Archive for August, 2012

To Sigyn

Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2012 by Tyrienne

Hail to Sigyn, devoted wife and mother
Comforter to the forsaken
She, who embodies patience,
and braves all unearned scorn

I call to you, Victorious Beloved of Loki
She who keeps all vows she has spoken
She who find strength in suffering
She who loves without condition or fear
She who assuages the pain of those she protects

Noble woman!
Guide me to virtue
to be a devoted partner
A patient lover
and an enduring confidant

Praise to you, whose name is often unsung
I lift the horn to you,
She whose hands seldom are offered relief
I Hail you Sigyn,
to honor your strength and your sacrifices
In honor of your boundless love and devotion

Hail Sigyn! Wife of Loki, Mother of Gods!

~A Formal Introduction~

Posted in About me with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2012 by Tyrienne

Hello, I am a born and raised heathen and I am Lokian.

I am unapologetic in this.  When asked in public, I will tell you so with no hesitation.

I am not intentionally unkind,  dishonorable, nor false.
I point out the elephants in rooms, I tell disgusting  jokes, and pride myself that I can carry myself with charisma and intelligence regardless of the setting.  My life has been chaotic, half of it beyond my own choosing and sometimes untenable, the other half that chaos is the environment in which I thrive.

First, I would like to introduce you to an article by Uncle Thor:
http://thortrains.net/blog/?p=3467  It’s a excellent place to begin, and he has written a wonderful book called “Loki for You” which may be purchased Here.

I believe in truth, hospitality, honor, fidelity, self-reliance (to an extraordinary fault)  frith, and live a life which I cannot deny is courageous in it’s own ways….and like a cat flung from many windows of a skyscraper, I always land on my feet, just not especially gracefully.  I am not dead yet, therefore, I persevere.  On the other hand, Industriousness is difficult with a chronic illness, however.  (but look-  I wrote this post after several weeks of trying!)

I cannot be any person other than myself.  I have a vocabulary that extends from ghetto, to trailer park, to suburbs, mansions, and my research has been presented some of the most respected universities in academia. I have a double degree in religion and philosophy, wrote a successful honors thesis on the physics and relation between our perception of physical time and mysticism.  I am also a very active member in the greater Asastru and Heathen community and have been doing so openly for around 6 years; including as a *gasp* Gythia.

I cannot seek much attention, I have too much anxiety for that.  I care deeply for how others perceive me, if they have my respect or concern- and I have learned quickly the easiest way to keep even the most chaotic life manageable is to not lie.  About anything.  While living in a culture where lying is a way of life in the forms of “tact”, “politeness”, or “being civil.”

I can create words of extraordinary eloquence, but I cannot lie for you or to you- I can and will withhold information if need be.  I also possess an exceptional vocabulary which allows for great maneuverability in difficult circumstances that I am aware that others do not enjoy or appreciate at times.  However, I did not will not EVER lie to you…  If you suspect I am withholding information, the onus is on you to create a clearer question to ask me.

Personally, I would rather take the fall and be hurt by a clear truth than a polite lie.  Truth is respectable- a liar is not worthy of my time unless I can find a way for them to be caught.  I do not care for authority figures unless you earn my respect with both knowledge and kindness.  Should you hold neither, I will delight to expose you as unworthy of your unearned credentials.

This is part of what it means to be Lokian.  Honor is defined in many ways, and I assure you that Loki and his folk are indeed honorable.  Loki is not a patron one can suddenly decide to “choose”- for he is intensely offended by those who lack intelligence, craft, or the inability to create allies in both high and low places.

I am a  secret introvert.  I get by in life by always making first introductions, controlling the initial direction of conversation, then agreeing very nicely to clever points made by others I have just met.  If the direction of the conversation becomes uncomfortable, I will suggest a controversial topic to allow others in the party to wax poetic for several minutes (so I do not have to do more than smile and nod…and learn a great deal.)  Or, alternately, I change the topic to dead baby jokes.   Everyone secretly loves dead baby jokes. (usually)

Loki pursued me, advised me, and watched me for several years.  The red-haired God of the North was eloquent, kind, considerate, intelligent, and charming.  His humor was disarming and he was comfortable to speak to.  So, like any rational person, despite his lack of beard, I assumed he was Bragi.  He would appear in my dreams as a slender college professor with wild hair, a teacher, and lastly an apologetic friend when he found his advice to protect and observe a scholar I once knew would be “A honorable man to learn from”- He did not specify that it was meant to “learn from” as the ultimate negative example as I watched that scholars honor disintegrate into the bright lights of academic success.

