tek2way: Nature - Lightning Storm (Nature - Lightning Storm)
Tonight, I put on some music for my trip home, as I normally do. Tonight, though, I decided to address the dearth of Manowar by adding a few more tracks to one of my playlists.

Going through what Manowar I had on the phone, I ran across "Warriors of the World United." As I listened to the track start, I felt something inside shift. I added it to my playlist, and found it in said list. I started it up, and left. The song was fascinating, and I started it over again when it finished. I kept it up until 1am, when I finally turned that one song off and got a shower (and bed).

What follows is a rough approximation of what was going through my mind while I was listening to that one song, over and over. I first shared these thoughts with Cynthia earlier. I'm not editing these thoughts, so there is a chance one or two may be missing context.

tonight, I feel a direction to work on my games, and fucking own my games. I feel gods-damned amazing.

this song has unlocked something that I was unsure of, or was purposefully ignoring.

Fuck.. so I walked to my altar, which I'd been thinking of dismantling, to get my tobacco, and I had a sudden urge to sob. Not from sadness, but from overwhelming emotions
The reason I am drawn to the Norse is that I NEED that warrior spirit. I am not, in my daily life, a warrior in the classic sense. I am absolutely a fighter, but that's different.

The Norse are there to watch out for me. They help me where I can't help myself.
Yet, for some reason, I've been pushing them away. Even last year, when I was thinking Odin was watching, I listened to others who said I had to include Loki. No, I don't, but I let myself be influenced so.
All I have to do is accept them, pick up my learning about them, and things will be back on track (oh, I may have to make a few sacrifices, but that's to be expected).

Athena and Diana were the warriors of my youth. I could and should continue to honor Athena (besides warrior, there's the learned one aspect), but the Norse have welcomed me in, and I fucking ignored what was staring me in the face.
Freyja may have been watching me initially, but that may have been because of my (unconscious and subconscious) connection to Athena and Diana. To ease my conversion.

I'll never be a classic heathen. But that's okay. They know what I am.
I never told you that when we went to see Iron Maiden inNashville, we went to the Parthenon. I was almost overwhelmed by being in her shrine.. tell me that I'm not connected..
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
I have been in a state of spiritual turmoil for most of the last two years. From 2010 until the middle of 2012, I felt rather satisfied that I was on the path I was meant to walk, and it was called Asatru. Some practices, such as the average Asatru follower's obsession with war and battle and getting into Valhalla, didn't quite fit, but I told myself that I'd learn to like them (more or less).

In the middle of 2012, though, I began walking a path that relied far too heavily upon what someone else told me was truth. The house of cards I'd built for my spirituality crumbled completely when I watched the second episode of the new Doctor Who run, in which the Doctor and Rose went to the literal end of the earch (the sun was about to consume it). I was forced to reconcile the idea of a god that could exist independent of the world on which it was created and found myself in such spiritually dangerous territory, that neither my Asatru mentor nor the new person could satisfy me. Ultimately, I buried my discomfort, because I wanted to return to how I felt before that revelation.

Months went by, where I was back to a nominal Asatru position, but the problem was still there. At Yule, it came to a head, and I walked out of my inter-faith coven/kindred/study group thing, and never went back. I even had people I'd known for years never speak to me again after that.

My carefully constructed facade crumbled again in early 2013, and I declared that I was an atheist instead. My spirit-brother disagreed, though, and said that wasn't for me. I hoped he was right, but I was still looking for some validation and verification for what I felt inside. I quit talking to the new person from 2012 for a few months. I did so mainly because I blamed her for my problems, but she was only evidence of the issue, not its cause.

I patched things up with her later, but I never quite found my pre-2012 spiritual footing again. I'd begun following some atheist Twitter accounts and Facebook groups, and when I saw things they posted, I was taken back to my feelings when watching that episode of Doctor Who.

I tried what I could bring myself to do (and not feel stupid with my new-found skepticism), such as lighting candles to Freyja, giving libations to Her, Her brother, and the other Aesir with whom I connected. (This touches on my obsession with having a "patron" God and Goddess, and how *THAT* negatively affected me even when the rest of my spiritual journey was on sure footing.) I have recently even begun wearing my hammer again, even though I no longer feel any kind of thrill when I put it on.

...and there you have it. I am trapped in a purgatory between full atheism and a wholly spiritual life with the Norse gods. I struggle with how to balance worshipping Them with utilizing my scientific skepticism, while trying to grow spiritually/mentally/emotionally/physically in an increastingly volatile world.

Recently, I've felt little nudges here and there. I don't know what to call them, and I am making a point to say that I am okay with that. These nudges are causing me to evaluate my spiritual choices for the last two years. I am starting over, in order to better examine these nudges. I am a pagan, at least insofar as I am a non-Christian earth worshipper. I place no burden or expectation on myself past that.

First thing on my To-Do List? Reading "Living with a Wild God", because my sister highly recommended it, and because she feels it might help me in my current frame of mind.

