Archive for Philosophy

Growing up “Heathen” (As I experienced it)

Posted in About me, On the Gods, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2015 by Tyrienne
Commonly known as "Gar" to Heathenry, this symbol is found is both Pennsylvania Deitsche as well as Latvian folk arts.

Commonly known as “Gar” to Heathenry, this symbol is found is both Pennsylvania Deitsche as well as Latvian folk arts.

Hello cats and kittens, today I’m going to discuss the very confusing, convoluted, and strange life it was for me growing up in a clandestinely polytheistic European family from two ENTIRELY different traditional backgrounds; Lettish(Latvian) as well as Austrian/Pennsylvania Dutch (which I will spell and misspell in every possible way- and gave up on spell-checking every instance!) and attempt as well to create a compare/contrast between these two belief systems.

First off, please discard any ideas that my childhood was “ideal” in any manner- my mother was severely mentally ill with profoundly violent schizophrenia, which was entirely unmedicated needlessly complicating my religious upbringing further since I associated many of her beliefs and practices she observed as “Nothing I Want Any Part Of” even if they were legitimate, Latvian customs. This resulted self-limiting myself by distancing myself from Latvian culture- since I associated all things that involved my mother with severe abuse.  Furthermore, despite her polytheistic upbringing she spent her time rather aimlessly “wandering” between New-Age and vague Christianity as it suited her psychosis at the time….that was further compounded by the unwillingness of her community to “teach” her.  Unlike reconstructionism, traditional European polytheism seems to have some very exclusionary principles- as in “Why waste the time to teach someone who will either not “get it” or will simply fuck it up somehow?”

Be that as it may,  I was fortunate that I was raised in a multi-generational household and in very close proximity to my extended family outside the home as well- including paternal grandparents and great grandparents since my Pennsylvania Dutch/Teutonic side tended to have children early in life (and frequently) until my grandparent’s generation. I was surrounded by second and third cousins from my grandfather’s seemingly infinity large family of Austrian/Deitsche descent.  My Latvian side is simply my grandmother and uncle- and some very distantly related 3rd and 4th degree cousins I do not know.

Both my Uncle and Brother are agnostics with little interest in these things, I do not know my uncle’s story, but my brother missed out on time with now-deceased relatives which shaped my spirituality.

To continue- another thing worth noting is that the word “Heathen” is still seen as rather insulting in the family/social circles of both the Lettish as well as the Deitsche- which is a huge part of the resistance of many “traditional” families that I personally know and have befriended over the years.  Partially, because cultures are agrarian in nature, mostly pacifists, and not Norsk. The Latvians/Lettish prefer to be called “Druids” in English- and the “Hidden Dutch” prefer to be left entirely alone, still…. to the detriment of creating a more complete picture of unbroken European polytheistic tradition.

There is good reason for this; basically, the strongest commonality both sides of my family share is a deep-seated fear and strong distrust of “outsiders” directly resulting from centuries of hiding and persecution.  To save themselves as well as their respective cultures, the German Lutheran church provided sanctuary in exchange for the promise that all children would be baptized/confirmed, and monetary donations would be made regularly whether attendance occurred or not.  It’s just how things were done.  In college, I learned that the Moravian church did likewise in other locations.   My old pastor, bless his heart, tolerated us, spoke fluent German, and “suffered” three generations of my German family poking metaphorical holes in his Bible and generally being as reluctantly “Lutheran” as a person can get.  Starting from my father sitting me down with a Bible and showing me all the “cool” questions to ask; “Where are the ‘Great Sea Monsters’ mentioned in Genesis, they couldn’t have drowned in the flood, right!?” and my personal favorite was picking the absolute most inappropriate verses to read in church during confirmation classes.  After my father and his best friend scraped their way through confirmation like mischievous Vaetirr, my choices of the “Sunday Reading” from the Bible were very strictly monitored and I had to submit several more than the other children after my dad’s best friend ALLEGEDLY  read with great enthusiasm, Ezekiel 23:20:

“… There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses….” etc.

Yeah, we didn’t get away with much past Pastor Reimet, he was chagrined by us, but he also had a sort of quirky sort of affection for our line. We kept him on his toes- and he just LOVED telling everyone how whenever my grandfather and father were in a service at the same time “Lightning struck the church.” (Totally not true, that only happened ONCE…maybe twice.)  “Heathen” was meant as an insult…as in “Stop running in the choir loft, you little Heathens!”

When I complained about church, it was my Dad who said to me. “Look, without the Lutherans, none of us would be alive right now.    When you’re finished with classes believe whatever you want. We’re polytheists anyway, seriously what is the harm of learning about one more god?”

Anyway, I have escaped myself- so, away from the church (at which I was dropped off- my parents had no interest in staying except during my mothers sporadic “Christian” phases where she could use Jesus as yet ANOTHER justification I was “evil”.)

Okay. Well, this post is going to suck to write- Looking at the tangled maze of teachings, secrecy, contradictions, and absolutely strange customs that I STILL don’t see in modern reconstructionism, there does not seem to be a linear way to “explain”, but I will do my best.

First major difference between how I was raised and reconstructionism:  although the concept of Valhalla is known, the logistics of being in a place that is basically daily bloodshed is likely not appealing to peace loving, self-secluded, agrarian cultures when there is an understanding the afterlife is chosen by your belief system, mostly.  However, that being said, “I’ll see you in Valhalla!” said in front of either culture will likely be met with a wince considering Valhalla is for warriors who die in battle, and even then, only under the special conditions of being “Chosen” just prior to the moment of death.  If we go by technical research on concept of Valhalla, there would be less people from modern times chosen for Valhalla than Christian Heaven than in the more violent past from more war-inclined traditions.

Personal opinion? If you are Heathen, make your peace with Frau Holle/Hel(a)/Mara now rather than having to explain why you failed to do so in life.

Grandma from Latvia is still with us- and to her, Jesus was just “another” God, and since he was the one most people around her worshiped HER tradition entailed that if you pray for someone you pray to THEIR God(s), not your own- since “Our Gods might not know them”.  Since my wedding, she has been completely “Out” about her paganism and has become very active in the Latvian spiritual community.  Latvians, like Hindus have literally thousands of Gods- one for each species of flora and fauna.  Even picking flowers, it is polite to thank the plant….and Latvia is more Vanic than Aesir, with Mara (A sort of Holle/Frigg figure) and Janis seeming to have “top spot” (Freyr, his name changed to “Janis” several hundred years ago to keep their primary summer festival “Jani” or “Janistag” by claiming St. John and Freyr are the “same” to nosy Christians.)  The stories from her childhood are truly priceless- of the entire village running from German Lutheran missionaries into the woods when they came to baptize in one of the two local rivers- only to wait until they left to jump into OTHER river to “wash it off”.   When I asked her about Loki, she concluded that he was the same as the Hearth-God Loke  (also found in Finland), who blesses you with Luck if you keep your chimney clean, and fills the flu with dead squirrels if not.

There is something to that- my uncle pulled out six or seven of them one Yule….completely mummified.  However, the Latvian word “Loki” means “onions”. Please do not confuse them if you happen to run into one of the VERY few left of this extraordinarily tiny ethnic group of Lettish Vanir-worshipping druids.  Latvians are a very proud people.

The Latvians tradition I was raised in was pan-polytheistic, there is a “Big God” called “Dievs”- however, he doesn’t interact with humans much in the same way that humans are the host of millions of microscopic organisms that we have no awareness of. That is where the Latvian Pantheon comes in, called “Dievas”- in my family, they are our Ancestors who “stayed around” or plant/animal Gods who help us. The one’s she was most fond of are Janis (Freyr), Mara (Holle), Perkons (Donar/Thor), and Laima, a luck goddess with no close correlation I have found in Europe but I suppose could be rather like a “Northern Lakshmi”- with elements of child-protection as well. A great deal of emphasis is placed on “lucky” animals- particularly ladybugs, squirrels, toads and a magical snake with a crowned head.  Killing any of these “special” animals would basically be very “unlucky”. (Er…disastrous, perhaps?) Different regions of Latvia had slightly different naming conventions as well as customs.  My family was from the South West region, near the Lithuanian border.

Each ethnic group has it’s own traditional dress as well as customs.  I know the costume for my region for women is a full length red velvet skirt, white shirt, white stockings, black shoes, and a stiffly beaded crown with a belt woven by hand of sacred symbols that are similar to SOME of the Futhark.  Unmarried women wore their hair in braids, married women covered their hair when they went outside…a tradition Grandma still practiced when I was a child but seems to have discarded over time.  My particular ancestry was known for having bright green eyes- which was considered both lucky and rare- my Latvian grandmother, my father, and I are the only people in our family still living I’ve seen with green eyes.  Everyone else is either steel-blue, hazel, or brown on either side of my family.

Another tradition I still keep to this day is when I am told of a death of someone who touches either myself or a close friend, I do my best to uphold my responsibility to light a candle to “Light their way” to whatever afterlife they need to find- which, to Latvians has been describes as “Where it is always summer, but never too hot- beer flows like rivers, and you meet Janis.”  However, death customs are complicated.  Most of my childhood (on both sides) seems to have been spent in cemeteries caring for graves, planting flowers, and singing dirges in November as well as Summer in a language I could read out-loud but could not understand except for select words I recognized. (My brother I am reading this too, said “Like Strawberries! Zeminis”)  Hauntings by deceased family are never seen as “bad”, it appears to me.  Family members “wait” and watch after death and sometimes choose not to move on without their most beloved family members.

My grandfather I only know in real life as a headstone in a Latvian section of a cemetery on the Mainline suburb of Philadelphia, what I do know was he was a stern, intelligent man- multilingual, and had an affinity for Tyr.  He spent a great deal of time in Germany, so I am uncertain if that affinity came from a Lettish “Tyr” I do not know or if he “Met Him in Germany”.  Like me, however, he apparently spent a great deal of time studying and exploring other religious traditions.
He was fluent in the elder Futhark as well as the Latvian symbols.  To answer the unspoken question: Yes, I do personally believe my ancestors watch over me and interact when they feel they need to.

Vilanis/Vilanus (Likely spelled horribly incorrectly, but equivalent to Wotan- but “minor” rather than the lead), Latvian pagans say “God walks among men”- implying the Teutonic legend of Woten wandering with his two dogs/wolves (Latvian “dogs” tend towards the more “wolfish” breeds of husky-types and shepherds)  as a beggar looking for kindness among His people.  To feed and shelter him is to be given great luck, to turn him away has usually dire consequence.  In some areas/countries, he is actually depicted as a permanent werewolf, half wolf/human hybrid, or simply a shapeshifter.

The thing with the Lettish deities is she honestly felt they were “left at home” when she left Latvia, believing there were other Gods indigenous to the US that “she does not know”.  Thanks to the hard work of the Latvian Druids there is now a growing voice to the Lettish pagans courtesy of the work of Mr. M. Bisenieks, the husband of her best friend, Maya.  It’s been three years, I STILL haven’t been able to connect with the man…but if you are reading this, please understand I am doing my best, sir.

The difficulty with the the Lettish traditions is several fold.  First of all, our numbers were DECIMATED in WWII by Stalins regime which sent the majority of my ancestry to Siberia, of which, only one family returned. My grandmother was an only child and her father was a diplomat allowing for her immediate family to escape- the next day, the rest of those in her village were captured.  She still relives the day she left, they made an agreement with Germany to give them the farm and livestock in exchange for asylum, with the promise after the war all would be returned to them.  Despite her inability to really “click” with her horse and ride him without getting bitten- she still remembers him with his new German brand-mark coming to the fence as they walked by the last time and that she only had the time to pack one pair of shoes.  She was 8 years old, and spent the entirety of the rest of her childhood and teenage years in what sounds like a rather well-appointed refugee camp that was entirely Latvian.

