Good advice, actually:
“There is no way to suppress change…not even in heaven; there is only a choice between a way of living which allows constant, if gradual alterations and a way of living that combines great control and cataclysmic upheavals. Those who panic and bind the trickster choose the latter path. It would be better to learn to play with him, better especially to develop skills (cultural, spiritual, artistic) that allow some commerce with accident, and some acceptance of the changes that contingency will always engender.”
— Lewis Hyde, Trickster Makes This World
This lovely poem was shared by a friend on my social media feed this morning, and though I was skeptical that its words ‘could change one’s life,’ I will grant that its overall message is rather profound one…and personally relevant.
THE GUEST HOUSE
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
– Jelaluddin Rumi,
Translation from The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks
Some of my long-time readers have begun to notice that my devotional practices seem to have shifted a bit.
A major feature of this surprising change has manifested in that while I still work primarily with Loki, I have begun some major work with Odin.
(Yes. Believe me, no one was more surprised than I was concerning that change – trust me on that.)
The bulk of this work – regarding runes, astral travel, and energy movement – often occurs somewhere within the liminal hours, especially as Tuesday bleeds into Wednesday….
Which lately, has led me to have some rather restless nights, full of much sleep interruption.
Despite how I feel about that, it is the way it has been for the past several weeks now.
So, while walking one of my dogs this AM, this song came up:
….as I was thinking thoughts on how it’s been going concerning working with the Two of Them, and I realized that there are several aspects to these interactions that are expressed rather well through this bit o’ pandoramancy.
They *do* seem to know just what I need
And They might just have the thing…
because They *both* know what I’d pay to feel.
And… since I’m often prone to being a touch melodramatic when I’m sleep-deprived, I have been known to ask Them to – y’know –
put me out of my misery…
The suicide king being Odin
and you know the drama queen just has to be Loki.
I found this article by Erin Pavlina this afternoon, and I thought that I would share.
It explains rather succinctly a connection that I’ve been struggling with understanding concerning karma and the Universe.
Mostly, this article inadvertently answers why it is probable that we as spiritual human beings keep running into the same situations in life over and over, and what that has to do with karma.
The part that hit me the most profoundly was this:
“Karma is about being given the opportunity to change your vibration and attract something different. No one is going to inflict that upon you, but the universe will bring you ample opportunities to choose a different path.
So if you’re holding out hope that something bad will happen to another person, you’re better off releasing, forgiving, and moving on, otherwise you will attract new opportunities that involve you needing to forgive someone. Are you catching my drift here?
If you are constantly wishing negative things will happen to those who wrong you, the universe will constantly bring you people who wrong you so you can continue wishing negative things will happen to them. That’s your vibration. That’s your karma. That’s what the universe thinks you want since that’s what you’re always thinking about.
Karma is not punishment, it’s not revenge, it’s not justice. Karma is the universe giving you opportunities to alter your vibration. Do with that what you will.”
How this relates to my present situation is that I have wondered for quite a while now why I keep getting thrown into situations wherein I keep finding myself feeling echoes of the past – people I’ve hurt, people that have hurt me, and the corresponding situations that I would rather not think about.
Perhaps in focusing on the pain of what I’ve been through, I am constantly re-opening the wounds rather than doing anything to heal them.
Perhaps this is what brought Him to me: my latest spiritual work – in working with the God that I Had Promised Myself that I Would Never Work With – I have been forced to confront all the reasons why I had refused to work with Him for so long.
I began to see that the only way to move forward was to confront the lesson that kept being presented to me over and over in seeing His face, and the echoes of that premise: If you expect a monster, you will get a monster.
Yes, He is still capable of being a monster.
But the only way to move forward in my spiritual practice is to engage with Him.
And I am engaging with Him.
The only way out is to go through.
Then, everything’s *not* fine.
2016 has been a rollercoaster..and I don’t think that it has just been a rollercoaster for me.
Look at the rest of the world, I suppose.
It would seem that everyone is struggling with something…not just me.
Not just my struggles.
I haven’t been posting, mainly because I’ve been keeping to the relative safety of writing in my notebooks, because 2016 has brought so many changes to my life that when I look back upon where I was, emotionally and spiritually, on this day in 2015, I am agog at how much has changed in my relationships, my attitudes, my writing….hell, even my devotional/spiritual practices.
As a matter of fact, so much has changed in my devotional practice that my head is sort of… spinning.
It’s been an interesting year, to say the least.
At the end of 2015, I was coming out of a major depressive episode.
Certain aspects of my life were either stagnant or evolving in a direction that I didn’t want to travel. I felt stuck and sad and angry.
