Feral.

Posted in About me on February 21, 2017 by Tyrienne

 

galaxy-fox

Artist Unknown.

“You chose me,  I am amused and a bit surprised, ”  stated the firey red fox coquettishly, “All things considered, I thought you would choose the entirely humorless, limping wolf for council in everything.”  I noticed then that I, too was a fox, nowhere near as brilliant.  My fur the copper of old pennies compared to the reds found only in poppies and fire before me, shining with iridescence.  I was afraid I had upset him, only for a moment, before he crossed the distance between us and touched his nose to my own.
“I am looking for contentment, I thought you would know that better.That is not something I would go to Ty-” I found my mouth filled with the fluff of his tail.
“Shh!  Human names are heretical.” he gracefully moved his tail in an arabesque clearing my face.
“Wait- what?  Why?”
“You believed there were only Gods for humans?  Why would an animal worship a human or pay homage to their oppressors?”  His grin, feral… subtext dripping from his words like golden syrup.  “I don’t care for humans very much right now, I abhor their present stupidity.”
“You sound like my frien-”
“Spike,”  we said at once.  The Fox, ceaseless in graceful movement danced like leaves on a breeze,”
“That is because we are of the same type.  Not everyone is a wolf, a boar, or a raven.  Some of us are foxes.  You are a fox, I am a fox, he is a fox… if you want contentment, do fox things… and the first is to go feral.”
“Feral?”
“Feral.” He sat ramrod straight, posed brilliantly and shining, “No fox is happy in a crowd for very long, but goes wherever she pleases and stays as long or short as she likes.   A fox eventually grows away from its family, and keeps primary companionship with its mate.  She is not collared, she is not owned.  She does not take more responsibility than pleases her, but she is careful of her territory and mindful of her den.” He paused.  “A fox is you.  It is not good to be a person right now, like to a human be a fox- happily join their picnics and just as happily return home.” His eyes like emeralds in sunlight shined, “You belong to yourself, and you worry yourself only with what directly impacts your existence.”
He jumped back up onto higher ground,  if a jump can be a graceful leap of shining wonder, the fire of his pelt shimmered and blazed and dazzled the eyes.  All I could think is “Man, being a mortal is so dull.” in every sense of the word.  I was a boring, brown fox staring at the God of Foxes,  that in itself was something quite spectacular, and I was filled not with fear but curiosity and endless questions I wished to ask and have answered.
“That is actually the effect I am aiming for on our kind,  thanks for being so receptive.”
“I still have to wonder, though, why I don’t feel like I should cower in fear before you or feel something awful.”
“You have not pissed me off, I will explain contentment-  Contentment is not caring one way or the other what anyone who does not affect you thinks.”
“You affect me,”
“Clearly. But you are being intentionally obtuse.” he cleared his throat.  “Do you have food?  Do you have shelter?  Do you have a home to improve?  A skill to learn?  Someone to love? Do you have your health?”
“Well, yes-” Although his line of questioning was rapid fire, I kept up and found I could agree to all of those things.
“Then you will grow contentment. Foxes grow away from their families to be with their mates and find allies among other creatures in the wood.  Remember, do not take on more responsibility than pleases you.    Do not take too much to feed your ego or so little to feed laziness.  Be helpful to other creatures, but not so much that you are left wanting.  If a person throws a snare into your den, avoid it.  You know it is there, it will decompose.”
“But-” I interjected, knowing this experience to be exceptional.
“Humans-”  he enunciated with disgust, “Are pissing me off.  I understand that the forth dimensional existence is limits your form, but your spirit is still limitless.”As the light faded until I could see only by the light he radiated he smiled,
“Be a fox, be feral, and you won’t piss me off.   Humans. Are. Pissing. Me. Off.”

Advertisements

Breaking Silence

Posted in About me on January 28, 2017 by Tyrienne
odin

Wolf Shaman- Best guess is Susan Boulet as Artist (Correct me if I am mistaken, bitte!)

I miss writing and after reading this wonderful post from Owl Hill Farm I realized I really have no need to be silent any longer about what exactly has changed, and what has stayed the same.  Dagan wrote out my perspective better than I could express.  So that is out of the way…
I refuse to repudiate any of my Heathen/Asatru brothers and sisters regardless of their political views. I am not going to advocate or denounce any person of my faith for speaking their thoughts, any of their thoughts, I will not sign any petitions, causes, or further nonsense for/against anything outside of my immediate purview.  I do not condone physical violence unless it is in self defense against physical violence.  Words are words.  My concerns are for my homestead, my family within, my friends and those who share specific time with us in good Frith, no matter who they may be or where they may reside, in person or online.

This blog is not static- it is an evolution of myself as a Heathen and a human being- over time, my stances change and I am able to be flexible and reconsider things I once denounced and denounce things I once embraced.  I will and have contradicted myself- assume that out of two posts of contradictory ideas, the more recent one will be the most pertinent.  I follow both AFA and Troth leaders and try to keep open lines of communication with both.

Right now, I see you- and every other pagan as my sibling in our ancestral faith- regardless of who you are. ( But like most families, there will always still be grudges I hold against people who have harmed me that cannot be easily erased or forgiven- even with time.)  Nonetheless if I talk to you, if I have befriended you on social media you are not one of those few I hold any ill will towards, even if we may find ourselves occasionally in disagreement.

