The New, The Shiny

Just doing a little showing off of the new (newish) stuff.

I finished the revised Thor necklace as well.

Pictures await. Continue reading “The New, The Shiny”

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UPG – Over there stuff

If you can’t tell this post will be a woo heavy one.

So to start this out, Seren Lebannen had a brilliant idea on how to show what she looks like Over There.

Continue reading “UPG – Over there stuff”

Ancestors – Holidays, Culture and Tradition

*disclaimer: I’m speaking from an American perspective

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”
W. Somerset Maugham

I find in today’s society there is this sort of emptiness. Longing for meaning but finding none. Making everything meaningless, and something that can just be thrown away.

I came across this article.

Now to be frank, I’m not a fan. There is this sort of demeaning tone to that I’m not fond of, and I’m really not fond of the phrase “Cultural Appropriation”. It gets over used and not in the correct context. But it has a good point I want to touch on.

I’ve always had a fascination with Dia De Los Muertos, it’s always resonated with me and I absolutely adore Day of the Dead artwork especially sugar skulls. I haven’t really realized until recently why it resonated with me so much. I have no tradition in my own culture, in my own family that celebrates and remembers the dead. Or at least, not anymore. It has all been lost. It’s something that something deep inside of me, something ancient, yearns for. And I don’t think I’m the only one.

Personally, I don’t know anyone who has any kind of real family traditions. I’m talking ones with real meaning. I know mine certainly doesn’t. In the early stages of this country there wasn’t just “white people”, you had Irish people, Germans, Polish, etc. Somewhere along the way where we came from didn’t matter anymore and we all became just white. Now this could be arguably a good thing considering the persecution certain people would get like the Irish. Mixing isn’t a bad thing, but we lost our culture in the process.

Now people are starting to reach out for something, something with meaning. Now it’s become a bad thing to be white, people who try to take pride in their culture, their tradition are thought to be racist. But you can’t touch another’s culture or it becomes “Cultural Appropriation”.

We are told that our tradition doesn’t matter. We find some tradition that interests us because it speaks to us on a deep level, that same voice comes in saying it doesn’t matter so it gets treated accordingly.

This is part of why I think Ancestor Veneration is so important. I think we need to look into the traditions of our ancestors to really be able to find meaning. Once we find meaning in our own, we will be able to see the meaning in the traditions of others.

Now let me clarify, sharing is a good thing. I think cultures should be shared, mingled even. It brings more color to this life and will help us understand each other that much more clearly. But not mingling so much that it loses meaning. That is all just becomes one thing.

The ancient traditions, the holidays, were gutted so much in the name of converting people to Christianity that they lost all meaning. It started before the United States was even created. Industries have now taken advantage of this so much that we have the shell of holidays we have now like Christmas and Halloween. They are big business holidays now, times for them to get us to spend as much money as possible.

I believe traditions like Day of the Dead should be shared but in a clear way, in an educated way. I believe that is the problem the author was getting at, not the fact that white people are sharing in the tradition but that they are turning it into a shell. They are paying no attention to its origins or its true meaning.

I understand where she is coming from in this aspect and I believe we should fight along side her. To keep other cultures from disappearing and becoming one with this homogenous blob. To become a shell of its former self with no meaning.

 In this fight we should work to find our own in the blob and pull it out, dust it off and bring meaning to it once again. Not to hold it tight to ourselves in that it can only be ours, but that we can take it and show the world. Share it with others that we too have meaning.

You will find me call it Halloween instead of Samhain like most pagans do, and that is deliberate. Unless you intend to celebrate it with at least some of the traditional aspect, I don’t feel it right to call it by the traditional name. Actually it is a bit disrespectful in my eyes. So while I am limited (living in the bible belt with my Christian parents) I will continue to call it Halloween. That will change once I am able to celebrate it in a modernized fashion of the way my Ancestors who rightfully called it Samhain or Winter Nights did.  If you call it Samhain but still celebrate it exactly as others celebrate Halloween then you are now draining what little meaning Samhain has left in our times.

As far as Halloween itself isn’t all bad and in the family sense has a bit of its own tradition. Kids dressing as their favorite super hero, princess or idol going out with their parents in a night of fun and candy. If you look at it closely it is a sort of family tradition. Still very commercialized, but kids being able to be kids and have fun is never a bad thing.

I think this all came out just a little jumbled but I hope the point is clear.

