Tag Archives: Godspouse

Pagan Blog Project – Eir

I have never had my choice of gods and goddesses to pick and choose from, deciding which I would like to work with or under and which I am not that interested in creating a relationship with. If any of them wished me any ill, likely they would’ve been prevented from reaching the stage where they show up in my life and nudge at my mind all of the time. I do have my protectors (gods, themselves).

Not all that long after we were married, I had what felt like a barrage of new people showing up in my peripheries. Because I was so busy with being evicted for being disabled and having a stint of homelessness, then being hit very hard by my CFS/ME and fibro, I didn’t follow up on any of it, much. For the most part, they were content to sit on the sides and occasionally buzz through my mind to ensure I hadn’t forgotten them.

One of them was Eir. Some people seem to say she prefers to only work with or to train women. There’s precious little I can do about that — I am not a woman. But she has been insistent, and along with her, though farther into the peripheries, Menglöð.

This past month, we were able to replenish a little of of the herbs and oils needed to do much useful work. It will take a while to build up, and to perfect blends. I missed the delivery today because I didn’t realize it needed a signature, so I will have to get it on Monday. Pity; it would’ve been nice to try some trancework or meditation with some of the oils.

As such, Eir surged to the forefront. Wanting to know what happened to my books on herbalism, I should fetch them immediately, I should get to work on learning all of the things that went stagnant in my brain and stuffing more information into it. I should bend my finances toward all of this work. Because we are all sick, and we do not need to be this sick. There are a number of herbal things that will help. And I should do this and that, I should make dream sachets to sleep better, I should find the right stones for my issues and keep them close to my skin, I should, in short, get my shit together immediately and get to work.

In addition to this, the land spirits gave me an idea on how I can make something to better connect with the land when I am indoors: they suggested I take some of the gravel beside the house, which is currently buried under a lot of snow, unfortunately, and some of the twigs from the trees, and various other things, and keep it in one of the boxes I have to use as a focus. I should also buy or make bindrune staves for the corners of the property. Protecting and healing this area of land is my responsibility, and it overwhelms me more than a little.

I need to sort through my time carefully, so that I am not neglecting anyone.

I feel like I’m flailing, a little. Wondering what I am and what I am going to be. It doesn’t really surprise me that my marriage is not some sort of All Important thing — not the One Thing I Do. I don’t think that was why he married me. He saw something in me, though I don’t know what, and wanted it. Wanted to hold it in his hands and make it grow.

Forest by Oliver Harold

Pagan Blog Project: Carolitic

I was asked to start doing the PBP, because I have interesting things to say, they said. As we’re into Cs, I suppose I will try to get back through the other posts, if possible, because it’s not all that late, and I did write a post spurred by my attempt at writing about my adoption by Loki and his family (which was then titled Aridity).

Carolitic is an architectural term meaning ‘adorned with leaves and branches.’

I don’t always recognize the gods in art that are meant to be him. Sometimes they are completely and utterly foreign. Sometimes semi-passable. I’ve never found anything that was exactly right. What I do have is a picture of a person I found on tumblr, that V edited for me, which I can’t post, because I don’t recall the original photographer, or the model, and it’s altered without permission, regardless. Even the picture is not perfect, but it will do. It is, of course, of a completely human man, looking completely human.

Freyr does not always, though the human-like shape is very convenient and he seems somewhat to favor it, but I couldn’t say that with authority. Likely he changes his shape depending on what sort of beings he is interacting with.

He is meant to be a god of fields, fruit, bountiful harvests, grain, and so on. Honey, also, via some UPG I seem to share with several people. I have seen him that way. Golden, brighter than the sun, running his hands along the tops of the grain, or riding his horse through the shining fields, laughing in the summer…

But I also see him, increasingly, in the forest. I repressed the idea because I felt like I was treading on the territory of people who associate with one or another horned god figure, and I do not believe all gods bleed into one.

