Archive for June, 2015

The Real Meaning of “Human Sacrifice” in Heathenry in 10 points.

Posted in About me on June 14, 2015 by Tyrienne
I like this pic, I think it represents the line I walk between Loki and Tyr nicely. Downloaded from a random

I like this pic, I think it represents the line I walk between Loki and Tyr nicely.
Downloaded from a random “free wallpaper” website.

Okay, it’s been a couple of weeks of seeing the same topic rehashed over other blogs repeatedly.  This post is not actually going to go in the same direction.   I am going to talk about Human Sacrifice in Heathenry, and I don’t mean as in killing the self or other’s type….but what is it that all of us can “sacrifice” of our time, knowledge and resources to actually strengthen the Heathen Community as a whole.  I will try to detail this in numbers to keep myself “in order”.

1. How much do you contribute of your time to improving the Heathen community without seeking compensation?   If you truly love the Gods and you wish to see our community grow in health, the traditional “way of things” is via trade, vis-a-vis, a gift for a gift.   You help someone move, you get beer and pizza.   You fix someone’s car in exchange for having your patio fixed. You don’t endlessly keep a tally of what you do/don’t do.

Remember folks: We aren’t Christians, here. If you are trained to provide religious services in Heathenry, do you freely share what information you have gained?  Are you available to answer questions for ALL seekers interested?   Do you perform events without accepting personal money?  Again, barter, barter, barter…. It’s an honor to be clergy, act like it.  If you want monetary payment for clergy work, monotheism is always converting and I’m certain a seminary will accommodate you.  Don’t charge “family” for advice unless you are a sociopath….and if you are, most of us already know we are better without you.

*2. There is nothing wrong with having a Heathen- themed business, in fact, it’s wonderful!  Please, sell your art, jewelry, furniture, roofing expertise, livestock, etc.   My only problem with “Money” and Heathenry is when money becomes an obstacle to obtaining information.  Not being able to afford that beautiful $200 drinking horn might frustrate you, but owning or not owning that horn does not prevent you from constantly learning more about your religion and your community.  Not being able to learn Seidr without a several hundred dollar class is frankly bullshit- and the people who would rob others in such a way are rather horrible.   Our ancestors taught our practices to those who had the interest, talent, time, and dedication to learn them- otherwise, nothing ever would have been passed down.  A great example in the comments is from Lady Imbrium regarding her goats.   I moved this section up to #2 to clarify.  Even if her goats were to be used in-ritual, they are not necessary nor should she be pressured to give them away for free for ritual slaughter as some Heathens practice.  It is her choice.

The difference between a “necessary” and a “non-necessary” item is if you were alone in the woods for a weekend naked (with access to basic food and shelter- i.e. a cave, clean running stream water)- what information would you need to better know the Gods if you dedicated that time to worship only?   Bindrunes would be useful since you can see them in nature around you.  A drinking horn would simply get in the way, jewelry could be lost, as could any other material position.  People NEED knowledge….okay, knowledge an a good Swiss army knife.

3.  If you are asked to give a lecture or seminar on Heathenry, how much do you bring home?  If the answer is monetary, then you are actually doing the community a disservice.  Understandably, some things in this world require money (i.e. renting space for major events, food, etc) but outside of this, Heathen religious practices do NOT pass a collection plate.  You should be bringing home pride in a job well done, a feeling of accomplishment, and hopefully a full stomach if you’re lucky!

4. Again on money….are you asking for donations that will line your own pocket or go back ENTIRELY into the community?  I used to enjoy spending a great deal of time with a kindred that ritualistically would burn all the money in their wallets representative of our distaste for modern consumerism.  We are industrious and our worth is not in what money we bring in, but in what skills we have to offer one another.   It might be why so many Heathens have pick-up trucks or SUV’s- they’re bloody useful….also, the longer a person has been Heathen, the more likely they are to know how to do all sorts of useful things.   We need less academics and more electricians.   Some of our Academics are great!  Some of our Academics are terrible!   Don’t become a “scholar” unless you are willing to act as an emissary of information- and if you are planning on gaining this knowledge to “fund” you personally, quit now, you are in the profession for the wrong reasons and you will make yourself self-evident rather quickly and the reputation you seek to “build” for your monetary gain will collapse.   We do not need a Heathen E.A. Koetting, nor do we need a Silver Ravenwolf.  For their respective religions- very little is “free”…. what little they reveal always ends in “Buy my book/attend my seminar/pay to join my group”- that is unethical by any religious standard unless you have decided to worship money itself as a God.