I had decided to end relationships with several persons whom I’d come to over-value so much that I’d thought of these folks as the basis of my spiritual community….so deciding to cut ties with those friends felt like cutting ties with my sense of community.
As well, I felt stagnant in my spiritual relationships. I needed something to change but I didn’t know what or how
Though I had hope for 2016, I’d never in a million years expected the changes that were in store for me regarding my marriage, my circle of friends (or whom I would have considered my circle of friends), how I’d come to spend my free time,the people, places and things I would come to value, the skills that I would develop or the way that my devotional/spiritual practices would be completely overhauled.
Yes, my spiritual practices would suffer a complete overhaul in 2016.
And that is why I have chosen WorldBreaker as the title of this post.
Because, oddly enough, in retrospect, one of the only constants I see in the pattern of 2015 to 2016 was …Loki
And yes, that is true…I am working with Loki now.*
Though in late December 2015, I’d even gone as far as to pack up all of my altars -including His – because I was feeling disconnected from all of Them.
I was throwing what was essentially a tantrum of enormous spiritual proportions.
I was trying so hard to feel and to do, and yet all I could feel was an immense sense of frustration and disconnection.
I was feeling what I thought that I was supposed to feel and I was doing what I thought was the ‘work’ that I needed to do…
And yet I was ….not.
Though I will admit what I did feel was this:
“ I wish you all had one neck and I had my hands around it.”
(Those, by the way, are the second to last words of convicted murderer Carl Panzram, just before he was executed at Leavenworth Penitentiary in 1930)
(Do you see the WorldBreaker yet?)
Because that, my friends, is how I felt (inwardly, of course) about the whole business of not just the day to day functionings of my mundane life, but my spiritual life as well.
In late 2015, I definitely felt that if Life were a person, I wanted to choke that motherfucker out…and hard.
But I am not a violent person, so I could not even begin to guess where those feelings of rage were coming from at the time.
But I do…now.
(Yep. That was me…being upset. And oh…not working on my shit. But boy, did I think I was!)
So, what changed?
Well, I can’t exactly write a recipe book now, can I?
It was my journey from 2015 on and through all of 2016 that required a change in attitude towards a lot of situations that I didn’t particularly like that involved people that I didn’t particularly like.
I was entrenched in a battle of control and blame in my mundane life, and I was believing that these situations were somehow within my realm of control… but they were not.
I was the face of acceptance on the surface, but underneath all of that, I was angry and withholding.
I kept telling myself that I had let go of the past, but I had not….not entirely.
I was full of assumptions and waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I was waiting and hiding and grumbling to myself.
I had expectations based upon assumptions, and I was feeding an ugly vicious cycle of blame and insecurity.
In short, I was living in the past, but thinking that I was moving on.
I thought I was open. I thought I was being accepting and fair and loving and generous. I thought that I was letting go. I told myself constantly that I was holding myself accountable. I was convinced that it was I who was fair and open and honest…and others were not.
It wasn’t me who refused to be, it was them.
And in my spiritual life – well, there’s a mirror. I was insecure, tentative…also angry.
I had so much stuff on my altars. I was meditating every day. I felt like I was constantly giving Them time, giving Them energy, giving Them thought.
So why was I having the dark night of the soul? Why was I feeling a fallow time? Why did I feel so disconnected?
You refuse to be open.
You refuse to be generous.
You do not allow….
You do not permit….
It will begin…when you begin.
And so, in 2016, I began without even being aware of what I was beginning.
(Enter the WorldBreaker, stage left.)
Looking back upon the year, I realize that there were many occasions wherein I was thrust into many uncomfortable situations.
I look back upon these uncomfortable moments and I recall feeling forced to explain myself in many ways.
A lot of these moments featured me being forced to examine myself – my social anxieties, my prejudices, my decisions, my beliefs.**
But 2016 also rewarded me – the year even brought me a lot of growth, and even some new friends – or rather, I re-connected with myself in re-connecting with several ‘old’ friends – which led to my social circle increasing exponentially and unexpectedly at the same time.
As well, 2016 brought me joy in unexpected places (Arizona) and heartache in others (Washington DC)…but in the end, the slow change toward actually letting go of my need to control/create a specific outcome led to unexpected and entirely unforeseen outcomes.
While I do not have a lot of the same people in my life that I had had in 2015, I do have people in 2016.
As well, in 2016, I have done things that I never thought that I would do, I experienced things that I’d never dreamed of experiencing before, and craziest of all, I am actually working with yet another God that I had once insisted that I would *never* work with.
(Hel, as recently as two months ago, I would have refused to even look at Him, let alone work with Him in any way.)
Funny, how things can change so completely and so abruptly, eh?
But that, my friends, is the story of a decision for another day entirely. 😉
So that was the trajectory of my 2016.
