I think this is worth sharing. These days become more and more important to recognize my role as one of Lokis Oathed Devotees who is happily married to a wonderful Husband – and what that means for me, and those I think of as family. How the dynamic of the relationship plays out.
I’m a Fiber Addict as well as a whole host of other “Stuff” . This is a lovely post about ritual cords!
The Lady Freyja, Brisingamen, Ivaldi and me…
So, it seems that it all began some months back when I look at it from this point…. Freyja’s wending her way into my view that is…. My attention was brought back to Her when someone I knew was angered by song lyrics of all things. Claimed that these lyrics were “An insult to her Goddess”. The lyrics in question were simple, in fact they were almost exact to the lore but for the fact that it was put to music. I simply couldn’t make sense of it unless one was calling the lore an insult. But, whatever… she was offended, I was intrigued but I left it lie, it was irrelevant but for it bringing my attention to Freyja…
Not much later I decided to have the etsy store critiqued and there set about making some pretty major changes. Among them was the name. We wanted to honor and reflect our heathen faith as well as embody certain beneficial concepts that were in line with our feelings about our craft and what we want to achieve with the shop. Well into my head popped Andvaris hoard – NOT a good name when trying to generate sales! NO CURSES PLEASE! but it sparked a thought, and a message. The Lady said to dig deeper, deeper down into the unfertile soil, deeper down the spiral, there plant the seed the dew will feed it and flourish. Then Rob said to reread Volunds Lay in the Eddas. So I did, and that is where it took me….. Into the dark world of the Dwarves and their craft.
But the thing is that as I was being given that message from The Lady I heard the word Brisingamen whispered in my ear. Then the message was that I was thinking of the necklace of gold. The tears were the gift of it all though. so I listened, and was told to make what my interpretation of Brisingamen is for this world to see, to use my craft and skill, to use what has passed from the Sons of Ivaldi into the craftspeople, the metal workers to create this thing of beauty. Naturally I ask myself why? why is this work given to me? and much like the first whisper I hear “because you can, even if you don’t know it yet”.
So, I looked for amber – untreated in any way – NOT an easy thing to find! and found it in Lithuania. And I ordered the other supplies I knew I would need – rings… brass bronze, and copper – some in square wire. The amber is in 3 colors, the centerpiece is a teardrop shaped Apatite.
The work begun at 12:33am 12/22/11 as the sun moved into Capricorn and was completed 1 week later
I see this happen all too often, Good words, important things to think about.
So there was this lady who joined one of the Facebook groups I haunt, and she identified herself as a folkish Heathen. I think she lasted for a few months and then left, stating “I’ll never understand universalists, never have, never will.”
Well, I’ll never understand folkish Heathens.
You see, I find this whole insistence that “you must have X percentage of Northern European Blood (hereafter abbreviated NEB) to worship these deities” to not only be ahistorical, but, well, completely nonsensical. (I’m certain they feel the same about me.)
For starters, how much NEB do I need to qualify for a chance to speak to one of the deities? My grandmother was German, is that enough? I mean, my biological parents were born and raised in Romania, my adoptive parents are Irish and First Nations. I have a cousin who has traced the genealogy of my a-family all the way…
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As Mother to the Dead Hel is given care of those children that are stillborn or lost in miscarriage. This for me gives great comfort as both one that does Her work and as one that has Survived 9 pregnancy losses – 8 miscarriages and one vanished twin. 1 in 4 women have survived this kind of loss and this month is pregnancy loss awareness month. No one ever teaches us how to grieve for a child we never held in our arms, no one talks about how to get through the whole thing. Its a death but its a largely unacknowledged death by most. but with the statistics being what they are I can almost guarantee that you know someone that has survived this loss. I would ask that we give offering to Hel for Her care and compassion for Her mothering to these lost children and for the comfort she gives those of us who Know Her to survive these kinds of loss….
