12/8/15

Letters to Loki # 30

Dear Sly One,

I think I am going to have writer's cramp by the end of the day. I'm trying to get caught up on page count for a project. I spent the first 4 hours of the day writing. I still have 6 pages to write to be at least where my adjusted page count should be for right now. I'm frustrated because I am over a month behind on that project. I know what has been getting in the way of it all and I am really not happy with it.

I am trying to make things work despite problems with depressive episodes and anxiety. But the more I push, the harder it gets to go forward. But if I am not pushing things at all, I have stuff that just gets more and more behind as it goes on. My therapist says that I am demanding too much of myself. She's probably right. She keeps asking me why I do it. I have a hard time explaining that I feel like I need to do that.

I have two manuscripts in progress. I have seven blogs I write on. I have housework and child rearing stuff to do. I have the Yule projects I am finishing up as gifts for people. She looks at me and tries to get me to explain why I am doing so much. I feel like I need to do it all.

I feel like if I don't write the manuscripts now they are never going to get written. I feel like if I don't keep up with the blogs I am not going to make progress with building my name as an author. The housework and child rearing stuff is necessary for obvious reasons. The Yule presents are necessary because we have a bit of a budget crunch and the time I invest into presents made saves us money down the road. I feel like I need to do all this stuff because if I don't I'm a failure.

I feel like I've been a failure too often in the past and I need to make up for it. I know it is probably all the negative programming from when I was a kid and people fucked with my head. I can't manage to shut it up any other way. The medications only work to make it where I am not literally hearing a voice saying that garbage and keep me functional. The therapy... I have no idea where the fuck the progress is going with my therapy. Beloved tells me that I am making progress. You tell me I am making progress. Damn near everybody tells me I am making progress but I just can't see it.

But that's what's on my mind right now. I'll try to get out some wine for you this evening. I think I've still got one of those single serving bottles left. If I do, it's yours. If not, I'll give you some coffee. Either way, I'll be adding something to go with the chocolate that I put out for you. Because chocolate by itself isn't half as awesome as chocolate with something tasty to go with it.

12/1/15

Letters to Loki # 29

Dear World Breaker,

To say that my life has been shaken up over the last several days is an understatement. I'm inclined to say it is the doing of simple life circumstances. While I know others would blame you for the chaos in their life, I know that 99.9% of the time it is due to the derpiness of humanity and events unfurling that we really have no legitimate control over. I know that some of the chaos is because I'm trying to get things back to rights (or as close to the 'normal' state) in the wake of NaNoWriMo this year and in the beginnings of the Advent season.

It is not exactly a time that is conducive to calm. As such, I find myself to some extend spinning in circles trying to get the apartment cleaned up for me to begin Yule decorating. At the same time, I am trying to help the boys reach their goals for the reading program. (I forgot to write down all the books they read over the Thanksgiving break. I told them to pile up the books and now I'm finding piles in random places. Mostly under laundry and toys.)

Getting my eldest to do his mathematics homework is still a trial. He decided he wanted to do half of it on his own last night, so I let him. I looked at it, I could see it was obviously wrong, but I knew that he sincerely thought he was correct. I decided that I had neither the energy or time to walk him through the process and help him correct his mistakes like usual. I've been exhausted over the last several days, which makes homework time particularly challenging.

My exhaustion is because I haven't been sleeping well. That has been because on Saturday, I got my PTSD triggered by a stupid meme on Facebook. Since then, I have been having anxiety over sleeping because I find myself afraid of nightmares. It took me most of Sunday to get myself to where I didn't feel like I had to walk on eggshells. That was hard because the kids were pure mischief that day, so I kept getting very frustrated, which increased the feeling. I was a little better yesterday. I will admit, you were right. I did need that nap, as much as I needed the one I took this morning. I'm not happy about it, but as you said, what I need trumps what I want.

I completed NaNoWriMo over my word count goal by about 20k. I'm not close to being finished with this draft. I have been getting a mixture of frustration and compulsive need to finish it before I work on something else. The fact that I didn't do anything with it yesterday feels unnatural. I am now, however, juggling two manuscripts at the moment. I found one that I am way behind on that I'm trying to get caught up in over the next month. I honestly don't know what I am doing right now. I just feel like I need to write and I am again getting to where I feel like I need to work on everything all at once. I have been resisting that urge, with some difficulty, but it is there.

I feel like my mental health issues are on the verge of coming to the fore again. The PTSD has been active over the last few days. I suspect that my difficulties sleeping are going to make the bipolar start up if the fact that it is the holidays doesn't do it. I wish this wasn't always a bad time of year for me. I know I once enjoyed it. But that was before N- happened. And before I really came to grips with the fact that we truly had less than others in ways that made every element of the holiday season a sacrifice, in the unpleasant sense of the word. Now, those are the two things that dominate my thoughts. Add in my social phobia and this time of year just is horrible for me.

I want to do something different. I want to change how this time of year hits me. But I feel like something in it all has to break to change. Something about the egregore that has been created needs to shatter so the rest of it can come apart. I am having real difficulty making that happen. If you have suggestions for how to approach it, let me know. I want this to be the year that I am finally happy with this season again.

11/23/15

Something I heard.

Waxing Hunter's Moon (Age: 11 Days)
Sign: Taurus
Weather: Cold, clear skies,
snow expected
~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I was in the midst of letting my hair down when I heard Someone say:

Unbind your hair
Unbraid it
Unravel your tresses
Let them fall across my face
Let them fall upon my breast
I will go into that silken forest
And there I will hide
And hunt your very heart

I have suspicions as to who said that.

11/21/15

Astral sex has consequences.

Waxing Hunter's Moon (Age: 9 days)
Sign: Aries
Weather: cool, partly cloudy,
snow forecast for pm
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

So, I had read about astral pregnancy. I thought it was confusing. I tried to make sense of it. Tried to comprehend it. I then gave up because it just was something I couldn't wrap my mind around. I mean, to some extent I could follow it but at the same time it was very bewildering. Cue approximately a year of not thinking about this aside from going 'Ok, that's cool that this is happening for you.' for a few people I know.

I suppose it was about the spring equinox when the astral sex thing happened more often between Freyr and I. It happened several times before then. It was really awesome but confusing. Still, it was something enjoyable and it brought him and I closer. 

Three months ago, I had a weird feeling. I felt like I was pregnant. I mean, the feelings were so intense, I got a pregnancy test. I was even late on my menses. The pregnancy test was negative. I concluded that something weird was happening with me but it wasn't anything negative with my health so I wasn't going to worry about it. Honestly, aside from the breast discomfort, it wasn't that bad. Just weird. One of the big differences from when I was pregnant with the boys and what I was feeling at that moment was the fact that I didn't feel like I had morning sickness, which was quite frankly awesome.

At the beginning of last month, I found myself cramping really hard. Cramping like I was in pre-labor. It hurt, it confused me, and I worried that maybe something really was wrong. After an afternoon of that, it went away. As this was happening, Loki said that he would help me feel better, so when it went away and I felt better, I figured he did his thing.  At the same time, the feeling of being pregnant went away. It made me suspicious that perhaps I had one of those confusing and kinda odd astral pregnancy things happen to me. Confused, I put that thought aside. I had my menses the next day and decided that they just were bad cramps because I was nearly a month and a half late.

Then, after the menses passed, the weird 'I'm pregnant' feeling came back again. This time, it lasted for a few weeks. The day before my menses came, I had a strange cross between the pre-laborish cramping and something very confusing. I felt like I was in labor but not physically so. I look at myself with my spiritual eye and just kinda stared in shock. My belly was as big as it was with my youngest son and I felt (but didn't at the same time) a baby squirming inside me. Loki was very wide eyed and concerned when he showed up.

He said that he was going to take me to where I could get help. Next thing I know, I am journeying (via Loki carrying me) to Angrboda. He says something about her midwife should help me. Angrboda tells me that I need to go to Freyja. So, cue another weird journeying experience of being carried. When I was brought to Angrboda, I could see myself moving through a dark wood. The second journey, I was moving through what seemed to be a tunnel of all colors of light. Then I was in a room with Freyja and some alfar woman that I had never encountered. Freyr was there and looking very concerned. Loki got some pointed looks and he exited the room.

Then I had the experience of giving birth (which ached on the physical level, like if I had gotten kicked in that bit of anatomy in the recent past). After which, Freyja and everyone else got very concerned. The baby was spirited off elsewhere by Freyja and the woman. I was confused and worried because I hadn't even heard the child cry. Freyr sat with me, looking rather concerned as he held my hand.

