Podcast: what is a godspouse?

Wanna hear what my voice sounds like? I am now hosting a podcast for the Raven Faerie, called Raven About Metaphysics. The inaugural episode is on Godspousery, and Seren Lebannen of Bonfire at Midnight is my guest, so there’s some Trickster talk in general along with an overview of our experiences.

I would like to reiterate that most Lokispeople are not godspouses, because I feel like in joking about how many wives He has, that I don’t want to give the impression that anyone *has* to have that type of relationship with Him. There is something about His wives being vocal though, myself included. I don’t have a scientific reason for it, but certainly He lights a fire in the head and in the heart, and that is why I talk about Him.

Speaking of Loki, I’m sure some of you are wondering when the inevitable Loki podcast will happen. I haven’t scheduled a date yet, but I have a couple ideas of who I’d like to invite to talk – probably someone who is NOT a godspouse and who is reconstructionist, or at least more reconstructionist than me, just for a variety of perspectives on Himself.

Next week’s show will feature Shauna Aura Knight, author of  The Leader Within: Articles on Community Building, Leadership, and Personal Growth, who will be discussing Pagan leadership and community building.

Sacred Fiction: Roots Before Wings

A scene between Loki and Thor, from Roots Before WingsIt’s not a smexy scene, but it’s one of my favorites, for the banter between Them and for Drunk!Loki.

 

In those realms found only between drops of rain or riding on the trails of laughter, Loki attempted a hard swig from his tankard. Contents gone, nothing left. Drained dry. Damn. He set it on the floor and hung his head over his knees. Any reasonable upright posture was contrary to his state of drunkenness. If he balanced himself correctly, he wouldn’t list too far and end up on the floor, though he knew that was probably next. I am drunk. I am very, very drunk. I will drink until I reach oblivion for it is there that I am unburdened by love. He sighed and wished his cup full. It remained empty.

Of course, if I’m already on the floor I could crawl to the bar to refill my cup. Damned early morning self-service. Blasted early hour. Damned serving wenches are off duty. He corrected himself. Firstly, it was no longer considered apropos to refer to them as wenches, and secondly, men also served the gods, a twenty-first century development. Women had always fought in rank and phalanx, but men had never before carried tankards of ale for the gods. Times change. People change. Even the gods change. I am the god of change and I cannot yet face the ones vexing my world. He chuckled, to himself he hoped. Of course, there was no expectation of privacy in the common halls of Asgard.

His thoughts were interrupted by a pair of large motorcycle boots which stepped into his pity pot. He angled his aching head upward to see stout legs in denim and leather chaps. The waistline bore a familiar symbol, a lightning bolt belt buckle and holstered like a six shooter, the Mjolnir. Thor’s hammer. “What’s so funny over here in the corner, Loki?”

“Be a doll and get me another beer, will you, Thor?”

He picked up Loki’s empty cup. “Join me at a table. I feel you are troubled and my nephew says I am to render aid. Forseti says there is justice to be had and that I am to play a part in its dispensing.”

“Will your aid involve alcohol? And Forseti is a somber man always seeing the worst in things. His portents of the future bore me, which is one reason I chose to drink in this corner than at the bar with my brethren.”

“I’ll fill your tankard, and listen to you complain about those who mean you well if you wish. Besides, Forseti has left for home. Can you walk?”

“I had decided that perhaps any form of forward motion might cause me to vomit or fall embarrassingly to my knees. So, I think not.”

Thor slapped Loki on the shoulder. “I’m certain that you have been on your knees in this hall before. Crawl if need be, but get yourself to a table.” The thunder god turned and laughed.

Loki looked up. He winced as his bloodshot eyes reacted to the first light of day streaming into the hall. “Dawn. As unwelcome a sight as any I have seen of late.” He stood, and took a moment to steady himself. “I can do this.”

No. He could not. Loki fell to the floor with a great thud. He lay still for a moment. No-one rushed to his aid. He did hear Thor laugh in the background. Fortunately, he had landed near a bench, said bench being beside a table. He pulled himself up. He grasped the table with both hands and envisioned his butt taking root. He sat upright, head swaying from the beer and the fall. “Where’s my drink, Thor?”

