Lokean Swamp Witch: Trickster-Induced Mysticism and Mayhem

Diary of a Lokean mystic.

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Heather Freysdottir

Heather Freysdottir

Lokean nun, writer, swamp witch. Heather is a Pagan monastic, writer, editor, and mother. She has written and edited for a variety of publications and social media, including science journals, romance novels, and technology blogs. She also holds degrees in education and speech-language pathology, and has a passion for historical linguistics.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Podcast: What is a Godspouse?

Wanna hear what my voice sounds like? I am now hosting a podcast for the Raven Faerie, called Raven About Metaphysics. The inaugural episode is on Godspousery, and Seren Lebannen of Bonfire at Midnightis my guest, so there's some Trickster talk in general along with an overview of our experiences.

I would like to reiterate that most Lokispeople are notgodspouses, because I feel like in joking about how many wives He has, that I don't want to give the impression that anyone *has* to have that type of relationship with Him. There is something about His wives being vocal though, myself included. I don't have a scientific reason for it, but certainly He lights a fire in the head and in the heart, and that is why I talk about Him.

Speaking of Loki, I'm sure some of you are wondering when the inevitable Loki podcast will happen. I haven't scheduled a date yet, but I have a couple ideas of who I'd like to invite to talk - probably someone who is NOT a godspouse and who is reconstructionist, or at least more reconstructionist than me, just for a variety of perspectives on Himself.

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Hate Is Not a Heathen Value

On April 13, 2014, a white supremacist perpetuated a hate crime on a Jewish Community Center. Some mass media outlets have attempted to identify the shooter as a Heathen, but I'd like to take a moment to reiterate that his values (or rather, his lack thereof) are not shared by Heathenry or Northern Tradition Paganism at large. The Troth has already issued a statement on using the Northern Tradition as a justification for hate crimes and bigotry.  And there are Heathens who feel that words are not enough, and have organized a fundraiser to help the families affected by the shooting.

Y'all know that I don't primarily identify as a Heathen, and there are some reasons for that. One is that I don't consider my practice reconstructionist in nature, and that's a large one, but truth be told, the problematic issue of hate groups claiming Heathen identity is also part of why I back away from most Heathen groups. The Troth is the ONLY  Heathen org that I've ever joined because it has explicit, defined mission statements that are committed to racial diversity, "Membership in the Troth is open to all who seek to know and honor the Gods, ancestors, and values of the pre-Christian Germanic traditions, regardless of gender, race, nationality, or sexual orientation."

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  • Amoret BriarRose
    Amoret BriarRose says #
    Well said!
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Well said, and heartily agreed. (Other than that I still identify as Heathen/Rodnova, because that's the historic and modern term

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Loki the Horned God

Today I'd like to present some meta thoughts on Loki’s depiction, spurred by an interesting conversation on my FB about Loki being likened to a Satanic figure in the Norse pantheon, and me mulling over how this is actually a backhanded compliment. I could rant on how Lu/Satan is unjustly vilified, but that’s a rant that is probably better handled by an actual Luciferian. I am not an expert on Lucifer, but the vilification of horned depictions of Gods is relevant to my interests.

image

Horned!Loki on the Kirkby Stone.

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  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    Aside from the problematical identification of those images to either side of his head on the stone as horns (they are both too lo
A Decent Proposal: Pagan Social Services

Friends, Romans, heathens, pagans, countrymen and women, lend me your ears. From time to time, many of us bemoan bad behavior in our communities, but today I would like to put forth a serious question: what would you like to do about it?

I know that we are scattered and often many of us are isolated or solitary in our practices. But faith should bring us solace in our grief and a network of support when we are in need. What can or should we do to facilitate this?

We do have charity, and there are people doing admirable things on the local level, like Alley Valkyrie in Eugene, Be the Light Chapel, or Kyrja Withers’ organization, Hands of the Goddess here in Central Florida. And yes, Kyrja still does open and active community work as a Pagan, despite hate crimes perpetuated against her and her family.  Hands of the Goddess also has a South Georgia chapter. The Maetreum of Cybele provides shelter for abused women, despite harassment from local authorities.

