All Their Voices

Words and thoughts in devotion to the Divine


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Skadi and Secret Mountains

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Skadi is the goddess of the high wild places, the white huntress that teaches us to ski, to shoot, and the cold bitter truth of testing our strength against the mountains.  I did ten years as a soldier, and spent a lot of time learning Skadi’s ways in the high wild places.

She comes to us from the Jottun, Skadi Thiazidottir.  Hers is the old way of teaching, the old relationship, as with Nerthus, where the lessons are edged with fangs, and mistakes paid in blood.  She is a good instructor for those able to put aside their ego and listen.  You cannot pit yourself against the mountain in defiance.   The lessons of Thor to dig deep, of Tyr to endure unflinching, of Odin to hurl your defiance in the teeth of superior strength will get you killed, and the mountain won’t care.

Soldiers come to the mountain hard and…

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A Norse Psychopomp

A Trickster's Path

It seems my last post about grief sparked a bit of a discussion of the Other Side and boundaries so to speak. I would like to state my take on it, and as always bear in mind this is MY view through years of experience, UPG, USPG, and research.

Let me start with the thought of a Psychopomp. An entity with the capacity to cross borders and boundaries, unlimited by the normal gateways and walls. Every belief system has at least one, and others have many. From the idea of the Grim Reaper to Angels to Anubis and Papa Legba there are those that help and facilitate spirits cross over. But for this I will be focusing (mostly, because I can get sidetracked) on the Norse pantheon and leaning towards the Rökkr.

Loki is one of the most obvious able to cross realms freely almost at will, and not just…

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Grief of a Lokean

A Trickster's Path

Well. This is a blog I didn’t think that I would have to write about for quite some time yet. Here we are though, as for us mortal creatures death is inevitable and we all realize at some point life is transitory.

For some the reason of this will not be understood or thought foolish, and honestly they can. I don’t care. We recently had to say goodbye to our beloved feline companion, Rosie. She found her way to us and I think that the adopting was a mutual thing. She was not what many would call a beautiful cat, but for us Rosie was the bestest pud-pud in the whole world. She was missing an eye because before she came to us some teens with a pellet rifle decided she would make a good target. Half her tail was missing and what was left had a badly healed break…

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Francisco Goya Was Right: The Sleep of Reason Breeds Monsters

Francisco Goya’s masterpiece

Last night I had a nightmare hideous beyond measure. I was somewhere back in my birth state of Iowa, having finally found a measure of financial security enough to buy and renovate an old farmhouse and barn to the witchy cottage I have always wanted–room for my books, my skulls, my herbs, my shrines, and a garden or four. After a day of basking in the sun while harvesting lavender and sage, and a visit from my daughters and grandsons, I was taking a nap on the front porch in my hammock.

You know how some nightmares go like horror movies, where the you that is dreaming can see much more of what’s going on than the you in the dream? The me having the dream watched while my kids made dinner and my grandsons played in the living room, and I began to see enormous spiders the size of fists, with poison stingers as well as fangs, as they started to emerge from the nooks and crannies of the house, along with centipedes as long and thick as king snakes, hornets the size of golf balls, and scorpions as big as cats. I woke from my hammock as a centipede slithered over my toes. I started screaming and went to jump down only to see that the porch was covered in creepy-crawlies.

My feet were bare. I was wearing a skirt.

I jumped down anyway, rushing to scream for the girls and grab up my grandkids. One of my daughters kept wanting to grab her purse and I knew there was a rattlesnake in it, I kept telling her to put it down. There were rats pushing books off the shelves with their bodies, big as German shepherd puppies, and the ground outside the house was a churning, writhing sea of hard, shiny, glistening black arthropod bodies and slithering glossy scales.

There was someone else in the house. I don’t know who. My age or a little older in appearance, with a white beard. Originally I thought it was my friend Chris, but then he slammed down a wooden walking stick and the ground quaked, ripping open, swallowing creatures whole.

