Destructive Awakening; Dealing with Spiritual Struggle

theaesir

Upliftconnect.com on occasion has some articles that make you think.  Currently I am having some very hard time standing still, as I’ve talked about in my last posts.  So when I saw this post about how Awakening is a Destructive process, I realized that this topic is something that although discussed a lot, isn’t something that we truly understand unless it is currently happening to us at the present time.  But it would do us service to remember it more often.

Psychologically, we as humans don’t do something unless we get some sort of reward out of it.  An easy example of this is overeating.  I still have problems with this from time to time.  Inevitably, I get triggered by something that starts to give me uncomfortable feelings.  It could be a problem at work, lack of sleep or a multitude of other things.  But I know subconsciously, if I get uncomfortable with something, I can put something in my mouth, albeit chocolate, coffee, chips or other unhealthy things, to help me deal with that uncomfortable feeling.  The food that I put in my mouth will inevitably allow my brain to release endorphins in my blood, which makes me feel better.  That is my reward for eating, and thus, I also side step those uncomfortable feelings.

But those endorphins don’t last long, and sooner or later that uncomfortable feeling comes back.  So do I eat again, causing myself more problems down the road by gaining weight, or should I start focusing on what it is that makes us uncomfortable?  It’s a simple yet painful dilemma.  I either get the quick reward from eating, or I travel the hard road of dealing with what makes me uncomfortable and take away the trigger.

Not only do we have to deal with psychological issues, but many of us on a spiritual path have to deal with the exact same thing in the spiritual realm as well.  What I hear my Gods tell me is to surrender to the uncomfortable feelings and the suffering it brings.  They tell me the only true way to deal with emotions is not to hide from them, but to lean in to that which hurts and find the root of the problem.  Once that is done, we will have started to shatter that which has hold on us.  Then are able to move forward.  But this time, we move forward as more awakened beings who are more in tune to the earth and much more alive.

This destructive process is different for everyone.  It’s even hard to explain to another pagan because it is such a personal experience.  Over the years I have heard about many journeys and stories of reconciliation of struggle from friends, and many are vivid accounts of issues and problems that seem to melt away once they finally start to understand where the true suffering is coming from.  Even though the experience and timing of these spiritual struggles various, the term ‘dark night of the soul’ has been coined in part because the struggle is shared by so many.

As we are starting to prepare for a new year, I am certain that many of the people who read this already are having struggles of their own, or will have to rise up to meet a struggle like this sometime soon.  Remember that you are not alone, that the process will take as long as it takes, and that there will be an end to the struggle.  And what will come out of the struggle is a stronger, more connected, more authentic person.

Enlightenment is a destructive process.
It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier.
Enlightenment is the
crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing
through the facade of pretense. It’s the
complete eradication of everything we
imagined to be true.
– Adyashanti

 

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I am of the Blood

negative1I am of the mindset of composer Gustav Holst, who once said “Never Compose anything unless the not composing of it becomes a positive nuisance to you.”  This poem became a nuisance.  It came out the day before I was to be ritually tattooed to recognize all of the struggles that I had come through.  I made it through them, changed, but still moving.

Sometimes you just have to embrace the call of The Shadow and go howl with the wolves.

 

 

 

I am of the Blood
The Spirit gathers
I feel his presence like the calm before the storm.
It surrounds me in its silent wave
As It’s riptide pulls me under
I can only watch and say goodbye forever to the comfortable shore.

The Spirit arises
His hunger beckons
Tastes of power and strength fill my mouth
I smell the blood, sweet it is to my senses
Fear fills my head, yet there is no wish to turn back.
I feel it’s familiarity, dare I welcome it?

The Spirit howls
I stir, aching longingly for the hunt
A lost love’s touch found, a gentle whisper in my ear
Will you accept the gifts I give?
Tears fill my eyes as I answer
It is time to come home.

The Spirit claims
Forever changed as the Spirit meets my soul
Part of The Pack I become
His teeth forever in my skin
Now, never alone
We are joined as one.