If there is a Heathen God of cash, let me know- because I personally do not know of any!

There are more than enough intelligent folks to learn from without having to resort to “paying” for information.  To be a truly supportive religion, money should not be involved in any transaction of knowledge EXCEPT in the case to cover the cost of rented spaces or food.
Message me your questions below and I can likely connect you to a folkbuilder/elder/expert for your concern who will be honored to answer your questions.  Lokeans by nature tend to know a lot of useful people from all walks of life.  Folkish and don’t know anyone from the AFA?  I know a few folkbuilders.   Are you a Rokkr?   I have Rokkr friends in Scandinavia who speak excellent English.  In many cases, I refer people who need advise to people who personally dislike me…why?   Because their job is to help the community, and I ask when I refer to such people that my name is kept out of the conversation.   You found them mentioned by someone whose name you can’t remember….that’s all.

Disliking me doesn’t make someone dishonorable:  It just simply means they dislike me.   Not everyone gets along.  There are people I personally dislike as well, but I refuse to “throw the baby out with the bathwater”- if they are knowledgeable and could help YOU.

5. Most importantly, Do not trust anyone who tells you that you have to “pay them” for their wisdom.  Do you pay your grandparents for advice?  If we are supposed to be a religion based on ancestor worship, where does it indicate that paying hundreds of dollars for seminars as part of our Faith?  It isn’t.   If they accept money to line their own pockets and will not tell you the same information if you do not possess that money, you are looking at someone who has nothing worthwhile to teach you.  There is nothing wrong with writing books as long as you make those books ALSO available to those who are impoverished if you ask- or at least, find someone willing to loan you the books.  I know many, many good Heathen authors who are very open and conversational….and I know OF others who will tell you “Well, I am holding a seminar for several hundred dollars on that topic!”.  Avoid the latter.

6. Like in any other position of power, be wary and aware of malignant narcissists.   These are people who will claim power “above” you while at the same time putting you down, and at worst, stealing your own research and ideas for their own profit an social advancement.   These people will also hold positions that will likely place them as a “respected authority figure”- they do not care about you, they do not care about the community.  These people care about themselves, obsess on how other people view them constantly, and plaster their name on everything they do.

Leading to…

7.  The best Heathens don’t need to tell every detail of everything they do for the community, the community will know them anyway from their positive impact.

8. No plagiarizing….people work hard in their personal studies, plagiarism is theft.  If you learned something useful that you wish to incorporate into something greater, please give respect to the source of your information.  It’s not a “sacrifice” to cut and paste one’s entire Philosophy from those who have worked harder and with more dedication.   Remember who did the work before you.   For me, most of my “Heathenry” comes from what I have learned from my family, from my kindred, from my mentors, and from other heathens.  This blog may be my own thoughts and opinions, but those opinions were formed by asking questions to those who knew more about the things about which I was inquiring.   So, if we’ve spoken, I’ve likley learned from you….that includes both positive things I have incorporated into my personal practice as well as learning what I find abhorrent to avoid falling into the same traps and pitfalls as others.

9.   Good folkbuilders/Goethe’s/Gythias/Braucherei should be happy to help you by at least pointing you in a direction of where you can research the information yourself whether it be in lending you a book, a .pdf, the name of an expert of the topic on which you are inquiring.  Granted, some are incredibly pressed for time, if it is not clear by their role in the community that they may be thinly stretched as is, chances are they will happily give you the name of a good, reliable person/community/book in some way to help you- just check their website, blog, or facebook.   No good clergy leaves their people “helpless”- in fact, the very best I know implement multiple networks for you to find what you need even if they cannot personally be there for you at that particular time.

