bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: connections

A companionable silence

Things are changing and while I am not sure I wanted them to change, they did.

It’s been a while.

One of the things that seem changed is that They haven’t felt as ‘present’ lately…or at least, my sense of Them has been feeling a lot more abstract, perhaps removed.

Y’see, as much as I hate to admit this, I have been beating myself up a little lately, allowing myself to feel anxious, thinking that Their subdued presence was due entirely to my lack of interaction…and while that feels true on one level, it feels equally untrue on another level.

Meanwhile, a post by Jolene Dawe came across my feed recently that definitely featured a message that I needed to hear/read about relationships, change and acceptance.

In any case, Jolene’s words gave me some means to frame what’s been going on (or in some cases, what’s not going on) in my own practice.

Her insight into her feelings/thoughts about her journey helped me process the feelings and thoughts I’ve been having about my own.

Upon reading, it occurred to me that perhaps she was going through something similar to what I’ve been going through in my own practice – and that powder-keg moment surrounded her assertion that she felt like a hypocrite for creating a liturgy.

What is a liturgy? I found myself thinking, as my brain leapt to wondering…

Was she talking about a writing project?

If her liturgy writing project was going in any way similar to the way my latest writing project is going for me, I wondered if she too was debating with herself over the reason that things seemed to be…fizzling out.

Perhaps she too was trying to decipher if the project was dying a natural death or if she was somehow, inadvertently mucking it up.

At any rate, I could definitely relate to that inner debate, mulling over the concepts of hypocrisy, inaction, the evolution of relationships with what’s imminent vs what isn’t…

I especially found myself identifying with her discussion of the desire to be close vs. not feeling so close to Them (i.e the state of feeling connected to the Gods vs. feeling ‘Godless’.)

I liked her metaphor/line of thinking about God-relationships: that if P was an actual person, she could call Him up and They could chat about old times in a way that honors the meaning of what their relationship used to be

…without getting caught up in nostalgia or pining over what used to be because she wants it back.

(Or letting herself get mired in that feeling like she should want things to go back to the way things were.)

I’ll be honest, I was heartened to read when she admitted to feeling (mostly) at peace with the fact that she couldn’t go back

and doesn’t want to anyway.

And that got me to thinking how I began my life as a Pagan: I will admit that I spent a long time feeling like a Godless Pagan, as I do recall that some of my initial attempts at a devotional practice were spurred on by anxiety:

feeling

that I wanted to be closer to Them to the nth degree

that I needed to be connected to Them to the nth degree

And that acute feeling like The Goal of It All had always been to connect to Them to this nth degree.

But then to experience the level of connection that I’d so long sought?

(Oh there is sheer blissful NRE in having THAT connection…)

But did I ever expect that that intense level of connection could (inevitably!) change?

Honestly, I did not.

Now this is where it got kinda messy in my head because, yes, though I know what I’d always been told…

The only thing constant in this world is change:

*

Well, of course, relationships change.

But I will admit I wasn’t really prepared to fathom any level of change in my relationship with Them.

So now to experience these moments of what my anxiety wants to define as ‘less’ and ‘lack’ feels like a terrible loss.

But is it?

Perhaps I need to learn to reframe my perspective.

So perhaps I don’t have the same intense connection with Them that I used to have.

(and yes, I am aware of how part of it is my fault if one wants to assign blame)

but perhaps, the other part of it is

just a rather natural evolution towards something

more settled

not as imminent

not as active

as I had previously expected.

But is there any need to for me to feel so anxious about it?

Perhaps not.

Perhaps I should welcome the change as a sign of growth in my relationship with Them.