“I know many things,” Loki said, “But sometimes, even I do not know everything.”

I am also one of the very few born and raised heathens I am aware of in my area.  I did not convert from Wicca, Christianity, or any other faith.  I have TRIED to convert to other faiths, however, and have always returned back to my home, so to speak.  My heritage is heathenistic on both sides- Pennsylvania Dutch and Baltic (The Baltic completely cops to it, on the other my dad admits it as matter-of-fact, my paternal grandmother does so intermittently, and my paternal grandfather sees it as an embarrassment). The problem was: There was nothing outside the family really like it. It was just “The Way We Did Things Back Home”The Old Way”  or “Dutch Folkcraft” or just how “our family does things”…as a child, Dad would leave books of Norse legends around, and talk casually about Woden and Loki, and totally made a game of taunting Thor. (Especially with tall metal ladders and thunderstorms)

On BOTH sides of the family we hid behind Lutheranism. I hated it, my dad hated it…but his advice consisted of “Without these churches you wouldn’t exist…and what is one more God looking out for you. It can’t harm you.”…and then would proceed to teach me how to make any pastor whose  life I crossed as a teenager a living hell by pointing out all the crazy contradictory shit in the Bible: The Great Sea Monsters in Genesis, the incest, and how Judas both jumped off a cliff, hung himself, and somehow made the land he fell upon infertile.

One thing to note:  As polytheists, who is to say that there are not other gods who may take interest in us?  No one can prove lineage absolutely- and I was told once “If you pray to someone, pray to their god because your god might not know them enough to help.”

Our ancestors were a HUGE deal on both sides. The Letts visit graves each year to wreath them with boughs of evergreen and candles to sing in honor of the dead. The other side used to visit graves on holidays and it was considered “normal” that when someone in the family would so something stupid, my great grandfather’s piano we had in the living room would reek of cigar smoke. Great grandparents would visit dad and I in dreams… My Swiss great grandma comes in dreams just as she was in life, sitting in her old rocking chair, and complaining about the failures of relatives I barely know; second cousins, great uncles, etc.

I wandered through just about everything. I have been formally trained as a shaman, full process, and “torn apart and buried” at 19, and before and since hung out with New Agers, Christians, Baha’is, Unitarians, have assisted Wiccans and filled in as a HP on several occasions, practiced with several druids, befriend agnostics, atheists, and Pastafarians. Further, I am friend to all Discordians  (of which, you are all Popes, by the by.)

However, I always came back “home”, same ancestors, same heritage. Outside of Inari, East Asian religions perplex me…I can’t sit still to meditate and Hinduism confuses me.

In college I found Sufism, and got that crazy “touch the universe” sort of ecstatic thing going,  I researched Islam ….and in the end found myself right back with my ancestors.  In Sufism, Allah nothing more than an ocean of knowledge to which we all desire to return  I seek truth and knowledge on any path open on which I can find it…there is no such thing as useless information.

Think on it.  If nothing else “Useless” facts can be a source of amusement if nothing else.

In Heathenry, the Gods are our ancestors- they guide us to wisdom and virtue and interact with our lives DIRECTLY.  We do not bow as heathens, we do not focus on our flaws but seek to consistently improve and move forward. We can experience our interactions with Woden, Thor, Tyr, Freyja, Loki, et all. Odin  did not begin as All-Knowing/All seeing… but he is the All-Father. He is directly connected to the well of knowledge…his desire for knowledge gave him the gifts to which we all strive.  If He does not Know- he seeks the answer, Loki makes an educated guess, acts on intuition, and through trial and error finds the solution.

Woden/Woten/Odin as well as Loki are spoken of in their extensive travels. Woden for his sacrifices of himself to himself, the loss of his eye, the learning of the Runes of a knowledge greater than himself to which even He was student.To me, it has been a clear path that knowledge and the ultimate truths, love and happiness are the only things truly worth seeking.  Loki travels fearlessly between all realms, speaks to all races, and desires to learn all secrets…. anything and everything can come in handy, someday..

Despite my journeys, it has been made clear I am still accepted as a daughter of Odin, still filled with the judgements of  Tyr in my anger and guided by Loki, he who never breaks oaths, he who uses words rather than violence, the God with a sense of humor who defies people who take themselves too seriously, the smiter of egos and the destroyer of the self-righteous.