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  • Heather Freysdottir
    Heather Freysdottir says #
    Thank you all for your support; for now I've started a Pinterest board for the social services that I'm already aware of at http:/
  • Kimberly Reeves
    Kimberly Reeves says #
    http://www.pagansinneed.org is our food pantry. We are just local to SE Mich but I'd love to hook up with other groups for ideas.
  • Art and Spirit Guild
    Art and Spirit Guild says #
    OMG this is so awesome. Our local community leaders really want to provide services to Pagans in need but we have a difficult tim

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I was chatting with some friends about the discussions about Pagan leadership. There's a conference planned for hard polytheists, and Shauna Aura Knight is writing a series on community building that's good reading (and thanks to Jo for pointing it out to me!). I'm really happy that constructive dialogue is starting up, and I hope that it yields community building and infrastructure in the Pagan and Heathen communities. When I think about my own strengths and weaknesses as a priestess/gythia, and what I'd like to leave as a legacy to my community twenty or fifty years from now, I don't want bickering with monotheists, or other Pagans to be that legacy. I'd like to build a support system for our faith.

Some of that comes from my background as a teacher and speech path; one of the goals in working for ChildFind was to assess both child and family's needs and connect them to government and private resources that would help them improve their lives. What we deeply need, IMO, is the same kind of training and access to resources, because when people seek spiritual counseling and connection, they're often hurting and in need of healing. I am not a healer, but I can help direct someone to the type of healer that they need. Of course, this type of work involves knowing yourself (and oh Gods, we talk about that alllll the time, but HOW do you know yourself?) - that's heavy duty metacognitive work. Just to pick on myself a moment, because modeling often helps people figure out their own processes:

Strengths:
Creative
Knowledgeable about the resources in my area (public and private)
Adaptable
Intelligent
Passionate
Have articulated personal monastic/ministerial ethics, ideals, and goals

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New Years Resolutions

I hope that 2014 finds you and your loved ones well. I don't usually post New Years' resolutions because I find them silly, but to my surprise, this year I actually have one. I'm cutting as much plastic use out of my life as I can. I live in Florida, as y'all know, and it's a peninsula, so even inland, you're never really far from the ocean. And my vaettir care about what goes on there; Florida has been above and under water off and on over time as glaciers have risen and receded. I have white Florida beach sand in my yard, even this far inland. Plastics are polluting our oceans and killing animals.

When you watch clips like this, you can get overwhelmed by it all. The Pacific Garbage Patch is HUGE - what can any one of us do? Well, after some reflection, I've decided that I know what I can do. I can crochet. I'm making bags to give to friends and loved ones - I love how pretty and stylish the original pattern is, but it calls for a CD to be placed in the bottom, which I'm not going to do, because I'm going to mod it so that it can be folded into itself and tucked inside a purse or other carry-all for convenience. Most people I know have reusable bags but they leave them at home or in the car. Another thing I'm going to do is cut down on plastic bottle use. In the Florida heat, damn near everyone buys a cold bottled beverage, but those bottles are mostly plastic, and many are not recycled, and indeed many of them are dangerous to reuse. A friend of mine suggested trying a Brita Bottle as a reusable water bottle, because even though it's plastic, one plastic container that cleans water is better than many throwaway ones. I'm considering that just because I've tried aluminum bottles in the past and I don't have good luck with them; they have no real insulation and your water goes from cool to outside air temperature in no time flat. And also, no filtration. I'm open to suggestions, and will be experimenting, but anything has to be better than tossing more and more plastic bottles into the ocean.

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  • Liza
    Liza says #
    This is one of the bottles I use. Easy to clean, they'll replace parts if needed... and insulated. While I don't live in 80bazill

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On Offerings

I suppose I should weigh in on the offerings and consumption of said offerings. I give Loki a fair amount of food and drink. He enjoys the extravagant gesture, but having spent time starving in a cave (still starving, since time is not linear for Him and everything is happening, has happened, will happen) He doesn't really care for the wasting of food in my personal experience. Furthermore, my ancestors, particularly the ones who lived through the Great Depression, would have a coronary if I dumped lots of food regularly. If I have an excess of food, or more of a meal than I can eat, there is always someone who is hungry in my local community.

I have one exception to this: alcohol. I feed Loki more booze than I could ever consume (or should). So that gets poured out when He's done with it. It's likewise for other Deities that I offer alcohol to as well.

And it's different for my vaettir as well; I have fruit bearing trees on my property, so I feed them, because they feed me, but what I give them is often what I cannot eat, like excess fat that wouldn't do my arteries good but is a rich treat for them. They don't require that very often though, and in truth I find that they prefer that I behave in more ecologically friendly ways - recycling, finding ways to pollute less, etc.

