bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: inspiration

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?

Song for Tuesday: Can’t Find My Way Home

 

This song has always given me a weird feeling.
I can’t exactly explain it – except to admit that the lyrics used to give me a strange tight discomfort in my chest, even though I’ve always found its melody hauntingly beautiful.

Was it a song about magic?
Or perhaps… a song about death?

When I was young, I did not know.

But I can’t help but recall that my older sister would often sing the lyrics – making sure to mimic the young Steve Winwood’s high pitched plaintive voice and making a mockery of the British way he pronounced can’t (like caunt) –  and I would nervously laugh and laugh, and beg her to stop.

Oh, the nervous laughter we shared over that song!

Back then, I didn’t know what it was about…

or what made me so uncomfortable about that song.

And I definitely did not know what it was about this song that invited so much ridicule from my older sister…. and yet…

And yet…

Some thirty-odd years later, we got to talking about the song recently…and we admitted to one another that we’d always liked that song.

Funny that, eh?

Perhaps we are getting old.

~~~

Nowadays, I have begun to speculate what the song is about.

Or rather, I have become certain of what that song means to me.

It is a song about surrender.

Perhaps what had made me uncomfortable about the song was its tone – which now strikes me as a tone of surrender:

“Come down off your throne and leave your body alone. Somebody must change
You are the reason I’ve been waiting so long – somebody holds the key
Well, I’m near the end and I just ain’t got the time
And I’m wasted and I can’t find my way home

Come down on your own and leave your body at home – somebody must change
You are the reason I’ve been waiting all these years – somebody holds the key
Well, I’m near the end and I just ain’t got the time
And I’m wasted and I can’t find my way home…”

-lyrics written and sung by Steve Winwood/Blind Faith

 

As a matter of fact, while it is still true that it might be a song about fear of death or old age, that plaintive chorus of I can’t find my way home never fails to fill me with this unshakeable sense of loneliness and loss.

Perhaps the song is an extended and powerful metaphor of loss.

Or

Is it about someone who is spiritually seeking?

As it was with the mystic poet Rabindranath Tagore who wrote:

Where roads are made I lose my way.

In the wide water, in the blue sky there is no line of a track.

The pathway is hidden by the birds’ wings, by the star-fires, by the flowers of the wayfaring seasons.

And I ask my heart if its blood carries the wisdom of the unseen way….

                                                                                  (Fruit Gathering, verse 6)

 

In that regard, this song makes me think of madness, perhaps even seidhr.

 

Rumi drunk insane

 

You are the reason I’ve been waiting all these years…
Somebody holds the key…

thekeythatopens

What’s new: Etsy Shop edition

Hello everyone!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Yule and Merry Solstice!

My family and I enjoyed a lovely low-key holiday, full of some much needed down-time.

~~~

And speaking of Loki

– and we were, weren’t we? –

I finally finished embroidering the corners of this altar cloth that I had been working on for about the last week or so:

   

This altar cloth was inspired by an ongoing conversation taking place in one of the Lokean groups I’m in concerning instances of Loki’s shapeshifting.

While many folks – including myself – associate Loki with foxes, snakes, spiders, and other various creatures, a lot of the discussion could be separated into discussion of  Loki’s shapeshifting according to the Lore(tm)

versus

the forms He takes during more UPG interactions (i.e visual forms taken during personal interactions with individual devotees during meditation, dreams, and mundane coincidences.)

Though while I’ve no doubt  that Loki as a God and a Jotun is capable of shapeshifting into whatever form that He wishes, this altar cloth was meant to depict four forms Loki has taken that are directly attested to in the Eddas and elsewhere:

