Thoughts, lessons, and theology from an eclectic witch from a varied background.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Necromancy: How to lay spirits to rest

At some point, just about any witch or magic worker encounters a situation where the spirit of a deceased being must be 'laid to rest' and encouraged to move along their journey through the otherworld. One may wonder, why the deceased don't automatically go to their next destination (be it reincarnation, a place of repose, or something else). Sometimes, the dead get 'stuck' on their transition. If the death is particularly traumatic, the deceased may hang on to what they can of life because of anxiety about the transition they have experienced. This is also true if the deceased has an exceptional focus upon elements of their life that they refuse to surrender. These two things are the most common reasons for hauntings.1

Laying a spirit to rest is not exactly the same as an exorcisim. An exorcism is a forcible ejection of a spirit from a location usually accompanied with a binding and counter magic to keep the spirit from returning. Laying a spirit to rest has a vaguely similar goal to exorcisim, which is moving a spirit out of a location where they're not supposed to be. That, however, is where the similarity between the two rites end. In the case of laying a spirit to rest, the main thrust of the ritual is to help the spirit resolve what ever business they have keeping them tied to the physical plane and assist them in continuing on their journey.

The first step in most rituals involving spirits after the general format of establishing ritual space is to invoke the practitioner's spiritual allies. This can be anything from praying to their patron deities, asking the wights of the location to aid them, calling on their ancestors for help, or appealing to other spiritual beings that are friendly towards the practitioner and willing to assist them in the process. It is important to have help from friendly spirits because it helps to establish your control over the situation. While the force of your will does have a mighty impact upon the situation, the aid of spiritual allies acts as a safety net to help you keep control over the situation. They also provide the service of letting the other spirit know that things are not completely out of control because there are others who have more experience there to show them the proverbial ropes.2

Once the location is prepped and all spiritual allies are in place, the practitioner summons the spirit. Summoning spirits is not something I am keen on but this is one instance where summoning is vital to success. Formal summonings can include offerings to the deceased alongside invocations. All the bells and whistles that you can think of for a ceremonial summoning of a spirit can be used here. Or, you can go with the most basic and just do a direct invocation of the deceased.

After you have the spirit present, it is good to have a conversation with them. Talk to them and learn why they are lingering. Learn what they need to continue on their journey. Learn what troubles them about said journey. If they have desires or requests that must be met before they can move forward, make sure that they are reasonable and can be met. If they can not, negotiate an acceptable alternative. Remember that the goal is to get the spirit to a point where they are willing and able to transition to their next step in their journey after death.

In your discussion, present the needs, desires, and requests of the living who are impacted by the spirit's presence. Inform the spirit what they can do to rectify problems from their end of the situation. It may be that the spirit has no desire to move out and wishes to remain in the location as a wight associated with it. Part of the goal of the practitioner is to facilitate a smooth working relationship between the living and the dead. To be successful at this, one must keep the non-negotiable elements of the situation in mind and make clear to the spirit that these are points that one will not bend on. Like the living, there are spirits who will take advantage of any perceived loopholes and weaknesses in the agreement to get what they want out of the situation for the least amount of effort.

Now, if the discussion reveals that the spirit needs certain objectives completed before they can depart, establish a plan for having those objectives completed. When presenting the completion of those objectives as part of the agreement for the spirit's departure, make certain that you make those objectives dependent upon the spirit's departure. If you present the situation as 'when you leave, XYZ will be taken care of' rather than 'XYZ will be done and you can leave' it shows the spirit that in order to have their needs and desires met, they must comply with the directive to exit.

Some spirits will depart immediately after this arrangement is established. Others will need some guidance to do so. There are many different meditations that can be used to assist them in the process (spirits meditate too!) but all of them have the spirit moving along some sort of path to a destination. Trust the spirits and allies that you have with you to help the spirit that is being laid to rest along their journey to their destination. Your job is simply to get them on the path. The others will take care of the rest.

With the close of the ritual, thank your allies. Cleanse the area and make a point of restoring it to an energetically 'neutral' state. This makes the place less inviting for the spirit to return and take up residence again. It would be like having all of your stuff moved out of your apartment after you left. Living there again would take work to make it comfortable and functional for you. Some also choose to do protection magic to maintain the location as a spiritual neutral ground and keeping unwanted entities out. This would be the equivalent of locking the door to said apartment and arming the security system.

And that is how you lay a spirit to rest, in a very general format. If you need direction for specific cases, message me. I will try to make some posts for the most common situations that come up in the messages. I will also message you back with some suggestions for your situation. Please be patient, however, because there will be some delay in replies right now.

1. I will be giving a more complete discussion of hauntings at a later date. It may be after September, depending on if I have the opportunity to get the work done on the post. This particular post has been in various stages of development since mid-April. If you have any questions regarding hauntings, post them in the comments or send them to me. In any email, note Veiled Witch as part of your subject line, this way it doesn't get dropped into the spam folder.

2. Not all spirits will be psychopomps but they'll help the spirit in question to get a hold of one 95% of the time. That other 5% of the time, they do something but I can't tell you what exactly it is. I ask my guides and they just say that they 'take care of it' and nothing more.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July for Loki # 15 Giver of gifts.

