darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)

- Since November, I've been trying to write in my paper journal every day. I find this leads to not writing here. Sorry.

- Earlier this week, a notoriously child-hating patron of the library came in and handed me a box of candy canes saying, "There'll be kids in here soon, maybe you can hand these out." I thanked him, put them in the office, and didn't give them to anyone. They were still wrapped, so I'm pretty sure they weren't poisoned, but you never can tell.

- I am still reading a lot of Revolutionary War-related nonfiction. The thing about reading about Thomas Jefferson is that I want to make notes that just say NERD in big letters on basically every line, which is probably not helpful. (Oh god, he was so hilariously terrible.)

- Yesterday, I told a coworker my theory about Washington having magical powers. She nodded and then asked if I had read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and we talked about that for a while. Sadly, she works mostly at Poulsbo and was only subbing at Kingston, so she can't be my new work-best-friend.

- I went to see Deadpool yesterday and it was pretty much everything I wanted out of a Deadpool movie, by which I mean that it was full of stabbing and jokes I would feel uncomfortable about if my parents were in the room. Sometimes, that is all I want in life.

- For the past few weeks, I've been attending a Quaker meeting on Sundays. (You can be a Quaker and not be a Christian. Who knew, right?) It is immensely satisfying. Which is maybe a weird thing to say about sitting in a circle with a dozen other people and mostly not talking at all while you all think about god/the gods for an hour, but yeah, it really is. I won't be able to go next week, and I'm pretty sure I'm really going to miss it.

- The reason I can't go is that next week is my grandmother's 90th birthday and all the aunts are coming. Also my cousin and his wife. And my sisters. And while I'm super happy that they can all come to celebrate Granny's birthday, oh my god, where are we going to put them all, what are we going to do with them, I have never met my cousin's wife and will have to make conversation with her, oh no.

And that's what going on with me!
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)
More Norse mythology! [livejournal.com profile] frenchroast rightly pointed out that I shouldn't hint at other stories without telling them, so that's what I'm going to do. In fact, you get two for the price of one today. 8)

I feel like I should point out a couple of things before this next story. First, it is not a happy story. There's no pleasant resolution at the end and some pretty upsetting things happen, including some involving violence towards children. Secondly, as is probably pretty damned obvious, I am a Lokean. Loki is my...I don't like the term "patron god", but that's probably the easiest way to put it. This means that I tell these stories from a certain perspective - one that is perhaps more sympathetic towards Loki and his family than others might be. If you heard someone else telling this story, they might tell it a little differently. Grain of salt, and all that.

This story can be found in the Prose Edda, as well as in the Poetic Edda as part of the Lokasenna. Here we go:

The Binding of Loki )

And because that story is kind of a downer, I am going to tell you a second Loki story that also involves fish, but this one has a much happier ending. This is a retelling of a Faroese ballad, and thus is not contained in the Eddas.

Loka Tattur )
darchildre: text only:  "Circumlocution:  It's a way of speaking around something.  A digression.  Verbosity." (our little sillinesses of manner)
[livejournal.com profile] frenchroast asked for the continuation of yesterday's story and let's be real, I am always up for telling Norse mythology stories. So here it is! This story can also be found in the Prose Edda, but yesterday's disclaimers still apply. (Loki is in this one too, though not as much as last time.)

How Skadhi Thjazisdottir Came to Asgard )

Not gonna lie, if anyone want me to tell more stories, I will totally do that.
darchildre: birch trees in autumn (yi elischi sa ai chi bedhul)
Hey guys, it's the Autumnal Equinox!* Which is...not really a thing, in heathen circles, but I enjoy the symmetry of the Wheel of the Year, so I like to keep it as a holiday. I tend to think of it as good day to honor Idunna, since it falls during apple harvest time. So I am making stewed apples today and have decided to tell you a story.

This is the only myth about Idunna that we really have. It's in the Prose Edda, if you want to read the original. (Though I'll admit that it's been long enough since I read the Prose Edda that I'm just telling the story the way I remember it and like to tell it. So there may be differences, I don't know.) It is also a Loki story, because all the really good stories are.

The Theft of Idunna and the Golden Apples )

So, it feels a little weird to stop there and not tell the aftermath of Thjazi's death, but that's a different story that Idunna's not in at all, so maybe we'll save that for another time.

Happy Autumn, everybody!

