Archive for May, 2016

Loki’s Kids: Some hard truths

Posted in About me on May 29, 2016 by Tyrienne

I can’t defend myself, and yes- it does hurt being Outcast from my local community while I have so many followers online. This man speaks truth I wish more people would seriously consider.

Also, take into consideration that of all the LEGAL clergy in the United States for Heathenry, who have actual training in counseling and divinity…is me.   I run an informal crisis line on fb chat, I help local grieving families, I Hail Loki.

(For the Record:  Members of the Troth kicked me out of their kindreds because I was tired of a woman spreading slander against my husband calling him a ‘rapist’. (My husband has never even been SUSPECTED of such a heinous action, there have never been police, and the woman doing the accusing is doing so on behalf of a woman long removed from the community)  instead of addressing HER lies, they punished me for “attacking” her  by calling her out online instead of addressing the issue.  They are not Heathen “leaders”- they are a bunch of fools playing tea incapable of addressing any real wrongdoing.)

“Everyone knows that Loki is the bringer of discord, that his followers are all damaged people who disrupt the community” You know, as we grow up, we all hear and accept certain truths from our com…

Source: Loki’s Kids: Some hard truths

Tattoos and Wounds (Sometimes, Gods DO Get Along.)

Posted in About me on May 21, 2016 by Tyrienne

 

tattoo

Loki/Twin Peaks tattoo- it has much more to it in person.  Capturing limb tattoos is an art I have yet to master!  Artist: Jim Bentley at 3o9 Smooth Tattooz

“That is the most beautiful tattoo I’ve seen working as a nurse!” the woman in the surgery prep room exclaimed, and brought over the other nurses to see my arm…

At 6:30 am, I was panicking over my impending foot surgery; my medical history shows a great deal of surgeries on account of poor genetic combinations to the point where I lost count somewhere in my 20’s.  I have (had?) Morton’s Neuroma; a progressive type of neuropathy that is appears to have some hereditary component I inherited.  I was waiting for the complete excision of the central nerve of my foot.  Although my father had very positive experiences with the same hospital system reattaching the extremities of my friends and family, I simply never had a reason to see them that was ‘in line’ with their specialty prior.

Part of my PTSD is from experiences in hospitals that were horrific- however, I’d say most hospitals are pretty dichromatic in care.  Half treat me with incredible compassion, competence and kindness…but unfortunately, I have also been subject to malpractice severe enough to join class action lawsuits-  It wasn’t the worst hospital by far, but it was once also far from the best as well. Specifically this hospital system that ejected me from the ER when I tested positive for swine flu one year after 3 hours of IV rehydration and an order to quarantine myself and several unpleasant ER experiences at their most neglected facility.  By the actions of the satellite facilities from many years ago, I knew I was going to panic.  I wrote a comprehensive list of all medications, Allergies, surgeries, and my three approved HIPA contacts in detail and shoved it into my wallet the night prior.  I was without sleep and without painkillers for a week before.

However, it made it much easier to handle when you have 3 women surrounding you admiring your tattoos as art- and I enjoy showing them off which calmed me considerably.  A different hospital attempted to claim my tattoos indicated unsavory things about my character- oddly enough, secular hospitals were the worst.  This one was Catholic.

I get along with sincerely spiritual people very well regardless of Philosophy.  I may bash Christianity as a whole as a religion on occasion, but I take no issue with most individuals.

The tattoo led to conversation, conversation lead to understanding, and I believe I was actually given superior care than I would have otherwise prior to receiving it. (simply because every medical professional who saw it, complimented me on it and began a closer dialogue.

My allergies were taken seriously; I don’t have many of them, but most of them are forms of antibiotics.  Not once did I feel negatively judged; in fact, being a psychiatric patient years before in the same system seemed to help in their compassion.  My check in was at shift change- exhausted medical personnel traded me to their “fresher” colleagues without exasperation.  They asked me if I wanted to be pre-sedated (with hilarious results) instead of accusing me of malingering- they took several measures to mitigate my motion sickness, and provided exemplary pain management.

I was lead to my doctor by some friends in the Lehigh pagan community- and fortunately, he was the head of his practice as well as the lead for all podiatry surgery at that branch.  Having PTSD, they saved a corner bed for me with closed curtains in their smallest waiting room of only four beds.

