Letters to Loki # 27- The Rollercoaster has come off the rails.

Dear Loki,

I was feeling like things were beyond my control for a little while now. And then my paternal grandmother died early Monday morning. Now I feel like I'm just holding on for dear life as the rollercoaster is plunging into the abyss. Routine is basically what has gotten me through the last few days. I can't really do much of anything to be of help with getting things settled over at the farm. I can't do much to comfort folks. There is a whole lot of 'I can't do anything to help.' going on right now and it is a somewhat upsetting position to be in.

I know some of this is colored by the fact that I slept really poorly last night and I somewhat anticipate more of the same tonight. I am a little bit in a state of shock right now. I think it is taking the edge off of the grief. I am pretty sure that the calling hours at the funeral home are going to be rough on me. I know that the memorial service is going to be. I don't know if I'm going to be going through this with a stoic reserve like I did with my paternal  grandfather's death a few years ago or if I'm going to be openly weeping this time. I am unsure about what I'm going to do if I get caught up in that.

Emotional extremes don't feel safe to me. Stoicism was something I adopted because of how intense emotional experiences resulted in negative consequences when I was younger. I know that I need to get used to this. I know that the stoic response to everything isn't healthy for me. At the same time, I am very apprehensive about this because the people who taught me that powerful emotion isn't 'appropriate' are the ones I am going to be around.

I keep trying to will myself to 'get over' all the anxiety and what not. It isn't working out that well. I honestly don't know how this week is going to turn out. I'm just not sure of what to do in this whole mess. Keeping my head down and doing the daily routine is going to work for only so long until all of this catches up with me. I will some how get through this. Hopefully it will not turn into an utter disaster.


Letters to Loki # 26 STFU Anxiety.

Hi Loki,

I have been having a hard time writing for you gods. It is not that I don't want to. I am just hitting a mental block on it all. I think the reason why has been my increased anxiety over the last little while. I thought that the incident a few weeks ago was something that I was pretty much over and I was fine. I have to admit, however, that I really am not.

Having somebody trespass into the apartment when I was sleeping was damn terrifying. With the locks being changed, I feel much safer. But I'm still a bit jumpy. I am glad that I woke up when I did. I'm glad that the intruder only poked around some papers sitting on the table and moved a few dishes on the counter as they talked to someone about me. I'm glad that they left with out taking anything or doing me any harm. These are things that I am thankful for. The fact that I managed to provide a decent imitation of someone deeply asleep despite the fact that I was awake and listening to them is another thing that I'm thankful for.

At the same time, having the back door open for a breeze at night when I'm attempting to sleep makes me uncomfortable (even though Beloved is sitting in the living room reading or doing whatever on his tablet). I know that this jumpiness will pass eventually. I just am still kinda unnerved by it. And then there is the business of the kids finishing school for the summer and my cousin's graduation. For some reason, I am really worrying about what I'm going to do with the boys while they're on break. I can't seem to stop. And you know how rough things are for me when it comes to dealing with my side of the family.

All this worry just overflows when I sit down to write and I wind up writing about that. I guess my therapist would say this is a good thing because it is helping me to process stuff. But it doesn't exactly help me write stuff for you guys. I want to write happy things. I want to write stuff that isn't so absorbed with my psych issues. But for the last few weeks, I've just been stuck on that topic. Mindless activity helps a little bit, but writing has never been mindless activity for me.

I am doing better about my issues eating. I've been eating three meals a day (making a point to eat the whole meal) even though I feel really repulsed by it. I am making a point of not weighing myself every day so that I don't start hyperfocusing on the number on the scale and start doing stupid things because of it. I checked my weight, though, a few days ago and it is maintaining the number I was at about a month ago. So, I'm not losing weight stupidly fast again. It is hard for me to cope with feeling out of control. I am, though, trying to do that and focusing on what I can do rather than what is happening that I can't manage.

My knee is healing up well. I've hit the point where it itches like crazy now rather than just hurting all the time. I am really glad that I didn't break anything when I fell down the stairs. Hearing that my grandmother broke her hip after a fall just served to reinforce the idea that I was lucky I didn't break a kneecap landing on my knees. I am also really thankful that Cuddle Bear didn't get more severely injured when he fell on his field trip yesterday.

I don't know if that was you or somebody else's work. But I am really, really thankful that he didn't get a concussion and all he has are minor scrapes. It's funny in a perverse fashion, because he has a scrape on his knee in just about the same spot that I do. It's been something that he has been commenting on. I think it makes the whole business less scary for him. Whatever helps make the matter less of a source of anxiety for him is something I'm going to be thankful for. I've been trying to get him to understand that he has to bend his knee so that the skin heals properly, but he's been resisting that (except for when he gets caught up in what he is doing and forgets to not walk normally). I'm thinking the trick to all of this might be keeping him too busy to mess with his bandages or do stuff like drag his leg when he walks.