Loki gives gifts. He's famous for the ones he gave to the Aesir. He has a reputation for giving gifts to people he is involved with. The gifts range from really useful and timely to strange and confusing, but hilarious. Loki is also great for helping you find the right gift to give someone. I'm not saying that Loki is my personal shopper. There is no way in the nine worlds I would be able to afford that, let alone the range of things he would suggest.

I was going to post about how Loki has given me gifts in the past and the way that worked out. But circumstances today happened so that my post focus shifted. It was because of Loki's influence that I was able to find the exact gift that Beloved would have enjoyed the most. I walked into the thrift store planning to possibly get a new pair of pants, a wicker basket, and maybe something else that was small. I walked out with research material, music for writing to, the basket I needed, and Beloved's gift. And I paid less than I would have dreamed for all of it at retail cost.

Some may call this silly but these are also the same folks who think I'm strange because of my godphone, but I am pretty sure that it was because of Loki's influence that I found those things. When I am out shopping for people, Loki likes to tag along. He does more than discuss fashion and jewelery. Loki helps me pick out the right things for the right people. I asked him once why he does it and he just grinned at me. I think it is one of those hobbies that makes him happy.

Loki likes, it seems, to make people happy when he has the opportunity. It isn't that he is trying to butter you up for some con game (though he does do that at times). He seems to genuinely enjoy watching someone light up with delight over a gift and an unexpected gesture of appreciation. It is a trait that I have noticed seems to run through the people who are involved with him as well.

It was Loki who showed me how when you give a gift, you are giving yourself one at the same time. It wasn't something that made sense to me when I was younger. I thought that gift to myself was the warm fuzzy feeling that came from making someone else's day a bit brighter. Then Loki showed me something of how we're connected to each other and the subtle ties that bind us together.

He showed me how the acts of gift giving strengthened not only those ties but the people involved. It added to their spiritual energy. I told him he was breaking physics when he told me that energy was being created out of nothing. Loki did what he usually does when I say that. He waggled his fingers at me and went "WOOO! Spooky actions at a distance." The last time I said something like that to him, he put on a robe and wizard hat. But, there you have it. Loki the giver of gifts.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July for Loki # 14 Homebody.

Loki is a deity that is very on the go. He is into everything and doing everything. (And I did not intend for that to sound dirty but he seemed to find this hilarious so I'm just going to go with that. Currently, I hear him laughing so I figure it can't be too bad, right?) A lot of the time, Loki seems to be in perpetual motion.

Restless and Loki are two things that just seem to go together like peas and carrots. Except for when they don't. Sometimes, Loki just wants to chill. I tend to forget that he likes downtime because he is almost always presenting as energetic and in perpetual motion. But he does slow down and I've noticed that he seems to appreciate the domestic side of life quite a bit. When ever I am baking, he shows up. If I am having a rough time dealing with some sort of household task because I'm having a bad brain day (a very technical term for when my disability decides to act up), Loki will distract me from the angst that goes with it and hang out as I am doing my work.

I didn't realize just how much he appreciated being a homebody until someone else (one of his wives, actually) called me on the carpet for insinuating that he was a perpetual motion machine. After she pointed out the error of my assertion, I had to stop an reexamine how things went on between him and I. As I looked at it, I realized that a pattern emerged that I had never noticed before. Loki actually likes domestic stuff. It isn't a thing where he tolerates it or otherwise endures it.

If I am doing gardening or puttering with my plants, he will hang around and at times note the one that I forget. (And there is always at least one plant that gets forgotten until the middle of the week, it changes every week though.) When I am cooking, he is interested in the process of developing the next week's menu, shopping, preparing, and eating it. (Some days, it really does seem like the way to his heart is through his stomach. His love of chocolate is perhaps greater than my own, which is saying something.) Even if I'm doing the most boring of tasks (laundry), Loki will visit and actually enjoys it all.

I felt like a fool when I realized that I completely missed this pattern. Loki, with his big heart and even bigger grin, told me that it was adorable to watch me realize it. At least he wasn't too annoyed, just amused with me.

July for Loki # 13 Animal Association.

If you are in the Lokean community or know folks in it, you may have heard the PCPG* that Loki is associated with foxes. Everyone familiar with the myths of Loki is aware of his association with horses, wolves, and serpents. And by way of Freya, we have his association with birds. I have another animal that I associate with Loki. I don't know how common it is in the community but I suppose I will find out.

Squirrels are noisy, mischievous, and inquisitive animals. They are also fairly bold, cunning, and cute. I see a lot of Loki in them. North American red squirrels are not very common around my house. I usually see them at parks in the area because that is where there are more conifers. Occasionally, however, a random red
 squirrel will show up in my yard. I'm pretty sure it is because Loki wants me to pay attention to my environment at that time.

They have shown up in my dreams several times. When this first started happening I was wondering why Ratatoskr was so present in my dreams. It was when Loki clubbed me over the head with the obvious stick and the squirrel in my dreams started talking with his voice that I figured it out. Since then, red squirrels tend to make an appearance when there is some kind of change about to happen or something of a 'gift' happens. In either case, the event bears an unmistakeable (to me) mark of Loki's involvement.

* Peer Corroborated Personal Gnosis

Friday, July 17, 2015

On other topics.