10. Your personal sacrifices:  are between you and the Gods.   If you sacrifice your time, your sweat, your knowledge, your skills, etc- that is the God’s work.  If you personally sacrifice something of yourself to the Gods, that is a SACRED thing and not something to “brag” over-  If you REALLY did it “For the Gods”; then why would you want human approval?  That makes no sense.  Gods>humans….we can only aspire to live our lives in such a frithful way that our reputation and our works outlast us to enrich future generations- we can be Like Gods as a goal, but, for all the money-grubbing psuedo-clergy out there, there is no where in any Heathen tradition that indicates any sort of living God-Avatars in our faith of which I am aware. The only time I see it acceptable to share what you have “sacrificed” is if it lead to knowledge that would help others, or if that sacrifice was difficult for you and you feel the need for support (such as leaving a relationship that was unhealthy in order to lead a more honest and healthy life.)

Even Bragi was TAKEN UP into Asgard- he didn’t suddenly taste Kvasir’s mead and still spend his time around humankind.
All of us who claim any form of Heathenry as our faith?  We are the children of our Gods, only time will tell if the legacies people leave will enter into future folklore making them immortal.

*****************************************************************************************************************************

So, I ask you- give your time and wisdom as freely as you can- but with plenty of time to keep yourself healthy in the process.   If you are renting a space for something special? Do you need specific materials to complete a task?  Ask for donations- but do not keep them for yourself.  If you write a book, consider giving the proceeds back into a Heathen outreach program or go towards buying land to create open places of worship like Gladheim.

Now, granted, these are all simply my own personal opinions on Heathenry- some people won’t “like” them, and frankly, I really do not care if you disagree with me- but if you do, please leave a cogent, constructive argument refuting the point/s of this post you disagree with, and if you convince me in your argument that I am incorrect through polite, intelligent discussion I will add revisions and correct what is already written ON THIS POST.

Such as: *Point 11-Contested: [orginal text] then followed by “After an excellent conversation, I am forced to revise this for the following reason/s….”

In fact, I encourage this for most of my posts.    The only commentary I ever Delete is either clearly spam trying to sell me Ray-Bans or those who choose to just write an insult against what I write but with no reasons as to why they object to my writing.   If you object, then say WHY.

Use your words, fellow Heathens….use your words….

*Thank you Lady Imbrium for fixing the priorities on this post 🙂

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Chaplaincy into Urglaawe….

Posted in About me on June 11, 2015 by Tyrienne
Hel/Holle  (Artist Susan Boulet)

Hel/Holle (Artist Susan Boulet)

Did you know I’m a chaplain? I mean, a real one.  I spent four years in college enrolling at the age of 28 to get two four year college degrees.
During this time, I also took additional classes and minor certifications offered by a couple ENTIRELY DIFFERENT religions in seminar form.

When I am not writing this blog, I spend the majority of my time volunteering myself online for spiritual counseling at anytime I am online, 100% for free.  Even if my religion had the money to pay every Heathen who was a chaplain (and we do not work like that) it goes against our rules for clergy anyway.   Traditional payment is the honor of being able to do it, and secondarily, practical things like “food” or “weeding my herb garden- but that’s okay, you can have whatever you need from it”.    So, for all my bad days, my illnesses physical and neurological*-  I realize that being on SSDI is actually pretty much the only way to contribute as much as I do in form of talking to others, writing articles, responding to questions, and correcting misinformation in a way to me that is fulfilling and spiritual.

It is how I have reconciled that someone who USED to be a type A overachiever is now on SSDI (Disability)- and it seems to be the only way I can find peace without guilt within these circumstance.

How do people find me?  I have no idea, but they start to talk…and then I say “Hey, it’s okay, I’m a chaplain- I’m bound by law to keep your life confidential.”

I even run into those “sticky places” that Christian clergy run into where several people confide things that are deeply dangerous such as incest, abuse, or suicide.   It’s amazingly difficult to spend four hours pleading with someone to speak to call 9/11 without betraying the trust put into your station by doing so myself.   It’s really fucking hard- but I don’t regret doing it.  If it takes four hours- that is four hours where your problems were important enough to receive personal attention, to be listened to, and not judged….which I cannot promise would not happen in a police station or hospital….and I’m here for follow up.

So, for all the religions I have studies, I chaplain qualify per county under different forms.

