Friday, September 6, 2013

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

Maybe I should have titled this 'I Saw the Sign' ?

Life has been rather uneventful here as of late. It's the same tune: wake up, go to work, cook, clean, sleep, and repeat. Grendal and I have been wearing out due to it.  He's having trouble with work due to some racism.  It isn't directed at him in the slightest but it's remarks that have been upsetting him and the company he works for hasn't done a thing about it.  There isn't a day he comes home that he comments he nearly walked out.  Luckily he's in the process of throwing applications at the business world and we're crossing our fingers that something positive happens.

As for me, work is work.  Nothing spectacular in the Deli world of major super markets.  As a peon I have little say in what happens, and when I do point things out the higher ups in the store look at me like I'm a loon.  Unfortunately my job out look is less impressive than Grendal's.  I am some what limited to what's within reasonable walking distance of the home, especially with winter slowly creeping in.  For now I have to suck it up and hope that I don't insult one of said higher ups.

What about the title of this post? Ah, yes.  Recently I've been wanting to do something more with my tarot cards and possibly expanding other things through that.  This thought has kinda been put out in the universe and I've asked Odin and any other deity for some help or the like.  I had an old friend contact me through facebook asking if I still do readings.  I said yes and explained that we'll set something up.  It never happened, more my fault than anything else.  There went that chance.  Nothing else happened and, to be honest, I kinda forgot about what I had wanted.

Last weekend when Grendal picked me up from work he seemed a little frantic.  He told me 'Get in the car, we gotta go.'  This was strange because we didn't have anything happening that day so there was no need to be in any sort of hurry, plus earlier he wanted me to remind him that there was something we had to talk about.  Apparently what ever was happening superseded that talk.  When we drove down to the bank(approximately a block from the house) he was looking over the trees and grumbling.  Saying something about not being able to see anything.  Grendal wouldn't tell me what was going on and there I was trying to see if there was some nifty clouds floating along.  There wasn't.

The closer we got to our street the more I noticed some swallows flying about.  We usually don't have swallows hanging around the area, especially so early in the day.  So we pull into the driveway and over the property there was damn near 20 swallows swooping about and countless HUGE dragonflies doing their thing.  Grendal explained that there had been a whole lot more than what I was seeing, dragonfly wise.  It was pretty amazing, even if I didn't see the whole shebang.

What did Grendal need to talk to me about, though?  Turns out his mother and father's church is in desperate need of mediums, fortune tellers, etc.  They belong to the Spiritual Church, which is neat in it's own right but nothing for Grendal and I.  His mother was wondering if I'd be interested in doing readings.  I was a little nervous with the thought.  I mean, first and foremost I am a Heathen.  My gods are many and they are dear to me.  With the Spiritualist Church, they believe in Spirit/God.  A single deity has never sat well with me, something that I've trace back to my childhood without any explanation.  I don't want to anger my deities and enter a place of worship where I might upset the followers there due to my own path.

Grendal's mother said our differing faiths wouldn't matter.  All I would be there for would be expanding my ability to read and other things.  The only time they had to be particular about their beliefs was during their sermons or whatever they call them.  I was still leery with the idea, but I was beginning to remember that I wanted this chance.  Maybe it was another push?  N'aw.  Besides, there are times when I hear Grendal's parents and elder sister talk about their faith and it seems rather hokey.  Not to mention, too close to the Christian faith for my own comfort.

I told her I'd think about it, which she was thankful for.  A little while later I went to our computer and decided to see who/what was connected to dragonflies.  I don't know why I did so.  Maybe it was due to the fact that there had been so many of them around and that throughout my time in this home, as well as Grendal's, there has never been anything like what had been seen.

Turns out dragonflies are associated with Freyja.  She is very much associated with Seiðr, and for teaching Odin in those ways.  I think I was given one hel of a sign that I can't ignore.

And I didn't.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sorry About That

Seems like when I start stuff, something happens.  This time it was a major something.

Wednesday night Grendal's father was complaining about stomach and chest pains.  With his history and having heart problem before both Grendal and his mother were worried.  The next day he went to the doctor and next thing we know he's being prepped for surgery.  He had appendicitis.  Surgery is a scary thing for him mainly because he's on blood thinners.  He made it through with no problems.  They've kept him int he hospital since Thursday and he's finally up and moving around.  We've been told he'll be coming home today.

So I haven't been posting card updates due to the above issue.  They will return tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tarot Card of the Day!

Deck: Viking Tarot

Today's Card: Knight of Wands

Meaning: Waiting for and/or receiving a 'sign'. Divining. A turning point, changing of ways.

Thoughts: This seems to correlate with my reading yesterday. More waiting and a possible sign or indication of something 'major'.  With our car being out of commission for the time being I walked to work, which is what I really needed.  Cool day, lovely breeze, and the sun shining.  Not to mention the trees and shrubs were growing wild on the bike path making for lovely scenery.  I had music on and was trying to chat with Odin.  Music on shuffle played two songs back to back that seemed to shed light on stuff.

To put things plainly, it was my way of crying out that while I can be a pain and doubtful I want and need not only Odin's company and companionship but the others as well.  The next song was the response, saying that He was with me despite all the confusion and tears.  I will even go as far as saying I felt something, a presence and a fatherly caress.

I usually don't read much into these sorts of things.  I know there are some people doing shufflemancy right now and it seems to be the new thing to try.  While curious I never really bothered but I was shown otherwise I suppose.

I would like to throw this out there, though I'm not sure how many readers I actually have. If you'd like a tarot reading, I am willing to provide(to a certain extent) without charge.  Why no charge?  I am getting to know this deck and I would feel bad giving an inaccurate reading while asking for money.  If my original deck was still in play I would charge because those guys were spot on but they needed to retire after being in use for over 10 years.

So yes, readings are available!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tarot Card of the Day!

Thought I should do this to get to know my deck a bit better and to generally flex my muscles, so to say.  These are MY interpretations from this deck.  I've tossed aside the little manual that comes with it and never looked back.  I'm just seeing and reading what the cards are presenting.

My deck: Viking Tarot

Today's card:  Queen of Chalices  (may post picture in a later edit)

Meaning: Waiting for someone, feeling alone. A return. Something on the horizon.

Thoughts:  I think this may be in reference to myself and my waiting for something from the gods. It seems like at certain times I am out of flux and I make a mad scramble for a connection.  Last night there was a major storm and I took it as a sign that there is change in the air. Either way, I'm being told to be patient.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I Blame the Heat

I really do. We've gone through a week long heat wave. Hot enough to the point that 80 some odd degrees feels oh so wonderful. Not only do I not do well in heat anymore neither does my computer.  With out place being upstairs, the ceiling being low, and the PC's tower being nestled in a corner where the ceiling is the lowest, it's bound that the poor thing runs hot.  So rather than put it through hel we've been keeping off of it as much as possible.  Luckily the heat wave is nearly done with and, I hope, that cooler weather is on it's way back.

I've been going through a funk as well, which does not really translate well into spiritual workings on my end.  I have things set aside that I want to do but I become a puddle of 'I don't wanna' when the heat rises.  Years ago I found out that I am one of those people that once I get my body heat up it takes a while for me to cool down, save for walking into freezers and shedding layers in winter.  No amount of me sitting in front of the fan seemed to help, so Yuko, Tinker, and I just lay about as blobs when the need rises.

So once the temperatures return to something more human I will become more active!  I do have plans, I swear.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


So yeah, that Wednesday thing didn't happen. I had good a reason, though! Grendal got my ass out of bed early and said he wanted to take me on a surprise adventure. So off we went.

He took me to Devil's Lake Wisconsin. I have TONS of pictures. Very nice place. Heard crows the entire time from across the lake and saw some circling Golden Eagles. Pretty awesome stuff.

I swear I'll have something 'productive' up this week.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Does it Feel Different?

Well, it's been a week. Grendal and I were wed on the 21st of June and had a ceremony the next day for friends and family. I am now a Mrs! We've been together nearly nine years now and nothing has really changed. The odd thing is, though, the days after the ceremony we both felt different. Like I said, odd. I think it's the finality of it all. We are comfortable with each other and, in all honesty, have pretty much been a 'married' couple for some time. There was no moving in or anything like that. The big difference now is my last name has changed and there is a bunch of paperwork I have to mess with.  :P

Since the hectic times of preparing the wedding and all of that has come and gone, I should have more free time to post things. I've gone through some ideas in my head in ways of devotion and just flexing my spiritual muscles. More than likely I'll be doing a 'card of the day' type deal with my current tarot deck. I wish I could do such a thing with the runes but I have yet to really connect with it. Other things may/will follow. Probably musings and such.

Look for this stuff Wednesday!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Looming Like a Cloud

Well, come this Friday I shall no longer be a single woman. Technically I haven't been single for going on 9 years but legality states otherwise.