 

Personal Development

Recently I saw an interesting blog post about someone discussing their beliefs on relationships with Deity.  The post talked about about how Deities didn’t care about your personal life, your shortcomings and your personal development.  Instead, they were only worried about what you could do for them.

I tend to disagree.  Well,  kind of.

There are different facets in almost every human relationship.  A coworker is someone you work with.  But if you are like me you also have coworkers that are closer than others, and you might have other conversations with them besides just talking about work.

School relationships are the same way.  You may have classmates that you hang out with outside of the classroom, therefore making the relationship multifaceted.  Even relationships with teachers can be multifaceted.  For example my martial arts instructor and I have become good friends.  I have helped her on her farm, we do yoga and frequently run together.  But in the dojang, she is still the instructor and I am her student.

In my belief, the same multifaceted relationships can be held with divinity.  Now you might not ‘hang out’ with them as you would a close friend, but I believe they can be teachers, confidants, and taskmasters.  They can also be invested in your wellbeing and this push you to deal with baggage, your physical problems and other sects of personal development.

In my practice, the Gods are very much involved in my personal development. There is a big reason for this.  I have chronic pain and fatigue and the winter is always very hard on me.  It is imperative that I keep moving in order to deal with the pain and fatigue the cold brings.  Therefore I am being pushed to keep moving, keep working and keep exercising.   By doing these tasks, I help myself, but also honor them.

By worshipping the Gods we enter a contract with them.  These contracts mean multifaceted relationships can be developed.  It may be a relationship of devotion, of personal development or of service.  But above all, I am of the belief that no matter the type of relationship we get out of it what we out into it.  Every relationship takes work, including those with Divinity.

Pagan Individuality vs. Theological Reformation

cernunnos

One of the biggest issues I’ve seen in pagan community is the (sometimes heated) discussion around pagan theology, labels and individuality.  As I have said before, for years I have refused to label myself as anything but spiritual.  One of the reasons for this was to keep out of this type of discussion.  But now as I start to become more involved in pagan communities I have realized that it is time for me to organize my own thoughts on the subject.

Labels can cause more pain than they can help.  Eckhart Tolle talks about labels as being a part of the suffering in the world.  The meaning in people’s lives is usually associated with what labels they think of as “good”, and this good is threatened by the labels people associate with being “bad”.  Simply consider the question “Who are you” and you are inundated with them.  Your answer will most likely include something like the following, “I am a Technical writer (a job title label), a pagan (a religious label) and at times I am a fencer and martial artist (activity labels).”

While these labels define us as people, they also can divide us on a spiritual level, especially when we start looking at the definition of these labels.  An example of this is the discussion between Sarenth Odinsson and John Halstead.  While I don’t want to get into all of the specifics, Sarenth basically started to discuss his belief system and how his definitions didn’t fit the beliefs of people like John Halstead.  John replied, and a part of that exchange can be found here.  After reading the entire exchange, my personal belief is that the whole matter comes down to one specific thing; the definitions of the labels of “sacred” and “holy”.  These labels mean something different to Sarenth Odinsson than they did to John Halstead.

What’s my take on this discussion?  I think they are both right.  And I believe this to be a clear example of the problems when trying to unify pagans under a specific set of guidelines or beliefs.  Inevitably those beliefs include labels that have different meanings from one person to the next.  And thus the separations begin.

On the other side of the dilemma, I understand now that labels are necessary evils.  Without them I cannot communicate.  The problem is that there is a fine line between using a label to communicate a concept and using a label to communicate a division between two people.  A theology, defined as a system of religious beliefs or ideas, depends on these labels in order communicate a specific set of beliefs, practice and experience.  Therein lies the problem; if we cannot completely agree on a definition of a label that does not divide any part of the pagan community, how are we ever going to agree on a set of these labels in a theology?

