30 Days of Frey: Sacrifice

noun

  1. An act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure: they offer sacrifices to the spirits the ancient laws of animal sacrifice

verb

[with object]

  1. Offer or kill as a religious sacrifice: the goat was sacrificed at the shrine

1.1 Give up (something important or valued) for the sake of other considerations: working hard doesn’t mean sacrificing your social life

Origin

Middle English: from Old French, from Latin sacrificium; related to sacrificus ‘sacrificial’, from sacer ‘holy’. (source)

Freyr sacrifices Himself every year for a good harvest. He is one of many sacrificial kings. Last night, I co-lead a ritual for Freyfaxi, and His sacrifice is one of the things we talked about before we tucked into the Working.

The notion of sacrifice for harvest is a foreign one to many modern-day Pagans, because most of us live in a food-rich environment. Food is on TV. Food’s at restaurants, grocery stores, convenience marts. We don’t know the kind of worry that our ancestors had about food scarcity. Where I live in Florida, this is even more so, because we really don’t have a dead or latent season. I have some Vanatruar pals who experience Pop sleeping in the fall and winter. I never get this aspect of Him. He changes, but He’s not gone, and I think that’s because of where I live and what the agrarian cycle is like here. I live in the winter strawberry capital of the US – central Florida. And when I say “winter” I mean that we can get fresh strawberries from December to April. Citrus too, and many other types of produce. Farmers markets and produce stands are prolific where I live.

So what does sacrifice mean to me, as a modern-day Pagan? Why sacrifice anything?

“How much do you want something?” Pop asks. “What is it worth to you –because what you are willing to give shows what you value in yourself.”

“Why do we even have to make the gesture?”

“It’s magic,” He says, and His eyes twinkle.

“Papa!”

“I’m serious. Change can happen slowly, or it can happen quickly, but for something to happen quickly, you must give fuel to the fire. Consider death, for a moment. A body may decompose slowly, or you may put it in the fire and it changes quickly and releases its energy as it burns, yes?” Pop looks out on the glade where we sit. His hair and beard are longer, a little more unruly; hints of grey peppered in their gold. It makes Him look a bit more like Grandpa Njord. “And when we return we are different, each and every time.”

“And every time you go?”

“Every time I return, I am a little different. And every time, I wonder if My loved ones will still love Me.”

“But of course we do.”

He nods. “Love is as great a constant as change is.”

“So why do You do it? I mean, besides ‘people gotta eat’?”

“Because sacrifice, when done right, sets us free.”

Happy Freyfaxi

Hail Freyr, Hail Freyja, Hail Gerda! Enjoy a little fertility god music (Freyr isn’t hetero normative, but this is as close to Him as I could find, and it’s fairly minimal). I’ll be celebrating offline. I’ve also decided that I’m going to do my 30 Days of Frey in a non-continuous fashion, so they’ll be spread out over August and September, and probably interspersed with some love for Freyja and Gerda. <3

And another Freyr tune favorite:

Beyond Reason – the little mystic book that could

So…um, Beyond Reason is selling well. beyond_reason_no_1And it’s not even in print yet. More people are reading about Loki than Wicca and monotheistic faith mysticism. If anyone needed proof that Polytheism is gaining strength, here ya go.

When I wrote the book I tried really hard not to consider sales or reviews because once a book is done, I’ve written it the best that I could, and so it’s none of my business what people think of it. What I do hope that people get out of these sales stats is that the public seems more ready to learn about Polytheistic mysticism. In the meantime, this is me:

dog_is_good

a totally super serious alternative to the rebel flag

Hey guys. I’m gonna talk to the Southerners (US South) for a moment. I see y’all expressing concerns about taking down the Confederate Flag. I see concerns about losing our history. Okay. I am Southern as fuck, and totally understand and agree that culturally, we are our own thing. Now, that being said, I think it’s well past time to take the flag down. Don’t lock up on me, fellow Southerners, because I have a new rallying symbol for us all: The Flag of Southern Hospitality.

new_southern_flag

It’s loosely based on the Florida state flag. I appeal to you, fellow Southerners. Look at this flag. Look at its delicious and inclusive bacon. Who doesn’t love bacon? It’s crispy, salty, and made of pig. It’s redneck caviar. Who doesn’t love pigs? They’re smart AND tasty!

What’s that? You don’t eat anything with a face? Cool, you can use facon instead! It’s delicious too!

