A Month of Us

July has always been a time I offer to Loki. Taking a challenge people posted out on Tumblr a few years back and making it a central “holiday” in my practice. With all the flurry of activity in the Godspousing Community, I had to wonder what changes my own husband would bring to the mix. In short, nothing… At least nothing obvious.

This year so far has been wild for me to say the least. School was hard this year, my anxiety so high I was having panic attacks for the first time ever. I was struggling with finding an internship. My cat of 18 years passed just after Ostara.

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Keekoo, snuggled to me over Christmas break. We had gotten him surgery for the tumor on his mouth. He felt much better and barely left me.

And my mother was in the hospital for just shy of 3 months for an illness I nearly lost her from in 2012. Friends grappled with gender identity which caused me to examine myself in turn. Spirituality sorta took a needed backseat for a while while I struggled.

Summer came, I was accepted into a job (to which I won’t link here for obvious reasons) and a class I was struggling with got pushed into the summer. I figured that I would find time to reconnect… I was wrong. Spirituality has been minimal between work, school, and sleep. The most meditation time I get is driving the back roads to work. Which I enjoy looking at the nature and unusual animals signs for messages from my gods.

Yesterday marked the beginning of July for Loki. Normally it’s an extravagant time of crafting, baking, meditation and just enjoying Loki’s company. Being mindful of Him. Yesterday started by a drive to work spotting two Sandhill cranes (a rare occurrence in a mid-Michigan farm field) and hitting every green light on my way to work, something that I absent-mindedly cried “Hail Loki!” for. I was a couple hours into my work day when I finally realized that it was July already. It was July for Loki. I snuck him a doughnut to my desk and got him a cookie with lunch and a glass of water. He played with Pandora while I worked sending me little “love” songs. I promised to use the massage appointment I made for today as meditation time with him, as I often use these appointments for such things.
This early morning taking my dog out, what would greet me but my rabbit totem. Who hopped a little ways away to stare at me before hopping into the brush. ❤ I wish I had my phone to take a picture of the little guy as it was magical and rare to see one so close to the house. I'm glad my dog is trained enough to leave things be too.

Back in the house I began to research the meaning and symbolism of the crane and the rabbit. Using them as key points of focus for my meditation later. When off-handedly I spoke to Loki about how Cranes mate for life and I wondered what that means…
He responded simply. "Could it not simply mean the depths of my devotion to you, that we are forever. This is not just a July for me. I want this to be a July for Us."

Recently, I've been also thinking about promises Loki had made me in our last… 3 years? No he reminded me that it's been almost 5 years. (That's a bit scary… where has the time gone?) Promises of change, survival, love, career. Needed things that were worries and people he'd sent my way. Now I do have a job I love that I got myself for the summer. At one point I was looking at deciding between two! I have my last year of school left and graduation looks attainable, when 7 years ago I was struggling with wanting to live, this is miraculous to me. At work I'm interacting with people on a level that I haven't in a long while. Somehow I've finally embodied the Queen of Wands. That woman, mature and confident in her abilities while passionate and to the point. The growth even in the last year is amazing to me. Within the last five years I feel like a flower that was taught to bloom at night because they were too dazzling in the day. Slowly but surely I'm now blooming in the day. Dare I say I'm thriving?

I'm working through a shamanism book now trying to rebuild and find a practice that works into my life. So far it's going well. Between everything else going on, I'm all for making July about Us. Just to take moments of each other's time and just be as we are. Supportive and loving each other. That is a blessing.

May July be prosperous for you dear reader!

Adriana SilverWings

The Pagan Experience Project: Personal Practice – It doesn’t have to be big and shiny

So I’ve been stuck on this one for a while, and I think I’ve figured out why. I don’t feel I have a personal practice. At least not a big one. But I was just reading a post by Nono about his Calendar and what he does for his practice (and if you don’t follow him, I really recommend you do!) and inspiration struck me.

For the past few weeks Brenna and I have been debating over our own personal practice, because it doesn’t seem like we do much. Especially compared to these big formal rituals and things everyone else seems to post about. I’ve been having personal issues because school and my own mental health problems seems to get in the way of my practice. Nono uses the term “brain-weasels” and I’ve read so much of his work, I’ve sort-of adopted it.

