bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: trusting the process

Month for Loki, Day 1: Task.

I can’t believe that the month of July has arrived already!

And as you may know, many Lokeans around the country celebrate the month of July by writing;  that’s 30 days of devotional posts for Loki.

And this blog here will be no exception.

~~~

2016 has been quite a year thusfar, and in this month alone, I’ve experienced a lot of upheaval and change in my devotional practices.

For one thing, towards the end of 2015,  I found myself being damn near forced to abandon most if not all  of the connections that I’d previously made within the Lokean community over the past several years.

As well, I was encouraged to develop a renewed focus upon several of my most personal relationships, and to be honest, I was even more stubborn about that.  As a matter of fact, I will freely admit that I abhor change.  As one might imagine, this meant that I fought many of those changes damned near every fucking step of the way.

You see, I was given several tasks in the first few months of 2016, and I will admit that I would just not be myself if I didn’t somehow try to weasel my way out of doing some major work towards that end.

But if Loki is anything, He is a patient God, and His tactics are often relentless, to put it mildly.

You might imagine that the last few months have not been easy.

The first task that I was given was to be self-aware and honest with myself about all the ways in which I have avoided confronting …myself.

The second task was to stop engaging in all of my various avoidance maneuvers, including but not limited to vaguebooking, privatizing entries, and downright avoiding certain relevant topics, simply for the sake of someone else’s comfort, let alone my own.

And the third task was to pull all those half-written and mostly hidden entries from my files, and either complete them/post them…. or throw them away.

So it’s a mental and perhaps spiritual decluttering, if you will.

And I am working on it.*

~~~~

So.  Where do I begin?

First up, I screwed up my resolve and over the course of several months, I have been forcing myself to discuss the finer points of my devotional practice with my husband, V.

So far, things have been going well enough.

V has been nothing if not open-minded, and I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that it is not as I had feared it would be at all.

In fact, many things have gone so entirely well that I am left wondering if perhaps I am the close-minded one in our relationship.

Fancy that.

I don’t know what I am – or have ever been – so afraid of.

~~~

*The network of tasks that I have been given shall, henceforth, be referred to as ‘keeping it 100:’

It’s not just one thing, Heathir.

 It is the whole of Heathir.  

You are to be known.  Make yourself (known)

Open.  Be open.

You give (the permission to others.)  Give permission (to yourself.)

 

 

 

badnewsgoodnews
dontrunaway

Food for Thought.

I was talking with a friend about an hour ago, regarding an article that someone else had posted concerning how – theoretically – if one were to consider structures in nature as ‘order’ (the natural order of things in a system) then attempts by humans to impose their own concepts or systems of ‘order’ upon natural structures by other means (by sorting, categorizing, or classifying) is therefore a form of ‘disorder,’ because such imposition is creating artificial (unnatural) systems:

I  this graphic. Artificial order imposed upon systems *is* chaos because they’re useless to anybody BUT those utilizing the artificial order system.

To the greater system itself? It’s meaningless. Piles? Columns? Sorting by type? That’s all concessions to the limitations of our cognitive systems.

Sure, our cognitive systems are natural too – even the artificial/natural distinction isn’t “quite” right.

But in the greater scheme, the one where humans are optional, those piles and sorting is chaotic and meaningless.

kennerhudutchaosvsorder
~~~

I’d never thought of order or disorder as being defined this way, and yet, I have been thinking of the relation between the concepts of ‘order’ and ‘disorder’ a lot lately.  It began, as most things do, with a simple conversation in a Rokkatru group concerning someone’s UPG of the Aesir representing ‘order’ and ‘civilization’ in the cosmos while the Rokkr represent ‘nature’ and a ‘natural sort of disorder.’ Of course, there was discussion of how nature has its own sense of ‘order’ – but how, from the point of  view of ‘civilization,’ nature’s sense of order is random and therefore,  considered by civilization to be ‘disorder.’   As well, others discussed the concepts of open and closed systems and how a closed system eventually falls apart because it can’t self-sustain and whatnot, and things quickly became rather meta.

And being a Rokkatru group, of course, this discussion wound its way towards discussion of Ragnarok, and the role of Loki, Fenrir, and Surtr in bringing on the end of the world.  The world is a closed system and the role of the Rokkatru is to bring about the destruction of this closed system in order to make way for a new (and perhaps more open) system.

