The Post I’d Never Write.

I dream of a moon above a peaceful city of towers and domed holy places... I make my own reconciliation between past and present.

The opposite of the “Get in Free!” ticket to any Middle Eastern Country.  That’s why I have it.

There is a certain magic that “called” clergy of any religion will gladly explain and express on how a sort of sense develops regarding the recognition of the sacred from the profane;  In my rendering, profanity being that which causes upset or hurt to the spirit vis a vis “sacredness”= which is that which renews and strengthens, lends joy and reverence”

The sort of realization one has that they “always wanted to be a chaplain”= spends a decade or so as a legitimized clergy person of the faith- and got a BA in religions from a school attached to a seminary.   Sorry, haters… I can walk into any hospital, nursing home, hospice, or emergency room- if requested by any member of the Heathen community- and get my name on a little card just by saying “Moravian College- Religions Degree”.  Know what?  That’s pretty fucking cool considering how many people see me as some sort of Lokean corruption.  Lokean corruption with a DEGREE motherfuckers- one that is a goddamned magic key to DO MY JOB in this community and help the Heathens know they aren’t alone.

The sucky part of that is- the person to ever have me “work” in a chaplain capacity is my dying uncle…a lapsed Catholic, but when asked “Are you the Chaplain?” and they say “Yes”- well, heck.  Might as well try to remember that one obscure lecture I voluntarily attended at the seminary about “Ecclesiastical Obligations to Request Spiritual Care in Medicine” or something of the other and recalling that I can specifically ask, as clergy, for a terminal patient to be given their full options for “end of life care” verses the usual inevitability of fucking dying staging up and down from ICU-type wards for months.   It’s better than any absolution of sin, or even “Last Rights” in my opinion because it provides psychological relief for the only person to whom it matters.  The Patient.  So, yay!  I can look at you, find out enough about you to find out your general “Thumbs up” or “Thumbs down” prognosis to take the nasty burden of telling the family themselves, and suggest they send you to a hospice where they don’t give a fuck how many cigarettes you smoke because you only have about two months left in this dimension/plane/lifetime….whatever your fancy.

Then, I can visit you in the ICU and tell you valkyries exist if I find out your Odinist traditional- and say that by your inked runes the ancestors will find you.  Goddamn you Asatru for having the fucking coolest imagery for a multi-HEATHEN-dimensional Heathen chaplain.  Just, you want to scream “Fuck YEAH!” and dream of riding to Valhalla on horses with falcon cloaks.   The knife…well, I hope some of you are back in school for religion right now, and some of you Goethe and Gythia live in kind states.  The sharp knife to “Release blood upon death”- is really something I cannot advise about.  If it were me, I would leave that tradition to the FAMILY with full information and keep my own trust intact with the facility.  The man/woman who gets a hand-sharpened blade made of steel ain’t getting it from me if there is any, other, single, possible, way.

Then- little kids.  Your friend has a baby- baby ends up with something unpronounceable that kills it at an age where needles don’t hurt and they don’t care about being bald anymore-but gosh, they look cute as Disney.  These kids tell YOU about the Gods.  It’s always the equivilent of some sort of grandma (Holle) or a funny red-haired man.   Think about it- Odin and Tyr would be TERRIFYING to small children.  Seriously- One Eyed Old Crazy and CAPTAIN GERMANY-HANDLESS HERO would make little cancer kids cry in fear!   It’s so much nicer to call in Eir or Mengloth….  Frigg is great, Freyr is benign….but I would be specific on WHICH aspect of Hel you would call.  Holle is safest, Hel Herself taking an interest is bad fortune for the living- and clearly understood with an understanding of the meaning, realm, and breadth of the Goddess.   Don’t worry- the couple will become atheist and you’ll never see them again.  It’s a natural grief reaction.

Hooray!  You’ve reached the part of the post that actually means something!  Hopefully, none of you will be a total jackass and copy and paste it into your tumblrs. I’m flattered, but, hey- I kinda don’t want to end up a martyr for a couple of words on a blog about 110 people pretend to read every week.

In my Heathen practice- every pantheon exists.  I am a typical, basic, Odinist in this regard “Your patheon exists, I’m sure it’s lovely- mine cares about me more personally.”  It’s the obvious choice of going with playing for your home team for your race through life or racing for someone else.   Sometimes, your people appreciate you more as their champion where to someone else you were just another stranger who was kind enough to care and die of ebola tending the dying.

