Dec 21, 2012

Holy Day, Holy Beginnings

This year, 2012, has been an incredibly rough year--one of the hardest I've been through in a long time. The past week brought another round of sickness with it. But this year has been like that in general: like the hagalaz rune come to life, with one hit after another after another.

I had intended to be up in time for the actual solstice today, but ended up waking up late. My first thoughts were not pleasant ones, between sickness, grogginess, and feeling like I was already off to a bad start for the beginning of Yule. The sun was risen and the day was overcast. Any seasonal cheer seemed far away.

This made the turn-around all the more precious. I began the day with a candle and incense to honor Nott and Mani, thanking Them for Their travels and the rest They bring. I remembered times from the past year when I had seen great beauty in Their presence: falling stars and peaceful nights. Often, my fulltrui, Forseti, felt close at such times too.

I also thought of the Goddess Jord and remembered Her many gifts this past year--times spent in Her fields and forests. She sustains us and is our resting place beside the flaming hearth that is Sunna. She is Mother to Thor, the God who guards our world, and Mother to us all.

The clouds cleared and the sun came out. I set out new offerings for Sunna and the Day: incense, a sun-shaped loaf of bread I happened on yesterday, and a new candle. I thanked Sunna for her warmth and the light, life, and hope She brings. I thought of how Her shining face uplifts the spirit. We are Hers as well as Jord's. We cannot help but be sad when She hides and rejoice when She shines again.

Thanks are a prayer too. So often, I feel that the world is full of coldness and chaos. In prayer, we connect to the beautiful and the meaningful. Remember the good. Love the Gods and Goddesses.

Uncle Thor wrote a wise little Yule post: "Light a candle, maybe burn a little incense. Quietly call on the Gods of your choice. Speak a few words, make a dedication, and do it all in your own words.... In your Yule celebration, you have to provide the heart. It is up to you to fill all the little things you do for Yule with feeling and meaning."

Forseti is my fulltrui and for me, honoring His parents is a very important part of the Winter Solstice that begins the holy Yuletide. This year, the offerings were small white flowers, a new candle, and chamomile incense. Some of the flowers went to Frigga and Forseti as well.

From Forseti and His family, I have learned much of holding sorrows and joys together. In sadness, there can exist hope. In darkness, there still exists light. Tears and rejoicing can flow together. We need not build walls and divides within our hearts and souls.

May your Yule be blessed. May the Gods and Goddesses be close at this time and in the coming year. Thank you for reading. It is an honor to be able to share faith with you, in its many expressions. May this time warm you and bring you light.

Hail Nott! Hail Mani! 
Hail Sunna! Hail Dagr! 
Hail all the Gods and Goddesses!  
Hail the Yule!

Dec 8, 2012

The Goddess Rindr

In this post, I will share some personal UPG on the Goddess Rindr, otherwise known as Rind or Rinda. Our surviving lore tells us that she was raped by Odin and bore Him a son, Vali, to avenge Baldur’s death. I have not had as many interactions with Her as I have had with some of our other Gods and Goddesses. However, I do very much feel that She deserves honor and recognition.

I first met Rindr through my fulltrui, Forseti, during a meditation: He insisted on introducing us. To my perceptions, Rindr seemed to have long, curly, black hair and was very tall. She was dressed in a very somber and plain dress, which I “saw” as dark gray or charcoal black. Her presence and personality were different than what I had expected... or, more accurately, dreaded. While She was serious, She did not lash out about Her past. I could feel how her experience is truly a part of Her, but also how Her tragedy does not define Her.

This is one of Rindr’s great gifts: She is not what was done to Her or what happened to Her. She has an amazing strength that wells from deep within--not unlike Thrud's strength, but with a different sort of undercurrent. Rindr’s power is that which can only be found on the other side of lost innocence. Interestingly, Her presence did not feel at all heavy. Merely being near Her felt very grounding and calming.

My understanding of Rindr is that She is very much interested in those who have suffered any sort of violation, including “everyday” harms like verbal abuse. She is very adept with healing wounds of violation, loss, or neglect.

In my encounters with Her, I have found Rindr's personality to be direct. In some ways, She reminds me of Forseti. She cares deeply about justice for those who have been hurt, and comes across as remarkably patient and down-to-earth. Rindr tends to be straightforward in Her speech, but is very compassionate as well. She is truthful and expects to be addressed truthfully in return. 

Rindr does not seem to be interested in fancy things. Personally, I don’t see Her as wearing any jewelry, and I get the marked impression that offerings of that nature would not appeal to Her. One way to honor Her would be give someone in pain the space to share their story without imposing expectations or definitions on their experience. When we acknowledge the person behind the trauma, we ultimately acknowledge that dreadful things can happen to any person, ourselves included. This takes no small amount of courage. It is all too human to wish to distance ourselves, to try to "solve" the hurt, or even to outright blame the victim. Rindr teaches us to relate to each other--and to our own selves--with honesty and to face what is not comfortable.

Rindr is also an excellent Goddess to call upon for those who see the darker sides of human nature in their work. Those who regularly interact with the wounded can certainly become wounded themselves, especially over time. Rindr’s focused and grounding strength is particularly comforting. Her presence and wisdom may help against compassion fatigue and burnout.  

Rindr truly knows the blackest spaces. Those who seek Her will navigate through those places in good company. Her healing is not a surface "fix," but rather a deep sense of wholeness from the core. She can bring together that which has been fragmented. She is very much worth hailing and honoring.