The Holocaust was not only in Germany- more people died in Russia under Stalin, and thousands of Japanese died in US internment camps as well.   The silence on this issue is deafening; and public school with the innate biases in our textbooks created no end of trouble for me- outspoken and taught from BOTH sides that American news and history lies….even in the 1980’s-90’s before the current socio-political problems of misinformation.   We had newspapers from Latvia, a Ham radio, and German news sources when we could get them.  Further, since Latvia was part of the (now former) USSR, our phone lines were tapped and my grandma and her friends were constantly harassed and hassled much like those of Middle Eastern descent today in our country. History repeats.

Furthermore, in my youth there was a HUGE emphasis placed on blood quantum, at least in the area in which I lived.  My father, despite being German, was treated very poorly by the Latvian community, as was my mother for “marrying outside”… my brother and I are “Half-bloods”.   Latvian children were given the option of attending Latvian camp and school on weekends- which I avoided (due to the reasons stated earlier), my brother did not.  The indigenous religions were not taught, but rather a focus on diplomacy and an emphasis on learning the language so we could “Go back” and “take back” the country from the Russian settlers who have since settled- three generations deep- into the farms of the Latvian diaspora.  My family was unsuccessful in winning back Grandma’s farm after years of work between us and her cousin still “at Home”, sadly… yet on the other hand, how does displacing a Russian family who lives there now (and has lived there for 40+ years) help anything when we have roofs over our heads here?

Considering the dwindling numbers of our ethnic group, I have heard that things have become “warmer” towards people such as I- however, I personally have the feeling (true or simply perception) that my very public association with American Heathen reconstructionism may have created an unintentional rift- despite the fact that I have been asking for help through Grandma to have dinner with the Druids and be taught “properly” so I can better and more accurately relate the stories and integral pieces that unbroken Baltic spirituality brings to the global Heathen community.  My Latvian religious background is a mishmash of my Grandma’s village traditions as well what little education I would accept as a child from Dzidra, a women who TERRIFIED Latvian youths simply by her strangeness, but yet, she also- Tante Dzidra was both our Witch and our Auntie.  She was a nurse by profession, loving and dedicated in her own way  to making sure we were “taught”- but a woman who keeps an ear-piercing gun and vaccination needles in her car is still a mixed blessing to a small child.  Did I mention she was absolutely terrifying?

On her account as well as Maya’s, I was taught forms of Latvian divination, straight-deck card readings as well as the New Years tradition of pouring molten metal into cold water to hold the resulting shape against candle flame to intuit the future for the next year by the shadows cast upon a piece of paper on the table.   I used the cards to make a name for myself as “The Youngest Psychic” reading at faires in Pennsylvania in my teenage years escaping my mother by having the faire organizers saying I was “helping out”.  Either way, I came home with money and really cool minerals and crystals.  I collected rocks (and still do) simply because it was the only thing I could possibly collect my mother couldn’t break or harm me with if they were small enough.  Steal, absolutely…break? not so much.

So, basically, as a child I came to the conclusion that all Latvians were either assholes or completely insane.  I have since revised this, of course- considering that a great deal of the experiences were tainted by the sheer violent nature of my mother.  However, on the bright side EVERY Latvian (and the people we marry) get a SECOND birthday called a Name’s day- the wikipedia article is woefully inaccurate on this in that they claim it derives from Catholic influence- however, even in said article I found in their own definitions the origin detailed by wikipedia contradicts the established tradition of the non-Christian Saami peoples who also have small settlements in North West Latvia, in particular and the “Latvian” section removes all reference to religion whatsoever.  I honestly have no idea why we have Names’ days…but hey!  Second birthday, AWESOME!

On the other side of the family:  my father- who fluctuates between staunch polytheism and “Broad ‘Pascal’s Wager'” semi-agnostic.  Be that as it may, HE was the one who bought all the children’s books on German folklore and “mythology” for my bookshelf- told stories of Loki, Thor, and Odin (Loki, Donar, and Woten, correctly)…  mostly of Loki/Thor, and rather enjoyed telling people he worshiped Loki while people couldn’t tell if he was serious or insane…

But Dad, well, he always liked to keep people guessing regarding that issue.

He also bought books on other European mythos such as “Bullfinch’s Greek Mythology” and my mother had a strange obsession with folktales and fairytales retold in Harlequin fashion.  I got no end of beatings for “stealing” my mother’s books- but honestly, even at age 12 I realized “stealing” a book that is literally 3 feet from my own bedroom is a ludicrous concept.
My father is a great person, but he loves nothing more than to “test” and confuse acquaintances.  Along with Lokeanism, we also had the now great Discordian texts of  “Condensed Chaos”, and “Flatland”.  Science was revered to him and seen as non-adversarial to his personal spirituality- and his talents lie with making machinery and broken technologies “work” with a MacGyver-esque flair.  His sledge hammer is called “Mjollnir”, and he had activities he called “Taunting Thor” meaning climbing large, metal objects in the most stormy conditions simply out of annoyance if we lost a shingle or even if it was simply that our satellite dish was “off” preventing him from watching the Sci-fi channel.  If I had to define him by a modern label- it would be “Braucher-raised techno-mage.”  As to my childhood, by tradition, since my mother was impregnated by him, he felt obligated to marry her to “do the right thing”.  He lived with her for 20+ years in complete misery, but he worked a great deal of overtime to support her and my brother and I- leaving him in the dark regarding my mother’s increasing unpredictability and violence, now without the protective shelter of my extended family since we moved over an hour from any other relatives when I was 12 years old.

Not my entire family is Heathen-  my father’s dad is dead silent regarding religion.  His grandmother he described as “A terrifying Austrian witch who wore nothing but black and purple and had hair down to her ankles.”  I never could get more out of him than that, and in religious conversation, he is silent.

My Nana (Dad’s mom) believes in “Folkcraft”, and despite repeated attempts to convince her to please write down all the old traditions of our family of Hildebrandts, she has adamantly refused.  In my early years she was my absolute favorite relative and really enjoyed her telling me the history of my “unbroken” Braucher line.  Unlike most Braucherei/Hexerei I have met, traditions were passed from women to their daughters.  When my Nana had two sons only, the line was “technically” broken.  However, I do have a female second cousin our section of the family is estranged from who enjoyed many, many more years with my Great-Grandma, Nana Gloria.  Her family were Hildebrandts who were Hexers with the only affiliation with the “Bible” I have been able to discern concretely is entirely reduced to the “Seven books of Moses”- a text used in Brauchei/Hexerei rituals.      My Nana is cagey- and repeatedly, I have seriously pissed her off by being “Public”- which is likely part of the current rift between us.  To her, our traditions are “family only” and that our personal family tradition with the “English” (Non- Deitsche) was to mislead them with misinformation.  As a child, it was apparently a fun game for her elder’s used to play to see what sort of crazy bullshit they could make the “English” researchers believe we practice in our folk medicine.

In reality, most of it was common sense, herbal, and used a great deal of metaphor.  Taking down pictures of family members and storing them reversed as well as sweeping the house after doing so was a sign of absolute displeasure just short of shunning if not outright rejection. My Nana’s mother, Nana Gloria was an expert at making cars break down of people who pissed her off.  She would say, “Just tell the tires to go flat if they cut you off.” I was probably 6.  I guess she figured she wouldn’t live long enough to see me drive…and sadly, she did not.

Again, with the Germans, even MORE time was spent in cemeteries.  In line with common Urglaawe belief, we believed on THAT side of the family that each new child born into the family held the spirit of one deceased… hence, all of us were named after dead family members in our middle names.  My brother was properly named.  I was named after a sociopathic great-grandmother on my Latvian mother’s side who likely strongly contributed to her mental illnesses.  I legally changed the entirety of my name as soon as I could in my 20’s.

That side of the family shares the same belief as the Latvians that our dearly departed “stay” if they choose to guard as well as guide the family.  Dreams of dead relatives are VERY important to us, and despite my Dad’s occasionally fluid beliefs, he still is the first person I go to when I dream of the dead from his side of the family.  Great-Grandma Helena only comes in dreams to complain about 3rd cousins I hardly met, Pop-pop George usually plays pranks on people being assholes to Dad and I in “hauntings”, and Pop, Great-grandma Helena’s husband makes entire houses fill with tobacco smoke despite being a family that is anti-tobacco after Pop-Walter died of lung disease when my father was a child.  Pop Walter was also Deitsche- thrifty, and believed STRONGLY in giving away that which he had no longer use for (as well as the objects owned by others in his household, much to their chagrin).   I didn’t realize until I wrote this that I am the only other person in my family who also jettisons material goods at random to friends and charity spontaneously if I know others can put the items to better use/need more than I.

Corporal punishment of children on my Latvian side was tolerated in our family tradition, however, the German side (German is just SO much easier to spell) placed special love and value on children and punishments were usually chores rather than the futile “Go to your room” or beatings.  My Latvian grandma would only hit if I hit someone else- however, she was beaten severely as was my mother by her mother with birch switches. My mother didn’t have such patience- usually beating me was with whatever object was closest at hand.   Nana Helena would just shake her head at misbehavior- the only “intolerable” thing among us children (me and my seemingly endless amount of 2nd and 3rd cousins) was long hair on men and beards.  She HATED that.   Oddly enough, she was also the only person who was devoutly Catholic in my family which SHE kept secret from all of us until after her death when we found a well-used rosary hidden in a box of greeting cards and my father asked the Priest at the Cathedral across the street to find out she was “sneaking out” to mass.  Considering the polytheistic nature of the countless saints and angels, I do not find any contradiction between a devout Catholic and Polytheism except in semantics.  I held onto her rosary until I moved back Reading, Pennsylvania- near to where she is buried where my father and I buried it under her headstone and planted roses to fill the hole.  The grave of Pop Howard and Nana Helena are absolutely covered with flowers and decorations from my extended family to this day despite her passing in 1995.  It meant a lot to me to add to the “collection”. (unless Nana, Dad’s mom, removed my roses out of spite by now. 😦 )

Punishments from Grandma were more German than those I received from my mother.   My home life was violent, so my fathers side was too busy attempting to save/protect me from my mother’s wrath for punishment, my Latvian grandma worked as did my father except for two wonderful years he was self-employed repairing electronics as my mother worked.  I believe I recall only being yelled at ONCE as a child by my father’s parents for using the couch as a tightrope.

At this current point in time, I am trying my very hardest to reconnect the pieces- I have reached out to my estranged extended family on my fathers side only to find rejection that is not personal, but rather derived from the actions of my grandparents that have harmed them (perceived or real harm- I cannot say, I was not there.)   The same problem exists on the Latvian side.  For my safety, I am estranged from my mother and she holds the “upper-hand” in being able to speak fluent Latvian making going to the Philadelphia Latvian club literally dangerous to me.  Again, if any Latvians are reading this:  You know my mother, I know you understand my predicament.  Please reach out to me- Grandma is 83 and every day is a gift, and I fear if I lose her I will lose this tenuous connection that connects “The Earth Religion” of my ancestors to help correct and shape modern Heathenry and dispel the mythology that we NEED to be “Reconstructed” while thousands of families in the US and Europe live in unbroken tradition that fall under the blanket of “Heathenry”.  Some may not like the word, but words are the only thing that people understand in how to categorize their beliefs.