I had a chuckle this morning when he decided that he needed to use my cane this morning. I treated it as he was being silly and the topic was dropped. If I'm lucky, he will have forgotten about this idea tomorrow and be more interested in going to school and playing with his friends. Also, if I'm lucky, my knees won't be giving me trouble tomorrow and I won't need my cane.

That's pretty much everything that is on my mind right now. I can't think of much else to write. I hope that the solstice was pleasant for you and Sigyn. It was just another busy Sunday at my house. If we get a lasting break in rainy weather, I'll make a point to get those daylilies that you told me she likes. They've just started blooming, so I think I can find a few nice ones for her. I'll catch up with you again soon.


Palmyra, Daesh, and Disappointment.

Waxing Buck Moon (Age: 5 days)
Sign: Virgo
Weather: Partly cloudy, humid, warm
In case you haven't read it in the news, Daesh (the group known as ISIS or ISIL, though I refuse to call it anything other then Daesh) has laid mines around the ancient ruins of the city of Palmyra. It has been described as holding this world heritage site hostage. A description that, honestly, I agree with. I fear that the Syrian government will not be successful in recapturing the city of Palmyra and that Daesh will destroy this important site. I try not to think about those fears because brooding upon them feeds them more energy and may help this terrible possibility manifest. I confess, however, I am fearful of what Daesh will do.

I have read of what evil people have used magically to bolster themselves and I have no illusions that Daesh is employing some form of magic towards their ends. Seeing what they have done over the last year, I am deeply troubled by what they are engaged in. Daesh is reshaping the landscape of the Middle East in blood to something that only in mouthed words resembles Islam. They are persecuting, torturing, and murdering people who come across their path who do not ascribe to their vision. They are destroying ancient sites that are vital to the history of the region (and the world) because of their objection to the ancient faiths that were practiced there but they are selling off artifacts to fund their campaign of terror. I look at Daesh and I am horrified by what they are, what they have wrought, and what their apparent vision of the future is. 

I look at this extremism and I fear for the people that live under that rule and those who are caught within its grasp. When I look to the United States and I see the growing attitudes of Christian extremism, I feel deep disgust and disappointment. When I see the systemic racism in my homeland being justified as 'biblicaly sound' attitudes, my disappointment deepens. Do I believe the extremists in the US are going to be as violent as Daesh? I don't think that will be an immediate thing but if they gain traction, they will become so. 

I pray for these people to be halted in their efforts to oppress others. I pray that their views will not gain adherents. I pray for justice to be done for all whom these people have harmed. But, sometimes, I feel that my prayers are not enough. When the shooting in Charleston happened, I was not surprised to learn of the gunman's philosophical leanings. It is but another manifestation of the same extremists who bomb Planned Parenthood and similar 'abortion' clinics. It is but another manifestation of the same extremists who think murdering gay and transgender people is a proper thing to do. When these evils are enacted, I feel powerless to do anything about them.

I will confess, I have something of a soft heart. When I read of these tragedies, I grieve for all who are afflicted by them. I despair for the future. And then I pray for justice and healing. I have been feeling of late that my prayers are not enough in the face of this evil. Odin has been strongly encouraging me to apply magic to the problems. Indeed, one of the ways he has been encouraging me to apply magical effort is by way of curses. I was feeling rather squicked by the concept of throwing curses around up until recently.

Perhaps my discomfort with curses came from the 'lightworker' heritage that I bear in my training. Or perhaps it comes from my fears that engaging in such things will bring disaster upon my house (as I had been told in the past by someone that I then respected). I realized, however, as I read of the Charleston massacre, the murder of several young trans-people, and Daesh's latest actions in Palmyra, that my discomfort is something of an attempt to avoid stepping up to oppose what feels like an overwhelming opposition. This is something that is unacceptable. 

So, over the next month, I will be working on spells to hinder and neutralize these evil people. My discomfort must not stop me from acting because it is wrong for me not to do something when I have the capacity to lend even a small bit of effort towards stopping this evil. As I work up these spells, I will post the 'recipes' on here. It is my hope that some of my readers who are comfortable (morally) with taking these actions will join me in doing so. I will be continuing my prayers for justice to be had for the victims and for their healing.

