Creation Part 1: Norse Myths Retold

In the beginning, there were three worlds. The first of those worlds was the world of the void. In this world, nothing existed. There was no life of any sort and everything was still. Not even the wind blew within its borders.

On its northern border there was the second world, the world of ice. In its midst lay the Roaring Kettle. From the Kettle all the rivers of life poured forth, slowly making their way southward into the world of the void. The water from the rivers were empty of life. The temperature in the world of ice was too low for any life form to survive.

On the southern border of the world of the void lay the third world, the world of fire. The temperature of the world of fire was so great that only those born natively into the world could bear its heat and live. Due to the immense heat it gave off, it began to warm the southern part of the world of the void that lay beyond its borders.

The rivers from the world of ice slowly trickled into the world of the void. Where the rivers stopped, they froze into blocks of ice and rime, a type of poison.

As eons passed, the heat from the world of fire slowly reached the blocks of ice that had formed in the middle of the world of the void. Where the heat reached the ice, the world of the void became moderate in temperature. It was not too hot or too cold. The warm temperature made it possible for life to emerge.

The heat from the world of fire slowly began to melt the blocks of ice. As it did so, the first frost giant, Ymir, came into being. Ymir was unique, because he was able to produce children through his sweat glands. While he slept, two more giants came into existence, formed from the sweat under his arms. Their names were Mimir and Bestla. It is from them that the few good frost giants are descended.

Ymir had another son, created by the sweat produced when he rubbed his feet together. That son was born strange, with three heads, and the three-headed giant had another son named Bergelmir. It is from Bergelmir’s line that all the evil frost giants are descended.

Ymir, however, wasn’t the only life form to spring into being when the heat from the world of fire melted the ice in the middle of the world of the void.

From the second block of melted ice there came Audhumla, the great cow. From her udders flowed four rivers of milk which sustained the frost giants and allowed them to live, as the rime from the blocks of ice were like poison to them.

But for her, the rime from the ice was food. She licked the blocks of ice for sustenance. The first day that she did this, she discovered the hair of a man in the block of ice she’d chosen. By the end of the next day, she’d uncovered his entire head. She kept licking the ice the next day, and by the third day, she’d uncovered an entire man!

That man was Buri, and he was the first of the gods. Buri fed from the rivers of milk that Audhumla provided and that fertile milk gifted him with a son named Burr. Burr took Bestla, the frost giant, as his wife, and the two of them gave birth to Odin, Vili, and Ve.

Now, when life emerged in the world of the void, a new fountain sprang up. Mimir, the wisest of the wise, laid claim to it and, to this day, it bears his name. Mimir’s well is said to hold the water of wisdom, a place where all knowledge can be found.

It is into this well that a golden seed fell and from that seed, a great tree grew. That tree was Yggdrasil, the great World Tree. It has three great roots, one that can be found underneath Mimir’s well. Another can be found under the Roaring Kettle, where a dragon named Nidhogg does its best to gnaw through the great tree’s root. The third root of the great tree is found under the Well of Wyrd, where the Norns reside and preside over the fates of men and gods alike.

As the tree grew, more and more worlds came into being in its branches. The great tree serves as a great pillar, keeping the worlds from falling into the world of the void below.

Yggdrasil is a beautiful tree that cannot be seen by human eyes. Its trunk, branches, and roots are all silver-white, and its root-threads, foliage, and fruits are red-gold. It produces apples that the gods eat when they grow old in order to keep themselves young.

Despite its beauty, Yggdrasil suffers greatly from the creatures around it. The dragon that gnaws on one of its major roots is just one of the difficulties it faces. At the very top of it sits an eagle and a squirrel runs between the dragon and the eagle, carrying cruel messages between the two. When the dragon receives a message from the eagle, delivered by the squirrel, it becomes more vicious in its assault on the great tree’s root.

There are many serpents that gnaw on it, never seeming to tire in their pursuit of destruction of the great tree. Four harts run along its trunk, feeding off the foliage at the top of the tree. For all the destruction caused by the animals, there is another difficulty-the trunk of the great tree is slowly rotting. It is said that eventually the dragon that gnaws on its root will be successful at cutting through it and that the great tree will become unbalanced.