Friday is the big day in a way. Grendal and I are signing the papers the day and June 21st will be celebrated as the day we married. The party/ceremony/shindig is happening the 22nd due to the 21st being a Friday and that would have been harder for people to show up.  There are only a few people that know that the ceremony is more a show than anything else. While some of those people might be hurt I think it's better this way, as strange as it sounds.

I've been paranoid and stressed over the whole thing. I think it just happens that way, though I am prone to paranoia. We haven' gotten back even HALF the rsvps that were sent out. Grendal says his family will be there and I know that I have coworkers joining in on the party. I guess part of me is worried that I'm going to be on the ground, somewhere hidden, sobbing because there's nobody at the wedding save for a handful of people. It's half 'do people not like us' and half 'we spent over 1k on food, what the hell?'   Again, Grendal tells me not to worry and I'm trying not to.

This whole week seems to full of big things and moving forward. Grendal is finally getting his GED. He hates to admit he doesn't have because of what people would think. He is an intelligent man; home schooled and self taught in many things. I can understand the worry.  Once the GED is in the bag he'll be applying for the trains and it looks promising. My brother-in-law works at said company and apparently they are in desperate need of help. We both feel like this could be the first step to saving up and wriggling our way out and on our own.

As for the other big thing, it's in the realm of my spiritual path. I've had this large urge to redo my Book of Shadows/Grimoire/Spell-book/what have you. My choice in life has been pretty much cemented in that of the 'northern path.'  Last night I took the beginnings of my makeshift book and pulled out what was no longer needed and what I no longer really clung to. I feel good about it and I've begun to think of what to add. While it's nothing fancy, just a 3-ring binder and lined paper, it's a start. The more sure of myself and the more spending cash I have, the more pricey my item will be. For now it's simple, like me, and it's more than I could have asked for.

So yes, lack of updates was due to stress, life, and wedding hub-bub. I should have pictures and may find some I feel like I am willing to share. :)


Friday, May 24, 2013

I Say This With Nothing but Kindness: I Hate You

I'm sitting here after a shower, hair dripping and still smelling like a bonfire, with another headache and in the midst of doldrums.

Wedding day is less then a month away now. Grendal and I are both nervous, as are those in the wedding party. Everything is just about leveled away and should go on without a hitch. We even bottled our mead on Tuesday after a speedy delivery of bottles:

Such pretty colors. Most of them are basic batches but we have some cherry, 2 blackberry, a pear, and strawberry. Grendal insisted we make a batch for his manager at work who was kind enough to postpone his week off so we could enjoy a simple honeymoon. The one he received was rather sweet, which made me happy. We were both a little upset we had to part with it but knew he'd be happy. I think I'll demand a sweet blackberry batch next time.

The reason for the title isn't due to the wedding or the mead but towards some general things. And I honestly don't hate the people! It's more 'Oh gods, that is so awesome. Bravo! I hate you so much.'

One of the girls from the bakery is off in Chile right now for a week for school stuff. She's double majoring in Spanish and Anthropology. When I heard all of that, I told her I hated her and she laughed. She knew where I was coming from. Such an amazing opportunity and she is taking it all in. She also plans on heading to Spain one of these days to take in that culture and further her studies, which is just freakin' amazing.

Then there is one of our gaming buddies (we'll call him Boxy). He works for a nice company, makes(I assume) a decent amount of money, lives with his parents on their farm, and they all travel throughout North America, possibly even Central and South. Why? I don't know. Boxy is an awkward sort but very talented and very smart. One gaming session he made us sushi, which was wonderful, and then another he made us batched of spaghetti, ravioli, and all the fixings.....from scratch. I've been wanting to make homemade pasta for moons but haven't the means to do so, nor the time at the moment. Everything tasted beautifully and, again, I told him in between gushing about the tasty food that I hated him for doing this. He took in stride and a compliment.

It's honestly times like these that I mentally take a step back and look at what I've done. I came close to being able to travel outside of the US my senior year, either with my french class or theater class. I opted to join the theater group and my parents agreed to pay the fee. We'd be in England for a while and then off to Paris for a day. I talked the teacher into agreeing to let us see Stonehenge and even the Paris Opera house. That was the year 9/11 occurred and, understandably, all trips outside of the US were canceled.

Grendal and I have wanted to go to Japan. I did research, figured out prices, found places to stay, and agreed that we'd check out Tokyo once. We planned to save up for a year and we'd have enough money to spend about a week abroad. That never happened. Life happened. Bills cropped up, we had to help his parents thanks to his sister and her family mooching off of them. And now we enter the world of me actually getting close to hating a person. I don't like it, to be honest. Thinking about it makes me feel horrible but I'm not the only one creeping to that conclusion. Our relationship with his sister and her brood is for another time. I don't need THAT much angst in one post. :P

But yes, money was and has been tight ever since. I don't think his family realized it until the 18th. Everyone was over for a impromptu Mother's Day lunch. Grendal was talking about buying a moped. His siblings and brother in law started talking about how he should get a bicycle with a motor, and then prices were being tossed around. I piped in and told them "That's not going to happen any time soon. All of the money we have is going towards the wedding." It's true. I think it made a bit of an impact because I'm usually quite during get togethers (too many people make me nervous). They were quite after that. None of them knew any of that and I felt a bit better once they did, though nothing has changed.

So yes. Here I am, finally dry from the shower, and looking at my life. While I never really had a plan of where I would be, I just have to shrug. Things could be a lot worse then they are. The two of us are trying our damnedest to work our way out of this hole but it's slow going. We may never be able to travel abroad but we'll be happy and together.


Monday, May 13, 2013

We Interrupt this Program

Grendal and I went to the movies today, which is a big thing! We used to go to the movies rather frequently but lately money has been tight and we've been a little more critical on what we decide to see. High end Scifi, fantasy, and comic book movies, though, seem to throw that right out the window.

We saw Iron Man 3. There has been a big brouhaha about the movie and it's twists and all that. So, I am noting now that if you haven't seen Iron Man 3 don't read on. If you haven't seen it and don't care about spoilers, though, keep going.

We good?  Good.

Now. I've heard people going on about how this movie doesn't seem like and Iron Man movie. Not enough action, too many one liners, blah blah blah.  As a BIG fan of the previous two movies I must say this is right along the same feel. Nothing has been changed. If it has, I haven't noticed and am delusional.  The big complaint about the movie is this guy

Love me some Ben Kingsley
The Mandarin. Stark's greatest foe in his comic books suddenly brought down to being drugged up actor proxy. This character is supposed to be a genius, well trained in technology, ten magical rings, and awesome with martial arts. In the movie, like I said, he is a drug addicted actor who is there to live it up and remain all druggy. The Mandarin is actually this man

A very airbrushed Guy Pearce
What? Aldrich Killian gets barely any screen time in the comics but in the movie-verse he is suddenly The Mandarin.  :|  He has a think tank, so I suppose he could be an intellect, and while one could say he has the martial arts moves at the end, well so does Pepper. I attribute all of that to the drug Killian had flowing through him.

So, I am one of those people in the good ship Mandarin proclaiming that Kingsley's Mandarin is the real one. The Mandarin character would be crafty enough to pull the twist of, 'I am Mandarin but I hired this group to do this for me and I will continue making my threats but you see this guy with the bad dye job? Yeah, he's the figure head' or something along those lines.

Why do I think Killian isn't Mandarin? First we have the first shot of the 'studio' where Mandarin films from. Everyone is getting ready and suddenly we hear that 'Master' is arriving. Now, knowing that this guy is a drugged up actor just looking for his next fix, why would these people be referring to him as 'Master'? If he was in the room I suppose they could be indulging the man but he wasn't there. He couldn't hear them. There was no derision in their voices. They also couldn't look him in the eye. A lot of those people looked like the type not to take shit from anyone, so why would they kowtow to someone who would bend over backwards to get his next fix?

Speaking of his arrival, it got me thinking. Now correct me if I'm wrong but the place where they film is where he lives, just held in a different portion of the building, yes? If that is true then why the hell would the country's most wanted leave the premises IN COSTUME only to come back? Not to mention he had escorts. Why do all this parading? Sure you can say it was for the audience's benefit but if they're trying to keep all of that hush-hush, why let him out in the garb? Give him some plain clothes, a bad hat, and call it a day.

There is also the portion of Mandarin explaining that the gun he had on camera was fake, that the people there didn't trust him with a gun. Okay.....Thinking back to Mandarin killing that corporate fat cat on camera. It was live, yes? Even taking into account the possible 3 second delay there is no way things would have gone off without a hitch. The firing of the gun, while they could have used a sound effect someone may have noticed it being off(that person is out there, you know it) and Mandarin's 'actor' may have flinched. I don't care how awesome of an actor you are, there would have been some facial reaction to the sound of a gun going off. Not to mention we don't know what happened to the man afterwards! Did they just off him and ditch his body some where? It's not like they could have let him go. The crew and everyone else would have had to keep up the whole 'Master' thing as well to make sure said fat cat didn't try anything while the camera was rolling.