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Beauty and Being Seen
"Beauty is like an ingredient we all have. You have yours, I have mine, in different measures according to what’s treasured in our society, or what eyes are seeing us. No one else can carry your beauty. Society turns against us if we use it to our advantage, we are cunning or deceitful. Its just an asset, like any other. Assets are meant to be taken advantage of, no?

If you don’t believe that you are beautiful, I ask you how can you trust your impression of yourself? You are unable to see yourself entirely at once. You can see parts, you can see pieces in a mirror, you can see photos. How can you trust your flawed description of yourself as “not beautiful” when you can’t even look thoroughly? How can you correctly define yourself as “not beautiful” when your definition of beauty came from modeling agents, or the media, or your crush who only liked athletic blonds?

Let’s widen our definition of Beauty, shall we? Let’s define it for ourselves. Let’s divorce it from its cruel spouse: Perfection."

via Beauty Politics | The Lure of Beauty.

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Thanksgiving and Food Insufficiency

Hello all, I know I'm supposed to be NaNo-ing, and I'll be getting back to that shortly, but I wanted to talk to y'all a moment about food insufficiency. My local UU is reaching out and starting a long term community project dedicated to urban homesteading via sustainable ag.

Humorous cartoon aside, I'd like to talk to you about why the Kwanmasyulemakkah creep is not my thing. Thanksgiving is a time to think about what you have in abundance, and about how you can help those who don't have as much. Every where I look in the media, i see hating on poor people - they're lazy, they're unmotivated, they want a free ride blah blah blah. This is so much bullshit. I've been poor, y'all, arguably perhaps by choice, but I remember well the year after I was raped. I was afraid to go home. I refused to participate in family rituals like Thanksgiving or Christmas because my parents wanted to know what was wrong with me, and I couldn't tell them. All I could picture was them telling me, "you invited him into your apartment, Heather? What did you think was going to happen?" Yes, I was a screwed up kid, and to my parents' credit, that is not how the conversation actually went when I finally told them what happened years later, after my child was born. I think zie was two when I finally did tell about the rape.

But the year that the rape happened, I didn't tell anyone at all, and I didn't go home, and I didn't ask for money if I needed it. I paid rent and rolled pennies for ramen noodles, and I walked to a food pantry and sometimes peanut butter and carrots was my dinner. I didn't have a child yet, and so the choice of pay rent or buy food was a pretty clear cut one - pay rent and then eat what I could scrounge up. I can't say that I exactly remember what ended that period in my life, but I do remember that my grandparents figured out what was going on and started visiting me in the rather rough neighborhood where I lived and brought me food, and somehow or another Grandpa talked me into coming home to visit after I got pregnant.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Freysdottir, I second that, and appreciate your willingness to discuss being a victim of assault. The patriarchal cult of fem
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for the insights as your personal story intersects our larger story.

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Bridal mysticism and community

It's October, which is a special month for Himself and me, and the artwork featured in this post is commission is a gift for Him for a personal festival. The artist is Tab Cole, and her deviantArt is here: http://www.ladysaishan.deviantart.com/gallery/ if you'd like to see more of her work.

In other news (?) there seems to be yet another godspouse controversy, which has generated posts here and there. I'm not sorry to say that I've been engaged in other activities and don't know what started people ranting. As someone who gets asked a lot about godspousery, I'll say this:

Relationships can and will vary, even if you're married to the same Deity as someone else. Most spouses do some kind of Work for their Beloveds, but Work is still (usually) secondary to the relationship, and most of the important stuff happens off camera. People don't see most of what happens between Loki and me, and we're not unusual in that respect. Common sense moment: you don't see most of my other relationships, or much of them either. Y'all don't know my best friend's real name. Or what I gave my mother for her birthday. It's the Internet. I share what I think is important, and I keep to myself what I think is too personal to share.

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Covering as a subversive feminist act

Covering and modest/plain dressing can be an act of subversive feminism. Hear me out, because I'm sure some people's knee jerk reaction to this is gonna be "I didn't come this far to get sl*t shamed and told to cover up." I'm a feminist myself and I'm not a fan of sl*t shaming either; people that do that can f right off as far as I'm concerned. So for me, the right to veil or engage in modest dressing has nothing to do with the body being impure, or other such puritanical BS; it has everything to do with a person's prerogative to show as much or as little of their body as they want. I'm using "they" here because men can be feminists too, and I know a gentleman who is participating in veiling as a protest against laws restricting a woman's right to cover.