Well Then

Remember this necklace I got from Seb?

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Well it decided to break on me today, while at work. That was fun! Spent a good ten minutes digging beads out of my bra then another searching under my desk for the remaining ones.

After I collected them all I got a message.

“Make a new one and make it your own.”

It isn’t that He didn’t like it, but I think it has a bit to do with the fact that I made a necklace for Fenrir. Making the necklace yourself does make it a bit more intimate.

So this weekend I have a new project. I have to buy more beadalon cord (thanks to my younger brother using it up but that is when you offer to share stuff with a 16 year old). I’m planning on using some of the original beads and adding on others. Don’t have a set plan yet. I’m really going to try to avoid having to buy more beads, so will just have to see how it goes.

 If you wanted me to change the damn necklace you could have waited until I at least got home.

Ancestors-Hel

No, not like the Christian hell.

Goddess-Hel
not how I see her but I do enjoy the sweetness of this picture

She is definitely one of the Goddesses that gets little attention, and when she does people tend to think of her as evil. Why? Because people think anything associated with death is evil, except Death is the absolute Neutral. Personally in pagan religions, I don’t really see “evil” as a thing (in reference to Gods, people can definitely be evil). There is light and dark. Both need to be worked with or there is no balance. But that’s getting off topic.

Hel (means Hidden in Old Norse), the Goddess of the dead, daughter of Loki and Angrboda, born in the Ironwood.

She is known as Hel, Hela, Halja, or (some say) Leikin (the name the Alfar call her, not sure on that one though). The Goddess to whom “all is seen”.

There isn’t much in the way of information about her in the lore. The most prominent story is that of her involvement in the story of Baldur’s death.

Following the death of Baldur, the goddess Frigga sends Hermóðr to offer Hel ransom. Hermóðr begs Hel to allow his brother to return home, because Baldur is so loved by the gods of the Æsir. Hel tells him only if all things in the world, alive or dead, weep for him, then he will be allowed to return to the Æsir. A female jotun refused so He stayed.

The prominence to this (though most only pay attention to the Loki part) is that even the Gods are not above Death.

She has the wolf Garm who resides in Gnipahellir, sometimes used interchangeably with Her brother Fenrir (which my belief is He doesn’t guard Helheim like Garm but does work with His sister), as one of the gaurds. The other being Modgud.

Garm is a new one to me. Most of what I see really equates him with Fenrir so I am pretty iffy about Him. They say to appease him you give him a piece of cake, but only after you have already given bread to the poor.

Modgud, called the Guardian Goddess, gaurds the bridge (Giallarbru) over the river Gjoll which leads to Helheim. Not finding much on Her so far.

I also see Hel as having a nature aspect. In modern times (especially for pagans) we have a romanticized view of nature. We see it as this sort of beautiful thing. Nature is beautiful, yes, but it is also dangerous, unfeeling and always renewing itself. I think of Hel having a nature aspect in the death of things to make room for the new. Animals die, rot in the earth to provide nutrients for new life. The forest fires that clear out the dead from the forest floor and enriches the soil for new growth. Death is a very important part of the cycle in Life. It is a necessity.

hel2

I do not by any means think I am any kind of expert on the Lady of Death.  I don’t really even have a working relationship with Her at the moment. I’m doing what I always do. Research.

Why am I including Her in the Ancestor series? Because She is the one that cares for Them.

There is this romanticized notion in the Heathen community that we all want to go to Valhalla. That really isn’t realistic, especially in modern times. Our ancestors, before Christianization (which the Christian ancestors are a different story and will be touched on a later post) didn’t all die in battle and most likely didn’t get claimed by a certain God to take to Their hall. That leaves only Helheim, where Hel cares for them.

Here is a little information. This will probably be updated as I find out more, still in early stages of research. Keep in mind I didn’t create this list.

  • Colors: Black, white
  • Symbols: Skull, red roses, dried roses, bones, “Day of the Dead”-type skeleton images
  • Altar suggestions: Skulls, skeleton images, grave rubbings, skeletal hands, bones, dried roses, black shrouds, black mirror, black and white candles, plantain leaves, rue, wormwood, yarrow, yew, the runes Ear (sometimes combined with Raido for the Helroad) and Hagalaz, sometimes Othala. It is not uncommon for a Hel altar to be an ancestor harrow as well, with pictures of and offerings to one’s own beloved Dead.
  • Food and drink: Tea, good wine, apples (Hel has an orchard of Her own); meat, bread, soup, meals that your ancestors would have liked, blood; good quality chocolate, coffee beans. Hel likes dried, well-preserved flowers, especially dried roses. She also likes blood, as do all the Death deities. Some people offer her tea, or food that can sit on an altar and rot. (Don’t take it away until it is entirely desiccated, no matter what happens.) Don’t approach her altar with an unhealthy attitude toward death and decay.

