bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: sie beiden

Some thoughts for Wednesday.

(otherwise known as ‘On Loki and Odin: A Personal Perspective’)

I’ve come to realize that Odin and Loki are much more alike than they are different.

…and yet if you are in any way familiar with my journey, you may recall that I spent at least four years of the last eight of my devotional practice

rejecting Odin.

Perhaps my reaction was borne of listening to hype/gossip of others – including some Odinspeople themselves – who painted Odin as a stern taskmaster, a grumpy Old Man, a mystical instructor who is impossible to please much less work with…and yes, I believed all those things about Odin.

(Perhaps, in that regard, I was rejecting many aspects of the Work with a capital W.)

But I soon realized that I rejected Odin with the same hypocrisy that some Asatruar reject Loki:

He is untrustworthy.

He is impossible.

He is a monster who is out for the ruin/destruction of the order of my life.

He exists to cause (me) pain.

And thus, I did not call upon Him…. ever.

But He showed up anyway.

Much like Loki, Odin didn’t seem to take to being banished or ignored.

(Perhaps it may have energized Him even more to haunt me….who knows?)

Sometimes I have wondered if He fed upon my rage and anger.

It definitely seemed as if He enjoyed my stubborn reluctance to engage Him.

One particular Odins-man remarked to me that

perhaps the reason why Odin seemed so relentless

was due to His nature as the consummate Huntsman:

How could I expect that He would not hunger for the thrill of the chase?

~~

You see, I dreamt of Odin consistently beginning in 2011 or so.

He was at the center of many a nightmare I’d had of being pursued through the darkness.

Whether I had dreamt of the unease of walking home alone, only to be followed by a shadowy stranger

to the feeling that I was being actively hunted as frightened prey,

I dreamt of this…terrifying being.

During one particularly repetitive nightmare, I dreamt that I was a child again, playing hide and seek in the New England woods outside my childhood home.

Though in this situation, there was this sly aggressive adult stranger who was ‘It’, and somehow he could always convince the others in the dream to help him find me.

And what always followed was a pulse-pounding chase – with the help of my own childhood companions! – and whenever he would come upon my hiding-place, he would make it abundantly clear that he sought to kill me.

He would then order me to run for my life, and so I would run…. night after night.

At one point, I realized I must have had this dream nearly a dozen times.

Though one night, I did something different:

As usual, I was in the midst of the usual terrifying nightmare spent running in terror…and I felt exhausted.

Tired of running. Tired of hiding. Tired of trying to outwit and outmaneuver him throughout various terrifying situations.

I felt resigned to my death.

I begged him to finish me quickly.

Just get it over with, I’d muttered.

However, in response, he spat on me, before he strode away.

