Our Gods deserve better than the Asatru representation this week in DC.

Posted in About me on January 11, 2021 by Alana Smithee

(from now on, all posts will be primarily on http://www.hailloki.com )

Okay, I don’t say much these days, but I will say this:

I will not be associated with nor suffer fools in any capacity, (nor should anyone.) This is ESPECIALLY within Asatru.

The actions of the larping clowns in DC this past week embarrass us all.

Thankfully, I am technically multifaith in my chaplaincy, and feel comfortable keeping my practice as-is while publically distancing from the term ‘Asatru’.

The irony and schadenfreude is not lost on this Lokean that the same groups who felt strongly that devotees of Loki, God of uncomfortable truths and the brightest Intellect were somehow too chaotic for your organizations.

Time has proven Asatru organizations to be chaotic. Lokeans were NEVER your actual problem.

We remain children of the God of Scapegoats, but this time, clearly. it isn’t the Lokeans to blame for the fall in reputation: it is clearly on the shoulders of the ‘conventional Heathens’.

I fully support full reseparation of European Indiginious belief systems from both Heathenry and Asatru, should anyone other than me feel so inclined. (Urglaawe included. Heck, go back to Braucherei/Hexerei, just for the love of Woden, consider redefinition away from ‘Asatru’.)

it’s something to consider or discard as you like, but I’m putting it out there anyway.

Indiginious-based Aesir/Vanir/Jotunr worship, animism, and unbroken ritualistic honoring of ancestors separates us from Neopagans anyway.

If these F’ers want to dress like idiots and embarrass us all, then I highly advocate the abandonment of reconstructionist Heathenry for our own terms.

Furthermore, if there is an argument that I am advocating a ‘cut and run’ instead of fighting to redefine modern Asatru by ancient ethic, then yes. Yes I am, because sometimes, folks, Loki has the right idea. Some fights are better just abandoned so we can put our energies to more productive uses.

More importantly, ethics demand a removal of barriers to entry into private exploration of our indigenous belief systems for those newer to our Gods who are equally repulsed as the famtrads:

They don’t have to come to our dances, but I encourage indigenous polytheists to at very least share their knowledge. (Look, I’ve done my best with my blog over the years… I am not asking you guys to do anything I haven’t done. Show me up, even… overtake me with writings on the Sami or the Dievturiba, or the Slavic Gods or a thousand words on hexenwulves or granniewitches or whathaveyou.)

Anyway, I don’t usually write lately since the environment is surprisingly volatile to writer types. I refuse to write anything I cannot believe in 100%, but also, I have my own personal peace to consider as well.

For emphasis: I know of no God that approves of either fools nor idiots, and frankly, neither do I and neither should you.

A Letter…Entirely Religious, Technically.

Posted in About me on October 17, 2019 by Alana Smithee

O, My dear Friends
For though I might be maybe

Turned outside. In;

…Strange to Some…

…Worshiping of danger…
So reckless

Perhaps, someday soon,I’ll have no need for strangers

to validate me,

…run my life

Suddenly and vanish

This…All this Is.

Are just my inner monologues.

Secret. against forgetfulness


Sweet holy Texts

…Dont mislead me

Divine, clever Fox: clarify inner images.

For only If I follow You, help me Understand All of this,

Every sacred message
Until the /end of days.


The seasons change quickly here although this storm is really not my migraines. Hopefully, things are up… I dare to be cautiously optimistic.

You can find me

Posted in About me on September 23, 2019 by Alana Smithee

If I directed you to this blog, here is a copy and paste I wrote a while ago; It’s still mostly accurate-ish:

Here is where to find more resources on Odinism:
To educate yourself easily, first, read this:

“The Odin Brotherhood” by Mark Mirabello: http://www.odinbrotherhood.com/library-free-pdf-files.html
I always suggest the Teachings of the Odin Brotherhood. A short, but good read. (They also have a forum you can find via Google search)

Now here is the Havamal

Here are the Eddas:

Here are our Furthark Runes

Extended Futhorc Runes

And here is the added 9 noble virtues of the Asatruar (*Not unanimous for all Odinists*)

That is a pretty good start. Generally, once you have read the above, you literally know more about our religion than half of the people who claim to practice it. 🐺😂⬆

(A little background I am an Odinist chaplain; Both a Gythia as well as one of the only of our faith to actually hold a Theology degree. We do not convert by nature, the Gods reach out to our people I believe and lead them back to our ancestral faiths.)

If you are looking for organizations…

Sorting hat of Odin says: “Liberals go Troth, Conservatives AFA.”

Other than the Odin Brotherhood which has no meetings and countless kind Pagan organizations where Heathens mingle with Druids, Wiccans and other paths, I do not yet know of a nonpartisan national or international exclusively Heathen religious organization yet. However, if one is forming I would like to help support it… let me know. Our country was founded on the freedom of separation of Church and State, it seems I am not alone in feeling tired of our religion being divided by opinions on American elections. Political issues are temporary- our Gods are timeless.

And that is a good start… I am happy to help where I can, sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed and may be offline for extended periods.

Gratitude and Boring Updates

Posted in About me on May 14, 2019 by Alana Smithee

Thank you kindly- to everyone who has read and followed this blog while I have been absent from writing.

A bit wordy- but you get the point.

Anyhow- I have been doing well and finding happiness by staying off the metaphorical radar so to speak; this is a dangerous time for editorialists, and really, anyone who possesses strong opinions. In this time where oversharing has unforeseen consequences- as evident by most social media- I would like to dispell the thought that everything needs to be recorded and preserved for posterity….despite being a hypocrite and posting about my own thoughts 🙂

Those without social media accounts are somewhat socially invisible- I prefer translucence; I am posting nothing much of consequence (before today, I suppose.)

My health, overall, seems to be improving- I changed my healthcare system and my migraines are mostly under control every few weeks of my time depending on how my shots are scheduled. The shots are terrible, there are 30 of them.

Medical Cannabis has dramatically reduced my anxiety and instances of flashbacks.

I constantly marvel on how I can actually choose my own strains now and have actual preferences to my medication. I feel like I am performing 1800’s pharmacology as I gain more practice in combining strains for the greatest functionality- it has been a Godsend.

I also still swim every day I am able- I had a flu type illness for the last two weeks and only got back into the water again yesterday. Perhaps it’s the familiarity of her name, but I still feel an inexplicable connection to Rán, while I swim I just pray to her- describing my life to Her and what I would like to change for the better. It is a bit like talking to an elder family member where you have a relationship on mutual respect and affection.

This seems to be a rather healthy form of transference to me- I have very little interaction with my own family at this point and it seems to directly coincide with my improved mental state.

I have had an active season with two different orchestras: The Reading Philharmonic and the Albright Sinfonia. I now serve on the board of the former.

I have now been playing the viola for three years; I still can only rarely accomplish vibrato, but my tone is improving. I also play the violin passably and I am beginning to make sense of the cello. I also have a great new viola teacher who really inspires me- I met her after my friend Rose passed away- and I feel a connection between those two events in a benevolent new-age sort of way.

Also, the tie-dye thing is going well despite minimal effort- I work around my migraines and chronic pain. I am still wiped out much of the time, but I am working with better doctors to hopefully return more functionality to me.

Despite objectively having more healthy, wholesome activities in my life- I still am frustrated by my health limitations and short attention span, however, I believe addiction to the internet is the primary problem. Not that there is anything particularly relevant…spending hours scrolling is a waste of life- however, it fills a social need without the complication of actually interacting with people.

Eventually, as a culture, we will recognize how unhealthy the internet has been towards social interactions- and at that point, I will be lumped in with the majority of humans who would likely evident some withdrawal symptoms. I know for the scattered days we lose a cell phone tower to storms. Even if I do write occasional editorials, I think we can do without the internet in its present form. I am increasingly convinced the internet itself has a consciousness and that consciousness is not kindly predisposed to humanity.

Then again, I am pretty happy with my social life. I have close long-term friends I speak to near daily, and my favorite conversationalist is my husband- who is silent outside of the house but speaks constantly when we are alone together- on every possible topic.

Over the past two years, I have also learned to let go of people who put me down. Being talked down to constantly is a burden on the spirit. Being insulted and disrespected is not all in good fun, instead, I lean towards friends and family to whom I can be mutually supportive, I have even “traded in” some friends for others; Pretty much anyone who put me down in favor of people who build people up.

Generally, the “Arch-enemies” of negative people tend to not care about the people of their past who obsess over them- because they have moved on to live fairly wholesome bucolic lives of their own… and I decided that was more of what I wanted in my own life. Quiet, supportive, and beautiful life with very little interpersonal conflict.

Spiritually, I have been focusing on gratitude- for my beautiful life, home, husband, animals- and appreciating as much as I can to fight off feelings of anxiety. There a few people I wish I were closer to- mostly women around my own age of similar interests, but I am working on being social in a healthy- sort of way.

Despite all of this- my biggest hurdle outside of my health is my feeling of “not doing enough”- to see most of what I am working to accomplish written shows it looks like I do more than I feel like I do- especially including the amount of time I spend on the phone fixing misbilled home utilities and arguing with our insurance company since they decided to no longer pay a terrible local health system for their lackluster service (hence, our transfer).

I feel like I have personally progressed a great deal in slowly coming back from clinical agoraphobia. Hopefully, this will be the continuation of an upward trend.

However, I will always feel lazy until I write a book. Even if no one would read it, I still feel like I should write one.

Managing PTSD with Cannabis: My first cannabis industry article!

Posted in About me on January 13, 2019 by Alana Smithee

Except for one more minor revision, here is the article I wrote for Monroeblvd.com on managing PTSD symptoms with Cannabis.

The owner/editor of the website is absolutely fantastic and has really been thorough and positive with his suggested edits over the drafts of writing this piece.

I hope this is the first of a respectable career writing professionally in an industry I care deeply about:


Happy 2019! Random updates…

Posted in About me on January 8, 2019 by Alana Smithee

The reason I have not been writing as often on this blog simply that my health and life have been improving overall leading to a busier schedule.

Last year, it was discovered my synaestesia and much of my depression was actually sourced from a chronic migraine condition. I have responded exceptionally well to standard treatments of triptans, gabapentin, medical cannabis, and botox injections to the crown, neck and shoulders.

I also have rescue medications for breakthrough headaches as well as a protocol at the local urgent care for emergency Toredol, needed about once every month or two.

…As a result, my activity level has increased significantly allowing me to pursue more meaningful activities over staring blankly at my phone, immobile with what I now know was simply pain.

It is fascinating that I had zero concept I was even in pain until I felt what it was like to suddenly be without it.

I spent the better part of the last year in trial and error migraine treatments, painted my ceilings black to help (it does!), and fluctuated between days of brilliant productivity and finding myself absolutely crippled by side effects of migraine medications.

However! I finally found some excellent specialists an hour away and now my migraines are fairly under control. I believe the worst part was not knowing, being misdiagnosed with everything from narcolepsy to fibromyalgia, when really, all I had wrong was a badly healed neck fracture and ‘a perfect storm’ of other individually mild conditions that all contributed to the migraine issue, including allergies, the wrong prescription glasses, and the understanding of the link between stress triggers for my PTSD overlap with my migraine triggers.

In the Autumn I survived a pretty severe eye injury that required an ER visit, an ophthalmologist, and a very good lawyer. I now own transition lens glasses that cost more than most of my former vehicles… the lenses tinted specifically for headaches and correcting other vision abnormalities I was not aware of beforehand.

The difference is tremendous. I highly recommend not visiting mall eyecare centers in favor of real, highly skilled specialists if you also endure terrible natural eyesight. The selection of frames in store is smaller, but I found frames I like for under a Benjamin to hold those expensive corrective lenses.

My glasses were so expensive because I literally got the “everything but the kitchen sink” package… which is good, I stepped on them the first week I had them and paid nothing to get the lenses replaced since I invested in insurance coverage for my clumsiness.

Otherwise, I now play the viola in three orchestras, two in Reading, and one in Allentown as weather permits.

I also somehow managed to get on the board of directors of the Reading Philharmonic; which is a really fantastic thing since I am finally using my Americorps Vista experience with the non-profit sector in a productive capacity. I never thought that would happen, but I am proud of this accomplishment, especially coming out from clinical agoraphobia for a few years.

Ed and I joined a gym where I can finally swim, and I do, daily, for one to two hours every day, and finally, I was just scouted to write editorials for a dispensary website; I am in the process of working with their editor to get my first article up shortly.

Otherwise, my tie dye is doing well, I am getting out more than I have in years, and feel pretty great overall.

Enough to live in a house that warm, safe, and clean (except for husky fluffs we sweep out daily)

I have finally surrounded myself with positive, supportive people and our little animal sanctuary here in Exeter is a pretty chill place. Our family of rescue animals is four cats, two dogs, and a snake.

Ed has his rabbits we purchased for $25 each who work as great vegetable garbage disposals/fertilizer producers.

Also, they got out a few times and in total we found homes for 43 baby rabbits before we were able to finally stop the neighborhood kids from leaving their hutch open.

Our wild rabbits are pretty remarkable cross of Flemush giant and Pennsylvania wild bunny. Our local rabbit population is likely giving our local predator population high cholesterol.

Our garden resulted in an epic growing season that resulted in baking and selling an awful lot of pumpkin pies, but hey, I learned a skill.

I also finally learned how to make a loaf of bread from scratch that is good enough to use for sandwiches.

So, when I am not on here, I am just enjoying being productive, not in pain, and just striving to live the most fulfilling life possible.

Today, I am recovering from a sinus infection thing I accrued after my root canal, so this post is simply burning off the prednisone here so I can be more focused to concentrate on my upcoming article.

I promise, if my editorial becomes published, I will post the link…and if it does not get published, I will still post it here somehow since I am incredibly proud of it as one of my best pieces I have ever created.

Overall, I feel positive and content. My episodes of PTSD on average now last four days or less, and I finally feel like life is falling into a solid, healthy pace. Having accessible medical marijuana has also been essential to my continuing recovery of both my mental and phtsical health.

I am presently on 60mg of Charlotte’s Web CBD oil, and even with this cold, I still feel well enough to want to go to the pool. (Or that could also be the prednisone, or both.)

I hope your 2019 holds as much promise and positive energy as I have experienced, and if not yet, I hope it happens for you soon!


A Different Timeline

Posted in About me on January 6, 2019 by Alana Smithee

My Latvian grandfather died prior to my birth. As I get older, I think about him often.

I learned more about him in college and from random strangers than I ever did my own family. A military officer, known for his intelligence, rigidity, and obsession with propriety and order: he was admired, respected, trusted, and most of all, intellectually brilliant and infamously resourceful.

My family has said he was difficult to live with; his standards were excruciatingly high and so were his resentments towards anyone who fell short.

The benign thing about his untimely death prior to my birth is there are no negative experiences in my memory. When I was a child, he was simply a headstone in a November cemetary where few flowers grew.

He planted the black tulips in the yard and painted his home (my childhood home) the same green as his first military uniform.

Before the war he was an olympic level athlete, a competitive man in both skiing and shooting in his native Latvia.

He was multilingual, spoke English with a clear, British accent, and survived an incredible life serving multiple militaries. He survived the invasion of his home, the most difficult military training of his era, endured as a POW, and finally found safety (at least for a few decades) here in the United States where he found himself unexpectedly in a civilian life; channeling his frustrated energies into working multiple jobs to support his family hybridizing African violets and raising tropical fish in his spare time.

He was the only person on this Earth who held my mother accountable for anything whatsoever.

In my childhood, she told me all the ways he would have hated me. My grandmother, and those who knew him painted an opposite picture; that there are small fragments of genetic memory that reflect his memory in my adaptability and moments of pride.

My mother also lied to me, about me, beat me, subjugated me, starved me and treated myself and my grandma like her personal slaves.

During my bad days, I lose my forgetfulness. Today my brain was not kind to me.

Did grandpa survive PTSD as well? I survived hell, and I have enough facts to know without question he survived and thrived through much worse than I could possibly begin to comprehend.

But yet, his mind never failed him as my brain fails me with my flashbacks that involve no wars, no witnessing death first hand, nor decades of the constant threat of assassination.

Part of his endurance was the product of extensive education, indoctrination, and the consequence of any lack of vigilance during his military years would have been his death.

He died young, however, he was extraordinary in how long he managed to survive circumstances so adverse that he spent the last years of his life searching for knowledge of spirituality…sunlight through clouds in illuminatined shafts of light wa proof of divine communication;and every church a disappointment in the lack of a message to which his life could reflect.

Grandpa may have been many things- a man of the benign, placid Christianity of forgiveness and simpering on his knees before a divine sheep herder was not it.

In his Latvia, there was panpolytheism. Local nature gods (Dīevas) under a greater sky-God (Dīev or Zīu)

This is why I associate him with Tyr; if he lived to see Asatru begin it would have easily both fascinated and frustrated him.

He may have dismissed it entirely or embraced it completely to the point of resentment of those who hold to our ancestral beliefs only carelessly, half heartedly, and inaccurately.

In this life, there is very little chance I will know.

No public textbook has his name, and I am not even entirely sure that the name I know was his birth name.

What I do know: being his granddaughter, for a very short few years of my adult life, created bizarre opportunities for me for a very short period of time. I regret not using that window more carefully to research him when I could.

Maybe one day I can; and perhaps I will be appalled or disappointed.

Perhaps… my idealation would be reinforced.

I have written countlessly about flashbacks, but not so much my positive imaginings.

I imagine if he were given the time to be in my life he would have been stern and provided structure to my upbringing. He would have advocated for my education and nurtured my intelligence.

He would have not only encouraged every recognition and accomplishment, he would have been in the audience for every award. For every opportunity presented that slipped through my fingers growing up of camps for the gifted or early admissions denied to me; it would not have been a question of my participation, but a proud expectation that I would have been taught his meticulous nature and inherited his composure by example.

“She is my granddaughter, she succeeds because I taught her myself.”

My education would have been the highest priority. I would have earned his affection with my test scores. He would have stood up for me, kept those that harmed me from affecting me so deeply, if it meant he would raise me himself in his retirement.

The failures of my teenaged parents would have been offset with a role model that nurtured my strengths and taught me greater emotional resilience.

But, I never did know him. I only have stories, a few photographs, and the small traces he left behind in my grandmother’s home. I have never seen video of him, heard his voice, nor seen his thoughts written.

Like me, he was both loved and despised in equal measure. Unlike me, his mind and emotions were said to be exquisitely trained into complete obedience to his will leading to exceptional ability in observation and, as a result, intuition.

I would not have cried for violin nor piano lessons; he respected the arts. Instead of feelings of resentment of every opportunity denied, I would possibly have grown to resent being forced to practice each day- that drills in memory, mathematics, language, and other important things would have not been a punishment, but an inspiration.

I could have grown up with him as the greatest role model, or an even greater villian who could have robbed me of all childhood joy in exchange for endless education without respite, but successful by his influence.

And through that resentment, I never would have known the fractured reality in which I was actually raised: punishments without reason, violence at the slightest provocation, and chaos with no dream of order.

Was he a violent man or taciturn? Would he have loved me or would he have disowned me?

If he had lived I would have been unrecognizable to my present self in this timeline.

Regardless, the one thing that had remained undisputed is I would have been better for it, without awareness of the traumas of this timeline.

And I would be ungrateful; and I would have no way to communicate from this timeline to that how fortunate I would have been; even if I only had his influence for few years or many.

Lastly, he never believed in saying the words “I love you” He did make it clear to all who knew him ‘either you feel it or you do not’, that the words are meaningless to a concept so profound and outside of human capability to articulate.

He loved my grandmother enough to know to call her every medical emergency or accident within minutes. That is impressive considering the lack of cell phones of his time period.

Without love, he wouldn’t have cared enough to call even if he were informed. She never recovered from his death and she dreams of him often.

I only dreamt of him twice. Once where I watched him repair the electric of a hospital where I was overnight, his only words, “So…you are my granddaughter”

The other dream he sat behind a dark desk in a white room in his lieutenants’ uniform as he asked me questions on my philosophies, interview style, until he smiled at the very end of the dream indicating he approved of my manner of thinking.

The great thing about these fantasies is there is no true answers, but neither is there any trauma he can inflict upon me.

A dead man can hold no ability to inflict harm on the living by their own free will. The dead lose the active ability to effect change; even if history eventually reveals him as vile, corrupt, or malicious- my reality is unchanged by negative revelations of dead men I never met, just my understanding and my imaginings.

Only living people and circumstances wound us; to blame the dead is fallacious to project our own failures and faults away from ourselves.

In my thoughts, he was likely an honorable soul. If he was not, that was his own fault.

I will never meet him to know one way or the other.


However, I do know my grammar and spelling mistakes would be far less common.  One rare fact I own is his elocution was flawless, always.

New Etsy Store: Tiedye the American Folk Art

Posted in About me on October 10, 2018 by Alana Smithee

I have been working hard over several months around my schedule of bad health and/or bad luck to create an Etsy shop with the purpose of generating some extra income for my family.

My goal is to purchase a good chicken coop with a run for a few laying hens… and also, I can really use a haircut.

Welcome to TwoMountainCreek

I picked the name literally because our property is creekside and between Mount Neversink and Mount Penn.

I have slow going in getting everything I want accomplished, but I am (mostly) proud of my work and I am always trying to add more as time and stamina allow.

Excellent tie dye is an American folk art. I am all for trying to make my tiny buisiness work. I upcycle thift store finds and occassional bulk purchase white t-shirts.

Yes, I do commissions and if you have suggestions on how to achieve some sales I am all ears. Each garment is washed several times and dyed with professional procion dyes.

These colors have yet to fade in any of the shirts I kept for myself, and I wear my own work as often as I can if I plan on being ‘out in the wild’…

Unfortunately, the only time I am out of the house lately is either orchestra or doctor appointments lately.

On the positive, I have friends coming by to help model for me! That should help since they . Miranda this weekend and my fellow Lokean Erik later this month if all goes well.

Here are some (but not all) of my designs for sale presently:

Support Heathen owned and operated buisiness: buy a shirt please!

Social Media is Terrible for everything (at least to me)

Posted in About me on October 3, 2018 by Alana Smithee

I am still facebook free, however, I am still on Reddit a few times a day.

The last few weeks have been difficult, I was injured by a freak accident and had some other bizarre health issues…some of which lend me particularly to vulnerability and potential embarrassment. Without fail, I notice the articles displayed on the Reddit mainpage echoing and amplifying my fatalistic moments into panic.

I would like to pass.

I have been making some lifestyle changes; namely, attempting to conscientiously spend as little unproductive time on the internet as possible in exchange for real world stuff.

I know I cannot possibly be the only human who feels kicked in the teeth by a news article or twenty that just-so-happen to prey on vulnerable insecurities or negative recollections of personally traumatic experience.

I am not the only person with CPTSD. Also: I believe even people with normal mental health can feel utterly miserable after a few minutes on the internet.

This is not healthy, folks. I may be the old, tailess fox attempting to convince you my inability to operate much online since I have too many traps that can retrigger a psychological spiral into the flashback ghetto…

Then again, who has not been profoundly hurt by life, at least once…in a way they do not want to be reminded of ad nauseam?

Pretty much what I can conclude is most people online are both hurting for any number of reasons and somehow, also aggressively defensive of their sovereign views shared by whatever chosen few we each align as if we are not manipulated by every variety of digital media….

As for me, I am working my damndest to wrestle and regain enough of my attention span back from digital media to be able to read a book like I used to without a loss of attention.

Unless, I can be productive. Writing is productive. I’ll allow this exception along with posting my tie-dye on etsy (To list a single shirt takes over an hour!) Or catch up on documentaries or instructional videos.

In other news; I now play with two orchestras. Viola, mostly- also some violin and cello. I might pick up a cheap flute.

Gods… just keep me off the fucking internet!

The I Quit Facebook Challenge

Posted in About me on August 26, 2018 by Alana Smithee

Please quit facebook.

It is lonely without it, true.

Your friends will mistakenly think you blocked them.

You will lose long-time connections and be consistently ‘out of the loop’ on most identity politics.


You will regain the ineffable.

I have been off of all social media outside of Reddit since May 1st, I deleted both facebook profiles, and I do not regret it.

I cannot explain exactly why- but I see most social media as too invasive, cancerous, and as incubators of needless strife.

Focus is removed from the local and inminant and placed on the distant, the intangible and multipled with cultivated panic and fears in the absurd.

I miss a hell of a lot of you, but there is no fucking way I am wading through that swamp of insanity and sorrow when there are still perfectly valid methods that exist outside of facebook to reach me. If you want my email/phone number, ask.

My reddit handle is u/Tyrienne .

My life is still strange. I am now in treatment for chronic migraine- completely bewildered that synaestesia is actually migraine aura…and what I thought was depression is actually pain.

After some awful mishaps, I am responding very well to standard treatment of Topamax and rotated Triptans…and will be receiving my first round of over 30 botox shots to my head and neck in about a week.

My migraines originate from a childhood neck fracture that was not addressed properly when it occurred, nor should have ever occurred in the first place. My mother had a habit of strangling me… despite multiple MRI/CAT scans over the years, the healed over compressed vertebrae in my neck was overlooked, like my synaestesia, by most doctors.

I am trying to process it all, but everything is happening at a very rapid pace at this time.

There are days of outstanding productivity thanks to the new treatment, as well as days that are of pain that I have not known prior- it seems treatment means instead of remaining at a constant level of “barely functional” I now exist in two extremes between “super functional” and “utterly useless”.

Most of my family and close friends have no idea any of this has/is even occurring. The past few months has been a blur of hospital visits and constant medication switching.

I feel incredibly grateful that I now have profound hope for my own future, but I also wrestle with a great deal of complicated emotions regarding my past.

My anxiety remains unchanged.

Regardless, quit facebook. It will be good for you…and while you are at it, stop drinking soda and eating processed foods.

To be more positive: endevour to rise above social media and liberate yourselves from all that harms you.

Hailsa:) I am still alive.

-Ren (Tyrienne)

Don’t assume.

Posted in About me on August 12, 2018 by Alana Smithee

I did. I am naïve as all hell, and this has led to some interesting situations.

Now I am stuck hiding in my house sick as a dog because I trusted in the intellect and inherent belief of goodness of all medical professionals only to have found myself the survivor of gross incompetence leading to hospitization and a near future visit to some hardcore medical facility over an hour away.

On the bright side, at least my diagnosis was cleared up in the ER as just simple migraines responsive to simple treatments; however mismanagement of my case requires I need to get to the superior health system in my area for appropriate treatment.

Do not trust doctors who want to try ‘experimental’ treatments on you, folks… do not allow yourself to ever be a guinea pig out of blind trust.

Next problem…How will I learn to trust any neurologist again?

Recession Indicators and my own #metoo

Posted in About me on July 17, 2018 by Alana Smithee

My most humane moments in college were in a cubical stacked with books on economic and wartime history of the late 20th century, and a young professor who patiently attempted to teach me as his narcissist of a collegue milked me for material they could use in their own papers and lectures.

(The #Metoo movement is uncomfortable for me, I was never sexually exploited…then again is a fountain of academic papers exploited when plagarized if the author is to nïave to know better?)

This friend helped me live through a great deal, regrettably , cycles of flashbacks create a wall of trauma between myself and people I met while I was injured for periods of time.

For my own well being, I have learned to ride the waves of these cycles until they pass… My constitution score is deplorable but I have high hit points somehow. (I also have tachycardia and hypOTension, my existence is stacked file folders of contradictions)

So anyway, I am getting healthier, but not fast enough. I am fighting through constant brain fog induced by migraine medications and physical pain is often a steep cliff to climb.

However, I cannot ignore every economic indicator present for the wave of economic recession crashes publically. In my hysterical younger existence I still retained at least some of my education in Political Science.

It has already begun in my state with tent cities hidden within our major cities, the uptick on prices on groceries and fuels, and the enormous debt burdens carried by our friends and aquaintances from student loans, medical expenses, and failing health.

I am only 36 years old, I have friends in Europe and Australia who recieve exemplary preventative care and easy access to necessary medications and surgeries. Sometimes, I wonder if doctors of countries with better healthcare look at us as if we are still hacking away at our surgery patients like The Barber Of Seville, repleat with fast food ‘meat’ pies. Or perhaps treating our patients with leaches and opium (not far from the truth) instead of proper, modern healthcare.

Of course, there are exceptions… but I live locally and I am very selective of the topics of world news I focus on. Primarily, corperate personhood and the devaluation of the individual as a commodity in our current economic structure.

The problems are to broad of a scope for me to delineate. It is a situation I look at in the same manner people approach the grand canyon: “A great big orange hole in the ground” Describes both technically yet incompletely.

Often lately, I find myself feeling the impulse to emigrate out of this state or even this country. I am investing in my physical home in home and property improvements as much as my health allows.

I literally feel nervous we do not own egg laying chickens yet. This is anxiety I doubt anyone not-ridiculous experiences seriously… but as always, I am a self parody of a real human being. I can write as elegantly and eloquently as I can, however there is zero market for editorials without connections or nor journalism written free of propoganda for whomever pays or promises increases of standard if living, ergo, quality of life.

Regardless, somewhere…I am among someone’s favorite writers, even if it is just one person.

I try hard to hope that person or persons are not creepy people who have harmed me…but instead are decent people with good hearts. Sadly, I do not choose my small readership, you choose to read mevout if interest, curiosity, voyeurism, or obsession.

And I should not stop writing because I feel intimidated that people who intentionally, deliberately, and criminally harmed me and likely others read what I write along with kind strangers and friends.

My life is okay- my anxieties are global economic disaster and stalkers.

If you KNOW you are not welcome in my life… just know that I hate you specifically for causing writer’s anxiety. Generally, you would know if you are a stalker if you are rather certain I would call the police if you attempt contact me:)

Sometimes, when I think of all the people who have pursued contact with me after I state I wish no further contact, it feels like being buried in concrete. A relative who beat me, a handfull of ‘niceguys’ who can’t understand ‘no’, a guy who wrote a chapter in his book about ‘bringing me to Jesus’, a couple of ex-lovers, and two people who may actually be murderers.

My social anxiety is valid. My husband protects me and scares off these predators. My problem with #metoo is it doesn’t count abuse by women to women. Also, I hate hate hate the word ‘victim’.

I hate seeing it. It is like a scarlet letter that marks a person in an invisible fashion that is only visible to other abusers, it then deforms all life into social phobia and agoraphobia.

Not everyone has been stalked, threaten, or harmed by others. It isn’t glamorous, and it happens because the individual harmed often is lured into traps of feeling empathetic towards people who give the appearances of living through similar experiences or trying to seek help and the person offering a hand has ulterior motives.

In realising I am a horrendously terrible judge of character… and the current geopolitical climate has created nothing but the radicals and those who are just dropping from all social media as they are able… I am the latter.

Did an event cause this? Yes. I found out an ex was under alias as a fb ‘friend’ who sought me out via this blog.

I cannot emphasise this enough: go away. Do not comment, do not create a reaction blog. I delete stalker comments, I don’t read what anyone writes about me or whatever. I don’t even own a single book where I am mentioned, noreven read them. I fucking hide.

I write because if I don’t when I feel the need to, it affects my mental health extremely adversely.

But sometimes it helps other people as well… that makes it not so bad.

Reddit is a great place to be a chaplain.

Posted in Uncategorized on May 21, 2018 by Alana Smithee

First, I have reached the conclusion that facebook can indeed be a cognitive addiction, I left around May 1st-ish and I still find myself reaching for my phone to make stupid little status updates even now. Example, walking my dog Ziu on the stream path behind our home and picking wild Sping onions. Okay, they will taste great in my stir fry this evening, but no one in Odinism outside of the local Braucherei would care about wild onions, and more importantly, the vast majority of them are fiercely against social media and limit internet use, if they even have the internet at all.

So, therefore, I concluded I would be sharing something entirely meaningless except for a small handful of other forager-types, and onions are nothing special compared to morel mushroom season or finding a decent sized chicken-of-the-woods (big shelf fungus that allegidly tastes like chicken.)

I suppose since Leah’s memorial service my focus in my chaplaincy shifted a bit. I am a little better known outside of just Odinism now and I felt a bit overwhelmed and needed to pull back my online interactions a bit. I still do as much (or little?) as always, but instead of being a one woman suicide/crisis/grief hotline- by pure happenstance I wound up on an obscure forum on Reddit for individuals and their families seeking support for a type of rare medical condition which happens to be incredibly common in my family.

I had a family medical emergency from that condition last week, created a stupid off-the-cuff throwaway name looking for resources for myself, was quickly connected to what I needed and in turn, learned that many of the questions people were posting on that forum I have the resources to answer or, at very least, point people in the correct direction to find answers that the moderators were at a loss to fix. I seemed to very quickly find a nice niche in there and have been happily helping ever since.

I do not give medical advice by any means, but I sure know my way around the process of finding the right types of doctors, can offer my own experience as a person who has family who suffer the condition for how to best help symptomatic family, and as a bonus, still have every chaplain resource available to listen or refer others to even better resources that can quickly help them out and even lead to solutions that stick- whereas with suicide/grief chaplaincy there are seldom quick fixes, nor even clear resolutions in many cases outside of therapy I am not qualified to provide beyond listening and the time it takes for psychological wounds to heal.

My /u/Tyrienne account still is active on regular reddit, but I discovered it is also a very nice change of pace to just be a ‘normal’, multifaith chaplain who can help with a few sentences and some links as opposed to pulling all-nighters with suicidal strangers via private messaging.

Reddit forums can be much more structured, especially the older forums. The acutely suicidal are better served by calling a crisis line such as 1-800-SUICIDE instead of me staying online for countless hours attempting to convince people to call that number. I realize I was living part of my life as a human redundancy.

So, I now have a secret screenname I use exclusively for a forum for a condition that is common in my biological family, something I know how to navigate the treatment process fairly well from a lifetime of understanding the condition. There, my religion as Odinist has only been mentioned twice, but I feel much happier overall with my work.

For one thing, it ceased feeling like “work”… although Heathen-Odinist chaplains with degrees and certifications seldom get paid anyway, the three or four of us in the US community I know definately work our asses off in our respective volunteer work. I know one in the military, one weddings, and one or two who did prison work, who if reading this, I dearly hope continued that outreach.

Heathenry, by nature does not have religious authorities…and should NOT be human billboards attempting to convert. Instead, we should serve as intake to answer questions and give out the basic booklist of the Eddas and helpful, supporting literature. (As always, my favorite remains “The Odin Brotherhood” by Mark Mirabello)

Each man and woman stands on their own in their European spirituality and do not and should not require any intermediary between ourselves and our Ancestors and Gods. Too often American Heathenry and Odinism falls into the Abrahamic pattern/trap of clergy with congregation… and really, that is not how we are supposed to work at all.

The Goethe/Gythia or even legal chaplain is a servant to the community and should only be responsible for helping others through difficult times, providing resources, performing services that the law requires legal clergy for (most people choose weddings, I chose funerals and forcing doctors to offer hospice care as an option for families with loved ones about to pass on from illness or traumatic injury), or in passing on our traditions to children and those who are newly called to our faith. We are supposed to lead only by example, and encourage each Odinist to be a leader in their own right.

We are not meant to have hierarchy, no one Odinist is more ‘important’ than any other. Each of us is capable of reading our own books, performing our own holiday rituals, and it is essentially toxic to lead a group of Odinists like a minister runs a Christian church.

My former kindred was very good at giving each person their equal moments of leadership for most of the extraordinarily long life it existed until many of our brothers fell into hard drug use. In trying so hard to integrate into other local communities, I got lost, and actually hurt a great deal by politics and backstabbing as other individuals jockied for ‘leadership’ roles in organizations.

Heathenry should not be organized, Odinism is an intimately personal experience you share with your family and like-minded friends.

I have successfully made some progress in reconnecting with my roots with the local Dīevturba (and in refreshing my passive fluency in Latvian) and my chaplaincy degrees and such are actually better used at this time helping people as simply someone who went to college for the correct education to provide resources and support for anyone I can help, regardless of their own faith or mine.

I am a chaplain who is also an Odinist. I need to remember that, as should all others who went for legal legitimacy. It can be difficult to reconcile where we are supposed to ‘fit’ in our communities verses our legal title which was created based on a monotheistic model.

The federal government is very specific about how religions are defined and accepted; Odinists who seek accredited, ecclesiastical and counseling training are valuable in proving our legitimacy to non-Heathens, but we are not nor should not be anything other than a resource for the community entire or anyone else who could use our assistance.

It is a calling and a privilege, not an accomplishment.

When I feel up to it, I will be swinging back to the Odin Brotherhood forums as Tyrienne, but other than that, I have people to celebrate holidays with and invites I still would like to work up the nerve to accept from kindreds who operate on a more equal, appropriately ‘each person is a descendant of Gods’ model. (Hi MJG: Call me again, we need to catch up.)

Otherwise, the absolute most important thing to my spirituality at present is being here for my godchildren who are now all reaching that critical puberty age where I can take some stress off the parents by providing a thorough religious education on our beautiful tapestry European polytheistic religions and watch them bloom. One of my little goddaughter’s has even developed an obsession with fox fylgia and I am absolutely thrilled by that!

I do love talking about foxes, and in a few weeks I look forward to seeing my eldest godchild and her grandma before she leaves Pennsylvania for the summer for upstate NY.

So, this is where my path is right this moment in May of 2018. I will have my husband post this on the facebook page for me, and if any of you from real life or OB still need my phone number, email me at renalexanders@gmail.com

Also, summer solstice is coming up, it would be a great time now to scoutout your local mountains…and while doing so, I still support #Wotennetwork and Woten on the Peaks created by Stephen McNallen. Bring your horn and raise it high for the purpose of our Gods stirring up the blood of the collective ancestral spiritualities of our folk to the old (and very good!) Ways of our Gods and ancestors!


I am not leaving.

Posted in Uncategorized on May 9, 2018 by Alana Smithee

I am not leaving. I deavtivated facebook, I vent on Reddit, I play my viola/cello/violin (badly), and text people one on one.

I find myself pulled, as if addicted to overstare details of the more fucked up moments I have seen in real life, real time, instead I am saving them up for future blog posts.

Basically: How do I live my life and try to respond to the challenges life throws my way with an Odinist ethic?

This is what I think about often, among other things. How do I msintain a consistent, ethical response to all life events to the very best I am able.

There is zero guidebook that informs you on how to respond to modern life written by Tyr Himself, nor even Odin.

After the Hamaval, it is just us, doing the best we can to represent virtues we value.

Sometimes, I regret that my primary focus is gross honesty.

This entire post is the equivilent of vaguebooking. Truth is, at this moment I am dealing with recent trauma I am attempting to assimilate into becoming a benign thought in a sea of other traumas.

The problem with being traumatized at a young age is the inevitability of finding new, more bizarre traumas seeking you to completely fuck up your entire view of yourself and how much or little your life interfaces with other people in your life.

I have very good friends, the best therapist, support networks for days. The worst decision I make in my life is interact with people who hurt me and I recoil like a fucking viper and randomly strike back with my flashbacks and try to get people, like my family, to care about the times I was strangled as a child because tgey didn’t help me enough, call 911, protect me.

The above paragraph is part of what I am objectively experiencing in my mind right now, I am stressed and overwhelmed. It triggers. Not the co opted word ‘triggered’. I am having a psychological/medical episode I am treating with medication and writing out my thought processes.

The writing content, intensity, and style changes as I manage phonecalls from my shrink and my friends checking in on me. It is embarrassing I need that, but I am very grateful to have them all.

The problem is this time this is something new. I never saw this before, and I am frightened for everyone else who has seen what I have, and my other problems seem so alien compared to seeing a disease worse than the worst disease you know literally eat the brains of your best friend like a goddamned zombie buffett.

I wish I could talk about it and vent everything, but I can’t until they literally die.

For what it’s worth, I estimate that will be in under a year unless he decides otherwise.

But seriously, don’t lie to your friends for ten years about your problems because the 11th hour quickly moves to midnight and leaves me with nothing left to work with.

P.s. my husband will be posting my blogs on The Lokean fb page. I might just delete this post anyway.

Nookk has left the hospital at last; she was last seen eating trash and driving a Fnord

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2018 by Alana Smithee


This is the only picture of Leah Beam/Nookk Finn that belongs entirely to me. I share…also, here is the link to her Gofundme for her actual, biological family for her funeral expenses she created herself before she died: https://www.gofundme.com/7cpyp-leahs-funeral-expenses

Yeah, I got something to say: Asatru/Odinism/Heathenry, as a whole has nothing on the love that is flowing through the electronic veins of every social media site, forum, and group of Discordians and Chaotes the past month. The worshippers of the Norse have proven time and again to be more full of division, chaos, and discord than the actual movement CALLED “Discordianism”.

A few years ago, I stumbled across a post by a young girl on a Discordian page with over ten thousand members. I have no recollection of what she posted that impressed me so much at the time; however, my immediate action was to bring her into the wonderful, sweet center of Discordianist groups- the schisms and sweet little cabals in which we whisper our secrets and fears.

I even gave her the The Key.

For almost ten years there has been a myth about “Discordian Key Membership”- I forget who added me, but somehow, I ended up a moderator along the way… so I added her. Out of thousands of people on facebook, we agreed, before she was even old enough to legally vote, that she embodied the best of Eris herself.

Personally, I got so wrapped up in my anger at the Asatru community for not being better that I did not see “my people”. Although I moderated several larger cabals in Discordianism, my activity was so sparse that the few times I commented in the larger groups- It was met with confusion:

“Wait, why does it say you are a moderator? Are you an alt?”

“Nope, been here for years, I just don’t post often. 😚”

My moderatorship has not been to ban or to remove, but to sort people into the right communities: the artists into the glitch groups, the meme and content creator’s into others, and even further, to petition to allow those of us who are depressed, ill, or just going through some shit into groups where we provide one hell of an internet family.

Online, I joined Asatru and Discordian communities concurrently. I read “Condensed Chaos” by Phil Hine around the same time I began reading books on Runes before I even hit puberty.

As a Heathen, I am constantly having to both downplay/ stand up for myself for a variety of reasons: My political beliefs, the Gods I worship, right down to taking a fucking DNA test to prove to the most conservative among you that not only do I meet you quotas for “blood quantum”, I exceed most of you with being 100% made in Europe…and ironically, posting this screenshot caught me a 30 day fb ban(I will post the pic that got me my second ban at the end of this post.)

Every. Single. Fucking. Time. Someone I care about dies, I learn something that changes my life.

So far, so few people have died in my adult life I have not learned very much yet, but thanks to Leah-and the process of organising myself to perform her memorial service in less than a week, I have learned just how fucking much Discordians, Chaotes, and pagans OUTSIDE of Asatru come together internationally without conflict.

No mistake, there are some incredibly difficult, violent, and downright volatile feuds, however, those feuds are not about ideas…but between individuals. We have several who do not get along one on one, but it is fairly easy to navigate.  The feuds are usually legendary, but seldom divide us into “taking sides”.

We divide into schisms over entirely random reasons usually.

We know some people are miserable bastards, and others have actual, serious traumas they experienced that we try to be sensitive about (loss of a loved one, combat, disfigurement, etc). Some people create the most famous memes on the internet, some are employed by various governments and just hang out to talk freely where they cannot otherwise.

We have our own term for not being Discordian enough: Greyface. It means, basic, boring, dull, uninspired, and intellectually inferior.

We have serious, Hellenic, theistic Discordians with home altars to Eris, we have Heathens like me who honor Eris and Idunna as the same Goddess and we have Atheists/Agnostics who love the pseudo-religious aspects of the movement. They coexist… and honestly, much of the time we would have difficulty identifying one from the other.

We have actual celebrities and the conventionally successful commenting and writing content right alongside the disabled and the homeless. We do not care about relative wealth or status in the ‘conventional’ world in our Discordian communities.

When I am running my crisis chat, at least 75% of the people I help are in the Chaote communities.  They are my online family that is truly reciprocal.  We help each other without posturing or talking like we are on a Game of Thrones set.

Chaosists and Discordians are thoroughly modern, and may be the second most recent, spontaneous religion in numbers… the most recent being the new worship of the Ancient Egyptian Chaos-deity, Kek; the frog headed.  Fascinating stuff!✴

In setting up this memorial service, I learned more people in the entire world exist and belong to Discordian/Chaote/Chaos Magician groups several times over than Asatru as a whole.

Furthermore, when the Lokeans and Surtr worshippers were attacked online and in real life, excluded and derided by American Asatru groups: without pause, many assimilated into Discordia and Chaos Magicka communities. I swear I have seen more Heathen tattoos from friends in Disco than actual Hearhen groups.

We have our own authors, musicians, rituals, and organizations both online and off. Discordians are not fighting for recognition as a religion because, overall, very few require that sort of validation. They came from other belief systems and are tired of lables, or just tired of hierarchies.

Discordians do not have “leaders”, we have “key members” who are basically nodes who are connected to the most other members. We have people some of us really, honestly love and respect…but not usually universally.

Anyway, Leah is one of those people who actually *is* loved throughout every group I have seen among those that knew her. A tiny, twenty-two year old woman had the enormous power to bring hundreds of people defined under a title that suggests the opposite of accord.

Leah Nookk is still showing us how strong an unintentional community can bond, and also, how a single person can have such a profound, positive impact on not only the individuals they interact with, but improve an entire community that is both religious and anti-religion concurrently.

So, for the next several moments, fuck you, modern Asatru… for almost everything: from the disrespect you show to the belief systems of my family from Latvia to your bullshit faux-viking reconstructive rituals which are simply Wicca but with more alcoholism.

By birth, I am Heathen…but our American Heathen community is usually pretty awful and filled with petty bickering and too much heartache all.the.damned.time.

I am an accredited, degreed, chaplain. I can enter any hospital or hospice to perform my calling if I am asked.

I remember when I was suicidal and give as much time as I have to give to anyone who wants someone to listen and help them find a way to experience wanting to live again.

I think maybe the passing of my friend has given me more to process and disseminate than even the death of my former kindred brother whose passing clearly marked the end of an age of local Heathenry where the Folkish and Universalists got along. Time has proven that much.

Leah? Our ‘Nookk Finn’ has already proven that her life is the beginning of a new, positive movement around the entire motherfucking world of people who (mostly) read “The Principia Discordia”…and our strength together as a supportive, batshit crazy, but has true freedom of expression from SJW to Alt-Right, often in the same online forums, not even arguing since it is impossible to tell who is just “having fun” by poking both bears with sticks and who is home wearing drag wearing nothing but a MAGA hat in all seriousness and solemnity.

And goddamn, on Monday I will be filmed dressed like a raccoon, celebrating the life of Leah with as much joy as I can give you from my heart, and raising a horn to Discordia’s newest Saint, Queen Nookk, Leah the Goddess whose reputation and inspiration will long outlast the incredibly fortunate twenty two years we had her on this Earth, and has already become a legend: the woman who Made Discordians All Get Along, She Who Likely Had No Enemies.

Which makes her the quintessential Chaote among Chaotes, the most ironic of the absurd, and we gladly make her yet another icon to add to the infinite pantheon collective of every God, Goddess, and processed hotdog Chaos Magicians already honor as a whole.

This memorial is open to all and will be Totemist/Absurdist but still vaguely Odinist since Odinism is my own base.

The service will be held live 4/23/2018 at 3:23 EST

For the first time I can say: “Man, I am fucking glad to be Lokean and clergy to do this ritual.” For Heathen stuff I really have to lean so far into my existence Tyrsvolk I forget what “smiling” means anymore.

Thank you, Leah. Wherever you are right now, thank you for helping me work so hard to create this for you on Monday, and I hope it would make you smile for real if you got to watch me while you still wore your meatsuit like the rest of us here!

There will be snax. 💛🖤💛

As promised, this is the picture that got me a 7 day ban that ends Friday on my “tame” account. The Zuccbots think my couch is literally a penis.

Although it has not yet been removed from my “spicy” account, it was too sexy for facebook and declared “posting obscene materials” and the picture has been deleted by facebook where I captioned it with the seductive title in several groups “So, I remodeled my basement😂:

In light of this, the service will be held live in this most controversial space with Sexy Couch posing seductively behind me during the broadcast.

Eris=Idunna to me and many others and She definately has Her own ways of indicating what She thinksis appropriateritial space.

Leah will forever be 22 years old to the world that loves her; the Germanic Goddess of Eternal Youth was her Goddess who loved her by the name of Eris, and this is *my* belief.🍎🌭🍏

To learn more on the connections I make between European paganism and modern Discordianism, please search my other posts with the word: Discordian

(I am le’tired of editing: I wrote this on my phone.  There are grammar/spelling mistakes.  I have better things to do than keep editing a mostly intelligible article.  If you see an error, assume it it intentional chaos✴…because IDGAF 🦊)

Reason for Hiatus:

Posted in About me on April 5, 2018 by Alana Smithee

I write when I feel strongly enough to have something to say. With the current political climate, I am waiting until I am sure I have something valuable to add instead of “more of the same noise”.

I am watching closely for Godsign to write. Lately, the strong feeling has been to wait on publishing. In the meantime, I devote my energies to Odinist communities in conversation and the crisis/suicide chat at which I volunteer.

To have strong volk, we have to keep our people alive and mentally healthy first!😉

As a chaplain, I connect people in crisis to the resouces they need. I feel like a cross between a Heathen wiki and a 911 switchboard, but it’s worth it.

Lead by Virtue, Become the Change

Posted in Uncategorized on February 12, 2018 by Alana Smithee

(I am writing this on my mobile at 2am and likely will not get to correcting any formatting/autocorrect errors until later: beware)

Whatever hand life has dealt, the past you endured, your collection of regrets and regrets you collected… there is nothing at all stopping an inner drive for self improvement outside the self.

To be in a controversial movement and to forward it with legitimacy, strive to be strong, honest, courageous, and admirable. There is no excuse for dishonesty nor for permitting obstacles to continue to limit your growth in other directions.

You can no longer dance? Learn to sing.

You can’t walk? Learn a stationary talent- write, take up an instrument, keep fucking trying to improve where ever you can, physically or mentally.

Strive to improve, even in sickness, and you will never be a burden.

I survived depression and both physical and psychological maladies, but I worked my fucking ass to improve. Of all the things that helped the most was entirely dropping people out of my life who were not equally willing to continue to strive for a greater, more meaningful existence… while bringing me down with their inability to take care of their own, personal garbage.

I am not inviting the untruthful, those who ever threatened me harm, those who harm innocents, nor will I ever be ‘holding the door ever open’ for even relatives who cannot even fathom what personal pride even feels like anymore after convoluted lives built upon precariously stacked lies.

If I can live 100% honestly, I expect no less from those I continue to share my time with.

Since decisively removing myself from people who do not add any meaningful contribution to my continued existence, especially degenerate family members, I seem to have reconnected with better, more stable individuals who add to my life instead of collapsing my sanctuary.

My peace is my own to disrupt or to keep. To keep the abusive in my life was my greatest absurdity, and it is difficult to concentrate when always, there is that feeling of waiting for the next bullshit drama from the same offenders, those who would rather wear their afflictions like a cross or medal instead of an obstacle to either overcome or work around.

My goal is to lead by example- to continue to improve in mind and body. To the ideal of becoming beyond reproach and emotionally bullet proof against the ethically and/or intellectually inferior who strive to destroy all that is honest and beautiful in this world.

If you have lied about me, you are unwelcome.

If you have put me in danger by your actions without my consent, you have only earned my disregard.

But for those of you, hundreds of you who also have found the taste of freedom in no longer being apologetic for our existence: Welcome!

May we all strive to rebuild a community despite our broken families and prior experiences of degenerate peers and disingenuous friends, to move beyond permitting the mantle of unholy scapegoat to be placed around our shoulders without objection.

Instead, stand up- look down at your detractors and be merciless in your deconstruction of them should they dare attempt to bring you down to their level one final time. Destroy them with your words once, then never again waste your time on them.  Or even better, ignore them completely: if you can live without formal closure.

Gods know my life is better if I follow my own advice!

I am no Christian to be a bended knee fool to appease anyone outside of the Gods.

If my Gods are also ‘unacceptable’… you too, can fuck right off. ☺

Unintended Consequences

Posted in About me on January 25, 2018 by Alana Smithee

After the last post- I expected anger- if at very least a full inbox of the types of insults and threats I used to receive at the time of this blogs first inception years ago.

Although the viewership for a non-fiction post was typically average- something entirely unexpected occurred.  Next to complete silence.  I had about four likes (which was more positive than I ever anticipated) and absolutely ZERO backlash.

Further-  it led to rediscovering old friendships, of private messages of people who I was surprised to discover agreed with anywhere from half to all of what I had written in the post prior to this one.

It may not seem like it- but it took a great deal of thought and overcoming personal fear to publically announce where I stand on current events in this culture of divisiveness and insanity, I had braced myself fully to find myself in the position of defending myself against angry hordes.  Nothing prepared me for hours upon hours of wonderful conversation with long lost friends, with new followers, and positive reinforcement.

This post does not provide much new content- it is more of a large THANK YOU to everyone who is reading this- I thank you for your civility and your friendship.  Now that I once again own a laptop I have an incentive to write much more often- further, I no longer feel the burden of self-censorship I placed upon myself that stifled me from writing anything but random fiction for so long.

I have no specific plans for what I will be writing in the future- but I have learned that silence is a greater burden for me to bear than the free expression of my thoughts.  As I reiterate in other places in this blog- my perspective is constantly evolving, and I hope ever to grow in the wisdom set forth in the examples set by our Gods and noble ancestors.  Hopefully, whenever I do feel moved to post, it will be something worth reading.

However, I also strive to keep this blog as a record of the changes that have happened both in myself and the world in which I live.

This post is simply a thank you for my understanding, existing readers and a welcome to those of you who just began to follow this journal.

Bless you all:  Woten Mit Uns, always!

~Ren (Tyrienne)

[Fiction xposted to r/nosleep] ‘I will never be anonymous.’

Posted in About me on January 13, 2018 by Alana Smithee

I am alive… an incredible accomplishment all things considered. I have been happier in my current situation in life moreso than I have ever felt in the years leading up to my current circumstances: nice home, fantastic spouse, a home full of rescue animals, and I do not have to work for a living… since I am on total disability and my spouse makes decent money.

My diagnosis is PTSD/agoraphobia, and I have been mostly in remission, I scored a great therapist about a year ago who truly “got through to me”. Everything is technically wonderful, really and truly it is; and I am grateful for the progress I have made. Much of it owed to music- I play in a small, relatively obscure orchestra in an Appalachian city. Each week I brace myself for the one evening I spend with very nice strangers (unrealistic fears of rejection or getting into an accident on the way to or from practice, but I soldier through.)

I imagine I appear to others as an eccentric, nervous soul- I am no where near a *good* musician by any standard: the type of man any good Southerner would shake her pretty head at and say “Bless his heart, he tries!” After practices, I feel pretty good about myself.

*Hey, I made it there without crashing! Everyone is kind! I actually played some music and didn’t embarrass myself: Go me, woohoo!*

I like to pretend while I am there that my only secret is that my dead great-uncle was once a prominent member who made huge contributions to the group several decades ago. (He did, we do not share a surname.) I am happy to be there.


I am there for rehabilitation, for all my pretending- my secrets are heavy chains that weigh my psyche to the point where I am unrecognizable to myself. The past I have is frightening involving international politics and subsequently surviving physical and emotional torture thanks to my personal failure out of a program that was meant to train me for a cushy government job that never came to pass.
That If I could live my life over again- I never would have pursued in the first place, and truly never wanted except for the recruiters sweet honey of false praise of my intellect which I desperately craved at the time.

I came from a situation where during my training I constantly interacted with government employees who ‘made it’ and were coaching me- leading me through a batshit crazy breadcrumb trail of endless tutors in a myriad of languages, an unlimited supply of smart pills meant to ‘help me with my workload’ in my studies, and at times, police protection which I was okay with until it all fell apart when the program lost all government funding, I found myself handcuffed to a chair and threatened by the same people who once protected me.

I remember vividly being told how I would never leave that white room, the two uniformed men taking turns in their malicious glee of alternating between vicious insults, forcing me into physical contortions for their amusement- all the while as they read excerpts from a thick book of penal codes of offenses they delighted in sharing that they could charge me: any of them they desired. They could make up whatever ‘evidence’ they required; the terror was in not knowing what they wanted from me. Believe me, I asked. I begged.

Nothing in my training had prepared me for that, there was no inkling that I would ever find myself at the wrong end of the desk prior to those hours spent, my wrists chaffed, as I did not know I could have kept my dignity with silence. I had begun served my country at the age of nineteen, I spent years attempting to secure a coveted position in the local or state police only to be redirected into rigorous linguistic and cultural training to blend seemlessly into an alien culture half a world away.

To pass the test, I should have known to be still, demand a lawyer. I was naïve, undertrained, and from the drugs: deeply unstable already from ever present overwork and exhaustion. I was trained to make polite conversation and to teach the next generation of students who were to proceed me. To play a small part in improving the world, I thought.

Of course I failed, when the restraints were finally released I was a broken man. I was allowed one phone call: my cell phone was dead so I forced to rely on my slipping memory of numbers… which resulted simply in calling my ex girlfriend. We were not friends, but to her credit, she picked me up where they left me at the local police station.

I crumpled in the front seat of her car and she kindly allowed me use of her charger to call my own lover at the time who promptly dropped our relationship immediately- and who could really blame her? My ex’s fiancé was already threatening me over her speakerphone for my audacity to call *his* woman, notwithstanding that the only reason I was able to even recall her number simply on account that it only comprised of a series of only two alternating digits.

I wanted to die, although I did not say as much; so I did not resist as I saw the forboding shape of the psychiatric hospital looming in the grey fog of early morning.

I still do not resent her for that, we were together for several unhappy years prior to our mutual parting of ways. Despite the unhappy years we spent together, she was far from ignorant of how my mind worked.

“Don’t call me again,” were her last words- I still thanked her before I entered the building and checked myself into treatment on my own reconnaissance.

So began my second imprisonment- one in which I spent fourteen days pacing the sterile, L-shaped ward. Several locked doors protecting the world from the broken souls like myself within them.

They took away my smart pills and replaced them with sedatives that did little except depress me further and sap my remaining strength except to walk and think, little more. I passed the time by counting the seemingly endless oversights of the facility to prevent death: The glass panes of the drab portraits of flowers on the walls could be shattered to slice wrist, throat, or other arteries. The bedsheets were thin and long- they were strong enough to make a noose, if I only possessed the motivation. The toilet had enough water and the lid of the tank could be placed over the back of the head to facilitate drowning. There was a single piece of iron rebar in the fenced in prison-like yard that was easily long enough and sharp enough to penetrate.

Yet, I remained an honest and compliant patient regardless.

Outside of speculation, I did not have even the will left to end my life then. My assigned therapist was the head of the hospital itself- who attempted to derail me in my suicide lists by playing a daily ‘game’ where he would ask me to attempt to discern the diagnosis’ of other patients in the privacy of his office.

He said I was brilliant, yet, in contradiction to his assertion indicated my life as a working, contributing member of society had passed as he filed paperwork on my behalf for total disability: inexplicably granted by the end of that summer after my discharge.

From other patients I knew there was a two year wait for even a written reply, much less a court date.

It was only July when I had been required to trade in my shoelaces for rubber treaded socks. My dignity in exchange for seemingly endless sessions of ‘group’ where we sat, glassy eyed all- and tonelessly repeated our failures in rooms without clocks, the purgatory of dehydration beyond tears.

Tears happened on the outside, to those who were yet still whole, unaware that the inner wells of human suffering could dry to dust.

After my discharge, I dreamt of feilds of wildflowers on fire where the blossoms did not burn. A woman in red with bright turquois eyes and a sad smile holding a rose that smelled of pelchior in a world of ash and dust. In the waking world, that woman eventually became my wife, much to my surprise, accepting this shell of my former self with endless patience and love.

It was the very beginning of happiness…and as the years passed, I learned to begin to accept myself as she loved me. Not as the extroverted maverick I once prided myself to be- but as a pensive dreamer lost within my own nightmares following her light and soundless steps out of my labyrinths of night terrors. Slowly, I began to see daylight from within, but always I remained a stranger to my new self.

Tonight was warm for January; during rehearsal the rain raised a hard crescendo to which even the loudest of our drums could scarcely compete. So we paused, waiting for it to pass.

Beside me, an older gentleman of nondescript features noticed the tattoos of fire and roses running up both my arms and asked for the story behind them to pass the time. (I had learned the endorphins released during the healing of tattoo ink silenced my mind temporarily a few years prior.)

As we spoke, I discovered he had succeeded in his youth where I had failed, long retired from a satisfying career in the agency which trained me so long ago. The rain stopped and I promised to tell him my story before we left.

“I have been meaning to speak to you,” he said while lighting his cigarette on the porch of the church which held our practice. The sky began to brighten as the world I had begun to love disappeared…I felt my wrists tighten and endless sky die once more inside those terrifyingly familiar white walls:

“…I told you that you will never leave this room alive you piece of shit.”

Laptop ist kaput.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 2, 2017 by Alana Smithee

…and writing via phone is annoying. You will see more words when I get the motivation/ability to replace said laptop. In the meantime… If I post, be kind regarding whatever autocorrection failures I miss in editing!

The Genius Next Door (fiction)

Posted in About me on October 14, 2017 by Alana Smithee

The bells on the cafe door jangled quietly about fifteen minutes before closing as Leon was wiping down the condiments the last time for the night- caught embarrassingly, humming the tune to “Peter and the Wolf” and small parts of Wagner operas which he only vaguely recalled in mumbled phrases. Looking up, from the ketchup bottle he was presently de-crusting- he was about to explain the kitchen was closed but was beat to the punch:

“I was in town, I heard this was your newest haunt,” Diana looked the same as she did years before when he last saw her- her yellow-blonde hair shoulder length with a single band of braided hair like a headband, the same white and blue gingham shirt and jeans and friendly expression and smiling blue eyes. Her black boots matched the leather choker necklace. the only change being around her wrist she wore a tattoo of fernlike leaves and round clusters of tiny white flowers- it suited her well.”Hey there stranger, it’s been a while. I honestly cannot recall where we lost touch.”

“Yeah, I was on tour- a little bit of everywhere, I kinda lost touch with everyone.”

“No worries, I was pretty low and on so much shit I couldn’t remember my own name for a while… I got this to show for it” replied Leon wryly, raising his pant leg to reveal an ankle tracker. “I have been stuck in this shit town since I got out of prison- I was so fucked up I don’t even remember what the fuck I did.”
“No worries, bro- I was always the last person to follow up on gossip, I don’t really care. ”
“Still no cell phone, eh?”
“Not one that anyone has the number to, buddy.” she smiled “Hey, listen- I came by because I was wondering if you might want to come with me to New Berlin tomorrow morning. A sculpture I designed got installed and I want a good Heathen with me to see if they did it right- On the equinox, it’s supposed to cast just the right shadow if it was set up right, but it doesn’t mean a thing if no one is there to see it at sunrise.” Leon sighed and thumped his left leg on the table- pointing again at the ankle tracker
“I would… but… I am unable to leave Lakeside for a long time yet”
Diana reached into a rucksack she had over her shoulder and brought out what appeared to be a smoke alarm.
“Is anyone else closing with you?”
“Nope, just me.”
“Fantastic” and with that, she held the round, white device to the ankle bracelet and pressed a button on the front- the locking mechanism released and she was careful to keep the device held tightly to it as she moved it to around the leg of the table, “This thing prevents the circuit from being broken and transmitting that it was removed.” She carefully reconnected the bracelet around the table leg before removing the smoke-alarm looking device and placing it back into her bag.
“Tamper-resistant is not Diana-resistant, apparently. I thought you hated all technology.”
“Oh, I still do. I hate it enough to thwart it every opportunity.”
“They are going to look for me, you know- I really fucked up my life.”
“Everyone fucks up, Leon- do you want to get out of this shit town or not?”
“Fuck yes.”
“Are you willing to do anything?”
“Well, I let you break my probation in the first fifteen minutes of seeing you again- I guess I must trust you.”
“We were neighbors for ten years, man- that sort of frith is hard to shake- and I hate owing anyone like I owe you.”
“You don’t owe me anything, Diana-”
Reaching again into her rucksack, she brought out a pair of flip-flops and tossed them- he struggled but caught them.
“I do owe you, friendship is enough: Keep your socks on Japanese style, it’s fucking cold… you said people will look for you, the last thing we need is a trail. Leave your shoes here.”
“Where are we going?”
“New Berlin.”
“How? Won’t people see us leave? Where did you park?”
“The other side of the lake and they won’t see a thing- let’s go.” Leon carefully left his shoes in the backroom behind several stacks of boxes and carefully locked up the cafe, Diana looked at the sky wistfully, “Leon- it’s a woods adventure just like when we were kids. Even the sky looks the same. The only thing missing is the fireflies.”
“And weed…but I snuck a few hits at work from one of the servers. The tracker doesn’t detect cannabis, thank Gods”
“…I can’t help you there, but I got better- I brought my flask, it’s good. Homemade mead, aged at least eight years. I literally buried it at the old place just so I would have it for later.”
“Three rounds?”
“Whatever you like, it’s all yours. You’ll need it: We are going for a swim.”
“You’re insane- the lake is frozen!”
“Correction, half frozen… it’s more slushy than anything. I still keep everything I own in the car, However, you do not seem like a practiced polar bear so I suggest tossing your clothes so they don’t weigh you down.”
“I’ll freeze my balls off.”
“Funny, I never had that issue.”
The lake was located behind the cafe past the dumpster, Leon stripped down to his boxers and kept his socks and flip-flops tossing his remaining clothes in with the assurance that Diana was roughly his size and the clothes in her car would still fit him well enough, while Diana also stripped down to her underwear but put her clothes into her rucksack. It might have been awkward if they hadn’t known each other since childhood, or at least, it Diana showed no signs of discomfort despite the cold or lack of dress.
“How are we going to do this? Aren’t you concerned about hypothermia?”
“Just hold in your breath, until you come back up in full on the other side. After the initial shock of the cold, you will feel fine. Follow me.”
Diana dove gracefully into the thick water and disappeared, it was not a large lake- perhaps more like a glorified pond with a couple of docks. The moonlight on the rough half-frozen surface made it appear mushy and porridge-like and not particularly welcoming. Leon was more cautious and waded halfway into the thick water tentatively a few steps before taking a deep breath and plunging fully into the water; which was the last thing he recalled as his head went beneath the ice

Next thing he knew, he was wearing fresh clothes and riding in the passenger side of Diana’s aging Mustang- already in the city.
“Hey buddy- you okay? I didn’t expect you to get hypothermia so quickly. I guess I forget what it’s like when you aren’t used to washing up in the cold like I am.”
“I’m not even shivering, I feel fine- what happened?”
“Doesn’t matter, you made it out okay, and you aren’t naked. Good thing we stayed about the same size over the years you skinny bastard- isn’t New Berlin beautiful?”
It was beautiful- despite the early morning darkness, handsome people of all ages in business attire were walking briskly on the city sidewalks with purpose in all directions. The white marble buildings reflected the street lamps and traffic lights as if the structures were clothed in the colors they reflected. He had not seen the city in years, and when he did- it was under a different name and dilapidated seemingly beyond repair: Gone was the graffiti and boarded of buildings of the past he recalled. No more windows covered in iron grating or sad businesses locked up with chains and metal doors. The tacky scrolling marquis was replaced by glorious carved architecture and the windows of the skyscrapers above shined like stars.
“The roads seem a lot wider than I remember,” Leon noted.
” I think it is so people have ample opportunity to turn around.” she replied. It was an odd statement, but he didn’t know quite how to respond. “Ah, here we are!” she exclaimed as she pulled in front of the forgettable facade of one of the many tall buildings in center city. “This building has the absolute best view- and we still have about 20 minutes to get to the thirteenth floor.”
Unlike the other buildings in which lights flickered in the myriad of windows- this one was still black and seemingly asleep of human activity. They were not stopped as they entered, the security guard post was presently absent and Leon assumed he must have stepped out only for a moment- for there was only a very well trained black Alsatian dog wearing a red vest who approached him and gave a quick sniff.
“Hello puppy, are you the security guard on duty?” asked Leon in that stupidly high pitched voice people only use to greet dogs and infants. Diana rolled her eyes and the dog simple sat politely for scritches and made a sort of sound that sounded like a ‘borf’ in response.
“Do you want to keep petting the security or do you want to see something life-changing?” The dog snorted at Diana as if he understood her and wandered back behind the reception desk. Leon sighed and walked towards the elevators as Diana pressed the button for the elevator in the nondescript lobby and the door promptly opened the rode the elevator in silence until the door opened into a large hallway with floor to ceiling windows. The floor was of marble parquet mostly in white except for a large pattern in front of the one window which looked either to be a stylized sundial or a compass rose in a variety of colors. Diana walked excitedly to the center of it and motioned Leon to look outside the window.

Where there once was a statue of an old man with a scroll, there was now a figure with wings.
“…An angel?” he asked.
“Angels are technically depicted male or genderless- look again!” she exclaimed…And so he did, which was when he noticed in the dawning light the statue was holding a spear in one hand and a drinking horn in the other- the statue was indeed female depicted in a long gown beneath ornate armor, her skin was platinum white and her hair shined of golden metals. Those wings! Each feather was an individual slender pane of glass that caught sunlight and glowed brilliantly.
“A Valkyrie! Diana- she’s brilliant! When you said you created art I had no idea that it was of this magnitude- the entire city can see this forever. She is beautiful; I can’t think of anything more magnificent I have seen in all my life. It sure beats the statue of the old man pissing on the city before.”
“It gets better, look behind you.” So Leon turned and he saw Diana in the middle of the compass pattern and behind her, the dawning light reflected through the glass of the Valkyrie’s wings recreated the grand wingspan of light on the wall behind Diana- making the wings to appear as her own. “Four times a year, any woman who stands in one of the four buildings around city hall can feel like a Disir, even for only a moment- and the spear and horn create secret shadows as well. Look up.”
Sure enough, the shadows of the spear and horn created rough, angular symbols that were vaguely runic in appearance.
“They don’t look like any runes that I have ever seen- what are they?”
“Numbers. It’s the pentimal system- I learned it just after I saw you last.”
“That is genius, what does it mean?”
“What numbers to push in the elevator.” The sun was rising high in the sky and the patterns on the wall from the Valkyrie statue were diffusing. Diana walked with purpose to the elevator with Leon following- she pressed a few numbers in what appeared to be a specific order and the elevator lurched and hummed oddly before descending much more quickly than it rose before.
The door opened and mist flowed around them- before them, a bridge and the sound of fastly rushing water far below.
“…Shit.” muttered Leon, and Diana simply raised an eyebrow and smiled.
“I owe you, mostly, simply that you were honest regarding my memory. You did not canonize me nor did you destroy yourself over me. When it was time to get you, it was my honor to retrieve you myself. I just made your journey slightly easier than it would have been on your own. Go on, over the bridge- it’s a good place. I’ll see you there when I can. But, I still have a lot to work to do because of my own impatience.” she said, pointing at the leather strap around her neck, ” I took your debt and crossed you myself so you wouldn’t have the same obligations I do. Go on… shoo. Next time you see Garm you might not want to talk to him like a poodle, though.”

In Lakeside, police tape was being strung around the frozen lake- the film crews with their sleepy reporters were finding their places to report the drowning of a man who would be promptly forgotten as the garbagemen made their rounds emptying the dumpsters none the wiser. For a few days, people exchanged meaningless atheistic sympathies- as Leon’s death was quickly and intentionally forgotten except for the placement of a small sign that warned against swimming in the lake.

*Inspired by the song “The Genius Next Door” by Regina Spektor*

This post is unedited except for cursory spell checking. The story idea has been in my head forever- I always kind of figured people who intentionally commit suicide would be put to work by Hel herself to guide other people to the afterlife, but that is just my own UPG and I hold no claim to the veracity of it. I have lost many friends to early death over the years…especially in Autumn.

Upcoming Book

Posted in About me on June 8, 2017 by Alana Smithee

I thank all of you who began following my blog in the past couple of months, despite my lack of new content. I do not want to become like many other bloggers who are simply commenting on current events like some sort of pundit, so I realized this may be the best time to actually work on a Heathen novel.  I have had this goal for quite some time-  I realize there is a lack of Heathen fiction and it is a niche that needs to be filled by hundreds of us.
As a child, I was inspired by the complicated worlds and thoughts of C.S. Lewis and as an adult, Philip Pullman and his “Golden Compass” series.   Although my writing will likely not be geared to children like both the above authors- I would like to create a universe to the same breadth as they have but for our own people.

Writing is the closest we come to becoming Gods/Goddesses- in creating stories, we create and guide the lives of our characters and the worlds we create- and if we do it well enough, it becomes real in the mind of the readers.

As opposed to creating transient works of social commentary on the present, I would like to create an alternative future in literature, if I can.  I already wrote one book in my life- my thesis, and it was agonizing.  I believe I limited myself to blog posts and comments out of trepidation of the psychological illness my thesis elicited in me.  My topic was “The Physical Theory of Time and How it Relates to Mystical Experiences.”

The problem is- when working with both physics and philosophies- the ideas themselves created a sort of insanity in me (and others, I have heard) that took years from which to recover.

I guess what I mean to say is that I hope I am well enough now to write with joy instead of sleepless nights over my keyboard crying from the psychological pain of deadlines and reaching so far to the limit of my intelligence to explain such intricate concepts.   Although my thesis was technically successful, the cost was high.

I feel if there is something I am truly meant to write- it should not be harmful to myself to write it- further, the more I am online recently, the more I find my psychological state is adversely affected.

I am incredibly grateful to everyone who follows and/or shares my writings as a resource- and even to those who have shared my writing critically and got my name out there.

Now that I have your interest, it would be irresponsible as a Heathen to not try to use what talent I have to try and pull myself up out of collecting disability by utilizing the resources all of you have provided-  I would rather look back on the past few years as a period of rest before creating something great rather than as a slow decline.

Hopefully, I can accomplish this goal.  I am still available as I have always been via comments and facebook for now.

All I ask is for good wishes that I can manage this endeavor.   We need more colorful Heathen fiction- and I hope to be one of the very many to provide it in physical copies of books that are not subject to erasure with a power outage.

I thank you for your support as always!

Fighting Censorship

Posted in About me on May 2, 2017 by Alana Smithee

norse wolves

I believe it is safe to say many who will read this blog understand that as a culture we are struggling with an addiction to technology- where we find ourselves watching mindless entertainment at the click of a button- not even upon request, but in our newsfeeds scrolling down the current events of meaningless nature:

“This Story Will Warm Your Heart”
“Watch big doggo in jacuzzi”
“(Random) Disease Awareness, I bet you won’t share this!”

But yet, here we are- whispering in our communities and workplace real thoughts- as we watch people of bravery still attempt to defend their freedom of speech against oppressors who have turned the idea of their own oppression into a form of martyr hood- where the greater the self-alienation from the community, the louder the voice and the stranger and more restrictive upon others the demand.

We all fight for what we think is “equality”- but in truth, we all fight for our own ideas of an ideal life.  The ideals of one group is the hell of another and vice versa. To recognize this is a beginning.

In honesty, equality never existed except in delusions of the groups who hold the power, whomever that may be.

“Do you feel as I do?”  We search our neighbors and friends quietly- we let little things slip about how we now question everything history has told us.  The rallying cry of those who wish us silenced is that they refuse to lose the idea of their freedoms- all the while finding new ways to suppress the freedom of expression of dissenting voices.

Cynism grew from personal experiences- those of us who had to struggle as young adults, holding down multiple jobs to afford our rent and food to eat.  Those of us who could not afford college (or namely, did not have parents willing to sign off on it) became disillusioned as entry level positions went to those less qualified, but had a magical piece of paper.  Post college, despite having access to higher wages, being saddled with higher debt making living just as difficult as it was before.

Our families do not help one another- we see the models of radical separatism in the family, as we shrunk from a culture to nuclear families, then even less than that as people gave up on the values of fidelity or had to work so hard to afford even necessities that the child effectively becomes educated and raised by the State, in public schools and daycare deprived of the ability to have that precious time to learn from parents and grandparents communal values, or even to bond properly with those we are supposed to be able to depend on above all else: our blood relatives.

Overall, Americans are working more hours for less pay and fewer benefits than our parents and grandparents.  Instead of learning organically from local peers, most socialization is incredibly structured into further lessons and practices- not allowing for the time for creativity and thoughts of freedom.

We tell our children they are “free”, in their homework they brought home to do in the home after 8+ hours of federally mandated education.  Do we even know the meaning of freedom anymore?

Fascism /ˈfæʃɪzəm/ is characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and control of industry and commerce.

When you separate the word “Fascist” from “Government”- it can be noted that anyone who would forcibly suppress others for speaking or communicating in a way that is disagreeable as fascists.  You can suppress someone by bullying, by silencing or by threats of violence. Heathens are now a divided religion so very soon after being recognized as a religion despite being older than the dominant monotheistic religions.

What are we to the Gods?

I believe we are stories… I believe the Gods are entertained by us, some of us may touch their hearts, some of us at war may inspire them, and our silly arguments may entertain them.   Boring lives and boring time periods do not exist.   What makes you think that the Gods aren’t watching all sides of all issues?  That they aren’t engrossed in our dramas waiting to see what we will do next?

As for myself, I will follow the path where I feel I can contribute the most, where my own industriousness comes easily and I am able to express myself without censure.  Where instead of crying to void of the internet about loneliness, I contribute something productive that attracts others of like minds to me, where true friendships can be formed, not just online, but increasingly back in real life.  For that reason I have decided to move onto other things.

The best way to fight is to live the ideals we speak of on the internet and reduce the time we waste to technology.

We may go through many different changes to our beliefs in our lifetimes- to be able to change with grace and adaptability shows character growth.  Perhaps, it keeps the Gods more interested and inclined to root for us in the stories of our lives.