Several nights later, I am talking with a dear friend of mine and I described what happened. At which point, two things happen. Freyja explains that the second birth was complicated and the child needed to be in Jotunheim to be well. And then I am told that Loki did something and Freyr was angry with him. And that signs were indicating that what I suspected at first that I was some how pregnant before this were accurate.

Cue a ... discussion, where Loki says he helped midwife the first child and brought her to an undisclosed location for the child's safety. This turned into a bit of an argument between him and I, wherein he says it is Freyr's child and that he helped labor happen a little earlier than it was supposed to. And I demand that he bring the child to Freyr's hall, where she is supposed to be. The argument between Loki and I was unpleasant, for both of us, but in the end he did bring the child to Freyr. And he mended fences with Freyr.

Things are still a bit touch and go between him and Freyr right now. But, it is returning to the normal realm of Freyr telling Loki 'you annoy me.' and Loki telling Freyr to 'lighten up.' By the way, Loki telling Freyr to lighten up has always struck me as funny. Freyr, who exudes joy frequently, doesn't exactly come off as someone who takes himself too seriously. Which is what Loki semi-regularly needles him about. It's like the verbal equivalent of spit-balling between the two of them. Which is weird to be on the sidelines of.

But, astral pregnancy, it is a thing. I'm still confused by it, but I guess the ... amount of quality time I've been spending with Freyr was going to catch up to me at some point.

Freyr the hunter.

Waxing Hunter's Moon (Age 9 days)
Sign: Aries
Weather: cold, partly cloudy,
snow forecasted for pm
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
So, I had a dream/vision of Freyr on the hunt. The first thing I was struck by was the fact that watching him in motion and action was a thing of frightening beauty. It was like watching a dangerous storm rolling through the sky. The second thing that hit me was how he was alight with joy. He was laughing as he chased after terrifying things and cut them down. As he and his party were going after things that made my nightmares look like a happy place, they were all whooping with joy and excitement. When the sighted their quarry, they laughed and cheered. When they ran it down and caught it, there was more of that kind of wild, ecstatic excitement like what you'd see at a sporting event in the fans where their team is winning and successfully thrashing their opponents like nobody's business. Bloodthirsty doesn't feel like the right word, but it is the closest I have for it.

I was just watching them from the side. And then he saw me. A part of me wanted to bolt when they moved towards me. They were rather intimidating (terrifying). The entire group cheered when they saw me. It was only a subtly different cry from what they made as they were chasing prey down. I felt like I was a prize even as I felt like I was their quarry. To say it was disconcerting is really a huge understatement. Looking back on it, I don't entirely know what kept me from running.

I suppose I was fascinated by the look in Freyr's face. Like, that hypnotized stare that deer get when they are caught in car headlights. It was all the joy and ferocity that came with hunting, and hunger. When they whole party had reached me, I found myself at the center of the group. Somehow, I knew that they were protecting me from what they had been hunting. He just smiled down at me with that look and said, "I caught you."

I will admit, my reckless streak came out. When I replied, "And what are you going to do with me?" pretty much everyone in the group laughed. It was a sound that made me immediately tell myself that sass was a horrible idea. A few in the group gave some... explicit suggestions. From the look in his eye, I honestly found myself wondering if he was going to take those suggestions and act on them right that moment.

He dismounted from the horse he was riding. (Anyone else out there who has involvement with Freyr, please tell me, it is just me or does he ride a horse that is the color of rust/dried blood? Also, that thing is freaking huge. I was probably tall enough that my head was about midshoulder on it, at best. And I'm a little above average height.) He brushed a lock of hair out of my face and then he kissed me. I felt like there was pure electricity between us.

Then the dream/vision ended. Since that happened, when he is present, he still has that wild, electric air about him. It's restrained but the tension of it feels like a balloon on the edge of bursting, for lack of a better description. It has been... intense.

What am I doing again?

Waxing Hunter's Moon (Age: 9 Days)
Sign: Aries
Weather: Chill, partly cloudy skies
snow forecasted for pm
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
It has been a while since I've written in here. NaNoWriMo has been partly why and the fact that I just don't know where to begin is the other reason. There has been a lot on my plate with working with the gods and the various spirits around me. Mostly, that work has been 'shadow' work within myself. Look back on everything, I can see some spiritual measure behind why I got sick last week. I was falling into the bad habit of overextending myself again. I kept getting told to slow down and rest. I was stubborn and didn't listen. Then I found myself sick in bed for most of last weekend.

Freyr has been somewhat quiet of late. I'm not too surprised because in many ways this is his 'off' season in my part of the world. He also has made it clear in no uncertain terms that he is participating in the Wild Hunt this year. (To be honest, the couple of times where I saw his hunting party in action, I was both mesmerized and intimidated. The fierce joy in his hunting and taking on difficult quarry took me by surprised. Somehow, I forgotten that he is more than a theoretical warrior deity. I'll get into a little more detail about one of those moments a little later. Probably in another post.) The times where I have been with him and he is talkative, the discussions have been somewhat hard for me.

He has become very direct in challenging me not to deny myself joy. Considering that this is something I've been struggling with for a long while and when I get stressed out, it is the first thing I drop, I really am not surprised. The conversations have moved from encouragement to take time for little pleasures in my day and sweetness to a combination of assertive challenging of my bad habit of self denial and a.. Well, it is hard to describe. While Loki and I have some D/s stuff between us (that I didn't expect but looking at it all it makes sense now), there was never anything like that between Freyr and I. Now, there's something that hits those mental buttons in an entirely different way with Freyr and I'm somewhat scrambling to figure out what I'm supposed to do. 

While Loki will be the right bastard that I have always found alluring, Freyr is decidedly taking a different approach. It leaves me feeling like he's hunting me. This game of cat and mouse is very different from the games between Loki and I. And where Loki will basically grab a hold of me and make me look at something, Freyr has been doing this combination of chasing me in the direction I should be moving and cornering me and making me look at things. It is very disconcerting and has left me in a rather confused and twitterpated state. And it is becoming clear that this is what response he is seeking right now. I have a feeling that Loki's spending some time over the last few months pushing my mental buttons has shown Freyr something about what makes me tick.

On one hand, I am finding myself beside myself with delighted anticipation. On the other, I am reeling with shock and struggling with the urge to run and hide. Which doesn't work so well with gods. You may run but hiding never works. And they'll just let you run yourself tired. Last weekend was something of a manifestation of running myself tired, I think. Because while I was half delirious, Freyr was very present and made use of my rather glib state to have a conversation with me about my problem with keeping outmoded and harmful mental patterns in play.

Loki's been pushing my kink buttons pretty hard. This has lead to some awkward moments. Finding yourself getting hot and bothered over an idea when you're in the middle of something that is entirely different and really usually isn't connected with sex... it can be a bit uncomfortable. Especially when you are attempting to do something like pay bills and you need to focus on doing math to make sure everything is coming out properly. At the same time, however, Loki's effort to have me associate something pleasurable with doing stuff that usually makes me super anxious seems to be working. It is somewhat bewildering. But, again, there is the concerted push to make me realize stuff like sex is not a bad thing and that pleasure is ok/safe/fun. Loki has also been very ... amused with how I've basically gone 'eep' and stare like a deer in headlights when Freyr starts pushing my buttons. He's declared it adorable.

I usually would fire back some sassy comment about how I'm not adorable, but my smart ass comments have been falling flat as Loki has been deciding to be ... amused with it rather than annoyed. It's been fairly disconcerting to realize that my sass has moved from 'teehee, I'm being a pest.' to 'I'm writing checks that my ass is going to have to deliver on.' I suppose you could say that we've gone to the next level with these games, I have no idea. All I know is that Loki plays the mindfuckery game like no ones business and he's become more aggressive about it as I have gotten more comfortable with this thing between him and I. At one point, I was having a bad day and I demanded to know what exactly was his game. He gave a very... sexually charged laugh and said, "You need someone to push you. I'm here to help." It cured my bad mood. At the same time, a part of me quietly went 'Oh shit!' and I found myself questioning what the fuck I was thinking about all of this.

