A Lokian’s Take on Fenrir Worship

Last month, I threatened to explore my complex feelings regarding Rokkatru stuff, and I’m one who tends to make good on my threats. Long, long ago, when I was still exploring my alter ego in fiction writing, I wrote, “I don’t make threats; I make promises.” Still applies, all these years later. And it feels relevant to the topic at hand.

There’s been some strife on various online heathen forums and groups (shocking, I know, but please bear with me), and I’ve noticed a creeping faction of Rokkatru making their way into mainstream discussions. For those who’ve been blissfully unaware, Rokkatru is the faction of heathenry that focuses reverence on the deities and beings that oppose the Aesir and Vanir at Ragnarok. Fenrir, Jormungandr, and Angrboda are the three who are most commonly worshipped in Rokkatru, and I’ve seen people who honor and claim Surtr as a patron as well. It’s. . . alarming, personally. I understand that people will have different UPG than me, and different experiences and relationships with gods and other mythical beings. But it’s still a bit baffling to me that people genuinely worship and claim patronage from those who bring about absolute destruction with little regard to anyone caught in the path of their rampage.

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Some Things Aren’t Worth Saving

For some inexplicable reason, there’s been a noticeable uptick lately in debates around “reclaiming” the swastika.

WHY?!

It’s frustrating enough to see arguments in favor of trying to erase the stigma and bring it back into the fold, but it’s absolutely enraging to see people respond to the “let it go” statements with arrogant “well actually” drivel about other cultures. These smug retorts not only assume that the anti-swastika side is ignorant of the history of the symbol and its continued significance in Eastern culture, but they also completely overlook the whole point of the argument: the swastika can not be reclaimed within the context of Germanic religion.

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Lea 1, Plague 0

Oy, I did not intend to have such a long hiatus. I’m mostly recovered from Covid-19 now, but the radio silence has been more of a “I have lots of nonsense I’m working on” thing and less of a “PLAGUE!” thing (though the fatigue issues I’ve dealt with since my appendix issues have definitely been exacerbated with the plague problems).

I’ve actually been writing a post about my complex feelings regarding Fenrir, as inspired (and threatened) by a conversation that heated up on an internet forum regarding veneration of Loki’s furry baby. I chimed in a little, but wanted to explore the controversies and such a little more here, where I can write a novella that doesn’t bog up a threaded conversation. However, while writing, I learned my feelings regarding Fenrir and his worship are far, far more complex and scattered than I realized, so I’ve been letting it marinate while I try to get my head straight and figure out exactly what I intend to say on the matter. So there’s a teaser for you.

Speaking of teasers, I’ve got another project or two in the works. . . one which I can talk about freely, one which I’m keeping a little more mum about until there’s more to actually link to. These projects have resulted in the need to actually create a public Facebook page for my writing, so if anyone feels so inclined, please check it out and give it a like or a follow to see updates on these projects (including this blog) as well as memes and cat pictures and the usual FB type of nonsense. I’m admittedly terrible about engaging in comments here, but I’m better at it on the FB (I’ll blame that on the ease of using GIFs on that platform).

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Support BLM, Support the Gods, and Take Care of Yourselves

Our favorite twerp has been busy these days, needless to say. He relishes in the fury of a world finally addressing fundamental problems in society and fighting for the change that’s so desperately needed and so shamefully overdue. This is his time: World Breaker, Chaos Maker, Master of Mischief and Mayhem. His bride, too, is busy: Sigyn, whose very name echoes Victory, and our Lady of Compassion is working overtime to see that the tides shift as they must and that those affected find comfort. Thorr and Freyja are backing the protesters in the trenches, standing among the men and women who are demanding better from their governments, and Tyr and Odhinn are weaving their way among the legislators and commissioners, hungry for justice, willing them to listen and learn.

I thank Loki for lighting the fire in our bellies, hearts, and souls to scream out against injustice and hatred. I thank him for pushing us to gain and maintain momentum across the nation and the world to call out systemic racism and hate and brutality. I thank him for giving people of color a platform where their voices are finally being heard, after hundreds of years of oppression and fear. They’re finally being heard. I’m so, so grateful that change is happening, right now, all around, and I praise the leaders on the front lines of this movement for everything they’ve accomplished and are continuing to accomplish. I’m glad that the powers that be are being exposed for the hateful, shameful scum that they are, the cowardly, cruel tormentors that they’ve always been. I rage that it’s taken this long, this many generations for these men and women to be heard, but I’m proud of them for seizing this moment and fighting for what they’re owed.