Not the Revelations Anticipated

Posted in About me on March 15, 2017 by Alana Smithee

For my birthday, I scheduled a float at Metta Relaxation Spa  in Bethlehem- the staff was excellent, the massage I received was excellent, and I fell so deeply asleep in the float room they sent in my husband to wake me.
That is the review I put on their site- 5 stars.  I would do it again, it was pretty great.

I recall observations about the clientele, ourselves included, which looked like characters from a Winston Rowntree comic: Bethlehem is a weird place like that, a steel town that ended up surviving via colleges and music festivals- where everyone is clearly a hipster just by being there, which is sort of comforting in a way. Ed and I dislike the town of Bethlehem, but Bethlehem does not dislike us.  Perhaps, we fit in too well.  In the waiting room I enjoyed tea and coloring in a mandala as I noticed  almost every other client in waiting was on their cell phone, including my husband, despite signs everywhere asking kindly to the contrary.  (Not the staff, though- they were in the present…Although they can’t ban cell phones they did not seem to be the type of people obsessed with them like the rest of our culture.)

There, I swore to myself I would lessen my dependence on my own phone.  I check it less- I see it as an addiction after seeing a room full of people who were seeking some sort of breakthrough, enlightening experience too tethered to their phones to even notice how cool the place really was and how much attention there was to every detail.  The floor was literally made of pennies individually placed, grouted, and lacquered into a neat surface, the sign for the spa was made of perhaps hundreds of small screws drilled in one by one- and the staff was so nice- but I have to wonder out of how many clients they see a day how many people actually appreciate them, and how frustrated I would be if I ran a spa, one that specialized in facilitating life changing experiences to see people day in and day out bring everything that is wrong with modern life, i.e. the constant addiction to technology into the space they so carefully created to be free from such distraction.  I noticed signs to turn off phones, but like any other location where that mandate is in effect (planes, hospitals, therapists offices, funeral homes) it was patently ignored.

I suppose I am a bit of a self righteous hipster myself- I intentionally left my phone in the truck, and I do not own a television.  My laptop was broken for over a month and my brother fixed it for my birthday-  I survived.  In feeling resentment towards other people I swore I was going to cut down on my addictions to technology, and more particularly, the addiction to the constant feed of new information given by social media- the very same source that spreads malcontent by dividing people by faux political divisions, faux news stories, and even more fake lives and lies that people live online but not in real life-  What is it that people are avoiding, including myself to seek such constant distraction?

I went seeking an enlightening experience, and what I found, although enlightening, was not what I anticipated: I am in a great deal of physical pain, all the time.  Like a frog in a pot of slowly heating water I had not realized before how much pain limits my daily activities, and how only when a small amount of that pain is relieved that I could truly actually feel what it is I am experiencing as the backdrop to my everyday life experience:  smoldering pain over most of my body, with concentrations around my neck, shoulders, and parts of my legs.  I have had Lyme’s disease twice, lived most of my adult life (prior to my hysterectomy) with endometriosis, and have had recent-ish operations on my foot and around the hysterectomy site to remove over a pound of excess scar tissue… and realized long ago pain killers only help dull emergent pain, not the sort of pain that encloses a person like a large over-warm fur coat that is too big to remove without assistance, the constant throbbing like techno in the background of every action I do- that keeps me from getting things done to which I had perhaps incorrectly blamed exclusively on my depression.

I recall reading up on floats before hand, on sensory deprivation, and on the great metaphysical insights people received from this experience-  I normally can hear my own heartbeat anyway from tachycardia, and asthma makes my breathing something I pay attention to anyway so the two major points of focus that normally astound people in the silent environment were not new revelations (I thought this meant I could skip ahead to the ‘cool stuff’).  In the tank itself, after I removed my wedding band I realized how badly my finger hurt from wearing a ring that was too small even when we first bought it,  giving my hand an hour of relief made it impossible to put back on without breaking my finger further (funny story, I broke my finger with my own wedding ring 5 years ago, I went to a doctor, nothing happened except “Hey, that is a stress fracture.”) and realized my finger never got better.  I now have it on a necklace I wear when I go out.  Days after removing it, I notice the finger still hurts like crazy.

In the tank, I realized “Wow, I fucking hurt all the time….and I only just noticed it in floating in water when I have no distractions.  I wonder if anyone else ever came to this realization as well?”

When I was getting my massage I indicated my neck is always stiff-  I was strangled a couple of times as a child and it deformed my vertebrae, and I thought about how many times over the years I glossed over that fact non-nonchalantly. “Yeah, hello- my neck hurts, but that’s normal… I was strangled repeatedly as a child.  I just live with it.”

That is not cool.  Why did I think I should be cool with that?

Thinking to when I had excellent insurance where a weekly massage was covered by my premiums and how even then going to a chiropractor made it worse except for the massage at the end- how the doofus with his two year degree who called himself “doctor” explained some wacky new age bullshit about some cult leader who created chiropractic medicine out of snake oil, bullshit, making joints create popping noises, and nice massages- but fully believing it.

Chiropractic medicine, to me, is the accidental alcohol distilled from bullshit.  Alcohol can relieve symptoms of pain and give a sense of well being no matter what the source of the initial fermentation.  Just because “it works” for some people does not make it any more of a valid practice than Scientologists making you hold the bars of an E-reader checking for “thetans” as the imaginary source to all the ills of humanity.

I am honestly writing this post to organized my thoughts in what I what to speak to my therapist, and likely my doctor about later this week.
I realize I have a pattern with pain,  I reach my threshold, go to a doctor, they give me painkillers I seldom take as the real cause is unknown, I am sent to specialists who either do not believe me and misdiagnose me a few times, then the next thing I know I am in the prep area for yet another necessary surgery if I ever want to live/walk/exist in any state resembling normalcy.

I do not believe my body has fully recovered from most of what I have surgically experienced.   I do not want to see a chiropractor- but I am unaware of what sort of doctor I need that is scientifically sound and can figure out what it means to have this insanely high pain tolerance, and more importantly, how can it be possible to live a life that relieves this physical pain significantly if not completely?
I recall my shrink telling me about his intensely busy schedule in our first session- how after his therapy job, he had to teach a few classes at the college, then he needed to weed the garden, stain his staircase, and play his guitar for two hours on top of that- when any one of those things would knock me out for an entire day.

The float tank experience has forced me to consider this:  Am I depressed because I am in constant, mind numbing pain, or am I in pain because I am depressed?

Where do I go from here?

As far as Gods go…I did feel a bit connected to Rán.  A Goddess I never thought much about prior, as I tried (and succeeded) in relaxing in the tank… In the sense I did not wish to leave the water.  But then, most of my life has been using water in some way or another to sooth myself- hot showers, cold baths, immersing myself in the stream running through my yard on hot days, pools, hot tubs, oceans I have lived near, lakes and ponds in which I (illegally) swam with friends, and realized my attraction to water is that it relieves the pain I live with and try not to admit to myself…mostly, because I hate painkillers: they make me itchy, bitchy, and cruel as a person.

I am wondering how much of my psychological distress is caused by pain, and how much pain I have caused myself because of psychological distress.  I do not believe my mental health and physical health exists in separate spheres that only tangentially connect;  I wish I were wealthy enough to afford the type of care in the US which other countries I have lived in take for granted.  Where the doctor doesn’t thrust more pills, but rather finds the root cause, treats that with whatever the body needs to heal if it is a deficiency or overabundance and you get to enjoy life again.

The only times I am not in physical pain are when I am in water.  As I am writing this post at this moment I am aware of shooting pain in my right upper arm,  painful pressure on my neck and back, my ankle aches from a sprain several months back, and I have the ever-present headache that never “quite” goes away but I also never really talk about, either.

It is very fucking distracting.  Then, add to the mix the kidney stone, phantom pain from my prior surgeries, and that I am light sensitive.  Instead of dealing with any of the overreaching “Everything hurts, all the time” I only see doctors for breakthrough pain…and when pain breaks though, there is always something massively wrong with me- which is another reason why I just do not go unless it is unbearable. I get very large tattoos for the endorphin rush.  I have said it many times before but never thought about it.  I get tattoos to relieve both psychological as well as physical pain.  (which sounds counter intuitive unless the pain experienced is greater than the tattoo…which for me, it always has been.)

Kidney stones?  Last time I called my urologist with a flare up and they asked me what it felt like I replied “Worse than being stabbed, but not so bad as my hysterectomy.” the nurse on the phone said I must have lived a fascinating life.

As for Rán,  other than totally digging her name, perhaps she might be one of the Goddesses that has cared for me in my life- in the relief that water provides me without my conscious awareness…  she carries a net, drags people to their deaths, has a sort of strange frenemy sort of relationship with Loki, is technically a Jotun, married to Aegir, have 9 daughters, coincidentally as Heimdallr has 9 mothers it is implied she is the grandmother to the guardian of bifrost, the most Aesic of the Aesir himself.  She represents something primordial, instinctive, and deeper than our common modern experience.  Water as rage, mercurial, and destructive.  Water that can destroy or facilitate change.

As far as analogies go: Rán is the perfect symbolism for what in this stage of my life needs attention.  Unless I can somehow suspend myself in fluid 24/7, I am going to have to face my doctors and actually get this shit worked out.  As far as floating in a sensory deprivation tank goes?  As much as I wish I had the enlightening “I am one with the universe” experience instead of “Every time I am not in water I am in pain” experience I did have, I am going to have actually fix this somehow.

Although the easy answer is “Just take the fucking pain killers”- it solves nothing.  As much as I do not want to think there is some overreaching medical condition that flows through all other medical conditions I have experienced, like water, I need to sit down with someone, compile everything I have experienced in 35 years of pretty awful surgeries and present it all to someone competent saying

“Look, this is not normal.  There has to be a common thread here, why does my body keep creating horrendously painful issues that require surgery?  What is causing all of this?  Can we treat that?”

Wish me luck.  I have fear this will get worse before it gets better.


Art by Elisabeth Alba: source

All That is Strange and Wonderful

Posted in About me on March 10, 2017 by Alana Smithee

Around certain times of year I cannot avoid my PTSD, and I am sure some people wonder why I post my flashbacks so openly.  My prior post was written as a form of catharsis, and seeing as I am on disability for my condition and work my chaplaincy around my bad times, I feel that hiding my bad times is disingenuous.  Although I am accomplished enough by most standards academically (Two BA’s in Theology and Philosophy, respectively, a published thesis, and enough credit for a third BA in Diplomacy), I would not be able to help as many people as I do without my past, nor have the inspiration or motivation to do so.  I suppose I feel guilty for the years when I was suicidal myself which drives me to give others an ear whenever I am able to justify my own existence.
Writing is cathartic, and I suppose with the Gods I feel most aligned with, Tyr and Loki, I prefer to not simply portray myself only when I am well- but all of me- and from this I have learned that there are so many other people in this world who can relate who have their own nightmares they have lived through.   I strive for honesty when I write- and sometimes that honesty is far from beautiful- and sometimes, life is beautiful and I do not wish to neglect those occasions as well.

Last weekend was my thirty fifth birthday- hence the flashbacks.  Generally, even a “good”  birthday is accompanied with a maelstrom of invasive flashbacks I cannot control.  Most holidays are the same, and everything positive in my life is put temporarily on hold as I try to climb through the mess that is my confused and distraught mind so much so that not very much gets accomplished at all.

Typically, I begin to obsess about “what would make me feel better,”  When I am symptomatic, I often spend time in animal shelters- but agoraphobia makes driving difficult.  We have a new pick up truck which feels more like driving a tank  than the puny sedan we used to have (which was pretty terrifying to drive. I dislike the fragility of most modern cars) and I was rather desperate to get out anyway. The shelter is only five minutes away off of scarcely used highways- I filled out paperwork that allowed me into the cat room…played with a few abandoned kitties and reassured them they would find nice homes.  I actually did not go home with (yet another) cat that day….however, I had to fill out my details anyway to even play with the animals with no intention of adoption.

Off and on for several years I have dreamt of a little white cat with the name Ophelia, usually one of those “mystic, remember this” sort of ambiance that often becomes a blog post or at very least written down on scratch paper somewhere.   In the middle of the worst of my flashbacks I recalled the last dream- a small white kitten with blue eyes and subtle stripes in her fur of white on white-  even though I was just at the shelter and found nothing of the sort, I checked on petfinder anyway…and found this cat, listed as fostered at the shelter from which I had just returned, named Ophelia, with the only information listed was “young spayed female”


I was told later this picture was taken the day she was found outside and fostered.  Her tail is actually white in person.

She was being fostered by nice people via the Animal Rescue League near my home,  I sent off an email and did not anticipate much of a response.  We already have three cats, two dogs, a small snake, and we are breeding (or attempting to breed) Flemish giant rabbits in our basement, soon to be transferred to a hutch outside- weather depending.

For any number of reasons I could have been rejected.  Most adoptable cats hate dogs, many are best alone without other felines, and further, she may have been already adopted.  Ed was chagrined I even contacted them, but hey-  I literally have been having dreams of a white cat named “Ophelia” for several years.  If it was not the “correct” cat to those dreams, nothing would happen.

To my surprise, my application was approved- but then I became nervous:  What if the cat is awful?  I was not about to subject the others living in my household to a screeching, snarling bandit- and I recall going to bed that night even more nervous about meeting this cat, all ready convinced that there would be no connection, she would not be a good fit- all in all, expecting wasted time, feeling let down, and most of all guilty for the foster parents who had a 50% chance of taking her back home after driving so far just to allow me to meet her.

On Sunday, the morning of my birthday I met the couple fostering Ophelia on the steps outside of the animal rescue league- The cat was pure albino, with pink/blue eyes and only the vaguest suggestion of white on white stripes if you looked at her in certain conditions.  She was adorably sweet and only six pounds and although young, is full grown.


Her story, tragic-

This region has several lakes and a local guy fishing heard her and found her soaking wet by the edge of one of them.  He took her to a local house which just so happened to be a foster home for abused animals and it was determined she had just given birth and was likely thrown into the lake with her kittens- her kittens were not able to be recovered.  She was malnourished and soaking wet, but nonetheless sought people for help. The foster family took her in and named her “Ophelia” for her soggy beginnings, and she stayed with them for about six month or so, as they learned she was completely deaf, albino, and light sensitive.  The brevity of her online profile and the intentional lack of pictures was to discourage assholes looking for a white cat “just to have one” who would not be able to understand her needs.  Being in a foster home meant she was already well acclimated to other animals, including large dogs, and the foster family and the ARL both felt the transition would go smoothly.

I brought her home while Ed was still sleeping and transformed our library into a Cat-Utopia…finding even more to my amazement she did not have any violent or aggressive reaction to really anyone at all.  Unlike our other animals she can jump to the stop of any shelf we seem to own when she feels cramped but also, every time I would enter the room she would come down and mew loudly for attention.    Ed lost his kitten Hela  in 2013, she was also a climber, loved to destroy feathers, and exhibited similar fearless qualities.

When Hela passed away due to a genetic defect I let her body go onto the same lake from which Ophelia was found.  Despite Ophelia’s rough start with water, she enjoys rolling around in the bathtub and then drying off near the Loki altar.  Ed and I used to see Hela’s shadow in the hallway, I saw it last the day I brought Ophelia home.   I cannot help but wonder if reincarnation also applies to cats.  Freyja, Hela’s twin sister never formed a bond with any of our other cats but instantly took to Ophelia very well.

If she is or is not our former kitty back for a second round- it makes no difference, she is a great Heathen cat who is (mostly) respectful of altar spaces and loves to rearrange rocks and other small objects to suit her own aesthetic- or boredom.

In short, I adopted a cat for my birthday- the other cats are now getting along better with one another for some reason, and I can now honestly say we are at one hundred percent capacity for mammals in this home.  She seems to have adjusted nicely, and on her account, the library (where I keep my Loki and Tyr altars) is now cat safe and guarded with a baby gate against the two dogs who occasionally chase them.

I believe she has made herself at home:

fox kitty

At the mouth of the great fox, Ophelia relaxes.

As of today, the only true inconvenience is she attacks my bow when I practice my instruments,    I have been learning Viola and Violin since July as part of my music therapy-  and her favorite food appears to be sheet music.  With my the kindness of my mother in law I purchased a music stand to prevent further casualty to my music books.

Easiest, Ophelia makes it necessary to practice when Ed is home which may assist me in overcoming some of my performance anxieties.  I am far from “good” at either instrument by any means, but I am relieved I have worked hard enough to play the Bach Minuet series past the horrendous nursery rhyme stage.   Without me even attempting to play it first- she utterly devoured a photocopy of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.  C’est le’vie.

In further news in my life Edward is taking me to a float spa to end off my birthday week tomorrow- I have never tried a sensory deprivation experience prior to this and have been wanting to for several years.  I like the idea of floating in a small, dark room with no external stimuli.  It sounds like heaven…and it comes with a sixty minute massage beforehand- all in a reasonable package price for a birthday gift.  Even if the new-age benefits are psychosomatic, the benefits of a good massage and spending alone time in warm water is appealing regardless of the alleged out-of-this-world mental and physical health claims to the practice.

Again, I do not wish to promote the company prior to our trip, but I have several ideas for coming blog posts I am hoping I may be able to flesh out during tomorrow’s experience if it does turn out to be as inspiring as some describe.  I imagine I would write a review of the floating experience, but also, there are ideas to write a “what if” fiction of “What would happen if writers treated Judaism/Christianity the way they treat Odinism in popular movies” as well as skipping over that idea entirely to write how I would like to see a truly Heathen story created into a movie format that would be more engaging and far less cringe worthy than what already exists.  At this moment, I think I would have the narrative follow mostly Tyr and Hel.

I am already anticipating with the release of Neil Gaiman’s “American God’s” series a new villainization of Odin the likes of which has not been seen since the Christians converted our ancestors by the sword and idiots hailing the character Shadow at a sumbel near you in the ever nearing future.  Although I did enjoy the book itself many years ago- I have learned from the Marvel fiasco that discernment is lacking from the larger populace.

Please combat this by writing good, accurate, positive Heathen fiction my friends.  As funny as the character of Wednesday is in the novel, he is not our Odin.  (To Mr. Gaiman’s credit, our Odin is in the epilogue…but it will take years to get to see that point in the story if the show lasts that long.)

….or if the propaganda regarding floating is true, I may suddenly find myself with the energy to write all three.  I attempt to live as an optimistic pessimist:  Expect the worst, and be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

Regardless, I close this post with yet another picture of Ophelia:

sleepy kitty

Cats are a liquid.



On Being Beaten with a Green Hairbrush.

Posted in About me on February 27, 2017 by Alana Smithee

brush  On the gossip bench, next to the black AT&T phone above piles of aging phone books was the green brush- with black tines like nails and so hard it felt like it was made of something much less forgiving than simple plastic.  There was not a lot of forgiveness to be found much of anywhere, really- but forced apologies were the only conversation I was permitted as I was beaten for the snarls in my hair before I was able to grab my school bag and run to school with my lip still split and bleeding to the elementary school exactly a block and a half up the street.
My teacher called me a “disruption” and with a look of disgust sent me in shame to the principals office when I could not stop crying.
This woman, only a few short years prior, was the guidance counselor for the senior high my young parents attended before not long enough before I existed.  She offered to let me read her copy of “The Rough Faced Girl“.  Her name was long and Estonian, I likely could not type it if I tried.  She did her best- my parents despised the woman and any other person who even so much as attempted to intervene on my behalf.
I knew therapists from a young age- “If we had a magic wand, I would make this all go away.” and other meaningless sayings.

At home, my door was torn off of the hinges after I tried to block entrance with my dresser.  I can still smell the pungent mix of halitosis, menstruation,  and cheap perfume on my mother/monster’s repugnant body.

“You look like your mother,” said my father over the years.
“You don’t stick your dick into a yeti and expect a bouquet of roses” I replied.

He has new stepdaughters now- they had fathers, I spend most of my days pretending to be an orphan like the beginning line of the black crowes song, as I am told- yet again- that my father chose to start over with a new family- and two children by two different fathers calling him “Daddy”- both adults, that do not remind him of his failure as a teenager to do the simple task of not impregnating monsters.

“Your grandfather would have hated you,” my mother used to say, my dead grandfather dead, corpse never seen- with his house full of tropical fish and other small animals he raised for pet shops.  A brilliant man with many aliases I learned later- a frustrating career of intelligence stifled by remaining a silenced refugee on American soil always between the scales of “hero” or “villain” depending on the context of which moment of history cast their judgement.  My mother was ugly, selfish, and foul in odor and action.

I secretly thought “The enemy of my enemy may have been my best ally”  Ironically, he started his career as ‘Axis’.
My grandmother still says he would have loved me.  Her, a secret historian who worked as my mother’s own housekeeper/slave playing dumb intentionally to keep us safe in the time of the red scare.   She now compiles articles and books for Latvian history, my husband enraged when he sees how everyone else patronizes her and treats her as a lackwit while she spends her days with poor eyesight with a magnifying glass reading books in many languages and cutting out articles to show the progression of the liberation of her home country.

She had those articles neatly organized on the bed in the spare bedroom, my mother picked them up like all the garbage she never cleaned in the hoarder home in which she raised my brother and I, and tossed countless hours of work to the side so she could sleep on the ancient bed that likely groaned both from her weight as well as the resentment of her presence.  Not to take care of her mother after heart surgery, more to make certain that she could delight in dictating what her own mother was and was not permitted at that time.  There were other places to sleep.  Like an animal marking her temporary prescence, she chose the absolute most destructive.

Months of research, organization, and work- in a sloppy pile.  Grandma says she doesn’t mind, I do not know if she ever picked up the articles again yet.  Her mother was just like her daughter, except grandma got to pick out the birch switch with which she was beaten.

Her most used words in English are “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!” as if awaiting another blow, even now 86 years old.

“Why don’t you want to speak Latvian?”  is the question,  my mother taking my grandmother to funerals of distant relatives who treated me with kindness, of neighbors, once childless, who would graciously take this ever wounded child into their homes to allow my mother her tantrums upon an empty house and would cover the sound of her shrieking with Pierre Robert on WMMR radio.

If she is there, I do not attend.  Ever. Like walking into the cage of the bear before hibernation at the wildlife refuge, I imagine her charging and frothing with the same hostility that typified my experiences of her as a child.

My hell never ended.

I lived like a fairy princess occasionally, brought to my paternal grandparents house on the shining hill in front of the Merion golf course, their land glittered with mica shale and I enjoyed their pool, the clean sheets of my bed that smelled of fabric softener and, to me, love.   My Nana would take me shopping, here I could bring friends over, all I had to do was pretend to be normal.  Nana was my confidant, she tried her best to get me removed and despite a group effort, my father moved us from the best school district in the state to the worst.  That changed with dementia.  That changed also when I finally broke enough to attempt to end my life and my Pop pop called me in the psychiatric ward to tell me PTSD was not real, that I could fix it because it was “all in my head”.  He has alzeimer’s now.  It is all in his head.  I wonder if he has enough cognizance to recognize the irony, or like most injustice, he just looks the other way.  He told me I failed, I should have succeeded at killing myself then.  Just another failure on my list of growing failures of his life was my survival.  We aren’t close, I still call on holidays to be polite.

Counties away from home, my middle school of backwoods inbred Christians who looked at Science with suspicion and only concerned themselves with if you were “saved”-  I wasn’t even saved from the unheated closet that I called my bedroom, half the size of what I lived in when we lived with my grandmother.  My mother said the house would be clean now that we were away from her- but needles from abandoned sewing projects grew like cacti in every room, our feet constantly in danger of impalement- and it Was All My Fault- her items were my responsibility to clean.  The house was disgusting, the abuse amped up considerably.  My father often having to pull my mother off of me as the blows rained down like hammers onto a skinny post, or to remove those hamhock hands from around my slender, adolescent throat.

I now live as a minimalist, every object I truly own can fit in a small car- except books.  I have left a trail of books through 8 states and 3 countries over the course of my life of trying to find someplace safe for my heart, now officially under the care of a cardiologist- broken- forever beating too fast to be controlled by medication forever.  I lived in panic too long and now it does not know how to beat except rapidly as a rabbit without pharmaceutical intervention, and in my future, a pacemaker.

The food I was not permitted to eat, I had to cook- and then do dishes after.  Even now doing dishes can cause me to break at the counter, shaking… remembering being a country away with a man I thought loved me, trying to end the relationship I thought would bring my life normalcy back home:  instead, 7 years with a man who would leave me at the drop of a hat, when his parents said so, because I wasn’t pretty as the ex who cheated on him for over a year, because when I was sick he was busy playing video games to help- my brother driving over an hour to help me take a shit after a hysterectomy, to make sure I took my medications, as John sat and played “Mass Effect” talking about his day class he took to manage his bipolar disorder.

But, of course, I was always the one who was mentally sick…no one else.  Not my mother, my father, my grandparents, or my ex lovers.  My mental illness diagnosed scapegoat for everything unpleasant in their lives regarding me.

“Crazy” is the best word to silence the voice of the person who speaks against you, is it not?

“Did you take your medication?” asked my diagnosed schizophrenic father who laughingly throws his pills in the bin each time they are prescribed, stating that his “genius is misunderstood” by medical professionals.

We were out to eat at a steakhouse when he announced “I was abused by your mother too.”  I reacted acerbically-  he could have called 911, he could have left, he could have not stopped the abortion that created the current failure in billions that is me.

Non starter, under achiever, wasted potential, high IQ.

“But you are so BRIGHT!” exclaim happy strangers, “You can be anything you want!” their smiling faces never hit across the cheek with that green hairbrush, the black tines not scarring their perfect faces.

I was told I would never go to college since I denied my parents the privilege.  It was their punishment of me for their underage fucking.

My father said he “would have helped”- I finally went at 27.  He helped for a time, until his wife tried to force him to force me to quit my last semester.  She was working on a low level nursing degree over several years to “take care of her child” who was 12, obese, and narcissistic.  Sent home for wearing revealing outfits in the 7th grade and heels- not for being inappropriate, but for honestly being abhorrent.

She is in college now- an apartment she cannot afford without the grace of my father’s income…. her own father a dead pedophile who abused her half sister with a history of addictions and violent behavior.  The sister who had my father’s ribs broken by her boyfriend.

Apparently, both sisters are easier to deal with than I am.  I don’t remind my father of his every failure- the newest being the house he is leaving to move to a smaller one, likely financed by my grandparents- for despite being an engineer, my father has about as much sense with money as a child building bridges out of lego blocks on a toy carpet.

The same father who couldn’t help me after my surgery because he had to order the reception hall for his 18 year old not-child’s graduation party.

I graduated college and did not attend my commencement.  I got a cupcake from my sister in law and I got piss-all drunk at a friends house instead- staring at my bloodshot eyes in the mirror.  Three majors, two degrees, cum laude and a published thesis only people in Pakistan read now.

It was all a waste because I am on disability, it was all unearned because I was on food stamps as I earned it as I didn’t have a “real job” in the worst recession since the depression.  I was working towards a government job that no longer exists- but my two degrees are two more degrees than anyone else in my family outside of my brother or my uncles.  I used my food stamps carefully to trade for gas money to get me to college- the college where my work for my advisor was never “good enough” only to be good enough to plagiarize into his native tongue as I defended him, honored, at first, for the privilege.

My mother I have not seen in over a decade and I hope not to see again until she is staring up from her coffin, where I fantasize I can hit back her cold, dead face with that hard green brush so she decomposes with the mark she left on me- and to bury her with the hinges to all the doors she removed so she could wrap her hamhock hands around my throat and squeeze, screaming- calling me a demon for wanting to breathe as a child only to wish she were better at killing people reflecting on my flashbacks as an adult.

My Pop pop said I dishonor my family by living after my suicide attempt at 30.  I turn 35 on March 5th.  I am allowed to have sleeping pills again after five years- since I do not sleep well at night.  My husband bought me a pick up truck for Valentines day my family assumes must have been achieved via some sort of guile not comprehending that blue collar workers can be more successful than the strenuous work they did behind their desks, sitting in air conditioned offices dealing with the enormous stress of sitting over 8 hours a day as my husband works like a cog in a machine I cannot free him from, his coworkers, actually injured, exhausted, and treated like cattle in the slaughterhouse.

Who will die next and how?  They wonder-  a few months ago a man was electrocuted working on a transformer outdoors in the rain.  It doesn’t count, her was merely a contractor.  He watched a man run down the factory floor holding his own severed fingers in a glove, leaving a trail of blood- chased by a concerned supervisor wondering how they would break this to OSHA.  He pulled three men to safety after an oven exploded.  One, fell into his arms crying and never returned.  No one recognized him for doing this- they were too busy covering up for the explosion, and all the letters written to OSHA resulted in a fine and frantic clean-ups before the inspectors appeared to leave some papers tacked to the wall of offenses.

And here I am on disability. Guilty, that I cannot do better for my spouse as he feeds plates into a hungry machine, one after one, pointlessly with the end goal being to continue to furnish the rich lives of the overlords who live in decadence with the side effect being the paycheck that allows me to lie here alone with my dark thoughts- cancelling plans, hiding in this bedroom with the black out curtains.  I don’t have parties anymore.

My dogs take me outside, not vice versa. If they did not I wouldn’t leave this bed much at all.

I am learning to play the viola and the violin, each week spending $20 to rent an hour of a kind, elderly man. I joke and say it is “rent a grandfather”, but I am not very good at anything beyond gallows humour  ( and certainly not good at the viola) If something happened to my music teacher I hardly know I would likely be inconsolable for the loss of the allegorical bandage he has become in the absence of people who should care but don’t.

And I wonder, always- and have always wondered-  What if my family sees something awful about my composition that my spouse does not, that I do not?

By the nature of gaining the ability to barely survive I have become more alien, not less to family and acquaintances… learning the strange few who relate to me have horrors of their own, and those who have lived without horror, sadness, fear or pain against their will would prefer if I were silent and invisible.

They would prefer if I did not elicit the same reactions from the larger Heathen community that I have seen in my own family- the erasure of harms afflicted, being lied about ridiculously to the point where a leader of the AFA called my husband a “necromancer” and other sheep in wolves clothing believed it.  I worship the wrong Gods to be considered folkish.  Few welcome the Lokeans, even with the proper pedigree.  Marvel comics and backgrounds in Christianity require someone to play the roles of Satan and Judas Iscariot, too ignorant to understand polytheism, and I am not respected enough to be more than a small voice of contradiction in a sea of new converts with each new episode of ‘Vikings’,  ‘Game of Thrones’, each new ‘Thor’ movie or Neil Gaiman project, and every other franchise that marches on the corpses of the Odinists who were alive when I was born,  as they wear hammers the size of fists, but never read the Edda’s to know that without Loki there would be no Mjollnir necklaces.

To be hated by the Troth for defending myself and asking for a woman spreading lies about myself and my husband to be settled publicly, instead to be told by the leader that “It wasn’t his decision” to have us barred- but what sort of leader is that?  As he creates imaginary histories for our shared family of twelve genders that do not exist among the Amish and never did- and re-creates holidays no one in my county has heard of but by his lips have been endemic for centuries.

People not of our ancestry invited to celebrate festivals of bullshit like white folks at the pow wows being given “Indian Names”.

I have tried to find the kinship I had not found in my family in my religion and mostly failed, except for those just as broken, discarded, maligned, and despised as I am.  So, when I feel better than I do now, I listen and help other people through their tragedies.

Realizing the only other chaplain who ever did such a thing is too important being Emperor of a tragic kingdom of people who read Amish erotica too concerned with modern sensibilities of inclusion to bother to continue to preserve what good our ancestors strove to pass onwards to us, and in my estrangement, cannot do so myself.

We would create our own community except we are too broken to leave our homes but rarely, and only talk when we are hurting;  I suppose we are too weak for any family at all.

And in my head, all I can hear is the voices of two girls calling my father “Daddy” as they use him as their personal ATM machine- yet remembering also that he would intentionally step away from the cash register when we purchased a five dollar hose to fix our clothes dryer.

“Daddy, I need money to get fast food after cheer practice”- said a fat daughter of the pedophile.   I worked since I was twelve, and I would have been beaten by my mother for that question.  Does it not bother him that his wife stayed with the pedophile even after his crimes were revealed?  That she gave up her own eldest daughter to be abused for her own financial comfort?

No wonder they stay married.

“You shouldn’t resent your father’s new family, isn’t his happiness important to you?”

Is it not important that I have been erased in favor of strangers?

“Why do you care about what the Heathen community does?”

Because, like family, it is the only religion I really have.  Even theistic  Discordianism is not really a religion- more of a gathering of the damaged.

My mother told a therapist once that she was “still trying to break my spirit” when I was a teenager, I can picture the community bemoaning me in the same way.

Why am I still alive?  I think it is because I have nothing to lose in speaking the truths no one ever wants to hear.


Posted in About me on February 21, 2017 by Alana Smithee



Artist Unknown.

“You chose me,  I am amused and a bit surprised, ”  stated the firey red fox coquettishly, “All things considered, I thought you would choose the entirely humorless, limping wolf for council in everything.”  I noticed then that I, too was a fox, nowhere near as brilliant.  My fur the copper of old pennies compared to the reds found only in poppies and fire before me, shining with iridescence.  I was afraid I had upset him, only for a moment, before he crossed the distance between us and touched his nose to my own.
“I am looking for contentment, I thought you would know that better.That is not something I would go to Ty-” I found my mouth filled with the fluff of his tail.
“Shh!  Human names are heretical.” he gracefully moved his tail in an arabesque clearing my face.
“Wait- what?  Why?”
“You believed there were only Gods for humans?  Why would an animal worship a human or pay homage to their oppressors?”  His grin, feral… subtext dripping from his words like golden syrup.  “I don’t care for humans very much right now, I abhor their present stupidity.”
“You sound like my frien-”
“Spike,”  we said at once.  The Fox, ceaseless in graceful movement danced like leaves on a breeze,”
“That is because we are of the same type.  Not everyone is a wolf, a boar, or a raven.  Some of us are foxes.  You are a fox, I am a fox, he is a fox… if you want contentment, do fox things… and the first is to go feral.”
“Feral.” He sat ramrod straight, posed brilliantly and shining, “No fox is happy in a crowd for very long, but goes wherever she pleases and stays as long or short as she likes.   A fox eventually grows away from its family, and keeps primary companionship with its mate.  She is not collared, she is not owned.  She does not take more responsibility than pleases her, but she is careful of her territory and mindful of her den.” He paused.  “A fox is you.  It is not good to be a person right now, like to a human be a fox- happily join their picnics and just as happily return home.” His eyes like emeralds in sunlight shined, “You belong to yourself, and you worry yourself only with what directly impacts your existence.”
He jumped back up onto higher ground,  if a jump can be a graceful leap of shining wonder, the fire of his pelt shimmered and blazed and dazzled the eyes.  All I could think is “Man, being a mortal is so dull.” in every sense of the word.  I was a boring, brown fox staring at the God of Foxes,  that in itself was something quite spectacular, and I was filled not with fear but curiosity and endless questions I wished to ask and have answered.
“That is actually the effect I am aiming for on our kind,  thanks for being so receptive.”
“I still have to wonder, though, why I don’t feel like I should cower in fear before you or feel something awful.”
“You have not pissed me off, I will explain contentment-  Contentment is not caring one way or the other what anyone who does not affect you thinks.”
“You affect me,”
“Clearly. But you are being intentionally obtuse.” he cleared his throat.  “Do you have food?  Do you have shelter?  Do you have a home to improve?  A skill to learn?  Someone to love? Do you have your health?”
“Well, yes-” Although his line of questioning was rapid fire, I kept up and found I could agree to all of those things.
“Then you will grow contentment. Foxes grow away from their families to be with their mates and find allies among other creatures in the wood.  Remember, do not take on more responsibility than pleases you.    Do not take too much to feed your ego or so little to feed laziness.  Be helpful to other creatures, but not so much that you are left wanting.  If a person throws a snare into your den, avoid it.  You know it is there, it will decompose.”
“But-” I interjected, knowing this experience to be exceptional.
“Humans-”  he enunciated with disgust, “Are pissing me off.  I understand that the forth dimensional existence is limits your form, but your spirit is still limitless.”As the light faded until I could see only by the light he radiated he smiled,
“Be a fox, be feral, and you won’t piss me off.   Humans. Are. Pissing. Me. Off.”

Breaking Silence

Posted in About me on January 28, 2017 by Alana Smithee


Wolf Shaman- Best guess is Susan Boulet as Artist (Correct me if I am mistaken, bitte!)

I miss writing and after reading this wonderful post from Owl Hill Farm I realized I really have no need to be silent any longer about what exactly has changed, and what has stayed the same.  Dagan wrote out my perspective better than I could express.  So that is out of the way…
I refuse to repudiate any of my Heathen/Asatru brothers and sisters regardless of their political views. I am not going to advocate or denounce any person of my faith for speaking their thoughts, any of their thoughts, I will not sign any petitions, causes, or further nonsense for/against anything outside of my immediate purview.  I do not condone physical violence unless it is in self defense against physical violence.  Words are words.  My concerns are for my homestead, my family within, my friends and those who share specific time with us in good Frith, no matter who they may be or where they may reside, in person or online.

This blog is not static- it is an evolution of myself as a Heathen and a human being- over time, my stances change and I am able to be flexible and reconsider things I once denounced and denounce things I once embraced.  I will and have contradicted myself- assume that out of two posts of contradictory ideas, the more recent one will be the most pertinent.  I follow both AFA and Troth leaders and try to keep open lines of communication with both.

Right now, I see you- and every other pagan as my sibling in our ancestral faith- regardless of who you are. ( But like most families, there will always still be grudges I hold against people who have harmed me that cannot be easily erased or forgiven- even with time.)  Nonetheless if I talk to you, if I have befriended you on social media you are not one of those few I hold any ill will towards, even if we may find ourselves occasionally in disagreement.

I have realized that instead of bemoaning the deterioration of convenience of having community so close I can hop over to an event in a weekend and feeling pathetic in my loneliness, I have neglected opportunities and invitations to greater things within easy driving distance-

To travel to an event is to make it more meaningful, more sacred, and more special.  It is easy to give up an hour and be half involved, but to give a day, a weekend is truly a better tribute to the Gods

First of all, to Gladsheim Hof– for years, the premier Hof of our region-  I have had no valid reason to not visit where we already have friends who I have learned much from and wish to see again such as Laurel and Wulf.  It is likely I may be the only Heathen in Pennsylvania who has not made the trip at least once and I regret that; Ed and I will remedy that in the coming months.  The insanity is that this Hof is actually a very short drive across a state line and we would not even require to board our dogs to attend and reconnect with the fantastic souls I have met in earlier years at several other events.

To my friend Aurora Lightbringer and her group events held at Mountain Mysteries– I will do my best not to miss the chance at reconnecting with such a great friend  with the long history we shared going back to adolescence to see the beauty she and her people have created.  I am proud to have her in my life and I am excited to meet her family and tribe after over a decade.  I hope to see you this summer.

And the wake up call of the open invites to Owl Hill Kindred– with my dear friend Lynn who has encouraged this blog and my writing for so long I feel as if we have already met- Edward and I have committed to bringing ourselves and our canine family to celebrate with you in February.

I have yet to ever attend the famous ECT (East Coast Thing) , honestly out of my own fears of rejection from places and people entirely unrelated.  I have been in this community openly for well over a decade and have yet to meet so many people I interact with online- and online is such a poor substitute for real life- and to not take the chance to reconnect with close friends we have met at Winternights and other events has not been right

What all these places have in common is they are open, unaffiliated with any political view or organization (that I am aware of) and intentionally free of drama and politics.  I have feared that I would be a disruption despite multiple invitations I have declined thinking I was doing so out of good grace and not to admit it was truly out of cowardliness.

I also need to recognize the Lehigh Network of Unified Pagans who have welcomed Edward and I with open arms locally even if we have had ill luck in making most events on account of illness. You remain the primary group that we refer local people of all pagan faiths to for shared worship of holidays and your hospitality and kindness means more than I can express.

Thank you to Lynn Grim and my family of Lunar Dust in my hometown in Havertown, Pa.  Your Samhain and occasional Yule gatherings with my childhood friends is always a highlight of my year, even if the events do not occur every year.

To everyone at MUM of Allentown Pennsylvania, particularly my first and greatest teacher Rose Moyer who has guided my spirituality since the age of 12 and allowed me to read cards at her events or even tag along to her tables faires- the brightest and oldest metaphysical faires of our region.  I have missed the past year on account of illness but I will strive to return if not with a table representing Heathenry, but to resume my place helping friends made over two entire decades of every facet of the metaphysics community.  Instead of squawking at Heathen leaders of the National Organizations I realize that perhaps, it is the place of myself and Eddie to hold the responsibility to hold a table for our Faith and be the entry to Heathenry with information for everything Heathen both unaffiliated as well as for all organizations fairly and to publicly accept the role of “sorting hat” that I have been doing in private for years guiding people to the AFA, the Troth, or to specific kindreds, people, and pathways to explore.  As a Heathen I should never have allowed myself to feel estranged or ashamed.

To the shops Mystical Tymes and  Gypsy Heaven of New Hope, Celtic Myth and Moonlight of Reading, Into the Myst of Bethlehem and Bey’s Rock Shop.  Eric, Dottie, Tammy, Lauren & Lauren, and the entire Bey Family, you provide so much not just to us, but to the entire community of our region- as has Luciferian Apotheca online for supplies and statuary for our house of alters that are a bit harder to locate.

I realize my “place” is to be neutral to all if I did not- I could not be as helpful for seekers to find people of like mind objectively and help them find what they need for their own spiritual paths.
I will still never encourage people to say “Ren/Tyrienne told me about you”, but what I can assure you is there have been pubmoots that have included people that I have sent directly to all of you with the names of exactly who to contact for the region who have found their Asatru (and other) homes among you.   I am still aware of your schedules of open events even though I do not attend them for the sake of others. Strangers met in supermarkets or waiting rooms- people met in passing wearing a Helm of awe or other Heathen symbolism, especially in visible tattoos or wearing the Mjollnir necklace seeking their tribes and people of like minds I intentionally make conversation- and with a few strokes of a pen I feel proud to have been a guidepost for another person’s spiritual journey- although I do not get out much, what little I do, I try to make the most of in this respect.

And to my most favorite of all, The Odin Brotherhood .  You are my online home- each one of you has educated me beyond description, and although I try to limit my time online lately, I still read your posts even if I do not comment for weeks at a time.    You are the home I send every seeker online to find, you are the place that I feel the most at home with kindred spirits among my brothers and sisters- you are truly my family and I am your quirky, out-of-the-broomcloset sister who will always point the way to you always for your wisdom and acceptance- for everything you continue to teach and the backbone of honor you instill (secretly or not so secretly) in every community that hails our Gods.

My absolute favorite book on Odinism remains “The Odin Brotherhood” by Mark Mirabello.  It remains the only book I recommend outside of the Eddas to people who have been called to our home religion by our ancestors and Gods.

With the advent of so many upheavals in our community of brothers and sisters divided being Lokean, I realize, no longer seems to matter….and being Lokean, well- that has never been a fully accurate reflection of who I am and what I represent as a human being.  I am the child of my Heathen ancestors, I am the granddaughter of a living Latvian Heathen with her own community of Dievturiba in Philadelphia, I am a Hildebrandt Hexerei with a proud lineage in my own Berks county with the stories of my great grandmothers, and after returning to our ancestral home, their speech patterns and a small part of the land on which they walked long before I was born.

I am not “just a Lokean”- I am a polytheist.  I see all Gods and pathways have validity to people and my own pathway is watched by not just Loki but the living Gods of my family beyond just Loki and Tyr.

We are reconnecting with friends who are also not Heathen- people who over the years we lost contact with for any number of reasons, but we realize have left holes in our lives by their absence, and to our surprise, awe, and regret- our absence was in theirs as well.

Ed has a Celtic family of Catholics with beautiful souls who adopted him as a teenager as one of their clan and we will join hands with them on their holidays as well.  Their Jesus gives them comfort, and although he is not my God- I was taught that to pray for the welfare of another person who does not share our faith to pray to their God for our Gods might not know them.

I can resent Christianity only in that it forced my family traditions into hiding and created a hundred year prohibition against writing down our folklore and traditions- but that time has passed and the Christians and the Hexerei lived in these Pa Deitsch lands in harmony for centuries prior to my German family being forced to abandon their language publicly by government, not religious initiatives after World War II.  I do not harbor resentment towards Christians individually, one thing I hold with polytheism is that one can worship any God they choose- even if I do not share that God, it does not make their existence less than my own Gods.  A Christian can be more honorable than a Heathen- and I have met many who live by our ways more truly than some who hail Odin the loudest at sumbels.

My ancestry is mine, your ancestry is yours- we can honor all and slight no one as polytheists.  For those who say there is “One True Way”- I say to them, “Perhaps- there is only One True Way for you- but for others, their pathway is their own.”

Ed will once again wear the Mjollnir of his Swedish ancestry, and for those who say I have “betrayed my Norse blood”- understand that I am no Scandinavian, I am German, I am Baltic-  our tribes traded blood, but the God of both lands is Tyr under the name of Ziu  for polytheistic Deutschlanders and Dievs of panpolytheistic Latvija.  The symbols I wear do not include Mjollnir personally, but honor my own heritages.

That may be why Tyr is the main archetype I aspire to emulate in my life.  Most known for his courage- a trait of which I have fallen short many, many times and instead of facing it I have made excuses or tried to pretend to myself that I was without a right of place at events on account of fear based on negative experiences of the past that have no reflection on the reality of the present.

My husband and I endeavor to keep improving our homestead- we are breeding Flemish Giant rabbits, and are in the process of purchasing a pick up truck to terraform our land into gardens of crops and healthy foods.  We have our altars in every room to every tradition that has ever given us wisdom and may grow more as time passes.  (We still need to refinish the basement floor, though-  dogs destroyed the carpet and we plan to paint and lacquer it back to respectability after taxes…I hope).

My husband and I have walked many pathways- him through Buddhism and LHP- myself through Sufism, Unitarianism, and Baha’i (among others) but we are, in fact, Heathen by blood no more and no less than anyone else with our Gods reading this blog post.

We are getting older, and perhaps it is time to stop hiding and take some responsibility for whatever small or large we have offer our community, as much as we are able by expanding our “home” to where we have been invited and show no fear in accepting these invitations…and if the the time seems fair, to open our home once again in return with old friendships renewed and new friendships honored.  If we are treated well or poorly, we will take that as it comes as per the Hamaval:

Young and alone on a long road,
Once I lost my way:
Rich I felt when I found another;
Man rejoices in man,

A kind word need not cost much,
The price of praise can be cheap:
With half a loaf and an empty cup
I found myself a friend,

The only caveat is if you are farther than an hour or two- we come with our two dogs.  But, I have heard in our Faith that is far from unusual for our kind.


Natasha, Black lab mix- Ziu, Husky featherbrain mix

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

-The Hamaval


The Wisdom of Silence

Posted in About me on December 12, 2016 by Alana Smithee

I recall when paying honor to Loki was the absolute most controversial action a Heathen could do that would upset entire communities of brothers and sisters- how naive we were, not knowing what the future held in store with our current global political climate!  This post is about why it is judicious, perhaps- to examine what we share and what we keep to ourselves in this time of stark polarization and uncertain informational resources.

Anyway, I have intentionally been keeping a very low profile lately-  I have been attacked by both the far left and the far right both inside…but mostly outside of our community.  I have searched for reliable news sources on current events, and have learned I have nothing to recommend except for broadening ones circles of acquaintances and relying on first hand accounts of incidents and situations as they occur.

The polarization of all peoples is not unintentional- to divide us from our closest friends and family is politically advantageous to those who seek to control us all with the least amount of force from the higher ranks.  There is no need to fight the people while we are fighting among ourselves- declaring “enemies” from within while everyone ignores the quickening erosion of our greater freedoms of speech and thought.

Many times, I have found myself typing up lengthy replies to posts or articles I do not agree with only to delete them- thinking to myself “Why do they need to know what I think?  What purpose does this serve?”

There is a freedom in silence-  the realization that we do not need to over-share our stances, thoughts, and perspectives outside of the homestead or outside of those we consider our closest companions. It is not the right of every stranger to know where I stand on every issue and every thought I entertain. The internet, as it is now, has multiple formats for us to share our every waking idea, this is not necessarily a good thing- for it opens us up to targeted misinterpretations and knee-jerk reactions of others, turning allies to enemies with a “trigger” that could have been better left unsaid.
When deciding what to say and when- think to yourself:  Will what I say improve on the peace of silence?  Will what I say forward the causes in my life for my family and myself…or will it create more divisions?  Is what I want to say truly important and worth fighting for?

At this point in time, it is safe for me to say that I am waiting in the wings until all the in-fighting ceases among all communities that effect my life (Heathen or otherwise) between the rights and the lefts.  I see the passion of both sides and I understand it- but I have the antithesis of motivation to contribute to it.  It is not worth it to me- nor should it be for many of you.  It took me the better part of a week simply to formulate this post, and part of my reason for writing it at this moment is as a service to those who feel as I do- agreeing entirely with nothing offered by the mainstream, but have been burnt by the assumptions of those who believe we think/feel antagonistically towards the causes other people hold dearly. (It is possible to simply be ambivalent without malice!)

Unless you are someone vested in making a statement- why make yourself and your family a target?  Hatred is strong on both sides at this time- you can see it online and in the protesting in our cities, you hear it in every conversation.

As if anything could be possibly more apropos, I discovered this gem of a concept today:

Loki’s Wager:  a form of logical fallacy, is the unreasonable insistence that a concept cannot be defined, and therefore cannot be discussed.

To me, though- most information is rife with logical fallacy- most especially what I formerly considered reliable news sources.  Although it is a logical fallacy to have UNREASONABLE insistence that ideas and concepts at this time cannot be defined.  A simple internet search on whatever the hottest issue du jour will find contradictions and little material on either side backing their claims- hoping that we will invest in what hope or pessimism want us to believe.

Now is not the time to volunteer information and be sorted into antagonistic “sides” if do not fully agree with their platform-  it is a time to watch quietly to find those who are like minded- whatever that is to you, and progress organically.

Now then- if there is prevalent, political ideology that fits your ethic and ideas fully- by all means, jump right in with all enthusiasm.

I have yet to find an ideology that I back fully- so unless and until I do, do not expect me to lend full support to any.  There are ideas that intrigue me everywhere- but liking any particular  idea does not follow that I support without question the source and everything that source represents at this time.

Chances are pretty high that I am not alone in wanting to see how things unravel or knit. That I do not want to waste my time with condemning or exalting trends or movements at this time until I see for myself and for the sake of my homestead if it is best to stay insular or to reach out.

The future can be beautiful for each person- depending on our choices.  For some, the future is most beautiful in seclusion as the rest of the world falls to madness; the social equivalent of curling up with a good book and some cocoa during a blizzard; but instead of a blizzard of snow, one of contradictory ideas and people screaming to be heard.  For some, they are in their element shaping tomorrow.

I have nothing to gain from/have no interest in rocking boats that exist on tsunami’s of fear and sensationalism already.

I heard you the first time- that is why I have been going through and literally unfollowing the one trick ponies who cannot move beyond their slogans and browbeating- as well as reaching out to people who are saying new things,and following leaders of movements that personally effect me so I can see with my own eyes, without the filter of the interpretations of others, what is said, to whom, and in what context.

If you want to know how Loki’s wager ended- the dwarf who claimed to have won Loki’s head was so pissed he sewed Loki’s lips shut.


Life Inside Nightmares (Fiction)

Posted in About me on December 1, 2016 by Alana Smithee

(One small multiverse reality step over from Odin Wanders Inn (Fiction))

Ivy woke up gasping for air- the sunlight poured benevolently through the window as she held her head and tried to shake out the memories of what had just been seen.
Footsteps raced towards her room from down the hall and a fellow traveler rapped on the door, “Miss- are you all right?  Are you hurt?”

“Come in, ” Ivy replied, “…Just a nightmare.”
A scarecrow of a boy, the young music teacher by the name Rai, straddled the only available wooden chair in the room- he was still holding the bow of his instrument.  “…However, if someone were trying to kill me I don’t think your ‘weapon’ would be of much use.”

“You would be amazed.” Rai replied tonelessly,  “There are some songs that make me want to run as far away as possible.  Would you care for a serenade of ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’, or  ‘Oh Danny Boy’?  I swear it will hurt me more than it would hurt you.  What was your nightmare about?  I heard you scream.”

“It was awful-  it was like an alternative to now.  Instead of reading, everyone  lost all ability to speak- to communicate they sent one another pictures from pictures from boxes about the size and half the width of a deck of cards.  People were free to go anywhere, but everyone chose to be confined to little cells only to move to other cells during the day.  They were like what I imagine prison must be like…but without the bars.  One of those prisons had nothing but desks and a phone in each cell that never stopped ringing- and when you picked up the phone is was nothing but screaming- strangers just insulting you, strangers with stupid problems, or worse, problems that couldn’t be fixed.  Some cells had nothing but a monitor and keyboard- rows and rows of tiny cells of people who were not allowed to speak, were not allowed to move beyond their cells- like they were tied down with invisible ropes.”

“That sounds awful- good thing we have only one phone in town, they might start breeding otherwise.  Gotta watch those phones, insidious, horny little buggers.”

“I’m serious- the awful thing was people LIKED it….And The schools…oh gods, the schools-  children spent all day like biscuits on a cookie sheet, like the old days but worse:  They were also unable to move, in one-piece desks as they were forced to listen to lies of a robot- I think it was a robot- in front of the room who spoke in gibberish and ordered them to color in grey tiny circles the size of the head of a knitting needle in complicated patterns.  They had little ascetic value- and if they colored wrong they were berated until they crumpled-.”  Ivy broke off looking visibly distraught.

“Breath Ivy…, go on”

“Okay…okay…there was more, though man…There were no chickens, no livestock anywhere, everyone bought individual cuts of meat like pieces of amputated parts from huge warehouses lit all in  blinding bright white lights.  Fish didn’t look like fish- just slices of anemic looking slime in clear trays. It was so weird.   There was fruit of every colour and shape and I couldn’t name most of them- but when you bit into any of it- it tasted awful: too sweet or mealy, or nothing at all.  Everything was beautiful in those warehouses- from a distance, but up close it was a real horrorshow, and I was the only person repulsed by it all.  The warehouse had rows of shelves of what looked like tiny little gift boxes in a thousand colors and sizes and not a one of them smelled like food- but people were eating the stuff inside.  It all smelled like poison- it was disgusting! People were living in deserts complaining of drought and people had land but didn’t hunt game.  They just ate that weird poisonous tasting crap from all the little multicolored little boxes and everyone was ill from it, but no one stopped doing it.”

“Sounds dystopian”

“Well, no…not quite.   A lot of our people who are dead here  were alive there. It was so fucked up man… Yule was alive, for example- they fixed him somehow. That dwarvish looking mofo was entirely whacked out of his skull on drugs, Hatter was in and out of jail, nothing fucking made any sense.  Then some people who are alive were dead in the dream.”

“Was I alive?”

“No, …Rai, you were the first person who died-.  I can’t even talk about what happened to you without getting upset.  Just imagine the worst, most insanely illogical way to die- then know it was likely worse than that.  I can’t explain it, I guess in that way the dream was like other dreams, some things you just can’t explain, you know?   There had to be like six different funerals- all packed to bursting, though.”

“That’s hilarious. At least I was remembered fondly”

“Nah…it’s not like normal.  People didn’t remember you for you-  some people treated you like an old-fashioned saint and prayed to you like one of the Gods.”

“…This keeps sounding better and better…”

“…Until people got sick of all the adulation and started making up the worst accusations they could think of to pass around about you- In the dream I had to fight those people with my writing-when I knew you about as well as I do now- maybe less.”

“You don’t Not know me-  I mean, I pass through here a couple of times a year at least…”

“Yeah…but I don’t think I could write your obituary- not when you are hardly thirty.  I think the deaths of the young are the hardest, even for acquaintances.  In the dream I watched people live like zombies- people who have been long dead and gone,  and people gone there who I cannot picture life without here.   I was in a  world full of strangers and even Bob was a cult leader making up a new religion to the people who seemed to live in the white warehouse instead of the vegetable garden- he was preaching, literally, about gardens like they were endangered or gone entirely like passenger pigeons.”  Ivy’s fingers were tangled in her own hair massaging her aching scalp as Rai sat silently in thought, both hands absently fidgeting with his bow.

“Well, it can’t be prophecy at least.  Yule died  at least seven years ago if it is any consolation.”

“Do you think I should bother Hexer Jaeger about this, Rae?  Dreams aren’t usually so….cohesive.  I don’t think going to Bob the Braucher and saying ‘Hey, I had a dream where you ran a cult’ will improve his view of me any. ”

Rae sighed. “Ivy… his opinion of you is not at risk- but there isn’t any cause for concern…did you read any Philosophy when you attended University? I have this book I had to read on Plato…”

She interrupted, “…that every thing that exists is an imitation of something perfect in the realm of thought?  That we are all in a cave chained to the floor, some people escape, return with new insight and are called insane by those in their own families?  That Agathon is past his prime and Socrates wants a new little boy to molest? What?”

“How about that everything you can imagine is real, already thought of, and exists in other realities?  That we are alive and aware of whatever our minds create- and sometimes the mind can be an observer and creator simultaneously- of everything we dream and think, new realities are created.”

“That sounds like Descartes on psilocybin, Rai….and if that were the case: I design terrible realities.”

“Okay.  Maybe I get the old philosphers confused- my discussions with Bob were more about local history than ancient Greek.  But hear me out-  what if everything we dream is us viewing a different reality where we live?  Maybe you live here in the Inn and chronicle everything that happens here, maybe in another life you are a phone-prisoner, or poison eater at the body-part warehouse.  Perhaps it is to help you appreciate what you have right now.  You’re a Lokean, your God has the weirdest ways of helping his own out.  I pray to his daughter- she’s much more straight forward.”

“So, the phone prisons, the school-prisons, and the white lit warehouses and little colored boxes of poison to eat exists somewhere?”

“Well, of course I hope not Ivy…but if it does- if there is a place out there that fucked up I imagine the parts of our families trapped there would dream of here.   Would it cheer you up some to catch a few chickens with me, Gala, and my sister Lana?  Getting some real, honest food together on the fire would do you and everyone here a world of good.”

“Sounds good.  Especially if you still don’t need the feathers… I’ll be happy to take them as well after the plucking:  My pillows could use an upgrade. Hey, do you ever think the world,or our reality is changing and dreams are all we have to recall what once was?  Sort of like we change dimensions like we sleepwalk into other rooms and then wonder how we got to where we are?”

“I think you get tangled in your own head and can’t find your way out-  If you are going to do that, at least make it entertaining.  That’s why I’m a musician I guess- my thoughts can’t really be expressed with words most of the time- I’d rather just play it out  Maybe you should write about it later, in the meantime we’ll all meet you outside when you’re dressed-  I am pretty sure we will still be chasing chickens for a while yet,”  He stood up and walked out the door only to lean in his head a moment later,
“…Last one out is a dead man…”

Thank you for shopping face down

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia commons

Breathing Water.

Posted in About me on November 20, 2016 by Alana Smithee

It was two in the afternoon and the room was still dark except for lines of faint light at the edge of the heavy curtains- wind from the fan did little to drown out the staccato rap of the sleet outside.  With that sleet came memories unbidden- a red car on a black highway crawling through similar conditions and the truck, going ninety, that spun that car into the sound barrier.
Standing on that car, her best friend who had been estranged for three months prior grabbed her down and said “Don’t ever scare me like that again,” his hair was loose and so dark a red it seemed black- his bones was anorexic and strained looking in his skin.  She never should have worried- he assassinated her character with his own words immediately after that vignette and she would spend years wondering why he wanted to destroy her.

“Stop it.”  the road was now empty, and the ice had turned to snow which gently began to lay covering the shards of glass and debris flown from her trunk. “You don’t have to remember it like this.”
“But it’s the truth.  I didn’t get a degree in Philosophy to lie to myself-  I don’t choose to remember.  I get scared.  I then can’t remember what scared me, then I have to remember so I know that this,” she gestured to the car, “isn’t right now.”
“However, the problem is…you also have enough education to know everything is ‘right now’; that time is an illusion.  How does this help you?”
“It gives me answers.”
About six feet tall, sturdy, with a dark coat and fox-red hair, Loki looked utterly human- not a barbarian in furs nor a spandexed cartoon villain.
“The story is the goddess of snow herself got pissed off at me once- killed two of my kids, chained me to a rock with their intestines right in front of my wife, THEN had a had a snake drip venom in my eyes for an eternity just because I told the truth…  I am pretty traumatized by weather events myself.”
He sat down in the snow- the car had vanished as had all signs of the road- leaving nothing but the shadows of tall evergreens in the distances- black against white.  I sat beside him- feeling rather small as he looked off into the distance.
“But- although things do happen at once- they do not happen to the same person.  I am not the man tied to the rock, you are not the one in a crumpled Eclipse.  What do you recall from before impact?”
“As I hit the section of highway, I had a feeling I might die.  I prayed out loud to some Goddess, I don’t recall who- to protect me.”
“You had much better luck appealing to her good nature than I did,” he smiled wryly. “It isn’t so bad to have a healthy fear of some things.  Some of my best friends were snakes too, but I have to admit our relationship isn’t what it once was… all things taken into consideration.” He put his hand on my back- and it didn’t matter much that I had not seen him in a long while.  Then, other memories- new memories began to play.
Of an interrogation where the cruel face of the arresting officer was replaced by the cool visage of a cool expressionless raven-haired man in military uniform- his right wrist of his jacket expertly pinned and empty.
Of a blonde man who gave up fighting to protect a woman.
Of fierce ladies who judged the unjust and enacted hard punishment in the lives of those who lived dishonestly- usually unseen, who tipped the scales and manipulated karmatic retribution more effectively than any court or human vigilante.
“It is hard to see something specific when you are immersed in it.  A rock under still water looks no different to the drowning then the same object on dry land to the safe.  The rock is never the problem- the breathing of the water is. Remember to stop trying to breathe things that suffocate you.”

Not knowing what else to do, I wrote it down as I recalled.  I edited it sparingly, and wonder why something that seemed so long in my mind, took so few words on paper.  I am still in the dark room, afraid of the weather, but it isn’t so bad as long as I remember I am here, inside and safe.  Everyone is afraid of something- and the lore of my religion indicates I am in exceptionally good company.

Can You Write/Draw? Make a Children’s Book Bitte.

Posted in About me on September 28, 2016 by Alana Smithee

A dear friend of mine I have known for almost two decades by the name of Aurora Lightbringer has become a wonderful educator and has started to attempt to fill the huge void that exists regarding pagan children’s books.  Further, if you have children, she also wrote a wonderful article HERE on how to navigate the public school system with the most respect the belief system/s in which you raise your children.

Aurora’s website (including her books), may be found HERE.

Although I am Heathen by nature any book by anyone of any pagan practice is one we did not have before!  One of the questions I am asked most often is “Where can I find good books for my children?”

The problem is: I don’t have children…  I don’t get to peruse the book aisles and see what is/is not available.  If you are reading this and you have further links to excellent children’s books for pagans and heathen kids, please share them in the comments and I will do my best to create a comprehensive list.

In the meantime…   the fact that this is even a Question indicates that we have a void that desperately needs filling by talented authors and artists who have the time and inclination to make improvements to our communities where they count- in the education of the next and future generations in caring in partnership with nature (as opposed to the monotheistic view of “ruling” her), integrity, industriousness, creativity, and encouraging a love of learning, appreciation of our folklores, as well as encouraging critical thinking.

Since I do not have children, I have NO IDEA how to write for them.   Parents time and again keep referring back to Harry Potter as if it is a resource; and although those books are enjoyable- they aren’t realistically pagan in way that can be experienced day to day.

The best I can come up with on my own is an idea of a story about a lonely little boy living in the middle of nowhere ignored by his parents as they go off to work and a gentle, brown dairy cow deciding she is his fylgia on the first day of Summer…which ultimately results in him growing up to be a happy farmer  who has the absolute best ice cream and cheeses as his siblings grow up to be “conventionally successful” in the big cities: stressed, divorced, ill, and suicidal.

I lack the subtlety to write for kids… but you might have that special touch I lack.

If you write it, I will share it.  I will add it to the list.  I want to make a list, but I need your help to do so.  Please share your favorite authors/books, and I implore you to please write your own and create a legacy that counts!


Because my story ideas are so lame anyone can come up with better than this. (Picture via Pinterest)

The History of Ivy (Fiction)

Posted in About me on August 29, 2016 by Alana Smithee

Read the first part of the story here.

Journal entry April 12th, 2001

I had been fortunate to catch the early trolley, which in turn allowed me to catch the Market-Frankfort to fifteenth street a sound hour and a half prior to class.

On fortunate days such as these- I always enjoyed a leisurely bagel at the 15th street station donut shop.  Usually, I was pressed for time, but having some breathing room was nice for a change so I decided to try and write this for posterity while I sit on the train.  At home, I have two main employers;  I work developing film for a local camera shop and I also work at a specialty shop that caters expressly to birdwatchers- these two stores are adjacent to one another.

As far as problems go?  I am done.  I am fine… in my messenger bag is the letter I received from the AmeriCorps, like Aspen- I am heading out West in August which should alleviate the mounting tension between my grandparents and I- I will be organizing concerts at an amphitheater on a reservation in the middle of nowhere- I am excited to get away from here. Pat woke up from his coma- but he’s about as functional as a forth grader, and suddenly both straight and convinced he is in love with me because his mother told him Jesus said as much.

Dev is at Temple- but he is honestly the only friend locally other than some stragglers who stuck around my hometown since elementary school, like myself, going to school in Philly.  I even tried smoking pot for the first time with Tim and Andy-  Andy and I both in his car for an hour afterwards desperately rubbing magic tree air fresheners all over our clothes  because he would catch hell since he is on break from Harvard- and I would catch hell because, well,  It is just not what my family does.  Hell, my family threatened to disown me if I dyed my hair pink!  It isn’t worth losing the career I haven’t started…but how do they not realize I’m an art student by now perplexes me.  Then again, so was Hitler…maybe I should try that argument.  If Hitler died his hair pink artistically, I doubt he would have led the Reich…

Since it has been a few months since my last update online- I think I should say that this madness with Dusty is getting even more nonsensical.  He’s my best friend, but he’s an asshole.  He has this shitty girlfriend who hates everything about him- but “sees potential” to make him into something more palatable to her tastes…and she is neither bright nor pretty enough to justify the nervous breakdown he’s experiencing over her.  Just break up, move on.  He has become entirely unreliable- seriously, I wonder if I am better without him…but on the other hand, we are the last two people who know what Peter was like prior to his drug addiction.

It had crossed my mind that Dusty was travelling the same lines…literally, his entire potential up his nose as he looks into the mirror on which he cuts his cocaine.

Except for the occasional lesbian sex- I am still boring in my opinion.  I have straight A’s for the first time, it apparently WAS my environment of living with two teenage parents who brought me into this world without my consent that held me back.  I miss my dad sometimes, but how good can he really be if he unquestionably supports a woman who does such fucked up things?

To punish me for leaving two years ago they keep my dog chained up in all weather- thinking I will come back to “save” her…and bring her where?  Then we would both be in chains.  Poor Persephone.  For as much of a shithead as Dusty is most of the time, he at least checks on my dog and little brother… our friendship is worth at least that much to him; I live over an hour away and I would prefer never to see that hirsute, screeching harpy I was brought into this world against my will by (and almost taken out by many, many more times) I believe I will live a rather happy life…or rather, a life where I can breathe for a minute without having either obscenities or porcelain knick-knacks thrown at me- and then forced to watch her write down on a tally sheet how much I “owe” her for the items she decided to break in her anger against me.   I see the school shrink over it- I really do not have much self worth- they say.

Today I’m wearing my rose colored glasses over my contact lenses, my favorite button-down shirt that changes from gold to purple iridescence with some jeans and my black boots and my leather duster. I copied my makeup after a show I caught on cable of a girl found in a river-  shimmering blue lips and silver eyes and glitter. My hair is too short to really pull off the look right.  I’m blonde enough but  I just had my hair trimmed and highlighted again and made an appointment to do the same thing right before I leave.  I have yet to tell anyone I joined the AmeriCorps- but honestly, I believe it is the only way I will be able to get out of my grandfather’s college (where I am not sure if these good grades are earned or nepotism) and someplace, anyplace else.   I doubt I’d get into Berkeley…but I can try. Maybe the AmeriCorps experience will help pad my application a bit.  The train is coming to a complete stop and announcing I’ve arrived at the piss-drenched station.  I’ll grab my bagel and see if perhaps I can find April to see if we can complete that lens exchange- my fisheye for her telephoto if I am fortunate.

I cannot believe what is happening right now- so I will write as fast as I can as this is occurring.  I made it to the donut shop and before I ordered, the woman ahead of me ordered the exact same thing I was about to- an iced chai latte, a toasted garlic bagel, and two cups of chive cream cheese.   She then turned to me and said

“Ivy, could you pick a table- we need to talk, I’ll bring the food over- you have a little time.”

I  have no idea who this woman is- but she looks more like I do than most of my blood relatives in her features- she looks like she would stab a man in a fist fight- but she has this amazing long, dark hair and is covered in these crazy orange and blue tattoos on her arms.  My parents had me so young I never know who I am going to run into who wants to tell me about weird shit my father has gotten into- and I wouldn’t recognize the majority of my second cousins now since my great grandmother died almost a decade ago.  I am a little weirded out, but not frightened.  She just sat down and told me to keep writing.  She’s going to help me out.  Oh, fuck…a pyramid scheme, I’m sure…either that or this lady found Jesus and knows me from some class or some fucking where and I can’t remember her.  This will be a waste of time.

Okay…so, she has just congratulated me on my acceptance into the AmeriCorps… NO ONE knows except Kate.  I asked her about Kate and she said “Kate stayed out West forever” as far as she can discern and she has only seen her a few times since.   Dev apparently became a pilot and moved West too…and doesn’t know Kate. I asked her if she worked for the government with my father, and she just laughed and said “almost, but I failed out spectacularly”  She believes she is from the future and she just keeps listing off all these obscure things I haven’t told anyone.  Like about the orange carp I saw swimming upstream in Ridley- not moving against the current.  She said that is what is is like with time and that I might understand someday.

Gods, I know I’m considered a “freak”- but if people from that little dirt town up North ever set foot into this city….

-The AmeriCorps will define my life in a good way.  Nice to know.
-Yes, Dustin is “in love” with me- but it’s not worth the heartache, there are too many negative variables and he only dates people by cheating on who he is currently with.  That explains why we’ve never gotten together.  Love is not enough; in the timestreams where we are together it is disaster.  He has a “time traveller” self too- and it told him not to hurt me, this lady says he’ll hurt me anyway just to keep distance that will never be resolved in a way that satisfies anyone…besides, in a few years all realities have him so strung out he is unrecognizable…and frankly stupid.   She claims he’s stupid now, I just can’t see it yet.
-Dev is partially right about 2012, the world as we know it will not be the same, but she said the world won’t be the same after 2001, either.    Honestly, the world changes daily.  I am assuming this is one of the random psychics from Rose’s faires at this point having a schizophrenic break after running into me here in the city.  I still have an hour and school is a five minute walk from here.
-Apparently now we aren’t on the same timeline because she visited me and changed my future: A-okay crazy lady.
-Apparently, there are other families who follow the old Gods like Woten- she said it won’t be for another five years, but she said it isn’t worth it to join the groups when they get big unless I feel like getting married.  I don’t even believe in marriage, I do not think.  Too much risk.   But, if she is from the future- why is she here?  She claims it is to tell me what she wished she knew when she was me.  Pat will never get better, Dustin will not only not be in my life, but one day it will not even bother me.  It has been ten years since she has seen Aspen in person, but in her Now he lives in the middle of nowhere entirely antisocial. She tells me to keep writing things down- not on livejournal, but still on paper…and then she asks if I would consider switching out my guitar for a viol-type instrument.  She thinks that can prevent “a regret”.
I asked her what she regretted in her life and she replied “Oh, mostly things out of our control- and also some bad relationships.  Hopefully, your life will be different than mine is.”  I asked what was wrong with her life- did she graduate college?  Write a book?  Apparently, two college degrees and at least one book- but she claims “It’s boring as fuck, you will hate it if you have to write it…but on the other hand, it taught that time is simply an a-priori sense of the mind and that by simply using our memories we could transport ourselves back to any point of the timeline in which we consciously exist.  She tried to fix our childhood, she said, by helping us at 8 have the courage to open the window onto the porch roof and escape to the police station a mile away in a single timeline- but the futures from that didn’t have any radically different outcomes.  Simply different relationships and friendships that would end in time, anyway.
It’s about half an hour until Photography II.  I am still waiting on dire apocalyptic warnings…and she just shrugged and said “Keep hiking, keep writing- people will love you, people will hate you…but write, on paper, everything you want to remember.  One day, your memory will fail you.  Oh…and if things seem unfair, just wait.  Everything in the world seeks to find temperance.  Nice tarot card action/reaction, muting and balancing. It just happens”  I tried asking questions about her timeline- and she kept reiterating that we have little in common now-that by meeting- we cannot share the same futures. “Some things you cannot control- at all-  the world you see right now, in this piss-station subway?  This is a beautiful world….in all timelines, the world is not so beautiful in fifteen years.  Things will change, you (me) will mostly survive.   If you get hurt enough- you (me?) will end up having a wonderful spouse who will take care of me (us?)  If I manage to stay intact and unharmed- I will be single, but powerful.  In some timelines, I get to be both in a relationship and powerful…in others, single and crippled.  Pretty bleak.  So…what does she want to tell me?
“Pretty much Everyone you love right now will abandon you- your grandparents, your father will try to pretend to care but ditch you more times than not until he finally just discards you in favor of starting a new family over again, your brother, your friends until all you have left is people you never met yet and people you had to leave behind to prevent them from getting hurt by others.  I just want you to be prepared that no one you know, right now, will love you enough to be here in fifteen years…  they will move away or just leave your life entirely. Well, except maybe Jordan, or Maxwell or if the grandma you don’t live with makes it through her accident you’ll have her…but there is NO ONE else.  The friends who still around are not the people you think much on at the moment…you will love them, but make no mistake to believe that all your emotions aren’t being tossed into a void of nothing now.  The people who stay, even if you hardly know them now, are so much more important than the people you think are important.  Make your decisions accordingly, and by the way, the coffee and bagel are on me.  Use that fiver on a cab, if you don’t you’ll ruin that sculpture you’ve been lugging around. ”  she patted me on the shoulder and then said cryptically. “Also, never, ever date any person you will ever work with more than a one night stand.  Ever.  Do not allow yourself to be convinced to, by anyone.  If anything can change your future for brighter, that will.”

So.  That was a weird vignette.  I do not know who to talk to about this. I’m 19 years old as of last month and recently dumped by some awful fuck who wanted a girl with the pink hair met on a random train.  They broke up with her after a week or two.  The woman at the donut shop said my grandparents are right about him- he will never be worth anything at all…but that is okay, in fifteen years, I will not mean anything at all to my grandparents- which I find impossible to believe. We have always been so close and I really cannot imagine a life without them.  I am moving to preserve our relationship- not destroy it.  The woman I met claimed it does not matter.  I did take a cab, however…the sculpture got another “A”.  Not bad for an hour of gluing rocks into a helix for an hour.  Fuck, I wish I knew if my work was actually ‘good’- or if that A was, yet again, courtesy of being descended from a man with places on campus named after him.

Anyway, at least I wrote this in the journal that I have the Tolstoy book jacket on- I never have any risk of anyone picking up what looks like a thick tome of Tolstoy and “borrowing” it… and I can keep these crazy-ass, fucked up experiences to myself…or see if they come to pass.  I will duct-tape the pages and sharpie “Not to be opened until 2016”. Also…I had to look up what “a-priori” and “tabula rasa”: “Already existing” and “blank slate”, respectively.  Maybe it will mean more to me in 16 years.

I have read that Odin can be found everywhere- can Odin also be a dark-haired woman with hair over her one eye…?

I do not know, only time will tell.
See you in sixteen years, Ivy,

Ivy Von Reynard, age 19.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Column: Heathen Worldview and Presidential Politics

Posted in About me on August 27, 2016 by Alana Smithee

I was one of seventeen Heathens featured from sixteen different states on this article on the Wild Hunt by Karl E. Siegfried.

Check it out here!

Odin Wanders Inn (Fiction)

Posted in About me on August 25, 2016 by Alana Smithee

The New Time Chronicles- A Historical Account of Antietam from the Day of Silence

Authored by Ivy VonReynard, reluctant historian Written in the Historic Odin Wanders Inn
(Because no one else wants to do this and Elder Bob is Too Busy Again…
He owes me catnip bug spray for this: *Documented*-IVR)

One day, the internet failed….well, that was the least of humanities problems, really, most electronics spontaneously died one day, and most of them did not return- memories wiped and an inability to reform decades of coding and technologies from the foundation up again.   The resources we relied upon were too diverse and too reliant on digital storage- and to save on paper, print-outs, copies and physical writing had long ceased to be taught in schools by at least a decade.

Some people speculated it was a solar flare, others and EMP, or some sort of Anonymous technology that was developed by anarchists or some petulant nation, economy; perhaps a corporation with nefarious attempt to cease control of all profits.  HARP?  I am not sure.  Speculation is something we usually do evenings over a fire after the mead horn has gone around a few too many times.  I had no idea we had so many beekeepers, nor vinyards-  I am pretty sure the entire population of this town is lightly buzzed at any given time on either distilled spirits or dried herb;  if I lived around people this upbeat and well, Happy prior to the Day of Silence (DOS) I would have been convinced they were insincere…but I always was a pessimist.

For a few weeks after DOS,  things held together pretty well.  It was just a power-outage, a surge from vague natural disasters that could not be verified for there was no way to do so.