That’s when I woke.

…no more dreams, please? If that was you, Old Man, I get the metaphor. You were there to save me and all I hold dear.


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Folk process or cultural appropriation

Druid Life

Last week I wrote about the right to be creative within your own folk tradition. Morgan Daimler flagged up to me that I need to tackle the other side, too – what happens when we mess about with other people’s traditions. Taking other people’s traditions, writing into them, or over them and presenting that as genuine material can have the effect of wiping out the tradition, not keeping it alive. How do you tell the difference?

Your relationship with the tradition is key here. If we’re talking about your culture, your family background, or the place you’ve lived your whole life as a participant not a coloniser, then you are someone who is inside the traditions around you. They are your traditions.

There are plenty of non-white British people engaging with British folk traditions, and that’s also fine. It’s important not to let this idea of who owns the tradition…

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Love Letter for the Lie-Smith

All Their Voices

Thank you for clearing away the deadwood in my soul;

Thank you for your tough love and your lessons,

painful as they sometimes are;

Surviving them makes me stronger,

and strong, I believe, is what you want me to be,

strong enough to survive any tragedy,

any catastrophe,

any hurt,

any trauma,

any grief.

I try not to let these torments kill the gentler parts of my soul,

and I dream often of your smile,

though I have only ever seen it in my mind.

Your bright eyes, the smell of ice and smoke,

the gleeful fire of your hair,

your deft and tricksy hands.

These words may be a love letter you do not want;

if so, I apologize, but

after all the dreams in which

you danced through my sleep,

I cannot help but feel a closeness.

Others tell me not to trust you,

that all affection on…

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Waltz with the Wily One

All Their Voices

Sometimes,
it feels like you’re
looking over my shoulder,
watching me
but never there
when I spin to see you.

I can smell something in the air,
the scent of burning,
charred woods and cloves,
autumn leaves dying,
rain turning to snow:
the scent of change.

I sometimes think
I can almost hear you whispering
feel your breath
hot against my ear
and the back of my neck,
a deliberate hiss of air,
as tangible as a kiss.

It almost feels like we’re dancing,
a step closer,
a step away,
whirling until I’m dizzy and ready to fall.

Is this an invitation that you offer to me,
hand held out to take mine,
waiting for my answer?

Are you waiting to see if I accept,
knowing how knowing you
has the potential to
transform or destroy a life?

Or do you think I will back away in fear,
too afraid…

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Conversations (Part One)

All Their Voices

Most think You only cleverness and mischief,

if they know of You at all.

Others still get what they know of You

from fiction, thinking You a blue-skinned mini-monster

with bloody eyes and bloody hands.

But ‘giant’ doesn’t always refer to size;

sometimes it indicates the height of Your ambitions,

or the vastness of Your reach;

I do not pretend that I know Your plans,

I only know that they are not for those like me to know.

Jotun You are, blood-brother to He who owns me,

and I pay attention to His demands and desires,

and things laid out in the lore;

at first it was only due to duty

that I poured out offerings to You

when I made them for Him,

but of late there is more to it than that.

I am not seduced by the pretty face worn by the

fictional ‘You’, scarlip;

Beauty cannot…

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Last Call

The silence at the end of the song…yes, it’s that.

mainer74

Story first, and then the bit you won’t like.

Gallows Tree

The community was in shock.  One of their own was dead by his own hand.  Bear had been loved by all, a laughing figure, forever the roaring heart of the party.  One man who always had time for those who were struggling, for those who were hurting, for those who were lost.  He was in many ways like a bear, too large for life, and his bumbling rambling progress through life and its spaces left a certain amount of chaos and spills in its wake, but laughter coloured those spills and memories for everyone.  The news that this laughing giant would no more loom in every picture, that his booming laugh and off colour remarks would no longer trigger laughter and pained groans in every gathering was just starting to sink in.

Angus was the leader of the community, its most…

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