Perhaps I should welcome this companionable silence

~~~

*Well, Loki IS a God of Change, now isn’t He?

Month for Loki, Day 20: Animal Associations

~~ANIMALS ASSOCIATED WITH LOKI~~

Common/Lore attributed

Horse:

In the form of a mare, Loki gave birth to Sleipnir, as attested in the Hyndluljóð, a portion of theVöluspá in the Poetic Edda. This story is also mentioned in the Gylfaginning of the Prose Edda

Salmon:

After leaving Aegir’s hall in the Lokasenna, in the Poetic Edda, Loki takes the form of a salmon to escape capture from the Gods who seek to punish Him

Biting fly/flea

In the Skáldskaparmál, as Loki has cut off the hair of Sif, and under threat of injury from an angry Thor, He visits two dwarves of Svartelheim who create three gifts – a wig of golden hair for Sif, the spear Gungnir, and the ship Skíðblaðnir. Loki then goes to another pair of dwarves and bets them His head that they can’t make three things as fine as the three treasures created by that first pair. While the dwarves are working, Loki takes the form of a biting fly in order to sabotage their work – which produces Thor’s hammer Mjölnir, the golden boar Gullinbursti, and the ring-giver Draupnir.

As well, Loki takes the form of a biting flea as told in the skaldic poem Húsdrápa, in the Prose Edda. Loki takes on this form to gain access to Freyja’s bed-chamber so that He may steal Freyja’s necklace, the Brísingamen. As well this same story is referenced in the Sörla þáttr, a short story from the Flateyjarbók, a 14th-century Icelandic manuscript.

Seal/Otter

As described in the Húsdrápa, when Freyja awakens to find Her necklace, the Brísingamen, missing, she asks Heimdallr to help her search for it. Eventually, they realize that Loki has taken it and has transformed himself into a seal. Heimdallr turns into a seal as well and fights Loki. After a lengthy battle, Heimdallr wins and returns Brísingamen to Freyja.

Falcon:

In the Þrymskviða (Lay of Thrym) of the Poetic Edda, a Jotun king, Thrym steals Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir. Freyja lends Loki Her falcon cloak to search for it.

As well, Loki borrows Freyja’s magic falcon cloak again, to rescue Idunn from Jötun Þjazi, in the Skáldskaparmál.

Vultures:

One of Loki’s kennings is Gammleið. This Old Norse phrase is commonly translated as “vulture’s path” associating Loki with Lopt (‘Air’) in the ÞÓRSDRÁPA, Stanza 2, verses 1-4, of the Codex Regius

Common Folklore/UPG attributed

Spiders:

The only academic source I have come across connecting Loki with spiders refers to a treatise written by Swedish folklorist Anna Birgitta Rooth in 1961, titled Loki in Scandinavian Mythology. Her treatise attempts to connect Loki within the context of Scandinavian folklore as a trickster figure, much like Anansi the Spider in African and African American folklore. Since the basis of her connections of Loki with spiders seems to rest mostly upon her speculations regarding the etymology of the word locke (a Swedish dialect word for“spider”), Rooth’s book on Loki has been met with more criticism than acceptance from other scholars. While Rooth’s conclusions are often referenced, I know of very few scholars who would agree with her conclusions.

Though from the standpoint of personal gnosis, I’ve found many Lokeans do associate Loki with spiders anyway, casting Loki in a metaphorical spider role – as a weaver of wyrd, a tier of knots, and maker of nets.

(On a related note, I recall that it been theorized somewhere that Sleipnir’s eight legs could be either a reference to spiders or symbolic of four pall-bearers at a funeral – but I cannot recall the source on that connection.)

Common UPG by Association

Snakes:

This is a complex one. Many may associate Loki with snakes, due to His association with one of His offspring with the giantess Angrboða, Jörmungandr. But snakes as a symbol of Loki could also be due to the association of snakes as symbols of intuitive wisdom, transformation, fertility and balance of energy as seen across several cultures. In Native American lore, snakes represent several forms of duality – the duality of gender (male and female), lunar and solar, and as well as creatures associated with the elements of fire and water. As a shapeshifting form in Celtic mythologies, snakes are regarded as creatures capable of cunning transformation, as they shed their skins. As well, it was believed by the Celts that snakes lived and moved within the shadow realms (underground) for half the year, and therefore, when emerging with the sun, snakes were considered creatures who possessed hidden knowledge of the Earth and its rhythms. As symbols in Hinduism, snakes are considered wise healers, possessing a balance of energies – dark and light.

