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Many think spirit-work to be glamorous. It isn’t. It’s work. It’s grief, sweat, and tears. Joys do come but they come at a price. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and write. This one I give to you- raw and unedited from my own failing seethe.

 

They are Ever.




I need you to know before you read this that I can love. Don’t think I’m writing that I can’t. I know how to love. My love is like the flutter of dove wings held to breast, like the thunderous roar of a lion, or the softest footsteps of a mouse. I was once told that I am too small for my love.

I can love.

But, haven’t you ever thought that we humans can only go so far? I mean no matter how much work we do, time we spend, sweat and tears we pour, that we can only go so far? Our human forms fail us, our meat brains just can’t transcribe that which is just beyond.

Haven’t you ever stood before Him in all glory and felt that boundary as though a glass wall? We can love and merge and join and open but there comes a point when we have to secede.  Then, we are forced to just yearn knowing that there is more, there is always closer and more; it is just right there, so close and ever so far.

See, there is a special kind of haunting. It’s the haunting of the almost is. That almost is, that almost reaching the deity just beyond the glass, that glass we are eternally running to.

And running from.

The almost is haunts.

And that’s when our hearts cry out in the night, that’s when we ram our fists into our pillows, that’s when we grieve.

For it is then we face our own mortality. They are Ever, we are but the Now.

Picture from Lenscratch.  

 
I adore you sire of mankind

I adore you whitest of Gods

I adore you friend of Mardoll

I adore you God of heavens

I adore you son of undines

I adore you defender of Brisingamen

I adore you God of light

I adore you of the wet back

I adore you teacher of runes

I adore you golden tooth

I adore you lone ear

I adore you keeper of Bifrost

I adore you God of boundaries

I adore you rider of Gulltopr

I adore you mysterious God

I adore you brewer’s grandchild

I adore you secretive friend

I adore you Thor’s vexer

I adore you Trickster’s foe

I adore you Freya’s loyalty

I adore you honor’s beacon

I adore you wry neck

I adore you sounder of Gjallorhorn

I adore you guardian of Gods

I adore you Gullintanni

I adore you of the rainbow

I adore you warrior friend

I adore you whose horn carries the waters of Mimir’s well

I adore you who sees a hundred leagues

I adore you who hears wool grow

I adore you of the furious calm

I adore you of the gentle storm

I adore you who pledged your hearing

I adore you who hears the spindle

I adore you bright brother to Loki

I adore you sea battler

I adore you slayer of Lopt

I adore you slayed by Lopt

I adore you of the eternal stiff back

I adore you wind-shelter

I adore you warrior of seal form

I adore you who sleeps less than a bird

I adore you who watches

I adore you agent of sorcery

I adore you of the muddy back

I adore you rider of Yggdrasil

I adore you who sees as the Van

I adore you God of priests

I adore you tender patron

I adore you tallest of Gods

I adore you bright one

I adore you wearer of ram cloak

I adore you of the sacral rites

I adore you Hallinskiði

I adore you glowing-horn

I adore you fostered of Oðin

I adore you wind listener

I adore you bekri

I adore you discerning sentinel

I adore you my muse of Suttungr’s mead

I adore you birthed of nine elements

I adore you nourished of the sap of the earth

I adore you nourished of the ice-cold sea

I adore you  nourished of the boar’s blood

I adore you irminsul of my soul

I adore you shining bloom

I adore you world flourishing

I adore you bright dazzler

I adore you of quiet humor

I adore you glittering coat

I adore you of the curved horn

I adore you weaver of patterns

I adore you easer of strife

I adore you arch of heavens

I adore you collector of knowledge

I adore you Rigr, sire of Ríg-Jarl.

I adore you of the quiet strength

I adore you Loki’s traveling friend

I adore you born of waves

I adore you known as Lordly

I adore you who reside of air

I adore you who lives on the rocks of heaven

I adore you born ere of days of yore

I adore you survivor at last dusk’s tide

I adore you holder of prophecy

I adore you sleepless watcher

I adore you gazer of far

I adore you duet of wine

I adore you sire of high and low

I adore you of the drum-heart’s rhythm

I adore you stern master

I adore you keeper of wisdoms

I adore you singer of spells

I adore you who holds the world

I adore you beneficent fire

I adore you God of the sun

I adore you of the woodpecker’s peal

I adore you of the contemplative moment

I adore you gentle love


I need to thank Sannion of the House of Vines for this wonderful idea. He is collecting Adorations- you can find more here: I am really adoring all of these Adoration posts.
 