Going further, how can we attempt to put a pagan theology around an entire mass of people that cannot even put a theology around a specific subgroup of pagans?   I don’t think we can.  We obviously don’t see it right now in one specific set or style of heathenism/polytheism/paganism that we have today.  If it was, then we would have only had Gardner’s version of Wicca, not the various traditional and nontraditional versions.  We would have had the Troth and not the Troth/Northern Tradition/Asatru/Vanatru/Rokkur and so on, and so on.

Individuals are as varied as the shapes of snowflakes, and this is reflected in our belief systems.  Sure you can label a snowflake group as six-pointed, four-pointed, heavy, light, big or small, but when it comes down to the individuality of each there is no way to specifically group them with the exception of labeling them snowflakes.

Will things always be this way?  I don’t know.  Will this belief of mine change over time?  Probably.  But I don’t think it will happen until we as a collective whole recognize the like mindedness nature in each other and push past our human tendency to label and divide.  We have to recognize that no matter how we pray, do ritual, live and interact with others that we all have something that guides us forward, no matter the label.  Once that is accepted into the pagan consciousness, then perhaps we can start the process to unify. Until then, I believe it we will only be a significant number of groups with different belief systems and sub-theologies unified under a very loose terminology.

Thoughts on the Wiccan Rede

Wheel_of_the_Year
Picture of the Wheel of the Year located in the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall, UK.  Picture by Midnightblueowl

 

I have spent a great deal of my pagan journey as a Wiccan.  As part of this, I tried to follow one of the most well-known verses of Wicca Law, the Wiccan Rede. This is a moral code that most Wiccans become quickly familiar with when they start their spiritual journeys down the Wiccan path.  What surprised me though is that there isn’t more of a breakdown of this code for aspiring Wiccans to follow; instead my teachers said ‘here it is, follow it’.

Now if you are like me, you want to specifically study what it is you are asked to follow, and not just follow something blindly.  So I took the time to break down this code into each verse to understand its meaning further. And while I don’t call myself Wiccan any longer, I still believe in what I think is the intended meaning of this verse.

There are different opinions as to the origins of the Wiccan Rede. Some point to Gerald Gardner’s High Priestess, Doreen Valiente, who first publically spoke a verse similar to the one below in the 1950s. Others believe that the original verse was pulled together from Aleister Crowley’s “The Book of the Law”, published in 1904. Since its origins are still fairly new compared to other religious tenants, some question how something so ‘new’ could be considered a moral code. My belief is that like other holy texts, these were words written by man, but  inspired by divinity. So no matter where the origin of the words, the meaning behind them is so great that we need to at least look at the verse and see if it stirs anything in our heart.  If there is a stirring, perhaps there is a lesson or meaning there.  For me, I recognize that each and every line of the Rede has meaning, and that those deeper meanings form a set of guidelines for a spiritual life.

If you do an internet search, you will be surprised at how many variations of the Wiccan Rede there are. Some are much longer and more eloquent, while others just point to one phrase. Below is what I learned originally when I first started studying Wicca:

Bide the Wiccan Law ye must
In perfect love and perfect trust
Eight words the Rede fulfill
An it harm none do what though will
Lest in self-defense it be
Ever mind the rule of three
Follow this with mind and heart
And merry ye meet, merry ye part

I still prefer this variation because to me it gives you more guidance than just the one line, but yet it is not long enough that its meaning could become muddled.

So here is the breakdown that I feel is right for me, and I offer it here for contemplation:

 

Bide the Wiccan Law ye must…
All religions have guidelines that must be followed, and Wicca is no exception. In order to follow the Wiccan path, you need to follow the Wiccan law. This is a given. However, how does one go about following Wiccan guidelines? In my opinion, religion isn’t about where you can go to church and allow your spirit to be ‘nourished’ while you sit and grouse in the pew because the mass is taking so long. There is discipline that is needed here. And the more you put into following Wiccan Law, the more you are going to get out of it. This is the same with any set of religious laws, ethics or morals someone would have. The more you put into following them, the more nourishment and strength that is delivered to your spirit.

