The Depths: A Brief Conversation

With one notable exception, I don’t usually talk about my own UPG; no one asks, and I have no reason to go into it.  While writing a post, I had an interesting exchange that I feel needs to be shared.  The dialogue below is the closest approximation I can come up with.

“Why does the [the Divine] bother with mortals?  What do you need from us, if you’re as powerful as s you are?”
“I don’t know; why did you seek us out when you don’t need us in your day to day life”
“Oh…wow….you’re good.”
“How good of you to notice!”

Sometimes, the answers aren’t as complicated as we make them out to be

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Regarding Loki, Part 4: Sitting at a Bar on the Inside

LokiWe sit at the bar together, him and I.  For once, I’m in the rather unusual position of being the one listen to someone’s rambling; typically I’m the rambler.  I have to concede that he’s far better at it then I.  When I ramble, people’s eyes glaze over.  When he does it, somehow it’s still the most interesting thing in the world.

“…idea what’s wrong with them.” he says, stirring his fuzzy navel.  “If you desire a drink that actually tastes like something you’d want to drink, you’re some milk drinking child.  On the other hand, if you drink something that doubles as paint thinner?  You’re a man and not, for some reason, a fucking idiot.” he sipped.  “This needs something.  Tender?  Put some cinnamon schnapps in there if you please.”  He flashed the young lady a winning smile and almost in spite of herself, she turned away with a light blush to her cheeks.

“So, where do I fit in to all this?” I ask him.  He doesn’t look up.

“Smart man like you doesn’t have that figured out yet?  I’m a little surprised.” he said, in a very neutral voice; I can’t tell whether he’s being complimentary or just mocking me.  I decide on “both”, and leave it at that.  The tender came over and poured the shot into his drink.  He smiled at her again, and she looked away again.  He chuckled lightly.

“I do.  I think I do at least.” I say, voice somewhat uncertain.  I’m drinking soda, and I’m surprised at the lack of flack I get for that.  “I’m not more or less a part of things than anyone else.  However….that’s not how it works with you, is it?”

His lips turn up into a sly smile, slowly, “Why, whatever do you mean?”

I smirk.  “You know exactly what I mean, Lord; you don’t operate on fate or destiny.  Predestination isn’t something you really care for.  It’s what you can be.  What you can make.”

“Very good.  So now let me ask you something.” he turns to me, and fixes his eyes on mine.  “What do you think it all means?”

I pause.  I think.  “I think….” I hesitate.

“Yes?”

“I think that we were both, at once, the goal and the tool.” I say at last.

He takes a swig  “Oh ho!  Look at you.  Having delusions of grandeur!  How clever!” again, I can’t tell if he’s mocking me.  I decide that he isn’t; this is a test of my convictions.

“No; it’s just the way it is.” I say, simply, “Without me, she never would have met him…not the true him; she never would have survived.  Without her surviving?  Their hall doesn’t exist.  Her writings about you don’t exist.  All of that goes away…”

He smiles, waiting.

“Without her? I would have never learned how to focus myself the way that I have.  I want to throttle her…but she catalyzed a lot of good changes.  She did some of them in the most horrid way, but it was the only way some of it could have been done.” I pause.  “I actually did mean it when I thanked her for everything…even the miserable and hurtful stuff.  Without that miserable and hurtful stuff, I probably wouldn’t be married.”

“Happily married,” he points out, “Don’t forget that part.  Married is ridiculously easy; happily married is a bit trickier.”

I nod slightly, but I’m not listening.  “There is just one thing I don’t get.” I say, thinking over things.  “She oathed to restore your good name through her actions…but she’s besmirched it more then ever; people are insulting your name due to the stuff she has done….isn’t that…”

He cuts me off.  “Hey, never said I agree with everything she does.  She’s a reflection of me, but that doesn’t make her the same as me.  She’s going through a bad turn; it’ll pass.  She’ll have to answer for some of it; than there are other things that were all part of the plan.” he finishes his drink, “Besides, whose mind did you really think she was going to change?  Some of that apparent chaos will lead to good things…and some of it already has.”