Drifting through Love’s soft caress
Cool wetness at my feet rising higher and higher
Till engulfed in this velvet jewel of liquid, of water
Feeling tide’s surge throughout, cool motion
Within blue high

Looking up and about I see multifacet reflections
From within this jem of motion
Rocking and swaying rushing and churning
The tide moves forward
We sway and shift together in liquid harmony

Then air He, blowing rushing down the bank
My bank.
Reaching shore and striking waters edge
The foam spray takes my breath away.

The wind mixes and froths the bubbles created
Rising higher till I burst asunder.

---

Water calms, stills, languid slow tide.
 
The runes call, I rise still fluid
They tease, they play in symbols, We laugh
They aren’t done yet, the cast goes forth again
Gebo, Nauthiz, Laguz
Gifts have been given but water’s need calls again
I close my eyes and see light’s reflection
Cascading about me as I float in the depths
Brilliant blue this water is
Geometric dapples, sunstruck ripples in the soft sway

The Nine swim in the distance
They spin and play joyous in Life.
He comes and surrounds with soft feather touch
We drift languid to shore no hurry.

As I break surface
Gleaming brilliance on the shore blinds
Golden as the sun, gilded and bright
No radiance has ever equaled except for His white burn

Gulltopr.
Golden Mane.
I am overwhelmed, I bury my face into his wither
I surrender my tears to the beauty as He gently looks on.
The photo doesn't do Gulltopr justice- I've tickled Maris Pai (who did the  Heimdallr and Loki art) and am hoping she comes up with something. The pic is from http://thoroughbredadventure.blogspot.com/2011_04_01_archive.html. I adjusted the brightness a bit to more accurately reflect the animal. Gulltopr is calm, well behaved, but as ready to go as a supercharged racecar at the slightest press of the gas. The animal truly gleams to a blinding hue. Just what I would expect of Heimdalli.
 
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Come.
Come follow me.

Into this velvet hardness,
This tender harmony.
---
And  lava flame erupt shoots out
     into the magic tree.


 
Prayer. The word itself is embedded into the US culture via the Christian religion. I've seen resistance to prayer among those who identify as pagan, heathen, or asatru (or any related term) due to the Christian association. I've also seen resistance to contacting the Gods with prayer for reasons such as, ' It's like at work. People don't go to a big boss with problems, they start with their direct supervisors, in this case the ancestors or vaettir' or 'The Gods are busy. I don't want to bother them with small things. I'll only go to them with big issues.'

Among any kind of pagan group (I'm just lumping us all together for brevity) I find the term prayer itself to have gotten a bad rap. People shun the term and the practice because of the Christian ethic around prayer. Pagans want to separate from Christianity and in doing so many have separated from prayer.

Now I'm not talking about prayer as in get on your knees with hands together and recite a litany. You can, I have no problems with that and sometimes I do. But prayer is more than just that. There can be simply mindful meditation which becomes prayer. Prayer can be enjoying a meal or drink with diety or it can be conversational- just talking to your God about whatever is happening at the time. Prayer doesn't have to be only about the big issues, it can be day to day life. My experience is that the Gods, at least those I follow, enjoy being made a part of one's life. You don't go to Grandma with only big issues, you also go to her just for meaningless conversation and a cup of tea. It is a giving of time, thought. and love.

Prayer is beautiful. This was driven home to me the other night in a way I never expected. Some of my devotional practice includes a simple connection exercise. Just getting closer. It accidentally started for me when I woke one morning to the wondrous sensation of floating in/on Loki, feeling Him around me, cradling me. One has to be incredibly open to feel this, the God is also within you. But, being far bigger than I, the overwhelming sensation is of He around me.