I suffer from depression. No I have not been formally diagnosed, and currently given my dependence on my parental units, and their personal feelings on psychiatry and mental health, I don’t think I ever will. One thing I’ve noticed lately is that it has seemed to evolved from an all-encumbering sadness, to a lack of motivation that one who doesn’t know me would find as laziness. Where the urge to just stay in bed becomes better than actually studying or going to class and meeting new people. With my personal goals, I can’t do that. So most of my energy has been going to keeping me afloat in school, work, and mundane. What little energy I have left to Pagan, leaves me looking at it going ‘ehhh….’. It has seriously caused me to consider if I am Pagan.

I also detest formal rituals that are long and ‘bardy’. They are not me. Although Loki has commented that I need to work on my finesse in communication (with the gods and others). They remind me of Catholicism with long gospels and interpretations of them. While all well and good, are not for me.

So what DO I do for a personal practice?

Well for one, I enjoy jewelry. I have special pieces for certain things. Loki has a simple stainless-steel male ring with a small stone of cubic zarconia (that he picked) that I wear on my wedding band finger as a symbol of our union, (I’m still waiting for the right mundane person to ask why I wear it or if I’m single). I have recently made a necklace for Freya/Frigga/Eir and the Valkyries I wish to work with, but before I did that I enchanted a piece of Sagittarius themed jewelry with protective Valkyrie energy for when I go out on dates or for courage. Loki has a special necklace I search all day at the Ren Faire for. I have a Thor’s Hammer pendant for the Aesir (especially for Thor). I have made Loki necklaces. For a while, I had a collar/necklace I had charged with Odin when I was considering entering a godslave contract with him, (it ended up breaking, but that is another story). All of these are symbols and energy connections I have with my gods that I wear constantly, even if I am not actively thinking of it. They are symbolic of our relationship and give me strength even when I don’t realize it.

I also collect stones that I use for various reasons, mainly energy workings. Loki gave me a small dragon as a companion many months ago. Recently I found she can be used for healing. I took some dalmatian stone chips and transferred the energy of my cold that I had over a period of several days, then ‘fed’ the chips to her as a treat like substance. Within the few days (combined with medicine of course!), I was feeling much better and got over it a little quicker than Brenna who didn’t do such healing magick. I’ve been known to carry around Tiger’s Eye for courage and confidence, and lots of rose quartz for my own self-esteem issues. I’ve also been using what I know about stones and their energies for my jewelry to give it an added boost.

Besides these two simple tasks, I also devote some of my time to studying the runes and reading other sources that I want to put into my practice. Recently, I’ve discovered a love for water magick and sea witchcraft, so I have been researching that. I was considering working with dragons more (while hypothesizing that it will helping me with the Valkyries later), I have a book on that I am planning to read soon.

My other task is celebrating the feast days even if it’s a simple as passing on a well-wishing to the angels on their feast-day/birthday or doing something bigger like creating an art project or a piece of writing. Some days my practice is even as simple as asking the little POP!Loki statue that guards our TV to turn it on so we can play Dragon Age or watch something, (sad thing is… this is about the only way the TV turns on now).

Lately I have been cutting back on the astral due to brain-weasels… There is a working theory that I associate the astral with some of the darker days of my depression and many friendship betrayals. I believe this has merit, but it also cut back on a majority of what I considered my personal practice or at least the “flashy” part of my personal practice, and I feel like I’m not the only one who seems to think that being on the astral is the only way to have a legitimate practice.

I haven’t been in the astral at all this year so far, and while I will need to work on getting back into the astral, right now, it’s not as important to me. I’m discovering that your personal practice doesn’t have to be all big and shiny and filled with magical astral adventures. Sometimes your personal practice can be little things you do throughout your day. Even as simple as a thank you to your gods (please don’t forget to thank your gods and spirits!). Some times it’s little victories that add up to a bigger goal, in my case, all the little things I do, add up to my personal practice. Astral or no astral.