Nothing wrong with either path.  I’ve had the opportunity to walk two paths, and I was taught in poetic style so I can use alleghory, metaphor, and simile to write however the fuck I want about it.  It’s called “High Poetic” language- and it’s normally found in Asian countries as almost an over-the-top “Once upon a time” voice lent to communicating stories.

I was taught by an Apostate.  I do not know if that was what he was when we met or a condition that occurred during.  I had a dream where I was told by an Norse God who would not share his name with me that I was to protect this Sufi man.

I did. I spoke up- made him look at the facts of a questionable invitation to a conference, and was the single reason he went to our government with the information.  I regret saving his life daily- we were friends at the time, but he became my Fenris and Garm.

I studied the works of many Sufi who wrote of their expeditions and trade with the North.  They knew more about the Norse ways than most Asatruars.  They knew our main trade was fur and “Honey-wine”- our ships navigated rivers, and our runes are carved into temples of Persopolis.   These people saved our goddamned history through not just Ibn Fadlan- but dozens of literate scholars who traveled in peace like the disciples of Alexandria once did- There were so many different stories of how the Sufi came to be- but most say it was Rumi who found God while in spinning meditation around a pole in his temple.

So, I learned for 4 years-feeling like somekind of goddamned diplomat valkyrie supposed to scare off- Gods know what- from, I don’t know?   Making him feel sad that he came from a country that has no wine and millions of poems of vinyards?

He became a raging asshole- so it was decided that I was, somehow, significant enough of a human being to have basically the Pope Sufic Islam living his last years of life in my town.  I had no fucking idea who he was, the guy in charge of my religious instruction of esoteric Middle Eastern religion was rather failing as a devotee himself at that time.  As was appropriate, when you are approached by a different Teacher than your own- you tell your own teacher first as a sign of respect. This,  I did.  My teacher from that moment, unknown to me, had stopped all positive description of religion.  Somehow, he had become a complete atheist- angry and bitter with resentment I could not understand.  How the FUCK could an Atheist make it through the entirety of a Sufic training with the Khorasani? Impossible.  It would be like virgin Freyrsman.  If there is a virgin Freyrsman out there, I promise, you will likely lose your virginity over the back of a keg at college- or other such type party.  You whore. (Just kidding!)

So, I learned under another teacher- who sent me his books by email and begged me to no longer speak to the other.   He managed that pretty damned easily, actually.  Seriously, Sufi Pope had some real mojo magically speaking.  I spent the time trying to figure out how Sufism and Heathenry interacted.  I learned that the universe is infinite beyond reason- and there are beings beyond just humans that have complex qualities and abilities above our own for harm or benefit.   There is an ocean made of luminious, sparkling gold from which all things come- and that ocean is God.  To the Heathens, that ocean is Gunninganap- it exists in every religion.  The unexplained chaos from which everything came from once before some sort of order was imposed, the ability to become one with it upon death, or to force immortality by bathing in it’s waters and resisting the urge to merge with it.  It is the base ingredient of all spiritual experience, the higgs-bozon seen in interaction without interference

And I learned a great deal- from him, and the acolyte he provided for a short time as a tutor.  I realize that just in this- I am the only qualified human being to say:

Heathenry, ignore Islam.  The Islam you see on television is not real Islam.  REAL Islam is like we lived for the past thousand years, hiding in families with their books of Rumi and Avicenna.   We take no stance on Islamic politics because this is not the Islam to which our Gods speak with the Djinn and Angels regarding the interests of our people on our behalf. We do not believe in your God of carnage, but we honor the existence of the true God of your people.

Our scholars will keep your books that you have burnt safe in our libraries; all of our scholars have studied all religions and your mystics fascinate and captivate us.  I suppose it is my responsibility as once your student and as Tyrsvolk to take some sort of responsibility, somehow, to “return the favor” in several decades and write to you about your own dancing saints who would never harm or cause war.  I once thought it was funny that a pro-violence Heathen woman was Oathed to care for the protection of a Sufi man.   I am now not so ignorant to see that he did anything worthwhile in particular- it was more the purpose of the education and what I learned through my own vociferous appetite for mysticism- I picked up those books, I read those bibliographies- and I read THOSE books as well….ordering them like clockwork through interlibrary loan getting these dusty-ass tomes, sometimes in French, on sand mystics.

No wonder I developed a certain affection for David Lynch’s version of “Dune” as well a certain interest and fascination with Lawrence of Arabia.