And then there is Freyja. Oh boy has that been difficult for me. I think I'm making progress. I've been struggling with what she's been giving me to work on. I have been genuinely putting effort and doing my best to swallow my anxiety to push forward. At the same time, she has been adapting the tasks she gives me to work around my difficulties. A part of me keeps insisting that I'm not 'good enough' to accomplish the stuff she is giving me to do. I've been doing my best to gag, hogtie, and throw that part into a dark hole. Another part of me looks at myself and goes 'Why the fuck can't I do XYZ? It's simple. Why can't I do it?' A lot of what Freyja has me working on aligns with the stuff that my therapist has me working on. I don't think that is a coincidence either. I'm stumbling my way forward but it feels like I'm trying to walk when I'm so weak I can hardly crawl. And getting angry is not working to push me through it. Instead, I have to go in the opposite direction and that's been a struggle for me.

There's been some other stuff going on, but I'm going to put that in a separate post. Because it's kinda weird enough to take up its own slot. I will simply say that astral sex has consequences.

Over the last week, I have found myself interacting a lot with the dead. I do it a fair amount to begin with. But there was a bump in traffic around Tuesday. I don't know if it is connected to the stuff that has happened with a lot of mass deaths over the last two weeks. All I know is that I went from having one or two spirits of the deceased showing up to get, well, for the lack of a better description, directions to their destination, to I had about ten show up all at once. (No, they were not all French or any of the people who died in the other incidents. Three were cancer victims. One was a car accident victim, who was very disoriented and had no idea how they wound up in my neck of the woods. Four were domestic abuse victims. And one was somebody who passed on from a heart attack. They all were headed to the same spiritual 'place' but as one described it, they got lost on a detour.) The other days were similar incidents.

I have also found that my Disir have been more vocal of late. They are all doing what they could to encourage and help me with the work I've been doing for Freyja. It was very... confusing to have my Disir helping me to have conversations with different aspects of myself. But, I was ... effective. They have also been active in my dreams. Again, the general emphasis has been on helping me resolve my issues with letting myself be happy and enjoy things. Oddly, or perhaps not so odd, I have been finding myself making a lot of progress through dream work. I have also been having more lucid dreams over the last two weeks.

11/17/15

Letters to Loki # 28

Dear Sly One,

My eldest tried to pull a fast one on me. It is not working out how he anticipated. I am torn between amusement with his frustration with the situation and annoyance with the situation. I am working to focus more on the humor of it all. His attempt to stay home from school 'sick' and miraculously be well after the bus left has netted him a day of being forced to rest or get in trouble for lying about being sick. Right now, he is laying in his bed staring at me. It's almost 10 am and there has been about 8 times now that he has asked if it is lunch time. He is bored, which is according to plan.

I have been working on all my blog posts and feeling like I am not going to get everything caught up. It is a frustrating feeling. I wish that there were more hours in the day or something. I have a pile of housework to catch up on and bills to pay. I can't just sit here and focus on writing all day. I suppose that is part of the price of being an adult. I am glad, however, that I have gone from the horrendous cough and congestion (with a touch of fever and delirium) just a bunch of sinus pressure. I can take Sudafed and get stuff done, rather than be sick in bed like I was all weekend.

It has been difficult to focus on putting aside my anxieties to get stuff done. I have been making the effort. According to Beloved, I am actually making progress. I don't feel like I am, but I guess it is hard to see how many handbags you have made when you're ass deep in alligators. I have caught myself starting to worry about Yule. I don't have as much done as I thought I would by this time. It has forced me to alter some of my plans for gifts and that disappoints me. I guess I am again dealing with setting my expectations too high.

It is a bad habit. I thought I was doing better about it, but I suppose I'm not really. I have been, however, making a point of doing a better job with self-care, like you wanted me to. I kinda cheated on the eating healthy thing for a few weeks. I think I gained back a few pounds but I am not going to twist myself up into knots over it. I am going to do my best to get more exercise done in the house since the weather has gotten colder and I can't really go out for walks like I did when it was warm.

I tried taking a walk at the park by the lake. It was really uncomfortable because of the wind and the chill. My knees have been bothering me a lot. It is kinda funny, but my losing weight has posed a little bit of a problem with my arthritic knees. My knee braces won't stay in place because my legs are smaller now. I've resorted to using my cane more because of it. I am working to keep some amusement over this fact. I am also tempted to bust out the duct tape and wrap the cane in something like zebra print tape so that it doesn't look so boring.

I caught my self looking at sword canes the other day and then I remembered they're illegal in my state. I had a sad after that. I think, however, I am going to get myself a wooden cane at some point in the not too distant future. The aluminum, which I am considering redecorating with patterned duct tape, has started having issues with the part that keeps the two bits together. I almost think that the screw portion of it is getting stripped, which makes no sense because it hasn't been getting moved around a lot. Perhaps it is just shoddy workmanship. It was only $15.

11/1/15

Punch drunk and waiting for more.

Waning Gibbous Blood Moon (Age: 20 days)
Sign: Cancer
Weather: Mild, partly cloudy, windy
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The gods have been making their presence very known over the last few days. I would talk in greater detail about how they've been doing it but I think the song in the video above describes it and my present struggle. I don't even know why I'm struggling so hard against my own happiness. I don't know why I am so afraid when I'm not caught up in the joy of it all.

All the trouble I had adjusting to life with Beloved as more than a friend, it just came back with a vengeance. They assure me all is safe. They have acted in a manner that has done nothing but been loving, helpful, and delightful. Why am I so panicked at the thought of being happy? I want to stop fighting but I keep throwing my hands up with a shriek at the thought of just letting go.

They tell me it is because of my trauma. They are doing things to help me with it. But I just can't get the words out. I can't say how I feel or take the first step in this dance. I feel like all the world is a tumult. Even as I'm afraid, I am breathless with anticipation and pleasure. I feel like I'm going mad.

10/29/15

Slogging through the last few weeks.

Waning Gibbous Blood Moon (Age: 17 Days)
Sign: Gemini
Weather: Windy, cool
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
It has been difficult over the last few weeks. I've been struggling with feeling disconnected from everything. I found myself on the verge of despair. Then Loki and I had a conversation. It pretty much was like this:

Me: I feel like giving up right now.

Loki: No you don't.

Me: No, I'm pretty sure that's what I'm feeling right now.

Loki: No, you're exhausted. You're NOT giving up.

And then he gave me that harsh look that tends to have me stumbling over myself. Which then had me amending how I phrased things just so that I didn't test my luck too much. Because stern Loki is an experience and a half. This weird D/s thing between him and I just keeps going along and I find myself getting worried that it is all in my head.

Then something WTF happens and I discover that I really can't think up stuff as weird as what he does. Immediately after, I find myself thankful that he is favorably inclined towards me. Because I've seen a little bit of what happens to people who get on his bad side and it isn't pretty. At least in my case, he stops when I hit the very extreme edges of my limits. Granted, he is working on making those edges a bit farther out every time, but he respects my limitations. I don't think he does that for people he doesn't have any affection or a vested interest in. Just a gut feeling on that one.

The silence from Dea briefly stopped today. I was frustrated with the fact that I didn't have much work in my devotional journal. Then I felt her quiet presence. It wasn't anything dramatic. I just felt her here with me. But it lifted my spirits. It was reassuring to know that she was not done with me. I had missed her a great deal. I am hoping that there will be more interaction with her over the next few days.

As per the request of my ancestors, I poured out wine for the Hunt. I am not entirely sure why my ancestors wanted me to do that. But I did so. I also made a point to set aside a bit of dinner for my ancestors. I figured they'd want something more substantial than halloween candy. So, they got a bit of ham, sweet potatoes, and peas, as well as some wine. I'm hoping that on halloween proper, I will have some fresh baked bread to give them.

10/21/15

Letters to Loki #27 - WTF am I doing here?

Dear Sky-Treader,

I am looking at my present situation and wondering what I am supposed to be doing, how I got here, and what exactly is the plan moving forward. It now makes a little over two weeks that writing has been a struggle. I have been trying to work through waves of depression and its related physical issues (because having exhaustion on top of insomnia is absolutely fantastic, ya know.) but with limited success. I've hit a point that I just am spinning my wheels despite how much I want to do something more.

Beloved says the problem is my Bipolar acting up and the fact that this has always been a bad time of year for me. I feel like there's something more in the mix, because I don't think I was this off my feed until later in the season last year. It has me worried that I'm going to get a lot worse as time goes on. I'm quickly getting overwhelmed by the stuff I just need to do for the kids with school stuff. And that is making it harder for me to help them with school stuff.

I'll be perfectly honest, it is somewhat scary for me right now in dealing with all this. I know that these are very important years for their development and I want them to have all the opportunities to succeed that they can. I know they have difficulties of their own with the autism. I'm trying so hard to work with this thing and find how it could be an advantage, somehow. But I am having a lot of difficulty because it is so hard to communicate with them.

