Taking the Fun Out of Fundamentalism

My dudes, dudettes, and everyone in between: I have been down a dark rabbit hole on the internet. Nothing like some home grown, good ol’ American Christian fundamentalism to cast a pall of existential horror over the new year. What. The. Fuck.

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that fundamentalism of any kind is dangerous. I’m just focusing on Christian fundamentalism here because that’s what I’ve been reading about.

I blame Reddit. That site already sent me down the creepy path of researching Snapewives, so I’m not surprised that it’s also responsible for for my deep dive into learning more about some of the creepier sides of cult life. One of these days, I’ll learn my lesson. Most of the time, Reddit is an amusing way to distract my wound-up brain. Sometimes, though, it’s the gateway to Having a Bad Time.

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The Road So Far…

Today’s foray into blogging is brought to you by a call for requests on my Facebook. Because I’m still slugging through the downward cycle of depression, I asked if anyone had any particular topics they wanted me to cover to keep me from turning this blog into a mope fest. I just received a cheeky comment to write what I’d just asked about on FB – “Just imagine making this post in a public forum 15 years ago,” a friend wrote in response to my “any questions about life with Loki?” query. “Imagine the crashing horde of keyboard warriors that would be surrounding your fort with flaming pitchforks.” And you know, he’s onto something solid. Because the last 20 years have been a hell of a ride. Brace yourselves, this is a long one. I’ve been heathen for decades, and I have a lot of personal history with this topic. Skim or slog, this is a retrospective in my experiences and reactions of the Loki Debate from 1999-present. Continue reading “The Road So Far…”

Fuck Off, Brain Beast

Feeling a little odd tonight. I’m still dealing with the depression and anxiety kicking up something fierce, but this time around, I’m making the concerted effort not to shut myself off from the God Squad. Last time I was in the abyss, I realized that just as I withdraw from people around me, I close off communication with the gods, and that’s when things get dangerous for me. I mean, how many times have I written about how my spirituality is the absolute center of my life? If the center cannot hold, everything else falls apart. Obviously. It’s like that’s a well-known saying or something.

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Into the Looking Glass

I didn’t expect to have a bit of Loki-inspired writing so soon after posting something about breaking out of my comfort zone to do so, but here we are. I’ve been really, really struggling lately with my PTSD and anxiety, so much so that I had a series of intense, crippling panic attacks this past week. To be honest, I’m not sure if it was actually a series or just one really long one, but it was the worst I’ve had in years. Even when processing the news of my father’s suicide I didn’t have such a thoroughly debilitating event. But then again, I was able to afford the copays for regular treatment. I’ve been having a hard time financially this year, so I haven’t been able to see my psychiatrist or therapist since September, so I’ve been unraveling both physically and mentally.

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Break Out the Whisky: I’m Going to Write Something Poetic (But Not in This Post)

There’s a distinct downside to having grown up outside of the heathen community at large: it wasn’t until I was a young adult starting to lurk around the edges that I knew of any of the racist undertones and supporters that plague said community. As mentioned time and time again here, I was privileged to be raised on military bases overseas, in diverse communities, by parents who had no tolerance for bigotry. Because I was abroad, in the era before the internet, in a family that kept the gods close but didn’t know of others who shared belief in those gods, I was oblivious to the early stages of heathen community building in the US. Of course, as the community grew and strengthened, it split and reformed and split again as racism became apparent in a number of early leaders. Organizations had to redefine themselves after ousting the bigots in their midst, and new books and resources had to be compiled and published as certain authors aligned themselves with unsavory groups.

Even though I’ve been heathen for well over 30 years (save, of course, the 4 year experiment with Christianity), I’m still getting acclimated with the community at large, and still being shocked by discoveries of racism and racist-sympathizers with some authors. As there’s very few books published about devotion to Loki and Sigyn, I used one of Galina Krasskova’s prayers in the blót I led for Sigyn at ECT this past year. I even recommended her book about honoring Sigyn because there’s really nothing else out there. Even online, most of the prayers to her are written by Krasskova. Oops.

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In Memory of Narvi and Vali

The picture above is by one of my favorite heathen artists. You can see all of her delightfully cheeky paintings on Deviant Art under Hellanim, and if you’re not familiar with her collection of work, I insist you check it out. This is a bittersweet image in particular, because it’s a glimpse of a happy family doomed to a hideous fate. The worst part about what’s to come is what happens to the two little boys nodding off in Sigyn’s arms. As brutal as their deaths are, they’re all the more tragic for being forgotten.

As one bound to Loki and a priestess of Sigyn, I remember their sons in my devotions. In honor of Narvi and Vali, I buy toys to donate to local shelters. I don’t usually share or publicize the things I do for my community (this time “community” referencing where I live and work) or the charities I help when I’m able, because that’s just a me thing. However, with the holidays coming up, I hope to maybe inspire others who are fond of Loki and his family to, dare I say, spread a little cheer.

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Adventures in Veiling and Heathen Nunsense

Here we go again, another exercise in redundancy in which I ramble on about the same old nonsense I’ve been yammering about for months. Huzzah!

I’m currently two weeks into veiling, and it’s going to continue because I’m in love. It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s absolutely freeing. I feel so calm and chill; it’s not only a fantastic symbolic shield protecting my overwrought empathic brain, it’s also a practical release from worrying about what the fuck my hair is doing. My confidence has skyrocketed because I enjoy the physical representation of spiritual devotion and mindfulness, and because I look absurdly adorable with head coverings. There’s deep stuff going on, and also silly superficial shit, and I’m loving all of it.

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Veiling for Fun and Profit!

Okay, maybe not profit, and not necessarily for fun, but I’ve never been good at titles.

So long time readers might remember my little conundrum at the start of the year about veiling. For those who recall, the only thing I took away from my brief teenage foray into Christianity was the nun thing. The concept of monastic life appeals to me very strongly, and the older I get, the more I want to more thoroughly immerse myself in that sort of life of devotion. And since I still have hangups about the term “godspouse” I still generally refer to myself as a Lokian nun. Heathenry and paganism aren’t organized enough to support monastic members, so I just incorporate it into regular daily life (I have indeed researched multi-faith monastic groups, but my general reaction was, “Ah, so this is how people get sucked into cults.”). Veiling has no historical basis in heathenry (nor do concepts like “nuns” or “monks”), but as I’ve echoed time and again, I’m neither an academic heathen nor a reconstructionist. But I still feel as though there’s something I can incorporate into my life that signals to society my intense devotional lifestyle.

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What I Think About at 3AM

So. This may or may not be an “unpopular opinion” kind of post, but it’s been winding around my brain as a strange thread spun off from discussions online about religion. There have been some interesting conversations about how to distinguish oneself as an actual representative of heathenry without being mistaken for a Nazi fanboy, as it were. To me, that’s easy: my entire adult life has been about mindfully keeping the gods at the forefront of everything I do, and being a kind, friendly, helpful member of the community in which I live and making everyone I meet feel comfortable and safe. My actions and my attitude speak for the hammer I always wear. But that’s not what this post is about, not entirely. This post is about My Feelings regarding Christianity. Continue reading “What I Think About at 3AM”

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