And thankfully soon after, those nightmares stopped.

~~~

Though something strange happened next.

A Being whom I’d wanted to assume was Loki began to appear in my dreams with many different faces and guises.

I dreamt of a clever Doctor.

Twice, I dreamt of a ferryman.

An unfamiliar but graciously attentive bridegroom.

A laughing farmer who labored in the fields,

who would not enter my house unless I intentionally invited him inside.

A young blond man with eyes that appeared to be made of glass

who insisted that I refrain from looking too intently at his face

who wanted to talk to me about runes!

Perhaps I had been foolish

enough to have convinced myself that

if this or that face was not Loki’s

then the face of that stranger had to have belonged to Freyr,

or Thor

or even Baldur.

Who was that laughing blond gentlemen with the courtly demeanor, with those strange blurry eyes, and a voice like honeyed silk?

I never dared assume that that Being could be Odin.

And what’s more, whenever Loki would come to me in dreams and meditative visions

to ask me if I could bring myself to engage with Odin – I would immediately and emphatically refuse.

Perhaps you already have, He’d chuckle, even though the concept of engaging with Odin horrified me.

I was certain that if I had engaged with Odin, I would have known it.

(After all, I was confident that all those years of nightmares had taught me that Odin’s presence had always been signified by that familiar onrush of fear and the rise of nausea in my body.)

Until I started to wonder…..

Had I?

And six years later, here we are.

The Forgotten Offering.

It was well after midnight and I was hungry.
While I don’t know what it was that I wanted, I went to the refrigerator anyway.
When I opened the drawer beneath the produce drawer, I caught a whiff of the musky scent of….old blood.

That’s all I could think of –  blood – meaty, dark, metallic.

Rummaging through the contents of the drawer I found the source of the smell beneath the poly bag of oranges, a few applesauce snack cups, and a half-eaten Hershey’s chocolate bar.

That scent was coming from a bag containing a cold loose lump of something…meat?

I peered into the bag to see a double Ziploc bag, with a date scrawled in black Sharpie marker.

Two hearts.

Chicken hearts, to be exact, wrapped in beige butcher’s paper.

I held the bag in my hands, looking at the date in disbelief.

Two weeks ago, possibly three – had it been that long ago?

While the expiration date hadn’t passed, I realized I had forgotten.

Those hearts were meant to be an offering to Them.

I thought back to the day that I had written out the ritual that was to include them as an offering….but judging by the scent of them,  I doubted that they would be acceptable offering now.

I stood at the counter, feeling the slow pang of remorse joining the insistent rumble of my stomach.

Empty.  You must be empty…

I felt empty.

Half-heartedly, I peeled an orange, meticulously removing the pith as I considered the packet of hearts laying on the counter.

The orange was ripe and sweet, a delicious leftover from Yule.

As I stood at the counter, eating the orange, I thought about my father.

I thought about how, when I was  a child, he’d told me that at one time, to be able to eat an orange at Yuletide was an especial treat – it was a gift and a luxury in itself to be able to enjoy an orange in the winter-time.

‘Oranges were expensive in December. Even from Florida,’ he’d said.

To eat an orange in December was a big deal.

I smile inwardly at the fact that I live in Florida nowadays…where, as one might imagine, oranges are plentiful and pretty much available year-round.

However, it occurs to me how often certain things can be taken for granted, especially when they are always available.

But the fact that oranges are always available doesn’t make them any less sweet.

Then, with the taste of oranges still on my tongue, my mind wandered back towards Them, and thoughts on gifts and offerings to Them.

I looked at the packet of chicken hearts, recalling the special trip I’d made to get them, and the particular ritual I’d written to offer them.

To give what is special and what’s best is all well and good, yes…

…and yet, I’d put off too long in the offering them, hadn’t I?

What good are they now that I waited too long?

What was I waiting for?

I don’t know.

The chicken hearts were for a special occasion ritual for late December…that, unfortunately, I hadn’t followed through on actually doing.

And indeed, what good is a ritual that one doesn’t do?

What good are intentions without follow through?

It occurred to me that I could have given Them a ritual in December and offered Them something else.

Anything else given with mindful intent would have served in the place of…not doing and not offering anything at all.

Heck, I could have offered Them oranges in December.

I reflected upon what I have offered and what I have taken for granted the past year, every year, any year.

I learn. I forget.

I noticed the sharp aroma of orange peel lingered on my fingers, as I dropped the handful of peels and the hearts into the garbage disposal.

I shall do better.

I resolve to be more mindful of myself and the gifts given to me

And I resolve to become more mindful of Them and in my offerings to Them.

Milestone.

About two weeks ago, I celebrated a personal and spiritual milestone.

It has been one year since I welcomed Odin into my life.

I say ‘welcomed’ because…well, if you know me, you’d remember that I’d been fighting against working with Him for years.

At any rate, in celebration of that, I’d like to share a story with you – involving Odin,  a prayer card,  and my poor excuse for neglecting to leave Etsy feedback:

10 January 2018

Today, something occurred to me regarding my attitude towards working with Odin.

Even though it’s been a year – today! – since I welcomed Odin back into my life (it’s a long story!) I realized that I’m not going to get very far if I don’t entirely let go of that default setting/thought under which I’d operated  for the four years prior to 10 January 2017…and that concerns what was once my belief that

Odin is an [redacted but rather common obscenity]

It’s getting in my way; it’s getting in the way of my progress.

~~~

But I suppose progress is being made, because there’s this Odin prayer card that’s been sitting on my altar since this past July.

It’s a nice picture of Odin, isn’t it?

The artwork is by W. McMillan.

But what I’m going to write about now about concerns the prayer to Odin (written by Galina Krasskova) on the other side of this prayer card….and how powerful it has become for me to say it aloud.

I want to admit to you all that when I first purchased this prayer card, I bought it for the artwork; I hadn’t considered the prayer on the back of it at all.

Funny how that is, because it’s a pretty powerful one….but I quickly realized that I didn’t feel comfortable saying it aloud.

Words are important.

And the words of a prayer, the words of an oath are even more so.

I didn’t think that I could bring myself to make that kind of oath – to Odin.

So I would simply read the words – in pieces, and never all at once! – and I would silently marvel over how beautiful they were, and how evocative of Him.

But I could not – I would not – read them aloud.

It sounds foolish, I know.

Observe:

Prayer to Odin

Galina Krasskova

All-Father, I ask Your blessings.

Breathe into me,

Oh God of gainful counsel.

Nourish me, Wish-Giver

that I might know You more fully and well.

I hail You, God of wisdom, cunning and inspiration.

I hail You, ruthless in Your desires.

I hail You, God of single-minded hunger.

Be welcome in my life, my heart, my home.

Master of the Tree, I sacrifice to You:

my fears, my doubts, my hesitations.

Open me up to the knowledge of things holy

Wisest Lord, open me up to You.

I will seek You with the fervor

with which You sought the runes.

Always will I honor You.

Be my mead, be my joy,

be the prize at the end of my seeking.