 

In perfect love and perfect trust…
What does perfect love and perfect trust mean? Many years ago, prior to the formation of the Christian religion, the early disciples practiced a discipline known as “agape”. Agape, which means ‘compassionate love’ in Greek, was the practice of loving all. This included loving your neighbor, loving your enemy, and loving your friends, and showing all of them compassion. As my original Wiccan teachers taught me, the terms “perfect love and perfect trust” are a newer interpretation of agape. You will hear those words in Wiccan circles extensively when calling on powers greater than ourselves. We use those words to show we are in a state of acceptance and do not have any ulterior motives. This also shows that we are open to the wisdom and aid we receive from those powers.

Another thought about this tenant is that we need to consider being in a state of acceptance trust in our daily lives. We have become part of a society that looks at things like ulterior motives, conspiracies and corporate greed as things that are normal. Because of this, we get into the habit of recognizing that another’s action is immediately meant to belittle, demean or hurt us in some form or fashion. It’s time to transcend that intent; give the other person the benefit of the doubt! That guy that just cut you off on the freeway may be racing to the hospital to be there for a loved one. That person in the staff meeting might be so scared to talk in front of the big boss that they aren’t fully recognizing what it is that just came out of their mouth. Someone could just be having a bad day (they happen to everyone!).

One last thought about this, and perhaps the most important thought. Yes, we need to show perfect love and perfect trust to others, but we also have to show that same behavior to OURSELVES.

 

Eight words the Rede fulfill…
This tenant is saying something important. It is telling you that the next one is one of the most important tenants of the Rede. In fact, the next tenant is the one that you hear quoted the most. If you can only live by one tenant, the next one should be it.

 

An it harm none do what though will…
I originally learned this as, “do whatever you wish, as long as you don’t harm anyone, anything or yourself, and you will be fine”. However it took several years for me to really grasp what that meant. How do you go through life without hurting anything? To survive we need to kill plants and animals for food, clothing and shelter. That is certainly harming other things!

So because we already have to harm things to survive, does this mean we are already breaking this part of the Rede? Not necessarily. This part of the Rede is really starting to ask you how you think about the reactions your actions will create. For some, this means that they choose to try to live off the land as much as possible; forgoing a car, living modestly and being a vegetarian, or other measures they feel are part of their discipline.

The problem is that it is not always plausible to do those things. In order to survive, we need to do some sort of destruction in order to create. Vegetarians have to kill plants in order to eat. Even in the society we live we have to do things that will cause harm just to survive. At one time I unfortunately had a 68 mile one-way commute to work. I drove this 68 mile commute in the only vehicle I had – in a Chevy Blazer (awesome truck, but horrible on gas mileage and carbon emissions!). I tried to find other options to make my commute shorter, but there was no public transportation that would go where I needed to go, no other coworkers near me that I could carpool with, and moving closer was unfortunately not an option. Therefore the drive was a necessity. So during the time I commuted, I paid extra for “carbon credits” to a Native American organization that helped to plant trees.

So the intent here is that everything needs to be in balance. Recognize the balance, and try to live by it.

 

Lest in self-defense it be…
Let’s talk about harm to someone for a moment. There are multiple ways harm can occur. There could be an accident where the harm was not intentional. There could be purposeful harm, where someone is purposefully ready to cause harm to someone else. There is also perceived harm, where someone believes they have been harmed, but truly they have not.

The harm that should be defended against is a purposeful harm. No one should ever allow themselves to be purposefully hurt by another. You have to love yourself enough to recognize the situation and trust in your own skills and in divinity.

This tenant states that when you find yourself in a situation where purposeful harm exists, you CAN defend yourself or do whatever you need to do to get out of it.

As a martial artist I have learned one more thing about this tenant. This is not a free pass to respond with excessive force. If in an altercation with someone that person pushes you and you respond by smashing their face into the ground, that’s not self-defense. That is responding with excessive force, and most likely you will end up facing both physical consequences from law enforcement as well as the karmic consequences from your action. There are many ways to get out of that situation without excessive force. Leaving the area, applying a pressure point or locking out a finger, wrist or elbow joint would get the assailant’s attention to not mess with you.

