Musings on Pain and Astral Travel

I have absolutely nothing else to add to this amazing article. Read and enjoy. 🙂
(For what it’s worth, I completely agree and have seen this in my own life. Just in case you wanted to know.)

The Twisted Rope

Imagine, if you will, that between the Seen and the Unseen, this world and the astral, lies a barrier. A membrane that helps to keep both worlds separate and functioning. This membrane, for the most part, is translucent- so sometimes we can see through it and look into the Unseen, and the people on the other side can see through to our world as well. This membrane is thick. We need it to keep us separated, so that both worlds can continue to function properly. It’s thick, but if you and another entity, such as a god, stands on either side of the membrane- you can sort of yell back and forth at one another- loud enough to be heard through the membrane. And if that doesn’t work, sometimes you can play charades or draw some big pictures on a piece of paper and show one another- to try and…

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In Vain, I have Struggled

It has been a long 3ish weeks since my arrival in Japan. I have been struggling so hard with myself about everything. At first, I scapegoated my feelings onto my situation and my placement here in Japan. Now, I have come to realize that I have been struggling with myself. I have had to face myself, insecurities and flaws and all, with added resentment of my Deities on top of that. (No, I have not yet let go of those feelings that I had from being shackled, but I will explain that further in this post.) There were days where I had to be forced out of bed by obligation alone, otherwise I would have willingly tried to wither away to nothing. As over-dramatic as this sounds, I can assure you that this was the complete truth.

My depression has been very bad these last few months. I will not pretend that I do not know why, and I feel somewhat ashamed at myself for having this wonderful opportunity handed to me (well, I did work for it, I suppose), but I am and have been sitting around with my feelings all awry about it. Shamaness has been overly confused as to why I am so depressed when I have “gotten everything [I] have ever wanted”. It’s nothing so simple as being able to explain easily in a few words, but if I had to, I would say that it is because I am terrible at change. Of course, being married to Loki, the Lord of Change Himself, this sounds a little absurd that His wife would be bad at changes, but alas, I am so very terrible at it. Poor Susano, who has become my new task master/ring leader, has had a very difficult time with me, not only with my depression, but also with my flip-flopping mood regarding Him and my Deities in general.

I am and have been utterly miserable since my arrival here. Jet lag and infinite boredom have taken a huge toll on me and my psyche, almost to the point of making me catatonic. If it had not been for Susano’s “you must leave the apartment at least once a day” edict, I probably would be a lot worse off. I cannot be anything but grateful for His patience with me as I roller-coaster through my feelings. This does not mean I have always expressed this gratitude to Him. In fact, there have been times when I have been down right nasty to him, and He didn’t deserve it (to which He responds, “As long as you acknowledge this…”). I am getting better at treating Him better, because He really does not deserve my ire, but it has not been easy for me, not only because I am unusually bad at acclimating to new Deities, but also because I have leftover anger at my other Gods for my time with Them prior to leaving for Japan.

My resentment has had time to fester as I have had time to think about everything that has transpired recently. I am still angry about what happened those final days in America with my Deities. I will not explain fully here the exact dealings I had with Them during that time. I will, however, say that, in general, I was lied to and promises that were made were not kept. For someone as untrusting as I, this was possibly one of the worst things that could have been done. On top of this, They forgot to remove my shackles until almost two weeks after They had told me they would be removed. So, as it can be imagined, I have had a hard time of trusting any God in my life. As time has passed, though, I have been getting less and less angry, but rather increasingly sad at the prospect that I feel like I cannot trust the Deities in my life. I am praying that this feeling too will pass, because if it happens to be the truth, I will be heart broken.