Continue reading “Support BLM, Support the Gods, and Take Care of Yourselves”

I’m Listening

One of the (many) constant refrains in this blog is “listen and pay attention.” It’s the advice I offer when people ask how to develop the lines of communication with the gods, it’s what I said in my last post about learning how to honor the land spirits, and now it’s something I’m imploring for everyone to do to their fellow humans.

Once again, the American refrain of violence and racism is drowning out the humanitarian refrain of “listen.” Once again, a black man has been murdered by a police officer, once again the peaceful protests have been ignored and overlooked, and violent riots have erupted yet again. As has happened countless times in the course of American history, the peaceful protests and pleas for justice have been for naught, and they’ve been goaded into a chaotic, angry mess of things. Reporters are being arrested on live TV, a cop was witnessed breaking the windows of an Auto Zone to incite more violence, and people who are not at all impacted by any of this are sitting back and scoffing at what they’re calling “thugs.”

How dare they?

At work, I heard some guys talking trash about what’s happening in Minneapolis. All white men, all speaking on matters they can’t even begin to understand. One of them said something about how “they” always loot and riot, all throughout history. So I raised my voice and shouted across the room, “Yup, just like the Boston Tea Party. Looting and destruction has been a part of American history since the colonials, right? How is this different?”

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Landvættir, Nisser, and Ghosts . . . Oh My!

This post is long overdue as it’s a requested topic from my awesome friend P. She asked me to talk about the landvættir/honoring land wights quite some time ago, but as I’ve admitted before, they’ve never been a huge part of my practice because I don’t notice or sense/feel them the way I do the gods and my grandfather. So for the last few months, I’ve been at a loss for words and had no reflections on the matter brewing in my brain.

Clearly, that’s changed. A little back and forth with E the other week changed my perspective entirely as she inadvertently pointed out the ways I actually do honor them. So here we are, finally. This one’s for you, P!

In Norse heathenry, nature spirits and protectors of the home and hearth are landvættir (also known as wights). Being of Norwegian descent, I grew up calling them nisser/nisse. My most treasured family relic is my grandfather’s porridge bowl and cup he brought with him from Drammen; it’s painted with nisser dancing around the edge, and I’ve got a note in his handwriting offering both the literal and idiomatic translations of the inscription inside the cup. wp-1590613002145.jpg “Vi Nisser, Vi Nisser, Vi Gjöre Hvad Vi Kan,” or “We elves, we elves, we do our best.” The folk tales on which I cut my teeth focused around nisser and their kin, yet I rarely felt too much of a connection with the spirits of the land. I noticed them frequently in Iceland, but often remark that in the United States, the energy (to me) is much weaker and much more confused and jumbled, which makes it incredibly difficult to pick up on things. And to be utterly honest, I’ve always felt silly leaving out a bowl of porridge with a slab of butter melting into it. I’ve obviously got no problems feeling dopey leaving out offerings of sweets and snackrifices, so being weirded out and embarrassed by a bowl of porridge says quite a lot about my relationship with the nisser (or tomte, for you Swedes). 

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Possum Peculiarities

Still alive! Still sick, but on the upward swing at last. I should be in bed. I was honestly getting ready for bed, but then A Thing happened and it’s too good to keep to myself.

Possums are a creature I associate with Loki for no reason in particular. The vague association was reinforced some months back when Auz, heathen memer extraordinaire, posted a silly cartoon possum with a joke about them pulling Loki’s chariot. While scrolling the ol’ FB before setting my alarm, I chuckled at a new possum-based meme he’d just shared and I unwittingly shared his Loki-chariot possum meme right back at him (cutting myself some slack on that one, my brain is mush from plague. Seriously, this virus is awful). I then remembered the lime cupcake baked with Corona beer that a colleague shared with me, and a bit of Inca Kola that had been gifted as well.

[Side note: if you’ve never had Inca Kola, get you some. It’s a soda from Peru, and I developed an addiction to it when I dated a guy from Peru some dozen years ago. I swear, I only stuck around in that relationship for as long as I did for the endless supply of The Golden Kola in his family’s fridge. It’s the color of piss and tastes like bubble gum: in my experience, it’s Loki’s favorite sugar water.]

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Humbled

Got this message from my British Trad friend, and I’m so humbled I don’t even know how to respond except with a very misty-eyed Thank You.

