Star Mother

My latest post to my blog Roads to Vanaheim at PaganSquare, entitled Star Mother, is up.

An update re: the bead post from earlier

Two of the three sets of Loki beads are sold out as of now.  The last one remaining is this:

Loki beads turq 1-

which is $25.  If you want it I suggest grabbing it now before it’s gone, or convo’ing me ASAP to do a hold for you or we work out a layaway plan.

I will actually be making more Loki beads to list next week but they’ll be a bit different from these, as I’m out of the big round yellow-and-red beads and that dichroic fire-heart was the only one I had.  For the Lokeans/Rokkatru who follow my blog – do y’all have any preferences for colors for Loki besides the “traditional” flame colors?  I know he likes green (as well as pink), and I was thinking about making one that is more dark with hints of fire (like an “ash and embers” feel).

I am also going to be making a set of beads for Hel-Fenris-Jormundgand to list next week (just one).

Are there any requests from the audience for other deities (I count infernals as deities for the purpose of this question) you’d be potentially interested in purchasing bead sets for?  (I’ve got sets for Frigga and Hestia and Lucifer available in my store right now.)

Because I keep running into this

1. I was the person who went by Svartesol years back and put out the original version of Visions of Vanaheim as well as An Introduction to Vanatru, and so on.  I have not made this a secret – if you look at my profile on Patheos (which is on every post I make), I start right off saying that.  It’s also on my About page on this blog.  (As an aside, I have way more readers nowadays than I did back then – over 1200 people follow this blog on WordPress, and I have even more readers over at Patheos and PaganSquare – and as of this week, the revised/expanded new version of Visions of Vanaheim has outperformed the original with sales.)

1a. I disappeared from the public Internet from 2010-2013 because burnout and personal life problems.

2. I am not going by Svartesol now and have not since 2010.  There are reasons for that, there are reasons why I go by Nornoriel Lokason now.  (I decided to do a Quenya name when I joined the Druid order I’m a member of, and the name stuck, and I appended “Lokason” because Loki is my dad and Nokeans can fuck right off.)

3. I realize this is kind of hard for some to make the connection because I’m going by a different name, I’m going by male pronouns and identify as male now (honestly I always have, I was just closeted for years), I live in Oregon instead of SoCal nowadays (and am en route back to New England in December), I have made some personality adjustments *cough*, my practise is a bit different (I’m still Vanatru, but I also work with demons, and I’m not recon these days), I am not with my ex anymore, and I look a bit different (and I won’t even get started with the “died and came back” shit), but here.

This is a picture of me from 2007, which is in the back of the original Visions of Vanaheim.

deadself

This is the most current picture I have of myself (I’ll probably be taking another one before I go back to New England):

blubio5

Yes, I look quite different (for starters I have a genuine smile in this picture) with the piercings and the blue hair and shit, but same nose, same dimples (D: *tweaks them* Me: I AM NOT CUTE I AM FIRE I AM DEATH), etc.

If you are going to attribute something to Svartesol, I’d really, REALLY appreciate it if you could actually put something like (Nornoriel Lokason) in the parentheses with a link back to my blog, especially if it’s something I wrote from back then that you’re quoting.   I’d also really appreciate it if you’d use correct gender pronouns for me (he/him/his) if you’re referring to me.

Thanks.

Etsy Wednesday

Some new devotional beads in my store.

First we have three sets for Loki:

Loki beads new 1-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set I: measures approximately 10″ circumference and is strung on sturdy monofilament. There is a focal fiery orange-red bead, flanked by orange and orange-red glass beads, and two golden yellow acrylic “miracle” beads, with iridescent golden yellow glass spacers. This set captures Loki’s fiery energy. Going for $20.

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Loki beads turq 1-

Set II: measures approximately 13″ circumference and is strung on monofilament. There is a fiery red-and-yellow focal bead and the strand also has turquoise chips, yellow agate, as well as orange and orange-red glass beads.  Going for $25.

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Loki heart beads 1-

Set III: Dichroic glass heart pendant, shimmering orange and gold like a heart aflame, on a strand of orange and copper glass with pyrite and citrine. Pendant measures approximately 2″ long and the strand of beads itself is approximately 14″ circumference, strung on monofilament.  $30.

