Avoiding “Sister Stays”

Notes from 1.10.19 about a dream that’s a message from Fenrir.

I kept winding up in the hospital, but I wasn’t experiencing any of the out of the hospital bits and just ‘waking up’ to different things in a hospital bed. Someone was taking my blood and explaining that I was having my first “sister stay”, in which my body was sharing someone else’s experience who had needed to come to the hospital and siphoning off the extra blood I had would disconnect me from them. I don’t remember why the person I was connected to was in the hospital, but the second time I woke up involved pain that I could only vaguely generalize to my abdomen and my blood didn’t look right (something pale brown was mixed in, and I can only compare the color to chocolate milk).

The third time I ‘woke up’ before my blood was taken and was struggling to not throw up. I couldn’t physically stay still (abdominal cramps from dry heaving), couldn’t explain why I knew someone was having a baby, and I was dazed enough I wasn’t sure if someone had borrowed my body for a bit (possession) or I had somehow wound up in a pregnant woman’s body (wandering soul?) before this visit. The attending physician reminded me of my “sister stay”, and despite my blood being removed looking quite literally like hot chocolate with mini marshmallows (no actual red blood), I didn’t feel better and the pain didn’t go away until after I’d thrown up.

/End/

Energetically, I can’t completely stop my ‘filter center’, and it’s more that I just carefully calibrate the energy I take in (skimming crowds because my energy perception isn’t high enough to get into person-to-person filtration). I’m fairly certain I’ve never talked about this here on WP, but something about my wolf-human hybrid energy body has led to what I call a filter center. I don’t consider it the same as psychic vampirism because I’m often not aware of cravings or a fluctuating energy appetite, and depending on what you read about vampirism, I don’t qualify due to lacking supposed shared traits or vampiric incarnations. My baseline is more of a sponge (filter feeder) that filters out excess energy from my surroundings, however, I can’t deny that some of the psi vamp stuff is helpful to make sure I’m not tipping over from filtering to being an energy sink.

This dream is an example of how Dad drops by with something to help make managing my Wolf easier. On the occasions when I’ve been aware of filtering an immediate environment, it’s been tied to someone else’s emotions becoming filtered and heightened in me, but I’ve never gone out of my way to test my perception of an energy’s flavor or how something about the source has affected it. This means that I haven’t specifically tried to feed from someone who’s pregnant before (some consider it ethically questionable), but I suspect my Father thought a heads up would help because I’m increasingly running into pregnant peers (and showers / events where I’m in close proximity to pregnant people that I’ll need to ward myself against feeding from).

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24/7 Extrapolation Gets Tiresome

Originally this was partially combined with “An unexpected shadow appears”, so that post’s last paragraph will help with context for this. I’ve also been sitting on but not doing a very good job of forgetting some tumblr users’ advice about extrapolation (in the frame of a queer cis woman in an m/f dynamic saying to extrapolate when the question was about same sex/gender resources, I initially couldn’t quite put my finger on why that came across as irritating to me). While this post uses Caregiver/little in the example, extrapolation relating to kink or dynamics isn’t solely limited to this dynamic (to some extent, a lot of queer people may find overlap because we didn’t all grow up with queer media representation).

And so, despite thinking I could weather the tumblr purge in whatever remnants of the bdsm / kink community might remain, I have been forced to realize that I actually need to try to look for queer and trans kink bloggers and/or resources, which may mean poking around off tumblr. I’m not saying there’s something weird that keeps us from extrapolating from cishet sources, but having at least a place where I don’t have to do all that All Of The Time might help.

F’ex: “Fun Little Ideas: Take her to Build-A-Bear, Tea party with Daddy, Princess plug [jewel butt plug]” → Figure out the source → “Customize a comfort object, social time and possibly a light meal, Personalized sex toy that can be used while Caregiver is not present as a reminder of them” → Translate all she/her references to mean the little → “Take your little to Build-A-Bear” → Translate all he/Daddy references to mean the Caregiver → “Tea party with Caregiver” → Remove the gendered assumptions of what a little may be interested in based on Princess centric DD/lg → “Little plug (?)” → Resolve awkward translations [(?)] that rely on DD/lg → “Themed butt plug” → Generalization for those who don’t do anal play → “Themed sex toys according to your little’s interests or aesthetics” → Non-sexual alternative (because even sex partners can’t insert a toy 24/7) → “A thematically or aesthetically appropriate wearable reminder of Caregiver (underwear, t-shirt, bracelet, watch, necklace, etc.)”

After all that micro-translating, we wind up with: “Fun Little Ideas: Customize a comfort object (ex. Take your little to Build-A-Bear), Snack time (ex. Tea party with Caregiver), Wearing a reminder of Caregiver (ex. Insertable sex toy, Certain piece of clothing, Jewelry or stealth collar, etc.)”. It’s more than likely a faster, less conscious process than what I’ve got written out above, but even little micro-translations build up when you have to do them in the majority of the areas of your life. And really, having DD/lg become the main face for resources and perspective kind of defeats the point of trying to call the overall community Caregiver/little in the first place. If you want to write a DD/lg post, go ahead and just call it DD/lg instead of trying to call it Cg/l.