Hail, Odin, Hail, All-father

Hail, Lord of Hosts.

~~~

Reading these words, I felt afraid because the words struck me as an oath that was beyond what I was comfortable giving to Odin.

But as I’ve often said – and I still believe it is true – that whatever Odin wants, He wants all of it. He wants all that can be given. There is nothing half-assed about Odin – nothing. And that was the essence of my awe – and my fear – of Him: I am still both terrified and awed by His single-minded determination…but by the same token, He demands that His devotees be as single-minded as He is –  about their desires, their goals, everything that they are. He wants His devotees to know themselves, to push themselves and to sacrifice themselves to … themselves, and to their purpose and to their goals, whatever it may be.

He is similar to a relentless general that way:

Honor Me by being the best that you can be in My name, for Me.

One of the most profound things I’ve ever heard said about Odin is that He will never ask you to do something He hasn’t done, or rather, something He would be unwilling to do.

Think about it: Odin hung Himself for nine days and nine nights.

Perhaps it was to discover what death was, or to find out where Death takes oneself – He was willing to metaphorically

if not literally

die .

He didn’t even spare Himself in His quest for knowledge, for that paradox of experience, for Divinity itself.

Perhaps He had to know, He had to experience that situation first-hand – you gotta admit that’s pretty f-ing crazy and yet unerringly logical – if one wants to know every nook and cranny of an experience, they are going to have to go through the experience themselves.

There is no avoiding it.

For me, that is the essence of His fury.

Odin is relentless, insatiable,  mysterious, and multi-faceted.

There is only one other God that I know of Who is as insatiable, as relentless and as multi-faceted as Odin

and that is Loki.

So it is no mystery to me as to why They’d be drawn to each other

Nor is it a surprise to me that They would have such a powerful and profound connection between Them.

~~~

But nonetheless, I am ready.

Month for Loki, Twelfth: Love You Madly

For the past few years, this song was on my Loki playlist.

But lately, I have come to realize that this song could easily be evocative of both of Them.

Now I don’t know so much about kissing

but I do know that I have

(at one time or another)

sat across the table from either of Them

wishing I could run.

So.

That being said

 if Loki requests that I welcome Odin as I’ve welcomed Him

Then I might as well accept that I have gone a bit mad, eh?

Because I do want to love Them madly.

(Perhaps ‘madly’ might be the only way one could love Them.)

Words fail.

~~~

As well Perfect Drug is starting to have Blood Bros overtones too…

O.o

Month for Loki, Tenth: German lesson.

So, in case I hadn’t mentioned, I have been trying to learn German over the last six months.

Though as much as I have tried, according to the fluency paradigm of the application I’m using, I’ve only reached about 35% fluency and that supposedly corresponds to a vocabulary of approximately 800 words.

Only 800 words.*

In my waking life, I find myself translating simple phrases that I read or hear into German, as the program I use encourages this practice as it promotes intuitive learning.

Nonetheless, something odd has begun to occur: These basic German phrases have also begun to seep into my subconscious, as certain words and phrases have crept in during several of my daily meditations and have been popping up in a few of my dreams lately.

Thus, I was half-tempted to title this post:

Was sagt Er? (What does He say?)

Case in point, I had an intense meditation the other day, wherein this phrase kept echoing in my head:

Schauen sie mich an

(Look at me.)

Now that’s a phrase that I knew, as I’d been studying a unit on imperatives (ie; commands) last week, so I didn’t think much of it, and I mentally pushed it away, and continued to focus on my breathing.

However, that phrase continued to surface throughout my meditation, so I treated it as typical distracting mind-chatter, and I tried my best to accept that it was going to keep floating through my head for the duration.

But I found it difficult to focus after a while.

 

And then last night, I had a dream I was talking to a man in my dream – who had been speaking English -until suddenly he said:

Was wirst du mir beiten?**

Not once, but twice.

Now that immediately brought to mind the phrase I use to refer to Them – sie beiden – so I stopped, and began to examine the phrase itself, trying to translate it, wondering if I was hearing/understanding what I heard…

But thinking of ‘beiden’ made no sense:

Was wirst du mir beiden?

Which, off the top of my head, I was translating to mean: ‘What will you both to me?’

I was confused.

I said to the person, Was sagst du? (What are you saying?)

To which the person responded:

Wieso rennst du von mir?

Which I was pretty certain was

Why are you running from me?

O.o

~~~

* I feel a bit disappointed in myself, as a vocabulary of 800 words strikes me as being a rather small amount.  I would think that I would be more fluent after six months of study.

**  When I awoke this morning, I plugged the phrase ‘Was wirst du mir beiden?‘ into Google translate, it suggested that it was not ‘beiden‘ but ‘beiten‘ which is from the verb, ‘to offer’ – therefore, Was wirst du mir beiten? translates to ‘What will you offer me?’