But no one knows what will cause the great tree to fall. It cannot be felled by either fire or iron and, while the dragon will someday unbalance it, there is no way to know for sure if that will make the great tree fall.

Why I’m Not A Feminist

Kyra gave me a link to this post http://witchwind.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/piv-is-always-rape-ok/

And I’m just sitting here stunned at the ridiculous nature of it and the comments that follow it.

Let me back up a little, because I think some background information is needed here. Most of the people who know me know how strong-willed and aggressive I am and a lot of them assume that I’m a feminist. I’m not. I actually loathe the very idea of feminism, because it dehumanizes men.

The majority of feminists look at men as obstacles to overcome and claim that women are superior to men. I hate that approach, because in my mind, people are people no matter what gender they happen to be.

That being said, I don’t hate the idea behind feminism, because women do need to have equal rights. I agree with that, but that’s as far as my agreement with feminism goes.

I’d much rather simply be part of the Human Rights campaign (which I am), rather than the Women’s Rights campaign. Because one of those includes all human beings and the other looks at a single part of the human race and says ‘these people are more oppressed, let’s focus on them.’

When the truth is, women are much less oppressed than almost every other minority.

So when I read the article Kyra linked me, I honestly felt disgusted and disturbed that there are people out there who equate any type of PIV intercourse to rape, whether the act is willing or not. Because apparently the entire human race has been brainwashed into believing that PIV intercourse is necessary.

They talk about how women only have vaginas so they can get pregnant and that if they want to get pregnant, they can do so by artificial insemination rather than PIV intercourse.

Yeah, okay. That’s true. But they completely miss the fact that artificial insemination is an expensive process, first of all, and not every woman in the world can afford it.

But the most important thing they miss is the fact that women were born with the body parts nature intended us to have. Men were born with the body parts they were meant to have. Sexual intercourse was designed with reproduction in mind, but if that was all that nature had in mind, it wouldn’t be enjoyable for either party. And, generally speaking, it is enjoyable for both people.

What really gets me though, is that they go on to talk about how men bred women to their standards so that women are thin and beautiful etc. But having lived with a woman with a degree in biology for almost a year, that is an inaccurate statement.

Women outnumber men. We always have, and we always will, because it is nature’s imperative that women choose the men that they feel will give them the best genes for their children. Women are the reason the species continues to evolve, and, in fact, the very reason that the human species exists at all. Without women, childbirth would not happen.

And yet, somehow, every PIV interaction is rape? Men breed women for their own satisfaction?

These people are the reason I’m not a feminist. Because what they do is worse than what they mistakenly believe men do to women. These women dehumanize men. They turn them into monsters and shadows and indulge in delusional fantasies of self-superiority.

But men are no less human than women and to treat them that way speaks volumes. It is disgusting to treat another human being as less than a person and the way these feminists (and I know they are the more radical ones) talk about men shows that they have no respect for other human beings. When you dehumanize a single person, you dehumanize all of humanity.

And that is something that I find reprehensible, and thus, unacceptable.

Reaffirming my Oath to Odin

With today being my birthday, I felt that it was a good night to perform a solitary blot to Odin to renew my oath to him, as he is my patron. I am starting to develop stronger relationships with the other Aesir, but Odin was the one who called me back to my roots.

FOR THOSE WHO DON’T WISH TO READ THIS ENTIRE POST, AS IT IS VERY LONG, SCROLL DOWN TO THE NEXT SET OF BOLDED WORDS FOR THE SHORT VERSION!

It was around two years ago (give or take a little–I’m horrible at keeping track of the passage of time!) when I met a Heathen. At the time, I considered myself pagan but I had no affiliation with any particular path.

During high school, I’d tried the Wiccan path and found it lacking in substance and meaning. All of the trappings of ceremonial magic felt wrong and fake to me. It may be the right for others, but it was the wrong one for me.

To backtrack a little further, I started wandering amongst faiths when I was 12 years old. With that in mind… is it really any wonder that I ended up with the Wanderer as my patron?