In that regard of the larger picture of snakes as symbols, I can definitely see how Loki could be associated with snakes. Therefore, it is perhaps no wonder that the Urnes snakes seem to have become one of the most popular symbols that many Lokeans have come to associate with Loki in the past ten years.

Wolves

As it is with Jormungandr, Loki as a wolf may simply be another association with another of His offspring with Angrboða, Fenrir. Many Lokeans claim UPG where Loki comes across as very much like a wolf – whether in actual guise or in manner/personality – whenever Loki is being sociable, loyal, protective or even aggressive at times.

Personally, I can see the correlation to wolves in terms of Loki’s seemingly insatiable appetites, but also in His attitudes towards whom He regards as His – whether they be family, friend or foe.

Common/UPG

Foxes, Hares, Raccoons, Crows, and Ferrets

These associations are likely due to Loki’s role as a Trickster Deity, as these creatures are all forms associated with Tricksters throughout many cultures.

And in an interesting bit of Icelandic folk belief that I came across recently connects quite well with my previous entry:

From a mutual FB group member, Hrafnsunna Ross – a self-described person of Croation and Scottish descent who was raised in Iceland – has this to say about Loki’s appearance and His association with foxes:

“In Iceland, Loki is depicted with light to dark brown hair. It makes sense for Loki to have brownish-grey hair because He is associated with Bragðarefur (‘Trick Fox’)…. as most foxes in Iceland are either dark grey/brown all year….(or a) lightish colored that turns white by winter.”

Lesser known Associations:

Axolotls

I’ve known a few Lokeans who associate the axolotl lizard with Loki presumably due to the fact that these amphibians exist at maturity in an in-between stage of metamorphosis called neoteny – a state of liminality.

Axolotls retain their larval gills into adulthood and this retention allows axolotls to remain aquatic for the duration of their lives.

Another name for axolotl is Mexican salamander.

Month for Loki, Fourteenth: Knot.

In the summer of 2012, I had one of the first of a series of strange vivid dreams  that involved Loki:

In this particular dream, I found myself searching through  a building of many rooms, and while I didn’t know what or who I was looking for, I knew I was looking for something…or someone.

Most of the rooms were spacious but empty – white walls, sparsely furnished, lit by buzzing fluorescent ceiling panels.  Like an abandoned office building, which I sensed may or may not be underground.

And then I was surprised to come upon what appeared to be a middle-aged man with dark auburn hair in one of the rooms.  As I’d mentioned, though most of the rooms were nothing more that white empty walls, the room this man was in was full of  brightly colored yarn.   Skeins of various colors and in various states of unravel lay scattered all over the floor.  While a few seemed no more than tangled handfuls of yarn, others were neatly wound and stacked in piles of three or four bundles, sorted by color.

Meanwhile the biggest jumble of knots lay closest to the man’s right foot.  I could also see that he was barefoot…. and he wasn’t exactly sitting in the chair.

This man was sprawled in an elaborately carved wooden chair large enough to easily be mistaken for some sort of throne.  I say sprawled because though I came upon him sitting upon this odd throne from behind and at somewhat of an angle, I immediately realized that this man was quite gangly; one of his legs casually dangled over one of the arm rests, and I couldn’t help but wonder how he’d  miraculously found a way to fold the length of the rest of his body comfortably within the confines of the seat.  

I don’t think he noticed me at first, as his head was bent in concentration upon his hands and the tangled mess of colored yarn in his lap.

However, when he did finally look up at me

He grinned….and casually asked me

if I knew

who he was.

Loki.

And Loki appeared to be knitting.  

But not with needles, mind you; He seemed to be knitting with His fingers.

(from my notebook, 17 July 2012)

