Yes, ma’am

So… my Lady is yelling at me to write, so writing is happening. No idea what she actually wants me to write about, so here goes nothing.

(Thus follows a conversation with my Lady, in the style of MagicfromScratch’s convos with her gods. Possibly because I’m in no shape–either physically or emotionally–to do my usual Love Notes check-in, much less the kind of journeywork that I would normally do with Her for this. So, we’ll see how it goes.)

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The Marriage of Freyr and Gerd (The Skirnismal, myth embodiment #3)

Last week my main Heathen group, which is focused on the Vanir, did a myth embodiment of the Skirnismal, aka how Freyr won his jotun wife Gerd. This exercise is one that we’d done twice previously–first with the myth describing the Marriage of Njord and Skadi, and second with the myth of how Freya won Brisingamen. Both times the activity yielded up some great insights into the Gods involved as well as a lot of hilarity. (And how often does one activity give you both of these things, I ask?)

One of the things that I think this type of exercise does best is to fully flesh out the characters–in our case last week, the Gods Freyr and Skadi; the Jotun (Godddess-to-be?) Gerd; and the eponymous Skirnir, who, as we found out, is neither Aesir nor Vanir nor jotun nor alf. (Actually, nobody knows quite what he is; though we do know he’s one of Freyr’s oldest friends, and also his servant). This myth showcases Freyr at his youngest, most immature self–moody, passionate, and self-centered. Not being that close to Freyr myself, I hadn’t had much reason to work through my own issues with this myth. My biggest issue with the Skirnismal, and the reason that I had put off doing this myth as long as we did, had always been that in the myth, it really does look like Freyr (through Skirnir) is threatening Gerd with some bodily and psychological harm should she decide not to marry him, and what is up with that? (The threats are both cruel and highly creative.) It’s coercion at the very least, and, personally, I didn’t see any way around dealing with that aspect of the myth.

However, this coercion aspect is actually what makes it the perfect fodder for myth embodiment. The whole point, in fact, is to try to understand the motivations and point of views of all concerned. (This technique is also successfully used to help families and communities heal themselves after tragedy or trauma. It’s amazing what putting yourself in another’s shoes will do for healing a relationship.) So, I did some research, had some great discussions around it with a few Freyrspeople, and went boldly on with the embodiment.

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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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Freya the wanderer….

A local multi-trad group I’m a part of just put out a call for writings on “The Goddess in her guise as the Wanderer”. Being the hard polytheist that I am, my eyes start to roll a bit anytime I see the words “The Goddess in her guise/role as…” However, I know for some people this is a very valid path. And certainly, my Lady has many different sides. So, I chose to look at this as an opportunity to try to understand my own Goddess better.

My Goddess, too, wanders. The lore tells us that her husband, Odr, left her for reasons unknown, and she has been searching for him ever since, traveling across the world, weeping as She goes. When she travels over land, her tears fall and turn to gold; popular UPG says that when she travels over water, her tears turn to amber.

This all sounds lovely and romantic, but honestly it’s the hardest part of her story for me to stomach. Sex with dwarves? Sure. Laying with her brother? Well, when in Vanaheim…. Teaching seidh magic to Odin? Fine, why not? But chasing after some guy and weeping over him–the hell? That makes no sense to me given what I know of the rest of her character. She’s independent, strong-willed, makes her own rules, partners up with whoever she wants, whenever she wants, however she wants…how could She pine so dramatically over a husband who left her for no reason? We don’t know even anything about him; how interesting could he have been? (For people who want to moralize her story–there is no evidence in the Lore for her husband leaving her because of the nights She spent with the Dwarves, so keep it in your pants. Any deity who married her would have known the nature of her character and should have been able to deal with it, in any event.)

She is passionate, yes. Her smile can ignite the coldest of hearts and her sensuality can burn through any barrier. If She loved a being enough to marry him, She would love him completely, with her whole being, through all the Nine Worlds and beyond. She likely would be devastated if he left… but to then throw away her life searching for him, crying? Sorry, I’m not convinced. Still,  she does seem to me to be a restless deity, ever traveling, ever in search of new pleasures and experiences. Perhaps she searches and gives us bits of gold as she goes, rather than “weeping” the gold into being.

For me, I know, she is a Teacher. She constantly pushes my boundaries and inspires me to try new things (or at least serves up new options with a “Why not try it?” smirk). Maybe one of the things She teaches is how to love that much, and yet still survive it when the focus of that love is taken away.

The journey is going to happen no matter what I do. I’m blessed to have Her walk alongside me as I go. Maybe She can help me avoid a few of the mistakes that She made, on the way.