“Yes, Loki. I bring it now. But it is half-ale, for if you drink any more full-strength, I’m afraid you might make a pass at me.”

Loki took the offered pint. “Wouldn’t be the first time.” He took a swig. “We’ve had sex, haven’t we Thor?I remember you were wearing a dress and I–”

“That is not a topic for open discussion, Loki. Now, is it a wife or a plot that vexes thee?”

The fire god lifted his glass and made a mock salute. “It is a woman. A wife. Or rather a woman I had assumed by now would be my wife by blood oath and not just promise.”

“And the name of your resistant bride, sir?” Thor held his tankard aloft, waiting for Loki’s reply.

“Jada.”

“I salute Jada, wife of Loki, for causing him such strong consternation that he kisses the floor of this hall rather than her lips this fine morning.”

Embracing a Calling: Death Midwifery

Heather Freysdottir:

Reblogging for a signal boost.

Originally posted on Foxglove & Firmitas:

In my early 20s, I received that profound moment that others describe where they receive their calling towards ministry – The calling where you find yourself suddenly at complete peace and going “Yes, I can do this. I can help people with their spiritual lives.” I had originally planned to become an Unitarian Universalist minister, but truth be told the thought of being in school for another 8 years of my life and going into extreme life-long debt only to be saddled down with society politics (because I’ve seen congregations explode in my time and out a minister at the turn of a hat) seemed to kind of a dead end to me.

Then I was told to go into agriculture. This is still on my list of things to do. The problem is that we’ve discovered that I am photosensitive. I have many of the symptoms of lupus, but…

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His Holy Presence Is Known

At my local Buddhist meeting this evening, we had toso. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it refers to an extended period of chanting nam myoho renge kyo (NMYRK). If you’ve never heard the chant, here’s a youtube on what it sounds like:

While we were chanting, one of our members kept glancing back toward the corner where I was sitting, and finally they stopped and said, “what is that voice I keep hearing?”

Loki.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve sensed Him (and other spirits) around during chanting, and He’s very reverent during our meetings, but this is the first time that someone else has been able to hear Him.

Hate is not a Heathen Value

On April 13, 2014, a white supremacist perpetuated a hate crime on a Jewish Community Center. Some mass media outlets have attempted to identify the shooter as a Heathen, but I’d like to take a moment to reiterate that his values (or rather, his lack thereof) are not shared by Heathenry or Northern Tradition Paganism at large. The Troth has already issued a statement on using the Northern Tradition as a justification for hate crimes and bigotry.  And there are Heathens who feel that words are not enough, and have organized a fundraiser to help the families affected by the shooting.

Y’all know that I don’t primarily identify as a Heathen, and there are some reasons for that. One is that I don’t consider my practice reconstructionist in nature, and that’s a large one, but truth be told, the problematic issue of hate groups claiming Heathen identity is also part of why I back away from most Heathen groups. The Troth is the ONLY  Heathen org that I’ve ever joined because it has explicit, defined mission statements that are committed to racial diversity, “Membership in the Troth is open to all who seek to know and honor the Gods, ancestors, and values of the pre-Christian Germanic traditions, regardless of gender, race, nationality, or sexual orientation.

Now, that’s not to say that even the Troth has what I would consider an ideal mix of race; Paganism and Heathenry both suffer from racial diversity issues, which stem from more than just numbers or percentages of racial or ethnic groups. Maybe a frank discussion on how to desegregate and diversify is something we can take from this tragedy. I would welcome such a dialogue, because the more diverse Paganism and Heathenry become, the fewer racist assholes will try to misappropriate our faith. I’ve seen the type of racists who like to show their true colors when they think everyone’s white and they can speak freely.  And if you’re reading, and you’re one of those assholes?

You get the fuck off my blog. You’re not welcome here.