*Or the Vernal Equinox, if you live in the south. Sorry, I don't have a story for you guys today.
darchildre: roland deschain before the tower, with a raven on his shoulder.  text:  runes spelling "eiwaz" (eiwaz is the tower)
Choir rehearsals started tonight for our spring session. We are doing the Haydn Creation, which is the story of Genesis as sung by a choir of angels and looks like it's going to be pretty fun, even if it is one of those pieces where the soloists get all the really cool parts. I'm enjoying it so far.

But you know what I really want to sing? A giant dramatic choral work based on my creation myth. Because how awesome would that be? It would be totally awesome, that is the answer.

Here is a brief retelling of the Norse creation myth for those who may not know it. )

That's a pretty great story, right? I mean,the beginning of Genesis is pretty cool but it doesn't have giants or building worlds out of bones or primordial cows. You could make a hell of a big orchestral chorale work out of that story. A basso profundo soloist for Ymir, a mezzo or an alto for Audhulma, a bass-baritone-tenor trio for the son of Bor (the tenor* singing Odin gets at least one aria to himself). It opens with a loud wordless dissonant chorus that represents the primal chaos - women as fire, men as ice, opposing lines - that gradually resolves into the still peace of the Ginnungagap. The chorus sings the flood too, and then they sing behind the trio as they build with Ymir's body. Then there's a final triumphant choral movement describing the awe of the first sunrise over the new worlds. (Yeah, I know, we didn't cover Sunna and Mani. Whatever, artistic license.) It could be amazing. Someone should write that so I can sing in it.

(And then they should write something about the creation of Ask and Embla, because that is my favorite myth. And there should be at least half as many chorale works about the Ragnarok as there are requiems - "an axe-age, a sword-age, shields will be cloven, a wind-age, a wolf-age, before the world's ruin." Who doesn't want that set to music?)

Basically, sometimes, I would like to sing impressive chorale works that aren't about Jesus.

*Yeah, the tenor. Hjarrandi, the Screamer, and Jalk, the Gelding - Odin should be sung by a tenor.
darchildre: seventh doctor and ace, moody and muted (ghostlight)
Alas, pagan meetup thing did not really work out. The people were all very nice and I enjoyed the ritual to an extent but...it was a Wiccan ritual and I am not a Wiccan. I hadn't previously attended any kind of Wiccan ritual, so I wasn't sure if it would be near enough to right to work for me. Unfortunately, now I know that it's not. So, back to solitary practice. Ah, well.

On the plus side, I made myself go to a thing I'd never been to before, filled with people I'd never met before! And I made polite conversation with them for several hours! And did not get lost once! So I am counting that as a win.
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)

- Apparently, I am really bad at updating lately. I'm going to try to do better about that. I feel better when I blog, I think, even if it's wholly inconsequential stuff.

- I found a semi-local (well, they're in Port Orchard) pagan meet-up group and I'm planning to go to my first meet-up this weekend. I am super nervous about it. I love the idea of having a group of people to to worship with but then I actually go to things and it involves a lot of talking to people I don't know and I freak out. Still, going at all is a good first step.

- This also neatly gets me out of feeling like I ought to think of something to do for Disting. (The thing I'm going to is really an Imbolc thing, but they happen around the same time, so...) I always have trouble with Disting.

- This is the week that Megan moves back home! She's coming up from Santa Barbara on Tuesday. So all the family will be back in Washington! She and Katie are planning to find an apartment in Seattle, but they'll both be living with us until they do. (Fingers crossed that we don't kill each other.) Honestly, though, I'm looking forward to having her here. 8)

- We are doing exactly two pieces in chorale this session. One of them is a Vaughan Williams piece (which I still don't have music for, despite there only being two pieces and the session having started 4 weeks ago) and the other is the Verdi Requiem. Which explains why we only have two pieces. I have read actual novels that are shorter than this score. We get to perform with the Bainbridge orchestra, in a venue that isn't a church! I'm so excited!

- The problem with Monday is that I don't get a break till 1 o'clock and I always want lunch at least an hour before. I am hungry.
darchildre: The lady Melisandre with a candle, looking particularly intense. (melisandre will set you on fire)
Actual conversation I just had:

Patron: What's your necklace?

Me: It's a Thor's hammer.

Patron: Like the superhero?

Me: ...no. Like the deity.

