bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Month: July, 2016

Month for Loki, Day 11: Separated.

Being still sick with this flu, I spent most of this day in an almost meditative haze.

As in, I meditated heavily upon my follow-up to this entry.

And this is what came up:

Who bows to whom?

We are both switches, you see.

But I don’t know if He is talking about the relationship between He and Odin

… or if He is talking about the relationship between Himself and me.

~~~

The first thing that came up in my email feed was this powerful video post from a blog I follow:

Gage Wallace: How We Have Learned to Love

and how the poet has allowed words to separate him – how words separate us all – from facing each other in love.

 

That post was followed within moments by Jolene Poseidonae’s post on how ‘the heart must go first. [and] The brain may follow’ **

~~~

What I took from these two posts was to mean was that I have allowed this little writing project of mine to limit myself in my words already.

I promised to write and yet I have allowed the words to separate Loki and I from each other.

He doesn’t really care what words I use, as long as I write the truth of the story.

And the truth of the story is difficult for me to admit to because it requires a certain amount of writing with an openness and eye towards vulnerability that I am not used to.

I have begged Him to take me deeper and yet it has been the words that have always separated us.

When I taught other kinksters about words as ordeal and how words can make thoughts manifest –

How with the use of words alone, one can create powerful connections!

I was also acutely aware of the concept that Gage Wallace speaks of concerning about how the distance between lovers can be created just as easily — created by the words on the tiny screen of an iPhone.

Words can bring together and words can separate.  Names, titles, concepts, aspects….do they matter?

Well, it all matters just as much as it doesn’t matter, because words have a fluidity of meaning and power than is entirely dependent upon context and meaning.

We give words the power they have, and yet once they are said, or heard, their power becomes dependent upon others’ understanding of meaning and context.

Whether one is having a conversation or an argument, words are means by which access is given to thoughts, ideas, and feelings.

We connect with our words.  We encourage with our words.  We open up to others with our words.

But we can also wound with our words.  We can shut down connection with words.  We can separate ourselves from others with labels, titles, names, designations.  We can lie, confuse, obfuscate meaning.  We can hide behind our words.

Words can open and words can limit.

~~~

When Loki first came to me, almost from the beginning, I wanted to know Who He was.

And He wouldn’t tell me.

So I put words on Him:

Shadow in the Dark.

Invisible friend. 

Creature in the woods.  A shadow being that pursued me over a dark, empty field in a series of haunting dreams.

The Trois Frere Sorceror.

Teacher.

Magician.

Lover.

God.

 

But I realize that Loki encompasses all of these words…and yet, none of these words.

~~~~

 

**I love that last line, by the way.  It is a perfect description of where my devotional practice with Loki seems to be going this month.  I was equally tempted to use those words as the title for today’s post.

 

 

 

I don’t know how.

I’m sorry.

I don’t know how to follow up yesterday’s post.

So, if you are looking for the continuation of yesterday’s ‘to be continued’

– you aren’t going to find it here today.