And it appeared the ‘demons’ of stigma I have been facing at more local facilities with other recent surgeries was barred from entering- they already had seen me at my worst, and although I would be hard pressed to find anyone to describe me as “delicate”, I was treated with great kindness, by Christians, over a Loki/Twin Peaks tattoo.

My Os, my ‘uncomfortable truth’ of my mental illness was not ignored because their other facility was the first place I was inpatient during my college years so they worked on the side of caution to keep me as calm and comfortable as possible- to the same quality I experienced in the Main Line Philadephia region where my existence began.

This was also the first time my medical record stating my legal Cannabis use as unquestionably legal was unquestioned since legislation passed earlier this month, there was no cabal of worried nurses concerned about “gateway” confessions.  No questioning if I was “holding anything back”, nor being treated like a child, an outcast or a criminal as I have experienced with Berks County hospital care.

The irony of the situation is the beauty of my Loki tattoo seemed to have a strong, positive response from those who were working on me.  They were even especially careful with the placement of IV’s so as not to “hurt” it.  They admired my ravens on my back and explained that in Allentown “Most of what they see are prison tattoos matched with prison attitudes.”

I accidentally hit on my nurse by saying “You look really nice”…and digging myself into what could have been a deeper pit after her older colleague joked and said “Good thing we’re all straight and married!”

….I was already sedated on a huge injection of Ativan and replied

“Actually, I’ve dated as many women as I have men… My husband wore a kilt of our family tartan to the wedding and tossed my bouquet and I tossed his garter. A close friend of my brother’s caught the bouquet and within a week announced he was both gay AND engaged”

My brother was shaking his head and laughing at my honesty,

“You are only digging yourself into a deeper hole!”…as promised he would jump at the chance to escort me to my next surgery as well. Apparently, I was ‘hilarious’, the nurses said I brightened their day, and that, in turn, brightened mine.  I was in a good enough mood to wish my other patients speedy recoveries and even smile a little, acting like a sound-bite chaplain on a moving gurney to those I passed.

“I hope you feel better soon, Ma’am/Sir.” I said with sincerity.  Everyone in the room was in for a different condition, all of us were frightened…and I was rewarded in seeing their eyes lose a little fear in every instance I spoke to them.  No one was waiting for surgeries that were not without the potential for previously unknown amounts of pain.  It was an interesting room where most of us got pain killers in advance…. and I did not even need to ask for it.

My foot deteriorated this week to it’s lowest point, I could not fake a normal, walking gait any longer as of yesterday- rolling my left foot to it’s outermost edge to avoid the shooting pains in my third toe and the feeling of invisible “rocks” in my running shoes now consistently.

I wouldn’t have even gotten my foot checked out if not for my dog, Ziu [Deitsch for Tyr] enjoying runs I could not give him yet.  I thought I simply had a broken toe somewhere that would be easy to fix with a simple rebreak and a tiny splint.

Without adopting Ziu, I would be unable to walk at all at any given time if I did not have the foot pain issue addressed.

Because of this surgery, I reconnected with my Nana who was afraid to admit she stopped talking to me on account of embarrassment over her Aphasia– which she learned to circumvent via texting.  She was the only other person I knew with the same condition.

Now, the anesthesia and pain blocks are fading and I am transitioning to my schedule of pain killers-  I move by shuffling like an old man in a nursing home bingo game with a purple cane my husband purchased for me. (Purple Rain?  Purple Cane. Without with there is a great deal of pain) and tomorrow my father is bringing up some real crutches.  The surgery was only an hour, however, for that condition that’s double the standard.  The doctor said he would call me Saturday to check on me and re-explain what happened “when I would be in better shape to remember the conversation.  My foot is bound in several layers, inside and out- with metal holding my inner tendons and metal threads closing the wound after the nerve was removed.  I have two inches of padding, a rigid moonboot sandal I MUST wear (I can’t walk well) and the type of dressing that must be changed by the surgeon himself each week (which makes me a little ill to think of too much).

I am legally drugged to the teeth, but I made it through successfully.  The entire onus is on myself alone to “not walk” to damage the work done to my foot, and frankly, that’s terrifying.

But if Loki’s runes are Dagaz and Os,  The dawn of a new day as well as the facing of uncomfortable truths, today embodied it.

