bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: meditation

Month for Loki, Twenty-Third: Kenning.

Inspired by Lokean Welcoming Committee’s outline of topics for Month for Loki, today’s post:

Find out some of Loki’s kennings, or other names, and what they mean. Which one(s) resonate with you the most?

Since many of Loki’s kennings resonate with me, it was difficult to choose one that resonated with me the most…but I think that there is one in particular that actually took me by surprise, and so, I am going to write about Gammleid today:

In July 2014, I took a course from Cherry Hill Seminary. This course dealt exclusively with studying the role of shapeshifting in the lore of several cultures. Though the course mainly focused on shapeshifting lore in South and Central America, the final project was to present how shapeshifting might feature in our personal spiritual practices.

Thus, I performed a personal meditation ritual in mid-July 2014 that was meant to introduce me to my ‘spirit animal guide.’

And much to my surprise, Loki showed up and suggested the vulture as the ‘spirit animal guide’ in that first meditation, and again, vultures featured in a few more interactions thereafter.

I was baffled, but like a good student, I resolved to research the connections between Loki and vultures.

Soon enough, I came upon a list of Loki’s kennings, and even more surprisingly, the kenning, ‘vulture’s path’ came up.

But oddly enough, I wasn’t able to find much scholarship that even speculated as to what this kenning might represent, until I found this:

Gammleið

This Old Norse word  is commonly translated as “vulture’s path“, i.e. Lopt “the air”

-from ÞÓRSDRÁPA  Stanza 2, verses 1-4, The Codex Regius from this site 

~~~

Meanwhile, I’d begun amassing quite a collection of vulture feathers:

– from both turkey vultures and black vultures as I began to notice quite a lot of them in my neck of the woods from late March to June of that year (2015)

And then, shortly thereafter, I read this in Dagulf Loptson’s ePub, Playing with Fire: An Exploration of Loki Laufeyjarson :

               “The name “vulture’s path” is possibly a kenning for air, which connects with another of Loki’s kennings, Loptr. However, we are left with no explanation as to why the vulture, as opposed to any other kind of aerial creature, is used to illustrate flight through the air, especially since Loki typically takes the form of a fly or a falcon. I personally feel that vulture might be associated with Loki for the following reasons.
Both vultures and ravens are well known scavengers, making them both symbols for death. It isn’t unreasonable to assume that our ancestors often saw vultures and ravens together while the birds were eating bodily remains. As Odinn is always with ravens, perhaps his blood-brother and traveling companion Loki was associated with vultures.
The vulture could also be linked to Loki…in his aspect as a god of death and cremation, as a traveler to the underworld, or as a dissolver of illusions.” *

**Cue the sound of my mind being blown**

~~~

But what did working with Vulture teach me?

On the surface, a lot of folks (including myself, at one time) see vultures as birds of the dead, and they are.  But, much like crows – another creature I associate with Loki – Vulture’s work is one of transformation, as vultures, like crows, are carrion eaters.  Ancient cultures, such as the Greeks, Assyrians and Egyptians saw the vulture as a purifying, transforming force — a creature who purifies the landscape and environment through its consumption of the dead and decaying remains.  Symbolically, carrion eaters make use what others have abandoned or cannot use, and through that process, the carrion eater ensures the continued health and life of other living things. Vulture symbolizes that process – of turning poison into medicine, death into life – and therefore, the vulture represents transformation and regeneration.  Connected to that transformative aspect, vultures can teach us that our difficulties and struggles are temporary, and that what seems like an end (death) or a loss (sacrifice) is simply a phase in the process of growth and change.

 

Hail Loki, Gammleid ❤

And of course, Hail Vulture, Resourceful One, Patient Teacher, and Master of the Skies ❤