And that is where we left that.
darchildre: the fourth doctor grinning.  text:  "snerk" (four says "snerk!")
What being a Lokean is like, for me:

Today, I had my annual Have Lunch With My Manager And Talk About My Self-Appraisal thing. Obviously, I hate this and spend the day before it dreading the fact that I have to do such a hateful thing. And a couple people yesterday were talking about well, it might snow.

So last night, half-joking, I said, "Hey Loki, you who are my Friend and Best of Companions, if it could snow before I go to work tomorrow, that would be totally awesome." Because Loki is the god I ask for things I know I shouldn't have but want anyway.

Today, just as I was leaving for work, it began to snow. Tiny, tiny, infinitesimal, intermittent flakes of snow, with absolutely no chance of sticking or accumulating. Alanis Morrisette ironic snow. So I stared up at the sky and laughed my fool head off. I may have yelled, "I guess that will teach me to be more specific!"

And then I went to my terrible meeting and, of course, everything was fine. And it did snow before I went to work, and it was, indeed, totally awesome so perhaps tonight I should pour out some kind of libation to my tricksy god. I think I have some orange soda.
darchildre: a candle surrounded by pine branches (yule)
Happy Mothernight, everybody.*

Yule, we are told, is a time when the line between living and dead is thinner. Sometimes that's a good thing - that's why we celebrate Mothernight, to honor our disir, our mothers and grandmothers who watch over their children. Sometimes it's a scary thing - Yule is the time of the Wild Hunt, after all. And tonight is the longest night. I can hear the wind blowing outside and maybe it's blowing with the voices of the dead, the voices of the Grim One's host. Not a good time to be outdoors.

I'm not outdoors, though. I'm safely tucked up in my bedroom, all snug and warm, and I hope that you are too. I've just finished my Mothernight blot and I've got candles lit. They're bright yellow, for the sun. There's a part of me that wants to leave them burning till they burn out to keep the light alive till morning, but most of me is afraid of burning the house down and so I'll blow them out before I go to bed.

The thing I think about most on Mothernight is uncertainty. There have been a lot of jokes made in the last couple of days about the end of the world being scheduled for tomorrow. But, see, the thing is, that's the longest night every year. Maybe this is truly the longest night, the night that never ends. Maybe tomorrow the wolf wins. There's no way to know, nothing we can do to sway things one way or the other. We sit in the dark, we hold on to each other, we light candles. We wait and we are uncertain.

The sun will come up, of course. Tomorrow won't be the Ragnarok. (Probably.) But maybe it will. Godly time is not like human time and mythology isn't to be take literally. What I think is this: it is always, possibly, Ragnarok. And it is always, possibly, the time of creation, or the time of rebuilding. Balder is born, is killed, is come again from Helheim, maybe every day. Maybe I was wrong a paragraph ago and there is something we can do - maybe we get to choose, not just at Yule, but every day. We can say, "Today is not the wolf-age, today the wolf did not win." We can choose to build up, to "see the earth anew rise up all green from the waves again...the fields unsowed bear ripened fruit, all ills grow better." Maybe we can all be Lif and Lifthrasir, who come safe through the fire, striving for life. Maybe there is no golden age but the one we choose to build.

It's dark right now, but the sun will return. And she'll bring a new day, a new year. Every day, every year. Let's choose to make this year a bright one.

Glad Yule, everyone.

*Well, okay. Happy Mothernight, people in the northern hemisphere. Southerly folk, I hope you are having a happy Midsummer.
darchildre: a candle surrounded by pine branches (yule)
I wrote up this big long post about how I was feeling kinda growly about being surrounded by Christmas and how that makes me feel tired and cranky but by dint of writing the post, I started to feel better. Because now I am thinking about Yule instead.

You guys, Yule is my favorite religious* holiday. Which is pretty great because it is the most important heathen holiday. 8) So now I am going to tell you about some of the things I love about Yule.

- I love Mothernight, which is the first night of Yule. Heathen holidays start at sundown the night before, so I celebrate Mothernight on the evening of the 20th. It's for remembering your disir (basically, your female ancestors, though that's not entirely accurate) and All-Mother Frigga, and her 12 handmaidens. Next to Loki, Frigga is the deity I talk to the most, so Mothernight is pretty important to me.

- Yule is also a time when I try to honor Mother Holda, who blesses the industrious. She's heavily associated with spinning and in some places, it was traditional to have all your spinning done by Yule, in order to receive Holda's blessing. I don't spin, but I do crochet and knit, so I try to have all of my current projects done before Mothernight. (I didn't manage it last year, but I think I'll be able to this year.) I like this because it's both a reason to work hard and get things finished and a reason to remember that I get to rest when I need to.

