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

Posted in About me on September 28, 2016 by Tyrienne

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 Tyrienne

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.

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Column: Heathen Worldview and Presidential Politics

Posted in About me on August 27, 2016 by Tyrienne

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 Tyrienne

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,

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The Failure of SE Pennsylvania Heathenry.

Posted in About me on August 17, 2016 by Tyrienne

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 Tyrienne

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.

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The Sky on Mars (Fiction)

Posted in About me on July 28, 2016 by Tyrienne

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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