 

~~~

*Loptson, Dagulf, Playing with Fire: An Exploration of Loki Laufeyjarson, Asphodel Press, Hubbardston, MA, published July 7, 2015; pp 57-9.

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Month for Loki, Twentieth: Antagonist.

an·tag·o·nist

anˈtaɡənəst/

noun

  1. a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; an adversary.

    ~~~
    There was more… an hour’s worth of sudden realizations and navel gazing lessons and what-not expressed in 1481 words.
    But…No.
    I wasn’t important for anyone to read them.
    WordPress has the hiccups….or something.
    I hit ‘post’ and suddenly I’m met with a page containing three random letters and a blinking cursor.
    So I guess it’s no context for you.
    Meanwhile, here’s an excellent article/ritual from Thenea on WordPress concerning working through shadow-self issues with assistance from your Divine Ally to face the Divine Antagonist.
    A highly recommended read.
    Please note this ritual accesses forms from Greek narratives in its structure…but you don’t need to worship Greek gods for it to function. Feel free to substitute (your Gods) *here*

    https://magickfromscratch.com/2016/09/05/a-ritual-for-working-with-the-divine-antagonist/

Month for Loki, Tenth: German lesson.

So, in case I hadn’t mentioned, I have been trying to learn German over the last six months.

Though as much as I have tried, according to the fluency paradigm of the application I’m using, I’ve only reached about 35% fluency and that supposedly corresponds to a vocabulary of approximately 800 words.

Only 800 words.*

In my waking life, I find myself translating simple phrases that I read or hear into German, as the program I use encourages this practice as it promotes intuitive learning.

Nonetheless, something odd has begun to occur: These basic German phrases have also begun to seep into my subconscious, as certain words and phrases have crept in during several of my daily meditations and have been popping up in a few of my dreams lately.

Thus, I was half-tempted to title this post:

Was sagt Er? (What does He say?)

Case in point, I had an intense meditation the other day, wherein this phrase kept echoing in my head:

Schauen sie mich an

(Look at me.)

Now that’s a phrase that I knew, as I’d been studying a unit on imperatives (ie; commands) last week, so I didn’t think much of it, and I mentally pushed it away, and continued to focus on my breathing.

However, that phrase continued to surface throughout my meditation, so I treated it as typical distracting mind-chatter, and I tried my best to accept that it was going to keep floating through my head for the duration.

But I found it difficult to focus after a while.

 

And then last night, I had a dream I was talking to a man in my dream – who had been speaking English -until suddenly he said:

Was wirst du mir beiten?**

Not once, but twice.

Now that immediately brought to mind the phrase I use to refer to Them – sie beiden – so I stopped, and began to examine the phrase itself, trying to translate it, wondering if I was hearing/understanding what I heard…

But thinking of ‘beiden’ made no sense:

Was wirst du mir beiden?

Which, off the top of my head, I was translating to mean: ‘What will you both to me?’

I was confused.

I said to the person, Was sagst du? (What are you saying?)

To which the person responded:

Wieso rennst du von mir?

Which I was pretty certain was

Why are you running from me?

O.o

~~~

* I feel a bit disappointed in myself, as a vocabulary of 800 words strikes me as being a rather small amount.  I would think that I would be more fluent after six months of study.

**  When I awoke this morning, I plugged the phrase ‘Was wirst du mir beiden?‘ into Google translate, it suggested that it was not ‘beiden‘ but ‘beiten‘ which is from the verb, ‘to offer’ – therefore, Was wirst du mir beiten? translates to ‘What will you offer me?’

 

 

 

Wednesday’s subtly layered lesson

(Warning: heavily cross-referenced, possible TL;DR)

I woke up with “Kiss This” by the Struts stuck in my head this morning.

As it seems to be a song about a breakup (especially the chorus), I was concerned.

I went to bed last night feeling both sorry and jealous; I know I was not in a good mindset upon falling asleep.  I tell myself that it is just that. (I hadn’t meant to go to bed, but I must have dozed off while I was meditating, as I dimly recall repeating ‘I’m sorry’ like a mantra…but what’s rather odd is that I remember feeling guilty and ashamed but I don’t know exactly what had happened to trigger those feelings.)

At any rate, here I am.

It is Wednesday.

And as it is with a lot of Wednesdays lately, I’ve been feeling disconnected from Odin, and so I think about what I could do today to connect with Him.  And so begins that weekly process of self-examination of whether or not Odin is blocking me or if I am (somehow still) blocking Him.

Therefore I search myself inwardly for feelings of anger and denial, for distrust and skepticism.  It’s as if I am opening up a box of feelings and I am obsessively running my fingers over what I find inside.

Perhaps this is the source of last night’s apologies as I ruminate over the past and over all of the ways in which I had insisted I wanted no part of Odin.

I wanted no part of Him.

There it is.

That realization.

You see, several months ago, it occurred to me: Loki is ‘a part’ of Him, whether literally or figuratively, as Loki is His blood-brother:

Loki spake:
9. Remember, Othin, | in olden days
That we both our blood have mixed;
Then didst thou promise | no ale to pour,
Unless it were brought for us both.

(Lokasenna)

Therefore, to deny Odin is to deny Loki, isn’t it?

To offer to Loki and not offer to Odin makes the offering incomplete.

And yet, for years, I did just that.

During those meditations wherein I’d first attempted to connect to Loki, often, I would sense another presence along with Loki… and I’d send it away.

As well, a few times in dream-space, Loki would ask me:

Do you like Odin?

Would you work with Him?

But, in response to that question, like a child, I would shut down, sometimes almost to the point of throwing a tantrum.

I’d flatly refuse the suggestion – sometimes becoming angry and dismissive:

No. I don’t want to work with Odin.  

I won’t work with Odin.

Tell Him to go away.

(Perhaps this is yet another thing that I need to let go of, more shadow work for me to do.)

Hel, I’ll admit that there was a time when I would become angry with Loki for even suggesting such a thing… insisting that I didn’t want to hear Him even say Odin’s name.

Now how ironic is that?

Considering how there are many Asatru who refuse to say Loki’s name – much less hail Him along with their much-beloved All-father – and yet there I was, doing the exact same thing, saying:

You are welcome; He is not.

Can one honor Loki without honoring Odin?

Well, I certainly thought I could.