My estimated recovery time has been extended from 3 weeks to “a month, maybe longer”, but I was given a high amount of pain management options and I am trying to remember to take on schedule  (Vicodan makes me seriously itch.)

Scar

The next few weeks I have to watch my foot for swelling or changes of colour, prop it up on pillows, keep it entirely dry and unstepped upon by doggie feets.

They even allowed me to be discharged early and sent me home with more Ginger Ale to go and extra cookies.

I have NO IDEA why the doctor signed my leg with his initials.  Part of me hopes he made a cute little pattern out of the stitches like art-unlikely, but I actually will not see the stitches ever.  The picture above is when I changed one of the two layers of protective socks.

I don’t have a rash from doctors who don’t believe in Latex and Adhesive allergies.
I am home tonight because they listened and recorded carefully my allergies and sought the correct tape to use on me.

Regardless, it still itches like hell.  Likely from the Vicodan.  I am told it will hurt worse than it ever did for the first few days by some… if I walk.

I have a very loose plan figured for walking Ziu who NEEDS his daily long walk/sprint via friends and an elaborate dog park my neighbor is willing to drive us to visit on days I am without a “walker” to help me.

I now have a case worker who is helping me with Medicare to gain access to PTSD specialists and a possible peer mentor….in addition to possible reimbursement for music therapy lessons (I want to learn how to play Tool/Radiohead on the Viola.

…and now, after several nights without real sleep, I can sleep again as I feel myself fighting sleep to conclude this post.

Knowing I’ll be able to run with my dogs again shortly, in it’s way, is as beautiful as any art…

 

 

Grandpa: “What can you tell me about Freyr?”

Posted in About me on May 17, 2016 by Tyrienne

I was messaged by an Odinist friend via fb chat and we engaged in a lively discussion…until suddenly,  every time I responded to him, the message appeared:
“What can you tell me about Freyr?” repeatedly.

I thought it was a test…  The friend was from the Odin Brotherhood forums* so I kept going with increasing amounts of every ounce of information I knew on Freyr- I just kept going. Then I realized it was odd, it kept disappearing after I would type more, then reappear as a question again after I stopped.

Freyr is my grandma’s favorite God, she’s 84 years old and knows him as Janis in Latvian, I am thick-skulled, the conversation began at 10:30 and ended around 11:03 online when I gave up and called grandma. It was then she told me today was the anniversary of the death of my grandfather who died in 1979 (I was born 1982)….and it was near the time of his death.

Here is the conversation,  I thought the friend was “testing” me, so I was trying my best. Turns out, he was not the one asking “What can you tell me about Freyr?” repeatedly. After I would type my reply, the question would disappear. I did my best to reinsert where it was asked over and over of me. I could have written more on Freyr, but I realized things were getting odd and I had a strange feeling. I am glad I called my grandma.

Here is the conversation:

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: Sure! In Lettish, Freyr is Janīs.

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: He ushers in true summer by riding his flaxen-haired horse over the bonfire of each village. In Asatru, it is called Freyfaxi (my wedding anniversary) in Latvia, it is called Janī, but the traditions are near identical.

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: He is a kind, laughing God who gave up his blessed sword for love.
He is growing things, like all Vanir, the God of crops as they grow but not yet matured
His Sister Freyja brings Spring and the waking from winter, and the reaping is either Frigg, Frau Holle, or some say Hela and the Hunt.
The problem is every [Old Religion] family has their own unique understanding. I hope we don’t lose them. Our religion is best left a colorful quilt instead of a dull blanket of one weave.

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Even without a sword, he is a mighty warrior who does battle with an antler of a stag attached to a pole….
Tyr claims in the Lokisenna, “There is no better warrior” than Freyr.
Despite the existence of Thor, Magni, Modi, and Vidarr
Which suggest it isn’t strength alone that makes a Warrior…but love.
Both Frey and Freyja are Gods of love…but the accounts vary per culture.
In Deitsch, Frey is marital love, Freyja “free” love of youth.
But some ascribe that marital part also to Frigg
It gets confusing.
However….as I age, I grow more opposed to forcing Universalism. The Gods decide themselves how they wish to interact with us, our families, our histories, etc.
I believe limiting Them to only one, ‘universal’ interpretation takes away from understanding and learning to know them personally.
I hope I’m not too boring.