Pass something like the original list around enough, and you really can get people who don’t realize that there are other dynamics than Daddy Dom / little girl and there’s more to what a little may be interested in other than Princess time, anal, and time with Daddy. This isn’t to say that Caregiver/little is the only place this happens, or that anyone involved in Cg/l hasn’t broken down lists like this and extrapolated. There was just a part of the tumblr community a few years back that really seemed to share the same few DD/lg posts for a while (and finding MD/lg, MD/lb, or DD/lb was hard enough let alone Cg/l). Not to mention how things were ‘split’ into what little girls and little boys would like (I lived through childhood gender essentialism once, and that was more than enough, thnx).

Sigyn & UPG (cross post)

[Cross posted from a sideblog where it was originally posted on 24 Nov 2017.

While Kaldera’s Northern Paganism shrines and Krasskova’s older content about Sigyn (that I found to be useful despite her more recent beliefs) did play a role in how I came to find Sigyn and Norse polytheism in general, I found that I didn’t really experience Her ‘child bride’ Face. I was influenced by the ‘runaway adopted by Njord’ aspect, I must admit. I’m not sure where the Angrboda / Sigyn rivalry came from in some people’s upg, but I personally take a more polyamorous route with viewing Angrboda as a potential wife / partner to Loki.

I probably could dig up the pdf (ebooks) for RK and GK’s direct writing about this, but I honestly don’t really want to. Due to the few details from lore, I sort of just took a ‘live and let live’ approach whenever anyone talked about Sigyn for that reason. However, I didn’t want to lose an informative post that gets into differences between lore and upg in a portion of the tumblr blogosphere because of the tumblr purge.]

Ask: What can you tell me of Sigyn? I tried adding a * to her name in the tags but it’s mostly anime (as usual) and fashion blogs (??? Y tho ???) kemetiwitch-deactivated20180209

kaynarune:

daysoffuturepasta:

kaynarune:

answersfromvanaheim:

Surprisingly, not much, and not just because Sigyn isn’t on my radar, but because there’s not that much info on her on the lore and the only UPG I’ve seen on the subject is from Raven Kaldera and friends, and they have a bad habit of passing off their UPG as fact. GLE has a post regarding Sigyn’s relationship with Loki and whether or not it was abusive that mentions when Sigyn is referenced in the lore. 

Some UPG I have read:

Sigyn was a runaway who was adopted by Njord.

Sigyn is in conflict with Angrboda, who believes Loki should have married into his tribe. (Note that Angrboda is mentioned exactly once in the lore and her exact relationship to Loki is not talked about).

A lot of people (IME) focus on the bowl holder aspect of Sigyn, which makes sense because it’s one of the only times she’s mentioned as doing anything rather than the text just saying “oh, she’s Loki’s wife” but I think, like some of the other goddesses she has a strength to her that many of us moderns don’t see because she isn’t involved in battle or any “interesting” activities (ie. things that men like).

I would like to talk about something that I think is going to piss people off, and that’s the “child-bride” aspect that is in GK and Kaldera’s books (at least, that’s where I first heard it). I can’t help but find this line of thought to be sort of creepy in that it implies a) that Loki is a pedophile/hebephile, and it feels, to me at least, almost like they’re infantilizing her in the same way that mortal women are constantly referred to as “girls” and not given respect as adults. This isn’t the first time Kaldera has written some questionable things about goddesses. I should note that I say this as someone whose deities are frequently incestuous. 

She’s not a heathen really but @loptrcoptr / @daysoffuturepasta has some opinions about Sigyn and might be able to point you toward info about her.

As @kaynarune said, I’m not a practicing heathen, so I hope it would not be out of line for me to comment on Sigyn here.

