Be Smart, Be Careful, and Be Well: The COVID-19 Post

I just got a delightful voice message from fellow Lokean E, asking me to update her on the situation in my city and making sure I’ve got plans in place, etc. She ended the message by saying, and I quote, “I worry about you, you and the cats and Loki alone in your place- oh, [your city] won’t survive.  You can’t be alone with the cats and Loki for however long . . . that’s just a hot mess waiting to happen.” And I cackled loudly, because she’s right. I love the way her concern flipped from me to the very survival of my city in the span of a heartbeat. It was a beautiful thing to hear, and I listened to it several times to transcribe the above, and that moment of realization was hilarious each and every time. My cats and I are already threats to public decency. . . add Loki to the mix with a little cabin fever? Hmmmmm . . .

In any case, I was already halfway through writing the below when I got that message, so here we go, for anyone who’s wondering about what’s going on in my corner of civilization.

As a plague freak, I’ve been watching this coronavirus thing since December. For over 20 years, I’ve obsessively studied bubonic plague, and for over 10 years my focus has been on the influenza pandemic of 1918; my home decor leans heavy on plague doctor dolls and WWI imagery. In fact, the picture above is a commissioned piece I got from a local artist (shout out to Bobby Zeik, yo)  based on a novel I’ve been writing about a (fictional, duh) WWI plague doctor. My interests have a fun way of overlapping and merging together. And yes, yes that’s Danvers State Hospital in the background. Have I ever mentioned my bachelor’s degree in is clinical pysch? My college transcripts for undergrad and mortuary school are full of courses on abnormal psych, clinical practice, pathology, criminology, forensics and chemistry, theology, and infectious diseases — all of which are key themes in that novel of mine. My personal library is more of the same. My obsessions are never phases, they just evolve and morph into one another over the years. But plagues and pandemics have always been my thing, so I’ve been tracking COVID-19 info closely since December, when it started making international news. Continue reading “Be Smart, Be Careful, and Be Well: The COVID-19 Post”

Let’s Talk About Sex

In October, I enjoyed seeing my friends celebrate “Coming Out Day,” but I didn’t really think much of it. Mostly because I really don’t think about romantic love or sex at all, really, and that’s what I associate with sexual orientation. And that’s because, as I’ve mentioned before, I am asexual. I’m probably aromantic, too, because I just don’t do romance, period, and it tends to make me extremely uncomfortable. But I’ve never been loud or proud about it, because it just didn’t matter to me. It still doesn’t feel important to me, which I guess just kind of sums up asexuality – it’s all just, meh. Whatever. I’d rather talk about other things. But I guess I’ll talk about it now. It was fascinating and insightful to read about my LGBTQ+ friends’ stories and journeys, heartbreaking to learn of the backlash they’d faced from family and friends, and inspiring to see them flourishing now in the families they’ve built up around them. My story really isn’t much of an emotional roller coaster, it’s not going to inspire, and that’s okay. It doesn’t have to. But it might just provide a lot more context to how I view things socially and spiritually. Like my heathenry, my absolute disinterest in sex and romance are an ingrained part of me, and if it never came up in conversation before, then this will probably be a bit of a light bulb moment for some of you who know me. Things will click, and suddenly a lot of things about me will make sense. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Sex”

Least Helpful Post Ever

Today’s thought dump is brought to you by request. Over the years, lots of recently converted heathens and pagans have asked me how to deal with backlash or negativity from family/friends/coworkers, and a good friend of mine specifically asked me to write about what it’s like in a blended-faith family.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of advice. I’ve somehow been extraordinarily lucky to always have my faith and religious choices treated with respect. I’ve never been preached at nor had anyone try to convert me. Or maybe I have and just haven’t realized it, because I thought we were just having a discussion about comparative religion or world philosophy. But I’m pretty sure I haven’t been proselytized, especially because some of those past discussions allowed me to show off how much knowledge I have on the history of Christianity, the differences in theology and practices among the various denominations, and the deep biblical understanding I have from having read it a few times on top of my Catholic high school education.  When people preach at you, they do so because they assume you’re ignorant; I tend to prove my knowledge and understanding very early on in conversation, and I’m able to articulate exactly why XYZ isn’t a healthy path for me while heathenry allows me to grow and flourish. Continue reading “Least Helpful Post Ever”

Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Orange, and a Hint of Old Napkin

I’m calling it now: “Well, that’s not supposed to happen” is the unofficial motto of my kindred. It’s a theme that preceded my arrival to the group, and it’s been going strong with my official inclusion. It happened again, to no one’s surprise, at our Loki blot on Leap Day.

Saturday’s event was blissful, and I’m once again in awe at how incredible my kindred is and how much I love the heathens in the Northeast Community. We had a great turn out, and to my astonishment, when it came time to pass the horn, each and every person present spoke words of gratitude and praise to both Loki and Sigyn. Four days have passed at the time of this writing, and I’m still riding high on the experience and energy everyone brought. Even my super Lutheran stepfather wore a sweatshirt with a fox on it for the occasion, even though my parents just came to socialize and didn’t stick around for the main events.

Continue reading “Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Orange, and a Hint of Old Napkin”

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

I’ve been mulling over some discussions I’ve come across on a few different sites and various groups the last few days. There’ve been several people who are expressing dismay and frustration at the lack of “hearing” or experiencing the gods directly, and one or two people seem to be questioning whether or not this means they should give up on heathenry. Of course, as someone who has experienced more than my fair share of direct communication, I feel compelled to weigh in. I know what it’s like to make offerings and pray and wait for a sign or a word or some inkling of being noticed by the powers that be. I understand the frustration at wondering if I’m a “good” heathen, if I’m doing things right, if there’s a reason I’m being ignored by the gods I call to. I’ve been heathen for most of my 37-year-long life; raised heathen-lite, I didn’t actually begin to devote energy into the gifting cycle until I was 17/18. There was a 4 year span as a teen when I gave Catholicism a go because I was feeling rebellious while simultaneously wanting to fit in with my parochial school peers. In the first 16ish years of active practice, I rarely received communication from the gods, and when I did, it was pretty much only in meditative trance state when I was actively seeking guidance for major choices.