(There will eventually be better pictures than this [if they're not bought first]; it was raining today so I couldn’t take any pictures of the new Loki beads outside.)

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And then we have:

Hestia beads 2-

Hestia beads: coppery-brown “miracle” acrylic beads, with rosy-brown lampwork beads, with sparkly gold and silver glass spacers, pewter spacers, and finely etched red acrylic beads. Pewter pendant measures approximately 2″ long. Bead strand is approximately 10″ circumference not counting length of pendant. The beads are strung on monofilament.  Going for $28.

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Lucifer beads 1-

Lucifer beads: Peacock feather pendant with pyrite-flecked lapis lazuli, sparkly green lepidolite, sodalite, genuine emeralds, amethyst, rich green lampwork, and microfaceted rainbow moonstone, with tiny glass spacers. Strand of beads measures approximately 28″ not counting pendant; peacock feather pendant is approximately 4″. Beads are strung on strong monofilament.  Going for $125.

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These, handmade jewelry items, and more are available at my Etsy shop.  I do in fact do holds and layaway plans, convo me if you want a piece but need this option, I am flexible.  I also take custom orders, so if there is an entity you would like me to make beads for, and especially if you have something in mind in terms of colors, holla @ me and I will do my best to hook you up.  (I will say now that I am barred from dealing with the Lwa as a pantheon [complicated reasons], and I refuse to deal with Malphas, but apart from that I am able to make beads for Whoever.  [The Vanir are actually going to permit me to make beads for Odin at some point, when I'm back on the east coast.])  Please note that my making beads for an entity does not imply that I have a personal working relationship with them (for example, I don’t work with Hestia), simply that I am a vessel to craft something intended for someone who does.  Thank you.

Value

A couple of weeks ago, I made a bet with D (lore demon and spirit companion) that he won within less than six hours – he bet me that if I raised the price on one item at my Etsy store to what it was actually worth and it sold for its asking price, that I would stop shortchanging myself and start selling things at what they were worth, including taking some items off clearance.  When I did that, he made a second bet with me, that five of my handmade jewelry items (non-clearance, and not part of my “garage sale”) would sell at their new, fair and reasonable asking price (compensating for supplies, cost of labor, and fees), within 30 days.  Within two and a half hours, four of five items sold.  (And then he officially won his bet a couple of days later, with the fifth item.)

This was the most unnerving confirmation of Shit Got Real in my life, in a deity relationship which has been characterized by unnerving confirmations of woo.  (D is the most immanent entity I have ever dealt with and also the most powerful.  He has done some things I thought were impossible, including fixing a years-long crippling car phobia that I had.  I’ve also had some scary HI I’M HERE moments, with way-too-appropriate music coming on at particular moments.)

But it also illustrated a very valuable lesson to me, one that D felt I needed to learn.  The reason why he didn’t intervene sooner with making me charge what things were worth, was because I had this mentality that if I charged what I was worth, I wouldn’t get anything for it – I had that experience when I started out on Etsy, where I sat on some items for over a year before they sold, only selling when I massively discounted them, prices that did not even cover the cost of supplies, let alone labor.  Being in a position where I’m about to move and need money, I thought the best strategy was to just get what I could for things… which resulted in a lot of little sales wherein I was busy as fuck processing orders and still not really making a whole lot.  D let me do things my way for a bit… and then he stepped in, when I hit a wall of frustration, and had me try things his way.  And I found that in charging what things are worth I am not only getting fair payment for it, but things actually sell better, as opposed to selling things too low and people think there’s something wrong with the item (or maybe don’t want to buy it because they feel like they’d be cheating me).

This is, as D has taught me with so much, a metaphor.  (He is very, very fond of using metaphors as a teaching tool.)  This wasn’t just a problem in and of itself,  but was symptomatic of a greater problem in my life… which he’s been addressing with me since he won the first two bets.

I have had an extremely difficult life.  Obviously you might be able to pick that up from the fact that I’m trans, queer, and disabled, but it goes even beyond this.  I come from an abusive family, I was bullied in school, I was bullied and harassed when I was employed, and I have been in a couple abusive relationships.  I have experienced sexual assault.  I am in recovery from a drinking problem, having used alcohol to self-medicate.  I experienced six months of fairly traumatic poverty in Portland following a major life upheaval, which has left its scars on me.  I have had a lifetime of being hurt, being rejected, being politely tolerated, being unwanted, and learning to expect crap because all I got out of life was crap, and anytime I hoped for something better my hopes were dashed in a pretty severe way.