I have realized that instead of bemoaning the deterioration of convenience of having community so close I can hop over to an event in a weekend and feeling pathetic in my loneliness, I have neglected opportunities and invitations to greater things within easy driving distance-

To travel to an event is to make it more meaningful, more sacred, and more special.  It is easy to give up an hour and be half involved, but to give a day, a weekend is truly a better tribute to the Gods

First of all, to Gladsheim Hof– for years, the premier Hof of our region-  I have had no valid reason to not visit where we already have friends who I have learned much from and wish to see again such as Laurel and Wulf.  It is likely I may be the only Heathen in Pennsylvania who has not made the trip at least once and I regret that; Ed and I will remedy that in the coming months.  The insanity is that this Hof is actually a very short drive across a state line and we would not even require to board our dogs to attend and reconnect with the fantastic souls I have met in earlier years at several other events.

To my friend Aurora Lightbringer and her group events held at Mountain Mysteries– I will do my best not to miss the chance at reconnecting with such a great friend  with the long history we shared going back to adolescence to see the beauty she and her people have created.  I am proud to have her in my life and I am excited to meet her family and tribe after over a decade.  I hope to see you this summer.

And the wake up call of the open invites to Owl Hill Kindred– with my dear friend Lynn who has encouraged this blog and my writing for so long I feel as if we have already met- Edward and I have committed to bringing ourselves and our canine family to celebrate with you in February.

I have yet to ever attend the famous ECT (East Coast Thing) , honestly out of my own fears of rejection from places and people entirely unrelated.  I have been in this community openly for well over a decade and have yet to meet so many people I interact with online- and online is such a poor substitute for real life- and to not take the chance to reconnect with close friends we have met at Winternights and other events has not been right

What all these places have in common is they are open, unaffiliated with any political view or organization (that I am aware of) and intentionally free of drama and politics.  I have feared that I would be a disruption despite multiple invitations I have declined thinking I was doing so out of good grace and not to admit it was truly out of cowardliness.

I also need to recognize the Lehigh Network of Unified Pagans who have welcomed Edward and I with open arms locally even if we have had ill luck in making most events on account of illness. You remain the primary group that we refer local people of all pagan faiths to for shared worship of holidays and your hospitality and kindness means more than I can express.

Thank you to Lynn Grim and my family of Lunar Dust in my hometown in Havertown, Pa.  Your Samhain and occasional Yule gatherings with my childhood friends is always a highlight of my year, even if the events do not occur every year.

To everyone at MUM of Allentown Pennsylvania, particularly my first and greatest teacher Rose Moyer who has guided my spirituality since the age of 12 and allowed me to read cards at her events or even tag along to her tables faires- the brightest and oldest metaphysical faires of our region.  I have missed the past year on account of illness but I will strive to return if not with a table representing Heathenry, but to resume my place helping friends made over two entire decades of every facet of the metaphysics community.  Instead of squawking at Heathen leaders of the National Organizations I realize that perhaps, it is the place of myself and Eddie to hold the responsibility to hold a table for our Faith and be the entry to Heathenry with information for everything Heathen both unaffiliated as well as for all organizations fairly and to publicly accept the role of “sorting hat” that I have been doing in private for years guiding people to the AFA, the Troth, or to specific kindreds, people, and pathways to explore.  As a Heathen I should never have allowed myself to feel estranged or ashamed.

To the shops Mystical Tymes and  Gypsy Heaven of New Hope, Celtic Myth and Moonlight of Reading, Into the Myst of Bethlehem and Bey’s Rock Shop.  Eric, Dottie, Tammy, Lauren & Lauren, and the entire Bey Family, you provide so much not just to us, but to the entire community of our region- as has Luciferian Apotheca online for supplies and statuary for our house of alters that are a bit harder to locate.

I realize my “place” is to be neutral to all if I did not- I could not be as helpful for seekers to find people of like mind objectively and help them find what they need for their own spiritual paths.
I will still never encourage people to say “Ren/Tyrienne told me about you”, but what I can assure you is there have been pubmoots that have included people that I have sent directly to all of you with the names of exactly who to contact for the region who have found their Asatru (and other) homes among you.   I am still aware of your schedules of open events even though I do not attend them for the sake of others. Strangers met in supermarkets or waiting rooms- people met in passing wearing a Helm of awe or other Heathen symbolism, especially in visible tattoos or wearing the Mjollnir necklace seeking their tribes and people of like minds I intentionally make conversation- and with a few strokes of a pen I feel proud to have been a guidepost for another person’s spiritual journey- although I do not get out much, what little I do, I try to make the most of in this respect.

And to my most favorite of all, The Odin Brotherhood .  You are my online home- each one of you has educated me beyond description, and although I try to limit my time online lately, I still read your posts even if I do not comment for weeks at a time.    You are the home I send every seeker online to find, you are the place that I feel the most at home with kindred spirits among my brothers and sisters- you are truly my family and I am your quirky, out-of-the-broomcloset sister who will always point the way to you always for your wisdom and acceptance- for everything you continue to teach and the backbone of honor you instill (secretly or not so secretly) in every community that hails our Gods.

My absolute favorite book on Odinism remains “The Odin Brotherhood” by Mark Mirabello.  It remains the only book I recommend outside of the Eddas to people who have been called to our home religion by our ancestors and Gods.

With the advent of so many upheavals in our community of brothers and sisters divided being Lokean, I realize, no longer seems to matter….and being Lokean, well- that has never been a fully accurate reflection of who I am and what I represent as a human being.  I am the child of my Heathen ancestors, I am the granddaughter of a living Latvian Heathen with her own community of Dievturiba in Philadelphia, I am a Hildebrandt Hexerei with a proud lineage in my own Berks county with the stories of my great grandmothers, and after returning to our ancestral home, their speech patterns and a small part of the land on which they walked long before I was born.

I am not “just a Lokean”- I am a polytheist.  I see all Gods and pathways have validity to people and my own pathway is watched by not just Loki but the living Gods of my family beyond just Loki and Tyr.