I honestly find American Heathenry confusing in that regard- how I was raised, I am not Scandinavian, we didn’t have Sumbel, and we only had Toasts on the Latvian side when guests came to visit and very large dinners on both sides.  (The food was better with the Pennsylvania Dutch by far…)  We did not pray- we believed on BOTH sides “gifts” were meant to be greeted with a “Thank you”- and to try to solve one’s own problems.  We believe in self-reliance.  Latvian Grandma still TRIES to shovel before the neighbors stop her… her Latvian customs have spread to her typical suburban Philadelphia neighborhood where everyone on her side of the street is “family” and they all look out for one another- meaning usually the closest man with a snow blower comes to save her the trouble- or at worst, my Uncle gets called by my “Aunt” Jan, Grandma’s next door neighbor, until he arrives from a neighboring suburb with his shovel….sometimes multiple times if the weather conditions are particularly poor.  I live over 2 hours away, but when I lived closer for a year, I came over weekly to help him in caring for her house by mowing, weedwacking, shovelling, etc…

Growing up, it felt like I had dozens of Aunts and Uncles- most of them were actually unrelated to me…but some I still keep in touch with if I have the ability…. and I am happy to see that “modern” Heathenry has adopted a modified form of this custom in Frith and Fellowship.

In BOTH traditions, religion where you “go to church” is more social than anything- true religion is found in daily life and in our productivity- whether it be working, repairing, or study.  “Studying” is valued by the Latvian side- but my Deitsche grandparents are vehemently angry that I am on disability and no matter how much of my time is spent in study or helping others by running online support groups, clergy work, or sheer volume of anonymous writings I contribute online regarding Heathenry answering what questions I can and feeling like an overwhelmed air-traffic controller at times “matching” Heathens with those who can give them the information and communities that will help them best.

In conclusion, this is where I come from- feel free to ask any questions you like in the comment section below.

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On Racism, Neo-Nazism, and Everything that Bunches your Panties!

Posted in About me, Justice, On the Gods with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2013 by Tyrienne
I'm an equal opportunity hater.

I’m an equal opportunity hater.

Wow, that reaction to the last post was fast.   I was in the shower and it came to me “Great post, I’m proud of you- Now you need to quickly bury it with another on that other people want to hear about.”

Thanks, Loki.

So, this might come as a surprise to some of you, but did you know that each and every single member of the human race comes with a unique background, experiences, upbringing, education level, interests, and biases?  It is true!  Not only that, but most human beings HATE being classified into neat little boxes and discarded because they hold a point of view that is unpopular that thereby renders everything else they have to offer to the community as null and void!

So, the great, big topic in Heathenry these days is racism and the influence of the neo-nazi movement on our religion at large.  There are two sides to this great debate-  the “Folkish ‘ We’re not racists, we just hate black people'”  side, and the Universalist “Love everyone! Except for Nazi’s,  Or Else we’ll hate you!” side.

Hmmm.   Hard choice, there.   I would like to relay to you a prejudice that I have before I answer the question:

I DESPISE faux-blonde soccer moms in SUV’s.  I absolutely hate them.  Everytime I see one on the road, my blood boils- from their loud Ke$ha or KidsBOP music, to their screaming spawnlings in the back seats, to their inability to park in just one space.  I hate seeing them spend 20 minutes fondling their purses as I wait for a parking space at the China Buffet.  Bitch, I wear my keys on my belt with a climbing clip….if your purse is deep enough to fear purse coyotes sucking you into the depths of your Louis Vuitton special edition whore’s purse snatch syndicated bag ;  I will not only join organizations against your kind, but I will burn effigies of Life-size LaBoutin heels on your lawn until you move you and your hell-spawn back to some urban area where I never have to deal with the likes of your people again.

An older blonde. Purse Coyotes. I would pay to genetically engineer an army of them.

So, anyway, racists.   No.  I am not a racist.  I find the entire idea of race delightfully amusing in the “Aryan” community being a former student of Persian studies knowing that “Aryan” is a cognate of “Iranian” and “Caucasian” comes from the word “Caucus” referring to the mountain range which divides Turkey from Persia (aka Iran).

As in my last post there are people in this world I cannot stand- the above examples as well as the one in the previous post being on a list.  HOWEVER…this is how I actually feel.

I don’t care who you are friends with,  if you are friends with me, you can be sucking Hitler’s dick as long as you don’t expect me to do likewise.   Same thing goes for if you are friends with an Oathbreaker or a tiny blonde woman in a SUV.  If I am friends with you, I have no doubt made my stance on the matter clear-  I choose neither “Side”, but take each person as an individual to determine if they are worthy of my time. (Groupthink is bad, people…look it up). Your friends are not my friends.  You are my friend…unless I meet your friend and get to assess them with my personal judgement skills I have no right to judge them…. and even if you ARE friends with someone I dislike- guess what?

I DO NOT GIVE A FLYING FUCK.

(again…friends with you, don’t care who you have lightsaber wars with your cock with)

Furthermore, the movement to annex the “Neo-Nazi’s” out of the community is a terrible idea considering that from an outsider’s perspective, the words of a Neo-Nazi Heathen are no less and no more viable than a non Neo-Nazi.

What I propose is this- if you want to make a difference in how people see the world…. TALK To THEM…but not with the express purpose of changing them, since that in underhanded and dishonorable.   The best way to deal with racism is to have an open dialogue about it.  If racist and non-racist mix, who knows?  Maybe we can all find something to hate together… like the war in the Middle East which has been eating all our resources in the US, or tiny little blonde women in great big SUV’s.

I have friends on both sides of this fence which would make both sides blanch in indignation.  “How COULD you?!”  I would be asked.  Easy… they run one hell of a sumbel/make awesome potpie/come out with interesting newsletters.

The key to unity and harmony is moving the focus AWAY from racism altogether and finding common ground- the more you focus on any difference, the more that difference shines and detracts away from any hope of reconciliation.

Politically, I belong to “The Troth”.  However, I have friends, good friends, who do not agree with “The Troth’s” stances on many issues…. and that is okay.

With that being said.  If anyone is interested in (metaphorically) burning down a Sephora store in a upscale shopping center (or even just zombie-flashmobbing one) let me know.

As for Loki- let it be also known that my Patron God has never singled out any group for hatred or spite- but instead has been both an equal opportunity lover and hater.

😉

Attunement

Posted in About me, On the Gods with tags , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2013 by Tyrienne

Laura began the attunement, and I was to call in my guides.  AA036979

I closed my eyes, my feet on the floor and I grounded myself to the Earth, entering into a trance-state.  There He stood, that same red hair and black coat- those green-beyond green eyes… and He took me into His arms and asked me not to be afraid “Hey, you are really going to like this!”  He reassured me.  Before the experience went further, I asked him about the whole God-spouse thing everyone had been talking about-  and he simply laughed and teased me gently. “What, is one man not enough for you?!”  I knew from his tone he knew I wanted nothing of the sort from Him.  He then indicated, with His arms around me “It happens: Now.”

Black fog like smoke filled my vision completely blanking out the vision entirely until all I saw was solid blackness….then from that blackness, I saw a fire- blue, violet…then all colors- and as the fire grew it consumed the darkness until it seemed I was looking at a cloudless blue sky on the brightest summer day imaginable.

Another voice came to me, and a memory:  “Do you remember, Ren, that every yoga class you were told to dedicate your practice to someone other than yourself?  Do you remember who you dedicated it to?”

I assented, Yes, I remembered.  A former friend of my husbands who no matter what I did, it was always wrong…and I blamed myself for the deterioration of their friendship still.

“There is nothing to blame you for, Ren…. you Gave all you could- and he wanted more.  This is energy work, you did no wrong; in fact you did RIGHT.”

…and I felt at peace, like something inside of me released.  Earlier in the day, I was in class and we were looking up the meanings of animals- and a fly was landing on me-  Fly meant, according to the book my friend Wray possessed that I was holding onto past issues that needed to be released.  I am still upset over my cat (after everything in my life, I get upset about a cat and a somebody who was a jerk to me once….typical.)

But I never realized I was holding onto that particular issue still.  The other meditation, we were to meet our guides…. before us was a pine forest with ancient trees thick as sequoias. Barefoot, I walked a path cushioned by pine needles, leaves and moss-  I could hear a familiar chuffing noise from the branches to my side….and from the left side came my giant Red elk…his muscles clearly define as he touched his forehead to my own and allowed me to reach my fingers into his thick fur- he walked beside me a while…until we were interrupted as we sat in a green meadow.  A crow landed on his antlers and called to me.. “We’ll wait”, they indicated.  When we resumed- I was taken back through the woods- It looked like the same path but it ended up at an entirely different place than where I began.  I plateau-  or rather, an old cliff I used to sit upon overlooking a river near where I used to live in Easton.  On this, there was a seat for me- beside me the Elk gracefully layed and the crow perched on my shoulders to play with my earrings.

Before me was every student I had every taught, people I had yet to teach- and the weight of responsibility…. I felt confused and distressed.  Who am I to teach anyone?  I’m a nut job on SSD;  Who wants to read what I write?  Why do I have to write a book?  Why are people asking me for advice?

I was confused because on one hand, ego is bad for the soul- on the other, how can one be trusted with so many people?  There are plenty of people who hate me, sure- but I don’t usually care enough to notice.  But what about the people who respect me?  Am I doing enough?  Am I guiding them correctly?  Where do I have any authority whatsoever to be anything at all?

On this seat, I felt older, with the power and responsibility of a queen on a throne- each person who had guided me for good or for ill along the way, a piece of the throne itself- placed their by their own hands- making me who I am, who I was, and who I am going to be.  Reminding me I am never alone, I can only do what I feel is best with what resources I have available to me at any given time.

….and that is, apparently, enough.

Aaaaand….that was it.  I was brought out and I was attuned for Reiki II, over a decade after my last teacher passed away only a month after she told me and her daughter that she was “Given the choice to stay here or to leave, but she chose to stay for her children.”

Then I remembered, sometimes, things only look like choices.  Things are what they are.  She passed away in a house fire- and only her eldest daughter escaped.

You can listen to me, but you do not have to follow me- and I would never ask anyone to do so.

You can ask my advice, but you are never beholden to take it if you choose otherwise.

I can teach you what I know, but only if you understand that not even the Norse know everything….and I know even less.

I will not force you into anything unless you put me into a situation where I would violate any Oath I have made, then I will do what is necessary to keep my honor intact.

I am not beholden to be anyone’s friend, nor am I beholden to be any person’s enemy.  You can love me or hate me- that does not mean you are entitled to my energy in return if I do not wish it.

…and overall, I will do what I feel is right, what I feel will lead me to happiness.  I have no other goals other than to live to be free to pursue my happiness, secure the happiness of my spouse, and to live honorably, personally, regardless of however many rumours or lies may fly around regarding me.

I am me.  That is enough…because that is all I have to give to the world.

I cannot be more or less than who I am at this moment to anyone.

Three Tiers: Wedding plans

Posted in About me, Justice, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2013 by Tyrienne

Adriaen van Utrecht | Vanitas Still-Life with a Bouquet and a Skull

Warning: This blog post is likely longer and more boring than most I have written up until this point.  Real life often is.

After what felt like an hour of scrubbing, I have almost removed all that remains of the surgical tape that attached a heart monitor to me for 24 hours.  Man, that sucked-  however, I get to “enjoy” this ritual all over again tomorrow after my stress test on the treadmill.  More tape, more monitors….followed by my very first appointment with a real internist in several years where I get to drop a lifetime of medical history and subsequent legal paperwork on the poor soul to fill out on the first day I ever lay eyes on him.  La-de-da.

These are the hoops to jump through to get a single pill/surgery/whatever that will get my pulse from that of a hummingbird to a human…and yet, blood pressure remains corpse-like.   It’s been awkward; I have several specialists, but have not had an official “doctor” coordinating everything like most people in years.  So, instead of sending all the results in advance-I thought it would be wise to meet with the man first before he receives an onslaught of results from dozens of tests from all over Pennsylvania from every known type of specialist.