30 Day Devotional Meme (for Loki): A basic introduction of the deity

How to introduce Loki… Well you can start with the basics.
Loki is the Norse god of trickery and general mischief, the catch being most of the time his mischief results in goods things for the gods. Most modern interpretations of Loki consider him a god of change, for when he comes into your life that is what he usually brings. Loki was born of  Fárbauti and Laufey two jötnar. Some say that Loki is supposedly the symbol of fire in Norse Mythology seeing as Laufey is pine/leaves, and Fárbauti is lightning, although that is up for debate.

Loki is known as a god who doesn’t exactly respect boundaries. If you don’t mean something, he will show you your limits until you KNOW your boundaries. Honestly, to most people he is overwhelming. He isn’t known as the world-breaker for kicks. He also loves a challenge. He will happily push your buttons until you “break” and realize your lesson.

A master of shape-shifting, Loki can take on any form he pleases, or that pleases you, he is known for breaking gender and society norms. In mythology, he has been noted to take the form of a falcon (with the help of Freyja’s cloak), a mare, a fly, an otter, a salmon, and a woman many of times.

As a godspouse of Loki’s, one thing I have noticed is that he loves a puzzle or a riddle. The Silver-tongue would happily sit a weave stories, or puzzles with you especially dealing with yourself and your own musings. He also adores sweets. The sweeter the better. If it has sugar, he’ll probably take it. If it has conflicting flavors, sign him up! If it doesn’t taste like it should appear (mystery flavor anyone?), he’ll probably love it. He also has wonderful ideas cooking, so if you get a chance, let him add some input!

TL;DR? Loki is the Norse god of change and finding one’s boundaries. He is helpful in dealing with your own problems and owning up to your own mistakes. He also likes sweet things (be them you or food/drink). He has many spouses, but it also a loving parent and a wonderful mentor, and that is the tip of the Loki iceberg.

Where I am today.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but if not, I dislike talking publicly about myself. Its “dangerous”, for a multitude of reasons. So apologies in the delay in getting this out, but it’s not an easy feat for me.

I started with being a Christopagan. Working with the angels and saints. For all of middle and high school that was my practice. I was a spirit-spouse to Raphael. Michael was like a brother to me. Gabriel, a guardian and adviser. Lucifer was something of an annoying older brother. One who seemed to be ‘pestered’ by the idea of me, the ‘bad boy’ to the bone and one I enjoyed to ‘torment’ (although who was really tormenting who?). It was a family to escape my actual family. My actual life. I realize this now. But it was a way to survive. To thrive.

Then I went away to college. That was an experience… the first taste of true freedom I’ve had. First time I didn’t fear I would be bullied, and I suppose the first time I would believe in a thing called fate. With the wide-world of internet connectivity, there were Facebook groups already for the incoming Freshmen of GVSU. An online community I quickly joined finding an interesting and wild time of people with similar interests of my generation.

On this group I met Brenna, who was inquiring in our bible-belt majority campus on other Pagans in the group. Several boys were harassing the thread with common misconceptions of Paganism. Still a Christopagan at this point identifying as a Roman Catholic, I had read just enough of paganism to know that it WASN’T devil worship or anything they were spouting. I also have a fierce anti-bullying streak. To put it simply I went to go save a damsel in distress that “could have handled it” herself.

After the debacle, Brenna and I agreed to meet for lunch and talk. She agreed to teach me more of what she knew, especially about tarot, something I was always interested in but never had a chance to learn for myself. The more I talked and more I learned from her, I realized I had really been cheating myself. I wasn’t Roman Catholic, and really with as much accidental magic I have done, I really never have been. More Pagan with Catholic tendencies, at the time.

