no rest for the wicked?

Aiiiiiiiiiii, you would think being a devotee to a god of wildfire and change and all these things, maybe I should just give up on the blog thing. Or maybe it’s just not my year.

 Hey, Lin, Astrid, whatever you’re calling yourself these days — maybe this year is just your annus horribilus. 

Because one awful thing after a fucking other — broken relationships, new relationships, estrangements, some couch surfing, heavy debts, even more illnesses, world-breakings of my own. I honestly don’t know where to begin. I don’t. I honestly don’t. 

But here I am. I’m still standing. We’re a little halfway through the year, it’s Loki’s month again, and here I am. Things have calmed down just slightly, and you know what? After having gone through so much fucking exhausting crap, kittens, I think I’m going to be okay. No rest for the wicked and all.

 

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update/i have a mentor now!

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Good morning, lovelies! It’s at least morning here in my neck of the woods, and sunny for once instead of cold and wet and rainy. I have some real things to share with you all for once:

First off, a name change! Previously in pagan circles, mostly on Tumblr, I’ve gone primarily as Lin Odinsdottir. For highly personal reasons, the main one I’m willing to divulge being my favorite translation of the name is “divine strength” and after a lot of what I’ve been through in my life (see: my mundane life is also a hot mess), I’m dropping “Lin” and using “Astrid” instead. I’ve been giving this some thought for a while now. The rest – well, any other pieces will come together as they see fit.

Second of all, I officially have a mentor who I will see soon as soon her leg heals up 🙂 We actually live pretty close by to each other, thankfully, and Loki’s poked both of us independently and pushed us towards each other before. (She’s a good resource and actually runs the Temple of the Flea site which, if you haven’t been there before, I highly recommend you check out.) First on my list is establishing a relationship with the runes – not explicitly for divination, if that comes along and they let me, that’s great, I just want to start getting to know them if they will let me – but most importantly, she is helping me establish a solid relationship with my ancestors. And honestly, I appreciate that. On my own, that’s something I’ve been focusing on and sort of floundering with. It’s also very important to me. I’ll be learning some concepts from ifa because we really have no idea what the ancient heathens did – this will be very fascinating because the African lineage is unbroken and the concepts are basically tested by thousands of years! I’m very excited to learn about that.

It’s also nice to know that I’m not totally batshit.

Most importantly, I’m excited to be getting back into heathen-y things again, but to have a mentor I trust to make sure I’m not doing anything stupid. I’ll be sharing what I can, my thoughts, the usual bad poetry (lol).

Been busy, especially since recent family drama went down and I took my brother in. It’s been at least two weeks since we went no contact. My brother is entertaining the idea of reading up about Norse religion. I am trying hard not to get too excited and am steering him towards Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism — the other major religions — first so he can learn and broaden his mind like I did, which he’s also interested in doing. He just got out of a batshit Christian cult. He’s got plenty of world to taste and explore.

I broke down and downloaded the mobile app for my phone because I’m hardly by a computer for writing anymore. Any writing I do these days is on paper. I don’t like to spend my time indoors.

Hopefully real posts soon.

the storm: family, disownment

How does getting disowned for the third time (by extension and association) feel? Pretty drunk and very high.

My little brother got kicked out tonight for denouncing the Iglesia ni Cristo cult faith we both grew up with. He texted me; my phone was on vibrate but luckily I got to my phone in time and called him to make sure he was okay. He was in tears. My brother does not cry, ever, not now in his adulthood – when we were children, yes, and the tears were plenty, but not now that we are both considered adults. I threw on my coat and reached for the keys. Eric got up from the couch, offering to go with, but I shooed him away. No, not this time. This is family business, and it could get ugly. No, I know for a fact it’s going to get ugly; I won’t let you get involved in this.

I drive to my parents’ house, fighting back the angry tears that threaten to fall. I notice that the radio is muted; I push the knob in and crank up the volume. Anything for a distraction. I am reminded of another night just like this six years ago, another stark rain-filled night, and not for the first time, I feel as if history repeats itself.

I pull into their driveway and kill the engine. The front door swings open. I see my brother’s tear-streaked face, so fucking young but at the same time so fucking old with the weight of all this shoved on his scrawny shoulders and bound up the three steps leading to the porch, swooping in for a hug.

He explains to me through the wracking sobs the terms, the scenes, the characters. I pat his back gently, rubbing circles, and nod stoically — it’s all so fucking familiar this was me six fucking years ago but in black and white and various shades of gray.

There is no parental showdown. There are no angry words. I do not get the chance to tell my old man to blow it out his ass, do not get to tell him where to shove it in the best terms possible with the choicest of words, do not get to throw it in his face that he and mother are making a horrible mistake and hey guess what hope you like how this fucking shoe fits, do not get to witness my mother’s bitch-fit segue into disappointed howling tears, do not feel like I properly earned my Olympic gold in parental disappointment like the best wayward devil child who grew the bitchingest pair of devil horns possible — true fucking story — with blood and sweat and pure sass and whiskey and piss and vinegar.

I sit in the cold on my parents’ front porch. I dawdled too long and the front door’s automatic lock clicked. I was afraid to knock, afraid to ruin the frail calm for my brother’s sake, though I was itching for a fight. So I sat, and I stared at the patches of sky where the stars peeked through. My joints ached. The damp and the rain here do nothing for the parts of my body that have started an early mutiny. I stared at the driveway where years before, I was disowned for the second time in my life, engaged in a shouting match with my father. I waited for my brother to finish his hurried packing. I felt as if history was repeating itself all around me.