**Original sketch done By Sarah L. Little, Digital manipulation and color original Me
Now I want to share with you why Honoring Her in this facet is so vitally important to me via a note i posted on facebook in summer of 2011 with a few alterations for time…
I have a condition known as RPL…. Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. Defined as more than 2 consecutive miscarriages. At least they finally changed the name they call the problem. They used to just call us “habitual aborters” Yes, really. I’m 43 years old, I had my first miscarriage in July of 1987, I don’t know how far I was, I had been bleeding for close to 3 weeks and just figured there was something wonky going on with my cycle. But alone in my bathroom I sat there cramping and bleeding like I never had before and passed what was clearly more than an embryo. That, sadly was only the first of more than most women have to deal with. Up to 25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and it’s estimated that RPL affects 1-5% of couples that are of child bearing age. I fall into that 1-5%, and to be honest I’m pissed. I’m pissed not because of the losses – those, I grieve, those I’m sad for – I’m pissed because of the silence, the unending gut wrenching life altering silence!
The world talks about infertility, it’s not hiding in the darkness or in rooms full of women who won’t speak above a whisper of it because they feel SO utterly alone that they dare not say a word for fear of being ostracized or worse….. The ‘well meaning’ words of ‘comfort’ is what I mean by worse…..
“You can always have another.”
“Now you have an angel looking after you.”
“It’s for the best.”
“At least you didn’t know your baby.”
“There must have been something wrong…”
“Did you do something you weren’t supposed to do?
“I understand how you feel.”
“Have you ever thought of not having children?”
“Be grateful for the children you have…”
Now, these words may SEEM like the ‘right’ things to say but let’s look at it from my perspective – me, the woman who has lost NINE children before I was able to hold them.
Another? I don’t want ANOTHER baby I want THIS baby, “another” baby is not the baby I lost and dreamed and planned for. It’s ANOTHER.
An angel… Thanks, really but my parents are Angels enough for me. I asked for a child not an angel.
Didn’t KNOW? Excuse me?!?!?! What I know is that I was sick every hour on the hour for the time my baby was still inside of me, I KNOW that my baby had a name and a place and a time. The fact that I never got to meet them doesn’t’ make it any better, in fact it makes it much, much worse.
Something Wrong? Such as? With who? How? What could it have been? Was it my fault?
Something I wasn’t supposed to do? Hmm what might that have been? These aren’t answers these only make me ask more questions and lay more blame at my own feet.
You understand… you may empathize, you may even get the process because you have been through it but you can only ever understand your own grief process, not mine.
Not having children… Is this really even a question I need to explain the wrongness of?
I AM grateful for the children I have, it does NOT negate the child I lost.
Then there is the ever present (oh yeah this is my favorite one) “Well, at least you can GET pregnant” from some of the women that have/are dealing/t with infertility.
That one is the really hurts the most. It hurts the most because most of us that survive RPL have done so usually after Primary and/or Secondary infertility ourselves. Imagine for a moment that after long back and forth of IF treatments, ultrasounds, drugs, blood work and finally an ultrasound with a heartbeat. Then you go in the next week and it’s gone. All gone. Nothing. No heartbeat, no baby, it’s just…. Gone. After all the tests, blood work, meds, ultrasounds hopes, dreams and everything else it’s over and now, you have to start all over again. Personally I have dealt with IF, only to have that much wanted pregnancy never feel safe. Not until I am holding a living breathing crying baby in my arms. Can you imagine? Every single twinge makes you want to call the doc or run to the nearest ER or better yet you FINALLY stop having morning sickness but wait you’re not sick anymore, WHATS WRONG?!?!
It may sound extreme but that is how it feels. Trust me, every successful pregnancy I Have had is like that.
But the real tragedy is that SO many men and women live with this dark specter hanging over them and NO ONE ever tells them it’s ok to grieve, its ok to be sad, and hurt, and angry and all of the things that we would be feeling if we HAD met the child we lost before we could hold them!
Where are our support groups at the local hospital? Where is my grief counselor? And why, dear Gods why are you putting me on the MATERNITY floor for the D&C I must have to complete the loss of my very much loved baby?!
I write this for a few reasons but mostly to shed at least a little bit of light into the shadowy darkness that more of us live in than most people realize. But also to make you think, think about the fact that you don’t know what someone has gone through when they ‘turn up’ pregnant or how scared they might be of losing yet another baby. And another part of it is simply fear. Fear that while we have been TTC this time for 16 months to date that this time will become an even longer journey only to end in another loss. I have positive attitude that it won’t. I believe that I have completed the lesson of loss and now have before me a journey filled with no more risk than the average woman who is TTC but there will never be a time that I do this that won’t have at least some fear buried deep inside of it all….
I ended the cycle of loss of a spiritual level in 2010 by getting a memorial tattoo for all of my losses. When i posted the picture of the artwork my friend Candace shared with me a poem that the artwork reminded her of that was read at her stillborn son’s funeral the poem and the tattoo are below.
