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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Fire Volcano' in Mexico Spews Ash and Smoke - YouTube


Real magic is about creating the change that you want to see in the real world, and every post's a spell.

That's why I'm not going to post the piece that I wrote yesterday.

It's actually a pretty good piece. The title is Thank the Unvaccinated, and plays on the pandemic fatigue that so many of us are feeling right now.


If you're sick of this accursed pandemic...


it begins,


...thank the unvaccinated.


Basically, it's a litany: verse and recurring ironic response. I wrote it in a white heat of anger and even now, looking back from a calmer place, that anger—which so many of us are feeling right about now—seems to me justified, and its charges fair.

But I'm still not going to post.

Every post's a spell. With every blog post that I write—north of 1800 of them by now—before hitting “Publish,” I ask myself: Is this post likely to help bring about the change that I want to see?

If the answer is “No,” I don't.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I had a conversation in my head with Odin today. That's not unusual for me since I opened my mind while writing Some Say Fire, but this conversation illustrates an important point in heathenry and this blog is all about what it feels like to do heathenry, so here goes.

First, a little background. I don't usually talk about my health problems on my blog because they are usually not relevant to my religious experiences and activities, but this time they are. I have had various health problems generally classified as autoimmune disorders throughout my life. Last year I had the best allergy year of my life because of wearing a mask everywhere, and after talking it over with my allergy doctor, who is an immunologist and an expert on vaccines, this spring we decided I had managed to fight my immune system down far enough so it might be safe for me to get a vaccine this year. We developed a plan for me in which as soon as I was eligible for the covid vaccine in early summer, I first had an antibody test to see if I already had antibodies to covid, and since I did not I got one jab. I became very sick. My tests indicated I had gotten a laundry list of problems, including another infectious disease, worsening of my existing problems, a neuro issue, and a brand new additional autoimmune disorder. For these reasons I am unable to have a second jab. I might never be allowed to travel, it may never be safe for me to work except from home, and I am aware every time I go somewhere where there are other human beings that I am taking more of a risk than most other people do.

I still go places, but I'm cautious. I wear my mask whenever I'm in public indoors. I don't go to restaurants where people have to take their masks off inside to eat. But I still get out sometimes.

The high point of my week was being interviewed for Ed "The Pagan" Hubbard's podcast. I'll post a link when I have one to share. That took place at an event at a local witch shop, Realms Within. My housemate and I went together and we had a great time. I met a new friend who introduced herself as being in the photo with my late fiancee Tom that Selena Fox had shared about her previous Veterans' Day activities. It was a great evening.

At the end of the week my housemate had cold symptoms. In any other decade, we would both have just brushed it off and gone about life as usual, but now my first reaction when she told me was, "Oh no! I hope it's not covid!" There were some practicalities I had to think of before I had time to just deal with my emotions. It was way harder and took way longer than it should to schedule her for a covid test. Most test sites require a car, which means I will have to drive her (there are some sites she could reach with Paratransit but she chose not to use the bus), and signing up was so hard I ended up having to do it for her on the net. With those tasks out of the way, my mind quieted enough to just think my own thoughts and hear my own inner voice.

And what my inner voice had to say was "Oh no! We're going to die!"

That was when Odin spoke. "You are not going to die this year."

Well it's the middle of November so that was not quite as reassuring as he meant it to be. He heard that too.

"Whenever you need breath, I am here."

And I found myself so reassured my fears melted away. Because I have experienced precisely that, due to asthma and allergies, especially if exposed to smoke or other bad things. I've experienced Odin or one of his brothers coming to me with breath to fill my lungs. I know I can rely on them to be there when I need them.

That's the important point about heathenry that I wanted to tell everyone about. Well, two points, actually. Firstly, that my faith in my god-husbands comes from personal experience. Secondly, that even though Asatru actually has a healer deity, Eir, it's the gods I'm personally closest to who come to me to help me with both my chronic health issues and my nervousness about further health problems. Odin, Honir, Lodhur who is Loki, all have come to me with breath at some point. If I had a serious health emergency I would not hesitate to contact Eir about it, but it's the gods who are close at hand all the time who come to me without being called.

Thus reassured, and not too spun up in myself to think of the community, my next thoughts were that I should stay home from the memorial service I had planned to attend this weekend. I'm disappointed about that, but they say that someone exposed to covid can spread it even if they have no symptoms, so the most responsible thing to do is to not go. I also delayed the stitch-n-bitch party I had planned to hold that was for the purpose of seeing some friends I often only see at the renfaire that I missed seeing this year because I had not been physically able to make it through the whole weekend of faire. I'm disappointed about that too but I will see them another day. I have no fears now, just rational choices, because of my relationship with my gods.

I've spent a lot of effort in my life learning to be calm. To be logical. To think first, act second, and feel third. Now, it's so much easier, because my gods are with me.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thank you Jamie!
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Lale, I'm glad the test was negative. May the Goddesses and Gods be with you whilst you deal with your health challenges. Pl
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Great news! The test was negative. All fine here.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

As I rejoin humanity after a little over a year going slowly feral in my home and generally only speaking to gods and my cat, I find I've developed a habit that I need to break. OK I exaggerated about the aloneness a bit, I did briefly a housemate a couple of times, but still. And I also spoke to the dead a lot. Anyway. The habit is: making grand hand gestures. And I don't mean pouring Grand Marnier.

I only realized how exaggerated my gestures in response to my silent thoughts have become when I accidentally waved my hands around like some kind of Jedi in front of another human, lol. OK not so lol and writing lol is also a bad habit, brought on by excessive social media usage. Now that I can socialize in person again I need to try to get away from that too.

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Adapting a Toasting Ritual for Pandemic Times

Usually the sumbel ritual we do in Asatru and other forms of heathenry involves passing around a horn. My kindred usually has two horns, one containing alcohol and one containing a non-alcoholic beverage. The cow's horn honors Audhumla, the Sacred Cow. We not only drink from the horn, but when we pass the horn, the horn is like a talking stick that tells us whose turn it is to make a toast.

These days we're using individual cups for everyone, for the sake of pandemic safety. We're also standing farther apart. Normally if we're outside standing around a bonfire we'd all pack in closely in a circle, or if we were inside we'd be sitting at a dining table, also fairly close together. Someday we'll return to passing the horn as a talking stick, because it's a lot easier than having the ritual leader call on people to ask if they want to make a toast. I think we might keep using individual cups to actually drink out of, though. Now that we're all aware of the germs that might get passed around along with the horn I don't think we'll go back to actually all drinking from the same horn. In the future we'll pour into the horn and then pour from the horn to cups or to each person's personal horn.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tarot in the Time of Coronavirus - The Fool

The youth, the cliff, the sky, the dog--what do the symbols in the Tarot Fool card have to say to us through the lens of coronavirus? Listen to the first episode of my new Say It With Tarot Podcast, Tarot in the Time of Coronavirus - The Fool, as I share my personal journey during the pandemic...and how we can use each Tarot card for reflection, grounding and healing.

-- Janet

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Connect with your Taíno ancestry, Abuela said when I complained about my stomach ache.   

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Loom of the Possible

Loom of the Possible


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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Caroline Kenner
    Caroline Kenner says #
    Thank you, this is very helpful indeed.

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