- I like the solstice morning. I don't stay up all night (though some year, I'd like to try it), but I get up before sunrise and make a cup of tea or something else hot and I go outside to watch the sunrise. I usually say a few things to greet the sun or sing a song, and I make a toast. (We are big on toasts, heathens.) And it's important. Literally, of course, there is not a giant wolf chasing the goddess Sunna across the sky. But mythologically, metaphorically? There is some bad shit out there, and some bad shit happened this year and the sun rising symbolically means that we got through it, one more time. The night is long and dark, but the sun rises. Life chose us again this year. We are not lost.

- So, party time! Yule is sacred to Freyr and Freyja, who are party gods. They are gods of life and love and frith and wealth, so I get to celebrate them by eating as much as I want and having a good time. One of the things I like about heathenry is its attitude toward wealth. Which is, basically, wealth is good. Greed is bad. Of course you want to have nice things but when you have nice things, you should share them. (Not sharing turns you into a dragon, which is generally to be avoided.) I like that heathenry is charitable without being ascetic.

- It's hard to know whether presents at Yule are traditional or not, but presents are awesome, so who cares? I love giving presents to people I care about and I'm lucky enough to be able to. I like being able to share that luck.

- I like that Yule is so long. It's twelve whole days long, this long space between the old year and the new when we get to rest and relax and regroup for the year that's coming. It's a good space to make plans and figure out how to do better. I keep thinking that, one year, I'm going to take the whole twelve days off from work, but I haven't done that yet. I've got the first six days off this year, though, so that's awesome.

- I like that, if I start the count from December 21st, Yule ends on January 1st. That's not particularly important, but I find it pleasing. 8)

- Yule is always the time that I feel closest to the gods. Which makes sense - the gods are called "Yule-beings", after all. It is, for me, the holiest time of year: the darkest, the brightest, the most profound, the most full of simple pleasures and good things.

So. Yule is pretty great. I'm looking forward to it.

*Modifier added because of Halloween, which does has some religious aspects for me and I usually celebrate Winternights concurrently, but is not in itself a religious holiday.
darchildre: text:  "bless me, father.  i ate a lizard." (post-apocalyptic monks! eeee!)
Library conversation:

Patron: So...what's the difference between fiction and a myth?

Me: Well, fiction is any story that's made up, and...let me look up an exact definition. Okay, a myth is a sacred narrative. So something about gods and divine heroes.

Patron: But it's still just fiction.

Me: Insofar as the Bible is fiction, yes.

(I...should probably not have said that last thing. But a) it's true and b) as a person who currently has to clarify when I talk to people about my religion that no, I am not talking about Tom Hiddleston, I am a little touchy about anyone's sacred stories being dismissed as "just fiction".

Fortunately, the patron was not offended and then went on to ask me who had originally written the Greek myths. Yes.)
darchildre: second doctor playing solitaire (bored now)
I really wish people would stop asking me if I had a good Easter.

I mean, I'm sure it's very nice of them to ask and I know they're just being polite and that they mean it well. But it takes me aback and I'm not entirely sure how to answer since "Yes" feels dishonest in a way that I find unpleasant* and "I had a nice weekend, thank you" apparently invites questions about don't I celebrate Easter and why not and, sometimes, Heathenry 101, which I don't really want to do for random strangers. Why "I had a nice weekend" isn't answer enough, I don't know. Surely there are other people in Kingston who aren't practicing Christians or Christians-by-cultural-default, right?

So, dear Christian Kingston people - no, I did not have a good Easter. I did not have any kind of Easter whatever, to be honest. I went to a scifi convention, as I have done for every Easter for the past 9 years, not that you are expected to know that. In fact, if it weren't for the fact that the con is always Easter weekend, I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have noticed that this past weekend was Easter at all. I did buy chocolate eggs, but I bought them a month ago for Ostara. They were delicious.

I hope that your Ostara was as pleasant as my Easter, really.

*I have no real objection to occasional dishonesty in general terms, as it's sometimes necessary.** But I don't like lying about religion and I'm lucky enough to live in a place and with people where I don't have to, so I try not to as a rule.