I anticipate posting my observations in here as I read through the book. I hope to have something of a solid foundation established by June 21, because I'd been feeling like that's an important date for about a month now. Wish me luck!
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - Symphony X)
So, I decided to check on my profile, and see exactly how many posts I have done on this thing in the last 9.5 years. 1898. Pretty much 2000 entries. Some have been filtered. Some were just quiz results. At least one was just an advertisement trying to unload some of my Stuff I'd collected over the years.

Still, I find it interesting that the post with which I begin my LJ journey anew is 1899. You see, when I moved into my apartment last year, I did a landtaking for it, before I moved any significant possessions inside. At the end of the landtaking, I made an offering to the landvaettir. One of the sacrifices I made was an OLD silver dollar I had acquired. The year on that silver dollar? 1899.

Oh, sure, one could easily argue that I'm looking too hard for a connection. I disagree, though, because I'm not strictly saying that this is absolutely a connection. Rather, I believe that it is fascinating and could be a connection, but I'm not sold on it.

Work today was about normal for me now: at times, seemingly stressful, but nothing that happened was really bad enough to make me say it was a bad day. Heck, I could honestly say that it was a pretty good day. My decision a few weeks ago to begin keeping a pocket notepad on-hand has proved to be priceless. I'm forgetting a whole lot less than I did once. It also has the side effect of making it look like I'm truly ready for anything (which, honestly, I guess is true).

I came home, and promptly opened my bedroom window. I stuck my box fan in it, and reveled in the delightful air that began coming in. Even now, I'm in heaven. I so love the way it feels being blown into my room, I've considered sleeping on the floor, so that I can be closer to the air.

Well, I guess I'm going to cut this post short (?!), because I'm nodding off. I work 8-5 tomorrow, and then I'm off till 1pm on Friday. I'm thinking about going to the Flying Saucer tomorrow evening, to get my dirty little hands on a St. Patrick's Day 2012 glass.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
I believe that I promised an LJ post on Monday morning about something that happened to me on Sunday night before bed. While it's late Tuesday, here it is.

I spent a while talking about life, the universe, and everything with [livejournal.com profile] angersson. It was very thought-provoking, and good for my soul to discuss a lot of what I did. After we'd wrapped up, though, I decided to go outside to smoke my pipe before I turned in for the night. The evening air was just that right amount of cool to make sitting outside enjoyable -- not cold enough to need a heavy coat, not hot enough to sweat.

The things [livejournal.com profile] angersson and I talked about were all but literally whirling around in my head. I was just trying to calm my thoughts so I could settle down and go to sleep. Then, I inhaled my pipe again. I don't know if I had just inhaled too deeply or if there was something else going on, but I began to feel tingly all over. Not a scary tingly, but a comfortable "happy place" kind of tingly. I put my hands in my lap and closed my eyes, since I felt that it was important that I do so, for a reason that wasn't entirely clear to me. Indeed, even now, I'm hard pressed to give a reason why that seemed like a good idea at the time, other than "it seemed like a good idea at the time." :)

I could SEE the thoughts whirling around, and could feel my heart beginning to attempt to keep pace, so I decided that I would quiet myself. Going completely blank is something that is nigh impossible for me, because my brain is ALWAYS trying to do something, so I decided to visit my rock for the first time in ages.

My Rock.. )

What happened next.. )

There you have it. There may be a mundane explanation for it, but I'm okay either way. It felt good to feel close to a god, even for a few minutes and even if I never saw his face. I went to bed that night, and slept so wonderfully that I felt I overslept several times before I got up.


* - I don't give a flying butt-monkey if many practitioners put the "k" at the end to differentiate it nowadays. That just looks silly and pretentious to me, and I know my audience. Y'all know what I mean. So I'm going with the correct spelling.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Misc - Double Deuce)
I got started on my car, and after fixing a seal, the axle went in smoothly. I rejoiced, for I was nearly done. I ran to AutoZone, got the cotter pin I needed, and came home and reassembled things. Then, I tested it out. It didn't make the noise when I was in reverse like before...

...until I hit the brakes. I tested my left turn with it, because that's when I first noticed a problem, and still heard the scraping noise. The old left axle was DEFINITELY bad, though, so I at least feel confident that I replaced something that NEEDED to be replaced.

I've finally eaten something, and I'm going to be going back outside momentarily to begin jacking up the car and removing the tire, etc. There are a few things different, but it's not that bad, and I have the basics down already. I just hope I'm done soon enough to be able to enjoy SOME of this day with my girl.

Wish me luck, I'm goin' in!!! *dives*

P.S. In other news, my first realm books came in today. Also, the Paxson book on runes is freakin' HUGE -- on par with one of the volumes of Our Troth. Browsing through them will have to wait for now, though. My car awaits.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Me - In Real Life 2010)
It has been nearly 10 months since I last used my LJ for anything other than seeing the daily LOLcats (and that's because a lot of you don't post on here anymore, either!). I've migrated pretty fully to Facebook and Twitter. Twitter's more fun, perhaps because I have to figure out what I want to say in 140 characters or less. At this point, Facebook just copies what I tweet.

