I’m in what I think are the very early stages of some major changes in my practice, moving into the early stages (well, I think I’ve been through some preparatory stuff already, but. . . ) of the other big part of my spiritual life – and a much busier summer than I was expecting even when I noticed some major changes and upticks in activity a couple weeks ago. For the first time, though I feel both that I am clearly in water WAY over my head, but I don’t feel like I’m just floundering around flailing helplessly and hoping to not get dragged under, I think I can actually dogpaddle and keep afloat even if I still have no fucking idea which way we’re all really going.
Since the last update, I have drafted and saved several posts that may never see the light of day here, which on one hand may be a good thing, but on the other hand is a frustrating thing, because part of me really hates leaving long gaps; it becomes too difficult, later on, to convey “what has happened,” and “what has happened that I haven’t written” is important to the most recent things, so I feel continually frustrated that I can never fully convey the importance or intensity of damn near anything. (And what is the point of communicating if some of the most important points cannot be conveyed? (Why keep this blog at all? Partly to keep a small number of people I know informed about what’s going on in this part of my life in ways that Facebook is fucking AWFUL about, and which would be lost and gone forever on Tumblr (because I post a lot of more trivial shit there) and partly in the hopes that some of this may find resonance with other people, and either I will find others to discuss things –with-, or that it might end up being helpful to others in some way.)
Ironically, one of the posts I keep thinking about writing, and never have – and never will, now the times have passed – has been “so here are some big changes that have happened recently,” because there have been several times in the last 6-7 months I could have done that and covered some major things, both in the mundane world and the spiritual.
But anyway, I have always known I’m a terrible diarist, and my work schedule hasn’t helped with the desires I’ve had to write (or with finishing the work on the oh-too-many drafts I have sitting idle).
Life has been . . . eventful. So this is going to be lengthy.
After the big breakthrough/breakdown earlier this spring, I found myself having to take some time away from most of the internet (Loki really gently told me to step away, I don’t think I’d have been smart enough on my own), because a few things happened in some of the places I spend time that were so deeply upsetting while I was still dealing with the breakdown that I really couldn’t cope. They too-neatly replicated some of the shit my ex did. That reaction was kind of a novel experience; I’ve always felt pretty resilient, pretty tough, able to shrug off any kind of altercation, be unaffected by it. Not right then! In retrospect, it is not surprising.
It took a few weeks to really feel recovered; I felt quite fragile, emotionally, and literally physically weak for 2-3 weeks. None of the bloody books I’d read about healing from abuse talked about that kind of thing. (I have since then had a couple other episodes of, well, I guess they’ve actually been panic attacks, due to seeing the same kind of behavior again – though it’s not the direct behavior that is the major problem, but the panic that sets in when I start to think about talking to anyone about it in a way that might lead to it ending. … One of my unpublished posts is about that, but if I even get close to thinking about bringing it up, my body vehemently votes AGAINST that – and then I got advice from one of Them to NOT do anything confrontational, but to focus on helping the terrified part of me feel safe and cared for.)
During that, I got some divination that terrified me and then gave me the most incredible hope and optimism and is probably responsible for pushing me on to the big changes, which in short is that I finally agreed to accept that something I’ve been told about for at least 18 months seems to be a really true actual thing in my life. And it is a major part of my spiritual path; the /other/ path, I suppose is one way to put it, the one that isn’t directly about my relationship with Loki, though it will undoubtedly impact it. (I know He’s certainly involved with this piece, too, but. ANYWAY.)
After that, after I’d pretty well recovered from the emotional WHOMP of the breakdown, in early June, I had one of the most intense encounters with Loki I had ever had, and that left me in a very odd state for several days while it sorted out. Or, well, stabilized. Or rather, until I felt stabilized. (You know when you have an emotionally intense dream, and some of that lingers for hours after you wake? It was like that, only the disjointed, not-real/too-real feeling lasted for DAYS, and it wasn’t a dream, and.) There are things there about Him, and me, and us, that I am still sorting out; I think I will be for a while. The encounter was intense not only because it was seeing a side of Him I have never dealt with like that before (and never so heavily), I also realized I was also dealing with a part of me I hadn’t been quite as aware of, either (a part of me I am really glad IS there, that I am now more consciously in touch with). I am glad, in a fashion, for having this experience, but I would wish for a reality in which the circumstances which lead to it being possible had not happened.