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

I know Freyr because He chose my grandma. She married a soldier of Tyr.
I always believed Grandpa is a Tyrsman. 
My uncle should have been Heimdallrs, but left the Old Religion. My mother has no one. My father’s side is Woten/Donar/Loki/Holle/Frigg

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: Scroll up
He’s hairy, I don’t know him Deitsch, only Latvian and via the Eddas.
He has long, blonde, curly hair, a beautiful blonde beard, and is shorter than I see other male Gods. In Latvia, his symbol is the erect phallus.
Do you keep typing ” What can you tell me about Freyr?”
Or is that an error?

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: I’m trying!!! 🙂

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: O.o

Friend: What can you tell me about Freyr?

Me: Freyr is kind, gentle, and benevolent. He cares deeply and shows emotion freely.
It’s still repeating ” What can you tell me about Freyr?”
This is….odd.
This must mean something that the same message Keeps repeating. I promise I’ll call my grandma tomorrow😉
….and the message stopped when I wrote that…

Friend: Thank you. I felt the pull too.

Me: Talking to Grandma right now. She said Grandpa died today almost 40 years ago [It was now 11:30 pm] He died 1979…checking time of messages.
Crazy. It started right after his time of death
I’m glad you were here for this, my friend.

End conversation.

She asked him today to send her a sign he was still around, this was the fb conversation that lead to me calling her at 11pm at night, she was awake…actually putting on her nightgown just as she was the night she died. We stayed on the phone until almost midnight and I told her, “I guess this is how he wanted to tell you he is still around. I wouldn’t have called you so late without this happening on my computer.” I was thinking about him today, half my right arm tattoo is complete, but I promised the other half to Tyr and I thought of a design that both honored my grandfather and Tyr… Grandpa was an SS Lieutenant from Latvia. I have felt upset over the fact that in war, history records things as black and white, but without Germany, half my family would have been killed entirely by Stalin, if Germany won- the Baltic states would have been freed and they could have returned home to their remaining families.  Grandma would still have her farm, and I believe she would have met Grandpa and married him even more easily in such a small country since he lived in Riga- a place where my Grandma’s father traveled frequently.

My grandmother’s family was very kindly treated and sheltered in Germany while most of the rest of my ancestors and relatives died in Siberian death camps. My grandparents met in the US years later, married, and had my mother and uncle. Grandpa was listed as “assassinated” despite dying in a hospital of cancer. He had multiple names. I knew of him as Valdis Valdemars Meznora, I am told he also went by Valdamars Grinberga- prior to the movement of Latvians changing their surnames away from the ones given by Germany in the 1800’s to Latvian names. He may have been Latgalian, he knew the old religion, and was fluent in writing in runic, but I have not seen his writing.

I know very little about him except for anecdotes. My (now estranged) mother told me often as a child how much he would have “despised” or “hated” me if he were still living. When I was in college learning diplomacy, I had access to his records and did not know it was only a temporary window- so I have deep regret I did not take the time from my studies to learn more about him.

Now, I can find nothing. What I learned then is he began in the Latvian military which was then absorbed by the German military to keep back the Russian front. He tested well enough to become an SS officer, then defected and worked for the British Secret Service.  (But Grandma says he was a POW brick layer- both are likely true to some degree)

Something he did angered Britain… (Grandma said he tried to go back to Latvia to see his parents and was denied the opportunity)  and he was forced to move to the United States under operation paperclip under the false pretense he would still be able to continue a career in a military capacity- instead, he was trapped here and unable to leave until he was dying, and then, only to visit his sister in Canada.  In the US, he drove a bread truck of Latvian Rye bread and then became head of maintenance for a local hospital for his remaining years. He wanted to remain a military man, I was told he loved children- but never said “I love you”- I was told by grandma he would say “There is no point in saying it. if you do not feel that I do, I cannot convince you.”

He died young, in his 50’s, while my uncle and mother were teenagers.

I learned today he died in his hospital room this day in 1979. He was awake and conversational, paralyzed from the waist down after he lifted a motorcycle from his parking space days prior and the doctor would not allow him to leave “until he could walk”.  He died in the hospital in which he worked. The day he passed, he was discussing making modifications to the house he (we- I was raised there until age 12) lived in the day he died to his friend to  accommodate a wheel chair and was demanding to be released home that day. My grandmother received the call of his death in 1979 the same time I called her this evening.

