Tag Archives: Holidays

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.


Yesterday was a very bad day — I am scraping through the bottom of the mental health barrel — and we were not able to do what we had wanted for the solstice and mother’s night. But, barring a convenient Stonehenge (where it was raining and very dark, anyway) or Science, the exact solstice is difficult to determine and wanders each year, so I hoped shifting the majority of things to today would be all right.

We lit tealights for the important goddesses and women in our lives, as well as some who were very important to people we loved. Some were slightly generalized: Buddhist tradition says that the numberless sentient beings are all our mothers, and they have all been our children, at some point in time. We ended up with fourteen candles. Had some people not been grouped together, I think we might have gone through half the box. I felt terribly serious about it; I have never had a mother, and I have seen how the loss of his mother has torn B. apart and how much it hurts R., whose wife she was.

I was adopted by Brand’s mother, Auðhelga, and so was B.

Inadvertently (it was largely to do with emotional and physical exhaustion and what I could handle cooking), I made cream of rice for dinner, which is a comfort food (in the form of cream of wheat, which none of us can eat, now, but I’ve forgotten what the difference in taste was and so have they) for Brand and V., because their grandmothers made it for them all of the time.

I also made Freyr’s tea, because I was fortunate enough to find unfiltered raw honey at the grocery, which is the only sort of honey that he and some of my spirits are very willing to have put in things for them. He asked me in the beginning to eat a little raw honey every day, and I have not been able to do it because I haven’t had the food stamp space for a while now. It’s very good to be able to share his tea again.

It rained the past two days and it will rain all day tomorrow, and my shoes have holes in them. Nerthus asked me to go stand on the ground barefoot — it’s actually warmer right this second than it will be tomorrow (the high is rapidly dropping from the upper fifties to the mid twenties), but I am so very tired. And I want to bring something to the pine in the back yard. I am not entirely sure how to accomplish this without looking insane to the landlords. My logical reason for being in the backyard is taking the trash out. Perhaps I can ask V. to hold the offering cup for me since I am stronger than he is, as far as the trash is concerned (this is not saying much, to be honest: whereas he has lost all of his muscle tone to cfs, I’ve kept some because I’ve had to carry home groceries and so on).

I have flipflops, which will be less troublesome than my shoes with holes in them, for the purpose of standing on the ground (though one could argue I am always standing on the ground in those shoes…!).

I will try to get some sort of feel for what the pine would like out of the tea that we have.

Autumn and winter are the only times of the year that I feel especially comfortable, so the solstice is not about lengthening days and the passing of winter for me.

It is about the moon in an ice cold clear sky, shining on a field of snow.

It is about a moment of absolute silence filled with such shattering clarity that the only thing you can do is stare in wonder.

It is about a void that is anything but empty.

Wheel turning

The Equinox is at 4:44pm local time. I could go to the ADF event at Central Park. It’s raining right now, but should clear up by afternoon.

My knee is bothering me, and the recent tendency toward frequent/constant stress-induced nightmares haven’t left me with much energy, but it would be good to be around people. If not, I hope I can go to the store to get the things to make bread. It does involve much less walking.

When Brand is feeling very bad or vulnerable, he likes to wrap the cord he had made around his neck loosely. I took the idea and looped ours, which still smells of the herbs it was washed in.

I do not know if I have “let” things get to me, or if this is a situation in which it is nearly impossible to avoid “letting” things get to me — that the issue of insecure housing, threats of physical violence, insufficient money to move right away, and everything else has thrown me into a form of survival mode where I seem capable of thinking about nothing else. It’s done it to everyone — I’m not the only one with nightmares — but I don’t want to solely be existing in this mode. I don’t want to be so full of stress that I sacrifice everything precious.

One of my mentors suggested using Green Tara’s mantra in times of difficulty, and I think it did help a great deal in getting to (I also got lost) and through a hearing about whether or not my benefits were being cut off (they aren’t). It’s also short and to the point. The difficulties one asks to be saved from sound like normal difficulties, like protection while traveling, but more relate to the general difficulties of samsaric existence and ignorance. And, goodness, couldn’t I use a lot of help with that.

Some of the leaves are falling here, or browning. Our unpredictable weather has interspersed periods of autumn with blazing summer. I wouldn’t rule out another period of 90 degree days, but it’s back to being cooler outside.

In a fragment of a dream I had, it was already time for frost, and frost was silvering the green leaves of the plants every morning. I don’t think I was in my ordinary dream locales; I think either Freyr or another person was with me. I was reminded in some vague way of the place where I grew up, though I couldn’t say why, now.

Brand is about to embark on a period of belonging to his sister. I need to settle myself, engage in daily meditation, and descend into the right portions of consciousness to learn more about this apprenticeship to Eir that’s being arranged around me and something similar with Frigga. Both things will need my attention.

In this moment of being split between seasons, it seems good to revive and set intentions.

Mine are:

– practice daily meditation

– practice mantra recitation

– spend time with my beloved

– pray

– pursue the invitations from Eir and Frigga

– follow commonsense approaches to improving these things — care for my plants and study herblore, clean my spaces, my altar, etc, and maintain them, cook and enjoy good food

Best Laid

Today, I was meant to receive a delivery of medicine and I was supposed to go to an appointment, after which, I would go to the store to buy the things to make gluten-free bread, and come home. (I’d also meant to get a couple of days of groceries, because I had to get my food stamps card replaced, and they took their sweet time.)

None of that happened.

There was a message I didn’t see from the pharmacy about the delivery, but when I tried to call them, no one at the pharmacy knew what the message had been about, because it had been from the head pharmacist, who was not in, and would not be in until tomorrow.

I need to go there on Thursday; I don’t mind if I need to pick it up in person, but I would like something concrete laid down, because running out of certain medication will be bad, to say the least. I was relying on some of it coming today, but I will survive without it.

I also need to go to the bank, because they are doing their best to avoid replacing my debit card in a simple way.

I had planned to join V at his brother’s house afterward on Thursday to house-sit for the weekend, and bring my bread and a jar of honey, and have a small moment for Freyr, without candles, because they have too many cats.

I may be bringing someone else’s bread, purchased at the store, at this rate, because I either have to choose between going there, or coming back here and baking. I don’t know what would be best. While it’s not an ordinary part of my vocabulary, everything is something of a clusterfuck at the moment.

It was suggested to me to speak to Forseti and Tyr about some of the housing mess; among other things, I was told to focus on my meditation and purifications. Because I am “not blameless in all things.”

Perhaps I should set myself up to collect my Vajrasattva recitations and make that a goal that I can actually coherently work toward that does not depend on anything more than a string of beads or a counting app to do.

Summer Solstice

I had to put off my solstice doings until the night of the 22nd, because I was simply exhausted on the night of the 21st, and I can’t get private access to parts of the yard unless the landlord is asleep, plus we have incredibly nosy neighbors and I wanted to feed and thank the tree on our sidewalk.

I spent part of the afternoon outside of my body, so I could speak to two of the wights and spend time with them. My nocturnal activities involve a lot of rushing around and I don’t tend to get a chance than to do more than put my hand on something and send it my gratitude and love. They were happy to see me and wanted to talk about my wedding and all sorts of things.

When it was late enough, I went out in the flesh with 3/4 of a bottle of mead and distributed it to the major wights and the smaller ones around the boundaries of the house.

I was surprised that I used the entire bottle (it’s a very small plot of land), but that gives me an idea of how to plan for such things.