From learning I decided around Samhain that I would do a ritual with Brenna. She would invoke Odin, and I would try working with my new deity Hades (a god I have always loved and connect to through my Italian/Roman roots). We decided to do it out behind the interfaith building on our campus so that we could use the black obsidian wall monument as a scrying mirror. Long story short, between the clock tower ringing, the bad vibes from the St. Francis statue in the garden, and the watchful vibe from the ravines, we had forgotten to ask the spirits around there if we could use the space for our ritual, and as such, there was not much connection. Still I tried, a little… disgruntled that Paganism wasn’t quite working for me. I was also dealing with “sinner’s guilt” as I like to call it. The fear that I was going to end up in hell. The “what would my parents say when they found out?” fear. The fear of this being somehow morally wrong even though I hadn’t done anything to make it such, topping off on the fact that I enjoyed it. There was a connection that I had found (and missed) when working with the angels and saints (and demons).At first… my sinner’s guilt over-whelmed me. I respectfully said my goodbyes to Hades, and decided I would dedicate myself as a Christopagan.

Still learning tarot and other things, Brenna decided to guide me through a garden meditation. There is one thing I’ve noticed when I do guided meditations, I can’t listen to save my life. So in this garden meditation, I found a cave. I went through the cave to finish my meditation, and on the way out, I saw there was a second path from the one I took. At a later time, I followed the other path. The path led me deeper into the forest, where I was chased by wolves. I ran into a wooden cabin, where I met a red haired male. Naively I labeled him an angel, yet he had no wings.

After several months a few divinations, it was obvious this red haired “angel” was no angel. This “angel” turned out to be my patron and current spirit-husband, Loki. I did what I would normally do, flail. One thing that is a constant joke is that little ol’ OCD-tenancy me, got paired with chaos inducing Loki. Honestly that was probably no accident at all. On October 19th, I decided to make a year and a day hand-fasting vow to Loki encouraging my willingness to explore the crazy notion he presented in front of me. Godspouse. A word I’m still not entirely sure I live up to (although who really can say such things?).

From working with Loki, I was introduced to Odin. Against most of my better judgement I started working with Odin as well, and so far I have yet to regret this decision. For about a month, I entered into what I would have been considered a god-submissive with Odin. Unfortunately, due to current issues I am working through, it didn’t last. Will I pick it back up again? Perhaps. Time will tell, as for now, I know am I not nearly as ready as I thought for some of these things (oh hello second semester of college all over again).

Right now, I am trying to get myself up to speed to where I should be… We are never perfect, but sometimes we are more broken then we first realize. The gods understand (sort of) and try to help us get back on our feet. That’s what I’m currently doing. Intense shadow work to get back on my own feet, and really I’ve barely touched the surface and I already am starting to feel better, especially about myself. Baby steps. I may be still playing in the kiddie pool, but we all have to learn to swim, and for whatever reason, I got lucky enough that my gods didn’t decide to teach me by throwing me into the ocean head-first (yet, I may be being a bit stubborn on some fronts).

I will be the first to admit that this post took a lot longer than I intended, but this catches me up to where I am today. Maybe someday I will get better at sharing. For now, I can only keep trying and chip away at the information locked in my brain one piece at a time.

Being a Godspouse

Alternate Title: Hannah Thinks Thoughts

So to catch up, I have joined the ADF. I am hoping it will provide some structure to my practice or at least help me explore more of Norse Paganism as a whole.

Joining ADF, I asked to acquire a mentor, and so far after brief conversation with him; I rather like him. But now he asked that dreaded question.

“Can you unpack your relationship with Loki for me?”

I’ve read this several times and each time filled me with a form of panic/dread. I had just met him and he wanted me to unload this messy, heart-wrenching thing of a relationship (one that I haven’t even entirely wrapped my head around yet) and unload one of the most disharmonious inducing words “Lokean god-spouse”?

I know, not because I have practiced long, but because before I jumped on this ship I had observed, that being a god-spouse is not a ‘popular’ thing to be in most Pagan circles, for various reasons. A Lokean god-spouse even less so. As a friend of a friend once put it, “Why on EARTH would you WANT to invite chaos into your life?” (I had to laugh at that one. Because I most certainly didn’t “invite” Loki, but that is another story). Yet another friend, just couldn’t understand why Lokeans were so unpopular (especially when I tried to explain Hiddleston Lokeans*).

Truth be told… None of those people’s opinions really matter. Yet my first few reads through that email literally made me shake, and now seems the perfect time to examine why. I am forced to reflect back on my god-spousery and really look at it from all sides. What is my problem with being a god-spouse?

