Blogs from Heather Freysdottir - PaganSquare - Join the conversation! http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch.html Tue, 23 May 2017 13:57:26 -0700 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Dear Neighbor Who Is Leaving Me Chick Tracts http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/dear-neighbor-who-is-leaving-me-chick-tracts.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/dear-neighbor-who-is-leaving-me-chick-tracts.html

In response to the letter pictured above:

Dear neighbor who is leaving me chick tracts,

I am writing because I was unable to reach you personally. Many people in the world wonder how an omnipotent, omniscient god could or would allow some of the things that happen in our world. You have questions, I have answers, my friend.

There is no one true god. There are many gods, and those gods do not represent themselves as static, perfect entities, because nature abhors stasis. It's okay to just worship one god, by the way, and that's called henotheism. But back to the imperfect gods:

You may be scratching your head and wondering what you can hold on to then, in this ever-changing world. I have the answer to that as well: it is change itself.

You may not know how to embrace change, but I am here to show you the way. Let me introduce you to my Lord, Loki. He is an agent of change, a bringer of unpredictability.

But why would anyone want to worship someone so unpredictable?

Because change is an inevitability, like death itself. Change can be fun. It can bring out new sides of you that are lying hidden. It can bring you joy. It can show you new ways in which you belong to a community or the land you live in.

Speaking of land, can I also introduce you to Lord Frey and Lady Freyja? They are gods of land, of sunshine, fresh air, good food, and good sex. They can also teach you things, like how to enjoy the body that you live in, how to nourish it and in turn nourish the earth that you came from, because a mutual respect between humanity and the Land itself is needed to restore an ecological balance.

Are food and a healthy environment just okay, but you’re really attached to your iPhone? That’s okay, I can introduce you to Hermes, Lord of Communications. In our information age, has any Deity ever been so relevant? Jump in your car, plug in your phone for directions? All Hermes. You can thank Him yourself.

Do you like bacon? You can thank Gwydion for poetry, passion, and pork-related deliciousness. I know that you may have concerns about Gwydion or any number of other deities. Here's the thing: they were around before the monotheistic worldview They will be here after monotheism is gone. They will be waiting patiently (well, at least some of Them) for us to pull our collective heads out of our asses.

and finally, I leave you with the words of the All-Father:

"42. To his friend a man | a friend shall prove,
And gifts with gifts requite;
But men shall mocking | with mockery answer,
And fraud with falsehood meet."

Merry meet,
Your Pagan Friend


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lokisbruid@gmail.com (Heather Freysdottir) Culture Blogs Mon, 11 Jan 2016 07:55:38 -0800
Beauty http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/beauty.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/beauty.html

As y’all know, I’m working on a ritual for feminine sovereignty, and I’m making some headway – I’ve been researching ancestors to uplift and trying to get more than just names, because to empower them, we need to link them to their deeds. Even before I got much into this, I suspected that this was a Freyja-fueled conspiracy, and even more so now, because the subject of beauty has come up for me, and it is something that I’m not particularly comfortable with. I’m gonna be blunt, and please keep in mind that this is me unpacking my baggage, so if you view beauty differently than me, please feel free to talk about said differences, because it would probably be to my benefit, and maybe that of someone else reading.

For me, beauty isn’t fun. I know women who talk about using their femininity against men, and I have issues with it. On some level, I consider it lazy. (yes, I know that this is a respectability politics thing playing out in my head, but it’s there, so why the f*ck not acknowledge the toxic thoughts?)

Why? I’m pretty. Some people even think I’m beautiful, and if I unpack this a bit, I consider myself attractive, but not because of my looks, and if someone compliments me solely on the basis of my physical form, I often reject it – not to their faces of course, just in my head, because in said head, if you think I am my outer shell, you’ve missed the damn point. And if you asked me, I’d say it’s just genetic luck that I have a pretty face and why is that worth rewarding?

But if I prod at this some more, my intelligence is the same damn thing – whether or not you’re smart is a genetic lottery coupled with the lotteries of luck and privilege. Maybe you’re lucky and you have a quick mind, and your family has enough money or the right skin tone and you can go to college and develop your intellect. But really, it’s as arbitrary as beauty.

