plamen update

I can feel that I’m curled up in the fetal position on a wood floor. I’m not entirely sure why I’m waking up until I taste sherbert – my body remembers the harsh edge of vodka and how I pushed my body on survival; my muscles remember the ache in my torso as my body dutifully worked at expelling all of the poison I’d thrown at it. My eyes fly open – not unlike gaining consciousness in the ER bed with no control over my body’s activities – but it’s a muscle level flashback.

I’m alone and lying on a dark wood floor. Outside of arm’s reach, a broken bottle of Fireball whiskey that looks like it was never opened. I slowly crawl around the liquid and reach for the larger pieces of bottle very sure that I don’t want to just leave broken glass on the floor. My stomach muscles contract again (muscle level flashback), and I know that I’m not supposed to touch the bottle.

Pijača certainly made an impression as she left (I usually don’t get dreams that pull from my memories this vividly). I don’t feel like I’m in danger of repeating the questionable alcoholic overdose scenario from about a year ago (mentioned a while back, but definitely not new news here) right now, but my People want me to err on the side of caution for the foreseeable future. With Pijača gone, I don’t know if They’re uneasy at the lack of supervision or what. Just consistently getting a “come back after getting your mental illness ducks in a row” response.

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Leap Day Shenanigans

You ever just sit and side-eye your divination tool(s) after a Deity / Power / Spirit reveals a semantic loophole?

“Leaving” has certain meanings on Their side, so They technically were Leaving. But Leaving doesn’t always have to have the same meanings here in Midgard, so from my side, They didn’t actually Leave. It’s more like They’re so busy that Someone else took a call from Them and passed on a message?

Leaving without actually doing so. So, I kind of gained some People back Who Left during earlier stages of the burning period.

I hope we don’t play word games like this every time Leap day rolls around.

Kaditi

Kaditi (kuh-dee-tee) – to inhale and exhale smoke from a burning cigarette (source).

Coincidentally the name of the plamen [Fire Jotun] that I, at least, interact with as the Overseer of Cigarettes (and smoking them, obviously). Kaditi currently prefers she / her pronouns, and She’s technically been around for awhile (only now getting a name).

She’s been a mediator with my dead (particularly bio dead) on this because it’s been a definite issue with them. My dead have opted to lift their taboo on smoking rather than coming down on a side of encouraging / discouraging it. She comes down on the side of encouraging smoking, but She can’t require it either.

My dead had this taboo in place because smoking cigarettes was a vice for several of them and was a contributing factor in my one ancestor dying from lung cancer (I mean, he also worked his entire life in a coal mine, so the cigs weren’t the only reason for lung cancer). I have no interest in lung cancer or any other health problem that’s been tied to smoking, so I haven’t really ever tried to change their minds on this issue.

Why the lifting of said taboo? Kaditi reminded them of the benefits they experienced while alive and the benefits that others can experience (even if they didn’t directly experience them). I’m not saying that these benefits outweigh the risks and dangers, and I am not encouraging people to go and smoke for these reasons. However, looking at these perceived benefits can help with brainstorming alternative routes.

Possible benefits:

1) Calming in a sensory / tactile way, in addition to the focus on breathing,

2) Calming due to nicotine, if a need for that’s built up,

3) It’s a treat yo’self expense that has sometimes been cheaper than other ‘healthier’ methods, depending on the time period / income, and

4) It’s a way to socialize with others, particularly co-workers in some professions [definitely include theatre in this section].

Having something that my hands can fiddle with and that I can may be use to remind myself to breathe may handle the first bit. There are other ways to treat yo’self, and there are other ways to ground yourself in your body through the senses. I’ve already made the decision to accept whatever consequences of secondhand smoke I may encounter to talk with friends and socialize.

I’m used to walking pass strangers smoking on the streets and joining friends, co-workers, and fellow theatre people in talking over breaks. Once you step foot on a college campus (in some places), you’re going to run into someone who smokes. As long as I’m not in the direct line of exhaled smoke, I made the decision to deal with possible secondhand smoke consequences way back in Freshman year. It took a relatively short amount of time to go noseblind to the smell of cigarette smoke on others, and for now, that’s the extent to this.

My dead are okay with this stance. They’ve sort of been trying to parent from beyond the grave in some areas, and this is one of them. ‘Even though we totally did the thing, you shouldn’t do the thing’. They’ve stepped back to leave the matter up to me, and the ones who did smoke are certainly not going to judge me if I happen to do so. The fact that they don’t directly interact with everyone and that it’s harder for them to help other descendants leads some of them to go a bit overboard with me at times.