1.  I have a congregation of people for whom I provide religious services regularly along with other clergy who can verify.
2.  Or, I have been recognized by national organizations as being a person to provides these services
3.  Or, some counties?  “Hey! I have a BA in Religion from one of the highest ranked Religion BA colleges in the country!”

There is only one thing that remains- and that is “guided experience” in a hospital, hospice, or prison setting….  I’m not quite up to that quite yet.  Some places require a 3 month course, some, just “Have fun!” as they shut the door behind you and you write reports. >.<

No matter what anyone says about me, no matter what opinion of me- good or bad- they cannot take away my education, my experiences, nor can they change the fact that my title is “Chaplain”.   Much like there are “Writers” and “Artists”.   You can hate a popular author such as Neil Gaiman, but can you challenge the idea that he is an Author?

The religion I follow is Heathenry-  That is our “Equal, overlapping title” like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, etc.    The interesting thing about Heathenry is there are just SO many types of us worldwide, and we are coming back stronger every day.   Every year, new kindreds are formed in countries around the world.

We never recruit- unless noticing the huge “WOTEN” tattoo in runes on your fore arm counts as recruiting- but we are growing.  That’s huge!  That’s amazing!

It puts us in a religious categorical definition somewhere between the Monotheists (Abrahamic) and the Indigenous (Yoruba, Strega, Voodoun, Yazidi, Dievic).   We believe being “called” to the Gods is not in our hands….it’s just our job to help you when you get here.

For people of other religions who speak to me?  I will never convert you to my spirituality.   It is my job as a chaplain to learn as much about YOUR religion as possible before I even meet you.  I should be able to use your own faith to comfort you, as well as have verses and reassurances memorized of your own sacred texts/phrases.   I have been really inspired by the work of Caleb Wilde, funeral director-  there really is not much transparency in either calling; in both and there is also always a VERY fine line of what is “Free to share”.

As a chaplain, you look at your friends list and realize it’s filled with other religious professionals, medical professionals, psychologists (Ha! Because it pisses you off to be labeled separately from “medical professionals”!), current and former military, government employees, EMT’s, firefighters, and police.

Mostly, you can organize everyone of those group as “Holy fuck, you won’t believe what I just saw/heard- and you live in another country/state and know absolutely no common aquaintances and if I don’t scream about this I will go insane.”   Mostly, I get to be the recipient of that, and that’s pretty cool, actually. I am absolutely full of stories I am forced to forget….which is pretty easy with the C-PTSD; my short term memory is legitimately less impressive than the average goldfish.

So, no.  I likely don’t remember the time when you did that thing, it doesn’t mean I don’t care…. you will just need to start the narrative of how “That thing” impacts the present.  No Biggie {said Tupac…Ha! Joke!}

Anyway, this post started out with the title “Writing a lot, not posting”- because I am currently working very hard at becoming more dedicated to Urglaawe, my “line” of heathen descent… which is pretty amazing considering the obscurity and the processes involved.

So, I want to be a Braucher, a public one eventually- so I am training to be one.  In this training I have been going through a great deal of changes.  But the problem with being Deitscherei is that I don’t know what is “polite” to keep to myself at this point- especially since the opportunity to enter into this formally came at the perfect timing:  right before family death and crisis.

The world of Pa Deitsch mysticism deals very strongly with ancestors, and my father’s side has raised me unequivocally with the belief that the human spirit can “stick around” for the purpose of helping/guiding others across….or doing the “honorable” thing and “staying with the Family” after death. We have Christians and Heathens in my extended family; and outside of my dad, NO ONE likes to talk about it much.  But they do, reluctantly.

Also, in this time it’s pretty safe to say I’m about to buy a house.  A house that when I first looked at it, I had no idea was part of my family’s ancestral land.   Since the beginning of the moving process, my family has opened up considerably about the spiritual traditions outside of Christianity, and if I didn’t read the books on Braucherie, I wouldn’t have come to the realization my family is “opening up” in this way only because their spirits are tied to this particular blessed land between two Deitsch-sacred mountains now in Reading, Pa.  The town may no longer be incorporated, but this is MY area-  I’m in Exeter, between Alsace and Mount Penn- and this is where my lines settled in the 1700’s (earlier, if you count the Indian-Settler marriages).