I may be but one person, but I can pray and cast spells with the best of 'em. Aside from this, I can continue to take a stance in my dealings with others that opposes these evils when they come to light.


The Importance of Mythopoetic History

The subject is mentioned in many of the public sites that discuss Filianism but it is not really discussed. Perhaps because many feel that it is simply enough to say that it matters and it is more 'real' when compared to literal history. I, however, believe it is important to take a moment to explore what mythopoetic history is and why it is important. Because mythopoetic history is very important and has a powerful influence on how entire cultures view themselves.

Literal history is just that. The history that can be proven factually with evidence. It is what most archeologists and historians study. While some argue that literal history is the only form of history, there are also those who deny that historical events happened. (I'm looking right at you, holocaust deniers.) While it is tempting to say that literal history is the only history of the world and humanity, it fails to take in the more subtle aspects that can be only inferred from historical artifacts.

Mythopoetic history is the story we tell ourselves about our origins. Each culture (and subculture) has a different mythopoetic history. Mythopoetic history is fluid and exists in a mutual relationship of influence upon the culture it operates upon/within. The tales of the ancient Greeks, including the great myths of the gods, the great stories of heroes (The Odyssey is perhaps the most well known of them.) and the folklore of the people, make up their mythopoetic history. It tells them where they came from, how the world works, what it means to be a person, what it means to be respectable, and what is to be unforgivable behavior in their society. Mythopoetic history is influenced by cultural shifts.

As such, when you look at the changes to these myths with the passage of time, it becomes apparent what values changed and about when it happened. It is also possible to gague the influence of social stressors, such as economic problems and war, through the evolution of the mythopoetic language of a society. Modern Greece's mythopoetic history is very different from ancient Greece. It is heavily influenced by literal history because of the high value that is placed upon such things in their society now. Elements of the ancient mythopoetic history will remain in that culture's 'story' but they will be reinterpreted and reenvisioned to fit the modern societal conditions.

It is possible for mythopoetic history to be changed in a fairly short period of time. If one consideres the social engineering and manipulation of what became the Nazi Party in the era of the Weimar Republic, the sweeping changes to how the German people viewed themselves was enormous. It built upon several core elements that make up mythopoetic history and then presented them in an attractive fashion, at an aggressive pace. The success of their social engineering is partly due to the fact that the German people at the time were desperately looking for better ways to define themselves and remove the onus of shame that they felt because of their conditions. Another reason why it was so successful was because it acquired patronage from individuals highly placed within the society.

Shifts in mythopoetic history must be grounded in a sense of where the culture comes from, who and what they standfor, and why they have the troubles they do. It must answer the basic questions of existence that go beyond 'where did humans come from?' and 'how did the universe come into being?'. It addresses the questions of what our relationship with the universe should be, what our cultural origins are, and addresses the attributes of a 'good' citizen. When these shifts are well placed and timed correctly, they seem to the person within the structure of the mythopoetic history to be a seamless transition.

Studying mythopoetic history is an important thing. Observing how it is shaped and how it evolves makes it possible for one to have a clear picture of the state of the given society, its values, and its norms. Just as mythopoetic history can be changed through skillful manipulation, it can be retained as well. Some elements of mythopoetic history will persist as folklore simply because one can not erase anything completely from memory. Other elements can be adapted to the evolving culture and retain much of their original concept, with new ones applied to it as well.

One may wonder why mythopoetic history is so important. It is important from an anthropological and sociological position because it depicts the things about the culture that it valued about itself and the world. It is also important from a layman's perspective because it is what is at the heart of political movements and change. If one has a clear understanding of what previous mythopoetic history said about their culture, it becomes possible to affect change in the present mythopoetic history. A fine example of this is how the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s forced a change in how the cultural story of the black community was placed in society. The transition away from that earlier view is still in process, but there is enough of a change that governmental shifts have been made.


Letters to Loki # 25

Hi there Loki,

I'm not sure what to write this week. I'm still struggling with my food issues. It's been hard to make myself eat when I don't feel like I should be. I, however, have been listening to Freyr when he nudges me to get something in me and eating what he suggests. I feel ashamed that I'm having problems with this again. I honestly thought that it was all done and over with. But, I guess, it is a fool who thinks they've conquered everything.

I'm almost finished spinning this latest bit of silk. After this, I'm going to take a break from it. I'm glad that I've got a distaff because the way the weather has been, I'm pretty sure my hands would sweat handling wool. I thought it would be good to make something pretty with it but I honestly have no idea. I picked up a book on Tunisian crochet. It's given me some good ideas for Yule gifts. I also think I'm going to run with your suggestion of beaded stitch markers for my MiL. I don't think, however, skulls are quite her style. I will, though, make that set and probably keep 'em for me.

