Watching

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Ancestors: Buddy

In Heathenry, ancestor work is important. Or at least this is what I’m told. I have researched my ancestors, I can trace my maternal relatives back several generations, I’ve looked into genealogy and can tell you that I’m a mix of several places across the pond. In years past I’ve even set up ancestor altars complete with pictures of people I could actually name, and might even be able to tell you a little about. But, aside from that, I haven’t done a lot of ancestor “work”. I don’t communicate with them regularly. I don’t have an altar erected year round for them.

I can’t say that I have major plans to change that going forward. It’s something I would like to do, in theory. But I also recognize that I feel very…awkward trying to communicate with them.

All of this is on my mind today because this would have been my grandfather’s 89th birthday. Last year I wrote a thing on Facebook about it, and thought I’d reshare it here (with a few edits) for several reasons. Enjoy~

~*~

Today was my late grandfather’s birthday. He would have been 89 today, but he passed on unexpectedly when I was 13. I’ll never forget that night, how my mom asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital in the middle of the night (I barely registered what she said, answered no, and turned over and went back to sleep), the call the next day (I was home alone and so upset it took everything in me not to grab the plate beside me and throw it as hard as I could at the wall before I crumbled into a sobbing ball on the floor), or the ride with a family friend to the hospital that soon followed. I’ll never forget the utter pain and heartbreak that came over me. He was my special Buddy, and more of a dad to me than my biological dad ever was.

I can’t even articulate how much I miss him or wish I could talk to him. He had a deep baritone voice when he sang. His favorite fish was salmon. His favorite color was red. He loved to play tennis, and when he needed a moment to himself he’d go down by the airport and watch the planes take off and land. He was an excellent business man, forever patient with my grandmother, a wonderful father to his kids, and the best grandpa a girl could ever wish for. He used to draw me pictures whenever I asked him to. I distinctly remember asking him to draw me a rabbit several times. He made amazing wood carvings that I hope my mom still has somewhere back in Indiana. I wanted to bring them to New Jersey with me when I moved here, but was so afraid they’d break, and I’d be absolutely crushed if something happened to them. They are some of the last remaining pieces of him that I have aside from memories. Whatever artistic talent I have I know came from him (unfortunately I also inherited his migraines).

The first birthday after he passed was my Freshman year of High school. My mom drove me to school that morning as she always did, but I couldn’t go in. I couldn’t face people. I couldn’t stop crying. All day long I just cried and cried. I can’t say I haven’t shed a few tears today as I do every year on this day.

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Please pardon the photo quality. It’s a picture taken on a cell phone camera of a picture~

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Consulting

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On Neo-Nazis Stealing Heathen Symbols

So, this is a thing that has been on my mind recently, and I wanted to speak on it. Because it affects me and the rest of the Heathen community a lot.

Neo Nazis have been using the symbols of our faith to denote White Supremacy. They’ll take a picture of Odin or the Valknut symbol, attach it to a flag, and march down the street yelling Blue Lives Matter.

I hate this. It’s bastardizing what my faith is and what my symbols mean. Odin is/was not a White Supremacist. There is nothing in the Eddas that says ” only White people are good or can follow these gods”. Furthermore, a lot of these people don’t even understand what these symbols actually mean. They’ve given them their own meaning, but don’t bother to find out where they originated from or what they mean to the people they originally belonged to.

I’ve always been outspoken about my belief in Equality, that Black Lives Matter, and that we don’t need a god damn wall. I’ve also always been ‘that Pagan in the room’ (as Ceallaigh calls it) who is willing to explain what Paganism is, and especially who Odin and the other deities I follow are. I’ve never shied away from this. Being that Pagan in the room that has to explain why Blue Lives Matter is wrong and offensive doesn’t bother me. It’s the fact that I have to be, that White Supremacists have put me in that position.

Everyday I wear a Valknut and a Thor’s Hammer. Sometimes I draw my daily Rune on my wrist as a reminder of it’s message (today I have Nauthiz drawn there). The very fact that I wear this stuff, that Neo Nazis have taken it and used it for their own purposes, means that now I run the risk of being label a White Supremacist for wearing a religious symbol that has nothing to do with race. I honestly can’t even articulate how angry that makes me.

This post has been percolating in my head for a few weeks now. Ever since I read Ceallaigh’s blog post “I Forbid Neo-Nazis From Using the Symbols of My Faith”. I agree with everything she says in her post so much that I had to share a link here and hope that you will all give it a read. Especially if you are a Neo-Nazi. Educate yourself on the symbols you’re misusing and stop using them.

(Cross-posted to Life of a Raven~)

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Watching

odinfeat11

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An Important Message 

The other day my partner and I were discussing Odin. Or rather we were discussing Loki and how He’s been coming up in different ways in our lives, and tangentially got to talking about Odin. I have a million thoughts on Loki, but I’ll share those another time. The things we were discussing about Odin are what I want to touch on now. 

Small warning: political talk. I think this will be the first time I’ve talked about politics here as I usually try to just keep that to Facebook and Twitter. But this needs discussing. 

My partner told me is one of his issues with Odin is the way His image has been adopted by Men’s Rights Activists (MRA’s). First, let’s acknowledge that isn’t an issue with ODIN Himself. Or it shouldn’t be. He didn’t ride over from Asgard and afix His image to those flags. The MRA’s took His image and put it there. So it should be an issue with them, not Him. However, it’s because this group uses His image that we come to the point of this post. 

I DO NOT SUPPORT MRA’s. 

My partner’s claim was that by giving anything to Odin in directly gave energy to MRA’s. Simply because they use His image. Now, I’m not Odin’s keeper (I highly doubt such a thing actually exists as I can’t see Odin allowing such a thing), so I don’t know what all He does or doesn’t do. I would LIKE to believe He doesn’t support these people, though I admit you really can’t find a more hypermasculine god (except maybe Thor), or culture. But given that Odin has dressed up as a woman, and has respected a woman enough to learn from Her makes me believe He’s not misogynistic. Or at the very least would not support such people. 

I wanted to address this issue as I know there are a lot of people in the Heathen community that ARE MRA’s and don’t support women’s rights. I know there are several white supremacists in our community. I know there are people who say that if you aren’t of Norwegian (or other Nordic) descent that you can’t worship the Nordic deities. 

I AM NOT ONE OF THESE PEOPLE. 

I 100% believe Black Lives Matter, women are equal to men (and should be treated as such), transwomen are women and transmen are men, anyone can worship any god that calls to them, and no one is better than anyone else. 

Rest assured this blog and all my other social media sites are Safe Spaces. I don’t care what flavor of whatever you are. You’re awesome and you have every right to be who you are. 

This ends the political talk, and I now return you to your regularly scheduled posts about Runes, awesome pics, and Odin lore. 

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He Sees You

jackdonovan

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