7/31/14

A vision of Death.

Waxing Corn Moon (Age: 4 days)
Sign: Libra
Weather: Fair skies, seasonably warm
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Dramatic blog title for the win? I did have a vision recently. And said vision did involve death. It was not, however, a warning of impending doom or something like that. (I feel like I need to capitalize DOOM and put blinking lights around it or something for full effect. Anyways...) I know that what I saw was important and necessary. I just am confused as to what my role in it all is. I talked with Njordswife about it and she guesses that it may be a notice from the gods that I have some major changing to do. I don't know if that's accurate or not. We were both kinda pulling straws and trying to guess what looked almost accurate. 

I've been trying to make sense of this for a little over two weeks now. I keep coming back to the same two questions. Why was I witnessing it and what am I supposed to do with the cup full of blood? But I am getting ahead of myself. Lets first take a moment to describe the vision in its entirety. Who knows, maybe somebody who is better at this stuff then I am can tell me what I'm missing here. I'm pretty sure it's something obvious that I'm missing and once it is pointed out I'll feel like a dunce for missing it. It seems to be my track record of late.

I was standing in a field of harvested wheat with a crowd of others. Before us was a sheaf's worth of wheat waiting to be cut. To the left of the wheat stood Freyr and Nerthus/Jord (it is my understanding that Nerthus and Jord are the same and that she is his mother). I was standing towards the front of the group, who were all quite happy and in a celebratory mood. Freyr and his mother were both a bit more reserved and solemn. Skírnir was standing to my right. He was also solemn. 

He said to me that I could leave. That they wouldn't fault me for my 'modern sensibilities.' I had the distinct feeling that it was better that I stay and make it through what ever was coming, and I had my suspicions that it was some form of ritual slaying because it was the beginning of harvest. I replied that I would stay and that I understood that life feeds on life. This apparently was a good answer because Freyr smiled at that.

Skírnir guided me to the front of the group so that I was standing directly infront of Freyr. A silver cup that was engraved with scenes of the agricultural year and of the life cycle of wheat was put into my hands. I knew, somehow, that I was to hold it up. Then with out warning, Nerthus slit Freyr's throat open in a right to left gesture with a sickle. Arterial blood sprayed everywhere. A good amount of it hit me and somehow filled the cup. 

As Freyr was bleeding, he looked at me with that warm smile of approval on his face. And then... Well, it makes me feel a bit cold and creeped out to think of it, but I watched the light go out of his eyes. He collapsed to the ground and his corpse melted into the earth. Wheat sprung up where his body had been and progressed through its life cycle to ripeness in a matter of moments.

The celebrants grew louder and more excited in their song and mannerisms. Someone, I don't think it was Skírnir, clapped me on the shoulders and declared it to be a good omen that I had gotten so much blood on me. That was the last image of the vision, a tall man with straw colored hair and a very full beard with a wide grin looking at me like he was so happy he was about to burst into song.

I've been thinking about it. Freyr's blood on me brings to mind the Christian rite of baptism. And the cup of blood and wheat makes me think of the Christian rite of the Eucharist. I don't know if I am looking at this the right way, though. I don't understand why I was there to witness it. I don't understand why I was to hold the cup and catch his blood. I don't even know what I'm supposed to do with that proverbial cup.

Since that vision, I have had a few dreams of that cup. I've seen it sitting at a table with an empty plate and a broken knife. I think that would be Hel's hall. I've also seen it sitting on a stone altar that is covered with a white cloth. Beside it is a loaf of bread, a crock of butter, and a dish of honey. I know these things are connected, I just can't mange to figure out how. I don't know why I am dreaming of this cup. I am increasingly convinced if this cup doesn't exist, it needs to. It looks like a kiddush cup.

I don't know what to make of this. But it keeps rattling around in my head. And since it is Lammas eve, I might as well post this now. Fortuitous timing and all that. Oh, one other thing to note, that vision came the day that one of the farmers around here started harvesting his wheat.

7/27/14

Message recieved, Boss.