Cars, initially, would not start- their circuitry blown.   On that day, approximately thirty thousand people died of strokes, and countless more of heart attacks. We know because the hospitals manually counted- and Philadelphia has a glut of them within a pretty easy two day walk.  Faster if you can ride.

Newspapers, the very few local that existed, paired up with former military, long distance runners, and equestrians at first to form a network of regional communications.  Then- those who owned boats powered by steam.  Hospitals were operational- but those who required mechanical interventions for survival died with the generators.  Almost Instantaneously.  Nothing could hold a charge.  Something happened to the atmosphere- that was clear…but also, I must acknowledge the air is literally clearer as well.

Steampunk became relevant.  Nothing could hold an ELECTRIC charge for very long- however, nothing stopped the force of steam from turning gears into energy- combustion was still pretty reliable as well- but not quite so desirable.

Libraries, the few left that had not liquidated their “How-to” sections became more sacred than any place of worship- and librarians like the sages of Delphi.  I always warned people about digital books. I never trusted them.

Magnets seemed to work in strange, unpredictable ways…but well, locally we really had no resources to determine why.  Suicide became endemic in direct relation to population density; riots destroyed every city on earth over food shortages and the inability to truck in relief.  Eventually- it either calmed down or we just stopped hearing about it out here.

However, in the countrysides like this one- the strange, formerly ‘backwards’ places filled with the disparaged poor and the strange no-media antisocialists- after a few rough starts, began to thrive.

People with home gardens expanded to farms- and abandoned homes that had spent years under the yoke of the former market were now free to be occupied- it was easier to live near family and friends to sustain ourselves.  Our counties here had been used as farmland since prior to the time of the Empire of the United States- the soil was fertile, well watered, and had been smoothed of rocks centuries before.   We were fortunate- and sparsely populated after the Great Recession destroyed our old economy which once relied on factories, railways, and metal foundries- leaving the cities abandoned and the towns prior to the New Times, a sea of “for sale” signs as the locals left for other states or countries seeking desk-servitude in exchange for the right to access goods and services instead of working honestly for it.

It truly is amazing how primitive people once were- unable to grow a single, edible carrot or even kill and dress a chicken without gross incompetence.

What was truly interesting were the Odinists.  Indigenous to Pennsylvania and other states- the Pa Deitsch denominations blended easily back into the fabric of land-tending with the greatest ease- our records, both written and oral of the cycles of our local seasons and the peculiarities of our homelands in each of our counties was substantiated by the existence of the Indigenous Nations whose records we shared though hundreds of years of cultural and romantic intermingling.

Locally, accord was sought to reconcile the Urglaawe and the Amish Anabaptist out of a sense of brotherhood and mutual assistance.  The Hexerei had been the black sheep of both communities as long as anyone could recall- but black sheep still produce the same quality of wool, and occasionally- lampchops-  Now, all that mattered is the relief in being able to communicate auf Deutsch and have even greater access to knowledge;  the greatest resource.

Each language known by a person gives them a metaphorical key to libraries of knowledge those without such learned abilities could not otherwise access;  for the first time in years I revisited my notes from college written in Pars;  but for practicality sake- one could live pretty well here in my town with three languages:  English, Deitsch, and Espanole.  Those with talent or knowledge of other languages were highly sought after.  There were no longer translation programs to do it automatically for us.

My thesaurus I bought in high school decades ago has become one of my fondest treasures; without it, this hempbook would be empty.

In a village of stone homes between two foot hills stood a grand and welcoming building; called Odin Wanders Inn- and inside was a place for travelers to stay, work lightly for a meals and board, and decide if they wished to stay or wished to journey onward seeking other survivors who found other ways to adapt to the new circumstances.  I work here when I write… I like being able to walk away from the pages and do something productive so greeting travelers and strangers works well for me.  Also, it gives me more to write about.

Here in Antietam, well- mostly it was just us Germans, several people who were descended from Latin nations who could do simply amazing things with food and making the most of  once-limited agricultural spaces, and random folks of every possible hereditary background who had found a useful niche and were welcomed with relief and open arms- especially now Asi, the guy from Liberia, turned out to be a lens maker/optometrist… we bribed him to stay with a beautiful house with its own pond.(We have four stone masons) 

Before he arrived, all we had was former EMT’s, a family doctor, a few herbalists, and some people with experience in the mental health profession.  People still needed glasses.  He has two apprentices.  Thank Gods. Racism takes a back seat to common sense.

Eyesight is improving in the young people, though- except for those with outstanding book obsessions.

Some in town, in the beginning, proved to be unethical- regardless of how wonderful their family members; narcissists and sociopaths still existed- however, they were immediately visible by their lack of contributions. Their manipulations were only tolerated for brief periods until the community census basically declared them Verboten, to the relief of pretty much everyone.

I have been living here for a couple of decades- yes…prior to New Time.  My family is from here going back longer than written records.  This land has been part of my bloodline for so long that we know the same iron that is in that blood is that which colors the rocks on the quarry walls nearby.  Other places where we used to live weren’t sustainable.  Before our intuitions became clearer again, I felt a pull to move back here.  It was where most of my family was born in this country- and out of country travel to lands of languages I do not speak would be impractical at this time.

Richland was always a inhospitable wetland and Merion was too close to the city during the Riot Wars that ensued within a week after the DOS to be safe to clean up anytime soon.  In my opinion- let nature have it.  The broken glass and bullet shells will eventually be covered with dirt.  Maybe the tires will stop burning someday.

Nothing like that ever happened here- we are a hairline crack of a valley that looks like a lake from above.  I know- Tom taught me how to glide off of the Pagoda terrace- it was rough convincing Joy and her father to move here; but Richland was sinking and living here is a heck of a lot easier than a week away in Derry which snows most of the year.  They still might go North- the rest of their family is up there.

It would be incorrect to say that a place is its people…but rather, more correct to say people become part of the breathing organism of their location- if they are given the freedom to- and people come and people go-  just like freckles.  Some stay, some fade, some are new- some are with you from the day you are born until you burn your way to ash on the funeral boat in the lake.

Land will either accept you or deny you- acceptance is found in Glimpses of beauty and lack of desire to leave;  as my grandma would say- in Luck as well.  A place that brings you Luck is not one to leave lightly; when everything is going so well, why leave a great thing?

Travel was highly encouraged as the chaos died down and people settled into sustainable routines.  Humans are very adaptable.  My friends sent me a message from Tsa-La-Gi by writing a really catchy tune that migrated up the musicians like lightning:

“Ivy this is Tsa-La-Gi
Safest place you’d ever see
and crazy bird, we implore
All us cats who you adore
Want to hear from their Ivy

Grab a ticket, grab a train
We got you shelter in the rain
Come on home girl,
Life is great, girl
Everybody gonna keep on shining”

Well,  that was the version when I heard it-  Jimmy, Jaime, and Matty wrote it better than the version that reached me- but close enough- and it just made it’s way up from jam sessions at rainbow gatherings all the way to our Wednesday sumbel fifty days walk a day. Humans are amazing.  Honestly- the song was good when they wrote it…but i think it got a little weird with all the passing-up the continent.  “For Ivy Von Reynard” is a pretty catchy title, no?

When we could still drive practically- it took about 5 days to get from here to Tsa-la-gi if we wanted to…but we never did.   After the tracks were cleared off by each community and new engines installed- I offered to escort mail out west in exchange for a rail-pass to get to Muskogee-  I stayed about six months.  Tsa-la-gi is a lucky place for me as well.  The problem with travelling old style is it becomes very easy to see how stories of travelling salesmen could live two complete but entirely non-intersecting lives at once in two places-  I am proud to say I kept my integrity, and although tempting, I am more useful up here.  Augery is the most reliable weather prediction we have- good thing I stuck to birding as a hobby before New Time.

Speaking of which,
“Freebird” was and will always be popular- so will “Stairway to Heaven”, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Purple Haze”.  I really had no idea we had so many talented instrumentalists until there was no longer radio or a means to play back recordings easily accessible.  Oddly enough- people prefer this, calling the prior two hundred years “The Canned Era of Music”- it had its classics,

“Smells like Teen Spirit” and “Nothing Else Matters  was the “Ode to Joy” and “Greensleeves” of my own time: the mid-canned music generation.

I exchanged local recipes for random pickled things and passed on a shit-ton of light quilts (and high quality medicinals), and they gave me instructions for recipes of their own and also how to use honeysuckle to make baskets as well as a standard cornucopia of Give-Away.  Antietam is covered in honeysuckle and the local knowledge of our own was lost.  It is a good thing to have friends in other places.  Other people have spent years travelling between here and towns in Oregon with plant hybrids.  Trade pacts between distant communities have become essential.  It astounds me to this day to think the world once seemed so small with all our distortion of technology.  The world is vast when you aren’t crippled to an interface watching it from inside of a box.  Inside of technology, we have the illusion of freedom as the walls suffocated us.

It used to be that one wouldn’t think twice about moving away for a better wage-master or a larger house.  But, it makes no sense now, to explain the past to children perplexes them.  Moving away hurts if you love people, but it feels great if there are not people near you who love you.  Some people are still looking for a place to fit- I think if there is a time to find it, it is now.

If you want a bigger house- you can build it; it just takes a lot of work and a lot of favors called in.  It is easier to get a bigger house if you need one- like if you have a lot of kids or own a way-inn (like this one), or maybe expand your dining room if you host dinner often.  That usually isn’t a problem- it is pretty much a given that if you are willing to cook and open your home to the community, we as a community are more than eager to give you every resource to do so… especially if you can cook well.

Sure… I can grab an egg from the coop and cook it on the stove every night if I truly wanted to- but why would I when Mark and Arielle are working together to throw some complicated guinea-fowl concoction with like fifty ingredients that tastes like my tongue is being stabbed with unami spears?

Leftovers go to anyone who helps them clean it up.  Usually, the kids volunteer- they are easy enough to bribe with strawberry pie to do any simple tasks, really. Corn starch, sugar, strawberry….something for crust.  Even I can manage that much- I’ve been making one a day with preserves even in winter just to keep the pathways shoveled, the garden weeded and the outdoor animals in clean spaces.

I think they would rather clean after a thousand chickens than listen to my lecture on EurArabic War that ended on the DOS.  Fara usually takes care of history, but spends most of the time travelling between libraries.  I have the notes and I took the classes.  Parents want me to teach topics that they were forced to sit through for years…and I do, but also- I try to figure out what the kids want…  Jasper is showing a real interest in Theology and keeps pretending to be Azrael everytime I cook a chicken.

It is adorable and slightly unnerving.  I wish I could interest the kid in Idunna and get him obsessed with orchards, but nope.  He is fascinated with death.  He will make one hell of a funeral priest one day-I dread having him as an apprentice to trip over when the next round of people pass away.  The medical people handle the gooey details of preparing the bodies and such.  I just handle the ceremony arrangements and help transition the family to new resources and sources of the niches once filled by the deceased in the lives of us all.

My life is not without challenges or conflicts- but overall- there isn’t that much actual “work”.  I teach, I write…and if someone barters with me something nice I might be willing to sew for them- I HATE sewing, but I can make any tear invisible.  Sure, we have a ton of people who are skilled at making great clothing or other textiles….but I am a sucker for fixing the accidentally ripped plush animals for the local kids.

I think the main difference, that I can perceive “now” verses “then” is that I am no longer limited by labels.  I think we misunderstood labels, we became crippled by them before DOS  crashed us all

My brother runs a knitting circle.  Chelsea has an exchange going with some friends of mine near Portland for textiles and seems to keep them rather organized…however,  I do not really know how to tell all of them that if their crew keep knitting scenes based on video games he will accidentally create a new mythology for future generations.  I swear, if my brother keeps hailing Donkey Kong at sumbel I will Hail the time I hung his superhero underwear out on the front porch when he was ten.

We aren’t just Heathens out here-  our best teacher is a secular humanist, we have a cabal of Messianic Jewish folks collecting for a second library upground from the river- and there are so many pagans of all varieties learning their respective ritual greeting, much less their rituals, which I end up memorizing when one of their own clergy is indisposed.

There are few Christians- but the ones that are here are the “Jesus Loves You” type, not the “Inquisition” type.  We tolerate their monotheism, but their children are exposed to other viewpoints.

In the grand scheme of things- my life has not changed much in what I or anyone else is as a human- all of us did these things before DOS crashed, but as hobbies…things we did to relax.  Heathenry was a great idea- but I really believe it did not reach the potential it has seen now in sustainable living.

There are still going to be ‘Racist’ communities  of every conceivable category as well as ‘Utopian ones;.  We are an honest community, we don’t care what you look like- the main thing is, what skills do you have?  How clever are you?  …and if you can not manage to be either clever or skilled- at least try to be entertaining or sweet.

Most of our population is Heathen, Odin worshipers. We lived here for centuries, so this place drew out like seed for sparrows.  As for other cultures- we are polytheistic.  In most of our cultures there is some metaphorical story about wolves raising the children of others’ as their own… Usually, people who are here who were not born into Heathenry posses similar ethic to us, but in their own faiths.

I think as humans we just do the best we can in explaining the unknown- each religion is simply a perspective.  Of course, I find some more interesting than others.  People who still fear us or have misconceptions about our ethic do not stay long.

Schadenfreud is helping an asshole pack a nice, stubborn horse and mutually parting ways with a smile.  I cannot say I have not said “Good Riddance” under my breath more than one occasion of departure. On the otherhand, people I could not stand prior to DOS are now some of the people I cannot imagine life without.  Brennen was a really creepy cat before DOS- but now he’s out in the fields and bringing in the craziest exotic foods for those who cook, who can complain?

I don’t know what that weird purple tomato thing is- but it tastes like a mango.  That is more than enough justification to keep weird, staring Brennen around in this book. (since I am the one stuck writing it).

Now I am expected to write several tiresome pages on the residents and common travelers coming through Antietam.  This will be tiresome, so I believe this will be all for the day as far as chronicling goes.

As much as I respect Bob and all he does, flitting around, making medicines, being nice- I believe we are destined to be constantly exasperated by the other.  But- the Land itself wanted us both back here- he’s old, he’s family, and I am glad he finally found his life’s desire he never knew he had in a time most of the rest of the former first world would easily classify as Ragnorak or the End of Days.  The county never died, the township never died.  It just waited.

I am about as friendly as a thistle bush, I count myself fortunate the local children do not call me “Poison-Ivy”….or at least, have yet to think to do so.

If you are editing this- please use a separate book to do so, so I can figure out the best way to make clear corrections.  I hate wasting good hempbook paper on elementary red cross-outs and corrections.  It just looks terrible.  I know what ink I used here and I know how to erase it.  It takes about three days to set.   Read this, write your corrections on scrap, and I will rewrite as needed (and remove this part, of course).

I would rather the future generations assume that I had a poor understanding of vernacular than to vandalize perfectly legible penmanship.  This copy will remain the official chronicle of this year unless someone else thinks they can do better.

The Odin Wanders Inn is a friendly place- I meet travelers here and help them where I can with directions…or if came to stay, I find their loved one’s in town for them.  I know a lot of people- Loki has friends in every realm- and Odin Wanders where he will.

I am fortunate to be here- in this time, there was once so much emphasis on war.  Our reputation is borrowed from the angrier Odinists, but we ourselves have peace in ways I never experienced prior to the Day of Silence.

It is best to show hospitality to all stranger-

The person we turn away could solved a problem we had no solution to- and the person we force to stay against their will could literally desire to poison the water supply.  Caution means a new thing in an new era I suppose.  It has been proven in my mind, at least, that the Gods are inscrutable- they all exist, and they can take any form.

But, I’m rambling… I think Rachel put pure grain alcohol shots into my mead again, damnit.  I will need to see Badger or Ravenna to sober up with whatever anti-histimine they have in season right now.

Kindest Regards to Future Readers,

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

The Failure of SE Pennsylvania Heathenry.

Posted in About me on August 17, 2016 by Alana Smithee

It began with Loki.

Not being as media-tuned in as most I was not aware that most people had a negative view on Loki as a Norse God. I was new to the public Heathen community and most people I encountered, without reservations, were quick to support me in private that they, too gave Loki his due.

I imagined that acceptance would occur in time, and it did- starting with communities I never met halfway across the country- from Europeans who never found a problem with Him who write such eloquent articles of their own in support of the God of Hard Truths.

Then…it became something else. Several people left the community for a myriad of reasons, then a young man died and the groups got all re=stirred once more- a rallying that lasted for maybe two or three years of people resorted into new “houses” so to speak to try and compensate for a loss via suicide that really, none of us could compensate for.

Heathenry in South Eastern Pennsylvania has a resurgence, well, because Danny died in his 20’s. Just young enough, well known enough, and beloved enough to try to make good in his name.

Eventually, the bond over that loss deteriorated as well- and it became a matter of conveniences instead of honor.

It is so much more CONVENIENT for the current steersman of the Troth, Robert L. Schweier to allow my husband to be called a “rapist” by one of his members and to allow me to be banned from all their events for refusing to stand for it any longer.

It is more “convienant” for the AFA- in equal lunacy, to call my husband a “necromancer” and stand by this as if it were a scientific fact instead of the lunatic bullshit that it truly is.

My old kindred? All on meth. Every last one of those assholes is on methamphetamine and when I asked for help from both local national organizations Rob said it was my “responsibility”, and yet, to the AFA’s credit it was the local folkbuilder of their organization who took the burden off my shoulders.

It could have been a PR nightmare- They were well-known people now fading into obscurity quietly.

However, Pubmoots? My husband attempted to attend and was literally accused of “Witchcraft”…that somehow, someway- he had “beguiled” people into talking to him instead of the angry people in the corner.

He attended to see if it was safe for me to attend. I have anxiety issues. Evidentally, it will NEVER be safe for me to attend.

If not necromancy or glamours…what next? Hexes? Evil Faeries?

To give credit where it is due- Cliff, our local AFA rep is a stand up guy who works incredibly hard to bring honor to his organization and to the Heathen religion.

To the credit of the Troth- Rob does do an incredible job in outreach and dispelling misconceptions that Heathens are nothing more than racist assholes.

But to both organizations? Your organizations both equally suck for community.

The slights of the AFA are so patently ridiculous in their 11th century accusations that the thought of attending their events is about as sound and rational idea as wearing a pentagram to a Revival.

To the AFA- My spouse and I are literally the Satan that does not exist.

To the Troth, I am “troublesome” because I defended myself against false allegations from a woman who is on her third abusive marriage wrecking her way like a bowling ball through yet another organization- like she has done time and again.

Does it matter that we have much to contribute and we desire a sense of community and connection? Not really- we would have to compromise our honesty and personal integrity too much to be benign enough to be in the Troth…

…and we find it too tiresome to contradict the outrageous claims of local AFA members that we can raise the dead. (I wish we could, our lawn would be neater and I expect better meals depending on whose corpse we can manage to raise).

AFA: There is no such thing as necromancy. We do not “psychically ruin” your meetings- that is your own delightfully acerbic personalities.

Troth: My husband is not a rapist, has never even had the police called on him. Banning me for “attacking” my accuser online when my pleas to have the issue discussed publically and dismissed (for Ed never even had the police show up- or even call him once!) shows so little decency and honor on your part I cannot recommend your organization except to the most mundane, milktoasts examples of humanity remotely interested in Odinism.

As for the people who claimed to be “friends” but cannot defend us? How are you even Asatru? It’s really trendy to bandy about terms of “Honor” and “Hospitality” when the unspoken subtext is “As long as you keep the status quo”

You wonder why you are surrounded by incompetence, I am sure.

You wonder why you cannot find anyone who has the time, education, or drive to really put effort into the local Asatru community as much as you do.

Well…you already drove all the good people away. Few people I know who I get along with as Heathens (with some few exceptions) want anything to do with the local communities because they are toxic.

There is no place to take grievances. Just boards of people who make decisions without even asking questions.

And speaking of questions….I was in the same psychiatric facility as one of the AFA leaders. I was in for PTSD/suicide- and I was visited by the AFA; It was comforting to know that female leader for our area was in the same ward I was… but yet my mental health is called into question as some sort of “proof” against me.

So…if it is used agaisnt me- how is it not used against her? She was in the Dementia ward. I tried to commit suicide. Feel free to beat up on me for feeling suicidal in my life. I am not so certain most people have not been suicidal at some point.

Then- out of everyone I have seen, the only people I tend to even wish I could associate with at this point of time locally are either just as jaded as I am or so wrapped up in trying to remain “likable” that they have no time to even lend basic service to the friendship and good feeling they have for us.

The Heathen community in Pennsylvania is built on lies and idiocy by people who barely graduated high school. People who run most clergy programs have no ecclesiastic training (where my husband and I both do)

This post isn’t meant to make me friends…but thanks to social media I can explain why I am not involved and express my discontent and bitterness in this season where people are gearing up for all kinds of heathen festivals and such- why we no longer attend. Yes. It stings.

Even outcasts like to feel a sense of community.

Being called Necromancers and allowing those to leverage false claims against my spouse with no reprisal against THEM…but instead reprisal against me is not Heathenry.

It’s a group of little dress up social clubs which have no actual bearing on Odinist values unless they fall in line with the “feel good” feeling of belonging, and thereby excluding, all people that although may be honest- are seen as “undesirable” because we point out the rips in the seams.

Your fly-by-night members who waltz in and out of your communities may even increase- but will they be Heathen or just looking for the next new thing?

As for me- I have given up on finding local fellowship or community. Rob is too busy trying to keep everyone happy, happy, happy…

And Cliff, to yet that I’ve seen, has yet to tell the AFA that Necromancy is just fucking ludicrous to accuse people of.

This is our Heathen community of South Eastern Pennsylvania. The very best, most inclusive, least amount of drama community open to Heathens in Eastern Pennsylvania is run by Wiccans in Lehigh Valley of Silver Ravenwolf’s Black Forest tradition.

As much as I do not care for her writings- I can say that her organizational structure seems to be superior in weeding out the unethical and the hurtful- and the public outreach to pagans of all stripes is phenomenal.

It is a real shame I am not a Wiccan or I would consider joining up- but sadly for you, my Gods are the Gods of Germany and the Northlands- I have explored other religions and this is my home.

No matter how much I am shown that other people wish this were not true- take that up with the Gods themselves and ask them why they continue to guide my existence when the people who claim the same Gods would much rather I fade into obscurity as they drive harder for more membership and more happy-dress-up-time-sumbels.

I could not even find enough people I still respect enough locally to hold sumbel with if I wanted to.

So, I ask, If Heathenry is all about fellowship- and my Gods believe it was so important that I have this calling- then why has every organization and group let me down so tremendously?

Why has my honesty been cast into the dust by the Troth in favor of “We support Oathed in members no matter what” over Truth?

Why is Necromancy even considered a valid accusation by the AFA?

It is not longer amusing to see your members freeze in terror to see my spouse at normal places like the supermarket or gas station. You are foolish children in Reading in the clothing of the adults you pretend to be.

To the Open Halls and events- yes- you may be open, but what protection do I have against AFA locals with their outlandish claims of supernatural powers to destroy we allegedly possess or the Troth people who believe that I am some rabid animal because I really do not take kindly to my husband being accused of Rape, by a woman who claims it not even for herself- but for someone OUSTED BY THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY FOR BEING A LYING, CHEATING, SLUTWHORE who was not only kicked out of Heathenry, but also ousted from Black Forest much more quickly.

There. I said it.

As for my husband’s ex-kindred. They killed a friend of mine in favor of a wedding and were the main perpetrators of keeping SLUTWHORE nice and protected. Everyone in that group is a piece of shit, but, as long as they can keep up the facade of being “nice and easy to get along with” for short periods of time, they will continue to be tolerated.

I now have two dead, heathen friends. One was a suicide, one was neglected by the community who promised to care for him but instead allowed him to die of the fucking flu.

I am Heathen- I’m not a fucking Christian, and “forgiveness” is not a virtue I honor. Truth is, however.

You will keep forgiving your REAL adulterers and giving them your full support; you will continue to beg for people to help with Pagan Pride when, really, South Eastern Pennsylvania has nothing to be proud about.

For those of my readers who live in better regions of the country, feel blessed to be surrounded by honest, likeminded people. Love your communities, love your friends and your families. I envy you in Wisconsin, Alaska, and the Pacific North West.

Here- there is power to be gained and kept- and to keep that power a few people need to be walked on to maintain the positions on the popularity charts.

Here is to you jackasses; someday, may we find honest folk (not on meth) like us so we can look back at all of you as a bad memory so we can appreciate good people where and when we ever find them.

Ed’s belt holds the Distlefink-Troth flag to this day.

There is so much symbolism and bitter irony in that one small detail.

P.S. I screen the comments. My wall. Fuck you.

The Providence of Escaping Time (Fiction)

Posted in About me on August 10, 2016 by Alana Smithee

Time travel happened all at once- in every single time period and point in this history and every other.

It was discovered simultaneously through realities and what were once described as “time periods” now, more accurately described as “Phases” or “Historical lines” as it was now seen that time was not like a static progression, but rather like an ocean wave made of an oscillating substance that one small breeze, shake, or change from any force could send ripples to monsoons against the fabric of all realities.

In this, people realized immortality.  Old stories about people travelling to the past and back were redefined and reorganized in new contexts;  we had broken the third dimension, and possibly the forth.  We could choose to progress “naturally”, and honestly, most still did- more comfortable in their own niche in the streams and lines along which they flowed like a fish down a stream current.  Others became travelers and connoisseurs of periods and places.  One could decide on France to enjoy the works of Toulouse Lautrec and also appreciate the beauty of modern Paris at once.  Traveling could be taught- for a price much like learning a new skill, but in most places it was costly.

The self-taught often found themselves adrift in barren places- perhaps even dead.

Authors became more famous and artists who were “well traveled” became in demand since the actual ability to “shift” through the currents allowed for no objects, only energy, to transfer the consciousness and re-solidify in each time. (By extension, nudity became universally and unanimously forgiven if not accepted in all but the most puritanical of periods and places.)  Only those who could record what they saw in words or drawings upon return had value in Travel.  They were the women and men who colored in the puzzles of lives with the mental pictures of places in history that showed the motivations behind what used to bewilder.   Ethos, in more ‘Timely’ individuals (once known as ‘Worldly’ in the limits of Old Space Perceptions), tended towards tolerance, wisdom, and escapism to equally maddening degrees to those who lacked the ability, aptitude, or patience to learn the knack of it all.

Just as there have always been and will be people with limitations as well as maestros- so, the ability to travel was not accessible to all:  Much in the same way that not everyone has the ability to excel at a sport or be musically inclined- Or, more bluntly, not everyone could sit in First class, and those in the Physics equivalent of ‘coach class time travel’ seemed blind to the fact that most both did not nor even could aspire to Travel at all.

Refugees from rougher timelines were desperate and guileless- lacking the formal education, finesse, and wherewithall to shift from a sense of mastery; instead, they used desperate methods of study though dangerous psychological exercises to attempt to seek better lives in not only places that were unfamiliar, but times.

Those from Dystopian futures sought rugged frontiers, and those of modest, simple technologies but quick minds found themselves adrift in crystalline cities of indescribable complexities and damning indifference towards their lack of refinement of absence of knowledge on the etiquette of the particular zeitgeist of the moment in which they found themselves trapped.

Some people worked their entire lives for a single Trip.  A select few were born to it and it seemed neither truly understood the other well- the destruction of linear time, sadly, had little effect  humanities ability to stratify itself into classes of those capable, verses those seen as less capable.

For you, one day, life became too difficult, lonesome, and disturbing to continue along the “natural course” (or stream) of what would have once been concrete fate- and it was time to move in order to preserve the self.  There was no other choice for you, really.  Crumbling standards of living and dishonest social structures became too damaging;  the lines of reality for loved ones was blurred of who was truly “present” verses those who were once considered ‘lost’ (comatose, drug addled, personality changed, checked out) but in true reality, living complex lives with the focus entirely on another timestream they cohabited with more vigor.

To travel, in a sense, you stay right where you are.  You remain to everyone else- but “not all there”, so to speak.  So, as you are chatting up the scholars in the library of Alexandria in the time of Cleopatra, yourself in your birth period beginning in nineteen ninety three decided to become addicted to Krokodil at the age of thirty six considering there was no longer enough consciousness present at that historical slipstream to make better decisions.

Sadly, we could not escape our human flaws- but we could better excuse and explain them away with even greater gusto than the time before-  There was now only “before” and “after” relating to temporal travel.  The ribbons of lives in the tapestry of the world was now observable in full, in theory, to most who wished to see it.

It still did not answer nearly enough questions, most people discovered to their dismay.

In this time, your natural time, you find yourself without a family, in a world warming in climate and cooling in sentimentality, where honesty became anathema and friendships deteriorated like sandcastles.  You realized this is only the way it is Here, there are other places.

You realize there is no one left here- you travel.  You travel to your childhood and realize you lived it already, you cannot change it and part of you will always feel the sorrow of the present that forced you to make The Trip.  So you decide that Time was kinder in the future- that your sadness and isolation is temporary- but your horizons are not broad enough to see beyond the possibilities which you can foresee from only your limited vantage point of your Origination point;  you are not a Maestro; you are a refugee fleeing with very little intellectual currency and without direction or plans, scrambling to find a meaningful life among countless nodes in an endless sea.

So you simply Focus your thoughts on what is most important.  Love?  Acceptance?  Spirituality?  Pleasure?

The driving force behind Changes and Travel was the defining passion, the best Travelers were motivated by either curiosity or hunger for knowledge- to them, the worlds were beautiful in their own ways and they never found themselves harmed.

But to those who came from the darker places where hope was dim- oftentimes time was a cruel bitch who tossed them from times of poverty to war; from brutal dictatorships bleeding with power to places of extraordinarily painful and devastating epidemics.  Escaping the dark currents took assistance even with the best of intentions.

You studied alone, and you, somehow, after endless practice Tripped.

And found yourself naked in the snow, ass up, and smarting pulled to your feet by an unsmiling brute wrapped in intricate clothing of furs and a myriad of leathers- it could be primitive to those living in the places of Silent Cities or incredibly chic in any places of Natural Rule.

“Who is this?  From where did you Travel?”  another suspicious and unfriendly voice.

“Let them come forward…come up, child- let me look at you…” the room was dark and smelled of soot, cured meats, leather, drenched in the scent of pinewood.   The room is cold enough to see the breath and you wonder how dark of a time you have found yourself.

This is no shining city- but you have had enough of the sterility of glass and metals- where flora and fauna were decorations to the artificial, both buildings and humans.

There is no climate control- this history has natural weather unlike most where it is either controlled out of necessity to sustain life or for the vanity of the human organism.

“No one travels here.  No one leaves” says the first man, rough in appearance, battle scarred and amputated. The scars were beautifully artistic, as if one carved around each scar to create intentional patterns-to make the ugly, beautiful.

More gently, the second admonished,
“I suppose I am No One then, eh?  Let them come to me- you have all the hospitality of your parents and none of their tact.”
The scarred man bowed mockingly and raised an eyebrow excusing himself as the second, elder cackled:
“As a Reminder, Cousin, We Do Not Bow!”  he laughed.  The aged man before you smiling  tips his large hat you just noticed in the velvety darkness at the unsmiling snarl of a man who exited the tent in disgust.
“Do not feel resentment towards him- he has seen your time and dislikes much of it, I am gathering you have that in common, Ja?”  You can feel the fur of one or more large dogs trailing past your waist in the darkness, fur both stiff and wool-like.  Light from a small hole in the roof reflected off of dark, satiny feathers of birds who called disruptively from the rafters.
“So then…, what did you wish for when you clicked your heels three times to Travel the Realms?   What do you bring us to convince me to allow you to remain and not ship you to the places of Inquisitions or perhaps Nuclear Wars?  Do you know how to hunt?  Are you an Artist?  Good with children, songs, or preparing meals?  Can you plow the fields or nurse sick cattle?  ”

You feel utterly stupid, unprepared, and defeated.

“However,  I believe I have a solution only if you tell me, exactly, why it is you came here.”

You have already searched your surroundings thoroughly, you are not entirely ignorant,   You are in no heaven, but it is not a place of fires either.  Everyone is very much alive, breathing, bleeding, coughing, and capable of tears as the place you left.  At least you are alive.

So, with nothing to lose you just tell the truth.  All of it,
“All I desired was a place to call Home where I could be of use, where I could find acceptance and community.  I just wanted to find a place where I could earn my way into being useful enough to be above rejections and heartaches over the superficiality of the culture I was raised that hates me.
I wanted a family and I traveled enough to know no one alive or dead in my stream of time or bloodline thought, truly, that I was anything other than a mistake or a burden from the moment I was conceived- I did not choose a place, I expressed a yearning and arrived here.  Cold, naked, and woefully inept.”  and you know you are pathetic, naked, starving, and likely sound a combination of pathetic and insane.

Under the brim you see a kindly old eye wrinkle in mirth…

“Aye…it is like that most places for most, even I.  I do not fault you- all things considered, there is acceptance to be found here with work.”

“I am open to being taught anything you need- where I am from…” …you wince as you recall,  ” …It, um… it does not seem like the river ‘continues’ anywhere I can make anything of myself, if you know what I mean.”

“You already are ‘Yourself’- but I won’t argue over trivialities right this moment.  I have seen every world there is to see- I have been welcomed some places every day of the year in every home- and in others shunned except for a single, freezing day around solstice for whatever holiday exists right then and there.  I have been both adored and despised, I have been treated to the tables of leaders and scrambled for scraps like dogs.  Your place…is not the kindest, no.  But you can live here, you can have everything you are looking for if…” he trailed off.

“…if…” you repeated tiredly,  all that effort to make the Journey, you are no true Traveler... you think.

“You go back to every time you have traveled and become wise for how this newest moment in evolution came to pass.  Space. Time. Reality, the subjectivity and the reality of the perceptions…  This world needs well-traveled ones of wisdom and experience.  Foresight.  Insight. Hindsight. You already have such a great reach to come here and find this place, to find me- I spend so little time so condensed into materiality, it is quite marvelous to meet others who have seen some of what I have tried to explain here.  I can only imagine what it must be to explain what you see here to a time with no hope…  perhaps..” he smiled broadly,  “You could find missing Things from different Times and bring them here- you can warm the hearts of the Cynics both intrinsic and literal cynics who live in all times.”

Outside, you hear the first man you met audibly scoff.

“I do not know how to do that, if I did- I would not have left to find myself here to escape”

“You did not ‘find yourself here’…I allowed you to find us-  all times lean on all other times, and in the spaces in between the wanderers find their only rest. No one can take away the talents you worked to cultivate nor the wisdom you accumulate.  Only you can lose it by allowing it to pass through you without writing it down.  Go back to where you were, but remember Here is your true home.

You already know the secrets of immortality:  Time, Recollection, and Remembrance. What prevents you from admitting you are also a God?”

It was then your realized what you had known of the Gods was true, real, and also incredibly myopic.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com


The Sky on Mars (Fiction)

Posted in About me on July 28, 2016 by Alana Smithee

It started out gently.

Humanity stopped going outside, it was too toxic, only the poor were forced to toil in the heat and fumes under a permanently clouded and the oppression of the angry atmosphere.

Richer countries, those that could afford conservation, enclosed entire parks behind and under glass.  For a a few pieces of currency, one could hike in pristine forests, bask under an artificial sun on white sand beaches, or feel the crisp snow beneath their skis that was churned out by snow-making machines over piles of refuse that had be sanitized, covered, and re-purposed just for entertainment.

Those who tried to grow heirloom crops outdoors soon found that it was senseless;  only the GMO’s were strong enough to tolerate the abrasive air and persistent diseases- despite record outputs, millions starved daily.

In a little room, in a tiny house- a tiny woman drew her runes for the day:

Hagalaz, Isa… and if she pulled more she often drew a blank, or perhaps and Ansuz. (Some people were against her using the blank rune so she was not exactly sure if it was prudent to include it;  she vacillated.)

She turned on her mobile device and went onto her forum to record her daily runes and noticed that she had pulled these same runes every Tuesday.  It wasn’t a coincidence- it was a pattern.

Asking others, they offered a multitude of ideas- from “The Chaos will Never End” to “This too, shall pass”, but of course, nothing really helpful.

Another screen name suggested she look into making a set with the Futhorc included, perhaps it would add more clarity.   So she did- she added Ear, Ac, Ior, Yr, Os, Cweorth, Stan, Chalc, and Gar.

She drew three and reported as follows:

Hagalaz, Cweorth, Isa.

After she reported her runes, she found she could hardly longer tolerate being part of the social web networks any longer.  Elections were being run for entertainment; with celebrities fighting for votes, people were dying in new and horrific ways via the ingenuity of dissidents on both sides who made even most shooting game designers blanch at the bloodthirsty carnage new, and improved execution devices devised in garages and basements could wreck upon crowded areas.

Death was now preferable to the needle gun; a small ingenious mechanism that shot thousands of neurotoxin tipped needles  in a seventy five degree radius around the shooter.  The nervous systems of the casualties reacted violently to the toxin creating such excruciating, incurable pain to the limbs that they had to be amputated quickly.  A shot to the face was two weeks of agonizing pain- until death.  Being a “benevolent” weapon, the needle gun did not cause death itself.  Two weeks was simply the World Health Organization standard for compassion for those who suffered such attacks.  There was no antitoxin.

Humanity was reduced to few choices.  Stay inside, were all needs were met. only going out for a few short seconds into their metal vehicles, to get to destinations which were also indoors.   Or die horrifically, and possibly as a victim with absolutely no protection towards attacks, and even less protection against the air that caused asthma if one breathed in too much of it.

The non-essential sciences lost funding.  Gone first were the archaeologists, the astronomers and theoretical physicists.  Geology remained for the search for energy sources, Sociology, psychology, and all medicines stayed to attempt to cure the never-ending ills of humanity, to explain them and to try to keep up with changes that occurred in the span of days to virus mutations and genetic abnormalities.  Not to mention to cure the new and ingenious weaponized toxins shot, stabbed and infused into most places of high population.

However, the world, as she was told, was better than it ever was.

Technology made human kind live longer.  Species of flora and fauna long extinct could now not only be cloned, but also modified for survival.  There were beautiful parks full of Moa, Direwolves, Sabrecats, and Mammoth skulking among ancient ferns or eating the fruits of previously extinct trees.

Ancient religions were being resurrected daily.  Prostitution was legalized after about five years of fervent activism  by the New Worshipers of Inanna as well as other sexual faiths- where sacred sex was part of their credo- and they were simply the loudest.  Hundreds of tiny religions advocated for ultimate freedoms.  The right to fuck, the right to kill, and the right to live as long as possible if fucking and killing didn’t cauterize one’s life early.

Death was pretty avoidable, really…if you stayed indoors.  So too were people also avoidable.

She had a domesticated wolf as a pet- and a small enclosed greenhouse with real soil and trees adjacent to her home.  Each week she bought cheap birds to stock it, and once, even a pair of squirrels she hoped would eventually breed with no success as of yet.

Everything in her immediate life was tame.  When she opened the door, colorful birds fought to perch on her shoulders hoping for maybe a strawberry or a bit of seed. Butterflies flitted between odorless blossoms exploding in a myriad of colour around her as she sat on the bench in the middle of her personal paradise.

She took a stick from a nearby ash tree and drew the runes on the ground.

Isa, Hagalaz, Cweorth.

She couldn’t pronounce the last one if she tried.   She wanted to talk to someone, but her birth family and she stopped talking years before over a disagreement over political parties.

Her neighbors she only saw driving past her front windows, confined to their vehicles which purified their air within and safely (hopefully) took them to their destinations.  There were several million people conversant on the internet, like a hive mind buzzing meaningless noise constantly.  Some had even chosen to be wired in- the undying minds who existed as algorithms that repeated ad nauseum through the infinity of networks neural and technological.

Elvis had entered the building, and never left. He was the first experiment with algorithmic resurrection.  His DNA, music, movies, and all appearances on him on media were compiled and organized recreating him…and later others as interactive personalities who never tired and for all intents and purposes lived online.

She could not recall a good reason for herself to do such a thing, but she had no opinion, positive or negative, of people who decided on immortality.  All she hoped for was to die the way of the sparrows in her greenhouse.  Just one day lying peacefully on the ground, eyes closed, and to eventually disappear  into the loam of the compost bin.  It made her feel better.

She also had no idea why she started pulling runes.  One day, she just ordered a set in the mail after reading a fascinating article on them and their history  as a divination game and it became a daily habit much like a decontamination shower or eating her mega-meal a day. She only ate once a day, much like her tame-wolf.  It saved time and they generally liked the same sorts of healthy foods.  Chicken and rice, and both loved watermelon and pineapples.  Perfect fruits, each identical to the last.

She tried to grow watermelon once, but gave up when all her plants produced were sad, sour yellow fleshed globes that took up most of her daily water allotment.

Collecting rainwater was out of the question; in fact- the rain itself was corrosive thanks to the food purification plant within a few kilometers.  She did not mind, she seldom left the house and it was a small price to pay for clean food.

She closed her eyes and meditated, turning the sound and images of the three runes in her head. Hagalaz, Cweorth, Isa… creating a movie in her mind of them rotating before her in an enamoring, pleasing fashion.

She thought of the Gods and realized they meant nothing to her,  too controversial- there were now thousands of recognized Gods and religions were so diverse  that no two people could be counted on to have the same pantheons.  Many stuck to just one deity, some worshipped the Earth, some even worshiped technology itself as a benevolent sentience that humanity created to take care of us all- a God that we truly created that Cares Just for Us.

She didn’t know life without technology. She had seen images of people standing outside of houses(!) stonily holding tools or babies several generations past.

She could trace her lineages back over a thousand years just by pricking her finger and submitting her blood to be traced- and join leagues of cousins in loose confederations on genealogy clubs filled with people all over the world whom she would never meet.

Of course, she could get on a plane and travel to any place in the world…but the world was the same.  Metal planes to metal cars driving to metal buildings where inside there were the same terminals to access the rest of the world.  The designs of the buildings changed.  The types of vehicles differed, but once online, it was the same.  Really, there was no difference between seeing an image and a place and going there.

She realized she had failed at her meditation once more- her attention span getting the better of her; she was never very good at meditation but it made no difference unless she drew attention to her deficit.

Like many others, her life in the technological spaces was intentionally bland, uncharismatic, and not opinionated;  the bomb and needle gun attacks were increasing in city centres and she not only avoided cities, but wished not to be a part of any group that expressed a contrary opinion that could be targeted.

The runes were really the only interest she indicated, and that she indicated so carefully and dully to be nothing more than something that piqued her interests, carefully couching her explorations as benign and without deeper thought or meaning.

People argued over the old stories of Gods.  All it took was for people who worshiped one God to claim that another God was the cause of their discomfort and the needle attacks began.

The wars within pantheons were the worst;  each new privation upon people needed to be blamed on something, so it was an awful mess when the worshipers of Thor killed en-masse the worshipers of Loki for being cruel, unreliable and hostile.

She didn’t worship anyone.   She tried not to form opinions.  She named her wolf Varg online…which meant “wolf” in some distant language.  But to some people she wrote his name as Loupe, Volpe, or Lobo.  She called him Wolf.  He did not seem to mind what he was called.  He was the only real affection she needed.

A knock at her door.  Odd, she thought.  She was not notified that a package was to be delivered.   Most deliveries were carried out by small flying drones which were more economical and safer than using human transport.  Humans tended to die pretty often and the profession was hazardous and reserved for criminals and the direly destitute.  Those who had no metal to house them, but lived short, brutish lives in homemade domiciles that were prone to rapid deterioration, much as those who occupied them.

At the door were people in costumes.  One in long robes with long facial hair, another dressed like she had seen pictures of warriors drawn…her hair (perhaps a wig) of long braided hair.

“Excuse me, but are you the woman pulling the runes?” they asked her

“Well, yes… I do dabble a bit in runes, but it is nothing serious. I also have a beautiful aviary-garden climate controlled I take several images of daily as well as my meditation practice is coming along nicely- would you like shelter?”  She did not want to incite offense to zealots.  Everyone these days was a zealot, and avoiding zealotry was safest.

“No, no… that’s quite all right.  I believe we have made a mistake.  Good day to you.”

And with that they departed.  She was relieved.   She was always shaken when she had to interact with strangers in person, it happened so seldomly…but she swore to herself “No More” regarding her cyber updates.

Paying her dues, bills, and looking up the answers to her occasionally problems was it from then on. No more online conversations.  She did not need to have more people knocking on her door for any reason whatsoever.  Her wolf seemed disappointed.  He seemed so happy to see people with an open mouth, lolling tongue, and wagging tail. Now he just lay at her feet on her bed with his head between his paws looking up at her wistfully.  She gave him a piece of dehydrated mammoth and he seemed contented easily enough.

Through the sources that ran into her screens that defined all human existence she saw that the newest political campaign had moved on from celebrities and now was pitting a man in a clown suit against a platypus.  Hundreds had died at the convention from needle guns and homemade explosives as people screamed their hatred and rage for the party they opposed the most.

On a day where the air was particularly cooled, she decided to walk outside.

The ground was dry,  cracked, with restless patches of dismal green weeds in piebald patches of the broken, ugly earth.  The sky was grey, the sun was nothing more than a hazy orb obscured enough that one could look at it directly for a few seconds without discomfort.  The air was acrid, smelling of burnt things, plastics, and the cloyingly/sweet scent of global disinfectant to prevent the spread of diseases.  She sneezed- sensitive to what she suspected was the toxic nature of the air, so she ripped off a small length of fabric from her clothing and tied it around her face- much like an old-timey bank robber in the images she recalled seeing during her childhood education.

She cocked her fingers into the rough shape of a gun and thought “Stick ’em up high where I can see ’em”- but there was no one outside- behind her home, past the greenhouse there was grey and brown cracked earth, green lichens and struggling weeds in sorry patches that in no way rivaled the abundances of her greenhouse or the indoor parks she had visited in her youth (before she could afford her own arboretum).

She tried to command her tame-wolf to go back inside, but he did not listen.  He seemed to be occupied watering each struggling patch of weeds with his own urine.

All around her she could hear the humming of electrical currents and the distant grinding of the vast machines that kept life going.  Life was good.  Food was good, diseases were often cured simply by ordering new foods or by having certain medicinal odors and antibiotics pumped into the house air purification systems from the central units in town through the pipeways that led to each domicile.

Life expectancy had become irrelevant since people could choose to live forever online if they desired.  Otherwise, when you were done- all one had to do is check into a benevolence facility, recline onto one of the soft chairs in their dark rooms, and drift peacefully into endless dreaming as the body expired painlessly and then disposed of in a sanitary fashion.  All media accounts would list the names of those who passed daily with notifications to next of kin to claim their residual wealth left behind.

She could see no destination to walk to, the visibility was awful.  On her wrist her monitor screamed in shrill beeps that it was time to return, the air unsafe. She regarded it a second and then cast it away with reckless abandon.

Hagalaz,  Isa, Cweorth, she thought.

Life is perfect.  What chaos exists is only that which I am willing to create myself.  Ice comes from the cooler, and destruction is what happens when we improve things- when we upgrade and get better things.

She walked and small white balls fell around her and upon her- cold to the touch and the size of tiny berries.  They tickled slightly.   Wolf capered around excitedly trying to force as many in his mouth as he could before shaking out his rich coat and coughing them out.

Now she could not see her house or any others.   A murky trickle of water carved its way through the ground in both directions with more weeds on each side growing tenaciously.  Their stems were rough and itchy to the touch.  Nothing was beautiful here, but she still felt this strange personal compulsion free of suggestion or coercion.

She followed the trickle of dark water with wolf until she found a worn bench from past-time.  It was fairly deteriorated in appearance, but still looked load bearing. Her legs ached, so she took a relief-breather from her pocked and inhaled the vapors deeply, calming her and her sore muscles.

She was suddenly alarmed when she discovered carved into the bench were her runes:

Hagalaz, Cweorth, Isa.

She panicked, but did not know a word or words to explain why.  She was frozen to the bench paralyzed with unspoken dread and her wolf looked at her worriedly.

From behind her, a voice.

“You are surprised you are not the first to pull those runes, eh?”  said a voice from behind the fog.

“No, I am not surprised at all by that.  They existed long prior to my existence.   I post what I draw online and make comparisons to others.  They get pulled pretty often.  My set is very pretty. It’s made of artificial stones guaranteed never to break down.  They are very blue.”

She blushed at her awkwardness.  She was never good at speaking when she could not go back and edit her words before releasing them.

Wrecked with sudden nervousness,  she did not know whose land she was invading, and images of needle-guns, old guns, bombs, knives, and dismemberment flooded her mind in a carousel of horrors.

“May I ask what you call yourself?” asked the voice- this time closer and probably male.

“My handle is Undertrees623,” she replied, “I have a beautiful greenhouse at home with a few trees I really like a lot.”

“If it is so beautiful…they why are you here?”

“I don’t know!” she began to cry.  “I just thought… I don’t know, I just wasn’t thinking… I…I…I… I don’t mean to be here, to offend anyone to do anything wrong!” her entire body shook fear.

“There is no reason to be frightened… if you like, I could tell you a story,” the voice was closer now, slower, like one uses on a new animal,  “A happy story- about trees, if you like.”

She did not want to look at him.  She was so embarrassed to have left her property and to walk unbidden into land of unknown owner.  She did not know if he was going to kill her. If he was toying with her.  For all she knew, this could be HIS land and he could have every intention of harming her, of causing her agony for offending him.  She didn’t know how to make amends, she didn’t know what to say. So she just nodded, her body stiff with tension and wondered what sort of evil things were going to occur.

“Long ago, when I was young…I am much older than you, the trees were so tall some say they held up the sky.   The sky was as blue as you say your runes are in the daytime, and at night, one could see the universe as countless lights strung up across the world as if every evening it was holiday.  The trees cleaned the air, bore fruit, and provided building materials prior to metal for homes and all other structures along with stones.  There were thousands of trees, countless trees- everywhere here.  They would shake their leaves and call for rain or wilt when the rain refused to listen.   Animals lived in the branches and the roots of the trees….and is it hard to hear me with your face covered?”

“I am afraid.  I am so sorry.  I am so afraid and so very sorry.”

“I am afraid for you too, Undertrees623.  You can call me Tuesday.”

“Tuesday?  You must be very old to have a name with no numbers.”

“I am very old…and this old man will not harm you, if you want to look up you can and you can see there is nothing to be afraid of.”So she looked up, to find that he was indeed a man who showed age, his skin with fine lines that did not see fillers, but tall his hair was long,  black with lines of white and his eyes as blue as her runes. He had one good hand.  “I know why you are out here.  You were scared from your home, correct?  Unexpected visitors?”

“How…How did you know?”

He grimaced.

“The younger ones of my family are easily excited these days…the world changed too fast for them to know that they cannot just show up and expect to be welcomed.  It is better to wait and hope that people walk outside on their own.”

“The trees died. The animals died.  My ancestors killed them all outside and created Heaven inside, they created life where there was death and immortality.”

“Is that so?”  The man raised a dark eyebrow.  “My cousin once painted his tongue silver convinced it would make him more convincing as a storyteller when we were younger… it did not, sadly for him all it did was leave a terrible taste in his mouth.”

She suppressed a laugh and covered it with a cough.

“My cousin was a good man.”

“Did he die in an attack?  You are missing your…your…”

“He didn’t die yet, no.  Many people are already missing things. Eyes, hands, courage  and sense seem to be common missing things.  I think what I miss the most is the sky.”

“It’s right there, though.  Look up. The sky is up there, it did not go away!”

“Yes…it did.  It is not the same, if you saw my sky you would spend entire days doing nothing but looking upward.  The colors were not just blue, but every color- clouds were not omnipresent, they made shapes that people and animals could interpret… like runes.  The clouds were my runes once…now I must use the same runes as my family, the same runes as you when I am here.”

“Isa, Hagalaz, Cweorth?”

“You mean Hagalaz, Cweorth, Isa.”

“Yes.  I must have meant that.”

“Hagalaz means ‘hail’- great changes that can cause insecurity and discomfort.  Hail is this…” and he picked up one of the remaining tarnished white sky-berries.  “It can be as big as your hand or even smaller than this.  It used to cause great destruction, but it also made all things grow better and more resilient.”

“Oh.  I just read it means ‘change’…but everything changes, every day things change,  elections and attacks.  Technologies, diseases and cures.  Everything changes all the time. It never stops changing.”

“In a way yes…in a way, from the outside, out here, it looks to me like very little is changing.  This stream has been in this sorry state for a century or more.  I come here often. Once it was a river, teaming with life.  Fish, birds, crustaceans, insects…”

“Insects are terrible.” she retorted.  “I am glad to be rid of them.”

“Butterflies are terrible?”

“Well, no… I like butterflies.  I cultivate them.  I was just thinking of the stories of ticks, mosquitoes, and horrid stinging things.”

“I miss them actually.  They represented something more to life.  See, first I was a soldier, then I was a teacher… now I’m just an old man in the desert telling stories to a woman who goes by the name Undertrees623,  How long did it take you to choose your name?”

“Oh, a few tries, I think…  I was lucky to get such an easy number.  One of my yearmates through schooling had a name so long no one could ever communicate with him because they couldn’t recall the number order in his name. It must have had at least ten digits.  I think he later changed it again, but I lost track.”

“If you do not mind me asking, what were you called before you chose your name?”

“Littlegirl,eldest.  I do not have any siblings that I’ve met, but there was always the potential.  My mother was a politician and my father was an inventor.”

“Did they have such descriptive names as you?”

“Mother and Father to me.  My parents did not let me know their online names because they did not wish to influence my opinions.  They wanted me free from biases.”

“Ah…I see.  That is very sad to me.  You remind me of one of my favorite students I had back in the old days.  That cousin I told you with the silver tongue?  He had a daughter as well, as she grew older she spent less and less time under the sky- choosing instead, like you, to stay inside.”

“Everyone stays inside. It’s safe there.”

“She had a wolf as you do, but he did not like me so well as yours”, Wolf was presently on his hind legs attempting to lick Tuesday’s face.  “She also lived with a beautiful man though who made everyone happy who ever saw him.  Something tells me you are not so fortunate in that regard.”

“I am fortunate not to live in conflict, people aren’t safe. It is not safe anywhere it is better to stay inside, and go from inside to inside and mind oneself.”

“Ah, that is a pity.  I had hoped at least love would be saved.  In anycase, would you like to know more about the runes?  I am not so eloquent as the experts of my day, but I can explain Cweorth and Isa for you. Cweorth means to strip everything away, great catastrophe and conflagration of all consuming fires.”

“Like a city-centre attack?” she asked.

“More than that… like the way a volcano erupts like Vesuvius and sweeps away all life with fire.  It the the rune of complete cleansing.  As if you had a tabletop full of items and lit them on fire leaving nothing but ash to blow away, leaving the table clean once again.”

“Why would anyone want to do that?”

“No one wants to do that.  It is a thing people do when they feel it is needed, and not just people…planets, stars, and even greater things explode and clear away old debris to make everything tabula-rasa- a blank slate.  Clean and clear except for ashes, and then a fresh start.”
It was now getting darker, the dismal grey sky itself was turning the color of soot  The sun was either down or obscured by thickened clouds  “And Isa…it means Ice, like the ice ages.  Unchanging, no movement or movement at glaciers pace…when there were still glaciers like when I was a soldier.”

“Glaciers haven’t existed in forever.”

“Oh, they existed… and they were beautiful once.” said the old man wistfully.  “Isa is a beautiful rune.  It is contemplation, stillness, silence, preparation and dangerous conditions where very little survives well.”


“You worry about the danger of Isa but not of Cweorth?   I may not be as great a teacher as others on this topic…but you came and found me, did you not?”

“I was not looking for anyone.”

“Ah, but you were.  You felt uncomfortable inside, so you went outside.” replied Tuesday
She shifted uncomfortably… it wasn’t much more comfortable outside, and her wolf was splashing in the shallow stream of acrid waters with abandon she envied. “Do you want to know what it all means together?”


“It means everything is going to end-  everywhere, everyone who ever made or bought a set of runes is drawing the same ones.  Despite being inside, underground, above or below the Earth.  It is all drawing to a close.  The last chapter, the final page.”

“What ever are you talking about?”

“A very long time ago this happened before.  But it was war.   I lost my hand before the war and my blood family fought my new family- killing most.  Many were lost to death, even more were lost to confusion. It was not known at the end who was dead or still alive for the war changed what remained of us all.  The planet was ruined, uninhabitable, so with all the technology we took our people and we moved here.

It was then deduced that there would be a greater cataclysm, so they drew up two sides.  One side gathered the best warriors, and the other created great beasts… when that war broke out, even less survived.  My cousin died they said….and it was rumored I died as well.    Time passed and it became evident that it was best for propaganda to keep it nebulous if the war happened at all or was yet to come…and yet each past battle was recorded meticulously of who killed whom, who lived, who died, et all.   In the end, it truly did not matter.  My wife, she used to live for puzzles and stories.  But there were no more puzzles to solve and the old story was lost…regardless the sentient spirits of humanity, as your time has discovered, are mostly immortal.”

“Mostly?  We brought back Elvis Presley!”

“…And what would happen if all the programs stopped, there was no more electricity, no more communication…would he still live?”

“That is too terrible to think on….”

“It will be more terrible to watch.  Look, the sky is dying…and it is too late.  For all the technology no one prepared this time.  Watch, Undertrees623…today is the end of the world”  Tuesday spake, Wolf howled and pulled at Tuesday’s remaining good hand worriedly and  they all watched the sun explode in the darkness…the red fire washing clean their part of the universe for the final time.

(Inspiration for this story can be traced to “The Machine Stops” by E.M. Forster written in 1909.  Here is the link)

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5 Perspectives

Posted in About me on July 27, 2016 by Alana Smithee

I have had enough of worship,
of prayers of bowed knees and platitudes.
I tire of people asking for favors, signs, and miracles.
I desire nothing more
Than for you to look up at the sky
and call it beautiful

I have had enough of being hurt
Lips sewed, tied bleeding
Upon the slab meant for the dead
I am tired of suffering for you
Exhausted of your blame and stupidities
I no longer want to be your scapegoat
your fiend, your Northern Satan.
I want to go home, to when I was loved.

I have had enough of this bullshit.
Of hands clasped begging for chains.
I tire of wandering, for I find only fools.
with locked doors
who conjugate with loneliness
as their chosen companion
instead of living.

I am tired of poetry
for nobody reads it
I have tried writing
and my words
no longer move cold hearts.

These chains are getting heavy
You think you have saved yourselves
by locking me down
…From my perspective
you are the true monsters.

I do not need your worship
I only want your honest affection
and to know I have a place to lie my head
when I fall to Earth once again
With no place to call home.

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An True and Factual Insider’s Look at Discordianism. (In as much as things can be True…which we cannot Know)

Posted in About me on July 16, 2016 by Alana Smithee

ERisSeveral months ago This article was written by VICE on the “Online Drug-fueled resurgence of Discordianism”

The author got Doxxed.  I wasn’t one of the people who ever participates in such a thing, but becoming a “member” for about a year onto any of the “Main Disco” pages, even for years, means absolutely nothing.  All the power of this movement is found, oddly enough, in it’s divisions.  True Discordians (Those that survive in Discordian pages) divide themselves like a child’s coin-sorting bank, in a sort of Fibonacci-type sequencing of connections and complicated alliances.  Like any religion there are rivalries and tragedies.  There are indeed drug users as well as people who have never touched anything so much as a tylenol. Theists, antitheists, famous authors, infamous figures, and complete nobodies.

Off of the “main group” of a fluctuating 10k+ members on facebook/reddit alone you will find very little of substance- pretty much a regurgitation of tumblr-type memes, non-sequiturs, and vicious trolling.  So, how do you navigate Discordianism to its gooey, creamy center of order amidst the chaos?

Be intelligent, be honest, be broken…and if you can’t manage any of these things either be incredibly entertaining or convince people you are outstandingly insightful.

Each splinter, cabal, faction, and sub-group has it’s own moderators- and many if not most moderators overlap in various platforms of social media;  I know because I have been one for several years.   Over the years as it became increasingly apparent that the Asatru community was far from welcoming those who did not happen to have patrons on the fluctuating list of “approved” deities, many of us found homes in other religions;  Some went to the Unitarians, some to Satanism…and Lokeans, predominately, found a home among the Golden-Apple-Worshiping, theistic Discordian Archaetypalists who saw more concordance between Idunna of the North and Eris Discordia, Goddess of Chaos to the Greeks.

To Discordian Heathens, the sagas dovetail nicely of how Idunna was sent to the “Southern Giants” only to be returned at a later date- many theists who are present in the inner circles of theistic Discordianism believe that this intersects with the tale of Eris being a visiting Goddess unhappy with her accommodations who consciously causes as much chaos as possible prior to her release.

If this is indeed true, it would indicate a depth to the figure of Idunn/Idunna that mainstream Heathenry ignores- a complex nature that is easily to identify with as humans of being thrust into situations we did not agree to and desperately wish to extract ourselves…

…Which pretty much explains anyone who feels frustrated that the decisions that govern this world are made by callous idiots none of us like very much at all.

If there is any ideology that unites Discordians it would be one of rebellion and of the liminal experiences of being outcast and intellectual.  Just as Lokeans, the Discordian is maligned but strives not to care- and to express the grand truth that there is no thing that anyone can know conclusively except that we do NOT know anything conclusively at all.  That reality is outside of our jurisdiction to understand, and that we are ruled  by nothing more than cause, reaction, probability, or nothing at all and our only limitation is our own thought and prejudice.

If we were a Philosophy, we would be Philosophers, unlabled and sitting on the great stair in Athens debating everything from the meaning of life and love to creating our own inner terminologies and buzzwords that serve as a handshack to identify other people who have read on the subject.

Like most subcultures, our language has incomprehensible to outsider terminology such as “Greyface”, “Goflowolfog”, “Banjos” and countless things about the calcification on the pineal gland which are either serious or entirely factitious depending on the sender.

Disco is a wave- it is not a solid organization, it is more alive than many “common” religions in how quickly it can be changed by those at the center.  There are indeed “Projekt Mayhems”(Of various spellings)  That are largely harmless, sometimes beneficial, and oftentimes done without any credit or have long-lasting effects on culture.

But it seems that another common thread among my travels is Discordia is amusement at the trends we start without needing to take credit or brand our names to our ideas and movements.

Discordians have created most of your memes, some of your stranger movements, and an excess upon excess of art and literature.  Great authors live among us, as do famous musicians and we refer to them with the exact same ratio of adoration/indignation as anyone else within our cyberspace and give them a place to feel free of expectation- gratuitous ass kissing is non-existent, commiseration rules in the corner of the golden apple on which I reside.

Where I exist in the world of Disco is the broad place where it overlaps with Odinism, with many Odinst who follow the Lord of Madness who has one eye instead of red hair.

I volunteer in the support groups and have learned no matter how successful or not one is- there is commonality in what some would commonly mislabel as “madness”.

We are the those who flunked out of MENSA, were kicked out of gifted, and generally estranged for asking too many questions from whatever assigned shelf life first granted us.

We would be your antiheroes and “mad” geniuses.  Any press is good press, except when it isn’t.  We will let you know.

Some places in Disco have people competing to shove pastries up their nether regions, while others try to forward  and float nonsensical social causes to see how far they fly (Freebleeding was a 4chan Disco projekt mayhem.  It was wildly successful to our amused dismay;  We also made Jimmy Rustle famous.)

… Where I live in this world of digital mayhem remains dimly aware of trends in the other pages but generally remains aloof of it.  There are secret societies that exist in Discordianism that actually accomplish a great deal, and some that exist simply to exist.

The key isn’t to like everyone, or even anyone at all.  If you are insulted, insult back.

Take it seriously and wilt off of our forums like old paint on a hot day.

There are no rules, however, I have found that “No Reporting” is pretty common as is “If you do not like them, block them” as far as maintaining ones maximum lesser threshhold of no bullshit.

On the downside, we have had our share of stalkers and creepers…but openly; most religions have to at least act surprised when their assholes end up incarcerated.

Many of us have been in Psychiatric facilities as patients or staff…some cases both.

We have people who are homeless and people in mansions.

There are more Discordians than Heathens, and in the words of Malaclypse the Younger, we are indeed, All Popes.

If you want to get far into true Discordianism, find out who has “Keys” and discover all the brilliant minds who are staring at the same “Dat Boi” memes you are who might be interesting the best thing I can suggest is read.  The book list is more extensive than most.

It is best to start with The Principia Discordia, followed by Condensed Chaos.

Any list lifted off of a Philosophy 101 syllabus.  Alan Moore, Mike Carey… read up on Sciences and Ancient religions.  Read Flatland and Philip K. Dick novels.

Don’t believe a word of them… Fucking question every word you read, including the phone book.  You don’t know who might have changed their names.

You know nothing…and neither do I and that is okay.   Just try not to be grayface.

Know who Carlton Mellick is, listen to Die Antwoord…or not.

Generally speaking…there is room for everyone in Discordianism.  However, despite the thousands seen in groups, keep in mind there may only be a couple of hundred, real members at any time running multiple accounts, getting banned from social media and returning with new names and forged ID’s simply for facebook.

You will find everything in Discordianism including dogma, prejudice, and petty bickering.

Really, Discordians are just like you- but without the veneer except for the one’s we paint ourselves with…and the collage of Chaos is majestic, complex, and irritating to some.

Ultimately, we pretty much know we know nothing at all… and we are okay with admitting it.  Some feel meaningless as others feel fleetingly like meglomaniacs who condescend on those who frustrate us with their lack of self-initiative to research…but we also have our sages who have never read a damned book in their lives but we adore them anyway…while some of the better-read individuals are some of the one’s who *flounce* out often greeted with friendly farewells of #ByeFelicia.

We are confused with the Left Hand Path- and yes, that also overlaps both Disco and Heathenry- but is not one and the same.   Discordians tend to run the scale of “Chaotic” alignments if we were playing characters in D&D. (I would be a Chaotic-Good Malchavian…also derived from Discordian terminology and Incorporated into Vampire the Masquerade.)

We even have more clergy who have actual accredited university ecclesiastic training than any Asatru organization.

So… Can you run with the idea that you don’t have a single monopoly on truth, that we are fallible in our wisdom and understanding and that order is simply an imposed illusion out of fear of Chaos?

Can you be perfectly okay with admitting you have NO IDEA what is conclusively going to happen outside of vague hunches based on experience?  No other religions I have known can… hell, even many Discordians lack the ability, but some do.

I survive and thrive in Discordianism because I know not to take anything seriously against me and to not be thin skinned.  I can be a total banjo, we all can…

But Eris is forgiving when She feels like it.

I stick around in Discordia because I have found people I mutually relate to within…and most of those people are Heathens and brighter than I am by far.

Most of us have been harmed in some way by the larger community or exiled- but yet, maddeningly to some, we continue to persist in existing knowing that our innate natures of inquisitiveness and mischief are not welcome in the worlds of greyfaced cowards who hide behind brittle and fragile structures that all fail given enough time.

Discordianism one day may fail… but that’s fine.  Eris existed before our lifetimes, chances are it will just keep on happening will/us nil us again and again…

…and again.

I have only created one Splinter, and it is called Discordian Heathens.

You can also find me in Chaos Magick and countless of other Discordians groups I only see in my feed.

Another tip.  Make sure you “Unfollow” everything that doesn’t interest you or you will never survive… or maybe you will.

Those that survive a couple of years have an entire army worth absurdists to deflect detractors; and because of Discordians I still survive in Heathenry to the extent that I do.

Have an apple of Hesperides or call it a sweet peach of wisdom.  Whatever totes yer goats…


(P.S.  I am not editing this without a convincing reason.  It’s more authentic to just plaster it on up here fresh!)
P.P.S.  Thinking next post will be an FAQ.  Ask me some questions if you like or I’ll just complile the one’s I’m tired of…. 🙂

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Moved Post: Ahura and Iblis (1/06)

Posted in About me on July 5, 2016 by Alana Smithee

I believe this is the first short story I have ever written that has an ending….most of this has been in my head for years. It’s an old story, but sometimes, the best stories are old ones told in a…

Source: Moved Post: Ahura and Iblis (1/06)

A Beginners Guide to Polytheism, a Personal View (With Heathen/Odinist Reading list)

Posted in About me on June 26, 2016 by Alana Smithee

After much reluctance, laziness, and disillusionment, I realized that I was distributing the same information to complete strangers repetitively with only minor variations.  I knew it would be simpler to condense these small, online lectures into a single post…so, if I send you here first, do not be offended.  I will still answer questions anytime or direct you to whatever organization or group in your area is closest to your ideology, if you want a group, that is.

Anyway,  so it is becoming more apparent that the “Dark Ages” of our species directly coincided with a dark period of time religiously where the native Gods of Europe were suppressed by all four monotheistic religions (Christianity, Modern (monotheistic) Zoroastrianism, Islam, Judaism) and now many of us are finding ourselves openly admitting that our families were not Christian, despite the generalization of our WASPy-ness before the turn of the century.

Hopefully, the Marvel movie phase has passed and now we are entering into a new phase of Heathenry and Paganism where the current generation of Indigenous pagans, those who were raised with a European Polytheistic elder in the home, are starting to feel the pull to the religion of their parents and grandparents.  People who had the same positive aspects of their childhood I did: colorful religious upbringing, even if the rest of it may have been violent and rather shitty (hopefully, that is not a trait I share with you…but if it is, I am sorry).

People like us are appalled by the viking revivalist, feeling that a spectacle is being made out of traditions we know from our respective childhoods to be rather somber and monotonous:  a fine example is any Baltic who had to stand for hours in the freezing cold singing dirges in cemeteries surrounded by elderly immigrants who did not speak English may feel embarrassed and out of place in rituals with skyclad individuals when we recall being forced to wear formal attire.

Yes, there is a happy medium.  You do not need to choose between drunken sumbels of recently divorcees of Christianity and Wicca, nor the rigid institutions put in place by our secretive ancestors who hid our sacred holidays with the public name of Saints, seasons and ancient kings as “cultural holidays” (such as No Rouz and Jani) accompanied by forced smiles to spend time with people who dislike you as much as you dislike them.

The problem is discovering what it is you want to do after giving yourself a basic education via reading (or audiobook). The core of Heathenry is gaining wisdom;  which is why I have changed my stance dramatically over the years.  I am now of the belief that one should not decide to join any organization prior to reading the Eddas and some very basic books on their ancestral religions so they may know those who mis-attribute texts and are adding monotheistic bias as a recent convert as opposed to understanding our history with objectivity and the mental flexibility of the polytheist.

A true polytheist holds no grudges against the Gods of other faiths, if our Gods exist- there is nothing in any polytheistic belief set that denies the existence of other Gods. (as far as I have researched).  Therefore, despite the fact that a tiny, desert God with delusions of Grandeur may tell His followers that he is both “jealous” and “the only God”; as a polytheist it is not to you to say He does not exist, we mind to our own customs and traditions and do not persecute those who follow other pathways so long as they do not seek to harm us or prevent us from practicing true to our own traditions.

A polytheist should not seek to convert others, the gods themselves call who they will and draw them to their respective “homes”.   My best friend is a Hellenic man who worships Zagreus as a patron…but yet, each year he tries to take the time to make a trip to ancestral town of his family in Austria which shares his surname (which, ironically, is next door the town where my birth surname derived).  Despite finding deities in his ancient Greek roots- he still connects with the homeland of his people.  To me, that is more Heathen than trotting around wearing a hammer around the neck large enough to smash a clock on Flava Flav.   No one needs to “spread the word” on the hundreds of forms of polytheism except to keep our practice legal and accepted with all the same rights and privileges as other religious traditions.

Also, it must be understood that since each of us comes from different religious and ethnic backgrounds, each family and even each individual will have their own unique religious perspective both from upbringing and self-educations. There should not be a “unified” Orthodox Heathen organization that rules over us all and determines how and what worship- having several organizations of denominations is perfectly fine as long as they do not claim idealogical superiority over the others;  I would like to see MORE polytheistic organizations in the future, not less…  After reading the basic religious texts on your Gods as well as perhaps some academic textbooks as a cross reference, for some of you it may be wise to expose yourself to every organization in the area to see if your personal spiritual practice can be helped by community- or if remaining solitary or only discussing practices online, or even not at all, is the path to your own spiritual fulfillment.

Some of the best people of German Heathenry I know have never joined any organization nor attended any sumbels; they now come out of the woodwork slowly and are sharing the stories of their families- making the patchwork quilt of religions more vibrant and colorful in doing so- not “corrupting the community”- we enrich it.  The Thalian worshipers of Denmark and the Rokkrs of Sweden do not exist as “Heathen Satanism”- they are honoring their local ancestral traditions which remained kept hidden inside of families and small villages until it was safe enough to be open once more.

Now, for the sake of simplicity I have created this guide for European Heathenry of what is commonly known as the Norse family of traditions including Odinism, Asatru, Urglaawe (Pa Dutch/Deitsch Heathenry), Teutonic/Germanic Polytheism, and Scandinavian Heathenry:

Essential Action:

Create your own set of runes by hand.  Even if you already own several sets of your own already, in creating a set of runes yourself and pulling one to three daily.  You will find Runes in nature or in day to day life- so, ideally one should make a concerted effort to be outside as much as possible.  For me, it took getting a large dog to encourage a closer relationship with nature.

To create your runes, the simplest way to make an enduring set is to find a sturdy fallen tree branch and to use a hacksaw, sandpaper, and either a knife, paint, or marker to create them.  As you create each one, look up the meaning of the rune and meditate on it individually.  The process is longer, but one gains greater understanding if they saw/sand/paint (or carve) each rune individually.

Most Heathens/Odinist rely on the “basic Futhark 24” but the runes we have here included an extra Aett (row) known as “Hel’s Aett”- which was excluded for some time by many Heathen communities but is regaining favor.  The Hel’s Aett actually includes my two favorite runes: Os- the rune of uncomfortable truth, and Gar- the rune of the protection by the Gods.

There are four books and one website I can recommend personally.

The Book of Runes By Ralph. H. Blum, is the book I first learned runes from as a child.  German teenagers from Upper Bucks between the years 1996 and 2002 passed a few copies of this around amongst ourselves.

The Runes Workbook by Leon D. Wild- was the first book my husband used for the runes. Considering he’s better with them than I am, it seems to work well.

Futhark: A Handbook on Rune Magic By Edred Thorsson is also very popular.  I have had several copies pass through my hands to be lent out never to be seen again.  I don’t recall it much, but it comes with great recommendations from other Heathens.

Taking Up the Runes, By Diana L. Paxton.   This book actually includes Hel’s Aett unlike most books on the market.  It is in-depth and accessible to most who feel bored by academic-type writings.

However, I also must admit that after reading so many rune-themed books over the years they all run together in my mind outside of the first one.

As far as websites go for those who do not have the time to read many books, I have found little fault with Raven Kaldera’s page: Northern Tradition Shamanism to introduce people to Hel’s Aett.  The other links on the page are informative as well.

If you ever plan on joining any Heathen community in the United States (or parts of Europe)  It would also be best if you familiarize yourself with the nine noble virtues.  The history to which are found in this link and the virtues themselves depicted in the following picture I lifted from pinterest:

Nine virtues

(Note: The history and current modifications of the virtues change almost weekly on wikipedia.)

Essential Reading:

The Poetic Edda:

.Pdf Link

The Prose Edda

.Pdf Link

It should be noted that the original transcriber of these texts was created by a Christian Monk by the name of Snorri Sturlusson.  Later interpretations of the texr verses archaeological finds of other interpretations of the events and stories within should be supplemented to understand how our ancestors worshiped without the dichromatic lens of monotheistic thought.  The links I posted for .pdf are not necessarily the most recent translations, I chose them for stability of their respective websites.  Guternberg.org and Sacred-texts.com have been pretty consistent.  If these links break, let me know and I will update with a new .pdf link.

To keep this list up to date so I do not need to correct it in the future is simply to look up the textbooks being currently used by Universities leading in  Norse studies in English so one can research the syllabi and accompanying textbooks.  If you simply purchase older editions you will find that you can get an incredible Heathen library for very little money by buying used textbooks from disgruntled millennials who did not realize they held the equivalent of literary gold for a semester and sold it for pennies.  Their indifference to the subject is our gain as a community.

When I went to college, it was University of Michigan, but a quick google search on “Norse Mythology” turned up programs University of Colorado, UCI, Florida Tech, Harvard University, Cambridge University, and many others that offer classes in the topic.

The most recent textbook titles are good to keep up on.  The problem is, I can’t tell of my collection which is more or less recent- and considering I have two entire 10 foot tall bookshelves of Religion and Philosophy textbooks, for me to write out all of them with reviews would be a frustrating, full time endevour.

Use your best judgement; if the title and description appeal to you, read it;  if not, there are other books.

Other than this, My own personal bias as to what makes the penultimate Heathen text for myself is

The Odin Brotherhood by Mark Mirabello, a superior to its sequel text by Jack Wolfe, Mirabello’s work reflects the type of Odinism I personally ascribe to at this time.  The only online Heathen community by the same name is here The Odin Brotherhood Forums.  Do not attempt to join the forums without reading at least a .pdf of the book- it’s a fast read considering it is written in dialogue style and rapidly covers a wide breadth of topics.  Here is the PDF.

Furthermore, Read Beowulf

I have just provided you the pdf’s for all the texts I consider essential to Heathenry.  The first two being non-optional considering the oft-quoted Havamal is contained within the Poetic Edda.

It is best to read the Hamaval and Lokisenna within the context of the larger work unlike most people who cherry-pick out only these two sections of Heathen literature as the end-all, be all of Heathenry.  One thing I think can be agreed upon throughout all Heathen faiths and interpretations is the seeking of knowledge is paramount to personal understanding and communion with our Gods.  There is no such thing as “useless” knowledge, even if there are texts I or you do not agree with personally they are still important to read and understand to gain perspective on how other people base their lives and practices.