I nod at this, and think over things.  “I…still don’t know what to do though.  Where do I go from here?”

He smirks at me, lightly, as he stands up.  He puts a hand on my shoulder and chuckles.  “You stand up.  You do what you’re going to do.  Don’t apologize.  Don’t play it down.  Be.  Someone tries to stop you?  Show them what the hard truth looks like…but only if you commit to all of it.  No half gestures.”

I pause.  “I should release part four…the real part four…shouldn’t I?”

He smiles as he walks off.  “Only if it’s what you truly want to do.  Not because you’re angry.  Not because you’re hurt.  Not because you said you would.  Not because she originally said you could.  Simple enough for ya?”

I look down at my soda with a smile.  “Yeah, I think so.”


In the end, people may wonder why I continue to pray to him.  Why I continue in his veneration.  Why I don’t see the flyting on the wall, as it were.  It comes down to something simple.

I started writing this as a commentary on issues within the heathen community.  Those issues are, quite frankly, no longer the point.  At the end of the day, my prayers are answered.  My offerings have been accepted.

When I’ve needed him, he’s been there.  It’s just that simple.

The Depths: On Worship

The picture is unrelated to the topic, but it was just to hilarious to pass on.

The picture is unrelated to the topic, but it was just to hilarious to pass on.

I treat the divine in a way that is similar (but not identical) to how I regard any true teacher, whose instruction I might be under.

The gods have my respect, regardless of their methods; it would be stupid for anyone to disrespect a force  stronger then yourself.  While respect is given freely, veneration is not; who I worship and pray to is, by definition, sacred.  I will not defile myself by showing to devotion to beings whose values I find abhorrent.  I do not denounce them; I simply make it clear that their way it not mine.

I am in no position to make demands on the gods to provide me things, just as I am in no position to command an educator to teach me on a given subject  If I am coming to them in their home, what right to I have to command such a thing?  By the same token, I have no reason to grovel; any teacher, mortal or divine, that needs one to shame themselves is not a teacher I wish to be influenced by.  Indeed, the opposite is also true.  Ask yourself if any great educator has a place for soulless, spineless, weak-willed fools.  Of course they don’t, and I don’t believe it to be any different with the divine.  When they speak, they have my attention.  If they ask for something, I give it freely as long as it is within my power to do so.  When I am helped by their actions, I express my gratitude.

It is very simple, and I have found it very fulfilling.

To the best of my knowledge, I have no Fulltrui.  This is a state of affair which I more or less hope endures, as I suspect it’s work I’m not cut out for.  Don’t get me wrong; it’s a calling for which I have a great level of respect.  I also have a great level respect for snipers, programmers, and wet nurses; I just don’t have the knack for those vocations.

However, I do not need a patron to venerate the divine, or to build up connections with it.  Indeed, I would posit that there is something truly noble and worthwhile about making this connection when you have no god claim you as their own.  You did not need to be found or saved; you came because you wanted to.  Every moment you stay, and act with dignity and honor?  Those are moments and connections built up with your own agency.

Sacredness is where you find it.  I often can find it just like this.

The Depths: The Ocean Within

I was sitting in front of my computer at the time.  I still am; it happened a few minutes ago.

I felt horrid, and while the catalysts for this whole malaise are important, they need not be mentioned; they’re a useless detail in the retelling.  All that needs to be said is that I felt a great heaviness in my heart, I was somewhat immersed in self pity, and I’m not sure if I could see the forest for the trees.  Bipolarity isn’t a monster that stalks me so closely anymore, but we still have a Calvin and Hobbes style relationship.  When I’m up, I have all the energy I need to do everything; the days are, truly, packed.  When I’m down, it feels like I have been randomly assaulted by a tiger that I made up in my own head.

I opened “Wordpad”, as I thought that writing some poetry might channel some measure of the pain I felt.  I was hoping that maybe I could find some way to center myself and refocus.  I closed my eyes as I concentrated, and it was as if I could see the thousands of half formed words and phrases dancing in front of my mind’s eye.  All of them out of reach, but still tangible.  Still apart of me.  An ocean of ideas and concepts, cast upon some intangible night sky.  So much that I could see, but not use; I found it frustrating to be unable to make anything of it, but also somewhat comforting to know that it was all there.

