Memo from Dad

Yes, another dream from the third of 2016 without laptop / wifi. This one is relatively less weird. Dated 10.31.16: Dream relating to prison.

A male teen was supposedly trick-or-treating as a “serial killer” with a face mask and a real knife. He didn’t say, “Trick or treat”, when I opened the door and instead raise the knife like he was going to stab me. I panicked, twisted his wrist so he’d drop the knife, and pushed / kicked him so he’d back up enough that I could close (and lock) the door. It wasn’t as clear cut cycle / repeat as some dreams, so sometimes details would just kinda change as I tried to explain what happened to other people in dream (push / kick, f’ex). Either way he fell backwards off the porch and hit his head on our concrete walkway (and sometimes had a sprained wrist).

His mother was watching from a bit of a distance and pressed charges; we live one house away from the sheriff’s department, so in dream they appeared to arrest and book me. I tried to plead to an assault charge, but because the guy died in the hospital several days later from brain swelling, his mother wanted to go for a murder charge (“I used undue force” and over-defended myself).

With repeats, the rulings and sentences changed; sometimes I plead to assault and sometimes I was found guilty of a lesser murder charge. At some point, I think someone was explaining that I could face 5 years of jail time, but I’m not 100% sure what the ultimate sentencing decision was (I did wind up in jail for murder, though). While in prison, I wrote to someone through a penpal service and got a chain tattoo around my neck with “Gleipnir” involved in the design somehow. //End//

While this does seem a bit alarming on the surface, at the time I wasn’t overly concerned about any foreshadowing. I wind up with the weird metaphor shit more so than anything relating to prophetic dreams. Around this time was also when I was mulling over the pros and cons of taking up letter writing at some point, so the main message was support from Fenrir (particularly if I go for a inmate penpal service).

This was also Fenrir’s way of dropping the idea of a devotional tattoo for Him, but I actually can’t get the exact tattoo from the dream. The name “Gleipnir” itself was incorporated into the design of the interlocked chain (no breaks or missing links; “eternally connected links”), which are both no-nos. Either one of these, but especially combining both, would lead to an energetic equivalent of Gleipnir. As a cub of Fenrir, I can’t handle that, and I would just wind up hurting the wolf in me in some way. The overall request has been noted, though, and we’ll work out details for something in the future.

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Kickstarter Progress

I had intended to wait until I actually had the deck in my hands to post about it here, but since I got an update about it today (and today is my birthday), I thought I’d go ahead and give a heads up.

I backed the Flowers of the Night oracle at the request of Several of my People, though Nott and Fenrir were the ones Who publicly claimed doing so. The following is a sample of the companion book’s description for a card (Angel’s Trumpet) in the Kickstarter’s description.

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The email today was that the decks are going to start getting mailed out over the next two weeks, though I’m not holding my breathe on lightning fast delivery (it’s shipping from Australia).

Just keep burning

A brief summary of how my current bout of shadow work has been going (it will theoretically last from this past autumnal equinox to this coming spring equinox). I’ve had to do some stove touching in order to learn some things, and I know not everyone wants to read about that. If you’ve read the last two posts (Five of Cups and February Full Moon), you pretty know the gist.

Mentions: self-injury, being afraid of ODing, drinking, and vomiting.

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Gleipnir’s Ingredients (vi)

Order and inspiration from the ritual Chaining Fenris: A Ritual to Bind the Inner Beast, the sixth ingredient: Nerves of a bear.

The sixth thing on the list is the nerves – or sensitivity – of a bear. […] we bring here a well-used teddy bear to pass around. Hug him, hold him, and remember that love and nurturing is necessary for all beings – even monsters. […] Remember that part of your job, as the alpha in your body, is to protect them, feed them, and care for them. They are no longer your enemy. They are your dependent. You are the leader of the pack.

I covered that othering the wolf part of myself and using the ‘alpha in your body’ line of thought doesn’t work as well for me when I got to footfall of a cat. Other than that, I’d still say that being nurturing and loving to myself is still something I struggle with.

I fought against Someone suggesting a self care day as a devotional activity for Them. Even though I based my play on a life event of mine and purposefully twisted details away from my life, I found the most unrealistic bit to be when a character complimented the one representing me in this life event. I shrugged away the Dove phrase that I got from a friend while we were all getting ready for Semester Review: Accept a compliment.

