Tag Archive | pagan blog project

Bragi

You remain elusive to me, skald among skalds.
Preserver of history, knowledge, wisdom, myth.
Son of Odin and Gunnlod.
Get of Odhroerir.

I still remember how you came into my life. One night when I climbed into the branches of Yggdrasil to speak with Your Father. Whether you were waiting there or just popped up at the right moment I do not know. But the Old Man was insistent that I get to know you.

On that I have failed. It has taken me almost six years even to think about You long enough to write a post about You. And yet the influence is there. I write more. I’ve been published. I contribute regularly to a shared blog. My love for the past has grown.

I’ve even started to understand why You, Who helps to keep the past alive, are married to Idunna, Who helps the Gods to stay young.

Maybe one day soon I will even get a scan of the portrait of You and Your Lady which I had commissioned… and need to frame.

In some way You are with me every day. Let me remember and realize enough so that I may reach out to You more and we can finally build that relationship the Old Man seemed intent on us having.

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project.

It is also my 200th post. Hail and nekhtet!

A is for air, aka owning your elements

Let me clear out all associations and baggage before I start. I am Kemetic Orthodox, where the earth, air, fire, and water elemental associations don’t really happen. I’m also Heathen and work as a hedge witch, from a culture in which the world was first made from fire and ice. Technically speaking, these four elements are not a part of my practice. But still I utilize them. I’m a Leo, and by nature a fiery person, and very grounded and practical, so I consider myself a fire and earth person. After becoming reacquainted with my emotions in 2009 (Thank you Hethert) I decided to take a long time focusing on water, and emotions and healing in my life.

In all this elemental style work, I’ve avoided air.


(image viked from Faerie Magazine’s Facebook page. No copyright infringement intended.)

The classic association of air is with the mind. Intelligence and wisdom. Yes, the old wise woman, she who is named as her Father’s wisdom, has denied her airy qualities for a lot of her life. The flip side of being airy is being an airhead, ungrounded, flighty, or too locked into your head.

Um yeah, that last one is my problem. If I were to actually write or speak everything which was in my head I’d not shut up and probably have multiple blogs FULL of material. The reasons why I do not come down to two major ones:

1. I’m hesitant about expressing myself. That’s a case of being unsure about speaking my mind, being wrong, or saying something which people do not agree with.

2. Letting a hundred things get in my way to putting these ideas out into a public format.

A few months ago I was reading Natural Witchery by Ellen Dugan. (Nice book, recommended.) One of her exercises was an elemental balancing exercise, involving a worksheet and writing down perceived strengths and weaknesses. Did I write them out? No, but I did start to think about them and what I would put in each section. And realized that I was more out of whack overall than I thought. For some things it was much easier to get aligned again. Just not with the mind.

For all of these years I have been reluctant to embrace my airy personality traits even though they play such a large role in my life. When I was young, I thought the only thing I had going for me was my intellect. Back then, I didn’t value my imagination, which let me daydream so hard I could project into the spirit world (no joke, I have several memories of vivid daydreams which ended with me falling back on to my bed). Trance work had played a big role in my spirituality and I am working to bring that back to my life. I love incense, scents, pondering, air.

And without air, fire would have no fuel.

Guess it’s time to continue with my work and not ignore this essential part of myself.

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project.

A is for abundance

[FYI, I am still updating the blogroll list. Yes, it is long, and yes I read them all. I think this is why I feel like I have so little time for my own work. I spend a lot of time reading. These days, I need the inspiration and outside ideas.]

Maybe there is a reason why it’s taking me a little longer to get started on these posts. I had the idea to make this my first topic when the year turned over. Then I was meditating on the parallels and differences between abundance and prosperity, thinking about how one can have one of these things without the other along with how they can feed into each other. Some of it is also because I do have a lot of stuff, despite the fact that I have been working to cull my possessions.

Then I had one of THOSE days last Sunday, and what was supposed to be a quick tidy of a pile sitting in my bedroom became a big cull of books.

I had to admit to myself that while part of me does want to read these books a great deal, I have had them a long time but have made minimal effort to open them up. If I can, I’d rather not move them. If there is anything in this pile which would benefit me in the long run, I will trust that it will find its way back to me at the right time. And, to be fair, some of them I have read but I don’t anticipate rereading any.

We live in a culture which has made certain types of abundance easy to acquire. Cheap goods, ease of purchase, “keeping up with the Jonses,” and easy credit can add up to a whole lot of stuff around! Books, clothes, food, ritual tools, magical supplies, music, downloaded files, movies, collectibles. Our culture does place a certain status on having stuff. The more you have, the more you must be worth, right?