The Second Annual Covered In Light Dayis tomorrow, Friday, September 20th. I personally cover for ritual, but tomorrow I'll cover all day in support of those who choose veil and dress modestly, because bodily autonomy is a feminist principle, and because I am the sole arbiter of how much or how little of my body you see, no matter where or when.

If you'd like to join in, but you aren't sure where to start, here's a video on tying a tichel-style veil, which is how I usually veil when I'm covering.

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Warriors Against Witch Hunts: An Interview with Damon Leff

I’m talking today with Damon Leff, the director of SAPRA and International Coordinator of Touchstone Advocacy, a group that fights against witch-hunts in Africa. The Facebook Witch Burning pages mentioned in the linked articles originated in Africa, where many accused of witchcraft die brutal, horrifying deaths by stoning and burning.

HF: Recently Witches and Pagans and the Wild Hunt featured articles on Facebook pages that advocated witch hunting. In many western countries, Pagans face harassment for their beliefs, but their lives are (usually) not endangered. How does this differ in African countries? Are there other countries where Pagans’ lives are threatened for their beliefs or practices?

DL: In South Africa and other African countries generally, accusations of witchcraft and violent witch-hunts are an almost daily occurrence. The victims of accusation are however not actual or real Witches at all, and none of the victims have ever self-identified as Pagan or pagan. The victims of accusation and human rights abuses who survive have never self-identified as Witches. This holds true for every country in Africa.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    This work is so important. Thanks for interviewing one of my heroes.
  • Damon Leff
    Damon Leff says #
    Thank you Heather.
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    This is very important stuff. Much more important than whether individual contributors to W&P decide to withdraw their blogs due t

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I have been quiet here lately because I've had local work going on, and I've been doing self-work as well. Shadow work is interesting, and mine has dug up something that I kind of knew, but I didn't realize just how much one particular word has run my life: lazy. There's a lot of emphasis in spiritwork on, well, work. I'm not here to criticise anyone else's Work, mind you, this is me considering myself and my inner workings. But lazy can and has run my life. I have three advanced degrees. I got them while parenting a child who needed considerable medical therapy. I founded my own indie publishing house before I was 30 years old. I edited for a prestigious science journal by the age of 36. I pursued marathoning. Despite being a Gen Xer, I realize that I can't really use the word slacker in a self-description.

These are all fine and good achievements, and I am glad of the knowledge and skills that I gained in pursuit of them, but I also stayed at them, the jobs particularly, because I feared being lazy. Especially my own company. I grew to hate publishing because I never got to write. When the company went under, I blamed myself for not getting more involved in the financial end, even though I HATED it, and the initial business agreement was that I would not work in that side because I was already writing, editing, doing layout and author recruitment, with promo as necessary. I can't imagine how much more I would have hated my job if I'd added on financial work as well. I would have burnt myself out even more, for fear of being lazy.

"Giving my talents and energy to something that does not serve me well at best robs me of time, and at worst can put my soul in peril. I can lose myself, and what good am I if I am not myself?" -- Star Foster, Happiness and the Muse

After it went under, I stopped writing for a while. I contracted the lung disease that I still deal with today. The Muse was around, and He kept nudging at me until Commander Evil Bitch succeeded in getting me interested in a project again. It's taken me a long time to even consider writing a book again in a serious way. I'd start things and then stop writing because I didn't want to deal with publishing. It is not lost on me that previous behavior that allowed me to avoid my fear of laziness has now made me lazy in pursuing the thing that I actually love to do, and do well.

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I’ve been quiet this month, but I’ve had a lot of offline goings ons – I am teaching regularly at the Raven Faerie, and I have a class Saturday, August 31st from 10-12 on making your own rune set. We also have a psychic fair coming up on September 7th as well. Do ALL the physical work! during Pop’s month is not a huge surprise to me, given that the Vanir are about hard work leading to prosperity. The other pleasant surprise I got was that Mom came around – Gerda.

I have strong feelings about Gerda and Her lessons – she’s an Etin Woman among the Vanir, a stern Queen, and a keeper of healthy boundaries. She’s not a cuddly Mother, but She is fiercely protective of those She loves. I have more in common with Her than just Pop, and having an opportunity to reconnect with Her is a delight, like finding a long-lost relative. Truth be told, when I picked my nom de pagan, I considered the notion of using Heather Gerdasdottir, because not many use their mother's name for the surname *cough* Laufeyson *cough* and because I adore Her. Pop as a surname won out because He has pointed out, rightly, that I do much better with Disir ancestor work than I do with  my Alfar.