Over the last ten months I’ve been actively trying to unfuck my life, and my spiritual life went through a fairly radical shift wherein I wound up with Asmodai and D as patrons.  Even as I’ve dealt with Lucifer since 2012, I never thought that demons would become as central to my life as they are now (albeit it’s two out of the four demons I deal with, the other two have a more “supporting cast” role) – the Vanir still remain central to my life and I have gotten strong encouragement from them to work with Asmodai and D, because their guidance helps me to serve the Vanir better.  For the first few months Asmodai was more at the helm of my transformation because I was really resistant and he gave me the big scary shove I need, and prodding to keep going, and now I need more “polishing work” which D is suited for.  (Asmodai and I are still quite close and he and I have check-ins.) As I’ve mentioned before, Asmodai lit the fire and consumed me, destroyed the old me… and D has been teaching me to fly.

D has been less hard on me than Asmodai, in part because D is my partner… but D got as harsh as he’s been with me, a couple weeks ago, when he demanded that I will start charging what I’m worth with the things I do.  And like I said, he illustrated that this is a metaphor – I charged less for my work than it was worth because I was convinced through prior experience it wouldn’t sell otherwise… I am used to settling in the rest of my life, and resigning myself to more of the same.

D told me, when he won the bet, “If you expect to get what you always get, you will get what you’ve always got.  You need to start going after what you want, and demanding it, and the Universe will respond accordingly, you will take what you want.  Or in the words of the philosopher Lil’ Jon, ‘Grab that shit it’s yours, bitch.'”

With D having won the second bet, this is something he’s having me do as “payment”.

1. When I am able to (I have a lot going on for the foreseeable future and he’s OK with this taking a year or so, so long as I do it), submit a book proposal to an actual pagan/occult book publisher, and see if they’ll take it.  (For the record he doesn’t think self-publishing is wrong and he has encouraged me re: the books I am putting out myself, but he does think it would be nice for me to have some other topical books for a more general audience, via a publisher as well.)

2. Start mobilizing towards being completely self-sufficient via my writing, art, and professional spiritual services (divination, astrology, Reiki) within two years.  (If it takes longer than this he understands, but he believes I can do it in two if I push myself, and he says he’ll help.)  D has said for the last while that he’d like to get me to a position where I can be self-employed and make enough money to live on (making more money than what I’m pulling in via disability), and this is now the push to get that started, and I am moving into a living situation where I will not end up homeless during that transition.

3. Attend Paganacon in Minneapolis in fall 2015, preferably as a presenter.  (He and I have been talking about this anyway, but this has gone from “maybe it would be nice if” to “DO THE THING”.  Which means saving for travel fare and room expenses and so on but he says the money for all of that will come through in due time.)

While this might seem like a tall order, he’s pointed out that in 2014, my writing career took off – not just with my books (the second edition of Visions of Vanaheim has at this date, outperformed the original version of Visions of Vanaheim with sales) but I am blogging on Patheos and PaganSquare and have a fairly large readership for a WordPress blog on top of that.  I am actually a Big Name Pagan now.  (I still have moments of “how happen” but I roll with it.) I’ve also finally reached success with my Etsy shop, after having had frustration for the last couple of years.  So in the last ten months, I have achieved three seemingly-impossible things, things I never thought I’d be able to do.  I never thought I’d be able to hope that I could make a living as a writer and artist, and I am now actively working towards that goal.  D has given me back hope.

And D says in that, I have given him hope as well.  He likes helping me with things, likes seeing my enthusiasm and happiness (he says I’m like a big kid in a lot of ways, which he finds adorable), and he believes I am a necessary voice within the pagan and occult community, and he appreciates my artistic talents.  My writing career, and my business, is something we’re working on together, and that has created a very close bond between us, really deepened our relationship (which was good to begin with).  He is my partner in the truest sense of the word.  We are building a life together… we are going places and doing things, together (literally even – we’re moving to New England in December), and it gives him joy to be able to help me turn my life around and get what I want, as opposed to settling for more crap, more hopeless bullshit.