I was raised as a Southern Baptist Christian, but I didn’t go to church very often when I was growing up. I only attended during the summer for one week– the “Vacation Bible School” event. And for awhile, I was secure in that faith.

But then I decided one day to attend a Sunday school service for the first time. I was 12 at the time. And they were teaching a passage in the Bible that indicated good deeds were the only necessary thing needed to enjoy an afterlife in heaven.

But that tune quickly changed, because the next passage the teacher turned to on that day contradicted that. It was a passage that stated that only the chosen people would be allowed entry. And then the discussion in the group turned to those of unconventional sexual orientation and non-Christian faiths and I found out very quickly how exclusive Christianity really was.

And it angered me. It angered me to the point that I turned my back completely on the Christian faith that very day. A friend at school said something to me about religion and I told her that I was an atheist and she then told me I was going to hell–which made me angry enough to avoid her for nearly three weeks.

While I avoided her, I met a younger girl (10 or so) in the after-school program who intrigued me because she didn’t salute the flag during the pledge of allegiance. And when I asked her about it, I found out she was a Jehovah’s Witness. Then I started talking to her more and more, because I was fascinated by such a huge difference in beliefs.

People rag on Jehovah’s Witnesses all the time, because they try and spread their faith by going door to door. But there is a lot about Jehovah’s Witnesses I respect (the door-to-door thing is not one of them). I learned that they do not believe in the concept of Hell the way other Christians do–they do not believe in an eternal torment.

And they do not celebrate “Christian” holidays because they are, in fact, not Christian in nature. It was because of the girl I met who was a Jehovah’s Witness who introduced me to the very concept of paganism. Every thing they did was in direct opposition to pagan faiths. She took me to meet her instructor one day and I remember learning that Jehovah’s Witnesses will not participate in any practice that has its origin in pagan culture.

For that, and that alone, they deserve respect. Because they are the only branch of Christianity that I know of that doesn’t attempt to claim the right to holidays that DO NOT belong to them. Christmas, as an example (for the Christian readers I am sure I have) is NOT actually a day to remember the birth of Christ.

Christmas is a STOLEN holiday. The Twelve Days of Christmas? Yeah–those are pagan.  They are the Twelve Days of Yule/Yule Tide which starts on December 20th and ends on December 31st. It was originally a celebration of the Winter Solstice (there’s actually a lot more history there, but I’ll leave that for another day!)

Anyway. I learned how much Jehovah’s Witnesses hated paganism and I started doing research into it. Once I learned what it was, I was hooked. And there are a few reasons for that.

1st) There is no definitive concept of good and evil. That means there is no Satan. No Hell of eternal torment.

2nd)There is no concept of original sin. People aren’t born “bad.”

3rd) People aren’t punished by their gods for seeking knowledge. Adam and Eve story? Yeah. Make a paradise and throw your loyal followers out just because they wanted to be smart. Makes a lot of sense.

4th) It encourages self-exploration, self-evolution, and critical thinking skills.

5th) Inclusiveness. Pagan faiths do not seek to convert others to their way of thinking, but instead allow others to follow their own faiths in peaceful co-existence.

There are a few more reasons, but those are the major ones.

And, like nearly everyone who turns to Paganism, Wicca was the first branch I tried out. I have always been shy when it comes to stuff like that, so I never looked for a coven, just did the solitary thing. And it all always felt wrong. So I decided I’d just be eclectic until something swayed me.

But that doesn’t mean my spiritual journey stopped. Not even remotely.

When I was 18, I was in a very bad car accident. And there was a church sign near the scene that said “In God we put our trust” or something like that. I can’t remember exactly; it was years ago. So I decided that maybe it was a sign or something and started going to church again.

And I still hated everything I heard. People were still exclusive and judgmental. Then I moved to Asheville and attended a 7th-day Adventist church for a few months. They believe some odd things, but the more I went to church, the more conflicted I got.

So I went to the library one day and just prayed for guidance. And I found a book by Neale Donald Walsch called “Conversations with God” which was pretty interesting. Especially because in that book, the “God” there spoke about there being MULTIPLE gods even in the same breath that he said that he was the Christian one.