I have been posting quite a bit about Loki. This does not mean that I have forgotten about Dea or the laundry list of other topics to be written about here. Right now, writing about Loki has been the easiest thing. With the business of my children being on break from school, writing what is easiest has become a thing right now. I am currently working on a manuscript that I made mention of in A Year with Dea.

The manuscript is coming along slowly because my time for writing has been limited. I hope, however, to have it completed mid-August and ready for publication towards the end of September. Drowning in Light is the title of this project. The manuscript is in four parts. The first is a list of visions that I have had regarding Dea. The second is exposition and refinement of the meaning of those visions. Third section will be sayings that I have heard from Our Lady and her Angels. The fourth and final section is a record of spontaneous recitations of praise and worship of the Daughter specifically.

In the process of assembling this manuscript, I have been combing through the multiple volumes of my Book of Shadows for the different bits of wisdom contained therein. I have also been reviewing things from my journals because these things are not solely the province of my spiritual writing. They have popped up in a myriad of places in my life because Dea is a major part of my life. When it is valid, I may be including something about the context of the visions and what was going on in my life at the time they happened.

It has been almost a year and a half since I felt Dea's presence directly. It is something that I am adjusting to. I don't think that it is a case of her setting me aside. I thing that this apparent silence is here for a reason and that I am supposed to learn something from it. I doubt that it is pure coincidence that approximately when this silence began I moved into a phase of seriously intense business regarding my mental health. Indeed, I have come to suspect that Dea's silence is to allow me to focus on what I am dealing with in that respect (with a portion of this actually influencing my relationship with Dea from my end of things).

While I hold out hope that I will hear her voice again directly, I am going to continue the work that I have before me and that work happens to include the mystical writings that I am working on at present. While it may seem that at the moment it is all about Loki, I assure you there are more things going on that I will be writing about in the not so distant future. 

July for Loki # 12 Speaking of motivational...

Because Loki has been throwing this at me for a while, I am sharing it with all of you. Why? Because it is now stuck in my head as a thing with Loki.

TROLOLOLOLOLOL for Great Justice!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

July for Loki # 11 Godphone (part 10)

Yes, I am leading my post off with a geeky joke. If you know binary, you will get the subject line and the jest. It was Flame Hair's idea. It is like the 'Dad jokes' that he drops from time to time. They're so bad that they're good. For example: what do you call a fish with no eyes? FSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I hear Loki on a regular basis. There are times where he has snarky commentary on what is going on. There are times where he has really good advice on how to handle a situation. (He is often excellent in his advice for parenting. Also on how to take stuff apart.) My 'godphone' gets exercised everyday. (Heh, he just said: No. Exorcized.) I feel really lucky that Loki is comfortable enough to let his hair down and do stuff like make suggestions on what kind of stuff I should cook. And informs me that my fashion sense is questionable when it comes to hairstyles half the time as well. I know that Loki has a lot of things on his plate. Just chilling with me as I am doing stuff around the house and derping on the internet is pretty remarkable when you consider how much he has to do.

But Loki doesn't just hang around and do the invisible best friend thing. He will also give me messages to pass on to people. He will tell me things that need to be done, help me interpret runes (sort of) and tarot cards (often). He has told me a few times that my 'godphone' is not just a gift for myself. He has on several different occasions told me that it is something that I should share with the world (with discretion) because it is needed. That threw me for a loop the first time he said that.

I asked him to explain it one time and his answer was this:

Sometimes, you are given a gift because it is just how you were built and you won the genetic/spiritual lottery. Sometimes, you are given a gift because you asked and it was given for your joy.
And sometimes, you are given a gift because you're on a mission from god.

By the way, folks, he was doing the whole Blues Brothers impersonation on that final statement. I asked him which of the three it was in my case. He laughed and told me that I had to figure that out on my own. I'm still not sure how it works out in my case, but I'm not troubled. When Loki (or pretty much any other deity) shows up with a message for someone, an agreement is reached and (most of the time) I pass the message on. Once in a while, I will turn down someone who wants me to convey a message. And I make a point of negotiating how the message is passed on and payment for services rendered (though there have been some cases where that measure was skipped).

Does this mean that when Loki tells me he wants me to pass on a message that I broker some kind of payment from him? No. He's a close personal friend and family to me. I treat things like I would with regular people. I don't know if it is arrogance to do that. I make a point of being respectful and I do my best to be as clever as I can manage (because Loki and Odin both have told me that is extremely important). I also will vet things with Loki and Odin because, honestly, they know a lot more about stuff like that than I do. For the most part, it's been Loki who has had opinions on how and when I pass messages on.

I don't know how that will evolve in the future. But I know this, Loki's got plans for me and my 'godphone.' I'm not sure if it is trolling the normals or something more serious. Either way, it is going to be an interesting ride. You could say that Loki is my co-pilot. The question is what exactly it is that I'm flying. Can't be sure, because I got blindfolded in the process. Loki says that makes things more interesting. WHEEE!!!

July for Loki # 10 - Cheerleader

Those who know me intimately know that I have some self confidence issues. Loki is quite aware of this and has actively taken steps to help me manage this. (He isn't the only one but he has been the most visible up until recently on the deity front.) Loki's idea of motivating someone varies from person to person. 95% of the Loki's folk* that I talk to have had many stories of Loki encouraging them. It varies widely on a case by case basis. What works for one person is entirely different from what works for another. Also, what works today is completely different from what works tomorrow. And if nothing else, Loki is exceptionally good at thinking things up on the fly.