“This is for all the caterpillars
that never became butterflies.
All the butterflies,
that never caught the
wind in their wings.
And all the hearts,
that had hopes and dreams,
of a wondrous flight together.”
Original Tattoo design is my own, Inked by Sara Huser Castle of Color, Nicholasville, KY
Or… Wow, HE really HAS been there that long….
Well, in a previous entry I suggested that Loki & Angrboda would get their own entries, this is the first of those.
So, I find myself in the position of being one of Lokis Devotees…. It seemed to be very sudden to me (‘seemed’ being the operative word here) but in reality He was there from the very beginning. I do mean the very beginning. I was 4, lived in the country with a stream running through our property and I was digging as 4 year olds tend to do and I hit red clay at a point. I didn’t think of a natural change in the soil I thought I had found a world of fire. And that it was of course the most natural thing in the world to find a world a fire in ones driveway. Somehow from that point on I just knew that there was more in the invisible world than anyone was willing to talk about – especially with a 4 year old little girl, but still I knew it and never surrendered to the idea that what I was told was the only reality. Luckily I had incredible parents who never once told me I was wrong about things like that – even if they could not reconcile it with their own belief system.
As I grew up things got… weird, well actually crazy. I didn’t know it at the time but I began to manifest behaviors consistent with bipolar disorder around the age of 11 which manifested in exploring things that most 11 year olds didn’t/shouldn’t explore. Ultimately I ended up being a very forward teenager who was very confident and free with my affections, to say the least. I loved drama and thrived on attention. I never disbelieved in magic either, or any of the things that most ‘normal’ people thought of as silly or unbelievable. Hmm sound familiar?
Fast forward a few years and I’m at a pagan festival dancing around the fire deeply tranced. It was early in the evening and the fire had been burning for the past 3-4 days. I thought I had tripped on one of the stones surrounding the fire circle, later I had many people tell me that I was nudged or pushed by a shadow made of fire. The result of which was me, falling into the fire and rolling with my back across the heart of the flames in the center of the pit. I was down for as long as it took the fire safety folks to run the mile plus from the main gate to the fire to see me get out of the fire unscathed. By all accounting I was untouched by the fire. I bear no scar of the flame lest one counts the phoenix I had tattooed on my shoulder a few weeks later.
Years go by, my kindred freely honors Loki as Óðinn’s blood brother. Typically with my Goðhi raising his horn to Óðinn and I to Loki. It was simply always like that. I knew of course that Loki was ‘persona non grata’ in many places but I could just never see that. Mostly because I looked at the whole picture I suppose, or maybe I was just biased… could be either really. But even then He seemed rather content to ‘wait in the wings’ I see now. Waiting (I now know) for me to be ready to Hear and See Him. He waited a long time, very long time. He nudged at me here and there every now and again (a book here and there and that one time I ‘tripped’ into the sacred fire at Lothloriens Elf Fest when the fire had been stoked and tended for 4 days when I ‘fell’) but was oddly quiet and very very patient – which if I had noticed then I would have been very shocked. Seeing it now it surprises me very very little. Of course this comes after spending 5 years in service to Hela and infinite other lessons on that subject through the Disir and the Dwarves.
He stayed quiet until this past June when the shit hit the fan at this years Troth moot and its policies regarding Honoring Loki at their events. At which point a tsunami of emotion flooded through me that I didn’t know I had. And that is when it REALLY begun. He decided apparently that He had waited long enough. And He had. As near as I can see in hindsight He has been around since I was probably 4 yrs. old. 40 years… Then Galina Krasskova did a Blog project http://krasskova.weebly.com/1/category/july%202012%20loki%20project/1.html
A month for Loki: an offering a day and all that
And I did it along with I’m sure countless other devotees of His. And I learned, and loved what I learned and I began to see the patterns appear and the wrinkles flatten out. And now I cannot even begin to imagine what my life would be had He not shown up. And Thankfully I will never have to.
In any case, my sister Sarah is one of His as well. Together we conceived of a video in dedication to Him. Song of the Siren it is all for Him in honor of his patience and his Love. See below for the video
Beth is a very dear friend who is very important to me, in this blog she addressed the Wild Hunt in a way that offers a very unique view of it that i find very enlightening….