Tuesday, October 26, 2010

[Admin] New Site

Sometimes getting older is not better.

I am in a position where I love to write, but it helps to be inspired to do so.
Things pile up and I get busy, and I forget this.
The gods are kind, they have given me a couple truly gifted and inspirational people to write with.
So  I am moving my deeply opinionated vision of my world view over to Weaving Wyrd.
If you are interested in coming along for the ride, adjust your bookmarks, and hold on to your britches.
Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


There are some interesting discussions in the ether about forgiveness.
I don't believe in forgiveness.

Before everyone leaps to the conclusion that I am some sort of angry sink of bitterness that wishes woe on every passer by in some stereotypical hag way, I am not angry, bitter or mean. 

As my beloved described  it, I am a person with a happy heart.

I believe in letting negative things go, offering them up to the universe as beyond my control, and taking responsibility for my own emotional health. I believe in  making the decision that the anger or pain or frustration that I am feeling doesn't make me healthy, happy or the best servant to myself, my family, my community or my deities of choice.

So how is that different from forgiveness?

Forgiveness is defined as the act of excusing a mistake or offense or the act of granting pardon for or remission of something.

To me, to excuse or pardon something is to overlook or ignore or forget that something happened.

That runs counter to my "life is learning" point of view. If you aren't using those negative experiences to learn from, you will keep repeating them.  And the more you keep repeating them, they will get harder, more extreme, until you are pushed to your limit.

And if someone snarls up their orlog making my life miserable, it is not up to me to pardon them. That's part of their balance sheet with the universe, their deities of choice, their life path. I can't pardon them.

You don't have to hold on to the negativity to learn, but you do have to acknowledge the occurrence, look at it, pull out the bits you need and let the rest go. Or you won't learn anything.

Your mileage will most certainly vary.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


We celebrated Midsummer late this year, we are all very busy people with major life events happening in this space-time. We bottled the mead we started last year at Midsummer, had lunch, made herb garlands, had a very simple and short ritual, made s'mores and in general enjoyed the day and each other.

I'm adding to my "It doesn't have to hurt to be meaningful."  It also doesn't have to be dramatic to be meaningful.

Many Midsummer rituals that I have attended were large, staged affairs with lots of drama. And those honor the gods too. But they are not the only path to honor.

What do the gods want most from us? It is a question any practitioner asks themselves, especially when things are going south or sideways or aren't going at all.

Do the gods want big, loud rituals that shout out our love for them into the universe? Or do they just want to be acknowledged, remembered, thanked for all the bounty they enable us to reach for?

I prefer to believe that honoring the gods every day in little ways is just as effective and loving as honoring them on holy days in a big way. 

This Midsummer, I got to catch up with people I don't see nearly enough. I got to hold the new baby in the group, discuss an upcoming wedding, commiserate over a recent car accident. I got to talk about all the things a priestess and a teacher would like to know about their colleagues, their kith, their friends. It was simple. It was serene. It was community building. I love these people.

This Midsummer, I got to honor my deities of choice, the wights of the space, and Sunna, for whom we had gathered. It was simple. It was not dramatic. But the gods were pleased. And that's the important part

Of course, your mileage will most certainly vary.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Faring Forth: A Quick Tour of Seven of the Nine Worlds