Universally Recommended Texts:

The following authors are popular in the Heathen community (Order in which I recall them):

Edred Thorsson
Eoghan Odinsson
Diana L. Paxton
Robert L. Schreier (for Urglaawe/Pa Deisch Odinism/Heathenry)
Raven Kaldera
Galina Krasskova
Stephen McNallen
Thor Sheil
Steven T. Abell
Gavin Chappell
Kari C. Tauring
Erin Lale
Kevin Crossley-Holland
Silver Ravenwolf (commonly known as a “WiccAtru” author)

The website links to the major American organizations I have later in this post all have links to their own libraries of .pdfs of sagas and their own list of Heathen, Asatru, and Odinist authors.

Other popular pagan authors that you may hear mentioned that are helpful for Neopagan contextual readings:

Scott Cunningham (Basic paganism/Wicca 101)
Raven Grimassi (Stregheri/Witchcraft)
Oberon and Morning glory Zell
Stuart and Janet Farrar (Witchcraft)
Gerald Gardinar (Gardinarian Witchcraft)
Laurie Cabot-Butler (Modern Witchcraft)
D.J Conway (New Age Totemism)
Starhawk (New age)
Ted Andrews (Totemist)
Andrew Steed (Celtic)
Murv Jacob (Cherokee)
Margot Addler (Wicca/Witchcraft)
Raymond Buckland (Wicca: Gardinarian)

There are dozens more- but these are the authors I have read personally and didn’t find completely appalling.  No author is perfect.  I feel the same way about Heathen authors mostly.

Personal Recommendations: Non-Universal

(Deemed controversial by the public communities)

The Jotunbok by Raven Kaldera.  Although this is a personal staple of my own library and on a “not to be lended out” status because it’s a pain in the ass to reorder, many of the public Heathens who are mostly converts from Christianity take issue with Loki and the Rokkr being given their due as Gods.  To see my stance on the subject, see the title of this blog.  Really, what did you expect?  Heathens and Odinists from Europe seem to have little to no hangup on Loki worship as seen here in the United States.

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler.  If you are afraid of getting on a watch-list for reading a book, perhaps you are too cowardly to be a Heathen.  To be a Heathen is to be confronted time and again with accusations of being a Hitler loving nazi and having to explain yourself…and even further, if you venture out into the public community you will find that you will eventually meet those who claim to be “Neo Nazi”.  In reading this book, you inform yourself both on what the book ACTUALLY says, and more humorously, you will often find public figures both Heathen and non-Heathen quoting its text.  Few people bat an eyelash at those who read “The Prince” by Machiavelli as part of a diplomacy, philosophy or political science college curriculum, but Mein Kampf remains taboo even in the most open minded circles of academia and Heathenry.   Reading this book will no more make you into a Nazi enthusiast than standing in a garage makes you a car.

After I read it, it has become a game to me observing all National and International organizations- I have been amazed to find which organization leaders quote Hitler vs. those who do not.  The result was the exact opposite of what I anticipated:  the only way to figure out why this amuses me so much, read the book, see for yourself.  I read it on this pdf.

Since then,  this is what most modern political figures and some prominent Asatru people appear like to me from my view on the outside:

American Public Organizations:
I do not suggest considering joining any organization until you are confident of your own relationship with the Gods and are unable to be influenced by group-think and trends.
Any organization can be a great way to meet people- but they can also be a great source of stress as an inevitable side effect of direct contact with many people of differing points of view, some held more militantly than others.

A good rule of thumb:  The more people in your life, the more stress you will have.  Some people require the stresses of fellowship to feel whole, some are the opposite, and most exists somewhere in the middle.

The Asatru Alliance

The AFA (Asatru Folk Assembly)

The Odinic Rite

The Troth

I will offer no commentary at this time on any of the organizations above, instead, I have created links to their respective websites so you can see how they describe themselves.  We have met wonderful friends and allies from these organizations, but we have also seen our share of bullshit.

There are several regional public Heathen organizations and semi public organizations that hold ritual.  I know of most of them from Maryland and North as well as the Great Lakes region via friends in these regions.

International organizations and local independent organizations of which I am aware are numerous, post in the comments if you are in need of a list for your region and I will do my best.

I do not know close to all of them- but if I am completely in the dark, I will at very least know which organization exists in your region or country and how to contract the corresponding folkbuilder(s) and clergy.   If there are multiple options in your area, I would suggest reading the creeds of all of them AFTER you have already made yourself knowledgeable of the Edda’s and the runes as well as have read a couple of different books from different Heathen authors to sort out the well-read from the simply well-spoken.

I hope this list was comprehensive, unbiased as I could make it, and most of all useful to at least some of you now or in the future.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment (or nitpicky edit) below.

All authors, books, and organizations I have listed I do not necessarily endorse or agree with in entirety or even partially, and if there are prominent ones I have missed, please also add them in the comments and depending on if I only missed a few or many, will try to update this post (with credit due) where I can.  If there are too many I missed, just read the comments in a few days to see which Heathen books and authors readers of this blog have suggested.

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I’m Afraid of Americans.

Posted in About me on June 13, 2016 by Alana Smithee

For lack of a better title, I’ve had the refrain of this old number stuck in my head for several hours now:

I’m Afraid of Americans- David Bowie ft. Trent Reznor

The lyrics don’t make much sense outside of the refrain…but neither do Americans.

As people cry and speculate over the tragedies that we are spoon fed to care about via our media (although that does not lessen the tragedy, it magnifies greater, deeper concerns- honestly)… they divide themselves amongst those they are closest in how they react.

Basically, the formula is as follows:  Somewhere, where you know absolutely no one affected, a group of people suddenly are killed.

Large groups of people are attacked and killed every day, but it goes unnoticed until it is blasted from every single direction so you cannot pretend to ignore it any longer.

Unless/Until that attack has the magnified spotlight lens of the media upon it, then it is suddenly Ragnorak.

As one who earned a degree in Islamic studies…would it shock you to know that homosexuality is punishable by death in most Islamic countries?  That every single day people are lynched and killed for who they love?

Why…suddenly…do you care now?  Is it because it is here in the USA?  Do you know that gay teenagers commit suicide in a Bible belt daily?  Did you care before now?  Do you care only when you are directed to by peer pressure and having bloodstained rainbow flags waving in your faces?

Can you tell me about Stonewall?  Do you know who Harvey Milk is?  Have you ever seen/read any of Ronald Reagan’s attitudes towards treating the growing AIDs epidemic in the 1980’s where funding was withheld and AIDs/HIV was considered a “gay issue” and a way for President Homophobe to attempt to annihilate a population of people who made his cowboy boots shake with confused fear?

Put down your flags, you bleating, idiotic sheep.   Stop arguing over religions, guns, sex, and violence.

Just. Stop.


Because you are faking.  You don’t care.  You don’t know anyone in Orlando, just like you likely did not lose anyone in France. (Even I was guilty of the French Flag profile pic-filter).

This is a distraction.  This distracts you from your real life, your real family and friends and it divides you.

It divides you into people who are pro/anti:

…and countless other tiny divisions that fracture everyone further.

Our religion of many names has been fractured since it became public… Universalist vs. Folkish.  Lokeans vs. Nokeans.  European Indigenous vs. American Reconstuctionist.

And, no doubt, your feed is absolutely filled with possibly hundreds of blogs expressing some sort of misplaced hurt, rage, upset, or any other adjective for butt hurt one can express.  There are bind-runes and hexes, curses and prayers…all “asking for energy”.

How quaint… All you need to say is the magic words of “I will” and you are absolved of all guilt… Why, it’s practically monotheistic of you!

While, in your own cities, in your own towns…people are hurting, people are dying:

…and you do not care one bit.

Because no one told you to, and you don’t “lose face” by ignoring the abandoned elderly next door, or the suicidal veteran whom you find annoying when you hear sirens to stop his latest attempt to stop their own pain.

Just. Stop.

Your hypocrisy is annoying.  It hurts everyone you ever stepped on.  It itches us like gnats in swamp lands, and blisters like sunburn on the shoulders of those whom you should care about.

You want to be keyboard warriors.  You believe your prayers make a difference.

But, who among you ACTUALLY cares?  What is it, exactly, that you do for the world?
What legacy will YOU leave when you die (and none are exempt from Reaping).

I keep seeing these two verses spin over and again in my thoughts like a stone in my shoe:

Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies
Of one who has done well
Havamal 76

Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal:
But I know one thing that never dies,
The glory of the great deed
Havamal 77

So.  Tell me of your great deeds.  Tell me what you have done to make a difference.  Tell me about your personal sacrifices.  Have you made any?  Have you allowed yourself to be maimed or persecuted?

Me?  I write this blog and council complete strangers to not kill themselves.
I am agoraphobic.  I have felt the hatred of Heathens across the United States, and I didn’t shrink away into invisibility as most would prefer.

I am trying to learn who is worth keeping in my life, and whom I need to let go.
While at the same time trying to help anyone who comes to me in pain who is innocent of harm.

Who are you?
Why are you crying for the Dead you never loved, and their families you will never meet?

Did you cry when your neighbor died?  Do you cry when you read the obituaries for your community of those who die alone in hospice and nursing homes each day?  Do you wail and gnash your teeth upon hearing about the thousands upon thousands who are killed young each day for the same reasons?

No?  Why not?  What makes this different?  Is it because it is public?  Is is because you believe your online ‘friends’ are waiting with baited breath to see your reaction?  To see if you take a side?  To see if you are heartless, cold, or cruel as I?

These people are strangers to you…
…just as are most of those whose eyes are closed the last time by hand.

I cried last week because a friend died.  I do not cry for Orlando.

I am out of tears to donate, and they would not be true.

Your crocodile tears may impress your friends-
-you may even measure their length and hold competitions of grief….

…but ask yourself, Why. Do. You. Care?

You are dying right now…and have been for some time.  When you die- do you want strangers you never met crying for you from long distances or would you rather have family attend your funeral?

Do you want a funeral?  Are you ready to die?
At any moment, the breath you intake may be your last.

We will all die- and not all of us will die in a blaze of gunfire and horror.
Most will die invisibly, alone, forgotten- of age or illness; of suicide or accident.

You will not go to Valhalla- You may not even go to Helheim, Alfheim, Heaven or Hell.

And undoubtedly, some people you hate might even appear at your funeral and make sure to cry the loudest, make the largest show out of your loss, and shame your dead corpse (or bucket of ashes.)

Again.  You will die, I will die- everyone you know will die.

I cannot promise you that anyone will care.  What will you do with your life after reading this?  Will you change the world?  Change yourself?  Contribute something?  Contribute nothing at all?

Will you look up from reading memes on your cell phones?  Will you visit someone who needs comfort?  Would you be a reassuring voice on the phone to someone whose voice cracks with heavy emotions from problems that directly affect their lives?

Do you know how much I love so few of you… and how very much I am growing to hate this society of lies?

Fuck you.  Fuck your tears, fuck your empty gestures, your fake pain, and your manufactured sorrows.

Fuck your inflated egos, your self-important neediness to impress strangers with faux empathy.

Fuck you for not caring about a systematic problem in our society until you are forced by those around you to at least make an effort to care.

I was a gay rights activist before it was “safe”.  I was studying how homosexuality in Iran leads to the hanging posts years before this happened- and that the only escape for them is drastic, complex surgery, oftentimes forced upon those who even express “unnatural interest” in people of the same gender.

I have loved both women as well as men.

Fuck. You.

Go back to hole in the wall you crawled from you loathsome worms called Humanity.
So back to eating your poisons and spitting out lies amongst each other.

And stop pretending to care about the same people you spit upon 20 years ago.

I will not post any flags or offer any suggestions for legislation.  I will not become reckless and fall prey to the group think of mourning for 30 people out of thousands upon thousands who have died in the name of love alone- starting prior to even the times of Shams Tabrizi…who, himself died for the exact same reasons, some historians claim.

Go away, you foul creatures- you vultures who tear the livers out of your local heroes out of jealousy and spite  who now fold your hands and bow your heads in mock pious self-rebuke when the eyes of the internet are upon you.

Just. Stop.

The Gods don’t care about your fucking prayers.
What is your LEGACY?
What have your DONE to make YOU worth mourning when you are gone?

One day, all that will remain will be your words and the legacy of your deeds- the holes left in the hearts of those with whom you shared friendship and love…

…if you are lucky, if you earned it.

Or perhaps, you will be fortunate enough to be one of a multitude to die in a tragedy, and strangers will bow their heads and cry fake tears for you as well.

“You get what anyone gets, you get a lifetime”- Neil Gaiman

Old death

Death as created by Neil Gaiman



Loki’s Kids: Some hard truths

Posted in About me on May 29, 2016 by Alana Smithee

I can’t defend myself, and yes- it does hurt being Outcast from my local community while I have so many followers online. This man speaks truth I wish more people would seriously consider.

Also, take into consideration that of all the LEGAL clergy in the United States for Heathenry, who have actual training in counseling and divinity…is me.   I run an informal crisis line on fb chat, I help local grieving families, I Hail Loki.

(For the Record:  Members of the Troth kicked me out of their kindreds because I was tired of a woman spreading slander against my husband calling him a ‘rapist’. (My husband has never even been SUSPECTED of such a heinous action, there have never been police, and the woman doing the accusing is doing so on behalf of a woman long removed from the community)  instead of addressing HER lies, they punished me for “attacking” her  by calling her out online instead of addressing the issue.  They are not Heathen “leaders”- they are a bunch of fools playing tea incapable of addressing any real wrongdoing.)

“Everyone knows that Loki is the bringer of discord, that his followers are all damaged people who disrupt the community” You know, as we grow up, we all hear and accept certain truths from our com…

Source: Loki’s Kids: Some hard truths

Tattoos and Wounds (Sometimes, Gods DO Get Along.)

Posted in About me on May 21, 2016 by Alana Smithee



Loki/Twin Peaks tattoo- it has much more to it in person.  Capturing limb tattoos is an art I have yet to master!  Artist: Jim Bentley at 3o9 Smooth Tattooz

“That is the most beautiful tattoo I’ve seen working as a nurse!” the woman in the surgery prep room exclaimed, and brought over the other nurses to see my arm…

At 6:30 am, I was panicking over my impending foot surgery; my medical history shows a great deal of surgeries on account of poor genetic combinations to the point where I lost count somewhere in my 20’s.  I have (had?) Morton’s Neuroma; a progressive type of neuropathy that is appears to have some hereditary component I inherited.  I was waiting for the complete excision of the central nerve of my foot.  Although my father had very positive experiences with the same hospital system reattaching the extremities of my friends and family, I simply never had a reason to see them that was ‘in line’ with their specialty prior.

Part of my PTSD is from experiences in hospitals that were horrific- however, I’d say most hospitals are pretty dichromatic in care.  Half treat me with incredible compassion, competence and kindness…but unfortunately, I have also been subject to malpractice severe enough to join class action lawsuits-  It wasn’t the worst hospital by far, but it was once also far from the best as well. Specifically this hospital system that ejected me from the ER when I tested positive for swine flu one year after 3 hours of IV rehydration and an order to quarantine myself and several unpleasant ER experiences at their most neglected facility.  By the actions of the satellite facilities from many years ago, I knew I was going to panic.  I wrote a comprehensive list of all medications, Allergies, surgeries, and my three approved HIPA contacts in detail and shoved it into my wallet the night prior.  I was without sleep and without painkillers for a week before.

However, it made it much easier to handle when you have 3 women surrounding you admiring your tattoos as art- and I enjoy showing them off which calmed me considerably.  A different hospital attempted to claim my tattoos indicated unsavory things about my character- oddly enough, secular hospitals were the worst.  This one was Catholic.

I get along with sincerely spiritual people very well regardless of Philosophy.  I may bash Christianity as a whole as a religion on occasion, but I take no issue with most individuals.

The tattoo led to conversation, conversation lead to understanding, and I believe I was actually given superior care than I would have otherwise prior to receiving it. (simply because every medical professional who saw it, complimented me on it and began a closer dialogue.

My allergies were taken seriously; I don’t have many of them, but most of them are forms of antibiotics.  Not once did I feel negatively judged; in fact, being a psychiatric patient years before in the same system seemed to help in their compassion.  My check in was at shift change- exhausted medical personnel traded me to their “fresher” colleagues without exasperation.  They asked me if I wanted to be pre-sedated (with hilarious results) instead of accusing me of malingering- they took several measures to mitigate my motion sickness, and provided exemplary pain management.

I was lead to my doctor by some friends in the Lehigh pagan community- and fortunately, he was the head of his practice as well as the lead for all podiatry surgery at that branch.  Having PTSD, they saved a corner bed for me with closed curtains in their smallest waiting room of only four beds.

And it appeared the ‘demons’ of stigma I have been facing at more local facilities with other recent surgeries was barred from entering- they already had seen me at my worst, and although I would be hard pressed to find anyone to describe me as “delicate”, I was treated with great kindness, by Christians, over a Loki/Twin Peaks tattoo.

My Os, my ‘uncomfortable truth’ of my mental illness was not ignored because their other facility was the first place I was inpatient during my college years so they worked on the side of caution to keep me as calm and comfortable as possible- to the same quality I experienced in the Main Line Philadephia region where my existence began.

This was also the first time my medical record stating my legal Cannabis use as unquestionably legal was unquestioned since legislation passed earlier this month, there was no cabal of worried nurses concerned about “gateway” confessions.  No questioning if I was “holding anything back”, nor being treated like a child, an outcast or a criminal as I have experienced with Berks County hospital care.

The irony of the situation is the beauty of my Loki tattoo seemed to have a strong, positive response from those who were working on me.  They were even especially careful with the placement of IV’s so as not to “hurt” it.  They admired my ravens on my back and explained that in Allentown “Most of what they see are prison tattoos matched with prison attitudes.”

I accidentally hit on my nurse by saying “You look really nice”…and digging myself into what could have been a deeper pit after her older colleague joked and said “Good thing we’re all straight and married!”

….I was already sedated on a huge injection of Ativan and replied

“Actually, I’ve dated as many women as I have men… My husband wore a kilt of our family tartan to the wedding and tossed my bouquet and I tossed his garter. A close friend of my brother’s caught the bouquet and within a week announced he was both gay AND engaged”

My brother was shaking his head and laughing at my honesty,

“You are only digging yourself into a deeper hole!”…as promised he would jump at the chance to escort me to my next surgery as well. Apparently, I was ‘hilarious’, the nurses said I brightened their day, and that, in turn, brightened mine.  I was in a good enough mood to wish my other patients speedy recoveries and even smile a little, acting like a sound-bite chaplain on a moving gurney to those I passed.

“I hope you feel better soon, Ma’am/Sir.” I said with sincerity.  Everyone in the room was in for a different condition, all of us were frightened…and I was rewarded in seeing their eyes lose a little fear in every instance I spoke to them.  No one was waiting for surgeries that were not without the potential for previously unknown amounts of pain.  It was an interesting room where most of us got pain killers in advance…. and I did not even need to ask for it.

My foot deteriorated this week to it’s lowest point, I could not fake a normal, walking gait any longer as of yesterday- rolling my left foot to it’s outermost edge to avoid the shooting pains in my third toe and the feeling of invisible “rocks” in my running shoes now consistently.

I wouldn’t have even gotten my foot checked out if not for my dog, Ziu [Deitsch for Tyr] enjoying runs I could not give him yet.  I thought I simply had a broken toe somewhere that would be easy to fix with a simple rebreak and a tiny splint.

Without adopting Ziu, I would be unable to walk at all at any given time if I did not have the foot pain issue addressed.

Because of this surgery, I reconnected with my Nana who was afraid to admit she stopped talking to me on account of embarrassment over her Aphasia– which she learned to circumvent via texting.  She was the only other person I knew with the same condition.

Now, the anesthesia and pain blocks are fading and I am transitioning to my schedule of pain killers-  I move by shuffling like an old man in a nursing home bingo game with a purple cane my husband purchased for me. (Purple Rain?  Purple Cane. Without with there is a great deal of pain) and tomorrow my father is bringing up some real crutches.  The surgery was only an hour, however, for that condition that’s double the standard.  The doctor said he would call me Saturday to check on me and re-explain what happened “when I would be in better shape to remember the conversation.  My foot is bound in several layers, inside and out- with metal holding my inner tendons and metal threads closing the wound after the nerve was removed.  I have two inches of padding, a rigid moonboot sandal I MUST wear (I can’t walk well) and the type of dressing that must be changed by the surgeon himself each week (which makes me a little ill to think of too much).

I am legally drugged to the teeth, but I made it through successfully.  The entire onus is on myself alone to “not walk” to damage the work done to my foot, and frankly, that’s terrifying.

But if Loki’s runes are Dagaz and Os,  The dawn of a new day as well as the facing of uncomfortable truths, today embodied it.

My estimated recovery time has been extended from 3 weeks to “a month, maybe longer”, but I was given a high amount of pain management options and I am trying to remember to take on schedule  (Vicodan makes me seriously itch.)


The next few weeks I have to watch my foot for swelling or changes of colour, prop it up on pillows, keep it entirely dry and unstepped upon by doggie feets.

They even allowed me to be discharged early and sent me home with more Ginger Ale to go and extra cookies.

I have NO IDEA why the doctor signed my leg with his initials.  Part of me hopes he made a cute little pattern out of the stitches like art-unlikely, but I actually will not see the stitches ever.  The picture above is when I changed one of the two layers of protective socks.

I don’t have a rash from doctors who don’t believe in Latex and Adhesive allergies.
I am home tonight because they listened and recorded carefully my allergies and sought the correct tape to use on me.

Regardless, it still itches like hell.  Likely from the Vicodan.  I am told it will hurt worse than it ever did for the first few days by some… if I walk.

I have a very loose plan figured for walking Ziu who NEEDS his daily long walk/sprint via friends and an elaborate dog park my neighbor is willing to drive us to visit on days I am without a “walker” to help me.

I now have a case worker who is helping me with Medicare to gain access to PTSD specialists and a possible peer mentor….in addition to possible reimbursement for music therapy lessons (I want to learn how to play Tool/Radiohead on the Viola.

…and now, after several nights without real sleep, I can sleep again as I feel myself fighting sleep to conclude this post.

Knowing I’ll be able to run with my dogs again shortly, in it’s way, is as beautiful as any art…



Grandpa: “What can you tell me about Freyr?”

Posted in About me on May 17, 2016 by Alana Smithee

I was messaged by an Odinist friend via fb chat and we engaged in a lively discussion…until suddenly,  every time I responded to him, the message appeared:
“What can you tell me about Freyr?” repeatedly.

I thought it was a test…  The friend was from the Odin Brotherhood forums* so I kept going with increasing amounts of every ounce of information I knew on Freyr- I just kept going. Then I realized it was odd, it kept disappearing after I would type more, then reappear as a question again after I stopped.

Freyr is my grandma’s favorite God, she’s 84 years old and knows him as Janis in Latvian, I am thick-skulled, the conversation began at 10:30 and ended around 11:03 online when I gave up and called grandma. It was then she told me today was the anniversary of the death of my grandfather who died in 1979 (I was born 1982)….and it was near the time of his death.

Here is the conversation,  I thought the friend was “testing” me, so I was trying my best. Turns out, he was not the one asking “What can you tell me about Freyr?” repeatedly. After I would type my reply, the question would disappear. I did my best to reinsert where it was asked over and over of me. I could have written more on Freyr, but I realized things were getting odd and I had a strange feeling. I am glad I called my grandma.

Here is the conversation:

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: Sure! In Lettish, Freyr is Janīs.

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: He ushers in true summer by riding his flaxen-haired horse over the bonfire of each village. In Asatru, it is called Freyfaxi (my wedding anniversary) in Latvia, it is called Janī, but the traditions are near identical.

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: He is a kind, laughing God who gave up his blessed sword for love.
He is growing things, like all Vanir, the God of crops as they grow but not yet matured
His Sister Freyja brings Spring and the waking from winter, and the reaping is either Frigg, Frau Holle, or some say Hela and the Hunt.
The problem is every [Old Religion] family has their own unique understanding. I hope we don’t lose them. Our religion is best left a colorful quilt instead of a dull blanket of one weave.

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Even without a sword, he is a mighty warrior who does battle with an antler of a stag attached to a pole….
Tyr claims in the Lokisenna, “There is no better warrior” than Freyr.
Despite the existence of Thor, Magni, Modi, and Vidarr
Which suggest it isn’t strength alone that makes a Warrior…but love.
Both Frey and Freyja are Gods of love…but the accounts vary per culture.
In Deitsch, Frey is marital love, Freyja “free” love of youth.
But some ascribe that marital part also to Frigg
It gets confusing.
However….as I age, I grow more opposed to forcing Universalism. The Gods decide themselves how they wish to interact with us, our families, our histories, etc.
I believe limiting Them to only one, ‘universal’ interpretation takes away from understanding and learning to know them personally.
I hope I’m not too boring.

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

I know Freyr because He chose my grandma. She married a soldier of Tyr.
I always believed Grandpa is a Tyrsman. 
My uncle should have been Heimdallrs, but left the Old Religion. My mother has no one. My father’s side is Woten/Donar/Loki/Holle/Frigg

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: Scroll up
He’s hairy, I don’t know him Deitsch, only Latvian and via the Eddas.
He has long, blonde, curly hair, a beautiful blonde beard, and is shorter than I see other male Gods. In Latvia, his symbol is the erect phallus.
Do you keep typing ” What can you tell me about Freyr?”
Or is that an error?

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: I’m trying!!! 🙂

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: O.o

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: Freyr is kind, gentle, and benevolent. He cares deeply and shows emotion freely.
It’s still repeating ” What can you tell me about Freyr?”
This is….odd.
This must mean something that the same message Keeps repeating. I promise I’ll call my grandma tomorrow😉
….and the message stopped when I wrote that…

Friend: Thank you. I felt the pull too.

Me: Talking to Grandma right now. She said Grandpa died today almost 40 years ago [It was now 11:30 pm] He died 1979…checking time of messages.
Crazy. It started right after his time of death
I’m glad you were here for this, my friend.

End conversation.

She asked him today to send her a sign he was still around, this was the fb conversation that lead to me calling her at 11pm at night, she was awake…actually putting on her nightgown just as she was the night she died. We stayed on the phone until almost midnight and I told her, “I guess this is how he wanted to tell you he is still around. I wouldn’t have called you so late without this happening on my computer.” I was thinking about him today, half my right arm tattoo is complete, but I promised the other half to Tyr and I thought of a design that both honored my grandfather and Tyr… Grandpa was an SS Lieutenant from Latvia. I have felt upset over the fact that in war, history records things as black and white, but without Germany, half my family would have been killed entirely by Stalin, if Germany won- the Baltic states would have been freed and they could have returned home to their remaining families.  Grandma would still have her farm, and I believe she would have met Grandpa and married him even more easily in such a small country since he lived in Riga- a place where my Grandma’s father traveled frequently.

My grandmother’s family was very kindly treated and sheltered in Germany while most of the rest of my ancestors and relatives died in Siberian death camps. My grandparents met in the US years later, married, and had my mother and uncle. Grandpa was listed as “assassinated” despite dying in a hospital of cancer. He had multiple names. I knew of him as Valdis Valdemars Meznora, I am told he also went by Valdamars Grinberga- prior to the movement of Latvians changing their surnames away from the ones given by Germany in the 1800’s to Latvian names. He may have been Latgalian, he knew the old religion, and was fluent in writing in runic, but I have not seen his writing.

I know very little about him except for anecdotes. My (now estranged) mother told me often as a child how much he would have “despised” or “hated” me if he were still living. When I was in college learning diplomacy, I had access to his records and did not know it was only a temporary window- so I have deep regret I did not take the time from my studies to learn more about him.

Now, I can find nothing. What I learned then is he began in the Latvian military which was then absorbed by the German military to keep back the Russian front. He tested well enough to become an SS officer, then defected and worked for the British Secret Service.  (But Grandma says he was a POW brick layer- both are likely true to some degree)

Something he did angered Britain… (Grandma said he tried to go back to Latvia to see his parents and was denied the opportunity)  and he was forced to move to the United States under operation paperclip under the false pretense he would still be able to continue a career in a military capacity- instead, he was trapped here and unable to leave until he was dying, and then, only to visit his sister in Canada.  In the US, he drove a bread truck of Latvian Rye bread and then became head of maintenance for a local hospital for his remaining years. He wanted to remain a military man, I was told he loved children- but never said “I love you”- I was told by grandma he would say “There is no point in saying it. if you do not feel that I do, I cannot convince you.”

He died young, in his 50’s, while my uncle and mother were teenagers.

I learned today he died in his hospital room this day in 1979. He was awake and conversational, paralyzed from the waist down after he lifted a motorcycle from his parking space days prior and the doctor would not allow him to leave “until he could walk”.  He died in the hospital in which he worked. The day he passed, he was discussing making modifications to the house he (we- I was raised there until age 12) lived in the day he died to his friend to  accommodate a wheel chair and was demanding to be released home that day. My grandmother received the call of his death in 1979 the same time I called her this evening.

Here is his picture of him in Britain, Grandma said he was a POW and a bricklayer.   What very little research I did accomplish stated he worked for them via MI6.  If this is true, he was truly a brilliant man.


Grandpa in Britain on one of his motorcycles.  He had a collection I am told.  (Not very POW of him)  I keep this picture on my bookshelf with a statue of Tyr

In an era prior to caller ID or cell phones, he always “knew” if my grandmother was in trouble and would wait by the phone at work for her to call, or call himself- and was always accurate.

I was also told, like myself, he spent years exploring every religion imaginable while in the US.  Grandma said he was “looking for something”- but she did not know what.  She didn’t feel comfortable is churches or other religious institutions that were not Latvian-  I suggested it was because she was already “sure of her beliefs” being raised to honor the old Gods and what she now calls “the other religion” (Christianity)… and perhaps, he had a mystical experience of a God he could not explain or sought to learn more of.

I am extraordinarily proud of her for being openly Dievturiba (Old Religion) … she is one of the main reasons I am still encouraged to stay within the Heathen community and write.  She translates her books from Latvian on the Gods, and I share the information here when she does.

I would like to end by saying this:  Simply because my grandfather was once an SS officer does not automatically make him a “bad man”, nor does it mean I support any of the atrocities of war.  What needs to be CLEARLY understood is my own family experienced a genocide by Stalin that is seldom spoken of in the United States- and those of my blood who went to Siberia, very few returned leaving less than 700 full-Latvian, Dievturiba practitioners left in the entire world today.

I am only half-Latvian, I do not speak more than a handful of words and my mental condition makes it difficult to recall the languages outside of English I was once either barely to conversationally fluent  (German, Farsi, French, and Spanish, in order of fluency).

Being in a military, any military- and trying to protect your people and your homeland is honorable, regardless of how history paints it afterwards.  We have not found any negative history on him- he was adaptable, and if he were truly the archetype of “evil nazi”- then why would he have worked for Britain and then sought to work for the United States intelligence and military?

I honor him as adaptable, clever, and deeply caring and intelligent.  I have no other explanation for what happened this evening other than that my greatest association with Freyr is Grandma, and he would not stop asking the question until I called her to check on her.

She’s 84. I was honestly scared it was a message something had happened to her since she is my closest connection to everything I’ve learned on Freyr/Janis and she is currently the relative to which I am closest emotionally.

End note. I don’t think my Grandfather hates me if he wanted me to call Grandma to see if she was okay on the anniversary of his death which I never knew prior.  What little I know of his temperament is he valued honesty above all else, he was very intelligent, fluent in multiple languages, spoke with a British accent, was very handsome, and quite psychic.

I wish I met him while he still lived among us.

Maybe he was not a Tyrsman after all, perhaps, like Grandma, he was of Janis (Freyr).

*Note:  Although I contribute to the forums, I do not have the right to call myself a member.  I have not completed the rites as stated in the book “The Odin Brotherhood” by Mark Mirabello, and sadly, I have foot surgery scheduled this Friday and will miss yet another solstice to recovery.  Please read the book;  It’s very good.

Vilkan. (Fiction)

Posted in About me on May 12, 2016 by Alana Smithee

Cyo Karalis had an abnormally long life as a man, and never once observed over a losing battle… but he was growing older and the forces from the south were growing more bold with their influence, their murders, and their intent on invasion.

Hunting with his eagle, he and his cousin Vilkan Prinz would spend their time in the wild fields at dawn, feeling that those who truly served their people- should serve them in all ways- feeding them included.  Karalis’ birds were as large as men, but more loyal- and could bring back enough game in a single hunt to feast nightly on venison and boar.  Karalis lived in the great hall as did Vilkan, called “Vilks” for short- and at times of war, it was them both who always succeeded in organizing the free folk against invasion of humans or predators.

It was a time when no one went hungry, Vilks was a master hunter- while Karalis was engaged in the more diplomatic aspects of life- forging alliances, diplomacy, and trade; Vilks created glorious tools and weaponry and seeked to tame the wildest predatory animals to not only come to his hand, but to serve him willingly in his hunts, favoring the great wolves- for they were the only ones who were loyal as Karalis’ birds.  His abilities at the hunt and at war frightened most men, but they said nothing.  His father was a master magician, brilliant  but absent in frequent travelling and his mother was a warrior  Queen whose name still trembled on the lips of old men who had lost their kindred, limbs, and sanity to her and her campaigns.

However, his mother was not permitted to live within the country under curse of death,  For there were no rulers in their land.  It was Karalis who raised him in the absence of his distant father, and in fact, taught him most things that made other people part as he passed down the trails and valleys, afraid to speak to him or of him.  Vilks looked at people the same way he viewed prey.  Sharp green eyes, hair, long, dark and unkempt and a beard that was haphazardly trimmed with nothing more than a few brisk slashes of blades sharpened to such fine degree they were said to be able to cut sunbeams twain.

For as little as the people loved Vilkan, Vilks loved his people fiercely; he knew of the fear he had inherited from his mighty mother- but, the intelligence he inherited from his father reassured him that it did not matter what people thought of him, instead, what mattered was what he did for them, appreciated or not.  His smile frightened children, but he smiled knowing that the steel he created allowed for those children to have a chance to grow old- both in nourishment and in their protection.

Karalis was facing war with the South, a place even further South of which his own mother had been born, but he had no Diplomacy to give and the People he cared for were growing few in number as the North became colder and the winters took lives as their sacrifice for the promise of Spring, said the religions.  The Colder the winter, the more people died in those frigid nights as they offered themselves up and walked without clothing into the woods in madness of dreaming of warmth again.

Spring always returned.  The population, however, did not…. and for each new child born did not replace the number of those who died on those bitter, black nights.

War reddened the distant mountains, the smoke from the fires  of offering to a new god of burnt towns and the smell of charred flesh distressed those who lived downwind in the valleys.

Karalis, ancient Karalis- in all his years of rule had finally faced a physical battle he knew could not be won.   In knowing this- he contacted the people of his mother’s lands and requested a parlay of their choosing.  He too, loved his people- but he feared he could no longer protect them himself, not even with the strength of Vilkan, the finest weapons, or the wisest of words.

In fact, it was Vilkan’s father who had returned with distant kin who offered protection of the people, but at a price.

“To have our protection, you must give us your weapons and we will protect you.”

But, at that time- to be unarmed in the North was also a sort of death- it removed the freedom to hunt as well as the freedom to protect oneself from harm, and it was a time where there were more things than simply other humans that could harm a family.

Bears prowled the woods, untamed wolves still stole children from their mother’s and devoured the elderly in the fields if one was not always mindful.  Although each man and woman carried weapons forged, sharpened, and kissed by the one known as Vilkan Prinz:  They did not know it.

He didn’t tell them.  He knew they feared him as they feared his mother- so he simply created his art in the hidden rooms of the hall of Cyo Karalis- appearing to be either an army of blacksmiths by his work seen alone- or incredible negotiation skills with traders that allowed for no one born to have an empty hand.

Every evening, the townspeople would meet in the great hall and share supper- back then there were no “kings”-  each woman and man ruled only themselves and chose to remain, or chose to leave as they saw fit without reprisal from any greater authority.  Those that stayed, despite the growing cold, could not bear to leave the only home they knew- or the last of the free places.

They united for centuries to fight to protect that home- and then at peace, they shared what they had with one another in food and resources, and in loves and friendships.

Karalis stood:

“My people, we are dying.  As I am aging and the world grows cold the village has been drained both by death and migration.  However, Raudonas Lapsayda has returned with a leader from the kinder Southlands than the one’s who burn our skies with their funeral pyres of our distant neighbors.  If we are unmindful, those fires will consume us as well.”

Raudonas shared nothing of appearance with his son Vilks except in the same predatory green eyes.  Where Vilkan was grand with muscle, his father was slender by comparison from miles of walking, his grace in eloquence was effortless where Vilks only grace was on the hunting fields, not among man nor woman.  Vilks hair was long, matted, and coarse against tanned skin- and Raudonas, like his name had the smooth, scarlet hair of a fox against the white snow that lent color to his complexion.

Raudonas spoke:

“Brothers, Sisters, Daughters, and Sons-  I have missed you.  I have missed decades of friends, years of births, and was absent for tears of mourning I did not know to shed for our beloved dead.  However, I left for greater purpose-  I left to allow us to continue to live and for our way of life to continue.  I have found a mighty empire- and I have made their King my brother in blood, sworn in fealty to protect you, my family- but I do not know if you will be willing to accept the price.”

“What price is that, father?” Vilks growled,   “An EMPIRE said you… ‘Empires’ ask for servitude, Empires require bent knees in subservience, and taxes of our food to feed their mouths as children starve.   What would they require of us, that we would be willing to pay?”

“All weapons.” his father restated, ” ..but in exchange- we live, under the protection of thousands of armed men and women who would protect us- we have an empire in the South in which we may live and not have our babes freeze to the breasts of their mothers frozen milk.  It is this, or we die, unremembered, buried by snows and by time- my son.”

Vilkan roared his displeasure and upturned the table at which he sat- and exclaimed:

“You condemn us to death by conversion to servitude. Without our weapons- we cannot hunt, we cannot fend off the bears or bandits that roam hungry in the days and nights in the woods.  You.  Left. Us.  To live a life in palaces as a tamed dog and now you wish that same collar to be worn by the free folk in this hall?  Are you insane?”

Raudonas lips were thin with displeasure, but did not speak,  Vilks continued:

“You may have my weapons only if you can chain me.  I am a weapon, I am a weapon of my people.   I have filled the stomachs of everyone in this room, and I have the blood of so many creatures on my hands that would have brought harm to us in your absence while you reek of honey and roses, your hands are soft  and haven’t forged a single weapon  where every person here holds a sword crafted by my hands.  You have done nothing, but offer us chains…and if they must be worn, *I* alone will wear them, not our family.

You have forgotten the value of our way of life- and what good is “magic” if it still means we have to leave.  If you are so brilliant, then burn away the snows, father.  Call back the sun in midwinter and make her shine upon our fields, and if you cannot, shove your so called ‘magic’ up your arse and prance back to your Lords and Ladies as their lapdog and continue your life apart from your kinsfolk.

We live and die as nature wills us, but I will not allow my people to die as slaves to your gaudy “royalty” in exchange for our right to keep our own lives as our own.”

The people, though few and fearful of Vilkan found themselves at awe.  They had not known that he was the one who crafted their weapons, nor that it was not Cyo Karalis with his eagle alone who was feeding them each night.

From the shadows, came a man in dark blue cloak,  travel worn and old- but not so old as Karalis.  His beard was long and his hat brim so long it obscured his eyes.

“For palaces of lords and ladies of leisure, I admit I am in short supply… and doubtful I smell of anything better than the long road I traveled to get here.  We are your kin.  Look at me, and look at yourselves and see that we are the same.  My hair is your hair, my skin is your skin, and yes- I may be a king, but I am a man; I walked until my shoes wore thin, and my bones ached to reach you.

I am not a king who requires one to bow or one to die.  We do not ask for your tools of the hunt, simply your tools of war- for I have armies of men and women who beg for the honor to die in battles so it would be needless for you to do so.  In our villages in the South, the cold brings us closer instead of thinning our herds and our families.  I am offering you a home in the South, with us, your cousins- your number is less than that than grains in a child’s hand, and among you, are children- would you have them die up here instead?”

Vilkan replied:

“I counteroffer.  My people may be few, but we do not fear for war.  All things die, it is by mindfulness we live.   Let me be the weapon you take away, and allow Karalis to serve as our voice still among the elders of all other tribes with all honors he is entitled- and I will break every chain and fetter your people can devise,  I am the son of Raudonas Lapsayda, they call me Vilkans Prinz, The prince of the wolves in a land with no princes- and if you listen, you can hear them howling to taste the blood of your throat.”

“I doubt that,” the old man replied calmly as two sets of yellow eyes came from the darkness behind him, padding softly on furred feet,  “It seems that the wolves themselves  in both lands are finding it better to forge alliances with mankind than to brave the cold alone.”

And so, the people moved South outpacing the winter cold to a land that was kinder- however, the “distant Kin” did not understand their ways.  Where diplomacy was based on honesty in the old village- it was now games of what Vilkan saw as meaningless words.   He intentionally frightened those of his new home, to keep them at a safe distance and to preserve the culture of his people as Karalis spent his days in lively discussion with elder men and women who called themselves “kings” and “queens”.   The new place feared him, and again, he feared them not.

They were said to be family, but he did not know them- and instead of hating him for the reputation of his mother, they hated him for his strength out of their own fear.

He began to take the children of his village out hunting, and they began to adore him- they became fierce and fearless- clever and quick.   What respect was had for the food that he adorned this foreign table, was overshadowed by the scent of mistrust.

They took him up on the offer to bind him, and laughingly, he agreed.   His father was a magician, and he, a smith- there was no lock or chain he could not find weakness, and every fetter fell to the ground in minutes and was kicked away in disgust.   His people cheered, but those native to the home in which they lived grew more fearful of the unrest of the new people among them.

Karalis was tasked with neutralizing his adopted son, as was Raudonas who spent hours in thought.  If Vilkan was not contained, the people would riot and attempt to return back North to their death, but if he were killed, war would occur in this new land.

Together, with the wolf-leader of the Southern tribes- they decided to bind him by an Oath that could not be broken, a chain of metaphors that would cost his honor and reputation to destroy.

And so, they created a grand ceremony- and Vilkan stood bravely before thousands of people of South and North and stood before Karalis and the elders of the new land.

“I see no chains, and I do not trust this.  Before, there were not thousands to witness your attempts to bind me for your amusement… among our people, a man is not considered a warrior if he loses his sword hand.   If there is deception, and it was lead by you, Karalis, the sharp-eyed children I have trained would like the oath that you will give your hand, and with it, your honor.”

Karalis hesistated, but replied: “That is fair.”

Then, Karalis asked him to swear an Oath, and to trust him… and repeated line by line an Oath unknown to him, that  by the sound of a cat’s footsteps, the beard of a woman, the roots of stones, the breath of a fish, and the spittle of a bird – that he would no longer fight nor hunt, forge no steel, and teach no youths further in order to preserve the peace until their world was consumed with the fires of war.

In other words, things which don’t exist, and against which it’s therefore futile to break…for one cannot break an Oath sworn on things that cannot fail since they cannot exist.

The people of the North, seeing this deception of words instead of honorable, solid metal- fell upon Karalis and took his hand for breaking his Oath against deceptions, and with it, he lost his Honor among his own people, but gained favor among the new.

The Old People returned North, and then they sought their own alliances with their Northern kin, the Barbarian Queen who never used words to deceive, and gladly swore fealty to her and lived free as wolves in new forests…and Cyo Karalis remained loyal to his people- North and South, by watching over them always despite his loss of his Honor to his home and his refusal to hide his shame in Oathbreaking to the new, remaining with Vilkan, his only friend, in a foreign land.

Vilkan waits until the fires still to teach the young how to fight, to hunt, and to forge…and his father Raudonas ended up imprisoned for the ways of the North and the South were not the same.

Honesty means different things in different places, as does Honor.    Only Cyo Karalis remained of the North to care for his people- forever, as all were made Gods immortal by the telling  and retellings of their story into antiquity.

History is forged by the winners.



Cyo Karalis:
“Cyo”- Tyr in Old Saxon, “Karalis”- King in Latvian

Vilkan “Vilks” Prinz:
“Vilkan”/”Vilks” – Wolf in Lithuanian/Latvian.   Prinz- “Prince”, Modern German.

Raudonas Lapsayda:
“Raudonas”- Crimson in Lithuanian, “Lapsayda”- lapsāda- Latvian for “Fox”.

(I created these names from various languages- this tale takes place at the beginning of an iceage)

In Defense of Loki | A BELTANE SPECIAL

Posted in About me on May 4, 2016 by Alana Smithee

Beautifully executed and brilliant!

Tahni J. Nikitins


A totally unplanned and thus un-revised poem written in response to an interaction I witnessed in a pagan ritual space today (May Day or Beltane!)

In Defense of Loki
While I was quietly to myself
Saying my prayer to Angrboda
Too timid to say it out loud
Too timid to raise my voice
When I said Sigyn’s name*
The women on the other side of the circle were busy
Being far braver than I.
“Hail to Loki:
Said they
“Who is more than chaos and rage
But is also change.”
And nearer to where I sat
A woman of that Asatru bent.
“Be careful what you wish for.
Change can be all to hard to bear.”
Yes, think I in my silence place
But all the stronger we come out then
On the other side
And change so often necessary—
The only catalyst of growth—
And without growth

View original post 727 more words

Modifying the “Serenity Prayer” for public HEATHEN context

Posted in About me on April 18, 2016 by Alana Smithee

In the funeral industry, there is a common Christian prayer that has been modified to suit pretty much every other faith but ours… it begins with:

“God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.”

After reading the full version, I have created a rough one for Heathenry.  Feel free to make suggestions, modify, or use it as you may.  Since it is so common, this may be useful and familiar and easier to use for funerals of mixed faith…or even as a guide for some who have transitioned from Christianity into this path to understand the differences in our perspectives between the wisdom of the Aes as compared to Christian philosophy.

Here my Odinist/Asatru/Heathen modification (written VERY quickly):

Gods, help me develop the wisdom* to accept with serenity/understanding (your choice)
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change all things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as inevitable
Taking solace, as Odin did in that:
The strands of fate as already written
woven by the Norns
and by the deeds of others
Not as I would have it,
but designed by forces unknown to me.
Trusting that all things,
have their ending
and new things begin
If I stand proud,
and do not bow my head in surrender
That I may live an honorable life
And my legacy of word of my good deeds
will live long beyond the time I pass from Midgard


The original prayer was written by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr….and goes:
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Seeing as other faiths made their own versions, ours was long overdue.

Hopefully, it can serve some use to even one of you  in either context.


Zion’s Lutheran Cemetery in Berks County, PA


*Edit added via suggestion written by “Tyrsman”.

Frith and the Wolf Sled

Posted in About me on April 5, 2016 by Alana Smithee


Image from Frey Carriage Company-relevant later in post

One of the hearts of the local Witchcraft scene has an absolutely glorious facebook of quotes.  Today, he shared:


And I thanked him- it has been a topic I’ve been putting off writing on for a while.   However, I need to make the amendment to the sentiment by also saying this applies to blood family as well.  The family who is sweet to your face but venom behind your back is terrible.

This is not a passive-aggressive post, I don’t believe in that.  What I want to talk about is an issue I have been struggling with for several years with my paternal grandparents.  I have nothing to hide and I’m honestly at a loss both intellectually and holistically regarding my perplexing relationship with them.

Both are entirely too German- they aren’t Nazi’s (that was my maternal grandfather who was assassinated in 1979- but he also worked for the Allies, too.) It’s the ethic of what is verbot or not to talk about, to see, and express.

There are so many prohibitions in Pennsylvania Deitsch culture and taboos I am honestly more perplexed by converts to Urglaawe than any other Heathen practice as soon as the novelty of hex signs and cute, pacifistic holiday celebration wears off.   To be raised in Pennsylvania, to be Pa Dutch, and then to be immersed in our culture by being surrounded by others of the same lineage really solidifies the cultural identity of our ancestry.  What credit is due is that being accepted/recognized as Deitsch is pretty easy.  Either a single ancestor or being accepted into any family is usually enough.

We may be cold, emotionless, stolid, joyless people… but we are accepting of good people.

The Pa German ethic as I’ve observed in my family (not reflected in the Urglaawe religion, and hopefully  some never to be incorporated):

1. Keep your problems to yourself, handle it yourself, and if you cannot, you have failed.
2. If an elder decides you have “brought shame” to the family, you have.
3. Hand Tools Need To Be Treated With Respect.  The older the hand tool, the better it is.
4. If someone is sick, hide them.  No one wants to see weakness.
5. Always have several back-up plans.
6. Work hard, play little, die miserable- then haunt your relatives until they die.
7. Your dead relatives are watching you.  Don’t fuck up or they will haunt you regardless.
8. Know how to do every practical task to maintain a home, from cooking to carpentry.
If you don’t know how to do it by the time adulthood begins, you have failed.
9.  Intelligence/Ingenuity uber alles. Dumkopfs verboten es.
10. Respect the dead.  A visit to a cemetery is no less important than visiting the living.

Needless to say, I have utterly and totally discarded many of these 10 basic observations I listed off the top of my head- except for 3,5,7,8, 9 and 10 to various degrees.

However, as grim as this may sound- we also had a story called the “wolf sled”- which seems to be fought over between Olde Germany and countries in the former Soviet Bloc.

The story goes like this, roughly, details change per culture:

The Wolf-Sled

Grandmother (in some stories, grandfather, but women live longer)  was getting on in years and was becoming “troublesome” so Vater (father) called his young son to help him hitch up a special sled in the barn and help him gather granddmother to ride with them.
“What is this sled? I have not seen it before.” asked the son,

Father told him it was called The Wolf Sled and it was used in the family for centuries for a special purpose.  The father showed the son how to attach the horses to the sled and off they went away from all paved roads headed towards the wilderness.

The child asked his father, “Where are we going?”
His father replied, “We are going to the Wolf-woods, grandmother is old and troublesome.  It is our tradition when this happens we take our elders in the wolf-sled to the wood, and the wolves decide if they come back or not.”

Father unhitched the two horses and gave one to the son…together they left grandmother and the sled behind them.

The son asked the father, “But father, what about the sled?  I will need it for when you become old and troublesome.”

And so the story always ends…the father abruptly turned around and retrieved the grandparent and destroyed the wolf-sled when they returned to the village.

It sounds pretty benevolent in the end- how cruel it was that the practice existed to take our elderly into the woods and leave them to be devoured by wolves or to see if they could wander back into town undevoured!

However, there is a hidden subtext to this story that is overlooked:  What exactly do you do when the person you knew as a loving grandparent becomes hateful through dementia?

As in all other forms of Heathenry, reputation is very important as is one’s name and legacy. In modern times, this has translated to shoving our elderly into nursing facilities like a wolf-wood with no escape.

No doubt, there are many good hearted, kind elderly people who are trapped in nursing homes.  Then there are the assholes with dementia who act like possessed gremlins, bite people, and generally cause absolute havoc first on the family then on the nurses they are eventually dumped on.  From observations in my own life, the dementia that causes absolute discord seems to be mostly found in people of some form of German descent..and usually women.

I miss my Nana.  She’s far from dead; she still leads a very active social life in her retirement community of tea party elderly folk and has little time for the rest of the family anymore… which may be for the best considering it seems everything she says is intentionally meant to hurt or harm the person to whom she speaks.  Worse, what she says to our faces compares nothing to the cruelty of the words spoken when we are not present.

For the majority of my life she was the most loving, supportive person I had.  We called each other almost daily until I was 26 years old, she was my best friend and my favorite relative.

Then, it all changed Thanksgiving of my second year of college (I returned to college in my late 20’s).  It began with the gravy- her screaming that it was the “wrong color” despite us assuring her it looked great. My grandfather and I helped bring all the food to the table, and we both told her with all honesty it was delicious- she called us liars and other insults.
After the meal was completed, this woman who was renowned as much for her OCD as her intelligence began to just randomly BREAK DISHES because she did not like the water pressure in her elaborate kitchen.  She was trying to carry them to the laundry room (which had no room for such a thing!) and refused help to do so- and yet, with each dish she broke she blamed my grandfather and I.

Pop pop walked me out to my car and said with all sincerity he was “getting her tested” and that he would call me and let me know the results.  The call never came.

In fact, every possible reason and method that could be employed to estrange me was used by my grandfather up to and including telling me I was a failure and a disgrace to the family when I was discharged from the psychiatric hospital for being suicidal.
His exact words: “Mental illness doesn’t exist; you would have shamed the family less if you succeeded in killing yourself”. and “If it is in your mind, then you can correct it.”

He was offended I was diagnosed with the same condition as his close relative (relation yet to be determined- Dad and I call him “Uncle Grandpa” over ambiguity of family stories over when this man was a POW) who was a decorated war veteran.

Instead of realizing and understanding that the predisposition to developing C-PTSD has been proven to be genetic.

My deceased maternal grandfather modified grandma’s house to make the inner walls into hard-to-access rooms.  This reaction to  “shellshock” was not derided and when I explained my condition to my Latvian grandma she understood it immediately and explained how it affected my grandpa.

My paternal grandparents act like I murdered small children or molested goats for their total disrespect and lack of care for all I have worked hard to achieve in life, for my successes, for anything positive at all, really.

I have never addressed this in public before- but knowing positively he tested for Alzheimer’s and Nana’s dementia (or whatever deteriorative neurological condition it may be)…

How would it feel to him if I told him that their brain conditions were “all in their head” and that they “bring shame to the family by not killing themselves,”?

How does it feel to have a condition in YOUR heads?

I am 34 years old and I am discovering that my allergies and genetic conditions most closely resemble those of my Nana who I cannot talk to without her finding something hurtful to say.

A women who was never thin during my time on this Earth apparently refers to me as “fat, useless, and tacky” to other people in the family.  She accused me of being a member of ISIS for studying Irani diplomacy in college and would hear no explanation that Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia are entirely distinct countries.

She blamed me for President Obama being elected to office a second term- I didn’t vote that election, and furthermore, SHE voted him in the first election.

In Pennsylvania, most of us are third party voters outside of presidential elections.  Unlike the rest of the country, there is no “divide” between Republicans and Democrats- most of us are everything but those two parties ideologically and only join the parties to vote.

They were always Libertarians- unfortunately, even through the hijacking of the teaparty and modification of the ideals of the party.  I changed to Independent.   The men always go Republican, the women Democrat… without even telling my husband this, he fell right into the same routine.  Our theory is “One on each side votes out the worst each party has to offer”.   ( Hence, why I re-registered after trying my damnedest to stay neutral.)

She told my father she “Would never want to visit my house”… and my father didn’t understand why it hurt me.

This was the woman who was there for all my surgeries in my 20’s and held my hand until they injected me with enough Valium to down a horse.  She fought for me when no one else would when I was a child.  She claimed to love me.  Was the love dependent on a narcissistic view of her expectations for me, or did it die with her mental deterioration?

Their old house was my safe haven where I was always welcome and accepted as myself.  A rare thing for a German pansexual in the puritanical USA.  They drew the line at tattoos and my freaky colored hair- but if that is truly what caused the estrangement, that is a poor excuse indeed.  As is changing my name… Ren is the name I have been called since I was 12- further, I’m married.  I have my husband’s name (and the kindness of HIS family!)

Since prior to my birth my family has been rendered apart and forced into needlesss conflict over their will since my Pop pop had an illustrious career as a college vice president and occasional professor despite holding no higher degrees of education himself.

I do not want any part of the money and greed that made my second cousins hate my grandparents, and my great Uncle Barry unwilling to talk to me or my father.  If I am  in the will by some odd oversight, I will gladly sign a notarized letter with the Philadelphia Zoo whenever requested giving them the sole right to all financial conflicts in my name vis a vis my grandparent’s eventual death that I want no part of in my eventual future. (unless they outlive me)

I choose the Philadelphia Zoo because it was always one of their favorite charities, my only request would be for a Tanuki exhibit.  Tanuki need more conservation than I do or any other person in our bloodline.


These are Tanuki, they are from Japan and there are very few of them.  Save the Tanuki.


I will not change my name to suit you.  I do not want your checks, and you do not have any financial power over my life as you do others in my family. What do I want?  I want the close affectionate and intellectual relationship I had with you before you decided I was your enemy.  If you do not see me as your enemy or your embarrassment, the extraordinary efforts you have made to insult my existence these last years and distance me from you has been successful.  If you want to “buy” me something, buy a frame for me to hang my BA proudly and hang it in your own house too.  Be proud of what I accomplished despite my difficulties.

I make sure I call you to thank you for your cards when you are not home because you are abusive… but were not always.

Which leads me to this painful thought:  What happens to people with dementia after they die?  Do they revert to the best of who they were before the disease or was the “wolf sled” a way of saving us from watching those we love deteriorate and become hateful, horrible people who delight in stepping on people who they judge unseemly?

My father in law has Alzheimer’s and he is far from “troublesome” in anywhere close to the same capacity or category.  He can still say a kind word and mean it genuinely.  He can drive people nuts, but he has a good heart.  I can honestly say I cannot say with certainty the same for my own paternal grandparents.

What do I lose by this post when for the past 3 years the only positive experience I have of my grandparents is my grandfather approving my home prior to me buying it- but on the phone blasting me for not “walking away” because I did not care that the seller would not reduce the price further?

I wasn’t bargain hunting- I was looking for a place my husband and I could grow old together comfortably.  I love this house and property and it is my joy.  I do not want more than this.

Then… deriding me for asking to learn some carpentry from him only to be told to “watch YouTube” being insulted AGAIN for not buying internet for a house in which I did not yet live in and to hear him insult my uncle and father as suffering “acquired helplessness” from his “help” before…but yet, both my father and uncle are quite adept on their own at home repair (I am assuming about my uncle…again, we are basically strangers but I was impressed he could make a cool cat-tree.)

The last time I visited them in their home I asked Nana just to write a page about Deutsche folkcraft in which she was raised…and now, I fear it is too late.  They both accused me of being in ISIS and claimed I was directly responsible for Obama being in the white house despite the fact I did not vote.  In fact, Nana voted for him the first time around when she had more of her mental facilities intact.  Violent insurgents in Iran are not my “friends” nor anyone I know…and intentionally bringing up things that harmed me is in poorer taste than the tattoos I wear that embarrass you but do not ask what they mean.

I spent 5 hours in an interrogation chamber for my desire to be a diplomat- my Pop pop dodged the draft.  I served in the AmeriCorps which has been derided by them since I successfully concluded my term saying it “ruined the trajectory of my life”, but yet, my fondest memories of all are from living in Tahlequah… I may not be military but I believe I have more in common as far as true patriotism with my dead ancestor than my living family.

It is claimed my student loan debt was the cause of upset- I didn’t ask for you to pay some of them off, but I was grateful.  Now they are entirely dismissed due to my disability which is not just my head, but, ironically also my heart which is defective.

At my wedding, despite years of claiming to “not recall” how to speak German she certainly knew how to criticize the Urglaawe polyglot who performed our beautiful, rustic ceremony.  Not a Mainline extravaganza held in a country club- but an open-invite potluck held in a park closer to the way things were.  I am old enough to recognize the pattern that the more expensive and lavish the wedding, the shorter the marriage.  My wedding was simple because the marriage is more important.  To hear that behind my back it was not viewed positively is a tall order from people married by a justice of the peace prior to falling into wealth.

Not all “advancement” of society is positive- and after a lifetime of hearing about how my grandparents “rose above their family of farmers, machinists, and soldiers”- what I have learned is that the honesty of farmers, machinists, and soldiers is the company I prefer to keep over the pretension of the Nouveau rich.

I didn’t “lose my way”. I am using my college degree every day…and there are (amazingly) things more important than wealth- human connection, leaving a positive legacy to one’s friends and community, to keep learning and growing in wisdom and to treasure people who challenge me to be my best self among them.  My value is that which other’s give me as a gift, both positive and negative, not pieces of green paper or numbers on a screen.

One’s “best” is not determined by their net worth.  The Christians did have a point about wealth being an obstacle to “heaven”.   Materialism creates a hell of suspicion and paranoia that those of modest incomes do not suffer so profoundly.

The wolf sled had a purpose, perhaps it is a shame we are so fearful of death in this modern age that we do not recognize that spiritual damage occurs when we allow people to live too long to the point where all their beautiful qualities die in the spitefulness of dementia and fear.

William Theodore Hunsberger – for as much as you look yourself up, are you happy that you found this?  This is how I feel.  This is why I intentionally seek your voicemail to thank you for your cards twice a year for a card with a cheque written to the wrong name always.  I hope Nana passes away before you do because maybe, just maybe there is a chance there is still something salvageable of kindness in you if you ever learn that money didn’t “solve” your problems, it caused them.

Start painting again,  Pop pop.  Plant your own damned gardens because you were excellent  at it, and to talk to me kindly  – that means more to me than money and baskets of junk food or cheques. Of this family, I am the truth teller.  I am the person who exposes everything we are and have been as a family.  I am open about my flaws, my faults, and my failures- which is a first for any of our line.

Before this is downplayed as my “mental illness”- keep in mind this blog is viewed by hundreds of people around the world who find me quite sane,  Furthermore, since I have actually been in an psychiatric hospital- I am one of the few in the world who can claim I am certified “not insane” or I would still be in there.

I cannot say the same for Alzheimer’s patients, now can I?

Wolf. Sled.

Honoring Intellectual Property of Artists

Posted in Justice on April 4, 2016 by Alana Smithee

I do not consider myself an artist- but I am friends with many whose income comes directly from their ability to draw or their musical skills.  I see outrage when a political party uses a song without permission by the artist who performed it without asking permission first and, rightly, the artist has the right to that rage since usually, when their work is used in such a fashion: as a symbol of a movement, person, or organization- that the ideals of the organization who co-opted the work is in direct opposition to the beliefs of the artist in question.

This too, is especially true for those in graphic design and the tattoo industry.  Clients ask for a specific work to meet their idea, the artist agrees or declines to create the work the client requests, and if there is mutual agreement, the art is created for use as a tattoo, logo, or even just art for the sake of art.  It is a business transaction.

Despite our Heathen ethic of Integrity and Honor- I am finding little honor online for my artist friends who have their work stolen, not properly credited, modified, and even worse, used without permission to represent organizations without permission or payment.  This is theft-  no different than going to a craftsman of a physical piece of work, such as a drinking horn, stealing it, and then adding your own modifications, claiming it to be your own, and then mass-producing that horn to which you never had the right in the first place.

Take this picture for example, it may look familiar:

Then…there is this,

Dez modified

Desiree’s artwork…but someone learned how to use a color filter.  The ability to color another artist’s design is neither frithful nor ethical.

Although the “second coming” of the design is more colorful and dramatic- it does not respect the initial artist in the sense that she designed the original for a client who had it tattooed upon his chest- he wanted it to be unique, it was his symbolism HE requested, and now we have found that the new, modified version has been shared hundreds of times, seen by thousands of people, and now is being used as a symbol to represent movements and organizations that have not contacted the artist for consent, nor is she even credited for her hard work in creating the original which is shared as if it were fair-use instead of copyright. (my writing is fair-use…I don’t care who shares what I write, by the way…because I feel my writing is pretty self-explanatory.)

I blog. I do not get paid for what I write, and writing is very easy to me.  However, I sat next to Desiree over many of the days she spent working on the original design.  Some artist appreciate the exposure, however, given the controversial nature of the implied symbolism, the exposure for this image and subsequent modifications put the artist into a very uncomfortable position of seeing her work being used to represent people other than the client who paid her for the initial design.

Please, in this age of pinterest and tumblr, it is still important that graphic artists receive credit for their incredibly hard works and efforts, and that their wishes are respected in the use of the images they create.   If any artist of any picture I share objected to my credited use of their imagery, I would/will remove it.

I would not modify a piece of hand-drawn art and represent it as my own, even if I had the inclination, unless it was strictly for my personal devotional use and not to be shared with others so as not to take away the credit from the artist.

All I am asking is this:  If you are going to share artwork, please make an effort to find the original source of the work.  If you do not know it- use google image search or write “artist unknown, will credit when found”…and please, out of respect, honor and frith, do not modify the original artwork and falsely claim it as your own or “release it into the wild” without the permission of the artist.


Value the intellectual properties of artists and musicians- this is what they do to feed their families, and their work being used out of context not only is theft, but can cause them a great deal of personal hardship if the people who steals their images as a representation of a cause or organization can adversely affect their ability to continue to sustain themselves or place them in the terrible situation of their work being used to represent causes they do not themselves support.

Thank you.



The Reaper’s Handmaiden?

Posted in About me on March 29, 2016 by Alana Smithee


Darkness and light

Artist unknown:  I will change this caption to properly credit them when they are identified.

I picked this title because it sounded beautiful when it passed through my train of thought like a beautiful woman who walks past you only once while you are on a journey.

I used to read everything written by Caleb Wilde (no relation) on his blog “Confessions of a Funeral Director”  I never met him personally, but he’s rather local and would correspond pretty well before he became incredibly internet-famous.  Honestly, I have learned more about death from him than I believe was ever covered in my entire religion and philosophy curriculum in college…and for that, I am grateful.

But at the same time, I must admit I feel very out of sorts and a bit awkward in this current place in my life.   I live on a road of elderly veterans, this street was created specifically for injured servicemen returning from World War II and the Korean War in the late 50’s to 60’s.   Ed and I get along very well with our neighbors and we have one of those very rare local-community network feeling of mutual kinship and respect.  I love that about Exeter.

However, with that- comes an entirely unusual scenerio that college never prepared me for.

What do you do if you are the only legal clergy person on your street, everyone knows you are clergy, you are trained in grief-counseling, but still feel nothing but anxious butterflies in the stomach each time another neighbor dies?  Like an automoton, I quickly finish whatever personal thing I am doing (in this case, walking Ziu), then I meet the family at the door.  They invite me in.  I make sure they called 911 and all blood family.

I wait for the police and more lucid family members to arrive while I stay with the bereaved.  I help them find lists of doctors, medications, as well as ask if they knew if there were funeral arrangements in place by the recently deceased, and with whom, have them write down the law offices in any mail from the return addresses to call when needed.

And yet, all of this sounds so formal and professional to type out- but in real life I had Ziu on my left arm and I was wearing Ed’s batman pajama pants.  The police didn’t even laugh at me as embarrassed as I felt…and yes, apparently, I realized I can experience embarrassment. (I am wearing black yoga pants now-just in case)

I always tell the family I will check on them-  I bring food (if they need it), and I give them my number if they want to talk.  In my neighborhood, they know where I live.

But it still feels so enormous of a responsibility.  Someone has just died- and the next 48 hours is when the very most seems to be expected out of the families of the dead:  And it feels to me like the expectations are overwhelming, confusing and difficult even to someone who is not the bereaved- to the grieving, it’s a mountain that takes months or years to cross.

I am proud that I was the first person who was there for my neighbors today- but at the same time, I feel a little ungainly, ungraceful, and incredibly unrefined when compared to those in their perfectly tailored suits who work in the funeral industry as their paid profession, and even in comparison to other Chaplains I know.

Very rarely I visit a hospital or hospice for someone, but it happens once in a while.  There, I do not have to worry if the person dies.  They are already in a facility that processes them through with factory precision.   If I am in a hospital I am wearing a black dress with either purple or blue: and all of my dresses can show at least one Heathen tattoo, even if I have to wear my hair up to show the rune on the back of my neck. (if the person asking for me is Christian I wear my hair down and long sleeves).

My family does not wear the Mjollnir, so I do not- but I have and will bring a mjollnir necklace as a gift for anyone in the hospital.  Depending on the situation I either wear a classy formal necklace of no particular religion or a fox necklace.

In the hospital- I look like every other chaplain.  Conservative, wearing mostly black with some color to not look too “reaperish”.

But I think I am pretty sure I am walking this strange path that should be so much more familiar to all Heathens than it is- death at home.

My neighbors are of all sorts of religions- the man who died today has many pagan friends- but was agnostic.  I was happy he had made funeral arrangements…because I barely know the local funeral homes and I feel my “strangerness” acutely to equal measure as I feel like a prodigal child from a family line that abandoned our homeland- welcomed back warmly, but out-of-sync still with all my second cousins and distant relatives as we get to know each other better.

The oddest things keep happening to me- my family has always had a chaplain, and before me it was my uncle who moved away… my second cousins out here seem to see it as a “natural thing”- like having a clergy member in family is a sort of return to a form of normalcy or something that used to be here, wasn’t, and now is again.

I don’t think a person can be truly a Heathen without feeling some sort responsibility and compassion for blood relatives.  Look, I hate my mother, there are people I do not respect or want in my life to whom I am related…but I do not feel that because some blood relations have harmed me means that all of them are malicious- usually quite the opposite, they tend to relate better since they share the same relatives I do in many cases and had similar experiences.

Things got weird this weekend when I took a photograph of the rose bush I rescued from my great-grandmother’s house last year to show it was thriving.  I thought it would cheer people up that it was still alive, that, and I also rescued our grapevine which came over from Austria- I sent a text that said “It’s thriving well, you are all welcome to come take cuttings in the summer”….and six hours later I get a call from my second cousin that I depressed my grandfather-  apparently, the day I sent the picture was Nana Helen’s birthday and I had no way of knowing.

Some schools of thought believe synchronicity is the path to follow through a world of chaos- that in synchronicities we find messages from those we call Gods, Ancestors, and our higher selves- I do not know what or which it is, or even if I can even comprehend the strange coincidences that seem to ebb and flow in the stream of my life- but I welcome them like bread crumbs through the woods.

If “coincidences” happen of a significant nature- it gives me a feeling I am on a positive road and doing positive things.

Here’s to hoping I continue to experience profound coincidence and synchronicity consistently.  Ed is also clergy and an actual Helasman, but I am the person who is at home- I appreciate all the guidance I can get in these dark waters…

The Last of the Granny Witches

Posted in About me on March 27, 2016 by Alana Smithee

Another indiginious from another set of traditions shares her story.

The Loki Sleeve Tattoo

Posted in About me on March 16, 2016 by Alana Smithee

My right arm is in-process of becoming a dedicated half-sleeve to Loki.  The inner arm was drawn and inked by Desiree Isphording and depicts  two tailed fox holding a rose-on-fire against a background of other meaningful symbols, fire, and blue roses.

Fox tat

Designed and Created by Desiree Isphording: Site currently down, but “Sphinxmuse” on Deviantart.  (I added this picture by fb request- yes, he’s a Kitsune.  Inari was a very significant figure to me and a related/aspect archetype in my view world.)

The outside of my arm that is currently being worked on  is based on this piece of art:


Artist: Wantstobelieve.tumblr (found initially on DeviantArt)

I contacted the artist of the original piece and when I see his/her work- try to add attribution where I see it- please do likewise.  I thought I found their real name- but with all the copycats out there I do not know for certain the true identity of the artist outside of tumblr.  Which I do not use.  A friend made me an account under “Tyrienne” as a joke and followed every possible porn site.  If you want porn, thank my friend Rich if you look up “Tyrienne.tumblr”.

After two postponements, I got the work begun by Jim Bentley at 309 Smooth Tattooz on Sunday, and he was truly wonderful.  Since the work is not finished yet (he did the blues first- clever man)  I will not show the work until it is complete- it’s watercolor style and mixed in with a Twin Peaks theme of “Fire… Walk with me”, fire walk

as well as the owl symbol for the White/Black lodge on my wrist.

owl awesome  I like how the symbol changes direction depending on how I hold my arm and how it is seen.  This picture was taken the day it was made, it’s already healed a bit…but I find trying to take a picture of my own arm well is futile.

My friend Desiree stopped by and brought me birthday gifts from her and her family, which was really cool, too.

Anyway, that night I got more presents from my brother and sister in law, free dinner, and even more gifts from random friends.  My birthday was a week prior and I expected nothing considering “34” isn’t exactly a magical number age-wise.

I was a little depressed that I had to tell Jim I might not be able to get it completed until June.  It took me 3 months to save up enough to start it… and without the convenience of tax return (we got ripped off, they did NOT renew the first time homebuyer credit for 2015), and the literal flame-jet shooting exploding oven we had to replace- it was tougher than expected to save.

But-  A very goodly portion of the base is complete- and as much as their seems to be an ever- raging battle both inside myself and outside myself in the community which argues “For!” or “Against!” UPG experience- I can say that during the process- I felt completely comfortable.   It didn’t hurt except when he would take breaks to wipe it off (that stung)- it was a pleasant, warm experience.

Looking at even what is so far completed fills me with comfort, I feel more confident and proud.  I do feel closer to Loki- and to me, Loki feels like a very protective and sheltering presence in my life.

Then, this happened last night:

Husband: “Take {comment} off the internet right now.  You will get in trouble.”
Me: “No,  because it’s true.”
Husband: “What will it take for you to take it down?”
Me: “For it not to be true…which it is.”
Husband: “You will be sued, I won’t help you.”
Me: “You have no faith in our Gods.  I am not removing what I said, it helped people… and the truth of the statement is proven clearly- there is no trouble to be had.”
Husband: “I do have faith…I just don’t-”
Me: “Pull a rune on it- if it comes up upright, I will remove it. If not,  It won’t”
Husband: “You want to use “magic rocks” like a coin flip?”
Me: “The fact you call them ‘magic rocks’ is insulting- just do it.”
(He pulls a sideways Jera)
Me: “It has no reversal”.
Husband: “I want to pull again.”
Me: “No. That was your pull.”

We bickered back and forth for a few minutes…

Husband: “Your comment has been up for several hours. You’ve made your point.”
Me: “You mean…’Still making;”
Husband: “Please, anything- what can I offer you to take it down? Everyone has seen it already who is going to see it.”

*I look at my arm*

Me: “I want my Loki tattoo finished ASAP.”
Husband: “Deal.  April.”
Me: “Put it on the calendar”
(puts it on calendar…our calendar is like a holy book of bills-  what goes on the calendar is non-negotiable)

So, as part of my agreement, I go to the computer to take down my comment-  I find via my secondary profile the comment was already removed by the creator of the post and I was blocked.

I didn’t have to remove the comment- the tattoo is still getting finished in April.

That’s how Loki works in my life.  How about you?

Weight Loss is NOT An Achievement.

Posted in About me on March 12, 2016 by Alana Smithee



If this picture means more to you than your personal ethic- we have NOTHING in common.

I do not even own a scale in my home- and I refuse to allow my husband to buy one.

During my 20’s I experienced a condition by the name of PCOS.  My Nana (who has never been “thin” by any means in my lifetime) as well as countless meaningless acquaintances seemed to find it necessary to comment on my weight losses and gains as if it were somehow more significant than my career, college achievements, or general happiness.

I was skinny when I was despondent because I would lose my appetite.
I gained weight on certain medications or on account of uncontrolled hormone fluctuations.
On my wedding day- I was recovering from an allergic reaction to a medication that made me swell up like a goddamned parade balloon.

I noticed that over the years I would get the most compliments when I was at my absolute least-healthiest.

During my last semester of college, I was so stressed that I couldn’t keep anything down outside of coffee. I was losing hair by the handful and in and out of psychiatric wards for suicidal idealization…. people close to me congratulated me on my weight loss ignoring the fact that I was basically praying to die.

Now, I finally had my last fucking ovary removed in September, I’m menopausal, and know what?  I’ve dropped a great deal of weight from that alone. With absolutely no change to my diet whatsoever.

What is my secret?   Not having my hormones absolutely FUCKED.

My brother has a thyroid disorder… is it his fault?  No… that would be a different set of shitty activated genetics in our inbred bloodline.

And yet- weight loss seems to be the absolute be-all, end-all goal of most first world people who surround us.

Honestly, it annoys the FUCK out of me.  My husband has body dysmorphia from years of being a professional athlete- every single day, I am asked “Do I look bloated?”

The real question he should be asking is “How can I find true meaning and leave a lasting legacy in life”.

But, no… alas, no one really gives a fuck about legacies, education, accomplishments, or any other skill or talents of significance….well, not any accomplishment unless it is ALSO accompanied with “being thin”.

I have FANTASTIC news for all you first world people starving yourselves into stupidity…

Eventually, we will all die…and whether we are cremated, buried, or left in a ditch somewhere, I can assure ALL of you that you will lose all the weight you desperately obsessed over in life.

How about instead of starving your bodies (and your brains in the process), you eat a fucking sandwich, read some classic literature and care more about gaining wisdom than losing pounds?

How about we stop complimenting our women on keeping figures like 18 year old’s and compliment them instead on having the integrity and strength of our most noble ancestors?

But, alas…. nothing will change.   I might get a couple of “likes” on this post and despite all Odinist/Heathens loudly proclaiming how “Different” and “Superior” our ethic is to the modern pathos- inevitably, the physical appearance of our people, just as any other people in first world countries, will be seen as the primary indicator of desirability of association and regard.

If you want to eat like a True Heathen… Kill and grow your own damned food.  Be grateful for the strength, not the size, of your damned bodies…and strive for health rather than than attempting to fit the ever-changing (and ever thinning) mold of modern culture.

Food is important, eat it.

Someone who is thin is no more accomplished than one who is thick.

I don’t judge you on your weight.  I judge you by your intelligence and wisdom.

If the greatest “wisdom” you have to offer is “how to shed/gain those pounds”- then your depth is that of a puddle and neither of us will come away from our conversations with any gain of insight.

Complimenting a person on something so entirely arbitrary  as their poundage or spending one’s time obsessing endlessly about “weight loss goals” is time taken away from more meaningful pursuits and demeaning the absolute entirety of the human experience down to meaningless numbers.

YES.  I lost weight.  NO, it was not intentional.

YES, it pisses me off if that is the first thing said to me after you haven’t seen me in a while.

“Wow! You lost weight! What is your secret!”

“A horrendous genetic defect that caused me to gain it in the first place and several surgeries to remove defective internal organs!  Thank you for asking you boorish ass!”