**Lokean, you guys. Also, I don't make a habit of lying on my lj/dw, so don't worry.
darchildre: the master reading war of the worlds (reading)
Things read while on vacation:

- Bits of The Insidious Dr Fu Manchu. I don't really know why I am doing this to myself, except for the fact that the bits between the racism are exciting and fun. (Murder by centipede, you guys.) I am coping by inserting notes into my kindle copy every time Sax Rohmer writes something egregiously awful. These range from "oh, come on" to "you're a bastard" to "seriously, fuck you" to "...your use of the word 'd*go' leaves me in the strange position of not being sure whether I am extra pissed off at the weird-ranging extent of your racism or oddly relieved that it encompasses people who aren't Asian." Sometimes, there are three or four notes to a page.

- About half of The Dispossessed. I really love this book - I think it is my favorite Le Guin that I've thus read. I'm really glad that I have a copy now.

- Hawkes Harbor. Which is Dark Shadows fanfic about Willie Loomis, with the serial numbers filed off. (The reviews on amazon and goodreads by people who don't know that are hilarious.) I enjoyed it immensely though it's kinda fascinating as a book because it really doesn't work as a novel. I mean, if you were reading it as a standalone thing with no knowledge of the fandom, it would not work at all because it does that thing where it assumes that the reader already knows about big canon events and thus just sort of touches on them to get to whatever gaps the author wants to work on filling. Whatever, you guys saw the show, right? I don't need to tell you the plot again, I'm going to tell you a story around that story. I've never seen that done quite that way in published fiction before. It's kinda neat. (Also, set in Delaware. I am always amused when things are set in Delaware.)

- Stephan Grundy's Beowulf. I've been meaning to buy the ebook of this forever and finally got around to it. Man, it has been years since I've read any of Mr Grundy's fiction - I had forgotten how much I loved it. Rhinegold and Attila's Treasure are such important books to me (I'm not going to say that reading Rhinegold made me a heathen, but it certainly didn't hurt) and I'm very glad to be able to add to that collection. I'm going to have to reread the other two when I'm done with this one. Oh, the hardship.

Alas that I have to go back to work tomorrow and cannot simply stay home and read.
darchildre: ninth doctor and rose viewing earth from space (...and i feel fine)
Today, as you may know, is Ash Wednesday. I had forgotten, since I don't go to church anymore and am not a Christian anyway, but there is a nearby Catholic school which sends some of their students library-wards on Wednesdays and thus I was reminded.

It's been a little over a year now since I stopped attending church. I miss it, sometimes. I mean, it's still a relief not to have to go every week and it's a relief not to spend one morning a week essentially lying to a very nice group of people. And it's nice not to have to hear sermons about the importance of evangelism anymore. But I miss the rhythm of the church calendar: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost.

My own faith has a rhythm, of course, but sometimes it feels hollow with no one else to celebrate. There is no liturgy, no prayer that I didn't write myself. There are traditions, but they're pieced together via translation over a gap of centuries. It's all very well to say "our ancestors did this," but I can't say "This is a prayer my grandmother prayed, this is the way my grandfather worshiped." My grandparents were Christians.

I think I miss communion most of all. I loved communion - the ritual of it, the same words said the same way every time. I felt a little weird about it, sometimes, but Methodists* don't bar anyone from participating in communion and while I don't worship Christ, the image of all humankind feasting at one table is a compelling one for me. I miss that.

I'm not a Christian and I don't want to be. I don't want a Christianized heathenry. But I do really miss going to church.

*I don't worship Jesus and I fundamentally disagree with a lot of Christianity but I will always kinda sorta be a Methodist.
darchildre: a candle surrounded by pine branches (yule)
So, tonight is Mothernight, the night before the first day of Yule*. I haven't even decorated my altar yet. Usually, I have plans for Yule. This year, I have nothing.

I feel a bit frazzled about it, honestly. I've been working more than usual, covering for a coworker, and while it's great to be getting more hours, it's a little stressful. Yule is kind of a Big Deal for me, and I feel guilty that I haven't done more to prepare for it, which is making me more stressed.

Which in itself, gives me a plan for Yule. We set aside our spinning for Yule (hail Holda), we are done with our work for the year. That's been stressing me a little too, because I've become even more of a compulsive knitter/crocheter this year than I ever was before. I usually put aside my yarncraft over Yule but yarncraft in itself has become a way of destressing. So instead of putting that aside, this year for Yule, I will celebrate by giving myself permission to be quiet and calm, by putting the stress of the season aside. Yule is a time for rest and renewal, after all.

There. Now that's done.