Although I tried and failed for years, I am reconnecting with my extended paternal family again- and I feel needed.

So, everything I’ve been writing/want to write are about these amazing experiences I’ve had….but on the other hand, I feel the strong desire to connect with the other Deitsch I know to see how my family “works” is “typical” or “atypical”….and if it is “typical”- then I will need to research the already completed research on the topics I’ve written about and tie-in my experiences with the greater Urglaawe/Deitsch culture of our old, rather inbred, peaceful Pa Deitsch heritage.

I can do only so much from my family resources alone…it’s figuring out how our Swiss/Austrian/German family faith vaguely fits with the others after so many years of silence and forced separation.  Yes, that happened in the USA- Pa Deitsch children in the LAST CENTURY were banned from speaking their own language! Before my time, of course, but still pretty appalling.

We aren’t vikings. We are your peacekeepers- we use our words not our fists.

And….with that in mind, it makes more sense why I feel so close to both Tyr and Loki.  Loki is the Clever One, He is industrious and clever- he will take the largest knot and make a mess of loops for days until he finds the other end- but in the end- life is better than it was before.  It’s like he takes that knotted thread and not only unties it, he makes it valuable….it’s just the “messy” part that people get concerned with.  However, sometimes, a house isn’t clean if you don’t start with your closets and under the bed- most people clean by shoving things INTO such places.

People who don’t like Loki are the same people with the the most psychologically “full closets”.   Clean conscious and clear altruistic intentions keep Lokean friends from harming you with “chaos” (we don’t harm you, we just make you feel uncomfortable by our existence….we really cannot help it.)

Tyr- is a just judge, a strict moral advocate, and a stern teacher,  “Do you know your motivation for this action, and is it Ethical?”   His disapproval is like letting down your grandparents, favorite teacher, coach, and sensei/sifu at the same time.  Gods really are “More Than” humans-  I follow Tyr because I want to learn from Him, and I guess you can say I seek approval.   There is no shame in trying to be a good student. You don’t kneel before your grandpa- you don’t kneel to the Gods, either.

Ironically, only the Urglaawe put any emphasis on Zisa, Tyr’s wife….who is literally the Goddess of “undoing knots”.

And now- I have to get to know my Husband’s Goddess better, because Hel/Holle is the Patron of the Deitsch, and in her World, my Gods are in the minor pantheons of “family gods” moreso than someone like Thor/Donar or Frigg.

So…that’s why I haven’t been posting much.  It’s been weird, folks.  But I promise when/if I do post these “limbo drafts” I will release them on a weekly basis so as not to annoy anyone.

*However, speaking of illness- I’m having an infected vestigial organ removed hopefully as soon as possible.  I am thinking of deleting the quicklink to wordpress on my bar until I’m off of hallucinatory painkillers. 🙂

“Papa Loki”

Posted in About me on June 4, 2015 by Tyrienne

I spent Tuesday night as a patient in the ER of a Catholic hospital- nothing life threatening, I have just been putting off the removal of vestigial organ structure and I was in some pain.  This had been a regular part of my life for many years, so I didn’t ask for family or friends.  I know how it goes,  go in, get drugged, get an MRI and then surgery (or minor surgery scheduled).
Really not worth troubling anyone over.

So, I was put on morphine for the pain….and in hopes I would sleep.  Instead of sleeping, I found myself in a semi-lucid state of rather boring hallucinations of playing portable games in accordance to the “beeps” and “pings” of hospital equipment in the ER, some really horrid visions of “walking” the ER and seeing children wrapped in white sheets covered in blood (def. hallucination, walking on morphine was laughable)… and then there was Loki.

Papa Legba.  If the artist drew the coat as *I* saw it, they'd still be drawing... (artist unknown)

Papa Legba. If the artist drew the coat as *I* saw it, they’d still be drawing… (artist unknown)

So, it’s a Catholic hospital, he approached me like an old friend (Not “Scary God Mode” in which Tyr seems to prefer), red hair, green eyes, little goatee-  you know, typical UPG Loki….and he sits down and transforms fast as a matchflame into a young black man wearing the most colorful and spectular jacket/hat combo I had ever seen, every type, pattern, and color of fabric along with ribbons and embroidery… It wasn’t tacky, there were universes in that fabric.  I could have spent days just looking at his damned coat.  His hair was full with short braids that went long to his shoulders, and he, well, was just still Loki.