As a non-practicing heathen, I don’t have any UPG to speak of; the closest I come to UPG is a wealth of opinions, based upon Eddic verse/symbolism/etc. As someone on the academic side of Norse religion, my whole world revolves around what the Eddas do, don’t and might say. For instance, there’s nothing in the Eddas about Njord as an adopted daddy figure, or tension and rivalry between Angurboda and Sigyn. Both are fine theories, because hey: make shit up, it’s a free world, have your own opinions. I personally like to think that Angurboda and Sigyn are in rather frequent communication, and that Sigyn’s beef is with Loki for stepping out, not with his “other woman”. This theory is held together by the ever-debated idea of Sigyn’s lineage: what manner of being is Sigyn? Snorri lists her among the Ásynjur present upon Gylfi’s visit in Gylfaginning, but does that really say anything about her lineage? Many of the Æsir gathered brides from among the Jǫtnar (Skadi, Gerd) who are considered Ásynjur, but what’s the number-one scandal in so many of the Eddic lays? a giant asking to marry a goddess. (Think of Freyja snorting so hard that the Brysingamen falls apart. Oh, the indignity.) And so we have to ask ourselves: Loki, though considered one of the Æsir, is still not “relieved” of his Jotunn background and is the only one of the gods who is addressed with a matronymic instead of patronymic (Loki Laufeyjarson), and the Vanir are not addressed with any outstanding funny monikers, so it stands to reason that Loki’s Jotunn heritage is not forgotten by anyone, ever. And no Jotunn has ever been allowed to marry a goddess. So Sigyn, by that logic, cannot be born into the Ásynjur. This is a theory that I ascribe to. But it begs the question, still: what is Sigyn? Surely she cannot be one of the Vanir, who the Æsir hold so near-and-dear, unlike Jotunn pals like Loki and Ægir? Is she a Jotunn, then? That’s my opinion, but we have no concrete proof, naturally. I’m also of the opinion that Nari and Vali are both her sons, and that she was there when they (or one of them) died. But that is entirely speculation, and as close to UPG as I get.

As far as this “child bride” thing is concerned…. I’ll try to react with some semblance of chill, but I find the notion blatantly appalling and crass. First of all, the only god we know to have had a childhood was Freyr, the only other kids we see are the gods’ kids and Thor’s servants, who are not gods. So what is Loki meant to have done, scooped up a little human girl from a happy little Midgard village, or did he rob a Jotunn cradle, is that it? ok, I lied, I can’t be chill about this, it’s idiotic and perverse, and there is zero evidence for it: none of the gods are shown to have child brides, why should Loki? Kaldera can come and fight me. And what is this in reaction to, the long-upheld notion of Sigyn as this figure of “devotion” and “innocence”, thus she must be childlike? Is that it? The Norse pantheon is made up of figures with many, many attributes, and quite a few of these deities even share attributes, yeah? (Freyr and Thor both take care of every-man farmers, etc.) but we know so very little about the Ásynjur (eternal bummer), and what we do know we gleaned largely from Snorri, who himself knew so little about them that he ascribed each woman one attribute alone, and some– like Sigyn– got none at all and remained unmentioned in his list (further proof for my Sigyn-is-a-Jotunn theory, but I digress). So let it be known that the notion of Sigyn as a goddess of fidelity, loyalty, innocence, or faith is an idea not presented in the Eddas, and one that stems largely, I would argue, from popular culture, ie: Marvel’s Sigyn is the “goddess of fidelity”. Viewing Sigyn as this pillar of sweet devotion is by no means wrong: you do you. But it is, I think, it’s own form of UPG, and I believe that we should all be careful when discussing Sigyn if we’re discussing her on an academic or religious platform and make certain we’re not slipping into our own opinions and stating them as fact: there are no facts about Sigyn. Like… really. Let’s look at the actual Sigyn facts:

1. She exists. Arguably.

2. She is cited as Loki’s wife in Lokasenna and in Snorri

3. She does her bowl thing

4. Nari and Vali (or whatever iterations of their names you prefer) are either both her sons, or one of them is

5. Sigyn is present in Gylfaginning

6. And that is literally it

Sigyn is a lacuna. It’s part of what I love about her: Sigyn can be anyone you want her to be. Woohoo! As far as scholarly theories on Sigyn go, there’s the question of her heritage and the possibility of Jotunn lineage, as I mentioned above. Also, it is a popular notion in scholarship (my Old Norse professor, who is extremely well known in the field, holds to this theory) that Sigyn is a late eddic character and not original to the myths. There are two parts to this argument, 1) why should Loki have such a nice wife to help him out? Some believe this is all Christian influence, others cite the influence of romantic epics, which brings us to part 2) the belief that Sigyn is a late influence derived from the character of Sigune in the romance Parzival, an early 13th century German romance. It is hard to hear that Sigyn could be a “late” invention, but that makes her role no less key or her lack of description no less interesting. In fact, the character of Sigune is very central in aiding and guiding Parzival on his journey, even giving him his “true” name (what is more Norse-lit than that)– a guiding soul who helps him out in his hours of need? Sounds like Sigyn to me! Not only that, but the act of name-giving could be used to argue for Sigyn’s role as a Valkyrja, methinks, if that is something that sounds good to you. But when the name-game is done, I have a counter for this theory of Sigyn as a “late” copy of Sigune: 1) find me an Old Norse name prefix more popular than “Sig”, and 2) even if Sigyn’s name could be proved to be a simple copy of Sigune’s, could it not be an equally simple name change? Couldn’t she be an older goddess with a new name attached? Or, to play devil’s advocate, maybe she does directly stem from this romance character and no others, we don’t rightly know. Even if she is “late”, it doesn’t take away from the fact that she is a Norse goddess ta the end of the day. My personal theory regarding her origins as a character is that Sigyn is also related very distantly (by extremely strained etymologies) to Sinthgunt of the second Merseburg charm, aiding Vuolla (Fulla) and Sunna, her sister (possibly Sól), but this is a theory I cannot prove. Yet. >:)