What a hypocrite I had been!

~~~

But I suppose that it wasn’t always that way:

In 2010 or so, in the beginnings of my devotional practice, I did make tentative offerings to Odin… and yet I remember sensing His refusal.

Even back in those early days, I had vivid repetitive dreams wherein Loki would visit me, and more often than not, He was accompanied by Odin.

Several years later on, Loki suggested that Odin and I should talk, but then Loki would leave, as if it had been His intent all along…and yet, upon being left behind, Odin spoke very little to me.  As well, He would refuse all of my offers of hospitality – which left me feeling awkward and socially anxious.

As well, during that time, I was prone to terrifying nightmares, where I found myself feeling forced to interact with Odin anyway (such as detailed herehere, and here) and yet whenever I would show fear or emotionally shut down, only then would Loki come forward to ‘rescue’ me (such as in this shapeshifting guided meditation here.)

But now I look at these past experiences, and I can’t help but wonder:  Why are Loki and Odin always together? Are Odin and Loki one and the same God?

Or perhaps, are They so closely intertwined that They might as well be?

While I know that They are not interchangeable, perhaps in my denial towards Odin, I have denied Loki.

So, in a show of good faith and trust, I recently made space on my altar for both of Them:

Ich liebe euch beide

Now the work becomes to live that belief.

To accept both of Them, to love both of Them.

They are not interchangeable…

And yet, one of my greatest fears was that feeling of being seen as and being treated as ‘interchangeable.’

I suppose that I still do, as it is one of the things that hurt me the most when I think back upon what happened with Local Other Lokean (LOL), or whenever I consider myself in reference to my experiences with her.

Especially when Loki seemed to begin to make requests of me that mirrored specific requests that LOL often claimed that He’d made of her, regarding

gathering ‘resources’

serving the community through seidhr

and

writing a book of personal experience and practices.

Why, I had whinged,  Was this all just because we share the same name?

And again, I will admit that I reacted to Him with a ridiculously self-righteous tantrum:

She and I might have the same name but we are not interchangeable.

But just as I had once refused to consider working with Odin, I refused His requests and ignored any suggestions of working in any role remotely resembling a role that I’d come to associate with LOL…

Meanwhile, He went responded by reminding me of how

Separation is an illusion.  It is the creation of useless categories.  Window-dressing.  Manufactured restrictions.

The only thing you are doing now is making excuses.

(Well I will admit I did make excuses, refusing to listen and to do.)

This was yet another situation that showcased my obvious hypocrisy.

I was allowing myself to be triggered by all the same concepts with which He’d allegedly hounded LOL.

Well, it’s not even the concepts as much as how discussing these concepts brought up associations to LOL’s presence in my mind.

I was triggered that Loki always seemed to be surreptitiously referencing LOL in Our conversations.  I was offended that He’d treat me as interchangeable with LOL, and so I reacted from that place of offense rather than to look more intently at His actual request, which highlights a sort of inevitable parallel too:

Welcome Odin as you would welcome Me.

And yet, there I was also being offended by Odin’s presence in Our conversations, and though I didn’t realize what was going on….

But it was that exact feeling of angry offense.

Perhaps these two things are not connected, but I sit here feeling horrified that it would appear that I had spent years denying ‘a part’ of Loki by denying Odin….

(cue melodramatic pandoramancy here)

And suddenly realizing that I have recently moved through a rather layered lesson in denial:

Perhaps the ‘Odin’ I have been rejecting is another face of Loki’s.

Or perhaps They really are ‘two sides of the same coin’ and denying Odin is denying Loki.

Or…

denial

What I asked of her, I ask of you.

By avoiding mental associations [with LOL], you are denying your own gifts.

And in that, I know Loki to be relentless:

Do you see the layers? 

There is your work. 

Now do it.

 

Perhaps we are all monsters.

At first, I hated this song.

Like really *hated* it.

There was something about Tyler Joseph’s sing-song delivery of the lyrics that just annoyed the heck out of me.

And yet, almost from the day that I first heard this song, it would *not* get out of my head.

It became a really insistent earworm, nearly on par in annoyance factor with ‘It’s a Small World.’

Then, a dear friend of mine reminded me of the possibility that it could be another example of pandoramancy.*

So, I did what I always do when I come across an incidence of pandoramancy?

I concentrated on listening to the lyrics the next time the song randomly came up.

I thought about what sort of emotions, thoughts and associations came immediately to mind while listening.   And since I am a person who is rather particular about words, I Googled the lyrics, so I could familiarize myself better with the lyrics as well.

But it all seemed to no avail, since the lyrics seemed, at first, surprisingly much simpler than I ever would have expected, and yet, the main thing seemed to be how annoyingly repetitive they were:

All my friends are heathens, take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don’t make any sudden moves
You don’t know the half of the abuse
All my friends are heathens, take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don’t make any sudden moves
You don’t know the half of the abuse

Welcome to the room of people
Who have rooms of people that they loved one day
Docked away
Just because we check the guns at the door
Doesn’t mean our brains will change from hand grenades
You’re lovin’ on the psychopath sitting next to you
You’re lovin’ on the murderer sitting next to you
You’ll think, how’d I get here, sitting next to you?
But after all I’ve said, please don’t forget

All my friends are heathens, take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don’t make any sudden moves
You don’t know the half of the abuse

We don’t deal with outsiders very well
They say newcomers have a certain smell
Yeah, I trust issues, not to mention
They say they can smell your intentions
You’re lovin’ on the freakshow sitting next to you
You’ll have some weird people sitting next to you
You’ll think “how did I get here, sitting next to you?”
But after all I’ve said, please don’t forget
(Watch it, watch it)

(Watch it)
All my friends are heathens, take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don’t make any sudden moves
You don’t know the half of the abuse

All my friends are heathens, take it slow
(Watch it)
Wait for them to ask you who you know
(Watch it)
All my friends are heathens, take it slow
(Watch it)
Wait for them to ask you who you know

Why’d you come, you knew you should have stayed
I tried to warn you just to stay away
And now they’re outside ready to bust
It looks like you might be one of us

Written by Tyler Joseph • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

 

Okay.   The first thing that struck me (aside of the 4 (!) repetitions of that rather long chorus) was the repetitive use of the words they and them and the phrases sittin next to you, watch it, and after all I’ve said please don’t forget.

So I immediately grasped the overall message that whoever they are, they are different than you or me.

They are – let’s see –

Psychopaths.

Murderers.

Weird people.

Freakshows.

So the song definitely seems to be a warning.

And there They are sitting next to you (the listener), and yet you don’t know how these dangerous people suddenly got to be sitting next to you.

Maybe you might love them for their differences ( as in loving on[the psychopath/murderer/freakshow]  sitting next to you) but still fear them on some level….because you must watch it.

Because there are possibly valid reasons.

The singer goes on to explain that perhaps you should be nervous, because it’s been established that they are not only dangerous, but abused and distrustful of those who aren’t like themselves.  They are easily triggered (take it slow/ don’t make any sudden moves) aggressive (brains will change from hand grenades ), paranoid  (Wait until they ask you who you know), and perhaps are prone to display distinctly animal traits of perceiving the intangible (newcomers have a certain smell and they can smell your intentions).

But, surprisingly, by the end of the song, there’s quite a strange twist.

Suddenly not only has the singer identified himself as being one of them (We don’t deal with outsiders very well and Yeah, I have trust issues, not to mention) and he is warning you
Why’d you come, you knew you should have stayed
I tried to warn you just to stay away

But you didn’t listen, so…

And now they’re outside ready to bust

Perhaps it is because
It looks like you might be one of us

 

Damn.

So perhaps this is not just a song about the difference between criminals and law-abiding citizens, or even humans versus non-humans but more about how appearances deceive and behavior might not be so telling after all.

Perhaps you never know who is different, who actually is the monster.

Hell, it might even be …you.

Perhaps we are all monsters…it’s just a matter of perception.

