Fire Season (Personal)

fire ring 1

*static crackles and then image resolves*

Hi!

I’m back.

I haven’t really gone away, mind you.  I’ve dropped anchor here in San Diego, though, and it’s time to start getting back into healthy patterns, which includes regular writing.

A lot has happened in the last week or so.  In twelve days I’ve traveled to San Diego, settled in to my friends’ apartment, been taken on one of the most romantic dates of my life (and subsequently fallen head over heels for someone who feels the same and she’s wonderful, hail Freyja!), gotten to meet Njord/greet the ocean, learned how to deal with riptides, found new ways of balancing my many loves, been interviewed on a podcast, written yet another Patheos article, attended Pagan Pride Day on my birthday – basically I’ve hit the ground running.  The only thing that I lack currently is a job, and that will be remedied soon.  We’ll figure this one out.

The title of this post comes from a conversation that I had with my girlfriend a few weeks before coming here.  She casually mentioned that the dry desert winds would be coming in soon, and that it would be fire season.  Fire season?  The image that I had in my head was flaming meteors crashing to the earth.

I’m kind of pyrophobic.  I’ve had dear friends survive house fires.  I also had a couple die in the same.  I’m an earth sign and my chart leans so heavily towards earth it’s not funny – most of the symbols are earth, water, a smidge of air, and one lonely little fire sign on the edge.  I’ve never been comfortable with fire, and I’ve been contemptous of so many other Pagans’ obsession with it.

Sunset Shimmer Wallpaper

Well, I’m in the wrong business then.  I’m Fulltrui to the Lady of Fiery Passions, who casts a ring of flame down to hedge in a powerful giantess.  I’ve moved from a land of air and water to a land of earth and fire, from Niflheim to Muspelheim.  I’ve recently accepted Loki into my life (doesn’t it sound so evangelical that way?) despite the tension that I can feel every time he and Heimdall are invoked in the same room.  I’ve had regular interactions with the Delling, the Red Elf of Dawn.  Fire has been a theme for me.

A friend shared this song on Facebook on the equinox and tagged me in it.  It’s a favorite of mine, but it had special meaning that day. I danced to it for the Kindreds, and especially for Freyja (though I gave a special nod to Gullveig as well) with scarves the colors of flames in my hands.  I embraced my new path and destiny on my new path.  I’m being reborn in the heat, in the fire, in the burning, raging firestorm.  The sweat that glistens on my skin bejewels me, the heat that surrounds me suffuses me, the fire in the sky enflames my spirit.  The time of rest is almost over, and it will be time to work again soon, but when I do, I will come armed with new dances, new words, new lovers and loves, new songs, new magicks, and new passion and purpose.  A wheel spins that is really a spiral; though in some ways I’ve returned to an old place but it is a new iteration of the greater pattern, a broader track, a wider course, a new segment of the journey.  Though I dance on hot coals I do not flinch, for now the flame is inside me as well.

Tonight I will be going with my girlfriend to picnic beneath the blood moon/eclipse, and renewing my vows to Freyja, this time with a new layer of meaning and certainty.

Fire season has begun.

ring of fire

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Personal Updates (Personal, Obviously)

In less than two weeks I’ll be moving across country to a place I’ve never been.  I know very few people in that place, but the thing that warms my heart against my fear is that fact that many of them have expressed excitement and impatience.

I have never been on a roller coaster with higher ups or lower downs than I have experienced in the last six months since moving back to Buffalo.  Relationships with both humans and Powers have been severed, altered, consummated, begun, realized… just about everything that can happen between two people (speaking generally) has happened between me and others during this period.  It’s been intense.

It’s been wonderful.  I may not be much of a masochist, but I appreciate being able to look back on painful times and feel the warm fullness of the experiences that I lived during them.  Despite the peaks of please, these six months have been painful.  Again, many kinds of pain have been felt – right now I’m dealing with physical pain (an obnoxious sinus infection, so any prayers, mojo, sendings, Reiki, whatever you have would be appreciated – I can’t afford to not be well right now) but there have been pains of all shades and colors.   I have had a wealth of experience.