So basically what I am saying is that in a purposeful situation, get out of it if at all possible, or respond only with the force you are shown. This also applies to metaphysical forces. If someone is trying to purposefully cause metaphysical harm, (not as common as most people think!) things like a Witch’s bottle, warding and stronger shielding are usually enough to deal with the situation. (In fact, in my experiences with Witch’s bottles I find they actually take care of quite a bit of negativity. They may not be very nice to make, but they are extremely strong tools.) You should not immediately throw something back at the possible assailant. It just causes more frustration and drama than it helps.

If harm was not intentional,  or you perceived harm happening to you that just wasn’t there, this tenant doesn’t cover you. Yes, do what you need to if something is thrown your way, but if someone looks at you cross-eyed, and you take offence, this doesn’t mean that you have the right to be offensive back in the name of self-defense.

 

Ever mind the rule of three…
This is the tenant made famous by the movie “The Craft” back in the 90s. Whatever you do the energy of that action will return to you threefold. So if you do something positive, the karmic energy of that good work will come back to you threefold. If you do something destructive, that destructive energy will come back to you threefold. This, in my mind, makes up for how we can work with the tenant, “An it harm none, do what thou will”. Since we cannot create without destroying, we need to be cautious of what we do because we shall inherit the karma of that action. So someone who is intentionally hurting a plant or animal shall receive a bigger karmic debt than someone who hurts a plant or animal accidentally.

Taking this even further, someone could make up for the karmic debt they are collecting. The carbon credits I purchased to help make up for my 136 mile daily journey is an example. Other examples could be the vegetarian purchasing as much food as locally as possible in order to keep their money in their local community, or the carnivore purchasing meat that was certified as humanely raised.

 

Follow this with mind and heart…
There is a tenant in Catholicism that I am very confused by, and started to mention it previously in this post. Catholics must go to mass every Sunday (or Saturday night now that things have loosened up a bit…) and they must take communion. Have you ever been in a Catholic church during those Sunday masses? Does anyone look happy to be there?  According to Catholic doctrine, whether or not you participate in the mass, or are looking forward to going or not, you MUST attend and you MUST take communion because there is a transformation going on within your soul when you do these things. It doesn’t matter if you mutter ‘oh crap’ when the priest decides to speak the litany of the saints (a monologue that extends mass by 15-20 minutes – been there, muttering done), your soul is getting its nourishment. This never seemed right to me. You should be enjoying your time with divinity; not forced to endure it for your betterment. This is exactly what I think this tenant speaks to. You need to follow these tenants to the best of your ability, giving it your mind and your heart. You need to actively seek to do the right things by the Wiccan Rede. This is where discipline comes in. Sometimes the path will not be easy, and sometimes you have to make hard choices, but you always have to stick to your moral code. Like I said before, the more you put into any spiritual tradition, the more you will receive out of it.

 

And merry ye meet, merry ye part…
Everyone that we meet is for a reason. Whether it is the person you see on the street walking by you, a coworker you work well with, or even your boss has something to teach you. With all of the other tenants in mind, we need to approach each and every interaction we have without judgment or predisposition of whether or not it is going to be a “good” or “bad” interaction. We need to be mindful of our actions and how they are perceived, and make amends when they don’t go as well as we would like. We also need to be ready to learn, because learn we will!

We also have to be joyful of what it is we are learning and doing. You can do everything right, but if you do it with a crappy attitude, you aren’t going to get very far. Being joyful also helps make those harder decisions easier to execute.

Summing it all up, one could look at this doctrine and see that it is very similar to other religious doctrine out there. But whether or not you follow Wicca, I hope that just looking at this breakdown will help you consider looking at the spiritual doctrine you follow a little deeper. Perhaps you will find something that will help make your practice a little more rewarding.

And as always, I welcome thoughts and comments.

 

Gratitude for myself

12003901_438537219663825_7463546331437349050_nFor me, it feels right to start giving thanks as the crops grow and the time of the first harvest.  So when Thanksgiving rolls around, it seems to me like it’s a little late. However all of the blog posts about gratitude got me thinking about something that I haven’t ever said I was grateful for, and that is being grateful for myself.