Like @answersfromvanaheim said, I think it’s easy for people to see nothingness, or even weakness, in Sigyn due to her lack of description, action, or agency in the Eddas. But I think it’s important, when looking at Sigyn as a figure and a person with motivations and senses, to wonder about her lone action, the only real glimpse we get of Sigyn: catching hissing venom in a precariously balanced bowl, keeping it from sliding down and melting the face of her husband, a husband who has been unfaithful, who has murdered, who has sown the seeds of anger amongst the gods; a husband who challenged a warrior-woman in cold blood to kill his son. And Sigyn waits there beside him, bowl in hand, as he writhes against chains wrought from her child, and she keeps him alive and holds the end of all things at bay. Why? We don’t know. What seems “weak” and “boring” about a woman like that?

Anyway, I hope adding some scholarly opinions to the pot helped answer the question a little. Maybe. Sorry if I babbled on too much! And @kemetiwitch, if you’re looking for more info/interpretations regarding Sigyn, you’re welcome to join the @sigyndefensesquad: it’s a place for Sigyn lovers and their theories, be they devotees or fans. And if there’s anything I said that was confusing or unclear, i am always around and happy to talk about Sigyn at any time. 🙂

Like I said, she has opionions on this matter. 😉

Trans Witchcraft Dream

Last week, around 1.4.19, I had a fleeting snippet of reading a trans inclusive book about witchcraft that visually reminded me of the 90s era Wicca books, but I don’t quite remember if it was a Wiccan book or not. There was something about pronoun candles, and an image of a mostly white rabbit combined with and morphing into a purple iris.

Despite having looked at a bit of Casting A Queer Circle: Non-Binary Witchcraft by Thista Minai in an Amazon preview within the last few years, I haven’t really considered Wicca and its flavored witchcraft since high school. I don’t think the two remembered bits are a memory from a book being stirred up in a dream, but I’m not entirely sure if the general idea percolated something into being or not.

I had considered looking into Traditional Witchcraft in the past year, and in high school, I had to work to unlearn Wicca because my first exposure to paganism was its blend of religion and magic. I poked around at pop culture magic in undergrad (such as Avis), but this dream feels separate from all that. I’m not really interested in returning to a Wiccan approach, but I’m not yet sure where the line is drawn between an area that is commonly associated with Trad, PC magic, or whatever this is.

I’m probably going to poke at this, but I can’t guarantee it’ll be a concrete system or helpful for others. There might be overlaps (such as PC magic or possibly including a Deity / Higher Power), but it won’t be part of the system (secular, try to draw from nature and science).

2019 Divination

These are the cards drawn for the overall year of 2019. Deck: Flowers of the Night Oracle from Cheralyn Darcey.

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Dark Moon – Positive

Night Blooming Daylily (Creation)

Creativity in all its forms, including the creation of partnerships, friendships, and romantic matchings, as well as physical artistic and creative pursuits are all inspired under the energy of this flower.

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Full Moon – Be Wary Of

Rain Lily (Restore)

There is a change for the better coming, an opening up to new possibilities, and you are right on the path to benefit. Things are moving now, and the direction is in your favor, but you must be prepared to compromise a little. The timing may not be exactly to your liking, but the outcome will be worth any extra waiting or work on your part. Challenges are over-reactions and hastiness.

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An unexpected shadow appears

Me, trying to follow tumblr blogs because their posts will only show up on my dash (a byproduct of the purge): Ah, this is why I stopped following some of these blogs.

I can’t really stop what people fantasize over or how they phrase their advice, but even if I instantly stopped having a personal interest tomorrow, I would probably still have to face this flavor of shadow work in response to Dominant men (from what I’ve seen so far, cis men). It’s not even that I can pinpoint one particular man I’ve ever interacted with online or irl, but I just can’t stop reactions that have developed from trying to survive my country’s culture.

Choosing clothes. Orgasm control and denial. Needing permission to do something. The Dominant ordering food, making financial decisions, saying no in public. Calling the submissive slut, whore, bitch, cunt, etc. Withdrawing from touch is topping from the bottom. A lot of facial, blowjob, facefucking, and related gifs. An erotic fantasy caption about ‘using a toy’.

First reaction: I really wish bloggers tagged their gifs and photosets (blacklisting a phrase can catch a text post that’s untagged, but a gif often doesn’t have text). Second: I’m not sure if there’s a faster way to engage Wolf mode and bring out my inner Wolf. Third: I don’t know what to do with all this anger and pain, but I am aware that lashing out at individual men is not the answer. (Well, it might lessen the pain for a little bit in the short-term, but long-term, it isn’t productive.)