  • that of a falcon (both in the Skáldskaparmál and the Þrymskviða of the Poetic Edda)
  • that of a fly (in the Sörla þáttr, a short story from the Flateyjarbók a 14th century Icelandic manuscript)
  • that of a mare (and later, in this form, giving birth to Sleipnir, as attested in the Hyndluljóð,  a portion of the Völuspá in the Poetic Edda, and in the Gylfaginning of the Prose Edda)
  • that of a salmon (the Lokasenna, the Poetic Edda)

~~~

Shapeshifter Loki Altar Cloth

This altar cloth is made of 100% white cotton, and black poly/cotton thread used to stitch each Celtic knot inspired design.

Orange-yellow ombre thread used as a bit of accent within the eye of each form, in reference to Geirrod’s assertion that Loki is recognizable in any form by the appearance of His eyes.

This altar cloth is slightly rectangular  – measuring a total of 19″x 22″ inches, and is completely machine washable and dryable.

Free shipping on all U.S orders

Price: $15.00 USD

Pandoramancy: Lost.

There is nothing wrong, and yet I have been rather socially-avoidant today, just fumbling through the hours.

It happens.

But then a notification came through my email: an old acquaintance of mine wrote a post on zir blog little while ago, and damned if it didn’t give me a bittersweet feeling of nostalgia:

You see, I too, have had Him come to me as Peter Pan, and yet oddly enough, I was an adult – with adult responsibilities such as a job, bills to pay, and a child of my own – so I didn’t understand the meaning of His usage of that particular face during His visitation at that time.

And yet…

I believe that it was a sign, a marker of sorts – meant to remind me of the part of me I hid, that part that I never really allowed to be- the part of me I’d chosen to tuck away from my everyday awareness.

Perhaps it is a cliche – the playful attitude, the sense of wonder – but I will not deny its importance.

I was a serious child with a vivid imagination and if anything, I’d always thought someday, I would come back to that part, I would allow myself one day…

To remember the boy who waited at the edge of those bad dreams…

The young man who lived in the woods

whose face I drew incessantly

whom I was half in love with

before I even could have known what love was.

As He was – and yet He was not – Peter Pan, but it was not until I realized much later that the face of Peter Pan was a convenient and rather apt metaphor for what I had pushed away from myself.

Come find Me, He said.

You know where.

Month for Loki, Day 11: I love Your face.

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

First up, is DeviantArtisan Toradh‘s piece, titled ‘Mr. L’:

mr_l_by_toradh-d7ti9wi

 

When I first saw this, I immediately thought of Loki – and that is most likely because its subject does closely resemble how I’ve seen Loki a few times in the past.

As well, I have been known to refer to Himself as Mr. L — so you can imagine my surprise when I read Toradh’s description of this piece to discover that this was not intended to depict Loki at all, but rather a progressive metal/rock musician named Arjen Anthony Lucassen – and Toradh is a fan of his music.

So the fact that one of the main reasons that I was drawn to this piece was simply because of the ‘Mr. L’ title does strike me as an interesting coincidence 🙂

Meanwhile, this is actually how Toradh depicts Loki:

all_the_world_ablazed_by_toradh-d5dif6p

(See?  Not even remotely similar…but nonetheless, this is another piece of artwork that I love from Toradh as well, titled All the World Ablaze.)

~~~

Here is another piece from DeviantArt

lokipants

 

According to the artist, tkpants, this piece — (oddly) titled  Pants ’09 —  *is intended to be Loki*

What I like most about this artwork is how the artist has conveyed that sly, side-long glance of His, the positioning of His hands, the tousled hair, and His sharp almost elven features.

(Whenever I doodle Loki’s face, the result is often inspired by this artwork particularly because this was likely one of the first images that I added to my DeviantArt folder of Loki art, and I am just as delighted and awed by its simplicity as I was three years ago when I joined DA.)

Speaking of inspirations, here is another piece of Loki artwork that I fell in love with back when I first went searching for more modern artistic renditions of Loki:

lokiswaypiotrecieslinski

This is Loki’s Way by Piotr Cieslinski.

This!  Now this piece is so full of delightful details that I just can’t even…

I love that Loki is lighting a Lucky Strike cigarette.

I love Loki is depicted sporting a Mjölnir pendant.

I love the fact that He is carrying a teddy bear in His backpack.

I love how the runes are embossed on the silencer of the rifle.

I think it’s a sweet touch that He has  ‘I ❤ Norway’ pin on His jacket, even though the artist is Polish.

This artwork was commissioned for the initial cover for the first novel in a series of novels titled Klamca Loki, by Jakub Cwiek about 5 years ago.

While the book was considered a rather disappointing read by many reviewers, if one does a Google image search of Klamca Loki, one cannot help but notice that there is an amazingly wide variety of  Loki artwork inspired by this particular piece of Cieslinski’s, with Loki imagined as some sort of badass assassin with gorgeous rockstar hair dressed in black leather, motorcycle boots, and carrying lots of high-powered weaponry.

In that, much like Marvel’s Loki, I think this piece was the inspiration for a lot of the ‘Loki in black leather’ imagery that one can find on the Internet today.

And to be honest, much like Marvel!Loki, I don’t think that Loki minds at all that so many have become inspired to envision Him in that way either 😉

~~~

Hail to Loki – Trickster, God and Rock Star ❤