We are reconnecting with friends who are also not Heathen- people who over the years we lost contact with for any number of reasons, but we realize have left holes in our lives by their absence, and to our surprise, awe, and regret- our absence was in theirs as well.

Ed has a Celtic family of Catholics with beautiful souls who adopted him as a teenager as one of their clan and we will join hands with them on their holidays as well.  Their Jesus gives them comfort, and although he is not my God- I was taught that to pray for the welfare of another person who does not share our faith to pray to their God for our Gods might not know them.

I can resent Christianity only in that it forced my family traditions into hiding and created a hundred year prohibition against writing down our folklore and traditions- but that time has passed and the Christians and the Hexerei lived in these Pa Deitsch lands in harmony for centuries prior to my German family being forced to abandon their language publicly by government, not religious initiatives after World War II.  I do not harbor resentment towards Christians individually, one thing I hold with polytheism is that one can worship any God they choose- even if I do not share that God, it does not make their existence less than my own Gods.  A Christian can be more honorable than a Heathen- and I have met many who live by our ways more truly than some who hail Odin the loudest at sumbels.

My ancestry is mine, your ancestry is yours- we can honor all and slight no one as polytheists.  For those who say there is “One True Way”- I say to them, “Perhaps- there is only One True Way for you- but for others, their pathway is their own.”

Ed will once again wear the Mjollnir of his Swedish ancestry, and for those who say I have “betrayed my Norse blood”- understand that I am no Scandinavian, I am German, I am Baltic-  our tribes traded blood, but the God of both lands is Tyr under the name of Ziu  for polytheistic Deutschlanders and Dievs of panpolytheistic Latvija.  The symbols I wear do not include Mjollnir personally, but honor my own heritages.

That may be why Tyr is the main archetype I aspire to emulate in my life.  Most known for his courage- a trait of which I have fallen short many, many times and instead of facing it I have made excuses or tried to pretend to myself that I was without a right of place at events on account of fear based on negative experiences of the past that have no reflection on the reality of the present.

My husband and I endeavor to keep improving our homestead- we are breeding Flemish Giant rabbits, and are in the process of purchasing a pick up truck to terraform our land into gardens of crops and healthy foods.  We have our altars in every room to every tradition that has ever given us wisdom and may grow more as time passes.  (We still need to refinish the basement floor, though-  dogs destroyed the carpet and we plan to paint and lacquer it back to respectability after taxes…I hope).

My husband and I have walked many pathways- him through Buddhism and LHP- myself through Sufism, Unitarianism, and Baha’i (among others) but we are, in fact, Heathen by blood no more and no less than anyone else with our Gods reading this blog post.

We are getting older, and perhaps it is time to stop hiding and take some responsibility for whatever small or large we have offer our community, as much as we are able by expanding our “home” to where we have been invited and show no fear in accepting these invitations…and if the the time seems fair, to open our home once again in return with old friendships renewed and new friendships honored.  If we are treated well or poorly, we will take that as it comes as per the Hamaval:

Young and alone on a long road,
Once I lost my way:
Rich I felt when I found another;
Man rejoices in man,

A kind word need not cost much,
The price of praise can be cheap:
With half a loaf and an empty cup
I found myself a friend,

The only caveat is if you are farther than an hour or two- we come with our two dogs.  But, I have heard in our Faith that is far from unusual for our kind.

doges

Natasha, Black lab mix- Ziu, Husky featherbrain mix

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.

-The Hamaval

 

The Wisdom of Silence

Posted in About me on December 12, 2016 by Tyrienne

I recall when paying honor to Loki was the absolute most controversial action a Heathen could do that would upset entire communities of brothers and sisters- how naive we were, not knowing what the future held in store with our current global political climate!  This post is about why it is judicious, perhaps- to examine what we share and what we keep to ourselves in this time of stark polarization and uncertain informational resources.
silence

Anyway, I have intentionally been keeping a very low profile lately-  I have been attacked by both the far left and the far right both inside…but mostly outside of our community.  I have searched for reliable news sources on current events, and have learned I have nothing to recommend except for broadening ones circles of acquaintances and relying on first hand accounts of incidents and situations as they occur.

The polarization of all peoples is not unintentional- to divide us from our closest friends and family is politically advantageous to those who seek to control us all with the least amount of force from the higher ranks.  There is no need to fight the people while we are fighting among ourselves- declaring “enemies” from within while everyone ignores the quickening erosion of our greater freedoms of speech and thought.

Many times, I have found myself typing up lengthy replies to posts or articles I do not agree with only to delete them- thinking to myself “Why do they need to know what I think?  What purpose does this serve?”

There is a freedom in silence-  the realization that we do not need to over-share our stances, thoughts, and perspectives outside of the homestead or outside of those we consider our closest companions. It is not the right of every stranger to know where I stand on every issue and every thought I entertain. The internet, as it is now, has multiple formats for us to share our every waking idea, this is not necessarily a good thing- for it opens us up to targeted misinterpretations and knee-jerk reactions of others, turning allies to enemies with a “trigger” that could have been better left unsaid.
When deciding what to say and when- think to yourself:  Will what I say improve on the peace of silence?  Will what I say forward the causes in my life for my family and myself…or will it create more divisions?  Is what I want to say truly important and worth fighting for?

At this point in time, it is safe for me to say that I am waiting in the wings until all the in-fighting ceases among all communities that effect my life (Heathen or otherwise) between the rights and the lefts.  I see the passion of both sides and I understand it- but I have the antithesis of motivation to contribute to it.  It is not worth it to me- nor should it be for many of you.  It took me the better part of a week simply to formulate this post, and part of my reason for writing it at this moment is as a service to those who feel as I do- agreeing entirely with nothing offered by the mainstream, but have been burnt by the assumptions of those who believe we think/feel antagonistically towards the causes other people hold dearly. (It is possible to simply be ambivalent without malice!)