~~~

But I learned something interesting today.

It occurs to me that Loki may not have been knitting.

He may have been nålbinding (“needle-binding”), an ancient technique which may pre-date knitting and crocheting by 1500 years, where a single length of thread or yarn is passed through loops by use of a single needle, and the resulting fabric is sturdily connected by interlocking these loops of yarn or thread with one another.  Nålebinding is also called ‘knotless netting.’

I came across this information today – though honestly I was researching something else that had nothing at all to do with Norse clothing -but a reference to socks caught my eye and I found my way to Hurstwic.org:

“However, Norse socks were not knitted (which apparently was unknown to the Norse). Instead, they were made using an ancient technique called nálbinding (needle-binding). Using a single large, thick needle, it was a method of knotting the yarn. Although time consuming, this approach resulted in a nearly indestructible garment. If the thread were to break or wear out, the garment would still be intact, since the thread was everywhere knotted to neighboring threads. Mittens and caps were also made using this technique. The sketch to the left shows the steps involved in making an article of clothing using the nálbinding technique. Note that the fabric grows in a spiral pattern. Once the spiral is large enough, it is knotted back on itself to create the shape of the finished article.”

 

(Photos: l-r: spiral nal-binding_sketch; Sock found in York; from Hurstwic.org.)

~~~

How does this personally relate to me in regards to Loki?

Loki has been referring me to knots and knotwork for many years now, and as it is with His method, I hadn’t any idea as to why He was always referring to such things, either literally or metaphorically.  But I’m starting to connect some things about knots and knotwork today.

But, barring that, it does give His references to ‘creating sockpuppets’ a whole new meaning, eh?

 

Month for Loki, Fifth: Signs.

Again, a member of a Lokean forum posted an interesting question today:

Has anyone felt moved to learn sign language for/because of Loki? (Do any of you sign btw?)

This question got me to thinking, as I hadn’t thought about it, much less admitted to anyone else that though Loki and I have been communicating non-verbally for a while now, I’ve never gone into much detail as to how we communicate.

In the summer of 2012 – which I consider the second beginning of my contact with Loki – any ‘communication’ I experienced with Him was almost entirely non-verbal: I first experienced His presence in dreams and meditations through particular sensations, and through association with sudden, lingering scents.

Then I started experiencing visuals of Him, but these visions only occurred in vivid dreams and during particularly intense meditations.  Even in those vivid dreams, I rarely ‘heard’ His voice and more often than not, there was hardly ever any sound.

I’d begun to see references to the god-phone, but I didn’t think I had one.

The more I read about the ‘godphone’ concept, the more I began to feel that perhaps I wasn’t wired for such a thing.  So, I accepted this, began to refer myself headblind, believing it was not possible for me to ‘hear’ Loki anyway.  I felt confused and often wondered if what was happening between us was communication at all.

There was a long while wherein I dreamt of Him rather regularly, and while I would often feel sensations or even smell the scents I’d come to associate with His presence, on the rare occasion that I’d get a visual, He seemed to communicate by showing me objects, or indicating that I should observe His body language, or communicate concepts to me through hand gestures.

I felt that Loki ‘spoke’ to me only through sensations, scents and symbols, nudging me to make connections between seemingly unrelated objects, concepts and ideas.

And it was only later – sometimes months later – that I’d make the connections: What He’d shown me in dreams would appear later in a string of coincidences in my waking life: He’d been holding a bird, reading a book, or drawing me a symbol, and then later, I’d see flocks of those birds in my backyard, or see that symbol on a random bit of street graffiti, or I’d catch sight of that book displayed in a store window.

There’s nothing like that sudden inevitable sense of deja-vu.  Where have I seen this before?  Where have I heard of this before?

A good example of this is in 2013 – almost a year after my first exposure to the visuals, I realized He had been showing me mudras.

So, as you might imagine, it took me a long time to to figure out that Loki had been using sign language with me.

So, you can imagine my surprise to realize that, over the past three, perhaps four years, I have learned how to finger-spell and I have learned to recognize basic actions/concepts (signs for want, give, need, do, go, and love, for example)

Like the mudras, I thought these were particular and unique to the interactions between Loki and I.

But I didn’t realize the full extent of the meaning of that happening until last July, my family and I adopted a puppy.

And it turns out my puppy is deaf.

So in my research of learning how to communicate with my puppy, I feel that strange but exhilarating sense of discovery when I watch videos of hand signals -which are various extensions based upon American Sign Language – for different basic commands, such:

Listen to me.

Pay attention/Focus.

Remember

Do (you) understand?

 

Now, my signing skills have had to improve in yet another realm of my life, and I realize that I really should buckle down and actually learn ASL.

And I find it interesting and sort of amazing that even though my ‘godphone’ has gotten a lot better…

Loki still defaults to signing sometimes anyway.

The Other Side of Judgment and Fear

Another re-blog…but it is good and necessary food for thought today.

I highly recommend reading if you are prone to negative self-talk and worrying, (ie, ‘brain-weasels’)

Element

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Hello everyone, welcome ❤

I was trying to get caught up reading and commenting to posts the other day and I came to a one that dray0308 from Dream Big Dream Often reblogged. The title of the post was “Worrying About Nothing” This post was about questioning yourself, your choices and decisions rather than just living and enjoying your life.

It’s sad how often we judge ourselves. We suffer under the crushing fear that we can’t live the life we want because we aren’t doing enough, we aren’t good enough, we aren’t smart enough, we aren’t pretty or handsome enough. We just aren’t, right enough.

I’ve been to that dark place. I spent 10 years struggling with little to no self esteem and believing everything bad in my life was my fault, that there was nothing I could do right. I spared no judgment against myself. I saw my son, how we…

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Tumble Down In Love

Thank you Annie, for sharing your lovely words.

I needed these sweet words today.

