If Wordsworth…

…would rather be a pagan
suckled on a creed outworn

I would rather be a Heathen
nestled in the reeds and thorns

caught in the rain

with thunder in my ears
and soaked to the bone

 

(I’m not dead! Just otherwise occupied.)

Her Weregild

For Gullveig, and for Loki.

I will pay her weregild
I’ll pay her weight in gold
though you’ve made it so expensive,
I’ve done it once before.

I will pay her weregild
I’ll haul her weight in gold
I’ll hold her heart beneath my heart –
I’ve done it all before.

Insert joke about dyslexic agnostics

I feel like gods look at us like we look at dogs.

We’re like “lol lookit that precious stupid pupper, he’s afraid to jump off the bed and he barks at reusable grocery bags and I love him.”

Gods are like “lol lookit that precious stupid human, he runs from wisdom and yells at deer and I love him.”

Whew

So.

September 12th was my 5-year convert-a-versary and I have been trying to work out how to approach the push I feel to go do a big thing for Loki.

Looking into the path for ordination as a goði right now. I want it to be something where I’m well-trained and legal (weddings, funerals, some…Thor-senings? on the side), and have found a promising way to go about it once I find a kindred to get established in the community. (Got burned by the last recommendation for a Lokean-friendly kindred.)

I offered to get a piercing or a tattoo, but right now am wearing a torq bracelet I made because I am looking into employment once I finish my associates and I want to be employable and established enough to get away with body mods come time. (No set time was involved in the piercing offer, so I’m not…overtly weasling my way out of anything, technically? You can have my head, not my neck, etc. etc.)

That’s blood. That’s an oath. That’s kind of terrifying. That’s permanent.

I’ve done temporary oaths after lots of negotiation, and honestly those have ended up being permanent and just slightly less intense in practice–like growing out my hair. It belongs to me again, but I still refuse to cut it. Even trimming the absolute worst of my split ends the other day made me want to cry because I grew that out for Loki and to some extent I feel like it still indirectly belongs to him as an outward symbol of my faith. I think it’s the idea of surrendering something as all-encompassing as my skin or my blood, for the rest of my life, that is so terrifying. That’s basically giving up the entirety of my being. I hate being controlled, even though giving in to faith is a very special kind of ecstasy (in the strictly religious sense).

EDIT: I also remembered the oath I made to quit smoking. Permanently. Maybe this concept isn’t as foreign to me as I’d previously assumed.

Hopefully there is a local goði I can consult when I find a kindred. Divination is giving a lot of “yes good pls continue” vibes, but for something this big, I need a second (and third, and fourth, and twelfth) opinion.

Holy shit, Gullveig

Loki has a reputation for being super blunt when he feels like it, but Gullveig seems to have zero interest in subtlety in my experience.

Loki kinda toys with you, but signals from Gullveig are more like:

LOOK AT THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO.

IT’S GOT GOLD AND CATS AND REVENGE AND FIRE IN IT.

REMIND YOU OF ANYONE?

LOOK AT THAT SHINY THING.

BUY ME THE SHINY THING.

 

Convenient, if loud, because homegirl really loves herself some pop songs.

For example:

 

“I’m sorry, the Old Gullveig can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh! She got stabbed and set on fire. Like three times. Anyway she’s dead.”

This was originally written for a story contest in July of 2013 and won for stories about Hel. Since it’s October, and I use Halloween’s death-y themes as a Blot for Hel, I figured I’d post this.


She blinked her one good eye pointedly at the man who knelt before her.

“Let Baldr come home? This is his home, now.”

“Frigga weeps for him,” Hermod pleaded. “Odin weeps for him. We all weep for him.”

“You all do?”

“All but your wretched father.”

She cleared her half-throat and rattled the bony finger of her raised hand in warning.

“I will not have you disrespecting him in my hall.”

The living god, there only on business, nodded far too energetically, which Hel knew perfectly well was an insincere gesture.

She ignored his silent response and thought for several moments, considering the weight of letting the fair-haired Ás go and setting a terrible precedent for the impermanence of death. The confidence offered by Frigga’s success in convincing all but the bloodied edge of Mistletoe to keep her son safe made it seem like a bad idea to acquiesce. There was little stopping her from extracting that one last promise.

But it also held potential for a powerful lesson.

With the gentle rattle of her necklace of bones and glass beads, she stood.

“If you all weep for him, you may bring Baldr back to Asgard.” Hermod had come up from his knees and removed his helmet to express his gratitude, but she stopped him. “Remember. This offer is not made lightly, and if anything,” she leaned forward for emphasis and he utterly failed to hold back his disgust at the cracking of her spine. “One single thing, fails to do this, Baldr will remain here, under my care, never to return to his former home as you know it.” She straightened herself again, leaning on her seat. “And I know you know how that story will end.”

He hesitantly met her gaze, then nodded. This time it was sincere.

“Frigga will be thrilled to hear of this. Thank you, my lady.”

He returned to his feet, nodded to his brother on his way out, and made his way along the lines of assembled dead to the door.

 

Frigga, upon hearing the conditions, had nearly thrown her frantic spinning work to the floor and rushed out to return to her previous work of dealmaking. All of the weapons held out to her by her Husband’s dead had been more than happy to agree. The bees and bee-wolves had been, as well. The mistletoe, still youthful but just old and corrupted enough to feel guilty for spilling Baldr’s blood, wept tears that matched her berries.

In her travels, pleading and sometimes begging those she met to shed even a single tear for her dead son, she finally came upon Thokk.

She had once been of auburn hair, judging by the last few strands with any hint of color that stuck out from under her hood. Upon hearing of Frigga’s goal, she was clearly offended.

“I know the agony of a lost child,” she finally said, “and I especially know the agony of a child taken from you by force. No one wept for our loss but us. But you, you travel everywhere you can, insisting that we weep for a boy some of us do not even know, hoping to cheat death?” She paused, collecting herself. “Why ask Hel to tolerate the same? Let her keep what truly belongs to her.”

 

Hel had been mindful of the pressure caused by the grief throughout the tree above her, but had kept her focus on one empty pocket. Baldr had finally approached her, suspecting that something was amiss in her constant staring at one place.

“There is one person who will not grieve for you,” she explained, not taking her gaze off of the area above her.

Needless to say, Baldr seemed a little offended.

“Who?”

“Someone who knows you, but saw value in your death.”

He silently hinted that he wanted her to continue.

“Making sure promises are kept and that balance is maintained. Deals are kept and oaths are honored.”

“My own father won’t grieve for me?”

“Oh, no, your father grieves.” She finally met Baldr’s gaze. “And that would be putting it gently.”

“Then who?”

“His brother.”