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Happy Solstice to one and all [Dec. 21st, 2009|03:01 pm]

I watched the sun rise this morning, and I am thankful for the return of the light.

I've got a date with Freyr later today. Some say that today is his birthday. (Some believe it's closer to December 26.)

Trillium had a lovely ritual last Saturday, in which we told stories and toasted each other. Making toasts at Yule is a traditional Heathen custom, you know. (I can provide references to the sagas and eddas, but I'm too lazy to do it right now.)

Modifying a traditional Yule toast, I lift my glass today:

May those who lead us be wise. May we always dwell in abundance. And may we remember the wonder of the multiverse.
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Poem [Dec. 16th, 2009|09:16 am]
(Ganked from breathe_poetry

How Little We Deserve The Morning
by Diane Wakoski

The first cup moistens lips and throat. The second shatters my
loneliness. The third causes the wrongs of life to fade gently from my
recollection. The fourth purifies my soul. The fifth lifts me to the realms
of the unwinking gods.
—Chinese mystic, Tang Dynasty

Some prefer coffee, thick
as violets in spring, but my preference is
a pot of Assam tea
whose warm breath wafts
around me more like lilies of the valley.

How little we deserve the morning,
yet need its charity of renewal,
beggars, clasping our round bowls of liquid,
holding morning's moisture against the scratchy expanse
of lengthening day.

My own dry crumbling parts steep, awaken,
tremble a little as if they are the very leaves on the tea bush
responding to wind. I drink the elixir of leaf
and attain some of its flutter.
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Thoughts... [Dec. 5th, 2009|09:19 am]

Just a quick update...

I love this time of year. Something about Christmas decorations and Christmas music makes me happy. I pride myself on my collection of bizarre Christmas albums (A Very Brady Christmas? Check. Jim Nabros? Check. Barbara Streisand? Check.)

Today will bring some work, then cleaning the house, then maybe a trip downtown for Noel Night, and maybe not. Maybe just hanging out at home with a movie. We'll see. It will be a good day either way.
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(no subject) [Dec. 4th, 2009|07:53 pm]
It's been a really long week, but tonight Jay and I had a good dinner. Now, we're going to watch Sunshine Cleaning Company. I have to be at work early tomorrow, which means that I want to get to bed early.

I don't have much to say, but I thought I'd post a quick update. That is all.
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Journey to the Roadhouse of the Dead [Nov. 18th, 2009|03:04 pm]

It was a clear, warm night when I made my first journey to the Roadhouse of the Dead. I stated my intention, and then I prayed. I said my usual prayers to my allies, prayed for a safe and meaningful experience, and prayed to be open to Mystery. Then I cast a circle and entered a trance by singing softly.

Freyr joined me immediately, and he looked impatient. He was wearing a dark black suit, which is unusual as he typically clothing that expresses the delight he has in his body. His long golden hair was in a braid--also unusual. Squat was there as well, wearing a large black dress with a red collar. I don't think I've ever seen her in anything other than jeans. Freyr took my hand and said, "We've been waiting. Let's go--there isn't much time."

Freyr led me outside to his car--the usual golden-yellow Mustang that I am familiar with. Sitting in it, feeling it purr underneath me as Freyr navigated the winding country roads to the Roadhouse, I was aware how much this car is alive, and of how much of the way the Mysterious Ones present themselves to me has to do with how I am able to see them. Suddenly, something occurred to me and I asked, "Is this car Gullinbursti?" Freyr didn't respond. Squat laughed from the front seat. I again wondered how much of the lore around the Mysterious Ones is also colored by the lenses of the people who originally received it.

We approached the Roadhouse, and I was amazed at the sheer number of beings that were gathering. There were schools of fish approaching from the sky, swimming through the air like water. There were flocks of birds, herds of animals, and other people and Mysterious Ones arriving by sea, by water, and by land. Freyr drove up to the front, and a valet took the car as we stepped out. Ancestors of mine emerged from the Roadhouse to welcome me, and led me into a great hall with a bar in the center of it. We entered the hall, and it was packed to over-flowing.

Freyr was a gracious host, and he introduced me to some of the other Mysterious Ones and ancestors. We stopped at the bar, and he introduced me to the bartender, whose name I immediately forgot. He handed me a martini glass and I thanked him. I am always nervous about eating or drinking anything in the other worlds, so I just carried it around with me. Freyr must have noticed, but he didn't say anything.

I looked around--the bar was in the center of a huge hall, and I could see crowds of beings around me. I saw people that I know from Reclaiming (Donald and Mark other Minnesota witches), people that I know from the Heathen and Northern Tradition worlds, and people that I feel like I should know on some level. I saw birds flying in circles above me, and fish floating in circles above them. Ghosts and spirits and other beings were weaving in and among the dancers--all making a giant counter-clockwise circular pattern.

The music of the Roadhouse is not something I can describe easily. At first it seemed like heavy industrial rock, but made of long-held notes, with the occasional percussive booms. I couldn't quite put my finger on what kind of instrument it was. Later, watching an episode of QI, I discovered what it was: The music was natural sounds, like the sound of sand dunes and the sound of earth from space, arranged to sound like "music." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XF6kGDLcVE, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Og_HjkCvro, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cpY5qZLbMM&feature=related.)