And I know some find the courtship of Freyr and Gerda problematic, especially in light of Freyr’s general characterization – He Who has never made a woman cry goes and curses a woman into marrying Him? What? It goes against both our notions of Them as Deities – the notion of subjugating Gerda amuses me; if you meet Her, She is not a shy, pliant maiden. Maria Kvilhaug of Freyja, Lady of Labyrinth has a fascinating take on this in her essay on Freyr and Gerda:

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  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    The Celtic story of Grainne and Diarmuid is relevant to the tone of your quotes. It has similar themes of an opposed love-match (w
Update on FB anti-Pagan hate group

The "Witches must die by fire" Facebook group has returned from its temporary removal. I had a thoughtful reader named Morey, who runs social activism groups on the site, suggested reporting the page to Interpol instead of Facebook, in the hopes of holding them to a higher authority. You can report the page to Interpol here: http://www.interpol.int/Forms/Contact_INTERPOL

If you decide to go the Interpol route, include a screenshot (I have one in this blog post) along with the link (https://www.facebook.com/WitchcraftTheBattleLinesHaveBeenDrawn) and the page's title. Talk about the real-world violence against witches - a quick Google search of "witches and Africa" yields stories like this: http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/family-of-witch-hacked-to-death-1.1296038#.UhJ3p5LVBrs - this page is not a troll or a parody, this is someone inciting people to violence, death, and mutilation. If you need a sample letter, feel free to borrow or amend mine:

Dear Sir or Madam,

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    I just received this in my in-box from Facebook: "You reported Witches must die by fire. for harassment. This page has been remove
  • Amy Begley
    Amy Begley says #
    Yes both pages have now been removed. "Lady Liberty League" and "Circle Sanctuary" both wrote letters to Facebook about the pages.
  • Christine Kraemer
    Christine Kraemer says #
    Helpful informational page for explaining why these pages contain credible threats of violence: http://www.whrin.org/
Facebook claiming page titled "Witches Must Die by Fire" Not Hate Speech

Very few things in social media get me too terribly worked up, but today I encountered and reported a Facebook page titled, "Witches must die by fire." The fact that an anti-Pagan site on FB exists doesn't surprise me, though how overt that hate is took me aback. What disturbs me more is that Pagans who have reported are getting an answer of "there is no evidence of hate speech."

How can a page that spreads slander, misinformation and exhorts violence against Pagans not be termed hate speech? If this were any other faith, would this even be vaguely acceptable? If you subbed in Jews or Muslims, would this be allowed. I would hope not, but given this, I am kind of afraid to ask, actually.

Disgustedly yours,

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  • Áine
    Áine says #
    I'm afraid I can still see the page from the original link. Reporting it now.
  • Richard Daley
    Richard Daley says #
    what do you expect from a country that missionary's literally band there original pagan traditions and brain washed them all into
  • Kaitlyn Hancock
    Kaitlyn Hancock says #
    Keep reporting these people. Facebook has some automated bs, but enough complaints will get their attention. I contacted Covenant

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your Godphone is okay

Today's post is begat by some "never trust your godphone, it takes years to develop" type posts floating around on the interwebs. I'm not picking on anyone in particular because I can't even tell you which one I saw, just that it annoyed me into telling a friend that I felt like that attitude is demeaning and that telling someone to disbelieve all their UPG is to undermine their trust and relationship in the Divine. I also expressed to said friend that I felt like saying that was a losing battle, because so many people drink that kool-aid right from the start. Hel, Idrank that kool-aid initially, y'all.

I was rewarded with a dream of Spirit Worker school where everyone was handed out adult diapers. "Put 'em on, you're gonna need 'em."

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I was gonna kick off my month for Pop with a more general post on how awesome He is, but I came across this on the blogosphere, and I wanted to quote it, because the blog it's from is about health at any size.

"When I started out, I felt like I should post every comment that wasn’t just overt spam.   I believed that it was somehow cowardly to not post hater comments.  I have since changed my mind – I work hard to put out good information on this blog and develop a readership and I don’t have to hand that forum over to a hater to prove anything.  People are allowed to behave like idiots but I’m under no obligation to give them a place to do so."

via How to Handle a Hater | Dances With Fat.

