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.


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.


Public Notice Re: Comments

Hi everybody,

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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.



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.


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.