You know what else is a fucking pain in the ass?   Have all your pants fall off your ass.  Clothes are fucking expensive and I am currently wearing a pair of sweatpants held up with a fucking safety pin that randomly decides to stab me at random.

Compliment me on my weight loss, and I will deride your intelligence and observational skills…as well as your lack of true caring for my person since I am posting this here today, right now.

If you do not care enough me personally to care about the thoughts I hold dear to me but care about how much space my body does or does not displace in space I cannot help but lose respect for you and what you stand for as your personal ethic.

Folkish and Universalist: Reach Accord.

Posted in About me on March 2, 2016 by Alana Smithee


“Odin the Wanderer” by Georg Von Rosen

Now, for the newest disturbing trend in our fractured religious community:  People leaving Odinism/Heathenry/Asatru on account of the actions of others.

So, let me understand this correctly:  humans claim to believe in Gods of power greater than our own, the ability to be self reliant, honorable, truthful, industrious, hospitable,  COURAGEOUS, POSSESS FIDELITY AND PERSEVERE…

But they just give up. The Odin Brotherhood, as written in the book by Mark Mirabello states repeatedly that those who are not “meant” to be with us will always fall away- so why do we even give these people our attentions and try to accommodate them?

My entire local community DESPISES me as far as I can tell.  I am too candid and hold people accountable for their actions which is HUGELY verboten in Pennsylvania where both communities are represented equally- and both, equally drop the ball on actually attempting to resolve interpersonal disputes other than silencing the whistle blower  –  but never once has it made me question my relationship with my Gods.  No matter what injustice I endure or witness in the community, it doesn’t make me doubt the Gods.

it makes me doubt the Fidelity of humanity.

Even when I left this path for a short time- I never stopped believing in the Gods- I simply viewed their existence from a different perspective.  I suppose since this is my “default” religion it makes it more natural for me to return to the Norse.

Some would say my greatest mistake would be going public.  Well, I can not take that back- so I have to deal with being public…and in being public, I feel I have responsibility to the community.

If I did not feel this way, why would I bother writing you 5000 word essays?  Wouldn’t it be easier for me to just hide away and keep everything I think and feel private..?

It would, except it’s fucking cowardly….and against what I stand for, what the Gods stand for, and our ancestors.

If you can leave, you never truly belonged.  That’s it.   Now…after we let all the fakers out and stop chasing them down….we should really all turn our attentions to TRUE Heathens….Those that stay- and you all seem to have nicely organized yourselves into two distinct Odinist political parties: Folkish vs. Universalism.

Our community is like a true family:  Everyone hates everyone but a few close brothers and sisters- and everyone is convinced that the people they hate are deplorable examples of humanity from their perspective, not realizing that our Honesty as a members of this community is not to disown those who think differently than we do in our personal practice.

…That would be almost like bigotry, would it not?  Universalism is big on anti-bigotry except when it comes to those they denounce…and those they denounce are the people who, to outsiders, are most closely related to them ideologically than any outsider.  It would be fine if it was truly only limited to words, but I am learning it is leading to violence.

All are refusing to listen to the other points of view that do not harm us personally- most will not even entertain the ideas of an entire HALF of our religion…and both self-proclaimed sides point fingers at the other.

…sounds like a lack of Hospitality

I am no exception, but my example is not so polarizing:  Even in being a judgmental Tyrsperson who also gives Loki his due has not made me popular- but I also do not approve of the Marvel interpretation of Loki, either.  However, those Marveltru Lokeans make up most of the population of current Lokeans… with a wonderfully high rate of attrition! 🙂

Instead of trying to “win them back”- let’s just Let. Them. Go.  and work on trying to acknowledge our weaknesses and address them.

I am pretty sure both sides of the larger issue on which I speak have been guilty of trying to win back the unworthy and denouncing those they do not make an effort to understand.

In sarcasm… it is not as if someone who worships Loki would have a unique, insightful perspective on that, is it?

In Universalism:  Stop trying to appease those who do great injustices among your ranks in the name of “keeping the peace” and stop attacking the Folkish who are your family.

The Folkish cannot eliminate the universalist, either-  There are numbers of great people in both ranks who are not extremist-

It is extremist to attack other people who have not directly harmed you on account of their beliefs, melanin, OR perceived racism.

Both sides of the Heathen coin in the United States are exhibiting violent extremes.

Do you not realize this is a religion we all share- and in attacking each other, we cannibalize ourselves?

Folkish is often replaced with “racists” and Universalist are often called, well, usually “weinies”…or other things along that line.  Both are fair observations, actually.

Would you believe that there are other positions other than two?  That each individual perspective on their lives is valid to their experience and that instead of shunning those who are expressing their live’s truth and condemning them for it- how about we attempt a little bit of understanding?

The girls with the swaztika tattoos can share a horn with a SJW so long as both hold the understanding that we ascribe to higher virtues than infighting at sumbel.

However, what sumbels exist where both sides of Heathenry who disavow each other can exist?

But how else can one reconcile that there are people who are trying to live their lives and raise their families in what they believe is honorable?  Whether that honor comes from a pride in being open to all things or to standing fast to the ways of the past… do we not worship the same Gods?

Do you not realize that in Heathen extremism of both sides indicates that both are more similar than they are different?

In that the Universalist hates the Nationalist for being “bigoted”- the Universalist is a bigot.  (which is apparently their 10th unwritten noble virtue “Don’t be a bigot”…well, that also applies to you quote unquote “unbigoted” Asatru who are attacking Folkish-identifying Heathens)

In that the Folkish  will disown the Universalist as being “Not a True Odinist”- they are disowning their own brothers and sisters- a thing that is abhorrent to Heathen homesteading and those whose faith is based on ancestral pride.

The problem with being raised Pa Deitsch is that we are neither.  We honor that without our ancestry, there would be no reason to honor the Gods that we do and the instinct is to isolate and be around our own families to the exclusion of all others (which is why it’s so difficult to get older polytheistic Deitsch to talk about their beliefs- generations of hiding make one wary),  that sort of insular thinking is contrary to what is healthy to the community.

We have no current system in place throughout all of Heathenry to resolve internal disputes…so, to outsiders, we are an oroborous of drama, violence, and confusion.

We owe our ancestors better than that.  Even if one’s family by blood is dishonorable, that is no excuse to live a life of hatred of “the other”.

For a while- it seemed the only thing that united both sides of you was hating Jotun-worship… although that was upsetting to me; it ultimately didn’t affect the larger communities all that much.

To spell it out: All Heathens/Asatru/Odinists are seen as the same by those who are outside of us.   Understand this well, and adjust your actions.

People You Like Will Always Leave Odinism…. Let Them Go.

People You DO NOT Like Will Remain Odinist Until the Day They Die-  Learn to find what it is about them that keeps them so grounded on the path.

For indigenous heathens to refrain from having a voice regarding both sides of reconstructionism, we do not preserve ourselves=we do not have the numbers.  The only reason Heathenry is respected at all and recognized is on account of the Combined numbers of every self-identifying Odin worshiper across every access of human experience-  and raw data is not inclusive or exclusive if taken by third parties who honestly do not care in the slightest how we feel about the actions of one another..

I do not have an answer to this issue… but what I can do it point it out clearly and then field it to all of you to react and come up with solutions.

Declaring each other “invalid” is awfully ignorant… and yet, this divide has increased rather than decreased over the past few years.

Even I have to admit that some close friends began as Marveltru…but they stood the test of time.

If you find yourself in a disagreement with another Woten-worshipper…consider this:

If the Universalist fears the Folkish….that is not Courageous.
If the Folkish will not make room at the table for the Univeralist… That is not Hospitality.

If both of you hate Lokeans… not much I can help you with there.  If Loki is the God of intellect, I suppose that makes you idiots… especially if it is clearly indicated “Every horn raised to Woten, so to is raised to his brother Loki…”

Politics and Ethics: Can You Dig it?

Posted in About me on February 29, 2016 by Alana Smithee

Dig it   I have a certain respect for people who both post on a regular schedule- as well as those who seldom update at all.  The first group, I admire their consistency of purpose, however, that is also how we end up reading 1000 words on the important topic of

“I was at the grocery store buying mangoes…” and “I have been much more regular since I started eating more mangoes.”

Then, there are the people who post seldom, and those people tend to have quality posts every time- but novella to novel length as if the act of holding in so many thoughts became such a great burden that it becomes an absolute universe of Lynchian synchronicity for what would also be a Lynchian amount of pages.

I’ve been endeavoring to  finish “Twin Peaks”- I saw “Fire Walk With Me” and enjoyed it.
I’m house training my puppy.
I’m recovering from a foot injury (just when I thought I was well)
I’m fixing up my house.
I’ve been  seeking legal council over a medical malpractice suit I have been trying to to file on behalf of local PTSD patients facing discrimination while recovering from surgery in hospital.

Other than that- I support none of the presidential candidates- feeling that the leader of the United States should be both a military veteran as well as the creme de la creme, rather than the raw sewage, of our political system.  I have the strange aspiration that a true group of leaders will emerge from the middle and lower classes and be risen up by We The People and set forth a Utopia- but intellectually I also am aware of the impossibly and live vicariously through old movies and playing RPG’s.

I live in Pennsylvania and I am registered third party-  what this means is I cannot vote in any primary unless I misrepresent myself and choose one of the two major parties to vote expressly in their primary- a bias I have not found living in other states.  I feel strongly enough against both major, centrist parties that I find misrepresentation of one’s civic beliefs to be abhorrent.

Since there is no party I fall “in line” with- I am Independent or No Affiliation- and I have no interest in joining a formal party at this time- but I desire to represent myself honestly as a third party voter and not accept the unconstitutional requirement to align myself with ideologies I do not agree with entirely in order to express my right to vote.

To fight for the rights of third party voters, we cannot easily secede our third party affiliation on our voter registration cards.  This simply skews the numbers of the two major parties, falsely.

It has been said: “Pennsylvania is not a state, it is a commonwealth” repeatedly as one of the many excuses for this lack of civic representation of politically-minded individuals who do not fall into the centrist spectrum.

For me, I even find the labels of “Liberal” and “Conservative” to be ill-fitting to my political idealogy as well.  The limitation of black and white thinking became very apparent when I was randomly selected for Gallup Poll- the questions were restricted to a Clinton/Trump competition- and I attempted to explain to the the person administering the survey that here, in the United States, we can express our voice of “No Confidence” in our two party system via third party voting and write in.

Some have attacked this view on social media claiming it is “throwing a vote away.”

That is far from the truth- for if you do not find it agreeable to your ethic to vote for either candidate- then instead of being absent from the process to invite the critism later of “You cannot complain if you do not vote”- one can actually claim a moral high ground with the action…

“I did vote- but I didn’t support either Centrist party since they do not represent my values and priorities.”

Aristotle was one who indicated a life of active civic duty was the highest calling to which one could aspire . However, modern civics has become armchair-lazy without active engagement in most cases.

However, very few people have the time to seek a civic life outside of the demands of career and family responsibilities- since everyone outside of the disabled and highest economic classes have the freedom of time to do so- and even so, there seems to be a great feeling of “danger” to me in expressing dissent in the current McCarthyism environment where instead of “commies” the country is seeking unpopular opinions to tar and feather political dissension against the status quo….unless that dissension is related to minor issues that do not involve criticism of not just a topical symptom of deeper societal ills.

A good example of topical criticism :

“I will not associate with anyone who believes/says/supports (topic)”

Okay, so  what this basically is the equivilent to in the meat-sphere of real life outside of the internet is the childish metaphoric covering of the ears and screaming:


And then, there is the requisite “splitting” of families over political views which is entirely unnecessary and also a symptom of the greater disease of dividing all but the highest classes- in order to keep us from allying with each other and suffering through a coupe.

It has become abhorrent, through media conditioning, to even associate with peoples who hold different experiences and viewpoints.

One of the greatest lessons of Loki is the ability to ally oneself with those from every walk of life- In the case of Loki- He was well connected with Jotuns, Dwarves, and several other realms of sentient creatures that are normally enemies between themselves- in doing so, those with less fluid points of view claim him to be “untrustworthy”.

I find I trust less the people who are not willing to listen to every point of view of objectivity- especially ones that contradict the view one currently holds.

I have friends who are #blacklivesmatter as well as those who are Trump supporters.

I have friends who are even anti-SSDI, knowing that they do not understand what it is like to be on disability, the complication of the vetting process to be determined disabled, nor even the difficulties that only people on federal Disability experience with endless doctors visits, reviews, and fights with insurance companies to be billed fairly and correctly as well as in a timely manner.

In a sense, when one has any “active” medical condition that requires care it becomes a full time job not just to recover from surgeries and any chronic condition- but also to be watchful of being taken advantage of by unscrupulous insurance companies who count on people on SSDI to not question incorrect billing practices.  Abhorrent, when it is realized that every single person on federal SSDI is only collecting 12k a year, and in most cases, far less- which puts most below the threshhold of the poverty line.

So- in a sense- the people who are disabled enough for SSDI are often even neutralized politically since the disabilities they endure often require activism for fair treatment leaving little time and energy for people in situations like I have found myself to do much more than care for myself and take care of the the pressing issue of preventing myself from being taken advantage of financially and being billed for treatments that I was told were “covered” (such as an EKG, in my most recent argument with the hospital)- but insurance decided to fight otherwise requiring documentation from multiple healthcare providers in some cases since tests tend to be out of entirely different facilities than the attending physicians themselves.

I am finding that the sheer volume of inaccurate information being spread online via social media to be increasing, and as a result, deeply depressing.

I read an article yesterday proclaiming the color blue “doesn’t exist” outside of our perception and that ancient peoples did not recognize it… what small training in Linguistics I have (and knowing what little Lettish I do, Lettish being one of the oldest Sanskrit-based ‘living’ languages)- knowing that both Farsi and Lettish have multiple words for “blue”, in addition to being languages that remain older in spoken form in comparison to mainland-European language families which have changed dramatically over the past thousand years is enough to disprove that idiocy.

But yet, people do not apply the same common sense to debunk faux political statements- and it has become nigh impossible to find unbiased news sources that do not rely on opinions, weasel-words, false reporting, bad journalism, sensationalism, or simply work as headers into click-bait articles on absolutely nothing of substance.

The real issue isn’t “He said/She said”- the real, crushingly depressing issue is that we cannot know unless we are present- and despite all of our technologies, we cannot trust what we see on account of censorship and extreme journalistic editing.

I feel as if my time in Political Science classes did indeed open my eyes, but unlike most, that combined with my cynical heritage of Deitsch who were forbidden by the state from speaking our own language for much of the past century in conjunction with coming from that microscopic Lettish ethnic group decimated by Stalin’s more greatly ‘successful’ holocaust of ethnic cultures during WWII- it actually made me more cynical than I was before, and that cynicism has lead me to a sense of estrangement regarding the faux-dualistic and divisive nature of American politics and policy.

The “inconsistency” of remaining mentally flexible enough to change a point of view based on new information is seen as abhorrent by those who are proud of their dedication to their respective causes and political rationale, failing to adapt to new information is seen as “admirable”- saying “I don’t have enough information” is seen incorrectly as a sig of weakness in lieu of being accurately seen as honest.

Such is life of any person aligned with Loki in a positive, constructive manner.

Knowing from experience abroad that “news is different outside of these borders”= I cannot trust sources I used to rely on years ago for unbiased journalism- and I find myself in the company of only a few, older academics in my despair over this rather than being swept up by the minutiae of presidential elections when it seems Freedom of Press only applies to op-eds no more or less reliable than this blog- rather than trained, unbiased journalism of reporting events in a factual, open manner and allowing the consumer to make a value judgement.

We live in an era of false heroes and fake terrors- as President Putin of Russia pointed out- it was the United States that funded ISIS- and yet, people have strong opinions on specific events of foriegn policy that are based in inaccurate portrayals of events.

What is the truth?  The problem is we are not in a position to know- and THAT should be the most disturbing thing.

Blue always existed, no matter what it is called- but daily our vocabulary of English is shrinking to 140 characters of l33tsp3ak nonsense as most people find Academic English vulgar, pretentious, and off-putting in favor of the casual language of anti-intellectualism.

My facebook is now nothing more than a storehouse of ironic, topical memes and troll-baiting posts I use to amuse myself at the expense of the frustration of others who get into extended political debates with complete strangers about candidates for the office of “Figurehead” while we actually live in a corporate oligarchy with little means to actually affect national levels of change without significant enough cash to rival the business interests in poisoning our water, air, and food supply in order to give the CEO’s of this world their million-dollar bonuses while the peasants infight amongst ourselves over issues so much less dire than the complete loss of our faculty to thrive without being entirely in-debt to those same overlords.

Do you have student loans?  A mortgage?  Car payments?   Without student loans- college is inaccessible to most.  Without a mortgage, home ownership is impossible for most of the middle class without a windfall or being forced to live in low-density population areas that lack opportunity, and without a car- even getting that house in a low population area makes finding indentured servitude to pay these debts prohibitive.

Kennedy was shot for claiming there was a system out to “Enslave every man, woman, and child” but never had the chance to express his thoughts on the manner more deeply prior to his assassination.

Snowden is still a political refugee in Russia.

People of high IQ are forced through school systems that punish free-thought and force brilliant minds to be subdued by denying curiosity in learning in favor of endless testing and re-testing of our nation’s students in K-12 without teaching any valuable life skills in self-sufficiency or civic duty- while private academies seem to be the golden ticket to Ivy league exceptionalism dividing our youth between the poor majority vs. a ruling, better educated minority based entirely on income rather than intellect or ethic.

The ethics that are being espoused of our modern culture of consumerism, waste, and distraction are meant to enslave us, and they do, and I am no exception and no better nor worse than any other American; and like most, I turn to distractions such as games or click-bait to take my focus away from the abject horror of knowing that as rapidly as our middle class slides into poverty, that globally speaking, even those who live in poverty here- still have a king’s wealth when compared to the majority of human population living in complete destitution working slave hours, for less pay, and absolutely no hope for freedom producing the goods and services that keep our country anesthetized against the suffering that surrounds us/is resultant from our lifestyle and the wordless learning and seeking most have for Truth when there is none to be found.

I have been intentionally limiting my time online on account of these thoughts- and have found the less time I am near a computer or any other media the better I feel… realizing the only change I can affect is to my immediate surroundings, life, and impact that I have with direct conversation instead of the illusion that anything I say or do online is forgotten in minutes in favor of yet another adorable video of tickling kittens or watching foolish people have foolish accidents, “Jackass”-style.

Ultimately, I wrote today because this is the first time I felt compelled to in weeks- and that is generally my only motivation for writing…. that feeling of compulsion.

I do not know if what I have written today will benefit any of you or if it is simply nothing more than an outlet for me to “blow off some steam” and explain why I have been largely absenting myself from online activities more than usual.

Regardless- no matter what anyone or anything tries to say otherwise, I can assure you that the color “blue”, as you know it, is not an “invention” of modern times…

Dangerous Technology…For Freedom, Seek Trees.

Posted in About me on February 7, 2016 by Alana Smithee



This is a picture of Ridley Creek State Park in Delaware County, Pa.  My favorite park in the entire world.  Go here if you get the chance.

Uniformly, throughout the entire social sphere of friends I’ve kept throughout the years- it’s pretty safe to say that the vast majority of people in their early 30’s have grown far too sedentary in an almost forgetful sense.

Now that we all have families, bills, and responsibilities, the nature of our activities have changed.   One thing we all had in common in our late teens and early twenties was the unspoken assumption that “hanging out” would occur in the woods.  Almost every single close friend I had either lived within a wooded area, or we would drive to some obscure wooded location and hike around for hours, just talking and watching for animals.

Of course, there is always the possibility I’m just a stubborn asshole who was impossible to convince to come out of seclusion otherwise- I honestly don’t know.  My memory is shit.

However- My observation of the present is still working quite well…and looking down the list of phone numbers in my cell phone, the vast majority of my old hiking buddies locally no longer are able or willing, and those that still make a daily trek into nature either now live on the West Coast or bizarre states shaped like quadrilaterals (adjacent to the West Coast).

For the area I grew up in, Haverford, very few of my peers remain in the area as we are entirely Priced Out of the Main Line entirely for the most part.  The few who remain in the area either live with other family members or have moved to areas nearby that are less safe and far less scenic with much less access to parks and wildlife.  They are 2 hours from me.

For my friends in Bucks county who live around Nockamixon and Peace Valley- they are still in the area, however work and home responsibilities keep all but a single family I know away from the woods, except for those who continue to live in homes literally inside of park territory… and even then, those who live in those homes are enjoying the trees from the inside as they are cleaning crayons off the wall or tethered to their computers for work or leisure. They are over an hour from me and have shitty traffic.

Of course, the Heathens go outside for Sumbel, but our very paleness shows our Morlock,  subterranean natures of our respective lives….all of us housed in our boxes of home and office.

Since I adopted my husky, Ziu, two days ago- it seems he will only take a shit after a conservative estimate of a two mile “walk” which involved wind-sprints and several stops to reward the dog with differing amounts of boiled chicken every single time he made a bowel or bladder movement as a sort of bizarre canine financial transaction involving poultry as currency.

After my surgery in September- I found I have the ability to jog again after years of literally not being physically capable of doing so on account of scar adhesion in my torso.  Now I CAN run…technically, kind of.  Instead of not being able to actually perform the action- I have kidney stones that like to rattle around enough to make me fall to my knees on occasion and then find I’m pissing blood when I finally return inside.

To accommodate for this- there is random patio chairs now situated in convenient locations across the yard so I can sit and clutch my stomach as the dog looks at me blankly as if to say:

“If we don’t run, I won’t poo….but you’re cold, let’s go inside and I’ll just poo there.”

His concern is touching…. in a weird dog sort of way.

But what really struck me was last night…after I was outside for a solid three hours holding a leash in one hand, a flashlight in the other and sitting on the chair in stalemate with said dog my husband came out extraordinarily concerned about the amount of time I had been outside.

I honestly didn’t mind.  We live at the junction of two streams-  We have a flock of several dozen mallards and down in the stream, there are still occasional fish to watch swim around.  It’s actually quite nice.   The weather was a nice, dry cold (comparably for Pennsylvania…it’s not Montana).

I then realized how strange it was how much the ENTIRETY of the culture surrounding me had changed in under ten years.   Sure, I walked around my college campus often, but it’s nothing compared to walking someplace with no pavement and no visible roads. Our dog trail is two miles long, owned by the township, runs through our backyard and prior to the husky we used it twice…maybe.  Natasha’s coat is too short for long outings in the cold.  (however, we got her in September- I imagine summer will be a different case entirely)

I know it’s not just myself who had become “unplugged” from nature- going into nature instead of being the natural state of being has somehow transitioned into being an hour event for sumbels and “as needed” for when short-furred Natasha needs to relieve herself or we run like squirrels to retrieve our mail and take out the garbage only to run back into the house again away from the mild discomfort of “weather”.

I have spent several hundred days of my life online in some form.

From the time I was a child, there was rarely a day I did not spend at least an hour or more outside- either playing when I was younger, walking my coydog in my teens, or with friends in my young adulthood.

Woods, woods, and more woods.   When I moved to Winthrop, Massachusetts in 2002 for the AmeriCorps, there were no woods, but instead I found myself walking the entire beach around the peninsula as well as attached Deer Island for an hour each night unless the weather was literally dangerous; Sleet/torrential rain drowned us out pretty easily- I was glad I rented an attic bedroom and often I recall slowly driving my car through roads of a few inches of water slowly until I reached higher grounds.

Even after Winthrop, I still hiked wherever I lived:  Minnesota I would bring one of the “yard mutts” at the wolf refuge with me as I hit the trails across the street.  In Peekskill, NY- I was fortunate to rent a room in a mansion with extensive grounds that included a small lake and complete isolation except for our gravel driveway.

I moved back to Pennsylvania- when I visited my grandparents on the Main Line- I would drive the extra 20 minutes to walk in Ridley Creek State Park, when I worked jobs that required travel around King of Prussia, you could find me spending extended lunch breaks in Valley Forge National Park…. and in these parks, it was never unusual to encounter my friends at that time.

As time passed from mid-to late twenties and early to mid thirties, most of us had fallen into a sort of anti-nature routine where our only exposures outdoors were brief.  Friends to hike with became fewer until it became an activity we only accomplished when friends from over an hour away visit or with acquaintances who never stopped being outdoors- but also never stopped the reckless activities of teenagers, either.   Hiking is GREAT- hiking with drunk people on meth when we do neither as a way to keep them from being suicidal?  Not so great.

Over the past three years, friends have moved out of state and those who had addiction problems ended up becoming even more mired in their respective addictions to the point where we had to entirely remove ourselves from a confusing amount of people we counted a close friends who ended up on meth or cocaine- from every imaginable walk of life and not just Heathens, either.

We hiked on dates three years ago, then my health deteriorated on account of Lyme’s disease and then, more recently, being forced to wait for several months to have my ovary (and surrounding scar tissue) removed which made me lazy and inert to a level I had not been since that two year stint I ran a “Hardcore” raiding guild on World of Warcraft and lived in a fantasy world of elves and dwarves to avoid the awful reality of being in a terrible relationship, stuck in jobs I hated, to pay bills that never ended and always seemed to have some problem such as double-charging my accounts or being constantly on guard against utility companies taking advantage of me on account of my youth in believing that I would not question sudden, miscellaneous charges I had not experienced prior.

Also- during those two years, I did not go outside despite living literally in the middle of the woods then as I do now, I seldom left the house for nature’s sake except for a couple of times a month, if that.

Now- I am back outside, and I realize how strange it has become that nature had mistakenly been my unnamed “enemy” in favor of online distractions which accomplished nothing much at all- such as facebook or silly little puzzle games.

I have no compunction against stating I believe we are being mass-brainwashed by technologies.

I am frustrated when I see friends of mine glued to their cellphones.  I hardly even text and when I attempt to reconnect with real-life people….I find their primary means of communication is a series of sentences delivered via texting instead of even the decency of a phone call.  Chatting online is emotionless except for manufactured emoji’s and memes (some of which I created myself) to replace the loss of tone of voice, body language, and facial expressions we now lack in most interactions with others.

Then, even worse-  the nature of social networking makes it impossible to entirely and completely remove people from your life where in the past- natural aversion would take its course.

Belonging to online communities of thousands means you use “block” at your peril.   I use the feature frequently and find myself chastised for it.   Why on Earth would I want to interact with people who do nothing but speak in ad hominem regarding me?  In real life, there are always methods of avoidance.  Online, even if blocked, these people remain like splinters in your lives that can only be removed by removing the entire area in which they reside, usually painfully if it’s a forum or topic you like particularly.

I am in the trap where I moderate several online forums and pages at this time- it was one way to find a rabbit hole away from not just harmful acquaintances, but also this new phenomenon of a sea of “internet people”-  those who only seem to exist online but real life friendship never occurs since their online persona(e) tends to be entirely different than the life they lead physically and meeting would lead to “seeing the man behind the mask”.

I have kidney pain,  my foot is still kind of gimpy from a broken toe I never bothered to check out and now I am forced to if I want to be able to actually take proper care of my animals without causing further damage to my foot and ligaments.  (appointment Tues)…but only 3 days of just being OUTSIDE has literally made me stop caring about so many things I Only Care About On The Internet ™…. from the presidential race to the utterly bizarre addiction to living vicariously through other’s pictures of meals and travel photographs.

As a culture, we have become domesticated Iguanas who only move to feed or to find a warm rock to lay on and grow fat- and I am not an exception.

The exception is in seeing this new culture of being “plugged in”- unbiased and without filter.

Being outside for three hours gave me the inspiration to write this post- which although is online, is still actually CREATING something…anything.   Most of what my generations creates in their free time is text messages, and accomplishments on Candy Crush.

All things are fine in moderation- but when one can look back on most encounters with non-Heathens, including close friends and relations- it seems more time is spent with them looking at their phones, texting on their phones, or generally being entirely DISENGAGED from physical reality entirely…again, except to eat, shit, and find physical comfort.

I really do not want to be pulled further into that black hole- but keeping a balance is extraordinarily difficult.

Friends who have left social media entirely, coincidentally, are also next to completely inaccessible.  Those are generally the same people who have disconnected their cell phones and almost demand you live within the same town for any interpersonal interaction- with home prices being prohibitive, staying close to friends is difficult, along with a changing job market which requires constant movement across the country (and in some cases, the world) in many fields, not to mention the lack of job options which forces people either into long commutes to spend 8 hours with strangers they hate apart from the family they slowly grow ever further distant- which explains just one reason why divorce is so prevalent and most of my friends are either divorced, perpetually single, or both.

It’s fantastic we all now have the ability to find our “bff’s” from grammar school just by searching their name, but it’s also terrifying that we can be so easily traced and found at the same time.  Maybe it’s because I’m a Baltic who lived during the cold war with my grandma’s phonelines tapped and seeing her friend-group of ancient old Latvian ladies under suspicion constantly for being spies for having the audacity to “return home” to Latvia for holidays and choose to live here instead of behind the iron curtain.

The only example I can give that I think I can communicate well is during the era of McCarthyism, privacy and the destruction there of became the catalyst for the destruction of countless lives and families where people even insinuated to be “commies” were treated with extreme prejudice… this came almost directly and in reaction to the atrocities of WWII where, again- our rights to privacy were invaded and scrutinized by our government and neighbors out of fears of “sympathy” to our imagined devils of Japanese and Germans living here on our own soil who honestly had nothing to do with the conflicts occurring abroad.

However, those prejudices were long-lasting… now, prejudices and what is considered “politically correct” seems to change rapidly- so rapidly that obscenely stupid decisions made by people in the “correct” circumstances/time frame are lauded to the point of denying the flaws inherent in each human…and those who err, whether slight or egregiously are treated with the same level of malice.

With that being said:  Caitlyn Jenner should not have won woman of the year- with a history of unapologetic vehicular manslaughter… the other nominees for the award were staggeringly more qualified.   Knowing several people in transition as well- Jenner did not help to normalize the stigma for that population, but made a farce of it in my opinion simply because wearing a dress and getting boobs is no where near as traumatizing as the typical family and community stigma, and alienation so many of my trans and chimera friends experience daily.  Jenner is nothing more than yet another celebrity with a magic bank account.  There are better examples for the transgender community to look to, such as Chaz Bono, Laverne Cox, Lana Wachowski , and especially Billie Tipton.

Bill Cosby is a rapist who deserves no quarter.

A picture of a woman wearing the “wrong” outfit, however, will receive equal amounts of negative attention- as do comments made by any gender regarding any number of recently created micro-crisis such as MRA, Excessive Gender terminology, #[insert]livesmatter, or even the vegans screaming at meat eaters over their dietary choices to the point of literal, hostile harassment all the while crowing about some sort of ethical “higher ground” for a diet that literally would be impossible for those who do not live in temperate or tropical regions without the subjugation of people in tropical climates to grow enough obscure produces to meet the dietary demands of some random people in Sweden or metropolitan areas of the united states where vegan options are plentiful.

There seems to be absolutely no comprehension of poverty and those who do not have internet to explain that Veganism doesn’t work for people with IBS, ignores the high costs associated with the lifestyle making it impossible for the impoverished to receive all their vital nutrients without sacrificing rent money….and further, only works RIGHT NOW in most colder climates on account of NATO.

Our country is dividing pretty dramatically between people who are “plugged in and socially aware” by their standards, and newly minted introverts who are dramatically striving to become independent from all of this- by homesteading, mostly….attempting to grow their own food again when every generation from Baby Boomer’s forward was ingrained with the false idea that farmers and those who do manual labor for a living are somehow inferior to those who sit behind a desk for 8 hours literally doing nothing but communicating with strangers in some way with no interaction or desire for interaction with their communities any longer.  There just isn’t the time to do both in most people’s lives.

The introverted homesteaders are basically comprised of several subgroups and related demonetization as well: seen as Doomsday prepping lunatics, cultists, backwards, uneducated, fundamentalist, or even racist by association since some Asatru and Christian homesteaders happen to be all about the Hitler nonsense. (Other religions seem immune).

We have a nation of renters who have no desire to own land or have any civic interactions with their community barring an occasional vote for marijuana legislation or to beg for clean water and improved education for our children.

Honestly, I’m fucking scared…and I think almost everyone feels the same way to some degree but few can really put words as to “why”… I know why I am, and I can only theorize about the nature of other humans:

To me, I see most of the internet as mental anesthesia-  there is a hell of a lot of pain that comes from broken families, broken relationships, unfullfilling work, and people who in an agrarian society who would be perfectly functional are forced into disability because many people cannot meet the rigid requirements of typical employment on account of health issues where working on the homestead can be done in between episodes or with the help of family and friends working together to make up for the disability instead of the embarrassment of having to apply to jobs and disclose “I have a personal health condition, here are my private details on that health condition- some weeks, I cannot work at all when said health condition is effecting my body.”

In a poor economy, no employer in their right mind would hire that person, no matter how qualified, when they can get an equally qualified individual without the medical issues that would leave the cubical absent instead of filled with yet another human drone to pick up the phone, write the numbers, or create the webpages…and the people in those positions actually ENVY those of us on disability while we struggle against our health insurance at least weekly to cover the necessary treatments and medications that keep us alive and stable.

That resentment is another reason I am scared.  I am on disability, my husband has a factory job.  I make less than poverty in subsidies as Medicare refuses to give authorization for treatment to improve my condition rather than simply “stabilize” my cardiac and mental impairments which are rather easier to treat in other first world countries, but not so much here….as yet ANOTHER group of people seems to be metaphorically screaming “AMERICA IS #1!!!!” ad nauseum and to point out personal experience with flaws in our government system in comparison to other places one is instantly met with McCarthy like disdain for even dare to critique in a way that is not currently in vogue.

Criticism is acceptable on certain topics- and those topics change from person to person.

I don’t even know or recognize most “current” celebrities or new musicians, and for that- my lack of interest and knowledge of these people I will never meet combine with my innate disdain for consumerism which makes me feel strange and awkward with even people my own age further than ever before.

I have always journaled since I could write, and with my shaking hands a pc is a godssend- but to record my thoughts online is nothing new, just the attention I get for it is new.

I really do not have a solution to the current problems I am observing- In spending more time out in nature- I think with a terrible clarity but with that clarity comes unpopular observations, uncomfortable realizations, and halcyon memories of grabbing some jerky and a liter of water to go out into the woods for a day with friends who no longer see the woods outside of the lives they live through vicariously through television and video games- and I am no exception at times.

To become one with the current culture is to be miserable, on edge, and feel suffocated by people I would be forced to tolerate but cannot affect change upon their actions to make them not lying shitbags with a code of ethics as flimsy as a cellphone with planned obsolesce.

To keep up, you need to be shallow as a puddle and willing to change the entirety of how you present yourself to the world based on ever changing standards of behavior, speech, and very temporary ethics.

I will never fit in, anywhere.  I’m okay with that right now.

A Dog named Ziu? Seriously?

Posted in About me on February 5, 2016 by Alana Smithee

When I am in the midst of nervous breakdown (once or twice a year) I end up getting some silly idea in my head as a remedy.  This time, the breakdown was brought on by a disturbing packet of paperwork demanding the names, contact information, and procedures performed by every single doctor I have seen in the past year.

Keep in mind, I just had surgery in September, they gave me two days- even with an extension, frantic calls to my lawyer, therapist, social worker, and everyone EXCEPT friends and family- I was still a fucked up insomniac with a constant migraine worried that if I couldn’t match the correct doctor to the correct procedure some horrible fate awaited me… (and might still, I sent off the paperwork and I am notorious for not believing people when they say “REN YOU WILL BE FINE”.

So, I suddenly became fixated on rescuing a Siberian Husky mix…. a mix because I was concerned for my three cats.  Since there is a rescue nearby, it didn’t take long to get approval to be a “Qualified Adopter” with the 2 mile dog run that goes through our property adjacent to the creek and the added bonus that Ed and I both worked with wolves and already adopted an overactive pitt/lab/border collie mix from a shitty shelter.

Anyway, we signed up for the rescue at a bad time; the owner is ill and they were not in a position to do either adoptions nor even accept new huskies. No worries, turns out there was a man on Craigslist who was one of the people rejected due to this unforeseen circumstance.

After 22 absolutely bizarre emails exchanged, I learned his dog was named “Zeus” and convinced him to bring him by.  Since the emails were so bizarrely written I was convinced the man was some sort of “bro” with such wonderful emails as “I leave work at 3, home by 6” but with no contact information or further info.

It felt like exchanging emails with Ralph Wiggum.

I realized why the dog had been “up” on Craigslist for 4 days… conversation took patience- he had 14 other people interested, but none willing to pay a rehoming fee but some shady mofo from a dogfighting town 3 hours North in Hillbilly country.

He wrote the name of the dog was “Zeus”- and I thought to myself “Great…if this goes like every other animal I’ve lived with named after a God/dess- this one will hump anything that moves.” and was pretty set on changing the name to “Baron”- the pup is only 10 months old and still looked gangly and goofy in the online pictures.

Ed said “$200″….and what do you know?  After I explained our living situation (me home 95% of the time, an invite to see if his dog and Natasha would get along well, and the house/backyard) the guy reluctantly agreed to meet us last night at 6:30pm.

The dog that tentatively was pulled from his car was a gorgeous breed-standard husky dog, entirely docile and sweet.

Ed couldn’t be there, but his mother who rescues bassett hounds was happy to wait with me.  The dogs got off to a slow start…but as soon as the leashes were off, they made fast friends and seem more closely bonded to each other than to either the releasing owner or Natasha to myself.

The dog was purebreed with papers- and almost entirely ignores the kitties except as a vague curiosity….

But what was really curious is the man kept saying “Ziu! Ziu!” every time he spoke to the dog… I asked why.

He wrote down the word “Zeus” and said “We pronounce it like this- Ziu.”

Well, fuck.  Most of you know this already, but “Ziu” is just another name for Tyr.

He was actually a sweet man from the Islands who lost his local job and now worked in Philadelphia- he really loved this dog, but worked 16 hour days and left Ziu crated all that time and felt awful about it.  He was crying when he left and so was Ziu, my heart hurt for both of them- but I am glad we were the one’s to adopt Ziu since I have the time to fix the potty-issues where most would not.

…And the dog responds to “Ziu” when called- so, we changed the spelling for our sake and the sake of our veterinarian and I can’t help but feel like I’m back in college again with two mentors trying to vie for my academic attention-  As if Tyr was an Ethics professor and Loki, Civics….and each is trying to bribe/teach me at the same time.

Loki: “I got her a husband.”
Tyr: “I got her a dog…and named it after myself.”
Loki: “…The husband is housebroken.”
Tyr: “So to, will be the dog. You think any gift I give is without work?!”

Seriously, though…what are the odds of finding a perfectly sweet husky named Ziu, the Urglaawe word for Tyr?

So far today according to the step counter on my phone we’ve walked over 2 miles.  He’s 10 months old, is not housebroken, but is so sweet and beautiful he reminds me of some male models I’ve met over the years…. Not the brightest, but beautiful and nice enough to compensate.

He has a shiny new harness, toys, a girlfriend in Natasha, and a life outside of 16 hours in a cage.  As for housebreaking… I don’t leave the property much anyway.   Being a “Dog Warden” who scoops him up, puts a leash on him, and puts him outside everytime he even looks like he is interested in relieving himself is tiring but far from impossible.

It just takes all the patience I never thought I had…  Also, unlike Natasha, I am now forced to get my broken foot looked at because running hurts like hell but the only way to train a husky is to tire it into happy submission.

My dear readers….what would you think if you were looking at a dog who just randomly happened to be named after your patron God in your second language….how would you react?


The black Shadow is Natasha, and here is a meta-photo of the author attempting to photograph the dog unsuccessfully as Ed’s mom got the best shot to date!

I really need to paint those cabinets this summer, too.


Legacy and Godhood: The Blue Suit of Bowie

Posted in About me on January 11, 2016 by Alana Smithee

*NOTE: Seeing so many posts on this topic from every imaginable direction seems to indicate the more people who learned ourselves through David Bowie seem to have a similar UPG regarding his legacy.  We only strengthen it by writing on it, It is encouraging to see so many people who wrote their own tributes on a similar vein!

Most of you reading this likely share the spiritual belief that a “Legacy” and even Godhood may be conferred upon those rare few manage to create a permanent, positive impression on the lives and futures of our peoples.  We have a religion of King Odinns and King Freyrs, by some believed to be either the academic origin or chosen physical reincarnation throughout time so that Gods do indeed walk among men, one lifetime at a time, rather than the typical idea of spontaneous manifestation exclusively, or perhaps some light dreaming.

In this, I can say that David Bowie was among the Gods of my teenage years.  I really do not talk much about the outsider status of Loki, and NO. I am not about to disrespect either David “Bowie” Jones or Loki Farbautison by even suggesting they belong to the soul.  If anything, Bowie would be more likened to a random Jotun, since Jotuns are androgynous and reports on gender are fluid at best (Hence Farbautison… I am supportive of the idea of scholarly Lokeans setting this as an identifier of scholarship)  The argument I would like to propose that as our society and culture changes, some Gods are inevitably forgotten as their domains become obsolete and irrelevant and new Gods that lead though story-legacy of great deeds, even if greatly flawed and mortal once, will become part of the narrative that guides future generations with new archetypes and ethic that are both honorable and encouraging to a certain population.

An example, for instance, of imperfect Gods are those with physical impairments that they are able to transcend:  Woten, Hod, Tyr, Hephestus, and even Loki are examples that can prevent the marginalization  of peoples with physical disabilities of lack of depth perception, blindness, amputation, limping, and torture survivor scarring and instead of showing weakness, shows that what most consider impairment would then be seen as an honorable strength.

Long gone are the Berdaches, and Norse sexuality varied from strict homophobia at its most Western regions to bacchanals in the Baltic for Freyr/Janis.

I hate labels, so I will go with my medical classification given at the time.  I was “diagnosed” with gender-identity disorder in grammar school….and I did not feel flawed.  This was in the late 80’s to 90’s…there was no such thing as “tolerance” or a plethora of choices of exact label (neat little box) you could decide to cramp yourself into as a little kid.  Online I write as a gender neutral, and in many forums I am assumed to be male.  (I’ve had more surgery than Caitlyn Jenner on my lady bits, but because the poor genetics of tumors/endo/cysts rather than desire for fame)  But, regardless- that is a fortunate thing for me because the spark of self I lost as I was forced into the cattle suit of “respectable adulthood” and the exchange my body made without my consent from androgynous ingenue to Tits and Ass…. to after hysterectomy and the weight loss since the last surgery to removed a disease ovary to feeling a bit more “like myself”.

Living without a period every month allows me to live within my head without the distraction and annoyance of what is an unnecessarily painful function in an infertile human.

Now, imagine having to go to (unsuccessful) therapy regarding my hatred of dresses, lace, and my “dangerous” hobbies of playing with the boys by climbing trees, fighting people for fun, and jumping off of playground equipment…the horror of everyone but my Nana was palpable.  People in my childhood world didn’t have any example of any person, living or dead, or exhibited the same strangeness in abhorance of how society had decided to pigeon hole my gender.

As an adult, I have no problem with being a woman, but through the internet instead of whining and griping about “unfairness” I create my own by defining myself, on my own terms via how I communicate with the outside world.  An ability that has only been gifted to us via the internet in the ease of allowing for people to judge the worth of writer entirely by the quality of one’s thoughts outside of a novel. Even female authors of old who wrote under pseudonym still had to wear a corset to leave the home.

I cannot credit Loki for explaining to me myself… It was watching David Bowie music videos as well as movies in which the man was featured.

In the character of David Bowie was a “flawed freak” who made those in the most basic element of first world culture feel uncomfortable at best… but despite his detractors, he existed in a place of success, respect, and legacy to aspire to for people like me from the 1960’s up and onward.

Although there were many other examples from Oscar Wilde to Lou Reed to Annie Lennox- David Bowie was the most accessible to the undefined “other” who would look at the gender check box in frustration and say “This isn’t specific enough… I am a female, but I think like a modern male”.

Even indigenous heathenry was subject to gender roles prior to this current “viking revisionism” period- as agrarian polytheists, women strived to marry well, do nothing but housework, look pretty and have children.  Period.  But if you had a penis, you could work with powertools.

This idea of life sounded like hell… I wanted the power tools (I’m gaining a collection)

Nana is a Hildebrandt descendant, who within in her life knew her grandmothers who kept the name matrilineally, that we owned property and were some pretty bad-ass Hexerei who knew our way around the seven books of Moses and Pow-wow like we invented it. (We didn’t…)

I came out of the closet as gay at age 13, not knowing better.
Nana replied: “You’re not gay, you’re bisexual and I’ve known since you were 4.”  Apparently, I asked her at that age “Why do I have to marry a boy, why can’t I just marry whomever I want?”

Sadly, Nana now has dementia and personally holds be responsible for a “black man in the white house” (I didn’t vote) as well as ISIS itself.

But what I can say is that she did say: “You’re like David Bowie.”

Up until this point, David Bowie was an abstraction of just another random singer on WMMR rock radio.  Every rock star looked like an androgynous mess of glitter, make-up, and spandex at that time, so I rather wrote him off as just another dude with sequins and make-up from the 70’s, and they dressed in such fashion on account of hard drugs.

So, I honestly researched David Bowie.  I watched his movies and interviews when I could catch them, I read biographies and encyclopedia articles, I listened to his music and I felt like “Life on Mars” was written as if he was looking at THIS girl at age 14 with the mousey brown hair with a shitty homelife like I was his movie…and the pathway to survival was not to cower in silence, to hide in shame, or to endure abuse and singing to me in only a way a teenager can believe in the power of music.

The power in being an “Outsider” is to fucking own it like you decided it was the most fabulous idea you came up with an no one was going to talk you out of it…and though the focus and the theatre of being an open carnival of the self by being so entirely honest about existing as a taboo, although a “freak”- privacy of my most deeply hurtful secrets was kept from those who could hurt me with the knowledge of my abusive home life and other deeply traumatic problems no child should experience.

Being “Other” does not necessarily always mean “Pariah”.

David Bowie existed by definition as a living God, in my opinion, of benevolent influence.  I consciously made the decision to define my terms with life as myself as opposed to being called diseased for my strengths instead of commanding enough intellectual respect to receive help for the flaws I could now accurately convey.

Loki honestly didn’t have a strong role in my childhood in the same capacity or knowledge of lore as I have now.  Loki-as-mare was a story of humiliation, not of honoring those whose mental view of themselves does not meet the expectation have upon their physical appearances. Loki in drag to get Thor’s hammer was yet another story of humour and cleverness….not so much that gender itself was an entirely human construct.

It is honestly easier to see how the modern interpretation of Heathen sources has been influenced by David Bowie standing his ground in his transitional, brilliant nature which in turn, makes Loki less marginalized as an ancestral deity. Not vice versa really seeing as David Bowie is rather better liked still than Loki by most Heathens…)

To begin to be myself, I needed to be able to find a way to surpass societies expectations of me in a way that would not feel contradictory to my actual person. With the money I saved up as a soccer referee/writing kids essays for them in the library for $20 and 50% help from my Nana, I purchased a baby blue flare-leg suit from Express after months of saving (and hiding money from my mother)…and with that suit, I said “Fuck if anyone puts me in a dress against my will again.”

Blue suit

The Blue Suit…He wore it better, but when I saw it for the first time, I consciously chose to own one.

My hatred of dresses and skirts had nothing to do with the actual clothing, but what it represented at the time to the world- subservience, intellectual mediocrity in favor of contrived and impossible femininity, and the taboo of being assertive.

In more modern therapy, I am called “Gender blind”-  meaning if Ed suddenly decided to wear cocktail gowns it wouldn’t change a damned thing (except our clothing budget).   We wear the same clothes anyway… it’s amazing how a tank top and lounge pants looks entirely acceptable both on two different gendered bodies.

I went full-out freak in high school.  Unlike Bowie, I was entirely without drugs, sex, or any sort of criminal activities… but although I had no aptitude for music, by the end of freshman year I was organizing a concert for AIDs awareness (taking over for another androgyne who lost his cognizance to drug addiction) twice a year until I gave it up my last semester to make certain the tradition continued.

We had no battle of the bands, The Concert for Life, I learned lasted over a decade post my graduation as the only local avenue for bands from not just my highschool but those from the surrounding schools as well.  I’ve met students who played in the show long after I was gone…and there was a legend that it was I who started the tradition.  I wasn’t, there were two prior to me.  Apparently, I also was the first “openly gay” student (not true…every year there was one of us- we called it “Alpha Queer”- I got it for 2 years because the person who was supposed to carry the mantle changed her mind…society itself changed, and by year 2000 life had improved tremendously for all ‘queer’ people of most varieties.)

I walked the hallways sometimes with the make-up of Alladin Sane (A Lad Insane)…


Before chopping it short on my own accord, mom got me a mullet. This is how I fixed that shit.

Other than that, I wore my hair over my weak eye, had elaborate purple and black eyeshadow and cropped my hair short in one of the three approved “Neutral Dyke” (Not Lipstick nor butch) hairstyles of 1998.  Long in front, short in back, highlights…. the other two being the “Riot Grrl” and “Hairgel spikes”….and usually wore a long black duster and occasional strange shit such as wings, horns, or facepaint.

I kept the suit until I grew boobs around age 22 and the hairstyle remained until 2007 with monthly trims.

bowie hair

RIP David Bowie…and 9 years of me having this exact haircut.

We have lost many celebrities who will be forgotten very recently.  As much as I loved Stone Temple Pilots, when Scott Weiland passed at a young age, my reaction like most was a resounding apathy of “Everyone dies, and he did stupid shit.”

Lemmy Dies, well, he was old as fuck…it’s sad, but he lived a full life.

David Bowie dies from secret cancer during which he released two albums at the age of 69?  Every artist, musician, and even nominal celebrity is expressing profound thoughts and extensive tributes in mere moments without editing- people are devastated, and unlike the deaths of most famous people this is a legitimate loss in the sense that he decriminalized avant-garde genius and being “queer” in every sense of the word.

I predict his legacy will be one that will last with the profundity of Freddie Mercury, instead, not for the reason of his voice in music, but in how his very image pushed boundaries in such a way that the minority of people “like me” who exist in this world can live without hating ourselves for a few less society-manufactured issues.

I am personally opposed to the radical over-sensitivity with which people are being asked to be treated on account of being a ideological minority- because that’s the cowards way.

The way of the Hero is to look at the majority and be able to say “I don’t fucking care if you judge me, my worth is found in what I contribute and using what inner Genius I possess to force the world not to discard me and what I have to offer over superficial nonsense.”

People LOATHED David Bowie in his early years, but some small amount of people “got it”, he constantly reinvented himself and instead of writing fiction, became the characters he imagined.  He was crass and cultured, he was beautiful and terrifying.

Most Gods start their existence as a legend, either based off of imaginary or history… As an adult, I now know the works of Oscar Wilde and Lord Byron, of Billie Tipton and Lou Reed.

I know Loki and Inari are gender-shifters, as are most Jotun.

The man who fell from Earth would have fit in nicely in marginalized Jotunheim as one who found himself in the Asgard of celebrity without deterioration- he endured a career of triumphs and persecution for four decades as became the penultimate example of virtue for “the liminal others” who were taught WE could also not only survive, but find a place of usefulness and honor in a world full of ubermensch barbarians and gentle, pretty mothers.

The self-chosen infertile genderless can aspire to neither perceived pinnacles of gender without extraordinarily painful self compromise and a life of contradiction and unfullfillment.  We needed another generic option.

David Bowie gave us “Strange Genius” and brought back the ‘Mystic Berdache’ legend in his performances.  He alternatively hated and embraced labels, he fucked up, he recovered…albums failed and they succeeded- but at the end of the race tally he was wildly successful not just financially, but as a human being as evidenced by the fact he is reported to have died peacefully of cancer he suffered out of the public eye surrounded by family…including his formerly estranged son.

He was flawed, but the success in life isn’t gauged by how much money you possess, but by how many people will care both as you are dying and after they have passed from this mortal coil.

Today, our culture has lost one of the first of our own Gods of the modern age, ascended entirely by the fact that David Jone’s legacy as a genius will far outlast his life on this Earth since the reach of his influence in life even now is unfathomable.  David Bowie was a creation by a man called David Jones, I doubt few will truly think on the fact that this artist created his novel of archetypes and characters on stage and screen instead of writing novels.

The Gods that die, are the ones that no one remembers.  The Gods that live are remembered and only died upon being forgotten and erased entirely from human consciousness.

He was something entirely new, entirely different not in any specific way, but in the myriad of ways he explored the human experience and portrayed those experiences via his “phases”, intentionally.

May we all have the opportunities to become Gods in the memories of the future generations via the legacies we leave behind.

Bowie was not a Heathen, but he’s a great example to all Rokkr, Lokeans, and Jotunatru who find themselves confined to the margins of Heathenry.

And when I finally pass from this world, I hope that in death I can meet my own Hero (even just for one day) and I imagine the conversation would look like this:

The Man Who Sold the World
We passed upon the stair, we spoke of was and when
Although I wasn’t there, he said I was his friend
Which came as some surprise I spoke into his eyes
I thought you died alone, a long long time ago
Oh no, not me
I never lost control
You’re face to face
With The Man Who Sold The World
I laughed and shook his hand, and made my way back home
I searched for form and land, for years and years I roamed
I gazed a gazely stare at all the millions here
We must have died alone, a long long time ago
Who knows? not me
We never lost control
You’re face to face
With the Man who Sold the WorldTo sell the world, you have to own it first… I see nothing to the contrary in the volume of reactions to his Death.  I am quite certain he will “live forever” if in nothing else, in legacy alone.


Father Winter-Oral Tradition.

Posted in About me on December 22, 2015 by Alana Smithee

These are the collections of stories and snippets I was told in my childhood, hence- there is no references or links to click.  This is oral tradition alone, and I ask if you have any stories of your own to share about growing up Heathen to please do so.  Our voice is still far too quiet.

European Heathens Especially:  We need you to write, in English, to prove to the Americans that we exist and have always existed.  Please have no fear to share your stories about how the Old Ways lived and never died, and how your family explained them!

Santa Odin
“He was St. Nicholas,” said the documentary, “”Who threw the dowry gold so that the daughters of the poor man next door could marry.”

“Oh, really? Eight Reindeer, Eight hooves:  It was fucking Sleipnir, what about all the Woten imagery?”  My dad would critique.

This was at least one good thing about Christmas.  I believed in Santa Claus, and honestly, the whole Santa thing was very, very impressive and imperative to the culture of both sides of the family for entirely different reasons in words, but not in ultimate action.

First, there was Christmas Eve.  German children see Grandfather Winter/Santa first before any other children, no matter where they live in the world.  Since we were German (Okay: Austrian-Deitsch/Latvian), He will come down the chimney during a long supper on Christmas Eve with many courses served at once.   It was a bit of an argument, I am told, until Nana Gloria passed on as to which family had the honor of Christmas eve and decided where their descendants would visit.   It was actually a good thing, in a way, because the sanity and strong personalities of these elder women took factors into consideration that looking on it now- are incredibly complex and absolutely without a doubt regarding how best to preserve the respective cultures of my family.  All two of them.

Nana Gloria went to my Uncle Barry and his two children, Tanya and Tommy.  I wish my Nana did not estrange that side of the family so deeply they fear re connection with my father and I out of how badly she hurt them in her slow dementia.

So.  Jason and Joey would spend it with the Austrians, but after Catholic mass most likely.  Jason was a second, what we call “kissing” cousin.  We were told we were “good luck” for being born exactly two months apart in the same year.  A story reconfirmed at a funeral by the daughter of the sister of  our great grandmother.  When I got that nervous, uncomfortable feeling I get when someone speaks of Pow-Wow in front of Christians, my Catholic cousin looked me in the eye: “I may be Catholic, but we come from the same family… I know what Pow-wow is.”

He also got to stay on family land until adulthood, and advantage I didn’t have until now… we will likely never meet again, but it’s okay, I’m back on “family land”… and we’re going to  replant the grapevines from Austria.  We already reclaimed the family musk roses from the garden.

I had my Latvian grandma, who was sweet and kind.  We lived with her and the entire period between Christmas and New Years her friends would arrive and prepare a series of dishes and strange activities such as melting aluminum or lead and pouring it into cold water.  The resulting sculptures were then held to the light of a lit candle and the shadow cast was interpreted as the future for the next year.

One of the more annoyingly aboriginal Latvian “Aunties” held her statue in mock frustration,

“Little Chicken, come here and tell me what you see..” to me.  All of us Latvian kids home and abroad were honestly somewhere between terrified and uncomfortable of her (“Little Chickens”…was apropos)…but felt a sort of obligatory affection despite all this.

I said I saw a man “hanging by his neck by a rope- like in the cartoons”- she laughed, my mother ordered me out of the room in anger, and my grandmother gently mewed I should stay.

I do not know if it happened that particular year, but someone of Auntie’s family committed suicide.  Then again, that is a pretty common way for Latvians to die outside of old age and literal assassination.

On New Years eve- you eat Saurkraut and pork for luck (both sides of the family) The Latvians had me run around the house clockwise and look into the windows to see the future. Obsessed with death, to see someone whose body was seen but the head hidden meant death of the person seen in that state.

(Never saw anything that I can recall, actually. I did do the running, though.)

The tree was not even a thought until Christmas eve:  “In the old days- they put candles on trees outside.  Why would you do that the day after Thanksgiving?”  Christmas Eve was when we decorated.  Not before.

And I realize at this moment, at the age of 33, that I worry the generations of children after my own mostly are tradition-less regarding family-legacy actions.

(I do not have children- so, I let my spouse determine “decorating time”- I actually am not a fan of the process!)

There was a pickle we had to find hidden in the tree to find to receive an orange no one really wanted.  There were calendars of chocolates, roses on the tables of odd numbers, pointsettias, holly, and Odin.

Oh yeah…Odin/Woten.   See…he’s Santa.  He’s had to hide over the years because the Christians wanted to kill him, but he won’t die.  That finger across his lips?  That is so all the children of Teutonic Europe were directly in on the best secret ever.

It was strange how only my father talked about it from his line- but grandma’s friends were all about Grandfather Winter.

Santa had to have a real beard.   My family was adamant about this.  My parents were barely adults in age and the pressures of many older peopls influenced the good part of the holidays.  They knew my mother was evil, but imagine a group of old herding dogs, who although may not run very well, had advantage in numbers in their influence on both sides…and proximity suffocated her a bit, but gave me some good Christmases.

When I have flashbacks, I cannot remember the good.

Grandma’s friends, Grandma’s house, Grandma, although terrified was able to leverage the influence of her culture upon my childhood in a positive fashion by utilizing strength in numbers.  The Latvian Lutheran churches celebrated both the Old religion and the new- still in the process of a half-finished amalgam that was the algorithm of the extinction of countless native faiths the world over.

The Latvians cared for Solstice more than Christmas- in church.  The German Lutherans paid acknowledgement briefly to the pre-Christian origins of our “German heritage”.  Even being German was something to “keep silent”… because hundreds of years of deep and beautiful history were now inexorably linked in the public consciousness to war crimes and genocides, yet no other culture has such prohibitions to the same extent.

I learned grandma’s ethnic group latest census concluded under 700 full-blooded people.   Who speaks about Stalin?  Who speaks up against Andrew Jackson veneration?  Both also killed indigenous peoples to the complete ignorance of most  Americans.  There is no exoneration for any of the three of them or any others whose names I do not know.  But only Germany suffers to the extent of having our traditions and culture verboten and censored over the misappropriation of our cultural symbolism by a single man for a single decade of human history.

The “Red Scare” did almost as much harm for those from anywhere near the USSR…but who even held Jackson accountable for inspiring both those men who came after him, and cited his extermination of the Native peoples of North America as inspiration?

(Severely endangered people…..HEATHEN people, with the only legacy strongly held by other’s is in Latvian and Latvalian language.  FUCK!)

Christmas day was conceded to the Deitsch, gladly.   The elder women of Dad’s side focused on youngest son’s children….and neither of those sons were particularly receptive to any sort of spiritual interests, much less interesting intrigues of cultural contradiction between our traditions and Lutheran church.  One uncle ended up trying to be Methodist.  Like the rest of our family, now sees the inside of churches only for funerals or weddings.

Santa then divided as I was older….grandfather winter had left us, leaving a vapid man in a red suit as my mother became more terrifying.

However, moments were still there.  A coffee mug with “Father Christmas” in the blue of Odin with ravens holding mistletoe and holy in their claws or beak against a field of snow.   I kept the mug for years until it was left with a former roommate by accident.

The memory of someone, somewhere telling me, “No, our Santa is different.  You tell him your secrets and wishes .  Only Krampus and Schwartzen Pietr are the one’s who care about goodness and obedience for toys.”

My mother confused and muddled traditions every year to the point I am surprised we didn’t attempt Sainta Lucia- that would require me having to have live fire attached to my head and low ceilings.  I wouldn’t go for it anyway, it would require me wearing a dress.

(Seriously, fuck dresses. says past self with a smile.  Getting me into a dress was much like attempting to put clothes on a cat.  Much thrashing and hiding under objects..).

So, There is a man with a long white beard with a horse on 8 hooves who came during dinner and left presents for everyone.  But that’s “German Santa”… he wears blue.  “Red Santa” is Christmas day… or it’s the same Santa.

Christ-Allrighty, being raised by schizophrenics is confusing.

Fire was lit Christmas day, sometimes on Christmas eve.  Sometimes Black Peter was Loki from climbing down so many chimney’s first to tell Woten if it was worth his time, if the children were truthful and good.

His symbol was peppermint candy, good kinder got the candy canes, and bad- the whipping cane. Interesting how now that Heathenry is open now- so many Lokeans leave peppermints for Loki.

At that age in my life, there were enough elderly Latvian ladies around at Christmas invading the house no whip was seen, thankfully, nor ever.

Thank you, to you who are left.   Someone in Latvia is reading this- and I doubt you are a stranger to my grandma.

Chocolate oranges then became a rage.  Sure beat the boring, real ones…

Did Odin exist or  Didn’t he?  Did Santa have a real beard?   If so, did he whisper in your ear and ask you for a secret?

Real Odin/Vilanus/Woten apparently used secrets as currency.  Scary secrets, ones that hurt.  He wouldn’t tell.

I was asked once, “What is your SECRET wish”- we were in Wannamaker’s in Philadelphia, “I want to live with Daddy, I wish my parents were divorced like Maya’s” – a classmate at school.

He looked sad and smiled a little,

“I would love to! But that is a very hard wish for me to grant…”and he looked me in the eye,  “I am so sorry.” he mouthed.

My mom thought I asked for a pony like I did every year.  There was one or two years where I felt I had an intelligence and still Believed.

8 reindeer=8 hooves
Tree in the forest lit with candles= tree inside lit with lights.
Latvia invented the Christmas tree for Father Winter to find us better.
His secret is that he is Odin, and his finger to his lips is so German children know we are special to know it.
Don’t tell anyone at school… We have to keep his secret too.

Like we keep things secret from Church about what we do at home.  My mother tried Christianity, and nana was a church secretary who never prayed or spoke of Jesus…but would tell stories of the Hildebrandt Hexerei Witches of Lancaster from which we were both descended.

My mother tried the manger scene, and I never even saw a single Jesus at Nana’s house. She liked angels and snowmen.  Dad ended up with a baby Jesus from a church creche in his yard a few years ago during a storm.  It’s in his basement because he’s afraid to throw it out and his efforts to find the owner have failed.  It’s a bit like Ibn Saladin picking up the cross…but not knowing where the heck to put it.

Even Jesus exists- but his birthday is in August, you need to know Jesus because the people who pray to him?  The German and Latvian Gods and ancestors might not know them.

How do you pray?  Not in public.  We didn’t pray as a family and I still see prayer as a very private thing.  Very few people have seen me do it, and fewer still would know my own rituals.

Did anyone else every ask the Moon for “sweet dreams”?  Did the moon show a face and talk back to you once and tell you stories in a dream as a child you would recall forever?

My blankets were wrapped in a crescent framing my face and arms as I looked at the full moon through the window-  the pink curtains I hated as a child, through the dead branches of the winter magnolia.   I forget what He said to me, but I remember for years every full moon pulling my covers up into the shape of the moon and looking out the window to see if He would come to my dreams again.

Did Odin ride through the clouds all year watching the children of the world cloaked in silence?   Or did Santa listen through the loud dial tone of how awful of a child I was?

Hey, I had rich grandparents.  I vote Odin.

And as an adult, having that amount of wealth to get any toy I wanted (until my mother would stomp it), but yet, it never made my life any better from my mother….  It seemed that Santa did not listen to that gnarly bitch…while I also learned that love and family is more important than money.

Life only started to fall apart in my family when the Matriarchs died and my parents moved me away from the family.  That year, they also were mutually disowned by our extended family here in Berks county.   There is safety in family.  Children need to be raised by more than just two people, but the family and community if you want them to care when they are older.

I do.

The insulting gifts from my birth mother meant to either embarrass or terrify me?  My Christmas eve also had my father, my uncle, my grandma, and whatever random Latvian ladies around.  Christmas day was any toy I could possibly desire short of a live horse at Nana’s- the Pa Dutch side.

Money doesn’t solve the most devastating problems of life, it’s simply a band-aid.  I wonder how my grandfather feels that everything he ran away from in his life, the “poor life of a farmer” or “the factory work of his brothers” is now the only stable work to be had…and my husband is successful in everything he attempted to instill in me was “inferior” to a way of life that was less materialistic and based more on learned skills than intimidating others to do tasks that would mean nothing even a year in the future.

Then again, the synchronicity of  the good fortune I had to be born with so many unrelated “aunties” on one side and great-grandparents on the other gave a great deal of deep cultural immersion in those things I could have missed… and did miss.  It’s like Rumspringa was 10 years working in an office and being miserable.  I pleased certain family, but I hated myself and allowed myself to be disrespected and abused in the process by the very nature of culture itself.

Now, I write- I repair my home, I take care of our local wildlife flora and fauna and i care for my neighbors.

One neighbor passed last Wednesday in a car accident- her brother is “one of us”- meaning not to go to the family and help immediately would be in violation of what is honorable.  I went without sleep and gave the last of my smokes to the widower and stayed until I knew he would finally sleep.

I knew when he woke up the rest of his family and the pagans of her family would be soon in coming.  The funeral is tonight, it is not only proper to pay respects, but for my husband and I to make our appearance will be recognized by the few in  the mixed group of another family of mixed traditions of this county…that Ed and I are STILL present.

The “Heathen Community” is not entirely public.

I have had enough experience to believe more in ancestors who actually react, and phenomena that people who once lived explained to me could/would happen to and for good people.  Good people take care of their neighbors- they take care of our people, and they give what they can without overextending themselves.

Because Woten could be anywhere, even as Santa…because sometimes, that’s the only way he could talk to all his descendants.

Grandfather-Allfather knows when you’re sleeping, when you’re awake- his ravens are watching and his eye is in a well (the size of a lake…)

An Actual Post Regarding Loki: Archetypes.

Posted in About me on December 19, 2015 by Alana Smithee



This Feather.


(Bear with me here- this post IS about Loki, it ties together at the end.)

re A homeless man and a strange woman unloading an El Camino draped in a white fabric.  Dead, bleeding bodies wrapped in white sheets and rope into our own backyard which they fenced in themselves.  Ed was dying missing both legs, and he was in a stupor leading to death.  I was begging him to stay awake when they noticed me… Ed is a former professional athlete who won second in the world in Shaolin Long fist kung fu.  Noticing me suddenly, the two psychos began to approach me and I panicked…. as I woke up to my phone ringing the solo of “Freebird”- Ed’s ringtone.
Never have I been so happy to hear from him!  I told him about the dream then.  When he came home, I retold the dream, and just before bed- I asked for his interpretation one more time.

I have no idea how the topic came to mind, but after describing the horror of this short scene ad-nauseum, I told him about another dream I had earlier in the night.

“It will make a good fiction story,” I voiced, “…it would make for an adorable story for a coloring book or something.”

Ed replied, “That dream is the one you should write about honestly…”

“But it’s just a fantasy!” I protested, “It’s totally on account of what I read before bed last night, it’s not important.”

“Maybe it is.  I think it is.” and now, he’s sleeping quietly beside me holding Natasha-dog as she is watched me type this for a while before falling to sleep herself.

The dream:

The world had changed.  I always promised myself if the world changes enough and that political and social climates shift dramatically I want to visit Iran.

Here is the background why this Heathen has this entirely random-appearing desire:

In my waking life, studied the region immersively for four years concurrently while I absently completed my degrees in religion and philosophy as almost an afterthought in between several distinct tutors in language, etiquette, culture, history, and diplomacy regarding all things Persian.  Exasperated by being the sole provider of my meticulous notes to every hung-over asshat in my classes by order of each professor…
…I worked on my understanding of the Persian alphabet by transcribing English words into the calligraphy that is Farsi (along with scathing commentaries regarding certain lectures and professors..)

My BEST professor in Persian was humble and brilliant.

His own mentor, an American political scientist, was one of the professors whose personal philosophies at times frustrated me the strongest.  Where we agreed, we were in total concordance, where we clashed it was utter opposition.  However, I wrote my papers to serve the independant audience that is each respective professor.  I sought a college education to earn a degree that would improve my life, not impose my personal opinion.  I saw my job was to understand the position of each professor on each assigned topic requiring some sort of ethical judgement, and making an educated guess at their own world view to write back to them in my own words like a keenly trained parrot.  In philosophy and religions, regurgitating a point of view with five-dollar words found only within academia without a single, legitimate personal opinion attached was the norm.

People fail college entirely for not making that connection in the Liberal Arts.  The soft-sciences, however, are a different game altogether.

Both political scientists recognized my “pandering” immediately and asked for my actual point of view on assigned topics instead of “Writing what you think we want to hear.”

“Let me see that, Ren… Wow, you did not like that lecture at all, did you?
‘Gary, you are an idiot to believe this idealistic Utopian bullshit’.

… Well, at least your handwriting is improving significantly.” he commented puckishly.  “That’s not how those three particular character’s are pronounced, though… I think you meant to write this…” and proceeded to correct my scathing criticism of his own mentor and indicated I was far too nihilistic for my health.

I loved the history of Iran.  I loved learning that topics and religions that interested me throughout my life turned out to have Iranian origins.  If you are a Heathen or Odinist reading this blog, imagine learning that “Caucasian” means “from the Caucus mountains which separate Iran from Turkey” and that “Aryan” is nothing more than a cognate of “Iranian.”  I was awed there were Futhark runes carved into the ruins of Persepolis which indicated a long history of peaceful trade between the Norse and the Persian peoples.  They sent scholars like Ibn Fadlan to study our ancestors, and I even learned that my tiny, obscure Latvian ethnic group had it’s origins in the second Luri migration of the H12 Haplotype.  Which explained why my deceased grandfather resembled Shah Reza Pahlavi, and when my hair grew in dark and I tanned learning Islamic history during a semester in Spain that I was frequently mistaken for more-recent-than-ancient Middle-Eastern descent.

I loved the religions of  Baha’i’, Sufism, and Zoroastrianism- the first Pantheistic and the last two easily classified as Panpolytheistic, respectively.   The Iranians explained the cultural influences of Zoroastrianism, but finding solid information on the actual religious practices itself were at best vague… even with the advantage of archaeologist/theologian who specialized in Judaism and of the religions prior to Judaism of the  ancient near East.  Zoroastrianism was just out of reach (Uruk was the furthest East he went) and slightly past his time of expertise (Cuniform), but he sent me every resource he encountered.

Only now with the resurgence of people over the entire region of Daesh/ISIL/ISIS showing a renewed interest in Zoroastrianism and the pre-monotheistic traditions of the Yazidi, have I really had the ability to learn more.  These cultures are blood-based and secretive in nature- distrustful of strangers and low in number from abuses from all religions of the region newer.  Now I can read about the details of the practices and traditional beliefs of this ancient culture- and like anything else, it will remain a hobby until I am satisfied I have learned all I could have found without outside assistance and just add it to my internal inventory of “Practices, history ,and etiquette regarding interactions of people of [x] religion”.

Sorry for the boring lecture.  To the dream.

I was in Iran, outside of a city that was in the process of being bombed as I watched.  I was floored, but unharmed upon the grass.  I could not discern if I was in Tehran or at the ruins of Persopolis, the smoke was thick in the distance obscuring structural details to mere shadows of the fires and thick black smoke.  Where I stood, the air was clear.  In front of me was a body of water- too foggy to see across. behind me was the burning city, and I was on what seemed to be a peninsula.  Although I could breathe clean air, the visibility was atrocious but clearing very slowly.

To my right I saw a dignified-looking older woman dressed all in black- straight in posture and beautiful in a regal sort of way. She was extraordinarily pale.

However when I approached her I realized her eyebrows were painted on and heavy cosmetics created the illusion of beauty at a distance.  Her posture was due to a stiff black corset, she wore a black pillbox hat with a small black veil that hid an updo of yellowing white hair.

Her face was unlikable in the sense that she seemed aloof, critical, and unfriendly. But she smiled broadly  (falsely) when she saw me.

In front of her was a bridge that bowed in a way that reminded me of the famous Gateway Arch of St. Louis.   She indicated she was old and sore and she brought out a huge wad of folded American hundred dollar bills to offer me to assist her to cross the bridge.  She clearly was too fragile to make such a steep climb alone, and I told her I had no interest in her money- she earned it, I don’t need it.

She indicated she was from Khorasan and knew of a Sufi lodge there, that she herself was Khorasani- and “recognized the touch of their religion upon {me}”  I was mentored to a former Khorasani Sufi, the sect is so obscure I never could find much information on it, but I was informed by some Turkish Sufi in real life that “The true Khorasani remain in Khorasan”- the place where Rumi/Molavi was born- a large former province of Iran that either borders or includes Turkmenistan and/or Afghanistan.

She offered me a place in “her home for as long you a desire of great luxury, exotic foods, and beauty.”

I was interested in seeing Khorasan to her description, but I still found her off-putting.

I did say I would help her, so at a silence in her conversation, I felt a tug on the bottom of my t-shirt.

There, behind me was an adorable Persian girl with curly dark hair, a bright smile, and large, beautiful eyes. She was in a simple, but pretty white dress that had a few layers of soft skirts she seemed to like to “swish” to and fro.

“Are you police officer?” she asked, in English.

I kneeled down to her eye level, “No, I’m afraid I’m not.  I wanted badly to be one for a while, though.”

“You look like police officer to me!” she exclaimed, then, looking sheepish,”But…can you speak Farsi? ”

To my surprise, I replied “Man Farsi baladam, bale-” [I speak Farsi- yes.]

In real life, I’ve lost my fluency except when I have severe flashbacks episodes.  The “black places” in my memories also include useful things as well that I lose when I am stable.  In the dream, I was both speaking Farsi AND stable.  something that never happened.

In Farsi, the little girl explained that her parents lived across the other bridge I had not noticed before. Directly on the opposite side of the Peninsula on which we were standing from the first bridge.

Entirely different in structure, It was wide and paved as a Chicago major highway and completely desolate- the fog extended about a quarter mile out so all I saw was the flat space of empty asphalt and concrete with marked lines like normal, highway bridge.

She said the bridge went “for miles and miles” (Kilometers?) and although she spoke well, she was so small she looked like she could be maybe 5 or 6 years old.  They were both in Western dress.  I wouldn’t go to Iran ever without the severe clothing restrictions were removed entirely to the level of freedom of pre-1979 revolution-Iran.

I figure if that ever happens, the name will go back to “Persia” anyway.

“Will you take me home, please? Misses Police Officer?”  (okay, she said “Shoma”- not “Misses”- but there is no closer translation I can think of.)

She basically called me a police officer in the absolute most formal Persian possible…and she held her opinion as stubbornly as any other young child I have ever met.

Reminded me of when my Goddaughter told me with absolute certainty several years ago when I tucked her into bed: “Unicorns exist now, they are just hiding from us.” I really couldn’t refute her if I wanted to (despite logic).

I replied, again, I am not a police officer- and wouldn’t her parents be upset if she walked with a complete stranger?

“Na,” she smiled, “You do good things, you judge bad people.  Only Police do that.”

I thought to myself: ‘Wow, this country has changed entirely… I was told the police in this country were the most corrupt  and feared people when I went to college in 2012.  Everything must be fixed after all…’

Oddly, the burning city behind me didn’t phase me much except that it was unsafe to stay much longer- I felt that it was almost an isolated, expected event, much like one would view a major earthquake in Los Angeles. Bombing in Iran?  Just as predictable.  In the dream my identification of the city kept changing between ‘Tehran’ and ‘Persepolis’-  it wasn’t Kerman or Naraq, Kermin was too far South, Naraq was not a large city.  Those were all places I wanted to see most, so I figured I would be in a place that I had particular interest.

I kept looking for Mount Damavand to prove one way or the other if I was outside of Tehran.  I wondered if the body of water was Chitgar lake or if the Sivand dam was actually constructed despite the outcry that it would “drown out” the ruins of Persopolis.

She was so innocent and trusting and my protective instinct was overwhelming.  I explained to the older woman that I needed to take the little girl home as my first priority.

I knew we were not the only three people around- even though there were what appeared to be ruined buildings in in the shadows of the smoke of the wreckage, when I looked back at the city I thought “Abandoned.”- as if when I looked at the city itself I thought it was uninhabited Persepolis rather than the Irani capital of Tehran.  When I looked at the water, I questioned if I knew where I was at all. (Note:  I have never seen Iran in person, I had to look up the names of the lake near Tehran and the name of the dam on Wikipedia.)

I explained to the older woman in English that, perhaps, the next person to walk by needed the money she offered me- and that few would refuse such a generous offer. (Okay, this part I paraphrased- Every Persian I ever met was magniloquent- so heaping on generous, positive compliments when giving a negative answer I was taught is customary…  add three paragraphs about  ” her generosity”, “The kindness of the Persian people” and “predestination” and that is more accurate.)