~~~

Though on a whole other level, some fans have theorized that the deeper meaning of this song is actually aimed toward the newest fans of the band – as the fans of Twenty One Pilots – the Skeleton Clique – can seem pretty devoted.

And I can attest to their devotion, as I had the pleasure of seeing Twenty One Pilots perform at The Big Ticket in the autumn of last year.

Between the incessant high-pitched prolonged screaming of the pockets of barely post-pubescent females in the crowd, I also noticed that most every fan knew all the lyrics of nearly every song and it would seem that almost every single one of those fans sang those lyrics at the top of their lungs throughout the entire show.  You could really tell who was a fan and who was not, to put it mildly.

~~~~

*Pandoramancy is when a random song seems to be not so random after a while.  A song which is not just an earworm, but a song that suddenly engenders a reaction in the listener that is oddly dramatic or meaningful through either sudden association or several random yet repeated coincidences.  As well, though an incidence of pandoramancy might only occur once, upon listening, there seems to be an over-reaching personal message for the listener inherent in the lyrics, based upon specific situational associations.

Pandoramancy can also refer to a form of divination that uses a playlist (containing a wide variety of music) and music storage software system (such as Pandora or Spotify).  This divination operates wherein the querent will direct a question towards the Gods, and the querent then sets the playlist on shuffle, and the next song that comes up on the playlist is the answer.)

 

The Fox

originalthreadfox

also here on my DeviantArt

The Other.

<<<<see previous post for context<<<<<<

1 September 2016 – Day 2

The visualization today requires one to look in the mirror and ask oneself:

What is being hidden? What is holding you back?

When I looked into the bowl – I saw myself, at approximately age 10 or so.  I was crying, I was cutting – words into my skin.

And then I saw myself (at age 6 or 7) sitting at a table, deep in concentration.

I am making things out of clay.

My mother is there, but she is cleaning the kitchen.

(I am remembering, I am hearing snippets of my mother’s commentary:  Stupid little junky things and making such a mess.

These were things my mother hated: messes and ‘junky things.’

And I am making a mess.

According to her, I am sitting there, always making ‘stupid little junky things.’  My mother hated them; but my father collected them.  I see them lined up on the top of his bureau, these things I’ve made.

I watch myself trying not to cry, trying not to listen or to care about what is being said.

I feel defeated.

Suddenly, the words

strong

and

creative girl

run through my head as I consider my younger self in this vision.

It is difficult to see her.  I want to push this away.

I want her to be someone who is not afraid to say ‘No’

I want her to be the sort of child who is not afraid to stand up and tell her mother:

You are wrong. 

That is not true.

I am more than you know. 

I am more than you think. 

Where is she? The one who can do – the one who is unashamed – to create, to be, to shine?

She is crying.  I am crying.

Suddenly I remember those words, said just a few nights ago:

How dare you dull yourself for others….

I saw a girl who stopped trying.

The girl who gave up, who accepted their words

their ridicule

their anger

feeling like she deserved this treatment.

The quiet girl who simply tried harder to be perfect.

I wanted to show you…the one who decided to accept their opinions rather than creating herself. 

This is the one who hid.

This is the one you hid.

And then, I saw a ten-year old  girl pinned to the wall of a well-lighted bathroom – disassociating from the humiliation of what her mother is doing.

‘Come here, will you? Stay still! Just let me…goddamnit, I am trying to help you!….’

Feeling ashamed.  Trying to disassociate from the pain of fingernails digging into skin; face feeling hot and swollen…. and crying.

‘You know, you’d be so pretty if you would just let me fix…let me get this….’

I feel ANGRY.

This is the girl who holds it all in.

This is the girl who doesn’t complain.

This is the girl who didn’t think that she could win, so she didn’t fight.

This is the girl who acquiesced.

I wish that I could tell that girl that she did not deserve that  —  she did not have to accept that treatment – she didn’t have to allow her mother to do that.

I realize that this is why I have always inwardly cringed a little bit at those words Accept and Allow.

This is why I Can’t.