I feel like I'm failing them. I feel like my disability is getting in the way of being a good mother. And I am struggling with all of that past trauma that comes up this time of year. It is still pretty hard to get my head around the deaths of my paternal grandparents. I alternate between being angry and wanting to do everything to prove that i can. And being crushed, anxious, and just wanting to curl up in a ball somewhere and hide from the whole universe. It is exhausting to swing between those two states.

Please, help me figure out what I'm supposed to be doing with myself right now. It is pretty clear that my plans are not working. Help me figure out what I'm supposed to be doing to help my children. I know that there is something. I just can't figure it out. You're smarter than me. I know you'd have a perspective that I am missing on this puzzle. As I reach a point where things settle down, I will start writing those adult pieces you were talking about. I just can't manage to get myself organized enough to do it. But if you help me get this stuff sorted out, I can get back to doing that for you.

10/9/15

Public Notice Re: Comments

Hi everybody,

I just wanted to make something crystal clear. You are welcome to comment on my posts. I moderate them to make sure that everything is respectful and above board. I would appreciate if people kept their comments on topic with what the post covers. That said, I recognize that sometimes it is hard to tell if a comment matches the topic. So, I try to keep that in mind with respect to what comments get posted up here.

That said, I do not take kindly to people using this platform to harass, belittle, or otherwise be a dick to people. It is one thing if you have something funny to say. Sometimes, vulgar humor is pretty funny. But, if it strikes me as offensive regardless of how well intentioned something is, I'm not giving you air time on my blog.

Additionally, if any sort of products, services, or other related material goes up on here, it is because I am posting it. If you want to recommend something to me or request a review of something, email me. I have an account that is set up to take messages just from my blogs. I check it every few days. (I'm actually going to do that right after I hit publish on this post.) I am not going to permit people to use the comments on my blog to bandy about some product or service. You don't get free advertising.

If you want to advertise, contact me. We can work out an arrangement. I'll even make sure that there is a Twitter post to the blog entry, provided you compensate me for it. You have any questions or comments about this, email me.

This is MY blog. My blog is a benevolent dictatorship. My word here is law. If you don't like it, don't post in the comments. In fact, I invite you to take my blog off of your reading list. Because if you can't respect me and my rules, I'm pretty sure you're not going to like what I post.

10/5/15

Letters to Loki No. 26

Dear Silver Tongue,

I am slogging away at my projects. I have reached a point where I am beginning to think I might actually make progress on those other projects. I am about half way finished with my plot map for that science fiction book. I really appreciated your suggestions on making a detailed outline of scenes. That has helped me find so many plot holes.

I'm glad you like the pumpkin pie scented candle. I am trying to decide what I'm going to do with the 4 pounds of apples I have sitting in the fridge. I am terrible at pie crusts, so I can't exactly go with your idea. But, I can make apple crisp. It is like a pie with only a top crust. I think it is a good compromise. I just wish I had some vanilla ice cream to go with it. Because apple crisp with vanilla ice cream is awesome.

I think that I need to rearrange stuff on the main altar again. I am not entirely sure how I am going to do it this time. I want to have some icons for you and Freyr. I can't afford to buy statuettes though. I don't know what I'm going to use for that, honestly. But, I want to have something special there. I have all this stuff for Dea on the right side of the altar but very little for you guys on the left. I don't feel that is fair.

I'm not sure what else I should add today. So, I guess it is going to be a short note this week. There is other stuff to talk about, but that is private and will go in the hardbound notebook.

10/2/15

Dreams

Waning Gibbous Harvest Moon (Age: 19 days)
Sign: Gemini
Weather: Cool, cloudy with a threat of rain
~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Last night was really busy on the dreamscape. The first one that I had, I was sitting at a bus stop, waiting for a bus to go to Marketplace mall. (Mind you this place is about 2 hours away via the bus route that comes through here. It is 20 miles away from where I live. This is part of the reason why I'm glad we own a car.) Two things struck me as odd, which jarred me into lucid dreaming. The first was that my sleepy little town looked like it was a suburb of Baltimore. The other thing was the fact that there were no people around but myself, despite the fact that it was the middle of the day.

Shortly after I transitioned into lucid dreaming, a man in a dark blue dyed leather long coat and a brown wide brimmed hat pulled down low walked up and sat down beside me. He was not a small man by any stretch of the imagination. Very tall and broad of shoulder, I knew that between his manner of dress and his size, it was Odin.

I looked over at him and was surprised by two things. First, he had both eyes and, second, he appeared to be about my age rather than that of my father (or older). I greeted him with 'Hello, All-Father.' and he scoffed. Then he bemusedly chided me for being so formal and told me to call him dad. He reached into a pocket of his jacket and pulled out a fixed blade knife. 

It looked similar to my ritual knife (double edged, brass pommel and cross guard, with a brown wooden grip) but the blade was 5 inches long rather than the 3 of my ritual knife. The sheath of the knife was black with a unicursal knotwork design in red. The longer I looked at the design, the more shapes I saw in it. The one that showed up the most was a snake. I saw a pair of birds in the pattern and a wolf as well. The three animals didn't surprise me that much. I mean, they are Odin's animals. It was the butterflies that threw me for a loop.

I was about to ask him about it when he said, "You need a new knife. Take it." I reached over to take it and a queer feeling passed over me. I felt like my skin was tight, dry, and itchy. Like all of it was dead and needed to come off. He said, "That's the snake. You need to shed your skin too. This doesn't fit you any more. Change or die. And I'd prefer change for you." That strange sensation went away and I heard Huginn and Muninn calling, though I couldn't see them. He smiled as I looked around for them before setting a hand on my shoulder.

That was when I had the feeling of one bird perched on my left shoulder and the other on my knee. I couldn't see them, but I could hear them and feel them there. I was confused because their calls weren't very loud. They were actually pretty quiet. I suspect they were restraining themselves because of how close they were to me. "They are always with you. Yes, they fly the Nine Worlds and about Midgard, but they are with you. If you need me, call out. They will tell me and I will come," he explained, "I will always come. Because you are my daughter."

The wolves came out of a shadow that was literally on the side of the building. There was no place they could have been because they came out of the side of a building where the shadow lay. It was kinda weird, but I'm coming to the conclusion that weird just happens with gods involved. I don't think it is something that Loki has cornered the market on, yet. (And yes, I think there is playful rivalry between him and Odin for strangeness. Because I've noticed that they have a similar sense of humor.) Freki and Geri approached and sat down between us.

Freki headbutted my right knee until I finally scratched him between the ears. The wolves acted just like domesticated dogs. Their tails wagged happily as they got pets. Freki moved a bit and Geri got pets while Freki just leaned against my legs and wagged his tail. They seemed really happy and really sweet. It was totally not what I expected. Odin watched me as I petted the wolves. As I got comfortable with them, he just had a huge smile. Like he was watching a kid get a Yule gift they always wanted. I looked at him, kinda confused by the smile. He told me, "They'll come to you when you need protection. They will drive away danger and defend you, and your children. You are now part of their pack," he said sounding like he was going to start chuckling at any moment, "You know how wolves are about their pack."

Then asked him why I saw the butterflies. He scooted closer and wrapped an arm around my shoulders. He gave me a hug and said, "Why, that's you." I wanted to ask him more questions but he stood up. The ravens vanished from where they were perched on me to be visibly perched on his shoulders. The wolves came to his side as he set a hand on the crown of my head. He didn't say anything, but I knew that he blessed me. I felt this curious combination of warmth and chill come from his hand and go over me. It was confusing. He then said to me, "Be good." before walking off into the shadows and vanishing.

I wasn't confused by the 'be good' comment. I know exactly what he is talking about. I'm a little conflicted on how I feel about his casual, and really subtle, acknowledgement of the D/s thing going on between Loki and I. A part of me is kinda uncomfortable and feeling like something that should be super private isn't now. Another part of me is relieved that he isn't upset with me and my submissive role. It's a conflicted thing for me. I'm sure that it will resolve eventually. And I'm pretty sure that Loki will have something to say about my feeling conflicted. He usually has opinions on my getting like that over stuff.

I am a little concerned about the fact that Odin didn't include Beloved in the people that his wolves will protect. Loki assures me that it is because Beloved doesn't need supported defense like I do or is defenseless like the kids. The gods and the dead always tell me not to worry so much about Beloved because he's got everything squared away. It is hard to keep that in mind, to be honest.

