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
What's In a Name?

So I’ve been mulling over the power of names, as of late, spurred in part by Feoh’s thoughtful post on titles and namedropping, and also on this one on July for Loki by Reading Heathenism. Naming, titles, and trads: what’s in a name, anyway? I agree with Feoh’s assessment that some people like to drop all their names and titles for bragging rights, which is silly, because even if it's not bragging, I think some people only need so much information at a time. I do a lot of local work, and many of the people who interact with me don’t know that I am a godspouse, and that’s because it’s too much information about me for what they need of me at the time. If I’m giving pastoral counseling to someone locally who is having food insufficiency issues, “godspouse” is not relevant to their interests – where they can find food for their next meal is far more important than all the background things on me. To me, that’s not being secretive or the like – that’s focusing on the task at hand.

And yet, perhaps giving the Work a name is akin to accepting that Work, for some people? In some ways our blog web handles are craft names of a sort, particularly if it’s a spiritually-oriented blog. And then there’s how you name your trad or practice: Are you a Heathen? A Hellenic? A Norse Pagan? Eclectic Pagan? A witch? Because I’m not really interested in the label per se – to me a label is more for others than for me – when I tell someone I’m a Norse Pagan, it’s usually someone who isn’t that familiar with the Norse Pantheon, and usually they’re Pagan or Paganish, and that’s descriptive enough for them. Someone who’s not Pagan at all gets a different name, and usually that’s just “Pagan.” Witch is probably more specific, but non-Pagans often think witch means something that it doesn’t, because of monotheistic bullshit misinformation. And again, if I’m giving pastoral counseling to someone whose teenager is on suicide watch, I’m not interested in teaching them what “witch” really means – I want to connect them with the local crisis unit so that the teen can be stabilized and the family can receive more comprehensive counseling and services. If at some point those people come back and realize that a Pagan/Norse Witch/Lokean helped them, awesome, but it’s not my primary concern.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Catherine Miles
    Catherine Miles says #
    EPIC! Preach it Girl! This post really made my day, week, month, Year! This is so true too! Thank you!
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Great post, thank you!
  • Aislinn
    Aislinn says #
    Thank you, for writing down what I needed to read. Blessings to you!
Twenty Years Later #YesAllWomen

I'm going to preface this with a trigger warning for discussion of rape and self-harm. I don't want anyone reading this to be triggered, but I am going to talk about the high cost of rape culture, and its lingering effects.

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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.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
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.

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  • Catherine Miles
    Catherine Miles says #
    Truth!
  • 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

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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?

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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
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Thank you for taking on this task. I've tried to collect names of Pagan charities, and sometimes even asking the question has res
  • David Dashifen Kees
    David Dashifen Kees says #
    If your programmer friend needs any backup, let me know. This is something I tried to do a few years ago to try and get some co

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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:

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