Then how much of that stuff is eaten, used, worn, read, heard, seen, enjoyed? Maybe it’s not a problem for you. If so, awesome! I wish I could do that. But I admit I do enjoy the high of buying stuff. Not so much that I go into massive levels of debt, though over the years I have had some issues with paying off my purchases. And I don’t even remember where some of that money went.

These days my stuff is just more to be sorted, organized, track, not forget about. It’s a hindrance. It’s also not helping me. If you saw the amount of ritual and spell materials I’ve hung on to over the years, you might either be shocked or see something of yourself in them.

Thinking some more about this, I realize it may sound like I am against abundance. I’m not. Abundances do need to be managed though. For food, it has to be prepared for meals and storage. For money, it needs to be tracked. For possessions, put in its place. There is a certain level of responsibility associated with abundance.

Abundance, to me, should be about having enough so that I do not have to worry about lacking. Not filling in every space in my home. And not getting in the way of my prosperity. If I have a lot of stuff, but spend a large amount of money paying off the debts from that short term thrill, it’s not worth it to me.

This is my prayer for abundance for this year:
May I have enough. May I be able to plan for days ahead without worry. May I be able to support myself. May I be able to recognize needs and wants, and be able to balance them in an appropriate way. May I use and utilize that which I already have.

This post is a part of the Pagan Blog Project.

On my non-relationship with Loki

I have given myself a challenge: to do at least three posts for this blog before Friday. There are still many things I want to fill in. Plus posting might be the kick in the pants my spirit needs to get to DOING more.

So on to that…

While I don’t feel like I have spoken of it much in a while, Odin and His family plays a big role in my spiritual life. In fact, my active devotion to him has been happening for much longer than with the Jackal. Odin, Frigga, Freyja… and when I became part of (the currently dormant) Odhroerir Fellowship, gained Bragi (Who gave me the push to join), Idunna, Gunnlod, and Bestla.

Notice who is not in there though.

Loki.

Yeah that guy. The mischievous one. Trickster. He Who stirs up trouble, and then aids in the rectification. Even with the apparent clause in the lore that if one toasts to Odin, they should also drink to His blood-brother. Generally I don’t do this.

Because I did it once.

It was about ten years ago, in a small blot with some friends. I was feeling rather elated that day for a few reasons, and felt that I HAD to toast Mr. L. along with Himself of the One Eye.

And then during dinner a little while later, I had a MAJOR initiatory experience. No, I am not going to share the story publicly. Some of you who have known me for a long time know it. Those who don’t… let me say that it was major, intense, and ended up forcibly shoving me toward some heathens on the west coast. Most notably, Diana Paxson. And I wound up in the beta class of her trance class, the material which ended up published in her book Trance-portation.

In hindsight, yes it needed to happen. It led to some very needed learning, skills, and connections. But going through it at the time is the type of situation I’d rather not repeat deliberately.

Dare I say I got
?

(Okay, I could not resist the gif, and do admit that over the past month I’ve become part of (Marvel) Loki’s Fangirl Army. That kind of discussion is more of a pop culture magic/mythology thing, maybe I’ll come back to it at a later date.)

I’m not looking for any Loki apologists here or what have you. It’s just the state of my personal practice. I know He’s out there, I acknowledge His existence, and I know full well that giving Him a foothold in my life would not be a help to me.

And all that said, I don’t agree with the complete shunning of Loki by modern mainstream Heathenry. I believe that to do so is to bring peril, because He will find a way in. And over that, there is even less control than I had during that initiation. Trust me, you don’t want to be in that boat.

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project.

I is for Initiation

There is a reason I wanted to get The Invisibles post up first for Pagan Blog Project. It’s a great lead-in for talking about initiation.

Initiations are a big theme throughout the comic. Several stories are told of the major tranformations in the characters lives to bring them to the point we find them in the series. We watch Jack Frost’s as it unfolds. Fanny’s is told through flashback, but she quickly learns that it’s still happening many years later. King Mob has quite an initiation himself, and far from the first one. Boy’s was also traumatic. Robin’s led to some of the major plot points happening. And we even see what led our main adversary, Sir Miles, to the Outer Church.

But that is neither here nor there. I started writing those words and it came to me. Even further understanding unfolds.

Anyway, on to the actual subject and not more dithering about my favorite comic.

I’ve been through initiations on both sides, as the unknowing entrant undergoing the rite of Weshem-Ib in the House of Netjer, and as an assista in he mysteries of the Ekklesia Antinoou. Both experiences taught me so much about initiations and mysteries. Things you could read in books, to be sure, but you you don’t really understand them until you experience them.

First, there is a good reason why these mysteries remain mysteries and why the actual events taking place within them do not get discussed among non-initiates. Part of the awe and overall experience comes from not knowing what is about to happen to you. For weshem ib my first time, I was so nervous. The biggest reason why I did not bolt was knowing that others had been through the rite and come out of it on the other side. Had I known in advance what would have happened would also have led to my imagining what the experience could be, before it happened. Inevitably I am sure I would have felt some degree of disappointment.