Here is his picture of him in Britain, Grandma said he was a POW and a bricklayer.   What very little research I did accomplish stated he worked for them via MI6.  If this is true, he was truly a brilliant man.

Grandpa

Grandpa in Britain on one of his motorcycles.  He had a collection I am told.  (Not very POW of him)  I keep this picture on my bookshelf with a statue of Tyr

In an era prior to caller ID or cell phones, he always “knew” if my grandmother was in trouble and would wait by the phone at work for her to call, or call himself- and was always accurate.

I was also told, like myself, he spent years exploring every religion imaginable while in the US.  Grandma said he was “looking for something”- but she did not know what.  She didn’t feel comfortable is churches or other religious institutions that were not Latvian-  I suggested it was because she was already “sure of her beliefs” being raised to honor the old Gods and what she now calls “the other religion” (Christianity)… and perhaps, he had a mystical experience of a God he could not explain or sought to learn more of.

I am extraordinarily proud of her for being openly Dievturiba (Old Religion) … she is one of the main reasons I am still encouraged to stay within the Heathen community and write.  She translates her books from Latvian on the Gods, and I share the information here when she does.

I would like to end by saying this:  Simply because my grandfather was once an SS officer does not automatically make him a “bad man”, nor does it mean I support any of the atrocities of war.  What needs to be CLEARLY understood is my own family experienced a genocide by Stalin that is seldom spoken of in the United States- and those of my blood who went to Siberia, very few returned leaving less than 700 full-Latvian, Dievturiba practitioners left in the entire world today.

I am only half-Latvian, I do not speak more than a handful of words and my mental condition makes it difficult to recall the languages outside of English I was once either barely to conversationally fluent  (German, Farsi, French, and Spanish, in order of fluency).

Being in a military, any military- and trying to protect your people and your homeland is honorable, regardless of how history paints it afterwards.  We have not found any negative history on him- he was adaptable, and if he were truly the archetype of “evil nazi”- then why would he have worked for Britain and then sought to work for the United States intelligence and military?

I honor him as adaptable, clever, and deeply caring and intelligent.  I have no other explanation for what happened this evening other than that my greatest association with Freyr is Grandma, and he would not stop asking the question until I called her to check on her.

She’s 84. I was honestly scared it was a message something had happened to her since she is my closest connection to everything I’ve learned on Freyr/Janis and she is currently the relative to which I am closest emotionally.

End note. I don’t think my Grandfather hates me if he wanted me to call Grandma to see if she was okay on the anniversary of his death which I never knew prior.  What little I know of his temperament is he valued honesty above all else, he was very intelligent, fluent in multiple languages, spoke with a British accent, was very handsome, and quite psychic.

I wish I met him while he still lived among us.

Maybe he was not a Tyrsman after all, perhaps, like Grandma, he was of Janis (Freyr).

*Note:  Although I contribute to the forums, I do not have the right to call myself a member.  I have not completed the rites as stated in the book “The Odin Brotherhood” by Mark Mirabello, and sadly, I have foot surgery scheduled this Friday and will miss yet another solstice to recovery.  Please read the book;  It’s very good.

Vilkan. (Fiction)

Posted in About me on May 12, 2016 by Tyrienne

Cyo Karalis had an abnormally long life as a man, and never once observed over a losing battle… but he was growing older and the forces from the south were growing more bold with their influence, their murders, and their intent on invasion.

Hunting with his eagle, he and his cousin Vilkan Prinz would spend their time in the wild fields at dawn, feeling that those who truly served their people- should serve them in all ways- feeding them included.  Karalis’ birds were as large as men, but more loyal- and could bring back enough game in a single hunt to feast nightly on venison and boar.  Karalis lived in the great hall as did Vilkan, called “Vilks” for short- and at times of war, it was them both who always succeeded in organizing the free folk against invasion of humans or predators.

It was a time when no one went hungry, Vilks was a master hunter- while Karalis was engaged in the more diplomatic aspects of life- forging alliances, diplomacy, and trade; Vilks created glorious tools and weaponry and seeked to tame the wildest predatory animals to not only come to his hand, but to serve him willingly in his hunts, favoring the great wolves- for they were the only ones who were loyal as Karalis’ birds.  His abilities at the hunt and at war frightened most men, but they said nothing.  His father was a master magician, brilliant  but absent in frequent travelling and his mother was a warrior  Queen whose name still trembled on the lips of old men who had lost their kindred, limbs, and sanity to her and her campaigns.