I also want to know WHAT they showed on TV when the gun went off. Was it a close up of Mandarin's face, a nice image of his hand squeezing the trigger, or was it the man's death? All we know is the shocked reaction from the random people in the country.

All of that set aside we have the moment when Stark enters the home, offs some guards, and breaks into Mandarin's bedroom. Why would he be hamming it up if no one was around but the ladies in the bed? The area was heavily guarded and Killian seems like the type to have cameras around too, so I can place the argument that he knew that Stark was coming.  I could even say that Mandarin speaks with the British accent rather than the accent he has 'on screen'. He is a genius and it doesn't take one to come up with a story on the fly or even recant one that had been prepared from the get go.

Ben Kingsly is Mandarin in my head. While the marvel movie-verse may state otherwise, I don't believe it. He is too big of a character to be reduced to what he had been. Yes I could be in denial but a white guy with a bad dye job, crappy dragon tattoos on his chest, and drugs pumping through him doesn't really seem like a super villain.

Besides, someone wishing for world domination wouldn't jump in head first against a 'super human' foe, especially after the incident in New York. No! They'd test the water.  This was Mandarin's way of testing Stark to see how much he would have to push. If the people wanted to, they could use this as Mandarin's springboard and it would fit.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Thoughts of Beltane Past

So it's May Day, Beltane, which ever you like. It's always been difficult for me to celebrate holy days, mainly due to the fact that I am a solitary person. Joining a group, while useful, seems to be the last thing on my mind. Whether it's because I'm worried about our ideas/traditions/what have you won't mesh or because with groups comes group politics, who knows. I try to do something for these days but it usually falls through, which upsets me and makes me wonder why I try to do such things. This is my spiritual path and I need to figure out some way to make it work, dammit.

Grendal and I used to hold bonfire gatherings through out the summer for our friends while we were attending a local community college. It was fun all nighters though it was usually he and I cleaning up the next morning. We look back on them fondly, wanting to have them again, and we know friends are wanting the same. Who knows.

I want to say that it was four years ago that we had a bonfire on Beltane. It was FOR Beltane it just happened to be on the day. That didn't matter in my head. I had a gathering of people, a fire, and there would be so much freakin' energy in the air. While I wasn't doing a ritual or spell, I knew it was just going to be a wonderful way to spend the night: with friends. Something amazing did happen though. Grendal, two of our close friends, and I were out prepping everything before people began to show up. Grendal was coming out of the house with something while the three of us were out front by the fire pit. I hear him shout, "Hey, there's a deer out back."  Deer don't wander onto our property thanks to the highway being so close. Seriously, I've been on this property edging on 9 years and I've seen deer here only twice(but turkeys show up like clockwork).

I don't know why I did this but suddenly I go sprinting towards the rear of the property. Keep in mind that this property is at least an acre and a half(don't remember the exacts) and I am in NO WAY a sprinter/runner/fast mover. I like to mosey. My two friends and Grendal were hot on tail while I sprinted through the property, chasing down the deer just to catch a glimpse. I did and so did the others. We just stood there, together, and watched it bound out of sight and just grinned like idiots. Our two friends have no connection to pagan paths and Grendal is an odd sort of agnostic but knows quite a bit. Despite that I think we all felt something special had just happened. The night was beautiful and one of the best bonfires we've held.

Now, I don't want to go on and say that the appearance of a deer was something special/magical but it just seemed to set the mood. It hasn't happened since but I keep my eyes open for these interesting occurances.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

And the Count Down.....It Begins

So, I've hit the two months left time for the wedding. June 21/22 is coming quicker than I had imagined. I'm a bundle of nerves over many things. Food is already in order, invitations are slowly coming together, addresses are needed, and my dress is still being made. While I know everything will fall into place and this will be a day to remember, for what ever reason, I'm still nervous as hell.

A lot of people think that being married suddenly changes everything somehow. For Grendal and I it's not going to change a thing. Seriously. We've been together for nearly 9 years, living together for nearly that long. We've had our wedding jewelry for nearly a year now, wearing it every day. The only thing that is going to change between us is the legality of it all. That and we will refer to each other as 'husband' and 'wife' ala Futurama(think Hermes and LaBarbara). We are happy with each other, accept our differences, and know that our arguments/disagreements are all perfectly natural and work things out when its needed.

I've been attempting to write some more but something isn't clicking. Makes me sad but I think I have to put my writing aside for a while. My muse and inspiration is just kinda not there anymore.

Also I've been attempting to get closer to Odin. Talking with Him, using my tarots, and what not. My cards are rather good and while I don't read as often as I want to, nor have people to do readings for, it's a little rocky. Things seem to be clearing up when communicating with Him. I don't know if it has any connection but I've been getting restful sleep as well! One big thing that I asked Odin was what should I do to really show my devotion. Should I create something? Perhaps take on a new craft or work on one that I have. The cards pretty much pointed to my wedding with Grendal as a show of devotion. I do know that I am setting aside some food for both the gods and the Wights, so perhaps that has something to do with it. Either way, there is some connection to my wedding! Happy day.

One last thing: the weather here is ridiculous. I had ONE WEEK to walk/bike to work since the changing of the season and ever since then it's been rainy. From the drive way I can still peer through the trees and peep through the trees across the highway to see the river. People had to evacuate houses and some houses are mostly underwater. Never understood why people really want homes along the river. While it is bad that peoples' homes have been flooded, we need(ed) the rain. Last year we were in drought conditions and this is a good start. While we're still dry (kinda hard to wrap my head around that with all this freakin' rain) it's a step in the right direction. Maybe a garden will be doable this year.


Friday, April 19, 2013

We'll Talk of Many Things

Or not. Seems like this post really had only two bits to it, but ah well!

It seems my manager and one of my coworkers are constantly on the search for a good diet. Both are over 50 (one just slightly) and are doing it for health reasons. No big deal, honestly, but witnessing this for the past 2 years is strange to me. Through out my life I never really met 'those' kinds of people. Ones who are looking for diets to make everything better. I don't know if it's because I was blind to it, the people around me were fine with their body at the time, or people were silent about their dieting. Grendal's parents and elder sister have been diet hopping for years as well, though they're not vocal about the new thing they're trying. Grendal's other brother has been sticking to a certain lifestyle for years and is a VERY healthy individual. My own mother and elder sister, why it's not dieting, have done exercise regimes to keep themselves fit but it doesn't last long.

I see nothing wrong in trying to change one's eating habits to better the body. Grendal's immediate family have all taken to the PaleoDiet movement(after giving up on vegetarianism, vegan-ism, and so forth). Grendal's brother is healthy to begin with so there wasn't an obvious change in him but he enjoys it, so good for him. His sister has dropped pants sizes and is ecstatic, though it is only obvious when looking at her before and after shots. If she had the drive to exercise then I think she'd slim down to her goal and possibly drop the belly that she laments. Grendal's father has slimmed some too but with a hectic style of life I think he's at a stand still but he is a rather healthy man. As for Grendal's mother....well, as Grendal puts it, she turns to food when she is stressed, upset, depressed, wanting to celebrate, etc. It worries him. His mother wants to get healthy but can't seem to stay away from sweets, sodas, and other unhealthy objects. As the one who buys the bulk of groceries in the house I don't buy those things because they're rather expensive, not particularly healthy, and I know that I'll start snacking on 'em too. Any sweets or sodas that show up are thanks to his mother buying them. It's obvious she gets upset when others in the family talk about dropping pounds but one can't really approach her about the extras she eats, because she sees them as treats.

Grendal and I have been on a nice little roller-coaster ourselves. We've gained wait and we're starting to drop it. I had always been told that when you're on birthcontrol that you gain weight. I was one of those people that didn't until I had to stop taking it. I never really weighed myself but I know the highest I was when I did weigh myself was 170-something. Remembering that I was about 125-130 in high school, it's kind of shocking. After a point we began to cut certain things out of our daily consumption. I don't know why we started to. It's not like we sat down and agreed that we needed to do this, we just did. Out went the soda, the chips, the abundance of cookies, and all of that. Besides being the one to buy groceries, I was also the one to cook dinners at night. I started cooking healthier things and having smaller portions. Being the one who cooked I was also eating more vegetables, especially after buying them fresh rather than frozen. I began to walk or ride my bike to work and have thought about joining a local gym to work on other bits. While I know I'll never get back down to high school weight(which BMI says I must be but the BMI is crap), which is all due to the fact that my legs are rather muscly, I have a goal of 145-150. I'm not too far. Once I do actually work out it'll be easy. Same with Grendal. He has LOTS of muscle and is built like a wall. When he finally joins me in working out, he'll tone up and be a happy man.