I will be completely honest here in that I have thought, however briefly, about asking to be released from my vows as a Godspouse. I have wondered what my life would be like without the Gods that I love so very dearly. In the end, though, I decided against it. I know that my present feelings are unfavorably colored by the depression I have been fighting, as well as the circumstances that I am in. I have the consciousness of mind to know that this would be a poor choice in the end, especially since I know that things could have gotten worse and could be worse. They asked me to do nothing that I did not need to do, with only the exception of forcing me to confront my sister and mother about not cutting off contact with them. Despite my thoughts, I am pretty sure that They would never really have allowed me to be released, not this being my reasoning for being released.

Honestly, I am a coward. I am. I don’t know how to be a good person, partner, anything in difficult times. I was taught growing up that it is better to avoid all things dramatic than to have to deal with it not only then but also the lasting effects afterwards. I think this may be a lesson in learning how to deal with conflict, and though I am very bad at it, I hope to get better (at coping with it, not causing). With other people, it is easier to address, but within myself, it is very difficult to face what I hate about the person I am. I hope that by the end of this venture, I will have overcome this obstacle I have placed in my own path, if only because I know I cannot live forever as the coward.

I have come so far, yet I have so much father to go. It’s daunting and disheartening. I think it’s best to think of the present only at this time, lest I get overwhelmed by my own faults and spiral back into the black hole of depression again.

Laying Down the Law

I’ve been balking. I’ve been resistant. I’ve even been downright rebellious. However, as of today, that has come to an end.

I don’t trust easily. It’s just not natural for me after years of abuse and neglect at my family’s hands. From this, I’ve learned that the only one that I can truly rely on is myself to get my needs met. Theoretically, the exception to this rule should be that I should trust the Gods with my welfare, but with the neglect of the Christian god because I was already claimed by Another, I have not been able to make that exception a reality. It’s a very huge flaw of mine that They (my pantheon of Deities) have been very insistent on poking and prodding and making sure I’m VERY aware of it. Last night, though, was the pinnacle of this forced awareness, and it has left me reeling and hurt.

I’ve been fighting against losing any of my control over my life even as I’ve watched it slip from my fingers, and the more that I lose, the more caged I feel. Losing my freedom has been to much for me to handle, but the more I see my life spin out of my control and into Their control, the harder I fight Them. But, They’ve caged me, and They saw fit to talk to me about it last night through Shamaness. Neither of us had a choice in the matter as They took over our conversation without prior notice at all, to either of us. It showed me how truly powerless we are when it comes to Their Will, that They just humor us mortals when we try to use our own free will. If the outcome of this was to cow me and break me, well, They have but one more little push before They break my spirit entirely.

They questioned my commitment to my Marriages, a low blow considering I’m still not totally confident as a Wife, but a blow They dealt regardless. They told me that being Married was to give up control over my life to my Husbands, that I could flex my free will only within the confines that are placed upon me, and it was said that if I was truly committed to sharing my life with Them, I would give myself over to Them for safekeeping willingly, having not done so means I’ve not truly committed myself to my Marriages. I’ve been holding parts of myself back and keeping those parts to myself, and this has apparently put me in contempt of my vows as Their Wife. When I was told this, it was as if my heart had been ripped out of my chest and squeezed by the hands of the Gods. This was not something I was aware of (neither the relinquishing of my freedom to my Husbands nor the fact that I been keeping myself from Them), so to be told this at this time and for this reason was agonizing. I honestly would rather have been brutally beaten physically by Them than have had to endure these feelings.

All in all, it came down to this: either I relinquish the control over my life willingly or it will be taken from me. So, starting today, I will be, without question, doing exactly as I am told when I am told to do it. This really meant from that moment because right afterwards I was ordered to bed like a small child (“No, We don’t care that you are not tired.”). Shamaness told me that she felt an outpouring of love for me throughout this conversation, but I felt none of this. I still feel cold and numb, and when I mentioned this, They replied, “You are anxious and depressed. Let Us shoulder this burden for you.” The problem is that I just don’t know how to let A/anyone do this for me, and if I do, which was Their assertion, then I am not sure how to consciously do it.