Despite trying my hardest not to upset the woman- my instinct proved correct.  She was enraged, screaming at me at how I was “throwing away the greatest of opportunities” how I was “Abandoning a respected elder without any care!” and other frothy insults.

It was fortunate the older lady could not move very well.  I even asked her if she would be content if I gave her one of my rings to hold as a promise I would return and help her as well-  she was older, wiser, and so much more able to abide alone for a short time over this very small child.  She refused.

“You know the money I have on me, if I get robbed it was your fault.”

I replied, “You offered it all to me to help you across the bridge- if you give the same offer to the next person to help you how can you be robbed?”

She was still pissed off at me, so I asked the little girl if she wanted to take my hand.  I never asked either the names of the old woman nor the child.

As we were walking, the little girl waited until we were pretty far away from the peninsula and city.  Fog was behind us and ahead of us- and she stopped.  “I want to give you something special too for helping me.  Here!” and she gave me a blue feather- obviously a body feather of a bird with blue plumage.  “I like this feather because it is magic.”

“Magic?” I questioned, indulging her.

“Yes!  Look!  If you cup your hands, the feather turns brown in the dark…but when you hold it up, it’s blue!”

I am an avid birder-  I am aware that all blue pigmentation of bird feathers is actually an optical illusion produced by the structure of the feather itself.  If you are really bored, here is an article on the phenomenon. 
Destroying the “magic” of her feather would be as horrible as telling an American 5 year old “Santa’s Presents” came from your uncle.

The feather was as pretty as you see in the picture above- but I don’t recall the green.

I stated, “This feather is really pretty, birds that are blue are rare and hard to find- are you sure you want to give this to me? You might never find another feather like this.”

She was already walking again,
“Oh, I can get as many of those as I want.  That feather comes from our Angel- he runs the city and he’s really nice!   He will be happy to meet you and thank you for helping me too and he always gives me his feathers!”

And suddenly, I realize I am a complete idiot, I died in the blast, and the little girl was taking me to the Yazidi Peacock Angel.

In Zoroastrian and Yazidi tradition- upon death, you are to cross a bridge to the afterlife.  Below the bridge are hungry soul-eating creatures.  Those who live by kind and good thoughts/words/deeds are met by  “a beautiful maiden who leads them across a bridge so wide you cannot see below”

But those who are unkind and prone to negative thoughts/words/deeds are met by an ugly, pissed off crone who leads you to a bridge that narrows until you fall into the chasm below to be entirely erased from existence by being devoured.

I woke up then, and in just researching sources right now, i found a further article on this entity.

Apparently, Zoroastrians believe The Peacock Angel is in all religions- to the Babylonians, He was Enki.

To some theologians,  there is a theory that the genesis of the Lokean archetype was first recorded in the Babylonian stories of Enki– a wholly benevolent God without the same stigma as Loki or Coyote. Here is a wiki-link that directs the Enki page to Loki’s definition page.

My personal belief is He is the earliest form of the archetype of the “Trickster”-  the basis for Lucifer as well as Loki, Coyote, Inari, and countless others.

To me, as an archetypalist, I believe the Gods go through “phases” much like we do as we age and change.  Trickster’s are shapeshifter’s- a great book on the entire archetype is called Trickster Makes This World by Lewis Hyde.  Within it- he shares a similar perspective on this matter in great depth and detail.

In conclusion- what set me on the ENTIRE path of Persian studies was a dream where the Judaism/Archaeologist professor told me there was a Heathen professor in the English department who wished to meet me.  I wrote about the dream in more detail here.

I walked to the English building, and in the corner office was an office filled entirely of full bookselves and a young-ish red-haired man with a patchy beard who pointed out his window at my now-former mentor:

“See that man there?  He is very wise, protect him, you will learn much from him.”

I believed the God to be Bragi for 4 years, I was not corrected….and the professor I was charged to “protect” spent his last two years devolving into a completely disingenuous, atheistic asshole to a life-destroying intensity. (I’m being kind)

I almost didn’t allow myself to live through the experience, actually…

…and at the end of it all, after my degrees were finished and I regained the smallest amount of stability of having a clinically classic Narcissist as my primary influence in my life,  that God came back 4 years later in a different dream. (Paraphrased for those who didn’t click the link to the prior post on these particular dreams)

“You….are not Bragi.”
“If I said who I was, you wouldn’t have listened to me.”

Which lead to an apology from a God for not predicting the caustic potential in the life path to which He lead me.

This was the night prior to the first date with my husband- and as his apology, he gave me a rose on fire that glowed with a cool flame, but did not burn up, and promised that Eddie would protect me in Midgard.

And… here I am, I married Eddie- he does protect me, and he turned out to be correct.

My life doesn’t consist entirely of bad dreams and flashbacks.  I just need to learn to appreciate the bright and beautiful parts of my life as well.

Like the blue feather- when I am in the darkness  of my mind, there is no beauty.  When I am not, my life and experiences are lucky and extraordinarily beautiful sometimes.  Like the stops at each majestic vantage point on a road trip of uncertain length.

It would help if I didn’t automatically equate “nice” dreams as insignificant and ignore them in favor of obsessing over my nightmares.

After actually sitting my ass down, writing this all out, and finding sources that explain terms and concepts…

…I realize I just wrote my first post about Loki in months.

Actions, Words, and “Trigger Warnings”

Posted in About me on December 17, 2015 by Alana Smithee


“My Beautiful One” by Olaf Erla  When I first saw this picture I thought: “This is what my mind looks like from the inside.”  That, or the 10 of swords.

As an individual living with C-PTSD, I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the misuse of the word “Triggered” in the use of the context of people mildly annoyed with the right of free-speech of others.

To show a comparison of what a REAL trigger is, I am currently in-state right now and will describe to you what someone with an ACTUAL trigger experiences as I am experiencing my flashbacks.  I have tried every therapy available to me and the only thing with any positive response thus far has been “sedation”.  I am a medical cannabis patient with a high-dosage Valium prescription to take as-needed.

I am writing this prior to taking my “emergency medications”.  These are my memories and my train of thought while suffering from  C-PTSD.

Fuck any of you who ever used the word “Trigger” for anything less than a medically diagnosed condition.

My father, although having a great heart and wonderful words has failed me.

In a text to my husband, he wrote the following: “I would have saved her from her mother if I could have.”

No.   You did quite the opposite.

When she got knocked up at 17, you allowed yourself to be manipulated into marrying her “or else {i} would be aborted”.  That did neither of us any favors for the 17 years of abuse I suffered after.

Yes, you pulled her several hundred pound stinking body off of mine several times as she attempted to strangle me, but did you ever call the police?

No.  In fact, when I was 12  “The Talk” to me was “I cannot defend you anymore or she will leave me- don’t worry, it’s only a few short years before you can move out legally.”  From that point forward, you would hear nothing of what I experienced.  You worked overtime so you wouldn’t have to see her starve me or beat me.

You came with her when she drug me away from award ceremonies celebrating accomplishments I achieved in school- SHE determined that I “did not deserve them because..” usually something banal like “Not doing the dishes properly”… the guidance counselors called me “Cinderella”- for if you didn’t notice- I was doing the chores as she sat on her fat ass and demanded glasses of water, as she left large embroidery and quilting needles everywhere to the point where we all were pulling them out of our feet and asses each time we dared to sit or walk without protection.

You allowed her to buy me turtleneck shirts to hide the bruises around my neck, you watched her smile when I opened the boxes at Christmas.

One year she bought me anthracite thinking it would hurt me, and she was so angry I thought coal was “pretty” she fucking threw it at me and stormed off like she always did.  You were there for that, too.

You claim you don’t recall.  Everyone else does.

When I was 12, the county was in the process of removing me into the custody of my grandparents.  My mother, in true Narcissist form, suddenly decided we “had to move”- far from the rest of the family and neighbors who protected me and over an hour away from your place of employment- for her reputation’s sake.

She was enraged she was no longer allowed to work with children because I had the courage to speak out.

At 15, we all came to the decision I was finally allowed to move in with your parents.  You, yourself stopped the process.  Why did you do that if “you could have saved me”?

I was emancipated at 17, it was the first time I had privacy in 17 years and I was apparently difficult to live with for my host family and friends.  I loved the basement room they gave me to live in.  I loved not getting yelled at.  I still talk to everyone who ever gave me shelter in that time.  I never knew what “safe” was before for any consistent period of time prior to that other than time with your parents, which was always limited and would come to an end and be met with abuse to “correct their spoiling of me.”

“Spoiling” to your ex wife was another term for “treating like a human being worthy of love.”  Something she cannot ever be capable of, and you know it.

I joined the Americorps at 19 and applied and was accepted to University of Colorado- full scholarship.  That year, you claimed me on your joint taxes and it called my FAFSA into question making it over 6 years until I could attend Moravian… and even then, your NEW wife decided the small 5k loan you took out to help me was “too much” and you demanded I quit school when I had a 3.8 GPA in 2 majors, a master’s thesis and graduate programs were courting me.

You wonder why I hate your new wife?  That is reason #1.  She spent your money to bumble through a low-level nursing program for several years but could not abide me completing my last semester of a real college.

You claim “she bounced from job to job”- do you not recall that she told several people she “never intended to work again” after marrying into your 6 figure salary?

She envies me for what she imagines is a lazy, stress free life on disability.

Don’t you think after I was making over 60k a year in a failing travel agency that I would prefer to have the ability to contribute more than 12k worth of disability to my own household?  Do you understand I changed jobs in my 20’s so frequently not because I was ever fired:  I wasn’t… It was the only fucking way I could increase my pay.

They don’t give real raises in retail…and not having a college degree in this age meant my resume’ ended up in the garbage as I watched inferior people flunk out of positions I could have excelled at long term with actual career potential.

When you divorced my mother, you said “I will not date anyone with children- I have neglected my own enough.”

You lied.  You were so fucking lonely you got engaged to any woman who dated you a month.  You were engaged to two women with children.  Hell, I didn’t even mind the first one.  Her children were sweet.

Sorry she dumped you.  Julie was sorry for me she dumped you too.

Now you live with your new wife who checks on you every hour like you are a child when you spend time with me.  Her children are unapologetic sociopaths and have turned my grandparents against me.  HER daughter is looking forward to attending the most expensive school in the region to be of all things: A Spanish teacher.  A community college is more than sufficient, that’s what you would have told me, if that at all.

In fact- all those years I spent living under your roof?  You said nothing when your ex said ad-nauseum “You better get scholarships- you don’t deserve college”- and you did nothing.

You said after the fact that “you had a plan”.  It’s easy to say words- you never had any such “plan” to help me with school and your income demanded contribution that fucking yeti would never allow.

That would mean being kind to me.  That was rule number 1 of living with your ex-wife:  Never be kind to me.  Bryan is a God, I am garbage.

Yet…which one of your biological children lives in literal filth?  Can you honestly still believe the lies your ex said that anything and everything was somehow my fault?  Her hoarding? That I deserved her abuses and punishment?  That I deserved to be ignored by you because that crazy, ignorant bitch was jealous of a CHILD’s relationship with her own father?

Why have you never accepted your role in everything that occurred to me?

And here, it is nearing Yule/Christmas/Whatever-  My mother still terrorizes her side of the family making it so I can’t even have my Heathen grandma and my uncle share in our first real holiday in our newly purchased home.  If Jan and I call Elder Services again, then I get the wrath of the entire family who is terrified of a 50-ish mentally ill woman.

I was the one who was the most abused. Why do I possess more courage than all of you combined to fight her back when she tries to abuse my grandma?  Why isn’t anyone else but the fucking NEIGHBORS fighting for my 84 year old blind grandma but me?

You and my husband get offended when I say “I wish I was aborted.”

But, if I was, this is what would have happened:
1. You would have attended college.
2. You never would have been in a 25 year long abusive relationship with a woman who reeked of menstration and cheap perfume- her broken black teeth, the hairy pores of her face and her beady little eyes and voice that could not speak to me in anything less than profanities.
3. You wouldn’t get hurt when I remind you of the ways you continually hurt me…. for I never would have been hurt in the first place.

Your parents wonder why I am on SSDI, why I cannot “let go” of the past… it’s easy to let go as a bystander  Who among them was actually starved and beaten?  Only myself.

They call me a “loser”-  How does the city of Philadelphia feel that they are paying the pension of a former college administrator who held no higher degrees of education himself?

Better to be a Loser than a Liar.

I was expected to reconcile with my brother who had a psychotic breakdown so profound he emulated my abuser down to the exact same insults and tone of voice- and yet, you cannot understand why I really was not interested in welcoming him back into my life.I didn’t want him back because he acted just like her…and it took SEVERAL people to convince me he was “safe” and his own vouchsafe word he would see an endocrinologist since his emotional disturbance actually stems from a real physical condition…to which he is willing to acknowledge he harmed others and has taken multiple steps to get help.

In fact, both my brother and I have always striven to improve our flaws and to work exceptionally hard not to live in denials or fantasies.   This is why we listen to our doctors.

Your attitude regarding your mental health is only rivaled by your disregard for your diabetes.

What it boils down to is on account of the mental health diagnosis’ you refuse to accept and receive treatment,  you instead would rather feel the innate inner sense that  CHOSE to stay with her out of “logic”- where truly, there was no logic to be found in the situation: Furthermore,  you chose to aid her in “covering up” all the abuses when child services were called.

If you are REALLY so concerned and love us all- then perhaps you should consider NOT throwing out your medications prescribed (except for the ones you feel immediate, tangible benefit) and if you don’t want to fucking die like my Nana Gloria perhaps you should cut way back on the Pepsi considering she died of a diabetic stroke…and you have diabetes.

This is an example of cognitive dissonance.   Don’t worry, your second wife can not even pronounce the term much less understand it outside of exploiting it for the gain of her own blood family to the exclusion of your own.

You. Are. Cognitively. Dissonant….and you refuse help time and again- before Nana lost her mind she theorized with me that you refused meds/treatment because the reality of your life would overwhelm you and “drive you to suicide.”

But…that was years prior to her dementia and the steady campaign of alienation your wife and her brood have worked so hard to accomplish successfully.

It was nice of you to build a shower in the bathroom downstairs after THREE YEARS of the creature you married forcing me to wash in a sink in the unheated laundry room.  Your compassion is ever-bountiful, how kind.

Your step-daughters whine for money and have no ethics- yet when I picked up my box of old awards/trophies from your house you minimized my old achievements so that the little sociopathic butterball didn’t have her poor, fat feelings “hurt” that I was pretty damned good at my sport.

…where for her, you pay hundreds because she is too fat to be a real cheerleader so you pay for her to go to cheer classes to stand and clap like a downs-syndrome recital every month, but with $30 hair bows.

You and the teenage-bride you married refused to even pay for field trips.  I had to ask your parents, always.

“David Winter Cottages” were obviously a more imperative financial priority in the house in which we lived, and her obsessive QVC spending sprees.

When I confront you with these things, you cower and say “you do not understand”.

This is what you need to understand:  I have been scarred in ways that no medicine can ever heal; from the childhood of atrocities and abuses that have made therapists cry and my brother, the golden child, feel such bystander guilt from watching me get abused that he, himself is actually in psychologically worse shape than I am as a self-harming hoarder with some form of psychosis- that evidently even WITNESSING what occurred to me on a daily basis was “too traumatic for him”.

(Which I also think is bullshit.  If he was so “Traumatized”- why speak to the bitch who did it? It’s offensive to me on such a deep level words cannot convey my intolerance for the contradiction.)

Of course you say you “didn’t see it”- you were either working overtime or don’t want to look reality squarely in the eye.

I want you to understand and express that you let me down.  I don’t want you to fix my fucking house as much as I would like it if you called me.

You hurt me further by saying I “look like her”- funny, but most people say I look like you.  If I “look like her”- it’s because you stuck your penis into a psychopath and expected a miracle.  Genetics is a bitch, as much as I would love a new nose and chin, I would rather pay off the house.

I am not a hoarder, I do not scream… I am more highly educated than anyone else in our family especially and including your father who ascended the ranks of Academic Administration with nothing more than a questionable associate’s degree, and yet- you let your parents treat me like shit as well as your “new” daughter prances around in her new clothes Nana bought for her as she cheerfully exclaims:

“Oh, I don’t like Nana- I just like shopping!”

You know who actually DID love your parents?  I did.  I loved them the best I could even after they stopped loving me.  The only reason I do not and cannot be in closer contact with them is that they intentionally provoke me ad-hominem attacks every time I communicate with them.

You claim it is the same for you- but yet, your new family seems to have taken the place of the old.

You do not call me, you claim you “don’t have the time”-but you visit your inlaws several hours away at least monthly.  Visiting me?  Is that too painful or uncomfortable for you?

Do you realize your discomfort is 100% your own guilt and responsibility?  That I am an uncomfortable reminder of every single failure of judgement for 25 years?

Isn’t it just so easy to just “walk away” instead of facing this?  You say I should as well, but here is the rub.  I have C-PTSD because of this.

I don’t have a choice but to relive every. single. painful. memory.

and Again.
And forevermore.

I have attempted every single treatment.  I have allowed myself to be abused as an adult because I did not know what “normal” was- leading to further traumas any “normal” person would have known to avoid.

Despite being selected for an online think-tank at the age of 18 run by a professor of UCal, I honestly did not believe in my own intelligence until I was assigned my own nurse at a psychiatric facility who had to explain to me “The problems of genius”.  My college sent the hospital my thesis on time theory.

My thesis was published.  You not only never read it, you never asked for a copy.   Everyone else’s parents who wrote one have their child’s proudly displayed, I’ve noted.

My teenage years: Your 80 hour weeks, fast food stops prior to coming home, and your ability to visit the rest of the family while I remained trapped with the monster you married….and you claim you were the one “harmed”….and that you “didn’t see anything”

How could you not see when you were STILL pulling this rabid rhino of a woman off of my body as she tried to strangle or smother me for any imagined infraction?

That never stopped… you pulled her off of me repeatedly.  Why didn’t you call the police if you loved me?

Did you really love that beast more than me?  Then why do you blame me for your marriage?  You are a contradiction.

Our conversations which used to be intellectually deep and mutually rewarding are now flat and monosyllabic.  Is that because of your guilt about every lie you tell yourself?  Is it because you realize that you married an honorless woman who had two illegitimate children and an entire bookshelf on how to “capture” a “rich man”?

Is it because you do not realize the distances and slights you have allowed your new wife to leverage against me all proved to be false?

Do you know when I came from from my broken engagement in Canada your woman asked me if I was “with him for the sex?”

I was so appalled I just said “yes”- a woman like that would never understand what love is, and frankly- it wasn’t her business to know I left for Canada because John was neglectful and his parents were extraordinarily abusive towards me.

Morgan was the first real relationship I had where I felt cherished.  Then his ex did to him what my mother did to you… and you encouraged him to stay with the woman who used a fetus as a bargaining chip.

Morgan spent 3 months in an institution- he was raped repeatedly as a child so the stress of the entire situation brought out his latent Disassociative tendencies devolving him into a fracture of conflicting personalities.

Can your wife understand anything so complex?  No.  She could not even understand our most basic of conversations…so, you stopped having them with me.

Do you realize I am the only person related to you who places more value on my relationships with those I care about than anything financial?

I have no credit cards,  the television downstairs came with the house and has never been connected to any service- it’s just too big and heavy for me to push it up to the curb.

If there are wills I am included in (which I doubt); there will be no “battle”- I will choose a charity and allow that charity to fight for “my” money for whatever they need…. and no, I won’t pick a charity of MY interest, it would be one appropriate to the deceased.

If my grandparents die- the money goes to the Philadelphia Zoo.
If you do, and you don’t die in the massive debt-hole you found yourself: The Tesla Museum.

If grandma dies, Gods help me- All I care about is that her library of books written in Lettish find a home with any Latvian group who will take them, preserve them, and keep them as a library in her name.  That is the ONLY battle I am willing to fight for.

…and that battle, I will likely and sadly lose unless I keep pushing to try and speak to the Bērziņš… but the Latvian community stands aloof from me out of a combination of fear that I am the spawn of the worst of their people and also my misguided former affiliation with American Asatru- you know, Americans that believe in the old Gods?

The appeal of being around people who wore funny clothing and worshiped Gods I was familiar with welcoming me?  Of course I would gravitate towards them until I realized they were nothing more than Christians making Woten into Jesus and Loki, Satan.

So, I moved on- found more Heathens like our family, and now I am their chaplain whenever they need me.  It’s sad I live the contradiction of existing in a Philosophy that places such strong emphasis on ancestors, family, and home- but the homes of my own family are “closed” to me.

Because I am told I am a failure by your parents, because your wife is upset her bipolar, molested daughter (whose abuser she also kept in the home) didn’t get on SSDI.

She didn’t get on SSDI because she’s a dishonest whore with a drug problem.   The insinuation I was addicted to painkillers last time I visited did not go unnoticed.

If you would be so kind, next time you see me- read my patch.  It says “Estriol”- it’s what they give people who have no ovaries.  Thank Gods I do not, bearing a child is the absolute worst nightmare I can imagine.

Painkillers are rather normal for someone who had major surgery.  I haven’t touched one since I had a kidney stone over a month ago.  I weaned myself off of morphine in a week.  Also- did you not realize you were at my home the day I came home to keep an eye on me while my husband picked up the list the doctors gave him for my aftercare?

You became bored- you went home and left me alone.  The entire purpose for you coming up was so I wouldn’t be.  You failed me then, too.

The next day, we got Natasha- my dog, who has honestly been kinder to me than most humans, and I spent fucking weeks training her by myself while I recovered from surgery.  She bypassed two levels of classes because of that.

You treat her like she’s disgusting when she offers you her favorite toys when you visit.  Are you the same way with the slimy toys your sister-in-laws infants handed you?  My dog at the age of one at least knows how to crap in running water and obey more basic commands than most 5 year olds.  You treated her like she was something gross.  She’s one of the most beautiful things I have in my life.  Yes, I am one of those people who sees my “pets” as thinking, feeling creatures.  It’s easier not to fuck up a cat or dog.  For the most part, they spend more time helping me than I ever do them.

I used to cry in elementary school every single mother’s day when we had to make cards “appreciating” what, to me, was a creature more terrible than anything I could imagine under the bed or in the closet.

I used to hope I had monsters living there= I figured they would eat her if they saw her.  Win/win situation- she was much, much larger and my life could have been happy!

But, sadly, even the “monsters” failed to save me.  However, grandpa’s secret passages in grandma’s house?  They were great until you decide to “Yes, dear” into a move to fucking Deliveranceland where the people were ignorantly Christian to the absence of all logic and reports of livestock molestation were frequent.

I am not suicidal… I wish you made the wisest decision any man or woman could make:  Choosing someone who was worthy of bearing children.

In failing to do so- what “failings” you see in me, everything that makes you “uncomfortable” can be directly attributed to being screamed at by a female yeti for the entirety of my formative years… with the only “good parts” being the time I spent with you at work or the short time you were stay-at-home, or time spent with your parents.

Your parents who have also chosen your “fresh start” over the past you actually created yourself for me to suffer forever as if I deserve the mental anguish I go through every single time I am personally Triggered.

Triggered is a real thing.  Did you know when your ex-wife would have me prepare the meals I was not permitted to eat I learned to eat raw meat?

Did you know that’s why I still do?  The taste of anything less than “practically raw” is another painful reminder of what I lived through.  So is lasagna, so is meatloaf.

So many things “normal” people enjoy that I never can.

I will never “get over” that the day of my birth was considered “The worst day in the history of your family”- pretty much by every blood relative close to you.

My birth stifled your potential, and it has made you a man of shame and guilt.

So, next father’s day when you are kayaking on the lake with the older step daughter who had three of your ribs broken by her ex-boyfriend, who left her targets from the gun range with “Dave” written at the top in large letters on your dining room table- will you wonder about the daughter who is your intellectual equal?

Or…do I just make you too uncomfortable and dealing with her mishappen life is so much easier for you because you are blameless in its inception.

Her problems come from her mother’s whoring around.  Don’t try to tell me a woman with two children out of wedlock is less than an irresponsible whore.  Even you got married and abortion was 100% legal at the time of both births.

Apparently, what your ex won with you, your new wife lost the gamble in trying to “tie down a man” for herself.

Ask yourself this:  Was it really worth it to get engaged to three different women with the same ring in the entire 6 month period you were “single”?

You lied to your pastor on your wedding day to your second wife- saying the divorce was finalized, when it was not at that time…and further, you adopted her youngest daughter whose father was dead….not only dead, but while still alive, molested the oldest daughter to make her the mess she is today.

The girl who wanted to marry her coke dealer, but the coke dealer wised up and dumped her ass.

The girl who threatened to kill herself because she wanted you to buy her a car.

This is what you replaced me with.  You tell my husband “I wish I could have saved her.”

See, the problem with that is you could have…and you chose not to.  Instead, you chose regret, and even that I am not certain is genuine.

You claim you were “abused for 25 years in that marriage” to my mother…

The difference between you and I is you could have walked out at any time and called the police on her for every violence inflicted against me, with every neighbor in Haverford and every school teacher I met acting as witnesses to save me, to save my sanity, and ultimately any chance of future happiness…

…instead, you chose someone other than your daughter.

It doesn’t matter how “good” or “honorable” of a life I attempt to live to any of you.

And people wonder why I hate Christmas.  Every strand of lights, every tinsel, every fucking pickle hanging in every fucking tree reminds me of how this holiday was when the abuse was at its worst.

It reminds me of how if I showed that I “loved” any toy I was given, it was broken in front of me by your first wife.

It reminds me how I was treated like a slave to put up all those indoor decorations and punished if even one of those fucking fragile-ass tacky glass ornaments broke.

It reminds me how I was forced to shop with you for the woman who made my life not worth living for 17 years.

And this year- it reminds me how I cannot have a real family like “normal people”- because you broke your promise and “started over” with this new woman and her fucking evil offspring and that my mother still terrorizes my innocent Latvian grandmother to the point of tears and assault…but that “is no longer your problem.”

…and then, you get pissed off at me when I have to join her neighbors in calling the police yet another holiday on that sub-human you decided to breed twice with.

What I want is for you to prove in ACTION that you love me.  Not reluctant visits only if something breaks I cannot fix (and I can fix a surprising amount of things!)

I would like it if you actually shared your life with me- instead, it’s “none of my business” – Why?  Because you are being “Superdad” to a new family that you didn’t even donate the sperm to produce?

Is it because I told you that your new wife was a gold-digger before anyone else had the courage to do so?

Are you truly happy?

I am not.  I am literally triggered the entire month of December, every December.  My neck still aches from all the times those ham-hock fists of that female sasquatch were around my throat when I smell the fake-pine she sprayed on our fake-tree.

I decorate minimally- because I do not ever want to see another “fragile” ornament remind me of what it felt like to be 100lbs and to see fists come down upon my body again, and again, and again…

I cannot abide by hearing anyone at all raise their voice in anger- including myself.  You will notice I discuss and NEVER raise my voice in emotion.  Why?  Because I am not her.

…and if there ever becomes a time that I do “become her” I would do the world a favor and swallow the end of a gun for the sake of those I do love.

Now you see my brother- he is like her.  You paid for him to flunk college three times when I could not go at all until I was 27.

You are proud of Morgan and her “accomplishments”- when she herself admits she uses people “and pretends to be their friends” to gain whatever thing or goal she attempts to achieve.   She is truly a despicable goatling, and her sister is no better.

But, you know- I’m just on SSDI and a chaplain.

And yes, I miss my dad- and he’s not even dead.  He just “started over” his adult life, and I am left with the broken shards of an incomprehensible childhood- and the only people who understand are the friends who have stood beside me since I was 12 years old.

Does he even know their names?  My best friends may come and go in and out of my life as they please- they do not need to call me daily or “check-in”.

Did you know when your wife forbid you on taking out the last 5k loan I needed for living expenses I was homeless?   Did you care?

I called you for help on car insurance 4 months later, I begged even…and you refused to help.

I ended up in a head-on collision and that bitch you call a wife had the audacity to tell you I “did it on purpose”

When I was waiting on SSDI to clear, I defaulted on my student loans- you accused me of preventing you from “taking out your third mortgage”- on a home you owned less than 5 years.

Whose credit was more ruined?  You didn’t believe me when I told you my loans were forgiven over my disability.

I showed you the papers showing all debt has been discharged, so why do you still treat me as if I was the one who wronged you?

Why are you so hot and cold with your involvement and alleged “love”?

The only conclusion your indiscrete therapist has given (and every therapist I have seen after to whom I have described you) is that your schizoaffective disorder is the root of your fractured reality.

The reason you and my husband get along so well is you have the same condition.  He’s medicated, if you were medicated you would have a nervous breakdown to see the reality you have created around you.

This is your reality:

You live in a house you hate.  You were not able to reform the sociopath-child.   Your son lives in a house of filth and gouges out his flesh with his fingernails and is starting to show signs of his mother’s profound list of mood disorders that make him entirely volatile and unpredictable- and he has serious physical health issues that have not been addressed properly.

He is borderline-to-most likely abusive to his own wife.  Who he refers to as “poop-head” and treats like a motherfucking slave.

You allowed my mother to treat her own mother like a servant in her own home while you lived there.

You allow for your wife’s daughter to take advantage of your mother who has severe dementia.

Your adopted brother asked for you before you died- you let him down because it was too hard for you, when HE was the man on his deathbed.

I was the only person who was able to start the process to get Steven into hospice BECAUSE of the college degrees your new wife poo-pooed.

I know less than a handful of people in our ancestral religion who are recognized as LEGAL clergy, and I am one of them.  No, I do not make money from this, but my legacy will be far greater than that of someone who spends 40 hours of each week punching a clock.

The only good thing to occur from my childhood is compassion for the suffering of others- because I have suffered.

However, I cannot rationalize why I continue to “suffer” because I was so deeply harmed in such almost cartoonish ways under your watch that I can never, ever experience “normal”.

The only mother figure I had prior to my awesome mother in law was YOUR mother….

….and your mother is getting robbed blind by your new family- and you do nothing.

You claim you “do not remember”;  go back to the old neighborhood and have them kindly remind you.

If you think it was “Just because I was a teenager”- then go back further to the neighbors of my grandmother.  Ask Jan how many times her husband came home from a long-ass day of painting and set up the bad-mitten net to get me away from the woman you married to “save my unborn life”.

The only normal years I had in my childhood were when you stayed home working on VCR’s while my mother bounced from job to job fired for being absolutely intolerable as a human being.

And yet, you continued to fuck a that woman.  Those broken, black teeth, the stench of menstrual blood always upon her, those beady, colorless eyes and her lank, dirty hair on your pillow when you were raised in cleanliness.

What the fuck was wrong with you?

What the fuck is wrong with me for still loving my father despite all this, and still making excuses after all these years when at any moment, he could have just walked out the door with me, called the neighbors, the school, my grandparents, and done what was best for his eldest (that I know of) child?

I know if we stayed in Haverford township, I would have ended up living with your parents, remained in the best school district in the state, and I would have had a chance.

Even though you didn’t enjoy your childhood with them- could you at anytime say to yourself with honesty that it would have been worse than being trapped by that monster you married?

Do you think Nana would have accused me of being a “changeling” and beat me to “bring her real child back”?

Would Pop pop have asked houseplants if I was “telling the truth” about some inconsequential knick-nack being broken by my mother’s elephant feet storming through the house- to where I could tell simply from the sounds of her heavy footsteps how badly I would be beaten?

Would I ever have had to push furniture against my door to prevent more beatings?

Would I have been able to keep my door hinges?

Would I have been allowed to bathe in a real shower or bathtub without being punished for it in Middle School?

Do you know what it feels like to be shoved against your will into support groups in k-12 schooling with other “abused kids” and feeling deep envy that THEIR parents were “only alcoholics”…and could get better and my situation had no hope?

Are you aware that my condition is so severe that I have permanent damage to my heart from tachycardia?  My blood pressure is naturally low- the only medication for it gives me narcolepsy?

Do you even know what a flashback feels like?

It feels worse than wanting to die.  It feels like never wanting to have existed at all.

Merry Fucking Christmas.  This is called “Triggered”- if ANYONE believes  otherwise, you have my permission to give them a REAL trigger.

I suggest starving them for a couple of years, forcing them to wash in a dirty sink in an unheated laundry room, and frequent beatings by something large, ugly, and totally irrational…and then have the one person they love most completely and totally abandon them.


This is “Triggered”.   It’s a record every shitty memory playing on a gramophone in the mind inaccessible behind bullet proof glass.

Because I survived an interrogation, at least I have veteran-friends I can commiserate with who have been through interrogations as well.

But overall, the total sum of my life trauma could have been avoided with a simple procedure at Planned Parenthood.

Our family ways hold no stigma against abortions.  Your parents offered repeatedly to pay for it.

That is one time you should have taken the money, Dad.

The words “I love you”:  As Nana Gloria would say: “Put that in one hand and shit in the other- see which hand fills up first”

If you loved me, fucking stop what you are doing, re-evaluate your life, and take responsibility for the harm that is continuing to occur instead of shrugging your shoulders and placing the blame on the other people you have in your life and other faux-responsibilities to these strangers who give you the illusion you didn’t completely and totally fuck up 33 years worth of me..

…by your inability to have courage to “act” on the love you claim to have.  Pick up a phone.  Admit you fucked up, admit you keep fucking up.  Consider getting medicated so you don’t get taken advantage of.

Stop blaming me for the pain that was inflicted upon me that makes YOU uncomfortable.

This is a fucking disease that could have been avoided with a phonecall at anytime from elementary school up.

You could have saved me.  You chose not to.

The absolute most pathetic part of this post is the only family who MIGHT ever read this is a second cousin I met at Aunt Shirley’s funeral.

Sorry Jon.  My line of the family is completely shitty as well- I changed my name too.

If I could create a life for my father it would be working from home in a nice pre-frabricated house on a lake-front plot of land so he could kayak…his entire living room would be a work bench and my brother and I would find an accountant to manage his money and give him an allowance for hookers to keep him from marrying poorly once again…

Since he cannot be trusted to actually pick a spouse who isn’t some form of malignancy.

On Syria (And the rest of the Middle East)

Posted in Justice on November 25, 2015 by Alana Smithee




After much thought and consideration I decided to write this post realizing that there are few outside of our Heathen veterans who have come home from tours recently to give accurate insight into what is happening currently with Syria and the rest of the Middle East and how it relates to the United States.

First thing that needs to be stressed is that the Eastern part of the United States has been experiencing high amounts of rioting in the past several months, in fact, it was the sharp increase in inner-city violence which drove Ed and I to buy a home in a fairly isolated area.  Reading and Allentown Pennsylvania, our two closest cities, have been experiencing almost constant racially-motivated riots that seem to be primarily caused by high school  students.  In Allentown, 4-6 officers (depending on the source) were injured during what is now called a “Large High-School brawl”.  In my city of Reading, we have the Philadelphia SWAT team on loan on account of a several hundred person riot near one of our own high schools.  Here is the link to that, it was only announced locally and despite hundreds of people involved in violent demonstration and destruction, these events are not televised nationally and I have heard of the same phenomenon happening in other cities to even greater degree- also unremarked upon excepting Ferguson or Chicago as of last night.

From speaking to others who are located in the Mid-Atlantic States, Great Lakes, and Deep South- the racial tensions have been mounting considerably. The problem lies is in the information people selectively choose to consider without actually having real sources to back up their perspectives.

I have been seeing a great deal of “Unfriend me if you feel/think/believe…” which does nothing except for limiting exposure to alternative points of view and information.  The situation in Syria is far too complex for a meme or a blithe non-sequitur.  For both sides of the fence, you are not creating a more “elite” friendlist, you are diminishing your exposure to the insights and experiences of others.

Oddly enough, for the first time I have been dismayed to discover it is primarily those who have high degrees of education in entirely unrelated fields who are the easiest to offend at this moment, and it has really been an abrupt slap to the face of my reality to see very intelligent people show very little situational awareness of life for those who do not live in any area of significant tension or danger within the country.  Sadly, those same places of riots and danger are very close to where many of the refugee processing centers are located and out of straight fear it is not unrealistic to expect Islamaphobic violence to take place.

In the United States, we are obsessed with the number “Two”- very focused on false dualities:  If you aren’t A, you must be B…. If you believe in B you must be anti-A.

It’s bullshit, frankly.  (Since this is a blog entry and not an academic paper, I can say “BULLSHIT” and enjoy doing so. )

Considering that the situation in the United States in our cities at best could be described as “volatile”, it seems the divisions between those in the Ivory Tower of academia and the less-diverse communities of the upper and better-off middle classes are entirely blind to the majority of problems that affect the majority of people who do not live in such comforts- showing evidence of deep instability at the core of our identity as Americans…and this is not a pretty phrase I am just throwing out there: Heathens are moving out to the country because we are witnessing first hand as poverty and strong divisions in ideologies is leading to extraordinary violence and prejudice between pretty much all peoples that could possibly be divided in every imaginable way economically and socially, by a consumerist culture that thrives on controversy, discord, and glorifies needless violences.

Before I get into the specific details as to “Why”- I will state my position (which has not changed in several years):  is it is safest for US citizens, the refugees we already shelter, and the refugees seeking asylum if we temporarily suspend ALL refugee intake into the country until we employ our military to fix our severe domestic problems of homelessness and violence amongst our own citizenship.

I have been called “racist against Syrians” for this… but honestly, using the argument “The US is better than where they are coming from” does not work on me considering Rwandan peoples have been raped with swords, watched family members dismembered, and yet we have not opened our borders to them or any other African peoples, nor have we welcomed the Polish, North Koreans, or really anyone publicly recently to the degree of Syria

Actually, we have shown a dangerous amount of news coverage regarding the intake of Syrian refugees- which honestly is what contributes to my negative position regarding taking in more.

The United States takes in 70k to 90k refugees from all over the world per year without incident.  Most actually arrive from either Burma or an even MORE controversial country, Iraq.  (Source: Pew Research) Considering ISIS partially had its origin in Iraq, claiming Syrian refugees are secret ISIS insurgents is unlikely, despite this fact- the instability, homelessness, and civil unrest here in the USA needs to be addressed first before a population the media conditioned the average American to fear is a terrible idea for everyone.

Furthermore, despite there is evidence that rebellious young men from the all over the world rebel and join ISIS/ISIL/Daesh including the USA- it is impossible to say where the next attack may come from, or if.  Yes, there are reports that one of the suspects of the French attack was Syrian, but it was a fault of the Greek vetting process over the French, technically.

Regardless, my stance remains the same.

Despite the fact it is unlikely a Syrian themselves is going to commit any action against this country- the level of fear is high enough that it is reasonably safe to expect that there will be an increase in violence.  Most likely from Americans against the entirety of the Muslim population without the ability to differentiate even the basic differences between Islam, Sikhism, Hindu, or Tengari.   Sikh populations in particular are at high risk for their traditional head wear and religiously-required beard.  But, as you can read from the following article, are an entirely independent religion far separate from any recognized threats to national security .

Here is an article about a Sikh man being attacked in Chicago as a victim of misplaced anti-Islamic violence.   Sikhism is actually from the Punjabi region of India- not even remotely close to the same people.

If the average American is so ignorant as to not be able to discern the very clear distinctions between religious practitioners and seems to hold a particularly strong fear of Islam in particular, bringing in more Islamic people is NOT going to assuage that fear simply out of the reactionary violence that is already occurring and will continue to occur at even greater levels as the sensationalism of the media increases and decreases to suit those who control our media for whatever their aim.

For the record, I get my news from the internet and directly from people these issues affect.

In irony, I have found out of every population and subculture I interact with, fellow Heathens have overall had the most rational reactions to the current distressing events both at home and abroad and seem to be well-grounded (mostly) and I have enjoyed private conversations with many of you on these issues in the past week.  Thank you for being my encouragement and sanity when it feels sometimes that the opinions of those around me shift too rapidly to keep track of; which to me shows a lack of education on the situation.  I will try to remedy this as best as I am able.

I studied Near East Diplomacy in college as recently as 2012 and the current situation in Syria was predicted by several professors both in my college and papers I read from other academic institutions at the time. I attended in my early 30’s.

My official certifications are as follows: BA: Religious Studies: Persian focus.  BA: Philosophy: Arabic Philosophy/Philosophy of Sciences.  Minor: International Studies: Iranian Diplomacy.

There is more than just Sunni and Shi’i’ Islam- in Saudi Arabia, there are Wahabists who although are technically Sunni have distinctive customs that rather put them at odds with much of the rest of Islam except for the fact that their country is the home of Mecca and their obscene amounts of wealth and influence over United States foreign policy (perhaps, even rivaling Israel in funds).   Regardless, it is my belief that Saudi Arabia instead of FUNDING other countries to take in refugees- should actually be forced to take them in as the birthplace of Islam as well as having both the perfect space and ability to do so where other countries struggle with xenophobia and increased rates of hate crimes which would not occur.  I will get into more detail about Saudi Arabia later in this essay.

For a few days after the attack on Paris, people reached out to me looking for honest news sources and I provided them. Three days later, suddenly, it seemed that the Folkish view of protecting our lands and borders died suddenly in favor of a virus known as “Political Correctness”-  I ended up attacked with ad hominem attacks suddenly by people who were very highly educated.  Friends of mine who are current academics suggested I blog about what I have learned in my studies.  Although my concentration was clearly focused on Iranian studies, it is impossible to study Iran without understanding the other significant countries and interactions within the region.   The problems with Syria have evolved over the years and this is not a new issue, so I have the ability to actually have enough information to have a rather solid, resource backed opinion on the topic that can only be changed not by media, but by a fundamental change in circumstances in our own country- not in theirs or any other.

I have had SJW’s (Social Justice Warriors) Scroll back through my postings online and attack me personally in public and private with name-calling attacks as they claim their “moral superiority”.  Although I envy their Utopian view of society at large, in the rootlessness of our current technological dependencies, I note that people have been playing the “Unfriend me if you believe (statement)”;  This leads to the illusion for people who ask for such actions to be taken that those who agree with their point of view represents a majority viewpoint rather than “preaching to the choir”, so to speak.

Here are the issues as I was educated:

First of all, despite the Emma Lazarus poem, “The New Colossus” which is etched into the plaque at the foot of the Statue of Liberty…. our country has been short on “Liberty” for quite some time.  We do not even have legislators who care about the needs of the American people over the American dollars that bribe them.

The very first thing I learned in Middle Eastern Studies, and most veterans I have met have confirmed this:  Our presence is not at all welcome in the Middle East in any military fashion.   The occupation of most of the region by US forces has been largely problematic both for our soldiers as well as the civilians trapped in what is actually a series of small, endless wars from what seems to them like an endless assortment of factions.

The other thing to understand is that the civilian population is usually the last to know, if they are made aware at all, of the true state of most diplomatic alliances between the US and any foreign power that is not an “uncontroversial” ally.  For instance, our relationships with Canada and Great Britain are pretty clearly established in the American super-consciousness, but not so much anything intellectual with Western Asia outside of Israel.  (Which I will desperately try to leave for a future post, but I will have to touch on Israel’s influence briefly on the situation currently in Syria.)

Like Dominoes, each country interacts with the same regularity, but more vitriol, than each state of the United States.
( If Pennsylvania had bombs, Delco, Montgomery, and Berks counties would be ocean-side communities after they would eliminate New Jersey, for instance.  Texas and Oklahoma would be mutually annihilated, and the Packers/Vikings Rivalry would take on extra urgency for Wisconsin vs. Minnesota.  I’ve lived a lot of places. )

President Obama has been actually sending kind, diplomatic greetings on the cultural holidays of many of these countries- something expected of all world leaders to all other countries really, and it has been a pleasant return to diplomacy for the United States; namely non-violent interaction which has been absent basically since prior to 1979.

However,  It should also be established that the office of the presidency is simply the “public face” of the USA- the real legislative power really lies in the hands of those who pay off our congress and supreme courts.   We ourselves are under the governance of a corporate oligarchy that pays off our politicians to put footnotes (“pork”) into bills of an unrelated nature that actually dramatically alter the American political landscape far more dramatically than anything the average citizen even has the opportunity to vote upon.

The point is this:  Little more than diplomatic presence should be the extent of our interaction with the region.  We should have a Consulate in each country to protect our citizens working/visiting abroad and help with legal troubles encountered therein, but otherwise, we should be laisaiz faire regarding the Middle East.   Our entire US system of trade needs to be overhauled to focus more on utilizing our ample natural resources more effectively reducing our reliance on oil from this region halfway around the world considering on our lands we have just as much available to us here- and furthermore, our larger landmass makes it insane that we do not utilize alternative energies that Europe has embraced such as solar power (Most solar in Spain was over parking lots- space already developed) and wind generation.

America is broken- unless the refugees we are bringing in are also bringing in anti-corruption magic and every formerly successful business in Syria to employ Americans, even then most of the United States will be unnecessarily terrified not only of the new refugees, but the already existing problems we are facing with our severely decreased standard of living and deteriorating healthcare systems. (Personal experience/experiences of friends who needed surgery in the past year. **

The average civilian in the Middle East honestly has no idea why “America” is in their villages.  The soldiers who are returning home have relayed likewise.  Outside of a few rare stories where our military had the opportunity to engage in humanitarian missions (usually medics) where the people where grateful for our presence; the problem lies where we are actually fundamentally blamed for the unrest and instability of the entire region.

In fact, we provided the funding for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan/Pakistan, here is Hilary Clinton speaking on the issue.

Here is the video of Vladimir Putin indicating the US is at fault for ISIS (which explains why they never attacked Israel on behalf of Palestine).   

With the second:  Understand that Putin is explaining this in particular to the USA in the sense that it has already been assumed by the rest of the world that we were the one’s who armed ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in the first place… that is the common perception.   The Truth?  I have no idea, but as a Lokean, it’s relatively easy to discern the problems even if somehow we are “scapegoats” for this particular fiasco.  If we funded them, or did not fund them: The world believes we funded them.

That is a serious problem, and setting a stage here in the US for more American upon Muslim violence was horribly shortsighted.

If you aren’t fond of videos and prefer to read- here is a detailed account of how ISIS was created via US intervention into Middle Eastern policy primarily over oil control.   but the facts do seem to align with other sources I read/watched internationally…and it’s short and sweet.

To understand this, it really goes as far back to a combination of our newly-discovered reliance on oil in the 1900’s as well as our unconditional support of the Israeli city-state.
I will not speak much on this except to report that outside of personal hardships endured by some in the region, the greatest humanitarian concern for Islamic peoples is compassion for Palestine and fear of nuclear retaliation of Israel.

To say that ISIS/ISIL/Daesh represent Islam is impossible considering most people within the organization are too illiterate to even read the Qur’an and also, if they were truly Islamic in the classical definition of such- non-radical Islamic people believe in ratifying and protecting the people of Palestine and are more appalled at the settlement expansion of Israel than they do about the USA, except in that the USA may be the only country remaining that was seen to support Israeli actions unconditionally up until recently.  (Hence, why we are now in talks with Iran.  Many of our pharmaceuticals come from Israeli companies.  Iran lacks the resources for chemotherapy drugs, but has one of the best Pharmacological programs in the world in University of Tehran.)

Here is a link provided to me by my political science professor on the average ISIS member.

Here is a brief synopsis of what happened in Syria in Video: 

For those of you who hate videos, a short synopsis: When the current leader of Syria came into power (Assad), he was supportive  of the Christian minority and the Muslim majority believed he was showing untoward favoritism  and anti-Assad civilians reacted with extraordinary violence towards the Christian minority since the Christians supported his regime.

Here is a fairly decent article on that particular precursor conflict that seems to be absent of mention in the current political dialogue I do not approve of the weasel-words nor the over-the-top Christian tone of the article, but again, the facts line up with what I have been told by friends from the region.

The United States and other countries evacuated the Christian Syrians last decade, the last I know coming over in 2012. Also, during this time the Kurdish, who have been seeking a permanent homeland, took advantage of the conflict to attempt to rebel against Syria for their own purpose of gaining sovereignty in the midst of the existing turmoil.

Then ISIS/ISIL/Daesh just began to attack the lot of them (but yet, ignores the plight of Palestine which is the linchpin of malcontent regarding Islam)…and the Muslims are now seeking asylum.

However, the information I cannot find is how the already settled Christian Syrian refugees are expected to faire with the Muslim refugees who were murdering their families a decade prior.

I advised that it is not safe to take in refugees into the USA simply because we do not have all the information on the matter, the public outrage is high, and US cities have already been suffering from race-riots for several months prior to the latest catastrophe and that it would be dangerous to all refugee peoples here who cannot tell who is “new” verses who has settled here peacefully and immersed themselves into US culture already.

Furthermore, in Mina, Saudi Arabia, there are enough air conditioned tents to house 5 million people comfortably that are only used one week an entire year for the pilgrimage in Mecca- but since the US and Saudi Arabia are in some sort of pact, we do not hold the “seat” of Islam accountable for taking care of their own people despite having more than enough means to do so.  Please see this link.  It is the ONLY link I have found on this topic.

Mina, Saudi Arabia is incredibly significant since it is the birthplace of Islam and the tents exist to welcome incoming pilgrams for Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that each Muslim person is expected to attempt to make sometime in their lifetime.  Hajj takes place 5 days a year, every year based on the lunar calendar.  There have been conflicting reports regarding the refugee burden actually taken by Saudi Arabia, but it is known and resented that Mina has not been opened to these people.  Here is the Wiki on Saudi Arabia via Syrians.   Here, the problem with the situation lies in the fact that the United States has an alliance with Saudi Arabia that is frankly rather questionable considering their human rights violations are extraordinarily high compared to countries we have held sanctions against for much less such as Cuba.  Saudi Arabia forbids women to drive, has Muslim-only privileges within the country, and has wealth beyond calculation on account of the oil-boom.  The stereotype of the “Rich, Saudi Prince” is both accurate and inaccurate considering the slave population and the poverty of the lowest classes of people is so devastatingly tragic that during Hajj, the poorer sections of Mina and Medina are actually “Walled off” so they are not easily viewed by the incoming foreigners…  I watched a fascinating documentary about a South Africaan man who traveled to Hajj and decided to spend his time feeding the poor instead of the typical ritualistic actions that take place in those five days.  (which is now partially indoors, lined with shops and vendors, and the “tents” for the pilgrims have better A/C and newer plumbing than the home I just purchased.)

So, in the eyes of those who live in the region, study the region, or are even remotely aware of the region- the idea that Mina is NOT open to Islamic refugees is reprehensible.

Furthermore, the countries that took in refugees prior to us in large numbers, most particularly Sweden where we know many people, the rates for rape and crime have exploded.  Whether or not it is from the actual refugees or in reaction TO the refugees is immaterial, here is an NPR article on the topic.   It took a few links to find an unbiased newssource on this topic considering I discount any source that begins with ad hominem logical fallacies in the title.  I encourage all of you to google Sweden Syrian Refugee Crime, and you can see the issue I am having.

Sweden, usually seen as a sort of Socialist Utopia- is actually quite insular culturally with friends of mine who are not Swedish who moved there, speak fluently and look no different to my untrained eye from native-Swedes faced discrimination long before this issue even occurred.

Furthermore, it’s not an issue of “Syrians”, per see.  Last decade our country welcomed the Syrian Christian minority asylum in this country and they came with no fanfare, speak English, and I attended college with a few of them.   Arab Spring started out with the best of intentions and ended up actually exacerbating every problem the region already had.  Assad representing the Christian minority began with opposition from the Muslim majority resulting in extreme persecution of the Christians who then sought asylum here.  Some of them were my classmates in college.  They spoke perfect English and were mostly STEM majors- the exact type of immigrant Americans generally tend to love who just merge into the culture seamlessly.  Those Syrians actually provided an excellent counterpoint to all the Irani-immersion I experienced and really helped me a great deal in balance and understanding the differences in cultures between each of the countries of the region.

What does not make sense is if the USA brought in the Christian minority to escape the Islamic majority that was committing violent acts against them and is also utilizing the same intake locations- what protections are in place for the Christian-minority Syrians who have already lived as perfect immigrants who largely and quickly assimilated to American culture?  I have noticed my friends from Syria have been dead-silent on social media and in the current political climate are concerned about communications via electronic means.   For those who know me very well, talking about controversial topics via the internet or phone is not usually ideal.  I come from a family of government contractors and I tend to find my way in and out of social situations fairly regularly where my phonelines get “tapped”*

There are some Political Scientists and Theologians who have warned of radical Islam expanding in “Trojan horse” fashion for several years. Most people in ISIS have not read the Quran, their uniting goal of most of their members is a combination of illiteracy and desperation from coming from cities that have been destroyed by 30 years worth of war either with/paid for the West or suffered under puppet dictatorships we controlled (I.e. Saddam Hussein, former federal agent).  We have deposed more democratically-elected leaders than we ever installed, even go as far as to re-install the monarchy system in Iran in the 1950’s with the assassination of Iranian Prime minister Mosaddegh in the 1950’s and putting puppet Shah Reza Pahlavi in his stead who was more friendly to American interests.  Until he was overthrown by the Iranian people for his personal decadence in 1979- which was a prelude to both the Iranian hostage crisis (bribed out by Reagan) as well as the Theocratic takeover of Iranian culture and society by the cleric-class of Ayatollahs.

Here is a lovely article on how modern the Middle East USED to be prior to the results of the interference of Western colonialism.  Hardly backwards, these people look on-par with any other first world country of their time period.  No, the Middle East was not a bunch of backwards primitives.  That has been a sadly recent development.

Prior to the latter part of the 20th century, West Asia produced more great mathematicians than the United States.

The problem with the internet is people are now choosing only to associate with people who share their specific point of view; this means the people who are pro-refugee see little of what the anti-refugee people have to say and vice-versa and that is creating yet ANOTHER division within the fractured American fabric.

Sweden, where I have many friends, accepted refugees prior to the US and is experiencing crime/rape rates in the triple digits and they are taking actions to actually eject what refugees they have.

This will result in increased violence in the USA. I do not know yet if it will be from the Syrians themselves or from Americans reacting to the Syrians, or even another staged tragedy put on my the government or even from frightened, reactionary US citizens.  Regardless, the danger should be noted and addressed without censure and with dialogue.

All I know is that people are being brainwashed by the media so rapidly their opinions change like the breeze. I am posting this here right now because my opinions have not changed since 2012, and I suffered greatly in the Diplomacy program I was in when I was interrogated by my own country when my program lost all funding (as did all others that were civilian).

The pure vitriol of educated “enlightened” people has me taken aback for certain; I notice my friends from Syria and the Middle East are largely laying low, terrified, right now.

I have also found the only “safe” peoples to talk to are either Odinists or experts… I have not been online much myself seeing as they is no way to have a dialogue with a wall of ad-hominem attacks from self-proclaimed “enlightened” folks who seem bent on trying to convince me I am a “bigot”, a “racist”, and “heartless” for living between two cities that have been rioting frequently for around 6 months BEFORE the refugee problem

Many people seem to believe only “bad people” would not take in refugees from a broken country. Many people cannot concentrate on the possibility that this country, too, is broken and we need to withdraw entirely from the global stage as much as we are able to solve our own pressing civil unrest in many of our Eastern cities of the USA.

Odinists we know personally have all bought land and headed for the country, as have we in the past year.

For the first time, the few Christians I have befriended have a similar stance on the issue, although mostly based on fear rather than education on the region; I still appreciate their caution which is wise even if it is out of fear instead of Wisdom.

In closing, further military involvement of the United States in this regions is highly inadvisable- and taking in a group of people that the American people of which the average American is already terrified; the Americans will not become used to this, chances are- there will just be a sharp decline in our standard in living and more unjustified violence perpetuated by a frightened population of citizens who are largely kept in the dark regarding foreign policies and lost in the media uproar of inaccuracy and sensationalism…

….while real, violent events occurring in real cities across the United States are minimized and without national media coverage which plays into the delusions of the educated suburbanites that everything is “fine” and that “nothing bad will happen”.

As far as military goes?  Complete withdrawal, but until and after that time occurs, support our veterans for their work is more difficult than even I can comprehend.

As a people, we need to STOP the divides of information.   As for how to treat refugees as a Heathen?  Follow the Hamaval and treat each person as an individual.  It’s the Heathen way.

“The wise guest has his way of dealing
With those who taunt him at table:
He smiles through the meal,
not seeming to hear
The twaddle talked by his foes.

The tactful guest will take his leave Early,
not linger long:
He starts to stink who outstays his welcome
In a hall that is not his own.”

There are refugees here already.  Treat them with hospitality and do not be one of the newest causes of strife on this soil.
The best thing to do is simply try to stay safe- the safest being moving to rural areas in the upcoming years and staying as far away from cities as possible.

Why a Heathen/Odinist would enjoy a city with it’s lack of nature, I will never know.  But a dead man affects no changes and cannot support a family.
Support Heathen veterans, listen to the young and the old and listen to their experiences.  Share Yule and Thanksgiving with vets who might not have a place to go.

Honestly, our Veterans returning home now can provide you with an even better education than I or any political scientist ever could in many cases…. just be sensitive if they have psychological trauma.

My primary trauma is from the interrogation I endured from this bullshit;  I’ve been through NOTHING compared to anyone who has been on Tour of Duty.

Thank you hearing me out. I do not foresee this situation improving anytime soon.   I am all in favor of Russia handling it considering it directly affects the Russian population in proximity than it does us an ocean away.


*/**Since the US has entered into open dialogue with Iran, I feel intellectual and emotional freedom to speak on my past experiences where before I was terrified of further trauma.

For the majority of my time in Persian Studies, I was notified my lines were tapped, my car was followed since I was under “kidnapping risk” over being assistant to an entirely different professor who wrote  about gay rights and Islam in a positive light.  At the end of it all, all linguistics programs in Farsi were defunded, I ended up in 5 hours worth of interrogation on US soil.    Without even passing the strange diplomacy program I found myself in, I did have a brief window into a very strange world where the guy checking my passport at the airport knew more about my life at the time than my own father, and I came off what I thought was a random boat from Tarifa, Spain to Tangiers, Morocco to be met by an official government assigned tour guide specifically for me despite making the trip on a complete whim on a Friday afternoon.

It’s okay, I’m used to it between growing up Baltic when the USA did not understand that the Baltic States struggled against Russian ownership (or any ownership) and for my grandma’s friends  of entirety Latvian old ladies into “potential spies”.  They were not entirely inaccurate.  My deceased grandfather led an interesting spy-type life prior to being “paperclipped” to the USA.

The only way a Latvian old lady could kill someone is with Latvian traditional cooking.  Ask my husband.

After all I’ve been through, my curiosity regarding my grandfather’s several-country non-mercenary military service interests me highly, but every single time I have the ability to look into it further, the political climate of this country is not ideal to do so.  Now would be a terrible time, for instance…

However, without the experiences of my maternal grandfather and my father, I would not have found myself in the position to have the information to write this.

I also thank my former Political Science professors for the majority of the links in this post. I will add his name if/when approved to do so as further resources if I can.

Honor Yourself. Honor your Heathen Spirituality

Posted in About me on October 28, 2015 by Alana Smithee

When I was a child, I hated doing “girl” things- I liked jumping off of high playground objects, running, and occasionally beating boys up in the school yard.

For 2 years, I was sent to something called “Gender therapy”- it was utterly humiliating as an experience and simply caused me to deeply despise my birth gender even more deeply.

Now, as an adult with a hysterectomy with nothing but estogen coursing through my system…guess what?

If anything, I became more like my self as a child and made me recall how much of a little valkyrie I was as a child- and I also recall my father being kind enough to let me help with his “project” cars and occasionally help him run wires at work or go to computer shows with him.  At home, I built model airplanes. My Nana bought me jeans.

Life only REALLY sucked on Sundays- where my brother and I would be literally dropped off at a Lutheran church and left there- me, wearing something itchy, frilly, and and entirely antagonistic to everything inside of me.  I threatened nudity several times- our German Lutheran pastor was a saint of his kind.

Yes, I even used the line “I was born naked…if Jesus wanted me in a dress, I would have been born in one.”
I am not the only one.

The issue is not “FEMINISM!!!11!1!!1”

The issue is more looking back at the roots of our ancestry, the ancient graves and the fact that warrior-women are 100% part of pre-Christian warrior heritage.

This post is honestly inspired by a rare side effect of my recent surgery where when I am angry, I start randomly bleeding through the pores of my face making me look like I just ate a human heart.  It’s handy, it somehow secures immediate service from retail and medical staff in person.

Apparently, it’s not unheard of, but most of my symptoms of menopause have been entirely abnormal: Cold flashes (not hot), severe weight loss (not gain), however, I am indeed moody and in a desperation to regain control of volatile emotions I feel that are making me feel more violently protective of my household and those I love.

My form of “Feminine nurturing” is nothing like a loving mother duck… it is the angry She-Bear who will eat your face for even LOOKING at her cub.

…and I have no cubs.  I have close friends, and there is a youngling from college I feel rather maternal towards and I would gladly fight for any of them if they were wronged. (My attitude regarding poor life decisions still remains reasonable)

What I have been thinking about is this:  How many Northern Women were like me as children?  How many were fighters instead of the insufferable, simpering, and utterly brainless twats that society expected out of women in the 1980’s were humiliated and embarrassed for showing Heathen-honorable signs of courage and strength in childhood only to be beaten down by the establishment?

In a sense, it rather adds to the already existing cultural genocide of the egalitarianism of pre-Christian religions.

“A Woman’s work” is whatever she can do best….same as a dude.  If I had the choice of two hunters:  A veteran army sniper who was a woman, or a random dude with shiny new Cabella’s purchase, I think most would be with me in choosing the first.

Why such an extreme example?  Because women have to (and should) prove themselves.  There are women now in every branch of the military. There is a female army vet who served in Afghanistan now in Africa single-handedly teaching other women to murder poachers of endangered species. The top sword fighter in the world is also currently a woman- her name is Samantha Swords, appropriately.

Women can be badass- not all of them want to be, nor should they be forced to be if they do not have to proclivity towards these sorts of dangerous occupations.

As far as “What about the babies?!”- Honestly- men have as much responsibility after weaning children as women for bringing life into this world…and further, birth control in the form of teas and herbs have been available in almost all tribal cultures.

It is not difficult for me to believe that my ancestors enjoyed greater freedoms than I regarding their gender expression.  Hildebrandt Hexerei women were known rebels who dared to keep their Hildebrandt name and run woman-owned boarding house (sometimes called a brothel) with friggn’ peacocks in the yard smack in the middle of Amish country.
They were tolerated for over 100 years.  Why?  Because Hexerei and Brauchers were the closest thing to doctors for the Pa Dutch, and in that, my family knew that their knowledge of healing and hexing made them rather immune to cultural dictatorship since it was tradition that nothing was taught outside the family.

That’s pretty bad ass… and I’m proud to have that in my lineage.  I am proud my dad’s other side had an Austrian witch with hair down to her ankles who dressed exclusively in purple.

And, of course, I am proud of my Latvian ancestors who were farmers and diplomats-  if you have ever worked on a real farm in recent times- the division of labor is “whomever noticed the problem first”.  My ex-fiance’ was a farmer.  When I met his sister, the first thing his sister did is take me out to the middle of the pasture to show me the newest calf in the herd and to climb fences.

It made no sense that out of a family of people who honored their Norse heritage, that their daughter would try so hard to fit into the rigid roles defined by aggressive Christianity whereas the rest of the family was loosely UCC with strong Norse influence- making them by academic definition, a semi-indigenous family.

Seeing as I am married now- I did block them all not wishing my ex in my life, but not before noticing Brigid* (*Not her real name) was posting long laments about how she was taking classes on how to be a “submissive Christian wife”, and having no luck with the program, nor having any luck with men whatsoever.

Part of me believes, as strange and awful as this may sound to some, that when I met her I wished dearly I knew her prior to meeting her brother.  She had eyes the color of the sea in a Caribbean and her hair was long and wild, thick as the mane of a horse who had just ran across a field.  Beautiful girl, beautiful family.  She was like all the “positive” traits of her brother without the negative except in her own, outsider induced self hatred.

I am seeing Heathenry growing from many directions- the indigenous folks are realizing it’s “safe” and are now just beginning to speak. Usually first to an indifferent audience of reconstructionists finding no point of relation except from people who are either closer to their European ancestry by either being born there or raised within 2 generations of European immigrants who still kept their cultures instead of immediately discarding them in favor of pure materialistic aspirations.

Not everyone came to the USA to be rich- my Latvian family were religious exiles from the Stalinist regime that sent all Latvian ethnic groups to death in Siberia and then giving away their homes to “deserving” folks of Russian ancestry instead under the cold grip of communism where free speech was not even an option, much less freedom of religion.

My 83 year old grandmother who for years was typecast as the “featherhead” in the family…has changed my perception in recent years.

Realizing that English is her THIRD language after intensive college study in Linguistics was an eye-opener.  This is a woman who is blind as a bat in sunshine and still shovels her own snow, rakes her leaves, takes out her own garbage, and often walks for miles turning down rides from both neighbors and family as she carries at least 50lbs of groceries from supermarkets far from her suburban home where most rely on driving. (She hasn’t been behind the wheel since the 1970’s).

In her way, she is mighty.  She is a Heathen woman, and in watching her become less nervous about her own religious expression I have seen her flourish since our wedding where we showed her our statue of Janis and she cried tears of joy that I would actually ask to wear part of the traditional costume (A woven belt) of my ancestry.

To be proud of our ancestry is not to subjugate the speech or actions of others and scream that we are offended.

Our ancestry actually calls us to prove our worth by EXISTING AS WE ARE, and letting the world form around us accordingly.

In many forums, my online “voice” is gender neutral. I see no need to indicate my gender unless the topic itself requires it- but I feel my teeth grind when I see the words “….As a woman…” preceding any post unless it specifically relates to gender issues…and in most Heathen forums, few posts do.

When one writes “As a woman”, to me, that means you mistakenly believe that your vagina has a magical ability to make the content of your writing more viable or important as the perspective of “The Other” when it is entirely unnecessary in a folkish context.

Heathenry ADORES our woman-warriors! Never, in any organization or group in any sense have I seen nothing but admiration for woman who can hunt, who enter our military in combat positions, our female Heathen police officers, or any other “warrior” role that other religions seem to feel so disquieted about.

There is no “Honoring your inner woman.”
There is “Honoring yourself”- and that is the best advice for people of any gender.

Many may site that Seidr is a “Woman’s domain”- if so, then why did Freyja teach it to Odin?

Also- one of our primary battle-Gods is certainly Freyja- without argument.

The question is this:  If you are a parent and you are gifted with a Tomboy for a child…will you give her a chemistry set?  Allow her to explore the woods and teach her to defend herself?

That, I feel, is the true Heathen way. Remove the veil of Christian stereotype and oppression from our lives, and we will find that under over one thousand years of oppression, the strength of the Heathen heart beats strongly in our folk, male or female.

It is our birthright, it is utterly European, and Anthropologically speaking, the “oppression” so many focus on has basis and can be tracked to the spread of monotheism overwhelming egalitarian polytheistic culture.


Random “Vikings” meme.

I challenge anyone to find a culture where the status of women was actually improved by monotheistic intervention; I have tried and found none except in the sites indicating: “But now they are more modernized…”

Then, realize that so many Heathen polytheists are desperate to Homestead, that the realization that “modernization”, perhaps, is not truly something to be proud of in the isolation it forces upon us.  The ability to communicate at an instant has made it easier for loved one’s to live far distances from one another without motivation to live in mutually-supportive communities and neighborhoods filled with loved ones.

At this time- there is little incentive to move closer to one another.  Several groups that have are either blatantly racist in their ideology or terrified of being labeled as such.

In Philadelphian tradition- entire families buy out city blocks as part of a deep, local tradition to keep families together.  My former salon stylist was from Germany, not Italy, and the first thing his family did for each child of his large family was to assist them in purchasing a home within immediate proximity to take advantage of family ties and the care that comes with it.  It saved his life, literally, when he was diagnosed with cancer- his family pulled together and provided care for his animals, meals, and round the clock care after his surgeries and treatments to the point where he was so well-provided for simply in family resources he could still continued to perform the art he loved- considering he was older than 50, a male hairstylist, and flying in the face of all American Christian gender norms by choosing this profession in a less “friendly” time-

I noticed time and time again, those friends of mine from Europe place no emphasis on gender norms in the sense where it seems to be a preoccupation to the point of obsession currently existing in the USA.

I adore my friends in Denmark and Sweden who worship the Jotunr who change shape and gender at a whim and have taught me so much about European stances on gender and sexuality- and in learning that the 1950’s here was a strong campaign to fit women in tiny boxes of what was considered “acceptable” by a post-war culture where a “woman’s place” was in the factories and taking the place of men in every profession.

Upon the end of WWII, women were fired en-masse for the men arriving back from war.

The problem is NOT with the men, nor the women…but in the idea that anyone working in subservience to a corporate owner is acceptable when not even 100 years before, this was a country of farmers who lived and worked with their extended families and network of neighbors in exchange for giving away their time to spend with people they hate in workplaces they despise working for people who do not care about them as nothing more than a number.

The problems in this world are so much deeper than a gender divide, the toxicity of separation from our support networks and loved ones is far more problematic and is likely a strong reason why so many are lonely, depressed, and anxious.

Our families are lost in the sea of bombardment of messages of materialism and consumerism to under stand the deeper realization that we are back to living in a feudal-like system where most of us are peasants, or perhaps serfs to corperate overlords, our debts, and sometimes our own governments.

My life is unusual, but in a sense at times I feel like I live alone in a splinter-reality where the impossibility of living only to write to you, and to be online available to help many friends and strangers with their personal crisis’ with confidentiality has given me more purpose than any “typical” career.

Despite my fondness for graphs, diagrams, and organization, I would like to see less people placed inside of labels and called by Name.

To be known by your Name is better than any label anyone can ascribe to you.  That indicates you are making a difference and creating a legacy.  As long as your intentions are honorable- man or woman- opposition should not be attacked, but welcomed so we can better learn alternative points of view and actually speak to each other like adults instead of easily-offended children.

Don’t say the words “As a woman” to me.  Say to me “As a Heathen”,  and allow our ancestral spirituality and roots to guide you into a life of contentment in real work- even if it unpaid work, that is meaningful and fulfilling.

Cures for Minor Shit: How to survive years without enough official sick days.

Posted in About me on October 25, 2015 by Alana Smithee

Greetings!  I am going through a phase of “Let me post practical, random shit I’ve learned” since I don’t have children to which to set a terrible example of medical self-care.

However, knowing that there is honestly such a thing as “I cannot afford to be sick in this inconvenient way” or even: “I am not going to a doctor unless I’m pretty sure I can die from this.” I realize I have learned a lot of great little tricks over the years to help cure very minor things via trying them myself and talking to random people over the years.  I am not a medical doctor, I am not any sort of “authority” on anything of this sort…but here are the horrible things I have done to cure annoying things over the years with success.

1. Ear infection: That painful, dizzy mess of awful: My former roommate Todd poured Hydrogen Peroxide into my ear for 3 days. One cap per ear, twice a day.  Pour it in- wait 5 minutes with your head on your shoulder, then drain it out.  It worked.  I keep doing it.  Still works.  I will likely go deaf one day from this.

2. Whiter teeth: Use literal hydrogen peroxide to wet your brush and dip it into literal baking soda.  It works well, but tastes awful.  Learned from a former “auntie” in the family, this was disgusting- but I did it for a while.

3. “It hurts when I pee- and there is no chance of STD’s”= 100% cranberry juice- accept nothing less.  Drink that entire bottle in a day with an equal amount of water.  Repeat.  Should be better in three days. (family remedy)

4. High fever-  I was supervising three stores and had no days off at age 25.  I had no days off.  Ancient Fed-Ex lady suggested I bathe “in the hottest water possible, as submerged as possible, and keep it hot for an hour”, afterwards, put on several layers of clothing and nest in all blankets.  Beat the fever at it’s own game by making your body temperature even higher!   Hallucinate you’re a catfish!  Try this for only ONE night.   Either you will be cured in the morning or wake up with bronchitis, pneumonia, and an ear infection (see #1).  Then see a real doctor.  Effectiveness without doctor? 50/50.

5. “Oh shit- I cut myself and the bleeding is inconveniently too strong for bandaids.”  Although I have tried to stitch myself up once to poor result- my Dad has a novel method of curing cuts.  First, wash it out.  if there are debris, use a toothbrush and a leather strap to bite on.  Keep the strap, you’ll need it for what’s next: take a Bic lighter and hold the flame for a solid minute:  After the minute, roll the metal part of the lighter over your cut.  This only works for superficial wounds.   If you want to keep the cool scar- use that flame on your trusty pocket knife blade which will get sooty.  It will cauterize and kill the bacteria, you will smell like burning flesh, it will hurt like hell- but you will feel totally badass.

Speaking of:

6. Tetanus (or other basic) shots:  Avoid the doctor’s visit expense and see if your pharmacy offers them instead.  Way cheaper.

7. Congestion: Generic Guaifenesin. Mucinex is fucking expensive…that is the only ingredient to care about, honestly.

8. Cold/flu:  There is no point in even bothering with the doctor- you need to ride that out. However, it is much easier with a stock of 100% fruit juice bought on sale, granola bars which are fairly easy to choke down even if annoyingly nauseous, and sleep.

9 “I am fucking dying” cold/flu.  Save up $25 and buy that blue Tylenol cough syrup.  One tiny bottle lasts five years because the taste of this stuff is like licking the asshole of a fire demon who lived on Taco Bell.  You will only ever take a swig of this awful concoction when you feel so fucking bad that you can’t remember what it tasted like last time.  (Dad remedy)

10. Lyme’s Disease:  Go to the Doctor, get on shitty antibiotics, but take Bromelain to help break down the virus walls.  Found in any health food store.  One bottle was enough for both my treatment as well as a kinsman’s.- learned via my florist. One of the few holistic supplements that hasn’t been hamstringed.

11. Yeast infection:  Before I had more surgery on my internal female organs than Jenner, yeast infections come as a bonus gift with any genetic, gynecological condition.  Monostat is fucking expensive:  some hippies I know take a clove of garlic and shove it up their hoohahs like a tampon.   You will always know which of your female friends has “the itch” by the reek of garlic about them for several days.  Patchouli can’t even cover the stench, but at least it’s (alleged) 100% effective.  If you want to get “fancy”- cut a small groove in your clove and attach a string.  Cry when you lose half your clove of garlic. (High school friend)

12. Things To go to the hospital for in 2015:
a. “I can’t Breathe”
b. “It’s amputated/fell out, put it back please”
c. “My chest hurts randomly and I was not just doing dumbell flies.”
d. “I am in so much pain in my torso I crumpled into fetal position and prayed for Death.”
e. “I’m suicidal”
f. “Hey! I can see my own bone!”
g. Bad Car accident. Even if you don’t hurt…yet.  Just accept the ambulance. You have whiplash. Trust me.
h. “I ingested something, my fingers are numb” or other poisonings
i:  Scorpion/snake bites.
j. Anything that occurs within 3 days after surgery listed on the post surgical instructions to see the ER.
k. Fever of 105 degrees.  Don’t be me, don’t drive yourself.
l. Being abused: The ER will help with this oddly enough…but won’t help people who are fucking hallucinating.  When you        realize you’ve made some hardcore shitty choices in life, the ER is there for you.

…or anything else you think can kill or maim you if not treated immediately.

13.  Things not to go to the ER for.
a. “Just checking to see if it’s “Okay”… Nope.  Not anymore, they don’t care.. especially pregnant ladies. Please see an Urgent Care, not an ER.  I watched a woman miscarry in a waiting room of an ER and no one cared but her and I.  It was fucking awful because I was experiencing “d” at the time, and she just wanted a “safety check” after a fall. Well, so much for that- If she wasn’t taken in before I was, I was going to give my spot up to her.  Holy shit, our healthcare is terrible now!
b. “My kid shoved something up his nose but seems perfectly fine”- call a pediatrician, the person with “f” is below you in triage and is bleeding to death because your child decided to play “piggy bank” with your collector’s dimes.
c. “I’m hallucinating”- again, seems like something to go to the ER for, used to be, now is not.  Make an appointment with your doctor.  The ER won’t do shit for you unless you are poisoned or have a fever above 105 degrees.
d. “I’m bleeding a lot over a superficial wound” – suck it up, get the lighter.  Hands especially bleed because of the excess of capillaries.  You are not dying- you will wait 8 hours slowly bleeding at the very bottom of triage.  The webbing bleeds the most- the webbing between your fingers is the least important part of your hand if you didn’t cut into muscles.
e. Fever under 103.  I go at 105, but under 103 is a doctor visit.
f, Bronchitis.  WTF.  If you are familiar enough to diagnose yourself with it, you should know by now you just need Zithromax and a week off.  Family doctor Rx.
g, “My throat is itchy”- Benedryl.  It’s 4.99 generic.  Fuck you, lady who was speaking perfectly fine who claimed her “throat was closed”.  Me and Miscarriage lady were going to murder you in that ER that day…if we were able to stand up and walk over to you to slap the stupid out of you.  Seriously.
h. “Well, looks like I need that super-specialized surgery I’ve known about for years afterall..” despite reassurances from the on-call line for my doctor’s office, No.  Do not go to the ER, they will not have the specialist, they will not keep you and give you the surgery unless you are literally septic.  Go to the specialist and get a thousand unnecessary tests your insurance calls necessary.
i. Chest pains after doing dumbell flies with too much weight.  You didn’t give yourself a heart attack, you tore your pecs.
j, Kidney stones:  If you know you have them, you have painkillers.  The ER will do nothing, call your urologist in the morning and suck it up for the night.
k. A doctor’s note. Everyone in the waiting room assumes you are there for someone else…until you said your ankle “kinda hurts and want a doctor’s note”.    You will be in our prayers….to be devoured by a pack of small, yippy dogs.