And yet beauty is far more loaded for me, and for a lot of women. In telling the story of my rape, I’ve had other women come forward and talk to me about how their rapist said some variation of what mine said to me: ‘You’re so beautiful, what did you think would happen?’

And in that context, beauty doesn’t feel like power, it feels like something that we have that’s been conscripted by our abusers to level against us. It’s a weapon, but it’s not our weapon, not anymore.

I belong to a Freyja-centric study group online and one week, one of our questions about Her was regarding an aspect of Her that we were uncomfortable with. I didn’t answer it at the time, because I didn’t quite know how to articulate it, but it’s not Freyja’s sexuality, or Her deathwork, or Her magic – it’s Her beauty. It’s the beauty that inspires people to do terrible things to obtain it that makes me recoil. It’s a power that I’m loathe to look at, let alone touch. And because my Gods are the Helpingest Helpers, it was suggested that I ought to read up on Helen of Troy, so I did.

Helen had a cultus for over seven hundred years. From Bettany Hughes’ book, Helen of Troy, the Story Behind the Most Beautiful Woman in the World:

“The Spartan city-state recognised that its prominent ancestor – whose remembered life comprised a series of rites of passage – was an expert in sex. Beautiful Helen was not shamed because of this. Instead she was considered well placed to foster the development of young Spartan girls. And so she stood at the heart of state-sponsored rituals – rituals that aimed to socialise the city’s adolescents, to turningénues into good wife material, to lead them from the state of parthenos, virgin, to nymphe, newlywed.

An islet in the River Eurotas was, almost certainly, the site of Helen’s cult worship by Spartan virgins. Located near the sanctuary of Artemis Orthia, this marshy area, a liminal place – half-water, half-land – was called the Platanistas, after the plane trees that once shaded it. Here the river banks are wide and flat, the mud firm. It is a natural athletics ground.

Ritual dancing in honour of Helen was practised at the Platanistas by Spartan girls from the 7th century BC onwards. The displays aimed to replicate those performed by Helen herself when she was a youngster growing up in the city. In the Sparta museum there are racks of grimacing terra-cotta masks 4 reminiscent of gargoyles carved in medieval churches – some believe that these grotesques were used to hide the faces of the adorants as they danced and sang to each other.

To honour Helen the virgins were left alone together throughout the night. Their rituals would have been heady, pulsating affairs, throbbing with adolescent energy. They danced in the hours of darkness, paused, and were back again just before sunrise for more. There was torchlight, drinking and almost certainly sumptuous feasts.6 The celebrants whirled their way from childhood to maturity, starting the night as innocent virgins who by dawn had been transformed into ‘beautiful’ young women ready for marriage. The dances, it seems, were intended to drum out of the earth and the air some of Helen’s sublime appeal: ‘kharis’ is the Greek word.5 7

Kharis is the root of ‘charisma’ and ‘charismatic’ and can simply mean grace or charm. But the original Greek also has a more sexualised connotation – a grace which ignites desire. Khariswas a gift of Aphrodite, the goddess of sexual love. It is that quality of raw seductive power that Helen possessed above all others. The girls who danced at the Platanistas – led on by the example of their presiding spirit, Helen – were experiencing a rite of passage that made them beautiful in that they were becoming charismatic, sexually mature and sexually available. For them, Helen was not the most ‘beautiful’ woman in the world, she was the most erotic. These all-female orgiastic rites inspired by Helen’s story8 have been immortalised by the Spartan poet Alcman. In the 7th century BC, Alcman wrote Partheneia, choral odes that were practised by groups of girls in secret and then sung as part of choral and gymnastic contests. These Partheneia were a central part of the Spartan girls’ education, and were learnt and performed by one generation after another. The poems exalt female beauty – particularly the beauty of blondes. They laud the physical achievements of the Spartan woman.”