It’s more that I’m angry at the historical precedent and social messages from Cishet Men™. The majority of clothing marketing and design has been by men and has the root of making me (supposedly) more attractive to men. My sexuality and sexual expression should be in service to het men or include being willing to be queer on display (and possibly make an exception for him). Men already have a habit of talking for and over women and other people, and if I were conventionally attractive, I could experience plenty of men calling me those names just existing in public spaces. I already have to deal with reclaiming my body from being constantly available to men, and that’s not even diving into being on the ace spectrum. There’s also a retro 1950s housewife feel to some of the content, especially regarding household chores, and there are plenty of vanilla men who want a stay-at-home homemaker type and/or “”split”” chores along gendered expectations.

Intellectually, I can understand that this gets into personal choice, reclaiming (ex. slut), and individual dynamics where there’s trust (often taking place behind-the-scenes compared to whatever post is being shared). On a less cerebral level, I just don’t know if I can personally set down all of my armor, walls, baggage, etc. This isn’t to say that every individual cis man out there will explicitly act out all of the above, but sometimes I feel like a buzzkill when, for example, it feels like I can’t escape the dominant men assigning household chores to their subs, who are overwhelmingly women, and the irritation that it seems to reinforce women as caretaker assumptions. You do you, your kink is not my kink, and all kinds of variables about how it works for that specific dynamic – but it also feels like it’s everywhere.

  1. [X] Acknowledge that there is a reaction.
  2. [_] ???
  3. [_] Stop feeling like a killjoy, borderline jerk, and/or like I’m tapping into the Pack’s Anger somehow.

Admittedly, I don’t think it’ll be possible to get rid of all of these reactionary instincts because they’ve built up because there’s a clear cause. It’s a bit more like I need to channel survival reactions towards survival situations aka pick battles. How? Stop reading the post, take a deep breath, and consider:

  1. Is this post written with me as the intended audience (queer, trans, all that jazz)? Honestly, the answer is more often than not ‘no’, so I need to pour on the salt and consider if it’s actually helpful for the intended audience. If it is, and especially if it’s not a general, 101 type of post, my blood pressure would benefit from erring on the side of ignoring it.
  2. Is this post written with a 101, educational angle or topic where I might be included in the audience? Has the writer included a disclaimer or authorial note acknowledging dynamics outside of what they’re using as examples? Some of these posts do make a point of doing so, and even if it’s  c o n v e n i e n t  that they still default to he/Dom and she/sub, it can ease some of my internal kneejerk reactions.
  3. If this post could include me in the audience but is written in a way that explicitly focuses on cishet dynamics, does adding my two cents where I am included outweigh the emotional and mental cost of facing backlash and Educating? Honestly, probably not. Would it be easier to look for an already inclusive post or blog? More than likely.

And so, despite thinking I could weather the tumblr purge in whatever remnants of the bdsm / kink community might remain, I have been forced to realize that I actually need to try to look for queer and trans kink bloggers and/or resources, which may mean poking around off tumblr. I’m not saying there’s something weird that keeps us from extrapolating from cishet sources, but having at least a place where I don’t have to do all that All Of The Time might help.

Old Norse Name ‘Sigyn’

[Cross posted from a sideblog. Originally posted on 16 Sept 2016 and tagged #Lady of Knots.]

thorraborinn:

Nobody requested this one, probably because here is a standard, generally accepted interpretation that seems far less controversial than many other mythological names or words. Personally, I disagree with that interpretation, or at least the idea that we can be fully confident in it.

Typically the name is taken to be a compound of sigr ‘victory’ and a feminine equivalent to the word vinr m. ‘friend’ so that it means literally ‘victory-(female) friend’. The word sigr ‘victory’ is extremely common in compounded personal names and often, though not always, loses its stem-final r, such as in Sigurðr, Sigrún(where the r is part of the word rún), Sigfǫðr (a name of Óðinn, ‘victory-father’).

1. -yn: ‘(female) friend’ or something else?

The ‘(female) friend’ component comes from -yn, believed to be contracted from an earlier -vin, so that the original name was *Sigvin. I don’t believe it’s attested in that form, but it is a well enough attested alternation, such as in Bjǫrgyn ~ Bjǫrgvin ‘Bergen, Norway’. In my opinion there is a major obstacle to this etymology, which is the genitive of the name, Sigynjar (or perhaps *Sigvinjar). It appears in the genitive fairly frequently (because of its use in kennings for Loki) and I have never found an example without the j (that is, a consonantal “i” in manuscripts). The Old Icelandic word for an explicitly female friend is vina, and there is no trace of a word *vin, genitive *vinjar, with that meaning. There is an Old High German winia, but a hypothetical Old Icelandic cognate would be *vinja, genitive *vinju, and it seems unreasonable to propose yet another word meaning ‘(female) friend’ alongside an already existing word solely for the purposes of explaining one name, especially when there are other, much more likely explanations available.

