The topic has come up before and has recently surfaced again. People in angst feeling as though they don't have contact with spirit. They read stories on the internet, they wander through tumblr sites, and peruse forums where they read of people telling tales or claiming to have 'god-phones'. In essence, the stories are of phenomenal experiences with spirit where the author claims they see, hear, and interact in profound ways with deity. I've been guilty of this also, I'll admit.
I've pulled back from this. I'm wired one way, others are wired differently. We all, repeat we ALL, have mechanisms for spiritual experience. Every one of us. No one way is better, more thorough, or more accurate. It is how the experience and information is received and used that makes it more meaningful.
I want to briefly touch on an alternative method of spiritual experience for those who feel left out, for those who don't hear words or get flashy visuals. See, we live in a culture that emphasizes intellect and thought over emotion and intuition. It isn't what should be, we need to regain balance there.
Heart tradition is found within many indigenous cultures. It is a source of experience we all can and should look to. Rather than focusing on trying to attain an intellectual, hearing and seeing experience, why not focus on seeing with the heart? Examine the feelings, the intuition that comes from this practice. It is an experiential way of spiritual contact. The heart is holistic, it is more then just emotion but our perception of those emotions. Deep wisdom lies within and for those who have faced barriers in spiritual contact, this may be an alternative avenue.
What happens here is when one goes before spirit, rather than hearing words you feel the answer. Since many modern cultures have an ingrained distrust of feelings we often start by disregarding what is received. But stop, don't disregard, give it time to percolate. Mull those feelings over, court them gently. Over time their wisdom will be acknowledged. Over time, we'll more rapidly understand the holistic message. It can be a profoundly intimate contact, much more so than words or images.
A decent article written from an Andean paradigm by C. Michael Smith is found in the link below. If Spirit via the Heart is something that interests or may benefit you, I suggest you take a look: Andean Shamanic Vision: an archetypal psychology of the heart. (You will have to scroll down, the page has a blank area near the top.)
“We humans fear the beast within the wolves because we do not understand the beast within ourselves”
~ Gerald Hausman
Mythology contains many bound deities. Our heathen stories contain two bound entities, Loki and his son Fenrir. I won’t write on Loki, much has been written regarding this perplexing God. I won’t write on bound Gods in general; that would encompass a book. This essay concerns Fenrir, a virtually overlooked being within the Nordic pantheon. Fenrir is a son of Loki and Angrboda. Typically known as Fenrir (Fen-dweller), he is also known as Fenrisúlfr (Fenris Wolf), Hróðvitnir (Fame-Wolf), or Vánagandr (The monster of the river Ván). He is the sire to the wolves Sköll and Hati Hróðvitnisson who chase the sun and moon around the earth until the time of Ragnarok when they will swallow the bodies respectively.
Fenrir’s story from the Prose Edda, in brief, is as follows. The Aesiric Gods had knowledge of prophecies concerning great trouble due to Fenrir. The day came that they went to Jotunheim and took him along with his sister Hela and sibling Jormungand. Hela and Jormungand were sent to other realms but Fenrir was kept locked away to be cared for by Tyr.
Fenrir continued to grow till the Aesir feared him greatly. After several failed attempts, they ultimately created a fetter named Gleipner made of the sound of a cat’s footfall, the beard of a woman, the roots of a mountain, sinews of a bear, the breath of a fish, and the spittle of a bird. He was tricked into the bind as Tyr promised no harm would come if he allowed them to put it on and as a show of good faith Fenrir asked that Tyr place his hand in his mouth. Of course, the binding worked and captured the wolf who then bit off Tyr’s hand for the deception.
The Aesir then took a string called Gelgja(fetter) and tied that to a rock called Gjöll (screaming or resounding). They then took a rock called Thvti (hitter, batterer) and used this as an anchor to hold Gjöll even more firmly. Fenrir reacted and began trying to bite his captors who impaled his muzzle into the ground with a sword. The saliva that streams from his mouth has become the river Van (hope).
Interestingly, Gjöll is also the name for one of the eleven rivers that make up the Élivágar (ice flow) which originate from the wellspring of Hvergelmir. These rivers were in existence at the beginning of time and flow through the Ginnungagap into the rest of creation.