New Corn Moon (age: 1 day)
Sign: Leo
Weather: Seasonably warm, fair skies
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To use the phrasing of my larp character who is an avowed priestess of Loki, 'Message received, Boss.' I was just derping around on the interwebz when I found myself finding my way back to the same web page as a result of clicking random links. It was an upfront and obvious thing to have this thrust into my face four times by way of random links.

I had been struggling with some measure of anxiety that I was approaching this whole business of being a follower of the Northern European gods. I made the mistake of reading blogs of some other people who are practicing pagans and found myself feeling like I was coming up short. As a result, I started to perseverate and worry that I was doing all of this wrong. I sat there and questioned if the Aseir, Vanir, and Jotnar would be offended by my involvement with Dea. I then found myself running in proverbial circles, half convinced that I was obviously doing something wrong because what I am doing is so different from what a bunch of others are.

Then Loki broke out the clue-by-four and thumped me with it. (In all honesty, I am thankful that it was a gentle tap on the head this time. Maybe this means that I'm starting to 'get' it.) It is ironic because the message here was much the same as the one that I had conveyed to a dear friend who is struggling with her own spiritual path with Loki. I'm pretty sure that Loki facepalmed at my having issues over this on the immediate heels of passing that message on (in cosmic time, because the actual message incident was a few weeks ago).

The message that I came away with from that post (and I have just read it for a fifth time to confirm what I was getting out of it) was this: trust what the gods are showing you. Their resounding silence on the matter of my involvment with Dea is not condemnation. I haven't gotten any signs that suggest that they're even mildly annoyed with this weird business that I've got going on. I suppose that the gods are more magnanimous then I was willing to admit. 

I feel a bit chagrined to note that. Loki, however, doesn't tolerate self deception in his people. He even has given me a nudge in the direction of Odin and Freyr, which suggests that he doesn't want to keep me all to himself. I get the distinct impression that he is amused by my concerns that things were going to be that way between us. I've been stumbling over my own two feet and running myself around in circles of late. Loki is now pointing to me the way to get out of this metaphysical loop that I got myself stuck in.

After my prayers asking for some kind of a sign for how to start making forward progress again, I am thankful for this message. A part of me feels like the fool who couldn't see the forest for the trees but I suppose we all have times where it happens to us. Loki seems willing to let me try on the role of being his priestess via this larp character. I'm still not decided on this because I don't feel qualified for it. Honestly, I don't feel qualified for most of the stuff that the gods have put infront of me.

Loki, however, is nudging me out of the nest. I'm just going to have to take it on faith that I can fly with these proverbial wings. And if I fall, that someone will catch me. I get that there is no question of failure here beyond the failure to make the attempt. So, like I said, message received.

7/13/14

Still plugging away.

Waning Thunder Moon (age: 16 days)
Sign: Aquarius
Weather: Humid, seasonably warm
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I have nothing of note really to post this evening. I had planned to do a small ritual for the full moon and then life happened. I've been struggling with depression for a little while now. It has made it hard for me to keep up on my daily devotions and my responsibilities around the home. I pray every day to the gods but right now I just don't feel their presence. It is very discouraging to feel this way.

I tell myself that it will pass, like it does every month, but it is still gut wrenching. I suppose the hardest part about being depressed right now is the fact that I have so very many reasons not to be depressed. The weather is nice. I have some strawberries growing in the planter that are just now getting ripe. The black raspberries are getting ripe, so I will have some to harvest very soon. Last Tuesday, I cleaned up my altar space and put down a runner that I love. I then placed out some offerings to the gods, including the first of the strawberries that are off my little plant and a cutting of mint from my prolific plant on the back deck.

It felt like a hollow gesture. A part of me says that I am just spinning my wheels when I pray or lay out offerings right now. I know it is my depression talking. It doesn't make it any easier to bear. As hard as it is to do what little I can in observances right now, I am still going to make the effort. I don't want to fall out of the habit of reaching towards the gods because it will be that much harder to resume the practice later.