Category: Pagan


Hmm where to start, well the beginning is probably the best place, so here goes. On Friday 2nd May a number of heathens, members of the Kith of Yggdrasil, descended upon the British Museum. It was a Kith outing to the Vikings: Life and Legend exhibition and to a talk given by Professor Neil Price about Magic, Sorcery and the Viking Mind. The talk was free and well worth going to. If you can find you tube videos of it or if the British Museum staff have put it up on the website yet, watch it. It is so interesting and certainly calls into question some of the stereotypes we have of the Vikings.

The talk lasted 40 minutes but I find myself wishing it was longer, Professor Price has obviously researched his subject well and put all the loose ends and snippets of insight we have into Viking beliefs and made sense of it all. Turns out that there is a distinct link between sex and magic as well as between violence and magic, can’t help but chuckle at that. It would also seem that there are a lot of contradictions. Vikings are supposedly one of the most homophobic civilisations to have existed, magic was supposedly the woman’s domain too. However we find that Odin is the master of magic and we find records of male magic users. To be a male magic user was to be ergi, that is unmanly, cowardly, and all sorts of things not stereotypically male, (or as one of the group pointed out…. possibly gay…. and ergi, he thought, roughly meant cock sucker) though we find in the eddas and sagas a lot of incidents of this, Thor dressing up as a bride for a start, not to mention there was a very nice statue on display in the exhibition of Odin, wearing a dress. I wouldn’t be surprised if ergi was just applied to those individuals who didn’t fit the gender binary, this is of course just me speculating.

So the exhibition itself, wonderful items on display, I really enjoyed it. Just a shame that we were being crammed in like sardines. I hate crowds at the best of times, so being hemmed in so closely did not do my nerves any good at all and when you have selfish people pressed up against the glass of the displays so no one else can see it’s infuriating. Why don’t people have any manners or respect for other human beings, also managed to pick a ‘fight’ with some Americans… I’m sorry but if someone who knows nothing about Heathenry or Loki starts slagging him and his followers off I am going to get involved, thankfully these ladies were wonderful people to talk to so it turned into a discussion more than a fight. I am going to have to try and go again so I can spend more time looking at the items and  perhaps go earlier to evade the crowds.

Once we all made it out of the exhibition we had a small sumble outside by the replica longboat… let’s just say the boat also got doused with mead. Had a fun day out and ended up first in Atlantis Bookshop and then a pub called The Plough. I think I need to go on Kith outings more often.

Right it’s now April let’s see how I’m getting on…

1. Still losing weight, not sure how much as my scales are in a box in the parents’ garage. I’ve lost some inches from around my waist, I can tell this from the fact I need a belt to keep my kilt in place now. My sister is also dragging my down to her gym to sign up next week. This should be interesting as I normally hate gyms because I am so self conscious.

2. Smoking cigars again…. Not good. I’ve been so stressed out that I caved and started again. Now to reduce the number all over again.

3. Still doing well on this one, even though I now have more money I barely drink.

4. Still at a dead end, just don’t have the courage to face up to a different GP and run through the gauntlet of questions again. Still no referral and I’m starting to thing they don’t give a shit about me. Might be time to move GP practice. It’s getting to the point where emotionally I think I would rather die than live without transitioning. It’s getting harder and harder to hide my true self behind the mask my mother wants to see. Hiding is slowly but surely killing me inside.

5. Still failing miserably, it’s starting to look like I might be going back to meditating and doing workings in the bath tub. No room for an altar not that I would dare set it up in my parents house.

6. I have no time to myself now. Try as I might I put time aside for me to be me I can’t have me time because everyone else demands my time. At least I am not wasting it web trawling.

Let’s see how things change in a month’s time.

Well this is going to be my new project for the year. A means of getting back in touch with my spiritual side,  which to be perfectly honest, has been neglected for the past two years and I am worse off as a result of that. My aim over the coming year is dedicated one day off to each rune of the Elder Futhark and see what each rune has to teach me. Also to see just how well I learn those lessons. I am probably going to spend a lot of time meditating, a huge challenge in itself for a caffeine addicted fidget like me.

