The Flyting of Our Sheep

Loki’s seal of approval
*artwork by Thalia Took*

Once again, anxiety has taken its toll on me and I have found myself in tears watching a three way battle on facebook.  It’s election day.  I see some people I thought to be brilliant dazzled brainless by pretty lights, I see bickering between a two headed chimera who share a body debating over which mouth has devoured the most souls, but on the bright side, I also see those I have underestimated before to be much wilier than I anticipated.

In Reading IDUNNA, I have been able to find the strength within to conquer my inner sadness, weariness, and trepidation to write to you but not on the topics I had promised you.  To my AFA Kin,  Iwill  also no doubt take strength from your writings as well as they enter my hands.   I state no preference over either organization, and consider both family and kindred.

This post will bore you, but I have a lot to say and I will start with a personal anecdote.

I was once the unofficial teaching assistant to a  brilliant and articulate Islamic lecturer*.   He was formerly medical personnel during a war in his own country, which had left it’s mark in PTSD and anxiety as bad as my own and a severe aversion to group events.  One day, he asked me to follow him since the day was filled with events that were mandatory that neither of us wished to attend: we agreed they were pointless, but there were consequences for not attending each which neither of us could accept.  Since he knew I suffered many of the same challenges as he,  he used this day as an opportunity to show me how he got by so I could implement the same tactics for my own future (I wished to be a professor or clergy).

He demonstrated how in some cases, arriving late can put on the show of importance, to make people feel honored by your attendance at all by “one with such an important and busy schedule”  (when in all honesty, he was in his office up until that time gathering his courage, and likely in prayer)  I was taught the correct order in which to greet people in each gathering without offense. That day I learned where to sit to maximize the ability to leave at a moments notice, I was taught how to wait until an entire room of people became distracted enough to allow us to slip out the back without offense or long goodbyes,   I was shown campus short cuts and how to appear “on a mission” enough to discourage others from attempting conversation…that is, if we could be seen at allWe walked both on and off common paths to do so.  In all of this, he demonstrated grace and hospitality to those we faced-  not one person was offended, though every “rule”  of common courtesy was seemingly broken, quietly and cleverly to hide both of our flaws and the appearance of our individual discomfort from our anxieties.

All of these things were and still are valuable; but of that day I learned the most from this:  We found ourselves trapped at 2 hour amnesty international event with a guest speaker who emphasized the importance of writing letters to world leaders to prevent injustice. The Sufi was only the adviser for the organization since the previous one left on sabbatical to give birth, and he had been harshly criticized for his lack of “campus involvement” prior to his agreement to this position.

We eventually escaped that as well, and as we walked back to his office, I asked my mentor: “What is the point of writing letters?  I severely doubt that Ahmadinejad would change his mind no matter how eloquently or prolifically I wrote to him.”

To my surprise, he replied, “It makes the people who write those letters feel better about themselves.”

Here, I Hail To Loki:  Allow me tor emind you all of the Flyting from the Lokasenna.  The poetic exchange of uncomfortable truths.  Loki’s words were not disputed so much as they were considered unfitting, embarrassing, and inappropriate for the occasion for how they made a room full of people meant to represent the highest level of Honor we can obtain not run from their faults.  Of his own faults, Loki denied none.

Today, many of you made yourselves “feel better” by pulling a lever, checking a box, or by pushing button on a touch screen or platform.  Those who live in states who had issues on the ballot of real concern for your state alone, are exempted from my disappointment today.

Presidents are subject to the congress, their predecessors failures and successes, as well as the fact that both candidates are proven liars, offering contradictory statements on both sides of the fence with honey and calm voices.   They Flyted each other dishonorably-  it is one thing to point out dishonorable actions of the other, but another entirely to make up false accusations from whole cloth:  Both sides.

I do not care who you voted for.  Because it neither matters, nor do you have any effect on the outcome.  Both sides are sponsored by the same corporations, the office of “President” is simply the puppet face we use to represent ourselves as a people, and furthermore  There are no laws that force the delegates of the electoral college to honor your popular votes; they make their own choices-despite your own choosing.

You have been promised the moon, the stars, in beautiful words and compelling speeches to distract you from the point that you lost your voice years ago. You are a number, you are a worker, and you are valuable as peasants and serfs in an oligarchy. Many of you are not land owners, do not own our own businesses, your own land, and are taken away daily to serve in indentured servitude to some company or another to feed our families at the cost of losing our connection to our communities, loved ones, and personal respect.

We live an existence of slavery, but more insidiously, we are forced to beg for a master via resumes and interviews.  Our ancestors cover their eyes seeing what our people are subjected to now.  I have heard across the community a dream of self-subsistence, simplicity, and a return to a free home with a family, a plot of land to ourselves, and livestock.  Tesla, in his day, knew how to create free electricity for every home.  We would not have to live without modern convenience if our engineers, scientists, and builders were free to act to the common benefit.