Somewhere,  in the back of my head, a tiny little voice said, “There has always been power here; you just need to learn how to use it.”  I don’t know if it was a spiritual entity, or some scrap of my own ego…but it was a powerful realization.

I opened my eyes.  I looked at the field of white, contained within the underpowered word processing program that lay before me.  I was dumbfounded.  After a few moment more, I smirked.  Turned out all the poetry that I needed, never needed to be written.

The Depths: Introduction

I am in some internal terrain at the present moment.

I think since I was about 12 I was curious about spirituality, philosophy, and theology.  I’ve always sought answers to questions that don’t have answer.  Not true answers anyway.  Oh, I could have an opinion…and that opinion could end being my answer.  No answers that could be counted amongst the knowable, however.  Just the shapeless, amorphous masses that make up concepts like belief, sin, and faith.

Imagine me walking through some enormous network of huge, echoing caverns.  An infinite network of underground, uncharted abyss to explore.  It is more dark then not, but here and there there are little pockets of some shining crystalline material.  These little phosphorescent bits light my way, but only just.

What has always been a thorn in my side, however, is that I never seem to truly understand the territory I walk in.  I can recite it fairly well.  I know the basic, spiritual ideas of Christianity.  I know the basic principles of Buddhism.  I’ve read the Tao te Ching and while I’d hardly say I understand it at any truly deep level, I can re-read some of the passages and find new meaning in them.  I’ve read the Havamal and found verses that speak directly to my soul.  I understand them in the same way that I understand how I understand why giraffes have black tongues, how I know the notes to the melody in Jingle Bells, or how I understand to make curry.

At various spots in this cavern, there are statues.  Great, gigantic statues twenty feet or more in height.  They depict famous figures.  Those with spears and only one eye.  Those with one hand missing, and a grim demeanor.  One with a hammer, one with a smirk, and one wielding an antler in place of a sword.  A woman with a ring full of keys, a man with bright wise eyes and a harp over one shoulder, and many others.  They are large statues.  They are important statues.  Still there is something missing.  The idea is there, but not the spirit.  They were made in reverence, even while the very concept of reverence was only half understood.  They’re missing something, and it shows.

Which is to say that I don’t understand a damn thing about the mystical.  About the awesomely uncanny.  About that inner voice which draws into something deeper, the eye that looks within, and the feeling in your own bones.  I’ve had moments.  Amazing moments.  Moments where I looked upon the true face of faith, and could understand how humanity has and will again do both great good and sinister evil with it.  Moments where I have looked into the void, and smiled…for the void has smiled back at me.  Periods and flashes of immense, immediate, and awe inspiring enlightenment…ones where I could see the twinkle of the Allfather, hear the laughter of a Buddha, and touch the wild unknowable beauty that is everywhere and everyone around us if we just bother to look for it.

I have not always been here.  I have gone to the wild, strange lands of others.  I have tried to look for something in wild, untamed forests.  I have seen the broken, battered ruins in a desert.  I have seen strange, mountain vistas and twisted old temples.  In these wild, metaphorical and metaphysical territories…I have ever been a traveler.  I feel as if I am rarely at home.  Sometimes I don’t always recognize home when I see it again.  It’s more then a little perplexing at times.

Of course there are the upsides; I’ve been researching a number of topics, and one of them has been certain authors and people within the various circles.  The number of situations that appear to be nothing more then grandiose type delusions are staggering.  It’s not even close to a strictly Pagan issue…seems the more spiritual someone gets, the more their hinges start unwinding; the path ends up just giving the screwiness some context.

Then, I recall when I first found these caverns.  It was just a small cave.  There were no statues.  There were no crystals to guide my way.  It was just me.  Then I found a tunnel.  It went down, and showed me where things go.  How things can go.  Showed me things about myself, and brought me to place I cannot properly explain. 

Spiritually, I’m lost more often then not…and how great a thing that is!

You never know what you’ll find.