Then Angrboda made a couple of fairly impactful appearances, one seemingly in response to the above (which I was vaguely confused by for various reasons – and then given some much more recent things, has some added weight to it I did not see then). The second time, She was really around for several hours, which was really odd, in that I am not used to feeling Anyone else other than Loki just around like that, and communication flowed eerily easily (as it seems to when Someone is especially strongly present). I’ve known for close to 2 years that at some point, my relationship with Her would deepen, and that seems to be starting.
And my relationships with Ran and a coastal spirit have intensified; I have also known a while that things with Ran were going to be intense at some point. (Nothing predicted the land spirits, though there’s been stuff about “the land” since the beginning. OOoooo foreshadowing.)
. . . I knew the summer was going to be intense, and all of that would have been enough, but it’s um. Well. Surpassed my expectations already.
Circling back a bit: While my initial recovery-from-breakdown was going on, and I asked someone for some general divination, it was, what did my gods want me to do now? which I’d been meaning to ask for a while, and then when I thought my relationship with Loki had been completely altered, well, I had no damn idea what would be next. Fortunately, the diviner’s schedule was such that it was several days before I got an answer, so I didn’t really have to ask about that particular change.
Part of the answer that came back was quite honestly the most terrifying thing I had ever gotten as a message from Them. I read it, and had to get up and leave the room and laugh hysterically for several minutes because are you fucking kidding me? That’s huge. The first step, the message said, was that I needed to claim/reclaim my power. The gods, They don’t ask much.
(I have had a sense that the last 2 years were primarily “getting the mortal stable and healthy so that the real work can begin;” this just kind of . . . punched me in the mind with the reality of that.)
The other, slightly less terrifying message, was that I needed to identify what brings me joy, and go for that, and that would lead me to what They want me to do.
There was plenty more – it was a really loaded divination – but those were 2 of the biggest most appalling messages.
I had no idea what I was supposed to do, how to figure out what my “joy” is – I skimmed mentally over several things that kinda-sorta have been big deals in the past, but none of them quite clicked right. Between my emotional state from the other recent emotional impacts, and the heaviness of these messages, I was kind of messed up anyway.
It was while I was doing laundry later on that I clicked on something, something I thought They’d been guiding me to once, that later I’d felt like maybe was just a tease or a temporary to-do item as part of a larger training exercise – something that I had felt really devastated about when I felt like it was only a training exercise, and not “real” in any bigger picture kind of way, because it really meant a lot to me, that I was being shown this, even if only in a small way, because that was it, that was the thing. I had a really remarkable kind of laughing/crying meltdown while tossing wet clothes into the dryer, whispering to Loki, “That, that’s what I want, You mean, I can do that?? Really really?? Because that’s what I want to do,” and I got encouragement back, and that was just too wonderful.
And part of me was still worried that this was another trick or trap, that once again, I’d be shown something I wanted, and then be turned around away from it, something I only believed was true because I wanted it to be true, lesson in being careful about trusting your senses and expectations and things . . . except I couldn’t buy into that fear this time, because the divination said “go for the thing,” and it was wonderful, to suddenly see “claim your power” and “go after what brings you joy” as not a too-big task, something I couldn’t hope to ever achieve, but as permission, as encouragement, to go after something that I first set eyes on something like 15 years ago – and almost immediately set aside as “too big and too idealistic.” Circling around to the beginning.
I said I want to be a healer, I want to learn to heal the land. That was it, that was the thing that in part sent me haring off after architecture, because sustainable design = good for the biosphere, and all along I knew architecture was not quite right, it was close, just not quite the thing that would really bring me fulfillment, but I had to do something – and I eyed the landscape architecture studios wistfully while knowing that wasn’t right, either, it was even more wrong than architecture in some way (too abstract; too much like art). I got really into studying green roofs, though, and very excited about the potential for not just sustainable design, but regenerative design, design that would do more than hold steady state – and felt frustrated by seeing so little of that in architecture. Permaculture, more agriculturally-oriented work, seemed to be the only place regenerative design was being done, and that – that was not what I felt pulled to, either.