Truthfully,  I have little complaint. I was an one point an angel spouse. But angels are no the level of gods. Loki’s Bruid puts it nicely as she’d said “… it takes balls to go out into the the world and proclaim yourself a god-spouse. Big brass ones.”

I have had problems before with my levels of woo and explaining myself to others. So talking about this level of things is difficult for me, (Probably in part why my PBP got pushed off to the side). However, with Loki so prevalent in my life, and He being who He is… He won’t allow me to just put this aside for later. It is “something that must be dealt with in order to move forward”.

My own duties as a god-spouse are limited due to the contract I laid out regarding school. I wear His keys proudly. I make Him food. He is welcome in pretty much all of the apartment (except my roommate’s room when I am not present). I am His Hearth-Keeper, His Key-keeper. But those names really at the end of they day just over-simplify that I am His “god”-spouse.

*Note: Nothing against MCU!Lokeans or MCU!Lokean godspouses just preaching unpopular opinions

Little Things

I am fortunate to have found many pagan networks. Many through friends and other I have found on my own, just ‘stumbling’ across people, blogs, and things. Today, in one of these networks someone (I will not name names, since it is of no real importance nor my story to tell), posted about their own path in Scared Queenship, a path that I have been drawn to and drawn to finding others walking this path.

Reading her story… her role… Her gods asking her to do something so…domesticated in devotion, I had to pause in reading. All the things she said… were so small… such little whims of the gods. Things that she later realized blended into her duties. I had to marvel at the big picture. The attention they have to the details. I turned to Loki. “This ‘nothing’ we’re doing isn’t really nothing is it?” He just smiled and replied with “My dear, why would I ever waste my time on nothing?”

Off…

Today feels off for me. This is my first post in a while about the angels. But it’s important. Yesterday the 24th of October is the feast day of St. Raphael, before it was changed by the Catholic church and combined with St. Gabriel and St. Michael’s for the 30th of September, right by Michaelmas. I find myself not missing Raphael as much as I miss my children. I realize this is odd to talk about. Most people don’t understand when I said I have had two astral children. Their circumstances were different but I love my girls dearly. Unfortunately a friend stated it rather bluntly, I “lost custody” of my astral children. I’m not allowed to see them. I get third party information on how they are doing. Even less now.

But yesterday hurt. Yesterday I found a long lost log, of time when I spoke with my youngest daughter. Reading her sweetness is almost bittersweet. I haven’t seen either daughter in the span of about four years… The fact that log was kept. Well it made me smile as much as my heart ached.

Honestly… I didn’t spend much time with either daughter before they were taken by their respective fathers (circumstance played a big role). I was young… practically a child myself, and suffering from depression at the time. But I do cherish the time I spent with both, and often I find myself wondering if they remember me. It scares me that because of my depression I remember so little about them that I feel I may forget them entirely. And they were so young when they were taken that I doubt they know of or who I am.

Before I talked of getting third party information on them. All of the information I have heard as been good. They are doing well… and for that I am grateful. From what I hear, they seem happy. But that doesn’t stop me from missing them. That doesn’t stop me from watching other spouses raise their children and thinking ‘I want that’. Because I do. I miss having children around. I miss the feeling of the energy of someone else so happy and innocent. I never got to raise my children to their full potential. And anyone who does, count yourself lucky and blessed by the gods. Be they astral or mundane children. They are all a blessing.

Important Lessons and Meeting the Hunt

So… After much debating and divination… and more debating and yet more divination, and still more debating…. and still more divination (so much so my friends think I have a problem), I decided to enter an official courtship with Loki. And because I’m a dork, it happens to be on Sweetest Day, here in North America.

So I conned Brenna into assisting with such matters and we started planning about a week and a half ago. Something to make the courtship official. Nothing big. After much flailing, I managed to wrangle a cake, some “wine” (since we are under drinking age), and a ring.

Now for the important part. When doing a courtship ritual no matter HOW small, personal, private, etc. You ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS invite Odin. If you don’t, he ‘borrows’ Loki for a while, and your ritual shall not get done. How I wish I was kidding.