I have not met him, but I sincerely hope he is nice, intelligent, and has a sense of humour.   I was told he does have experience with cases like me-  however, most cases “like me” don’t usually have one day every few weeks of unusual competence nor steady spousal support resulting in remaining “on top” of the pile of endless tests, justifications, and prescriptions required to keep further deterioration at a minimum.  That, and I have religion  which allows for plenty of Deus ex Machina to cover me when I am barely treading water.

Good thing our last ritual was to healing Goddesses… Hail Mengloth and Eir, right? 🙂

So, it’s been an excitingly frustrating 7 days-
On the bright side, I was allowed to keep the “Time” magazine from the phlebotomy office at Quest Diagnostic which had the article on the second man to teach me Sufism via his students, as “One of the World’s 100 most influential people.”  This is the same man who taught me that any person who demands your respect deserves it the least. I was awestruck- and now have an answer for the wishful yoga “Guru” (Capital “G”, yo’.) who wanted my supplication and obedience to his ridiculous and under-researched take on Hinduism since he “sat at the feet of the wisest yogi’s on the planet…”

Krishna is NOT a pacifist.  I suggest the Bhagavad Gita as a resource considering the majority of the text refers to Krishna addressing his friend, Arjuna about the necessity of war.  I learned that in college from many religion courses… not from some mansion-living asshole wearing a burlap sack and ripping off rich Americans with more money than sense, and not enough book readin’ to know better.

Okay, asshat- My teacher was in “Time” magazine….was yours, Mr. Abusive, anorexic, autistic, paranoid, no-degree, vegan, pretentious, parent-funded jackass? 🙂

Also= I’m not a Hindu.,

(The urge to contact this character to say: “Bow to me, lowly peon…!”  exists, but just the satisfaction of this information is more than enough to humour me)

Our personal practices have become more interesting in the past few weeks as we seem to escape any and all boundaries or commonality with what people expect of us.   We have become frustrated that the most exciting things in our religious practices are likely to be the least understood; yet at the same time- we find ourselves surrounded by so many unhappy people that we both had to learn that we cannot please everyone, accept everyone, and be beholden to everyone.  Time is precious, spend it wisely on what you can influence positively.  Remove from your life what makes you unhappy, uncomfortable, and what does not bear fruit.-  This I learned years and years ago from a Native shaman who read me at another faire.  “Know when to hold them, know when to fold them, and let fields lie fallow when they don’t grow corn.”

I must say though- getting a Ouija board made by a Floridian priest out of Haitian wood decorated with tarot cards around the edges was the most interesting purchase made…. and also, the object in particular is 1/20 in the entire world, blessed, and works well.  We managed to channel a rather sarcastic author my fiancee is partial to who offered hysterical answers to our questions-
As well as indicating my dead grandpa was also in the room…by referring to him as “The Nazi”.
“Why would you say such a thing about him?”  We asked,
“Hello! Because He is”.  (Grandpa was temporarily in the SS during WWII- but defected to the British secret service) If you want an idea of what’s going on- check out Ed’s new blog Here.

Basically, to sum up Ed’s blog we have both lived lives where we have been extraordinary push-overs in attempting to please everyone, and we are currently working on rewriting both of our priority sets to honor ourselves more, care less about the games and dramas of others, and learn to discern where and when we can contribute the most good to the world and when to gracefully bow out and do our own thing.  Making everyone happy was making us anti-social and resentful.  It was time to take some of ourselves back for our own good.

Heathenly speaking: Nauthiz has been in full swing as my fiancee and I found ourselves forced to make concrete decisions regarding wedding plans.  I visited a psychic last week for a reading who gave better advice than my current therapist- basically, that even as the shell of a “Type A” personality- I need to learn flexibility and that if something isn’t going the way I envisioned, it is not to say all is lost- but rather, there are possibilities I was likely not aware of that will come to pass and to allow more competent and willing parties to take charge.  Which is exactly what occurred.

Every altar was given at least one new gift of a stone, candle, or both- including a huge terminated, irradiated smokey quartz on my fiancee’s main altar- some smaller black quartz  and blue Bornite for Tyr,  A citrine/quartz and a handful of Bornite for Loki.  An Amethyst raven for The Morrigan, a natural, jewelers quality quartz for Anubus, and Zinc quartz for the Gentleman’s Altar of Freyr/Janis and Cernunnos…. all with fresh, new candles….including refilling our box of tealights for the ailing, dead, and those who request honest, legitimate help from us.

The candle for the patron of our relationship has been lit off and on for days-  it might surprise some to know that it is Freyr we look to for relationship issues rather than any Rokkr.  We as a couple remain remarkably stable- however, the process of life regarding the wedding “clicking” into place around us needed a “spark” of discontent in our wedding plans- we had to defend our religious practices to another, which then triggered a chain affect of solidifying a much more complicated and satisfying wedding arrangement than even I imagined beforehand.

So- my idea of the picnic is the woods is still going to work; we have confirmed Ed’s favorite park with pavilion space enough for food and the possibility of rain.  Furthermore, in letting go of my innate habit of being the “planner” in the relationship-  Ed created a beautiful 3-tiered wedding process that never would have crossed my mind that solves a series of problems I was struggling to accommodate.

First, since we have to get our license from the state anyway, he wanted a private judge-wedding with just family followed by a nice dinner at the beginning of the month.  This way, we can take advantage of the next 10 days he has off for a honeymoon that is technically “real”….including some light day trips to places like the Mutter Museum and possibly Salem or New York.

Since we are doing this all ourselves- the day before our actual Braucher- officiated wedding; we are having a get together lunch with whomever wishes to join us at a Scottish restaurant near the majority of my friends the Saturday before- a sort of cross between the idea of a bachelor/ette party and rehearsal dinner….followed by an evening of cards against humanity and take-out cuisine for the evening as those out-of-towners and people who wish to help set up for the “big” thing stay overnight at our apartment if they want to.   Then, Sunday- as I get my hair done, (and possibly nurse my hangover) the men set up in the morning, then at 2pm we have a  family friendly picnic, Heathen ceremony- and at the end of the evening, whomever is left to help with clean up comes back to our apartment for sumbel, in the midst of all of our altars, our cats, and all the blessings one can want.

So, right now, I am waiting on the judge to call me back to confirm the first week of July for the “legal-ease” wedding, set up a hair appointment for the 28th, and now- I am looking for a cheap florist to provide a bouquet or two… as well as good, sturdy flowers to wear in my hair.  Looking at bulk prices, it appears miniature blue carnations and baby’s breath sent via some online site are currently the front runners.  20 bucks for 50 stems of each.  Not bad.

Still need to purchase shoes, a slip, and next week- my fiancee’s Scottish regalia.  The wax mold for our rings will be seen on June 22- then fabricated that week.  And I have learned that even a “simple” wedding still takes planning, time, and slightly more money than expected.

I also discovered my former roommate from over a year ago was apparently attempting to claim food stamps under my name- leaving me with a thousand dollar reimbursement to contest. (which I am not concerned about-I have a copy of my lease proving my residence here in THIS county)   I am beginning to seriously consider purchasing a small filing cabinet for our Tyr (Ziu) altar- since all my paperwork regarding “justice”, “injustice”, and anything “government” hath started running over…

I agree with the Christians when their book stated “Give what is Caesar’s unto Caesar.”  Meaning- let all political/government/legal matters be entirely separate from the rest of life whenever possible.  Tyr has been generous with guidance and help on these things, so I have faith Justice will be done.

So, our cake and our wedding will be three-tiered- but nine separate cakes for each realm of Norse.  We have done our best to minimize butt-hurt in this way and we have also learned that dealing with either religious politics or my family politics is exactly like a game of RISK:  By the time you have the board set up properly, you realize you have no desire to actually play the game.

So, I’m not going out of my way to contact extended family except very minimally, the same goes for anyone else estranged on either side, or religiously speaking- if they show up, they will be expected to be on their best behavior lest they be promptly removed by my brother’s friends who would enjoy the privilege.   My brother, sister-in-law, and best friends along with Ed’s family get their “Specialness” with the court wedding…(since there was possibility of offense being taken by not having attendants or a special “family” part some people love so much)…and We still get to have our religious Heathen celebration…

…and hopefully, the medical issues will be resolved in that time as well; one problem will be solved at least- in July, under new insurance, I will get to see my old therapist again who was better trained on my issues- which will very much help minimize any terror at the idea of a large crowd on the 28th.

So- need to hear back from the judge, make hair appointments for the two of us for the first week of July still, buy the Kilt/Highland shirt combo for my man, buy shoes and a slip, figure out where to get a garter and bouquet, and I think that’s about it….other than dollar store streamers to mark our pavilion as “Taken”.

Since so many of our friends are LGBTQ- Ed will be wearing the garter and throwing the bouquet- Bi/pansexuals reading this:  Pick ONE to go for.   The result of who-catches-which could end up anywhere from “typical” to awkwardly hilarious. 🙂

However, after the chaos of being accepted then rejected from location to location- I think the end solution turned out to be the best solution-  all I needed to do was let go and allow my fiancee the confidence to figure out solutions to problems that vexed me.  I’m not used to being with someone equally to more competent than myself:  But if he wasn’t, I wouldn’t be marrying him.

Weddings are usually the dominion of the “woman”-  after years of self analysis, I should have known that if it’s the domain of the “woman” I am likely the least equipped for the task out of anyone to attempt to navigate such waters.

I am willing to pimp Ed out as a wedding planner by the way- he’s remarkably good at creating elegant, clever,  and complex solutions… just pay him for his time.

That is for another post;  when to know when people are taking advantage of you for things they should be paying you for but don’t….

On Disgrace

Posted in About me, Justice with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2013 by Tyrienne

A wolf and his God…. (artist unknown)

Disgrace-  two words  “Dis” indicating the negative, and “grace”- that which is benevolent and flowing.  To dis-grace is to go against the benevolent, the flowing, the beautiful if you want to be poetic.

I love reading the posts of my Lokian mystic compatriot Myriad in Germany- her words always always serve as an excellent kick start for what I wish to say allowing me to organize my thought processes a little more coherently to share with the public at large.

Yesterday, I lit candles for both Loki and Odin, only to extinguish them minutes later…. I was angry, I realized-  I was having flashbacks again… a domino effect of every terrible moment experienced in the last several years- the loss of my grandparents as they called me a “disgrace” for committing myself for  psychiatric help, the love letters from a professor that were used to manipulate me for months, being the dirty secret of my ex-fiancee after he found out his ex was pregnant with his child, intentionally, knowing they were breaking up.  The people who betrayed my fiancee and blamed me for their own selfish intentions.   Then, add in entire communities worth of people- like small packs of wild dogs who tear at me and my reputation- to the point where I have learned that reputation cannot be such an important thing since it is fragile enough for any liar to create any story to smash it like a snowflake made of thin glass.

I searched my old email address yesterday for over 400 letters that were exchanged between myself and a man writing under an alias- I gave up, I was going to forward them to a friend of mine to “clear my name” with his father who ran the department in my old college….only to find that apparently during another episode of flashbacks I had deleted them all well over a month ago.   Copies still exist-my psychologist has some, the guidance office, the deans, as well as the last letters posted publicly in my old journal as a “cease and desist” when I desired no further communication.

But then, what purpose would it serve?  Clearing my name is great, but at what price?   I am strong enough to recognize sickness in others- and I realized I don’t have the strength (or weakness) for vengeance.   My friend made it through his last year of college without coming to harm, and our friendship is still intact despite what his father thinks.  Isn’t that enough?