~~~~

Tumble Down In Love

Come sweetheart

Come tumble down in love with me

Unveil yourself to this unanswerable desire

That echoes in our hearts

Whirling, in flight let it take us together

Into the velvet night

Where unspoken promises are understood

Whispered to us

Danced upon our acquiescent flesh

This dream is far too sweet

We love passionately

In a thousand different ways

The peaks blaze up against the sky

The petals that flow with our blood

Tremble in full bloom

Tender like water

Our passion runs like oncoming tides

We swim in a sea of stars

I am a bird in song impatient with desire

Your sure fingers sound the strings of my soul

Slowly, you release me

I breathe you in and we fall into dripping colours

At last we lie in sweet repose

Embraced by infinity itself

And so I drown in joy

And drown, and drown

Once more

© Ann Bagnall and AnnieB222.com, 2013.

Image: http://wallpaperwidehd.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/glowing-flowers-wallpaper.html

Source: Tumble Down In Love

Trauma…and healing.

Yesterday was very intense.
While there were not a lot of instructors, nor were there many classes, I attended a class called Healing Sexual Trauma.
Yes – I thought of J (and others) –  and I had foolishly hoped that I could finally learn -after the fact – about strategies that I should have known in order to help someone who had been sexually traumatized.

Because if anything, I’d wanted to at the very least provide others some sort of sanctuary from pain and negativity.
Instead, it seemed something that wasn’t so pedantic as ‘here are some strategies for helping yourself or helping others heal from sexual trauma’ as it was personal discussion about the instructor’s journey toward realizing and healing her own sexual trauma.  And I realized that the discussion was not so much about methods and strategies as it was about identifying and recognizing that there are traumas that need to healed within ourselves.

As an empath, I also found myself realizing and reacting to the obvious fact that I should take note that I have my own traumas to heal and how foolish I am to think that I would be there for any other reason.
Meanwhile, L seems to love to point out to me – through these sort of sneaky ton of bricks moments – that I am foolish, that I am denying myself compassion, and everything and I do  and I mean EVERYTHING –  begins with me.

He wants me to have compassion with myself and take care of myself:

You must take care of My Beloved.

And by the way: That is YOU.

However, I have always made excuses.

I have been told for so many years that it is selfish to think of oneself before others.

I’ve come to react as if one of the most hurtful insults that could be directed towards me involves being accused of being self-centered or selfish….but again and again He wants me to realize that that is damaging to me and an avoidance maneuver that is so ingrained in my behavior that it is likely not even a conscious reaction on my part anymore.

So there’s that self-awareness that He is so insistent upon, and I found myself surprised to realize this facet of my behavior.

Look at yourself; everything is self-work, you know.
And so I tried valiantly not to get overwhelmed by the sensation overload that I was experiencing when others talked of their traumas as well as trying to control myself in regards to my own traumas.
This must manifest itself as a sort of selfishness in that I want to help others/save others, even though I don’t even know how to help or how to save myself sometimes

So I want to talk and I want to share, but my talking and sharing is an avoidance maneuver. It’s me saying, ‘Let’s talk about you; let’s fix you, so I don’t have to fix myself,’ and if I do talk, it might just be my attempt to fill up the space with noise, or focusing on what anyone else is presently going through so I don’t have to handle what I’ve gone through.

It is selfish.   In a way, it is the way I block emotions in myself and block others from myself.

I hate myself for that.

I am aware that it is just me being closed up…another verbal masturbation session that I never intended but here I am talking about myself again.