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When I am finally able to set up my Ancestor Altar (money is the issue on buying stuff for it), Hel will definitely have a special place.

She will be touched on more as I go through this series, and I maybe even start up a relationship with Her.

I’ve met Her once. I see her as being half pale and half blue-black (think frostbite), the pale half having darker dirty blonde hair and the blue-black half with almost white hair. She is quite beautiful, but forces you to look at the not so beautiful aspects of Death right in the face.

If any of you have more information (or if anything you see here is inaccurate) please share.

Hail the Goddess of the Dead.

Until next time loves!

Ancestors- Beginning

“The songs of our ancestors are also the songs of our children”
Philip Carr-Gomm

Finally getting around to start my research on ancestor work. When it rains it pours around here.

I’m starting off by really looking into Ancestor Veneration in general in Heathen traditions.

Here is a nice post by the lovely Cara Freyasdaughter, she seems to be starting down the same path I am though I definitely don’t have the resources to travel to a country of my ancestors.

Much like with Cara, my family doesn’t pay much attention to culture identity or our history. My father’s side is a bit more interested (remember the book I had mentioned before with the Viking long ship on the cover) but not by too terribly much. I have no real family traditions that have been passed down, no recipes, nada. My sister’s (on my father’s side) passing mention of the family book got me researching Heathenry (and then a certain hammer busted the door down) which in turn got me more interested in looking at my own ancestors.

I’m working on digging into my family tree. I have a strong feeling it will take quite some time. While I’m doing that, I’ll be touching on what I already know (when I get the chance). I’ll start talking about actually doing ancestor work and well as discussing some of the history and symbols of my own heritage.

For the moment I will leave you with another thing to read. This is a bit more academic and focuses on the Disir.

Also keep this in mind. We are the future ancestors.

Until next time loves. Happy Thor’s day!

Fuckery that really needs attention

So Lucius Svartwulf Helson and Halstead have had their own war going on between the two. I’ve enjoyed the posts by Lucius but like I said before I usually try to stay out of the drama (as much as I actually like Lucius).

But in a comment on this post, Halstead has changed my decision to stay out of it.

In a comment he called Lucius’s Gods “sad little gods”. Keep in mind (if you didn’t figure out from this name) Lucius is a Heathen. I can tolerate attacking a person (to an extent) but start insulting my Gods, and it won’t go well for you.

Here is links to all the posts Lucius made:

If Your Paganism is Anthropocentric, I Don’t Want Your Paganism

Maybe I’m Not Here to Save Your World

Everyone Wants to Save The World Part 1

Everyone wants to save the World Part 2

Let’s Disenchant the World! Part 1

Let’s Disenchant the World! Part 2

Let’s Disenchant the World! Part 3

I Am A Special Snowflake….Apparently.

Everyone wants to save the world part 1

Everyone wants to save the world part 2

To Quote Nox: “I Warned You!” Part 1

To Quote Nox: “I Warned You!” Part 2

I am not by any means under any impression that I’m a “Big Name” but keep in mind this “Atheist Pagan”, I put it in quotes because it is on of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard, is insulting our Gods and I won’t stand by for it.

Please share this shit out of this. Share it and ask others to share. Spread it around as much as you can.

Normally I wouldn’t do something like this but he really brought it on himself.

To say I’m pissed is an understatement.

“Community”

So, if you haven’t noticed on the little side panel there, I follow a blogger by the name of Sebastian Lokason.

I watched this drama unfold. I make it a habit to stay out of drama, so I was originally going to keep my mouth shut. Then I was reading this post on another blog I follow, and thought “ya know what? fuck it. I got shit to say”. I will try to keep this as non rambly as possible.

I really can’t comment on what happened when those three were living together. I wasn’t there. What I can comment on is some of the other shit being said.

I don’t have a personal relationship with Seb. I read his blog, bought things from him, and got a past life reading done.