WEDDING STUFF! Gah. It's getting close, which is making me nervous. There are still things that need to get hashed out and I'm a nervous wreck. One thing that I managed to get out of the way was a song list. One that is random as hell but it's something I know I'll enjoy. Music spanning genres, nations, eras, and languages. Grendal even agreed that the song I want to walk to was great.

Oddly enough, the first time I listened to the song years ago I decided that this would be it. If Grendal and I were ever to marry, this was the song. It suits us and I love Voltaire's stuff. If for some reason Grendal and I had broken up, this song would have been pushed aside and probably never listened to again. I'm happy that we get to play it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

You Say 'Hippie' Like it's a Bad Thing

Though I do prefer Granola Child.

There is no doubt that I am NOT the same person I was say, oh, about 12 years ago. Fresh out of high school I was decked out in metal band shirts, fishnets, knee high shitkickers(awesome freakin' boots), hair recovering from being dyed purple, spiked collars, and so on. I had been one of those kids in high school. Hanging out with kids into punk, goths, and the occasional druggie. We were a tight knit group, which was something I wanted during that period of life. When I graduated that all disappeared. That group was gone and these people didn't exist in college(at least not the one I attended). Some of those in my group of friends ditched 'the look' and went on with what ever it was they did. I was one of those people that changed my appearance but I still love my metal bands and fishnets.

One of the big things was my outlook on things in general. About a year after high school my parents, my younger sister, a friend of hers, and I took a 3 week long vacation to Hawai'i to visit family. We were on the Big Island and went to the beaches and visited Mauna Loa. It was our journey to a swap meet that seemed to be the turning point. There is a small town, not too far from the area where my Auntie lives, where the majority of the hippies live. It was near that town where the swap meet was. I was ogling their crafts, their clothes, and everything in between. I went from being a metal fan to a hippie in the making. To this day my mother says that if I ever moved to the islands I would quickly find myself living amongst the hippies.

Fast forward to present day. I no longer look the part of a metal fan. I still own a pair of fishnets, a spiked collar, and some clothes that I could wear if I wanted to look like how I did in high school. Now my wardrobe consists mainly of long skirts, tank tops, some odd shirts, and worn jeans. I've gone the no poo route in hair care, making my own shampoo and conditioner once a week. I'm looking into homesteading, green options for everything, organic foods, making what I need at home, staying away from TV. It's like I went from one extreme to another. I no longer want to live in a city but have found myself looking at plots of land that are within a reasonable distance of a town so that goods can be bought.

Looking up recipes and how-to guides online for certain things, I find an odd trend in things. It appears that you have housewives (sorry if I offend) and women ranging from mid-twenties to early forties with all of this DIY stuff and Eco-friendly items. That isn't the problem. I am happy to see more people doing this and want to encourage more to do so. The problem is, is when they refer to it as 'hippie' stuff. One article, forget where this was found it but I'll keep it to myself, was going on about making an alternative to toothpaste. At the end the author said that you could keep it in a little Tupperware cup in the bathroom or, if you don't want your boyfriend to see your hippie toothpaste, you can try and get it into an old toothpaste tube.  Really?  What? I just scratched my head at this. I suppose I should've known something was off when the title had been Hippie Toothpaste. I mean, looking at the site it appears that anything homemade gets the hippie title slapped on.

I suppose I shouldn't be upset by all of that and it's more irksome than anything else. The word 'hippie' seems to be used in such a way that it's praised but it still isn't a pretty word. :\  I can't seem to explain it. Ah well.  This Granola Child is happy with life and that's all I need.

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's All in the Details

I play Dungeons and Dragons. I L-O-V-E the game to no end. I had wanted to play it for years but never got a chance to. Within the first few months of being with Grendal we joined a small group before starting our own. The group we started is still going strong and we have incorporated other games into our 'play list'.

Last night, Sundays are our gaming nights, we made a decision on what we should play next. We had just finished a genre jumping game set in the Big Eyes, Small Mouth system and needed something to fill in. We decided to go back to Grendal's campaign since his work and class schedule had gotten better and the semester is nearly over. This made us pretty happy since that game had just truly gotten started and we all wanted to get back to our characters.Of course this meant my mind was going a mile a minute.

In that game I play a character by the name of Ruslan. The characters in the group, so far, consist of a human male(my character), a half-doppelganger female, a male Tibit(cat morph), a human female, a male Lizardfolk, a male gnome, and, now, a mechanized creature. Save for the mechanized being, the Lizardfolk and my character are seemingly the only ones with a major back story. The other players either haven't divulged or hinted at a story and their characters are doing these huge missions and bounties for, well, the money and the fact that one had mommy issues.  That's all well and good, and very much a reason to do things, but I look at Ruslan and wonder if his history is just too big. It's honestly what drives him to do what he does.

15-20 years prior to the game starting Ruslan's village was destroyed by a Copper dragon. To make matters worse, the dragon had raped and killed his wife as well.  All this had happened while Ruslan was away, having taken their two year old child to another village to stay with his wife's family while they began their move. When Ruslan returned and saw the destruction he searched the city for survivors. He found his wife's broken body and was quickly spotted by the dragon. Ruslan was no match and was easily pinned to the ground. The dragon, putting two and two together, began to tell Ruslan, in detail, what he had done to his village and his wife. To add insult to injury the dragon used it's acid breath to melt his left arm.

Somehow Ruslan made it back to his daughter. He told his in-laws what had happened and stayed with them while he healed. The moment he could travel, though, he slipped away with his daughter and headed towards a major city, which was well defended from such attacks. He raised his daughter alone, never telling her what had happened, and soon her memory of her mother was barely there.

Ruslan not only vowed vengence against the copper dragon he also denounced his god in favor for another. His god had not come to his aid, which was a major blow because during his younger years Ruslan was a devout paladin. Now, he served a god of justice and vengeance.

Yeah......the Lizardfolk only knows a small portion of this story, mainly Ruslan's complete and utter hatred of Copper dragons. Ruslan is very much ingrained in the city that the team calls 'home' and while I want the others to know his story, out of character, he isn't one to talk about it.

I'm worried that I put too much thought into Ruslan, which does make for a well rounded character but much of that history probably won't come to light. Which is what usually seems to happen with my D & D characters. :I

Ah well.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Of Wights, Mead, and Bike Rides

I had my first bike ride of the season/year yesterday. Rather than burden someone for a ride to work I had Grendal look over the bike the night before to make sure everything was good. After decking myself out in a backpack, a leather jacket, gloves, and a scarf, I was off. While it's only a 15 minute-ish ride it is still kinda chilly in the mornings, so that sort of bundling up was needed.  It was nice to ride again. My legs disagreed with me by the end of the day but I loved it. Set me off to a good start too. Healthy sort of breakfast, after ride munch, and a nice salad with an avocado(with a side of yogurt and some blah bread pudding) for lunch! While I may not need to drop any fat, I do need to tone up in general.  Though, I don't think my legs need the work. A couple years of martial arts and hula mixed kinda does that to the legs. It's my stomach and upper body that need to shape up. So, it looks like yoga and what not for that.

The mead should be reaching the point of racking. This also means that Grendal and I need to figure out what fruits we're putting in for half the batch. He knows he wants blackberry and cherry, while I'm kinda leaning towards apples and strawberries. If we stick with those, that just leaves two more that are undecided. Who knows. The book I have (The Compleat Meadmaker) suggests a couple of different fruits to use so I may stick with that.

I've been bothering Grendal with the idea of coming up with names for our different meads because, well, I'm hoping we continue to make it and possibly make it for others. I suggested 'Allfather' for the classic mead, which he responded with 'The Allfather's Eye Drops'.  I think I can compromise with 'The Allfather's Eye' and we both can be happy. I also had the idea of doing a mixed berry version in hopes that it's yummy and call it 'The Bifrost'.  And while Grendal doesn't like carbonation, I think he liked the idea of a sparkling mead to be known as 'Mimir's Well.'  I do know the apple version will have some reference to Idunna and we joked about a really red mead being a reference to Tyr, though I wonder if that would be in bad taste.

Speaking of the happenings of the past few days, Grendal and I had a little 'spook' moment the other night. Now, we have a tendency to misplace our combs. He blames it on me and while I misplace it more often then he does, I'm not the only one to blame. Anyway, we had lost our good one a few weeks ago and no amount of cleaning seemed to help. Hell, we cleaned rather well because we had a friend showing up and NOTHING! Well, the other day I came home to find our combs lying together on the bed. Of course I figured this meant Grendal had found it and was showing me as such while he was at work. So, I just put it over with the brush we had and left it at that. Later that night he goes to brush his hair with the comb and the following happened:

Grendal- Where did you find the good comb?
Me- It was just laying next to your pillow. I thought you put it there.
Grendal- Uh, no.
Me- What? *skeptical stare* You're not shitting me, are you?
Grendal- You're not shitting me?
Me- *stare*
Grendal- *stare*

Usually by this point one of us would confess to the other if we had been fooling around. I have a tendency to be easily duped in certain situations and was honestly expecting Grendal to be all 'Haha, fooled you'  yet there wasn't such a response.  He just had an uneasy look on his face and I went downstairs to do whatever it was I was going to do.