Sometimes, he shows up as the loveable goofball who goads you into laughing at the situation and finding the positive solutions. Other times, he is there as the drill sergeant who drop kicks you into action. And then there is the sly game master who starts helping you plan your next move. (And sometimes he will literally help you play a game. If you can do 'godphone' and Loki is one of the ones who talk to you, try playing Cards Against Humanity. It is hilarious.) Loki is someone who will use any tool to his advantage and has few qualms about comfort levels, in my experience. If acting like the village idiot is what it takes to get someone moving on a project that is important, he won't hesitate to do it. After all, this is the same god who tied his balls to a goat to make Skadi laugh.

Loki as cheerleader is a gift. Not everybody gets to experience him that way. It is something that I cherish. I will admit, however, it has lead to some awkward moments. The way he encouraged me to get over my shyness around Freyr was a great example of a string of awkward moments that resulted in something positive. (It's complicated but I talk a little bit about it on my other blog.) The way he has encouraged me to push forward with my writing has moved me out of my comfort zone quite often but it was the kick in the pants that I needed to start making things happen. And there have been times where he just pointed out the obvious thing that I was missing, usually with a good deal of amusement on his part and declarations that I am adorable.

I recognize that World Breaker as a motivational force can be terrifying. I've even had times like that myself. It was Loki as World Breaker that pushed me to go to the hospital during a bout of suicidal depression. He showed me exactly what would come of my ignoring my needs and it was horrifying and scared me more then the depression fueled anxiety over getting help did. Still, even as World Breaker, I trust him. Because Loki has my back and one of the ways he does that is by pushing me when I falter at forward progress. And that is another form of cheer leading, to be honest.

Hail Loki, the god of change!


* My use of the term 'folk' is not in the sense of what has come to be known as folkish Asatru. I actually am offended by the fact that the term folk has been taken over by such racist and intolerant people. My use of the term as it is properly defined (family, community, tribe, or nation) is an attempt to restore the term back to its proper usage. It is my belief that Loki's people are our own tribe of sorts. We may be like a bunch of cats all doing our own thing and such (complete with the occasional cat fight) but we are all linked together. It is something special and I think we should recognize and celebrate that. Loki deserves love and everyone involved with him deserve it too. I humbly ask my fellow Loki's folk to extend a little bit of that love towards each other (with exceptions made for reasonable reasons) because we're the herd of tie-dyed goats of the folks who follow the Norse (and related culture's) deities and that makes us special.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

July for Loki # 9 Godphone?

So, some people call this thing I do 'godphone'. I can't literally hear Loki like a physical based sound. There is no Loki (95% of the time) physically standing by me saying smart ass things. I know it's not just my thoughts because the tone, timbre, and content is frequently vastly different from what I would say or think. It is not my imagination, folks, trust me. That said, I do hear him much like the auditory hallucinations I've had in the past but it is outside of my head rather than inside it. (If that makes any sense.)

Somedays, my 'godphone' is pretty quiet. Loki's a busy god. He's got stuff to do, people to see, and horses to seduce. When Loki shows up and starts talking to me the topics vary wildly. Sometimes he has something deep and super serious to say about something that is going on. Other times he is completely trolling me with bad jokes, terrible puns, and deliberately singing stuff off key. The latter drives me batty, which is why he does it so often. When he decides to sing something correctly, by the way, he has an amazing singing voice.

Loki's one of the first voices I heard over my 'godphone'. The first message from him is one that I can approximately recall. I'm not one hundred percent sure of what it was because I was too stunned that I was hearing someone talking to me in an empty room. Shortly after this, I had my first experience of seeing/hearing the dead. If I recall it correctly, Loki said, "Hey kid. It's me." That message didn't come completely out of the blue. I had been reading for the millionth time the book of norse mythology that my parents had. As I read about Loki and looked at the pictures, I found myself wishing I could talk to him. About five minutes later, Flame Hair said something.

Along with 'godphone', I get visions of things. It's this eerie combination of seeing someone/something in my mind's eye and something like it in physical vision. Usually, it is a shadow where one of the dead are standing, a faint darkening of the place where they are, like there is suddenly a faint shadow in that spot compared to the rest of my field of view. Oh, the things that I have seen because of Loki. Some of it was hilarious (like the purple velvet pimp costume complete with zebra striped vest and zebra striped cane, as he was singing Uptown Funk) and some of it was heart breaking (like the sight of him bound in the cave). Usually, when I 'see' the gods, it is like there is a greater bit of illumination in the spot where they're standing compared to the shadows that go with the dead. I don't claim to understand it, but that is how it happens for me.

Between the 'godphone' and visions, I am pretty spoiled on how I interact with Loki and the other gods. I even have times where I can feel touches from them (it feels like the sensation of someone's hand being close to your arm but not touching, but with no hand there). Usually, however, it is the 'hearing' of Loki that happens for me. His snark is glorious and he regularly has some wickedly biting commentary on stuff that goes on in the world. He also has his times where he is quiet or when he is serious about things. There have been times where I've seen/heard him being sad about something and it breaks my heart.