I know that book angered a lot of Christians because of that implication, but you know what? It was eye-opening for me. Because it allowed me to think of things on a different level. It introduced the concept of polytheistic thinking into my life, and for that, I am thankful.

I continued going to that church for a few more months, no longer conflicted. But I knew I didn’t believe in what they were teaching. I still considered myself pagan. I’d never stopped considering myself pagan. I had just started wondering if I really knew what I needed to know about Christianity and found my answer through that church. Because while I attended it, I read the Bible from cover to cover (though I don’t remember all of it, considering how much is in it).

But I know that, at the most, I can only ever see the Bible as having a few decent moralistic stories woven in amongst all the hypocrisy contained within its pages.

And then I moved back from Asheville to Boone and started working at McDonalds. That’s when I met my first Heathen and he told me what Asatru was and what it was all about. And after one of our conversations, I started having a dream that I didn’t understand. It was one of those repeating dreams–and it’s the only repeating dream I’ve ever had–so I knew it was important.

In the dream, there were three important things: The number 9, triangles, and a longship capsizing with me drowning underneath it. I always woke up when the drowning happened–and in the dream, I was a man.

I talked to Chris, the Heathen from work, about the basic elements of it. I didn’t tell him exactly what it was about, because I was very self-conscious of everything religious at that point in time and didn’t want him to think I was trying to “copy” or “steal” his faith or something inane. I should probably mention the fact that I have ADHD comorbid with General Anxiety, so that never helped with my search for spiritual truths.

Anyway, he told me about the Valknut and the Nine Noble Virtues and I did some research and learned what Asatru was. At the time, I was still taking a martial arts class (I can’t afford it atm or I’d still be going!) and noticed that the symbol for the class was a triangle with an eye in the middle. Yeah… signs were popping up everywhere.

And then… I started reading the Norse myths. And every story I read, I could identify with Odin. All of his actions resounded with me at a very deep level, and it was then that I knew that I had found my calling. And it was scary, because I’d gone from having no idea of where I was heading to suddenly crashing straight into being called.

I’d gone from wandering to having a solid direction and it took me some time to wrap my head around that. But eventually I did, and I swore my life to Odin, because he is my patron. There are other gods that I have started developing relationships with, because I am not a monotheist, and the ones I am currently working with (aside from Odin) are Thor, Tyr, Loki, and Bragi.

I know there’s a dissent in the heathen community about Loki, but Odin kept his company quite often. I think Odin saw in Loki things that other people have difficulty wrapping their minds around. The two of them were great companions and Odin never policed Loki’s actions unless Loki did something dishonorable. And Loki almost always made amends for the wrongs he committed.

But Loki is a topic for another night! This is already a fairly long post.

BACK TO THE ORIGINAL TOPIC:

I did a blot to Odin tonight to reaffirm my oath to him as well as to completely denounce all the trappings of any Abrahamic faith that may have been left in my psyche, as I didn’t renounce Christianity the first time I swore my oath to him.

Before I performed the blot, I spent three hours working on a piece of art –A Valknut surrounded by a full set of the runes–that I burned in our wood stove at the end of the blot. During the blot, I began burning a mulberry wine candle, which is still burning and shall continue to burn until it burns itself out.

Here are the words I spoke to Odin tonight, for all who follow my blog to bear witness:

“Hail Odin, the God of Wisdom and Sacrifice. I offer you the smoke, the light, and the heat from this candle and the art I created in your honor.

For it was you, Valfather, who called me to this path. It was your pain and your sacrifices, echoing down through the generations that allowed me to find my place in this world.

On this day, my 26th birthday, I am hailing you for two very important reasons.

It is on this day that I am renouncing, for once and for all, the trappings of the Christian and Abrahamic faiths.

And it is on this day that I am, once more, swearing my life to you. I will live my life dedicated to your teachings and will follow them to the utmost of my ability.

I will make sacrifices for knowledge and wisdom, for it is the province of thought and logic that you rule that has turned my will to follow you into iron.

I will follow you to the ends of the earth and to the end of time itself. I am forever and always in your service.

I swear this on my honor and on the honor of the generations to come. May my descendants stay ever stalwart to the path leading to Valhalla.

