bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: keeping the promises

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?

-I saw myself, my younger self – 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?

I saw that the other Heather *is* bound in fetters.

Somehow I sensed that they were 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.

So 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 – easily 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 its back and around and around its tail.

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

As Fox licked my face, I asked if it 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 its 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).

(I wondered if he had said ‘no’ too.)

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

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.)

She then told me that She can see far above and, like Fox, She would be 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, though the candles were labeled as having a 4 hour burn time, 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 the 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 saw the word: 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 my situation, in my 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.

Then, 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.

Their message for me 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 looked up to see 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 using 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 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.)

 

 

 

Pertinent, but possibly not current.

I suppose that I should point out that I did do a little personal ritual last night.  As described in a friend’s post, I asked Loki to come to me in whatever face that He chose.

I promised that I wouldn’t question it, and I promised that I wouldn’t dispute it, so here I am on what was delivered.

I have been told that I am with-holding.  I am told that I refuse to be generous.

I find the most profound insult in being labeled selfish, in being considered self-centered.

I don’t like to be selfish, and I balk at being called self-centered, but sometimes I am.

Madness is a kind of selfishness.  Madness has a certain air of self-centeredness.

Or at least, it does for me.

I went insane in 1997.  I think that I may have always been, but I received a diagnosis of Bipolar Axis I – later changed to Bipolar Axis II – in 1997.  The axis never mattered to me because what followed that diagnosis was an intense 3 years of self-examination in my life, broken into 50 minute hours that occurred three, sometimes four times a week.

And I hated every minute of it.  Therapy felt like a terrifying exposure in front of a stranger -an educated stranger whom I was paying to stand emotionally naked in front of  – a session with an inquisitor for no reason but to punish and perpetuate the theory that I needed to learn how to fit in with a world that I didn’t fit into, that I never fit into.  I had to learn how to deal with others, but mostly, it felt like I was learning to sublimate myself.

It’s funny when I consider that I felt more feeling in my madness than I did in the 26 years that I had lived up to that point.

I suppose that I would have been considered mad as a child too, always being told how strange I was, how bad I was, how I had failed to be what was expected.  There was definitely a disorder to my life, to my thinking – even if no one was calling it bipolar back then – that’s what I felt was reality.  My struggle arose out of this desire to not be ‘disordered’, to not be separate.

To this day, I still feel separate.  It is still a struggle at times to convince myself that if I am myself, if I show others who I really am, I can still be loved.

I’ve no doubt that my husband thinks that I am mad, crazy, out of my mind.  But I believe that there are concessions that he’s willing to make until he gets tired of making them.  But, to take a page from my madness, it is likely me who will tire of making concessions first.  When we get tired of making concessions for each other, we’ve told each other, we have promised to move along.  We have promised to separate.

But I am nothing if not determined.  Some would call that loyal.

I know that we will separate someday.  I know that I will be alone.

Because we live as we die – alone.

It is interesting to consider that concept now that I’ve written it there.  Did I ever believe that?  Do I believe that now?

Because, even as a child, I felt that no one should be alone in death.  I used to wander around the most decrepit sections of New England cemeteries, inwardly noting dates and reading the names of those longest dead.  Sometimes I would simply recite their names aloud, but mostly, I would whisper greetings to them, because it hurt me to think that they may have been forgotten.  As far back as I can recall, I thought it the worst of all to be a person that had been forgotten, who had been ignored, simply because time had passed.

While it might be hardly surprising that I am estranged from my family today, I  imagine that it could also be perhaps that I was a little girl that was feeling somewhat forgotten, possibly even ignored by those who claimed to love me, albeit often dysfunctionally.

I have trust issues.  I have abandonment issues.  And the madness that grows from the pit of my soul was screaming to be seen:

See me! Hear me!   My emotions were a whirlwind, a storm that had been brewing for a long, long time.  My anger was a beast in chains that was demanding for release.  This is why the story of Fenrir appealed to that part of me.

There was nothing wrong with Fenrir; He is what He is.  There isn’t any shame in what He represents.  He is Madness.  He is emotion unchecked, hunger unfulfilled, the forces of Nature out of control.   He is Nature itself, the nature of all that we attempt to control.