Like any other hospital visitor, he just sat next to my bed and made what felt like small talk.  I know I spoke to him about why he decided to look like Papa Legba, and he said something to the effect of “This is a Catholic place, Being Legba is being Catholic…” or something of the sort.  We talked about archetypes- how some Gods like Skadi have no archetype in the warm regions, and Tyr’s personality tends to keep him looking pretty much the same regardless and with similar naming conventions.  But other Gods, the shapeshifters, the archetypes- they were different.  It wasn’t their name or their personality- but their FUNCTION that defined them.  For someone who can change into a fish, a falcon, a fox, and a horse- what is it to change to suit a culture or people?  To me, he spoke like “my” Loki- but he looked like the Island God….and I realized the closeness of being in the ER and Legba’s function in Vooduon/Santeria/Yoruba to petition to Baron Samedi on behalf of the dying.

Those who worship Papa Legba say he is the oldest of the Gede….the same is said of Enki who is worshiped by the ancient Babylonians were much Loki-lore has been traced to be too similar for coincidence.

Hel is Loki’s daughter in our religion…there is nothing to indicate that Loki couldn’t fulfill a similar role to some parts of the Heathen community- the God of Changes comes before the God of Death.

He did say to me, “Everything will change.”- because when he shows up, it’s the side-effect.  Loki is change and his very nature seems to warp reality….but also common trope in Lokean communities is “Everything will change- but if you wait long enough, everything will be better than you could have imagined in the end.” when Loki is near.

Much preferable to Hellenics/Discordians with their chaos archetype Goddess Eris: “Eris will change everything- who knows if you’ll get hurt?  Try to distract her by praying she focuses on someone else!”

Then, I find out this morning a relative is dying- he will not make it this year, he might not make it today- I think he might make it through the weekend…maybe. He had the heart attack before my ER visit, but only today I learned his condition is deteriorating.

My reality has been “in flux” since I came out of the ER yesterday morning, I’m in the process of moving so new things are always popping up in addition to my now-additional health issue.

Somehow, the connection was made in my mind and heart that perhaps, when the two realms of life and death are too close that some people can sense it- and that having someone who is linked to you close enough by blood or frith walking that razor-thin edge of life/death can have greater consequences.  I live closer than any of the rest of my section of the family. I feel like a “representative” or a switchboard operator.

In American monotheistic culture- death is anathema, but the Norse/Germanics were a bit more realistic.  I spent my childhood playing around tombstones of my ancestors, and so did most other Deitsch or Baltic children I know as well.

The connection between Papa Legba and Baron Samedi is close and necessary, and the connection between Loki and Hel is that of father and daughter- with no indication of estrangement.

Hela walks the halls of hospitals, and in Catholic hospitals in a city full of people from The Islands, many prayers are said to Legba by and for the sick and to Samedi- all hospitals are holy ground to Death in all his/her forms.

So, here I am…  my minor illness has shown me that both worlds “shake” and vibrate when the passing time is close for one you know well or one who is close by to you.    The shaking ends when the choice is made one way or the other, Does he choose to fight or does he choose to die?

….and I found myself in the position of being the only person who could start the process of obtaining an existing deed for a funeral plot- that if it will not be needed this week, will be needed soon enough.

In true Lokean fashion, some family members feel grateful…. others are rather pissed in saying “HE’S NOT DEAD YET”

He doesn’t have a liver
his colon is perforated.
His lungs are filled with blood
This is his second major heart attack in a month.

Death doesn’t care that he’s “young”.  He’s just going to die-don’t pray to save the suffering, ask for suffering to end and for peace to be had, and for the last memories to be pleasant of this place before you move on to wherever you go.

I made my peace, I don’t think I will see him alive again unless he chooses to live, but I believe he chose to die years before we reconnected- and it’s not my place to change his mind.