And what’s more Southern than Sweet Tea in a Mason Jar, I ask you? My fellow Southerners, I say unto you, this flag is just as – if not more Southern than the stars and bars. It represents the best that the South has to offer – delicious foodstuffs, grace, and charm. And better yet, it’s free of any connections to previous sentiments of racial superiority, murder, lynchings, and slavery. It’s the 21st century! Let us all unite in love, sweet tea, and delicious bacon! It makes us all proud to be from the South. C’mon, y’all. It’s time. Be gracious and genteel. Put up the flag of hospitality.

Much Love,

H

Beyond Reason – Once a Witch

beyond_reason_web

I’ve been working on a Godspouse book for some time, and it’s in editing now. It’s part memoir, part devotional, about my journey with Loki. It’s UPG-driven – there are others far more into the Lore than I am who would write something Lore-driven better than I would. It’s also not a how-to in the conventional sense – every relationships is so different that I don’t think a how-to could really be written – the best advice on HOW DO GODSPOUSE is on Jo’s blog already: Your Path Is Your Own. So my reason for sharing this story is that sharing stories helps us cope. It’s not a yardstick and this is not a dick-measuring contest. So with that said, here’s a short and unedited (because book is in edits now, YAY) excerpt from Beyond Reason.

Once a Witch, Always a Witch

Fall, 1987

I live in a tiny town deep in the swamps of Louisiana, in fishing territory. Jean Lafitte National Park is across the street from my house. We’re new in the tiny town; previously we lived in the suburbs of New Orleans, and now we live in deep Cajun country. My new friends have grandparents that still speak French. “Anglais,” a local declares my father and me. But my dad never met a stranger, and before long, he is working Bernard’s shrimp boat on weekends and he has our neighbor on with him at the shipyard.

The swamp is dense and alive; I’m told not to go into it too deep alone. “Because of the gators?”

“No, chere, because of le loup garou. Dem woods full of haints; dey follow you home.” As a prudent child, instead of wandering in the swamp, I climb a path of oyster shells up the levee, bleached white from the sun, and look out on the bayou. It’s quiet and peaceful here. I listen to the swamp, and it listens back to me. It’s my retreat from middle school, from missing my old school, my old friends. On the other side of the Intercoastal waterway, a cemetery sits, its above ground family graves visible even from the bank. Come Halloween, I sit and watch people bring food and drink and lay it on their ancestors’ graves. No le loup garou comes to bother me, although some nights I fancy I can hear howling in the swamp.

I make new friends. One of them is Kellie, and she has a spirit in her house, she says. “We’ve even had it exorcised and he won’t leave.”

Kellie’s house is pretty and bright, and I don’t feel afraid, so I spend the night. We do typical things – hair, makeup; spirit conjuring is part and parcel of sleepover party games. Things like Bloody Mary, stiff as a board, light as a feather, and then we decide to see if we can sense our own auras. I take my hands and hold them apart about a foot. “Now, move them together until you can feel just a little resistance.”

At about six inches in, I begin to feel a subtle resistance. A flicker of movement catches my eye, off in the corner. I see a figure – masculine in shape, and his face is scarred.

“You saw him too, didn’t you?”

We stop playing our game. That night, we sleep in the same bed, covers pulled tight. He visits me in my dreams anyway, and I run from him. The next day, I tell my parents nothing, lest they decide not to let me visit with Kellie anymore.

The man with the scarred face comes to me in a dream that night too; I’m walking down the road between Kellie’s house and mine and he walks behind me.

Dem woods full of haints; dey follow you home.

Help Us Keep Corbie Cool Sale at FiberWytch

Heather Freysdottir:

Signal boosting. Beth’s work is beautiful and packs a wallop spiritually and energetically. <3

Originally posted on Wytch of the North:

So, here’s the deal: our dog has chronic heart failure. This being the case, excessive heat puts an undue strain on his heart, which caused him to go into heat stroke the summer before last. (He could easily have died.) At that point we got an air conditioner, which has really helped with keeping him cool and (in combination with his heart meds) relatively symptom-free.

Well, a couple of days ago our air conditioner broke. Bad timing, to say the least.  If it was just the two of us to consider, we would tough it out, but the dog HAS to be kept cool. Since there are still about six weeks of summer left here in Eugene, we just ordered a replacement air conditioner online.

The shop has been doing pretty well in general; that said, I have only been working on it full time (without outside obligations) for a little…

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