What I write about in this blog — the chatter with Loki and Sigyn, being more aware and more connected to their presence and commentary — is pretty recent. It’s only been happening for a few years, and it started with Loki’s proposition when he broke through in a dramatic fashion after a 3 hour long blot. It happens because my practice has evolved into being the absolute center of everything in my life. That’s a choice I’ve made, and an inevitable choice given my genuine desire to become a nun during my conversion to Catholicism. A life devoted to service to deity and building an all-encompassing relationship with a god or gods has been one of my deepest desires since I was 14 years old. Continue reading “Keep the Lines of Communication Open”

A Lokian’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Twerps

My altar for Himself is a fucking disaster. This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, because I tend to accumulate clutter everywhere I go. My grandparents used to call me Pigpen because they could trace my path through their house based on the abandoned water cups and books I’d leave in my wake. This ridiculous habit is hardwired into my very being; my family hoped I’d outgrow it. I didn’t. The most used spaces in my house are crowded with Dunkin iced coffee cups, Starbucks espresso cans, and empty cigarette packs. I’m not particularly pleased with that last item — it’s not that I dislike smoking, it’s that I’m not keen on smoking inside my house, because ew. But I smoke like a fat man being cremated, and rather than wander outside and run the risk of making small talk with neighbors every hour (urban rowhome life, yo), it’s much easier to just hunker down by his altar with a book and my Camels and tar up my innards in quiet, climate controlled comfort. Clearly, my laziness overwhelms any sense of decency or shame I might possess. Meh.

Anyway. Continue reading “A Lokian’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Twerps”

Inclusive Heathenry

This morning, I read a post in a heathen discussion group about the recent (public) rise in white supremacy the media. It, and the violence such ideology spawns, led the writer to have a crisis of faith; with racist groups and individuals identifying with the Northern gods and associated symbols, the writer expressed a need to possibly step away from heathenry. It was, as you can imagine, a sad post for me to read, and the ensuing comments from others who have similar feelings and fears were sobering.

These statements weighed heavy on me all day. Mostly because I don’t understand the sentiment myself, and I was trying to imagine what it’s like to have such a crisis of faith. Continue reading “Inclusive Heathenry”

I’m as Bad at Titles as I am at Labels

Three (four? I have no concept of time any more) months into veiling, and I’ve no intention to stop any time soon. I find it to be unusually freeing even, and I’ve had a lot of endearing reactions to it. My friends unanimously agree that it suits me, and my energy is more peaceful as it certainly does as Sigyn says: it’s a metaphorical shield that steadies me, indeed. I feel safer, somehow, as if I being shielded from the hypothetically dripping venom allows me to focus on what matters in my devotions and day-to-day duties. It’s also making me think (even more) about terminology. Yup, we’re delving into this nonsense again. Continue reading “I’m as Bad at Titles as I am at Labels”

Fear and (Self) Loathing with Loki

I’ve been thinking about anti-Loki stuff since my recent post about it and how far the American heathen community has come around lately. And I realize I usually blame Loki fear on the residual indoctrination of Christianity/monotheistic religions, because it certainly takes a lot of time and reflection and new experiences to shift one’s world view. There’s another factor, though, that scares people. Loki is a god of lies, but the point of his deceit is usually to force an uncomfortable truth. And that, my friends, can be much more frightening than simply thinking of him as a devil figure.

As more heathens become more proficient at shedding ideologies that are at odds with pre-Christian philosophies, the Noki mindset is fading. People are still scared, though, because it’s human nature to seek protection and security and prosperity. A lot of religions are based on seeking peace and stability. Loki…. Loki isn’t really the dude to call on for those things. He’s known for shaking up the status quo. He’s a chaos-bringer, world-breaker, a master of deceit to rile up the powers that be. That shit is scary and unwelcome in most people’s lives, and that’s absolutely understandable and relatable.

So how do I justify oathing myself so completely to such a being? Because I myself have known chaos and ruin, and while it’s miserable, it’s not without hope. When the turmoil kicks up, it broadens my perspective and allows me to see through the cracks at what’s on the other side. Complacency is dangerous: it breeds stagnation, which stunts personal growth, intellectual growth, and spiritual growth. The development of skills – be they physical or interpersonal – levels off. Daily life becomes redundant and glossed over. This is when we either feed ourselves lies, becoming arrogant because we think we’ve reached the pinnacle, or become blind to the truth: we’re not done growing, we’re not done learning, this isn’t as good as it gets. Continue reading “Fear and (Self) Loathing with Loki”

Still Here, Y’all

Things have been happening which have detracted from my “rambling nonsense” brand of blogging. Good things. Exciting things. Things that are going to make me rework my schedule so I can write more for this space. I love this blog and its mishmash of theology and personal idiocy, and I feel bad about not publishing much lately. However, there is good reason for this!

Thing the first: the day after I posted about perhaps writing a book about devotions to Loki and Sigyn, E messaged me with an irresistible offer. A friend of a friend was writing a book about pagan funerals, and she needed a heathen brain to pick for that chapter. We got to talking, the author and I, and she offered me the opportunity to actually write the chapter myself if I felt comfortable with the idea. What? Me be a contributing author (complete with mini author bio) to an awesome book about death and funerals?

I declined. Continue reading “Still Here, Y’all”

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