So the other night I was working on this connection with Heimdallr. I was floating in this soft, enveloping glow that can be Him when realized there was a ribbon of sound. I gently focused on the sound and heard voices. Several voices, layered on top of each other. Different languages, different rhythms. One voice was male, moderate of tone, and he chanted in a foreign tongue. Another pleading. A high pitched woman talking almost conversationally. Other voices woven together into a ribbon of love. I realized within the instant I was hearing prayers; a ribbon of prayer. I did throw out the query to Heimdallr asking if it was, I felt His affirmative. I pulled away, I had no interest in hearing what people were saying or asking of Him. Not my business.

The event was but a few seconds but was a profound experience. The ribbon of prayer, that ribbon of love and trust that drifts through the Gods, was amazing. I say drifts through the Gods because I have to believe that any sincere prayer to any God will get to that God. May not look like a ribbon of adoration to the God in question but it does get there. I can't believe this ribbon of prayer only occurs with Heimdallr.

There is a saying that one only finds quality time within a quantity of time. This is true. This is also likely true of prayer. If one never prays, how can a quality prayer built of love, trust, and adoration be built, be exercised? Don't wait for a blot, a sumbel, a circle, or a Holy Day to pray to your God.

I turned to Christian apologetics to find what prayer really is. Some of you will turn from this blog merely due to that source but there isn't anything wrong with the Christian faith in and of itself. Also, in many ways, Christians (good ones) do have prayer down pat. So bear with this here. Matthew J. Slick, founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, has a beautiful description for prayer that can be applied to any belief or religious structure. He writes: 
    "Prayer is the practice of the presence of God.  It is the place where pride is abandoned,  hope is lifted, and supplication is made.  Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God.  Prayer is the needful practice of the Christian.  Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope.  Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord."*

Of course he wrote from a christian perspective, but add a plural to God, change Christian to whatever your faith structure, change Father and Son of God to appropriate diety for you. Listen to the message. Take the time to give of yourself to your God/ess. Speak to them, tell them of your day, your life, your wishes, and dreams. Tell them what you can do for them- make yourself useful in service. 'Prayer is the practice of the presence of God.' Be present with your God/ess.

Just pray- send out those ribbons of prayer. They are received and bring beauty to the Gods. In the doing so, because it is all Gifu, prayer brings beauty to you.

* http://carm.org/christianity/prayer-ministry/what-prayer
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I’ve seen quite a few comments lately about Heimdallr on various lists. Most of them remark on His gentleness, His patience. I find Him to be far more than that. In honor of Him today I write of my thoughts.
 
Heimdallr is a God of graciousness and hospitality, courtesy and respect. Good manners, good thew- these are vital concepts and lessons for any community and the individuals within. He is a God that can teach and role model how to behave with ones’ peers and authority figures. He demonstrates boundaries of courtesy and respect between people.

He is most often equated as a Guardian of Bifrost. In this role He maintains the juncture between the chaos of the frost giant and the civilization of the Aesir; between the innangard and the utangard. He upholds tradition and order. Taking this further He ensures safety at the boundaries between the mundane and the holy and for this He can provide protection and guidance for those of us mere mortals who stray within both realms.  

But as all Gods, Heimdallr has many other aspects than those most commonly identified. Heimdallr does have an enormous reserve of patience- when it is required and suits His needs. There are other times when He can bark as a drill sergeant- one mentioned to me that she sees Him as an old fashioned sensei. This is an appropriate analogy for me. He is a patient but demanding tutor- if He knows one is giving 110%. Woe to those who aren’t; if He chooses to continue to work with them (as He demands industry) there will be a kick in the behind that will most definitively let them know His patience has limits. That said, as long as one truly is working, He is an immensely patient and gentle God. I have and will always assert Loki’s great patience and gentleness, but Heimdallr has often shocked me with his steadfast support- it is so very enveloping.
 
Still, even considering his guardian and sensei type aspects, there is more to this God who deserves such reverence. He can also be a God of Fury. He is a son of Odin and this can never be forgotten. Just as his half brother Thor has the massive power of thunder behind Him, Heimdallr has His own immense reserves. His are just harder to define. One can’t easily point to Heimdallr and say thunder or lightening or wind or storm.

He does have the ram as a symbol and this can provide some commentary. A ram is ever watchful of his herd on the heights of his mountain ledge. When required, that ram will charge and the impact will create such a powerful crack, such an immense force, that it can be heard for miles. Yes- this too can be Heimdallr. A God who can create such a holy terror and weight with the essence of His being that watchful fury is the only definition that applies.
 