Unless you are someone vested in making a statement- why make yourself and your family a target?  Hatred is strong on both sides at this time- you can see it online and in the protesting in our cities, you hear it in every conversation.

As if anything could be possibly more apropos, I discovered this gem of a concept today:

Loki’s Wager:  a form of logical fallacy, is the unreasonable insistence that a concept cannot be defined, and therefore cannot be discussed.

To me, though- most information is rife with logical fallacy- most especially what I formerly considered reliable news sources.  Although it is a logical fallacy to have UNREASONABLE insistence that ideas and concepts at this time cannot be defined.  A simple internet search on whatever the hottest issue du jour will find contradictions and little material on either side backing their claims- hoping that we will invest in what hope or pessimism want us to believe.

Now is not the time to volunteer information and be sorted into antagonistic “sides” if do not fully agree with their platform-  it is a time to watch quietly to find those who are like minded- whatever that is to you, and progress organically.

Now then- if there is prevalent, political ideology that fits your ethic and ideas fully- by all means, jump right in with all enthusiasm.

I have yet to find an ideology that I back fully- so unless and until I do, do not expect me to lend full support to any.  There are ideas that intrigue me everywhere- but liking any particular  idea does not follow that I support without question the source and everything that source represents at this time.

Chances are pretty high that I am not alone in wanting to see how things unravel or knit. That I do not want to waste my time with condemning or exalting trends or movements at this time until I see for myself and for the sake of my homestead if it is best to stay insular or to reach out.

The future can be beautiful for each person- depending on our choices.  For some, the future is most beautiful in seclusion as the rest of the world falls to madness; the social equivalent of curling up with a good book and some cocoa during a blizzard; but instead of a blizzard of snow, one of contradictory ideas and people screaming to be heard.  For some, they are in their element shaping tomorrow.

I have nothing to gain from/have no interest in rocking boats that exist on tsunami’s of fear and sensationalism already.

I heard you the first time- that is why I have been going through and literally unfollowing the one trick ponies who cannot move beyond their slogans and browbeating- as well as reaching out to people who are saying new things,and following leaders of movements that personally effect me so I can see with my own eyes, without the filter of the interpretations of others, what is said, to whom, and in what context.

If you want to know how Loki’s wager ended- the dwarf who claimed to have won Loki’s head was so pissed he sewed Loki’s lips shut.

Apropos.

Life Inside Nightmares (Fiction)

Posted in About me on December 1, 2016 by Tyrienne

(One small multiverse reality step over from Odin Wanders Inn (Fiction))

Ivy woke up gasping for air- the sunlight poured benevolently through the window as she held her head and tried to shake out the memories of what had just been seen.
Footsteps raced towards her room from down the hall and a fellow traveler rapped on the door, “Miss- are you all right?  Are you hurt?”

“Come in, ” Ivy replied, “…Just a nightmare.”
A scarecrow of a boy, the young music teacher by the name Rai, straddled the only available wooden chair in the room- he was still holding the bow of his instrument.  “…However, if someone were trying to kill me I don’t think your ‘weapon’ would be of much use.”

“You would be amazed.” Rai replied tonelessly,  “There are some songs that make me want to run as far away as possible.  Would you care for a serenade of ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’, or  ‘Oh Danny Boy’?  I swear it will hurt me more than it would hurt you.  What was your nightmare about?  I heard you scream.”

“It was awful-  it was like an alternative to now.  Instead of reading, everyone  lost all ability to speak- to communicate they sent one another pictures from pictures from boxes about the size and half the width of a deck of cards.  People were free to go anywhere, but everyone chose to be confined to little cells only to move to other cells during the day.  They were like what I imagine prison must be like…but without the bars.  One of those prisons had nothing but desks and a phone in each cell that never stopped ringing- and when you picked up the phone is was nothing but screaming- strangers just insulting you, strangers with stupid problems, or worse, problems that couldn’t be fixed.  Some cells had nothing but a monitor and keyboard- rows and rows of tiny cells of people who were not allowed to speak, were not allowed to move beyond their cells- like they were tied down with invisible ropes.”

“That sounds awful- good thing we have only one phone in town, they might start breeding otherwise.  Gotta watch those phones, insidious, horny little buggers.”

“I’m serious- the awful thing was people LIKED it….And The schools…oh gods, the schools-  children spent all day like biscuits on a cookie sheet, like the old days but worse:  They were also unable to move, in one-piece desks as they were forced to listen to lies of a robot- I think it was a robot- in front of the room who spoke in gibberish and ordered them to color in grey tiny circles the size of the head of a knitting needle in complicated patterns.  They had little ascetic value- and if they colored wrong they were berated until they crumpled-.”  Ivy broke off looking visibly distraught.

“Breath Ivy…, go on”

“Okay…okay…there was more, though man…There were no chickens, no livestock anywhere, everyone bought individual cuts of meat like pieces of amputated parts from huge warehouses lit all in  blinding bright white lights.  Fish didn’t look like fish- just slices of anemic looking slime in clear trays. It was so weird.   There was fruit of every colour and shape and I couldn’t name most of them- but when you bit into any of it- it tasted awful: too sweet or mealy, or nothing at all.  Everything was beautiful in those warehouses- from a distance, but up close it was a real horrorshow, and I was the only person repulsed by it all.  The warehouse had rows of shelves of what looked like tiny little gift boxes in a thousand colors and sizes and not a one of them smelled like food- but people were eating the stuff inside.  It all smelled like poison- it was disgusting! People were living in deserts complaining of drought and people had land but didn’t hunt game.  They just ate that weird poisonous tasting crap from all the little multicolored little boxes and everyone was ill from it, but no one stopped doing it.”