Our group over the last several months has walked the worlds.
It has been an enlightening experience.
I travel often.
My Nordic geography shares about 75% of content with Raven Kaldera's Nine Worlds(Pathwalker's Guide to the Nine Worlds, good Berlitz of the terrain and denizens). Only Midgard, which I believe is our world and Svartalfheim, which looks totally different from Kaldera's description, are significantly different.
I prefer to travel by boat than walking, I have a deep affinity for water and sailing. Odin showed me the river route through the worlds many years ago.
It was a surprise for me to learn how difficult it is to take a group.
On this trip, we went places I often go.
Vanaheim was our first stop during the part of the year Frey was in residence. Vanaheim or Asgard are the two places I visit my first deity of choice, Freya.
Asgard was our second stop. I don't go to Asgard that often, I usually meet with Odin at his high seat at Hlidskjalf, sometimes with Frigga, sometimes not. As what became the pattern, once we got to one of the worlds, the group, as any tour group would do, scattered to see what was interesting for them.
Then we discovered we were under a bit of a time constraint. One of the members is pregnant, and I have firm rules about journeying, drawing down or other personality perilous activities during pregnancy.
So we started with what I thought of as the most dangerous places.
Muspellheim was our next stop. And this is where Kaldera's travel guide was invaluable.
I had never been to Muspellheim before. The negotiations to allow a group to come there went very smoothly, Surt was very polite, and the trip itself was spectacular, the black sand and the lava flows and the great dark giants striding majestically through the smoke.
Niffleheim was our next stop. And the stop I learned a very valuable lesson about the group. We discussed shape shifting, I shifted into a firebird form to carry them from our boat to Muspellheim, and they had all had the urge to shift with me. So when we went to Niffleheim, I suggested that they all try shapeshifting.
Shapeshifting is listed as one of the most difficult skills to learn by many writers and teachers in this field. I have a personal addendum to that, If you don't have a talent for it. If you do have a talent for it, shapeshifting can be as easy as breathing.
Our group is varied across worldview, deity of choice and focus of learning lines. I've always wondered what common thread they shared that brought them together. Well, shapeshifting seems to be that thread. They all shapeshifted into polar bears or arctic wolves with ease on our trip to Niffleheim.
Jotunheim was our next stop. The negotiations to go there went very well. I have run in the Iron Wood, my normal aspect when I go there is a wapiti, which is designed to let the denizens know that I'm not from around there, but big enough to to defend myself. I let the group choose what forms they wanted. We got an elephant, a snow leopard, a badger, a wolverine, a horse and a emu. Our visit to the Iron Wood went very well, with the exception of a giant taking quite a liking to our badger, and some difficulty in getting them to let her leave. The group also learned it is difficult at first to talk in animal form, there was some shifting back and forth to communicate.
Next we went to Svartalfheim. This is not someplace I usually go, but my son's father had a great affinity for this place, and as a result, so does my son. I spend a lot of time following my son to the edges of this space, because he really likes to travel here in his dreams. The negotiations to go there were a bit rocky, with warnings not to show any giantish traits,not to shapeshift and not to look through their illusions. One of our members did all of those things once we got there, despite warnings to the contrary. We had to beat a hasty retreat to avoid elf shot.
Helheim was next. Hel is one of my deities of choice, so I felt there was little danger in going here. The experience was profound for everyone, as Hel had something to say to each person in the group.
Outside of Helheim, there are many gates to different death realms. I pointed out some that were relevant to other world views, and then we stepped through the one to Vahalla.
In Vahalla, we met with the ambassador to Alfheim. I had been petitioning to go to Alfheim for weeks with no luck. Despite its proximity to Vanaheim and my close relationship to Freya, I could not get permission to go there or bring the group there. So we had to make due with meeting the ambassador.
Since many people felt they had been shortchanged on our trip to Svartalfheim, and a few people weren't there, we went back to Svartalfheim. The second trip went much smoother. We were able to come and leave in peace.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I figured out what was bugging me or power dynamics in groups

So I thought and I thought and I thought...

I am bad at recognizing and dealing with interpersonal power politics.
You know, someone says something about someone else to make a third party do what they want, or to make the second party like them better than the third party, or bring down the leader so they can be leader themselves, or so they can be the leader without doing any of the work, or so they get someone else to be the leader, or they can get out of being the leader, or they can persuade someone from one group to join their group or they can exclude someone from their group or so on and so forth.

As a journalist and a person, I am inclined to go to the source and ask if what was said is true or not true. But when I do that, I get "Oh, no, I didn't say that, I would never say that." It's like fighting smoke, there's nothing to pin down, fix, confront, or negotiate.

It could be that being raised in an abusive environment as a child has skewed my understanding of why some people feel the need to bend others to their will or control.

It could be because I have no patience with the background manipulations that characterize the accumulation of that kind of power.

It could be because I have no talent for it. I have friends that have pointed this out to me on numerous occasions.