Your idea for how to fix that bracelet was genius. I can actually wear it now. I was afraid that I'd have to take it apart but you gave me just the right tips for how to fix it. I don't know if it is going to replace my grounding bracelet. I think that it will become a regular favorite, though. That fix seems sturdy enough to stand up to the daily tasks of running the household. It does not, however, make a good wrist distaff.

I am looking at my various writing projects and feeling at something of a loss for where to begin. I appreciate that you and the other two are all telling me to start with what feels right. It's just hard for me to figure out just what that is. My regular blogging efforts are helping to some extent to keep me mentally sharp. I think that writing in my therapy journal is helping me deal with some pretty awful memories. But, I am at a loss for which book to work on. You three told me I need to write three books this summer. It would be kinda nice for at least one of you point me at what I should be working on.

I've been going for walks with Freyr. I think I'm starting to get past the stammer like an idiot thing. I still find myself awestruck by Freya. I know you tell me that I will get used to her. I honestly question that. I am getting the impression, however, that they are a packaged deal. That kind of intimidates me. But, you say it's good for me to take on things that intimidate me. So, I'm forging forward. But I feel like a blithering idiot right now. At least, when I'm dealing with both of them at the same time. They kind of amplify each other or something. That is not easy to get used to. Gerda pretty much laughs and tells me that I'm adorable.

Why is it that every jotun I encounter tells me that I'm adorable? EVERY SINGLE ONE! It's driving me batty. And I know that you're probably rolling on the floor with laughter over this as I speak.

I'll be giving you and Odin that whiskey. I had hoped to share it with you but my medications are telling me NOPE. I am not, by the way, going to light it on fire. As cool as that might look, I don't think it would be practical or safe. The back deck being made out of WOOD and all that. Somedays, I seriously think I should start calling you Trogdor. Then I realize it would turn into something completely off the wall wacky. So I don't. But I'm letting you know, I regularly think about it.


Letters to Loki #24 - LOLWUT?

Hey there Sly Fox,

It seems like there has been more trolling going on over the interwebz over the last week then usual. Some of it has been insanely funny. Some of it has been genuinely disturbing. The only thing that has been consistent is that satire has been getting treated like legitimate news in several cases. I'm not sure what to make of this trend. I'm hoping that it is just a temporary uptick in these occurrences. I would be really disappointed and disgusted with my fellow humans if they became even more gullible.

Looking at how the political pundits are setting up for the coming elections, two things really stand out. All the Republican prospective candidates are nuts. And the Democrat ones seem to be hiding in holes right now. The third party folks are somewhere in between. These Republican folks are starting to really disturb me. The 'conservative Christians' are very loud and active in that group. They're pushing some really awful things in the states where they've got a substantial foothold. Looking at it all, I'm really concerned that they're going to do irreparable damage to the nation.

I'm still adjusting to that new medication. I thought it would have had all my sleep issues resolved by now but it's still a bit of a pain in the ass. Today was the first day in about two weeks that I wasn't completely exhausted when I woke up in the morning. I don't know if this means I have finally adjusted to this stuff or not. I'm working on getting back into doing more therapy journaling. Stupid anxiety has been making me worry that writing about what happened to me is going to make bad things happen. I really hate that and the self censorship that goes with it. Trying to just push through it is just making it more difficult. I'm not sure how to approach it.

I put in for a reduced rate at the mental health clinic. Their rates just went up. It was pretty depressing to fill out the form and see in black and white just how tight finances are. A part of me says I shouldn't get super anxious over it. Another part of me is just this side of panic and wondering if I should start selling stuff on ebay or something. I keep thinking about the etsy site that I still have and wondering if I should post things up on there again. I then feel like the chair gets kicked out from under me when I recall that I have no idea what to do to promote it. And I look at Keen and think, "Hey, maybe I can do this." Then my social phobia pokes its head up and goes "Nope."

On a completely unrelated note, I get that you like this song and that you feel it is a real mood elevator. That said, the next time I turn on the radio, can it not start playing Uptown Funk? Every time I turned it on today, it was playing that damn song. I know you like it but, dude, pick something else, please. Also, I don't think the big hair works that well for you. Or at least, the orange-red hair with the lime green suit didn't work so well. I know you like loud combinations. That one definitely qualified. It makes me a little worried what you're going to come up with next. It also makes me suspicious that you have taken up the role of fashion consultant for my husband. His loud combinations are starting to reach your level. It'd be impressive if it wasn't so painful on my eyes.