“Sounds dystopian”

“Well, no…not quite.   A lot of our people who are dead here  were alive there. It was so fucked up man… Yule was alive, for example- they fixed him somehow. That dwarvish looking mofo was entirely whacked out of his skull on drugs, Hatter was in and out of jail, nothing fucking made any sense.  Then some people who are alive were dead in the dream.”

“Was I alive?”

“No, …Rai, you were the first person who died-.  I can’t even talk about what happened to you without getting upset.  Just imagine the worst, most insanely illogical way to die- then know it was likely worse than that.  I can’t explain it, I guess in that way the dream was like other dreams, some things you just can’t explain, you know?   There had to be like six different funerals- all packed to bursting, though.”

“That’s hilarious. At least I was remembered fondly”

“Nah…it’s not like normal.  People didn’t remember you for you-  some people treated you like an old-fashioned saint and prayed to you like one of the Gods.”

“…This keeps sounding better and better…”

“…Until people got sick of all the adulation and started making up the worst accusations they could think of to pass around about you- In the dream I had to fight those people with my writing-when I knew you about as well as I do now- maybe less.”

“You don’t Not know me-  I mean, I pass through here a couple of times a year at least…”

“Yeah…but I don’t think I could write your obituary- not when you are hardly thirty.  I think the deaths of the young are the hardest, even for acquaintances.  In the dream I watched people live like zombies- people who have been long dead and gone,  and people gone there who I cannot picture life without here.   I was in a  world full of strangers and even Bob was a cult leader making up a new religion to the people who seemed to live in the white warehouse instead of the vegetable garden- he was preaching, literally, about gardens like they were endangered or gone entirely like passenger pigeons.”  Ivy’s fingers were tangled in her own hair massaging her aching scalp as Rai sat silently in thought, both hands absently fidgeting with his bow.

“Well, it can’t be prophecy at least.  Yule died  at least seven years ago if it is any consolation.”

“Do you think I should bother Hexer Jaeger about this, Rae?  Dreams aren’t usually so….cohesive.  I don’t think going to Bob the Braucher and saying ‘Hey, I had a dream where you ran a cult’ will improve his view of me any. ”

Rae sighed. “Ivy… his opinion of you is not at risk- but there isn’t any cause for concern…did you read any Philosophy when you attended University? I have this book I had to read on Plato…”

She interrupted, “…that every thing that exists is an imitation of something perfect in the realm of thought?  That we are all in a cave chained to the floor, some people escape, return with new insight and are called insane by those in their own families?  That Agathon is past his prime and Socrates wants a new little boy to molest? What?”

“How about that everything you can imagine is real, already thought of, and exists in other realities?  That we are alive and aware of whatever our minds create- and sometimes the mind can be an observer and creator simultaneously- of everything we dream and think, new realities are created.”

“That sounds like Descartes on psilocybin, Rai….and if that were the case: I design terrible realities.”

“Okay.  Maybe I get the old philosphers confused- my discussions with Bob were more about local history than ancient Greek.  But hear me out-  what if everything we dream is us viewing a different reality where we live?  Maybe you live here in the Inn and chronicle everything that happens here, maybe in another life you are a phone-prisoner, or poison eater at the body-part warehouse.  Perhaps it is to help you appreciate what you have right now.  You’re a Lokean, your God has the weirdest ways of helping his own out.  I pray to his daughter- she’s much more straight forward.”

“So, the phone prisons, the school-prisons, and the white lit warehouses and little colored boxes of poison to eat exists somewhere?”

“Well, of course I hope not Ivy…but if it does- if there is a place out there that fucked up I imagine the parts of our families trapped there would dream of here.   Would it cheer you up some to catch a few chickens with me, Gala, and my sister Lana?  Getting some real, honest food together on the fire would do you and everyone here a world of good.”

“Sounds good.  Especially if you still don’t need the feathers… I’ll be happy to take them as well after the plucking:  My pillows could use an upgrade. Hey, do you ever think the world,or our reality is changing and dreams are all we have to recall what once was?  Sort of like we change dimensions like we sleepwalk into other rooms and then wonder how we got to where we are?”

“I think you get tangled in your own head and can’t find your way out-  If you are going to do that, at least make it entertaining.  That’s why I’m a musician I guess- my thoughts can’t really be expressed with words most of the time- I’d rather just play it out  Maybe you should write about it later, in the meantime we’ll all meet you outside when you’re dressed-  I am pretty sure we will still be chasing chickens for a while yet,”  He stood up and walked out the door only to lean in his head a moment later,
“…Last one out is a dead man…”

Thank you for shopping face down

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia commons

Breathing Water.

Posted in About me on November 20, 2016 by Tyrienne

snow
It was two in the afternoon and the room was still dark except for lines of faint light at the edge of the heavy curtains- wind from the fan did little to drown out the staccato rap of the sleet outside.  With that sleet came memories unbidden- a red car on a black highway crawling through similar conditions and the truck, going ninety, that spun that car into the sound barrier.
Standing on that car, her best friend who had been estranged for three months prior grabbed her down and said “Don’t ever scare me like that again,” his hair was loose and so dark a red it seemed black- his bones was anorexic and strained looking in his skin.  She never should have worried- he assassinated her character with his own words immediately after that vignette and she would spend years wondering why he wanted to destroy her.