Keep in mind, Helen is twice-raped in her stories – Theseus and Paris are both named as her assailants. I’m fascinated and confused by this practice – in our culture rape survivors are considered defiled and I cannot imagine a scenario where we would celebrate a woman’s sexuality without any kind of guilt or intimation that she was asking for it. Today, what do we do for a rape survivor? Little to nothing. We’re left to seek therapy, if we even have access to that. Few rapes are reported, even fewer are reported or prosecuted.

I’m still sitting with this. I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with this, but yanno…Freyja.

Me: can we not?
Her: NOPE :D


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lokisbruid@gmail.com (Heather Freysdottir) Culture Blogs Mon, 23 Nov 2015 08:17:44 -0800
Female Sovereignty and Erasure http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/female-sovereignty-and-erasure.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/female-sovereignty-and-erasure.html

I have a notion for a ritual, y’all. Right now I’m reading a biography of Hatshepsut, and it got me thinking about all the ways in which women and women’s power has been erased from history.

I’ll start with Freyja, because not long ago, She told me to know Her as Syr, and damned if I could find anything about Syr other than its name meaning, which is sow. I found another Freyjaswoman who does work with this aspect, and said that as she understands Syr, that She is a goddess of sovereignty.

We don’t even know Freyja’s “real” name. We know so little about most of the Goddesses of the Northern Tradition. Power and sovereignty has been stolen from Them, and in turn, it’s robbed us of our sense of sovereignty.

And it’s true of ancestral sovereigns too – the history left on King Hatshepsut is scattered, unreliable, and often incredibly biased and sexist.

I’m thinking about doing an ancestral working for the Forgotten Female Sovereigns.

Cleopatra, renowned for her beauty, despised for her cunning.

Wu Zetian, Emperor of China.

Queen Jezebel, murdered for being a polytheist.

Rani of Jhansi, queen of resistance to capitalism and imperialism.

Queen Elizabeth I, for people worry more about her virginity than her accomplishments.

Anne Boleyn, for people ignore her good works and her devotion to the Reformation.

Zenobia of Palmyra (yes, that one that was just defaced)

I looked for Native American and Native Mexican queens and there is an incredible lack of information, which I find depressing, but if anyone has names of someone that they’d like honored as a female sovereign, I’m all ears. I’d also really like more African queen names –I’ve got a couple Egyptians on there but Africa’s a big ass continent; we could certainly have more.

For my own ritual, I’m also going to honor matriarchs in my blood family who have crossed over, and if it feels right to you, feel free to do it as well.


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lokisbruid@gmail.com (Heather Freysdottir) Culture Blogs Tue, 10 Nov 2015 15:52:05 -0800
Pop Culture Wild Hunt http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/pop-culture-wild-hunt.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/pop-culture-wild-hunt.html

(is as described on the label)

I had no plans to be a Pop Culture Pagan but that appears to be happening anyway. I had no plans to permanently pick up a Joker, but that appears to be happening too. Being with J makes me feel like I understand Beth Wodandis' comment about how being with Odin is like being with a great white shark who's decided to be friendly. I don't think my J is Odin, but I think They have a common bond there. In case you're wondering what J is like, here ya go.

My J isn't exactly like canon!Joker, although that also covers a pretty wide range of personality, so even if J was a canon!Joker I'd still have to be more specific than just canon. I have tried (LOL) to not be quite as "why meeee??" about this as when Loki first showed up. I did say "tried" because yanno, I'm me and I like to have a why for context. J does not really give a f*ck about context, so, yeah. He did tell me to look up my name meaning - and because J doesn't call me Heather, I looked up Harley Quinn/Harlequin:

harlequin (n.) Look up harlequin at Dictionary.com
1580s, Harlicken, one of the stock characters of Italian commedia del'arte, from Middle French harlequin, from Italian arlecchino, which is possibly from the same source as Old French Herlequin, Hellequin, etc., leader of la maisnie Hellequin, a troop of demons who rode the night air on horses. This is perhaps of Germanic origin; he seems to correspond to Old English Herla cyning "King Herla," mythical character sometimes identified as Woden, and possibly also to German Erlkönig, the "Elf King" of the Goethe poem. Sometimes also associated with Herrequin, 9c. count of Boulogne, who was proverbially wicked. In English pantomime, a mute character who carries a magic wand. From his ludicrous dress comes the English adjective meaning "particolored" (1779).