The other dream I had was of Loki. I'm not surprised, looking back on it all, that where one went the other showed up. This dream, however, wasn't the kinky stuff that has been happening a fair amount of late. Thankfully, it wasn't him and I fighting again either. We were back at the river from my other dream. I was kinda worried about having to do the bucket thing again, but it didn't happen. Instead, there was the upstream portion of the river where all the rocks were getting a rime of ice over it and the downstream part of the river where the pools were that were steaming slightly. Somehow, I knew it was because those waters were almost boiling hot.

I was going to ask Loki why the water was like that when he shoved me and I fell into the water. At first I was worried that I was going to be burned or get dangerously cold as I fell. Then I hit the water and things got really weird. Like, through the looking glass kind of weird. I fell through the water into another place. It was dark in there. I couldn't fully recognize it because of how dark it was but it felt uncomfortably familiar.  It was like I fell through a doorway and managed to catch myself right before I completely fell to the ground. I took a few steps forward and then Loki followed me through that 'door'. 

I was getting progressively more and more anxious and uncomfortable standing there. "Need a light?" Loki asked and I just wanted to go back through that 'door' and get out of the little room that felt full of stuff. Then Loki turned on a light and I immediately knew why I felt anxious and a little sick standing there. We were standing in the room that N. raped me in. I wanted to demand to know why we were there when the door that was to the room rattled and the light went out. I knew exactly what was going to happen next. I saw the door open and myself and N. walk into the room. I turned away so I couldn't see what was going to happen more as the memory played out (weirdly with me as an observer rather than experiencing it).

Loki put his hands on my shoulders and turned me around. I saw things starting to unfold and I closed my eyes. Loki told me to open them. I wanted to argue with him when he said I needed to see it. I could hear myself telling N. to stop and I started shaking. I felt like I was going to be sick. He said I needed to open my eyes to see that what I remember was real. I started to cry. I told him that I wanted to forget.

He wasn't angry or upset in any fashion. He was actually very calm and compassionate when he said, "You will never forget the moments that define you. Even when you think you have." I covered my face with my hands as I listened to things happening, and I started crying. Loki stepped up close behind me and wrapped me up in a big hug. "You haven't lost your mind," he said, "All of this is real. All of your memories are just that, memories. You would never make something like this up. You would lie to tell people you are fine or not afraid. You would lie to hide what you think is a weakness or any evidence of it. Believe yourself. Trust your memories."

Things changed somehow. It was no longer dark and the air felt warm. Loki told me to open my eyes and I discovered we were back at the river's edge. Loki was still holding me but I was standing so that I was facing him with my hands on his chest. He said solemnly, "Believe in yourself. You do not lie." He then added with a fond smile, "And when you try, you don't do it very well." I was still feeling upset, sick, and scared. Loki just held me as I kinda cried and tried to speak at the same time. I managed to get out that I didn't want it to be real. He got this sad, knowing look on his face. That was when he told me, "I know. I know exactly how it is. But you can not change it. This is what is. This is what happened. You can not push it away or will it into non-existence. Not even gods can do that. Trying will only break you. Stop fighting it. Let your tears flow."

He smiled a little bit and then said, "That's what Freyja would want, you know." I tried to get angry and push all the painful feelings away, but I couldn't. Then I just sobbed and felt like I was broken by how I just lost it. I started crying and I just couldn't stop. Each time I tried to stop, I hurt more and I cried harder. Loki just held me and smoothed my hair. He muttered soothing things and reassuring things to me. After a while, I stopped crying.

It wasn't because the pain was gone. It wasn't because the grief or the feelings of guilt were gone. I just, couldn't do it. Loki just said very quietly, "And there it is." I didn't understand. I woke up still confused by that.

10/1/15

Old note from Loki.

Waning Gibbous Harvest Moon (Age: 18 Days)
Sign: Taurus
Weather: Cool, partly cloudy
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I was going through my notes for my fantasy series when I found an old message from Loki sitting there. I don't remember writing it down. I think it was a case of him borrowing my hands for a little bit. He does that sometimes. This note is almost ten years old. I am kinda surprised by it, because it is super relevant to what has been going on.

Forget me. Forget everything you claim to know. Greater truths reside in the universe than what is confined in your puny skull. Oh, the matter protected by that cave-like bit of stone is precious. Don't let anyone fool you on that one. But it is no more precious than a pebble if it is not used.
A diamond is nothing more than a rock. Less useful than coal, but held up with great reverence and value. I say to you, why do we value the diamond more than coal? Oh, the answers you'd give are obvious. "Because diamonds are rare. Because they're worth lots of money. Traditionally, they mean many wonderful things and have always been the property of the wealthy."

You wouldn't say so if you were freezing to death. You'd throw it away as a bit of trash in favor of the common coal that would save your life. Remember this parable of the diamond.
I don't know how this fits into what I've got going on. But it feels like it is really relevant to everything. It feels so important and relevant that it is going to bother me that I can't pin down exactly why. I now, however, remember why the line 'puny god' was so hilarious. That was a long set up for the joke. But he does stuff like that, because that's just what Loki does.

A video, as requested by Loki

Waning Gibbous Harvest Moon (Age: 18 Days)
Sign: Taurus
Weather: Cool, partly cloudy
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I have no idea why, but Loki requested that I make a little video and post it up. I don't really have anything to say. But he wanted me to make the video and remind people that he loved them. So, here's my video. I apologize if it is really derpy.


Things have been better this week. I have been making a point of using neutral self talk when I can't use something nice. It is really hard because I keep catching myself saying things like 'I'm so stupid.' when I make a mistake. I don't know how I feel about this video, to be honest. There is literally zero point in it beyond showing my face and telling people that Loki loves them (in my opinion). But, Loki says it is important to helping me break this habit of negative self talk, so I did it.

I know there is a method to what he is up to. I just don't get it. But, I don't get what Loki does most of the time. Sometimes he pauses to point out the logic of it. Most of the time I'm just baffled and go along to see what the end result will be. I am doing my best not to question everything. I catch myself about to ask what the point to stuff is or why I am important in any fashion. It is just as hard to keep myself from doing that as it is to stop this negative self talk thing.

My mistakes, however, are being tolerated because I try to fix them as soon as they happen. This whole practicing kindness towards myself feels awkward and uncomfortable. Freyr assures me that it will get better as I keep doing it. He's been talking to me about my writing stuff. I am somewhat intimidated by this whole posting on different topics as per a schedule. I kinda worry that I am going to have this flame out like it did the last time. Loki and Freyr are assuring me that this time it is different.

So, I am going to trust them and keep at it. And if I get sick and find myself unable to post, I will at least note that I am not well and will return to that topic when I am better. Speaking of getting back to things, I have returned to revising stuff on the fantasy series I'm writing. It is kinda boring right now. I want to start writing book six but revision is important. As per Odin's advice, I am making a point of organizing everything but it's rough with so many books. 

I got a very strong shove to get to work on putting stuff into order last night when I got many error messages on the desktop that I was running out of memory. I'm pretty sure that was engineered by the All Father. So, I spent my evening going through files rather than watching cat videos on Youtube. I have no idea what I'm doing with this stuff. I mean, I am ok on the write-read-revise-rewrite process. That is the only part of all this that I know what I'm doing. Odin keeps nudging me to do more to promote my stuff but I've been balking because I'm afraid of rejection.

His answer to this is "If there is no hope, then there is nothing to lose. Try anyways." So, I'm posting stuff on Twitter (my handle on there is @Lady_Brythwen). This whole process feels like the emotional, mental, and psychic equivalent to the discomfort of when the wound drain was pulled out after I healed up from my appendectomy. (I can't believe that was 8 years ago, where did the time go?) I feel things shifting around inside of me. It is uncomfortable. Honestly, it kinda hurts and it is a bit scary. They keep telling me that I'll be fine. Actually, Freyr's cheerful words of encouragement last night when I brought this up was, "You'll be better than fine."

I laughed when he said it. It was a turn of phrase that I'd have expected from Loki not Freyr. He, however, has been making a point of doing things that I hadn't expected for a few days now. And, like Loki and my dozen spirit companions (honestly, I have no idea how many of the dead are around me. I turn around and there's new ones all the time. It's frustrating and weird.), Freyr has been telling me that I don't laugh enough and I take myself far too seriously. I have no idea what to say to that, if anything.

9/29/15

Basic hex breaking spell.