Wolves in folklore
Wolves appear in mythology and folklore around the world. These tales and symbologes have been passed down to modern man and resultantly our thoughts on Fenrir. Wolves have coexisted with man for thousands of years. Each culture reflected their views of this association into their own cultural paradigm. Today wolves are often viewed negatively but this has probably not always been the case.
The importance of the wolf likely began in Neolithic times as man began coordinating their ability to hunt. Wolves and their pack and hunting behaviors were something to be emulated, something to model themselves upon. As time went on wolves were invited into tribal units and became allies in hunting. They were positive symbols of loyalty, were revered, and considered brothers or guides. Mythos that reveres the wolf includes the Altaic mythology of the Turks and Mongols. Some of the Turkic legends, such as the legend of Asena, even postulate that their people are descended from wolves. Chechen lore about wolves is very positive; wolves are portrayed as either an embodiment of their own people or as a loving ‘Wolf Mother’. Several Native American Indian tribes such as the Nanamiut, the Naskapi, the Pawnee, and the Tanaina viewed wolves positively.
The Romans noted the wolves loyalty to their pack and their ability to mother and celebrated this in their tale of Romulus and Remis. These were twins ordered to be killed by their uncle. The servant instead placed them on a riverbank; the river rose and took them downstream to where they were ultimately adopted by the female wolf known as Lupa. The twins survived and eventually became the founders of Rome. There is also an Irish legend of a king suckled by a wolf and of course, we all are familiar with Kipling’s tale of Mowgli.
Romulus and Remis with Lupa, possibly from the 13th century.
We will now move to more agricultural societies. When looking at the agricultural societies point of view, suffering from livestock predation by wolves had a large impact on how wolves were viewed. Farmers had to contend with the wolf as a predator, not a fellow hunter, and so the view of the wolf was accordingly more sinister. Hunter-gatherer societies who transitioned to agricultural lifestyles often changed their views on wolves. They went from a mentor and fellow hunter to a menace to their way of life. Some cultures, however, continued to foster relationships with wolves even as they became more and more entrenched in farming. Some Japanese tribes laid out offerings for the wolves in the hopes that wolves would protect their crops and animals from other marauding beasts..
Cultures, such as the Finnish, viewed the wolf as destructive. Wolves are symbols of desolation and excessive, wasteful consumption. Their very name, susi, means useless while their byname hukka means punishment, damnation, and annihilation. The Tsilhqot'in Indians believed association with wolves would cause insanity while the Navaho believed witches called Mai-cob dressed in wolves clothing.
Christianity has probably had the most influence on wolves being considered in a negative light. The Bible has numerous references to wolves as greedy and destructive. They are an enemy of flocks and symbolic of evil men, power lust, and gain by dishonesty. The mythos and attitudes of this religion have had far ranging consequences. St. Francis of Assisi, however, does have a tale of befriending a murderous wolf by the power of the cross. He noted the wolf only committed evil out of hunger and so convinced the villagers to feed the wolf and no harm was further done.
Nordic view of wolves and Fenrir
Fenrir plays a large role in some of the most important Nordic myths. I’ve outlined his tale from the Gylfaginning in the Prose Edda. The same book also discusses his role in the events of Ragnarök when his children will swallow the sun and the moon and the stars will disappear from the sky. All binds will snap and Fenriswolf will be free and will join the battle on the field of Vígríðr (battle-surge). There, the prophecy foretold long before will be borne out. Fenris will meet and devour Odin after which he himself will be killed by Odin’s son Víðarr. In this light, wolves would be considered an enemy of devouring, of destruction.
Fenrir is also mentioned in the poem Völuspá, and in two stanzas of the poem Vafþrúðnismál. In the first his birth is recognized and his subsequent role in the killing of Odin. In the second it is Fenrir that is mentioned to swallow the sun but fortunately the sun has borne a daughter who will continue on in her stead. He is also mentioned in the Skáldskaparmál, the Heimskringla, and Háttatal in much the same light.
Many people, in light of the lore, merely ascribe the symbol of Fenrir to be that of hate and destruction. It is considered good to bind these features that exist within all of us, to keep them under control. This fits into the Nordic and Christian mythos of the wolf well and to a point, I agree.
However I believe there to be more, far more to Fenrir. This surface explanation of Fenrir being hate and destruction rings as incomplete, not true enough. To just apply hate, destruction, and their needed fettering to his symbolism is an easy way out of actually dealing with the issues – far too easy for our ever so complex mythos. We can’t forget that the river Van flows from his jaws.