Because I realize when I accepted that – I accepted the unacceptable along with the acceptable and I allowed behavior that should not have ever been allowed.

And why?  Because I thought that if I was ‘good,’ I would be loved…but I was never good enough.

‘Here.  Step into the light.  Look at your face…let me fix that….’

Crying didn’t help.  Anger didn’t help.  Physical resistance only led to escalating altercations that just exacerbated things between my mother and I.

So what did I do — to cope?

I learned to ‘fix.’

Like my mother, I compulsively examine my face in the mirror.  I pluck my eyebrows and pick and scratch at the skin of my face, trying to fix.

I am wrecking my skin. I routinely  over-pluck my eyebrows.

And she ‘taught’ me how, because at some point, she stopped pinning me against the wall – because I learned to do these things to myself – to fix.

But I always feel so ugly afterwards.

Each time I tell myself that I won’t do it again.

Until the next time, every time that I feel or see an ingrown hair growing crooked or feel a bump or a flake of dry skin.   I always think my ‘fixing’ will make things better.

So I spend a lot of time examining my face in bathroom mirrors, looking for the slightest flaws – lumps, discolorations, hairs.

I also pick and scratch and worry the skin around my fingernails and at the tips of my fingers… and while I do not bite my fingernails, I try to keep them short enough so I can’t.

I convince myself that I’ve gotten better, you know.

Because it has to have been a good 25 years since I had gotten so lost in scratching or picking that the only thing that broke me out of my stress-induced reverie was that my fingers were bleeding.

When I’m stressed, I lightly – though compulsively – scratch my scalp.  (I still actually find head-scratching rather soothing.  Head-scratching is one of the only OCD things that I still do that doesn’t seem to do too much damage, but I can be obsessive about it, and thus feel ashamed enough to sit on my hands on my particularly ‘bad days.’)

It is OCD.

But the important difference between my mother and I – is that I respect the bodily autonomy of others.

And I have been through enough therapy to realize that what my mother did was abusive and wrong

This is hard.

You must step into the light…

But I realize that I am the one holding me back.

 

9 Days.

Beginning on Wednesday 31 August until Friday 9 September, I did Dagulf Loptson’s 9 day ritual, Breaking Loki’s Bonds.

I spent Tuesday collecting the supplies.

I bought a new red 8-hour candle, three white 4-hour candles, a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey, and a thick red double-sided satin ribbon.

The other things needed – a fire-proof container, a Sharpie pen, a large needle for carving, and sharps/lancets – were items that I thankfully had on hand.

( Much to my dismay, I realized that I had misplaced the knife that I’d planned to use, and since I did not have  a suitable knife on hand, I ended up purchasing a new one later on in the week.  Trust me, certain items – the knife especially – turned out to be something you need to trust in, whether or not you ever find yourself using it again.)

As well, this ritual, as it is written, involves a lot of rune writing/carving, so be aware of the runes.  While I don’t consider myself a rune-master by any means,  I am familiar with runes enough that I was able to spell out what I needed to.  You will be writing in runes on days 2-7.

(Here is a handy rune converter if needed.)

31 August: The First Meditation

The first meditation concerns asking.

On Wednesday night, I approached Loki, and invited Him to aid me in transforming my life.

By the way, I am terrible at guided meditations.  While I’ve no doubt a vivid imagination, I have especial difficulty in visualizing if I have to jump between reading a text and visualizing the effect, so I spent a good half-hour recording myself reading the text aloud so I could set the visuals of the first meditation in my mind that first night.

Though I feared that the first night would be excruciatingly intense, in retrospect, the first night was the easiest night of all.

And just after I finished the first meditation, I went to bed.

And just before I dropped off to sleep, in crazy-town (commonly referred to as my head post-ritual), I heard my name called out (loudly!) twice.

I couldn’t figure out if it was coming from inside or out.

Perhaps He wanted to talk…but I fell asleep. 😬

This was His question during the first night’s meditation:

Are you ready to claim responsibility for yourself and the fruit of your own actions? Are you ready to see yourself as you truly are?