And now this is the last ingredient. Why is it so hard to just be nice to myself? I think to some extent I’m fighting against an internalized belief that I have to earn / deserve treating myself. Existing isn’t enough, so I have to do X, meet Y goal, avoid Z first. Because I have to do something to earn this, I can somehow rig the system so I never do enough (probably a combination of brainweasels and everything-I’ve-ever-internalized more than me consciously deciding this).

While I should probably aim for getting rid of a system to earn treating myself, I think a more realistic first step would be to readjust the bar I’ve set for myself. I’ve been holding on to standards and expectations of what I could do before my depression started, and these expectations look even more hard to reach when I’m in a very low place and just trying to survive.

Self_Care (Source)

Gleipnir’s Ingredients (v)

Order and inspiration from the ritual Chaining Fenris: A Ritual to Bind the Inner Beast, the fifth ingredient: Breath of a fish.

The fifth thing on the list is the breath of a fish. This, obviously, is water. Water symbolizes the feelings, the emotions that we must constantly check and be aware of. Sometimes, this is the only way to take notice of a chained monster who is becoming restless and needs attention. Watch the water levels in your life.

I would usually respond with something along the lines of “tired is an emotion, right?”, but I’m not just tired. [See #1 below cut, if anyone wants to see the rest of that (brainweasels, basically).]

Somewhere underneath the “I’m okay” exterior, I’m afraid that this is how things will always be. I won’t really ever get better. I’ll always have to fight against wanting to not exist, and I’ll always have to remind myself to eat and sleep like most humans do. People keep asking about future plans, and I don’t know how to explain that I just can’t long-term think like that. I’ll probably be alive in 5 – 10 years, but I honestly can’t make a guarantee right now.

I was nudged to this positivedoodle:

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I can’t really argue with that point, but it doesn’t quite make the thought of struggling through the daily grind less daunting. [See #2 below the cut.]

I made a note in my initial document that I actually wrote this on 11.14.15 from 2:20 – 3:30 AM (I was mentally still on the 13th, so I was mentally only a day late). However, you’ll notice that I did not share this shortly after the second day of the Dark moon (12th), and I didn’t do this because I’ve been waiting to see if my response would change.

It hasn’t, and it’s now the morning of my Nov check in (11.24.15, 2:45 AM). It seems too late in the season to try to switch to another antidepressant, and I’m hoping that this increase in dosage will help. I know I can’t expect happiness from this pill, but I’d settle for a neutral that doesn’t include all of my symptoms of depression (the passive suicidal ideation being a noticeable one).

Note: This post has been scheduled for 12.2.15, which is really late for trying to do these posts near the Dark moon of the month. There’s so much waiting with trying to figure out dosages.

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Thanks for being honest, Dad.

Nine-for-a-kiss wanted to test out  a Hannibal spread, and I thought I’d go ahead and volunteer as a guinea pig. The following is the copy+pasted response that was waiting in my inbox today, and I’m still working out how to give feedback. (Wow, would you look at all this accuracy?)

1. What have you grown dependent on? – Fear. I’ve been considering this, since it seems to be such a bald and uncompromising answer. I’m an etymology nerd, and ‘fear’ comes from a Proto-Germanic word that means ‘danger’ – but before that, it passed through the proto-Indo-European suffix per-, meaning ‘to try, to risk’, which in turn comes from a verbal stem meaning ‘to lead’, or ‘to pass over’. What does all this mean? Yes, good question. Have you been taking substantial risks? Have you found yourself craving adrenaline, action, peril? Even little things like staying up too late, loving the way your hands shake over your cup of coffee in the morning.

2. What do you need to let go of? – Your desire or quest for a guide. Be your own star in all this lightlessness.

3. What emerges from the dark? – A kind of worship, or holiness, particular to you. Ceremonies and rituals that have meaning; the ability to be your own kind of worshiper.

4. What lies have you been telling yourself? – That you are only a worthwhile person if you’re in the process of creating something. That your production is synonymous with your success. It’s a capitalistic view, that a person is only valuable when they are producing, and if you have thoughts or vague dread in this area, it might be worth exploring.

5. What darker impulses do you try to hide? – A tendency towards callous reactions.

6. What strength do you find in the dark? – You’re not mired in anything. You’re not stuck anywhere. You’re able to move, stretch, feel the blood flowing in your limbs, and you can pick the plot of sunny earth in which to plant your roots, and know that nothing has to be permanent.