Wolves may feature in our myths, our history and our dreams, but they have their own future, their own loves, their own dreams to fulfill.
Death of a star
I now begin to veer away from direct loric application of symbolism to the Fame-Wolf. To explain this last I need to relate a meditation I had. Fenrir had come, he took me to something similar to a stone tower. Within, it was simply but beautifully furnished with rough hewn woods, plenty of red velvet coverings, steel or silver trappings about. Set within the circular walls were many vicious looking iron spikes all pointing in. I looked at them, he shrugged and said, ‘Many don’t like me.’
We talked for a time and he suddenly looked up as though listening and then bounded up some stairs. He cried out, ‘Come, come quick!’ I ran up the stairs after him and he pointed me to a circular window that seemed as though a lens. Through this lens I saw two stars heading towards each other and they collided with a brilliant beauty I will never forget. I looked at Fenrir, he looked at me with such joy and wonder. I realized this scene was a gift.
The meditation ended then. I often thought about that event, what I saw there. To Fenrir, death and destruction WAS beauty. It was a chilling thought, one I quickly wanted to set aside. At this time I am glad I didn’t turn away from this conceptual stream.
The concept and the absolute beauty/horror of what I had seen continued to tick through my mind for several months. One day, I was driving home from work and my mind touched on this again. Suddenly everything crystallized.
Now, this may only make sense to someone like me who has in their career helped well over a hundred people pass on. I’m an RN who has worked AIDS units, oncology and transplant floors, high level ICUs. Death abounds. Death in and of itself isn’t to be feared, it is a part of the progress of life. I’m not talking of the cold existence of death; for me that is more Hela’s realm. I’m speaking of our conceptualization of death.
I realized that moment there is a singular beauty in death. We as a people need to acknowledge this. Death is a passage on, a change, a different sort of birth. Beauty can be found within its realm. My father died on hospice care. We didn’t hire nurses, my mother and I stood by his side for the year he was actively dying. My young children helped in his care. His death, though sad, was a good death. It was a death of beauty, surrounded by his wife of nearly 50 years, his children, and the sound of his grandchildren’s laughter.
Let’s take a side look at wolf behavior. Wolves are inextricably bound to their family pack from the time of their birth to the time of their death. Wolves have been seen to mourn the death of pack mates, laying around the body for days. Mothers who lose pups have been observed in the wild to carry the pup around, showing it to other pack members in grief until another finally buries it.
This is the bittersweet beauty we can and should seek out. We should honor death, find a place of peace at its side. Modern man has removed death from our homes, relegated it to dark corners in nursing homes and hospitals, transferring the tending of death to nurses and other caretakers. We have separated ourselves from it and so shun and fear death and anything to do with the concept. Death needs to be brought back into the home, into that circle of love that only family can provide. Therein lies its beauty if we only look and accept. Therein lies hope for our own lives.
This applies to the death of our world at the time of Ragnarök. All living things come to an end and so will the Earth. As I believe mythology to be a symbolism, our end may be a meteor, the sun may burn out, or we may cause a nuclear holocaust. Somehow, our world will be destroyed. However, we can realize we aren’t alone. Beings like Fenrir are present that can help clean up the mess, swallow that burnt out sun providing room for the daughter of the sun to shine. Old Gods will go with dignity and heroism making way for new Gods and a new world wherein they can provide for the new bloom of humanity, a new age of innocence. Without all of the beings within the mythos playing their perspective roles this can’t happen. I am not eager for Ragnarök. But it will come and, just as a dying relative, I will not relegate the end of this cycle and the transition into new to a dark mental corner. I will find the beauty and grace in their death, I will play my role in their cycle which infringes upon mine.
I’m not proffering that everyone should go out and begin worshipping Fenrir. I am suggesting that his role in the mythology be examined more closely. All beings within the Northern mythos have multiple aspects and sides. Just as the Allfather encompasses not only war and death but inspiration and creation, just as Loki is not only a thief but a gift giver, Fenrir can provide wisdom and insights of beauty. Even just heavy meditation on his dichotomy against the Allfather will be of value. The meanings of Fenrir has been cast into the closet long enough. Every village should have at least one who has considered Fenrir and what he has to teach about rage, control, despair, and finding the beauty and hope in death. These concepts shouldn’t be avoided, they should be learned from as they impact all.