There IS a word vin ~ vinjar, meaning ‘meadow’. It isn’t unthinkable that this could be the -yn in Sigyn, as Loki’s mother’s name Laufey also seems to refer to an element of landscape. Anatoly Liberman believes that Loki was originally a chthonic deity, and if that is true it might make some sense that his wife would be as well, but this is definitely a long way from certain, and there are not really very strong signs of Sigyn being inherently chthonic herself other than that she stays with Loki while he is chained up. Is that enough to go on? Maybe, but I personally think there are better possibilities.

There is no particularly compelling reason to believe that -yn must have come from an earlier -vin. It’s not impossible, but there’s no reason it couldn’t just come from a regular -yn. The y could have come by i-umlaut of a Proto-Norse *u, so *-unju > -yn or *-wunju > *-yn.

A Proto-Norse *unju has been proposed as a feminine name-forming suffix (equivalent to masculine *-unaz which has been proposed for jǫtunn, a possibly *Óðunn, and more) also appearing in Fjǫrgyn and Hlóðyn, and possibly extended into a longer Old Norse suffix –ynja that may have had a small amount of productivity in forming feminine equivalents to masculine words, such as ásynja ‘goddess (female áss), apynja ‘female monkey (api), ljónynja ‘lioness’, and karlynja (a weird word for ‘woman’ derived from karl ‘man’ in the Icelandic version of Genesis). It is controversial, however, as alternatives have been proposed for both Fjǫrgyn and Hlóðyn. Since Fjǫrgyn and Hlóðyn are alternate names for Jǫrð (‘earth’/the earth goddess), an ending vin f. ‘meadow’ actually does seem possible for both of them.

A Proto-Norse *wunju does not have any attested reflexes in Nordic languages (if not Sigyn), but would be cognate to Old English wyn(n) f. ‘joy’, which is also the name of the w-rune ᚹ. It is almost definitely related to Icelandic words like yndi n. ‘joy’. It is used in compounded personal names in Old English such as Ælfwynn.

Personally, I believe that of the several possibilities, a word cognate to Old English wynn is the most likely explanation, given that:

  1. we actually know it existed, even if in Old English rather than Old Norse — still better than an entirely hypothetical construct like *vin ‘girl-friend’
  2. there is precedence for its use in compounded personal names
  3. Sigyn does not show very strong signs of being an earth goddess like Fjǫrgyn/Hlóðyn which would increase the likelihood of vin f. ‘meadow’ (although this can’t be ruled out entirely), and that depends on the very speculative (and not widely accepted as far as I know) proposal that Fjǫrgyn and Hlóðyn are formed in such a way.
  4. If Fjǫrgyn and Hlóðyn are formed with an ending inherited from Indo-European (so that Fjǫrgyn is cognate to Lithuanian Perkūnė) then that is also a strong contender for Sigyn, but that is wrought with controversy and may not have actually existed.

2. Revisiting sig-

As mentioned above, sig- meaning ‘victory’ is a very common name element, and as such the fact that Sigyn is nowhere connected to victory in the preserved corpus of Norse mythology isn’t a problem. Nobody ever said that every deity must have a name relating to what they do, just that it’s very often the case. In fact, sometimes names go unchanged even after they become outdated and irrelevant, perhaps preserving a small piece of an earlier body of mythology.

However there is another word sig in Old Norse that could, without straining very hard, relate to Sigyn as we know her from the mythology, which Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon, in his Icelandic etymological dictionary, linked to Sigyn.

sig (2) n. is a rope that people use to rappel down a rock face or into a pit, or a rope with weights on the ends to hold something down. Either of the two uses of the word is mythologically relevant; the former because she likely had to physically descend (síga, p.part. sigat) beneath Hveralundr where Loki was tied down, and the latter because she cares for Loki while he is held down by ropes (sig).

For a goddess who receives very little attention in the Norse myths as we have them, Sigyn is distinguished by a remarkably early mention in the 9th century poem Haustlǫng, wherein Loki is called “the burden of Sigyn’s arms”. Therefore we know that already at a very early time – probably around 200 years before Vǫlsupá and over 400 years before Snorri’s commentary, Sigyn played an important role in Loki’s story, and this is further supported by the Gosforth cross:

Although there are plenty of reasons to believe that the story of Ragnarök as told by Snorri and even by Vǫluspá had changed substantially from earlier versions, Loki’s binding and Sigyn’s attending to him seems to have been very stable. I think that it’s very reasonable to identify the sig- element in Sigyn’s name with a rope, whether used for physical descent or tying down.

3. What does it mean?

I don’t think that what I’ve said here provides enough evidence to propose a translation exactly. The two elements I’m proposing are most likely are sig ‘rope for descending; weighted rope for holding things down’ and -*yn, a reflex of PGmc *wunjō ‘joy’.

Another possibility, though I think less likely and less demonstrably supportable, would be sig- and a reflex of *-unjō, which would probably mean something like ‘goddess of/relating to sig (‘rope’)’.