Wish me luck and let us discover what the runes have to say to me.

The following four questions were posed to a group of us on a forum. The idea here stemmed from the original poster in the forum reading a book called The Faery Teachings by Orion Foxwood and an episode of Babylon 5 where Dalen is interrogated. Where each time she is asked who she is, she begins with the simple answer “I am Dalen.” and each time she she punished for giving the “wrong” answer. We were challenged to answer these questions without using “I am…” or “I don’t know” answers.

Over a year has passed since I originally posted  my replies. A year on are my answers still the same or have they changed as I have changed? Time to answer the questions again.

1: Who am I?

At my core I am a sentient being that is  constructed of a number of parts which on their own posses a lesser value than the assembled whole, that describes the what, but how to describe the who.  I am a constantly fluctuating and evolving being in an ever changing world, the who is not a constant, so who I am at this moment is different to who I was yesterday or who I will be tomorrow.

2: What is it (God, creator, force, ect)?

To me all deities, regardless of what name you know them by are all facets of the same divine energy. My concept of where divinity came from starts with the coming together of the fires of Muspellheim and the ice of Niflheim in Ginnungagap, the primordial void. From the melt waters came Ymir, the frost giant and Buri the first god. From Ymir’s form came the first frost giants, from Buri, the gods.

So yes I hold the Norse creation myth close to my heart, to me it makes sense, and I realise that to others it will not make sense, to be fair the beliefs of others baffle me at times, but I have my beliefs and they have theirs. Why can’t we all accept the differences and get along?

I also have a scientific mind and to me it is fine for science and my beliefs to walk hand in hand. I follow the Norse pantheon, though I most certainly revere Loki the most, he is the one I go two when I have problems. Loki is a shape shifting deity, and that strikes a chord in my heart and I can relate to that. I am transitioning from one gender to the other. However holding Loki closest to my heart doesn’t mean that I do not recognize and respect other deities. At the end of the day I see all gods and goddesses as individual facets of the gleaming gem that is divinity.

3: Why am I here/Why do I exist?

I live to learn. I am a book magnet, I love books, I love reading, I love learning. I exist because this is the vessel my soul decided to inhabit for the duration of this lifetime. I am here to expand my knowledge, to live a full life and do my bit to make this world a better place even if it’s something small. This body my soul inhabits is unfortunately a mismatch to the identity of my soul, but there are things that can be done to easy the dysphoria. I am here because of the act that brings all new life forth into the world. Without that none of us would be here.

4: What happens when we die?

I still don’t know, I don’t dwell to much on thoughts of life after death these days, I have been in situations where my realisation of my own mortallity hurts, and I realise just how very fragile life is. I’m spending more time on living life than thinking on what lies beyond the embrace of death.  Whatever will be, will be, though I am pretty damned sure that my body will be reduced down to it’s constituent chemicals over time.

This was the opening prayer delivered by Galina Krasskova at the UN Conference on Women and Indigeny. I want to share it with you all.

Opening Ancestor Prayer

Let us begin our work today by calling upon our ancestors.

Let us call upon the Algonquin, the Wappingers Confederacy and all other Native peoples who walked this land and whom this land remembers.

Let us begin by calling upon the mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers of our lines, all the way back to the time our respective peoples began.

Let us begin by reaching into the past, to the strength and wisdom of our forebears, for guidance as we seek to transform our present.

I call now to our collective ancestors, women and men who laid down their lives, who faced conquest, struggle, potential obliteration , who stood strong and proud so that each of their descendants might have a chance at survival, at life, at continuance. I call to those men and women whose joys and sacrifices, struggles, and successes culminated in each one of us sitting here today. Hear us oh, honored dead.

Those of you who came before us, living lives rooted in your own ancestral ways, be with us here today.  Be with us as we come together in dialogue and peace. Inspire us that from here, buoyed by the strength of our collective passion, our collective words, our collective insights, we might go forth and transform our oh so damaged world. Root us, oh ancestors, in our respective indigeny. Root us in the knowledge that indigeny is about celebrating the dignity of every living being on the planet; indigeny is about recognizing that we are indisputably connected to the earth, the land, and most of all to each other. Oh ancestors let our work today honor that awareness with grace.