We've had spirits (both nice and grumpy) in the house before, but they seemed to either have quieted down or moved on over the years. While I do believe in the little folk, we've never had an indication of them being around. With my increased work in the world of Asatru I've begun offering foods to the Land Wights in the area. It made me wonder if I have a House Wight and they're making themselves known by doing such a thing. I'll set up another offering dish for the House Wight on the off chance we have one. Maybe that will make the atmosphere in the house a little more happy.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Quick Early Morning Blurb

I meant to post this last night but seeing how I have an early shift, I decided to go to bed early.

Anyway, placed a nice bit of food on the altar last night after a family gathering. Haven't done that in a bit and was feeling bad for not doing so. Soon after I take Yuko out to do her thing. I immediately see a crow perch itself in a tree at the edge of the property. Now, I haven't seen the crows in a week so this was a pleasant surprise. Especially when the other shows up soon after. It may have just been a coincidence but it didn't feel like it.  :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Wee Bit of the Blues

I don't know what it is about today but Grendal and I had one hel of a time waking up. We slept through nearly all of his alarms. Got out of my stupor when Grendal nudged me and asked if I'd make him coffee for the morning. So, even after dragging my groggy butt out of bed and having a cup of coffee myself, I feel like I'm dragging. I don't know if it's the weather because I know I had gotten a decent amount of sleep. No waking up in the middle of the evening, but I'm still just feeling like a bump on a log right now.

This week is gonna be a busy one at work. I have nearly 40 hours, which is rare for us part time peons.  I've been feeling a little bit more like I'm in charge of this around the deli, for some odd reason, and really feeling my age. This past Sunday, while a short shift of four hours was not a happy one for a moment. Why? I had one of the higher ups refer to me as 'the help'.  : |     What now? First off, I don't get paid nearly enough to be called 'the help' nor am I watching the children or cleaning the house of a wealthy person. My opinion of the man quickly slipped into the negative. I knew he wasn't the greatest guy but it had been all decent business when he'd show up. Nope. Not now. The guy can bite me and the next time he calls me as such I will say that if he wants to call me 'the help' he needs to increase my wage a few bucks.  I'll even wear my serious face.

We've gotten some more snow around here, so my previous comments of 'Hey, it looks like spring' seems to have been thrown off. Still seeing those birds, though, and I'm able to walk outside without the cloak nearly as much as I needed during the colder days.

Touching on the notion of feeling my age, it seems like my gaming group and I are becoming 'adults'.  Out of the eight of us our age range from 21 to the mid- to late 30s.  Next year will be my 30th birthday, which I plan to have a wonderful party.  But yes, we're becoming adults.  One of the guys has finally gotten a job, in the Chicago area, in the area of massage which means his time with us on Sunday is gonna come to an end(at least for the time being). Another one of the guys is attending college in the Chicago area and his classes this semester has kept him away. The youngest of us has finally gotten a job and it seems like she'll be getting the evening shift on gaming night. Then there's Grendal and I: about to get married and Grendal having his eyes set on getting the job with the railway. We're growing up and I'm honestly a little worried. My Sunday group is made up of the people I consider my friends. Honestly, the only friends I have and the ones that are within reasonable driving distance. Work and life is pulling us apart, which I don't like.

Maybe that's what has me like this? Who knows.

I've been building a good relationship with my tarot deck. They seem to like me and their personality is coming to light(when I'm working with them, my attention is on THEM, nothing else). I need to reconnect with Odin somehow. :\  Perhaps an offering or just some time with him. Winter is usually a good time for me. For the first time I'm finding myself want Spring to come.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

That's One Way to Do It

Well, today is the changing of the seasons.  After this season, Grendal and I will be married!

Speaking of seasons, it doesn't really LOOK like spring.  There is snow on the ground still, it's barely in the teens outside, and there isn't a bud in sight.  While most people would say the above are marks AGAINST the coming of spring, I think they haven't noticed the little signs that's its creeping in.  The Canadian Geese are returning home.  I hear them and watch them whenever I'm out with Yuko.  I've also spotted a Robin bopping in the yard, as well as some European Starling that seemed to come out of nowhere.  The little birds that we've been feeding all winter are starting to shed their weight and their colors are getting brighter.  I do suppose that most of my friends are 'city' dwellers and/or don't really pay attention to it.  It's a little hard for me not to since we have a HUGE window in the dinning room facing the feeders.  :p

As a way to celebrate the changing of the seasons, as well as our impending marriage, Grendal and I began the mead for our wedding!  While it may not be aged properly, we will have our homemade brew for the of age attendees.  I thought today was fitting due to the holiday as well as it being Wednesday.  With Odin presiding over today and the area of mead, what better time to do this?  I plan on leaving a hearty cup of mead for Odin and the other deities, as well as the wights, during the ceremony.  They will also have a nice plate of food and, if all goes well, some cake too!  Grendal is more than happy and willing to have this done which makes me ecstatic.

Grendal letting Yuko examine what's going on.
My new tarot set came well as a rune set.  I decided to treat myself to a deck and thought that I may as well toss in a rune set, since I was going to get one eventually.  I haven't messed with either just and I must say I'm nervous.  It's been YEARS (about 13) since I received a brand new deck to call mine, and I don't know how to go about it.  While I know I should just dive in (same goes for the runes), I want to make sure everything is just right.  My first deck last me many years before they decided they wished to retire.  I want this deck to be very much the same.

As for the runes, well, I don't know what to do.  I guess I'm gonna wing it, do some searches, and hope that all goes well.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Oh History Channel

I used to love watching certain channels when I had access to cable. The History Channel, TLC (to a certain degree), NatGeo, Cartoon Network, SciFi Channel, and so on.  Now that we don't bother with television Grendal and I kinda miss out on things.  We get our news from different sources online and from friends/family.  Movies coming?  Random searches online to see if anything sounds good, which seems to be rare.  Honestly, Grendal and I enjoy not having access to cable.  We get movies, documentaries, and random bits of TV series thanks to Netflix.  All is good.  That is until I find a series that I MUST watch.

History Channel's series Vikings has just taken off.  Since Grendal and I are very much a fan of vikings in general, I thought it would be interesting to give it a go.  Grendal usually isn't much for TV series.  I mean, we've watched all of Star Trek TNG, Star Trek Voyager, most of Eureka, Psych, a decent portion of House, Big Bang Theory, and Stargate SG1, so we have a nice bit beneath our belts.  Vikings is a nice change of base with it being based loosely on facts.  I know, I know, there are already gripes about accuracy and what not, and while pointing out 'It's just a TV show' it is on the History Channel......though said channel has fallen from their original platform of, y'know, HISTORY.

Anyway, Vikings.  I like it, though I've only seen the first episode.  The second one is waiting for us to watch and if Grendal decides it's not for him I can continue watching online!  The characters are interesting and there have been moments that both of us sit there giggling.  I love the inclusion of the mythology and deities.  Grendal is already putting his money on my favorite character being Floki and is a little worried about the 'rapey feelings' he's getting from the show.  If it happens, I know he's going to step away from the series.  I can understand.  I'm hoping I can keep him watching, at least until Valdimir Kulich shows up.  Honestly, it's thanks to following his facebook page that I learned about the series.  I mean, Kulich is the viking in my head, just like Sam Elliott is the cowboy.  My head is a weird place.

But yes. Vikings!  I enjoy it despite any inaccuracies.  Plus, ODIN!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

It's the Little Things

Finished the 30 days of Devotion yesterday and I think, while I did have to double up, that I've moved forward on my spiritual quest.  I've grown closer to Odin in our own way.  Now I just need to keep chugging forward with this.

Last night culminated in a strange but insanely happy moment.  I have this odd habit of finding recipes in magazines in work's break room and ripping out said recipes for later.  I have a little shoe box filled with things from making naturally colored cream cheese frosting and sweet lavender scones to preparing a holiday ham.  Grendal, while happy that I was finding some awesome recipes, was getting annoyed that they didn't have a proper spot, save for a shoe box.  So what does he do?  He finds a three ring binder and some clear page sleeves and hands it to me.  "Make your cook book."  I had balked at the idea in earlier instances but as I sat down and started, I felt insanely giddy.  About an hour later I had a makeshift cook book.  Somewhere in the back of my head I saw it as my own grimoire, which is odd.  While I never considered myself a Kitchen Witch I liked the idea, and seeing how Asatru is about home and family, it kinda works out.  Either way, I was over joyed and have these recipes set up in a lovely fashion.