Being raised Roman Catholic, you don’t get to think much about taking care of yourself.  In Roman Catholicism you are taught in a nutshell that things happen to you because you are bad. Further, you are expected to sin or else they would not require you to confess those sins several times a week.

Another example is the host in communion.  Not only do you have to ensure your soul is pure by confession but you also have to consume a wheat host once a week in order to receive the blessings of Jesus. You are considered outside of the church if you cannot receive the actual host for communion every week.  Unfortunately for me, even if I wanted to be in communion with the Catholic Church I could not be.  I cannot eat wheat, and wheat is a required ingredient in a host according to Roman Catholic doctrine.  So in essence, something I cannot control causes me to not be in communion, and thus my future in heaven is in jeopardy.  Therefore, something I cannot control makes me evil, and I could either give into that evil or I have to literally eat poison to be saved.

As you can tell, the Catholic Church doesn’t have a very good reputation of empowering their true believers.

The Catholic Church isn’t the only thing out there that makes us feel bad about ourselves.  Over and over again in our families, in the media and by our friends and acquaintances we are told we are not good enough.  It has gotten to the point that we don’t even know that we are doing it to each other anymore.  Someone’s actions are misconstrued into looking like something with a negative intent, and that is all it takes to allow our minds to start beating ourselves up.  A minor miscommunication from a mother or father changes a child’s thinking, and thus insecurities form. Media outlets scream advertisements that tell us we aren’t thin enough, pretty enough, don’t make enough or are not smart enough.  Bullies at school do things that we carry with us throughout our adulthood.  Bosses, coworkers and classmates gravitate toward specific individuals and thus someone feels left out. One by one these things pile up until the thought of not being good enough, not being powerful and secure in who we are is considered normal.

So we reach for the things that make us feel better.  We reach for religion, the thought of being in an inclusive group is comforting.  We reach for food, as it feels better to stuff our feelings down into our stomachs instead of expressing them.  We reach for  material goods just to try to fill that hole deep within us, but nothing really satisfies.

Nothing at least, until we realize that the hole we are trying to cover up isn’t a hole at all.  It is actually our own potential as human beings.

As I go through the stillness of these dark months I am realizing that I am enough.  I am full and complete just as I am right now.  I have potential, I am powerful and I am worthy of carrying the mantle as a Priestess of the Gods and Goddesses that wish to have me.  I am worthy of working with the spirits of the land, and I am worthy of my ancestors.  I am worthy in this life to be whom I wish in this mundane world; and I am strong enough to make a difference in the endeavors of my choosing.

This does not mean there isn’t work to do and it absolutely doesn’t mean that I am entitled to be handed anything.  But what it does mean is that I know I am strong enough to move things forward in the way I need them to be in order to pursue my goals and dreams.

This also doesn’t mean that I am exempt from the circumstances of my choices.  I still have my karmic debt to deal with,  and I can choose to make more of that debt to be paid, or I can start to erase it.  The choice is mine to make.

We have too many things in this life that scream at us that we are unworthy of being who we choose to be.  Let this writing be a spark to others to realize that things can change deep within ourselves to the point that we feel worthy again.  Let us each look deep into our soul and realize that we each have our personal truth of who we are and what we can accomplish.  Let us each recognize the astonishing light of our own being, and may we use it to honor the Gods and our ancestors by being beacons to those who are in a place so dark that they cannot find their true light within themselves.  After all, what could be more pleasing to the Gods than for them to see us recognize our true potential and use that to help others?

So for this Thanksgiving, I am choosing to be grateful for starting to learn my personal truth. And I am grateful that I can find the words to share this truth with others.  I am grateful for my strength, my beauty, and the realization that I am enough.  And I am grateful that I have the opportunity to honor my Gods and my kin with who I am and what I choose to be.