And so, it’s odd but not surprising to me that that conversation gave me a headache…because chaos theory usually does.

~~~

But then, there I was again tonight, having a conversation about order and disorder again, but this time, it was on a smaller scale.

I was talking to my friend about how Loki has laughed at me concerning my OCD need to arrange the items in a specific configuration on His altar, or my habit of overthinking that is a hallmark of my social anxiety, or my inability to let things go and/or trust the process.

I have no problem admitting that I am sort of control freak regarding several aspects of my life and practice.  And my friend agreed that she has some of those issues too.

And then, she said a funny-strange but interesting thing that hit me like a ton of bricks:

She said that her life as a child was hellish and the only way that she could have control over her environment was to draw. The only world that she could control could be found at the end of a pencil.  So she drew pictures and created stories.  She created worlds.  She told me how Loki told her that her best artwork seemed to come when she experienced personal turmoil.  How He has asked her why she would draw, and she told Him it made her happy.  But the truth was that she was often unhappy/angry/miserable while drawing.  (And, of course, He noticed that.)

Well, that reminded me of my own artistic coping strategies.

Honestly, I suppose that it’s nothing new, but I wrote and drew my way through a miserable childhood…and adolescence…and fuck, I *still do.*

And yeah, that realization, of how I tried to make sense of confusing experiences by filling up notebooks, and drawing my imaginary friends, and how much it shocks me to think that it wasn’t just me being escapist.

That art was …that art is a rather dysfunctional coping mechanism for me.

I don’t make money with it.

It doesn’t make me happy.

Things still pile up in my head, and writing them, drawing them doesn’t serve to make me any more sane or stable.

And it sure as hell doesn’t help me or my loved ones to understand me any better than before.

It’s just another method I hide behind. (Funny -autocorrect suggests that the word ‘method’ should actually be ‘met God’ over and over.  No, I’ve never met God by writing or drawing. Psht. I should be living.)

Perhaps my incessant writing and drawing are what I do to keep myself from meaningfully engaging with others.

who knows.

1936233_493787367489610_8709262362442263750_n

Instead.

I saw this post in my media feed this morning and it got me thinking that I have this issue:

How often I almost reflexively blurt out ‘I’m sorry’ when I mean to say ‘Thank you.’

I hadn’t really thought out the issue, except that I have been made aware of my habit of apologizing for everything – even for qualities, occurrences, and behavior that require no apology.

A friend of mine -who oddly enough, has a degree in psychology even though she now works as an insurance adjuster for a corporate law firm – was the most recent person in my life to make me aware of my ‘sorry habit.’   She was always pointing out how much it concerned her that I would say ‘I’m sorry’ for the most mundane reasons, and she would often challenge me to attempt to go a whole day without saying ‘I’m sorry.’

And as much as I tried, I couldn’t do it.

She encouraged me to be mindful of my responses to various situations, and even though she tried hard to convey all the reasons why I should do it, she never put it quite as powerfully or as succinctly as this simple set of comic strips does:

If you want to say ‘Thank you’, don’t say ‘I’m Sorry’   (From the folks at Mental Floss)

This is just what I needed, and I found this article quite helpful.

Thank you for reading!

 

One Word.

I know that this may come a little late, as it is nearly mid-February, but this is my second year of doing My One Word.

While last year’s word was definitely Allow, my realization of this year’s word proved to be more subtle… but no less profound than Allow had been.

Though, unlike Allow, I didn’t grasp my One Word as quickly this year.

Actually, this year’s word is actually a compound word:

Self-Love

I have come to realize that I have been avoiding working on the concepts associated with Self-Love for a rather long time.

Though, in late January, it became quite clear to me that as much as I thought that I’d done pretty well learning how to Allow myself to feel and to act (rather than react) and to build upon other shadow work I’d done over the last year, there was definitely an aspect of that Allow shadow-work that I’d been avoiding.

And I got the impression from Them that I could not afford to ignore that aspect anymore.

Thus, I discovered that Self-Love was the missing piece.

buddha_love_5240

 

~~~

Or, as They have often impressed upon me:

No one is going to love you exactly the way that you need to be loved, so you may as well learn to love yourself.

 

~~~

Tom Hiddleston reads Derek Walcott’s lovely poem, Love after Love:

 

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

~~~

 

In whatever manner they approach Me…

So I realize that I have not written in a while.

I feel badly about this, despite the reality that I am beholden to no one, and yet, I have been meaning to write something.  There is a folder on my laptop that is contains at least a dozen half-finished posts- and several completed ones- and yet I still haven’t posted anything in a while.

  • I actually finished that post on polyamory.
  • And there’s a post that I’ve been verbally wrangling with for months concerning cultural beliefs on head-shaving, shame, and adultery, that has had all its references, checked and double-checked…and yet I don’t feel comfortable posting that one, either, because it contains elements that corroborate several personal UPG experiences.  I feel both vindicated and terrified by the concepts that have arisen from that.
  • And devotional tattoos!  A lovely 2,258 words on devotional tattoos that was railroaded into a major overhaul re-write by the latest research (as in anthropological research presented as recently as October 2015) on the historical accuracy of the use of woad.
  • And then there’s Odin.  Ah, Odin – the Blood Brother of my Beloved – and the wordless story that comes to me through a stream of beautifully rendered charcoal pencil sketches that I haven’t even drawn yet* – that involve the World Tree, no ordinary man, and a very curious creature who stumbled into apothesis.

*sigh*

~~~

But what I do end up wanting write about is this rather simple concept that my friend Stormwise mentioned to me over six months ago, regarding how the Gods can act as mirrors, and this premise is found in the Bhagavadgita, of all places, Chapter 4, verse 11:

In whatever way people surrender unto me, I reciprocate with them accordingly. Everyone follows my path, knowingly or unknowingly, O son of Pritha.

Another translation:

With whatever motive people worship Me, I fulfill their desires accordingly. People worship Me with different motives. (4.11)

And this little bit of Chapter 4 stands out to me in that this is the very thing that I am trying to accept.

That the Gods will come to you in the manner that you have come to Them.  If you approach Them full of fear, then They shall come to you in a manner that inspires fear.  Many years ago, I struggled to repress the fear and uncertainty that I felt towards the facets of Them that I felt that I was experiencing.

And Their response -which was often visual at that time – was rather cryptic:

If you are looking for monsters, you will certainly find Us.

It seems such a basic aspect of manifestation that I found myself feeling rather foolish, especially in regards to Odin.

Of course, He was a monster, because I was expecting a monster.  If I learned anything, it was that it scarcely concerned Him if I was afraid of Him or disliked Him.  He had some business to do, and I had some things to learn.

Well, I learned.

~~~~

* Yes.  I can’t get these images out of my head.  I feel compelled to draw them out…and yet, my artistic skills aren’t as well-developed as I would hope.  At first, I thought the story was a rather simple rendition of the lore…until the storyline took on an unexpected turn that featured some rather adult-themes during several meditations later. :-/

 

 

neilgaimannyewish
dearheart