Oh our mothers, our fathers, our foremothers, our forefathers all the way back to the time of the beginning, are calling us to action. I know you all hear that call. May our warrior ancestors, who never, EVER went gently into the good night of conquest, who fought and laid down their lives sometimes en masse for the survival of their traditions, our traditions, let us call upon them now. Defiant Ones, Proud and enduring ones, men and women both. Give us the strength to reject that which would poison and corrupt our connections to our ancestors, our Holy powers, the land upon which we live, and each other. Give us the wisdom to know know in our bones that sustainability does not come from disconnected governments and avaricious corporations but from the belly of our ancestors and the traditions they called their own, traditions that are our birthright, our inheritance.

Oh Ancestors, give us the courage to confront privilege—our own most of all—to actively engage with ideas and concepts that may be painful, to  engage with mindfulness, respect, and authenticity.

Most of all, let us never give up, never surrender, never step back from this fight; no matter what hostility or pressure we might face. We too are warriors in a struggle that has spanned generations. Stand with us, oh our beloved dead. Grant us a measure of your strength. We carry the medicine of our ancestors.  Oh Ancestors, hear our vow: no one here will be legislated, educated, starved, murdered, shamed out of existence. We will not allow our traditions—whatever those ancestral traditions might be for here we sit, from all corners of the globe united by a common purpose—to be forgotten. We will not allow the land that cradles the bones of our foremothers and forefathers to be devastated. Many things can be lost or taken by the rushing press of dubious progress, or through the violent devastation of conquest but indigeny is not one of them. It flourishes in each one of us. It is in the soil upon which we walk. It is hidden in our skin and blood and bones, in the connection from parent to child to grandchild and beyond. Oh our mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, help us stay consciously rooted in that knowledge.

May we hold strong. May our ancestors sustain us.

It will take both sides, living and dead, to right the balance of this world.

May we hold strong and never bow our heads in fear.

We are each our ancestral lines walking. The time is now and I call upon our ancestors: give us ears to hear and eyes to see and the courage to go fearlessly wherever we must go, to do whatever we must do, to protect and heal our broken world.

With the blessing of the ancestors—all of our collective and honored dead—may we be given strength and may we always remember: we do not do this work alone. We are our ancestral lines walking. We come with nations of our ancestors at our back. May they be honored. May they be hailed. May they be remembered. May they inspire us.

Well this blog post is rather late, but better late than never. Before I go into my post this is the event I was at, or rather this is the website for the two events these wonderful people run

http://www.paganfuturefests.org.uk/

So back on the 22st of April I was involved in the festival. Nothing quite like hauling your butt across London to get to Balham for I can’t remember what time in the morning to set up. Thankfully the tube was behaving itself for once (at least on the lines I needed to use) which made a welcome change. So most of The set up I barely recall due to a marked lack of caffeine in my system. I can’t actually function without a coffee in the morning, I’ve got a caffeine addiction, though it’s not as bad as it used to be. I remember hauling tables and hanging up signs. Both my fiance and I were given “Gofer” t-shirts, guess what we were doing “Go fer this, Go fer that”. Gets me free entry and keeps me on my toes so I’m not going to complain about that. The stall we were sort of looking after when we weren’t running around was a little stall selling items that the organizers and gofers made for the event I had a few hand painted boxes and hand made catnip toys. The catnip toys were made from some left over cotton drill, polyester fluff,  a pair of well worn, well loved bolt blu jeans and the joke birthday present I got from a  friend one year – a massive bag of catnip. I think the gift was more for my cat than me but hey, who cares my cat liked the prototype toy. Given he’s a vicious little bastard at times I’m so glad the bodged up prototype is still intact. I didn’t sell a single one of my toys or boxes so I stuck a box into the raffle, I didn’t see who got it but I hope it’s gone to a good home where it will be looked after and enjoyed.