Hail Valfather. Hail forever.”

Day 15: 95285 Words

I technically wrote those 5k words Thursday night–I just didn’t update my Nano word count. My wrist finally recovered, so I did a light day. Today, I haven’t written anything on my novel, because I chose to talk to my dad instead.

Here’s the link to that writing:

http://archiveofourown.org/works/1027300/chapters/2092963

However, I did write a poem at the halfway party, that I am posting below.

We played a game where each person got three slips of paper. On the first, we wrote an ideal. On the second, an adjective and a noun. And on the third, an adjective and a noun (that had to be a container). Then we stuck the papers in three different cups and drew one from each. The line I got from doing that was this:

“Unrequited love is a hairy chimpanzee in a dirty plastic bag.”

The poem that resulted from that line is as follows:

She carries it with her,

the weight of love

he cannot see as he

degrades and humiliates her.

 

Every day, she brings him

lunch and gives him the

homework he bullies her into

doing, though she thinks

she does it out of kindness.

 

Every word he speaks she savors,

stuffing them into the dirty

plastic bag that has stolen

the place her heart used to be.

 

But his words are cruel and

the pain she feels festers like

her skin when the hair on her legs

grows back, yet she ignores it.

 

In spite of his cruelty and

brutal monkey nature,

she cannot help but love him

and he will never see her.

It was an interesting writing exercise. I think that’s the 2nd poem I’ve written this year. Since I started writing fiction, I’ve moved almost completely away from poetry. But I may try and remedy that, because I enjoyed writing the poem.

We’ll see. Anyway…I will hit 100k tomorrow night. And write my article for Bella Online’s anime section. I should know better than to start talking to people when I need to be writing. :p

Day 10: 90344 Words

I wanted to hit 100k tonight, but my wrist says no. I’ll get that 10k tomorrow. I hate that I wrote 18,353 words today, which is a new daily record for me, but I still feel like I failed because I didn’t get to the point I wanted to be at. 

I am trying to be happy, but it’s hard, because I hate not being able to reach the goals I set for myself. The worst of it is that I know I could still reach it, but my wrist would pay the price. And I’ve already had to rub icy hot into it twice today, so putting more strain on it just seems like a bad idea. 

I did manage to break my hourly word count hour and hit 4.6k words. So that’s something, at least. 

Anyway, here’s the link to today’s writing: 

http://archiveofourown.org/works/1027300/chapters/2074921

Day 8: 71991 Words

1911 words today. Definitely my smallest daily amount so far this November, but to be fair, I worked almost 9 hours today and the combined driving time commuting to and from work is 1 hour.

I also had to write an article for BellaOnline, as I am the Anime Editor over there now, and it was due by midnight tonight at the latest. That took another hour. By the time I was finished with that, it was 10:30.

That gave me an hour and a half to write. 1911 is definitely nowhere near my hourly average on a good day, but it’s better than 0! Also, being exhausted does nothing to increase word count. I spent a lot of that hour and a half staring at my screen going “how in the world did I manage to misspell that word?”

I have tomorrow off, though, so I am hoping to make up for missing the Nov. 9th Write-a-thon by using tomorrow in its stead. I want to, at the very least, break my new record of 15k in one day, but I’m aiming for breaking 30k in a day. I’d love to hit 100k by midnight tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes.

Here’s a link to today’s writing: http://archiveofourown.org/works/1027300/chapters/2071846

Day 8: 70080 Words

7487 words today. Still not quite a 10k day, but pretty good!

The last couple nights, I’ve ended in the middle of a chapter. Tonight I actually made it to the end of a chapter before I stopped writing.

Here’s a link to today’s writing: http://archiveofourown.org/works/1027300/chapters/2068529

I just noticed that I didn’t add a link to yesterday’s writing or the day before…but it’s all at the same place, so I’m not going to go back and fix those blog posts.

If I manage even 5k words tomorrow, I’ll be amazed, because I work a long shift from 11:30 to 8, which means I won’t get home until 9 or so. But I don’t work Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday and I’m hoping to pull a couple 15-20k days in that span.