“Stop it.”  the road was now empty, and the ice had turned to snow which gently began to lay covering the shards of glass and debris flown from her trunk. “You don’t have to remember it like this.”
“But it’s the truth.  I didn’t get a degree in Philosophy to lie to myself-  I don’t choose to remember.  I get scared.  I then can’t remember what scared me, then I have to remember so I know that this,” she gestured to the car, “isn’t right now.”
“However, the problem is…you also have enough education to know everything is ‘right now’; that time is an illusion.  How does this help you?”
“It gives me answers.”
About six feet tall, sturdy, with a dark coat and fox-red hair, Loki looked utterly human- not a barbarian in furs nor a spandexed cartoon villain.
“The story is the goddess of snow herself got pissed off at me once- killed two of my kids, chained me to a rock with their intestines right in front of my wife, THEN had a had a snake drip venom in my eyes for an eternity just because I told the truth…  I am pretty traumatized by weather events myself.”
He sat down in the snow- the car had vanished as had all signs of the road- leaving nothing but the shadows of tall evergreens in the distances- black against white.  I sat beside him- feeling rather small as he looked off into the distance.
“But- although things do happen at once- they do not happen to the same person.  I am not the man tied to the rock, you are not the one in a crumpled Eclipse.  What do you recall from before impact?”
“As I hit the section of highway, I had a feeling I might die.  I prayed out loud to some Goddess, I don’t recall who- to protect me.”
“You had much better luck appealing to her good nature than I did,” he smiled wryly. “It isn’t so bad to have a healthy fear of some things.  Some of my best friends were snakes too, but I have to admit our relationship isn’t what it once was… all things taken into consideration.” He put his hand on my back- and it didn’t matter much that I had not seen him in a long while.  Then, other memories- new memories began to play.
Of an interrogation where the cruel face of the arresting officer was replaced by the cool visage of a cool expressionless raven-haired man in military uniform- his right wrist of his jacket expertly pinned and empty.
Of a blonde man who gave up fighting to protect a woman.
Of fierce ladies who judged the unjust and enacted hard punishment in the lives of those who lived dishonestly- usually unseen, who tipped the scales and manipulated karmatic retribution more effectively than any court or human vigilante.
“It is hard to see something specific when you are immersed in it.  A rock under still water looks no different to the drowning then the same object on dry land to the safe.  The rock is never the problem- the breathing of the water is. Remember to stop trying to breathe things that suffocate you.”

Not knowing what else to do, I wrote it down as I recalled.  I edited it sparingly, and wonder why something that seemed so long in my mind, took so few words on paper.  I am still in the dark room, afraid of the weather, but it isn’t so bad as long as I remember I am here, inside and safe.  Everyone is afraid of something- and the lore of my religion indicates I am in exceptionally good company.

Can You Write/Draw? Make a Children’s Book Bitte.

Posted in About me on September 28, 2016 by Tyrienne

A dear friend of mine I have known for almost two decades by the name of Aurora Lightbringer has become a wonderful educator and has started to attempt to fill the huge void that exists regarding pagan children’s books.  Further, if you have children, she also wrote a wonderful article HERE on how to navigate the public school system with the most respect the belief system/s in which you raise your children.

Aurora’s website (including her books), may be found HERE.

Although I am Heathen by nature any book by anyone of any pagan practice is one we did not have before!  One of the questions I am asked most often is “Where can I find good books for my children?”

The problem is: I don’t have children…  I don’t get to peruse the book aisles and see what is/is not available.  If you are reading this and you have further links to excellent children’s books for pagans and heathen kids, please share them in the comments and I will do my best to create a comprehensive list.

In the meantime…   the fact that this is even a Question indicates that we have a void that desperately needs filling by talented authors and artists who have the time and inclination to make improvements to our communities where they count- in the education of the next and future generations in caring in partnership with nature (as opposed to the monotheistic view of “ruling” her), integrity, industriousness, creativity, and encouraging a love of learning, appreciation of our folklores, as well as encouraging critical thinking.

Since I do not have children, I have NO IDEA how to write for them.   Parents time and again keep referring back to Harry Potter as if it is a resource; and although those books are enjoyable- they aren’t realistically pagan in way that can be experienced day to day.

The best I can come up with on my own is an idea of a story about a lonely little boy living in the middle of nowhere ignored by his parents as they go off to work and a gentle, brown dairy cow deciding she is his fylgia on the first day of Summer…which ultimately results in him growing up to be a happy farmer  who has the absolute best ice cream and cheeses as his siblings grow up to be “conventionally successful” in the big cities: stressed, divorced, ill, and suicidal.

I lack the subtlety to write for kids… but you might have that special touch I lack.

If you write it, I will share it.  I will add it to the list.  I want to make a list, but I need your help to do so.  Please share your favorite authors/books, and I implore you to please write your own and create a legacy that counts!

cow

Because my story ideas are so lame anyone can come up with better than this. (Picture via Pinterest)

The History of Ivy (Fiction)

Posted in About me on August 29, 2016 by Tyrienne

Read the first part of the story here.

Journal entry April 12th, 2001

I had been fortunate to catch the early trolley, which in turn allowed me to catch the Market-Frankfort to fifteenth street a sound hour and a half prior to class.

On fortunate days such as these- I always enjoyed a leisurely bagel at the 15th street station donut shop.  Usually, I was pressed for time, but having some breathing room was nice for a change so I decided to try and write this for posterity while I sit on the train.  At home, I have two main employers;  I work developing film for a local camera shop and I also work at a specialty shop that caters expressly to birdwatchers- these two stores are adjacent to one another.