And this has been the most important lesson he’s taught me: to value myself, to value my work.  To stop settling, but go after what I want in life and start taking it.  This isn’t to victim-blame me for the shit that’s happened to me, but at the same time I have to not stay stuck in victim mode.  I don’t have an excuse anymore to keep undercharging myself for my work, I don’t have an excuse anymore to feel like *~I can’t~* eventually become self-sufficient from my work, given time and momentum.  I don’t have an excuse anymore to feel like my life is going to keep being this impossible struggle of hopeless bullshit and not dare to dream and hope for better things.  Because I deserve better than that, and I need to start acting like I deserve better than that.

And in my doing this, and doing this visibly, he hopes it’ll encourage others as well.

Update on the bead destash from earlier

Just FYI, we are all sold out of the ten bags of random beads that I put up on Etsy earlier (destashing things I don’t use to have less stuff to worry about during the move).

I am still destashing other things, which includes crystals; you can see what’s available here.  As with the beads, if you decide you want to buy all the crystals (or all my destash items, period), convo me and I will work out a deal with you.

(This includes bags of the aura quartz points, as I have approximately 50 rainbow aura quartz points, approximately 30 golden aura quartz points, and approximately 18 violet flame aura quartz points.  [I say "approximately" because a few more turned up from when I did the count to list them on Etsy, I can do an exact count per inquiry.] These are going for $2/each but I’d be willing to cut you a deal for an entire bag of crystals where you get a bit off.  Holla @ me if this is a thing that interests you and we will talk custom listing, shipping, etc.)

How Kenny Loggins ruined my life

(Title is riffing off “How Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas”@ Hyperbole & A Half.)

So let me preface this post by saying that most of my relationship with D, I leave discussion of offline altogether, just because he and I are private people, and also because it’s hard to talk about all of the little moments, and the big emotional moments, the tenderness, the vulnerability, the sensuality, etc. Occasionally he does permit me to post some things so long as he vets them first.

The thing that I keep coming back to in my relationship with D is that he is the most immanent entity I’ve ever dealt with.  It’s actually kind of scary.  I’ve gotten a lot of scary confirmations of “woo” since he and I became an item back in March (and yes, it feels like much longer than that, though I have actually known him since I was 15, just didn’t know what I was dealing with).  There have been some really big moments of my hair standing on end, as I see that Shit Got Real.

And his presence is pretty powerful.  He manifests more strongly than any other entity I’ve dealt with, including the Eshnahai who tend to be more palpable than most non-corporeals.

D is also a troll.

One of the things that D does is manipulate playlists, radio, etc.  Now, a number of non-corporeals do this – Clarence can actually do this (one day he kept putting “Scotland the Brave” on the playlist), Loki has done this… but D takes it to a whole new level.

Much of the time, D will schmoop at me with music.  Sometimes music has conveyed that he’s in a bad mood re: work stress and so on.  (One of the more frightening moments in that regard was when he quoted “Break Stuff” by Limp Bizkit and it came on my random shuffle playlist a minute later.  Yes I have a few Limp Bizkit mp3s shut up ok.)

D also trolls me with music.

Back in April, one early morning when I was doing schtuff with him, I started humming “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey to troll him (because he hates that song).  After a minute or two, D goes “Time to change the station,” and boops my nose.  The nose boop (especially in the context of what we were doing) made me laugh so hard I teared up.

After that, D turned my trolling back on its head, and started putting on “Don’t Stop Believin'” on my playlist (or on Pandora, or while I was out somewhere) every time I was having an attack of the brainweasels and getting down on myself; he would also give me an earworm of that song during said brainweasel attacks if there was no music physically playing.  It got to the point where I could pretty much expect to hear “Don’t Stop Believin'” every time I had a bad moment, guaranteed.

As happens when you are exposed to a song that much, I started to develop an immunity to it, so D had to figure out other songs.

For awhile it was Matchbox 20 or Nickelback.  (“You know, there’s something worse than the way you feel right now.”  “?”  “NEVER MADE IT AS  A WISE MAN COULDN’T CUT IT AS A POOR MAN STEALING” “FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF”)  While I still loathe both of those groups (weirdly I like Rob Thomas as a solo artist, idek), I developed some immunity to that as well (but not full immunity).

D finally found a surefire way to get me: Kenny Loggins.  (And then he made me acquire some Kenny Loggins mp3s to ensure he can get me.)