It’s also important to note that while I think my objections against identifying the second element -yn as meaning ‘(female) friend’ are strong, my rejection of sig- as ‘victory’ is not nearly as certain, especially given its extremely common use in personal names, not only in Old Norse but in many Germanic languages, including Old Norse/Icelandic Signý, a name often substituted for Sigyn in manuscripts (presumably because the scribe was unfamiliar with the name Sigyn and thought an error had been made in the manuscript that was being copied).

Sources

  • Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon. 1989. Íslensk orðsifjabók. Reykjavík: Orðabók Háskolans.
  • Cleasby, Richard and Guðbrandur Vigfússon. 1874. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. Oxford: The Clarendon Press.
  • Krahe, Hans and Wolfgang Meid. 1969. Germanische Sprachwissenschaft. vol. 2: “Formenlehre”. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • Lehman, Winifred P. 1986. A Gothic Etymological Dictionary. Leiden: Brill. (on the name Fjǫrgyn)
  • Simek, Rudolf. 1993. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. trans. Angela Hall. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer. (for the “standard accepted definition”, also listed on Wikipedia, citing Andy Orchard)

Hopes for 2019

2019 Divination

To save time and mental energy during the reading itself for 2019 (‘the year ahead’ type), I got the names for the cards I pulled for each month and the overall year (roughly speaking, a positive and cautionary warning) without delving into the specifics of the card’s meaning. I need to go back and get the relevant info before I can share a little bit of the year ahead results with pics. I might try to have some sort of #divination and communication post once a month, but I can’t make a guarantee (from one month to the next, I may not have clearance to share publicly).

Knitting

While I associate it with People Who have Left (and continuing to knit is a bit of a shoutout without officially honoring Them), it’s also a somewhat relaxing hobby. Somewhat aka ‘wtf does that abbreviation mean’, ‘guess I’m taking a break because the cat decided she needed to sleep on the yarn, the project itself, and try to become one with the needles’, ‘casting on is generally a once per project deal, so why are you assuming I remember how to do that after knitting this ____ for three months’, and ‘why do these patterns assume I have Every needle so I can easily switch out in-progress, do you know how expensive interchangeable kits are’. I would like to aim for a #knitting post once a week (hopefully with pics).

Misc. Thoughts

Kink. Gender. Queer. Service. There can be an overlap with polytheism (devotional power dynamics, f’ex), but some of it is more me poking at things I also fall under or run into (#kinky and/or bdsm, #trans or gnc). I’m not an educator, and I certainly can’t speak on behalf of a community, but I might go stir-crazy keeping everything to myself. I already have a few #reviews and opinions posts in mind (two books), and fingers crossed, I hope to have the funds for something off my book list this year. I’d also like to aim for one of these posts once a week.

2018 in Review

[Thelatestkate: Drawing of a multicolored ferret with the phrase, “I know it wasn’t easy, so thanks for sticking around for another year.”]

Trying to think back over 2018, it feels hazy and nebulous like 2017. Finally reached a point where I realized I had slipped into an unsafe eating pattern during 2017 and needed to stop that (fun fact, there’s subclinical and clinical starvation). Some People were still finalizing Their Leaving, and Someone (currently unable to name publicly) surprised me by dropping in with an interest in Adoration (less reciprocal obligations and different offerings compared to veneration or honoring).

My grandfather’s cancer diagnoses, chemo and radiation treatments, and my grandparents wound up with a second dog after years of letting Raven be an only child (after Sweetheart passed sometime in undergrad). My grandfather and great-aunt’s unexpected passings. My grandmother has started preparing for selling the house and downsizing (somewhere in town) sometime in 2019. Trying to help her navigate turning on and using the computer for the small number of necessary tasks that involve online sites – checking grandfather’s email, online bank statements – is a special kind of frustrating because she doesn’t really want to learn how to do it (fingers crossed that she goes to the intro to computers classes in the new year).

Fanfic as coping. Fanfic as realizing that I may not be interested in a certain dynamic, but it’s still rather easy to write it. Fanfic as a way to connect to certain histories. Claiming my first prompt on ao3 (and realizing that giving the character a 200+ year lifespan in this au might require finishing the draft in 2019 despite wanting it done by 31 Dec for character reasons). Fanfic as realizing a boom-and-bust method of having ideas and skeletal drafts but struggling to finish a story might be something other than laziness (Mental Illness pondering that deserves its own post). Past-me was smart to come up with a chapter uploading schedule in order to stagger it all out, but past-me was not smart in thinking I would get that many drafts done this year.

Original fiction? In my Google docs? (It’s more likely than you think.)

I have a somewhat hazy memory of voting for the first time in 2012 in the fall semester of my Freshmen year of undergrad, but it’s kind of shoved in among all kinds of other firsts, Adulting issues, and focusing on my studies during college memories from undergrad. I know I voted to re-elect Obama, but I honestly don’t remember if I voted again until 2016 (Sanders wasn’t an option anymore, so I bit the bullet and voted for Hillary Clinton). Basically, I think this past Nov was the first time I voted in a midterm, and let me tell you, that was disappointing as fuck in a rural, majority Republican county. But I made sure I was still registered, did my candidate + issue homework, and got my ass to the polls, so I did the best I could do.