We are sorry for your sorrow, your losses, and the brokenness of your religion.  There are several million tents in Mina your God created for your entire religion as the greatest miracle to exist for your people.  They exist for you.  Our Gods made no such miracle in Europe.  I am sorry, but this is not our fault as European people- if you asked us to help you take Mina?  Perhaps you would have better success with help from reckless countries of Africa and poor Eastern Europe….but, you would be happier, safer, and perhaps stronger. They admit 5 million people to Saudi Arabia for 5 days.   This….is nothing to them. your numbers would be well-taken care of.  It would be easy for any to dispatch aid to you.  It is unfortunate that the city of your ancestors has let you down and its spirit couldn’t aid you.  I hope that the soul of your religion is not dead, and I hope your holy cities and holy places still have sacred life.

This is a sign every mystic religion who knows you can see clearly.   Polytheists believe your God exists, but we do not know what has made him weak in saving the poor, the wretched, and the desperate.   I believe it was 2012 when Sufism became “haram” (forbidden).

Seems awfully coincidental that when you remove the uncomfortable priest-class with the vow of poverty so as NOT to be swayed by human greed- that human greed takes over.

I hope that Mina will be used as refugee camp when the bravest of their faith stand up and realize the purpose of it’s TRUE existence to all people of their faith.   I am scholar-clergy for my faith, but my work for the other faith was entirely in esoterics.

To assume I would not be esoteric Heathen clergy would just be silly.
Also- remember, the national organizations of any and all countries do not own Heathenry and Odinism
Like the Baha’i, the Quaker, and Native American Faiths, our clergy are determined by our people- and all people can be clergy if they live their faith.

I did not have to write a 2000 word article today on a controversial topic on wordpress.   You know what?  I did it fucking anyway.   I don’t make money for writing my thoughts online- sometimes, it doesn’t even make me particularly happy that I had to learn how to write posts in such a way in college that I could express true opinions in a “Fluff sandwich” Where the beginning and end parts of the post are almost entirely irrelevant rants of frustration regarding absolutely nothing of substance whatsoever.

The Fremen live in hiding, they dance without rhythm to avoid death.


5 Responses to “The Post I’d Never Write.”

  1. ladyimbrium Says:

    And yet, the very end of your fluff sandwich is anything but fluff.
    I have not had the depth of experience with this particular faith that you describe. I’ve had the opportunity- all wrapped in tumultuous gold and painful memories- of being the heathen that defended the Catholic priest when the crowd got ugly… but that was an acute, rather than chronic, situation. I’m glad you had the experience, even if for no reason other than the purely selfish. I’m glad you told me about it. I appreciate the insight.
    On another note, I’m wondering about hitching a ride on the UU coattails of some friends of mine to find a way into similar chaplaincy programs here. I’d rather be recognized in my own right but if I have to sneak in in someone else’s wake in order to get that process started I might be willing. I’m still wrestling with the idea.

    • Honestly- there is a great myth perpetuated that one needs to go through a monotheistic base to become a chaplain.

      The ACTUAL requirements I have found are as follows:

      1. At least one college degree (BA or higher) in Religions, Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy or other useful feilds (I have 2 BA’s- one is Religions, one is Philosophy)

      2. Proof of education in grief counseling, active listening, and confidentiality.

      3. A reference of a person of leadership in your faith that will vouch you have served as valid, accepted clergy for (various) amounts of time. Some places accept simple “ordination”- which I never experienced…I became a Gythia over the course of a decade.

      4. It is best if you are able to prove proficiency in the death customs, beliefs, and basic services and rituals of comfort (i.e. last rites, scripture, and services) in other religions as well as your own. In addition to Heathenry, I am also trained extensively in Sufism (Shi’i’) by a published Master in the faith, Wicca, Druidry, Protestant Lutheran-derived Christianity (if I stick to Isaiah passages), Calvinist Christianity (one of my best friends is a Calvinist minister), Zoroastrianism, and most New-Age movements in addition to LaVeyan Satanism, Theistic Satanism, Yazidi, Discordianism, Chaotes, and other religions that may have began Atheistic but now have theistic aspects.

      If needed, my husband spent time as a Buddhist monk and studied all Eastern Philosophies excluding Shintoism.

      I took classes in Buddhism, but it never “stuck” with me- For Shintoism, I would be barely better than nothing with strong knowledge only of Inari.

      On call, I know two Kemites, my best friend is Hellenic, and I know many Stregari I can call.

      Catholic, Jewish, and most Christians have their regular pastors serve as chaplains.

      With cuts in budgets in American healthcare- Chaplaincy is mostly volunteer work making getting an MDiv, MA, or PhD impractical.

      My MA program was going to be in Linguistics- it would not do a thing for me in this line.