I found myself in an argument two days ago with a friend of mine I see as vastly more intelligent than I am- however- his only flaw lies in his absolute disgust with any of the LBGTQ movement.   When I was a child, I wished to be a boy- I dressed up in my superhero pajamas’s and tried to make a zipline from my “rainbow brite” canopy bed to my high bookshelf- I refused dresses, I wasn’t nurturing, I wanted to jump from the top of the playground equipment and roar like a wildcat chasing, and outrunning others- wanting to be the best boy who was not a boy….to the point of arguing with the gym teacher to teach me to throw a spiral football rather than learn field hockey.  Back in the day, that was considered “disgraceful”- and I was put into therapy where they attempted to force me to play with dolls, fix my hair with lace barrettes, and other female-approved activities.

I indicated to my friend that the dissolution of gender roles has been one of the few boons I have experienced in life; thinking as a child I would have to get massive surgeries to change my gender as I got older- only to reach my 30’s and realize that I am perfectly fine expressing my natural personality in a female body without the fear of repercussions that existed even through the 1980’s of what defines male vs. female.  I learned in Anthropology classes in my late teenage years that what is expected of gender roles changes from culture to culture, decade to decade.  In my late 20’s, I learned that if I were born in Iran- gender reassignment surgery would have been free- rendering the argument my one professor posed against me moot.  “You would survive five minutes if you were born in Iran.”  No, I would have thrived- I would have taken Ahmadinejad’s  offer at the age of consent and RAN with it….and would be living as a man by 21- uncovered, free, and likely on my way to the life of either a mystic or a scholar.

So, what is disgrace?  Going against what is commonly considered “acceptable”- here, I have never NOT been in disgrace by some person, group, or family member no matter how I look at it- which is likely why Loki turned out to be one of my most steadfast of influences on me today.  Eventually, one becomes immune to the vast majority of the opinions of others- I did years ago, barring the opinions of those who are very closest to me.  I keep consistent friendships that last for decades….and for every person who disparages me, there seem to be at least one or two people who respect me, or at very least, find my writings insightful.

The hardest truth I am learning to come to terms with is that one who is prone to telling lies can say ANYTHING.   My mother was an atrocious human being to the point of which I cut off all contact with her nearly a decade ago- and the one thing that stands out most in my abusive childhood is the constant, unrelenting screaming of being called a “liar”- by a schizophrenic who would punish me until I told her what she believed was “truth”…. basically meaning I would have to lie to avoid further punishments.  That altered me so fundamentally that in my adult years I have become transparent.   If I have skeletons in my closet- the closet has an open door and they party in my living room.

I am a disgrace-  But I am an honest one.

I can tell you I slept with my ex-fiancee the day before I “officially” broke up with my ex-boyfriend of 6 years….despite the fact that I told the man I was going to Canada specifically to explore that relationship possibility and that our relationship had already fallen into abusive ruin.  Does that make me “officially” a cheater despite the fact that I told the man I was with our relationship was not working to the point of misery months before I left and that I was going to Canada EXPRESSLY to explore if I was in love with someone else?

I can tell you I outright LIED to save the reputation of the faculty member I mentioned above for the first two years of knowing him….people would ask me where he was, why things weren’t turned in on time, and what he was doing and I played dumb.  I did this because I was told to protect him.  I learned later that in such “protection” I likely harmed the man by enabling the self depreciating behaviors and lack of spirituality on his part that lead to the demise of our working relationship and friendship.  I predicted my youngest friend would be the next person to become his “confidant”-and he did- but to my immense relief, not anywhere close to the sick, twisted interactions I had with the that professor.

He was the only person I would lie for- and I learned again that lying gets me nowhere….  what would have happened if I had allowed him to be held accountable for his actions his first year of employment?  I overheard everything others said about him, and dutifully reported all that was said back to him- he might not have lasted his first year; he was unreliable, unpredictable, and uninvolved.  I was told to “protect” him, and I did, I saved his life once….but I was NEVER told to sacrifice my own morality and sense of honor and honesty on his behalf-which is my regret.

Now, for what?  A year without breath as I worried myself sick for my young friend who I feared would become a new target… I was right and I was wrong.  My friend was not harmed, to my immense relief;   Just a simple, intelligent, and  insecure young man feeding an older, intelligent, insecure man admiration for his thoughts-nothing more; and to his credit- I was not even brought up in conversation or gaslit as I thought I would be.

There is a difference between sickness and sociopathy…. and I derived a small comfort that both these people, one of which I still care about profoundly and the other I used to care for as well found mutual support without any of the apparent disease associated when I was in a similar position.

However, I have also learned that in speaking truth, there is consequences; especially regarding the actions of others.  There are times where I feel morally responsible to bring wrong-doing to light- and in each instance it causes extraordinary discomfort for the parties involved- leading to, most cases, lies on their end to try and recover that elephant in the room.   I told an open hall outright that the local AFA leader asked my fiancee to “represent” the organization by telling him which Gods he may or may not hail.   I told the kinsbrother of a situation of oathbreaking  in his own kindred involving three members- after several months of allowing them the chance to do so themselves.   Why did I do the latter?  Because I was drunk and it actually mentally hurt to keep it a secret when it affected the wyrd of her group so profoundly since I could put myself in my friends’ shoes….knowing I would want to know if I were him.

It has lead me to pull away from the community at large and simply focus on Freyja’s Hall exclusively and on my writing.

If you want to call me a disgrace, here is the ammunition you need:

– I am mentally ill with C-PTSD which causes daily, insufferable flashbacks.
– I am collecting disability
– I am non-cisgender- the more I dress like a “lady” the more I feel like Mrs. Doubtfire-  Every day is Halloween to me- the more feminine the outfit- the more drag I feel.
– I support our troops with all my heart, but do not condone most of the actions of my government.  I fear my government.
-I had my license suspended for two months (currently) because I had a flat tire- was interrogated for 5 hours, and my blood test revealed that my “standard” dose of anti-anxiety medications is several times higher than what is considered normal.
-I have committed myself to psychiatric hospitals three times- I do not regret it.
-I have had at least 3 unsuccessful suicide attempts (likely more, but the memory is hazy)- including being pulled off a bridge in Saskatoon… each time was because I was harmed unfairly by another so badly I felt I was too flawed to continue existing.
– I worship Allah and have several Islamic tattoos (which is heresy, btw)
– I believe that Islam has been hijacked in the name of violence in the same way Christianity was for the crusades and inquisition.  Neither of which are real religions anymore.
– I don’t follow ANY religion anymore- I am not Asatru, and I am not Muslim. I have learned that religions are simply a way of creating packs of wild dogs who bark and fight with one another; Instead- I walk my own path- which is a combination of shamanism, sufism, panpaganism, and heathenry.
-However, I also understand there are beings more powerful than I and less powerful than He- meaning I also adore Loki, Tyr, Odin, Inari, Inanna, Hanuman, and others who have come to me in my dreams and meditations as teachers, guides, leaders, and friends…and I have even more tattoos indicating this.
-I want our government to cease all violent overseas activity.
-I want our currency to be backed by a metal standard.
-I believe forming exclusive “survivalist” groups is hysterical; you are making yourselves into human targets and/or scapegoats for future atrocities.
-I no longer vote- since I realized my vote means nothing and that both parties are owned by the same corporations.
-I believe whole-heartedly in marijuana as a viable painkiller/anti anxiety drug (though I do not smoke currently for fear of my government, despite the fact that it helped me immensely with my symptoms when I did.)
-I believe in premarital sex and the right to have an abortion and all humans the right to choose to be voluntarily sterilized. ( I have a hysterectomy, much of my gender issues resolved themselves after I stopped having periods.)
-I do not endorse or support the enslavement, subjugation, or servitude of any human to any other human- including sexually, academically, or spiritually. (To serve the Gods are a different matter entirely.)
–If you willingly allow yourself to come to harm by your own recognizance or be subjugated by another- you are weak and to be pitied; I feel compassion for you, but I do not condone your choices.
– I look at the world today and consider anyone who works for another human being as an indentured wage slave….regardless of how nice the compensation is.  Back in the old South, House Slaves were given better treatment than field slaves… however, neither were free.
-If I ran the world, it would be a limited geniocracy- like ancient Athens but lacking the gender discrimination… however, with the exclusion of those who exhibit sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies.  Alternatively, a society ruled by the kind and courageous.
– I do not believe gender is anymore important in today’s society than eye color. We already have too many people.
-I believe in kindness towards everyone until they have taken explicit action to directly harm you.
– I believe you cannot be harmed by any “bad magic” if you are truly innocent.
– I feel no guilt in directing negative intention to those who have intentionally harmed me, and I derive pleasure at their suffering. – – -Schadenfreude is my favorite word in German.
– I believe the universe is fair, but humans are not…. the Gods do not make our lives shitty, people do.
– I do not believe money is a “good” thing, I do not believe seeking riches is an admirable goal- I would rather be poor and kind than rich and selfish.
– If I have the money, I will give it to those who need it more than myself…. to my detriment.
– I feel if a person is wealthy and does not give most of their wealth to charity then they are poor in ethics and spirituality.
(My grandparents would literally give me hundreds of dollars when I was already wealthy- but disowned me when I was poor and sick.  This made me realize that they are not good people….they would also kill neighborhood cats and dogs that “annoyed” them)
– There is no such thing as a Good person who “dislikes” and/or is avoided by animals.
– I do not believe in race….but every culture has it’s own special brand of asshole.
– I understand that the “Aryan Race” is bullshit-  “Aryan” is a cognate of “Iran” and “Caucasian” comes from the Caucus mountains in Iran and Turkey.  Every person I see promoting Aryan/Caucasian “pride” I judge you as poorly researched, bigotted, and stupid.
-Latvia was NEVER fully Christianized, considering that my own grandmother sees Jesus as just one of many options out there.
-I believe killing a fetus is better than abusing a child….100% of the time.  Abortions should be free, easily accessible, and not stigmatized. I have taken several women to get abortions and I have never regretted it.  On the same token-  on the third abortion after age 18, it is indicative of poor enough decision making skills that the right to parenthood should be taken away via mandatory sterilization.
-If abortion is “wrong” because it “messes with the plans of the God(s)-” then fertility treatments are equally reprehensible.  God(s) obviously deemed you as unworthy of being parents.  Deal with it and become a foster parent.  Your genes are too flawed to be passed down.
– If you do not take care of your own children, protect them, love them, and give them the majority of your time when they are young and helpless, you are a terrible human being.
-If you have EVER knowingly harmed a child, an animal, or an innocent person- you deserve any and all suffering you experience.
– I cannot love my own mother and cannot even see her as human; after 17 years of profound abuse and neglect I view her as a rabid animal nothing more and she takes up little of my mind-space.
-Theft of someone’s livelihood is reprehensible.

-Yes,  I judge you for the decisions and actions you take in life….as I know I am also judged by those around me.   It doesn’t change much except in cases where active harm is being committed against the unwilling.

This is who I am.  This is what I believe.  Loki is a scapegoat, as is Lilith, Lucifer, Satan, Prometheus, Jinns/Djinns, demons, satanists,  or any other supernatural “bad person” you can think of, or simply people who you are supposed to “demonize” for having opposing values-  this is societies way of instilling values of what is not acceptable.  Currently, in the Asatru movement to renounce Loki, it indicates a lack of value in honesty, intelligence, diplomacy, and humor.  Too many Asatru have no sense of humor….except in racist jokes.   I like all jokes, really- even really filthy, dirty, inappropriate, racist, sexist ones.  I do not discriminate- but when the only thing that makes you laugh is a joke about a minority, you should reevaluate your priorities.  Also, stop calling yourselves “white” unless you are naturally albino.  Peach, light tan, oak colored, or beige is accurate.   White and Black make no sense unless you are literally those colors… your world view is flawed if you think otherwise.