7. What weakness? – You’re afraid of not-having. Of being poor, but maybe not even so literally – of being lacking.

8. What is your darkest desire? – to consume yourself, or to be consumed. To be part of something so much larger than you that it can’t help but subsume you. I think this ties back to the answer to number two, your desire for a guide – you want to go outside yourself, somehow.

9. What lessons can be learned from the dark? – All the mysteries. Magic, secrets, the will of the gods. All of it is here in the shadows, waiting for you.

Gleipnir’s Ingredients (iv)

Order and taking inspiration from the ritual Chaining Fenris: A Ritual to Bind the Inner Beast, the fourth ingredient: Footfall of a cat.

The fourth thing on the list is the footfall of a cat. Everyone who has had cats will tell you that although they can be very quiet, they can also be very loud. They are only quiet when it is their will to do so. They have the ability to step gently or to step hard, and this is something that you must learn in dealing with your monster.

Sometimes they will need you to go gentle. Sometimes you must be rough with them, remind them that you are the alpha in this body, make them submit and show throat … or they will never respect you. The cat understands the control needed to go from gentle to rough.

It helps to talk about certain desires, thought patterns, and behaviors by turning them into an ‘other’ that is separate yet inside, but this only goes so far in helping (for me, at least). I don’t have a wolf shaped monster locked in the basement of my soul that I need to remind that I’m the “alpha in this body”.

I can’t cut away the wolf into a clean ‘other’; there’s an interwoven mess that’s just me in here. I’m not being rough to something inside of me – I’m being rough to me. I can typically cover the being hard on myself bit without getting into ‘making the monster submit and show throat’.

I don’t know if there’s an element of socialization, brainweasels, or something else, but I struggle with being gentle with myself. I’m not even sure that picturing a little monster that needs encouragement, forgiveness, or what have you would really help because I would have a hard time with connecting the little monster with me.

(I don’t deserve….You’re just lying to yourself….I can always do better….Do you really believe that?….You have to earn it….Prove it….You’re not worthy….)

I usually have to picture myself with Someone else, browse positivedoodles, or somehow trick my brain into thinking that the encouragement, forgiveness, support, etc. isn’t originating from me. I know some people get all up in arms over Deities, Spirits, Higher Powers, etc. being thought of in this way, so I usually just keep this to myself. Sometimes you use what works.

Sometimes you gotta tell the disapproving voice to fuck off. If I’m borderline sick and feel like shit, does it really hurt anyone else if I imagine that m’Lady is doing the rubbing circles on your back thing that mothers do? If I’m tired but struggling to fall asleep because the brainweasels are being very active at 3 am, does it affect anyone else if I imagine that Hati and Skoll are curled up next to me?

If the brainweasels snuck up on me and I feel like I don’t deserve to eat, does it hurt anyone else if I imagine Fenrir nudging me and reminding me to eat? C’mon, Cub, how are you going to grow big and strong if you don’t eat? Something is better than nothing. You can’t ‘earn’ food because you’ll never feel like you deserve it compared to someone else. Your body needs fuel, and you can access food, so eat something. Don’t punish yourself for being alive.

Let’s end on a happier note, shall we? Have a positivedoodle:

Brand new: Howl Necklace

Beth Wodandis Designs

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This glowing, dark necklace with hints of shimmering red would make a spectacular stealth talisman to wear in honor of Fenrir, Loki’s wolf son, or alternately it would be very appropriate for Odin as well, especially in His role as Wild Huntsman. The central pendant is a sterling silver three-dimensional howling wolf dangling from a sterling silver European-style bail, on a strand of 8mm grade AAA silver rutilated quartz rounds (these are filled with chatoyant silver shimmer and must be seen to be believed; photos do not capture how amazing they are). The quartz beads alternate with 6 mm grade AA red tiger eye rounds (which are also incredibly chatoyant), 8mm grade A black jet pyrite rounds (pyrite embedded in black jet), 8mm grade AAA smoky titanium quartz rounds, 8mm grade A lava stone rounds, 2mm sterling silver spacer beads, tiny half-electroplated red/metallic gunmetal Czech crystal rondelles, and black Picasso…

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Gleipnir’s Ingredients (iii)

Order and taking inspiration from the ritual Chaining Fenris: A Ritual to Bind the Inner Beast, the third ingredient: Spittle of a bird.

