Dreams

About two weeks ago I had a dream that I just can’t get out of my head. I dreamt that I was at my parent’s home. (Both are deceased)  They seemed to be in their 50’s, and I was my actual age now, which is 40. Every time I dream of them, they are the same as in life, but yet slightly different.  I can’t explain it or put it into words. Just different.

In the dream my father beckoned me to come outside.  It was dusk and the sky was rapidly growing dark.  He pointed to the sky and said look.  Above us I saw several silver spirals swirling. 

What’s that?

See it he said. Those are portals opening.

Then my mother directed me to look at another portion of the sky. There I saw a massive tower, much like that in the Tarot, and it was crumbling. 

See the tower my mother said.

Then I woke up. It was around 2 am.  I automatically reach for my phone to see if something in the news pointed to our world falling apart. Nothing more than usual. But I wonder.  I wonder, I fear, and I seethe with anger. 

My religion

If somebody asked, I would loosely say Norse Pagan, or maybe even Asatru. It would depend on my mood.  If anyone asked,  are you a witch, I’d say yes to that too. 

Lately I’ve felt that being a witch, or one who practices the craft can look a lot of different ways.  

Many years ago, I was in Lebanon visiting in laws.   I was still young, but had been married for six years and still childless.  My ex husband’s family assumed I had fertility problems.  Of course that wasn’t so, I had put off having children because of the volatile nature of our relationship.  

A great aunt in the family, a brave pillar of strength, took me aside before I left to come home, and grasping my face in her gnarled hands she smiled and spoke words to me in Arabic I only half understood.  I nodded along. Then she opened her Quran and began to read a myriad of verses to me.   I knew most of them, being standard fare one would use for daily prayer. She produced from her pocket a piece of narrow white cloth. After each verse she would pause and smile, and tie a knot in the length of cloth and gently blow onto it.  She repeated this until a myriad of small knots adorned the tattered length.  Then she finished by grasping my face into her hands, giving me instructions about the now made cord, and asking me again and again, do you understand? I nodded that I understood and maybe on some level I did, because I felt such a sweet energy pass between us, a feeling of pure goodness, of an old woman who was humbly offering her services to aid me.  I carried the cord length with me for many months after that.  I did become pregnant later that year as well.  Partly because I stopped my birth control pills, but I also like to think that the old hajji had taken some of the fear of motherhood out of me that special day. 

Looking back now, I see her actions for what they were, Muslim white magic.  Funny enough, that specific form of magic is expressly forbidden in the Quran, indeed in one of the very verses that she read over me. 4: وَمِن شَرِّ ٱلنَّفَّٰثَٰتِ فِى ٱلْعُقَدِ /Wa min sharrin-naffaa-saati fil ‘uqad/From the mischief of those who practise secret arts.   I might be wrong, but I’ve seen different translations that read from those who blow on knots…..

At the end of the day men and women who practice magic, from the simple to the ceremonially complex are essentially the same.  We have been around since the dawn of time, we donned the animal skins in the caves at the beginning, we married people, we raised children, we sent them off to the land of shadows, and we helped those who felt that they had no help left.  

We adapted our message to different times and spaces, whether pagan, Christian, Muslim or otherwise.  Practices that had been with us since the beginning were made over with bible or Quran verses, prayers to saints instead of to the old gods. . But we persisted and remained.  

That is my religion. 

Three years since my return

So it’s  been three years since Odin made himself known to me again. I say again, because many years ago when my interest in paganism was first sparked, long before my conversion to Islam, Odin was the first of the old Gods that intrigued me.   At eighteen, long before the Internet was widespread, I scoured the shelves of my local library for information on various mythologies.  Looking back, it’s hard to believe that just a few years after that I would take my shahadah and become a Muslim for the next 15 years.  I was certainly not devout the entire length of time, and would probably gauge the beginning of my discontent at about two years in, doggedly however, I hung on and persisted in the delusion.

In 2012, I left my abusive marriage and struck out on my own.  It was both liberating, terrible, and terrifying.  And disillusioning. Everything I believed in was called into question, and the Tower came crashing down.  I almost immediately went back to practicing magic like I had in my youth, I began celebrating the cycle of the seasons and they greeted me like old friends. I did not however believe in a god.  I felt very much like an atheistic pagan. 

I was searching.  Yearning.  My life was in a place of terrible stagnation and I felt hamstrung by years of hurts and oppression.  I was scared, unemployed and felt still very much under the thumb of my ex-husband.  In 2014 I lost my father.  It was expected with a long term illness, but devastating nonetheless.  My mother continued on for almost a year before she joined him, a shadow living out her days, wishing often for the end to come soon.  It was with this backdrop that Odin came back into my life.  I remember that spring being so beautiful, so at odds with the reality of my father’s passing, not realizing at the time that despite the pain my life was entering a new phase. 

One night in early summer I crossed the hedge, and was giving a vision of Odin on Sleipnir and the Great Tree, lit up and almost luminescent in the night.  Then the rune Othala appeared to me, and with that rune I begin to learn what really mattered in my life.  Family and strength were pushed to the forefront  and I was no longer content to live in sorrow.  I grew stronger, fearless, and with hard work, moved my life in a more positive direction.  

And my connection to the Allfather grew.  I gained wisdom, insight into myself and others and experienced a true transition into womanhood. I was finally my own person, free, and standing on my own two feet. 

I don’t know where my path will lead me anymore, especially in these uncertain times, however I feel I’ve been headed here my whole life. 