So back to setting up and stuff, the opening ritual despite running late went off without a hitch. Though to be fair it’s not a proper pagan festival if things don’t run late! (Thank you Loki for keeping us on our toes all day!) I’ve honestly forgotten all the stalls that were up there apart from Treadwells because my friends were running it, Liminal Threads, again because a friend runs it, Scorch’s Pyrography… all those pretty pretty dragons and there was one selling beeswax candles and other goodies, I was constantly hovering around that stall because I love the smell of beeswax, they had some awesome smelling magikal salts too, argh it’s frustrating that I can’t remember their name other than it was something with wolf in it, Lamenting Wolf or something like that.

Hmm so other than gofering what else did I get involved in, let me see… ah yes, the Drum Out, how could I possibly forget -laughs- I led it at the Samhain event last year because the leader or the Dragon Drummers had taken ill, but this time around he was back on his feet (Thank Gawd!). It’s nerve wracking taking the lead and setting the pace, enjoyable but I prefer to have the pace set and then I act as the one who maintains the beat while the others indulge in drum fuckery and deliberately try to throw me and the other drummers of, its great fun and raises so much energy in the place. Got some lovely blisters too, though they have healed up now and left me callouses instead. I need to drum more often to toughen up my hands again, being a student has made the skin soften up.

The real fun started in the evening, after the stalls had been packed away. By this point I had consumed a rather large amount of mead, mostly home brewed mead crafted by other Heathens. I was bouncy and away with the fairies, not complaining though, I had a blast and did make it home in once piece later that evening. I think the highlight of the evening for me was Inkubus Sukkubus performing. I’m a big fan of this group, they formed their band when I was just three years old so they’ve been performing for a long time. I bought their two most recent albums and got them signed so I now have all their albums and all of them are signed. Just missing the Supernature vinyl but I’m not sure if I would want it because I have no means of storing it safely! While Inkubus Sukkubus performed all the drummers came out of the wood work and we had a great time. The real icing on the cake was Inkubus Sukkubus inviting the drummers up on stage to drum with them, I had so much fun and I love that we were invited up. You would never ever see something like that happen at a big gig, only at small intimate venues like this one and hell that experience will be with me for the rest of my life. I sure hope they are invited back for the Samhain event in October.

The Sundered Kin

Someone posted up this poem on a forum I belong to, I thought I would share it with you all.

The Sundered Kin

We walked together all unknowing
Beneath the lights burning cold
Sky was lost the night was stolen
We sought our way to the sundered kin

One found his way beneath the hammer,
Found himself on the path of Thor
He learned to laugh to craft and battle
He’s not among the lost no more

One found her way to the honey goddess
Learned of magic and of love
Freya taught her fire’s passion
She won’t be out in the cold no more

We were walking those remaining
On the streets so dark and grey
There were so many strangers shouting
To stop our search for the sundered kin

One found the one armed warrior
Found the iron law of Tyr
Found what it means to live your honour
He can be lead astray no more

One found herself before the hearth fire
Found Mother Frigga waiting there
Taught her patience, craft and wisdom
Her children will be lost no more

We met again beside the fire
Strong and proud we told our tales
Followed paths across the nine-worlds
And forged again our sundered kin

The high one laughs and soars above us
Eight hooves pounding on the wind
His folk are gathered all together
Never will be sundered again

John T Mainer

Four Questions

The following four questions were posed to a group of us on a forum. The idea here stemmed from the original poster in the forum reading a book called The Faery Teachings by Orion Foxwood and an episode of Babylon 5 where Dalen is interrogated. Where each time she is asked who she is, she begins with the simple answer “I am Dalen.” and each time she she punished for giving the “wrong” answer. We were challenged to answer these questions without using “I am…” or “I don’t know” answers.

1: Who am I?

I am constructed of a number of parts which on their own posses a lesser value than the assembled whole, that describes what I am but who am I? My parents call me one name, others by varying other names, you the anonymous reader know me as Vox, but how can a name define who a person is? A name is just a label of sorts applied to a sentient being to differentiate one from another. Can a name given to you by another truly describe who I am? I think not. I can sum up the aspects of what makes me who I am but that’s only part of the story. I am transgendered, I am bisexual, I am Heathen, but there will be those out there who will call me a liar and not believe me when I say this. Perhaps because they are blinkered and close minded perhaps now, they do say ignorant is bliss. I think however that at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how I describe myself or say what I am, other people have already formed their own decisions as to what I am and that may or may not match what I say I am. I am a constantly fluctuating and evolving being in an ever changing world. That is the best description I can come up with at the moment.