It stayed, however. And I kept reblogging deer, saving pictures of deer, thinking about his antler, and the piece I wear around my neck, reblogging forest after forest. I felt him too much in some of these pictures and I could not shake it. It was not going to go away.

The Vanir are old. Very old. What was there before there were tilled fields? There were forests.

And so I see him at times in a somewhat humanoid shape, with branching antlers, in the deepest parts of the forest. He reeks of power. It rolls off of him like the mist formed by his breath. And I wonder what I am seeing, if this is what came before, if this is what there was before humans began shaping myth with their belief and taking axes to trees to create fields to grow their crops.

It is always a silent, still, long moment, of looking, and waiting. I think he wants to know if I will come to him like that, with ivy twining and moss and lichens making themselves known. Leaves caught in those antlers. His breath is heavy, as if he had just been running and stopped suddenly. I do not think he runs on two legs, though he stands on them well enough.

I have not gone yet, because I have been afraid of what it means. Of saying, yes, I love this god whom you’re very familiar with, and in some of his aspects, he is absolutely nothing like what you’ve read or been taught, and no, I am not confused, not confusing one god for another — I know my husband, if nothing else — and not being a very mushy polytheist. To say, yes, this is Freyr, and he is a very old god of the forests, long before there were people.

It does not change who he is most often now, of the fields of golden grain, but this part of him has not gone away.

It is my wont, whether intended or otherwise, to lean toward mysticism.

Tonight I will embrace him.

Aridity

I had been strongly considering participating in the PBP, but the first relevant word that came to mind for me was ‘Adoption’ and that peeled open a festering mess I wasn’t quite expecting.

I don’t have contact with any human family. It has been a painful mess since I was twelve and understood the depth of my father’s disinterest in my existence (I didn’t even know him, really — I saw him a couple of times when I was very, very young and never again after I was about five — but I knew where he lived, and I spent some time sitting on my bike across the road from his house, thinking about what would happen if I knocked on the door) and there were levels of increasing understanding of my mother’s hatred for me, starting with being told that I should have been aborted when I was four or five, to worse things and repeats of that and similar statements, until I was seventeen. I had already left home by then — going halfway across the country and working full time from the moment I was sixteen and living with awful people actually seemed better than living with her, and I’d already dropped out of school due to a nervous breakdown when I was fourteen — but during a phone call in either late 1998 or early 1999, she reminded me that not having had an abortion had “fucked up her life.”

I never stopped being depressed about it, or wounded. The best I could manage was ignoring it.

When Brand’s family found out about me, they were completely horrified by how neglected and hated I had been, and immediately decided that they would adopt me. He’s said before that there is nothing more important to the jotnar than family, but I didn’t realize that extended to adopting unwanted children to ensure they had family, too. That was probably a bit stupid of me, but I’ve internalized the idea that I am loathsome and unwantable by anyone very well (which I have to admit doesn’t do my romantic relationships any good, either).

I feel like a feral cat, haunting the edges of this civilization and scattering whenever someone looks at me or comes to close, and only creeping in when no one’s paying attention, or is busy elsewhere. I’m prone to raiding the trash for scraps because I can’t handle coming in to my place at the table. I don’t know how to come in. I can only tolerate it for a few minutes at most before I have a desperate urge to run away and be extremely alone. Alone is familiar; alone is what I know.

At our wedding, so many of his friends and family — and part of my brain was trying to consider the idea that they would think of me as part of their family also, while the rest of it was skittering away from that thought and relegating all of these people to his, his, his. No our anywhere involved. His house, his bed, his everything. What am I, exactly, inside my own mind? A doll that he felt sorry for. And decided to take home, try to clean it up, sit it around tea parties with other dolls and stuffed animals. But I don’t have a mouth. I do not know how to make sounds.

What do you do?

What do you do when you persistently experience something extremely important regarding your god that runs counter to the experiences of everyone else?

The majority of the advice I’ve found says that it likely means that this bit of UPG is wrong, and I should try to readjust my vision/ears/memories. It is not completely personal, but I often find “peer-corroborated” things highly questionable as a verification when the peers are close to each other.