*sigh*

I hold myself at a distance by talking, sometimes.  I focus on constructing a wall of words and sound to keep people from knowing me and to keep myself from knowing myself.
It’s times like that that I notice that there is such a gap between what I want to do and what I am doing, what I want to confront and how I avoid the confrontation.  The gap between engagement and avoidance.   I do lip service to a lot of want, but not a lot of doing.

(Thanks Loki.)

But how do I learn to stop doing that?

How to open myself so I can be open to others?

How to listen and help rather than just filling up space with pain and gloom and panic, wondering whatamigoingtodo?

Don’t look at me.  I’m in pain.

I can focus on your pain but that just distracts me from my pain for the moment.  I have a lot of pain in myself and I see others’ pain and I don’t know what to do about it.

I don’t know what to do with myself.

Is anything ever getting done this way?

No.  Of course not.
It’s all verbal masturbation.  This navel gazing has to stop.

 

I should do something but I don’t know what.

 

I have forgotten what’s important.

Nineteen minutes.

I wasn’t meditating.

I was simply enjoying some quiet time after dinner, relaxing on my bed with eyes closed, letting thoughts run through my head…

I wasn’t actively thinking of L, but then, suddenly, I saw His face.

I wasn’t sleeping -I hadn’t any intention of sleeping – and yet I could see Him in front of me.  I did a body inventory to check to see if I was dreaming.  What was unusual was that I could still hear my kid (K) talking loudly in the kitchen, so I figured that I couldn’t have been dreaming.  As a matter of fact, I could have easily followed the conversation that K was having with his brother in the kitchen – if I had to – and yet I was also experiencing this vision of L behind my closed eyelids.

I thought of how I could open my eyes.

I thought of how I could move and that vivid image of L sitting on a green hillock overlooking a valley below would have likely faded back to grey as these images usually do

… and yet I couldn’t shake it from my mind.

So I opened my eyes briefly, testing my theory, and upon closing, He remained…just as before.  He was dressed in a pair of black jeans and a light blue shirt.  He was, as usual, barefoot.  I was standing a few feet behind Him, and He was sitting in the grass, looking over His shoulder at me, looking up at me.

I examined His face, trying to commit the details of His present form to memory: He had blue eyes, and His long hair didn’t match up with either His eyebrows or the stubble that shadowed along His jaw, as both were several shades darker than the bleached blonde of His hair.  He had those familiar scars along His lips, that sarcastic grin…and He had facial piercings.

I couldn’t tell if He was going for ‘surfer dude’ or ‘suburban hipster.’

It struck me as strange, and I wondered if this was a sort of amusing game to Him; He kept tossing  His head as if He was striking poses for me, and yet He slyly commented that I should stop trying to mentally inventory His face, and actually talk to Him for a change.

He was right in a way; perhaps I was trying to mentally inventory His face.

But what struck me was that I was neither sleeping, dreaming, nor meditating, and yet, I was *seeing* Him.

And even more unusual, when I tried to dispel the vision, it stayed in my mind’s eye.

So, you would not want to see Me? He pouted. He sat up straight, clasped His knee to His chest, and tilted His head prettily.

Sit with Me.

But all I could think of was how graceful was the curve of His neck as He looked up at me, and how seeing Him, feeling His presence like that suddenly engendered specific thoughts in my head that left me to grin like a smitten fool.

Perhaps you are, He drawled, and what of that?

(Perhaps those sudden thoughts that I think should remain unspoken.)

~~~~

We talked for what seemed like two or three  hours, on that hillock overlooking the valley below.

I felt the rain on my face as He drew complex diagrams in the dark soft dirt.  Perhaps we talked of magic or runes or other matters entirely full of important points that could only be conveyed with the help of visual representations.

I’m not entirely certain of every thing that We discussed; I mostly remember His laughter and the steady humming patterns of His voice, along with those diagrams.

For once, I didn’t do much talking.

For once, I was simply content to listen to Him.

Talk less; listen more.

~~~

Another odd feature of  this interaction was that this discussion which seemed to have lasted for two hours…

actually only lasted 19 minutes.

From 9:00 to 9:19pm

Hmm.

 

 

 

Month for Loki, Day 29: Schism

Well, here we are, almost the end of July.