~~~

1 September: The Second Meditation:

Sigyn: Look in the mirror. What do you see?

Loki: Who do you have bound here?

-The other Heathir*

The one pinned against the wall, disassociating, feeling humiliated.  The one who is strong and creative who hides her light, dulls her shine, full of fear, feeling defeated. The one who waits in the dark.  The one who cries.  The one who has lost hope.  The one who was trapped by duty, trying to fill the void that did not originate in her/with her.

This realization – and those visuals – unhinged me to a great degree, but in retrospect, I should not have been surprised: I am the one who is holding myself back.

I wrote ‘the other Heathir’ – in runes -on the bottle of whiskey. (I also wrote that phrase – in English – above the runes, in case I forgot what I wrote.)

The whiskey represents the hidden ‘poison’ as it were, that is staining my life.  This is the truth I am hiding.

~~~

2 September: The Third Meditation:

What are your fetters made of?

The other H is bound in fetters made of iron.

This is the strength of fear, the fear that holds in place, fear that seems insurmountable.  Also anger, despair, and hunger for freedom/understanding, but fear mostly.

I wrote ‘Fear made of iron’ in runes on the red ribbon.

~~~

3 September: The Fourth Meditation:

Who holds the bowl for you?  Who are your allies?

Today, I see the box – with 9 locks! – where the weapon Lævateinn is kept.

K is my first ally: K.

K has always been my first ally.

Young and strong and full of love, K is the key and I am the door.

I fucked up.

I misread the ritual script, and I thought all 3 allies would show today.

so, after K, I immediately saw my father and then, I saw Loki.

I carved all three candles – easy enough –  but then I had trouble drawing blood from my fingers.

I hacked up first two fingers before realizing my left ring finger (finger I wear Loki’s ring) bleeds rather well.

So I blooded and galdr’d (spoke-sung aloud the rune names) for all three candles.

K’s initials.  My father’s initials.  Loki.

I unlocked the first three locks.

 

~~~

4 September: The Fifth Meditation:

I woke up this morning, and there were spots of blood all over my pillowcase.

Last night, I realized that I had made a mistake.

So I burned off the two rune sets off the two candles #2 (my father) and #3 (Loki) to re-set.

Set second candle.

Who is your second ally?

And I Immediately saw a Fox.

Bright green eyes and surreal red fur.

I could not shake that image from my sight.

I quickly realized that Fox is cunning and quick, and upon a closer look, I saw that this Fox wore three colors in the form of three threads twisted red, yellow and green, that twined down the back and around and around the tail.

The Fox had threads in his fur that are red and yellow and green.

And Fox licked my face and I asked if he would lead me out of the dark cave when it was time.

And Fox nodded.  As I prepared to carve the runes, I realized something important.

Do you know there is no letter x in runes? I learned that today.

Because I had to carve his name into the candle. F O K S

And when I had finished blooding and galdring those runes, Fox bowed again and licked my face, saying:

I will lead you through the darkness – my eyes are light in the dark. 

Trust me.  I am the spirit of Wisdom and Cunning that you must trust to help you. 

I am the Pathfinder! I will show the way, the secret way…soon enough.

And with that, Fox turned and ran off, making tiny silent tracks soft across the snowy field.

I unlocked the second set of three locks.

5 September: The Sixth Meditation:

Who is your third ally?

I spent quite some time in intensely deep meditation upon my 3rd ally.

It took some negotiation before the 3rd ally would finally come forward.

You see, my father didn’t come forward this time.   I think my father had said no. 😦

Then I heard someone mention that it should be (my older son) by name.  (I heard his name).

It seemed that my third ally is the far-seeing Hawk-woman.

(Just as the Fox seems likely to have been Loki, it seems entirely possible that the Hawk was a shapeshifting Freyja.)

I saw a woman cloaked in burnt red robes.  And then I saw an enormous raptor – a hawk – who was somehow Her too.

Like Fox, She sees far above and she is another guide through the darkness.  She is strength and perseverance in the face of battle.

So I carved the runes to spell ‘Hawk’ on the third white candle, and I galdred them.

Then, as the ritual directed, I set the candles and began to chant the meditation again to thank each ally, as now I been approached by all three:

Thank you K for your assistance.

(interruption!)**

Thank you Fox, for Your cunning.

Thank you, Hawk, for Your sight-gifts

_

Thank you K for your faith.

Thank You Loki for Your help.

Thank You Freya for Your strength.

_

Thank you K for your alliance.

Thank You my Beloved for Your Love.

Thank You My Lady for Your Guidance.

 

 

I unlocked the final set of three locks.

The ritual then directed that the three candles should be allowed to burn to socket.

Oddly enough, the candles were labeled as having a 4 hour burn time, and the ritual lasted about one half hour, all told.

But within the next hour, all three burned out completely. O.o

Powerful stuff!