I've been having the urge to do some tarot readings in general but it's starting to seem like my cards and I aren't clicking anymore.  The current deck I use wasn't mine in the beginning and was, in fact, a deck Grendal gave me.  I felt from the get go that the deck was reluctant to work with me and when we did work together, things went well.  Lately, though, not so much.  My original deck has been retired and kept in a safe place, and I think it's time to do the same with this deck.  Actually, I think it's over do.  So I've been eying decks and I think I found one that can work (Grendal agrees).  All I have to do is order them, hopefully tonight, and begin again.  Eventually, I'll begin working with Runes but I'm a little nervous.  I'll do it, though.  I think flexing my divination muscles may be something useful if not healthy.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 29 & 30

Any interesting or unusual UPG to share?

No, actually. I'm not saying that I don't want to share but I don't have much in the way of interesting UPGs. Since I'm still kinda floundering through this whole thing, I don't know what to bring forth in this situation. I do know, though, that I'll probably cover such things in future posts when they arise.

Any suggestions for others just starting to learn about this deity?

Read the myths and legends, listen to what others have to say about their interactions with Odin, and hear him out.  I've said this time and again: most people see Odin as a harsh deity.  Very manly and war-like.  For some reason he came to me more as teacher and someone I was to journey with.  He has many aspects in the myths and legends, and it shows when you approach each other.  Have an open mind when dealing with him.  Odin has much to teach to those who are willing but you may have to wait. I know I did.

Monday, March 4, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 27 & 28

Worst misconception about this deity that you have encountered?

I suppose the obvious one is the all war and misogynistic aspect of Odin. While Odin has an aspect of war, it's not all encompassing. I also never got a misogynistic feel or view of him.  Odin seems very aloof, at least to me right now.  If you wish to worship him, he would accept you without concern of your gender and demand the same from me as he would of you.  He goes to see a seeress/prophetess without qualm and has learned magic from Frigga.  Why would he seek out such information only to 'spit' on those who were his teachers?  Odin won't come out and say he favors one gender over the other, and I think those old tales paint him in such a way that isn't favorable to some.  It is up to the person to go out and learn whether or not these are true.

Something you wish you knew about this deity but don’t currently.

How to REALLY stay in contact with him.  I've stated before that I'm not fit for god spouse status but I do want to work with Odin more often and in a close way.  I see him as a teacher and would love to take an apprenticeship(best thing I can think of) with him.  His responses to me and ways of watching are through my own thoughts at him and the birds I hear and see through out the day.  Since my job keeps me far away from doors and windows, though, I can't see them during my shift and all seems quiet.

I suppose I just have to keep working at this.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 26

How has your relationship with this deity changed over time?

Oh my relationship has changed greatly.  Odin is no longer a deity that is just kinda there and I kinda sorta pay homage to him.  Odin is the one I turn my thoughts to and the one I put most of my energy out to.  He watches over me in his way, making sure that I know he listens and that he sees me through the sighting of his birds.

I am nothing like a 'god phone' or one of those people who has constant contact with their deity.  I've read posts by others who see deities constantly, have those long conversations, and so much more.  I am not fit to be a godspouse (I am honestly a little frightened by the idea, I love my Grendal).

I have opened up communication with Odin through my thoughts and offerings.  I think shedding the neediness that I had and the constant want of validation has helped.  I have grown in my relationship and it is for the better.

Friday, March 1, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: 23, 24, & 25

Yes, I missed one more day then usual.  -_-;   Worked until early evening yesterday and when I came home my two youngest nieces were here. All I wanted to do was hide.  Anyway, on with it!

Your own composition – a piece of writing about or for this deity

 Um, very iffy about sharing my work but I'll do it. This is very much a work in progress but this novel, when it gets finished, will be dedicated to Odin and even features him and the rest of Norse pantheon.

Harald looked down at the homeless man.  He recognized him, remembered the tattered clothes and the distant look in his visible eye.  The man didn't seem to notice any of them standing beside him, more intent at looking at the ruins of the temple district.

"This is him."

Erik cocked an eyebrow and looked between the homeless man and Harald.  "Him?  Are you certain?"

"Why would the Allfather choose to be homeless?" Vanessa snorted.

"He is a wanderer.  He must have been traveling when the others began to sleep and when his own identity and powers slumbered."  Harald sat beside the man and followed his gaze, "Isn't that right, Vofuth?"

The man looked at Harald out of the corner of his eye, for once seeming to focus on him, but said nothing.

Harald smiled; that was all he needed.  "Give me the drinking horn."

Vanessa hesitated, finally relinquishing the horn when Harald held out his hand.

"This is for you," Harald whispered, holding the horn before the man.  "Drink deep."

Those gnarled hands shook as they took hold of the horn......

That's all I got for that bit.

A time when this deity has helped you.

I get a lot of help when I'm trying to center myself and calm down, as weird as that sounds. Whenever I'm feeling down I either hear or see a few crows, which lifts my spirits right rather instantly. There have been no specific moments when there was something huge and Odin was there to aide me. I think he wants me to do it on my own and he'll keep a protective watch over me. And as much as that may annoy me, I think it's for the best. Being dependent and constantly asking for help would defeat the purpose of growing.

A time when this deity has refused to help.

Like I mentioned above, it seems often that I don't get much 'help'. I don't think I am nor do I want to be one of those people who say/think 'If it didn't happen, then (insert deity here) didn't mean for it to be.'  Looking back on some of the things I've asked for help on, they were all pretty damn petty. The only one that may not have been was asking for some help on a job interview. That didn't pan out but looking at my current situation I think working with a certain person will probably train me to be a bit more calm and keep my emotions in check when it comes to annoying people. That and trying to bribe a deity isn't the best idea in the world.  I got some bad habits that I'm breaking in that regard, don't judge me.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

And on a personal note....

I know, I know. I have the time to do a another day's devotional to Odin but I haven't really written anything regarding me here in days. So, it's time for the obligatory update! :D

Finally got my federal tax return in and was so happy seeing my account hit the 1k mark. It's been years since that happened. Sadly that didn't last long. Not that it went to something bad. It actually went to Grendal's Utilikilt for the wedding!! He should have it by next week and then begins the battle of making sure he fits and doesn't wear it constantly before our wedding date. That and I think I need to start bothering his mother to begin my dress. :I

Speaking of wedding stuff, we still have to figure out invitations and food and all of that. I feel like I'm going nuts with the whole thing and June is inching closer and closer. We decided to just to get the roast pig rather than full catering and then running to Sam's Club for the extra vittles. Seems reasonable enough.

Works been slowly crawling by and Grendal is chugging through his class. He's talking in positive ways, referring to the railway job as if he already has it and he's gotten me to do the same thing. Positive thinking all around in that regard. Figured with that job I could cut back on my hours at work and focus on home stuff. I don't think I could actually function without a job, becoming nothing more than a bump on log in no time. Grendal has planned things out in regards to that. For the first year we save his paychecks as much as possible and then, with hope, purchase some property. There is a nice little blue house next to his parents' place that we've been eying and, with all the luck in the world, it should be vacant still and ready to purchase. Another year of living with his parents', and saving up some more, we should have enough money to tears down the existing house and hire someone to build something to our designs. Something akin to Tumbleweed Homes and all that. Energy efficient, a garden of our own, and a fenced in area for Yuko to run around without being leashed. And, if we can work things out, chickens but that has to do with possible zoning and laws.

In the meantime, though, I've been making myself sad by eyeballing acreage and farmland for sale  on different sites. It's our big dream to move a little more north and homestead. Grendal doesn't think I have it in me but I know I do. Seriously, 10 years ago I would have been more than happy living in a city(not a big one). After being with Grendal and living in this township/village, I don't think I could move back to the area my parents are in. It's too crowded. And don't even get me started on Chicago(oh the smell).

When all is said and done, things look rather good. I have some rants in the back of my head about our current situation thanks to some people, but that will be saved for another possible post. Besides, I don't want to kill my good mood.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: 21 & 22

Music that makes you think of this deity.

I don't remember how I stumbled across this and I had listened to the whole album. LOVE it and this thong really made me think of Odin. Don't know why, but yup.

A quote, a poem, or a piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with.

Ooo, this is a hard one.  I'm not much for poems and quotes, and pieces of writing are few and far between unless I'm reading a book. I am reading something right now, Fellowship of the Ring, but I don't know if I can throw a passage from that in here. I suppose I could, especially after saying that Gandalf reminds me of Odin in a way.

Um, how about "It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule."