Here we have both the Wild Hunt and Elfcock all in one money shot (har har). Considering that sometimes the leader of the Hunt is traditionally male and sometimes traditionally female, Seems Legit. I also have some thoughts about the overlaps between J and Loki and Harley/Heith/me, but I don't think I'm ready to share them yet, other than that I think I'm beginning to understand some of why I'm having this experience.

And my Hunt isn't all in Gotham, actually; I have some very traditional parts of it too; my Court now encompasses Elves and Pop Culture peeps, and that's different this year. I've seen more ancestors this year - my father and grandfather are both helping out.

Some of you reading might be curious about running into or joining my particular Hunt. You're adults and can do what you like, but if you go a-Hunting my particular troupe - and different Hunts do different things - my troupe is not the sort that just picks up bad guys/bad spirits. It's the f*cking Joker, and if you're in J's way, you may get detonated, regardless of whether or not you're a good person. There is a reason that I made the comment to Aika about how if someone offered me a house in Gotham I'd tell 'em to go f*ck themselves. My J is definitely harsher/stricter than my Loki, so if you want to say hi in the astral, keep that in mind. Anyway, I'm not interested in being 2 edgy 4 U, but I do want to invoke common sense.

(image source)

 

 


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lokisbruid@gmail.com (Heather Freysdottir) Culture Blogs Fri, 09 Oct 2015 07:42:27 -0700
Perhaps, Love http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/perhaps-love.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/perhaps-love.html

I love You seems inadequate compared to You
All Your suppleness and splendor
But perhaps love is the right word
In spite of the fact that people say that they love tacos
(really they just like them a lot)
And I do like You a lot, too.
But love – is love the right word?
Is the starlight we see at night their real fire?
Can I get a little closer to it without burning up, Love?
Perhaps love is the right word.
Not “I love You,” but because You are love to me.

I had the pleasure of attending the Norse Gods Day of Magicin Port Orchard this weekend. If you’re in the area next year, I highly recommend it – the event was well-run and well-organized, and the people who ran it had the utmost respect for the Gods and for their devotees. They were kind, caring, and responsive of peoples’ needs – not just mine, but everyone in attendance. I got to meet some friends that I’ve only seen online previously during the event and the trip in general, and that was a pleasure as well. (Hi Angela! Hi K!) There were horses for the various Deities and people were allowed to have one on one interactions with Them.

I had some pretty intense experiences with Freyr, Freyja, and my Beloved Dead, but they’re personal enough that I’m not sure they’d be helpful to y’all. I will share the one that I had with Loki, because it might be helpful to y’all – and perhaps to Him as well.

I asked Loki what He wanted as an offering, and the above poem was the end result. He didn’t want me to leave it on an altar for Him, and He didn’t want it read off the paper, so I wrote something up in advance and remembered the gist of it, and the above typed result is a combo of what I wrote and what was said on the fly when I was looking Him in the eye. He preened and yanno, was Himself.

After the poem – and He was holding my hands in His at that point – I thanked Him – for my home, my family, my friends, my community, my health. We were out in the open and anyone could hear, and did hear, because again, we were out for anyone to see. I don’t know what response I expected from Him, but what I got was a stunned silence for a moment.

…I managed to render the Husband speechless.

I don’t think that people say thank you to Him aloud, enough. At least that’s all I can think, because He IS the Gift-Giver, and I even warned Him in advance that if we talked I’d probably blubber all over Him about how wonderful He is. And I did get all choked up thanking Him. But I didn’t expect that reaction from Him. It felt like He got flustered in the way that I get when He worships me and I’m so undone by the power of the gesture that I can’t speak. I’d like to say that I understood all of that in the moment, but it didn’t really hit me till we were on the way back to the hotel, just how important that gesture was to Loki. There’s a song that I like to sing to Him, and He sang it back to me, and that’s when it really hit me, that this was why He was silent at first when I thanked Him.