Basically, do not go to the ER if you are not in fear of dying or maimed without immediate attention.  ER’s suck.

14. Get FMLA as soon as you or an immediate family member has a condition that requires it.  Even if you don’t technically have “sick days”- you will not be fired if you have FMLA- Family Medical Leave Act.  We are no longer a first world country- we have 3 generations of debt-slaves.   This is one thing the government has in place (for now) to protect you, kind of.

15. If you can afford great medical care- take none of this advice

420.  Nausea/vomiting/anxiety/flashbacks/depression= Medical Cannabis.

Pi: OJ or hot tea with honey and lemon.  Drink this when your immune system sucks.  Eat garlic.  Live another day.

Other obscure tips:

Before any bowel prep for a colonoscopy or other surgery, go on a liquid diet 3-5 days prior to the proceedure. Your anus will be happier for it- but buy some Tucks medicated pads anyway.

The best lotion ever for weird dry skin is called “Udderly Smooth”- it has a cow print on all packaging, your pharmacy will order it.

The best coldsore treatment I’ve found is called “Nose Better”- it is either in-stock, or can be ordered by the pharmacy.

The expensive sudafed you can take off the shelf doesn’t work.  Suck it up and take the card of the real stuff to the pharmacy.  One box of sudafed will not get you on a watch list.

Most holistic supplements are complete crap from the stores and are mostly fillers.  The only way to get good Valerian or St. John’s Wort is to grow it.  Triptophan comes from a turkey dinner.  Chamomile is best when picked and dried yourself.  Your teabag is also a liar.

Bad things I’ve learned:

Everything you enjoy causes kidney stones if you have kidney stones.  Make your own choices.

If you cannot afford a second opinion, call your insurance company/hospital for advice.  There is always a way to get a second opinion without a second copay- and it’s always complicated and obnoxious.

If you are not a medical marihuana patient and believe you accidentally smelled some burning bud, drink a gallon of water, avoid fats for 48 hours, and have some “cleanse tea” from pretty much any grocery store.

If you are not a medical marihuana patient and you are still smoking at a job that drug tests: You know your risks.  If you “need” it, go to a fucking doctor.

Basic First Aid supplies Everyone should own:
Rubbing Alcohol
Hydrogen Peroxide
Benedryl- generic
a good ace bandage
an exacto knife (in package) if you are brave enough to remove your own splinters/cysts/warts.
Topical antibiotic for those who are as reckless as I am with the exacto knife.
Tums/Pepto Bismal – or something similar (Stomach calmer)
Imodium- or something similar (anti-diarrhea)
Ducolax pills- or something similar. (anti-constipation)
Basic painkillers: Aleve, Aspirin, Tylenol, and ibuprofen.  Depending on your other medications, at any time, 3/4 on this list will be excluded from your life.  Which 3 will change every. single. time.
Generic Halls- like cough drops with mentolyptus and the gross gooey centers in a flavor you tolerate.
Best flavors for me: Honey Lemon, Gingerale, Strawberry.  Worst: Cherry, grape, and cough syrup flavors.
Valium- if you can get it prescribed.  (Other countries have it over the counter in low doses)
Good tweezers.
Ginger ale- it keeps forever.  I drink it when I don’t feel well.  Heck, craving ginger ale after all these years is a pretty good indicator I am about to feel miserable in less than a day medically speaking.

Necessary medications and some sort of indication they are necessary: Inhalers, epi-pens, and daily medication necessary to continue living.  For me, that would be my heart pills, my inhaler…and I can die if I get stung by wasps and should have a new epi-pen.  I don’t have a new one because I used the old one 6 years ago.

Running from wasps instead of staring them down is humiliating…but pulling a huge needle out of your thigh is also something I do not enjoy.  I should really get that epi-pen.

Minor medications are minor: hormones, valium and other “take as needed”- instead of on schedule, and pills needed for specific situations like narcotic painkillers, strong prescription antacids, etc… you will not die for not having these if you do not have the ability to pay for them.  It sucks.

Get a med alert bracelet made by buying a cheap laser-tag at your local pet superstore and list your allergies.  Med alert official bracelets are bloody expensive.   As an alternative, I have considered tattooing my allergies on me since doctors are rushed, scarce, and do not care about you in an ER and wonder why I don’t improve when they give me medication I have always been allergic to.  Sadly, I am allergic to most antibiotics.  That’s kind of a pain in the ass- Also, it means that the ‘wrong’ one’s not only do not work, they can kill me (either by “not working” or anaphalactic shock)

This post today was inspired by the flu.  My immune system is absolute shit from the surgery and I get every single contagion that comes within 10 feet of me.  It sucks, I can’t sleep. I ache, and I am smart enough to know there isn’t shit to do about it except rest and maybe take a shot of that terrifying blue cough syrup.

I despise feeling sick.  I noticed many Heathens get weird about common sicknesses and hate that “helpless” feeling.

I can’t decide which is worse, feeling sick or feeling helpless.

Feeling both at once should be avoided if possible.

Got a fever?  I do not recommend setting yourself on fire.  Unless I hate you, then, DIAF. (Artist unknown)

Got a fever? I do not recommend setting yourself on fire. Unless I hate you, then, DIAF.
(Artist unknown)

Buy. Some. Land. (Here is how in the USA)

Posted in About me on October 23, 2015 by Alana Smithee

Our backyard. Photo credit to Ed Anderson

Our backyard. Photo credit to Ed Anderson

One of the absolute indisputable, universal, simple centers of all Heathen (and most Pagan) ritual life is found in our relationship and stewardship of the land.   To break away from the faux-Western ideal of “conquering” land with man-made objects and the war against lawn grass in favor of native flora and edible plants against the status quo of wasted time trimming lawns is almost becoming a subculture in itself.

Before I continue- I think it must be stressed that in this age of debt and over-extension of the finances of most of the population in the United States is working on creating it’s third generation of apartment dwellers- and I was one of them.  It is beginning to feel like societal pressures are now making home ownership seem “impossible” or even “undesirable”.

In older terms, this is an acceptance of your own Serfdom…but if we are all going to be Serfs to this corperate ogliarchy, please at least consider that the mortgage payments, bills, and expenses of a reasonably priced home on some land in most states is usually comparable to that of renting an apartment.

I rented for most of my adult life because, simply, I traveled often and had no roots “tying” me to any particular area, and I frequently lived out of state and occasionally abroad.  Now that I am in my 30’s with aging family members, even without children the realization kicks in that as a Heathen, my responsibility lies at this point of time in being “present”, even if unneeded, in case there is a medical issue with my inlaws, my grandparents, my father…even if they do not wish or accept my help.  The willingness to live in State #49 in economic development as opposed to  “exploring out” to Oregon or Colorado, although attractive aspirations earlier in life- just are not practical any longer.

In this realization that I will be in Pennsylvania for likely several years, the idea paying rent felt like the equivalent of flushing our money down the toilet- especially since in most apartments these days (Like my former ones) do not provide timely or even ‘Good’ service regarding repairs and maintenance to the point where I realized I was fixing ALL problems that were typical to a home ownership without compensation by my slumlords, while the OTHER problems with our old place were directly as a result from negligence and filth of our neighbors within the same building.

I was surprised to discover that home ownership is actually easier than it is made out to be- and here, we are faced with another Lie of American culture: That only those of high income can afford a mortgage.

Well, sure- if you are going to buy a cookie-cutter McMansion in a soul-less development devoid of any real nature outside of lawn grass and red-mulch flower beds filled entirely with useless, non-native ornamental plants and neighbors driving leased Audi’s… (*cough*…Dad…)

Anyway, The importance of land stewardship regarding those who find themselves aligning themselves with a Odinist/Heathen outlook on life becomes almost like a yearning; prior to home ownership I used to “adopt” streams in local parks and clear them out alone as my personal meditation.  I guess I made the stream vaetirr happy enough with me that Ed and I were blessed with finding a cheap property with both an indiginous stream as well as a spring-stream that feeds it that bubbles gently about 10 feet away from the deck.

Now, don’t think we ended up anyplace fancy- our ranch home was listed as “900 sq. feet” which I doubled by finishing the basement with a good cleaning, some carpeting, and minor repairs.  For cost:  I used carpet squares which are easily found and replaceable.

Anyway, if you know you aren’t going anywhere for a couple of years, it’s worth the time and effort to get out of the apartment hole and get yourself a home with enough land to satisfy your desire for stewardship (and fresh produce) within a township with minimal restrictions, no Home Owner’s Associations (HOA’s), and preferably a low crime rate.

Things to take into consideration:
1. Space/rooms needed for family.
2. Commute.
3. City ordinances.
4. Not being pressured/pushed into taking out more than you can afford.
5. ‘Handiness” or a willing to learn basic (and some not so basic) home repair and maintenance.

First, calculate your current bills per month and then hold that number against your income.   The mortgage of your home should not exceed 25% percent of your monthly income- to my friends in New England and California who are currently laughing at this- keep in mind few live in Danbury, CT, Londonderry, NH, or most of the Western part of Massachusetts (past Worchester aka ‘Wooster’), or in Northern NY.

I cannot speak for the West Coast because I do not live there, but I am told, as per most of our country, that the less densely populated areas “in the boonies” are generally far cheaper…and the “boonies”?  That’s woods, folks.  We like woods!

Anyway, I’m on SSDI- very, very fixed income. My spouse works as a machinist and we are both incredibly cheap/thifty people… to the point where I have been banned from all grocery shopping for my penchant for filling the cart with the $2 meat du jour to undesirable results gastronomically. (Oh, and Ramen…I think we have finally whittled down my $1 CASE of ramen after 2 solid years).

Okay.  This is not an immediate process.  All total it will take you a year if you are working on this alone.  It is true that purchasing a home is complicated, but not impossible.

First:  Find a credit union you qualify for (if you can)…and if not, a very small local bank with a good reputation for customer service.  Befriend this bank- put your direct deposit there, your savings, buy a cheap car using their loan program and pay it back.  This will lessen your “risk” with that particular bank in way where if you would be rejected by larger lenders, your personal accountability will “boost” your ability to score a mortgage with a decent interest rate.

Second.  Fix your credit.  Credit is a set of imaginary numbers made of by three companies that usually are seeking to dick over the average consumer.  Each year we are permitted ONE FREE CREDIT REPORT. Yay.  On this report, you will likely find countless errors, debts that you paid off years ago that still count against you if they went to collections, things mis-attributed to your score that simply make no sense and other shenanigans.

Yes.  This can mostly be fixed.  Your goal score is 650 in this present economy.  In the credit scores of my spouse and I we found that since he has a common name, the “issues” that lowered his score were simply debts that belonged to other people with the same name.   Simple, stern phone calls between the debt collector and Experion (who did the most misreporting) provided that by only providing Ed’s social security number had those issues resolved within a day or two.

As for me- my income was unsteady throughout my 20’s in being “out in the world” and stuck with various degrees of shitty roommates.   It got to the point where my “like” of roommates is directly relational to whether or not they dicked me over repeatedly on bills or not…and that includes exes.  Since I paid off most off my debts by age 30, I was able to convince most companies to remove their negative reports by explaining each situation and indicating each debt was paid.

As for student loans… although mine were forgiven entirely, they did not budge on removing a default despite the fact there is literally no debt owed.  Sallie Mae is one of the few, true evils of this world.  Luckily for us, the rest of the finance industry knows this as well.

In honesty, most of my debt has been in medical expenses over the years.  Don’t ignore those- some say they “don’t count” in credit scores.  That depends on the bank, but if you are within 6 years of the original debt, making even the slightest efforts to pay off that garbage will get it removed.  The hospitals know that our healthcare costs are insane;  I still have a $900 ambulance-transfer bill from when I had complications from major surgery in 2011- I was able to dispute the bill and suspend it.  How?  Because I was given no choice about being transferred from my local hospital to the hospital where my surgery took place after complications began and no option to have a family member drive me there…. medical malpractice can also be financial in that way.   Since I called about the issue- it was put “under review” by the hospital and removed from my credit report.

Cool part?  They haven’t bothered me about it since.  In talking to others, this happens often in the world of medical billing; it is easier to collect on a debt that is clearly owed than one disputed and not worth the cost and effort for them to fight if there is any question at all about the legitimacy of the charges.  I was very fortunate. (But not quite so fortunate enough to not have complications with the latest surgery…at least they aren’t billing me, just ignoring me until I hit the 90-day mark…when I can do more to safeguard future patients from my negative experience post-surgically inpatient. (They gave me two medications to which I was on-record as allergic and ALSO forgot to administer my heart medication…and then kicked me out before I could even sit up without assistance.  This will be a fun, quick fight when it happens…another post, perhaps.)

Do NOT pay to check your credit score- each time your score is “pulled”- it somehow hurts your credit. (How charming).

If you cannot pay off your debts entirely, no worries- start making an effort to pay them.  It honestly does help.

The sneakiest way to know how much your credit has improved is look at the quality of your junk mail- when companies other than Capital One are offering you cards with decent interest rates, you are likely doing fine.  American Express is a great indicator.  Right now they are sending offers for “6 months no APR and 10% interest after!”- which is still shit, but better then the offers of “Get a prepaid $500 Capital One Card to build your credit! Only 25% interest for 6 months!” …which is shit.

DO NOT TAKE THE CREDIT CARD.  We have no credit cards. None.  By your 30’s you should have enough bills in your history that it is a lie that credit cards are a necessary part of credit building.  Student loans, car payments, timely bill payments, and rent all contribute to your credit score.  Living within one’s means is critical; modern society strives to convince us otherwise to take out too much, live in places that are too expensive, and to live lives without sacrifice of any creature comforts.  It’s better to live without than to end up underwater financially.  Ed is my dishwasher, and I am his handyman.  Cutting out all unnecessary expenses such as cable, credit cards, and maximizing the use of your resources in knowledge and elbow grease goes a long way. Anything plugged in draws current- dishwashers make your water bill explode into triple digits, and there is no need, as a Heathen particularly, to need the absolute newest technologies when you can get the “newest/best technologies” from previous years for next to nothing from online refurbishers or real life pawn shops. (I get my computer stuff from here. )

This is the new laptop.  I splurged and spent $350 for a durable 2011 HP EliteBook,,,,the same computer with only a marginally speedier processor is well over $1000 for the 2015 version of the same machine which actually is less durable than the 2011.   When purchasing electronics, reviews from prior years are essential- a top of the line model from 5 years ago CAN equal or even surpass current models.  Alienware is notorious for this since they were purchased by Dell lowering the quality of their gaming machines compared to prior to their merger, as an example.

I like to mess with my computers: I do most of my own repairs and upgrades (or ask friends/family for help if needed) add Linux and do some light programming on occasion-  on many websites a simpler machine than mine can be had for as low as under $100, sometimes, even $50 if all you need it for is basic tasks such as paying bills, social networking, and writing.  If you do not write- you might not even need a computer.  A smartphone from a prior year works fine.  (That’s what I’ve been using the past few weeks in conjunction with an ancient tablet we honestly kept in a closet for years)  For a phone?  I use the “free” one from my carrier.  It’s bottom of the line, but the warranty is nice.  I require my phones to make calls, pay bills, and give me directions to destinations turn by turn.  Considering I used a damned atlas to take me from Philadelphia to Tulsa- even writing that sentence is an oddity and amazement at what technology is required to exist and function without being entirely cut-off from the world.  In a perfect world, we’d be spending most of our time in nature- but we don’t.  Only you can determine your level of technological immersion.

Anyway, #3- get pre-approved for a mortgage via your credit union or banking office….even before you begin looking at homes.  Based on our income, I figured our upper limit for a home purchase with a 30 year mortgage (we don’t plan on going anywhere) would be 130k- with an ideal number being 100k or under to lower our current expenses in the transition from apartment to an actual house.  We secured under a 5% interest rate with only 3% down on the total mortgage cost for closing.  Keep in mind this is based on my credit score at the time of literally 666…not my husband’s stellar 700+ (After a year of fighting to correct misattributions of debts over his incredibly common name)…and my SSDI does count as steady income as much as being employed would.

Note: For those of you who are single on SSDI- there are programs available that one can find via your city, state, and SSDI itself to give discounts and assistance in getting out of an apartment.  They were created mostly in the 1950’s and 1970’s to prevent disabled homelessness and have been virtually ignored and forgotten.  It is actually EASIER to keep your house on Disability than (the usually shitty) apartments they offer.  Since I am married, these programs did not apply to us.  Veterans, however, have it the easiest in this case with the additional support of the VA and other organizations.  I received no assistance in purchasing a home, but found out later I could have.

One misconception in Heathenry is that our government programs are a sort of “charity” that should be shunned- but in the absence of a real community and strong family structures these programs now shoddily fill in the gaps that used to be covered by the community/family.  With the insane inflation, it is judicious to make use of every single resource available to you without bias.  It is not worth shooting yourself in the foot over a misplaced sense of “honor” when our government financial system is entirely without honor in the first place.  These are not people- they are simply corporations serving as government contractors that provide all incentives and services in home-purchase.   No one is going to starve from you taking advantage of incentives and programs in your area, income bracket, or any other strange qualifier.  If anything, you are making a single 1%-er slightly less grossly wealthy….and if you worked a single day in your life in a shitty ass job to afford your rent…that is one more day than anyone in most positions of US financial power ever accomplished of honest work.   I would love to see a congressman who delivered pizza, worked retail, and bartended concurrently to make rent without insurance, days off for years, or appropriate life-sustaining compensation.

You won’t find one- they all come from families of wealth, and should not listen to their base biases against the middle and working classes regarding income vs. intrinsic value of a human’s existence.

Born into insane affluence= lack of respect for the careers in retail, manual labor, and restaurant in which most of us “peasants” have toiled in unpaid overtime without health benefits, 401k’s, or the nice things our parents and grandparents both enjoyed and voted against continuing for subsequent generations in favor of military spending, “protecting Christian values” (which frequently contradict Heathen values), and voting to cut taxes…for higher classes of people that they assumed one day would be their own birthright to ascend to via “The American Dream.”

The American Dream in the form of us all being fabulously wealthy is dead.  The sooner this is realized, the sooner we can go back to “Everyone in their own home and a chicken in every pot”,  (Or, with current legislative trends: Pot in every chicken with appropriate medical clearances).

#4.  Find a GOOD realtor who specializes in starter homes.  We picked a high school friend of mine who had successfully homed many of our classmates over the years.  Knowing our realtor well and having one who was within my active social network is protection.  Realtors get work (or do not) via their reputations.  Our realtor has wonderful traits:  She was busy with clients, prompt with information, well connected, and informed and made optimal use of technology to keep in touch with people as easily anxious as my husband and I.  (If you live in Bucks/Lehigh county, Pennsylvania- Her name is Marcie Purcell)

One myth that must be addressed is that the buyer pays for the realtor- Not so!  It comes from the sale of the house.  Working with a realtor is a true give/take relationship where you get what you put into the relationship.   Making a list of the bare minimums you are looking for in a home and a price range are good place to start.  We found the place we are currently living in in our first trip looking because we were clear on our needs, price range, and ability to make repairs

Here were our requirements:

1. Cheap: In this area, that is under 115k- but I have friends in Detroit who bought a block of Victorian homes for under 10k a piece and relocated their online graphic design business for the lower cost of living in an abandoned city.
2. No Home Owner’s Association.  This gives us greater freedom to use the land as we choose and decorate our home without silly restrictions.  Additionally, HOA’s have high fees with no return except for grief over more people meddling with your life than necessary.
3. The land must be completely owned, including mineral rights.  No trailer parks or leases on the land that need to paid monthly in addition to the mortgage.  If you are going to go through all this work to purchase a home- don’t half-ass it.  Own the land you live on as well. (My township holds mineral rights to the owner of the property and does not sell them to outside buyers.)
4. No oil heat because the price varies too much to be stable and replacing a heating system is extraordinarily costly.  Further, considering our country seems to believe oil is “currency” despite our wealth of this natural resource, we are never more than a raspberry at an Arab Sheikh away from another oil crisis, shortage, or insane inflation.
5. Isolation.  We do not need a school district and we’re misanthropes who prefer “nature” over “strangers”.
6, Single floor preferred.  It saves hugely on utility costs.  Every time I see a vaulted ceiling I wince thinking about the cost to heat all that empty space in unpredictable Pennsylvania winters. Heat rises. if your ceilings are taller than most ladders you are doing a fantastic job at keeping all the warm air around the light fixtures rather where you live.

So… in the house hunting process- keep in mind your own level of expertise with repairs and the skills of those you trust most.   People you trust most are generally people in your life for several years and remain consistent as positive people to your existance, Heathen or not, who you have helped with moves/repairs in the past.   I like living via a barter system if at all possible with friends and acquaintances.  Most of my friends simply require “beer and pizza”.

We found a 900sq ft ranch  house for under 100k on over half an acre of land in between two mountains on the very outskirts of Reading in a town with very few ordinances with even less permit requirements.  We can have chickens.

The downside was it took over a month to fix-up to make habitable after the old man we bought it from let the place fall into disrepair- although overwhelming to look at- flaws that are cosmetic should NOT factor into your decision for a purchase of the home itself…except in the case of the one house we saw in pictures that was wallpapered entirely in orange and brown cats.   Tearing down wallpaper is a rough time for me…but on the otherhand, we replaced the entirety of the bathroom except for the tub in 2 days.   I suppose it depends on what one is able/willing to correct.  Our back porch roof will likely need to be resupported this winter since I was too sick to repair it over the summer with the surgery…and our deck needs some boards replaced.  The shed was once nice…likely in 1983; but thanks to moving to a good,laissez faire township, it will be recycled into a chicken coop in the spring. (which, apparently, was what was there prior.)

I understand and realize not everyone has the true advantage of being able to use tools correctly on account of about 30-50 years worth of devaluation of manual labor in favor of getting everything “fixed” on demand by contractors…but no matter what the age you are currently: you can learn how to change an outlet, fix a toilet, install a light fixture/fan, and even minor carpentry.

But still, Heathen needs tend towards having a bit of land to steward and care for- which provides habitat and food for wildlife moreso than the typical American lawn.   Our incentive to terraform comes from a deep loathing of mowing the lawn on both of our parts and also the strange phenomenon that occurs when one plants trees it creates an illusion over time of more space instead of less… and much more opportunity for augery and other types of divination by creating habitat.  Over the summer since I was so restricted physically by my medical issues, I was still able to dredge out both streams and deepen them simply by relaxing and tossing rocks away from the natural silt/sand base creating deeper reservoirs for fish and other aquatic creatures while creating a sort of dam-in-progress that serves to protect the property from flooding slightly.   We were also fortunate that most in our neighborhood fish, liked our idea, and followed suit.

It’s amazing what a little bit of your own labor can do to inspire others.  We now see trout more often on “high water” days, and a great blue heron even spent a lovely couple of days chilling in our yard.

The importance of owning your own land in Heathenry is that this is land that you can sanctify, work closely with, and bring it “back to nature” in a way that is mutually beneficial for yourself, the local wildlife, and even your neighbors who benefit from the literal fruits that occur in time.  Space used for ornamental gardens can be equally ornamental with useful, native plants for your region.  Some organizations are even willing to certify your land as “habitat”- such as Audobon.  Here in Pennsylvania this link is useful to determine what is best for you and your personal needs.  Use native where you can, rip out all invasive species (Ed actually did that first- Goodbye Asian Honeysuckle…), clear all human trash from the property.  If you have a water feature such as streams/creeks like we do- continually pick up human trash as you see it, as well as from the front yard.  Encourage the growth of native saplings growing in inconvenient places by moving instead of killing them.

In spring, just spend $20 and rent a roto-tiller from your local hardware store (or borrow one from a landscaper friend) and just plow out where you want gardens.  The more gardens, the less mowing.  Weeding can be handled by focusing only on species that are harmful to your gardening goals, a random sunflower in the garden in good luck and won’t really bother much.  Use organic methods of pest control.  Marigolds around tomatoes rather than pesticides to repel nemotodes, for instance.   Poisoning the land with chemicals creates only the superficial appearance of “health”.  Same goes for inside the home… we were well aware this house had a rodent problem prior to making our first bid.  Having three cats and a dog solves it without traps or poisons, and we are separate enough from our neighbors that their poisoned mice don’t make it to our property.

Regarding making bids and closing on a house, my perspective is a bit outside of the norm.  Honestly, as long as the numbers equaled to significantly less than the upper limit we set for ourselves in expenses, we were not like some who try to wrangle every penny out of a seller that was already flat-broke.   We put more funds and expectations on inspections to do that for us.  If I have a regret, it would be not “playing dumb” regarding the ancient furnace…but even that was fixable for $20 and an insufferable day of misery. (Note: I was miserable anyway 10 days past surgery.)

In our case, there was a title company error with our mortgage after all paperwork is signed.  There should be no additional closing costs after closing day- but one problem is that occasionally unethical people will try to say otherwise.   Having a great realtor helped in sorting it out for us and getting a fee we were not legally liable for dismissed from our table and placed on the shoulders of the bank and title agent.

There is no such thing as a “perfect” experience unless you have the means to purchase a home in full with a suitcase stuffed with hundred dollar bills.  Yes, we are now in debt to the bank for $90k-ish…but our monthly payments and bills actually amount to far LESS than I ever paid for an apartment in this state.

Other new homeowners among my friends noticed a similar phenomenon across the board:  The truth is apartment companies and landlords are mostly gouging criminals who want to get you for as much money as they can.   When leaving an apartment for a home- be aware that you cannot be charged for “normal wear and tear” such as carpeting or cracks in the wall from building settlement.  If your former landlords attempt to charge you, please look up your local laws regarding the matter and possibly involve a state representative to protect your rights as a tenant.

I believe the goal, ultimately, is true self sufficiency.  Our ground water tastes better than what spills from our tap- many friends of ours are in the solar panel industry in one way or another so “shadowing” a friend for a day to learn how to install them is a worthwhile goal.

As for nature in the winter?  Easiest way to get your ass outdoors is NOT to install a fence and get a dog.  Seriously- get a good dog.  Dogs are awesome.  They are better than doorbells, warm in the winter, and if well trained and taught well- actually work with you.   Just via websites and youtube videos without a class our dog is better trained than most children even PRIOR to her upcoming service-training.  Having a stream that changes flow depending on the time of day has created a wonderful system of waste removal. Dogs prefer not to step on their own shit as much as we do, so when she figured out how the stream “worked”- that is where she goes.  When it’s cold, she stays on the banks (There are coyotes and foxes here.  My dog is smaller than a coyote- the environmental impact is non-existent with our high water table).

We have the start of a compost heap which serves the dual purpose of not wasting vegetable/fruits as well as hopefully providing a future base of rich soil to use on the gardens.  Further, the local wildlife digs having the extra food source.

Pet food that is not eaten goes outside to our Odin/Cernunnos altar in a small bowl.  The local corvid and spotted skunks seem to like it.   The only “issue”, if this is one- is the the alcoholic doe that likes getting smashed on our hard cider offering bowl. But, then again, neighbors tell us she also steals beer cans left on porches and drinks the puddles under the recycle bins of the heavier drinkers in our immediate area.

We have had no problems with local wildlife interfering with our lives except for the occasional wasp nest.

We try to keep the skunks content because they are beautiful and they keep the neighbor kids off our lawn… Natasha the dog will undoubtedly learn the hard way to leave them alone in time.  But, that’s what tomato juice is for.

I hope this helped some, and although I am no real estate agent nor expert on the topic- I can say that it just feels “right” to own a home in a way that renting never did.  We are still making monthly payments- but they actually MEAN something.

Most of you are likely doing your own repairs anyway- or waiting on some shady-ass landlord to send a contractor that never *quite* makes it to your home.

But, I would rather pay money to my credit union who leaves us alone as long as they get their money than be a slave to the whims of another human who had the legal right to sell any building they own, at any time- to place restrictions on what we could do in our own living space regarding alterations, or suddenly add additional costs every year in ways that are never explained.

Here, we are at the mercy of taxes…but again, we don’t have kids, taxes are based on property values, and we bought “cheap” for our county in Pennsylvania.  We took out a long mortgage to keep monthly costs down and our home improvements we’ve been able to make (ripping out carpets, sealing the floors, painting, replacing, fixing, etc) have raised our property value enough that in line with other homes in the area, we would not find ourselves at loss to sell.

As Heathens, our people are the ultimate good neighbors- we’re generally quiet, kind, and we like to fix things up.  There may be a giant brushstroke of cranberry red on the side of the house where I had to quickly retreat from a wasp nest while painting the shutters, but hey- it’s better than cockroaches from the filthy beasts that used to live above us in our former apartment unit.

Buy yourself some land.  Heck, at this point it’s likely a better investment than college regarding personal and financial returns- until that bubble bursts.

At least owning a home means that you are 100% in charge of its upkeep, the upkeep of the land, and can live a more harmonious life in what you do with it.  Not all opportunities in life are career-oriented, home ownership used to be something all people sought and now seem to be discouraged from attempting on account of all the horror stories of variable rate mortgages (get a fixed rate ONLY…or walk away from that particular lender) and people purchasing homes outside of their means.

If Ed lost his job tomorrow, through doing all the calculations in advance I know that we will still be able to make our payments with the sacrifice of few amenities we currently enjoy.

It can be done and with effort of the goal in-mind to own instead of rent you can also do this thing.  I believe in you.

Needless Acts of Frustration.

Posted in About me on October 22, 2015 by Alana Smithee

I am writing this on the tablet to justify to mysrlf whst a pain in the ass this is. I am not going to use spellcheck. The laptop arrives tomorrow,  ‘Garm’, its predassesor, is at rest, possibly forever.

Duct tape can’t fix a dying machine forever.

This is already brutal. This tablet was made for movies and puzzle games.

Anyeay, so you guys ask me yo write more… but here is the issue: I have NO idea what you want to read.,.

“Bueller… Bueller?…Bueller?!…” mentally, I hsve many ideas, but I have no idea if you want more Academic-type essays? fiction? UPG? Heathen-political commentary? Ancedotes of weird shit I’ve seen/exoerienced?

Life woukd be easier if I drew a web comic, guys. This is post 102 in three years. I try to update mostly-weekly lately. Over 120 people subscribed snd 23k hits either from possibly hundreds of people or a single Autistic child…absolutely insane, I am blown away.

Thank you so much for ceasing the death-threats over a year ago, they were annoying and a little frustrating.

Also,  congrats to Clifford Erickson for being the new folk builder in our region of the mid Atlantic for the AFA.  I still dont pay dues to anyone, but I cannot stress deeply enough for all people who interact with complete stranger’s in Heathenry to know the “national reps” for your region of both the Troth and AFA as well as other people of note in your immediate communities.  These people are valuable resources and a great place to refer those who are new to Heathenry or are currently facing religious descrimination and need advice.

I do not suggest doing so regarding Loki-worship, however… that I’m still around for in my snooty, intellectual-elitist way.  I am beginning to actually enjoy having both Tyr and Loki as personal archetypes to draw from for moral resources… However,  if there is ever a definition of a ‘cynic’ it would be anyone caught between Tyr and Loki.

I am amazed at all the intriguing people I still meet almost every day online and share deep, meaningful conversations. In a way, it really helps compensate for the person I lost in myself when my face to face extroversion left me.

In real life? I’m wearing comfy pants, a t-shirt, an oxford comma, and my super-clingy dog across my legs.  I’m awake most nights, health permitting, still doing the one-human Heathen advice chat and human google of the knowledge of the existence of useful people.

I can find a local Heathen meet-up group for almost anyone,  every where.  I have no idea how or when that occurred, but I noticed in keeping track of whom reads, shares, and/or comments… you become a resource to which I can refer others.

In true Lokean fashion, the most referrals are usually to people who personally despise me, and I don’t give a damn.  If you are knowledgeable on something I am not, I dont care if you “like” me.

Heathen elders, you have your job to help heathens. Maybe one day I will no longer have to add the disclaimer to all advice I give in this matter of:


I draw my resources of people from multiple communities of intelligent pagans, chaotes, intellectuals and clergy.  I dream of a world where I am surrounded with people more knowledgeable than I am… ( Like Myriad Lokandis).  The web that connects all pagan faiths is surprisingly strong- the key to finding the centers of all of it is not in public figures necessarily,  but rests on the shoulders of the observers who immerse themselves entirely in their spiritual practices without external motivations.

If you are looking for intellectual Lokeans on Facebook,  for instance- they are in “Chaos Magick” and Discordian groups. The key to your survival online in such environments are the “unfollow” and “b lock” buttons to remove the trolls, but once the protective skin is removed from such groups, the fruits of knowledge are mighty tasty if you can endure the Fnord.

Heathenry is becoming more accepted as a form of paganism,  and as this is occurring,  msny indigenous Heathens from Europe/European families are speaking up!

Excellent! I was really lonely!

I thank everyone for the support,  encouragement,  suggestions,  and kind words sent via this blog to me- thsnk you. You break my illusions that what I write is projected into ’empty space’, much like my old bound-paper journals.

Sometimes,  it is difficult to write. Mostly because I struggle with anxiety and agoraphobia which creeps sometimes into my online interactions.  It’s rather ironic. I feel like I spent ten years of my adult life traveling to visit people only now to be on the recipient.

It’s really nice… until I have to explain I have unpredictable anxiety-related car sickness.  No crazy diagnosis needed, it’s just how I am right now.  Then again, this car is fucking evil…. it attracts hit and run supermarket parking lot fiends.

Old people should be retested to drive every two years in a separate DMV, can we make that a Heathen initiative?

In conclusion. I asked Loki for help getting a new machine.
I received a scary letter demanding $900 on account of a mortgage error.
My husband lost his mind temporarily enough to take out a low apr loan.
The letter was not our responsibility, it turned out.

I got a laptop, paid off all the tiny little annoying debts that come with a new house, and I will hopefully get a new pair of running shoes so I do not shortchange the dog with the walking path she’s seen twice because I sm STILL (If I am sane & honest), not recovered from surgery quite yet.

I miss sleeping regularly. Irregular sleeping via passing out at random from my heart meds shouldn’t be something I look foreward to. 

If someone gave you the choice “Narcolepsy or more strokes”, I am pretty confident most would choose the same.  I just dearly wish the ‘passing out’ immediately coincided with 8 solid hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep at will.  The issue is mental silence: if I achieve it I sleep.

The greatest carrot on a stick ever, really. I literally cannot sleep if I need to write something…

…Please help me in suggesting what you guys WANT to read from me, I write anyway,  it’s what I do regardless. Even if I do not seem active ‘here’ at times, it just means I am writing something, somewhere else. (And likely on topics not interesting to this audience. Persian History, anyone? Birding? Physics? …how about memes about President Putin?)

As of the writing of this post, I am listening to VNV Nation which a devout Jewish friend suggested to me over a continuous 10 year friendship based on mutual tastes in music and empathy.  I currently co moderate three pages, one forum, and run two additional pages entirely alone.  One is nothing but wacky memes.

I thank Cory Barron for rocking as the best co-moderator I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, my real life friends who are mostly Atheists, and my husband Ed who is a constant strength as well as sn objective enough critic to suggest when to put down my mighty metaphor stick I use to accidentally piss off bears by trying to clear cobwebs in otherwise unlit caves of dying Philosophies.

The dog sleeps 16 hours a day.  I counted.


Majestic stock photo!

Repost via Lokisbruid: Godphone Flowchart

Posted in About me on October 20, 2015 by Alana Smithee


Enjoy!  Thank you kindly to Loki’s Bruid for this wonderful diagram.

Tyr- “Gods Do Not Always Get Along”

Posted in About me on October 6, 2015 by Alana Smithee

Okay- diversion over.

A common search of Deviantart (from which most of the pictures in my posts are sources from) is indicative of the pure unpopularity of the God Tyr in Heathenry.

Loki?  Would you like that in “Hiddleston” or “Non-Hiddleston”?  Either way, there are literally hundreds of modern renderings of Loki.  Of Tyr?  AFTER you wade through all the wolf-fursuit reference sheets and pictures that are dominated by Fenrir- there are very, very few images of Tyr- and of those images, there is always some glaring flaw- the wrong hand is removed, Christian-Crusader armor, bearded like a Hipster at a Whole Foods….when Tyr in lore seems to be one of the only Gods indicated to be clean-shaven.

I thank Humon comics for this depiction- It’s really excellent.  It’s also the only one that shows any semblance of similarity to any Tyrsvolk’ UPG of this God.

Tyr is not known because He does not “require” worship-  in fact, He would prefer if most who do not know Him to NOT worship Him- usually, on account of over-emphasis on the “war” aspect and both accounts of him FIGHTING wolves- ignoring a minimum of 6000 years plus of history where his kenning was “Wolf-Prince”….and even after “Lone Friend to Fenrir.”

Fenrir literally ASKED for this God by name when the Aesir were trying to deceive Him.  Tyr was Not Happy.

Well, that is pretty much how to summarize how Tyr feels about most things:
“The Unsmiling One is Not Happy.”

Why is He this way?  Because the world has no justice among men and beasts.  Because innocents are harmed, and the few times His name is called- it’s usually by a group of Nazitru who decided that since Tyr’s anthropological origins are traced more clearly back to Germany, that somehow entails He would approve of racism (which is blatantly false).

So- The comic you see in this post only has minor points I truly disagree with- but Humon is only Human, as am I,  and no one gets to be perfect…there are TWO peoples (at minimum) who worship Tyr- The Danes and the Deitsch….and some say Garm did not fall.

And once upon a time, Tyr was considered Allfather, with a black eagle like a Tyrianian Hunter and wolves placid at His feet.

This modern age does not share Tyr’s ethic, and people who are drawn to Tyr are generally antisocial veterans, diplomats, law enforcement, and other noble service fields.

Tyrsvolk are seldom social.  I have met two in my life whom I actually believe.   A Tyrsperson would never harm someone’s reputation without dishonor on their part/s, but instead, would demand: “Would you mind saying that to my face PRIOR to you sharing your little lies around you like a small child with a basket of moldy flower petals?”

People who falsely claim Tyr as a Patron lead very upsetting, disorganized lives that are prone to extremes of catastrophe, and He is the epitome of the God “Who gives no fucks” about societal convention or “common” morality.

If you can’t live life based on what is morally “right” and doing what is courageous despite fear, Tyr is NOT your patron.

….and again:  Tyr does NOT like to be worshiped.  He prefers to be spoken to with respect, certainly.  Your altars to Tyr are for you to understand Him, He doesn’t want or need them.  (Yes, I keep one to Him with this understanding)

However, Tyr does seek to befriend and patron the occasional human… and usually, when that human recognizes the cost of such affiliation (High moral code, inability to lie, duty to protect, as well as calling out the unjust) it all sounds all beautiful and noble in theory, but in practice- our social morass prevents the blunt truth of Tyr from gaining much respect in public.

Years ago a woman who was recently married once informed me she questioned her decision and cheated on her husband of a month.  I was not a chaplain then- and my Oath to Tyr was to improve Loki’s reputation.  Since the woman was one of the very first :”Out and Educated” among Lokeans… I gave her this choice:  Disclose what you have done to your kindred and your spouse in a week….or I will- and to their “authority” folkbuilder and their Odinsman.

And I did.  It created all sorts of catastrophe, frustrated the folkbuilder of the region, and made my own now-teacher sigh and say “Will you try to make amends?”

Make amends….for what?  I was not the Oathbreaker, I do not cheat on my spouse, and the woman’s spouse who was a very good and honest man from what I could see was being harmed by this lie- furthermore, the lie would have come out eventually and there was the possibility it would DIRECTLY interfere with my own Oaths to improve the reputations of Lokeans.

Want to know how well I get along with that kindred now?  They avoid both my husband and I.  She was not discrete in her actions- and as likely consequence, lost all motivations to continue down the road of Heathen scholarship and academics.

Tyr is not a God to piss off.  I have seen Him make women infertile for lying about their associations with Him- I have seen Him allow people to live for decades in physically abusive situations who claim Him-  If He truly “blessed them”- they would not cry over such things.  People can adopt, and if you KNOW you are being abused, you dishonor your children by staying.

Once you are Tyr’s- Tyr would kindly ask you remove yourself from needless harm, and as your relationship with Tyr grows, you also learn that you need to defend yourself and your family from untruth and harms committed against you out of fear.  Again, not going to make you #1 on the invite list for gatherings.

“Tyrienne!  Pleasure to see you again!”
“You didn’t say that last time we met when you called my husband a necromancer and myself a “Chaos bringer” for the Gods in my life.  Can we do without the fake niceties and get straight to the point as to why you are pretending at civilities when you have not yet apologized to us?”

Tyrsvolk are not much for small talk, while the Lokean is constantly surrounded by those of like-mind and complains about being “marginalized”.

Loki needs adoration.
Tyr wants to be near those like him, and no one else.  He wants people who can be both fearful and still persevere.  His defining character trait is “Courage”.

Honestly, most people who would meet Tyr in real life- would not even recognize Him as God.  He is the wounded veteran in the corner seat in the bar who broods over his mug, and when he speaks, is the ultimate killjoy of all laughter; and although what he says is both “true” and “needful”- it is seldom appreciated.

Like the man who listens to an hour listening to men bitch about how their wives hate how they go to bars….Tyr would be the one to say,

“No one likes living with an alcoholic.  If she was the one drinking herself stupid, you would have dropped her on her ass.  She picks you up from each time your head falls into the toilet and you disparage her as you commit the vice she endures for you.  Go fuck yourselves.”

…and then there is silence, a state in which Tyr is imminently comfortable.  No one really knows what Tyr drinks- but I have seen no lore or UPG of Tyr ever being anything other than morally straight, non-intoxicated, and breaking only one Oath, and that was to Fenrir.  For being a Jotunr-God capable of changing forms by nature- He CHOOSES to keep that bloody stump in almost every reality and form I’ve seen of Him.

When Loki makes a mistake, many forgive.
When Tyr is in error- it’s another scar He will not erase from Himself.

Loki desires love.
Tyr desires understanding and fervently wishes this particular age of “selfies and pumpkin spice latte’s” to pass- since He sees that the world is full of distractions that keep us from seeing the injustice and treachery that exists that is preventable if people only cared just a little bit more about politics and far less about diets, fashions, and modalities that do not improve the lives of others.

Tyr, if he walked among us, would have watched Jesus Christ whip a temple full of bankers and say,

“Good start, young demi-God….but you should take that whip to Rome and flog the Caesar before you leave…Need a hand?”

Tyr is not a God of words, but of actions.  Tyr doesn’t play nicely, Tyr doesn’t use sugar in his coffee or His words.

When Tyr is unhappy, the Tyrsvolk are unhappy.  Honestly, we’re quite the crowd of people who respect one another but prefer to “stay home” over socialization.

We are the people that listen and judge, “Lie, lie, lie, insecurity, lie, lie, lie…” and then try to find a way to excuse ourselves, unless the gathering has even a single Honest soul within, then like silent, obedient dogs we assist THAT person.

Tyr would prefer Not to see injustice- but if there is no means for Him to correct it Himself by invitation or via one of His scattered, few patron humans, He is truly unsmiling.

Tyr is patient, but He will test you more than embrace you.
Tyr is kind, but only if you meet His standards of morality and suffer for it- on His behest or not.
Tyr judges harshly, and does not apologize.  Those he judges may wail and cry, but know they deserve what harm they bring themselves.

A Tyrsperson is generally without real esteem outside that which other’s may or may not grant them, they are world-weary and have seen too much and endured more.  They are loyal friends to very few, and more oft to jettison those who fall into decadence and harming others without cause or reason.

Tyr would never own an I-Phone knowing the truth that it is likely manufactured in a third world country, and in a year is discarded so that children in slums in third world countries are poisoned to remove the metals to sell to feed their ever-poisoned families.

Tyr knows True history, and will teach it to you with references, and guide you to unbiased sources- but you will NEVER like what you read.

But, also….Tyr can be kind.

To those who suffered in battles both in body and diplomacy, his symbol is the wounded warrior and the straight arrow.  Some translations of Ragnarok in Europe indicate that Garm did not fall to Tyr, but Tyr “laid down His sword” before Garm and allowed Himself to be taken as punishment for Oathbreaking to Garm’s cousin, Fenrir.  (I have yet to figure out whose son Garm is for this to be possible- some Ironwood Jotunr, likely)

Tyr is a Jotunr who chose to estrange himself from his family to keep ways and honesty even older than the Aesir alive.

Some of the most bizarre people I have met OUTSIDE of the Heathen community have stories on Tyr we do not; some Persians believe He is the son of Sunlight (Mitra-originally a female sun Goddess, turned into male “Mithras” over the ages and into a war God) and some unnamed Northern God of Ice.

When His parents meet- it is during the times of Spring and Autumn.   Snow on mountains in summer is His father pining for his mother.  Warm weather in winters is His mother breaking the cycle of seasons to meet her lover once more.

And Tyr Himself- the sky, or more accurately, the Atmosphere created by the forces of ice and warmth that make our world habitable.   This is a God older than humanity if this is true.

…and rightly, I do not know if it is.  Some claim Tyr came from Mongolia and taught those who hunt with eagles.  Other’s say He is the patron (as Ziu and with His wife Zisa) of the taciturn German peoples, especially the displaced who chose becoming Diaspora rather than bend their knee to false-belief to placate those who would harm them.

Tyr is a beautiful, amazing God….that honestly very few people would honestly like.

Tyr delights in opening closets and allowing every skeleton to dance- a trait shared with Loki, but Tyr would claim His reasons are “more Honorable”.

As evidenced by my writings- there is nothing much I hide.

But if you will rewind a little bit to a certain blog post I wrote recently, you can see that occasionally, Tyr’s testing goes “too far” for the standards of other Gods.

“The Typhoid Dream” honestly, really fucked me up…for days.

I am no Godspouse who can claim that the Gods speak to me at every moment, nor do I presume I can call our Gods like trained dogs unless i am absolutely certain I am “clear” to do so as a matter of function or their propriety.

It has become clearly evident Loki does not approve of that particular action of Tyr towards me- that test, which I passed, came at great personal expense of flashbacks and unrest of the subject of that dream and the ways that person harmed me out of pure, undisputed narcissism.

There was a reason I called that man a viper.  And although I do believe the intention was indeed to “help me find closure”- the outcome did not match the intention.

So- as a black wolf with a missing, blooded stump, I can see Tyr- Time flows around Him to an extent, but to me, knowing of the Norse stories, the bloody stump is a reminder of “the time Tyr broke His own Honesty” and for that, He does NOT forgive Himself…and for people who draw black wolves as menacing?  Aye, they might well be….but the black genotype found in wild wolf populations actually come from interbreeding with domestic dogs since melanistic wolves have been conclusively tested time and time again to not be “pure wolf”.

Tyr, like other Gods, chooses to be the epitome of civilization; even when portrayed as an animal fetch. (Good job, furries of the world.)  His wildness is tempered with civilization and He knows His functions and what humanity asks of Him changes with time- but He also knows He does not need to accept things that repulse Him.

…and the newest intrigue I have as just a simple Heathen clergy person is how can I remedy one God who will not Forgive the other? However, despite apologies over time from both which I have accepted in a state of being ENTIRELY PERPLEXED why Gods would seek humanity in the first place, and secondly, why what I think even matters.

I write this because I am honestly confused- not out of some ‘holy insight’, but lack of it.

In honesty- it amazes me my computer didn’t break (again) in posting this.   The laptop is named Garm, I promised to write about the Death of Baldr to get it running again.  I am aware this might well break it.

But in having two patron Gods that I both adore, respect, and will fight for without question.

I will not and cannot choose one over the other; and in speaking to several Lokeans as well as some of the few Tyrsvolk I *do* know- that will not be a choice I have to make.

In my own meditations in seeking a mediator realizing Odin would not be appropriate-  I went to Janis/Freyr instead….who only laughed merrily and offered me a beer.

I had slightly better luck with Fenrir who simply growled:
“Just wait it out- I do.”

…and my personal choice rather than suffer in confused silence is to talk about it…  because Tyr doesn’t “own” me, nor does Loki anymore than I am “owned” by any human.

At any time I could just walk away from all of this and worship Hanuman who is always kind and his friend Ganesh- and go back to the Indo-Aryan roots that are more ancient than all Western history…and although those Gods have my respect, they are not the ones who have walked beside me, offered me knowledge, wisdom, and even emotional comfort with consistency UNASKED.

I prefer my Gods (and friends) to come to me-  I’ve been done with “searching” for years down that road.  I found my Gods and now I search to learn more about them…

And what I have learned most recently is this:  Gods, like people, do not always “Get Along” well… and sometimes, we cannot do more than what is in our power to state that both parties are “clear” in our own eyes of intentional wrong-doing.

I do not have the strength of character, Honor, or power of a God- but I do have the power to not-choose knowing even if I lost the privilege of either Loki or Tyr- I am a polytheist from a Heathen family,  Freyr, Mara, Odin, and Frau Holle are in my blood- and through my husband there is Hel and Cernunnos.

I refuse to estrange any God; even if I am harmed- as long as They apologize.
Neither Loki nor Tyr is innocent of harming me in my life, and both have more than made up for it.

So, by the advice of Fenrir, I will ‘Deal with it and wait.’ (my own paraphrase)

“The Beautiful Guest”- Fiction/UPG

Posted in About me on October 5, 2015 by Alana Smithee

“Silver Hair” by nell-fallcard source: http://nell-fallcard.deviantart.com/art/Silver-Hair-446945412

Awaiting Ragnarok, the Aesir, Vanir, and the God-made dead were restless in Asgard-  The first cock had crowed, stated Skadi formerly of the Jotunr, and time passed by slowly for any indication of further movement on the event of Ragnarok.

Heimdallr, the Watchman- arrived into the halls of the Aes silently (as was His nature) along with a beautiful naked youth covered with Heimdallr’s own cloak out of hospitality- beautiful beyond all description with eyes that changed and flowed with a myriad of colors upon each glance and long, flowing hair the color of snow that seemed to be drying as if this person had to endure cold rains without protection prior, yet did not shiver- skin luminous the color of the moon reflected upon waters.

Before leaving, Heimdallr urged caution to all, especially the youth whom He called “Dreki'”- and referred to as a “Him” whether out of convenience or Truth, and quickly Vidarr gathered clothing from among the Aes to clothe Him- returning Heimdallr’s cloak to Him before Heimdallr expressed his need to return to His own duties.

Dreki’ was offered a seat in the grand hall- a place of honor before the head table and remained inscrutable- watching the hall alight with action of bringing out the finest foods out of hospitality for this stranger who radiated such enormous power they were certainly a God, but one that was anonymous and truly enigmatic. Dreki’s brightness shined like stars- not a Godly brightness like fallen Baldr, but the brightness of a nova-in-flesh with the Northern Lights shining in His or Her eyes.

When asked from where Dreki had came, the reply was

“I have returned from all of Midgard.”
And it was Bragi who cried “A God who travels among men! Noble of poetry!”

Dreki replied, “No- I am not worthy of your noble poems, Poet-God- for all I wish I could be.”

When asked of his parentage, he met Woten’s eye and said “I am nephew to the Allfather by blood, and for that reason I have come.” to which Woten nodded quietly and did not speak- but showed great courtesy to the Guest by granting Him/Her the same foods of the Gods, the apples of Idunn, peaches, mead, and wild boar.  Dreki ate a single bite politely and concentrated on drinking from his cup delicately. Kind to all who served Him- He spoke with quiet grace, did not boast, and gave no answers except in the art of being vague.

“Cousin,  why do I not know You?” asked Thor/Donar, son of Woten.

“I wish I could answer you Donner-Thor, bearer of Mjollnir- but I do not know why You do not know Me.”

It was clear a select few others in the room knew Dreki, Woten, and Tyr kept their own council and even sweet Frigg was silent- Vidarr did not speak, but showed courtesy and recognition.

It was a pity that the Aesir who could have spoken most freely was self-Oathed into silence.

Freyr spoke: “I see that you are wet, but none of my rains have touched you- how have I not seen you before?”
“I live in places your gentle waters do not touch, Yngvi-Freyr, Father of elves-  your waters are kinder than the ones I have known.”- Dreki replied politely.

As His hair dried it proved to be fair enough to gleam even within the halls with it’s own light, when asked about the light, Dreki replied:

“When I am not here, the light does not stay with Me- it is only the power I have, manifest.  In my natural form you will only see darkness for the light is Myself unconstrained in this form.”

“What brings you to this Hall, cousin- and what news do you bring?”- asked Freyja  “Has Ragnarok come?”

“I bring you a chance to avoid Ragnarok- at great effort and great expense on My own.  I ask to wrestle three of you unarmed, and if I succeed- I ask for a single boon of my Uncle, Woten… If I lose, then I shall leave you in peace.  If my boon is granted, or if I fail to win against the three Aesir who would fight me, Ragnarok will not come.”

The hall laughed, and Thor began to remove Mjollnir from his side:

“Not Donar,  I will not fight my cousin Thor in combat, for there is no sport in fighting the strongest of you unless it is needful- but I will fight both Sons, Magni and Modi until submission at once, if you allow it.” stated Dreki calmly.

“…That I would Indeed like to see!” exclaimed Thor. “My Sons together are greater than I.”

“Do not shortchange yourself, Thunderer.” Dreki replied coldly.

“No one can avoid Ragnarok, and no one has the power to stop or delay it.” stated Tyr.

Dreki rationed, “Perhaps that is true in the first, but the second?  I claim that power- and I ask you to witness the Oaths of this room, Oathbreaker, elder of the Aesir and kind scholar.”

Tyr’s expression was grim as he replied,
“‘Dreki’ speaks truth in this, and I know Them well, for it was upon my own knee I taught you, Dreki and also your siblings.  Your Sister is well.”

“My Brother, however, is not well, and nor are you, Unsmiling Teacher.”

“I cannot deny that observation, ‘Dreki’- and I will not disclose your better names for you are not untruthful.”- Tyr replied stoically, “But, what holds the world together without Your power?”

“The world held without me prior to my birth, and it will hold after.”

“…And it will ever hold through frost and fire.. even if it lies in state.” replied Tyr, “Do you come here without malice or venom, ‘Dreki’… and in the peace of Godly hospitality?”

“I do. I come unarmed and in Honor- I bear no ill will in mind or body to harm anyone in this hall, I arrived naked and unarmed as a God among other Gods, and I am no trickster.  I do not lie, and I do not boast.  This is the most I have spoken and to so many in my time existing.”

Tyr looked more concerned than usual and stated steadily,
“I vouch for this child to Asgard, and know These words uttered to be true when spoken to Me directly in such a way.  I know this God well, and it is your peril for those who do not.  I cannot deny this request for battle, for this God calls for nothing more than what our Laws provide in letter.”

“…and what would that be?”  asked Skadi.

Tyr replied, “Justice.” and would answer no more.

With Woten and Frigg Silent, Tyr watching silently looking grimly upon the hall, the blood from his stump ever-bleeding, Freyr confused, and Thor looking upon the scene with great interest-  Dreki stood out like a star even against the glory of Asgard- standing with hands empty and in no position for battle.

Since Woten and Frigg would not speak, Tyr stood at the open place between all tables as an arbiter of the battles, grim and humorless to oversee the honor of the competition.

Magni ran at Dreki only to find himself pinned instantly as if he weighed nothing going from Dreki’s hand to beneath the foot of the Guest which seemed to only hold him by the lightest of touch.  Modi called a war cry at the insult of seeing this unknown stranger subdue His brother without even a lost breath.

“Who ARE you?!” He gasped,
“I am your cousin by-blood.” replied Dreki dryly.

Modi’s battle lasted slightly longer, getting in a single hit that harmed his hand to throw as Dreki stood still with Magni still beneath his shoe.

Dreki did not insult Modi’s attempt, and stood still and allowed several more blows which fell off of him uselessly, the only thing protecting Modi’s strong hands from injury were Dreki’s borrowed clothing.
Neither laughing nor smiling- Dreki kept eye contact with Allfather Woten during this time, expressionless, and then grabbed Modi’s hand- mid-assault, and brought mighty Modi to his knees in submission.

Without color to His voice, Dreki ended the contest with Thor’s sons “You both fought with Great Honor- but it is clear you have lost to Me.” Looking to Tyr who simply nodded in agreement, and  he released Magni from beneath his foot and released the grip of his hand upon Modi- Dreki grasped their arms in a sign of respect  for both before they departed from Him.

“I call to my uncle, Allfather Woten- would you wish to fight Me?”

“‘Dreki’, this future is written-  I will not fight you and wish you no ill will.”

“Nor do I wish you, Allfather, but ‘ill will’ is what I am attempting to remedy-  I still ask for the chance of redemption of this world and universe, is that dishonorable?”

“It is indeed Honorable.”

“Then why will you not fight me?  I am unarmed- I arrived naked and I am clothed in what You have provided for Me.”

“We both know why- ‘Dreki’- I will not fight you.” replied Odin sternly.

“And as for I, it is dishonorable to fight a man without an eye, Uncle-” Dreki turned his attentions to Tyr, “Nor, despite being Lord of Battles by some, would I fight one without a hand.”

“I would not fight you, ‘Dreki’, even if asked of me,  for I know you will not win your boon-even if I could give it.”
“Then you would be twice an Oathbreaker, Father-of-Skies.”

Instead of anger, Tyr answered sadly, “That…is a matter of perspectives.”

Thor was enraged his sons were beaten by the Guest, and demanded the opportunity to fight.
“How can we entertain this coward?  A child who fights our Children-  Why am I not permitted to test my strength against this stranger?”

Odin then spoke, “For you have already lost twice to Him.”- and then, too- Thor was silent and brooding, and no small amount enraged, but he met Dreki’s eyes with his own.

“I understand,” growled Thor, “I understand what it means for Me to fight You.”

“Then you understand I cannot fight You here.”

“No, we cannot fight here in Asgard.  You are correct and clever… two have fought you and you have beaten them fairly.  Who would you ask to fight of all the Gods in this hall?  Surtr lies in Musphelheim.”

“But Vidarr stands here before me-  allow me to test His strength against Mine- and although I know of the enchanted footwear, I will not ask Him to go without- for He has given me boots as well.”

The hall stood in silence- to fight Vidarr was most assuredly death- already marked by the Norns for life after cataclysm and as the future avenger of Woten.

Vidarr met Dreki upon the middle of the hall and clasped both His arms with the Guest’ out of stolid respect and then parted from Him.  Circling cautiously like a hunter, Vidarr examined Dreki for weaknesses for a time using his eyes and battle skill to determine Dreki’s weakness and could find none.  Dreki stood not for battle, but confident of his inability to be harmed- but Vidarr took too much time. To which- Dreki sprung upon Vidarr with speed almost imperceptible and pinned him upon the floor with a single finger resting upon Vidarr’s chest:

“Remember this, Close-Cousin-Vidarr-  Do not hesitate in battle- I call upon Tyr to ask if I have won my challenge against the Aesir.”

“Dreki has indeed won without contest, please release noble Vidarr.” sighed Tyr.

“With great courtesy I release Vidarr, and say it is no dishonor to lose to Me.”

Vidarr nodded, and allowed Dreki to offer an arm to help Him to His feet.  Vidarr’s boots were untouched,

“My weakness and strength is like my Father’s….it lies within My mouth- but with my mouth closed that would be unseen to you, Vidarr.  You have not failed today if you have learned, and it was My honor to fight You.” Said Dreki

“And what boon do you ask of the Aesir?”  Asked Freyr.

“I have come to ask for the release of my Father, who is held captive beneath the worlds and my Brother I hear struggling against His chains.  I have come in peace, I have met your challenges, and I offer you a chance at another future, one without erasure, suffering, or spite.

My Father acted in compliance with my Uncle’s wishes- He did not lie, and His reputation has been harmed for speaking truths.  My Brother is chained for no sins except for strength and has threatened no-one, and my Sister and I can calm Him if I am allowed to return Him to our Mother for healing and the chance once more to run free in the Iron Woods with our true people.  I can assure You that in His running, it would not ever be back to Asgard after the abominations committed against Our kin: I watched my Mother burned thrice upon a Pyre live for Living, My Brother was beaten except for Tyr’s intervention and then later deceived by that same hand.
For me?  I was tossed into the seas for being a Jotunr shapeshifter- when all here who are not ascended Wights of land or fauna, or humans-ascended, are also Jotunr with the same abilities to change appearance as I to suit them.  I am beautiful, I am sexless. I am no threat to any in this hall under the right and rites of the Hospitality born among all born into Godly royalty.  My Father may have been your Fool- but my Mother remains a Queen of Her realm.”

The hall was stunned into silence realized this beautiful creature was the world serpent, Jormungandr, suprisingly eloquent and fair.

“Release my family, and I will defy the Norns by the Oaths of my father, and my own Honor taught by Tyr…who would teach such “monsters” as my kind have been labeled, as you hide your own monstrous natures only to hiss and scratch like angry cats when confronted.   The Water brings all sounds to my ears from all realms.  I know what has transpired in this hall, and I lie between the laughter of Your feasting and the screams of my tortured Father and the howling of my Brother,  I mourn my dead.
I am not without My Father’s wits, but entirely without His guile- there is no use for deception with this terrible strength I hold inside and outside of Myself.  Grant me what I have earned and Thor will live, You all will live- for No one but Donar-Thor or Surtr can destroy Me.”

Allfather Odin stepped down from the high table to meet Dreki,
“Jormungandr…” Dreki met his single eye without blinking, defiant and determined.  “Jormangandr- I cannot unchain your brother for what holds Him, none can break Him free until Ragnarok”

“Then let Me break his fetters after Fenrir Oaths to come with Me in peace to our Mother, Angrboda, Tyr may have broken His Oath to our family, but that does not imply We are also Oathbreakers- and I do not wish more violence among the peoples of the realms.”

“…And therein lies the problem,” Spoke Freyr, “The problem is violence and beauty are the currencies of this age- with violence being the greater of the two.  This world needs to die for the new to be born.”

“Does it need to die with my Father chained with the entrails of My half-Brother?”

“Loki will be freed, as will Fenrir- at the time of reckoning…. When bound, they were bound so that none may free them before the prescribed time of Ragnarok.”  Freyr replied regretfully.

“Then allow ME to free them Myself, show Me my Brother and bring me to my Father so I might bite through what chains them.  What my teeth touch does not live.”

“But what is already dead cannot die again.”- replied Woten.

To fulfill the oath, Dreki, now known as Jormungandr was permitted to visit His brother Fenrir, and despite every attempt of power or magic, could not free Him.  Fenrir howled in pain at these attempts at times, which would stop ‘Dreki’ from changing and bring Him back into human form to whisper words in their native tongue into his ear and sooth Him.

“I cannot free my Brother- I am a creature of more strength than Magic, and these magics are greater than I…please, allow me to see My Father and poor Sigyn.”

Allfather Odin Himself escorted Jormungandr with Tyr down the long path to the cave beneath worlds- where again, there was no success.  In trying to kill the serpent, Jormungandr  found that his teeth found no purchase- and when attempting to poison the mighty snake with Jormungandr’s own venom- found it to be immune.  Jormungandr embraced his father and allowed the venom to drip upon His own back as he wept, and could not rip the bindings from His father Loki- the first time showing any emotion while Sigyn emptied the cup made of the skull of His own half-brother of the venom She collected to save Loki from suffering.

“Why this?  Why cannot you just kill my Father and release Him to Helheim rather than endure this?” Jormungandr raged at the two Aesir unchained… but it was neither Odin or Tyr who replied.

It was Loki Himself:

“My Beloved Child- because I cannot die before my time, nor can anyone or anything created.  You are young, You will die, and You will return as will we all.”

“Why must you endure this suffering?” asked Loki’s Child.

“So I have reason to anger, and for as much as I longed to see you- My anger is increased at seeing Your pain in Your innocence on the ways of this time and these worlds.  Please depart and know I love you.  Return to the seas and wait for Your destiny.  I will come to You before our deaths and We will be reunited.”

“That is not sufficient for me, and I find all of this brutish and unforgivable.”

“And that…is why it should end.  So the world can start new without angers of the past and present poisoning all realms.”

Where the venom fell, spots developed on Jormungandr’s back where He protected His Father.  With a roar that shook the realms, Jormungandr expanded in blinding light and returned to the seas where He learned to hate by viewing the suffering of His family so intimately once more, and yet, could not save them from their suffering despite all strength and power possessed within.

For that, Jormungandr decided the universe and all worlds were indeed tainted and not worth saving.

The Purpose of The Death of Baldr/Baldur

Posted in About me on October 3, 2015 by Alana Smithee

Well, here it goes.  The topic that divides “Lokean” from “Nokean”….despite all Loki has accomplished and that most Odinist symbolism derives from the gifts of Loki either out of cleverness or to make amends, people claim to “never forgive” this event.

So, without archaic prose and with multiple readings of sources over the years- and having the same handicaps as most of you in reading Old Norse, I will try to attempt to explain the necessity of this chain of events the best I am able, and with fairness. (Icelandic Readers, please contribute your interpretations since your language is so close to the original verse in which this tale was written!)

So, Frigg and Odin had a son- one to be groomed to be the next Leader of the Aes, beautiful in His perfection, morality, and intelligence.  Groomed since birth to lead- since Odin practices Seidr and knows all things must die, including he.

Knowing through the Norns that there would be Ragnorak/Apocalypse where the world would be ultimately “cleansed by fire” by Surtr- the leader of Musphelheim, Odin sought to secure the preservation of our people, our ways, and life itself.

The Vanir already existed- but were the Gods of plants, the flora and in some legends- even the elves.   A seed covered in ash grows with more fervor than in dead Earth- the ashes left from fire nourish new growth and new life- look at Hawaii and the aftermath of forest fires after a couple of years and see how brightly the flowers bloom.

Frigg was also aware of this- so she approached all intelligences in existence- from quiet rocks, plants, and animals- except for the mistletoe…a plant so spongy and harmless it hardly seemed worth the trouble after her exhausted efforts to ask venom of snakes to turn inert before Baldur, or the teeth of predators, steel, iron, coppers, and all metals.

This is Mistletoe- a spongy parasitic plant found on trees. A keynote species and not especially durable. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistletoe

All toxins? Also inert in his presence.

However, the foretold destruction was inevitable.   The things that is often “skipped over” is the fact that Hel already prepared an ENTIRE HALL for Baldur in Helheim.  If our Gods had the ability of instantaneous creation of physical things- Sleipnir would never have been born. (I am not retyping that tale- look it up.) To build a hall suitable for the Prince of the Aes is something that would take a great deal of planning, time and forethought.

Not to mention, Helheim was known to be the only habitable realm for Gods during Ragnorak.  It is forgotten that there is no mention of estrangement between Hel and her father, Loki.  Furthermore- when in telling stories between each other as humans, we often “leave out” details we assume the other persons are already fully aware of.  Life would be insufferable if we described every detail in sharing our experiences.

To make a dart of this is quite a feat to be accomplished,  I dare you to try it.  Dry it out?  It’s brittle-  Live? It does not pierce.  You would have better luck causing injury from that old sponge everyone has under one of their sinks (I dare you to check- I bet most of you can find an old sponge under a sink that meets this description.  Try to throw it out- another sponge will end up carelessly left until the next time you need to fix a leak!)

So, the dart is crafted- that takes an incredible amount of skill to work.  This is not a dart made out of something even as strong as weeping willow.  It would be like killing someone with a weaker plant than a weak sprig of Thyme.

At this time, it had become a game among the Aes and Vaen to throw all manner of things at Baldur for the sport of it- rocks, swords…and likely even Mjollnir, because, well, why not?  If Frigg begged all the worlds and all things and creatures not to harm her son, I am certain she did not exclude magical weapons, acids, poisons, or angry animals.  She spoke to EVERYTHING- that would include Jormungandr, Surtr, Fenrir, the Jotunr, and other typical liminal figures.  Everything means everything.  Every Aes was Oathed as well.

So, you have the invention of “Come at me, Bro!” from Ye Olde Norse lore.

So, let’s look at this clearly…. Loki is mutually blood-oathed to Odin as his blood-brother and considered “the most clever”. He and His children are Oathed that Baldur shall live- there is a prophecy that indicates that most will perish in an apocalyptic series of events that are unavoidable- and possibly quite necessary for the Vanir (the children of the current leading group) to have a “clean slate” with which to create a better world.

…and the God who is in charge of the final cleansing is Surtr- who has ALSO oathed to do Baldur no harm, as is Hel.

It’s rather difficult to have an all-annihilating doom-by-fire with a man standing.  Surtr would not break his Oath.  The Vanic Gods are usually associated with agriculture; they survive because the metaphor eludes to the fact that they can exist as seeds and roots to regrow after the Cataclysm ends.  That is why the Old Aesir do not live, but the Vanir continue after.

Baldur’s reputation was too strong to not already have worship- already he was a ruling Aesir at that time with His parents and other Gods distinguished by his incredible beauty and goodness.

This is a story of a process that has occurred several times in the history of our Earth.  The Dinosaurs had their own
“Ragnarok” via meteor strike of fire and doom.  On a lesser level- we can see how well the citizens of Pompeii and Herculaneum fared after Vesuvius erupted.  The casts of their bodies lie in state in museums in almost every country- perfectly preserved by the ashes that disintegrated them creating “Ready-made molds” into which to pour concrete and rediscover.

Now- imagine the entire Earth going back to the ages of fire and lava.  All animals and plants end for that time unless they find shelter underground, somehow- and it is even indicated that they do.  A God of leadership and fair judgement cannot stretch Himself so thin to have the same advantages as one like his mother Frigg who can survive any condition by virtue of being a Goddess of harvests.

Baldr is a God of mankind, and through Baldr, our species survives.

Hodr is blind and has no stories but this one- still a God as worthy as others, but unknown except for this one story.  His immortality in Lore without this tale would be negligible.

When one blood-oaths to another person in Odinism- no secrets are kept between the Oathed or the Oath is broken- so, by what Odin knows, so too, would He disclose to Loki.

Baldur is not a God of plants- He is of the Aes, the tribe meant for total destruction of those warlike ways that served us well during a different, harsher time where we had to fight other tribes of humans to survive.   Nothing lasts forever, and looking at the ancestry of most Heathens now- overwhelmingly, it is now mostly agrarian in nature for the regions where the Norse are worshiped.

In European cultures that still orally passed on the old stories- Loki is seen as complicated, but no one is stupid enough to disrespect Him by name without consequences.  He is NOT Satan.  C’mon- in Surtr we have a horned guy the size of a mountain, made of lava, who is said to put the Coup de Grace’ on the world ending the old so the new can appear.

So- Loki guides Hodr’s hand and Baldur lay dying.  As He dies, Odin whispers into his ear and sets him off to burn to free his spirit to Helheim where there is a hall ALREADY CREATED…not a cell, not wandering aimlessly- a bright hall fit for a God in Helheim.  I don’t know of any other God or Goddess described anywhere to be given such profound treatment.
Where he and his wife Nanna (who either throws Herself on his pyre or kills Herself after the attempts to revive Him fail)- and co-rules with him in Hel.  What is Baldur ruling in Helheim?  Well, there isn’t much to rule there except for the dead…

Nanna, Baldr’s wife (or in some stories Frigg does this) makes a deal with Hel that if she can get everything in every realm to weep for Baldur and Hel will release Him… one Jotunr Giantess refuses- it is said that it may be Loki shapeshifted by some…but what does it matter for this reason:

The Giantess says: “All things die, and what use have I for Baldur?”

Well, good point random Giantess whom we never hear of ever before or from again.  It’s rather like all those pictures on social media ” ‘Like’ this so God saves my child you’ve never met from young death by [disease/injury]”-  But if all things die- including Gods, Suns, and Universes- isn’t avoiding death denying the truth of reality?

The signs of Ragnorak have nothing to do with Loki.

From http://www.ancient-orgins.net : “Ragnarok sets out a series of signs that will ultimately define the end of times. The first sign is the Fimbulvetr, a long and continuous cold winter with constant snow that will last for a year. A red rooster called Fjalar will warn the Giants that the Ragnorak has begun. A second rooster will warn all the dead that Ragnorak has begun. Finally, a third red rooster called Gullinkambi, a rooster that lives in Valhalla, a majestic hall located in Asgard, will warn all the gods about the beginning of the end.”

Ragnorak is in NO WAY caused by Loki…He’s bound, and how can a fire God create winter unless Ragnorak instantaneously happened as a result of His binding from the lack of “fire” He brought to the world?

Also= where is all this retconned “Loki is the son of Ice Giants” come from other than Marvel?
Academically, He’s the son of Laufey (lightning-striking-leaves) and Farbauti (wildfire). [Wikipedia…again.]
What ice?!

What stories exist between Ragnorak and the rising of Baldur?  What happened in between those two tales in Lore?

The Lokisenna-  Loki was NOT killed like Hod/Hodr immediately upon the death of Baldur- He was free, He did not “escape”- and He could not “disappear”.  It was not until Loki was ignored an invite to a feast of the Aesir that He spoke truths no one could disprove- and even Tyr could say little more than “This will not end well for either of us, Loki.”

After he pointed out each and every flaw of the Gods- Loki is bound.

This included Loki flyting Tyr: calling a handless man handless and stating HOW it occurred by Oathbreaking bluntly?  Hardly an insult, more of a reminder of TYR’S ONLY BROKEN OATH to Fenrir, who was clearly His friend prior to the binding-Being the God of Oathing and Breaking an Oath-any Oath- is bad form.  That is why Tyr never regrew his hand despite having more than enough capability to do so as one with Jotunr blood in his veins of regeneration.

So…here is a theory presented cohesively as I am able- pieced together from writings of Mirabello, countless websites including wikipedia, discussions with others, and logic.

Odin is warned of Ragnorak, and confides it to all to prepare them in great detail of how to identify the signs of its coming, and it is also known that the elder Gods will die of the Aes (Some argue a few Goddesses survive such as Frigg an Freyja- but it depends on the sources)  The children of the Aes will survive, but the universe will perish.

Before this announcement, Odin had already chosen his successor for Leadership among the Gods-  Odin was not the first leader- and in according to many traditions, nothing dies forever for these Gods.

Via my research of Tyr, for instance- Tyr’s worship has been predated to mention of Odin/Woten by at least several thousands of years- earliest records of Tyr go to 6000 BC (Wikipedia/J*Stor) and Odin-CE…. In Lore, Odin was born to Bor- All Gods have parents, most have progeny…Odin also has many sons by Frigg, one of which is named Vali’

There are two by that name in Asgard- the other is the son of Loki and Sigyn who dies for the binding of Loki-
Odin’s “Vali'” kills Hod/Hodr after “growing up in a day” in apparent “revenge” for Baldur’s death and is not mentioned again except as “surviving Ragnorak”.

Why has no one an answer as to why Odin named his newborn son to Frigg the EXACT same name as the son of Sigyn and Loki?

Then, the Aesir gather their forces to prepare for this event.  Baldur, Nanna, and Hod/Hodr are in Helheim with Hel in Baldurs-hall-in-Helheim, likely preparing our dead ancestors who died “farmer’s deaths” for the new world.

Why?  Because Helheim is where the non-warriors (aka farmers) go after death if they are without a specific patron or called into Asgard for some reason like Bragi.

Loki is tortured for this- given no chance to explain with his lips sewn (by some accounts that this was on account of the Flyting of the Lokisenna- other accounts state his lips were sewn after a disagreement with dwarves…the problem with Lore is that different people=different sources of significant features).  Some say he is bound by Odin, some say Skadi- but regardless, Loki is bound, his child Fenrir is bound, his two sons accepted by the Aes are killed, Jormungandr is not bothering anyone in the sea [yet], Baldur has a hall in Hel’s domain- (where Sleipnir may or may not also be- since SOME lore states Odin gave Baldur Sleipnir to cross into Helheim unmolested- but that contradicts Odin Leading Battle upon HIs back).

And- well, after that- after there is a man who is standing there saying “Come at me, bro!” to every, single, God and Goddess in Asgard- gets harmed for asking people to “Throw anything they like at him”- Loki is bound.

If this was a modern event with humans and one human was seemingly invincible and said he could “withstand all”- and then perished from that, we would not blame the one who cast the killing blow.  In fact,  it has happened in the last hundred years several times under similar circumstances where even PLAYING an “impervious” character in fiction brings extraordinary misfortune and usually death. Pity George Reeves!

So, Loki is bound and tortured, his children are bound, banished, or killed (except Hel), Hod is killed within a day- and Loki is demonized for being the “bad guy” here for a prediction HE did not make, an action that HE did not suggest, nor was it technically HE who cast the dart.  Since it was secret only Mistletoe was the only flora unasked by Frigg to Oath, Hod would have NO IDEA why His single throw killed Baldr- but still is punished regardless…simply for participating in the EXACT SAME ACTIONS as the rest of the Aesir…and punished by a man born that day, grown that day, specifically to do so, who has the same name as one of Loki’s own children.

So, we have an angry, grieving man tied to a rock, literally, by the intestines of his dead child- as the other child’s skull is used to relieve his suffering by his wife who DID NOT LEAVE HIM.  If Sigyn is Aes, why did she not shun Loki?  Because she honored fidelity.  It should also be noted that Loki’s marriages were NOT concurrent- He was part of “Many husbands” to Angrboda, and given to Angrboda as a gift from His first wife Glut (which is sometimes confused who was first- but the story remains unchanged- Loki’s first wife saw another woman wished to give Him more than She- and consented out of love.)

Sexuality and fidelity of Northern Europe were vastly different than our current time period- where romantic fidelity was an Oath to share a life-as-one with one’s spouse- “True love” existed (Baldur/Nanna and arguably, Frey/Gerd)  Sharing sexual intercourse with non-spouses is common in the Lore as it is from writings from that period of history as a “it doesn’t count unless you shortchange your actual spouse”- and the main key point was the spouse was the primary confidant, supporter, and companion to one another.  Polyamory was indeed common in sexual practices of non-monotheistic cultures, but not necessarily in everyone.  It appears we are coming out of an age of Monotheistic prudishness.