I don't know. XD  If anything else strikes me, I will post it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: 19& 20

What quality or qualities of this god do you most admire? What quality or qualities of them do you find the most troubling?

The qualities that I admire would be the ones in the vein of writing (I.E. Poetry, songs, novels) and wisdom. I'm always writing or thinking up stories, and knowledge and wisdom is something I strive for constantly. Just ways of bettering myself I suppose.

What I find troubling would be Odin's war aspect. Conflict is not my thing.  I understand that it is a large part of Him but I try to bring the peace as much as possible. I mean, if there is conflict that I cannot avoid then I'll wade through it and weather any blows that come my way, but I don't search them out.

Art that reminds you of this deity.

There has been a bunch of pieces that remind me of Odin, ones that purposely do so and others that aren't supposed to. I mean, I look at Ian McKellen as Gandalf and see Odin more than anything else.  Looking around the collected pieces over the years I suppose this one sticks out:

It is from an artist on Deviantart (LINK) and it's a wonderful piece. Love this to no end.

Friday, February 22, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: 17 & 18

How does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?

I believe Odin would mesh rather well. We have the Romans comparing him to Mercury, so those two could possibly do well together.  Then there is the similarities between Odin and Lugus as well.  I think any deity dealing with wisdom and magic could be on decent terms with the Allfather and vice versa. He could also work alongside the deities of war without an issue.  Other than that I believe he could move amongst them with little problem, being a voice of wisdom in needed times.  He seems more like the type just to wander and pop in when he decides to.

How does this deity stand in terms of gender and sexuality? (historical and/or UPG)

I mentioned this in a previous post, but the majority of people seem to pin Odin as being very misogynistic and he-manish. Very much a man's man. Me? When it comes to gender and sexuality I think Odin is very much relaxed with it. While I haven't seen any note of him laying with another man, he seems to have little if no reaction to Loki saying he is less then a man because he was taught 'woman's magic'(by Frigg). Odin has probably reached a point that both subjects mean little to him until, perhaps, he feels the urge to lay with someone.  Gender wise, who know who that could be with.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: 15 & 16

Any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?

None that I know. I think one could argue that composing some form of written work or performing in a play could be a mundane practice for Odin.  Honestly I don't know much about this.  Not many people really set out how the worship a deity point by point, and it always seems like the one you want to know about isn't present.

So personally, it is the composing of written work.  I write stories and if/when they are published, I will dedicate it to Odin in thanks.

How do you think this deity represents the values of their pantheon and cultural origins?

There are nine virtues which I think you could say are the values of the pantheon.  Here is what I've been told:

  1. Courage
  2. Truth
  3. Honour
  4. Fidelity
  5. Discipline
  6. Hospitality
  7. Self Reliance
  8. Industriousness
  9. Perseverance

I do think Odin represents these virtues, though some may argue. I suppose the only argument would be against Fidelity. There are stories of Odin laying with other people, his wife doing much of the same, but the two always come back to each other. Odin loves Frigg and vice versa. For me, I don't think I need to explain each point and how Odin represents them. I will if someone speaks up, but He speaks for himself.

Monday, February 18, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 13 & 14

Hey now, don't judge me. I told you this week was going to be hectic. :P

What modern cultural issues are closest to this deity?

This is all my own personal feelings so this may different from what is out there.  I think things like education is a big deal for Odin.  He is a deity of wisdom and brought the runes, so knowledge is something near and dear to to him.  The lack of good schools or omitting knowledge or even perpetuating misinformation about something would bother him.

War would be another major thing for Odin.  While being a deity of battle, I do think that even he would tire of it and fighting over such menial things would be against what he strives for.  He would know that war is an evil necessity( in some cases).

I'm trying to think of other issues that could be in Odin's sphere of effect.  Perhaps the future of wolves, due to two companions. Maybe even keeping the wild horses roaming free and healthy due to his connection to Sleipnir.  The state of schools in the world.  Mead making, because, well, he brought us mead!

There are so many aspects to Odin that picking a few is seeming to be a little difficult.

Has worship of this deity changed in modern times?

I would have to say yes.  The sacrificing of humans has stopped, as far as I know, and animal sacrifices have probably come to crawl but I do believe there are some that do so.  Since I haven't found any notes of other ways of worship to Odin, I can only speculate after the sacrifices.  We still sacrifice but not in the same way.  We offer items to Odin and pledge to him, but probably in a different manner.  Who truly knows?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Did it again....30 Days of Devotion: 11& 12

I hope this isn't a habit but I do know my work schedule next week is a little hectic. :I  On with the show, yes?

Day 11-  Festivals, days, and times sacred to this deity.

Well, I do know that Wednesday was Wodansday, which made said day Odin's. He's not the only one with a specific day of the week but since I'm discussing him, I'll just stick with that. I'm not sure if anything special was done on this day in honor of Odin but I suppose in this day and age one could present offerings to him.

The only other thing I can think of in terms of days, festivals and what not is the Wild Hunt during Yule. Kids would leave their boots by the hearth filled with hay and sugar for Sleipnir and, in return, Odin would leave little gifts. Over time and with the changing of influencing religion, Odin morphed into our modern day Santa Clause and Sleipnir become a multitude of reindeer.

Day 12- Places associated with the deity and their worship

This one......this one seems hard to answer. All my searches uncover nothing on the idea of specific places for Odin.  There are places with his name in the name but other than that there is no 'holy site' that I can dig up.  I suppose one could argue that Odin's place is the battlefield, and I could argue that it could be in places of learning as well.  In my opinion Odin's places are where ever you feel him most.  He seems more like a wanderer these days and with many of the old Norse settlements gone and being discovered he needs a new place.  Until something is brought to my attention to better answer this question, this is it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Oops....30 Days of Devotion: 9 & 10

Well, that sucked. I was doing so well about posting every day. Anywho, time to continue!!

Day 9- Common Mistakes about this Deity.

This may just be my personal view/UPG but I think the big mistake or misconception about Odin is that he is misogynistic.  I had never gotten that vibe from him at all.  While he led a people that seemed very pro man, but had some very great views on women before converting, that doesn't appear to be the case. He expects the same from a man and woman, and won't baby one or the other.  The Eddas and the other old stories have the same problem that the Bible does: it was written by human hands.  The author(s) could put in what ever they wanted and we, many years later, don't have a clue.

Day 10- Offerings: Historical and UPG

The only historical offerings that I have noticed for Odin were that of sacrifice or killings in war.  Sacrifices were usually either male slaves or male animals, which were hung from the branches of trees after said sacrifice.  There are accounts of kings being sacrificed to Odin as well, but other than sacrificing I have yet to hear much.

Since I don't personally want to sacrifice men or animals of any gender, I have a tendency to put mead or other alcoholic drinks on the altar to him.  I also light candles and incense.  Some people put food out for Odin but I am iffy on doing that myself, mainly because in the Eddas he only consumes mead.  All others are given to his wolves.

I will say I have thought about putting jewelry or personally made items out for him, but have yet to do so.  I have also been thinking of something that I love dearly to 'sacrifice' in his name.  What that would be, I don't know.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 8

Variations of this deity.

Ah, variations on Odin.

I know of Wodan, in old High Germanic, but I believe there is a similarity between the figures(if ANYONE reading this knows any different, please let me know. Knowledge is power!).

There is an odd coincidence between Odin and the Celtic god Lugus.  They are both gods of intellect, wield spears, are accompanied by ravens, have control over poetry and magic.  I remember seeing a picture of Lugus in a book that Grendal's mother owns and pointing out to Grendal how similar they looked.  He noticed it right away as well.  While they may not be the same deity, Lugus and Odin have strong parallels and is worth peeking at.

The Romans referred to Odin as Mercury in many of their texts, so you could say they are a variation of each other.  Personally, though, I don't see it as such.

Other than those few, though, I am not sure on variations of Odin.  Not much turns up for me.  Hmmmm. If anyone can point me in the right direction for this information, please do!

Monday, February 11, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 7

Names and epithets.

I guess I should've looked ahead when I was creating my initial post for the 30 Days of Devotion.  In my first post I covered a few of the MANY names of Odin but I have no problem posting them again.

The most familiar is obviously All Father.  Odin is the deity 'in power' for the Norse and has brought much to the world as well as the gods, so referring to him as such seems rather logical.

Val-Father means father of the slain.  With many of Odin's followers going into battle or raids, it is not too surprising this is a name for him.  He welcomes the slain with open arms and those worthy join him in Valhalla.

Gangleri/Ganglari means the wanderer or traveler.  Odin wanders the Nine Worlds in many of the tales, whether it is just to wander or on some personal mission it's up to him.  But referring to him as a wanderer is supported by those stories.

I suppose in the realm of epithets I can draw out the names that refer to Odin, or things associated with Odin, in various kennings.