Buddhist things, and the Lotus Sutra – Chapter 16

I’ve been studying Nichiren Buddhism for some time, and at His request, I received Gohonzon during my week AFK – my guest was the person who introduced me to the practice and flew 3500 miles to be there for the ceremony.  Since I’ve started studying Buddhism in more depth, I’ve come to realize that Loki has said some things to me that are Buddhist as fuck, and I haven’t written about them here because I’m much newer to Buddhism than Paganism; maybe at some point I’ll share when I feel like i can field more questions rather than passing them on to someone else.  I have been tremendously tickled to find evidence of lay nuns in among Nichiren Daishonen‘s disciples. I have more thinky thoughts on my experiences of Loki as a Buddha (and for my purposes, a Buddha is a wise teacher, and there are many of those, both of the fleshy and disembodied variety), but for now I’ll leave y’all with Chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra, which is good fodder for thought on the long fallow period between monotheism’s domination of western religion and the resurgence of polytheistic and Pagan traditions today.

At that time, the World Honored One [Shakyamuni Buddha], … spoke verses, saying,

From the time I attained Buddhahood,
The eons that have passed
Are limitless hundreds of thousands of myriads
Of kotis of asamkhyeyas in number.
I always speak the Dharma to teach and transform
Countless millions of living beings,
So they enter the Buddha Way.
And throughout these limitless eons,
In order to save living beings,
I expediently manifest Nirvana.
But in truth I do not pass into quiescence.
I remain here, always speaking the Dharma.
I always stay right here,
And using the power of spiritual penetrations,
I cause inverted living beings,
Although near me, not to see me.
The multitudes see me as passing into quiescence.
They extensively make offerings to my sharira.
All cherish ardent longing for me,
And their hearts look up to me in thirst.
Living beings, then faithful and subdued,
Straightforward, with compliant minds,
Single-mindedly wish to see the Buddha,
Caring not for their very lives.
At that time I and the Sangha assembly
All appear together on Magic Vulture Mountain,
Where I say to living beings
That I am always here and never cease to be.
But using the power of expedient devices
I manifest “ceasing” and “not ceasing” to be.
For living beings in other lands,
Reverent, faithful, and aspiring,
I speak the Unsurpassed Dharma.
But you who do not hear this
Think that I have passed into quiescence.
I see living beings
Sunk in misery, and yet
I refrain from manifesting for them
In order to cause them to look up in thirst,
Then, when their minds are filled with longing,
I emerge and speak the Dharma.
With such powerful spiritual penetrations,
Throughout asamkhyeyas of eons,
I remain always on Magic Vulture Mountain
And also dwell in other places.
When beings see the eon ending
And ravaged by the great fire,
My land is peaceful and secure,
Always filled with gods and humans,
Gardens and groves, halls and pavilions,
And various precious adornments.
There are jeweled trees with many flowers and fruits
Where living beings roam in delight.
The gods play celestial drums,
Always making various kinds of music,
And mandarava flowers
Are scattered on the Buddha and the great assembly.
My Pure Land is not destroyed,
But the multitudes see it being burned entirely.
Worried, terrified, and miserable,
Such ones are everywhere.
All these beings with offenses,
Because of their evil karmic causes and conditions,
Pass through asamkhyeyas of eons,
Without hearing the name of the Triple Jewel.
All who have cultivated merit and virtue,
Who are compliant, agreeable, and honest
They all see me
Here, speaking the Dharma.
Sometimes for this assembly,
I speak of the Buddha’s life span as limitless.
To those who see the Buddha only after long intervals,
I speak of the Buddha as being difficult to meet.
The power of my wisdom
The unlimited illumination of my wisdom
Is such that my life span is one of countless eons
Attained through long cultivation and work.
Those of you with wisdom,
Should not have doubts about this.
Cut them off entirely and forever,
For the Buddha’s words are real, not false.
They are like the clever expedients of the physician
Who, to cure his insane children,
Is actually alive, yet says he is dead,
And none can say that he speaks falsely.
I, too, am like a father to the world,
Saving all from suffering and woe.
But to living beings, inverted as they are,
I speak of cessation, although I actually remain.
Otherwise, because they often see me,
They would grow arrogant and lax.
Unruly and attached to the five desires,
They would tumble into the evil paths.
I am ever aware of living beings
Those who practice the Way and those who do not.
I speak various Dharmas for their sakes
To save them in an appropriate manner.
I am always thinking,
“How can I cause living beings
To enter the Unsurpassed Way
And to quickly perfect the body of a Buddha?”
via Lotus Sutra – Chapter 16.