A year of rapid, dramatic (sometimes even melodramatic) emotional and spiritual change for me.
Courtesy of a relentless Breaker of Worlds.
Hail Loki, indeed ❤
*In retrospect, I realize that up to a point, 2012-2015 was essentially ‘making a good show of working with Loki’ compared to actually ‘working with’ Loki
**I felt ashamed, exposed…and about three months ago, it peaked in that a few folks even vilified me for speaking my mind, for writing what I wrote in this blog. And yes, it stopped me. A lot.
Since I am still struggling with several overlapping illnesses at this time – ear infection, sinus infection, and general malaise – you may that I haven’t had much of the wherewithal to write these past few days.
Hence the reason that I’ve gotten so behind in keeping up with my daily posts this July in the Month for Loki.
But I have been reading a lot – and this powerful post came across my WordPress feed today, concerning Loki as a God Who is rather popular with folks who have struggled with various forms of abuse, difficulty, and dysfunction in their lives. I agree with her especially in this:
One of the biggest groups of people who tend to find themselves interacting with Loki are those who have been abused in some way. The ones who have lost themselves and need to be guided back – who need to learn who they are again. Loki teaches us that it’s okay to not be okay. He teaches us that it’s okay to be wounded and feel the wound so that it can heal properly.
While my experiences were not exactly the same as those of Ms. Kyaza, I can relate to a lot of her experiences, especially in regards to dysfunctional family relationships.
I can definitely identify with the ambivalent feelings that arise out of having suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of those whom I trusted most to love and respect me.
In fact, there were several occasions wherein I found myself dangerously close to tears while reading her post, as her description of her thoughts and feelings about her mother and their relationship so closely resonated with my own experiences so powerfully.
Reading her post made me feel a strange mixture of feelings.
I felt both a sense of exposure and a sense of triumphant relief in reading this post.
I felt an incredible sense of exposure and shame – as in reading her words, I was so acutely reminded of the immensity of my own desire to please my mother (and in turn, my siblings) who often rejected my efforts by responding with anger, ridicule or outright dismissal. And yet, I remember that guilt, that shame. I had grown up feeling that somehow, if I could just do better, work harder, love more – then finally, I would receive love; I would deserve love.
And yet, while reading, I also felt an undercurrent of strange relief – here was someone who writes so eloquently of navigating emotional landmines that I understand.
I felt understood. I felt heard.
I am not alone in this pain.
I am not the only one.
You see, I have both loved and hated my mother and my siblings – and as a result, in turn, as a woman and as a mother, I have both loved and hated myself. I struggled – and still struggle – with the emotional scars of my upbringing. I crave to feel understood, to feel safe, to feel loved, and yet I have been skeptical of the existence of a relationship wherein I can feel understood, safe and loved. Sometimes, I find myself skeptical of those who have tried to nurture me, so deeply ingrained was my belief that I did not deserve even my mother’s love, the love of my brothers and sisters.
It took me years to decipher that it was not my inadequacy or failing, but the lack of self-love and incapacity to receive love that my mother (and perhaps of those even further back) suffered with that continues this horrible chain.
It affects all of my relationships. I have tried valiantly to be the mother that my own wasn’t, and yet, I still find myself wondering if I’ve fallen short, if I’ve done a disservice to my children. As a person, I have endeavored to be emotionally reliable, compassionate, and kind, and yet, sometimes, I am a victim of my own perfectionism and pessimism, and my own distorted habits and worldviews.
I am estranged from my family, even today.
But the truth is, I am no longer estranged from myself. I am no longer lost.
I had to learn to break the cycle of the past. It is daily work to remain mindful of my emotional responses and reactions whenever I interact with others. (Is it kind? Is it necessary? Am I responding from a place of love and understanding rather than from fear or anger, for example.)
I have learned to be acutely aware of my own negative self-talk and self-limiting behaviors and beliefs. I am learning to accept myself and recognize my strengths and weaknesses, as well as accepting and recognizing that everyone else also has their own struggles with similar issues, with similar emotions, behaviors and beliefs about themselves – and none of us are perfect. Perfection is stagnation.
I am learning to allow myself …to feel vulnerable. To feel angry. To be open to my own emotions and not fear the emotions, reactions, or responses of others. I am learning to be accountable. I am learning to let go of what doesn’t work and focus on what does. I am learning to let go and trust the process. Trust Him and trust myself.
Loki taught me a lot of these things. He has taught me to embrace imperfection, to confront fear of loss or change, to let go of the need to control outcomes, to work with what I’ve been given, and most of all, to allow myself, to open myself to love.
Love the process of living, love the process of learning.
Hail Loki, God of the lost and…found.
Thank You for finding me.