Loki's anger... Well, let's just say I don't ever want to be in his crosshairs and I almost pity the people who have earned it. I say almost because when he is telling me about someone that's made him angry 95% of the time, they've done stuff that would have made me just as furious. Once in a while, I have arguments with him but he never gets angry with me. He'll get irritated with me and give me the silent treatment (which is honestly worse than when he calls me on the carpet for something). But I've never had that towering rage directed at me and I hope I never do.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July for Loki # 8 Magician

Loki has a reputation as a trickster. He also has a reputation as a magician. (This may include the black top hat rabbit producing variety, but I'm focusing on the other type, the spell crafter.) He has suggested spells to help me accomplish goals, ward off harm, and heal injuries. He has also suggested spells that would inflict suffering, render enemies powerless, and bring people who have wronged me/others to justice. Loki's influence upon my spell craft is fairly subtle. He generally isn't one to sit down and give me a complete spell unless the situation is dire and I am at a loss for how to proceed.

That said, Loki has taken a distinct interest in an ongoing magical project that I am engaged in this month. It is my intent to deliver a variety of curses upon Daesh to hinder their efforts by any means necessary. Some may say that I am engaged in morally questionable behavior by cursing anyone. That may be, but sometimes a curse is the tool that is needed to act against those who are doing evil. It is like using fire to fight a forest fire. Can it turn against me? Possibly. At the same time, knowing that risk, I see the benefits of taking this measure as greater and necessary.

He has had a hand in suggesting how to craft the following spells. I am sure he will have more to say on the next batch of spells that I will be doing in this effort. The fact that Loki is taking an active interest in this tells me that he approves of my efforts and believes that it is an important matter. If you are of a mind to join me in my effort to hinder, remove, and destroy Daesh, you may want to try one of these spells.

Curse No. 1 - Withering Roots: This spell is designed to weaken Daesh and destroy them from the inside out. It could fall under the category of a corruption spell, if you decided you wanted to be technical about it.

Curse No. 2 - Driven on the Wind: This spell is designed to attack Daesh and calls upon the elemental forces of Air to do so. It has some touches of a corruption spell to it but the main focus is destruction via force.

These spells could be adapted for other purposes. If you choose to do so, you are taking the risks of it all into your own hands. Remember, what you send out will come back to you in some fashion. Curses are not something to be done lightly because they carry potentially nasty backblow. (Same can be said for some blessings as well, by the way.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July for Loki # 7 Meddler extraordinaire

I sometimes think that if Loki was in a room with a button labeled DO NOT TOUCH, he would totally poke it just to see what happens. On occasion, Loki gets bored. And when Loki gets bored, he starts looking for entertainment, just like any of us would do when bored. From this search for amusement, I find that Loki tends to meddle with stuff.

I can not say if his meddling is helpful or not, because it truly depends on the person and the situation. In my case, his meddling has been a double edged sword. On one hand, it has proven extremely helpful. At the same time, it has put me into very ... awkward positions. Loki regularly tells me that I take things too seriously. I'm pretty sure that the random occasions of extremely helpful meddling accompanied by some embarrassment are done, in part, to deflate some of my super serious attitude. I know that half the time, I look back on the moment and I laugh at myself. The other half the time, I'm sitting here feeling like a damn idiot. He's commented on that as well. 95% of the time, those comments are not amused or approving of said feeling.

Loki's meddling has resulted in things like my starting this blog, self publication of my books, and random occasions of really good (as in so good it is scary) luck. It has also resulted in my landing in positions where I am doing public speaking (which is difficult for a social phobe like me) or where I am doing something that draws a whole lot of positive attention to myself. Again, something that is very difficult for me to handle for various reasons, none of them pleasant. His meddling has also resulted in my getting over my anxiety on all things Freyr. He did the 'Hey, I've got someone you have to see. They're cool.' and Freyr walks into the room as Loki took off for elsewhere several times. And more matchmaker stuff. Or, as I like to say, he all but threw me at Freyr.

Fortunately, Freyr is ... good with his hands and caught me. And Loki is now laughing like a madman at my mild chagrin at the innuendo. He's accused me of being a prude from time to time as well, in case I haven't mentioned it.  I have also had my shyness declared adorable. All the fun things that are sweet and maddening at the same time that comes with having Loki as a friend. Some days, I get frustrated with things and Loki will upset my proverbial apple cart in his meddling. At the time, I get angry. Then after I have calmed down, I realize that I really needed to have someone shake me out of that mental rut.

Loki is good for that. He also has a habit of making me laugh when I am angry or making the raunchiest jokes when I feel I absolutely need to stay focused on propriety. I'm pretty sure this is an extension of his meddling. At the same time, I've noticed a good amount of his meddling comes along with his at times baffling and weird sense of humor.On the whole, however, Loki's meddling has been beneficial or at least a complete change of pace.

July for Loki # 6 Artwork.

Here is some of the finest (in my opinion) modern depictions of Loki that I've seen on the internet. All credit goes to the creators.

I don't know who the creator of this magnificent image is, but it is utterly jaw droppingly stunning.

From OFools. EVERYTHING she does with Loki is amazing and a LOT like my experiences with him.