Odin's fire would be an allusion to a sword, while Odin's weather could be another phrase for battle or war.  I've seen someone point out a phrase 'One-eyed dweller in Frigg's embrace' which is rather simple.  Then you have Mim's friend, referring to Mimir.

Um, yeah. Can't think of much else.  Looking at the list of names for Odin, it is rather extensive and some not so obvious as others.  These few here and the others mention in my initial post seem rather straightforward and resonate with me.  For others it may be different.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 6

Other related deities and entities related with this deity.

The biggest relation to another deity that Odin has would be to Loki.  While only mentioned in two stanzas, it is said that Odin and Loki are blood-brothers and that Odin would not accept drink unless it was offered to Loki as well.  This always stuck out to me, even before I fully dove into Asatru and Heathenism.  Now as I wander through posts about the deities and see huge arguments over the exclusion or inclusion of Loki I wonder what others think of the relationship.  Do these people disregard the bond the two have?  Do people only see the bad Loki will do/has done?  I will not deny that there is some negative things in the tales of Loki but he did much good.  I think the reason why everyone is so upset with Loki is Baldr's death and the coming of Ragnarok.  If it wasn't for Loki, none of it would have happened.  In my mind, though, there is no positive without negative and vice-versa.

Then there is Mimir.  He is the wisest of the Aesir and was given to the Vanir as a hostage during their war.  Unfortunately he was beheaded and his head was returned to the Aesir.  It was Odin who preserved Mimir's head and conversed with him.  Mimir gave Odin his wisdom after the Allfather sacrificed his eye.

As for other entities, one could point to the Ravens of Odin, his wolves, Sleipnir, and even Fenrir, who will kill Odin during Ragnarok.  While each of them play specific parts, for some reason I am not urged to describe them.  Mimir and Loki are more prevalent on my mind. Perhaps I'll go into further details on these creatures at a later date.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 5

Members of the family – genealogical connections

 Ah, the family of Odin. Well, Odin's consort is Frigg, though both deities have hard their share of sexual relations outside of that relationship. There are really only three children that are attested to Odin and that would be Thor(obviously), Baldr, and Váli.  Snori Sturluson does claim that Vidar is a son of Odin by way of the giantess Gríd. He also places Heimdalr, Bragi, Tyr, and Hod as sons of Odin, but these are only mentioned once.  So the only ones we are sure of, in the sense of literature, is Thor, Baldr, and Vali.

There are no daughters of Odin mentioned and I have never seen a claim to it.

Odin did have two brothers, Vili and Ve, whom helped Odin slay Ymir and create Midgard, all born from the same parents: Borr and Bestla.

As far as I can tell, other than the usual claims of kings being descendents from Odin, the relation to other deities ends there.

Friday, February 8, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 4

A favorite myth or myths of this deity.

 While I can't find the specific stories that I wanted, my favorite myths about Odin is his sacrificing his eye to Mimir to gain knowledge as well as hanging himself from Yggdrasil to gain the runes.  :I  I will do some searches and see if I can find these stories any where but I at least wanted to get this post out here.

Another is the story about the wild hunt!  Taken from Timeless Myths:

The Wild Hunt was a popular folklore found in Scandinavian and Germanic myth, as well in later folklore in Britain and northern European countries, which had changed over the centuries.

The group of hunters were variously known as the Furious Host or Raging Host. The hunt usually takes part during winter, where a spectral host of horsemen riding through the stormy sky, with their ghostlike hounds. The chillingly sound of the hunting horn can be heard reverberating through the woods and meadows.

In the Norse myths, the original leader of the hunt was the god Odin, known in Germanic myth as Wodan. Odin rode his eight-legged horse, called Sleipnir. His company of hunters were the Valkyries and the dead warriors who resided with him in Valhalla.

The hunt begins on Winter Nights (October 31) and doesn't end May Eve (April 30) of the following year. These two nights were special, because lights go out on all Nine Worlds and the spirits and goblins are free to roam on the earth's surface. However the height of the Wild Ride falls on the night of midwinter festival, known as Yule (December 21), traditionally the shortest day of the year in Scandinavia and Germany.


I found part of Odin's Rune Song, which is the poem retelling how he gained the runes. I won't post all 27 stanzas, so no fear.  Here are the first few:

Wounded I hung on a wind-swept gallows 
For nine long nights, 
Pierced by a spear, pledged to Odin, 
Offered, myself to myself 
The wisest know not from whence spring 
The roots of that ancient rood. 

They gave me no bread,
They gave me no mead,  
I looked down;
With a loud cry
I took up runes;  
From that tree I fell.

Nine lays of power
I learned from the famous Bolthor, Bestla' s father:
He poured me a draught of precious mead,
Mixed with magic Odrerir.

Waxed and throve well;
Word from word gave words to me,
Deed from deed gave deeds to me.

Runes you will find, and readable staves,
Very strong staves,
Very stout staves,
Staves that Bolthor stained,  
Made by mighty powers,
Graven by the prophetic God.

For the Gods by Odin, for the Elves by Dain,
By Dvalin, too, for the Dwarves,
By Asvid for the hateful Giants,
And some I carved myself:
Thund, before man was made, scratched them,
Who rose first, fell thereafter.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 3

Symbols and icons of this deity.

 Symbols and icons, huh?  I suppose the most forefront symbol would be the Valknut, or Knot of the Slain:

The meaning of the symbol has been debated but many modern day followers have said that this is a symbol of Odin, they wear it to show their dedication to Odin and the gods of the Norse. Some claim that you shouldn't tattoo this on your body because those who do will die a warrior's death.  People think it represents the Nine Worlds, the tree Yggdrasil.  Personally, I don't know.  It's an interesting symbol none the less.

Another symbol is obviously in the form of a Raven.  There is little doubt as to why this is one of Odin's symbols.  This pairs with Sleipnir and the spear, Gungnir.  All items or creatures that are at Odin's side.

For me the last symbol is that of an eye or, perhaps, the lack of said eye.  Over the winter holidays Grendal and I made ornaments.  He made one and held it up asking, "Do you know what this is?"  I took one look at it and recognized the shape.  "Odin's eye?"  All I got was a smile of confirmation.  There was no detail to the eye; it was just the basic shape of one, without the pupil or the iris.  We placed it on the altar as a reminder of the sacrifice Odin had made to gain knowledge.

Out of all my searching I couldn't find other symbols/icons that people said belonged to Odin or ones that jumped out at me saying as much.  People have pointed at certain runes as belonging to Odin but that could just be a modern take on it.  While Odin brought us the rune and they can be a symbol of his all together, I'm not sure about one particular rune being his and his alone.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

30 Days of Devotion- Day 2

How did you become first aware of this deity?

 I'm not sure if this question is referring to how I became aware of Odin in general or as a deity that I was going to follow.  I suppose I could cover both.

Growing up I was always interested in mythology. It was mainly the Greek/Roman stories and some Hawai'ian tales but I had a healthy appetite for it.  At some point I did come across Norse myths but I can't remember exactly when. Thinking back on it, it seems like the Norse deities have always been in my mind but I know that isn't necessarily true.  I guess I just can't think of a time when they weren't there.  Even through college the Norse myths weren't much of a big thing to anyone.  I took a religions of the world course and they were just barely mentioned.  Though I do take pride in being the only one to pick up on the instructor's vague description of Loki.  He was rather shocked as well.

Odin did approach me early in high school but I don't think I was ready for it.  I believe I mentioned this in a previous post but I'll give a quick summary here.  While sitting on the back porch chatting on the phone, two LARGE black birds settled into the yard.  They were two big to crows and I knew just enough about hawks and the like to know that these two weren't that.  They walked together, not bothering to peck at the ground, and came towards me.  Halfway through the yard I freaked out and went back inside.  At that point in my life I hadn't thought about deities choosing a person or anything other than the basic Triple Goddess and Hunter God in Wicca.

It's been within in the last two years that I've embraced the Norse deities.  I had, I believe, confused Thor with another deity that dealt with lightning and thunder but things were soon set straight.  When searching for a deity to connect with I honestly didn't bother with Odin.  I wanted someone else.  Maybe Thor, Heimdalr, or Sif.  I even wore Mjolnir for some time, but Thor wasn't the fit for me it seemed.  Odin, though, began to send more and more signs my way.  Crows constantly being seen and heard on my walks to work was the biggest thing.

I suppose what really solidified EVERYTHING was finding two crow feathers.  Not at the same time but in the same spot days apart.  Out of the many weeks of walking the same path over the course of a year I had never seen any bird feathers laying across the sidewalk.  On these occasions I found a single black feather.  It was just sitting there.  Honestly I continued to walk past it, both times, but something made me stop and retrieve it.  They were placed on my altar and I think that was the beginning of my wandering with Odin.

The altar is for all but he has images of himself and Huginn and Muninn.  He is the one that brought me home.