In terms of how Others feel about this, They primarily boil down to liking the not-smoking stance but not being judgmental about actually smoking. Peaches (a Spirit Who I haven’t talked about before) takes this stance on smoking cigarettes, but She’s like NO to basically everything else – chew, cigars, marijuana, and smoking other stuff.

Mani would prefer that I not smoke, but He can see how cigarettes are a coping mechanism and won’t judge for that. Sigyn would very much prefer that I not smoke, but She wants to see how I handle the taboo being lifted + stress before transferring the taboo to Her guidelines.

For the most part, many Others in the Norse pantheon pretty much fall in this category. Most of the Infernal Powers are neutral on the matter and won’t encourage one way or the other, except for Belial [the Devil]. He’s not going to force / require this, but y’know, He can’t really claim neutrality. Everyone else pretty much just seems neutral / please don’t but We can’t force you not to right now.

And we bring this back around to Kaditi. While She does view there being benefits to smoking and takes an encouraging stance from this, She doesn’t force or require smoking. There’s also protocol around smoking to show respect to the Tobacco Spirit Guardian (*) and other spirits from the Family of Fire.

  • I must make the decision to smoke a cigarette on my own. No Spirit, Deity, Power, human, or otherwise can force me to do so.
  • There are certain brands that I’m more compatible with and less compatible with.
  • I am limited to cigarettes in terms of tobacco usage.
    • No chew, snuff, dip, other smokeless tobacco products, cigars, no smoking other substances, and such.
  • To stick with the compatible brands, I am highly encouraged to stick to buying my own packs, however I am not restricted from bumming a cig from someone.
  • I’m not restricted from sharing if someone asks for a cig, however I will not interfere with quitting attempts.

(*) Totems and spirit animals are specific to certain Native American cultures, as far as I’m aware. A fair amount of people still use the terms even if they avoid the rituals, meanings, and other areas that are clearly only for those involved in the specific Native American cultures, but I’m pretty sure the terms themselves are only to be used by the applicable closed cultures.

A lot of people, spirit workers or otherwise, talk about how other cultures also interacted with the spirits of animals, plants, etc., so the idea of a spirit being a guardian or representative of a species isn’t limited to a particular culture. Rather than using totems and spirit animals for these situations, I mentally use “Guardian Spirit” and “spirit ally”. The Guardian Spirit is an Overseer of a particular species, and if you develop a relationship with a Spirit, They can be a spirit ally.

Iskra

Iskra indicated as a name (spark, ee-scruh), and she / her pronouns indicated.

One of many spirits associated with the creative spark that influences works of art, though Iskra has a particular focus on music (inspiring the production of, inspiring through listening, cleansing through listening to music, etc.). She’s particularly fond of Slovenian groups, though genre doesn’t seem to matter.

[I realized I didn’t share information for two plamen that had stopped by, so I’m going to share it a bit late.]

A hole appears.

Everyone Who has left:

  • Hestia
  • Dionysus – No matter how hard it may seem, I can’t give up on trying to make a career out of theatre.
  • Wadjet
  • Sekhmet
  • Raphael
  • Lucifer – When I first encountered Him, I loved the idea of learning how to play the violin for Him, but He was hesitant to confirm it. The only thing He conveyed for the portion of the Questionnaire about any debts or obligations was that I should go ahead and do so.
  • Voldemort
  • Nagini
  • Unknown Spn Entity – I was able to find out that my suspicion was correct and this was Dean.
  • Baldur
  • Hoder
  • Nanna
  • Sif
  • Idunna
  • Kolga

I am closed off to the Family of Mountains, Family of Snow and Ice, and the Family of Fire (other than two plamen Who have already visited).

Rather than having People leave outright, I’ve simply had Some turn Faces away: Narvi (Older Face) and Loki (Mardi Gras and Harley Quinn World-Breaker Faces).

Some pages have been updated, consolidated (in the case of the Tribes), and just outright deleted to reflect these changes. However, with changes being conveyed daily and trying to update more than one online space, I can’t guarantee that all updates will filter to every page / blog for a little while.