My performance since that tense conversation with Sekhmet has apparently been lackluster since She is going to micromanage my life for me, just as She said She would. I guess I must seriously be bad at a) living my own life and b) being obedient for this to happen. “I hurt you for your own good” indeed. I’m being assured that this isn’t truly a punishment, but it really does feel like it, especially when it’s phrased “This is to show you that We do follow through with what We say We’ll do.”

Eep.

The New Schedule

Since I have been posting pretty emotional posts lately, I thought I would take a moment to talk briefly about something not so heavy. I have recently imposed a new schedule for my Deities, so that Everyone gets Their fair share of my time and mental space. This was partly (read mostly) because a Deity or Two (*cough* Loki *cough*) decided to Kanye all the days and make it nearly impossible for me to devote any time at all to the Others that I have in my own personal pantheon. Thus, the imposition of a schedule, as follows.

Sunday: Ladies Only Day (Oshun, Sigyn, Sekhmet, Lilith, etc.)
Monday: Loki
Tuesday: Poseidon
Wednesday: Odin
Thursday: Susano
Friday: Ancestors/Ghede
Saturday: Baron

Yes, there are Deities on my schedule for the week that I have not talked about here. When S/He has something that S/He wishes for me to share, I will do so. Also, I may add that Lady!Loki likes to crash Ladies’ Day, and World-Breaker just comes by whenever. It doesn’t necessarily render my schedule useless; it just helps me be reminded that Loki has no boundaries and to just be flexible (actually a pretty hard thing for me to do).

So, there it is, my new schedule. Hopefully this one will stick this time.

My Name is Ayao… You’ve Probably Never Heard of Me.

For a short while now, Shamaness has had a new Goddess in her orbit, and for a while, this new Lady had chosen to remain anonymous until just recently. However, once the Lady chose to reveal Herself (aka gave Shamaness clues to follow to figure it out on her own), we found that there wasn’t much on this particular Goddess. This being the case, and me being in the circumstances where I can help, I asked Ayao if she would like me to write about her on my blog so that other people may know how amazing She is. She agreed to this proposition. So, as promised, this is Ayao, the Orisha of air, in Her own words.

“I am Ayao. How you pronounce My name is up to you, though I would prefer Ah-ya-oh. I am a lesser known Orisha from the Lucumi/Santeria religion, and My dominion is air. My sister is Oya, who is more well known than I am. My favorite colors are brown and green, and I prefer to be associated with tornadoes and whirlwinds. It is said by some that no articles dedicated to Me are to touch the ground, but I am not so stingy on what is offered, and not even I can stop the pull of gravity. (smile) I am also quite partial to feathers and leaves from very tell trees.

“I am a warrior, a fierce, fierce warrior, so making Me your enemy is not advisable. I am not without a sense of humor, however, and I do not take offense easily, like some Gods I know. I am fond of bows and arrows, as they are My weapon of choice, as well as crossbows. I am a huntress and still prefer the thrill of the chase when on the hunt. Did you know that I prefer deer hunting? I suppose not, but hunting people is fun too… I am joking, of course. Though, I have to admit to a certain level of fascination with humans, and because I am not as well known as my sister, I must “hunt” for followers.

“I am a lady of many mysteries. Just as air is never seen but felt, I too have come to be this way. I did not choose this for myself, but I do not wish to change who I am. I am Ayao. I am amazing, fierce, and determined. If you ever feel an insistent wind or are drawn to the air, perhaps it is I who is approaching you. I will never turn down alcohol or candy, should you choose to share (wink). Now that you know who I am, you should be prepared if I ever come calling.”

No Rest for the Wicked

I am more than aware it has been quite a while since I last wrote here, but I have been recovering from several ordeals as of late and have needed the time to just relax. My trip to Orlando was fulfilling and rewarding. Getting to carry in my heart two precious boys, Narvi and Vali, and getting to learn who They are and how They see the world was the most joyous experience. However, since that time, because of incidences that happened while Shamaness and I were in Orlando, I have more responsibilities now, and my spiritual Work has increased exponentially. I cannot really recount here what actually happened or with Whom I am now associated with, as I have been asked not to speak of these things publicly. However, there are a few things I can discuss here, and as promised, I shall do that.