Christians in despising Satan/Lucifer/The devil indicate they do not stand with rebellion, education (the snake in the garden who did not lie), or personal responsibility.   Please make up your minds if you are “children of God” or his slaves.   A child does not get on their knees in front of a parent unless the parent is extraordinarily abusive.  If you are “in bondage to sin” and have been since birth, why are you supposed to love the one who judges you?  It was my own mother who called me “evil” from a young age- does that make her a good parent?

Muslims-There is no other text but the Quran, and it was written over a thousand years ago-  first of all, stop reading the Hadithe materials, second, read the book yourself WITHOUT ADDED ACCENT MARKS ON THE ARABIC.  Then understand that as society grows and changes, so too, does the interpretation of the book-  it was written intentionally to be vague and for each person to read it personally and draw their own conclusions based on what is holy and what is simply historical within the text.  I doubt Mohammad recited the parts of the Quran that speak about his own actions- why would that make any sense?!

For those who believe there is an “Enemy” out there- there is, it’s called “ignorance” and the only remedy is thought, research, and conversation…  If you follow the words/beliefs/laws of another without even a single question as to the morality of said things you are not living a life, but following a crowd.

The most courageous people in our history have often been killed; Martin Luther King Jr. removed burning crosses from his lawn, John Lennon was shot, Kurt Cobain who spoke out against the record industry killed himself (questionably).

Our comedians speak more truth than our politicians:  the late George Carlin, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Robin Williams, Eddie Izzard, Margaret Cho, and so many others.

The best people our world has ever known, many do not know how good they were:
Fred Rodgers- spoke actively to congress on several occasions protecting the rights of children, education, and public broadcasting
Jim Varney- better known as “Ernest” from the Ernest movies spent most of his time and money visiting sick children.
Nikola Tesla- wanted to give the entire world FREE electricity; died penniless
Cyrus the Great of Persia – wrote the very FIRST codex on human rights, and allowed free practice of all customs and religions under his rule.
Dr. Jonas Salk- Invented one of the first Polio vaccines and refused to patent it…for the good of the people

…and so many others.

But, in all of this rambling, what comes out is what is it to be a “disgrace” but to be an outcast, abnormal, and unaccepted?  Does disgrace go against honor?  And can an honorable action for one person be considered dishonorable for another…well, obviously- yes.

I would like a world with a little less closet space, a lot more honesty, kindness, and a great deal less war.  In every video game I play- I notice that the objective to “kill” literally hundreds of depicted human beings doesn’t even give one thought to pause-  and yet, sex is still considered taboo.

Gods willing, people will have more sex than war in their lives… but sometimes, it seems that people are being trained for a thirst for blood, a clear “enemy” and someone/someones to demonize and terrorize as they see fit.  This, my friends, is dishonorable.   To disagree is fine- to abuse, degrade, lie about, and gain friends over a common “enemy” is dishonorable.

I have been through a lot, but I ultimately came to the conclusion I cannot blame the Gods for my bad experiences- but I can thank them for helping me get through them….and ultimately, I can thank them for their acceptance and protection of me- with the understanding that in exchange, I will do my best to be the most honest and caring person I can be… and the candles were re-lit today with my apologies.

A quote to sum this all up:

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” -Winston Churchill 

I find it no coincidence that Prometheus, Tyr, and Loki are all Gods of both fire and sky… all of which sacrificed, all of which brought much more good to mankind than evil- and all three of which have been punished accordingly for their audacity.

Ch-ch-ch-changes…why I hate Hagalaz

Posted in About me with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by Tyrienne
Hela and Muninn- Huginn never leaves Odin these days (Artist unknown)

Hela and Muninn- Huginn never leaves Odin these days (Artist unknown)

My fiancee is a chosen of the Gods of Death, it seems- he isn’t dying by any means, but he has the uncanny knack to get the attention of anything remotely close to a psychopomp; Hela, Cernunnos, The Morrigan and Anubis; from ancient Eresh-kigal to the young Baron Samedi.  They like his silence, they like that to others he appears to be a blank canvas on which people paint their own ideas of who he is- and then, as he comes into himself, people flee from him as if he were death itself- in a culture that makes death invisible behind closed caskets and bottom-floor mortuaries.   The inevitable for all is hidden and feared as we hide behind a culture of eternal youth and yet never-maturity.   Elderly people who hold the strong rationales of the young that they are always correct, immortal, and untouchable…. until their first heart attack, stroke, or cancer- at which point, they cling even more desperately to this world, seeking refuge in anything that will remind them of anything but what lies at the end-(or new beginning, my Buddhist and Deutsch friends)

For me, it’s tricksters- Raven, Fox, Loki, Odin, Eris, Inari, Papa Legba, Enki, Hanuman, Ganesha, Coyote, Hermes….then out of nowhere, breaking the pattern there is  Tyr, and to utter confusion, Allah- the greatest trickster of all whose Sufi followers seem entranced in a dance of chaos and order too complex to follow- if anyone even still knows of Him as Divine Love, now hidden behind the words of men who read the Hadithe and not the Quran.   An ancient God based on the goodness of Zoroastrian Ahura Mazda (Ohrmazd) who has now been confused with Angra Mainyu (Ahriman)- the bringer of ill thoughts, ill words, and ill deeds- rather than good thoughts, good words, and even better deeds.  A God of both Fire and water who is now seen as a God of subjugation, sand, and fear.

I also Know a man who calls Krishna a pacifist.  I have read the Bagavahd Gita where Krishna speaks to his charioteer Arjuna about the necessity of death and change.  The flute playing philandering is simply a hobby after the blood has dried from his blue hands.

I am tired of being change.  I am tired of being the canary in the metaphysical coalmine who brings false teachers to the open, liars to their knees, and stands at the last crossroads before enlightenment becomes impossible.  The last warning before you decide to give up on your dreams and submit to the machine, to fall to your knees into perpetual slavery of society, of the mind, and the subjugation of art and intellect in favor of comfort and security- fame and “success”.   I can tell people that this life is an illusion until I’m blue in the face, I can tell them that material things, youth, beauty, and popularity are not eternal. I can show evidence that time and matter as we perceive them are a priori and not true reflections of reality with citations from the most famous and respected physicists and philosophers.

I can challenge you, I can stare you down, I can be your equal, your adversary.  I become more than a human and less- I become a line on a checklist of things that stand in the way- a thing, an “it”…and not in the respectful “it” as found in non-gendered languages such as Persian.

Am I bitch or a woman “with the mind of a man?”
Why are most of the “great” philosophers/geniuses Queer?
Is Loki a man or woman?
He was a mother,  I can never be.
Does it matter?

Everything was fine until I came, I know.  Everything would be different if I were not here- they say, those with lies between their teeth and their mirrors covered with Dorian Gray paintings of themselves as they wish to be seen- their ugliness on the inside.

Don’t trust the beautiful people, the beautiful gods who shine with perfection-  They are the most cruel, violent, and sadistic.  The perfect send she-bears to devour children, Divine Angels to slay the firstborn, and beg for their sheep to be lead quietly to the slaughter at the end of existence, meek and docile convinced of their worthlessness and shame for daring to exist at all- all things, sinful- to question is to cause problems, to stir the pot, to bring chaos.

Hush, quiet…be safe and say nothing; ignore the lies, the blood, and the slaughter that has been funded by your shopping sprees for  this millennium….the money you used to give to the Church you prayed to for salvation in the middle ages funded wars and inquisitions- the money you spend in consumerism is no different.

“I want to be rich!”  people say, they step on their own children and regard their grandchildren with suspicion over green pieces of paper and numbers on a screen that are not even backed by real substance; there is no more silver or golden standard.  They huddle in unhappy lives, chained to ideas and people in fear of being alone while they alienate those they are truly responsible for.  No cocktail party in the world will erase the failings, injustice, false judgement, and division caused by those who would divide the people and claim the poor the enemy and bow before the rich as examples of morality and righteousness.

No camel can enter heaven through the eye of the needle, and the man with 2 wolves at his feet asks to rest in your home in tattered clothes and raven feathers in his wide-brimmed hat.  Jesus walks from city to city in sandals, and Siddhartha gave up a kingdom to understand suffering.

I have known and lost so many great teachers that I cannot trust any of them any more, except for the dead- I’m sure even C.S. Lewis was fallible, however, no man had ever so gracefully explained how all religions can co-exist peacefully- hidden in a fantasy kingdom there were Gods of oceans and trees, and centuries of peace as the faun held hands with the badger, beaver, and human….where there was something undefinable that unified and created it all.

William Paley, if you were alive….I would ask you if that watch in the desert was discarded after it was made perfect to represent the illusion of time- or if others are right and you meant intelligent design.   Nietzsche would claim abandonment then death of the Creator as the watch of our world rusts in our hands.

There was a Parsi Musician who died because he loved too much and too strongly, and was buried with the flames of Ahura Mazda burning brightly at his funeral and his music still inspires more people than Rumi/Molavi….   But since I have described him by traits you did not know him by, you do not see him as one of your champions-  one who looked death in the eyes and looked the world in the eyes to say : “I Still Love you.” days before he crossed his bridge across the chasm to what lay beyond.  His riches given to charities and those he loved most.

I know an Irish magician who wanders with no true home, and I trust him more than I would any academic- though the first thing he will tell you is that he is “mad”.   Madness is liberating; he says.  I concur, the line between genius and madness so very thin-  Loki and Odin cross wrists across that line- but who is on which side at any given time?  They are brothers and their choosing of each other as family is irreversible- not with a drop of blood-but a deluge.

I know a man with a crooked face who paid thousands to fix what a Norseman would see as blessing from Odin, what a Sufi would see as a warning from Allah, and that I saw as character- to be washed away with ebb and flow of money, the thought that the insecurity felt within would be staunched like wound- a wound that bleeds red against white- but the green bears the faces of false leaders- not the green of liberation.

Question, my half-faced friend- how much did you spend on fixing your external false-flaws that could have been given in Zakat?  Oh, but I forget myself.  Atheism is in fashion- to declare with absolute certainty that there is nothing to hold one accountable, there is no watch in the desert, no watchmaker, or Great beast, lion, wolf, or jackel that will weigh your heart on the balance of life and death.

So, do you name the stars in the sky and know each by name?  Can you tell me how to split the moon, and the intricacies of the human circulatory system?  Can you name for me the those who die each day with pinched faces of starvation of your ancestral homeland?

No?

Is your totem the duck or the rabbit?

If you do not know everything, then how can you tell me there is nothing beyond this world when you close your eyes to the world you live in?  What color is your world Grue or Bleen?

We speak of Philosophers and Scientists as if they hold keys to mastery that we cannot obtain-  many go on to higher education to learn how to plagiarize the works of hundreds to create papers that say nothing new at all- the unverified personal gnosis has been vilified- unless it has been experienced by a trusted source. Alan Watts is reduced to a mere footnote or a quotation. William James and Rudolph Otto, both as dead as Wittgenstein and Tesla- (both of which spent their lives dancing with death.)

Nietzsche, Tesla, Crowley, and Nijinsky danced with madness at their ends….but we like to forget their ends- for endings are uncomfortable, especially for geniuses who died ignobly instead of in wealth, opulence of funeral, and with weeks of mourning and gnashing of teeth at their deaths.

Machiavelli died with all the accolades of a Prince- and so, he is revered and more known than the quiet words of Cunningham, LeVay, and Farrar.

