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.

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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:

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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.

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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?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • 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

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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.

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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.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • 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:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • 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/
  • Caleen Canady
    Caleen Canady says #
    My husband had a suggestion regarding this site that I thought we should pass along. He's dealt in security and investigations and
  • Amy Begley
    Amy Begley says #
    I like that idea Caleen but I have read on some of the Facebook pagan pages that some pagans/wiccans are now under personal attack
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.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • 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
  • Ali
    Ali says #
    I too, have found this second page that is obviously based in some unfortunate African country where unlucky females who come unde
  • Greg
    Greg says #
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/163986480405404/ Here is another FB group advocating violence and death against witches and "WIZZ

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