At any rate, I found a link on Facebook to LJ, and wound up browsing through various user info pages, adding folks. If I just added you, then you should at least be familiar with me. The new default user pic -- which I use on Facebook, Twitter, and the Summerland Grove site -- is recent enough that you should be able to match it to me. I know a lot of you from SG anyway.

The past almost-10 months have been.. different. I courted Christianity again, dated a devout Christian (the former admittedly DID halfway occur due to the latter), wound up giving up my D&D game on Sundays forever (I never have Sunday afternoons off anymore), met a great group of people in what I am apt to call the core membership of Summerland Grove, began smoking pipes for fun, became a pagan in name (I suspect I've always been one in spirit, whether I knew it or not), decided on a spiritual path (Asatru), began dating a wonderful woman, and have grown to despise my job at Kroger so much that I almost went to a job fair (my resume was... well, completely unmade and not gonna be ready in time, plus I got called on to help my girlfriend, which I had no hesitation doing).

Of course, outing myself on my LJ as a pagan could be considered... unwise? foolhardy? I dunno. Anyone with half a brain who has watched my Twitter feed/Facebook posts will have picked up on it long ago, though I deliberately don't come right out and say it, because I live in Memphis, TN, where you're accepted for who you are...

...that is, if you're a monogamous heterosexual Conservative Christian who is intolerant of others' lifestyles and points of view. (I still classify as heterosexual, though that's the only part of that statement that still applies to me.) I have far too many Christian friends on Facebook who I suspect will try to help me "see the error of my ways", so I am mum on the subject there, but I realize I don't give a flying fuck outside of being harassed about it on Facebook. I keep quiet at work as well, just because things already are a cluster fuck there, without adding "OMG IT'S A PAGAN!!!11" to the list. I've not dedicated to a specific god, which admittedly bothers me quite a bit (to the point that I can get downright moody/depressed about it), but I'm reading everything I can get my hands on that I think will help me understand my choice of path more clearly. (I'm currently reading "Our Troth, Vol. 1", and Tyr *STILL* looks like a reasonable choice, though he no longer feels like a perfect fit.)

About two weeks ago, I went to Festival of Souls. I'd never been, and even though I had to work two days and missed the workshops, I had a lot of fun. I made a point to attend the rituals, and was.. well, "blown away" is appropriate, if a little cliched. My brother, Ricky ([livejournal.com profile] titus_the_mage, though he's never used it), went as well, and surprised me. He'd always referred to himself as an agnostic, or as he put it, a "chicken shit atheist", but apparently *REALLY* took to the pagan point of view. I'm still processing that he has come to that realization, though I'm glad to have a longtime close personal friend with me in this new life.

While I enjoyed every ritual, I was absolutely thunderstruck by the candlelight labyrinth held after the ancestor ritual on Friday night. The solemnity covering the field, where the candles were laid out in concentric circles that slowly led to the center, was absolute. I didn't hear any voices (consciously), nor did I have any brilliant immediately-life-changing flashes of inspiration (again, consciously), but when I had gotten out of it, I felt different. Two weeks later, I wish I had the labyrinth still up to walk again, like I have a new appreciation for it, and if I could just walk it again, even more would become clear to me.

On the D&D/RPG front, I eventually had to drop [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn's 4e D&D game, because work began jumping around on Sundays for me (I don't get to do payroll like I used to, though no hard feelings for the new clerk). I briefly attempted to get a game going involving [livejournal.com profile] nyminal, [livejournal.com profile] strieson, [livejournal.com profile] mfsfreak, and [livejournal.com profile] disker and his wife, but that fell through due to lack of motivation on my part. I just no longer "feel it" where D&D is concerned. I am far more likely to wax nostalgic over my old 2e games, and how engrossing they were back then. Perhaps, when my schedule settles down some, or I change jobs, I can start a game again with some folks, perhaps even including [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn, [livejournal.com profile] tannenwynn, [livejournal.com profile] marius_98, or [livejournal.com profile] lostgamers. I have access to a larger pool of folks, and if I mix and match 'em a bit so I'm not stuck with the same collection of people I have played with for the last ten years, things might get interesting. (I have *NO* problem with my old D&D group, but the reality is that lack of fresh blood caused things to get stale, and we all know it.)

Well, that's my life this year so far. It's an oversimplification, and you'll notice I didn't post about work. I'm on vacation for at least two more days, so I refuse to acknowledge it until then. :) Welcome to all the new people. I hope that you add me back. I want to get to know each of you better than I have so far.

Oh yeah, I also, at the urging of my girlfriend, am going to begin writing again daily, even if it's just in here. I am one of the worst procrastinators you'll ever meet, but I want this. I miss writing something down, reading it, and going "holy crap, this is GOOD."

P.S. Holy crap. I've had this account for over 8 years now. I feel damned old suddenly. :)

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