—You know, I told Them, two summers ago, and I knew it was dangerous to put it this way, but I was at my wits’ end, having spent almost 5 years failing to find work in the architecture field, “I don’t know what to do. If there’s something else You want me to do – show me, I’ll do it,” and I outlined my various motives and desires behind the architecture pursuit. And since then, They’ve all pushed the “landscape” notion, and it’s become much more clear over the last year that “landscape restoration” is the direction to head (and that there is a component heavily like this on the spirit side has become more and more clear, and that the two are somehow connected . . . ) and if that’s not “healing the land” then I don’t know what is. Mundanely speaking, anyway.
I repeated that desire in front of all the altars the next Saturday, because what better way to declare my intentions, tell all of Them I’d received the message, and I was ready to get on with it, find out where They wanted me to end up. Wait and see where it leads. It will likely take some time, right?
I had similar conversations with Ran and with the coastal spirit. This is what I want to do, will you help me learn it? The coastal spirit agreed (I’ve been under the impression I got introduced to him for some sort of educational purpose all along). And Ran said, “Serve Me a while, and I will help you.” So She has time with me once a week, but I still don’t know what all of that will entail, really. Not only do I have few details, but She’s kind of hard to read. Where Loki is often indirect or confusing, Ran just feels kind of . . . opaque. Vague and mysterious.
So things were going along okay, looked to be a busy summer what with Ran and Angrboda indicating They were going to want more of my time.
Then I went out to a park a couple weekends ago, and the local spirit there got my attention, and called me “queen” and “my lady,” and asked for something, and when I balked a bit, told me, in a kind of mildly bewildered way, “It’s your job. Loki told me,” and when I made indignant sounds about that and dared Him to show His face – He did. And backed up the land spirit. I did not agree on the spot, because I was being responsible and all that, but I told the spirit that if his/her (the spirit took male form, but offered at one point to be female, if I preferred that) story checked out, then on my next visit, I’d do it. I wanted to do some divination first, verify it was a good idea, I wasn’t dealing with some imposter, etc.
Then the next day, Loki got my attention, and said He needed me to trust Him on this. That it was true. What the spirit said, what Loki had said. And that I needed to trust my instincts here, too – did I think what the spirit said was true? Did I think it was actually the land spirit there? Well – yes.
I complained that this was not the first time some spirit had called me that, but have I ever gotten the omens I have been asking for for the last year? I have not.
This has been actually been happening for over 18 months; for the first 6 months, I simply trusted it. Then after Loki showed me that a few other things I’d believed were not true, they were all “ruses” of His, I filed the whole “queenship” thing in the “ruse” bin with the rest . . . but I was kind of nervous about doing so, suspicious that parts of that whole thing – He gave me a great many details at one point, about what it would involve – would start coming true no matter what I believed. And one or two things did seem to line up, but. Not enough to accept the label, despite it coming up again and again. I alternated between, “I am only hearing this because I got it stuck in my head,” and snarkily “if it’s true, where’s my crown?? I WANT OMENS,” and “Please stop. saying. that. I bought into it once, I learned my lesson, I’m not falling for it again, if it’s really true, it will be OBVIOUS and You won’t have to keep SAYING IT.”
Well, I had to agree now, given everything that had been happening, it all fit a pattern that had been building up over time: the connections with the spirits-of-place and the local spirits, the whole “restoration” thing, the healing thing, the sense of getting into some kind of stewardship/caretaking . . . I didn’t really have any objections to what the spirit had requested, either, not any major ones, nor any sense that I was being deceived. And worst case, even if turned out it some other random spirit, and not the land spirit there, well, I might feel a little embarrassed, but. I could live with that. I did have some particular safety concerns; Loki simply said He would protect me.
I ran out of objections. I spent some time feeling quietly sullen and wishing to non-harmfully beat on something to release a lot of frustration with the whole trust issue, but I knew it was just a delaying tactic, and so I agreed. I knew I would. I knew He knew I would. But I felt obligated in some perverse way to put up some resistance, rather than just instantly agree. I said I’d trust Him on it. Which also meant agreeing that the bigger picture that this was about also appears to be true, because, pattern over time . . .
Then I got a bunch of confirmatory omens. (Still no crown. I said it in a joking way, mind, because I figured it would be a nice obvious symbol, but I am afraid He is going to troll me terribly hard with this someday.)
He did some energetically intense things later on as a result. I don’t know what, really; I rarely do. It’s frustrating, knowing I’m being altered or rewired or upgraded, and almost never being able to see/feel/sense what has been done. (There has been A LOT of that in the last couple months, from various deities. I know the intent behind some of it, and I am starting to see some of the impact. This is . . . terrifying. I’m also excited about it, but really noticing that I am being changed and altered is frightening.)