Again, I don't know who the artist is. But this is probably one of the best renditions of Thor and Loki from the myth of when Thor's hammer got stolen. It makes me laugh every time I see it.

There is a lot more amazing artwork depicting Loki out there on the internet. These three are the ones that stand out in my memory as the ones that I've gotten either the strongest reaction out of (the first) or the most amusement (the last two).

Monday, July 6, 2015

July for Loki # 5 Video.

Here's a youtube video that makes me think of Flame Hair.

Because Loki, at one point, started singing it to me. Also, it kinda describes, in a way, the deal between him and I. Though I can't exactly put it into words. When things get 'real' he is always there, pointing the way out of the 'traps' I find myself in.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

July for Loki post # 4 LOLWUT?

Loki is, in my understanding, the god of the internet. Why? Because all of the random stuff on there seems to pop up because of his influence in my life. This is part of the reason why when I have Pandora running on the computer listening to atmospheric celtic music there will be a random heavy metal song. I am fairly sure he is the reason why I have some stuff that is amazingly fascinating but completely obscure pass across my view.

My experience of Loki via the internet can be summed up with a few memes.

And yes, Loki's puns are glorious and his sarcasm is just as amazing.

Honoring the Ancestors.

In my home, I have a small shrine to my ancestors and beloved dead. It is nothing fancy but it serves an important function. My shrine (which now includes a prayer card for my recently deceased paternal grandmother) is a place where I interact with the dead who are close to my heart and who have come before me. It is a place where I may honor them and give them gifts. It is, I hope, going to be a place where my sons will come to cherish as they learn the value of honoring their ancestors.

Some people would argue that it is foolish to keep a shrine to the dead. These are often the same people who get uncomfortable when you mention anything that is not Anglo-Saxon Protestant Christianity. It is important, however, to know your roots and where you come from. It is important to honor those who came before you and laid the groundwork for your very existence. As one random person on the internet said, "You are the result of the love of thousands."

Sometimes the ancestors who are close to you in time are not people you wish to interact with. That's ok. Because for every ancestor who was a rotten person, there is another who was a very good one. You may not know those ancestors' names. Don't let that stop you from expressing your appreciation for them. Don't let it stop you from seeking out their assistance and wisdom. Just as the gods communicate with us by way of signs, so too does the dead. Some people are lucky enough to psychically see the ones who wish to communicate with them or to 'hear' their voice. Most people, however, get their messages by way of synchronicity and random happenstances that only make sense in the context of their perspective.

Honoring your ancestors brings them comfort of knowing that they are not forgotten in this world. Giving them gifts and offerings (such as flowers, food, and drink) makes the spirit world easier for them and a happier place. It also opens the bridge between you wider because it makes you more receptive to their efforts to communicate. Your ancestors want to interact with you. They want to know that they are remembered in this world and they want to help you achieve the greatest good you can in your life. They want to see you successful and happy, because that strengthens the line and leads to greater success in future descendents.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July for Loki post # 3 - Inappropriate humor and shenanigans.

You know how everybody has that one friend who makes the worst and most hilarious jokes at totally the wrong time? I have two. One is my husband. The other is Loki. The situation may be something that is solemn and serious. I'll be attending to it with all appropriate and serious demeanor when Loki drops a perverse joke that relates to the situation that leaves me struggling to maintain my composure whilst inwardly dying of laughter.

A recent example was when I learned that my grandmother died. I sat there in shock and trying to come to grips with it all when Loki said quietly to me, "Do you think she's going to berate your grandfather for leaving first?" I sat there baffled by what Loki said and trying to make sense of it. Then I remembered how my grandparents had their disagreements. I knew that grandma was one for giving the person she's irritated with the silent treatment. Thus, she wouldn't have berated my grandfather, just given him a distinct look of disapproval until he said something. It may have to be one of those 'you had to be there' kind of jokes, but I gave a little laugh. Was it what most people would have said was an appropriate thing to say when your friend learns that their beloved relative died? Nope, however, Loki knew that giving me something to laugh at in the situation was what would make it easier for me to deal with.

Also, Loki tends to suggest off the wall things. I have had it happen that I am grocery shopping when Loki pops up and starts putting in requests for stuff he wants me to get for him. When he says he wants chocolate, beer, and pickles, I look at him oddly. Or the time that he wanted Skittles and milk, in the same container. While I could make the joke that he's pregnant, the strange food combinations come regularly enough that I don't think it is pregnancy. I think it's just because he likes to see my expression when I wonder what has possessed him to ask for that food combination.

The goofball ideas are not just limited food and drink. He has also proposed suggestions for things I should make. It was from his idea that Beloved now has a beret that looks like a breast. He also has given encouragement to amusements that just confuse my husband. And then there is the stuff Loki does that makes me just do a double take because of the weirdness. The one example that stands out as an exceptional example of this was showing up in a purple velvet pimp holloween costume, complete with white tiger details, gold braid on the collar, and a cane, and neon green hair. Then he proceeded to quote Hamlet's soliloquy in a girlish falsetto, some how turning it into a bel canto aria. He did this because I was having a bad day and I was furious with the situation. It broke my brain a little bit, but it did jolt me out of the fuming mad state I was in before it happened.