*Yes, the solstice moves around, but I like to start Yule on the 21st, so that the 12 days of it mesh neatly with the calendar and end on the 1st of January.
darchildre: roland deschain before the tower, with a raven on his shoulder.  text:  runes spelling "eiwaz" (eiwaz is the tower)
So, tomorrow is the summer solstice (for us northerly folk). Here is some religious rambling )
darchildre: graffiti of a crow saying, "listen" (listen)
My concert is tonight, so I thought I'd post a poem that we're singing. You can click the link to hear it. (I think it kinda works better sung, myself.)

Choose Something Like a Star, by Robert Frost

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud -
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.

Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says "I burn."
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.

It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keat's Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

cut for religion )

(Bonus poem/choral video - The Sounding Sea, composed by Eric Barnum, which is a setting of the poem by George William Curtis. This is my favorite thing we're sining this session.)
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)

- One of the things I always do when I clean my bedroom is rearrange my altar. My room's been messy for a while this time and I haven't redone my altar since Disting (missing Ostara entirely, yes) but now it is all red candles and copper and Loki. And orange soda and gummi worms, because I like to give Loki silly things and sweets occasionally. It feels good, getting back to altar work. Like waking up, somehow.

- Like everyone else, I watched that behind-the-scenes video from the filming of The Hobbit. I watched it this morning, and immediately went to amazon and bought the book for my kindle, since the only copy I have is an enormous hardback. I don't think I've read Tolkien since the movies happened - it is still so amazingly good. Maybe I will reread LotR as well.

- Along with DS9, recently, I have been watching Sanctuary. I had watched something like half of the pilot once before, but got bored and wandered off. However, recently, I've been seeing lots of people talk about it online, so I decided to give it another chance. (The fact that I read spoilers helped a bit too - if I know that, eventually, there's going to be Nikola Tesla the electrokinetic mad scientist vampire, I can put up with a good deal of boring protagonist guy.) Unlike Fringe - the other show where I wandered off during the pilot and then came back later and enjoyed things more - I don't think this is actually a good show, but it is a terribly enjoyable show, and it's fun to watch while I crochet. Also, it gave me an episode where the plot was "shapeshifters and/or paranoia in frozen places". That is pretty much my favorite sci-fi/horror plot ever, so I was terribly glad to see it.

- I got the yarn for the Kira vest yesterday and started working on, since the shawl was finished. (Well, except for weaving in ends.) It is knitpicks' Cotlin, which I used before on my skirt and which I absolutely love. It is a cotton/linen blend (hence the name) and has a really pleasing weight to it. I think it'll work nicely for the openwork in this project and will hang nicely once the thing is done.
darchildre: graffiti of a crow saying, "listen" (listen)
Tonight, I was taking the dog out and I looked up at the stars. It's a clear night - there are little wisps of clouds and a blustery wind blowing them around, but there are a lot of stars. So I threw my head back and stared up at Orion, which is my favorite constellation, both because I can reliably find it and because it's one of the few constellations that we know a pre-Christian Germanic name for. The three stars of Orion's belt are Frigga's Distaff.

I looked up until I started to feel almost dizzy and a line of a song occurred to me - We are not lost in the mortal city. And I thought about how big the sky is, how deep and dark and vast. I thought about how vast the universe is, the scattered Nine Worlds, how huge the area is that's contained, mythologically, inside old Ymir's skull. And I kept thinking, "We are not lost."

We talk about this thing, in heathenry - the web of wyrd. The idea is that everything - all the plants and animals and humans and spirits and planets and gods - are all bound up together in a huge weaving of fate, where each thread impacts all the others. Intellectually, I understand that. But tonight, for the first time, staring up at the sky, I knew what it meant. And I looked down at the ground, at the Earth, at the land that my home stands on. I am rooted here and I am part of that vastness. The universe is huge and I am very small, but I'm still a part of that web, that great weaving. We are not lost.

I don't think I'm saying this very well, but I wanted to write it down so that I wouldn't forget. And now I have.
darchildre: roland deschain before the tower, with a raven on his shoulder.  text:  runes spelling "eiwaz" (eiwaz is the tower)
Thank you, people who answered my question earlier re: Dona Nobis Pacem. At least now I have an idea how surprised I should be when people don't know that song. 8)

And now, transitioning into another religion entirely, it is the end of November. Which means that it is time to start getting ready for Yule! Hooray! This evening, I have been decorating my altar. I have sadly neglected it for the past few months, but Yule is Important, and so there have been decorations.

