Freya or Self-Love Freya.

The Njord Blot is a last-minute addition to the Heathen Hospitality Hall schedule, as He has been poking at me quite strongly recently and I thought He should have a blot. It’ll be informal and, depending on how many people show up, short.

The Facets of Freya ritual is our follow-up to last year’s Facets ritual, which I have saved on the blog (tagline facets of freya). It will follow essentially the same format as the one from last year, but the facets which will be presented are different this year. This year’s facets will draw from the darker sides of Freya–the seidhkona (“witch”); the blot gythia (“leader of the sacrifices”); the survivor (Gullveig, and Freya post-Ragnarok); Mardoll (“She who weeps for Her lover”); and the ever-popular Chooser of the Slain (valkyrie Freya!). Our tagline is, as ever: “Five Freyas, no waiting”.

The last one I’m officially in this year is River Devora and Rynn Fox’s Matronae Oracular Devotional. I’m only on the warding staff, so I’m not as familiar with how this will be set up this year. However, I was on River’s test crew when she was originally hammering out this bit of ritual tech, so I have some idea what to expect. As a side note, I think “the Matronae” as such are making a comeback, as it seems like many European goddesses (Germanic and Celtic ones, in particular) may have gone through a phase in which they were worshipped as part of the Matronae (or maybe an earlier version of the goddesses were part of the Matronae) and so, in a sense, parts of the Matronae have been worshipped more and more frequently over the last 30 years or so. Perhaps the “collective” Matronae entity is finally waking up now. It’s fun stuff to experience/ponder, though I’m happy I’m not trancing in this ritual!)

Things I would like to attend (but let’s be honest, I usually end up wherever the Gods throw me):
Too numerous to list, honestly. Ideally (in no particular order): anything about Heathenry; anything about the Greeks; anything about trance; anything about folklore; anything about horned gods; anything about love goddesses; anything by Shauna Aura KnightJohn Beckett, Hrafnar (Diana Paxon’s kindred), the Vanic Conspiracy, Pandemos, or ADF; and anything else put on by anybody I know. (If the event is before 11AM, it’s unlikely I’ll make it; see the aforementioned all late-night trance rituals this year.) Every year, I spend so much time plotting out all of the rituals and workshops I’d like to attend, but I rarely end up at a quarter of them. I try to let it go and not stress about it. C’est la vie.

The amber-colored cloud has fallen.

So, it appears that I have been in a bit of an amber-colored cloud. A two-year-long amber-colored cloud. It began right before I started my initiation work with Freya, and lasted until….well, this evening, when she decided that my boyfriend was “not good enough for me,” and proceeded to tell him all of the reasons why. *headdesk*

Now, I have  loved Freya pretty much since I found out She existed, yes, but the really heavy NRE did not hit in until my initiation. I have been happily riding high on it for a while now. I didn’t notice it so much earlier because how could anyone not love Freya? Everyone loves Freya! She is wonderful! And for the most part, everyone does love Freya–Gods and humans and jotuns alike. She’s just so lovable–goddess of beauty, love, sex, gold, etc., and all. I’ve come across a very few people who were scared (or at least, very wary) of Her, but never anyone that didn’t actually like Her. And I’ve also rarely gotten an ill response from her towards most people. But my boyfriend? She is not a fan. Ironic, because everyone else seems to like him, and She’s the one who threw us together and has been cheerleading at us from the sidelines.

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Freya and Fertility, my experiences with

boar piglets 4

Let’s talk about fertility, shall we?

Freya has a bunch of facets. One of the ones that has always been hardest for me to grasp, spiritually, has been the fertility aspect. I know it’s there–one of her symbols is the sow, which apparently in the day symbolized fertility for humans and animals (not plants–that’s Freyr). But whenever this was pointed out, I hemmed and hawed, because that just does not fit into my view of Her. I mean, She’s not a goddess of marriage or domesticity or children, for crying out loud. She’s just not the Mother Goddess type. There’s nothing in the myths or the sagas about her interacting with children, or being motherly in any way. In theory, depending on the sources, you can argue that she two daughters, but both of their names (Hnoss and Gersemi) are kennings for “treasure”, so in my mind, that’s still suspect. She is called on in a few bits of folklore here and there to help with ease in childbirth, but then again, what major goddess in any pantheon isn’t?