However, his mother was not permitted to live within the country under curse of death,  For there were no rulers in their land.  It was Karalis who raised him in the absence of his distant father, and in fact, taught him most things that made other people part as he passed down the trails and valleys, afraid to speak to him or of him.  Vilks looked at people the same way he viewed prey.  Sharp green eyes, hair, long, dark and unkempt and a beard that was haphazardly trimmed with nothing more than a few brisk slashes of blades sharpened to such fine degree they were said to be able to cut sunbeams twain.

For as little as the people loved Vilkan, Vilks loved his people fiercely; he knew of the fear he had inherited from his mighty mother- but, the intelligence he inherited from his father reassured him that it did not matter what people thought of him, instead, what mattered was what he did for them, appreciated or not.  His smile frightened children, but he smiled knowing that the steel he created allowed for those children to have a chance to grow old- both in nourishment and in their protection.

Karalis was facing war with the South, a place even further South of which his own mother had been born, but he had no Diplomacy to give and the People he cared for were growing few in number as the North became colder and the winters took lives as their sacrifice for the promise of Spring, said the religions.  The Colder the winter, the more people died in those frigid nights as they offered themselves up and walked without clothing into the woods in madness of dreaming of warmth again.

Spring always returned.  The population, however, did not…. and for each new child born did not replace the number of those who died on those bitter, black nights.

War reddened the distant mountains, the smoke from the fires  of offering to a new god of burnt towns and the smell of charred flesh distressed those who lived downwind in the valleys.

Karalis, ancient Karalis- in all his years of rule had finally faced a physical battle he knew could not be won.   In knowing this- he contacted the people of his mother’s lands and requested a parlay of their choosing.  He too, loved his people- but he feared he could no longer protect them himself, not even with the strength of Vilkan, the finest weapons, or the wisest of words.

In fact, it was Vilkan’s father who had returned with distant kin who offered protection of the people, but at a price.

“To have our protection, you must give us your weapons and we will protect you.”

But, at that time- to be unarmed in the North was also a sort of death- it removed the freedom to hunt as well as the freedom to protect oneself from harm, and it was a time where there were more things than simply other humans that could harm a family.

Bears prowled the woods, untamed wolves still stole children from their mother’s and devoured the elderly in the fields if one was not always mindful.  Although each man and woman carried weapons forged, sharpened, and kissed by the one known as Vilkan Prinz:  They did not know it.

He didn’t tell them.  He knew they feared him as they feared his mother- so he simply created his art in the hidden rooms of the hall of Cyo Karalis- appearing to be either an army of blacksmiths by his work seen alone- or incredible negotiation skills with traders that allowed for no one born to have an empty hand.

Every evening, the townspeople would meet in the great hall and share supper- back then there were no “kings”-  each woman and man ruled only themselves and chose to remain, or chose to leave as they saw fit without reprisal from any greater authority.  Those that stayed, despite the growing cold, could not bear to leave the only home they knew- or the last of the free places.

They united for centuries to fight to protect that home- and then at peace, they shared what they had with one another in food and resources, and in loves and friendships.

Karalis stood:

“My people, we are dying.  As I am aging and the world grows cold the village has been drained both by death and migration.  However, Raudonas Lapsayda has returned with a leader from the kinder Southlands than the one’s who burn our skies with their funeral pyres of our distant neighbors.  If we are unmindful, those fires will consume us as well.”

Raudonas shared nothing of appearance with his son Vilks except in the same predatory green eyes.  Where Vilkan was grand with muscle, his father was slender by comparison from miles of walking, his grace in eloquence was effortless where Vilks only grace was on the hunting fields, not among man nor woman.  Vilks hair was long, matted, and coarse against tanned skin- and Raudonas, like his name had the smooth, scarlet hair of a fox against the white snow that lent color to his complexion.

Raudonas spoke:

“Brothers, Sisters, Daughters, and Sons-  I have missed you.  I have missed decades of friends, years of births, and was absent for tears of mourning I did not know to shed for our beloved dead.  However, I left for greater purpose-  I left to allow us to continue to live and for our way of life to continue.  I have found a mighty empire- and I have made their King my brother in blood, sworn in fealty to protect you, my family- but I do not know if you will be willing to accept the price.”