Also, I would like to note that much of my family was EXTRAORDINARILY pissed when I joined the Heathen community at large.  They might still be.  I know many families, especially of PA Dutch lineage, who will never introduce themselves to the public, go to blots, gatherings, etc.  We, as a people, have been burned before via shunning and misunderstanding.  I have been trying to get those I know personally to come out- with limited success.

Also, the same can be said of other Lokians.  We are a charming, clever, and entertaining group of people- but the instant negative judgment most have been subject to has lead them to choose to exclude themselves from the greater community.   Just as all Asatru are NOT Nazi-sympathizers, nor are all Lokians hell-raisers, crude, or disruptive. However, the treatment of us has embodied those very traits of which we are accused.  The hypocrisy is truly insulting and utterly distasteful…especially to those chosen by the Aesir of Intellect

Loki is the teller of unkind truths, and he is hated because most humans, honestly, are trained liars.

Odin fell in love with knowledge, Loki exposes Truth and keeps things from getting too formal, Tyr judges right from wrong action, knows that sacrifices are necessary to restore balance, and defines honor from dishonor. Zisa unties knots,  and Hela takes us to our next stop after this life becomes too worn to continue for us.  Ask Freyr for an honorable lover and seek Frigga to show us the importance of fidelity, love and community.  If you want a good time, several cats, and have a passion for war and/or sex- Freyja is your lady.

Call to Sigyn when you bear the suffering of another on your own shoulders.

Thor?…meh. I like the guy but his followers drive me nuts. ;)

As a Lokian, I ask you the following questions:

In Heathenry, How can you find knowledge if you stop seeking it? How to can you learn information if you spend your life shutting doors? One of the many reasons Loki is so profoundly rejected, misunderstood, and  hated is because of his outright refusal to stop seeing all creatures, beings, and realms and resources and would not care about others “value judgements” upon them. You never know who has useful information, you never learn the secrets of places you never visit, and having allies among every sort of person, although it may offend the sensibilities or prejudices of some, seems much more hospitable and wise than closing doors based on the thoughts/feelings/ experiences of others that yourself have not witnessed.

Look at every major religion, look at the worst of Asatru with those in our kind who stick to only seeing one point of view as valid. I see division, I see the closing of doors, of minds, and of intellect. Hence, this is how we lose our freedoms and rights to personal happiness. Love and hatred can coexist nicely- seeking knowledge while retaining pride in ignorance creates a metaphorical tar pit at best, quicksand at worst.

Loki is not perfect, he is not infallible, not always correct, nor always polite .   However, he is sworn brother by blood oath to Odin, of whom, the same can be said.

He is a God of humor, of mirth, of trickery, and yes, sometimes of spite.  Loki is a trickster where sometimes his humor is not appreciated….but he makes good on his oaths, through actions, and the end result is often far superior to any error he may make.  Without Loki, there would be no sleipnir, mjolner, Sif’s hair would not have rooted as pure gold.  His ways are unconventional, not socially acceptable much of the time, and to many, he speaks far too much.  Conversely, he is also a diplomat, he can negotiate out of most violence via his silver tongue- he can expose the pompous, and bring the mightest kings down to fools they are within with his truths.

He is not Satan, our gods are not dichotomously divided on lines of good verses evil.  As humans, we are complex and multidimensional- why would those who guide us be simple?

The gnosis of Loki is that he is a God who understands chaos, He understands those who have experienced the unexplainable, the unspeakable, and the unbelievable.

He knows his own worth.  He appreciates being invited to the table, and most of all,  By Odin’s blood- do you believe the wisest of the Gods was so easily deceived by Loki’s ways and that there is not a real friendship between them?

On a last note, for this post, I want my English speaking friends to keep in mind that many of our texts were translated by Christians, some biased, and no. I do not feel that under the earth there is a man bound by the intestines of his own son doomed to torture for keeping sweet Baldr safe in Hela’s hall until Ragnorak.  However, I believe that there is a divine man who is sadly and gravely misunderstood, who appreciates and reciprocates generously for those who see through ignorance and propaganda to honor his gifts to us and the rest of our kin.  He is honored when asked for intelligent council, to lend eloquent words, or to find a way out of chaos.

I cannot make you a Lokian no more than you can make me Thorian.  (Neither would appreciate that, anyway. I am terrible with a hammer)

However, on a parting note: One of the dozens of kennings for Loki is “Loki, friend of Thor.”

Among the Aesir, Loki is among the Gods as kin, so to, he is among us as well whether you like it or not.