She’s a goddess of sex and power and money and essentially doing whatever the Hel She wants to, whenever She wants to do it. (Okay, so the sex thing can sometimes lead to fertility–true. But I’m pretty sure that’s not why Freya does it.)

This is all mainly to say that I just wasn’t buying the fertility connection. I’ve had this opinion for years–pretty much since I became a Heathen and started paying attention to things like Who was the Goddess of What in Norse mythology. And not much could change my mind on it.

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My (somewhat long) analysis of the Facets ritual and how it went

The ritual was fabulous. Did you know that the whole audience (fifty-four people; almost a full house at 11pm on Sunday) applauded when we finished? I’ve seen that happen a few times, but not very often. Mainly, I see it in rituals in which the audience felt that they were an active part of the ritual and felt like they got out of the ritual all that they had hoped. (Or rather, that’s why I clap at the end of rituals. Who knows why anyone else does, so YMMV.) Also, many people cried–which, if you read the blog, you know is a big sign that Freya Was In.

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Facets of Freya Ritual, script

So, I might have mentioned at some point that I spearheaded a ritual called the “Facets of Freya Devotional”, which our informal group of Freyaswomen presented at PCon this year. I’ve been just a tad obsessed with this concept (and the resultant ritual) since my initiation with Freya back in October 2013. To be here at the end of the process, writing up how it went and posting the ritual, is kind of surreal, to put it mildly. Now that it’s over and everything went smashingly, I can finally exhale. (I’ll post about my experience and impressions of how it went later, I think. Still digesting.)

The group enthusiastically agreed that I should post the ritual in its entirety up on the blog. You find find the outline here and the full version (with monologues and guided meditation) here. We’re all very proud of it. (Feel free to use any or all of it, but if you do, I’d appreciate if you included a “Freyja’s Aett”(c) somewhere in it.) We had set up an email list last fall and have been discussing various facets that we saw in Her and how those were defined. Each invocation/monologue was written by the Freyaswowan who performed it; the welcome and guided meditation (and my monologue/invocation) was written by me. The ritual structure was a group effort as well, and I’m really impressed with how it all come together and how well it all went on the day of. It was great deal of Good Work that I hope to continue and expand upon in the future. Freya is not getting nearly as much press as She deserves (or this world needs). 😉

Freyja_by_DebsDen(“Freyja”, by DebsDen)

Dedication Contract renewal, January 2015

I realized, while going through and organizing the Dedication process stuff I went through last year, that the reason I am doing all of that analysis work now is because She wants me to finish integrating it within myself as well. A new year, a new rendering of who I am and what it means to me to be a woman dedicated to a Goddess.

Dedication to Freya–Contract renewal, January 2015 (With a few minor updates and revisions)
Freya, I offer you my dedication. I stand here as your child, as your intermediary between Vanaheim and Midgard, the realms of the living and the realms of the dead.

I ask you to guide my way here in this world. You are aware of and understand so much more than I ever can, and from my many years of working with you, I know that you love me more fully and deeply than I can comprehend. You have given me gifts I would not have thought to ask for; you have fulfilled wishes I did not know I had. You continue to help me love myself and to see beauty in all things in the world. You have gifted me with many great experiences, and you have walked me through an initiation that has expanded and transformed the capacity of my heart.

I know that the gifts that you have given to me have been freely given. But I also know that I owe you in return.

I offer to help facilitate your voice and your presence here on earth. I will continue to spread word of your gifts and mysteries and to promote the Vanir, the Aesir, and Heathenry where I can. With your help and guidance, I will strive to be an example of a loving, compassionate priestess in a healthy God-relationship. I hope to become a living example that a relationship with you or any of the Gods can be one of the greatest blessings that we can receive.

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