22 January 2007

Problem Children

(This post was originally made to my personal livejournal back in November 2006)

I just....I am so irritated right now.

Actually, that's not the right word. Discomfited would probably be better.

There's a mailing list thread going on right now about Loki--the conversation turned, briefly, to whether or not he should actually be worshipped....and it made me wicked uncomfortable.

In a nutshell (for those not up on the Eddas): Loki is a Jotun. He's also Odin's blood-brother and he hangs with the Aesir. He's commonly referred to as a "trickster", he's very chaotic, and not only was he directly responsible for the death of Baldr but he's also going to turn on the Gods come Ragnarok. Basically he's an outlaw at worst and a celestial con-artist at best. I mean, he walked into Aegir's mead-hall, killed one of his servants, and then proceeded to insult everyone in the place and fucking BRAG about his part in Baldr's death.

"Oh, but what about all the gifts he gave to the gods? What about Sif's golden hair and Frey's ship and Thor's hammer and Sleipnir and blahblahblahblah..."

What about them? They're schilder--they were given to keep the other gods from kicking the crap out of him. This isn't a Hermes we're dealing with here. This is a liar and a cheat and a general no-goodnik....and people worship the guy?

I'm with the Theodsmen on this one. Loki doesn't deserve worship. I acknowledge his place in the Lore, I acknowledge his power, but no way will I make a faining to him--especially because every time I even so much as talk about him at length, bad shit happens to me.

If I wind up in the hospital tonight, you know why.

I just don't get why there are people that insist on worshipping Loki. I just can't wrap my brain around it, unless I come to the conclusion that it's just some sort of knee-jerk reaction to perceived "Christianization" of Loki as the Devil. Then I can understand why people do it--but that doesn't make it any less uncomfortable for me. I just...yarrgh. Why would you want to embrace something that's brought more pain and sadness than anything else?

At the same time, I can see how he would be seductive, how one would be tempted to hail him as a balancing force--order balanced with chaos and keeping the wheel turning.

But he's not for me. I seek my balance in other more constructive ways, thanks.

13 January 2007

Hockey and Heathenry

Forgive the rambly nature of this post, friends--it's 4:30 AM and I had to get this off my chest.

I'm sure some of you have found your way here from one of the hockey blogs I post/comment to: HLOG and Sweet Tea, Barbecue, and Bodychecks. Welcome to those folks.

For those who have found their way here from other locales (and who haven't noticed yet), I am indeed a hockey fan. For some reason, I always find it hard to articulate in print how my faith and my hockey-fandom are intertwined--which is very odd, because I'm usually much better at expressing myself in print than I am at expressing myself verbally. Don't ask me why, I just am.

For me, hockey is a strong expression of my faith. I've touched on it very briefly in my hockey blog, and I've never been shy about my being a heathen, but I've always been a little reticent about discussing it anywhere other than here and in my personal LJ for reasons that I can't fully articulate. I'm not afraid of getting deluged in flames--there was really only one toolbox that got upset about me not being Christian, and he's the one who has to deal with his own insecurity in his faith. The rest of the fandom really doesn't give a shit, from what I've seen (and the three or four Caniacs that would get bent outta shape about my religious beliefs know better than to tangle with me over it).

It's an amazing feeling, being at a hockey game and feeling the presence of the Gods. I wish I could better articulate what it's like when the building is full and the energy is intense and the boundary between the ice surface and plain of Ida is at its thinnest. It's almost epiphanic, when I can see the Gods watching on the sidelines and, occasionally, Thor taking a turn on the ice while cleverly disguised as one of the defensemen (I'm totally convinced that he likes to cleverly impersonate Mike Commodore from time to time).

There are sticks, there are pucks, there is ice....and there are the Gods.

Game on.

11 January 2007


I decided to take the plunge and set up a harrow--I got the idea when I was at Sur La Table with my sister the day before I came back from my vacation trip to see her and her family out in Denver. I saw this red bowl (the small one, not the great big one in the picture--and they were being sold individually) and thought "This would make a good blessing-bowl". A personal-sized one, but a blessing-bowl nonetheless.

So a couple Saturdays ago after I got off work, I went to Crate and Barrel (because we don't have an SLT here in Raleigh...yet) and got this bowl and a "Tux" glass (the picture is no longer up on C&B's website). Total cost: $10. Nice and cheap and they get the job done.

Now I need to decide what I want to do for it next. I have an endtable that my friend Hayley gave me for Yule '05, and that will work fine for the "base". Would it be appropriate to put hockey-related stuff on it? Mebbe a picture of playoff-mode Mike Commodore, as a proxy for an idol of Thor? Suggestions from the audience are welcome.

I don't really give a damn what the hubby thinks of me doing this either--I'm doing this for me and my personal spiritual growth. And if it wigs the Elders when they come over to visit with him, that's a bonus. ;)

06 January 2007

Au weia!

As a Forsetian, I try to be even-handed when looking at things--WWFD, and all that.

But sometimes, it's really hard to do that when I get confronted with'll call them intemperate (not that I'm blameless on this matter, as those who read my hockey blog well know).

I refer the reader to this post on another blog (and not a bad blog, either). The second-to-last comment made me beat my head on the table in mental agony, because--though well-intentioned--it was pretty poorly-phrased and didn't come across very well (to me anyway).

I do know who Al Billings is, and I know of his issue with Steve McNallen and the AFA. I am also aware that McNallen was in the past intemperate with his folkishness--and that what I have seen from him lately is a great deal more moderate. But honestly, trying to make Billings out to be a non-entity who isn't worthy of being listened to isn't exactly going to make friends or influence people if you know what I mean.