~~~

6 September: The Seventh Meditation:

What is the source of your liberation?

Today the meditation focused on the blade which is the sword that was forged by Loki, Lævateinn

This day’s meditation had me opening the – now unlocked – box where Lævateinn is kept.

A word, concept or image will be revealed to me as appearing on the surface of the blade.

I chanted to Loptr to reveal to me the source of my liberation.

Suddenly, an image of a(n anatomically correct) heart flashed through my mind.

(As well, an image of tear-stained face of my child-self also flashed briefly in my mind’s-eye. Her eyes were dark with tears.)

Suddenly, a thought flowed through my mind: Do you love her?

Suddenly I looked down at the blade and thought: Love.

Love was the source of my liberation.  My love for that other self, that other Heathir, would free her from her bonds.

So I wrote the word ‘Love’ in Futhark runes on both sides of the blade and blooded each rune as I galdr’d their names.

~~~

7 September: The Eighth Meditation:

This is the day that I will use Lævateinn

Tonight, it was difficult to visualize the cave.

I couldn’t see Them, but I could sense the sword in my hand.  It is rather heavy.

I feared that I would not be able to lift it high enough and get a good angle to cut His bonds.

My mind gets so hung up on such particular details, I suppose.

I started to think about what His bonds were made of vs. my own.

Earlier in the meditations, He had said that guilt kept Him bound – the guilt of not having been able to protect His children.

And I thought of myself, and how interesting to think that my fear was the means that I had been holding bound that other Heathir within myself.

Suddenly it made a weird kind of connection and I thought about how fear was at the basis of a lot of things in the situation, in the world – guilt and fear. Fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of the inevitable future. And the choices that are made because of the fear of loss.

And for a moment I could see His eyes and the weariness and pain in them, and I raised the sword.

I cut the bonds at His shoulders, and thought about fear of not being accepted, of not being loved or understood. (The fear that leads to hatred/judgment and misunderstanding) Fear of the past.

I cut the bonds at His pelvis and thought about fear of judgment, fear of failure, fear of pain. And I found myself sobbing at the difficulty, as I could see the face of that little girl, that other Heathir, my child-self, sobbing too.

I am tired of being afraid, I am terrified of being trapped here, her eyes seemed to plead….

I cut the bonds at His knees, and thought about fear of inevitable change, fear of loss, fear of what the future holds…

And I thought about love.

How I used to think that love dies in the presence of fear, but here, love was the means to overcome fear.

Then it was time to cut  away my bonds; to cut the ribbon I had made.

I momentarily entertained the fear that my own actual blade would be too dull to cut through the ribbon, but it flawlessly sliced through the fabric, into three pieces.

As clear as day, I saw the vision of the other Heathir, bound there before my eyes…and just as it was with Loki, it took three strokes.

And with each stroke, I chanted my intent:

I see you.  I recognize you.

I know you. I value you.

You are free.  I am free. 

I told her:

You are safe.

You are strong.

You are powerful.

You are loved.  

I love you.  I love you. I love you. 

You have not failed. You are free.

There is no need to hide.

There is no need to punish yourself anymore.

There is no need to fear happiness or freedom or change.

 

And I allowed myself to cry and feel and know that I would never deny that – or her – again.

We are. We are. We are.

I am free.

We are both free.

 

~~~

8 September: the Ninth Meditation:

Today is the end.

Today He is free and so am I.

Today is about recognizing Him and recognizing myself.

Today I ritually burn the three pieces of the ribbon

As well, the bottle I put aside -that signifies the venom of the snake becoming the medicine – that was a powerful metaphor.  We are going to drink it in celebration.

(So do not forget to bring a cup to drink from on the ninth day! 🙂 )

They had a personal message for me, and I realized that I have traveled a long road to Them.

The message was profound and personal and Their words meant everything to me. I was almost in tears all over again – tears of catharsis, tears of release.

This was such a cathartic and necessary ritual for me.

So I placed the three pieces of ribbon in the miniature firepit I created. His (Loki’s) candle threatened to go out several times throughout, as one is to use the flame of His candle to burn the ribbon.***

Wax was everywhere.  The scent of apple cinnamon candles, whiskey and burnt ribbon permeate my altar space, even now many hours later.