Musings on the Story of Balder

220px-Each_arrow_overshot_his_head_by_Elmer_Boyd_Smith

Years ago one of my teachers worked with me on a lesson of being more open minded to new interpretations of conventional myths and stories.  During this lesson, he asked me to consider a retelling of the story of Lucifer’s fall from heaven.  “What if,” he asked, “God had went to his angels and asked them which one loved him enough to be parted from him forever?  And what if Lucifer, the Light Bearer, told God that he loved him enough to be parted from him, and thus he was cast down from Heaven?”

The concept of a different interpretation of something was mind blowing to me at the time.  Growing up Roman Catholic I was expected to believe the interpretation of a story as it was taught to me even though there could be logical or scientific explanations of why the story was not fully true.   The thought that other interpretations even existed was something I had never considered until the moment of that lesson.   The repercussions of that lesson were something that took a significant amount of time to settle into my soul.

The story about God and Lucifer and the entire lesson from more than 20 years ago is one that surprisingly came back to me this past weekend in a very different way.  This weekend I was opened to the fact that this retelling that my teacher discussed so many years ago also spoke to balance.  God and Lucifer understood that in order for people on earth to understand light, they had to know darkness.  So even though Lucifer would come to be known to be hated and despised, he chose the path as it was absolutely necessary to create the balance that was needed in the world.

This balance is played out in every facet of life as we know it; you must destroy to create, give to receive, and most importantly for me right now, you must accept darkness and earth in order to receive and understand the light.  It is understandable at the time of the story’s creation that war was included because war was common back then.  In that day and age, you had to fight to survive and it was the victor that wrote the history of the day.

After remembering this lesson from my old teacher, I found my attention going to the story of Balder.  According to the written versions of the story we have today, Balder was the God of purity and light, and was loved by all Gods with the exception of one.  Loki was jealous of the God.  So even though the Goddess Frigg went to great lengths to ensure Balder’s safety, Loki figured out how to kill Balder and did so.  He also thwarted the plans of the gods to bring him back from the dead.

The current interpretation speaks to Loki’s jealousy.  However, thinking instead about the required balance that is so very vital in this world, perhaps there is a different reason Loki had to kill Balder.  Perhaps Loki realized that Balder’s light was too pure and too innocent.  Perhaps he realized that because he was so loved and revered by the other Gods and Goddesses that Balder would only grow stronger and skew the balance of darkness and light; destruction and creation.  So for that reason, perhaps Loki knew he had to kill Balder in order to assure that balance was kept.

On realizing his required task and understanding its immensity, along with the fact that he knew he would be punished for it, I could see him going to his wife, Sigyn, and discussing the matter with her. I envision the relationship Sigyn and Loki had as something they both treasured; they fit each other completely and formed a perfect union, but yet each of them were also strong enough to stand on their own.

So perhaps Loki came to Sigyn to speak of this horrible task he knew that he alone could do.  Perhaps in her wisdom, she could see through to her husband’s heart, and knew without understanding all of the nuances of the situation, she knew that what he said was truth.  And perhaps that is why she does everything she can to soothe his suffering during his punishment.

I am not ashamed to admit that this reinterpretation has been something that has been in the forefront of my mind ever since the idea started to form that morning.  It speaks to the belief of  necessary destruction and struggle as well as acceptance of destruction.  More importantly, it allows me to look at Loki with fresher eyes, and allows me to understand how he (and the power of coyote/trickster medicine in Native American Traditions) is something that is needed as a part of keeping the balance of life.

I fully understand that someone could interpret this as Unverified Personal Gnosis (UPG).  And that is fine.  I am of the opinion that different interpretations of the myths and lore are acceptable, and necessary.  In fact, most of the myth and lore that we have left seems to be a written interpretation, written by those who either wanted to put it in a positive or negative light for reasons unknown to us.

What I do know is that this new interpretation is huge for me.  I guess you could consider it the rabbit hole that I have voluntarily fallen into.  So now I am focusing on learning about this strange new world where up is down and big is small. And while I am still a little unnerved about my new surroundings, overall I like what it is I see, and am looking forward to learning and re-remembering the world around me.