Then the next time I tended altars, when I got all finished, I felt this rather intense sense like Everyone was watching, and someone (the Ancestors, it felt like), asked me what was going on. I pretty immediately knew what the most important topic was, so I told them that I agreed that this notion that I was some sort of sacred queen seemed to be true.
They asked, “Do you accept?”
Um . . . Kind of thought I already had . . . (Why am I being put on the spot now? shit)
“Do you accept?”
What. Without knowing all the details?! . . .
I couldn’t say no. (I did say I wasn’t about to swear any oaths.) So, I said I did. What else could I do?
They said some other things that amounted to a pretty serious acknowledgement of my role, of my acceptance of it. It was brief and I don’t understand it all (to say the least) and it was unnerving. But I could no more have said no, or even delayed longer in giving an answer, than I could tell Loki to put our vows off until a more socially-acceptable number of months had passed.
I’ve realized that several things Loki told me last spring, that I ended up believing were just part of a discernment training exercise, part of one of His ruses – they held a lot of actual truth and relevance to my life in them. So I will undoubtedly be circling back to pages and pages of notes and advice from last spring.
I’ve also had some really remarkable and unexpected horrid breakdowns since then. It’s hit a number of buttons I wouldn’t have expected it to hit. And I’m probably not done with that, since these are long-standing issues.
I’ve questioned my ability to be a good wife in the face of having this heavy responsibility, because I know how I have tended to prioritize “responsibility” over “relationships;” I’ve had horrible crying fits over understanding that the role of “housewife and mother” is not for me (a part of my life, perhaps, in some ways, but not the big thing, not the/a role I am suited to focus intensely on . . . deep emotional issues do not care that I have known for many years I am never going to have children (I’m infertile, and now getting close to 40 anyway), and that I have no desire for a mortal partner), it’s pushed my fear of abandonment button from a funny direction: it’s not that I fear being abandoned, but that I fear I will be the one to ‘leave;’ and caused me to doubt my devotion (is real; is real enough; is strong enough; etc.); I’ve dealt again with knowing that no matter how much I might wish it was otherwise, being oriented towards “people and interpersonal relationships” is not how I’m wired, that no matter how deeply I treasure my friendships and marriage, that I could never find really deep fulfillment in those alone, I have to have something outside the interpersonal sphere. It made me glad that getting a devotional tattoo for Loki had happened recently, because if I need proof I am willing to commit, well, I can’t escape this symbol etched into my chest.
I don’t doubt Loki’s commitment to me; I don’t think He’ll bail if I have to attend to these things and it gets in the way of time I might have spent with Him – He can’t have been ignorant that this was all coming, He’s been slowly stepping me this way all along, and I know that if He WANTS my attention, I literally cannot ignore Him (remain planted on my ass and not move, sure? but commit neglect through ‘not hearing’ a request, or not noticing my partner is missing me? ha; if He wants to let me know something, I am positive I will).
But I thought it would just be my for-pay job, you see, where I found that kind of outside-the-home fulfillment, and I’d have a nice quiet happy domestic life outside of that. Which I do, and I treasure that immensely, and suddenly I was terrified I might be willing to sacrifice some of that. That I would let this other thing eclipse my relationship with, my love for, Loki.
I thought my other Job (because I’ve known for a while I had one in addition to “mortal spouse”) was just going to be a job. Something I would care about and find meaning in, but not. Not this. It’s not just a job, it feels like it is literally part of me, of who I am. And the connections I have felt with so many of the spirits around here, I have felt in a way I have not felt with most of the deities in my life. The connection I feel with the land here – when I moved back, last spring, moved back home, I felt like one way to describe how it feels is that the place is a part of my soul, or that I’m a part of its, or something – I have loved other places, but this is different.
I thought it would just be a Job; an important one, a role. Responsibilities and duties. Which I don’t object to – I rather like having them.
I didn’t expect the love. I didn’t expect to find the land spirits so easy to love, to instantly feel fondness and affection and concern for them. I didn’t expect to feel such strong bonds, that after accepting that I have this “queen” role/position/responsibility, that I would feel so intensely about it. Or that my heart would so quickly and instantly say “yes, of course” to things that my rational, normal-conscious mind says “hey wait, what are we doing??” about.