I talk a lot about the self-work I do with Loki, but Pop is the flip side of that work - Loki does a lot for my mental health, but Pop is all about me taking care of, and taking pride in my physical body, and in showing me how my attitudes toward the physical affect the spiritual. When I did my shadow work (ha ha like that's EVER done) on my body, the kind of words I came up about were things like, "polluted. defiled. weak. debased. dirty."

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Questions on Pagan Monasticism

I'm writing today about Pagan monasticism, for a couple of reasons, one being that a colleague in my study group asked about how you can tell whether you’re called to clergy as a monastic, particularly as opposed to being a priest or priestess. The other reason I'm writing about it is because many Pagans are not aware that monasticism is a vocation in our faith, and certainly even fewer people outside Paganism.

“While in common usage the terms "nun" and "Sister" are often used interchangeably (the same title of "Sister" for the individual member of both forms), they are considered different ways of life, with a "nun" being a religious woman who lives a contemplative and cloistered life of meditation and prayer for the salvation of others, while a "Religious Sister", in religious institutes like Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, lives an active vocation of both prayer and service, often to the needy, sick, poor, and uneducated.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nun

I can’t find the same sort of reference for the difference between “priest” and “monk,” although I suspect it’s somewhat similar. It’s been a long time since I formally studied Catholic doctrine. However, I’d also say that in Paganism, the lines are a bit fuzzier in terms of monasticism. If we were using the strict Catholic definitions, I’m somewhere between a nun and a Sister – I have a large amount of most of my days dedicated to contemplative study, prayer, and meditation, but I also do a lot of community work online and in person. This is why I have “free-range nun” listed as my occupation. It’s sort of tongue-in-cheek, but it’s accurate.

In regards to partners, celibacy and monastic practice – celibacy can be a choice or it can be asked for by a deity. For the record, I don’t consider myself celibate, and Loki has said to me that if I desire a mortal partner or physical affection, all I have to do is ask and He’ll arrange someone appropriate for us. I think that if I were not demisexual and monogamous, He would be a-okay with me having a mortal partner, but this is not really of interest to me right now. All that said, Loki is not a God of many prohibitions. I know some people define or conflate monasticism with asceticism, but in my experience, it’s not about having things or not having things, but about removing what you don’t need to be attached to any longer, which is also a Lokean value in general.

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“Flame consumes my sorrow Reborn I am as art The jewel of selfhood blazes In my crowned and conquering heart.”

- Sharon Knight & T. Thorn Coyle, “Alchemy,” Songs for the Strengthening Sun

“You got to understand the god thing. It’s not magic. It’s about being you, but the you that people believe in. It’s about being the concentrated, magnified, essence of you. It’s about becoming thunder, or the power of a running horse, or wisdom. You take all the belief and become bigger, cooler, more than human. You crystallize.”  Neil GaimanAmerican Gods

Self is undoubtedly one of the more problematic topics for Him to ask me to write about, because in reality, I am more reserved than y’all think. “You’re easy to know, but not easy to know well,” He has said to me more than once. I had mixed feelings about writing about myself during a devotional month for Him, but this is what He wants – more than words or gestures, Loki wants me to know myself and be that, without shame or fear, and that kind of nakedness is the hardest thing for me to do, let alone to share publicly.

And to be a little more naked, I would much rather be writing mushy poetry, actually. I’m far more comfortable talking about Loki than I am talking about me, particularly if it’s emotional – things I’ve done are done, I guess, and so they’re less troublesome to share. So He’s been having me do shadow work, and that’s yielded interesting things. I revisited an exercise from Evolutionary Witchcraft on self, and it was about stripping down to your barest self, peeling off each layer like a mask. Coyle’s book doesn’t say it as explicitly as Dark Side of the Light Chasers does, but in essence, it allows you to realize that you are or can be your greatest good or your greatest evil, and that you can choose which face you want, pick it up, and put it down. It’s a tool, nothing more and nothing less. It’s been something to grok, because like many of you gentle readers, I was raised in plucky American individualism, so acknowledging that you’re not so different from someone you despise, that had you been raised in their environment that you could be them is both more and less unnerving than I thought it would be.

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  • Christine L Berger
    Christine L Berger says #
    I love this. The thing about being naked is that it allows those that you share with to be the same. That is a gift that you giv

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