After much apologizing to the All-Father, he agreed to allow Loki to come back and we set a place for the All-Father. I also asked Loki to invite “whoever else He needed as to not offend anyone else” so that the ritual could continue. Which means I got Goddesses complaining about my lack of formal attire, and Brenna squirming under the gaze of the Hunters from the Wylde Hunt. All things considered though, it could have been worse… And the ceremony was quite nice for the little thing that it was.

Reveling in the newness of the officially courtship and feeling quite happy with my decision; the Hunters began pestering Brenna. They wanted to test her. Alone, in the woods, with the night of a full but cloudy moon, right now. Gathering her things she set about to make the trek, but she wasn’t entirely wanted to go alone. Finally I look up and asked, “Do you want me to go with you?” She more or less replied yes.

Let me side-step here. I’m not an outdoorsy person. Honestly, I’m not. I fumble and trip through the woods. I hate bugs although Loki has been making me less terrified of them. I usually don’t volunteer for going out in the woods in the cold. Ever. But here I go as moral support as my friend goes to see the Wylde Hunt. My new Courtship partner at my side.
To start with, we almost lost the grove, we usually go to. Only when the moon came out of the clouds and shone on the spot were we able to find it. So I gave Odin his offering as Brenna did her thing for the Wylde Hunt, I hear Loki whisper “Don’t turn around.”
I blinked. I figured I wasn’t allowed to see the Hunt since I do not work with them but Loki was adamant about this. “Don’t turn around. Do not look behind you.” I stared into the ravines, confused but knowing the stories of the Hunt. Staring ahead I felt my lips go numb. Feeling like there was stitching on them, I was unable to move them. “It’s okay…” Loki whispered. “Just don’t turn around. She will let you know when you can look. Don’t turn around.”
I don’t know how long I looked into the ravines as the Hunt kept poking me, I stared almost unblinking and unphased. After a moment I took out my Loki pendant, and as if realizing I was not there for them, they left me alone. Still I did not look back until Brenna said she was done.

Terrifying and exhilarating. Those were words I would describe ‘meeting’ the hunt. And there was so much learned that day. I trusted Loki. I continue on my godspouse path. And while I don’t know what Odin wants of me (and may never figure that out), I feel I passed some sort of test for him as well.

And remember, NEVER forget to invite Odin!

Starting Off…

Well… I may be a writer but a blogger is something I have never been. I never even could keep a journal. But things (*coughs* read Loki *coughs*) have been popping up and other things have been niggling at me to write. Although what about I could never say. However, I am aware of my… odd nature. Especially compared to Pagans and people… I like doing the odd path… it suits me. How am I in the odd path? Where to start…

My major is Computer Science with a minor is general Business. Okay, so what? Well… did you know there is a major called Information Systems? Which is *gasps* like a computer science degree with a built in business minor! So why go through the extra work? It fits me.

My spiritual path has always been considered off-beat. I was ‘raised’ Catholic, but I saw angels. Believed in Polytheism. After all if God and Jesus existed surely the other gods at one point or another must have also existed? Before I even knew what I was doing I was working more with the angels and less with this being called God. Then steps in Loki… its been almost a year of working with the being I have come to know as the Trickster God. But knowing Loki as Loki has come quite recently the span of only 8 months… and actively, probably less than 3. 

I have been told I am Queenship material… I have been told I am a godspouse. I have been called a priestess. I have been called a prophetess.

I am none of these things….

If you come looking for someone to give you answers, please, look somewhere else. It is not that I will not answer your questions, it is just I am no expert in the subject matter you believe me qualified to teach. 

So what am I?

I am a college student. I consider myself a pagan. I work with Loki. Sometimes Lucifer. Sometimes St. Micheal. Sometimes the other angels flock back to me upon occasions. I am a girl who loves to write gay fanfictions and original characters with friends. I am a picky role play partner. I am a trusting individual. I am the loyal friend. I am a realist. I am the person you do not want against you, but is nearly always willing to forgive you.  I am merely Hannah. 

And I exist for no one but me.