There were some posts that I’d meant to write that I never gotten around to actually finish writing much less posting, such as

* That much promised post on polyamory and jealousy that I’d left and come back to so often that its length has grown to over a dozen handwritten pages in my notebook.  The other day, I joked with a friend that if I ever cut it down enough to post it in its entirety, I’m still going to title it TL;DR

* A post concerning reluctance, runes, and shadow work.

and

*A requested follow-up concerning devotional tattoos.

As well, there were posts that I finished writing but I could not bring myself to post for various reasons.  These still sit in a digital folder on the hard drive, concerning:

* A particular example of how I often get pushed out of my comfort zones.  This was also by request.

* A personal background post about a spiritual re- connection that I’d made in April 2008 that followed the near-death experience of a family member.

* A poem of heiti and slippery metaphors.

One could say that I didn’t intend to post about this, but when I consider the particular requests and topics with which I’d begun the month, this topic is cake* in comparison.

What I’m about to write about is loads more pleasant and easier to discuss that some of the other requests.

~~~

Speaking of requests, I have started working on a series of drawings which are intended preparation for a much bigger project.

I love to draw, and I have been getting a lot of sketching practice, mostly with charcoals, pencil, and ink.

I was content to just keep on with the pencil sketches.  Patterns started developing with my sketching, and I even started putting aside the sketches that I was more than slightly pleased with to post on my DeviantArt account.

As you may have read in one of my earlier blog posts this month, I’ve long had a preference for drawing Loki.    About a year ago, this began to extend towards drawing His family too – I started drawing Angrboda, Hela, Fenrir, Sigyn,  and Sleipnir.  Some of my better drawings of these can be seen on my DA account.

But then I started noticing some synchronicity in what was coming up whenever I was working on new face and body studies to draw.

I’m a pretty avid people-watcher, and I started seeing a lot of ‘odd couplings’ during my walks:

– I’ve had several sightings of a pair of construction workers –  a much older man with a longish greying beard and a middle-aged redhead – working at the ever-increasing construction site that has sprung up two blocks from my home. (With the extension being added to an existing hospital, and a huge new entertainment complex being built all within a mile of my house, you can imagine that I may see a lot of construction workers, but still…)

– A large grey-black fluffy wolf-like dog being pursued by several children (which reminded me of this)

childreleasesfenrir

(above comic created by JellyVampire on DeviantArt.)

– A tall man walking along the sidewalk, who stopped me, and asked to pet my dog.  He had the most interesting light brown eyes that I’d ever seen.  His eyes appeared to be almost gold.

And then the dream-visual related to this song:

…which got me to thinking about Odin and Loki catching sight of each other on the huge plain at Vigrid where Ragnarok will be fought…

And I have been visualizing that scene every time I hear Schism ever since

And for some reason, this project, this vision is growing into more than a sketch.

Perhaps it will become a painting.

Not that I am well-versed in painting, but I’ll let you know how it goes.

Month for Loki, Day 13: More pieces that fell into place.

I was sketching Loki the other day, and it got me to thinking about how other aspects of Him were showing up in my life back when I was a kid, and yet how a lot of the pieces didn’t fall into place until 2012-2013 or so.

And I got to thinking about what I did after the SitD left (around age 9), and I was thinking about how I used to draw…a lot.  I briefly touched upon the subject of those drawings in a post on this blog back in early 2013, but I never wrote out my thoughts as I intended.

Here are those thoughts from my notebook…

(From 27 February 2013)

Something occurred to me this morning that I wanted to write about.

I had a brief visual/sensory upload – an unbidden visual/sensory upload while I was awake – of a man standing in front of me, holding my face in his hands. He is holding my face in his hands as if to make sure that I am making eye contact with him, and he is leaning forward, preparing to whisper into my left ear.

And this visual that I had made me wish that I could sketch out what I saw.  I mean, I can draw, but I am not so skilled that I can sketch things out as quickly or as deftly as I would like.  Rather I am more likely to get hung up on agonizing over every detail in my sketch so much so that I often lose the flow of the imagery and it fades quickly away before I’ve finished sketching it out.