It is not the child who fears the darkness that should be feared, but rather the man who fears the light.
How can you help anyone if you don’t find the world to be an amazing place?
I think it is a valid question. One of those thoughts that strikes you in that numinous sweet spot between opposites. See, I have this thing, this ramble brain mode where these diametrically opposed trains of thought go sweeping through. I’m at once actively participating and idly watching them go round and ride, shooting past rapidly or creeping at a snail crawl. The tracks meander around but there is one spot, one special place I've found where they cross and if you work at it, if you are persistent and have that feather’s edge of luck, you can get those trains to collide. When that happens, oh when that happens, you get to slip into that space between the worlds, that numinous place where sight becomes the velvet touch and sound smells as rose peaches warming in the sun as you feel the rhythm and taste of honey.
So there I was, one train creaking by its smell of rust tainting the air. I look around and lingers on the past mistakes and ignored chances, I dread the becoming, and already regret the should be. The idling motor spews grey as a realization strikes that life just hasn't turned out as one planned or hoped. That can be Depression with a capitol D.
But that is just one train. Another is meandering about. This thought looks at the world and wants to dance and laugh. There is humor in the air and joy is smelt near and afar. I idly watch this train realizing it is right, the world is a beautiful place. I avidly dive in and catch the fever of life whirling about on its mad mad wonderful ride. I’m stumbling around finding beauty everywhere.
And it happens. The impassive conductor of both stands calmly aside and throws the crook to pull the two trains together.
The trains collide and I step through. I laugh, life is amazing and you have to just look. It isn't place as much as perspective. I spontaneously say, ‘How can you help anyone if you don’t find the world an amazing place?’ I’m not particularly asking, I can feel the wonder of the question, I’m in awe of a sense of rightness in this numinous concussion.
He asks, ‘You think I am not amazed?’ I look and stop. My stomach sinks and with a looming heaviness I say, ‘If you aren't, I would be sad.’ I linger on this, I feel the sorrow of the truth of this. I think of others I know who bury themselves in helping others yet it is only a ruse, they are trying to find joy through others about them. They run that hamster wheel never realizing that until they find amazement, until they feel that awe and open themselves to life around them, they will never feel that joy. Someone who is not amazed is a sorrowful thing.
The worlds are wondrous places. Never stop feeling amazed.
I can only read so much of Malidoma P Some's writing at one time. I find a line or concept that niggles at my brain and I have to set the book down and move, do something, let the activity and my thoughts help percolate what I read.
Earlier today I started reading Of Water and the Spirit. I've had the book for ages, just hadn't gotten around to reading it. Within pages I found a line, a question really, that got to me.
The question is simple, "Why is it that the modern world can't deal with its ancestors and endure its past?" What a blazing query. This touches on more than just the glaring spiritual vacancy Turtle Island endures as its denizens turn their collective backs on their own indigeny and ancestral heritage. This is more than just forgetting or avoiding our ancestors and our ancient rites of veneration.
This is about the West's habit of revisionist history. Not only as a political nation but as individuals. We carry some kind of dysfunctional shame and rather than looking this monster in the face we ignore it, stuffing it under the pillow and allowing the bad dreams and guilt to rise. We choose to pretend each day is a bright new day but that just doesn't work. Each day is built upon the foundation created by the last and so we continue on, ignoring the voices of our heritage, turning our backs on the mistakes of the past, and desperately try to balance on the shifting sands of hypocrisy.
I have no answers here. This is an individual issue. Each of us has an imperative to face our own past, face our own ancestry. We can't ever fully reclaim our indigeny, the world is different now. But as whole individuals and then as sound communities we can initiate healing.
"It's not that I don't have faith in the Gods, its that I don't always have faith in myself."
This is something to think on. We all have times of trial, times of bleak despair. We want to stand tall and rail our fists in the air, screaming at the Gods for all that has happened. We bemoan our loss of faith to friends, we tell them we feel distant from our spirituality.
We run around in circles dealing with our heartache and simultaneously hating and grieving the vacant hole in our religious hearts we so casually claim is left by deity. We ask ourselves and each other, "Why would the Gods do this? Why would they leave us to fend for ourselves in such times of trial?" We suffer and blame; we complain of losing faith.