As far as problems go?  I am done.  I am fine… in my messenger bag is the letter I received from the AmeriCorps, like Aspen- I am heading out West in August which should alleviate the mounting tension between my grandparents and I- I will be organizing concerts at an amphitheater on a reservation in the middle of nowhere- I am excited to get away from here. Pat woke up from his coma- but he’s about as functional as a forth grader, and suddenly both straight and convinced he is in love with me because his mother told him Jesus said as much.

Dev is at Temple- but he is honestly the only friend locally other than some stragglers who stuck around my hometown since elementary school, like myself, going to school in Philly.  I even tried smoking pot for the first time with Tim and Andy-  Andy and I both in his car for an hour afterwards desperately rubbing magic tree air fresheners all over our clothes  because he would catch hell since he is on break from Harvard- and I would catch hell because, well,  It is just not what my family does.  Hell, my family threatened to disown me if I dyed my hair pink!  It isn’t worth losing the career I haven’t started…but how do they not realize I’m an art student by now perplexes me.  Then again, so was Hitler…maybe I should try that argument.  If Hitler died his hair pink artistically, I doubt he would have led the Reich…

Since it has been a few months since my last update online- I think I should say that this madness with Dusty is getting even more nonsensical.  He’s my best friend, but he’s an asshole.  He has this shitty girlfriend who hates everything about him- but “sees potential” to make him into something more palatable to her tastes…and she is neither bright nor pretty enough to justify the nervous breakdown he’s experiencing over her.  Just break up, move on.  He has become entirely unreliable- seriously, I wonder if I am better without him…but on the other hand, we are the last two people who know what Peter was like prior to his drug addiction.

It had crossed my mind that Dusty was travelling the same lines…literally, his entire potential up his nose as he looks into the mirror on which he cuts his cocaine.

Except for the occasional lesbian sex- I am still boring in my opinion.  I have straight A’s for the first time, it apparently WAS my environment of living with two teenage parents who brought me into this world without my consent that held me back.  I miss my dad sometimes, but how good can he really be if he unquestionably supports a woman who does such fucked up things?

To punish me for leaving two years ago they keep my dog chained up in all weather- thinking I will come back to “save” her…and bring her where?  Then we would both be in chains.  Poor Persephone.  For as much of a shithead as Dusty is most of the time, he at least checks on my dog and little brother… our friendship is worth at least that much to him; I live over an hour away and I would prefer never to see that hirsute, screeching harpy I was brought into this world against my will by (and almost taken out by many, many more times) I believe I will live a rather happy life…or rather, a life where I can breathe for a minute without having either obscenities or porcelain knick-knacks thrown at me- and then forced to watch her write down on a tally sheet how much I “owe” her for the items she decided to break in her anger against me.   I see the school shrink over it- I really do not have much self worth- they say.

Today I’m wearing my rose colored glasses over my contact lenses, my favorite button-down shirt that changes from gold to purple iridescence with some jeans and my black boots and my leather duster. I copied my makeup after a show I caught on cable of a girl found in a river-  shimmering blue lips and silver eyes and glitter. My hair is too short to really pull off the look right.  I’m blonde enough but  I just had my hair trimmed and highlighted again and made an appointment to do the same thing right before I leave.  I have yet to tell anyone I joined the AmeriCorps- but honestly, I believe it is the only way I will be able to get out of my grandfather’s college (where I am not sure if these good grades are earned or nepotism) and someplace, anyplace else.   I doubt I’d get into Berkeley…but I can try. Maybe the AmeriCorps experience will help pad my application a bit.  The train is coming to a complete stop and announcing I’ve arrived at the piss-drenched station.  I’ll grab my bagel and see if perhaps I can find April to see if we can complete that lens exchange- my fisheye for her telephoto if I am fortunate.

I cannot believe what is happening right now- so I will write as fast as I can as this is occurring.  I made it to the donut shop and before I ordered, the woman ahead of me ordered the exact same thing I was about to- an iced chai latte, a toasted garlic bagel, and two cups of chive cream cheese.   She then turned to me and said

“Ivy, could you pick a table- we need to talk, I’ll bring the food over- you have a little time.”

I  have no idea who this woman is- but she looks more like I do than most of my blood relatives in her features- she looks like she would stab a man in a fist fight- but she has this amazing long, dark hair and is covered in these crazy orange and blue tattoos on her arms.  My parents had me so young I never know who I am going to run into who wants to tell me about weird shit my father has gotten into- and I wouldn’t recognize the majority of my second cousins now since my great grandmother died almost a decade ago.  I am a little weirded out, but not frightened.  She just sat down and told me to keep writing.  She’s going to help me out.  Oh, fuck…a pyramid scheme, I’m sure…either that or this lady found Jesus and knows me from some class or some fucking where and I can’t remember her.  This will be a waste of time.

Okay…so, she has just congratulated me on my acceptance into the AmeriCorps… NO ONE knows except Kate.  I asked her about Kate and she said “Kate stayed out West forever” as far as she can discern and she has only seen her a few times since.   Dev apparently became a pilot and moved West too…and doesn’t know Kate. I asked her if she worked for the government with my father, and she just laughed and said “almost, but I failed out spectacularly”  She believes she is from the future and she just keeps listing off all these obscure things I haven’t told anyone.  Like about the orange carp I saw swimming upstream in Ridley- not moving against the current.  She said that is what is is like with time and that I might understand someday.

Gods, I know I’m considered a “freak”- but if people from that little dirt town up North ever set foot into this city….