Full Harvest Moon (Age: 15 days)
Sign: Aires
Weather: Cool, rainy
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

This spell is a good general purpose spell for breaking hexes.1 It is not very complicated and the resources for it are fairly easy to acquire. It can be worked at any phase of the moon, but it is most effective during the waning phase.

Items Needed:
  • 3, 5, or 7 thorns (ground to powder in a mortar and pestal)
  • fireproof container with a layer of sand
  • charcoal
  • source of open flame (a lighter works for this)
Ritual
  1. Place the charcoal into your fireproof container. Light it.
  2. After the charcoal is no longer emitting open flame, drop powdered thorns on to it. Recite incantation while doing so.
  3. Let charcoal burn to ash. Dispose of the ashes by burying in a place they will not be disturbed or into running water. (Yes, turning on the sink and casting the ashes into the stream will work in a pinch.)
Incantation

Burn away. Burn away to ash. Curses, baleful malice, and harm passes away. Your power is ashes, blown away with the wind

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
1. I use the term hex here in the colloquial sense, meaning a malevolent spell or psychic assault.

9/28/15

Letters to Loki No. 35

Full Harvest Moon (Age: 14 days)
Sign: Aires
Weather: Cloudy, light rain, warm
~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Dear Helpingest of Helpers,

I am really glad that I have been up all morning. I have had a really productive day so far. And the best part is that I'm not manic. I'm just awake, alert, and well rested. I feel like myself pre-bipolar. It is a feeling that I relish. I spend so much time depressed and not feeling well, this is a delightful change. I am trying to decide what I am going to do next, because I just finished up doing a bunch of writing. I feel that I need to take a break, I just can't decide if I'm going to wash dishes or fold laundry.

I have been thinking about the arguments we had last week. I really do see your point. I am not entirely sure how to resolve the problem, though. I know that my self-talk is really horrible when I feel depressed. And apparently when I don't sleep well it just makes it worse. I feel like changing it is going to take forever. It makes me frustrated and a little cranky. That is, when I am in my right mind. When I'm not well, it just makes everything awful and me ready to fight at the drop of a hat. I am really sorry about that.

I am looking at today and trying to decide what to do with this gift. Because today's feeling well really is a gift. A part of me wants to do something special but I am kinda drawing a blank. I am glad that you enjoyed the wine I poured out for you last night. It really is a surprisingly nice one for being so inexpensive. It makes me smile that you also enjoy the sweet wines too. Sweet alcohol is awesome. On your suggestion of getting that Gumption cider from Woodchuck, that is probably the best hard cider I have had in a long time. Seriously, thank you for pointing it out to me. I noticed it was the last one on the shelf. I hope that this doesn't mean it was the last of the stock, because I'm thinking about getting some more next week.

I laughed as I was getting ready to write that post about cartomancy and the joker kept jumping out of the deck. I know it is your card. It still made me giggle. Especially with you saying 'hey, watch this. imma gonna do a magic trick.' I'm glad that you are feeling happy and silly right now. It is good to have someone to be silly with.

9/25/15

Yes, I get the point.

Waxing Gibbous Harvest Moon (Age: 11 Days)
Sign: Pisces
Weather: Warm, fair skies, light breeze
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
So, the last several days had me arguing with Loki. Freyr basically threw up his hands after I was bickering with him, over the same matter, and told Loki he could deal with it. This turned in to him and I have a couple of loud arguments. And, in the end, I was upset with myself, the situation, and my psych issues. I also conceded the point that they had been making. While Loki and Freyr assure me that they're not upset with me, I still find myself concerned that they are.

What were we arguing about? My lack of faith in myself. My stubborn insistence that I do everything myself, even when I actually do need help. My resistance to accepting that there are wonderful qualities about myself. I feel kinda ashamed that I argued over this stuff. I am not happy with these qualities about myself and I have been trying to resolve the problems they create. But sometimes I can't manage it because I get so caught up in the unhealthy thinking that fuels them.

After seeing me flail around with it for the umpteenth time, Freyr decided he had to have a conversation with me about it. It started off pleasant. It was clear he is concerned and wants to help me. Then I got this wrongheaded idea that I couldn't be helped and that I deserved all the misery I was putting myself through. Freyr tried to get me to see reason but I just couldn't do it. That was when he threw up his hands and told Loki it was his turn to try.

Loki didn't start off with something sweet and calm. No, he barged in like the Kool Aid man and demanded to know why I did this stuff to myself. This turned into my arguing that it wasn't his problem. That was the wrong thing to say. Did he ever get angry with that, oh boy. I suppose that you could say it was when the fight started. Things quickly progressed to my screaming at him that he was wrong about me, that I genuinely didn't deserve help because I hadn't earned it, and this convoluted thing where I was basically regurgitating all of the negative stuff I had said to me when I was young. And he was shouting back at me that I needed to stop and listen to what was coming out of my mouth, that I had no clue about what was right or wrong about how others viewed me, and that I didn't get to choose if I had earned help or not. And I was quite loudly reminded that I don't get to choose how other people feel about me or what they do with respect to me.

I was kinda cowed into silence by that. I reluctantly conceded he was right. He just kinda fixed me with an irate glare, declared me damn stubborn, and went poof. There was a lot of silence after that. Most of the dead were quiet and basically staying the fuck out of the way in case the fight started again. Silence like that, when I am used to there being some level of constant psychic background noise, makes me really uneasy. And, on top of that, the mental back brain chatter of characters for my writing was quiet. Like someone flipped a switch and nothing I could do turned it back on.

The next day, I guess it was around the middle of the day, Loki showed up. He was brooding and distinctly not happy with me. The second argument wasn't quiet as loud. He demanded to know if I 'got it.' I retorted that I had no clue what he was talking about. And things just kinda went downhill from there. The conclusion of that disagreement was Loki demanding to know why I wasn't going to let anyone help me when I needed it. I replied with I didn't deserve help. He got angry with that. He gave me a hard look and said something about 'Well, we're going to fix that." Then he went poof again. I felt awful about it all. Which moved from being upset that I had made him angry and made him worry to my kicking myself to my basically telling myself how worthless I was.

I was in the midst of that when Loki was back again. I had a vision of myself trying to fill a sieve with water and carry it to the river bank. Water kept pouring out, because it was a sieve. I kept getting angry and upset with it. And Loki sat on the other side of the river watching me. After the fifth or sixth iteration of this, he said, "You're using the wrong tool." and held up a bucket.  I opened up my mouth to argue that the sieve was the tool I was given to complete the task. He cut me off saying, "All of your anger wont fill the holes. It wont magically turn the water into ice."

I shouted at him, "What the hell am I supposed to do when the damn bucket is on the other side of the river? I can't fucking swim this." That was when he smiled, this was a distinct difference from when I had previously started arguing with him. It was a suggestive look. I guess a part of me would have gotten uncomfortable with it in the middle of this context but I was too angry to be anything other than angry. 

He holds up the bucket and says in a suggestive tone, "You could always ask me to bring it to you. I'll do it for a price." That made me so angry that I couldn't speak. After a little bit of glaring at him and wanting to throw the sieve at him, I did manage to get something out.

I spat in a bitter tone, "There's always a price. Anyways, this is something I'm supposed to do on my fucking own." He laughed at me. Proceeded to tell me how attractive I was when I was angry. Which again had me speechless with anger. Then he said added something to the effect of 'you don't think clearly when you're angry, do you?' That was when Loki basically turned into two different versions of himself. One was the world breaker aspect and the other was the trickster aspect. (I see them both differently. I may be weird, but it is how it happens for me.)

Trickster!Loki is by my side on the bank with World-Breaker!Loki on the other side holding the bucket. Trickster!Loki says, "I could always push you in. Then it would be full all the time." I declared that Trickster!Loki wasn't helping and finally threw the sieve at the ground. Then World-Breaker!Loki said, "Well, there's..." and Trickster!Loki finished, "A step in the right direction." I wanted to throw something at him. I really did, I mean, I was so angry I was shaking. Then Trickster!Loki walked up and took my face in his hands as his eyes turned the color of World-Breaker!Loki's. I tried to look away, but he didn't let me. Then he asked me in a voice that was a combination of both aspect's voices, "Are you done being stubborn now?"

Then I started crying and tried to look away or turn away from him. Again, he didn't let me. He was very calm. All the anger from the last couple of days was never there, like it never happened. Instead, he asked me to let him help me. That was when I sobbed that I wasn't allowed. He brushed the tears off my cheeks with his thumbs and told me to let him love me. That just made me cry harder. His hands became very warm, like as if I had come in from the bitter cold and he put his hands, which were being warmed by a fire, against my cheeks. Feeling ugly from crying, I managed to choke out that I felt I was too scarred and ugly for him.