I’m sorry.

~~~

I have been thinking all day of how I could write the continuation…but it isn’t happening today.

I made the mistake of going over some old posts from my notebooks from 2013, thinking that I could glean something from the pages of rage and despair.

He is correct, you know.

I wasn’t learning anything from all the pain that I’d felt – that I’d sought to feel – back then.

Reading all the pages today of that awful story – my story – was heart-wrenching.

I know what I said.  I know what I promised.

I just can’t deliver today.

 

Perhaps…tomorrow.

Month for Loki, Day 10: Story

I feel like my throat is closing up.

My throat feels raw and it is painful to swallow.  My senses seem dulled as my sinuses are filled with congestion.

Perhaps this is nothing but a chest cold, a head cold.  My head feels as if I am under water, and there is a strange metallic taste in my mouth.  My eyes water and my muscles ache.

Perhaps this is really nothing at all besides my simply being sick.

But I am not telling my story.

I know my task.  I know what stories I have promised to tell and yet I am having trouble speaking of them. I am having trouble writing about them.

I know that He wants me to write of how things changed.

How Loki as the Teacher and the Magician slowly morphed into Loki as the Lover in mid-2013.

You see, my husband of 20 years was having an affair and that knowledge of that fact devastated me.

So Loki came forward, first to comfort, and then to strengthen and empower me in my feelings of brokenness and betrayal.

Ever the Teacher, He sought to show me –through use of Himself as an example – how I should be loved.  Simple as that: He sought to love me and to heal me with a fierce and steadfast tenderness that I continue to marvel over, even to this day.

But I didn’t want His love…in the sense that I felt that I could not possibly deserve it.  I did not believe that I deserved His fierce loyalty, His honeyed promises, His gentle touches.  Instead, I insisted upon a passionate, almost feral connection.

I was angry and avoidant.

I didn’t expect to be understood, much less, did I expect to be loved.

I pushed Him away.

I refused to see; I resisted recognizing Him as anything other than a Being Who could break me and I sought to be broken.

I wanted to experience the height of relationship that I had recently been teaching others about – I wanted to experience a consensual, BDSM-fueled dynamic.

But He refused.

Our ‘scenes’ were passionate, yes, but He refused to cause me any pain.

Though I begged for Him to transform me through pain, He responded:

Why? You have been through enough pain…and yet you have not learned.

So He approached me with care and kindness.  I daresay His behavior was all romance and gentility, and my response was I wanted desperately to shut down:

That is not for me, I wept and I raged, That has never been for me. I don’t believe in that.

And so I hid from Him.

I pushed Him so hard.

I dared Him to grab me by the neck and shame me like an errant puppy.

I waffled between fear and rage.

I was either afraid of Him or I was angry/despairing of Him.

I was insistent: You do not love me.  You cannot love me.  No one can.

But He simply smiled and blinked and continued to present Himself to me, in dreams.

He spread Himself out like water at my feet.

He stroked my face with tender hands.

He bowed down low, head to the ground, and asked me how He could serve.

To be honest, He was a better submissive than I ever could have been, and yet I still argued, how – why – what had I ever done to deserve such devotion, such heartfelt words, such considerate actions?  The acts of His submission were all rooted in my own personal repertoire, and yet He faced me with every single one of them, challenging me to consider Him and to receive Him as I sought to be received in the BDSM dynamic I craved/created with so many others.

Allow Me to care for you as you have cared for others. 

Allow Me. 

Allow Me, He whispered over and over.

submissive-man-kneeling-in-submission-2

He often tried to convince me, cajole me into recognizing Him in the shape-shifting flurry of faces, of former play-partners and past lovers that I’d see in my dreams:

I see you. Do you see Me?

See Me.

Look Me in the face.

See Your Beloved.  I am here before you.

He demanded eye contact.  He accepted no less.

And still, I ran.  I avoided.  I cried.

I would not look Him in the eye.

But He was patient…and He was relentless.

~~~

By 2014, I stopped teaching at BDSM events.

Though I’ve been involved in ‘the scene’ for over 20 years now, I have not attended a BDSM event in two years.

(to be continued…)

Month for Loki, Day 9: Poetry

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

 

BY E. E. CUMMINGS

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

 

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

 

Month for Loki, Day 8: I love Your face.

In what has become sort of a tradition for this blog during the month of July, today’s post will be a Loki artwork post.

First up, is one of my newest favorites – a digital piece subtitled

The Fire God says Hello…

LokebyStripedSmokerDA

(AKA Loke-Spam #2) by Striped Smoker on DeviantArt.

~~~

Another digital piece…

LokiasBeastbyquickreaveronDA

Loki, as Beast, by QuickReaver on DA.

I love that feral glint in His eye, the tousled mess of His hair…and of course, that jaunty tilt of His top-hat.

I am struck by something primal and dangerous in His facial expression

…and whatever that is, this image reminds me of Malcolm MacDowell from ‘A Clockwork Orange.’

~~~

SlyBastard

Unfortunately as much as I really *lovelovelove* this image – and it is referred to all over the web as being ‘Norse Loki’ – I have absolutely no artist information/credit for this artwork.

When Googling this image, one is liable to come up with dozens of Pinterest hits and a few links back to a missing/deleted page on tumblr (media.24.tumblr), but other than that – there seems to be nothing more.

I’m sharing it in hopes that someone – anyone —  has any leads for this artwork.

Please let me know – I’d love to give credit where credit is due!  Thanks!

~~~

And finally, in the realm of Pop Culture Paganism…

Here is Sergey Razumovsky.

hipsterLokiTwitter

So I went searching for more of this artist through Google, and I kept finding some really interesting stuff…in Russian.
Translated, it turns out that this is fan art associated with Bubble Comics’ Major Grom/Major Thunder the Citizen comics.

This character is named Sergey Razumovsky. He is an orphan, a brilliant hacker, an Entrepreneur of social networking, a philanthropist, and a rather engaging and flirtatious fellow.

phobsSergey

He is quite possibly Bubble Comic’s most popular character, according to http://bubblecomicsarehere.tumblr.com/

Sergey is similar to Loki in many ways, both in looks and attitude…and there are some subtle yet unmistakable similarities with the lore between Odin and Loki in a few story arcs of the comic as well. O.o

I don’t know how much of that is intentional on the part of the
original artist (who seems to be named Phobs.)

(The first image is fan art; the second is an original from the Major Thunder the Citizen story arc, by ‘Phobs‘)

~~~

Hail Loki, I love Your face ❤

 

 

Month for Loki, Day 7: Magician.