Secondly, and I may be disappointing some of you with this, I strongly believe it is impossible for one to “self-initiate.” You cannot lead yourself through something you do not know but would also simultaneously need to act as a director. It just can’t happen.

Third, I feel that the Ones who truly initiate us are the Gods and unseen spirits. Mysteries and initiations occur in a place/space outside out of normal space and time.

But thanks to number three, sometimes you can work your way around number two a little bit. You can give the Gods a little nudge.

Originally, I had hoped my order from the Witch of Forest Grove would arrive by today, complete with ointment, oleum, and herbal blends, but that was not to be. Thankfully, there seems to be something in the air today which I can ride out when I cross over today, and it only needs a little something extra. At first I had thought to ask friend mugwort to aid my crossing, but when I noticed half a glass of commercial mead was having quite an effect on my perception, I knew where to turn for aid.

Already as I type these words I can feel that ecstatic altered state starting. Earlier this afternoon while finishing up a book, I could feel that wooziness. It’s been many years since I have felt that particular state, and it returns so fast, an old friend ready to know me again. I will finish these words, share them with all of you, do my final mundane preparations, then start the rite to cross the hedge.

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project.

The Invisibles and inspiration

“I have gift wrapped a moment, for the timeless time to come.”

There is never a clear, straight line which can be followed to trace the evolution of a person and their beliefs. There are always bends, forks in the road, foggy areas… you get the idea.


The cover to The Invisibles 3.8, which sums up most every topic covered in the comic.

One of the biggest influences and inspirations on my life is a “little” comic called The Invisibles. I was introduced to the series around 1996 or 1997 while I was gaming regularly, and was told it was “more Mage than Mage.” Given how much I loved the game (especially playing Cult of Ecstasy characters) I knew I had to read this. Picked up the first collection, Say You Want a Revolution, was sucked in hard, and then had to wait far too long for another one. Who knows why, but Vertigo skipped releasing the rest of volume one and jumped right to volume 2 in graphic novels. That didn’t stop me. Even without a good portion of the story (and not quite having the drive to get individual issues) I continued to read and reread the books I could get. Finally around 2000 I was able to get the rest of volume one along with the concluding volume 3.

The Invisibles messes with your mind and reality, and it’s quite a deliberate thing. In addition to becoming one of the most visionary comic book writers around, Grant Morrison is also rather well known for being a practitioner of chaos magick. Usually I have no use for chaos workings but I have a great deal of respect for how he handles it. The man knows how to make his magic work!

The Invisibles was the source where I learned about sigils (hey, this is an extension of bind runes!). Long before I knew of heka and the power of words (a topic for another “catch up” PBP post), I watched Ragged Robin writer herself into a wild story and time traveling… oh but I might be saying too much already.

Nonduality, Manichaeism and gnosticism, language reshaping reality, Conspirary to make Philip K. Dick envious, quantum mechanics, poetry, initiations, sex, drugs, rock and roll and magick, it’s ALL in these pages.

The Invisibles is designed to be a story read multiple times. You learn more with each read, concepts, pop culture, about yourself. If you’ve read other titles by Grant, you find that he continues a lot of the themes he presented in these pages.

Because of the Invisibles, I wound up rethinking a lot of how I present myself to the world and how I interact with it. At the least, there IS something to be said for shaping yourself into someone “cool.” Plus, when my life is going really well, it does feel like I am living in the pages of a comic book. Quite a wild ride.

I also highly recommend the documentary about Grant, Talking With Gods. Whenever I need a reminder that life isn’t all about repetitive tasks and being surrounded by banality, I watch it again.

And if you want some unfiltered (yet younger) Grant, you MUST watch his speech from Disinfocon in 2000.

Yes, he might be crazy. And I know that on some level I’m crazy too. Doesn’t mean we’re not on to something in our craziness.

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project.

F is for Found ritual objects

I found the seed for this post the day after I wrote up the Frustration post. Along my usual walk to the bus stop in the morning, I did what I usually do which is to scan the sidewalk in front of me for anything I might trip over. Having knee problems from the age of ten leads you to being adept at this. Recent storms and wind had left a litter of broken branches in my path, and among them I found one of a notable shape.

When I picked it up, I KNEW it had to be my stang. Granted, it was not until I read Sarah’s article that my mind finally made a connection with how to START using one. There is some good information out there (like de Vries Hedgerider) but it always seemed like too much for me to start with what had been presented to me before.

Now the little stang sits on my Heathen shrine. I don’t even know what kind of tree it came from. But finding it has been an interesting sort of confirmation that I am on the right path and things will come together soon.

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project.