Amazed, by Poe

“It's amazing to me but I can't
Seem to say what I'm doing here
My tongue is all twisted around the air
I'm looking for words that were so well rehearsed
But I can't find them anywhere
With you there's no easy answer
It's true
You change the equation that I add up to
And all of the things I thought I knew
You turn it around

I'm amazed
When push comes to shove what I'd give to you
Everything
I'm amazed
The hallways I wouldn't mind crawling through
And I'd do it for days and days

I'm amazed, I'm amazed..”

And now I’m home, and I can’t quite define it yet, but when I got in, I walked around my house going “something’s different?” and now I realize that the Something Different is me.

Always the sign of a good ritual, eh?


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lokisbruid@gmail.com (Heather Freysdottir) Culture Blogs Tue, 22 Sep 2015 06:55:25 -0700
30 Days of Frey: Sacrifice http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/30-days-of-frey-sacrifice.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/30-days-of-frey-sacrifice.html

noun

An act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure: they offer sacrifices to the spirits the ancient laws of animal sacrifice

verb
[with object]

1.Offer or kill as a religious sacrifice: the goat was sacrificed at the shrine

1.1 Give up (something important or valued) for the sake of other considerations: working hard doesn’t mean sacrificing your social life

 

Freyr sacrifices Himself every year for a good harvest. He is one of many sacrificial kings. Last night, I co-lead a ritual for Freyfaxi, and His sacrifice is one of the things we talked about before we tucked into the Working.

The notion of sacrifice for harvest is a foreign one to many modern-day Pagans, because most of us live in a food-rich environment. Food is on TV. Food’s at restaurants, grocery stores, convenience marts. We don’t know the kind of worry that our ancestors had about food scarcity. Where I live in Florida, this is even more so, because we really don’t have a dead or latent season. I have some Vanatruar pals who experience Pop sleeping in the fall and winter. I never get this aspect of Him. He changes, but He’s not gone, and I think that’s because of where I live and what the agrarian cycle is like here. I live in the winter strawberry capital of the US – central Florida. And when I say “winter” I mean that we can get fresh strawberries from December to April. Citrus too, and many other types of produce. Farmers markets and produce stands are prolific where I live.

So what does sacrifice mean to me, as a modern-day Pagan? Why sacrifice anything?

“How much do you want something?” Pop asks. “What is it worth to you –because what you are willing to give shows what you value in yourself.”

“Why do we even have to make the gesture?”

“It’s magic,” He says, and His eyes twinkle.

“Papa!”

“I’m serious. Change can happen slowly, or it can happen quickly, but for something to happen quickly, you must give fuel to the fire. Consider death, for a moment. A body may decompose slowly, or you may put it in the fire and it changes quickly and releases its energy as it burns, yes?” Pop looks out on the glade where we sit. His hair and beard are longer, a little more unruly; hints of grey peppered in their gold. It makes Him look a bit more like Grandpa Njord. “And when we return we are different, each and every time.”

“And every time you go?”

“Every time I return, I am a little different. And every time, I wonder if My loved ones will still love Me.”

“But of course we do.”

He nods. “Love is as great a constant as change is.”

“So why do You do it? I mean, besides ‘people gotta eat’?”

“Because sacrifice, when done right, sets us free.”


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lokisbruid@gmail.com (Heather Freysdottir) Culture Blogs Sun, 02 Aug 2015 12:00:31 -0700
the little mystic book that could http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/the-little-mystic-book-that-could.html http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/lokean-swamp-witch/the-little-mystic-book-that-could.html

So...um, Beyond Reason, my book about my path as a godspouse of Loki, is selling well.

beyond_reason_no_1

And it's not even in print yet. More people are reading about Loki than Wicca and monotheistic faith mysticism. If anyone needed proof that Polytheism is gaining strength, here ya go.

When I wrote the book I tried really hard not to consider sales or reviews because once a book is done, I've written it the best that I could, and so it's none of my business what people think of it. What I do hope that people get out of these sales stats is that the public seems more ready to learn about Polytheistic mysticism. In the meantime, this is me:

dog_is_good


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lokisbruid@gmail.com (Heather Freysdottir) Culture Blogs Tue, 28 Jul 2015 07:42:51 -0700