Know what I mean?

As for Folkishness, I've made my thoughts on the matter known in this space before--the Gods call whom they call, regardless of that person's outward appearance or parentage. In that same vein, I offer a quote from a mailing-list post about the subject of the Billings/McNallen fight:

Frankly, if a[n] Ethiopian baby is adopted by a Swedish couple and grows up to run a restaurant promoting modern Swedish cuisine, he probably has a stronger claim on having a nip off the old folksoul than *I* do (and, besides, I hear the food is quite good). There is often an unwillingness among US heathens to factor the value of a land, and its spirits, in one's spiritual makeup, which I argue is a significant oversight on our part.

And that's about how I feel, too.

Know what I mean?

05 January 2007

A Complete And Tru History.....

A goodly chunk of this was posted in my personal livejournal. I am reposting it (along with some of my other heathen-related posts) here.

My mother never raised me or my sister to follow any particular religion. She always told missionaries or other evangelistic types that "we have our own beliefs"--sometimes rudely, sometimes politely. I was never told what church to go to, and my own family background is rather religiously muddled; My mother was baptized Presbyterian. My father was RLDS. My maternal grandparents were Catholic and Baptist, respectively--and my Baptist grandfather's family was Catholic up until the parish priest told my great-great-grandfather Cardinal that he was living in sin and all his family was doomed to Hell because he wasn't married in an RC ceremony (they were kinda in the back woods of Quebec, so there was no local priest there for many years--just a travelling parson).

I grew up in a small town in North Dakota that was heavily Lutheran and Catholic, with smatterings of Pentecostal and Church of God. It was through the Pentecostals that I wound up finding my way to Christianity when I was 19--and I spent several years being completely and totally insufferable about it. To this day, my sister--who is very aggressively atheist--loves to give me grief about it even though it's a part of my past that I want to leave where it the past.

I identified as Jewish for many years, for reasons that I couldn't even articulate--I think, in looking back, that I saw it more as a cause to fight for than as something I really actually believed. I sense that all the rabbis I spoke to about converting figured it too--because they kept telling me "If you don't know the reason why you want to convert, then perhaps this is not the faith for you."

The Aesir and the Vanir, however, I had kept drifting back to ever since I was first introduced to them as a child (when I discovered "D'aulaire's Illustrated Norse Myths" in our elementary school's library). Why? I don't know--or I didn't know at the time, anyway. In about 92ish, I started delving into learning about them and I discovered that there was an actual religion around them called "Asatru", but at the time the WWW was still in its infancy and there was precious little information about heathenry out there. So after a little while I moved on to other things. I eventually rekindled my love of hockey, and through it I found my way to a heavily UPG-ized personal belief system that was largely shamanic and had liberal dashes of various pagan faiths cobbled together with nails of Buddhism and a thin veneer of Wicca.

All the while, though, I kept identifying myself as being of a faith that I didn't really follow much. Judaism became a label for me, a blue blankie that was my armor from the wierdly curious, rather than something I really believed in. Why stick with a faith that you yourself don't believe? So I gave up calling myself that.


Soanyway. About midway through 2005, I felt the pull of the Aesir and Vanir again. This time, I listened. It was like...well, it just felt right. I had looked into my Italian heritage, but the Religio Romana didn't really appeal to me. Iuppiter et al. kept telling me "We understand why you're coming to see us, my dear, but your destiny lies elsewhere." I turned to my paternal ancestors, and that's where I found a home (spiritually speaking). The Shining Ones welcomed me with open arms and said "We've been waiting for you--welcome home!"


My husband (who is LDS), clueless and inattentive as he is, apparently didn't get the memo when I told him on the third Saturday of every month "I'm going down to the UU Fellowship for the monthly blot." He still says "You told me you were Jewish!" whenever I bring up anything even remotely related to Asatru...and this is the guy who told the Elders and damn near everyone else that I'm Wiccan. I can't eat anything pork without hearing "I thought you can't eat that!" and "treyf!" and whatever else. The other night when I asked him a direct question about the LDS Church and he couldn't answer me, I said "I don't want to hear you saying another word about my gods and goddesses, since you can't be bothered to learn anything about your own damn religion." His response? "When did you go Norse?! You always tell me that you're Jewish!"


I give up.

04 January 2007

Hockeyish rambling

So I decided to take a break from the hockey blog, and focus more on this spot.

I had left this blog lie fallow during the playoffs, because I'd been getting spammed with garbage comments from a Buffalo fan that apparently felt that his Desert God was calling him to be as assy as possible toward the dirty heathen Caniac.

*sigh* Shame on me for running and hiding rather than standing up to that shitbag like I should have.

Anyway. Ever since 19 June I've been...I don't want to say "uncaring" about hockey--but I've been a lot more contemplative about it. Everything I see is taken in a far more spiritual context now. I just don't have the anger that I used to have, I don't have the combative streak that I once did. I've tasted the miraculous wonderment that is winning a championship, and now I just wonder what there is to do now that it's done.

In a way, it's like I'm in shock. My wyrd, everything that I've seen and known was coming, has led me to 19 June 2006--and now I'm trying to decide if I'm free of that orlog cycle, or if I'm just not being allowed to see what's coming down the pike like I used to be. It's like something died in me that night, and I can't figure out if it was something bad or something good.

We'll see, I guess.