I do not, in any way, experience or know Freyr as a god who dies or is sacrificed at the harvest or for the blessing of the earth, or who was at one point or another to end a terrible famine, or someone who is dead for three days and returns.

I also do not experience him as someone who changes very much from season to season, though for lack of a better word, he does seem to “glow” brighter in the summer, and the ways in which he connects to the earth (in the sense of the ground, the things that grow or lie dormant in it, in whichever place) shift in ways that seem in line with how people themselves used to change, and how animals change. There are different things to do; there is time to plant, to grow, to gather, to rest.

He is, to a certain extent, quieter in terms of energy and activity. In the summer, he was always doing something; he was outside all of the time, going off to visit people, riding his horse [at terrifying speed, to me] through field and meadow, and laughing with the pure pleasure of it.

He is most often at home, these days, and people come to him, or he spends his time with those closest to him, such as his family. There is more meat and heavier foods, root vegetables, and things that can be kept for the winter, on his table, than the large amounts of green vegetables and fruits of the summer, and the breads and squashes and other things in the autumn.

His apparent death and rebirth are what everything to do with him these days seems to revolve around — it is the central point of his entire modern mythos and cultus. There is nothing more important, in the eyes of the people who revere him.

And it doesn’t even exist for me. It doesn’t happen. It feels deeply wrong to me.

I’ve spent the last several months feeling like I should not or could not talk about anything to do with him, because either I was wrong about everything, or whether or not I was wrong about everything, anything else I said would be valueless because if I am insisting that water is not wet, why would anyone pay attention if I said it was snowing?

I’m either insane or my perceptions are so warped that they should all be discarded whole. There’s little point in trying to sift out something that isn’t crazy or completely wrong that happens to come out of my mouth.

“Well, say,” Brand offered, flopping down on my blanket, “that if it is Really Really For Extra Real for the entire rest of the multiverse, including him, is it impossible that your version of him doesn’t, because one must not.”

The nature of the multiverse is such that everything is possible and everything exists, somewhere — for every choice you make, another universe springs into existence where you made the other, etc, and so there are infinite varieties of everything. This is not the same as thinking that all gods are manifestations of one ultimate god, or something like that; there is no One True You in the multiverse; there are infinite yous. This may or may not be true of gods — while it may be for some, I know it isn’t for all; I know at least one god who absolutely only exists once and exists simultaneously in all universes (this god is not the God of Everything, for the record), and know of others who seem to have multiple versions from different universes.

“You need an apologetic bumper sticker that says SORRY, STRING THEORY JUST WORKS FOR ME,” Brand said. I don’t know how to drive, but apparently that is not an impediment to needing a sticker.

“I think that may actually just make everything worse.”

“Why? The Everyone already believe gods have myriad faces that they show their followers as they deem convenient or desirable.”

“Those are faces that one singular-unto-itself god possesses,” I said.

“And their worlds would end if there were actually many of that god?”

“Probably. Witness the massive kerfluffle over your father, and how desperately people have tried to rationalize why they or why some people insistently see him as resembling Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Ultimately, they decide they’re all the One True Loki, wearing his face or guise or using Marvel to lure them in, and so on. ”

He grinned. “Which is always worse and more offensive than people finding him through Neil Gaiman or other people who’ve written about him, isn’t it? Anyway — this isn’t about my father or any other Loki, and neither is it about the actual fact that I know alternate universe versions of people, or, you know, anything that I don’t feel the need to get upset about whether or not someone else believes or understands.”

“Despite that, you’ve been extremely clear that this world/this universe has one Loki, and that one is your father.”

He stretched, looking as absolutely unconcerned as a cat. “Yes.”

“Which Freyr belongs to this world/universe?” I said miserably.

He waved a finger at me. “That is for you to angst over while you waste your time trying to figure out how to delete a WordPress journal, because you have an opinion that other people will find upsetting.”