And that combination, of duty and love, is extremely powerful, and I am not sure how to handle that. To balance that with the at-times overwhelming love I feel for Loki (I would have clawed through reality back in June to get to Him, if that were possible; if I were put back there again, I’d feel the same way . . . I still have some of that feeling even now, it’s just way in the background). But I feel less duty there; He asks for so little; and He’s never given the impression that our role has a Master/servant (Boss/employee, whatever) component to it. I know I do not “serve” Him in any sort of formal capacity, and I know there’s nothing wrong with an intimate relationship being just that and not also Boss/servant – but I know me, and I fear how I might prioritize personal relationships when I have responsibilities “out in the world” I really really care about, and that has always made me feel like an inferior human being, prioritizing other things over “people.” Some of that, I know, is that I’m an introvert, and some is that making a difference out in the world is something I need to do, that focus purely in the domestic sphere wouldn’t be enough for me, no matter how appealing it is. And it also feels – indulgent, in a way, selfish, to want to spend more time with Someone I love, than to spend it doing things for other people. It also trips the “you need to focus on your responsibilities and stop being selfish” buttons and quietly convinces me that it’s wrong to want to focus on the personal and private when there are bigger issues at stake. It is difficult to sort out what parts of ‘service to the bigger picture’ truly comes from my desires, and what comes from cultural pressures about those.
It’s not that I feel like I’m failing at being a woman in having needs to focus on not-just-the-home, I was never raised to believe I had to fit into any traditional gender roles to be a woman, it’s more like I feel like I’m failing at being human. I already cannot relate to other people who are parents, and I can no longer easily relate to people who have mortal marriages and partnerships. And like I said previously, I’ve long felt like an outsider, and bad at being human, for not caring as much as other people seem to about the importance of . . . other people in their lives (friends, close and extended family, etc.). For not finding the deepest meaning in my life through my personal relationships, like I know some people do, like I see all these motivational uplifting articles and quotes about.
But of course I have no idea yet how much time I will need to spend in this role, or what all of my responsibilities will be. So rationally, I know I’ve probably been more worried than the situation warrants. I know I am having a lot of emotional reactions to things that haven’t actually happened, to apparent conflicts that haven’t actually come up, that perhaps I am (again) letting fears of potential things (and long-standing anxieties related to “not doing human right”) be more “real” than what is actually real, but I since I don’t know how things really are, I’m at something of a loss.
Loki has been very comforting through this; I have gotten numerous reminders of both His love for me, and – through some of those – reminders that my love for Him hasn’t changed, it’s still there, still very strong, still motivating some very significant things. And so I feel much more stable with this than I did a few days ago, though for obvious reasons I still feel a bit unsteady. He and other Powers have been clear that He will be guiding me in this, even if He’s not “in charge” of the Work. So that’s probably going to be a bit of a change in the dynamic – while He’s always had a lot of self-improvement things He’s had me work on, this feels a bit different from that.
I am still trying to find my feet, and I don’t know what direction things are going. While I’ve gotten little bits of info here and there over the last year or so, and some preliminary training, it’s all been like, sample bites, to hint at what some parts of the main course might involve.
I don’t know how big a deal this is going to be. I know it’s very important to a bunch of Others beyond the spirits I am directly working for/with – the Ancestors, when I gave them an update on some things I did yesterday, were extremely happy with the heart-based choice I made, the commitment that lead to – and I know I have some excellent support from many directions (primarily Loki, who is my primary guide and emotional support here in a lot of ways, but also the Ancestors, and my other Teachers and Family).
But I feel like I’m walking into the unknown in a much bigger way than I ever have before in the last 2 years. I had a number of godspouse/consort blogs to read 2 years ago, that helped me understand what I might be getting into, a bit, with Loki. I’ve found a few writings about sacred queenship – but very few, and very little of that that seems like it terrible relevant to what I know of my particular case. I don’t even know who all the other spirits are yet, or how large a region I will need to be connected with.
I did some divination at the beginning of the year, to try and get a sense of what was coming my way. The forecast for the 3rd quarter of the year came across to me as a “You will be leveling up! It will be a time of awesome fun learning! Yay!!” kind of thing.
The cards. They were not fucking around. And it’s only halfway through July.
Ridiculous hangups and nerves about being altered and about not knowing a damn thing about what’s going on aside, I’m looking forward to it. It feels like it’s about damn time.