We live in a world of a religion of Science which has discovered God in a particle, but magic is the domain of the mad.

“There is freedom in Madness,”  Quote the Irish Shaman– as the fires roared and the coals glowed red against cerulean skies and bright spring grass.  We broke arrows upon our throats for Justice and Confidence.  We shared garnets and mica from the stream and drank water among the gypsies, folk and fae.

Today I am angry at the world, and I hate myself for being the change I wish to see in the world.  I change my surroundings by being mostly unchanging myself-  I do not flow like the river, I am the marble that has been worn away by tears, and torn down by chisels, axes, and the occasional hammer.

I shine and reflect you to yourselves and you blame me for your own failings, I bear a torch and you supply the gas for the flame so all eyes look to me when change occurs.  The invisible fumes, deadly, toxic- and my fire sets them alight illuminating me against your darkness.

So, you bring me your personal demons- your wild wolf self chained in the sound of a cat’s footfalls, the breaths of fish on air, the roots of mountains, the sinews of bear, the bearded woman, the spit of the swallows who build their nests on the side of the rocky crags only to be stolen and made into soup.

The wolf within you is the only thing of value left of yourselves, and you hold that bright beast in contempt for the idea of freedom, sovereignty, and mastery where no man or woman is your better- where you can run with quicksilver paws on ice and endless fields and howl.

…and you eat like the prey you are, many of you.  Weakened and enslaved by trends and fashion-  never knowing the feeling of life fleeting from a warm body- that final shuttering breath and silence in a world of colorful noises.

Never tasting the flesh of the wild- the deer caught mid-leap, the pheasant fallen from flight, or the salmon caught falling upsteam in one fatal leap.

“Kill my wildness; hide me from Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall- take me from my family and give me a Master who is generous.  Take away my desire to run and sit me silently in the ranks of the living dead.  Let me ask your permission to shit and piss and to go home to take care of my ailing family and brief moments in the lives of my children, who are raised in institutions and chained to desks metaphorically as child laborers in third world countries are chained to looms; both learning nothing of consequence to better themselves.”  and these selfsame people look to me as Antagonist, the unchained, dangerous, and ruinous …and I shake my head.

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

I make my own peace/reconciliation between Time, Earth,and Sky

The path to the sky begins with a sound and continues with action.

The path to the sky begins with a sound and continues with action.

The red moon shines above a city that forces each man and woman to their knees before it, and I wonder- is there a single free soul left in the shadow of Damavand? I was trapped by love letters from a non-cisgender diaspora from their city that destroyed me.  Then I look to my right and I remember how I got here: a journey started with the first sound in the universe, it is said-  and then my own movement initiated by one of the many great Promethean figures- His green eyes burn, His hair red like smokeless flames- a prince of Jinn and an ancient god of Northern hearths.   So many forget what it feels like to bathe in the heat of flame, the flow of streams, to feel the wind upon their faces and the Earth beneath their feet.  A person can write love letters and forget what it means to love.

I am free in my own way… and for that people despise me.  In truth, I no more free than you are. It began with a necklace of the first sound- and the command of a red haired god of green eyes:  I am caged by my own fears- by letters like green ribbons  which I stole from a two-spirit who would not grant me peace nor reconciliation- but I am brave enough to wear a sign of a God that is quickly being forgotten among Hadith, violence, and propaganda.  Would you dare to mark yourself with forbidden symbols and remind yourself that only a one green thread kept you in Hell and away from Hel?

You remain captive in soulless rooms filled with atrophied spirits, and I find myself trapped within my own home, afraid of going anywhere at all without a companion at my side or at journey’s end.  Are we so different?

Evidently, yes.   I am free to speak what words I wish when I wish.  I am free to speak the truth without caring of the consequences from any human; I have been too fucking hurt to care:

Os, the Rune of the uncomfortable truth

Os, the Rune of the uncomfortable truth

According to This site: “Os, the Rune of the God-Voice, is vied for by several deities. It is sometimes associated Bragi, the skald of the Norse gods, and sometimes with Odin himself when he speaks through a human body. It also has an affinity with Odin’s blood brother  Loki the Trikster. What each of these deities has in common is that they represent different ways of speaking divine truths through a human mouth. The skald or bard speaks or sings dramatically, moving the crowd to new emotions. The prophetic voice is often confusing, bringing the stories of the future to the waiting crowd of the moment, but it also important is helping them to touch the divine WodOs, the Rune of the God-Voice, is vied for by several deities. It is sometimes associated with Bragi, the skald of the Norse gods, and sometimes with Odin himself when he speaks through a human body. It also has an affinity with Odin’s blood brother and arch enemy(SIC!), Loki the Trickster. What each of these deities has in common is that they represent different ways of speaking divine truths through a human mouth. The skald or bard speaks or sings dramatically, moving the crowd to new emotions. The prophetic voice is often confusing, bringing the stories of the futurwith e to the waiting crowd of the moment, but it also important is helping them to touch the divine Wod”

However, this is not to say I live a life without extraordinary consequences as well Quoted from Here:

Tiwaz: The Rune of Tyr, Justice, and Sacrifice

Tiwaz: The Rune of Tyr, Justice, and Sacrific

“Tiwaz is a warrior rune named after the god Tyr who is the Northern god of law and justice. Tyr is related to the north star in the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem, around which the fixed stars in the night sky appear to rotate. Ancient seamen used Polaris as their main navigational aid in their long journeys, and the symbol as an arrow pointing upward is perhaps made in reference to this. This symbolizes the positive ordering of the cosmos and humankind through law and justice and our moral compass. Chaos comes to order through the attributes of awakened consciousness and the guiding principles concerned with carrying out such an awakening.

Tyr is a one-handed god with a long history, and his hand was sacrificed to trick the wolf, Fenris, into being chained. Tiwaz is just victory according to the law of accumulated right past action. To rule justly, one is asked to make many self-sacrifices, and Tiwaz can develop the power of positive self-sacrifice and temper over-sacrifice. The belief that courage and a right cause carries the day is governed by Tiwaz. It is the common justice of the people rather than the use of law by tyrants (a word that uses Tyr as a root)

Tiwaz will bring about a correct balancing of the scales so that you are assured a fair hearing and fair decision. Do not be thrown off balance by the chaos of your environment. Like the North star, you must remain true and calm, assert your case with confidence and let the energies of your orlog assisted by the force of Tiwaz bring about a right solution.

Should you need reassurances that there is value in building up positive patterns in advance of emergency, this is the time you will see its greatest manifestation. You have earned the right to a fair and just decision. Tiwaz will be used to bring fair distribution of the earned energies from your ancestral stream.

Tiwaz can be used to bring about a missionary zeal for a righteous cause. The most powerful insight we can draw from Tiwaz is that we must target our energies in the single most correct place, just as the arrow or spear symbolized by the rune must. Call upon Tiwaz for justice.”

Huginn: "Thought"  The moon is patterned from Al-Hambra Palace, Spain where I spent a semester learning history abroad.

Huginn: “Thought”
The moon is patterned from Al-Hambra Palace, Spain where I spent a semester learning history abroad.

But Despite all the above my first guidance has been Ornithomancy over intelligence:

Muninn: "Memory" Like Odin, thoughts never leave, but memory is transient.

Muninn: “Memory”
Like Odin, thoughts never leave, but memory is transient.

Huginn has been with me since I was 19 years old- this is his most recent incarnation on my back after many trials, artists, touch ups. “Stand Fast” was a gift to remind myself that I saved the child of my ex-fiancee from a childhood like the one I lived through- with extraordinary sacrifice and trust in the Divine to do the right thing.

Muginn was a gift from my current fiancee and both together show a duel nature of my belief systems.  The artists of most of this work was created at KS Tattoo in Laureldale, Pennsylvania.

And so, back to the beginning-  I have been accused, slandered, tortured, gaslit, abandoned, and despised.   I have been loved, followed, adored, cherished, and held on pedestals far too high.  There are times where I am not a person, but an object or simplified to a statement- usually negative.  I am an individual among a society desperate for the approval of most- the way we contort ourselves, our minds, bodies, with paints, surgeries, affects, and meaningless unoffensive words to keep up the status quo.

The  “ideal” person doesn’t wear their history on their body, marking each landmark, scar, achievement, and failing- that is only for those without class- Class keeps things behind closed and locked doors- as they beg for silence against the untempered knocking and avalanches behind closed doors.   Plastic surgery brings one closer to an “ideal”- a tattoo is simply another way to make a scar beautiful, but it also challenges decades worth of societal class distinctions; the barbarian, the soldier, the unemployable, the criminal, the feared, and the blue collared are tattoo’d to the elder generations.

My generation and our avant gardes challenge you, and you do not like us.   We challenge you with our existence, with our lack of ties and pantyhose,    We challenge our society…but not in any substantial way that ever makes the news or changes much of anything- except bringing us our own pain for our trouble of trying.

With me it’s open.  Everything.   I learned early I can not afford secrets with a memory that cannot be relied upon…. if you live dictated by intuition, heart, and intellect rather than conventional means- truth quickly becomes stranger than fiction anyhow and far more interesting than any “story” or lie.

I wear ink to tell my stories…  I have lived through chaos and survived.   I have looked death in the eyes time and again and was refused for whatever reason: repeatedly.  So, for better or worse you are stuck with me for now.  My Fiancee speaks to the Gods who have refused me more times than any 31 year old should be able to count- by chance or deliberate intentions.

I am going to continue to live my life with or without your approval- but I will continue in this process to be wounded, tested, absolved, accused, loved, and despised.   I refuse to compromise my integrity.  I refuse to politely lie to save your comfort.    I fear burlap sacks, being trapped, and FEMA coffins.  I fear I will never see Tehran in one piece and can’t watch the news- when all I see are lies and can smell the scent of war as cleanly as any black-feathered bird.   I fear for my friends in fatigues regardless on which side they fight for- and I am angered at corporate interests puppet governments, complacent people, and the lack of critical thought, lack of questioning, and although I understand it, I also resent the “Status Quo”.

By nature, I realize I am Hagalaz…..wherever I go, I am different, therefore, I bring change if I mean to or not.   However, that doesn’t mean I have to like it.   All in all, I’m actually rather self-loathing where my life consist of a scale where the harm/burden I generate is ever being weighed against the good I am able to accomplish. With those scales is a clock; according to research, my time is 15 years or less as per the law of averages.

Does the Jackal hold the scales for this fox?  No.  Instead, there is an ancestral man with half a face- his eye lost to his love of knowledge, his sanity given for mysteries and mysticism- and as I marked as being a scion of both his blood-brother and one-handed predecessor, He has my first Oath….and only the Gods and the clever know where my second oath remains, indelible, spoken in a city of spies and under a pentagram flag.

Messrs C. S. Lewis, Gibran, Watts, and Molavi,….perhaps one day I could write as beautifully as you and explain it so cleanly, but I need to bypass Time which is stagnant and my fears, inhibitions, and insecurities which are not.

Regret Nothing:

~A Formal Introduction~

Posted in About me with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2012 by Tyrienne

Hello, I am a born and raised heathen and I am Lokian.

I am unapologetic in this.  When asked in public, I will tell you so with no hesitation.

I am not intentionally unkind,  dishonorable, nor false.
I point out the elephants in rooms, I tell disgusting  jokes, and pride myself that I can carry myself with charisma and intelligence regardless of the setting.  My life has been chaotic, half of it beyond my own choosing and sometimes untenable, the other half that chaos is the environment in which I thrive.

First, I would like to introduce you to an article by Uncle Thor:
http://thortrains.net/blog/?p=3467  It’s a excellent place to begin, and he has written a wonderful book called “Loki for You” which may be purchased Here.