“What price is that, father?” Vilks growled,   “An EMPIRE said you… ‘Empires’ ask for servitude, Empires require bent knees in subservience, and taxes of our food to feed their mouths as children starve.   What would they require of us, that we would be willing to pay?”

“All weapons.” his father restated, ” ..but in exchange- we live, under the protection of thousands of armed men and women who would protect us- we have an empire in the South in which we may live and not have our babes freeze to the breasts of their mothers frozen milk.  It is this, or we die, unremembered, buried by snows and by time- my son.”

Vilkan roared his displeasure and upturned the table at which he sat- and exclaimed:

“You condemn us to death by conversion to servitude. Without our weapons- we cannot hunt, we cannot fend off the bears or bandits that roam hungry in the days and nights in the woods.  You.  Left. Us.  To live a life in palaces as a tamed dog and now you wish that same collar to be worn by the free folk in this hall?  Are you insane?”

Raudonas lips were thin with displeasure, but did not speak,  Vilks continued:

“You may have my weapons only if you can chain me.  I am a weapon, I am a weapon of my people.   I have filled the stomachs of everyone in this room, and I have the blood of so many creatures on my hands that would have brought harm to us in your absence while you reek of honey and roses, your hands are soft  and haven’t forged a single weapon  where every person here holds a sword crafted by my hands.  You have done nothing, but offer us chains…and if they must be worn, *I* alone will wear them, not our family.

You have forgotten the value of our way of life- and what good is “magic” if it still means we have to leave.  If you are so brilliant, then burn away the snows, father.  Call back the sun in midwinter and make her shine upon our fields, and if you cannot, shove your so called ‘magic’ up your arse and prance back to your Lords and Ladies as their lapdog and continue your life apart from your kinsfolk.

We live and die as nature wills us, but I will not allow my people to die as slaves to your gaudy “royalty” in exchange for our right to keep our own lives as our own.”

The people, though few and fearful of Vilkan found themselves at awe.  They had not known that he was the one who crafted their weapons, nor that it was not Cyo Karalis with his eagle alone who was feeding them each night.

From the shadows, came a man in dark blue cloak,  travel worn and old- but not so old as Karalis.  His beard was long and his hat brim so long it obscured his eyes.

“For palaces of lords and ladies of leisure, I admit I am in short supply… and doubtful I smell of anything better than the long road I traveled to get here.  We are your kin.  Look at me, and look at yourselves and see that we are the same.  My hair is your hair, my skin is your skin, and yes- I may be a king, but I am a man; I walked until my shoes wore thin, and my bones ached to reach you.

I am not a king who requires one to bow or one to die.  We do not ask for your tools of the hunt, simply your tools of war- for I have armies of men and women who beg for the honor to die in battles so it would be needless for you to do so.  In our villages in the South, the cold brings us closer instead of thinning our herds and our families.  I am offering you a home in the South, with us, your cousins- your number is less than that than grains in a child’s hand, and among you, are children- would you have them die up here instead?”

Vilkan replied:

“I counteroffer.  My people may be few, but we do not fear for war.  All things die, it is by mindfulness we live.   Let me be the weapon you take away, and allow Karalis to serve as our voice still among the elders of all other tribes with all honors he is entitled- and I will break every chain and fetter your people can devise,  I am the son of Raudonas Lapsayda, they call me Vilkans Prinz, The prince of the wolves in a land with no princes- and if you listen, you can hear them howling to taste the blood of your throat.”

“I doubt that,” the old man replied calmly as two sets of yellow eyes came from the darkness behind him, padding softly on furred feet,  “It seems that the wolves themselves  in both lands are finding it better to forge alliances with mankind than to brave the cold alone.”

And so, the people moved South outpacing the winter cold to a land that was kinder- however, the “distant Kin” did not understand their ways.  Where diplomacy was based on honesty in the old village- it was now games of what Vilkan saw as meaningless words.   He intentionally frightened those of his new home, to keep them at a safe distance and to preserve the culture of his people as Karalis spent his days in lively discussion with elder men and women who called themselves “kings” and “queens”.   The new place feared him, and again, he feared them not.