Honorary shoutout to Tumblr’s content policy update and the ensuing purge effective 17 Dec 2018. I’m trying to make my remaining accounts and this WP work, but I can’t make any promises about not trying any alternatives out in 2019. (Follow certain users to Dreamwidth? Follow people seeking to recreate the better, early 2000s side of tumblr at Pillowfort.io? Figure out if it’s worthwhile following kinky bloggers to bdsmlr, qink, MojoFire, or other places?) *shrug* We’ll see.

[Source: User zadiest: i refuse to die until things are better and that is a threat]

Wibbly-wobbly, gendery-wendery

Late night contemplating of gender with my shadow selves

Part of why I hung onto pigeonholing myself into being a binary trans man is that I didn’t really know what else I could be, and the confusion was more scary than the dissatisfaction at not feeling comfortable with just being a trans man (because I thought I had to be FtM in order to be trans). It took more learning about the trans community and who all feel under this umbrella, and I ran into an umbrella for those who aren’t female or male all the time, nonbinary, and a bunch of specific names for gender identities.

Because I do not identify with the gender I was assigned at birth based on my genitalia, I am trans. I fought hard to accept that, and I will always claim that first.

220px-transgender_pride_flag-svg (Trans flags wiki)

I don’t identify as solely a man or a woman all of the time, so I eventually claimed nonbinary (AFAIK it’s a more acceptable umbrella term than genderqueer – even though genderqueer was first used in this manner – because not everyone has reclaimed queer).

120px-non-binary_pride_flag (Nonbinary flag) | tumblr_o29e9q7od71qdz3q6o1_500 (Genderqueer flag)

It really tripped me up when I was first questioning my gender that I had fleeting moments of feeling one way then another, but I eventually started to realize that I’m genderfluid.

120px-genderfluidity_pride-flag-svg (Genderfluid flag)

I kept running into all of these lists with these gender labels I’d never heard of, and I could conditionally identify with quite a few of them, but I never could identify with just one all of the time. I found it more confusing than helpful until I started to accept some degree of genderfluidity. While I can grasp at some internal feelings and perceptions, I don’t consider any of these moments that could warrant a specific label to be present long enough to justify detailed sharing with others or official claiming.

Moments (not a complete list) with example colors

  • “Both [M+W] to point of neither”
    • I’ve used comparisons to purple
  • Occasionally more masc / femme
    • Shades of purple towards blue / pink
  • Not on the binary (emphasis on the Otherness of above “neither”)
    • Green (not on the blue – pink binary at all)
  • A neutrality or sense of not being able to specify
    • Gray, hazy or blurry if unable to specify
  • Gender doesn’t matter or not able to internally detect a gender
    • Note: Specific to episodes / fluctuation of depression
    • The whiteness of a blank space

Range of label names possible (not exclusive for each option)

  • Genderqueer, bigender, nonbinary (outside of umbrella usage), androgyne
  • Trans masculine, butch / femme, demigender (demiboy, demigirl), genderflux
  • Genderqueer, nonbinary
  • Neutrois, agender
  • Some type of neurogender (gender is specific to neurodivergence / mental health)

I have nothing against people who want to use multiple labels and feel comfortable with using a specific label instead of nonbinary and/or genderqueer, but I don’t want to have to match up moments with a wide range of names for any particular one moment. I’m honestly not very good at on the spot detection (esp on a daily basis) and don’t want to get into “what” I am now with someone if I change up my presentation and get read as more of something. I know the wide range of options can help someone name their experience and find others with that gender experience (community is important), but right now, I don’t feel like finding the exact perfect label(s) will actually help me or help most people understand me.

Regarding the ‘most people’ bit, I’m not trying to sound 2edgy4u. I have family who don’t even seem to accept trans identities as an actual thing and struggle with understanding binary trans people. Even with the stereotype of ‘being born in the wrong body’ that the media loves, I don’t think they actually understand how being trans is different from drag (this is based on actual comments they have made). I honestly am bracing myself for my family to not understand and reject that I’m trans and nonbinary, full stop.

Frankly, quite a few people I’ve encountered just don’t think about gender identities or voluntarily look into ‘niche’ topics like all the possibilities under the nonbinary and genderqueer umbrella unless they’ve questioned their gender or are trans. Perhaps I’m expecting too little of some, but I’ve been relieved when someone has understood trans and nonbinary as umbrella terms. I feel like I’m just waiting for the completely oblivious non-relative to equate trans people and drag performers, and I’m honestly not always prepared to go into teacher mode.

In sum: Still trans. Nonbinary → Genderqueer + Genderfluid. I am a nonbinary trans person who is genderqueer with some genderfluidity. Outside of situations where I need to remain closeted, I prefer they / their pronouns.