I watched the enormous, strange, circular dance for a while, and then I left the main room and walked through some of the smaller salons. I made my way from one salon to another. I saw my maternal grandmother in one of them, playing Chopin on the piano. It brought a tear to my eye. She said, "We all have to play now. We all are creating the music for the dance." We talked about music for a period. Each salon had beings in it, and each salon was different. Some were very strange. There were people who looked like they were from 1800 Russia debating in a language I did not understand in one salon; in another salon there were people from different historical periods scrying with Mysterious Ones.

I spent some time with Idunna, with whom I've become somewhat close over the past few months. She had dirt under her nails, as always. She was sitting in a small salon populated with other Vanir--Heimdall, Freya, Njord. I sat down with them, and with many other people. The room was decorated in dark colors, and I noticed after a few minutes that none of the MOs were wearing gold, which is odd for a group of Vanir. I mentioned it, and they just nodded.

I didn't talk much, but some of the other humans did. (I'm so curious as to who these other friends of the Vanir are.) Topics ranged from light-hearted joking to more serious discussions. And finally, the conversation turned to the current ecological and social crises. "The world is always ending," said Njord. Freya looked at her father and shook her head. We (us humans) had the sense that something is going on, but the MOs were not forthcoming.

I expected that I would dance at some point, but I never did. The opportunity never arose. Eventually, Freyr appeared out of the crowd, and took my hand. "It's time we got you home." I said that I had planned on staying for longer, but he told me that "those with mortal bodies cannot be here when the next part of the dance begins." As I walked out the door, I noticed others leaving, too. He led me to the car and I got in the passenger side. Squat and Freyr said good-bye, but did not get in the car. It was clear that they planned on staying longer. Freyr closed the door, and patted the car on the side, as one would pat a horse. The Mustang took off, and drove me home on the winding roads.

On the trip back, I thought about the experience. It felt a little anti-climatic after hearing about fabulous parties at the Roadhouse over the years. I don't remember getting home, just waking up the next morning.
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May you find peace, Shloma. [Nov. 11th, 2009|12:33 pm]
Jason and I were talking about Shloma Rosenberg (AKA Cyclone, AKA Clay Keck) last night. His sudden passing was a surprise to me--so much so that I didn't believe it at first. You see, there was this one time when everything thought that Sholoma had died, but he hadn't.

So yesterday, I called his father to get the straight story, and he confirmed that Shloma had passed. There are no arrangements. Donations can be made to Susan G. Komen. I have an address, if you want to send a card. Contact me if you want it.

What can be said about Shloma? He was a tall man, very tattooed, very pink, very opinionated, very smart. He had great taste in Indian food and make-up. His altar room was a thing of immense beauty. He was a fantastic story-teller.

He took his spirituality seriously. And that was no small task for someone with as many spiritual disciplines as Shloma had. He helped people, he treated his congregation like they were his family. He was a priest, in the truest sense of the word. I could see that, and we weren't even close. In that aspect, he was an example to be admired and imitated.

Today, I pray that he finds peace.
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Some updates... [Nov. 10th, 2009|02:29 pm]
1) I'm disapointed in paganism in general. I could go into specifics, but I think one of the main points is the sale of Diana's Grove. And, I don't want to talk about it. I'll process internally, thank you.

2) I have physical therapy and a chiropractor scheduled for next week. Let the healing commence. This past weekend I was having some difficulty walking. I kept thinking, "I'm going to need a cane. That's hot."

3) My office smells like the lavander-scented candle I'm burning. It's a good smell.

4) I have the evening off. No wrestling or working out, since I'm injured. So I can't engage in any of my usual activities. So I have lots of free time now. Sigh.
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Crap. [Nov. 6th, 2009|10:12 am]

OK, this back pain thing is really starting to get to me.

I miss exercise. I miss working out. I miss wrestling. I don't want to have to sit on a heating pad all fucking day anymore. I'm very, very tired of being in pain.

It's amazing how quickly I started to feel a difference when I stopped working out. After about one day, I feel like crap. I want to say that the back pain is getting better, but I'm not sure that it is. Certainly, I'm not in as much pain as I was on Sunday, but that's not saying much. The past couple of days have been about the same. I'm deeply not happy about the whole thing.

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Back pain [Nov. 3rd, 2009|08:50 am]
My lower back has been hurting, on and off, since about August. I had no idea what is causing it. I went to the doctor twice, and they are also befuddled. So, I would just take some pain killers, put heat on it, and go about my day.

But then, this past weekend, I hurt myself doing squats. (You see, the pain wasn't severe enough to keep me from exercise.)

So now, when people ask, "What did you do to your back?" I reply, "I was lifting pretty heavy." It still hurts the same as before, but I have a more manly explanation now. And that's what counts.
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UPG, and your mileage may vary. [Oct. 26th, 2009|02:56 pm]

I asked Idunna about her parentage. She replied:

"We aren't corporeal, so we don't have to hold concern about our corpses--where they came from, who made them, and so on. Our genealogies are not like your genealogies. But you have to understand that we didn't come out of nowhere, so that's why we say that so-and-so is descended from whomever. Not that there isn't some truth in it, mind, but it's not a corporeal truth because we don't have corpses. For example, saying that Sleipnir is the child of Loki and Svadilfari, is a truth, but not a corporeal truth.

"We have talked about our lineage and where we came from because ancestors are important. We here in the North seem to recognize that more than some others, and sometimes we get a little carried away with the primacy of ancestry, and that has been tragic on both large and small scales.

"But remember this: When the Lore of which you speak mentions that so-and-so is mother to so-and-so, it's so that you can understand something of how we relate. And, it's a lesson on the importance of ancestry."

Happy Samhain, too.
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