Holding steady, no better, no worse (except for the anxiety-desire for a goddamn cigarette). I wish testing was available in my city so I’d know one way or the other for sure, but this is definitely a combination of symptoms I’ve never had before. It’s just… different. It’s exhausting and painful, and I’m not keen on getting winded from walking downstairs (down stairs! I’m a hiker! I’m part mountain goat on steep rocky scrabbles! I hate losing my wind going down a single flight of stairs!) to feed my cats, but I haven’t gotten worse, so huzzah. Enjoying a dip in the fever right now, so I feel a touch more okay mentally. This means I’m cringing wildly at my last post, which seems to have veered off into rage about needing a smoke and ended rather abruptly. Ah, well.

The point right now, that I want to make before I drop off again into sleep, is that once again, I’m supremely grateful for my community. This means you, too, witches! This Lokian nun is thrilled to be connected with all of you BTW beauties! Today was rough and miserable, as was yesterday, but the gods are here, my kindred is a text away, and my friends are checking in and keeping tabs. I’m in good hands all around, and knowing there’s a wider community of people sending energy on my behalf is as reassuring as it is humbling.

Loki and Sigyn are never subtle, and right now, in this blissful moment of lucidity, I’m reveling in their reminder that I’m not alone in the world.

Thank you, my friends. Be safe, be well, and may your gods bless you the way mine have blessed me.

Limbo

It’s been a while since I’ve written, and it’s going to be a while longer. Don’t want to leave you hanging, so quick update: I’m sick, I’ve been sick since Saturday, and symptoms worsened enough today that I did an e-visit with the hospital. Tests are still very limited in my state, so the doctor said, “in otherwise healthy individuals under 65 that are symptom positive we are presuming they are positive. Your symptoms are consistent with COVID.”

So is COVID-19 the reason for the fever, chills, and full body aches that make moving painful? I hope not. I was hoping it was allergies and/or the crappy weather teaming up with my usual stress and anxiety, but today I’ve been having trouble catching my breath, and it currently feels like a tank is sitting on my chest, so who knows. It’s only presumed because there aren’t enough tests for people in my area. It’s one way to quit smoking, but thing is, I don’t want to quit smoking. Especially since I’m even more stressed and anxious because I don’t know how my employer is going to handle the quarantine the doctor imposed. We’ve been on skeleton crew for the past month. Hasn’t stopped the steady stream of customers coming up to my desk. If it is COVID, I’m not surprised. I’ve been waiting for it to hit me because of work. Still, I don’t want it to be COVID. It would be nice to know one way or the other. It would be nice to have a smoke right now. I’m an extremely fatigued, achy, sweaty ball of nerves right now. I’m already counting down the days til I can take a deep breath and unwind with a whisky-laced coffee and a cigarette. Here’s to hoping that’s sooner rather than later.

Gebo, Gebo, Gebo

Last night was a bit of an emotional roller coaster, one of laughter and frustration and relief and rage. At the end of it all, I was left feeling so astoundingly grateful for — you guessed it — my family, friends, and community. The compassion and love and laughter we share is the greatest gift possible, and it’s one I’m privileged to receive and honored to repay.

One of the conversations I had last night was about the very concept of the gifting cycle. Evidently, someone on the internet who proclaims themselves to be a “proud heathen” spouted off about how “gift for a gift” shouldn’t really be a thing. This baffled us, because it’s the most basic, foundational aspect of the whole damn religion. It’s how relationships are developed between human and human, human and god, and god and god: without extending and receiving the gift of hospitality, bonds cannot be forged and communities cannot be built. The concept of the gifting cycle is echoed repeatedly throughout the Havamal and sagas. It’s kind of a big deal. Telling a heathen that “gift for a gift” should be reevaluated is like telling a Christian that “love your neighbor as yourself” is one of Christ’s teachings that needs to be toned down.

The gifting cycle isn’t necessarily comprised of physical goods being exchanged. Yes, it’s usually a tangible offering, particularly when giving to the gods, but the concept goes far beyond that. Friendship is a gift, love is a gift, reaching out to check on someone is a gift, making time to be there for and with one another is a gift. Prayers, poems, art, music, a dance: these things are all gifts we create and share with the gods and with each other. The energy and intent we devote to these things is what makes these gifts valuable. Continue reading “Gebo, Gebo, Gebo”

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