Following Loki's suggestions sometimes leads to finding horrible yet funny things on the internet. I'd post links here but there have been so many that I wouldn't know where to begin. And then there are the pranks. Oh does he pull pranks on me. Like moving my keys from where I had them hanging to in the cookie jar. Or when he decides to 'help' me up the stairs i.e. assists me in falling UP the steps. And then there was the time where he replaced the book I had been doing research on spirituality things with a book of erotica. (Did I mention, that Loki's sense of humor varies widely and some of the most racy jokes and limericks I have ever heard of came from him. It is also where some of the worst puns I've encountered have come from as well.)

If things are too serious, Loki will drop something to break the tension. If things are just absolutely goofy, he will encourage it to get more surreal. Either way, Loki takes his humor seriously. Which is a little funny, considering that he has a reputation of not taking anything seriously. There's a reason why I style him as the Lord of Laughter. He's not always the class clown but he doesn't object to it that often either, in my experience. 

July for Loki post # 2 (untitled)

Some people say that Loki is bad news because he is a deity of chaos. It is something that I can empathise with. At one point, I was so anxious about Loki's role as a chaos bringer, that I didn't say his name and referred to him only by by-names, the more obscure the better. It was a rough time in my life, to say the least, and I mistakenly thought that Loki's presence was going to make things worse. Obviously, I got through that situation, realized that saying his name didn't cause the sky to fall, and moved on to where I comfortably converse with him again, using by-names on occasion (or when talking about him around my husband, who feels that invoking Loki directly brings more upheaval into the house than he is comfortable with).

Chaos isn't that awful, to be honest. It is overwhelming and terrifying at times, especially if you have the need to maintain control over the situation (something I am guilty of in spades). At the same time, chaos is part of what makes the world go 'round. Entropy is just a fancy word for chaos. With out entropy, everything would cease to exist. (Yes, I am applying SCIENCE here. The spiritual elements are in a complicated relationship with the scientific ones.) From chaos comes energy that puts things into motion. If you need somebody to kick your butt into doing stuff, Loki is a great motivator.

As a motivator, Loki has helped me accomplish a great deal of stuff. My budding writing career would have remained just an idle wish if it wasn't for Loki prodding me into action. I would have been wallowing in despair and depression to a point of severe clinical illness if Loki hadn't pointed me in the direction of the way out of that dark place and assured me that it was possible to regain my health after the first hospitalization. I would have given up all together upon witchcraft if it hadn't been for Loki giving me very ... powerful reminders that my spiritual experiences are legitimate. (If having two pets revived from death isn't a sign, then I don't know what is.)

Has the motivation always been gentle? Nope, but that's not Loki's operating style. Has it always been something I was comfortable with? Nope, but honestly Loki isn't someone to always coddle his people or handle them with kid gloves (except for when he does because it is necessary or for some other reason). Loki is just as likely to give one person a quick pep talk about how they can do the thing as he is to put another person in a position where they are forced to do the thing or face really uncomfortable consequences. (Yes, I just committed an enormous understatement. But I can't think of anything better right now.)

I know, however, I can always count on Loki to be in my corner. It may manifest in ways that confuse me or seem counter current to what is going on, but that's just what Loki does. I know that when I need him, Loki steps up and helps me out. And I do my best to do the same thing for him, because that is what friends do.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July for Loki Post # 1 - My invisible friend can kick your invisible friend's arse.

I am a person who has a non-conformist relationship with Loki. There are a lot of spouses (according to the interwebz) and there are quite a few children. I'm sure that there are other people who fit different relationship dynamics with him. But the 'standard' relationship of my being subservient to him (because he IS a deity) is not exactly how it works. He has been with me since I was a small child. At one point, my brothers and I got into a fight as to which deity was cooler (Thor, Odin, or Loki, I think you can guess who was in Loki's corner that day.). I was devious and managed to turn it into my brother's fighting each other as I lit off for elsewhere because the noise was drawing my parents' attention. I still maintain to this day that I was the victor. My brothers, however, have long forgotten this three way battle royale.

I've always been the one who pointed out how Loki wasn't bad per se but that he was neutral and did what worked best in a given situation. I also always felt that he got shafted by the Aesir in that story of his binding. As time has gone on, other things have been revealed to me and the weirdness factor of the world increased significantly, thereby making that story stranger as time has gone on and my perspective change from being upset with the Aesir to being disgruntled. I used to be really angry about it. Then Loki and I sat down and had a heart to heart on the topic. A bunch of what he said went over my head but I came out of that conversation realizing that everything being in a state of flux means that he is both bound and free at the same time and his sons are living unharmed and in the catastrophic state that the Aesir put them in. (Let me tell you, that last point really stuck in my craw for a while.)

For a time, when I was confused about everything, I tried out atheism. But it didn't make sense because Loki was still there. Then I tried out agnosticism. But, again, Loki was still there. And it wasn't like Dea's quiet presence. Loki is the antithesis of quiet (except for when he is not). He would show up and do random things to help with a situation. He'd show up and cause weird things to manifest around me (which is why I have been dubbed a chaos magnet). And he would show up just to talk. As a shapeshifter, his arrival was different just about every time.