I’m grateful for it.  I’m grateful to those who moved on or whom I had to sever, because our lives will truly be better without each other.  I’m grateful to those who became closer to me through troubled times, physical intimacy, and holy rite.  I’m grateful to those who have come into my life, even for this brief period before I leave this place, as well as the new folks I’ve not met in person waiting for me in San Diego.

I’m grateful to Freyja, and for Freyja. ❤  The Lady’s been pushing me and preparing me to do new things and take on new responsibilities for a while now.  She’s also given me immeasurable rewards.  She’s fulfilled promises many years old, and given me the strength to embrace myself and my future.

I’m grateful to Delling, for new days and new ways and many other things. ❤

I’m grateful to Jim the Odinsman for being my family and helping me in a rough spot and growing spiritually with me in this time.  I’m grateful to his fiance Clifford for being so accepting of me and bringing me into his heart and family and hugs without a second though.  I’m grateful to all the new cats, also.  I’m grateful to Brythwen Sinclair for swapping Godphone duties with me when one or the other of us was panicking or worn out.  All of my family, friends, and loved ones that have helped me keep going when things turned upside-down.

I could go on … there are a lot of folks out in the blogger community that have helped me to maintain my sanity over the last few months and other people who shared insight, wisdom, and just made me happy to know that they existed.  I’m grateful for you all.  I’ve met just about none of you in person and there are some who I haven’t spoken to at all, but your words have been good for my mind and heart and I hope that you know that I’m not the only one who is grateful for you.

I’m really going to miss this small, grey cat named Sheeba who loves me here, and comes into my room and rolls around and purrs and headbutts me while I type madly on my beloved laptop.  I think she’s going to miss me too. She is a sleek and lovely creature and one of the most feline felines I’ve ever encountered.

The practical effects of this all: I’m going to be maybe not blogging other than for my Patheos column for the rest of the month, and will be saving my writing time and energy for that and Walking The Worlds Issue 3, which I hope to complete an article for.  Since I’m doing a seidh rite after the Odin’s blot next week (9/9 is coming up, and James and I want to reprise the blot we did on 9/9/09, which is another interesting bookend for me considering the reprisal of the Freyja’s blot from 09 at Sirius Rising this year) I can take questions sent to me for the next few days; my cut-off will be Monday as I’ll need to compile things and prepare. After that I can do no more readings or other services until I settle in and am ready to pick things up again, give me at least until the beginning of October. I kind of need the money but I know that I won’t have the energy to focus properly on these things for a little bit.  I’ll be back to doing readings and whatnot soon.

I appreciate all of my readers and want to thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.  There’s a nice little community here too, and it may be electronically but we’re still building real ties.  Be well, and may your Powers hold you close and in love.  ❤

 

 

 

My Freyja Story

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(A Freyja image that I love because it reminds me of her title of Blotgydia, by Relotixke on DeviantArt)

So, I’ve started a Facebook group called “Virtual Sessrumnir” for other Freyjasfolk.  We’re doing introductions and I realized that my introduction and my story involving Her power in my life and the slow buildup to this new beginning I’ve found in Her was way too long for a Facebook post.  Also, I won’t be able to participate in the popular Month of Devotional Writing Meme that’s been going around with a lot of Polytheists right now because I’m going to be away from wifi for the week that I’m at the Sirius Rising festival, so I thought that I’d at least throw some of the “why” of my devotion to Her.

I’ve known about Freyja and the Vanir and Aesir for much of my life; I was introduced to them through the Choose Your Own Adventure novel “Trumpet of Terror” when I was five years old. I remember asking the librarian at my school for more books about Norse mythology and dinosaurs and got all excited and escorted me to the “big kid’s library”.

After shrugging of the crippling remains of the monotheistic faith that I had been raised in (Islam) I found Pagan practice through Wicca (like you do) and was pleased that the Norse Gods were relatively popular among the Wiccans that I knew, and would work them into my rites where I could. I was vaguely aware of Asatru, and attended a few blots in Niagara Falls but the visiting Godi left me with a bad taste in my mouth and a chill – he had a very specific idea of what folks who honored those Gods were and I surely didn’t fit into it. I spent time exploring various Neopagan traditions from there.