-The AmeriCorps will define my life in a good way.  Nice to know.
-Yes, Dustin is “in love” with me- but it’s not worth the heartache, there are too many negative variables and he only dates people by cheating on who he is currently with.  That explains why we’ve never gotten together.  Love is not enough; in the timestreams where we are together it is disaster.  He has a “time traveller” self too- and it told him not to hurt me, this lady says he’ll hurt me anyway just to keep distance that will never be resolved in a way that satisfies anyone…besides, in a few years all realities have him so strung out he is unrecognizable…and frankly stupid.   She claims he’s stupid now, I just can’t see it yet.
-Dev is partially right about 2012, the world as we know it will not be the same, but she said the world won’t be the same after 2001, either.    Honestly, the world changes daily.  I am assuming this is one of the random psychics from Rose’s faires at this point having a schizophrenic break after running into me here in the city.  I still have an hour and school is a five minute walk from here.
-Apparently now we aren’t on the same timeline because she visited me and changed my future: A-okay crazy lady.
-Apparently, there are other families who follow the old Gods like Woten- she said it won’t be for another five years, but she said it isn’t worth it to join the groups when they get big unless I feel like getting married.  I don’t even believe in marriage, I do not think.  Too much risk.   But, if she is from the future- why is she here?  She claims it is to tell me what she wished she knew when she was me.  Pat will never get better, Dustin will not only not be in my life, but one day it will not even bother me.  It has been ten years since she has seen Aspen in person, but in her Now he lives in the middle of nowhere entirely antisocial. She tells me to keep writing things down- not on livejournal, but still on paper…and then she asks if I would consider switching out my guitar for a viol-type instrument.  She thinks that can prevent “a regret”.
I asked her what she regretted in her life and she replied “Oh, mostly things out of our control- and also some bad relationships.  Hopefully, your life will be different than mine is.”  I asked what was wrong with her life- did she graduate college?  Write a book?  Apparently, two college degrees and at least one book- but she claims “It’s boring as fuck, you will hate it if you have to write it…but on the other hand, it taught that time is simply an a-priori sense of the mind and that by simply using our memories we could transport ourselves back to any point of the timeline in which we consciously exist.  She tried to fix our childhood, she said, by helping us at 8 have the courage to open the window onto the porch roof and escape to the police station a mile away in a single timeline- but the futures from that didn’t have any radically different outcomes.  Simply different relationships and friendships that would end in time, anyway.
It’s about half an hour until Photography II.  I am still waiting on dire apocalyptic warnings…and she just shrugged and said “Keep hiking, keep writing- people will love you, people will hate you…but write, on paper, everything you want to remember.  One day, your memory will fail you.  Oh…and if things seem unfair, just wait.  Everything in the world seeks to find temperance.  Nice tarot card action/reaction, muting and balancing. It just happens”  I tried asking questions about her timeline- and she kept reiterating that we have little in common now-that by meeting- we cannot share the same futures. “Some things you cannot control- at all-  the world you see right now, in this piss-station subway?  This is a beautiful world….in all timelines, the world is not so beautiful in fifteen years.  Things will change, you (me) will mostly survive.   If you get hurt enough- you (me?) will end up having a wonderful spouse who will take care of me (us?)  If I manage to stay intact and unharmed- I will be single, but powerful.  In some timelines, I get to be both in a relationship and powerful…in others, single and crippled.  Pretty bleak.  So…what does she want to tell me?
“Pretty much Everyone you love right now will abandon you- your grandparents, your father will try to pretend to care but ditch you more times than not until he finally just discards you in favor of starting a new family over again, your brother, your friends until all you have left is people you never met yet and people you had to leave behind to prevent them from getting hurt by others.  I just want you to be prepared that no one you know, right now, will love you enough to be here in fifteen years…  they will move away or just leave your life entirely. Well, except maybe Jordan, or Maxwell or if the grandma you don’t live with makes it through her accident you’ll have her…but there is NO ONE else.  The friends who still around are not the people you think much on at the moment…you will love them, but make no mistake to believe that all your emotions aren’t being tossed into a void of nothing now.  The people who stay, even if you hardly know them now, are so much more important than the people you think are important.  Make your decisions accordingly, and by the way, the coffee and bagel are on me.  Use that fiver on a cab, if you don’t you’ll ruin that sculpture you’ve been lugging around. ”  she patted me on the shoulder and then said cryptically. “Also, never, ever date any person you will ever work with more than a one night stand.  Ever.  Do not allow yourself to be convinced to, by anyone.  If anything can change your future for brighter, that will.”

So.  That was a weird vignette.  I do not know who to talk to about this. I’m 19 years old as of last month and recently dumped by some awful fuck who wanted a girl with the pink hair met on a random train.  They broke up with her after a week or two.  The woman at the donut shop said my grandparents are right about him- he will never be worth anything at all…but that is okay, in fifteen years, I will not mean anything at all to my grandparents- which I find impossible to believe. We have always been so close and I really cannot imagine a life without them.  I am moving to preserve our relationship- not destroy it.  The woman I met claimed it does not matter.  I did take a cab, however…the sculpture got another “A”.  Not bad for an hour of gluing rocks into a helix for an hour.  Fuck, I wish I knew if my work was actually ‘good’- or if that A was, yet again, courtesy of being descended from a man with places on campus named after him.

Anyway, at least I wrote this in the journal that I have the Tolstoy book jacket on- I never have any risk of anyone picking up what looks like a thick tome of Tolstoy and “borrowing” it… and I can keep these crazy-ass, fucked up experiences to myself…or see if they come to pass.  I will duct-tape the pages and sharpie “Not to be opened until 2016”. Also…I had to look up what “a-priori” and “tabula rasa”: “Already existing” and “blank slate”, respectively.  Maybe it will mean more to me in 16 years.

I have read that Odin can be found everywhere- can Odin also be a dark-haired woman with hair over her one eye…?

I do not know, only time will tell.
See you in sixteen years, Ivy,

Truly,
Ivy Von Reynard, age 19.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com