Because I was really unsure of myself, convinced that my spiritual experiences were signs that I was going mad, I tried to ignore Loki. Well, remember "No body puts Baby in a corner"? No body ignores Loki. Somewhere along the way, I gave up on trying to will my experiences to be 'normal' and stopped avoiding Loki. And we fell back into the rhythm of making terrible jokes, conversations in fluent sarcasm, and him acting as one of my closest friends.

At times, Loki acts like the weird, crazy uncle who somehow always manages to pull off the coolest stuff in ways that you genuinely believe break physics. At other times, Loki is the cohort who helps me plan mischief. (This happens mainly in my gaming sessions because life has gotten in the way of other mischief.) And then there are the times where Loki is the quiet, serious minded friend who tells you exactly what is wrong and how to go about fixing it. He also has no qualms about telling me when I am being an idiot.

I guess some 'normal' people would say that I have an invisible friend in Loki. If that's the case, I'm cool with it. I know that my invisible friend is a ton of fun, smart, sassy, and at times frighteningly inventive. He's rattled my cage a few times. I've seen his World-Breaker guise. It was part of what pushed me to accomplish much of what I have so far in my life. I've seen him as a father figure, not towards myself personally but for others, and it is a beautiful sight. I've even gotten advice from him on how to deal with pregnancy (seriously, some of the best advice on how to handle morning sickness came from him).

Loki is amazing. He is complex, vibrant, and unpredictable. I also love him to pieces because of it. Some people say it's not safe to be friends with Loki and that he is a walking disaster. Those people don't know Loki. Yeah, there's the chaos engine that is Loki and friendship can lead to some really uncomfortable situations. But the benefits of the friendship are so, so much more than what you get from being in the 'blast radius' of a Loki event. And sometimes, the place to be is right in the epicenter of that blast because the damage to you is a lot less then it would be outside of it. And dealing with any god, there is no complete safety (except for when there is, but that's a different post topic).

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Rosa Mundi & Summer Solstice 2015

Rosa Mundi is the celebration of the soul returning to union with Dea. It is a joyous time. It is also the first Fire Festival of the Filianic calendar. I spent time on Rosa Mundi doing my best to enjoy the delights of life. I also did my best to focus my inward thoughts upon the spark of Dea's light that burns within me. In the midst of the business of the day (because it fell on a Sunday and Father's Day), I found myself caught up in the nitty-gritty details of being a mother and I did not get to spend as much time in meditation as I wished.

Still, I made a point of giving offerings of flowers to the gods. If I had them, I would have happily laid roses on the altar and at my outdoor shrine to Dea. As it was, I had some dandelions from the front yard, a daisy, and some fleabane in a tiny nosegay on the altar and some blooms from my potted orange begonia at the outdoor shrine. It is my habit to offer flowers to Dea on the high holidays (Rosa Mundi being one of them) and when I offer flowers to Dea, I offer some to the other gods as well. Because it isn't right to give something to one and nothing to the others.

What time I was able to set aside for prayer, I focused my prayerful efforts on seeing justice done in the world and peace being brought into the world. I am deeply troubled by the violence and injustice that happens around the world on a daily basis. Thus, I have put a good deal of time into praying for the resolution of the problems that lead to these situations. I wish to do more to resolve the problems of the world, but currently prayer and magic are what I have to use. Perhaps, in time, I will be able to take more concrete steps towards this as well.

As a Fire Festival, Rosa Mundi is celebrated with bonfires (and fireworks, by some). I couldn't do this. Still, I burned several candles in honor of the day. I suppose you could say I had something of a poor man's fire celebration. The fire represents Dea's love and her presence in the world. She is the primordial source of light (and its attendant heat and such). Thus, fire is a very good earthly representation of her presence. (This is why I have a candle that I burn in honor of the Daughter's presence.)

The solar symbolism of Rosa Mundi is vast and revolves around demonstrating the Bright Mother's influence upon the world. The Angel Sai Raya is honored at this time. She is both a lens through which Marya's light is shone upon the world and a manifestation of Dea's presence. Sai Raya is the angel who bestows wealth and prosperity. She also gives vitality and health to the world. As Rosa Mundi, Sai Raya's presence is even more evident in the fecundity of the world and the coming prosperity of the harvest. Thus, at Rosa Mundi, there are many Filiyani who honor this Angel as well.

In my observance of the solstice, I did not focus strictly upon Rosa Mundi alone. I also poured out offerings of alcohol and gave sweets to the Norse gods in my life. I thanked them for the bounty that has come into my life by way of their hands. I praised their generosity and loving kindness. And I asked that they continue to keep me and mine in their care. I did spend some time on a spirit journey with Freyr in the evening after all the offerings and such were attended to.

We went to Alfheim and attended a celebration there*. It was a joyful evening feast. There was a large gathering of alfar and other wights there. A bonfire was burning. There was music, drinking, and dancing. It was just a huge party. I was a little nervous at first but after a little while, Freyr had convinced me to join the dancing and I had a good time. Apparently this midsummer's party is an annual thing and it is but one of many held thorough out Alfheim. And the party lasts for days. It was a pleasant spirit journey and I think the thing I enjoyed the most was watching Freyr let his hair down and have a good time.

* If it must be said, this is UPG. Other people's experiences will differ and I expect there will be those who will vigorously disagree with me.