“I don’t have the energy to fight about it, or to be called names for it. I don’t want to be called a fake or be told that everything I believe is a lie. I don’t want to be told that my marriage is what doesn’t exist and hasn’t actually happened.”

“What do you want?”

I sighed. “Fewer great big bloody sacrificial messes that people make more important than anything else to do with him or about him — it’s just like how Everything has to be about his cock, and even when he gets killed, it’s always emphasized that he has a massive erection at the time. If they want to sacrifice something, maybe they should learn how to humanely sacrifice animals and then eat the animals and use all of their parts, or as many of them as possible, for things. Which was what actually happened… in my warped, insane view of the universe.”

“Great big animal sacrifice thingy?”

“They had a feast, yes. I was only around to bless it afterward for its own sake, to help it achieve a fortunate rebirth.”

“Getting your Buddhism all up in the mix.”

“He wanted me to. He thought it was important.”

“What did they feed you, and where were you? You never even told me about it.”

“In his room. Feeling weird, like always when there’s a major event going on nearby and you’re the only one left out, even if you’re left out because you chose to be, or have to be, or need to be. There were some herbed potatoes and carrots that she cooked separately, baked apples with spices, and seed bread with butter and honey that had been mixed together. I don’t know what the seeds were; they tasted like sunflower seeds.”

Oh. ‘In Germany, it is mixed with rye flour to make Sonnenblumenkernbrot (literally: sunflower whole seed bread)…’ From the pictures, that is what she gave me, though I think she must have used something other than rye — I’ve come across a recipe that uses barley, and some that just use wheat — because it didn’t have the intense bite that rye does. I don’t know what bread made with barley tastes like, and, having celiac, can’t find out. I suspect I would probably like it, though, if I could eat it. I can only remember having barley in soup, for which I’ve yet to find a properly satisfying celiac-friendly substitute.

“And,” Brand said, “just to rule out the potentially obvious objection: you don’t think he goes around not-dying because it might upset you.”

“Why would he? I expected it to happen. I thought it would right up until it didn’t.”

He laughed. “It’s probably a lot kinder of a way to disabuse you of the notion that Everyone knows half as much as they think they do than what dad did with me.”

“If it were genuinely something important for him to do, he should. Whether or not I like it is extremely superfluous when I’m not being forced to participate. Plenty of gods die. For fuck’s sake, you’ve died twice because of your father and you’re currently supposed to be human.”

“Would you have watched if he’d asked you to?” he said, suddenly solemn.

“…of course. What is there to a marriage if you are unwilling to go through difficult things beside each other, or if you are unwilling to go into dark places to find each other, or unwilling to even do something discomfiting. If you love someone, you stand beside them, whether through the worst of all things or the best. Bad things are a guarantee in life, and good things are a blessing to rejoice in. You can’t just choose the fun parts about a relationship or a person and throw out the rest and claim any kind of real love.”

What I believe is complex, and possibly overall completely stupid. I don’t know. I feel terrible, conflicted, extremely unhappy. Utterly miserable, hopeless, and forlorn. The only reason I haven’t deleted everything and disappeared is because R. asked me not to, and so did Brand. They think conflicting opinions are important, and that, due to having one, I should talk about it, rather than getting rid of any evidence of it outside of my own head.

The only thing I request about having made all of this public is that if we are to discuss it, we do it calmly.

If you would like to speak to me in private, my email address is shannon dot kotono at gmail.

I have to travel this week, so my replies may be a little slow, but I will get to them as I can.

Tree spirit.

(Written on 11/10/13, while we had no internet access)

One of the times I went to the stream that I like in the forest [in Alfheimr] and sat down on the rocks along the bank, one of the tree spirits came to talk to me. He was thin and rather old, with moss and lichen patterning his bark. He sat down beside me and stretched out his legs, which took root and burrowed down under the edge of the stream.

He asked me who I thought I was.

“No one,” I said, startled.

Coming into their forest all of the time, disturbing the birds, sitting on things.