But we must continue and give thought also to His mothers. The Nine Waves- the force of the tides, the swell of the oceans, the chaotic swirling of the sea. Oh yes, Heimdallr is a blending of storm and sea, that frothy mixture of wind and surf that most of us have experienced at least once on a trip to the shore. Grandson to the ocean deeps and the furious tides, this is when Heimdallr can come in a stern fury guiding one through the surging rhythm of the tides, the vast, swaying oceanic currents, even the trembling tide pools. But oh, he can be gentle even here.
 
He can be as the waves that lap softly at your shins as you wade along the shore. He can patiently escort one across that boundary into the depths of the expanse and once there His fury can escalate. He will come as stern and commanding, as impersonal, as the deeps of the sea. One will be buffeted across that ocean floor till balance is gained, the learning is had, Heimdallr has obtained what He has come for. Then He will kindly escort you, bruised and battered, back to shore where He will ply healing and kindness and blessings till one is restored more whole than one was before.
 
This is more the Heimdallr I know. Yes, a strong guardian, a protector, a God of graciousness and courtesy. But He is also a God of stern, cold fury, the waves and the drumming of the coming storm. He has taken my soul, garnished it with beauty, and made it throb to his rhythm. He has blessed me with gentleness, He has terrified me with His power. Heimdallr- I honor thee.
 
Even back in Dreamland I could tell music is part of the blood, part of the way of the Gods. Loki was always singing. Sometimes songs I had never heard, other times very modern songs. They usually had a message, something He wanted me to hear. Other Gods sang or played instruments as well.

Heimdallr has shown me rhythm. I don't know if it is HIS rhythm, but I have seen Him dance to drums on mountain tops at the time of the setting sun. He has come to me in the night, drums following, making my very soul sway to those beats. 

There was a Gathering one time. I didn't get to see much, I was kept out of most of it. What I did see, there were beings from many places, likely many Pantheons were there. Aesir, Jotnar, Vanir, Oriental looking beings, African or Haitian looking people- there were many there. At the time of course I didn't know the words Aesir, Jotnar, etc but I could tell there were differences. I saw them as different tribes and that was adequate.

All the groups though- there was a different flavor to their songs. The African looking Gods (I'm assuming now they were Gods), They had a beautiful singsong lilt to their music, a rhythmic impulse that could feed your soul. Those with Heimdallr often had a more folk sound to their music. Unfortunately I never heard the song of the Asian looking Gods, that would have been interesting.

Loki, when He was Tobi and gently coaxing me into the realization of His reality, gave me one of His first tangible gifts. Tangible meaning I can hold, touch, see and hear this gift. You see, I never really follow the music industry. Not very interested- in my whole life I have had a total of maybe 20 albums. But He often sang beautiful songs and one day, for some reason, I locked onto an album that was due to come out. I don't know why, I had NEVER had an interest in new music, had never purchased an album the day it came out. But I was compulsed, obsessed. Even wrote the date in my calendar.

The day of release I purchased the album and immediately laid down on my bed to listen to it. One of the songs, within the first few lines I realized I knew the song. I had heard it before. I sat up with a gasp- it hadn't been released as a single, there was no way I should have known it. I looked over and saw Loki standing at the foot of the bed, standing in an odd pose, that sweet, almost shy look He can get, watching me closely. I looked at Him, remembered but still incredulous. 'I know this song!' and yes, He had sung it for me.

It is fitting. Sully Erna- third generation musical prodigy who refused to learn to read sheet music, lead singer of the hard rock band Godsmack. He had gone out on his own, wanted to do something different musically, wanted to show the world another aspect of his talent, his being. The song is My Light from his album Avalon. If you want to know another side of  Loki take a few moments and listen (tab below)- it truly is a beautiful song that may surprise the listener considering who it came from both human and God.

I find it fitting because one can see parallels. Sully, bad boy of rock and roll, in and out of trouble- Loki, bad boy of the Northern Tradition, in and out of trouble. Both doing something not necessarily in keeping with common knowledge of Them. Both birthing the beauty that each holds inside.