Jotun Intro: Fire Tribe

A non-exclusive introduction to some Jotuns (Cont’d)

Fire (Family of Fire)

Logi is the former King of Muspelheim, Who has since passed on the crown. He became the consort of Glut in the course of doing ceremonial rites and ritual sex for the health of Their land and Realm, and since He’s still alive, He still fulfills this duty. In the case of His death, this role would pass on to the current King. Logi is part of an order of Ancients Who tend to ancestral work and duties, so He may be able to assist with your own ancestral practice (if you have one, which isn’t required). He tends to be more sociable of His immediate family.

Glut is a member of and the current Leader of an initiate bound group (The Ring) that deals with spirit work, ceremonial rites, and what we consider priesthood. As a priest-leader, She became the consort of the King of Muspelheim for ceremonial purposes when Logi held that position. They still fulfill the ceremonial obligations of being consorts, but after Logi passed on the crown, They settled into a not-just-business partnership. She is often very busy with The Ring and navigating taboos based on certain rituals, skills, lessons, etc., so Logi often assists with interfacing with Others.

Eisa is the oldest daughter of Logi and Glut. She was conceived due to ceremonial reasons and born into The Ring, becoming a priest and spirit worker like Her mother. She also must navigate taboos and secrecy clauses, so She typically doesn’t interact with those outside Her Realm very often.

Einmyria is the younger daughter of Logi and Glut. She was conceived in a period of time after Logi had passed on the crown and Glut’s taboos and rules on ritual sex were relaxed for awhile. Without the priest demands of wyrd, She was closer to Logi while growing up and often assists the Ancients (They are not initiate bound and are much less formal and taboo-bound than The Ring). She is sociable, good in leadership, and has been in charge of the royal servants and staff of the current King for many years.

Surt is the current King of Muspelheim. Crowned in His youth, He admittedly was not as diplomatic, able to control His emotions, and made mistakes in trying to interact with the leaders and kings of other Realms. Partnering with Jotunheim and giving Him time to gain experience and skills with the assistance of Their ambassadors was very beneficial to His reign, and He now is quite skilled at diplomatic meetings and political maneuvering.

As a young, single King, Surt took many consorts and has amassed a considerable amount of sons, grandsons, and the like. His sons often work as ambassadors to other Realms, and His family often assists with message delivery to Midgard (answering His phone and passing on messages on His behalf).

In the face of a family within the Family of Fire desiring to split away, part of the agreement and peace treaty entailed one of the children of the family leader being married to Surt. A system of differently colored sparks and flames give information about how two Flames interact when They touch, but many only know of the color that indicates marriage is wyrd-compatible, blue. This color system is advantageous to political arrangements by indicating if marriage is in the couple’s wyrd, how successful it will be, if any children are possible, and other factors.

Ash, Who by our Midgard frame of reference is an intersex man, married Surt and by marrying the King became the Queen of Muspelheim. A capable diplomat and partner in running a Realm, Ash often isn’t well known in other Realms based on cultural differences. He or Zhe has run into inter-World differences in opinion of Who is qualified to be a Queen, and often prefers to deal more directly with Muspelheim than interfacing with those Who react disrespectfully. He often brings out a loving, newlywed side in Surt, and the Flames of Muspelheim are quite fond of Their Queen.

Pijača

The second plamen I’ve knowingly interacted with is Pijača. She’s been in and out for a while, but I just recently connected a name with Her. It took going back over that addiction inheritance poem for me to realize Who She was, and this is the continuation of what the commentary on the poem sparked.

I’ve heard of people talking about needing to have some sort of acknowledgement and/or relationship with the spirit of certain plants before they could be ingested for trancing / journeying / devotionally for Someone else / what have you. I think I read a post once where someone mentioned running into spirits related to gambling when they went to a casino once. It just didn’t cross my mind until now that there could very likely also be spirits overseeing alcohol.

I feel like Someone just tossed a truthbomb at me, or something. I knew I needed to stick to limits and boundaries to be safe and not push my luck at developing an addiction, but it never crossed my mind that Someone would want to make sure I stick to these limits to make sure I respect Their substance.

The ‘not getting an indication that I should 100% avoid alcohol’ still holds true for now. I think there have been subtle and not-so-subtle attempts at making sure I respect alcohol, so I don’t wind up with an insulted Spirit. I’m not really head-over-heels for the taste of alcohol (honest evaluation of my current taste testing), but I do know that there are Deities, Powers, etc. Who want alcoholic offerings at some point. Because of this, I have a feeling that any drinking I do will be devotional / offerings.