He laughed again and asked me if I had recently looked at his face. So, I try to hide my face in my hands, but he takes hold of them and presses them to his chest over his heart. I just stood there and cried. He told me, "Waking up is the most hopeful thing you can do when all you want to do is sleep. Eating is the most hopeful thing you can do when you want to starve. Continuing to try is the most hopeful thing to do when everything in you says it is hopeless. Staying alive is the most hopeful thing to do when all you want to do is die. And hope is courage."

Then everything changed. This time, I was at the water's edge with a bucket in my hands. I had it full of water and I was trying to pull it up out. He said, "Once more, with feeling." I felt heartbroken. He tells me that I paid his price with my honesty. As I try to lift the bucket out of the water, it is so heavy that it hurts my hands. As in, it hurts them to the point where I start to cry in frustration and pain. Then he steps up to my side and puts his hands over mine. He tells me not to give up. I keep trying to raise it up and the pain is such that my hands feel like they're burning, and the bucket is only a few inches up out of the water. He keeps encouraging me. When my strength starts to fail, he tells me to keep trying. I weep that I can't because I'm not strong enough. He laughs and teases me about the kinks I have. 

Somehow, we get the bucket out of the water and carry it to the side of the river. I'm hurting so much that I can't speak or see straight. After the bucket gets set on the ground, I hold my hands against myself, just wordlessly crying in pain. Loki takes me in his arms. Praises me for being stubborn and brave. He kisses my palms and the pain recedes. He tells me that it will be easy now that the first bucket is out. He tells me that he is going to help me. I start to argue that I am not allowed help and he cuts me off telling me, "I'm going to help you. If you want it or not."

I've been thinking about the bucket thing. I've been thinking about the arguments. And I've been thinking about my psychological problems. I think the bucket thing was referencing my work to resolve my psych problems. Right before I posted this, I think I got a message from him. A meme randomly flashed up on my facebook before vanishing (and I can't find it now for the life of me). The meme said, "You believed in Santa for 8 years. You can try believing in yourself." And I think, I'm not sure, but I think that's where all of this is leading.

I think it is another case of walk forward or be dragged, either way I'm going forward.

9/23/15

How to create a basic talisman.

Waxing Harvest Moon (Age: 9 days)
Sign: Capricorn
Weather: Seasonable, fair skies
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Items required:
  • small object that can be carried on one's person or worn
  • blessed salt water
  • lit stick of incense

Ritual:
  1. Hold object in the hand which is used to project energy (most frequently the dominant hand).
  2. Envision the object filling with energy focused upon the purpose of the talisman.
  3. When object feels 'full' pass it through the incense smoke, sprinkle with salt water, and recite incantation.
  4. Carry or wear object regularly in order to use. If you feel it is losing effectiveness, cleanse the object and repeat the ritual.

Incantation:

This [name of object] is blessed with [purpose] energy. It is full and powerful. Let this power be fixed by fire and air. Let this power be fixed by water and earth. As I will, so shall it be.

Notes: 

Incantation can be adapted to different purposes. Keep the lines from "It is full ..." onward. Can include appeal for deities to bless object.

9/21/15

Letters to Loki No. 35 - Improvements.

Dear Loki,

Over the course of last week, I found myself gradually feeling better mood wise. I'm now back at my normal middle of the road mood. I am glad that I am feeling better because it is awful to feel that way. I have been doing my best not to resist the cycling of my moods but I have to consciously remind myself of that. Maybe after a little while, I will get better about it. Right now, I am just doing my best to treat myself with compassion and stop putting ridiculous demands on myself.

I have reached a point where I have found all of my volumes of my book of shadows. I have been flipping through them and feeling a mixture of overwhelmed by how much material is there and nostalgic. The stuff from my early days of this journey is so idealistic. There's a measure of romanticism there that is somewhat charming. Also, I find the attempts of my younger self to explain magic to be amusing to read.

I am in the early stages of organizing that whole mess. I've got a notebook that I am writing all the spells in. I am amused that so far I have more curses in here than anything else. I don't curse people often but I seem to have collected a number of them over the years. In looking at the trends, you can see where my interests and curiosity have gone over the years. The more 'left hand path' type of magic is a consistent thing in my research and study. I suppose my attempts to understand and be adequate with that type of magic has been a big portion of my studies over the years. I can't help but be a little bit amused by all of this.

9/20/15

Spell to Ward off Ill Wishes

Waxing Harvest Moon (Age: 6 days)
Sign: Sagittarius
Weather: Fair skies, seasonable temps
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This spell is a simple one. With only five steps, it is a good one for beginners and experienced practitioners alike. I have found this to be useful to keep the malefic magic of others out of my home. It can also be repeated and used in a work environment, simply keep the jar on your desk. If you are using this spell in a location where others might be inquisitive about it, you may want to use a jar with opaque glass or colored glass. This way it looks to be more of a decorative object than something just sitting with no apparent purpose.

Items Needed:
  • 1 small glass jar with lid
  • 10 to 20 slips of paper
  • Crumpled scraps of paper that will fill the jar
  • Red inked pen
  • Sealing wax
Ritual:
  1. Select one slip and write your name on it. On remaining slips, write gibberish. Fold all slips.
  2. Fill jar with slips of paper and crumpled paper at random intervals. Use first intonation as completing this step.
  3. Draw an eye on the inside of the lid. Use second intonation while completing this step.
  4. Close jar and seal with wax. Use final intonation for this step.
  5. Place sealed jar at entrance into dwelling, where it may be visible. 
Intonations:
  1. Many slips of paper lie. Many scraps between. Never shall you find me with your baleful eye.
  2. Watchful gods and spirits turn away the evil eye.
  3. Safety and goodness sealed within, let my magic's might begin. 

9/15/15

Letters to Loki No. 34 - Screaming mad?

Hail Chaos Bringer,

I've been really struggling with my bipolar. I have been feeling like my body has betrayed me and that all of this is a result of my not being strong enough to resist it. I grieve and then I am numb. Then shaking fury rolls over me and I have to work very carefully not to let it loose on undeserving victims. I feel like I'm tumbling into screaming madness.

It is very, very hard to resist the urge to fight this descent. I hate the sensation of falling now. When I was small, I loved it because it felt like flying. Somewhere over the years, the feeling of falling became connected with pain and powerlessness. Thus, as I fall deeper into depression, I grow more panicked. From the panic come anger. And the anger terrifies me, which makes me even more fearful. Which depresses me further even as I get angrier. I am struggling not to turn this anger on myself but it is very, very difficult.

I know the plane is crashing. I know I need to jump and parachute to safety. I also know that if I don't jump, you'll kick me out of the plane. I don't know, have I just jumped, am I jumping, or did I get kicked out of the plane? I can't tell anymore. All I know is that I feel horrible and I'm rapidly feeling worse with each passing day.

I'm terrified of hearing the voices again. I have been having headaches, like I do when the voices try to breakthrough the medication. I am so afraid that I am literally shaking as I type this. What if I'm not strong enough to resist them? What do I do? You're smart. You can talk your way out of anything, just about. Perhaps you can help me figure out some sort of clever words to calm my mind or at least outfox this fear.

9/11/15

Letters to Loki No. 33: Writing it all down.

Dear Silver Tongue,

I have been working on recording all of my spells in one place as you have encouraged me to do so. I'm starting with the ones that I haven't had written down. As I have been working on this, I have come to the conclusion that I know quite a few curses. It is interesting, because I don't use curses very often. Still, they seem to outnumber the other spells.

My love spells are a lot more fancy than the curses. Well, most of the curses. I have one that has quite a few steps. I find myself wondering if the love spells are low on my list of spells because I haven't had to use them very much at all. My healing spells are almost as high in number as my curses, thus far. I am not sure how to classify some of my other spells, however. This business of organizing my magic notes is becoming more complicated with each page.

Either way, however, I will get this done. I hope that I can find more 'happy' spells because thus far the ledger falls more on the unpleasant side.

Curses: Thorns

Old Corn Moon (Age: 28 days)
Sign: Virgo
Weather: Fair skies, seasonable
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This is an inversion of my hex/curse breaking spell. When casting a curse, be aware that some measure of the energy will come back to you. Distancing yourself from the physical materials that are still charged with the curse reduces the degree of that energy returning to you. Proper disposal of spell materials can serve to ground the energy coming back to you off of the curse.