Freyja wasn’t a huge force (as far as I know) in my life until the summer of 2009, when I encountered her through a guided meditation and experiences in Patty’s travelling ve. There was a whole web worth of people that were twined together through her that summer and it ended up changing all of our lives in the long term – we all got what we asked her for in the dark of night in our hearts in that shrine, though all of us had to do things (unknowingly) on behalf of each other before we earned it. This was also when I first had to face my gender identity issues head on – in the meditation Freyja was very straightforward and no-nonsense about it; she saw me as who I was and called me out for hiding it. My gratitude towards her has overflowed ever since and I try to express it whenever I can.

Since then my path has been steered more towards Heathenry although I can’t embrace that label personally (although it’s been applied to me many times by many folks) for personal reasons. Even the Goddess I revered as my Matron before started pushing me in this direction, though it took a while to realize it. “Go to the Gods of your childhood and Ancestors.” I had been told.

I joined ADF when I found out that you could practice Norse-style rites and that there were a lot of people involved in that culture there, and that helped me cement regular devotional practice and give me a good framework with which to begin a more serious study of and relationship with the Gods that I had loved since childhood. I had always been more interested in the Vanir than the Aesir with some exceptions (and the whole Vanatru thing is kind of appealing as a concept and label to me), and my practice represented that. I honored Freyja frequently for bringing the kind of love that I needed into my life, and for teaching me to be myself unapologetically.

Then, towards the end of last winter, I had a serious life change: I broke up with my partner (we were supposed to be married on Midsummer so it wasn’t whimsy, it was a situation that had grown toxic and dangerous) and ended up on a mattress on the floor of a converted storeroom in an apartment that I had lived in years before. I felt like I was falling from a great height with no one to catch me. I remember lying there on my bed, crying, when the light coming in the window changed quality to a rich orange-gold. It felt like it was surrounding me, embracing me, filling me. I went from feeling absolutely wretched and lost to loving myself in ways that I never had before and finding beauty in me that I’d never seen or felt. I felt Her, I knew it was Her. She cradled me in light and warmth and beauty and love. She made me feel safe when I felt that I had no one I could turn to, loved when I felt unloved, and beautiful when I felt hideous. She washed away the pain and fear and self-doubt and replaced it with all of the things I needed.

I had never felt like this before in my life. I asked Her if I could be Hers. The feeling that I got was that I already was, and that all that was left was to formalize it. (Being the sort of person that I am, I did divination and had a couple of others do it on my behalf as well.  All of the results were remarkably positive).  So I did, privately and personally, and my life has not been the same since.

The warmth and love and light are not the only parts of Her I’ve seen since then. She knows too well how I like avoiding looking at difficult and dangerous things. Since then she has made sure that I faced some of Her aspects that I was afraid of. She guided me to experiencing and embracing them through understanding, and I’m grateful that She was so gentle, even if it didn’t seem like it at the time. I’ve sacrificed much upon Her altar, sometimes unwillingly, but I breathed through it and trusted Her and was not disappointed for my trust. Though I’m sure that there will be more to give, and more tears (always more tears!) I’ve learned to trust where She guides me, and it feels good to give Her that trust. She’s guided me further, to reach out to my Ancestors and work with them as well, and I’d like to get to the point where I no longer need to lean on Her but can stand on my own and make Her proud.

Buffalo Pride 2015: We Are Legion

I saw us out there, in the crowd and in the parade, and for each of us that I saw there were probably two or three others unseen because we value our invisibility because our visibility often comes at so high a price. But we were there, watching, cheering, and marching. While other people were celebrating their freedom many of us were there to remind people that the fight isn’t over, that despite the carnival atmosphere there are still folks who have to take a stand and tell the world, “We are here, and we’re not going away.”

We are legion and we walk among you. We are emerging, and every passing day we grow less afraid and less willing to be silent, to knuckle under, to compromise our rights and identities away.

We are legion, and if that makes you uncomfortable it pleases me and makes me even more proud and defiant. If that makes you afraid it makes me ecstatic. If it makes you violent then we and our allies will walk over you and never look back.

Nothing that you do will make us stop being born into this world. If you hate us because of your faith then hate the God(s) that made us too. If you hate us because of your culture then your culture will be changed. If you hate us because part of you sees something of yourself in us, then drop the hate and march with us until there’s no reason to march anymore.

We are legion, for we are many.

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