But more likely the problem is ourselves. We don't have the faith in our own strength and perseverance to get through the adversities of life. We don't have faith that the Gods are actually there. When these times happen, when life throws us a curve ball, we want things to be fixed, we want strength and support, and sometimes that is just something we have to do ourselves. The powers, in all their wisdom, know there are sufferings we must have to grow, they know there are trials we have to bear.
So maybe, just maybe, the loss of faith is within our own self, its a lack of faith in our own ability to carry the burden, to persevere. Maybe we need to look within.
These are ideals anyone who wants deific involvement needs to cultivate. If you don’t have them, don’t even bother. You’ll ultimately be hit hard for hubris, you’ll only fill your head with inane sock puppetry, and you will make mistakes in what you feel is your study or work. Let’s briefly discuss each one.
Respect means to show deference and regard for another. I’m not positive there is enough respect in heathenry. Respect towards deity doesn’t necessarily mean you have to worship every power, but it does mean you need to show deference and regard. It doesn’t mean honoring one God and then insulting another- lack of respect for any deity is lack of respect for all.
I kneel, I eagerly get on my knees before my powers. It is one way I show respect, it is one way I give esteem to my deities. A simple physical act that means so much. I have been scoffed at over this and I fail to fathom why. I’ve heard, ‘I’ll never get on my knees to a deity, I’m a proud and tall heathen.’ Proud yes- to the point of hubris in my mind. These are deities, these are Gods. Kneeling before them is a privilege and a way of sharing joy.
I also strongly feel this lack of respect encompasses the, ‘I respect the Gods because they are my kin but I will not go to them ‘cause heck, they are busy’ mantra one hears so often. That isn’t respect, that is avoidance. That is only going to see Grandma when you need to borrow money, and then possibly not paying her back. Respect is visiting frequently, taking your shoes and hat off when you go through the door. Respect is bending down to help her pick something up as needed. Respect is getting on our knees.
Silence. Why do I even need to define this? Because it is more than just being quiet. It is actively listening, it requires a stilling of the mind to allow one to hear what They are saying. It requires what I coin a ‘willful vulnerability’ to actually hear. You see, what deities will impress on one isn’t always what we want to hear. It isn’t always backpats and pink joy joy bubbles. We need to be silently vulnerable and open to actually learn not only the good about us and our surroundings, but also the shadows, the parts of pain. If gibberish is eternally spewing from our mouths then nothing of import can ever be taken within. Silence entails, for once, a point at which we stop talking or explaining or rationalizing or yammering on and just focus on being, focus on listening.
Research. This is not only actively putting oneself into a position of learning, but it is work. That is Work with a capitol as many like to put it. What direction do the powers point us in? What is our role in this life? What do we need to do now, what next? We won’t understand this without first having the respect and silence that allows us to understand how to do the job. Once we do we need to actively pursue this role, we need to grab it by the shaft with a firm diligence that provides the greatest of esteem to our powers.
Put simply, we need to get on our knees, stop talking, and do the job before us. They want to savor our desire, they want to see aggressive application to the work, they want to see determination and staying power. When the job is done with passion and fervor, they will reward with an explosion of joy that one can practically taste as sweet as honey’d dew and with that blessing bestowed one can rise and welcome them in again and again. The lesson has been learned; respect, silence, and research.
Your ancestors are like the house around you.
Imagine not having a home, that is life without your ancestors.
If you haven't yet, build your house.
A woman went to visit family that lived far far off. When she got there, she stopped in at her Opa's. He was sitting on his porch wearing his usual white robes. She looked at him and her heart swelled at the sight of his kindly, life lined face, and brilliant white hair.
He took her hand and they went for a walk down the meandering path into the brush. After walking in silence for a time he said, 'Child, what do you see?' She looked around for a time and thought, Opa likes thoughtful answers, and finally said, 'Life, I see life.'
He nodded sagely. 'What else?' She looked closer and noted amidst the burgeoning bustle of life the decaying flowers past their prime, insects eating other insects, a dead bird rotting in the soil under brush. 'Death Opa, I also see death.'
He stopped and looked at her, 'What will you do of this?' She thought of the world she came from, her land with its hustle and bustle and shameful rape/ignorance of Mother Earth. 'I don't know, I don't know what I can do.'
'This then,' he said, 'is something to think on.'