The third thing on the list is the spittle of a bird. Regardless of what the myths say, birds have spittle … and so do you. This sacred energy of a bird’s mouth says that you should talk, should speak, should tell stories about your monster. Even if you cannot allow it to use your mouth, you can tell its tales, and show that it is appreciated.

Speaking directly about certain things defies socialization about what is ‘appropriate’, ‘reasonable’, and ‘expected’. However, I’ve mostly found that the written word and the mental safeguards that a reader can put up about ‘just how true or literal’ something should be works around this.

Poetry, fictional prose, plays – these are what I’ve typically turned to in order to explore certain areas and relieve the pressure from others. There are all kinds of means of expression, and this is where some people really turn to creative endeavors and/or the fine arts in order to have the work space they allow themselves to have in order to think these things over and let these thoughts out in some format.

Gleipnir’s Ingredients (ii)

Again, going in order and taking inspiration from the ritual Chaining Fenris: A Ritual to Bind the Inner Beast, the second ingredient: Beard of a woman.

The second thing on the list is the beard of a woman. This is tossed off as if it is impossible, yet we all know that it is not so. There are women who grow beards, and there are people who have beards who are women inside. This tells us that part of dealing with a monster is to find your inner balance between male and female, not to allow yourself to settle unquestioning into one or the other. That inner finding of balance helps you to maintain perspective.

This seems fitting with the gender questioning that’s been happening lately. I gave a reasonable summary in I hit almost every branch falling out of the “I’m not het” tree (questioning sexuality happened first, hence the title). On the basis of sex = gender, I’ve been raised femininely coded with a female body (for 21 and 8/12 years as of writing this). I do not identify as a woman with 100% inner femininity.

Part of why I ran into trouble with admitting that I’m in the trans umbrella is that I haven’t always known this, and I haven’t always known that I’m “actually a man with 100% inner masculinity”. It’s more like I went along minding my own business and moving freely between doing “boy” and “girl” things as a kid (because I could choose what I wanted to do, I did enjoy “girly” things as well as the “boy” things), and then puberty happened.

I was not consulted about what the fuck was going to happen, let me tell you. It was no longer as much of a choice of doing “girly” things, and I leaned heavily towards “masculine” things as a reaction against everyone suddenly trying to force only “feminine” things. I didn’t want to be their traditionally feminine woman that they were expecting, but I didn’t get a ‘yo, you’re actually a man’ feeling.

Transmasculine is a term used to describe transgender people who were assigned female at birth, but identify with masculinity to a greater extent than with femininity. (Source)

Once I came across this term, I thought I had finally found some sort of answer. However, I ran into issues that seemed to contradict (or at least muddy the waters) of identifying this way. People expecting me to be 110% committed to wanting he / his pronouns, people assuming that I ‘want a penis in order to fix my body’, and general expectations that I must now only want “manly” things because I’m a man.

I still hold that transmasculine works (for now). The thing that gets me (and perhaps muddied the water in the first place) is the expectations of how my internal sense should manifest externally (expectations of gender expression). I was running into people who were expecting close to traditionally coded masculinity, and this didn’t leave wiggle room. Some elements of my expression match up with expectations, but others don’t.

To a certain extent, it’s figuring out what I feel comfortable with while ignoring the gender associations that X item or Y activity is for men / women. I’ve run into it in androgynous people, non-binaries, genderfuckers, and other people where they cross social boundaries and remove gender associations (make up, hair length, painting nails, and “pampering” self care tend to come up first).

I’ve purposefully avoided certain associations when I don’t really need to. I mean, I’m sure I know part of why. I’ve been trying to fight against not being perceived as masculine leaning with some cards stacked against me, but I think when I’ve addressed the dysphoria adequately enough (and remove that feeling of cards being stacked against me), I think it’ll be easier to lose the gender associations.

I touched on how Jormundgand connects to this whole trans thing (and honoring the trans dead) in Their intro post. They’ve been the vocal spokesperson on being encouraging and supportive with figuring out what the hell is going on and how I can be most comfortable with my own skin. They seem particularly supportive of this fucking with gender expectations bit, and I have this feeling that They’ve been waiting for me to finally get around to this.