I believe in truth, hospitality, honor, fidelity, self-reliance (to an extraordinary fault)  frith, and live a life which I cannot deny is courageous in it’s own ways….and like a cat flung from many windows of a skyscraper, I always land on my feet, just not especially gracefully.  I am not dead yet, therefore, I persevere.  On the other hand, Industriousness is difficult with a chronic illness, however.  (but look-  I wrote this post after several weeks of trying!)

I cannot be any person other than myself.  I have a vocabulary that extends from ghetto, to trailer park, to suburbs, mansions, and my research has been presented some of the most respected universities in academia. I have a double degree in religion and philosophy, wrote a successful honors thesis on the physics and relation between our perception of physical time and mysticism.  I am also a very active member in the greater Asastru and Heathen community and have been doing so openly for around 6 years; including as a *gasp* Gythia.

I cannot seek much attention, I have too much anxiety for that.  I care deeply for how others perceive me, if they have my respect or concern- and I have learned quickly the easiest way to keep even the most chaotic life manageable is to not lie.  About anything.  While living in a culture where lying is a way of life in the forms of “tact”, “politeness”, or “being civil.”

I can create words of extraordinary eloquence, but I cannot lie for you or to you- I can and will withhold information if need be.  I also possess an exceptional vocabulary which allows for great maneuverability in difficult circumstances that I am aware that others do not enjoy or appreciate at times.  However, I did not will not EVER lie to you…  If you suspect I am withholding information, the onus is on you to create a clearer question to ask me.

Personally, I would rather take the fall and be hurt by a clear truth than a polite lie.  Truth is respectable- a liar is not worthy of my time unless I can find a way for them to be caught.  I do not care for authority figures unless you earn my respect with both knowledge and kindness.  Should you hold neither, I will delight to expose you as unworthy of your unearned credentials.

This is part of what it means to be Lokian.  Honor is defined in many ways, and I assure you that Loki and his folk are indeed honorable.  Loki is not a patron one can suddenly decide to “choose”- for he is intensely offended by those who lack intelligence, craft, or the inability to create allies in both high and low places.

I am a  secret introvert.  I get by in life by always making first introductions, controlling the initial direction of conversation, then agreeing very nicely to clever points made by others I have just met.  If the direction of the conversation becomes uncomfortable, I will suggest a controversial topic to allow others in the party to wax poetic for several minutes (so I do not have to do more than smile and nod…and learn a great deal.)  Or, alternately, I change the topic to dead baby jokes.   Everyone secretly loves dead baby jokes. (usually)

Loki pursued me, advised me, and watched me for several years.  The red-haired God of the North was eloquent, kind, considerate, intelligent, and charming.  His humor was disarming and he was comfortable to speak to.  So, like any rational person, despite his lack of beard, I assumed he was Bragi.  He would appear in my dreams as a slender college professor with wild hair, a teacher, and lastly an apologetic friend when he found his advice to protect and observe a scholar I once knew would be “A honorable man to learn from”- He did not specify that it was meant to “learn from” as the ultimate negative example as I watched that scholars honor disintegrate into the bright lights of academic success.

“I know many things,” Loki said, “But sometimes, even I do not know everything.”

I am also one of the very few born and raised heathens I am aware of in my area.  I did not convert from Wicca, Christianity, or any other faith.  I have TRIED to convert to other faiths, however, and have always returned back to my home, so to speak.  My heritage is heathenistic on both sides- Pennsylvania Dutch and Baltic (The Baltic completely cops to it, on the other my dad admits it as matter-of-fact, my paternal grandmother does so intermittently, and my paternal grandfather sees it as an embarrassment). The problem was: There was nothing outside the family really like it. It was just “The Way We Did Things Back Home”The Old Way”  or “Dutch Folkcraft” or just how “our family does things”…as a child, Dad would leave books of Norse legends around, and talk casually about Woden and Loki, and totally made a game of taunting Thor. (Especially with tall metal ladders and thunderstorms)

On BOTH sides of the family we hid behind Lutheranism. I hated it, my dad hated it…but his advice consisted of “Without these churches you wouldn’t exist…and what is one more God looking out for you. It can’t harm you.”…and then would proceed to teach me how to make any pastor whose  life I crossed as a teenager a living hell by pointing out all the crazy contradictory shit in the Bible: The Great Sea Monsters in Genesis, the incest, and how Judas both jumped off a cliff, hung himself, and somehow made the land he fell upon infertile.

One thing to note:  As polytheists, who is to say that there are not other gods who may take interest in us?  No one can prove lineage absolutely- and I was told once “If you pray to someone, pray to their god because your god might not know them enough to help.”

Our ancestors were a HUGE deal on both sides. The Letts visit graves each year to wreath them with boughs of evergreen and candles to sing in honor of the dead. The other side used to visit graves on holidays and it was considered “normal” that when someone in the family would so something stupid, my great grandfather’s piano we had in the living room would reek of cigar smoke. Great grandparents would visit dad and I in dreams… My Swiss great grandma comes in dreams just as she was in life, sitting in her old rocking chair, and complaining about the failures of relatives I barely know; second cousins, great uncles, etc.

I wandered through just about everything. I have been formally trained as a shaman, full process, and “torn apart and buried” at 19, and before and since hung out with New Agers, Christians, Baha’is, Unitarians, have assisted Wiccans and filled in as a HP on several occasions, practiced with several druids, befriend agnostics, atheists, and Pastafarians. Further, I am friend to all Discordians  (of which, you are all Popes, by the by.)

However, I always came back “home”, same ancestors, same heritage. Outside of Inari, East Asian religions perplex me…I can’t sit still to meditate and Hinduism confuses me.

In college I found Sufism, and got that crazy “touch the universe” sort of ecstatic thing going,  I researched Islam ….and in the end found myself right back with my ancestors.  In Sufism, Allah nothing more than an ocean of knowledge to which we all desire to return  I seek truth and knowledge on any path open on which I can find it…there is no such thing as useless information.

Think on it.  If nothing else “Useless” facts can be a source of amusement if nothing else.

In Heathenry, the Gods are our ancestors- they guide us to wisdom and virtue and interact with our lives DIRECTLY.  We do not bow as heathens, we do not focus on our flaws but seek to consistently improve and move forward. We can experience our interactions with Woden, Thor, Tyr, Freyja, Loki, et all. Odin  did not begin as All-Knowing/All seeing… but he is the All-Father. He is directly connected to the well of knowledge…his desire for knowledge gave him the gifts to which we all strive.  If He does not Know- he seeks the answer, Loki makes an educated guess, acts on intuition, and through trial and error finds the solution.

Woden/Woten/Odin as well as Loki are spoken of in their extensive travels. Woden for his sacrifices of himself to himself, the loss of his eye, the learning of the Runes of a knowledge greater than himself to which even He was student.To me, it has been a clear path that knowledge and the ultimate truths, love and happiness are the only things truly worth seeking.  Loki travels fearlessly between all realms, speaks to all races, and desires to learn all secrets…. anything and everything can come in handy, someday..

Despite my journeys, it has been made clear I am still accepted as a daughter of Odin, still filled with the judgements of  Tyr in my anger and guided by Loki, he who never breaks oaths, he who uses words rather than violence, the God with a sense of humor who defies people who take themselves too seriously, the smiter of egos and the destroyer of the self-righteous.

Also, I would like to note that much of my family was EXTRAORDINARILY pissed when I joined the Heathen community at large.  They might still be.  I know many families, especially of PA Dutch lineage, who will never introduce themselves to the public, go to blots, gatherings, etc.  We, as a people, have been burned before via shunning and misunderstanding.  I have been trying to get those I know personally to come out- with limited success.

Also, the same can be said of other Lokians.  We are a charming, clever, and entertaining group of people- but the instant negative judgment most have been subject to has lead them to choose to exclude themselves from the greater community.   Just as all Asatru are NOT Nazi-sympathizers, nor are all Lokians hell-raisers, crude, or disruptive. However, the treatment of us has embodied those very traits of which we are accused.  The hypocrisy is truly insulting and utterly distasteful…especially to those chosen by the Aesir of Intellect

Loki is the teller of unkind truths, and he is hated because most humans, honestly, are trained liars.

Odin fell in love with knowledge, Loki exposes Truth and keeps things from getting too formal, Tyr judges right from wrong action, knows that sacrifices are necessary to restore balance, and defines honor from dishonor. Zisa unties knots,  and Hela takes us to our next stop after this life becomes too worn to continue for us.  Ask Freyr for an honorable lover and seek Frigga to show us the importance of fidelity, love and community.  If you want a good time, several cats, and have a passion for war and/or sex- Freyja is your lady.

Call to Sigyn when you bear the suffering of another on your own shoulders.

Thor?…meh. I like the guy but his followers drive me nuts. ;)

As a Lokian, I ask you the following questions:

In Heathenry, How can you find knowledge if you stop seeking it? How to can you learn information if you spend your life shutting doors? One of the many reasons Loki is so profoundly rejected, misunderstood, and  hated is because of his outright refusal to stop seeing all creatures, beings, and realms and resources and would not care about others “value judgements” upon them. You never know who has useful information, you never learn the secrets of places you never visit, and having allies among every sort of person, although it may offend the sensibilities or prejudices of some, seems much more hospitable and wise than closing doors based on the thoughts/feelings/ experiences of others that yourself have not witnessed.

Look at every major religion, look at the worst of Asatru with those in our kind who stick to only seeing one point of view as valid. I see division, I see the closing of doors, of minds, and of intellect. Hence, this is how we lose our freedoms and rights to personal happiness. Love and hatred can coexist nicely- seeking knowledge while retaining pride in ignorance creates a metaphorical tar pit at best, quicksand at worst.

Loki is not perfect, he is not infallible, not always correct, nor always polite .   However, he is sworn brother by blood oath to Odin, of whom, the same can be said.

He is a God of humor, of mirth, of trickery, and yes, sometimes of spite.  Loki is a trickster where sometimes his humor is not appreciated….but he makes good on his oaths, through actions, and the end result is often far superior to any error he may make.  Without Loki, there would be no sleipnir, mjolner, Sif’s hair would not have rooted as pure gold.  His ways are unconventional, not socially acceptable much of the time, and to many, he speaks far too much.  Conversely, he is also a diplomat, he can negotiate out of most violence via his silver tongue- he can expose the pompous, and bring the mightest kings down to fools they are within with his truths.

He is not Satan, our gods are not dichotomously divided on lines of good verses evil.  As humans, we are complex and multidimensional- why would those who guide us be simple?

The gnosis of Loki is that he is a God who understands chaos, He understands those who have experienced the unexplainable, the unspeakable, and the unbelievable.

He knows his own worth.  He appreciates being invited to the table, and most of all,  By Odin’s blood- do you believe the wisest of the Gods was so easily deceived by Loki’s ways and that there is not a real friendship between them?

On a last note, for this post, I want my English speaking friends to keep in mind that many of our texts were translated by Christians, some biased, and no. I do not feel that under the earth there is a man bound by the intestines of his own son doomed to torture for keeping sweet Baldr safe in Hela’s hall until Ragnorak.  However, I believe that there is a divine man who is sadly and gravely misunderstood, who appreciates and reciprocates generously for those who see through ignorance and propaganda to honor his gifts to us and the rest of our kin.  He is honored when asked for intelligent council, to lend eloquent words, or to find a way out of chaos.

I cannot make you a Lokian no more than you can make me Thorian.  (Neither would appreciate that, anyway. I am terrible with a hammer)

However, on a parting note: One of the dozens of kennings for Loki is “Loki, friend of Thor.”

Among the Aesir, Loki is among the Gods as kin, so to, he is among us as well whether you like it or not.