Items Needed:
  • 1 candle (preferably black, but any other color may work. A candle chosen with the color associated with the target will be especially effective if you do not have a black candle.)
  • scented oil with a fragrance associated with the target
  • 3, 5, or 7 thorns (well dried out and sharp)
  • source of open flame (a lighter is a good option)
Procedure:
  1.  Anoint the candle with the oil, envisioning the candle as the target of the spell.
  2. Drive your thorns into the candle at random intervals, seeing them in your mind's eye stabbing the target. Hold this focus through the next two steps.
  3. Burn the candle completely.
  4. Recite the following incantation whilst burning candle.
  5. Bury any left over wax and the thorns where the target may come into contact with them. (i.e. a place they would step over them or physically come into contact with them.) 
  6. If target is long distance, bury the remains where refuse is disposed. (Disposing of them in the garbage is a good option.)
Incantation:

All sorrows befall you. All evil strikes you. No safety awaits you. Endlessly, I curse you, [target's name] by flame and pain to misery and strife in all your life. 

9/5/15

Awkward things re: gods and their wants.

Last Quarter Corn Moon (Age: 22 days)
Sign: Gemini
Weather: Hot, sultry, and uncomfortable
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Sometimes the gods specifically request things that I'm not 100% comfortable with. I recognize that a lot of my hang ups are unhealthful for me. And that these requests are serving a dual purpose. That said, it gets really awkward on a semi-regular basis now. I think the most difficult thing for me, right now, is the devotional erotica. Because most of what I have been writing is what I've experienced with them. And I have never been fully comfortable talking about my sex life. I have a hard time writing erotic letters to my husband, whom I've know for 30+ years. And saying it verbally, that just doesn't happen with out my turning the color of a tomato.

Them wanting the last of the alcohol, which I was hoping to have, to them telling me how they want me to dress once in a while, it gets uncomfortable. I know that I have autonomy. I know that I can tell them know. I also know that telling them no leads to some upset and makes domestic harmony a bit challenging. The times where I've told them no, it is because I just can't bring myself to do something. And they will grumble about it but let the matter drop for a while. Then they ask again, because I might have changed just enough that it will be possible.

The one thing that they've never asked is for me to put aside my health and welfare. (In fact they get quite upset when I am not taking care of myself properly. And, boy, do I hear about it.) And they've never asked that I compromise my relationships with my husband or my children. And I don't think they'll ever do that. I think that gods have hard limits too. And those might be two of 'em.

I try to push through the awkwardness and make things happen. It doesn't go gracefully or as I think it should in my ridiculously excessively high standards. But, it gets done. And I guess that is what matters. I can be uncomfortable and still do things.

9/1/15

Defensive Confusion Counter spell No.2

Items needed:
  • candle
  • 4 mirrors arranged in an open box shape
  • source of live flame (a lighter is an acceptable option.)
  • anointing oil or a bit of your personal scent (i.e. perfume or cologne)
Ritual:

  1.  Create ritual space as per preferred methods. Invoke spiritual allies and helpers as needed.
  2. Place the candle within the center of the box formed by the mirrors. Ensure the mirrors are aligned to reflect each other and the candle as completely as possible.
  3. Anoint the candle and envision your energy streaming into the candle.
  4. Light the candle while reciting the incantation.
  5. Allow candle to burn down completely.
  6. Place wax remnants in a secure location where they can not be disturbed. Inside a small glass container and buried at a secret location is traditional.
Incantation:
Countless flames burn. Only one is me. All your efforts to find me are lost in illusion. You shall weaken and I will remain free.

Notes regarding manifestation:

This spell has swift results. It enhances the effectiveness of psychic shields used by the caster. It serves to diffuse and scatter energy cast towards the defender.

Letters to Loki No. 32

Waning Corn Moon (Age: 17 Days)
Sign: Aries
Weather: Sultry, sunny, and still air
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Dear Sly One,

It has been difficult to write to you. I get anxious that what I have to say will annoy you or otherwise displease you. I have been working on the off-line journal, but that has been difficult too. I know that I need to get a better sense of my value. I know that I need to stop perseverating on all the things that could go wrong and just do it. It has been terribly hard to do it, though. My problems sleeping have returned. My anxiety is going up again. I know that this is the beginning of the bad time of year for me. I'm so angry, honestly, with the fact that it is happening again. I had this idea that with the right medications, I would be 'normal' and not have this disability.

I am getting to the point where I don't want to go out of the house again. I've been forcing myself to do it. The boys and I were at the park pretty much all day today and most of the day yesterday. My therapist says that isolating myself is a habitual thing and if I break the habit socializing wouldn't be so hard. I am attempting to just be physically in a location where I might interact with people. It is becoming hard to do. I just find myself wanting to hide from everyone and everything until this sense that I am awful will pass.

I have been forcing myself to work on my writing more. A part of me says I should give up on all this. It says that the lack of response from readers is a sign that what I'm writing is pretty much worthless. It says that I will never amount to anything with my writing and that it is a childish dream that has gone too far. I battle that voice in my head every day. I am hoping that writing in my therapy journal on a daily basis will help me process what ever is behind that horrible self talk. 

I know that you know what I'm struggling with. I know that you want to help me. And that you do, often when I don't have the presence of mind to ask for it. I still feel like this struggle is a sign that I am defective and that someone stronger wouldn't have these mood swings or anxiety. I'm pretty sure that is the fruit of how I was raised and how society treats mental illness. I don't like it. I try to keep it out of my thoughts but when I'm feeling like this, I just can't shake it.

I'm sorry. I don't know what I am apologizing for but I feel like I need to. So, I apologize. I love you Loki. I want to see you happy and prosperous. I don't want to hold you back from your joy. You've had so much sorrow. I want to give you greater joy to balance out all of the grief. I am, however, not feeling up to the task. I feel little, worthless, and hurt. I'm working on it with my therapist but I doubt how much it helps. I've been in therapy for the better part of 20 years. Wouldn't I have resolved some of this by now?

8/23/15

On godspousery

Waxing Corn Moon (Age: 8 days)
Sign: Sagittarius
Weather: Seasonable, fair skies
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm pushed by them to write this but it terrifies me. Signs have popped up like mushrooms after a night of rainstorms just further pushing that point. I feel a little sick with anxiety but the urge to write won't leave me. My courage falters at posting this on Veiled Witch. I can only hope that this post satisfies them at least long enough for me to catch my breath and find words for it all.

I bicker with Freyr as to if I am yet a spouse. I insist that there has been no formal wedding or rite between us. He usually laughs it off and says that I am welcome to my opinion. But over the last few days, his response is more firm. A laundry list of deities have declared me as his spouse, including his mother and sister. I stammer protestations that I can't possibly be so but Ingvi brooks no argument now. He demands that I put aside my 'childish, stubborn arguments' and step up. He has made very plain his position on the matter and apparently has hit the end of his rope with my reluctance to go along with it. He says "You can not argue the day into night. You can not argue a stone into sand. Stop and accept what is. Your argument won't change what is."

And then there is Loki. Ah gods, what manner of mess have I landed myself into here? Worldbreaker has gone from decades of 'yer cute but I'm not into you like that' to very suddenly the monster of all my dreams and fantasies that I never have breathed a word of with more than affection there. I would say love but it scares me to call it that. He knows where all the proverbial bodies are buried and helped me bury a few of 'em. Each secret I have, each little psychological button, and all the things I don't express; Loki knows all of them. And he intends to show them to Freyr. While Loki has not claimed me as bride in his words towards me, his demeanor very much says this.

I am very afraid right now. I fear I am in such deep water that I have no hope of surviving it. The thing I fear the most, however, is what they intend to give me. Freedom from the mental bondage I have been in for so long, it spurs this almost agoraphobic need for me to hide. But they're stripping away my walls and masks. They're placing me squarely where my needs can not be avoided, only met. And this terrifies me.

I silently scream that I don't deserve it. But the reply is that my opinions on what I deserve are irrelevant next to my needs. My terror is over being raised up from where I have fallen. I fear that I must not lift my head too high or reach too far. I fear something beyond the frustration of gods if I stand at my full stature, and I don't know what it is.

And so many gods right now in my life, they tell me it is time to walk forward or be dragged. And Loki promises that if I am dragged, I will enjoy every inch along the way, which only scares me even more. I can not flee. There is no where I can run because I am surrounded and all my cleverness fails to turn this aside.

My courage is faltering but I have given my word. What have I done?