2: What is it (God, creator, force, ect)?

To me all deities, regardless of what name you know them by are all facets of the same divine energy. To me my concept of where divinity came from starts with the coming together of the fires of Muspellheim and the ice of Niflheim in Ginnungagap, the primordial void. From the melt waters came Ymir, the frost giant and Buri the first god. From Ymir form came the first frost giants, from Buri, the gods. So yes I hold the Norse creation myth close to my heart, to me it makes sense, and yes to others it may not. I also have a scientific mind and to me it is fine for science and my beliefs to walk hand in hand. I follow the Norse pantheon, though I hold the god Loki closest to my heart. However that doesn’t mean that I do not recognize and respect other deities. As already mentioned, at the end of the day I see all gods and goddesses as individual facets of the gleaming gem that is divinity.

3: Why am I here/Why do I exist?

I am here to learn what this life has to teach me and add to the knowledge my soul has gained over it’s various incarnations. I exist because this is the vessel my soul decided to inhabit for the duration of this lifetime. I am here to expand my knowledge, to live a full life and do my bit to make this world a better place even if it’s something small like picking up the litter that gets left outside my front door by the drunken idiots that get turned out of the pubs every night or indulging in some “guerilla gardening”. If you are not familiar with the term look it up. To stop and explain will detract from the question in hand. This body of mine, despite being a mismatch to the identity of my soul is here because of the act that brings all new life forth into the world. Without that none of us would be here.

4: What happens when we die?

I am still pondering what the answer to this question would be. The only people who can verify what lies beyond death are those who have died. Trying to speak with the dead is not an idea I entertain, the dead have passed on, leave them to what ever lies beyond the veil in peace. According to the Eddas and the Sagas if I die in combat I will be spirited away by a Valkyrie to Folkvang or Valhalla. If I die a natural death then I will go to Helheim and await Ragnarok. To me there is more than that and considering Snorri Sturelson put the Eddas to paper when Christianity was sweeping through Europe I can’t help but wonder if the Eddas originally said something else. I have no proof so I can only speculate. What I believe will happen to me when I die is that I will pass into the afterlife and spend time reflecting upon what lessons I have learned in this life, and once my soul has spent enough time reflecting I believe I will be born into a new body and start all over again, to learn more lessons from life and try in my own way to become a little closer to and more at one with the world I live in and in my own way make the world a little better for everyone.

Ask me these questions again in a year’s time and you will probably get four different answers.

You may think this is a very strange title for a blog post but there is reason behind the randomness.

On 23rd of January this year we all know that it was the new moon and the Chinese new year. The lunar year we move into is the year of the water dragon. A few days prior to this there was a massive coronal emission from the sun, a solar flare so large that the Aurora Borealis could be seen as far south as Southern Yorkshire and on the following night, the Tuesday if you were lucky enough to see a parting in the clouds, the Northern Lights could be seen over London, though the lights were dim. Now you have the reason for the title of this blog post.

So what does this all mean? Well other than the highly unusual occurrence that the Northern Lights could been seen in London, you can make what you want of it. Though I have my own spiritual perspective on the event.

The new moon as we all know is the start of the new lunar cycle so, in itself to me it signifies a new beginning, a chance to set something in motion that will grow and bloom as time passes. The same idea with the turn of the new year. Time to turn over a new leaf and start something new. Dragons hold a special significance to me, something on a deeply personal level. I’m hoping that as this is the year of the dragon I will get done what needs to be done and get to the goals I have set for myself, especially in the terms of educational goals. I need to pass my A-levels and get my rump back to university.

As for the Northern Lights themselves, in Norse Myth they described as the light reflecting off the shields of the Valkyries as they travel to and from Valhalla, and on the whole they are seen as a sign of good luck.

Only time will tell what the year of the water dragon holds for me. We shall see how things work out.