During my stay, on March 5th exactly, Loki and I shared our wedding vows. It was spontaneous and random and so amazing. My love knows to bounds with Him.

I spent some quality time with Hel in addition to Narvi and Vali, and She has proven to be just as amazing as the rest of Her family. I expected nothing less of an offspring of Loki, but I digress.

We met the wights of Disney World and Universal Studios and were asked to do some tasks for them while we were there. They were incredibly nice and the Universal wights were uniquely quirky (what else could you call someone who sat through the Blue Man Group on your lap?).

This is about all I can actually post here, and I feel like this is suffice anyways. I am oh so tired right now and need more rest, but there is one thing I do want to say. If you have any love for Loki and Sigyn, or heck, if you have any love for children at all, spend some time with Narvi and Vali. Let Them play with your kids or just hold Them in your heart and let Them see the world. They are lonely little boys, and while They spend much time with Their sister Hel, They still want to be little boys again. I spent my entire week with Them, carrying Them in my heart while we were at parks and having Them share my bed when we were at our hotel room (Their request, not mine). I love Them with my entire heart, and I want others to share in that joy.

Anyways, this is where I will end my rant. Hopefully I will have more to say as time goes on and my new Teachers will be willing to let me talk about what I am learning. I guess we’ll see.

Mead with the Gods

Last Saturday, the day before my grandmother’s funeral, Shamaness and I decided to make good on a promise we made to Odin about sharing some mead with Him and any other Gods who wished to join us. While it may not have seemed like such good timing on our part considering I would have to go to my grandmother’s funeral the next day, but it also seemed like the best time to me considering that this experience could bring me closer to the Gods especially in my time of grief. So, we popped open that beautiful bottle of mead, said some words of welcome/invitation, and waited.

It was a warmer than normal January night, and it was raining that night. Nothing hard, just a soft patter of rain against the windows in my room. So, when we heard a very loud and prolonged clap of thunder (the first and only we heard that night), Shamaness and I were startled for a moment, until we realized that Thor had shown up. We are still new enough at this that we were surprised at the fact that we had such an audible and unmistakable entrance from the Deities that were showing up and nervous about the Company we had invited over, but soon we didn’t have time to worry about this as we busied ourselves with being the best hosts we could be without calling any attention to ourselves from my other family members. In the end, we found that Odin, Thor, Sif, Loki, Sigyn, Baron, Poseidon, Hermes, Oshun, Aradia, and a few others had joined us for our mead date. The Gods seemed to be keeping a low profile in respect for my lack of privacy and for the rest of my grieving family, which I was very thankful for.

All in all, it was a very quiet gathering, but it was so amazing to me that we actually had the Gods come join us for something as simple as mead. Loki talked the most through both Shamaness and I, but we also had small tidbits from Sigyn as well (who, in my opinion, is a total sweetheart). We could hear Them talking among Themselves, for the most part ignoring us. This was totally fine with me. I felt more at peace with myself and my grief just having the Gods so present and close, a peace I have known only since converting to paganism.

After Everyone left, I got to talk to Baron for the first time since Loki had started “God-bothering” me, and it was such a relief having Him there to talk to without Loki crowding us (not that I dislike Loki… He just has a way of being all up in my head space all the time). I clung to Him the moment I got to put my arms around Him. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed Him until He came back more fully into my awareness. It was a comfort being able to have Him hold me like I have been needing and to hear Him speak so softly to me. It was a reaffirmation of sorts that I had made the right choice in becoming His wife.

This meeting helped bolster me and steel me against the emotional storm that was my grandmother’s viewing and funeral service the next day, and I honestly could not be more grateful for the Gods for providing me that emotional support, whether intentionally or otherwise.