I am feeling the need to apologize to my four readers. I haven’t been writing as much lately and, at this time, don’t think I will be anytime soon. I understand there are those who enjoy my blog and other similar sites- the writings give them a sense of connection to deity and others, the writings help them evaluate their own experiences so they may judge their own and have a better understanding, the writings let them experience the views and realities of others. But at this moment my work being the spring board for another’s experience just creates an acid taste in my mouth and my reply to this is, ‘Stop reading the damn blogs! Get out there on your own knees and pray to your own Gods, pound the rocks to your own ancestors, pour the cream and whiskey to your own land vaetter and have your own experiences; stop living vicariously through mine!’
But that’s just the grump in me talking here. I’ve been biting my tongue harder and harder lately, I’m told patience is needed, people open at their own rates, yet at the same time I think ‘but sometimes we all just need a kick in the ass’ as I ice my own bruised bum.
I do feel kicked though I actually haven’t been. I’m in an odd space right now hence my declaration of closed shop for a time. You see, I was given some boots a few weeks ago and told, ‘You can wear them when you are ready to walk in them.’ Problem here is I’m not sure where I’m to walk, I’m not even sure I know what ‘to walk’ means. So I have the boots tucked away waiting for when I decide, like an infant, to grab onto the couch and rise up and take a few tentative steps. That’s called walking, isn’t it?
I don’t really see a couch to grab onto though. Loki and Heimdallr, my usual go tos, are distant right now. They often play bad cop good cop and right now Loki is the harsher. At this point, other than the rare nudge lasting only a second, I can only tap into either in front of the altars. Loki, hackles up standing straight and demanding more ritual so there I am on my knees being firmly told, ‘Why is it that anytime I ask you to do what you don’t want you decide you didn’t hear me right? You’ve heard me. You know what you are to do. No go on.’ I won’t say I don’t do that, I won’t say I don’t deserve the chiding.
Then there is Heimdallr, He’s good cop right now but still distant. ‘It will be fine. You just need to focus on these other things for a while. Now go on, you know what you need to do.’ At least His lines are with a smile. So I go on and try to focus on my other things for now feeling out of sorts and off kilter.
For now I’m to focus on my ancestors and a new guide. I won’t say I’m not learning nor that there amazing wonders and joys- it’s just all a bit sideways right now. Either everything is swirling into a confused mess in my mind or its all crystal clear and just hard to accept. I’m not sure which and what’s truly pathetic here is I’m not sure which I want the truth to be. So until I decide or know I’ll just go with this seemingly random flow of synchronicity… but isn’t synchronicity just a nice way of saying, ‘You’ve been set up?’ Probably. I was grumping about being set up to Loki last week (hence His chiding) and then found that very line in a book the other night. Synchronicity again.
Yeah- right- let’s just call it what it is.
During all this I read about Z Budhapest and her latest adventures and am forced to giggle. I find her ideas so infuriating that it becomes funny. I note that one of her students lives near me and is co-holding an open Beltane ritual. I think to myself I could go, may be interesting to hear her views; she proudly announces on her web profile she is a student of Z’s which in this day is a sheer invitation for commentary. We’ll see, it isn’t a priority for me, I don’t define my womanhood on the fact that I take the intermittent ride on the cotton pony* nor do I wish to get into any verbal bouts over the concept.
But anyway, so until things are clearer I feel the need to strip some burdens. I touched base last night with Hela, the Northern Death Goddess. Not a bad thing to do when dealing with ancestral lines. She was kind in Her cool way but did grumble a bit about my having too many obligations. “It’s unreasonable to expect you to do all of this,” She commented almost to Herself. So for now I’ll not worry about this blog. I’ll write when the time comes whether it be tomorrow or three months from now. At this moment I don’t care if I ever write again but I’m sure I will.
I’ll wake up some morning with that soft, strangling pressure inside my skull knowing there is something that needs pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. At that time I won’t be able to ease that anxiety till the words have been formed and sent into the world. That pressure is like the need to take a piss with no bathroom, or the feeling one gets during those slow, languid, afternoon lovemaking sessions when for some reason you just can’t orgasm but you know you can’t stop till you do. Finally I’ll have my creative rush and write, I have a ton of ideas, but till the time comes they will sit in their little cocoons and just have to wait.
So until then I’m slipping into a routine of multiple meditations a day, reading, and looking at Wyrd through various lenses. I’ll honor my Gods, ancestors, and land wights, and think on the passage of life. I’ll dance, laugh with my children, and drum to the dawn.
