Tag Archives: Wights

Devotional Work

We have been talking about prayer beads.

A long time back, Freyr specified the number of beads he wanted me to use, and I found stones that would be ideal, and have generally only been waiting for a time when I could afford to purchase the materials and assemble it.

I have been interested in making prayer beads for other people for a long time, but have similarly been restricted by finances. It’s also occurred to me that many people who buy prayer beads have absolutely no idea what to do with them or how to use them, so it might be good to write prayers, adorations, or other devotions to gods and spirits I may make sets for in the future, so that I will have them on hand.

In addition to needing to work out the prayers for my own set.

I would like to write a much longer post about prayer, but recovery from the car accident is slow, and I am feeling very stressed and very thin.

Today while I was resting, I worked with the spirits of the trees living on this section of land and the spirits of the land itself — many of which were not clearly defined entities who were completely separated into something easily understandable. I felt myself sinking deep into the ground and felt the earth around me, and I knew that I had been guilty of being prideful and hubristic without realizing it, without having realized I’d created some sort of chain of being and placed myself on it above other things — that I was, in truth, the same as the microbes in the soil and served a similar purpose.

Healing the land and healing myself are likely connected. As are all of these meditative thoughts about devotion and prayer and walking through a land to bless it.

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Toward Spring

I feel the spring, though there is no reason for it: there will be five inches of snow tomorrow, and more of it on Wednesday. I feel it in the ground, the trees, the life around me. Straining upward, reaching for the longer days and the warmer nights.

He is nearer, in a way I find difficult to describe, but I feel it in the same way I feel the land around me. Awake and reaching upward, uncovering the sun from its bank of slate grey cloth, inviting it to caress the land again.

And it does.

And in response, the sap ceases its sluggish repose, and the bulbs in the ground stir themselves, and the animals will soon dream themselves awake.

Rearranging the altars

It’s a fairly common thing to color the water used in Buddhist offerings with saffron. Saffron is, of course, very expensive, and I haven’t been able to afford it, but V. bought me some while we were in the spice aisle at the store. I will make the saffron water when I can and start using it in daily offerings.

We had previously been to the dollar store, where we found an assortment of things that we thought would be good for the altars. Small wooden boxes, moss, stones, glass bowls and vases. I’ve wanted to make something for Freyr for a long time, because I don’t have much for him: really only a dark brown clay pig, aside from my jewellery.

Hela told Brand to rearrange the order that things are in, in terms of the shelves, which is reasonable and convenient. I need more room to use the offering bowls more effectively.

I will make something for Freyr and incorporate the pieces of the trees in the yard that offered themselves into the area. He is so intertwined with nature/land spirits for me that it seems like the right thing to do.

We bought a Christmas cactus, as well. Being past its flowering season, it was heavily marked down and in good condition. They blossom so beautifully.

Meeting the trees.

I briefly spoke to the two evergreens in the yard early this morning when I went to take out the trash and the recycling. It snowed a little last night and was very cold.

One of them felt very old and there were several places on the trunk where the sap had bled out, resembling candle wax. It is next to the fence and the garage. It told me to take a piece of it, so I felt along one of the lower branches until I found something that felt right and broke it off. I was regretting having no thumbnails, but perhaps because of the cold, it broke very neatly.

The other is much younger and of a different species. It is the one that has been annoyed that I hadn’t properly said hello or spent time with it. When the wall of the building next door collapsed, I don’t know how the tree managed to avoid getting severely damaged, but it looks like it was fine.

It was still huffy but not in a bad mood — more like posturing, I suppose, at this point, because it had gotten what it wanted. On the ground, there was a piece that had three branches of needles, which it said I could have. I had to pry it out of the snow a little bit, but it doesn’t look like that damaged it. I could not stay long because my hands were very cold without gloves, and it is not shaped in a way that I could reach the trunk to touch it, like I generally would, but I touched some of the branches.

The older tree feels very masculine. It reminds me of an old veteran. The younger one, I’m not sure how to describe… it also feels male, but certainly younger. Almost like a young teenager, or one of my relatives when he was ten or eleven, and a little old for his age.

We will be having another winter storm tomorrow and Friday, both here and in New York City, so I am going to end up trying to clamber to appointments through 5+” of snow in the city, and have needed to arrange my travel dates to leave today and come back on Saturday. There will be 9-12″ of snow here. Since I cannot help shovel, I am worried about the car, since the city will tow any car that won’t move when they decide to plow. The landlord said he would help if we were out of town, but I haven’t been able to get ahold of him yet.

And I am very tired, very much not in the physical state to travel or to spend two days slogging through the snow and then traveling more. I fell asleep sitting up last night after I laid out this year’s runes. I have no idea what they even are — V. took a picture of them for me — and only remember that Raido fell out of the bag and into my lap, then showed up again, and that I pulled kenaz for December, but it fell out of my hand and back into the bag. I woke up around six, I suppose. I don’t know when I fell asleep. V. tried to get me to come to bed when he took the picture of the runes and as far as I know, the only thing I managed to do was put the runes back into the bag, and completely passed back out here. I think I got up and got into the bed around 4:45. I very clearly need more rest.

Ah, the landlord rung the doorbell to tell us the neighbors were moving and ask if we’d move the car up a few spaces so they’d have more room for the truck, so I was able to talk to him and give  him the spare key. Maybe I can panic a little less.

Solstice.

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.

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.

9/11

Tomorrow never stops seeming like a day that has detached itself from the timestream and remains outside of it, one foot aside, leaving a jarring hole like missing a step in the dark — as vertiginous and horrifying, full of animal visions of twisted bones and broken spines.

It “gets better.” The city “moves on.”

Signs about the missing, then PTSD, then sickness, then cancer disappear. Then there are no signs at all, except sometimes you stumble across a mural to a group of people, to firefighters, to all of them.

The victims’ families have become something of an embarrassment: they demand tribute every year to the fallen, demand that something be done, demand that it not get brushed under the rug of tourism and shining up the public perception of the city as Safe again.

It’s going to be in the upper 90s tomorrow, after days of pleasant weather. It’s going to be incredibly oppressive.

I’ll be at home, meditating on peace, making an offering to the dead, and an offering to the spirit and spirits of the city, themselves wounded grievously and much ignored. Maybe I will turn my practice to tonglen, and take their suffering, and give them love, empathy, acknowledgement. I see you.

I hear you.

And I am so very sorry.