Before I can approach alcoholic offerings, I need to make sure this Spirit is okay. Like the above mentioned stance that some need to interact with the spirit of the substance before they can do anything with it. I mentioned in the commentary of the poem that this Spirit seems to present femininely, and I currently have Their approval to use she/her pronouns to refer to the spirit in question. I admittedly don’t know if She’s specific to a certain pantheon, but when trying to figure out what to call Her, I ended up with pijača (pee-ah-chah).

Current plan of how to make sure Pijača doesn’t get offended or upset:

~ Whatever boundaries and limits I need to set for myself, I should at the very least be able to stick to them. If I know I’m trying to avoid and/or numb emotions, no drinking. If I’m in a questionable area where my brainweasels are going to come out and play, I should opt out. Even if it doesn’t make sense to others, I need to have ground rules.

~ Legally appropriate acquisition and ownership is preferred. This doesn’t mean I have to be personally carded every time, but I need to work with my country’s laws rather than against them. The extra planning and steps involved show a measure of respect towards the alcohol (*).

~ Limiting myself to devotional drinking and/or alcoholic offerings will work with rather than against Her (and other Deities, Spirits, Powers, etc.). Alcohol is an optional beverage in that I don’t need it to survive, so They’re not really going to ask for it all the time (especially when starting out, it’s going to be for holy days / special occasions).

~ As part of the above, I may find myself interacting with certain types of alcohol over others. It may just be a family, or it may wind up being a very specific brand. I’m not catching Pokemon; it’s okay if I don’t try every alcohol out there.

These primarily sum up to: work with the Divinities involved rather than against Them. It keeps things running smoothly. Pijača is One of the družina od ogenj (Family of Fire aka Fire Tribe of the Jotuns), hence the Slovenian. She was assigned to interact with me based on Her inclinations from what I can divine. Some spirits involved with alcohol are only involved in the production, some don’t care about what humans do (or whether they wind up addicted), and some are more prone to encourage addiction.

Pijača is more about protocol and respect. She used a mother indicator, and there’s this feeling that She views the different spirits attached to the types of alcohol as Her children. I don’t think She’s necessarily high end or like a wine snob trying to convert others into being wine snobs, but She’s a proponent of not pushing alcohol on those who don’t want to or can’t drink. She has a bit of a host/ess feel, and I think there are some event holding do not dos for Her as well.

To avoid upsetting Pijača (tied into hospitality):

  • Don’t lie, misinform, or omit info about drinks containing alcohol when providing it to others.
  • Don’t provide alcohol as the only beverage choice.
  • Overall, breaking laws of your land is discouraged because the brunt of the fallout typically falls on the server / host. (Sometimes responsibility takes priority over popularity.)
    • As a U.S.A. person, this includes not acquiring alcohol to be shared with others illegally, not serving those under 21, and potentially other state laws if I were interested in homebrewing.
    • In the case that laws are broken, the host should try to make sure that the person / people involved are okay and have a game plan for dealing with it.
  • Don’t encourage alcohol poisoning.
  • Take into account whether someone needs to drive home and how they can get home without driving when drunk.
  • Don’t be pushy and pressure someone into drinking or coerce them into drinking more if they’ve reached their limit. Respect other people’s boundaries.