I enjoy his blog. Do I agree with everything? Absolutely not. Does that make either of us wrong? Absolutely not. Does he try to convince anyone that he is 100% right about everything? Absolutely not. Do I learn stuff from it? Absolutely. Do I get a crack out of some of his posts? Absolutely.

The whole thing about his UPG saying that his Big Self is Anar, “queen” of Vanaheim (I put queen in quotes because I remember him saying just about every time he mentions him he mentions that the queen thing is a rough translation and really doesn’t hold political power like we think of). Well I can’t comment much on that. I’m not that involved with Vanaheim outside of my work with Freya, Frey, and me poking about the Wolf Tribe a bit. But honestly, as I recall he doesn’t talk about Anar that much, and I never once got the feeling of “Worship Anar” or “Bow down before the mighty Anar!”. If it weren’t for Seb pointing out he had a perfume oil for Anar, I wouldn’t have noticed that he had anything for Anar.

I think that whole attack is to try to put Seb “in his place”. He had been getting a lot of attention in a good way, and we can’t have that. Some pagans get pissed when they see anything even resembling something that could possibly be a leader, especially if they are making some money in the process. Gods forbid some one make money off their talent!

Yea, he promotes his stuff on his blog. And? I like seeing the new shiny even though most of the stuff is something either not for me, or not something I can really be buying at that point in time. I never got the feeling of him trying to push his stuff on people. Who doesn’t like looking at pretty things?

And it is pretty fucking obvious that isn’t just about money for him. He lets people make payment plans. I know I’ve used that to be able to get some nice things before, and it helped a lot. Doesn’t sound like the actions of a greedy person to me. Yes he is making money off the stuff the services he offered and the things he makes (rightfully so), but he works with people so they can still get stuff. By the way, if you think his stuff is overpriced don’t fucking buy anything. Simple as that.

I do think the fact that he is trans has something to do with not wanting him to rise. Not just trans, but trans and gay. Not sure what happened to the whole “Pagans are so much more accepting” thing. And had sexual relationships with male spirits. How dare he! Hel, a big part of the “community” doesn’t want people talking about having any kind of personal relationships with our deities, especially not of a sexual nature.

Want to know what the biggest thing I learned from Sebastian Lokason was? Don’t be ashamed of your UPG, because it is yours and fuck what anyone else thinks.

One of the titles that frustrates me the most is “Special Snowflake”. Fuck that shit.

He isn’t saying he is the leader of Vanaheim, from what I understand he is just a big part of ritual that helps the land. Does that make him special? Kinda, to the residents in Vanaheim. Is it egotistical? Not really. Hel, this is the first time most of us are hearing about Anar being his Big Self, so it isn’t like he has been bragging about it. So yea, no.

I know some that their UPG says they are sacred queens (has nothing to do with being any kind of queen of Midgard so shut up), were deified by one of Them, Hel my own is that Freya is wanting me to become one of her Valkyries after this life. People see that as being egotistical, and wanting to be a “Special Snowflake”, except I haven’t seen a single one of these people ask for special treatment. Not once. I mean, people think it egotistical for a mere human to believe they are married to a God, or really have any kind of personal relationship with Them other than as a worshipper.

This shit needs to stop.

I keeping putting Community in quotations because we really don’t act like one. We constantly tear each other down and fight. That isn’t how a “community” acts. We are already getting attacked by just about all sides. We make progress, and then we tear it down ourselves.

Frankly, I really frustrated (if you couldn’t already tell) and sad. I enjoy Seb’s blog and because of those people, we won’t be able to anymore or at least for awhile. And that is really a loss for all of us.

I hope those people are happy with bring us another few steps back.

Ancestors – A little inspiration

So before everything started getting expensive and time consuming here, I was originally planning on starting to do some ancestor work (or at least attempt). I mean this is the perfect time to do it. Then I got distracted. A blog over yonder got me started on it again. I really like the Dyslexic Witch’s stuff. Go check her out.

Anywho.

Ancestor shrine! Duh.

A little background on me.

As I’ve mentioned before, my real life last name is Norris. Means “from the North”. Obviously a tie to my Norse heritage. From my father’s side it is mostly Welsh (which that traces back if you dig deep enough to Scandinavian ancestry) and Cherokee. Then on my mother’s side Cherokee, Irish and German.