It could be that I naively believe that we should all be doing GOOD, therefore we should all be FRIENDS. Not leader-follower, not teacher-student but colleagues doing good together.

For whatever reason, my subconscious picked up on it before my conscious mind. And I realized, once again, interpersonal power politics were playing havoc with what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. It is a plague upon pagan groups in general, and I have seen it way too many times.

And I am offended
I realize offended is a strong word. I recognize and understand better than most the power of words. Yet offended is the best way I can characterize how I feel.

I believe those of us that work with deity, energy, spirits, wights, the mystical and magical parts of the universe etc. CAN work together in harmony, no matter what the background, if people are willing to TRY. Maybe not forever, but at least long enough to accomplish important tasks.

I believe power politics are a waste of time and energy. How much good could you or I or anyone else be doing if we weren't embroiled in petty BS?

I believe in TRUTH, as much as I believe in my deities of choice, my landwights, my guardians and animal guides. I don't expect anyone else to believe, follow or even understand my truth, but I do expect you to be honest to your truth, even if I don't believe, follow or even understand it.

I believe in collective power sharing. Where there might be a leader, guide or crew head for a certain activity or ritual, ultimately everyone gets to SHARE in the rights and responsibilities of groups.

I do believe we CAN play together nicely, that individuals can be individual and work together without someone telling them what to do, lording superior knowledge over others or taking advantage of others for ego boosting, sexual favors or monetary gain.

A bit naive, you may think, especially for a woman my age. I understand I am at heart an idealist, and it's okay.

Your mileage will most certainly vary.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yule experiences and Happy New Year

Yule was interesting for me this year.

Our group, which has formally chosen the name Heimdrifandu, had our first public ritual.
It was well put together with lovely singing and chanting, darkness to light, flash paper that burned different colors(better living through chemistry) and the earnest dedication and devotion to making it all work together despite the fact this was our first time and we were all incredibly nervous.
It went very well and all the participants had amazingly positive feedback for us.
I have to say, the work and care that went into it was above and beyond most public rituals I've been involved in.
I am very proud. And pleased. My colleagues are all amazing people. I'm blessed to know them.

But because of inner personal chaos, my own personal Yule was less than spectacular. Which is odd(odd in the sense of frustrating, annoying and downright bizarre), Yule and Eostre are my two favorite Norse holy days. I love the decorations, the lights, the tree, the presents, all of those things that may not be "lore substantiated" but joyful nonetheless.

However, this year I felt "blah" about the whole thing. I couldn't seem to get excited about anything.

I've been working on that self-knowledge component to try to pin down what went awry. Apathy is not a common feeling for me. I'm "gigantic melancholy, gigantic mirth"(forgive me Robert E. Howard for the paraphrase) woman.

Last year was rough in some ways, but amazingly cool in others.
So it's not like I'm taking a cosmic "life sucks" hit this year.

I'm doing what I want to do. I went back to school to get my degree in Journalism, I'm self-employed cleaning houses and writing publicity. I'm getting paid to write. Wow.

My son is growing to be an extraordinary person. He is smart and talented and funny and neither troubled nor in trouble. He is happy.

I'm happy with my beloved. We live together and are happier because of it.

All my other relationships are going well. I have good friends and great colleagues.

My spiritual life is going very well. I have deepened my rapport with all my deities of choice and have helped others this year.

I will figure this out.

For all of you that wander along this path or any others dedicated to gods, Happy New Year.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Freya Abundance Self-Help Method

I was stressing about money last week.
I don't often stress about that subject, being sworn to Freya, one of the Vanir, usually means I have enough.
I don't have a lot, but it's enough to cover my bills and make sure my son and I eat well and eat organically, which in today's society means expensively.
I'm not wealthy by any means and I work hard for what I have.
But things were tight, some important checks bounced and I panicked. It happens.
I sent out a prayer to my beloved deity of choice and boy, did she reply!
Within an hour, I had more jobs lined up, both house cleaning and writing.
Now, in my experience that's how my beloved deity of choice works.
I don't win the lotto, find out I'm the heir to some long lost but wealthy relative or find money in the street, rather I am given opportunities to make money.
And I've never been afraid of hard work.