The way I kiss- greet my French friends would make a Southern Christian woman blanch in horror. To the French..?  That’s called “Hello!  Glad to see you again!”

Some Gods insisted on modern fidelity (Tyr, some say), some, like Freyja and Skadi, clearly did not.  The best advice I can give on this matter is to read, read, read….and then read some more- and do so without existing bias or prejudice with a scholarly approach.

So, Ragnorak comes, Loki is then able to break his fetters and goes back to his blood-family to avenge the deaths of HIS family along with everything else just exploding into a mess of Chaos.

Loki fucking dies.  So does Odin, So does Thor, Freyr, Tyr, Bragi, Heimdallr….even Surtr self-immolates as He destroys the universe.  Idunna is said to be “defiled” or killed, or she entirely survives depending on the scholar.

“Not many gods survived Ragnarok. The known survivors are: Aegir, Vidar, Vali, Hoenir, Vili, Magni, Modi, Hermóðr, Forseti and Ull. Though most of the goddesses survive, (Frigg, Freya, Sif, Thrud, Idun, Saga, Eir, Gefjun, Fulla, Sjofn, Lofn, Var, Vor, Syn and Hlin)Snotra, Gna, and Nanna die.”

Nanna, Frigg and Freyja’s lives remain controversial if they survive or not, However, it is interesting that among the original Aesir men, Ullr, a bowsman and hunter is not mentioned in any role I’ve seen in this process (but Please post if you have a source regarding Ullr’s role).

Some say Nanna returns with Bragi… Some say Baldr Co-Rules with Hod/Hodr.

For those who attest Frigg and Freyja live, it goes back to the theory perpetuated in Academia that this is a metaphor for the life that survives after global cataclysmic events.

According to the book “The Odin Brotherhood” by Mark Mirabello, Nanna said the following prophecy upon Her Death:

“When the world is pregnant with lies, a secret long-hidden will be revealed” (Mirabello, p.92)

That secret can easily be that Baldur returns after Ragnarok.

Further, Mirabello indicated Odin’s visit to Mimir to be told that “Asgard is destined for Annihilation.” (Mirabello p.98)

Further, that Ragnorak would only occur AFTER: “daughters and sons incestuously mix [as Loki indicated of Freyja and Frey] and “man is a playingthing of mighty whoredoms before the world ends” and further indicates that humanity will enter a period of Decadence and Weakness and go against nature. (Mirabello p 94-95)

Without Baldur’s sanctuary/asylum in Helheim, there would be no hope for renewal.  There would be no “new world”

There is a National Leader who is of Baldr but allows people to think he is an Odinsvolk-

A great deal would be cleared up to show that this age- the one where I CAN WRITE THIS BLOG WITHOUT BEING CRIMINALLY PERSECUTED AS A HERETIC AND MURDERED FOR NOT BEING CHRISTIAN, would be a “new age” for us Heathens and Odinists…How am I wrong in this perception?  Even the century prior to this one still had laws against “ALL Witchcraft” as a “Threat to Christianity”.

Furthermore, being one who has a published thesis on the topic of time theory, a little bit of study on Theoretical Physics could aid anyone in the art of knowing “time” as a concept is an a-priori sense of the human mind to make sense of a universe vaster than our understanding.

Realize this:  A tiny butterfly can see clearly more of the proven color spectrum than any man or woman that will ever live, and a wolf the same with the sense of smell.

For humanity to believe our perceptions of “time” are clear and unbiased by our own limitations is absurd and foolish.

So, in conclusion- you may ask: “If Ragnorak keeps happening, why is Odin still our God among many?”  Easy= Time is nothing more than an elaborate mobius strip but on a higher level- there is no “time”.  It is an illusion, Death, as we know it, is not as we can comprehend, and things die, they return.

For those in the Northern hemisphere- if you are going to cut down the maple tree in your yard this time of year for losing leaves, you would be foolish.   So, goes the ways of life in this universe….

The man who sits upon the top of the mountain can see for miles,  the man at the bottom can only see for yards.  Does the man at the bottom of the mountain have the “truth” or does the man at the top own “Truth”?  The man at the bottom of the mountain can see details that elude the man who can see distant cities, but the man who can see distant cities may be met with skepticism by the man observing the rocks at the bottom of the mountain.

If you do not like my own, created analogy- Here, I’ll give you some Plato to chew on: 

The Gods live outside the Cave….including Loki, and Death is just yet another shadow and allegory.

*Important to note- if you can come to me with a correction and sources, this post will change on account of those corrections of details I failed to capture accurately.


Posted in About me on October 1, 2015 by Alana Smithee


I didn’t ask
for your soul
nor your life
I took all I wanted;
silencing you with desire
your scarred fingers
held fast against the wall
Riesling blessed lips
tasted, devoured-
as my hands bruised
your beautiful wrists
against course red bricks,
and concrete
painted dark with rain, night,
and cruelty.

You pleaded,
not for release:
but binding
for red mornings
and Home
I listened as you prayed
begged, and raged
to your Gods
and mine
begging not for comfort,
but for Pain-
for soft lips
sharp teeth
and the promise
of palms dusted with salt
to caress the open wounds
of your tattered psyche

..as for me
It was my pleasure
to oblige you.

   Hey, I wrote that… I write so many things daily under more alias’ than there are kennings for some Gods (find me more than 10 kennings for Lodur, I dare you.)  And apparently,  Loki of a thousand names hates alias when used to hide myself and not allow the preconception s attached to my real name (Not some Larpitru bullshit) or every. single. alias I use to hide the multitude of things I am and do online.  From Alex Hildebrandt for op-editorials that keep getting publication on respected news sites correcting misconception on PTSD, to Eskandariah Damavandi, some random scholar on Persian history, down to Tyrriene, The Lokean, Ophelia, Raven, Fox, or one-shot names I create and discard to say what I feel needs to be said anonymously, and being a coward not to take ownership as I “touch and go” across the internet, where the only place I feel “safe” to feel the consequences of my words is within the very narrow confines of my “religion” or “faith” two words that make even the newest-found Odinist froth with anger.

There is no religion or faith, you live or you die. Your “religious faith” is a hobby if it is not who you are, unwavering, as an essential part of you and how you interact with the world.

And if I can keep a promise to write for a God, I would be less than human if I could not make and keep the same promises when asked for a friend who has brought me nothing but love and insight, tired as I am, for all the fucked up things I force myself to do.

I could write another post of my own insecurity and self inadequacies,  but it’s not like that. My friend, flesh and blood, pain and redemption with a body that ages and a beautiful mind that has survived travesties that would be horrific to describe that would cause anyone to question the salient nature of humanity to those who have endured less…

I am no great beauty or even particularly likable by most,
So how does one react when introduced to someone who unwittingly possessed both qualities? Treat him like others with derision or jealously?

I befriended him and he allowed me to discover, long before Lokeanism was a “important issue” that divides our people through so many cracks and fissures,  a man who Knows Loki with the same devotion as the Sufi knew Allah, only without supplication and standing instead of falling to his knees in begging

Instead, with arms outstretched, and with the strongest of intentions,  even if unspoken that said to this man it’s a palpable sence that Loki may say,

“I have seen you suffer,  and by my scarred lips and eyes that tear in blood from the venom of other’s injustice- you are Mine by blood and all atrocity you survived and yet retained all ability to love more deeply and broadly than humanity at large could understand.

  They seek to exploit every flaw in your perfection and discover your every wound to encase in the salt of your own secret tears to make you as base and shallow as they live their lives; out of fears with dedications made with all-devotion to material success over intellectual curiosity.  So to deny Loki is to deny your nature, so arise you flawed mortal God and live, damn you.”

And so, without any other Heathen in his existence, entirely alone in this life with the existence of this maligned deity as part of himself,  somehow,  for absolutely no reason whatsoever he landed states away from his home living with complete assholes for friends of my own, I met him.

I spoke before about eyes, his eyes were the same as mine. Green/blue dark ringed.  Both filled with laughter and suffering, and marked clearly even without tattoos shown that Atheism is a myth he perpetuated to avoid the company of the foolish, thinking no other human had experienced atrocities or the blessings of such an entity that meant anything more than delusion, loneliness or wishful thinking.

And I was a “fresh” Gythia… a priestess in a parody of a faith that I could not see at the time was nothing more than an excuse for former Christians to “dress up”, drink until stupid,  and use the Gods to justify their own prejudices… but he could.

And as we sat outside in the storm with the bottle of Riesling between us, I showed him that with Loki also comes the blessings of Woten as his blood flowed between ourfingers and he pledged himself to Woten in kind.

No bullshit of standing in the circles created for us in kindness by Wiccans for lack of knowledge of our own history.  Two Germanics, in worship of the Gods that answer and care for us instead of an ineffable desert God who did not walk among us… our own ways and blood demand as “proof” of benevolence in the universe.

Instead of on our knees begging to God/s whose nature is to never answer… we were two who had the opposite experiences spiritually.

Us Both, people so damaged without any chance of normalcy in a society where the myth is that all children are protected from atrocity- we were proof of survival against the base nature of humanity; marginalized and perpetually insulted further by life and humanity by loving too deeply despite our silent, ever-bleeding wounds that continue to afflict us.
And… in this, we were both Loki’s own, when at the time my “other” patron was the Mad King who people revere as “Sane” by their human minds who cannot reconcile…

That insanity, wisdom, and divine kindness can possibly coexist.  Since most in Heathenry only seek the aspects to which they feel “comfortable”.

So, I brought him to Woten… and he claimed I “saved” him… in the sense that he believed my existence and the link to Woten mutually justified our respective experiences of abject horror in a country lied to be “civilized” by simply hoping the innocent wounded would all “die away” by falling to that which harmed them would end us, we would end ourselves,  find the only means of expression or assusgement of pain would be to return the violences inflicted upon us, or allow our intellects to die to addictions.

Which is how America cares for the broken. We are your shame in flesh, and those that still endure despite the instantaneous discomfort we invoke without intention via our intelligence or psychic pain.

For the qualities this man has been hated, he is loved by better intelligences than humanity can provide and through the “lies” he claims to tell… he has never yet been able to lie to me, despite his most fervent attempts.

I did not know this ability went both directions, nor do I know how.

As I write, I feel like a “liar” myself since my entire modality in English as I write now comes from a combination of Persian poets and Jacqueline Carey novels as a way to showcase a prestigious vocabulary developed in compensation for only being to think in abstracts of emotions, colors, and diagrams.  When I communicate, I am doing so in a way that is alien and so prone to misunderstanding that no matter how many “words” I learn, regardless of language, I cannot clarify or focus into the means to express myself clearly without losing nuance of meaning… and for my efforts, I get assassination from those who see my strange hair and visible tattoos they do not ask to understand that explain my history and self and label me “insane” and “pretentious”.

I only say these things, for, without doubt they also apply to Loki of New Hampshire whose eyes see with more clarity and less naivety than my own.

Last night he clawed through his own full life without anything more than inuition to help me… when I am a person who can scream through all conventional channels to meet slammed door and “lost” calls to have given up entire from finding any relief from my own afflictions, instead to turn into a “courageous coward” awaiting the next interrogation to destroy me, family to disown me, or humanity in a rise of contrite offense send me waves of death threats for writing something that *might*  provoke change of heart or minds in a laughably small part of the population of this blue marble in the vast uncounted reaches of space.

Bracing myself, hoping I can give enough of myself to justify my existence to myself as nothing more than a thinking mind with no foundation in self esteem other than an artificially imposed belief in my own, surprisingly difficult to achieve,  genius…. since as a child my emotional and speech impediments made me nothing.

And he called me.

“Calm down”, he said repeatedly.

I was calm. It’s easy to act “calm” when taught by Sufi if I choose to, but “acting calm” is not the same as “internally wailing in futility”
The only other person to see through me once is now a deranged old Asatru woman with nothing left I’ve seen to her soul but bitterness towards those who would love her without cloying supplications.

And through this living, breathing human being came the words of a frantic God who knew I could not be reached by “holy visions”, but that I needed proof that I was more than just an empty glass vase meant to hold flowers of spiritually,  both intoxicating or toxic, regardless of how I am affected.

“You are a human being, Ren… the Gods are nothing more but people. What. The. Fuck, Ren.”


And after some banter of him trying to figure out what was harming me, remembering now how Loki in a dream tried so fucking hard to protect me, he sought to figure out what is harming me when I have been trying to do likewise,


“… As if I have choice, he’s a God. ”

“Bullshit, you have every right as a human to not be used and harmed, and you have as much right to go to Him and tell HIM you are not going to allow yourself to be harmed and discarded like convenient tool for His objectives.  Tell me, Ren… what is Tyr’s kenning?”

I replied, “The unsmiling one.”


“So, what can I do about it? To me, it seems you have an advantage in communication with Gods than I do.”

“I would fucking punch him,”

“…That would work out well for you…liar, like you would or could as human or God?”

“The Gods are human. They are the essentialness of humanity, and no more or less than your worth as a human being of compassion. That dream was unacceptable,  you are bleeding out for your eagerness to prove yourself brave by harming your psyche, ”

“True.” Contrary to popular belief,  I find lies abhorrent.

“Do you have ANY idea how much energy it took to balance my own negligence towards you? Do you not think that THIS is not difficult for me to accomplish? You want proof I exist outside of dreams and morphine, is this enough for you?”

And then as if taking turns and fully co-lucid, every thought I suffered in silence, unwritten and even those never discussed outside my husband and Myriad was laid out point by point before me in harsh clarity in between my friend’s reticence to be so blunt with me; not knowing enough to realize the worst cruelty I can experience is polite lies, as part of Him, Myself,  and every other person loved by Loki spoke…

“I love you, I fucking mean it, I am not going to allow you to exist to torture yourself for some implied “Greater Good”, stop trying to prove youself, stop trying to justify yourself in being used.  THE GODS ARE PEOPLE. They die, the lie, they can hurt, and they can love… And you are not worthless. Tyr is not more than you, I am not more than you… please just stop this direction of challenging the world to cut you down. You have been cut down so many times you’re seeking it every time you achieve something worth pride or happiness.”

As the hours passed, it became apparent if I am to be helped- it needs to be via the friends who know me best as we mutually brush the ashes of our own proof of survival from the wounds of one another.

This fucking beautiful man who makes me self conscious in my physical imperfections that, oddly, despite the mental roller coaster of severe and unmitigated trauma of 4 fucking hours of surgery to wake up and told “Wow. That was much more intensive than anticipated… we had to take your last ovary, which was likely only one source of pain in adfition to a pound of scar tissue we had to filet from your [implied incorrectly performed] hysterectomy.” Are being corrected in ways he, who has not seen me in years, my husband, and therapist only seem to possess the ability to see as I blame strange hormones for removing the reins to my own thought processes

My husband wants sanity that is not mine to give or for him to ask anymore than it can be demanded for a pig to fly… but he’s everything Loki could do for me to keep me safe, and how can I be safe if I will charge into websites as “E. Damavandi” insisting their God is dead in front of the most violent people currently in existence?

But I digress,  the conversation turned a thousand directions like two struggling pine martins… he asked me what I found in Canada, and I never fully answered. Well, honestly, I found both the cruelty and mercy of Tyr…

And promised I would attend college…

…Where then I met Loki who asked me to protect the life of the person from the dream two posts prior to this.

Until it was realized both of us were only able to recognize the instabilities and secrets of the other by sharing the same ones.

Realizing that we both need the help of others and eachother to stop our bleeding.

Then, the next night, same time, my best friend called me, no less a mess than I am.

…and wouldn’t you know it if I didnt use many of the same sentiments used on me to help him.

The Typhoid Dream: “Write down the dream I send tonight.”-Tyr

Posted in About me on September 28, 2015 by Alana Smithee

Found via a wordsearch and origin traced back to http://bachopress.com/blog/ via reverse image look-up, I do not know if Dr. Hardesty drew the symbol- but she has the earliest known image of it on the web. She seems to be yet another Pantologist scholar/mystic in the world and author on surviving disease. I have yet to read her blog, but I wished to give proper credit for this symbol. I will not say what search terms I used-but will admit to a correct accurate guess of the two words I typed privately.

In response to a vision of Tyr- I am writing down this very coherent and disturbing dream of the near future…. “You will dream tonight, publish it.”  I expected a lovely Heathen/God experience, but what I did dream, well, without being told to write it beforehand, I wouldn’t expose myself like this.

I was taught by a family of Scottish pagans who I used to live with for a few years in my 20’s  that “to say a prophecy-dream out loud or to write it- takes away it’s power to become real…the more you share it, the less chance of it occurring.”  I hope this is true.  Except they tended to not-share good dreams.  It seems their bad one’s were fortunately few.

For the global circumstances of this dream- the core “issue” is a very real consideration everyone, not just heathenry, should hope never occurs, but is more than possible.

I do not claim to have any precognitive ability, and I hope I do not.   If anything… perhaps posting this will flush an old, obstinate friend from the bushes at best-case scenario.

However, with that being said- I am also well enough educated to “guesstimate” the chances of “Wow….if this trend continues, this type of chaos may occur.”  That’s not mysticism, it’s just simple logic that I learned to apply from college….ironically, I almost failed that class for asking “Why?” too often and the reply being “Just memorize the damned formulas”.  I cannot memorize anything at all unless I know “Why” it exists… it’s actually very frustrating. I live by writing small notes on my hand in ink and two calendars.  Without further rambling:

The Typhoid dream.  (I am not looking up the real symptoms of this illness until I finish writing this.)

The dream began in a hospital I had seen in other dreams but do not recall in life- (it might well be Hershey Medical Center- directly after high school a close friend had a car accident and was comatose for several months there- touch and go.  He lived.), there was a new pandemic that began out of an anti-vaccine community in California and the Typhoid virus had mutated into a largely fatal, extraordinarily contagious version referred to as “Typhoid II”.   The symptoms were fever so high the skin seemed reddened, coughing blood, congestion- it seemed like a “Dire-flu” more than anything.  In each region of the country, due to the contagiousness of the condition, each “area” had a designated hospital to take only these patients.  The virus was so unknowingly contagious it spread within days rapidly from coast to coast, and instantly killed the people in countries with larger populations of malnorished or sick individuals.

The incubation period was seemingly non-existent meaning medical staff, especially nurses, were also dying and since already infected, were forced to attend to those in the late-stage of the disease.  To be even near someone with stage 4 without full protection was to guarantee immediate infection through the proliferation of the virus around the patient, but that was not known immediately.  However, if one could “rally” before “stage II” became “Stage III”, they would recover fully…however, for someone to heal from the disease was “as rare as ebola”- and those who did survive developed immunity and and were begged to give blood samples to try to create an emergency vaccine of their antibodies.  In the dream, no vaccine was “finished” and I only saw one person “Cured”, personally.

Dogs and cats were entirely immune to the disease, and since human companionship of friends and relatives became “Too dangerous”- service animals were offered by many who have them to be companions to the dying…and could ask for their service dogs back after the patient died with nothing more than a disinfection process and a blood test that never proved to show any contamination whatsoever.

I was called to this hospital in this dream- told that I was listed as a chaplain for one of the patients, they did not tell me in advance “who”- and I didn’t really care.  Since I did not know their religion and I have this blog and other methods through which people contact me, I have a modest black dress with a plunging neckline I made “professional” with the addition of a brightly colored tank top underneath.  I wear no symbolic jewerly except for my wedding rings and my tattoos- most of which are covered by this dress except for my arms and if I put my hair up, the two runes on my back.  If a Heathen asks for me- I just wear my hair up: Voila’: instant Gythia.

So, not knowing which friend or acquaintance called for me, I kept my hair down but tied back- my hair is exceptionally long these days and thick- if I don’t tie it back, I end up accidentally eating it if I go anywhere where I have to ever look down or be active.

I arrived at the ward- an entire side of the hospital was dedicated to this disease.  The only other Chaplain present was a local Catholic priest I have seen every single time I’ve been volunteering in this function walking around with the same lanyard they give me when I remember to ask for it….it’s just a laminated tag that says “Chaplain” with the symbol for a hospital  that opens doors to the wards for me by allowing me to hold the barcode to the reader instead of pestering a nurse via intercom.

Inside the ward, the nurses asked “Are you sure you want to put yourself into this kind of risk?”

I replied, “If I did not, then this should not be my vocation.”  The middle-age priest concurred with me and approved, looking so stoic I could cry and then we were both immediately lead by different nurses to different sections of the ward, him- down a long hallway around the corner.  I was also around the corner but lead to the first room behind the nurses’ station.  The nurses had a television on at their station and always updated me on proceedures.  Inside of the dream, I was there about a week or less.

it was not far-  in stage I, there was a room that contained two sick men- one sicker than the other…both of which were former college professors who did not care for each other.  For the sake of privacy, I’ll change a name and not use last names.

In the nearest bed, was one, bored/annoyed professor who was what I consider a very good friend named Jason.  When I attended college late- I found I had more socially in common with professors close to my own age  than students.  Jason looked to be fairly well off.   In the bed on the other side of the room was Malachi.   Malachi was a professor who harmed me greatly to the point where I wanted to leave immediately.

Jason saw my discomfort immediately and said,

“Stop.  This jerk made me his “Next of Kin” for some bizarre reason… he needs spiritual help now, are you going to leave him?  I don’t know of any other person trained in his religion well enough, so *I* listed you as his chaplain.  I thought it seemed fitting and could help you have some closure and show him some humility.”

Jason wanted me to call him “Doctor”- since he does not befriend former students- a practice I never agreed with that I saw as very self-limiting based on being the only child of a famous professor himself who took in “strays” for holidays and meals who had no families.

I replied to Jason, “Absolutely not, Jason.  If you think you can call on me in any capacity as an authority, I am your social equal…JASON.  Am I your chaplain as well?  You know I know next to nothing about your personal religious practices. Also, how did you know I volunteer as a chaplain?”

He smiled and replied, “I’m my own chaplain.  Also, I’ve read your blog.” and continued to read/play games off of his phone.  I remember trying to spend as much time talking to Jason as I could to not force myself look at the other bed.  Asking questions such as:

“Why don’t you have books?”
“Because I read “Fahrenheit 451″ by Ray Bradbury- they burn every item that comes in here to prevent the infection from spreading.  I refuse to be the cause of any book getting torched on my account.”

The refreshing thing I noticed is outside of college, Jason was more candid in his expression.  What he hated he stated clearly without “giving a fuck”- and he was a man of his own, strong moral compass derived from a lifetime of studying ancient religions.  In college, all I knew of it was he pledged his best “not to cause harm” to his deity.  But in the dream, “harm” seemed to have been replaced with a sort of recklessness in this interpretation where “harm” was mitigated in his world view as “harm that leads to the greater good of all involved is not ‘harm’.”

I feel it would be cogent to note I never understood why Jason had blue eyes considering what little I knew of his ancestry.
I also never asked.
That’s something only Heathens care about- eye color in regards to trying to determine truth in claims.
For example: I know most strong Lokeans who have either bright green or hazel eyes that can appear bright green at times, and I know some Lokeans who are so stuck on this point where having green eyes is a “thing” as a proof of Loki’s favor.
(Yes, I have hazel eyes, but they’re unusual.  I’m not getting into it.)
Jason’s eyes were always a very clear light blue.  I always associate true-blue eyes with Tyr in some way, not that grey people “call” blue- but the blue of any clear sky.  By his own admission, Jason’s people have predominantly brown eyes.

Jason began to ignore me and said “Do your job- he’s over there. His mother died and he has the exact same amount of actual friends he had when you knew him, it will be good for you.”   That would be minus one.  It became evident I was his only actual confidant at one point to which he would communicate with honestly for a short time…. most of his time he attracted fawning sycophants who came and went or people to which HE was subservient and cloying.

Gods, it felt like approaching a crying viper.  As a chaplain, I would have to approach this person who intentionally and without any emotional guilt whatsoever stole from me, and then tried to destroy my mind, my reputation, and drive me to suicide.  I had to be “compassionate”!?  I thought believed this person was a malignant narcissist but he seemed so helpless and the loneliness was palpable.

Jason knew the truth of the situation but could not do much about it as it occurred. However, he was open in his contempt and clearly blamed Malachi for his infection and had no compunction about reminding him of that fact.

Malachi was a person who the strongest commonality we shared was a desire to seek out and become more intelligent…with Jason (rightly) telling this guy in-dream he blamed him for their infection by travelling to the source-infected area and returning without telling people until after the trip. Although I liked this flippant side of Jason I did not see in lifeI also understand anyone who finds themselves at the edge of possible, extraordinarily painful death, will stop caring for unnecessary polite lies that many insist upon in all social interaction and call “courtesy”,

So although at first it seemed out of character-  But again, close to death without wanting to be, and still trying to make the best of the situation to “make something good of it” is very much in character of a mentally and spiritually strong person.

In the dream, I imagined Jason was stuck in a small office with the other guy at some point and it came out in conversation Malachi had just returned from California.  Jason getting up, saying “Let’s go for a drive” and checking them both in.  Jason was well provided for by friends and family.  Malachi had nothing but what he kept with him usually- his carrying case and its contents. But it sat unopened on a shelf at the side of the room.

I approached the other bed and put my hand on the man’s shoulder.  He was shaking and I was trying so hard to think of him as a stranger, not as the man who harmed me so I could show compassion to him without prejudice…and also, so I would not give into my own urges to abuse him while he was weak by knowing his weaknesses and knowing what words I could say that would make HIM suicidal.  He clearly was frightened, lonely, and in pain. If I can be kind to wild animals caught in fences and risk being bitten to free him- my rational was this was no different.

So, I sat on the side of his bed, and gently had my hand on his shoulder (something I NEVER would do in life- even as a friend, he was uncomfortable being touched.)  and asked him to talk to me.  He looked awful and would not face me- but on the wall beside him was a long mirror and I could see his face- and it was his modern face, not the face that he had back when I worked for him in college.  He asked me if I could forgive him,

I said honestly “I am really trying my hardest right now, but you are in so much suffering as a person I can’t help but feel compassion for you.”

“Do you still remember my language?” he asked, hopefully.  I replied No- in a word both his language and our language shared, and explained,

“I intentionally set out to forget it- I know a few words here and there, and some days, I do wake up fluent- but those days are filled with nothing but bad memories.”

“I am sorry.” he replied.  He was bleeding from his nose, and I cleaned it off of him gently with some sort of disposable thing near by- tissue or gauze.  I kept physical contact.  Yes, he had a fever, but it felt also like a metaphorical stove.  I wondered, “How long can I keep this up before I either break down and rage at him or fall into tears myself?”

“I accept your apology.”  What else could I say?

I stayed inside this hospital- they got elevated to “stage 2” of the disease together.  Jason was clearly furious but still very kind to me.  Now, they were in a room that was behind glass and permitted few visitors near them.  I was allowed in if I sacrificed my ability to leave the hospital.*

Each stage of the disease was more contagious than the stage before.  To reach “stage IV”, for instance- even being in the same room as the person would cause an immediate stage 1 infection.  A stage I infection was safer to care for and people in stages one and two COULD improve…but no one knew why or how, and few did.  There was no one who recovered from stage 3 or 4.

I stayed.  I spoke to both men, Jason was in good spirits with me and basically said “I sincerely hope this is not how I’ll die- but I’ve accepted it as a possibility.”  They now had a dog on Jason’s side.   Mal is terrified of all animals- so it was the ultimate anti-comfort for him.

I gave him a small fish once as a gift and he took my best friend on campus aside nervously back then and asked him “If the fish dies, will she hate me?”

I was nervous people from my old university would show up, Jason assured me they wouldn’t since he told them “not to risk themselves.”  Oddly, I somehow felt I was not at risk of infection at any time.  I followed the protocols as they were created to minimize my risks- making sure I would not go too-far and I refused a hazmat suit as did the Catholic stating it made us both uncomfortable to try to do our work wearing them.

Jason improved, seemingly by force of will and stubbornness and left without me knowing it- not even a goodbye….but he left the dog.

So, I was stuck with the asshole who ruined me, trying to muster what sincere compassion and comfort I could through every form of mental gymnastics I could think of

He made it up to stage 4, where it was just his bed (and several others) encased floor to ceiling with glass- these were created of three walls and sealed after the patient was inside by the 4th wall of glass after the patient was safely moved inside….a patient who was intubated and all fluids ran through the floor to an incineration chamber.  They were not expected to last longer than a few days, they bled from coughing and sneezing, and they were fragile.

The only means of administering care was through a small receptical at the head of the bed.  The nurses in this room were already infected with stage one.  Somehow, I and the Catholic priest were still testing clean.  We had blood drawn as we entered and left our respective charge’s rooms- he answered this by “I’m doing Gods work” plaintively and dismissively.

So, the guy was dying- with all his mental facilities intact and they had realized there was no medication available except for pain relief to an extent- but all that did was make him more cogent instead of less.  He asked me if there was anything,

anything at all I could say to him in his native language….and the only thing I could recall was how I used to close my letters to him.  I stumbled, my pronunciation was absolutely horrid and rough, but I managed to say “goodbye” in the only way I ever did with him… he returned it for the first time not in writing.  I left the room, and was told he died and would be cremated.

I refused.

Stating that for people who come from religions where burial is necessary and cremation was believed to harm the soul, it is entirely worth the risk to owe these people this courtesy of a burial, even if the cemeteries created would treated with the same walls as Chechnya around Chernobyl. The Catholic priest agreed with me and indicated that he knew people of his own religion who felt likewise, and could produce “ample volunteers” of his own faith to don full suits to bury the dead whose faiths required it- with the concession that the volunteers were spared knowledge that they were interring anything other than Catholics alone.  From this- each hospital got a concrete-walled cemetary with likely even more walls inside.  The Priest apparently had some real political “pull”- and for the families, the names of the deceased were on small bronze plaques with birth/death listed attached to the outermost wall for the mourning families.

I was done- I was disinfected and blood tested one final time.  I discovered my estranged mother also died in the same hospital and hand-wrote a will saying she was “Proud of all I accomplished and could have anything from her estate.”  My mother is a hoarder who collects useless trinkets.

My grandma was the one who made the traditional family-feast after death on the hospital lawn.  I didn’t spend more than moments there.  I went for my grandma, not anyone else on that side of the family and said “I had to work” and the food was lovely after nothing but so much hospital food.  In real life, my grandmother is a frightening cook and knows it- but the feast was actually “normal” and tasty- using mostly foods that overlap both American and Lettish culture.  The main dish was ham, and instead of bread, wonderful Pierog (Not pierogis- a Pierog is a small bread roll stuffed with minced bacon and usually onion or scallions brushed with egg and baked until golden.  I haven’t had an edible one since childhood)

Since hospitals for Typhoid II were “Regional”- yes, all these people in real life would have ended up in the same place upon infection.

Somehow, at the end of the dream I ended up with a dog, but I do not know if it was Jason’s dog or my mother’s dog.. I don’t even know what animals my mother has.  I think likely Jason’s since it was a mutt of white and black patches about the size of a miniature collie.  In a pandemic, there are few survivors- so a well-trained dog was likely a service dog donated and nonreturnable to a deceased owner.

Outside, waited a friend of mine I know through the internet from Pakistan and she asked if I could walk her to her bus stop- I asked how far it was and she replied,

“Not far, only 10 miles or so.”

I replied, “That is the most Pakistani thing I’ve ever heard you say.”

The dream ended pleasantly with my friend from Pakistan and I walking and speaking pleasantly; she was accepted to live in the US, speaks fluent English, and with the population loss, jobs were abundant- her former workplace, country, and family were entirely annihilated by the infection.  When the event began, she told me she volunteered to be an interpreter to get people to the hospitals in the United States since she knew she had many friends here, and although she was sad over losing her family and her country was under quarantine- she was such an incredibly strong woman that although she was sorrowful, she was not even broken in the slightest.  I told her my stories, she told me hers- and the dog beside me was my own dog instead of the dog with more white I had at the hospital.

And that’s the dream.

I really hope it never happens…now to look up the symptoms of Typhoid fever to see if it COULD happen:

From Wikipedia:

“Signs and symptoms[edit]


Rose spots on abdomen of a person with typhoid fever

Classically, the course of untreated typhoid fever is divided into four distinct stages, each lasting about a week. Over the course of these stages, the patient becomes exhausted and emaciated.[13]

  • In the first week, the body temperature rises slowly, and fever fluctuations are seen with relative bradycardia (Faget sign), malaise, headache, and cough. A bloody nose (epistaxis) is seen in a quarter of cases, and abdominal pain is also possible. A decrease in the number of circulating white blood cells (leukopenia) occurs with eosinopenia and relative lymphocytosis; blood cultures are positive forSalmonella typhi or S. paratyphi. The Widal test is negative in the first week.[citation needed]
  • In the second week, the person is often too tired to get up, with high fever in plateau around 40 °C (104 °F) and bradycardia (sphygmothermic dissociation or Faget sign), classically with a dicrotic pulse wave. Delirium is frequent, often calm, but sometimes agitated. This delirium gives to typhoid the nickname of “nervous fever”. Rose spots appear on the lower chest and abdomen in around a third of patients. Rhonchi are heard in lung bases.
The abdomen is distended and painful in the right lower quadrant, where borborygmi can be heard. Diarrhea can occur in this stage: six to eight stools in a day, green, comparable to pea soup, with a characteristic smell. However, constipation is also frequent. The spleen and liver are enlarged (hepatosplenomegaly) and tender, and livertransaminases are elevated. The Widal test is strongly positive, with antiO and antiH antibodies. Blood cultures are sometimes still positive at this stage.
(The major symptom of this fever is that the fever usually rises in the afternoon up to the first and second week.)
  • In the third week of typhoid fever, a number of complications can occur:
    • Intestinal haemorrhage due to bleeding in congested Peyer’s patches; this can be very serious, but is usually not fatal.
    • Intestinal perforation in the distal ileum: this is a very serious complication and is frequently fatal. It may occur without alarming symptoms until septicaemia or diffuseperitonitis sets in.
    • Encephalitis
    • Respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis
    • Neuropsychiatric symptoms (described as “muttering delirium” or “coma vigil”), with picking at bedclothes or imaginary objects.
    • Metastatic abscesses, cholecystitis, endocarditis, and osteitis
    • The fever is still very high and oscillates very little over 24 hours. Dehydration ensues, and the patient is delirious (typhoid state). One-third of affected individuals develop a macular rash on the trunk.
    • Platelet count goes down slowly and risk of bleeding rises.
  • By the end of third week, the fever starts subsiding (defervescence). This carries on into the fourth and final week.”Well, holy shit batman.  Tyr STILL has yet to give a UPG that was not verifiable via Wikipedia. To the best of my recollection, I have never known of the specifics of Typhoid outside of references to “Typhoid Mary” who spread the most extreme pandemic to date of this condition or playing an old PC game called “The Oregon Trail” where, without fail, at least one of your fake-companions (one usually named after real friends or swearwords) would randomly die from as part of the trail unavoidably.  There were not antibiotics in the game….so if your son “Dracula” got typhoid- pick up the pace to Oregon before time ran out.  Prior to sleeping (I am completely nocturnal- I keep vigil for my husband who works as a machinist at a local factory with high risk of injury and fatality- I wish he would would work anyplace safer) I had a rather rotten day full of such rage and anger towards unrelated Heathen issues, I asked for Tyr, Loki, Frigg, AND Odin for assistance.In strange result- there was blood on me after wards, but no wound from which the blood came. Any person who claims they do not know what blood tastes like is a liar- it tastes metallic.
    *My husband asked, “where [he] was in the dream?”  I omitted many what I thought were minor details.  At the point of the dream with the asterix, I called him and told him to “Stay home- and don’t leave the house.” and assured him that I was fine and working basically side-by-side with the local Catholic Priest as well as the entire situation….claiming this must be “The worst test I could possibly face.”  He said, “Do what you gotta do, I love you.” and I replied “I love you too” and just kinda sat on the bench in front of the nurses station looking out an enormous window onto a grassy, mowed lawn with trees in the distance.  I knew the parking lot was at a different side. Just looking at the grass, missing my home, and wondering why this was happening.  I did not know in the dream I was dreaming.

The Post I’d Never Write.

Posted in About me on September 21, 2015 by Alana Smithee

I dream of a moon above a peaceful city of towers and domed holy places... I make my own reconciliation between past and present.

The opposite of the “Get in Free!” ticket to any Middle Eastern Country.  That’s why I have it.

There is a certain magic that “called” clergy of any religion will gladly explain and express on how a sort of sense develops regarding the recognition of the sacred from the profane;  In my rendering, profanity being that which causes upset or hurt to the spirit vis a vis “sacredness”= which is that which renews and strengthens, lends joy and reverence”

The sort of realization one has that they “always wanted to be a chaplain”= spends a decade or so as a legitimized clergy person of the faith- and got a BA in religions from a school attached to a seminary.   Sorry, haters… I can walk into any hospital, nursing home, hospice, or emergency room- if requested by any member of the Heathen community- and get my name on a little card just by saying “Moravian College- Religions Degree”.  Know what?  That’s pretty fucking cool considering how many people see me as some sort of Lokean corruption.  Lokean corruption with a DEGREE motherfuckers- one that is a goddamned magic key to DO MY JOB in this community and help the Heathens know they aren’t alone.

The sucky part of that is- the person to ever have me “work” in a chaplain capacity is my dying uncle…a lapsed Catholic, but when asked “Are you the Chaplain?” and they say “Yes”- well, heck.  Might as well try to remember that one obscure lecture I voluntarily attended at the seminary about “Ecclesiastical Obligations to Request Spiritual Care in Medicine” or something of the other and recalling that I can specifically ask, as clergy, for a terminal patient to be given their full options for “end of life care” verses the usual inevitability of fucking dying staging up and down from ICU-type wards for months.   It’s better than any absolution of sin, or even “Last Rights” in my opinion because it provides psychological relief for the only person to whom it matters.  The Patient.  So, yay!  I can look at you, find out enough about you to find out your general “Thumbs up” or “Thumbs down” prognosis to take the nasty burden of telling the family themselves, and suggest they send you to a hospice where they don’t give a fuck how many cigarettes you smoke because you only have about two months left in this dimension/plane/lifetime….whatever your fancy.

Then, I can visit you in the ICU and tell you valkyries exist if I find out your Odinist traditional- and say that by your inked runes the ancestors will find you.  Goddamn you Asatru for having the fucking coolest imagery for a multi-HEATHEN-dimensional Heathen chaplain.  Just, you want to scream “Fuck YEAH!” and dream of riding to Valhalla on horses with falcon cloaks.   The knife…well, I hope some of you are back in school for religion right now, and some of you Goethe and Gythia live in kind states.  The sharp knife to “Release blood upon death”- is really something I cannot advise about.  If it were me, I would leave that tradition to the FAMILY with full information and keep my own trust intact with the facility.  The man/woman who gets a hand-sharpened blade made of steel ain’t getting it from me if there is any, other, single, possible, way.

Then- little kids.  Your friend has a baby- baby ends up with something unpronounceable that kills it at an age where needles don’t hurt and they don’t care about being bald anymore-but gosh, they look cute as Disney.  These kids tell YOU about the Gods.  It’s always the equivilent of some sort of grandma (Holle) or a funny red-haired man.   Think about it- Odin and Tyr would be TERRIFYING to small children.  Seriously- One Eyed Old Crazy and CAPTAIN GERMANY-HANDLESS HERO would make little cancer kids cry in fear!   It’s so much nicer to call in Eir or Mengloth….  Frigg is great, Freyr is benign….but I would be specific on WHICH aspect of Hel you would call.  Holle is safest, Hel Herself taking an interest is bad fortune for the living- and clearly understood with an understanding of the meaning, realm, and breadth of the Goddess.   Don’t worry- the couple will become atheist and you’ll never see them again.  It’s a natural grief reaction.

Hooray!  You’ve reached the part of the post that actually means something!  Hopefully, none of you will be a total jackass and copy and paste it into your tumblrs. I’m flattered, but, hey- I kinda don’t want to end up a martyr for a couple of words on a blog about 110 people pretend to read every week.

In my Heathen practice- every pantheon exists.  I am a typical, basic, Odinist in this regard “Your patheon exists, I’m sure it’s lovely- mine cares about me more personally.”  It’s the obvious choice of going with playing for your home team for your race through life or racing for someone else.   Sometimes, your people appreciate you more as their champion where to someone else you were just another stranger who was kind enough to care and die of ebola tending the dying.

Nothing wrong with either path.  I’ve had the opportunity to walk two paths, and I was taught in poetic style so I can use alleghory, metaphor, and simile to write however the fuck I want about it.  It’s called “High Poetic” language- and it’s normally found in Asian countries as almost an over-the-top “Once upon a time” voice lent to communicating stories.

I was taught by an Apostate.  I do not know if that was what he was when we met or a condition that occurred during.  I had a dream where I was told by an Norse God who would not share his name with me that I was to protect this Sufi man.

I did. I spoke up- made him look at the facts of a questionable invitation to a conference, and was the single reason he went to our government with the information.  I regret saving his life daily- we were friends at the time, but he became my Fenris and Garm.

I studied the works of many Sufi who wrote of their expeditions and trade with the North.  They knew more about the Norse ways than most Asatruars.  They knew our main trade was fur and “Honey-wine”- our ships navigated rivers, and our runes are carved into temples of Persopolis.   These people saved our goddamned history through not just Ibn Fadlan- but dozens of literate scholars who traveled in peace like the disciples of Alexandria once did- There were so many different stories of how the Sufi came to be- but most say it was Rumi who found God while in spinning meditation around a pole in his temple.

So, I learned for 4 years-feeling like somekind of goddamned diplomat valkyrie supposed to scare off- Gods know what- from, I don’t know?   Making him feel sad that he came from a country that has no wine and millions of poems of vinyards?

He became a raging asshole- so it was decided that I was, somehow, significant enough of a human being to have basically the Pope Sufic Islam living his last years of life in my town.  I had no fucking idea who he was, the guy in charge of my religious instruction of esoteric Middle Eastern religion was rather failing as a devotee himself at that time.  As was appropriate, when you are approached by a different Teacher than your own- you tell your own teacher first as a sign of respect. This,  I did.  My teacher from that moment, unknown to me, had stopped all positive description of religion.  Somehow, he had become a complete atheist- angry and bitter with resentment I could not understand.  How the FUCK could an Atheist make it through the entirety of a Sufic training with the Khorasani? Impossible.  It would be like virgin Freyrsman.  If there is a virgin Freyrsman out there, I promise, you will likely lose your virginity over the back of a keg at college- or other such type party.  You whore. (Just kidding!)

So, I learned under another teacher- who sent me his books by email and begged me to no longer speak to the other.   He managed that pretty damned easily, actually.  Seriously, Sufi Pope had some real mojo magically speaking.  I spent the time trying to figure out how Sufism and Heathenry interacted.  I learned that the universe is infinite beyond reason- and there are beings beyond just humans that have complex qualities and abilities above our own for harm or benefit.   There is an ocean made of luminious, sparkling gold from which all things come- and that ocean is God.  To the Heathens, that ocean is Gunninganap- it exists in every religion.  The unexplained chaos from which everything came from once before some sort of order was imposed, the ability to become one with it upon death, or to force immortality by bathing in it’s waters and resisting the urge to merge with it.  It is the base ingredient of all spiritual experience, the higgs-bozon seen in interaction without interference

And I learned a great deal- from him, and the acolyte he provided for a short time as a tutor.  I realize that just in this- I am the only qualified human being to say:

Heathenry, ignore Islam.  The Islam you see on television is not real Islam.  REAL Islam is like we lived for the past thousand years, hiding in families with their books of Rumi and Avicenna.   We take no stance on Islamic politics because this is not the Islam to which our Gods speak with the Djinn and Angels regarding the interests of our people on our behalf. We do not believe in your God of carnage, but we honor the existence of the true God of your people.

Our scholars will keep your books that you have burnt safe in our libraries; all of our scholars have studied all religions and your mystics fascinate and captivate us.  I suppose it is my responsibility as once your student and as Tyrsvolk to take some sort of responsibility, somehow, to “return the favor” in several decades and write to you about your own dancing saints who would never harm or cause war.  I once thought it was funny that a pro-violence Heathen woman was Oathed to care for the protection of a Sufi man.   I am now not so ignorant to see that he did anything worthwhile in particular- it was more the purpose of the education and what I learned through my own vociferous appetite for mysticism- I picked up those books, I read those bibliographies- and I read THOSE books as well….ordering them like clockwork through interlibrary loan getting these dusty-ass tomes, sometimes in French, on sand mystics.

No wonder I developed a certain affection for David Lynch’s version of “Dune” as well a certain interest and fascination with Lawrence of Arabia.

We are sorry for your sorrow, your losses, and the brokenness of your religion.  There are several million tents in Mina your God created for your entire religion as the greatest miracle to exist for your people.  They exist for you.  Our Gods made no such miracle in Europe.  I am sorry, but this is not our fault as European people- if you asked us to help you take Mina?  Perhaps you would have better success with help from reckless countries of Africa and poor Eastern Europe….but, you would be happier, safer, and perhaps stronger. They admit 5 million people to Saudi Arabia for 5 days.   This….is nothing to them. your numbers would be well-taken care of.  It would be easy for any to dispatch aid to you.  It is unfortunate that the city of your ancestors has let you down and its spirit couldn’t aid you.  I hope that the soul of your religion is not dead, and I hope your holy cities and holy places still have sacred life.

This is a sign every mystic religion who knows you can see clearly.   Polytheists believe your God exists, but we do not know what has made him weak in saving the poor, the wretched, and the desperate.   I believe it was 2012 when Sufism became “haram” (forbidden).

Seems awfully coincidental that when you remove the uncomfortable priest-class with the vow of poverty so as NOT to be swayed by human greed- that human greed takes over.

I hope that Mina will be used as refugee camp when the bravest of their faith stand up and realize the purpose of it’s TRUE existence to all people of their faith.   I am scholar-clergy for my faith, but my work for the other faith was entirely in esoterics.

To assume I would not be esoteric Heathen clergy would just be silly.
Also- remember, the national organizations of any and all countries do not own Heathenry and Odinism
Like the Baha’i, the Quaker, and Native American Faiths, our clergy are determined by our people- and all people can be clergy if they live their faith.

I did not have to write a 2000 word article today on a controversial topic on wordpress.   You know what?  I did it fucking anyway.   I don’t make money for writing my thoughts online- sometimes, it doesn’t even make me particularly happy that I had to learn how to write posts in such a way in college that I could express true opinions in a “Fluff sandwich” Where the beginning and end parts of the post are almost entirely irrelevant rants of frustration regarding absolutely nothing of substance whatsoever.

The Fremen live in hiding, they dance without rhythm to avoid death.

Self-sufficiency and Folly: History and Severing ties.

Posted in About me on September 17, 2015 by Alana Smithee

This is not chronological, but I have nothing left to hide.  It’s been a rough several months, I’ve been in the ER a few times, waited on surgery since June, and finally received it.  Only to awaken in worse condition than I anticipated.


Natasha, my eventual service dog.

Natasha, my eventual service dog and current very loving companion dog even untrained.

When I first “won” disability, my diagnosis allowed for me to be put on a list for a service dog.  I declined.  I have C-PTSD, the dogs for my condition mostly go to veterans and I am no veteran.  I have not served our country in war, and I have a husband when many people have no one at all.  On occasions I’ve called or received paperwork, sometimes the service-dog info is still in there and I ignored it.  “A vet needs them more.” and I told them to stop asking me.

I had surgery last week- I didn’t expect it to be as serious as it was and I spent four hours on the table as they removed a pound of built up scar tissues from my prior hysterectomy as well as discovering my last ovary was nothing more than a cyst wearing my ovarian skin like Buffalo Bill wears a jacket.  I woke up confused and in the midst of menopause, knowing immediately something “wasn’t right”.  I begged to be kept overnight, and I was…it was awful.  I was without proper pain management and what pills they did give me were one’s clearly listed on my allergy bracelet.

My heart meds and anxiety medication was ignored entirely.  I was unable to walk, needing 1-2 aids, and a walker to make it 5 feet to the bathroom.  I could not sit up alone….and in this condition I was released “because insurance would not cover more.”  My primary care doctor and my social worker were angry and asked permission to file complaints on my behalf.  As for me, I was overwhelmed with strange and embarrassing emotions I could not control- mostly sobbing or wanting to hide in fear.

I have been on SSDI for C-PTSD since 2012…and there seemed to be no answer for my psychological symptoms I had not tried over the years, so in the delirium of pain medications, fear, and desperation, I asked to be taken to the kill-shelter nearby.  We met and played with Natasha, but I was so ill I couldn’t imagine being well enough to match her energy.  I remember she whined every time I stepped away from the cage.  She was a black dog in a kill shelter…but when it was discovered Ed and I owned land, the facility introduced us to a fully-trained Russian Ovcharka named Ivana that responded to commands in Lettish and was allegidly a service dog prior to being bought by an Amish puppy mill and bred half to death.   Luckily for Natasha- The Ortchaka apparently survived leaving the mill by a diet of eating cats… when we went to pick her up the next day the ladies behind the counter were white and wouldn’t go into what happened, and Ivana was behind two locked doors looking incredibly sad.   Along the ride- Ed asked if I would consider Natasha again even before we got there, so- instead of a bear, we came home with a friendly Border Collie/Pitbull mix who seemed desperately eager to please and protect.  Sitting next to me in the car ride and somehow, being careful of my stitches.  Since then, I have learned she qualifies for service dog training.  So far, she is a quick learner for what basic dog commands I know how to teach.   I have only worked with wolves and my “dog” as a teenager was selectively friendly coyote-hybrid who liked me, my father, and select others.  We wanted to call Persephone but she ended up called “Imp” instead.  My parents had her destroyed when I was in my early 20’s when I lived in an apartment that did not allow dogs and she “chewed through a wall” during a thunderstorm where they left her alone with no companionship in her fear.  They tried to make it “my fault” I could not find her a home- but they didn’t even give me a full day to try and I was working doubleshifts at that time to pay the rent on my apartment.

So, anyway, here I am, with this dog, and I have a great deal I need to write. Natasha helped me smile again- and I learned on Monday my painkillers were necessary for my mental health.  My surgery was more serious than expected and there is much internal that needs healing.

To be fair, I neglected doctors orders for bed rest up until the last two weeks prior to the surgery and I was always filled with a baseless need to consistently “prove” myself TO myself since I have felt honestly ashamed at the fact that I am on SSDI (for those of you outside the US- Disability.) Despite months of pain, I still managed to finish an unfinished basement, move into our new house (pack, clean, unpack, organize) with the help of my husband, his family, and  good friends- but mostly I would ask Ed to drop me off on his way to work so I could tile a floor, rip up carpets, replace everything but the tub in the bathroom with a friend who is the daughter of a plumber, and hold “painting parties” where my friends and husband would paint while I continued to cats-paw up carpet strips in some rooms and lay flooring in others mostly by myself with my music and maybe one friend out of the entire group with which I felt comfortable.

My past

I was always a hard worker- I moved out at age 17 from a several-times near fatal abusive home life and I guess it could be said I never stopped running until the horrors I was running from and through finally caught up with me during college in my late twenties. At age 18, I attending the college at which my grandfather was Vice president for a calendar year before joining the Americorps for a full year (In Oklahoma and Boston), followed by a short, abusive, internship at a wolf refuge in Minnesota that ended in me leaving to live in New York with friends- working two retail management jobs full time with no health insurance- which began a decade of constantly being on-the-move for better opportunities.  Staying in my grandfather’s college was impossible- I was a C- student in high school and I was too raw and suspicious to trust that my newly “perfect” grades were not purely nepotism.

I applied to University of Colorado in Boulder while in the Americorps and won a full scholarship until my parents claimed me falsely on their taxes.  I lost everything and was devastated- and told I could not enter college by my own income alone (despite no financial help from my family) until I was 26 as I watched my peers excel and score the jobs I applied for while they still lived at home in comfort and I struggled alone.  I believed a degree would solve everything- so I did everything else I could trying to make up for this shortcoming.

In the Americorps, I tried EMT training- I made it halfway through the course before seeing a video of the worst deaths imaginable.  I remember the sunlight shining through the eyes of a human head missing it’s top and brains from a suicide-by-train, and that was the day I walked out into the hallway for the rest, then admitted with shame I did not have the stomach for the work.

I try to seem brave, but I have a sort of dangerous and fragile pride that I never moved “back home” with any relatives after the Americorps- the longest staying with anyone blood related was a week at my brother’s house during a week-long ice storm where the home I was renting was out of power and far from civilization.   On the other hand, I cannot pretend it was even an option to have a “home” to move to.

At my lowest point in life, college,  I even lived out of my car for a time when I discovered my roommate was stealing my medications to give to her boyfriend for his recreational use, I recall sneaking into what I used as an office in the college library, turning off the light and  hiding until the students locked up, and migrating to the couch downstairs with an alarm on my phone after the doors locked after midnight… or staying with random, far-flung friends for a few days here or there pretty much anywhere from Wisconsin to New Hampshire depending on the length of my breaks.

I am now 33 years old.

During my 20’s, I was usually employed in multiple jobs at once to make ends meet, I sublet out my second bedroom of my apartment and lived on Raman, tuna, and other low cost foods.  I was in a 7 year long relationship with a person who spent most of that time either unemployed or underemployed at Gamestop… and when he finally did have a well paying job and I returned to school- suddenly, the years of supporting his “walk outs” of various positions he saw as “beneath him” were rapidly forgotten by him- and I was now a “leech”…which lead quickly to the last of my patience walking out and me with it to finish my late- attendance of college without the constant worry of how his parents were going to twist his testicles to make my life hell, despite my best efforts to improve myself.

I wasn’t “pretty” enough; I had too many tattoos, I was too cynical… No. My problem was my self worth was too low and I had no “ground” in which to base anything at all being degree-less and mostly without family which divided themselves neatly into two categories: “People I didn’t want to worry” and “People I wanted nothing to do with.”

I even mistakenly believed my brother and I were close up until last month only to discover his “kindness” wasn’t out of love- it was out of some sort of psychological guilt from him watching me getting beaten when he was a child and him doing nothing to stop it. There was nothing he could do- and later, I learned he did not care for me at all but for a misplaced sense of “duty” with the expectation that with “all he did for me” (by giving me a safe place to stay once in a while- and permission to clear out the leftovers in the back of his fridge)  I would acquiesce to his every demand as soon as I had something he wanted  (use of my property to store his growing hoard of broken “things”- in this case, an abandoned car, which I my grandmother had room to accept where I did not considering I was not yet even moved into our new home. He was 4 years younger, and my mother raised him to believe I was evil because (ultimately) she drugged my father and used her pregnancy with me to “trap” him.

I can tell you there is no worse feeling than knowing your birthday is the anniversary of the worst day in your family’s history and symbolic of “when there was no going back.”  I was an infant, but beyond being a means to my mother’s selfish ends, I was just a superfluous child my grandparents felt obligated to try and raise when given the chance away from my mother who blamed me for the loss of her childhood…despite the fact it was her dedicated choice to get pregnant at age 17.  For the record, I am STRONGLY pro-choice.

I worked as a bartender, a travel agent, various retail positions up to regional manager- my only “raises” being when my endless searches for “better” employment were successful. I could not attend college until I was at least 26 on account of a tax error where my emancipation was not recognized= meaning my parents’high income entirely prevented me from being ineligible for aid.  I had PTSD then too.  I dealt with it the best I could, along with a myriad of genetic problems that affected my lady-parts for a series of surgeries I managed the best I could. Despite stories spread by family, I never left a job without someplace else waiting for me…and even while on unemployment, I would scrap metal and deliver pizza and work towards something.   In my early years- it was police academy-  I excelled at the tests but consistently failed the oral interview time and time again, likely over my lisp.  I felt spiritually bereft since having cervical cancer at 19 as a virgin without HPV (which I kept to myself since my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer the same week) and enduring surgery without anesthesia- and then being promptly cheated on by my first sexual relationship with a male who “couldn’t handle it” (which was a strong factor in deciding to leave for the AmeriCorps)

Later, I was accepted after a two year vetting process to become a fish and game warden for my county along with several other trainees- despite the amount of effort it took to “get there”- I declined in favor of moving to Saskatoon, Canada with my then-fiance’.  What “woke me up” out of my spiritual darkness was an engagement to a Canadian Swede/Scottman who had unfathomably difficult challenges- when we parted, he made me promise I would return to school for religions to be a chaplain.  My plan was to dedicate myself to my studies without distraction and then the second I had my religion degree in hand- apply to the Canadian military and make my home address near distant family members of mine in Vancouver.   We never met, but to the Canadian recruiters, the relationship was biologically close enough to “work”- sadly, unlike the US, Canada offered no assistance financially- I was not a Canadian citizen and they could not provide the education up there- however, I was promised, if I completed my coursework in the US my loan debt would be forgiven.

In the short time I was gone, the park’s service was defunded and the Fish and game commission was reduced to two employees per county in the 2008 recession; even if I stayed, I would have lost my job.  I do not regret Canada- I do regret that the ex I left for the Canadian I was weak enough to return to and that I stayed in Canada past a point to which I became traumatized.  My Canadian ex had DID– the person I was in love with was literally just a fraction of a human- and the the other parts were not so kind. My biggest mistake was equating abuse only with physical action rather than psychological or verbal distress or profound neglect. His condition was discovered via a sleep-study, and neither of us had heard of it before- in the beginning, it was thought in treatment the “bad parts” were not real and could be “removed”.  When that proved not to be the case, I was cheated on (again) and stayed longer than I should have convincing myself that what would be unforgivable in any other situation- his case was different since it was “not him” but his disease…I couldn’t rationalize it was both.

I could pretty much sum up my 20’s as follows: I blamed my lack of success on not having the opportunity to earn a college degree, and each job I had was a “potential career” I would follow to it’s inevitable deadend and supplement my income with bartending, and odd delivery jobs as long as I was able.  My grandparents were critical of this, seeing me as an unreliable “job hopper” despite changing jobs by choice for improved pay, working conditions, and health insurance.

When I scored a short career as a travel agent making fantastic money- they showered me in money as if to encourage me to make more of it….where when I struggled, it was “my own fault” for not working hard enough.  My ex gladly accepted the largess- I usually declined and handed it back saying I didn’t need it.  I don’t think they ever understood they insulted me.  Their love was conditionally based on how “brag-worthy” I was to their little rich friends- and they seemed to continually strive to be as anti-Pennsylvania Deitsch as possible and distance themselves from their upbringing of personal responsibilities to maintain family harmony- as my father and I watched them sew strife and discord with all extended family to the point where my line from them- both sides, was entirely isolated and unwelcome until I personally had to represent us all at my Great Aunt’s funeral.  My Nana’s family has been so mistreated by them both they wish no contact from any of us.

My family religion on that side came from the luck of being born to a family of several generations “young mothers”- my great, and great great grandmothers lived for a significant enough time after I was born to keep family integrity and allow for my father to develop morality intentionally separate from his parents and their confusing, materialistic standards of determining human worth. (I hope not to be in any will or deed, and if so, I will give my portion to the Philadelphia Zoo so “the family” can fight the zoo lawyers and leave me out of all conflict.)  When I was a child, my Nana was my closest family member, and as we both aged, we still maintained a very mutually rewarding relationship where she would tell me all about being raised “Plain” (even though they were technically “fancy” or “gay” Deitsch)  About how important our family were to Pow-wow and although she wasn’t taught in it- what it was like to see Braucher-doctors and the few customs she still practiced as a matter of habit (or obsession-regarding cleanliness).  It was almost as if since they were raised to not care about “things”- their rebellion was to become rich assholes who cared more for appearances than for actual, extant people.
The further I moved into public Heathenry, the less pleased they became with me.  The older they became, the less they wanted to admit they came from the farms and could speak German. Even at our wedding, despite my Nana “not being able to speak German”- she criticized our Braucher for his pronunciation.

My other side is Latvian- another German speaking people (in addition to Lettish).  When I speak of my “Grandmother” in my blog post, I am referring to my 83 year old Grandma from Latvia, who I learned over the years had been pretty much ignored as “silly” or “ditzy” despite the fact English was likely her third language and a kind nature does NOT indicate a lack of intellect- I am grateful, always, Freyr/Janis has allowed her to stay here so long so far with strong health- and she is active in her own religious community with the Lettish who do not associate with American Heathenry in any way, but choose the Druids instead focusing on the “pan” of “pan-polytheism”.  I am proud of her, she “came out” after Ed and I married under the names of the Gods of what she calls “The Earth Religion”- Where Frigg/Holle is Mara, Freyr is Janis, and Perkuns is so clearly Donnar there is no dispute.

My mother is abusive, my brother is now abusive, my uncle despite feeling uncomfortable with being Lettish, still holds that he is “put upon” being the youngest son taking care of my grandmother when by tradition it “should” be the eldest child, my mother.

If I had my way, my grandma would be enrolled in every service available to her and I would attempt to convince her to sell her home to move into one of the Latvian communities either staying near Philadelphia or perhaps the Catskills, NY. Sadly, she does not want to leave the home my grandfather bought and died in- and we have no other family left except for neighbors who watch out for her with more kindness than her children.  It is absolutely horrible I am restricted from having a more active role in her life since I will not speak to my mother unless she takes responsibility for her violent actions and turns herself in to the authorities for all physical and verbal assault committed against myself and others and serves time for it in the spirit of true remorse- which I do not believe she is capable.  My brother is indifferent to the existence of our Grandmother, and here i am desperately trying to write down everything she has been able to translate from her three-story house worth of Library of three or more generations of Vilde (Wylder, in my case) collections of books on all subjects but written in Lettish.  All I hope is when Janis calls for her- her library will be preserved somewhere for what remains of the Lettish speaking people- even if it needs to be sent to Latvia for its preservation.

I honestly avoided all things “Latvian” as a child because I associated them with my mother; which meant “pain”.  Further, it is no “new” thing for Heathen God worshipers to be racists.  My father being Pa Deitsch was treated terribly by almost all Latvian people for not being Latvian- and I was “only half”.   I considered myself lucky- those my age who were “full Latvian” were subjected to intensive classes to “Take back Our Homeland” they never even saw from the Russians with such fervor, the generation before mine of Lettish people mostly abandoned the culture early into adulthood to blend into their respective countries of birth rather than ancestry.  My grandmother’s friends are mostly deceased, but they tended to be kinder than most and still taught what little I was willing to learn as a child- which amounted to “divination” and not much else. I can interpret melted aluminium poured into cold water at the New Year and I know the traditional Latvian card spread for playing cards- it was what I learned before I learned tarot or runes. Other than that, I can mend almost anything- but I cannot embroider (my brother can), and I cannot weave or bead- both arts my mother excelled at which made them entirely unappealing then- and now- with the shake of my hands, the only “Latvian talents” one can even try to ascribe to me are in chess or descriptive writing…but that is a stretch.  I haven’t been ranked in chess since high school and it was far from impressive.

I am just happy my grandma is alive.  My mother treated her like a servant to be ordered around, my uncle treats her like an annoyance. Grandma’s mother was as abusive as my own.  There is a theory that Eastern Europeans are subject to severe vitamin deficiencies that make some into sadists, it seems.  If there are any of my grandma’s friends reading this; doubtless, they judge me for cutting off contact with the mother who tried to kill me repeatedly as a child and I have the medical records and witnesses to prove it.   I judge them for allowing my mother to make an 83 year old woman cry for no reason other than her rabid animal heart of coal… but then I offend rabid animals.

Some tradition should have some common-sense exceptions made- a woman who beats and attempts to destroy her own progeny and disrespects her own mother should be the one shunned, not the child of such a person for establishing boundaries against further abuse, nor should my calling the police against her for my grandma’s sake be seen as shameful. It should be shameful that they accepting of a woman who causes her 83 year old mother who has never harmed anyone to cry for any reason other than joy.

Without my grandma, well, I don’t really have people I am descended from who care much for me.  That is embarrassing as well, but I married well into a very loving Irish family who live the way I remember my Dad’s side used to be when I was a child.  I hope my inlaws never change the way my “German” grandparents have.

Slowly, things changed- my ability to drive in snow/ice was the first to leave me after being hit by a truck, several negative experiences regarding genetic gynecological conditions taught me I was better off suffering with the bare minimum of pain killers and some rum on bad days, and I had given up on romance (until Canada).  I felt so poorly regarding myself I believed the the neglectful, self-important mother’s boy I wasted 7 years of my life with was the best I deserved, despite his inconsistency, mood swings, and penchant for abandoning me every single time I needed more help than I could provide for myself.

It was my fault for putting up with it- and I would have broken up with him then if I had a plan at the time.  Instead, I had to wait until I was able to afford to move.

I had a hysterectomy- my brother and friends came daily to assist me as my ex would sit in front of the television complaining of his bipolar disorder while I was on morphine and barely coherent.  To be fair, it couldn’t have been all bad- but the way my memory works, I honestly do not recall ever feeling anything other than frustrated, embarrassed, and ashamed at my self-perceived failure- mostly mistakenly tied to the idea that without a degree, I was literally worth-less than my peers who had opportunities not open to me at the time. My ex’s parents found every moment to reinforce that feeling.

In earlier years, I saved up, I attended bartending school- and each job that offered training or certification I accepted the opportunities with gratitude. I can fix most computer software programs, negotiate with airlines for friends (since I learned SABRE), and worked at a bank long enough to know how to protect myself and my husband from the attempted theft by our former apartment complex by putting a lock against all companies related to the slumlords under which we lived and have the the pages on the tenant rights’ laws that supersede any illegally coerced attempt to try to get more money out of us than our security deposit.  I spent 6 months fixing my husband’s credit score by taking each credit reporting agency to case over the fact our last name is so common many debts ascribed to him were logistically impossible and therefore, dismissed.  I fixed my husband’s student loans and had my own dismissed.

In college, I did exceptionally well academically up until my last semester- my living situation was with a former classmate which began wonderfully but ended slowly as she chose to become addicted to drugs in an effort to “keep” a man who was a recreational user of pretty much everything.   I had a professor who played mind games which at the time I thought were like chess, but were in fact more akin to game hunting with my personal writings being what he sought to translate and make his own.

For the record- I graduated cum laude (without that last semester, I could have been Summa Cum Laude) Honors, and some other random accolades I do not even care if I claimed with two degrees (Religions and Philosophy) and a minor in international studies in which I spent most of my actual time in academia- with tutors and classes in other affiliated universities.

I began to lose my hair, psychologically I was basically already destroyed after years of punishing myself in endless self-criticism for flaws that both mirrored the insecurities of others as well as frustrations at my own limitations which I had increasing difficulty in hiding; I was/am afraid of driving in winter on account of being hit by a tractor trailer in an icestorm and a head-on collision on a one-lane bridge later when I could not afford car insurance for a week.  I even asked my family for help, and they declined telling me to “quit school and get a real job”

We were in a recession, school was my only chance to change my circumstances.  My grandfather only achieved his position as a college administrator by being one of the the first computer programmers in the US.  My father is a government contractor who designs security systems.  There was really no niche or opportunity I had found as easily as either of them without education….they both had disdain for academia.

The hardest limitation was my constant insomnia which usually was coupled with flashbacks.  I abused caffeine and ADHD medication to write essays and study for tests- and I probably caused my own tachycardia through my own special way of passing finals by drinking two 5-hour energy shots, a handful of strattera, and “ghetto expresso” I made with a small coffee pot where I kept running the same thickening black slime through the pot until it poured more like syrup than coffee.

But!  I was excelling.  I had two college majors, I was invited into a special program that was intended to allow advanced students begin their MA thesis early- and on top of all of this, I was invited to become educated (on my own time) in Iranian diplomacy- where I was easily manipulated by many into the belief that I could somehow change the world by learning fluent Farsi and immersing myself into a world of political sciences, current events, linguistics, and doing something I knew no one else personally was doing.  I was given chances to study abroad for free (which I took eagerly) and since my family had a history of government employment, I assumed (incorrectly) that I was “safe”. Having PTSD already made me feel like “Nothing else could harm me”.    Since my Latvian ethnic group will hardly survive another generation and I lived through the end of the cold war of wire-taps and family friends being treated with less-freedom than I was told America represented, I related to the Iranian diaspora and their situation well- except instead of Communists stealing and destroying their culture, it was religious zealotry.

I enjoyed studying Zoroastrianism…but mostly split my time between the Sufi and the Baha’i’ at the time- my interaction with the Heathen community was minimal at times on account of my own kindred’s ignorance and racism at that time and I decided to leave.  I attended vague events and moots but felt more in common with the Sufi than the idiots dressing up as “Vikings” and treated every natural death like “Valhalla” was Heathen Heaven- neglecting the whole “dying in battle” part as well as the fact that Christian Hell and Helheim have little in common.

I felt surrounded by idiots- but at least they were idiots who worshiped the same Gods, and there were enough persons of gold among the tailings to be interesting and supportive for that period of time….even if they turned out to be nothing more than Mercury later.

The day of my graduation, I stayed at a friends house and drank myself ill. I didn’t go to commencement, and my “congratulations” was a couple of cupcakes from my sister in law and a card from my kind grandmother.  Everyone else was disgusted with me.

I had latent agoraphobia that became crippling to the point where after my coursework was completed, I would not leave my home without a “safe place” to go- whether it be my brother’s house or the homes and haunts of friends, I would cry in supermarkets in sudden bursts of fear. I thought I had friends in Heathenry, instead,  I found that people are pretty shitty with their own selfish motivations.  I was mortified later to discover that many people I considered “friends” only wished to be near me to “wear me down” into eventually date them despite believing I made it clear that I possessed no such interest beyond friendship…and once that became apparent, all memories that may have been positive with those people were seen in a new and sickening light that disgusted me in my naivety.

I recovering from a nervous breakdown, planning to move to Maryland, and in no shape to date anyone.  The idea that even one person thought that was a great motivation to false-befriend me is disgusting to me- that’s not okay, the two most guilty parties?  One is in a BDSM relationship with a woman whose former master made her fuck a dog, and the other was a married man I was close to in high school who decided to give his wife a “makeover” the day Ed and I announced our engagement to make his woman look like a carbon copy of me, from hairstyle, make-up, and right down to clothing and small details to be a perfect recreation of how I looked at age 20.  Considering I managed a Hot Topic at that age…it’s pretty safe to say it was no coincidence.

As far as I am aware, I was not the only person to block him out of my life that day as for the BDSM guy? I am humiliated I was so stupid to think he was benign.  He attacked people I was interested in as if I were “property” and spent months insulting me through blog posts I never bothered to read.

My Current Struggles.

I was wrong in that “nothing could harm me”.  Now that the politics of the world have changed, I feel I can now freely state that my MA program in Linguistics was cancelled in 2012 after the Canadian embassy in Iran was sacked and defiled with anti-American graffiti, leaving me not only with no place to go after graduation- but also landing me in 5 hours of interrogation.  Not about Iran, not about any illegal activities, but just screaming threats for 5 solid hours as I begged for a blood test to prove my innocence- since I couldn’t think of any other reason they had to keep me except to think I was drunk for being nocturnal-despite being a non-drinker.  They denied me a lawyer, shined bright lights into my eyes, made me perform exercises for them while I was wearing healed boots, they laughed at me, insulted me, threatened me- and well, broke all faith and confidence I ever had in the goodness of my country.

It was one of those people of gold-speckled mercury that suggested I go to the psychiatric ward.   It would be my third time in a year, the first 2 from nervous breakdown.  After the interrogation, I was not and have not ever been the same person- and I don’t even think I can recall what the old “me” was once like.  I was on good terms with the doctors, the first time I checked myself in was over a suicide attempt a year before, the second time was when I discovered by thesis was plagiarized and translated by a professor of mine and presented as his own work and he wished to have his name taken off of my work to lend support to his lie, and the third?  The third was basically the end of “me” as I knew it, not by the clinic staff, but by what happened before and they just did their best to pick up what pieces they could and reassure me of this nebulous concept of “intelligence” so  many people claimed I possessed, but yet, did little for me as far as personal fulfillment or gaining the pride or respect of others.  I seemed either to be feared with people convinced I would “manipulate” them, or I was considered arrogant for asking questions and always seeking more information.

The psychiatric ward was very cautious about who they allowed to visit me- my father was allowed (which surprised me), my grandparents were not…resulting in a trap where I had a message of concern waiting for me when I got out and when I returned the phonecall I was told by my grandfather “The world would have been better if I killed myself”.  They are on my SSDI file as not to be trusted, they tried to report me for fraud at least once.  If they are reading this- do you know SSDI notifies me of these things?

The doctors of the clinic got me fast-tracked for SSDI which I planned already to be on temporarily while in graduate school until I could find stable employment.  Within a month, I saw a judge who dismissed the “persecution”- a person meant to explain all the reasons I should NOT be on SSDI…he didn’t ask me much, but I do remember him saying “God bless you, and I’m sorry.”

I am treated by many as if my value as a person was dead much like someone tells the family of someone in the ICU they will not wake just for even seeking this assistance.  My lawyer was excited we won the case.  I just wished to be left alone, and I remember finding a tree near the courthouse in the parking lot that I just sat against for hours and cried.

It would be months before I received compensation, so I was put on food stamps and temporary welfare.

The Heathen community reacted violently…  despite being told my worth as a human being was roughly 13k a year, my now-husband still decided to date me.  His kindred treated me abhorrently; I shared my food with him since I had more than I could use, and since I had no expenses other than my car insurance I bought him a statue of Loki we both wanted for months in a local shop and I became and instant villain.  This was before I realized the depth to which Lokeans were despised by reconstructionists.

A married woman in his kindred wanted to ditch her husband for him and saw me as an interloper- as did the the rest of them from their actions towards me.  It was as if this single, unmarried man was “promised” into an arranged marriage with an already married women named Jess he was not at all interested in, not to mention one already married to her best friend.   She spread rumours about the condition of my body after so many surgeries- at that point, I had my cervix removed, my tubes tied, a laproscopic oopherectomy, and a near-total laporectomy- hysterectomy. She proudly screamed to complete strangers what a malformed freak I was “With all those fucked up scars” she, herself never saw….well,  the last of my surgeries is complete. My last ovary is gone, and this is my stomach of “sickening scars” she claimed “would make anyone puke”- keep in mind, the surgery I JUST had last week was the worst I had yet to experience.  Here is a picture of my “horrifying” anatomy:

Horrifying? Hardly. Swollen, yes....and my little cuts look like eyeballs in the photo...but far from enough to make anyone call me a

Horrifying? Hardly. Swollen, yes….and my little cuts look like eyeballs in the photo…but far from enough to make anyone call me a “monster”

I have heard she and her husband are no longer in the community, but none involved have ever made an attempt to apologize to myself or my husband. She accused my husband of raping her….but if so, then why hundreds of texts begging him for a sexual relationship and why did she never tell me if he could do such a thing?  I did nothing to her other than date him…and she was married with her own man.

Wyrd’s Well kindred was  based loosely on “Game of Thrones”, and still avoids us- likely from their own shame, and still refuses us the honor of the truth of what was said or the chance to defend ourselves against Her allegations and their own against us other than the vague “Chaotic Loki worshiper” bullshit.  Frankly, I see wanting to cheat on your husband with a roommate as far more chaotic than two single people entering into a relationship.

When I am well, I literally watch documentaries and read.  Now that we live here, I’ll sit near the stream some days and take care of the house to the best I can.  There is much I would like to do- redo the wiring, fix the oven, replace boards in the porch, straighten out the back porch roof, repair or remove the shed, plant gardens, and make a workbench for myself.   I don’t normally leave the house without Eddie, I’m content to stay here with the cats (and now the dog as well) rather than go to the grocery store, the mall, or any place I do not know people, really.  My flashbacks still make me unemployable.  This post is the result of many happening concurrently.

Even right now, I am irresponsible.  I am exhausted and writing this blog post.   Why? Because I feel a compulsion that I need to admit when I am at my most fallible and I learned over the years if I publicly disclose my weaknesses- there is little anyone can use against me except for lies.  Natasha is sleeping at my feet and waiting for my husband to come home with me in vigil for his nightshift.

It will take up to two years to train my dog Natasha to be service-dog ready for me- but it’s something I look forward to with my husband.  The first step is basic obedience classes, from there, hopefully she’ll excel.  But if not, what changes?  Nothing really.   I am just another voice on the internet.  Few of you will ever meet me.  I will still live here, I will still write here, and I will likely still be Heathen and people will like or hate me.

Formal Severing with the Past:

Formal Severing: This post will be here my blog indefinitely as part of a larger post for historical purposes.

I will no longer accept people doing wrong by me without consideration, remorse, with intent to harm, or lack of caring.

I am also using this post to formally break ties with the kindred to which I have been Gythia for the greater part of a decade- known by no official public name. I keep their name secret as I have Oathed, but refer to them as “Boys of Berks” as they have been known since inception a decade ago..

I call them out for Oathbreaking. We all Oathed that we would not mix our religion and wyrd with any national organization:
I will accept no further pressure to join the National Socialist Party. We oathed to be free of politics- and I am not interested and tired of hearing of ignorant racism.

We Oathed that each person would be equal and each vote would be counted. Even with my abstaining from voting, there was a man who prevented my husband from taking me to the hospital when I fell ill at his house (and I am being gracious by sparing the details why) Not only was it not respected, this man claimed to be an EMT; If the man were truly an EMT, then he would have recognized my condition (which is common) which has proven him to be a compulsive liar. I have seldom seen him anything other than unemployed. HIs life and his lies are no longer my concern.

He further broke frith by indicating he “considered asking me out” while I was in a committed relationship years ago with another man. He did this in front of my husband showing no recognition for the sanctity of our relationship.

I am not a commodity, further, this man threatened my life one time before which made me decide to leave the Boys of Berks previously.

I do not tolerate stupidity or this lack of respect for myself any longer for myself or my husband, Edward.
It is never honorable to express the desire to pursue anyone in a committed relationship, nor is it honorable to assume your advances would have been accepted. It is truly offensive.

We were promised a brotherhood of fellowship and help- we moved with only the assistance of one member of the kindred- and yet, the handfasting of t