As I was becoming increasingly aware of my unease with my role as a Student, you can be certain that Loki sensed that I was struggling.

It didn’t seem to deter Him from trying to instruct me, however, and His lessons for me increasingly involved transformative rituals.

I began studying runes, at His request, and it was around this time that the rune, Eihwaz first came to me.

I created a prayer to Eihwaz asking for protection, connection and transformation.

My meditations were full of trees – visualizations of an Ancient Tree with gnarled branches that twisted toward the sky – and the points of the Eihwaz rune were sunk deep in its bark, facing out in all directions:

massivetree

I learned that this strange Tree

with its dark, almost sentient presence

was the Axis of All That Is

and that Eihwaz served as an anchor to my understanding of it.

And there, in dreamspace, I would meet Loki.

malewitchMagoBruxo

He looked a lot like this.

Month for Loki, Day 6: Student.

Being that this is the month for Loki, you may see many devotional blogs that feature a convenient little survey (like this one) that details the particulars of the development and practice of hows and whens and whys of  a devotee’s journey to working with Loki.

And in the interest of my task to keep it 100, I wanted to write a post today that talks about the first role that Loki played in my life once He re-introduced Himself to me in 2011.

Loki is, for all intents and purposes, an academic.   While His relentless desire for knowledge often does mirror Odin’s singleminded quest for wisdom in several ways, in my experience, Loki’s methods  seem infinitely more eclectic.

Loki doesn’t care how or by what means you’ve attained your knowledge; He just wants you to get it.

In that, Loki seems to value those with a variety of skills – and the more varied your skill-set, the better.

So, in that sense, His role in the development of my devotional practice for that first year, was as my Teacher… and I was His student.

That was pretty much the dynamic for the first year.

I was incessantly prodded to notice and examine the energy around me, and to become aware of the energy within my body.  In this sense, I was being encouraged to learn that everything that exists consists of energy, and that much of how matter (and by extension, will)  is manifested in this world is through movement of energy – the vibration of light (color), the vibration of sound (words) and the vibration of movement (dance, exercise, even sex.)

All matter that exists vibrates with differing frequencies.

In short…

13620924_1205141012829532_5055681162747369593_n

Then, of course, there was  The Three Laws of Thermodynamics.

As I never paid much attention in physics class, I despaired at all this complex talk about energy.

But then, as He is wont to do, Loki nudged me from other angles.

I began a meditation practice, that later grew to involve the use of chanting and mudras.

I began studying runes and other alphabet systems.  I re-acquainted myself with studying linguistics, as well as the structure and history of Proto-Indo European languages.

I learned about drumming and dancing as a means to bring about altered states, including trance.

I learned about the ‘energetic body’ – with intense focus on chakras and auras.

I learned about shielding, grounding, warding and other magickal exercises.

And looking back on it, I realized that there are definitive links between what is defined as science/history and what is defined as spirituality/magick.