There is a book that has completely disappeared (to my dismay) on my father’s side of the family (Norris). On the cover of it was a Viking long ship. I was able to get a few little tidbits from those who have seen the book. Apparently a whole branch of my family tree disappears in Salem (yea, that Salem), Sir Henry Norris (Charles Henry Norris is a big name in my family, the name of both my grandfather and my father) is an ancestor of mine. He was a friend of Anne Boleyn, and one of the ones accused of having an affair with her and was executed because of this. That is about all I got. Not sure how it all fits together which is rather frustrating.

And I know even less about my mother’s side of the family. Really only that my grandfather on my mother’s side was a full blood Cherokee.

So plan on using as many pictures of grandparents and such as I can find, and symbols of the origins of my family. Means research time for me!

If anyone has any suggestions on cheap ways (incredibly limited on money) I can find out more about both sides of my family will be much appreciated.

The plan is, to do a series on this. As y’all might have noticed already every time I attempt a series it goes in the crapper for one reason or another, so we shall see what happens.

Until next time loves!

News!

So I’ve been silent the last couple days because they had me training someone new at my work so been pretty busy, so here are updates.

First, I need to talk about the woman I have been training. She’s a heathen! I cannot tell you guess how excited I got when I saw her wearing a hammer. I had to control myself and not jump on it. I wanted to feel it out a bit and eased into talking about it. And yup, full blown heathen. See, the only other pagans around here (and they are few and far between already) are Wiccans, so to have found a real life heathen was amazing! To actually have someone in real life to talk to about my religion, though I’m keeping the more woo stuff on the down low for the moment.

And that’s not all. She is part of a kindred. There is more to that, just bare with me.

So on the 10th, I went with my best friend to the Saint Louis Pagan Pride. First of all, it was awesome in general being around other pagans. I’m usually the quiet shy person and my best friend is the more outgoing one. Not at Pagan Pride. I was talking up a storm with a bunch of people, and frankly I really surprised myself. It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be but it is still something fairly new so I suspect it will get bigger over time, but the people that were there were awesome.

Back track a bit. I was talking with my new heathen coworker about the event, asking if she was going. She said probably not but her kindred will be having a booth there.

When I got there, I got to the booth and talked to the Chieftain of the kindred and it was an instant click. That’s right folk, I got invited to be a part of a kindred! The first two events they invited me to sadly I won’t make (well one was last week, so didn’t make it) because I’m still recovering financially from the visit to the ER. The next one is on Halloween, which I already promised my best friend I’d be going to her party, and I keep my promises. I will definitely be at the next one and I am so excited and nervous all at the same time. They are a ways from me (at least an hour) but doing that every couple of months will be worth it. To finally be a part of the physical community. I did double check with my coworker to make sure she was okay with me joining, and she actually really wants me to. After I finally go to the first gathering, I’ll let you guys know how that goes.

Things are going very well with my boyfriend. This next part might be a little much on information for some (a tad sexual) so feel free to skip to the next paragraph. Sunday morning  I actually made the first move in bed. If you have been keeping up on this blog, you know it is kind of a big deal for me considering my history. This is the first time I have ever blatantly made the first move, usually I just hint. And to say the least the result was amazing. Hail Freya for her work with me, ha ha.

Now I have a bit of a problem. The man I formerly referred to as Fen. I will now be calling him The Leo (he’s a Leo). With my relationship with Fenrir now, I don’t really feel that nickname for him is appropriate anymore. Well, had a dream about him last night. A very not appropriate dream considering my current relationship status. It is rather infuriating. For some reason I just can’t get that man out of my life. He had his chance with me, and he decided going to orgy rituals were more important. I’m sorry but I’m a Wolf. We are territorial and I will not change that. I’ve kept him at more than arms length but he keeps popping up an it really pisses me off. I don’t even think about him and then I have a dream with him popping in it, and there is always affection between the two of us in my dreams. I just want it to stop. I’m happy in my current relationship and I don’t want to mess it up.

As far as my relationship with Thor goes, and that work, everything is well. I had to put off getting a tattoo and getting the bracelet for him unfortunately with my money situation. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get the tattoo now, especially with my older sister’s baby shower coming up and then the holidays. Probably will have to wait until next year which really sucks. Especially since now my car is needing new brakes and an oil change.

All in all, all is well here. A little stressful but not too bad. I have more stuff I want to discuss but that will be in a post all it’s own, which I will try to get in today.

If I don’t get the next one up today, until next time loves!