But it is done.  And it was definitely worth doing.

And I feel lighter in spirit and more connected to my Gods.

Thank you, K.

Thank You, Loki.

Thank You, Freyja.

~~~

~~~

~~~

*The second meditation was so intense and vivid that I dedicated a post to just the specific visuals here.

__

**K walked in right as I set his candle thanking him for his faith and steadfastness defense/aid.  He startled me.  And I felt disheveled for the rest of the meditation. O.o

K was the first ally and I had just finished saying- ‘thank you K—-‘

and I hear K—- say ‘Hello.’ 

I startled – and I look up and K is standing there, standing just within the doorway to my meditation area.

I didn’t even hear K knock.

‘I’m going to bed’ he says.

(K had mentioned that he had asked Loki for permission to enter the circle; K told me, and I quote, that Loki had given it, saying:

OK — but make it quick!

And that’s why K was there.

But GAH. I almost jumped out of my skin! 😬

__

*** The ribbon –  being satin and likely polyester – didn’t burn very well.  But again, I sat with it but it took a long time – with several re-lightings – for it to burn to ash.  But 20 long minutes later, it was done.  I hope I did it right.  What a perfectionist I am!

If I recommended this ritual to anyone, I would suggest use a ribbon that is made of paper or another fabric besides satin – that satin fancy shit doesn’t burn well and it smells awful. 😦

As well, again I didn’t read the ritual script as closely as I should have, and I poured way too much into the cup!  The protocol is to drink the entire contents  in one draught while you [and They] watch your bonds burn.  So I am not the slightest bit ashamed to admit that I was pretty well lit by the time the ritual was over as  3 large shots’ worth of Jamesons’ will definitely fuck you up quick. LOL

A Thursday Throwback: Sometimes.

Here’s a Thursday Throwback – from 21 February 2013 – that I am sharing at the request of a dear friend.

Enjoy!

~~~~

“Sometimes, He is not pretty.
Disheveled, stinking of piss and filth.
A frightening homeless man
Shouting at me from the other side of the train station:
The face that you often see is nothing but a glamour crafted to be pleasing to you.
But, sometimes, I am tired of that
face, and you will see Me as I am
An ancient being, whose face bears the ravages of time, and what appalling marks
Grief, pain and madness have inevitably made upon Me.

While it may be easy to approach Me in a finer guise,
Silk cravats and topcoats, leather and flash, I am
Also this, at My core. This is also Me.
I am bloated with rage, and careless
grime settled in the creases, compulsively licking
The blood and the spittle that collects at the corners of My ragged lips.
My yellowed, broken teeth have gnawed and ground down upon the offal and
bones of My very long memory.

I call to you
but you must approach Me.

Would you kiss My mouth?
~~~
And I see Him across the room, and His voice is interwoven with the cacophony of noise that is noon at South Station, Boston.

I cannot will my feet to go forward, but I see His eyes, the intense clear blue of Icelandic water, His disheveled hair an awkward penumbra of red and gold, His face unshaven and streaked with the filth born of having slept in the elements upon concrete. He raises a hand, and makes a beckoning gesture. Oh I see you, little one, He drawls. I notice that His fingernails are dark with grime, and He smiles, a grin of wolfen teeth, and He licks His cracked lips, waiting.

For all that He looks, His voice is not unpleasant.

But I am afraid.

I am cold, I realize, and I hug myself tighter, as if my own arms could possibly warm me enough, and yet I know that I am holding myself in.  This is me putting up all my walls and fronts.

You have so much shame, He shouts, You have learned nothing….

The rumble of the trains pulling into South Station obscures His voice, His tirade, for several minutes.

There are too many trains, I shout, I cannot hear!

He begins to laugh, shaking His head. He tilts His head, almost menacingly, working out a crick in His neck, as He continues, Oh no, my dear. It is as it is always, with you. You are too cold. You cannot hear. You have a headache. You are afraid….

He glares at me.

He pulls a cigarette from the pocket of His shabby, unseasonably thin coat. Oh, spare Me the details of all of your excuses, He snarks at me, loudly, angrily.

He reminds me of Heath Ledger’s Joker, as He wipes His sore and tattered mouth with the back of His grubby hand, before placing the cigarette deftly on the edge of His lower lip, and lights it.

A lone ribbon of smoke curls and spirals ever upward over His head, strangely unbroken and unbuffeted by the crowd and activity that surges about Him, between us.

10031491-man-smoking-cigarette-over-black-background-low-key-light-image

 

 

Come. Kiss Me. I might believe you.

 

But I cannot will my feet to go forward. I will have to push myself through this crowd, I am thinking.

The air feels thick and heavy, my head rings with high-pitched buzzing anxiety, and my skin prickles with heat.

Poor little girl, is His singsong sigh, half a sarcasm, half a reprimand, to me, as He shuffles His feet, waiting.

Come to me, He whispers, more within my head than without, and His words seem to reverberate like a humming inward chant, in my head.

Come to Me.
Come to Me.
Come to Me
.”

 

(link here)

 

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.