Wanna see? )

Also! In the spirit of not neglecting things and trying to be more connected to the gods in the season of Yule, I am trying to get back to doing regular rune work - doing my stadha, meditating, etc. In that vein (and inspired by [personal profile] recessional's monthly tarot draws), I would like to offer a three-rune reading to anyone who might be interested.

So, you could ask a question or just ask for an open-ended reading. I would then draw three runes for you and attempt to interpret them to answer your question or give you some sort of divinatory insight. I can't promise to be any good at it, but it could be fun to try.

I work with the Elder Futhark. My interpretations of the runes are informed by Edred Thorson, Diana Paxson, and the interpretation of the rune poem found in Stephen Grundy's Rhinegold. I will also admit to my own UPG (of course). You need not have any idea what I'm talking about in this paragraph to ask for a reading. 8)

Any takers?
darchildre: a scarecrow with a pumpkin head, looking menacing (halloween)
Also. You guys, it is Halloween! Happy Halloween!

Halloween, for me, is about a lot of things and which one I'm focused on depends on the year and how I feel when the holiday rolls around. There's the horror aspect, of course, the ghoulies and ghosties and my beautiful monsters, which is always lovely. And there's the dead aspect and the honoring of one's own dead and Little Miss Heathen over here says that there is never a bad time to honor your ancestors.

This year, I find myself thinking about masks. Cut for religion )

Here, have a song. Oysterband, On the Road to Santiago
darchildre: the seventh doctor explaining things to ace (seven explains the plot)
The thing about being openly heathen and occasionally talking about it at work is that my coworkers tend to think that makes me an Expert on All Things Pagan.

I just had a ten-minute conversation with one of them about Wicca and what holidays Wiccans celebrate and whether Wicca is considered "occult" which, what the hell does that even mean? Wiccans practice magic, sure, but I mean, so do I (in that I draw runes on things and galdr them sometimes when drawing is inappropriate) and I don't consider that occult. I consider that part of my religion. It's a form of prayer. I don't know how Wiccans think about it because, y'know, I am not a Wiccan and most of the reading I've done about Wicca was done back in high school (during that period of discovering that hey, I don't have to be Christian if that's not what I really believe).

I can talk intelligently about my religion. And occasionally Methodist Christianity. Anything else and I feel like it's really not my place to try to explain. I mean, no one expects Christians to be able to speak intelligently about Judaism or Islam, just because they all fall under the same umbrella of "Abrahamaic religions". (Of course, for that analogy to really work, my coworker would have had to have been aware that there were different religions under the umbrella of "pagan". And then, after explaining that, I had to explain what a reconstructivist religion was and gods, that is what the internet is for. Educate yourself!)

I kept trying to tell my coworker that we have books on Wicca, right over there in the 299's. But no, I am Pagan Spokes-girl. Eurgh.
darchildre: moody black-and-white crow looking thoughtful (crow is thoughtful)

- Dear the weather - do you think maybe it could be cool enough so that I can wear my pretty clothes soon? I have new pretty clothes and I want to be able to wear them without keeling over from Sebacean heat delirium.

- First choir rehearsal of the season last night! We are still doing interim conductors, so we had a new guy again. I like him - he's enthusiastic and, since he's from South Carolina, says "y'all" a lot, which is charming. And most of the music is fun, except Sleigh Ride, which I always hate. Though, at least, I am not one of the voice parts that spends the whole song saying the word "jingle" over and over. But a lot of the stuff we're singing is gorgeous, so that's exciting.

- We have, for example, a very beautiful Canticle of the Virgin, which kinda made my breath catch a little like I was going to cry when we sang through it the first time. I had a Virgin Mary thing for a very long time before I figured out that what I actually had was a Frigga thing (when you don't know you're a heathen, it's easy to get those confused) and music about Mary still really works for me. By the time we get to performance, the song will be old hat enough not to make me cry, which is fortunate, but right now...man, it's gorgeous.

- Today, I get to go to work, stay there for a couple hours, drive to east Bremerton for a training meeting, and then drive back to Kingston to finish the day. I am not looking forward to it. Also, I have started getting paranoid about the meeting. (What if I'm late? What if I can't find the room? What if I'm the only one there?) It is unpleasant.

Four things make a post, right?


darchildre: a candle in the dark.  text:  "a light in dark places". (Default)

June 2016



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