They were said to be family, but he did not know them- and instead of hating him for the reputation of his mother, they hated him for his strength out of their own fear.

He began to take the children of his village out hunting, and they began to adore him- they became fierce and fearless- clever and quick.   What respect was had for the food that he adorned this foreign table, was overshadowed by the scent of mistrust.

They took him up on the offer to bind him, and laughingly, he agreed.   His father was a magician, and he, a smith- there was no lock or chain he could not find weakness, and every fetter fell to the ground in minutes and was kicked away in disgust.   His people cheered, but those native to the home in which they lived grew more fearful of the unrest of the new people among them.

Karalis was tasked with neutralizing his adopted son, as was Raudonas who spent hours in thought.  If Vilkan was not contained, the people would riot and attempt to return back North to their death, but if he were killed, war would occur in this new land.

Together, with the wolf-leader of the Southern tribes- they decided to bind him by an Oath that could not be broken, a chain of metaphors that would cost his honor and reputation to destroy.

And so, they created a grand ceremony- and Vilkan stood bravely before thousands of people of South and North and stood before Karalis and the elders of the new land.

“I see no chains, and I do not trust this.  Before, there were not thousands to witness your attempts to bind me for your amusement… among our people, a man is not considered a warrior if he loses his sword hand.   If there is deception, and it was lead by you, Karalis, the sharp-eyed children I have trained would like the oath that you will give your hand, and with it, your honor.”

Karalis hesistated, but replied: “That is fair.”

Then, Karalis asked him to swear an Oath, and to trust him… and repeated line by line an Oath unknown to him, that  by the sound of a cat’s footsteps, the beard of a woman, the roots of stones, the breath of a fish, and the spittle of a bird – that he would no longer fight nor hunt, forge no steel, and teach no youths further in order to preserve the peace until their world was consumed with the fires of war.

In other words, things which don’t exist, and against which it’s therefore futile to break…for one cannot break an Oath sworn on things that cannot fail since they cannot exist.

The people of the North, seeing this deception of words instead of honorable, solid metal- fell upon Karalis and took his hand for breaking his Oath against deceptions, and with it, he lost his Honor among his own people, but gained favor among the new.

The Old People returned North, and then they sought their own alliances with their Northern kin, the Barbarian Queen who never used words to deceive, and gladly swore fealty to her and lived free as wolves in new forests…and Cyo Karalis remained loyal to his people- North and South, by watching over them always despite his loss of his Honor to his home and his refusal to hide his shame in Oathbreaking to the new, remaining with Vilkan, his only friend, in a foreign land.

Vilkan waits until the fires still to teach the young how to fight, to hunt, and to forge…and his father Raudonas ended up imprisoned for the ways of the North and the South were not the same.

Honesty means different things in different places, as does Honor.    Only Cyo Karalis remained of the North to care for his people- forever, as all were made Gods immortal by the telling  and retellings of their story into antiquity.

History is forged by the winners.

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Key:

Cyo Karalis:
“Cyo”- Tyr in Old Saxon, “Karalis”- King in Latvian

Vilkan “Vilks” Prinz:
“Vilkan”/”Vilks” – Wolf in Lithuanian/Latvian.   Prinz- “Prince”, Modern German.

Raudonas Lapsayda:
“Raudonas”- Crimson in Lithuanian, “Lapsayda”- lapsāda- Latvian for “Fox”.

(I created these names from various languages- this tale takes place at the beginning of an iceage)

In Defense of Loki | A BELTANE SPECIAL

Posted in About me on May 4, 2016 by Tyrienne

Beautifully executed and brilliant!

Tahni J. Nikitins

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A totally unplanned and thus un-revised poem written in response to an interaction I witnessed in a pagan ritual space today (May Day or Beltane!)

In Defense of Loki
While I was quietly to myself
Saying my prayer to Angrboda
Too timid to say it out loud
Too timid to raise my voice
When I said Sigyn’s name*
The women on the other side of the circle were busy
Being far braver than I.
“Hail to Loki:
Said they
“Who is more than chaos and rage
But is also change.”
And nearer to where I sat
A woman of that Asatru bent.
“Be careful what you wish for.
Change can be all to hard to bear.”
Yes, think I in my silence place
But all the stronger we come out then
On the other side
And change so often necessary—
The only catalyst of growth—
And without growth
Stagnation.
A…

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