Maybe that’s what we all should be doing.
I stood on the plain before the ancient Disir. She’s from so long ago in the past she has nut brown lined skin and stands before me in a coarse weave of blanketed wrap, her head covered as befits her status. She is elevated, near deity herself, other ancient disirs extend her the highest of honors.
As she steadily looks within me, a tendon strong man of worn face approaches wearing but a shaggy loin cloth. His skin is also nut brown and he has peppered hair and beard. He holds a wooden bowl and without looking she reaches out and it is placed in her hand.
She holds the bowl before her. It is full of crisp dried, brown leaves. She takes a few and with the slightest of nods from her I extend my arm and she places them on my hand. She then swirls the other leaves in the bowl and all of them, including the ones in my hand, turn to birds. They rise up in swirling flight with a wild grace and beauty that only nature and magic provides.
As they disappear into the sky she looks at me and says, ‘It is time for you to fly.’
* See the I'm a Woman! post
I wanted to honor Tyr for a friend of mine the other day. During my morning devotion I let Loki know, He nodded but immediately deferred me to Heimdallr and went on with His other issues.
During my devotion to Heimdallr I mentioned I was going to honor Tyr later. He looked at me questioningly. I did meet Tyr quite a few months ago via Heimdallr, we had discussed Fenrir and I was to think on a few things and come back to him. I just hadn’t been ready yet.
I told Heimdallr my intent wasn’t the conversation waiting, I wanted to honor Tyr and pray for the strength of a friend in need. He nodded. I started on my adorations but He cut me short. I had an appointment and he told me I needed to ensure I had plenty of time to get ready.
He then held out his hand. I took it and went through the swirling grey I’ve grown accustomed to and found myself on a rough, rocky ledge near the ocean. ‘Another beach,’ I mentioned. ‘Yes, ‘ He smiled, ‘it’s a border.’ He led me along the ledge, jumping down rock edges traveling along and edging closer to the water. Usually He just walks in His easy, long legged pace and I have to keep up but this time at every ledge He turned and helped me down. I grinned, teasingly asked Him why He was being such a gentleman, ‘I like having you in my arms.’ I blushed and we continued on.
We eventually came near the water . He stopped and made a small hand motion; in front of me a glowing Tiewaz appeared on the rocks. I knew what was happening, our Nordic gatekeeper Heimdallr had opted to facilitate a meet rather than just have me honor Tyr on my own.
I walked forward on my own and saw Tyr walking towards me in the distance. Tyr looks very much the warrior to me. He has scabbards and leather and hides, His body is muscular and scarred. He has a sense of firmness tempered with the kind of gentleness that only comes from great strength.
We met and said hello. I told Him why I was there, that I hadn’t come to disturb him but to make a petition for a friend for strength and comfort. We talked briefly on this, I thanked Him and turned to go but He stopped me.
He said, ‘I can see Fenrir’s marks on you.’ I looked down. I have some mixed feelings on this. Loki and Heimdallr have both directed me to Fenrir at times and I know I will be working with Him more. I know this, at least here on Midgard, to be controversial. He put His hand on my shoulder and said, ‘It’s alright. I spent much time with Fenrir.’ He looked at His stump. ‘I’ve made my own sacrifices to Him, looks as though you have your own cutting to do.’
I began to tear, there are some emotions there. He sat me down on the rocks and we looked at the water. He put an arm around my shoulders and kindly said, ‘Everybody forgets, or hasn’t realized, that in order to bind Him, in order to know what to sacrifice to ensure He caused no harm, I had to know Him. We had to have a rapport.’
He paused a moment to let the words sink in, ‘In order to do what needed to be done, I had to love Him.’
Fenrir’s role is typically just seen as one of the monster, the ravener that needs be bound and forgotten. We must remember that mythology has messages on many levels. Every one of us has a small Fenrir within, we all have our dark spots. To just ignore they exist, to deny those patches within does not do ourselves justice, respect, nor love. We all have internal rages, jealousies, and episodes of lonely despair. They are a part of us just as Fenrir is a part of the Nordic mythology. To manage our own tempests we must accept these troubles. We must develop a rapport with them, we must embrace and love them, in order to know what needs to be sacrificed to manage and control the beast within.