I don’t draw much on pop culture in my practice, but as a pagan we often lack good spiritual music.  Sometimes the most unlikely songs or bands will remind you of the gods.  So the other day  I was listening to Jethro Tull’s Sweet Dream.  So much of it reminds me of my journey back then. 

You’ll hear me calling in your sweet dream,

Can’t hear your daddy’s warning cry.

You’re going back to be all the things you want to be

While in sweet dreams you softly sigh.
You hear my voice is calling to be mine again,

Live the rest of your life in a day.

That’s a bit what it has been like, living my life in a day.  The Odinic experience can be intense.  A yearning for your whole soul  to be set on fire, that no matter how much you drink of knowledge, you will still thirst.  It’s a wild hunger you hope never ends.  

The Weary Blues

I feel a terrible lethargy and restlessness. There are many things I should be doing from the magical to the mundane (taxes, housework) and I find myself hamstrung by a sense of creeping dread.  

I was determined to have a good day today.  I buried the world’s worries and spent the day with my wonderful husband.  I tried not to think of what I should be doing, tried not to think of Trump, tried not to think of the insane machinations of my ex husband, and today I just decided to simply be. It felt good. 

Tomorrow, back to the fight. 

For justice

Hit the Doomsday clock

Could it be Ragnarok

What will we swept away

Are you xtians wishing it

Waiting on Jesus to fix this

This bullshit that you did

The jury is in

And guess who’s guilty

Treason against humanity

Treason against humanity

Destroyers 

Moral majority

Hell

Moral of fucking nothing

You got your orange filth 

And no one to fucking blame 

But yourself

Love trumps hate they say

But I have too much anger

In defense of the defenseless

They say to me go high 

When you go low

But I only want a boot at your fascist throat

Religious right public enemy #1 

You’re the one who created this monstrous scum

That drags his orange knuckles along my precious earth

Mother

Destruction for a few random bucks

Line the pockets of his crony fucks

Traitors one and all

Jury is in
GUILTY

When America Died

Today America died

Got a big come shot in the eye

And ringling brothers may have left town

But I think they forgot their best clown

And he’s taken the Oval Office seat. 

Is this the big whimper Eliot warned us of?

And who knew that a common clown with enough fast cash
Could get a trophy wife 

And sell his snake oil throughout our land

And what of this joke

Marionette pulled by unknown strings

Perhaps he’s the Fool

And the real enemies are those who gave the loudest cheers

Your neighbors, your pastor, family members and those you counted as friends. 

What does his victory say about them? 

Which one to trust?

Which one hates the Muslims?

Or those goddamned fags?

Which one says black lives don’t matter

Which ones say this is a CHRISTIAN NATION?

Who, pray tell, is to blame?

Who, pray tell, is the real enemy? 

The Day Trump lost it over CNN.

Fake news 
That’s the least of our worries

Instead we have a fake man

Masquerading as a human being

A mechanical man child

Malfunctioning on live t.v.
For the children of America: little ones I am sorry

For the children of the world: I begin to weep, for surely your lives will be destroyed

Because of the actions of this 

Rotten thing

That has wedged itself into America’s teeth

We are a lost cause

SOS and in distress
So I implore the straw man

This FAKE thing

Masquering as a man

Do us a favor and disconnect yourself

There’s at least some honor in that. 

Terrible times

I like to think of myself as a reasonable person, I’m not a far left liberal and try to give others the benefit of the doubt.  However the election of a narcissist by an ignorant knuckledragging populace has made me draw the proverbial line in the sand.  

Sure he was elected, but that doesn’t make it right.  The American people have made  bad choices in the past and upheld abhorrent things.    Not only does this monster threaten the stability of the world, he and the alt right wannabe Nazi’s he has surrounded himself with threaten to erode the freedoms that we hold dear. 

Pagans cannot be complacent now.  The evangelical far right have waited for decades for a candidate they could manipulate to do their bidding.  For now it’s the denigration of Muslim Americans. However, where will the talk of a Christian nation or restoring christian values ultimately lead?  We as pagans will not be immune to their wrath. Left unchecked, this foul, disgusting brand of Christianity now rampant and feeling smug and proud across the United States could threaten us all.  For now it is manifesting as Islamophobia, but rest assured they will eventually get around to our communities too.  

This time of year

Autumn and winter is the most moving time of the year for me as a pagan.  The beauty of death and rebirth, the eternal spinning of life and renewal.  The honoring of the Disir, our great ancestral mothers, makes me think of my own mother’s passing and my own inevitable one that lies ahead.  The Wild Hunt where the Allfather lead his furious host through the world, and winter of course reminds me of great Mother Holle, ancient Goddess of my ancestors, who despite the Christian’s best attempts, her memory lives on.  These are holy times for me.  Great and vast. 

An Odin devotional song/chant

Odin Odin 

I give myself to you

Odin Odin

May this heart be hard and true

I’ve voyaged long and voyaged hard

May wisdom come from you

Odin Odin
My knee is bent

My life is spent I give all rights to you

Odin Odin

Tonight I come to you

O God of war

Please make me strong 

O God of death

I come to you

Odin Odin

I give myself to you
Odin Odin 

I open my arms to you

May my enemies flee when they see 

That I belong to you

Oh Grimnir

Oh Runatyr

Fimbultyr 

I come tonight to you
Oh he who sits on the highest throne

But still walks the land of men

With agony

Then comes strength

Ecstasy sought

I seek these things from you

Odin Odin 
Odin…….