      If I were you, if you have a kindred you lead and you are public and well known of good reputation, a legal Heathen clergyperson can be your reference.

      I do not pay dues to any national organization, but I do have a solid reference who would back me if needed.

      The strangest thing to know is that a Chaplain is given permission to visit at times not permitted to other visitors if necessary, and can be used (or misused) to break bad news to the family in hospital settings where death is inevitable and soon.

      However, we ALSO have the ability to attempt to stop people from becoming human guinea pigs who are in the dying process from being shuffled back and forth between ICU and “Step down” wards until death. It’s called “End of life care”- We can actually request Hospice options be presented to the family where they would not be otherwise.

      My cousin (adopted uncle) passed away yesterday in hospice. We were estranged from him by his wife since I was 12 and I only learned he was in the ICU when his mother, my great aunt, died.

      I had been searching for him for years and found him dying of liver failure- a condition that almost never “earns” hospice hospitality. In hospice, a person can enjoy what they wish and the emphasis is placed on peaceful transition rather than surgery or life-saving measures. He could smoke cigarettes as he pleased, eat, and even drink occasionally. A much better death than the cold ambivilence of the hospital.

      I was catching up with family when a doctor entered and asked “I heard one of you is the Chaplain”- another cousin pointed at me, I was taken aside, and told he would not live- I replied the family would not accept that since “he’s talking fine”- but hospice options should be pressed.

      It took a month, but he got hospice for his last 2.5 months of life. I didn’t even feel like his relative. I felt the same way I do in ritual.

      Most of what I do is online crisis-counseling and helping lonely Heathens find those of similar mindset near them. For this- I MUST be entirely neutral and act like a “Odinist sorting hat” to make certain a Surtr-worshiper doesn’t end up in the AFA, nor direct anyone with racial issues into the Troth.

      If at all possible- I try to direct people to pubmoots and open Hofs over organizations. Lately, there seem to be many in Maryland who did not know of Gladheim. I’ve never attended (I really should) but the members I know have been excellent people.

      After all this time- I now even have the ability to connect people in select foreign countries with kindreds. There is a lovely group of Thalic Heathens in Denmark who I found linked to this blog- and then I turned around and gave the link I got from wordpress to give to a Dane.

      I can help with competence at this moment Australians, British, Irish, German, Swedish, Norweigan, Icelandic, Argentinian, and Brazilians just by looking at who follows my blog by location- and reaching out to them personally for their resources.

      I feel like “Google: Heathen” with the occasional heartache of a suicide hotline volunteer.

      (Chaplains arguably cannot call suicide hotlines or police unless there is immediate harm- there are some bizarre confidentiality laws. Where a hotline would locate a persons location and call 911 when someone says “I’m suicidal”- a chaplain is more expected to convince the person to check themselves into a facility or “stay with them” even if only online, until the danger is passed. So far, no one who has come to me suicidal has died…but on the otherhand, I was once suicidal and know processes and resources many do not know of from personal experiences- as well as how to get fair and accurate assessment from mental health professionals.)

      • ladyimbrium Says:

        Yikes. That’s an impressive – and by the sound of it, strenuously earned- resume. Thank you for the insight and guidelines.

      • My husband pointed that out. It actually didn’t feel that bad because at the time, 90% of my studies were off-campus in a diplomacy program concurrent with my regular school work. I was spending at least 3-6 hours a week formally learning Farsi with up to 5 different tutors- and was in a psychiatric institution for PTSD/Nervous breakdown 3 times.

        To make matters a bit more awful- some of the “classes” that are required of a minimum of “2-4 hours in a medical environment?”

        There is nothing stating whether it’s invalid if the class was one you sat through as a patient rather than as a “residency”- I haven’t seen a lecture with a transferable certification yet- yet, “How to be a Chaplain” websites claim these classes exist with certificates. Maybe before our healthcare system was entirely defunded, perhaps?

        Either way- grief management classes are taught with similar formulas both inside and outside of the looney bin walls.

        Now… I am wondering how many people realize that from personal experience….

  2. I feel like I made it through religions classes like a robot. It’s always been my favorite subject and I’ve been obsessed with reading about it for years. There were some classes I learned a great deal from.

    Others, I just wanted to beg “Please. Allow me to take the final right now, and if I pass, let me out of here with my 3 credits, please.”

    I think most people feel that way- which is why “testing out” is so common in core curriculum. I wish I could have “Tested out” of “Religion and Philosophy” of my last semester….

    It should have been renamed “Strawman arguments and academic redundancy”

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