So I was wishing that I could convey the shifting color of his eyes and the unshaven whiskers on his chin.  I wish that I could convey that I had looked down at his feet, and he was wearing dirty black canvas Chuck Taylors, with laces untied and loose.  He was wearing faded jeans, a t-shirt, and a shabby cotton overshirt.  I remember seeing the silver glint of an earring in his ear, and I noticed the way that his russet hair curled over the collar of his shirt, and how his hair turned a darker auburn toward the ends.  I remember noticing the smattering of freckles on the backs of his hands and along his fingers, and how his hands felt slightly calloused but pleasantly warm, holding my face.  I remember the trace of his grin, and the way that he slowly blinked and tilted his head, as those light-colored and impossibly bright eyes of his flickered with…satisfaction?  Relief? I’m not certain what word I am looking for but when I looked into his eyes, all I could think of was laughter and warmth and…home.

And I wish that I could have drawn that – the image of both my standing there with him and somehow standing outside of myself watching the exchange and the slow dawning of my recognition of who he was.

But I don’t have the skills.  I cannot sketch  this fast enough or well enough for you to see the vision as I saw it.

And I remembered.  I realize it now.  I am seeing a face that I have tried to draw before, and my heart skips a beat to think of it.  Can it be?

When I was younger — younger like 11 or 12 years old – I used to draw the face of a man that I did not know.  Or rather, he wasn’t anyone that solidly existed, that could easily be pinned down.  Sometimes I thought that I’d made him up, that he was simply an amalgam of pretty facial features — a young man with long, light-colored hair, with larger than average, strikingly bright-colored eyes, an aquiline nose, finely arched eyebrows, and a smile that I wasn’t sure if it was meant to be a flirtatious grin or a sarcastic smirk.   Most of the time I would draw him clean-shaven, but sometimes I would practice drawing facial hair  – usually a well-groomed goatee or a Van Dyke beard.  I’d always envisioned his ears being pierced (even though in the late 70’s/early 80’s, it was still considered rather bold and overly flamboyant for a man to have pierced ears, especially in the right ear…)

But nonetheless, this man had jewelry and his face was a mixture of traditionally masculine features (angular jaw, an Adam’s apple, whiskers/facial hair) and feminine features (long eyelashes, high cheekbones, thinly arched eyebrows).  He was, to put it mildly, a very pretty man, and I often drew him in either medieval clothing or casual, almost hippie style clothing.  I would always draw him into background settings, surrounded by woodlands, mountains or snow.

Over and over, I drew this man, thinking that someday I would fall in love with a man that had this face, or something close to it.  Sometimes I would find myself comparing someone’s chin or someone’s eyes or the color of their hair to this man’s face, this man’s features.  And I can tell you right now, that face, those features never changed.  No, this man had a particular face that I loved, but never could quite find in reality.   So I just kept drawing him, perfecting that face as it could be seen from a variety of angles, expressing a variety of moods.

My siblings used to tease me, that I was drawing my invisible friend.

Sometimes I would imagine him saying all sorts of clever, wonderful things to me, all the words that I’d hoped someday that somebody might say: what a friend, a lover, a confidante would say.  Sometimes I would write him into stories, and they were often stories about learning and doing various activities – things I hadn’t yet learned how to do, such as how to ride a horse, or swim, or climb a tree.  Sometimes I would walk in the woods, and I would imagine delightful, fantastic possibilities, almost visualizing that I might find him further along the path, sitting on a tree stump, or fishing in the river, or laying in the grass, watching the clouds.

I remember when I first experimented with smoking, oddly enough, it was easy to imagine that he smoked too.  He did seem to have this smoky, fragrant scent about him that was entirely his — though I could never draw his hands holding a cigarette very well (aside of the fact that hands are notoriously difficult to draw, especially hands holding things that cast light and shadow.)

I cannot deny that I drew him so often that it seemed as if I drew him into existence somehow.

He was not simply a masculine version of myself, unless he was perhaps a part of me that I wish that I could have been.

And for many years, I drew him just so I could see his face.

It hits me like a ton of bricks today to realize that whenever I draw Loki’s face, I am drawing him; I am drawing an old friend.

And whenever I visualize Loki, I realize that I am seeing him, the handsome face of my old friend.

And I never made that connection until today.

~~~

Hail to Loki, my sweetest friend ❤

 

~~~

A year or so after I wrote this notebook entry, I received a message from Him, that I suspect may have been intended to make me smile:

You didn’t make Me up; rather it is that I made *you* up.