Today, you were herded as sheep into small buildings, fire stations, and school auditoriums to feel “important” in a process where no personal importance is actually given to you.  Your televisions have numbed you. Today, you made yourself feel better by voting, when your vote meant as much as my imaginary letter writing campaign to Ahmadinejad.

– You have no choice over which corporations control our government via lobbying or by holding seats which are not up to popular election.

-You do not get to choose how much of our money goes to wars on foreign soil, or the choice of war vs. peace.

-Do not choose the distribution of your tax dollars, the bills which are up for review, you cannot vote on those bills, and you do not have the legal power, individually, to fight laws that are unjust without substantial political power or a backing of wealth.

–  Out of all industrialized nations, we have the highest rates for imprisonments, lack of adequate medical care/coverage, and poverty.  Our poor and sick are demonized.  The past month has been hell for any sick person collecting SSI/SSD as we remain constantly denigrated, despised, and assaulted by billboards, our computers, and for those who have television, worse.

As in most traditions, many who are touched by Gods are touched by incurable illness as well, for this I am sad, ashamed, and grateful…I I fully admit I am ill, an inconvenience, and invalid.  On the otherhand, I was never disowned by my Gods…between Gods and men, I will take poverty, will not shun what help is offered to me, but also, nor will I seek profit above wisdom.

I cannot condemn the poor, the lame, and those who disadvantaged for I have been one of them.  I have been homeless, penniless, and I have had to rely on strangers for help. The All-Father traveled the Earth in all of our respective traditions with his tattered cloak to test hospitality. As hard as it was, I have been forced to do likewise… it took two years (which is lower than average) to be approved for Social Security, through batteries of tests, doctors, hospitals, psychiatrists and one hearing. ( I was denied via paper simply on account of my age)

Why are those who suffer now condemned to be deemed “useless”?   Listen to your blood, look your wives, husbands, and children in the eyes each day you are parted from them, and feel what is calling to us.

I want for you all to become independent, I want our artists to live by their art, our writers and skulds to be paid for their poetry, our musicians success, and those who can craft learn to use this consumeristic culture and carve niches in which their lives can be filled with many friends and close family.  May those who travel be welcomed in any heathen home offering their hands to help with children or homekeeping.

I want heathens with homes to own, why do houses lie vacant with price tags almost no working couples can pay off in less than 5 years?

I want all children taught critical thinking skills, philosophy, reason, mathematics, physics, and creativity.  Not rote memorization, not weakened and confined like veal in chairs 8 hours a day as their muscles atrophy.

I desire each and every sheep to awaken.  I wish you to throw out your televisions, I want you to connect with one another in honest conversations, use our resources that bring us closer rather than divide us.   Use the internet, use your telephones, call and keep in close touch for all you care for.

I do not care who you voted for, you are still Heathens.  I want you to live while you are young enough to feel the grass between your toes and sunlight on your backs, I want you spend days in the forest reading Runes in the trees and the Earth, and the rocks in the streams….forever learning and forever teaching.

I want you to eat pure foods from trees and plants untouched by the unnatural, and flesh from animals who have names and not numbers who know the touch of sunshine.

I wish you freedom in our lifetimes…not for just people who pay the price in madness as I have, or just for those born into material prosperity, but for every single creature on Earth.

In closing: “May Odin bless you with wisdom, Thor grant you protection, and Loki grant you with a laugh on every step of your trip.”  (Provided via Dustin Dixon , Thorsman of Oregon- Hail to our Folk out West!)

**IMPORTANT:  I also request all members of The Troth to please turn to page 22 of the IDUNNA Journal you should have received in your mail this week.  The article is titled: “Loki’s Role in the Northern Religions written by Kveldulfr Hagan Gundarsson. His work in phenomenal on the subject.  (If any Troth member has a digital link to this piece, please send it and I will edit this post to include the link!)**
*(NOTE: Loki guided me to this man for my education via a dream;  I suppose this professor was held with high regard relating to the Aesir at one time and I never learned why.  I was told by the wiry red-haired Heathen: “He is an honorable man and good to learn from- he is worthy of your protection” (I did save his physical life once)    My former mentor taught by both positive and negative examples of leadership, scholarship, overcoming obstacles, and social acumen despite finding myself profoundly wounded enough in the process that Loki himself apologized.  I survived; and Loki, as always, compensates generously for any pain experienced by his intervention. By and from Loki, I am now engaged to a genius of a Helsman.  I cannot complain.

2 Responses to “The Flyting of Our Sheep”

  1. Dustin L. Dixon Says:

    thanks for giving me a little bit of fame brother i would like to hear more. your brother Dustin

    • Anytime! Also, I’m a female- which makes your comment so much cooler since Loki can be either man or woman when Loki chooses to be 😉

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