This last one seems to more fall under a pet peeve of Her’s rather than a rule that would merit offense – If holding an event on a level above a frat party, try to have something other than a red Solo cup for guests to drink out of. You don’t need crystal goblets and fancy stemware, but there’s something about Solo cups that She seems particular about (there’s a time and a place for them, but that doesn’t mean use them all the time).

~~~~~

(*) In terms of spirit benefits, that is. There’s a clear obvious benefit for me to follow the law, but sometimes people find it helpful / interesting to find out that spirits can have reasons for us to follow our laws other than the fact that it’s a law.

Požar

The first plamen [Fire Jotun] to drop by was Požar, and He had a cleansing tip for lack of better phrasing. I needed to do a specific fire based sigil to help with cleansing excess munrthoka (self-made term to use instead of ‘miasma’ outside of Hellenic context). That’s the extent of our interaction, and He left once I did the cleansing.

I have a typical format for doing sigils (Gallifreyan and Tolkien Elvish with colors chosen for a reason), but He basically wanted to share a different format. I wrote out His name in a rough sun sketch and wrote what I wanted to cleanse from me next to that. I then only colored over what I wanted to cleanse – yellow, orange, red, and then some black.

While I did use a personal code, it didn’t involve Gallifreyan or Tolkien Elvish at all. The process is faster than what I usually do, so I can use this format again if I need a quick means of cleansing. A tradeoff though is that, at least for me, this method works best for deep seated issues that need cleansed out of my system.

unNamed Jotuns / Rokkr (intro)

In addition to interacting with Deities and Powers Named in Their respective traditions, I’ve had Some stop by Who fall into this nebulous ‘wight / Deity / Spirit’ category. They’re Jotuns / Rokkr Who aren’t Named in the Lore, and I can’t guarantee that some of the information applies in how I interact with Them will be useful for others. The main example off the bat is that different Tribes are connected to certain languages.

I’m currently only likely to have three certain Tribes drop by, so I’m primarily just going to be sharing what I’ve learned from Them. These Tribes are: Mountain, Fire, and Snow / Ice. They have reasons for stopping by (as opposed to other Tribes), and each one is associated with a language. I will likely stick to the English translations of some phrases (especially when tagging here), but I wanted to cover them here in case I leave them in while transferring notes to posts. ((It will also help to explain why some Spirits don’t use English names.))

Mountain Jotuns stop by because They’re distant relations of m’Lady Sigyn (in my practice, Sigyn is the offspring of a Mountain Jotun and an unNamed Aesir). Currently, there have been tips on warding / protective magic. They’re connected to German, so the collective term for the Tribe Family of Mountains may also appear as Familie von Berge. The term for an individual Mountain may also appear as Berg.

Fire Jotuns stop by because They’re related to Sunna. Currently, there have been tips on cleansing methods, but Someone has also stopped by Who doesn’t have an explicit cleansing connection. They’re connected to Slovenian, so the collective term for the Tribe Family of Fire may also appear as družina od ogenj. The term for an individual Flame may appear as plamen.

Snow / Ice Jotuns stop by because They’re related to Kari and Holda. I’m not 100% sure I want to get into another reason in this specific post, but Their connection to Russian also plays a part in why They’re interested in me. The collective term for the Tribe Family of Snow and Ice may also appear as Семья из снег и лёд. The term for an individual may be Snowflake (снежинка) or Icicle (сосулька).

Spirits can also hijack poems to introduce Themselves

Written for my Poetry Workshop this past fall (assignment was due 9.10.14).

Addiction said We’re fated to be together.

Tobacco leaves wind themselves around Thymine

and compete for space with the coca leaves

curling around Cytosine in the next base pair.

Papaver somniferum blooms within Guanine

and the poppy roots itself within the deoxyribose backbone.

Adenine bedazzles the eye with neon pills

spilling out of its double rings that can

take you up, down, wherever your rabbit-hole goes

so your fears and worries are content to sip tea

with you instead of breathing down your neck.

A with T, C with G, and just a sip of alcohol (of your choice)

to ease the bonds that hold them together,

to keep them from falling apart into

a disheveled mess of I’m in control (I can stop).

I’ve inherited the coy dance of a substance

whispering how good we’d be together,

her lips to my neck with the slightest of pressure,

and it’s only whispers –

in the dark corner of regret and emotional avoidance

and the bone-deep familiar desire to escape,

we only whisper I’m in control.

This can be found here (deviantART post). I alluded to this poem elsewhere where I talked about the basic premise: I have an inherited predisposition to addiction. I know this doesn’t mean I’m just one moment away from being an addict and I can never ingest anything remotely addictive ever, but there’s something about the idea I sort of tried to grasp here that I’ve only ever approached in fleeting poetical ways.

I’ve been particularly careful about alcohol consumption for a variety of reasons, but the one I want to flesh out here is this feeling that Someone is involved. Not a Deity, not Someone with an Established Name and pantheon, more like a Spirit Who acts as the overall Guardian of something (in this case alcohol). The spirit seems to present femininely (ish, non-corporeal beings can present however They like), and there’s a flirtatious feeling.

I have never received an indication that I should 100% avoid alcohol. It’s mostly been a matter of the variety of other reasons meaning I need to have clear personal boundaries (no emotional numbing or emotional avoidance, do not feed the brainweasels, etc.) that provide limits. These steps should curb often seen reasons for people to grow dependent on alcohol and keep a certain level of respect around drinking.

I think – She – has dropped by and hinted at being here (such as through this poem) to see how well I can stick to my boundaries and limits (and to reveal what said boundaries and limits have to be in order to have a non-addictive relationship with drinking). ((To keep the commentary on this poem from getting really long, I’ve split off the stuff that’s very specifically about this Spirit into a separate post.))