I continued to look at the water and thought about Freyr bringing me there more than once, and our wedding, where woven willow branches were put on my head and I was given an assortment of jewellery which seems to have only been worn by rather important people. It occurred to me that ‘no one’ was a stupid answer, because I was not no one.

“Freyr put a crown on my head,” I said slowly.

Did he.

“Yes. A lot of people came.”

What do you think that means.

“I’m not entirely sure yet.”

Do you think it means that you can come in here and do whatever you want.

I thought about the various implications of said crown and what people who wear such things usually do, and what I do and have done, and said, rather cautiously, “I can come here whenever I want. He told me that I could and he is the incontrovertible lord of the realm. I have always been very respectful of all of you.”

So you don’t intend to be another pompous little shit.

“No. Whether or not he married me, or whatever rights he has bestowed upon me, I don’t have the right to behave badly. No one does.”

Mm.

He leaned back on his elbows, which similarly rooted into the ground, and over the next several minutes, faded into an oddly-shaped tree that seemed no more animated than the very wide and solid tree to my left.

I felt strange.

The wind, feminine, curled around my ear and brushed through my hair, humming, glid over the back of my neck and spiraled up into the large tree, twining through its branches and sending them shivering. I had the image of a sensuous, well-curved woman, with full, deep red lips. The sky was very blue and there were wispy clouds, being unraveled by the wind in the high atmosphere. It was a cool day, but not too cold.

My clothes have turned into wool, with a lot of dark green shades, and boots showed up one day.

I am far from understanding what I am, and what I am meant to do. But being awkward, or ashamed/embarrassed that he placed me in a powerful position, simply because I have a low opinion of myself, is counterproductive and not a little insulting toward him.

I find myself playing with the antler pendant I purchased from Dver. Wondering if, in some years, I will wear it down smooth or wear it away with my worried rubbing.

Frigga, Eir; What Doesn’t Wear Off

This was written on Sunday in a letter to a friend, before we went to view an apartment, which although perfect in many ways, we did not end up getting.

 

After we were married, though I don’t know when it happened exactly, because I think I was too distracted, I began seeing/sensing/feeling a pair of silver rings on my upper arms and a ciclet made of silvery material that were always on me. The circlet is of a rather feminine style, with something in the center and either a piece of it that drops down or a jewel that does (I can’t see my own face, and Brand’s not terribly useful when it comes to tiny details about things that he hasn’t been looking at for very long periods of time).

I promise I’ve only read Lord of the Rings once, but the material it’s made of reminds me of the mithril alloy ithildin, which glows by moon or starlight, except this glows very softly in any sort of dim light or darkness, and isn’t necessarily hidden by the sun — I’ve felt/seen it all in broad daylight, though it is somehow less obvious, then, and looks like a duller sort of metal.

I saw it today when I couldn’t sleep and went to visit Freyr, who was on his horse, or a horse who was a golden yellow with a dark brown mane and tail. After flailing at the internet, I’ve discovered this sort of horse is described as a buckskin, although it did not have the black socks. And, of course, impossibly beautiful in a way the internet can’t provide. Today was literally the first time I have ever seen Skirnir.

So, I’ve some sort of royal regalia that doesn’t come off, now. And I’m being so much nudged toward Frigga that I’d call it a very polite shove. Am I meant to pick up sacred queen-er-kingship from her?

And I’ve been being thrust at Eir for weeks, now, and that doesn’t surprise anyone, and it’s mainly been waiting for me to have some peace and quiet to continue to explore.

Migraine Delay.

When I woke up and became increasingly incapacitated by a migraine, and wondered aloud, “What do you do about a migraine on your wedding day?” Brand responded with, “It’s like miGRAAAAiiiiAAAANES on your wedding day, it’s a free RIIIIeeeeIIII–” Except not nearly as loud as it sounds.

He and his father are, at times, extremely related.

I may be having my here-wedding tomorrow, instead of today, and my elsewhere-wedding today as planned, because sleep seems to be the most rational plan.