I made an offering to my ancestors this morning: a bowl of plain steamed rice with some cabbage-potato soup ladled over it, and some incense. I didn’t realize until afterwards but without meaning to, it was like I was unconsciously making a gesture to unify both my ancestral sides… you know, honor-wise. The Filipino side, the Scandinavian side.

I knew I was in a calm before the storm. It seems I’ve found the storm. I’m used to storms.

on madness and sanity and recovery and the calm before the storm

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Happy new year, folks.

It’s been a long time since I last wrote on any medium, personal journal not included. This is because I’ve been recently diagnosed as being somewhere on the bipolar spectrum and am now seeking treatment and a fancy schmancy “official” diagnosis complete with paper trail so I can storm some offices and go back and finish school for real and get my life back on track. I’m not going to go into the part where I also potentially have schizophrenia to look forward to. It also runs in the family. “Runs” isn’t the right word. More like… is very, very prevalent.

That’s the past six years of my life explained, right there – the ups and downs, the manic episodes, the depressive episodes. It’s also distressing on the spiritual side of things: how much of it was the illness? How much of it was “real”? There’s a lot of discernment to be had there.

I’m on medication that I’m responding very well to. It’s almost like I’m an entirely different person. I’m much happier. Things between me and my partner are much more harmonious. I have no fucking idea how he managed to put up with me. What I do know: if you allow me to make the comparison, he was my own personal Sigyn, pouring off the venom, making the madness more bearable.

I visited the less batshit side of my family over in Ontario/Michigan during the holidays – my gran, my dad’s sister. They’re very open and accepting and in fact very encouraging of my spirituality. I shared my concerns about my illness and my problems with discernment with my aunt. She outright told me that it was it was healthy to be wary, but it was also healthy to toss the fear aside and start believing again. I respect what she had to say. I’ve always looked up to my aunt – she’s a bold, strong, go-getter, a fierce feminist who told me to reach for the stars and fuck ’em if people tell you it’s a boys club. She started out as a geneticist in a research lab when I was a kid, and I thought that was the coolest fucking thing. She taught me about logic and critical thinking and never letting your sense of curiosity die. The importance of the question, what if?

So I said, okay. You maybe have a point.

She said, maybe you had to go batshit to believe.

That startled me.

Since I’ve started my recovery, there’s a thought that’s been bothering me: have I walked the madness road and made it out the other side? If so, what comes next?

Things have been quiet. I consider it the calm before the storm.

casual reminders to self

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Casual reminder to myself and possibly anybody else who can relate that you can’t do everything at once, godsdamnit, no matter how enthusiastic you are about it. Stop being such a stupid-face and start sticking to your baby steps before you trip and fall on your ass yet again. Rome wasn’t built in a day, like they say.

Also, stop freaking out about everything. Nine times out of ten, it’s not even that fucking bad and you’re basically just making mountains out of molehills. SERIOUSLY LIN STOP

That is all. For now.

Love,
Me

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Unrelated: hi. I keep doing the thing where I seemingly fall off the face of the planet only to pop up and disappear again. I’ve been busymoving/depression/insert all the excuses here. I’m not always this boring, I swear.

shadow work is like eating your veg or drinking milk

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The runes I cast sing to me of one thing: ODIN, ODIN. Check in with the Old Man, okay. Got it. I’ve been seeing His birds everywhere I go, so at least that confirms my suspicion. I cast them again, to get a feel for what the Old Man wants of me. And again, but this time with cards.

Shadow work. Inner growth. A good ol’ dose of character building.

Man, I hate shadow work. But it’s good for you, like the vegetables you’re not very fond of but eat anyway because it’s better than the alternative. It’s the spirit equivalent of drinking your milk so you grow up big and strong, only it’s a different kind of growing from the inside out.

I keep running into articles with shadow work at the core: embrace your inner darkness. Walk with your shadow. That sort of thing.

Roger wilco, boss.

Days 4 & 5

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iv.

“Where did you go, Loki?” I asked.
“It’s been quiet, too quiet, and I am afraid.”
Too long without
that comforting voice,
His pesky bird metaphors
repeated to me like a broken record
(no seriously, Boss Man, I know I’m dense but
I think I get the point now.)
“You do not,” He says, “but nice try.
What in the name of the nine worlds
will I ever do with you, silly bird?
I never left,
I was always there –
waiting for you
to come home to me.”

 

v.
“Why do you dig your heels in?
Why won’t you just
let go? let go and
trust me – right here, right now?”
Because I am afraid.
I am frightened, confused, and afraid.
Teach me, Flamehair, to
let down these guards of mine
put up by crippling fear
of the dark unknown.
Because it’s hard to believe –
in your world, mine.
It’s hard to believe in
all that you ask of me
even though I very well know
there’s plenty of proof in the spider’s web
plenty of evidence, all right,
to make me believe.
I am high maintenance.
You owe me nothing,
absolutely nothing.
You’ve been patient, so patient,
while I feel like
I owe you the world and beyond,
the full extent of my beating heart.
“Not good enough, little bird,
you’re just making excuses.
Shut that brain off and
go where the wind blows.
Just act. I’ve got your back –
I’ve always had your back.”

Day 3 – stubbornness runs in my blood

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He says stubbornness runs in my blood –
mostly it’s amusing, but
sometimes – no, all the time –
He really just wants to smack me
upside my pitifully hard head –
twap! just like that
a sharp correction, a pull of the leash.
He kindly refrains:
it’s far more entertaining to see
me fall on my ass – yet again –
because then how else will I learn
what He’s trying to teach?
Fuck if I know.
My tailbone is bruised
and so is my pride –
small prices to pay
for otherwise large lessons.