Perhaps there is little difference between the two as long as there is focused intent, and a commitment to study with intent.

~~~

And my practice grew.

My interactions with others and my experiences with Loki at that time seem to reflect my student role back at me:

I saw myself as a devotee of Loki, nothing more.

And I was satisfied with all of that and with all that I was learning — about science, about magick, about Loki…and most importantly, about myself.

I was so taken up by what I saw as a rapid and very exciting process that was focused entirely on the pursuit of knowledge.

But then, things changed.

Suddenly, I began losing focus as a student… because my marriage was falling apart.

I could not ignore the profoundly emotional energetic shift that seemed to be occurring in my life.

Despite the fact that I was connecting with so many things on both a physical and a philosophical level, the structure of my most valued relationship was failing.

Suddenly, I started to chafe against that scholarly distance that I had created as a student.

While I could muster a polite respect for Him as a Teacher, underneath the surface, I felt distracted and disconnected.

Soon I began to daydream and avoid the lessons that I had once embraced.  I put away my runes.  I stopped my various studies of mudras and chakras and auras.  I stopped all of my daily rituals – the daily practices of grounding, centering, and warding.  I gave up focusing on energy work altogether.

The only thing that really stayed was my meditation practice.  It was the only mindful connection that I seemed to be able to have with Him.

And then, He began to come to me while I slept, in dreams.

For several months, I had repetitive cycles of dreams wherein He would encourage me to approach Him, to come close enough to touch Him.

Even though I had given up studying and I had been dodgy about approaching Him…

He was remarkably relentless and yet – surprisingly –  infinitely patient with me in my stubbornness.

And then, one day, in 2013, He asked me the question:

Wouldn’t you rather be in love?

And I didn’t know what to say.

Month for Loki, Day 5: Message.

You are worthy.

I cannot make you understand.

But I will keep trying.

This is the connection between love and self-love.

Perhaps you will learn to love yourself in ways that you had not – but I hope that you find your way to me.

You are safe.

There is no need to fear being vulnerable with me.

I approach you without armor.

I see you for what and who you are, and I tell you:

You are worth loving.

You are loved.

I have chosen you. You have always been my choice, and you shall always be.

That’s the kind of loyal I am.

 

 

Month for Loki, Day 4: Firework.

fireworks (1)

Happy Fourth of July!

Month for Loki, Day 3: Word.

After an amazing 6 day trip to Arizona, I returned home on 28 June.

On 30 June, I attended a concert with my husband, V, to see the metal band, In This Moment perform at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando.

It was an enjoyable concert.

In This Moment’s  singer Maria Brinks conveys a rather powerful stage presence that pairs incredibly well with her band’s heavy chord driven sound and passionate heavy metal lyrics.   As well, Maria struck me as a consummate show-woman in that there was a theatrical and choreographic quality to her band’s show that was quite reminiscent of Lady Gaga in several ways that I hadn’t expected.

But it wasn’t until their final encore that Brinks’ message hit me in full force.

The song – ‘Whore’ – I later discovered is a song that In This Moment often performs as an encore.

Brinks’ speech that opened the song began with an intonation of John 8:7, thusly:

So when they continued asking Him, He lifted Himself up and said unto them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

This was followed by Brinks approaching center stage, wherein she spoke a litany of words

Stupid. Ugly. Useless.  Unworthy. 

(They would) call me – Whore.

I am (here to) take back the power of that word!….

(And since my device crapped out in the middle of things, here is a strikingly similar performance ^^^ from ITM’s San Francisco’s ‘Blood at the Orpheum’ in January 2014.)

Lyrics here

Meanwhile, I stood in the audience, goosebumps rising on my skin, marveling over how Maria Brinks’ words resonated within me, as she spoke of  her desire to reclaim the word, ‘whore.’**

Amidst cheers from the crowd, she continued on upon the importance of being unashamed of being who you are and what you represent.

She expressed the desire to inspire others to become secure in their sexuality, to be aware of their personal power…. and the power and freedom that is possible when we can come to be comfortable in our own skin.

~~~

Maria Brinks’ words struck me profoundly as I stood there considering how, just a few short years ago, such discussion of words like ‘whore’ would have dovetailed nicely into a ‘class’ I had taught several times concerning the inherent power of certain words to make thoughts and ideas manifest.

And how the reclaiming of certain loaded words could lead to spiritually cathartic work… in BDSM.

You see, a few short years ago – around the time when I re-discovered Loki’s presence in my life – I was teaching classes that concerned Words as Ordeal, and how words alone can create a very powerful intersection between spirituality and BDSM.

It was strangely evocative of my class on re-framing shame and transforming discomfort into spiritual energy.

Funny that I should be reminded of that particular portion of my personal history now.

Hm.

~~~

** Frontwoman Maria Brink told Steppin’ Out magazine that despite its title, this is an empowering, beautiful song for women. She explained: “Everything that the word ‘whore’ means, that song rebels against. That song is sarcastic. It’s kind of about learning how to let go of the power that we let other people hold over us with their words with their belittling. Nobody can control us, nobody has the power…. kind of freeing ourselves from the vulnerable, weak parts of us.”

“When somebody calls you something demeaning or hurts you,” Brink added, “we’re the ones letting them hurt us by letting their words be that powerful. It’s about letting go. If you listen to the words: I am the dirt you created. I am your sinner. I am your whore, but let me tell you something — you love me for everything you hate me for.   It’s all reverse psychology.”

Brink created the term Women Honoring One Another Rising Eternally to give new meaning away from the derogatory connotation of the “whore” word. “This is an honest and raw movement that needs to be heard,” she exclaimed. “The message behind this song is taking back control. It is about taking the power from a disgusting and degrading word and turning it back around on the accuser. It’s about self-empowerment, love, and liberation.”

Guitarist Chris Howorth added: “One of the best things about the song ‘Whore’ is all the feelings and thoughts that the word alone provokes, and that’s great, but at the end of the day, it’s just a word. The only power it really has is the power that we give it. It’s really just about taking the power back from the word…”

(From Songmeanings.com/whore)