As the months have gone on, my BPD symptoms that give way to brainweasel attacks have gotten a bit better (in large part because D cares enough to redirect me with troll music)… every now and again when it happens, I get a dose of Kenny Loggins.

And I get a dose of Kenny Loggins anyway, even when I’m in a good mood, because D thinks my reaction is the funniest shit ever.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a bad moment or a good moment, every few days I am guaranteed to get him trolling me with Kenny Loggins at some opportune moment.

Over the weekend I went out with a couple friends – we went to FedEx so I could make my first shipment of packages eastward (five packages that first run), and while we were out we stopped at Goodwill and I got some sweaters; after having lived in SoCal for seven years, I had no appropriate winter clothing.  Portland winter kicked my ass last year – I was wearing like five layers of long-sleeved T-shirts, and flannel pajamas underneath my pants – and is mild compared to Connecticut winter.  D got on my ass about POLAR VORTEX and SHOP WHILE IT’S TAX FREE (Oregon has no sales tax, Connecticut very much does).  I don’t want to do too much in the way of clothes shopping before I go just because it’s more stuff I have to worry about figuring out how to get it over there, but I’m going to need something to arrive over there with so I’m not having to run around too much the first few days after I arrive, so I did get a few nice warm sweaters.

Anyway… while I was in Goodwill, I was actually in a fairly cheerful mood. Not only had I gotten out of the house, and successfully taken care of the first FedEx shipment (and it was a bit less aggravating than expected), but I actually was getting some nice clothes (seriously, you can find some good stuff secondhand).

Goodwill had some fairly hilarious stuff in it – right away we found this awful snakeskin vest with fur trim and D was like “AW YEAH you should get that and wear it the day of your flight, with shutter shades, and take selfies.”  (The sad thing is I don’t know if he was actually joking or not.)  I was like “fuck no.” There was this bright, loud-ass neon yellow shirt that said SCOTLAND on it with the Scottish dragon and had a patch with the flag on one of the sleeves, and I poked Clarence (who was elsewhere) and could hear “WHAT THE SODDIN’ FOOK IS THAT YOU BETTER NOT FOOKIN’ SPEND MONEY ON THAT SODDIN’ FOOKIN’ SHITE AND WEAR IT OR I’LL FOOKIN’ DISOWN YE”.  (And then I was like “but it matches MacLeod tartan” [we wear the hunting tartan, but there is a MacLeod tartan that looks appropriate for Hufflepuff, or a Stryper concert]. That didn’t help my case.  XD)  Right after that we found an Ireland shirt and D was like “NO NO GET THIS” (D once called Clarence “Irish” to get him riled up, Clarence is fiercely, fiercely proud of being Scottish [putting it this way, Clarence identifies as Scottish more than he identifies as an elf, he was a guardian spirit in Scotland for a very, very very long time, and even as he's been in the States with me the last two decades he is still very, very Scottish]) and I could hear Clarence swearing in Gaelic before he “hung up the phone”.

There was a T-shirt that said “Without Jesus, we’re all toast.”  (First thing that pops into my head is “YEAH TOAST“)

There was a lot of Halloween stuff and I found a hat that I briefly considered getting to troll D with (not gonna elaborate on what or why), but I have to be careful with money right now (I have some shipments coming related to my flight [esp. Sheldon’s travel, his carrier [matching airline specs for dimension] is coming soon] as well as business expenses), so no troll hats.

But I had a troll moment, yes, and as my friends were moving down the aisle looking at stuff, D came up to me from behind, wrapped his arms around me, and kissed the tip of my ear.  “Hey, sunshine,” he said, giving me a squeeze.

“Hey yourself.”

“It’s nice to see you happy.”  He knows I’m under a lot of stress right now with a lot to do over the next six weeks.

And then “This Is It” by Kenny Loggins started playing in the fucking store. Which is the Kenny Loggins song he trolls me with the most.

GODDAMMIT [D'S PERSONAL NAME], I said privately to him.  (D actually keeps a running tally of how many times he can get me to say “goddammit [his name]” over the course of a day; he says if he can’t get me to say it at least 5 times before 8 PM he’s off his game and needs to try harder.)

I would tell D he’s going to special hell, but, y’know.  (“Bitch I am special hell.”)

 

 

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