Resonant Vibes

For context, I ran into TTR’s tumblr post back in March:

panace-void:

i find it interesting that i’ve so far seen heathens attributing covid-19 to Loki and hellenic pagans attributing it to Apollo, both with the reasoning “it’s just like them to force us to acknowledge the flaws in our system”

kemetics, which god do you volunteer as the rightful sender of this virus?

smarmykemeticpagan:

I feel somewhat uncomfortable with rhetoric attributing 50,000 deaths (and counting) worldwide to divine justice, it reminds me of that “everything happens for a reason”/“God will never put you through something you can’t handle” shit. I don’t think a god sent the virus so much as that I’m counting on my gods to use this disaster to bring attention to the already unconscionable and increasingly precarious state of the world we live in; the assumptions we make about how it works, how it must work, how it will always work.

[…] I don’t think things will ever go back to normal, and I know following Set for seven years before a disaster happened helped prepare me for it -even if we were to assume the gods weren’t real, the act itself has helped me cope both practically and mentally with the rapid changes needed to my expectations, point of view, and lifestyle. That’s how I see the Dread Initiator in this instance; not as the source of the virus, but as the possibility of learning and changing, hopefully as a group, through the difficult and confusing days to come.

satsekhem:

I agree with smarm’s sentiment. We should not be attributing any of this to any of our gods for the reasons they listed.

That said, in the FB groups I’m in, I’ve seen an uptick in people trying to appease Sekhmet. She was the ancient Egyptian deity that was the giver and healer of plagues, so the people, in their fear, turn to her to stop it.

I don’t agree with what they’re doing but I’m also not going to shit all over people who are terrified. They’re turning to their religion (just as everyone else has done in the past or is currently doing) in a time of crisis.

thetwistedrope:

To me, this virus is a thing that exists in the natural world, not sent by anyone, it just /is/.

If I had to attribute it to anything in our pantheon, I’d attribute it to isfet. Particularly our response to it.

Since illnesses were often attributed to Sekhmet, I get why people are invoking her. I would, if only to ask her to help to heal people, not because I think she needs pacification to take it back. The Egyptians may have believed that illness came at the hands of the gods, but we know better now and should act accordingly.

I’ve met my fair share of Christians who seem to think this is god’s way of teaching us a lesson. I’d like for the polytheist community to not give into that abusive and destructive line of thinking, tbh.

I also ran into a related sequel from TTR:

this is your unfriendly reminder that climate change is gonna make it easier and more likely for us to have more pandemics in the future.

instead of saying its gods and whatnot bringing this down on us, let’s blame the actual source: climate change brought on by unsustainable capitalistic structures.

While I definitely feel like Dad’s coming through in terms of ‘less static’ when communicating and a resonant vibe for these times, I don’t feel like He’s involved in the sense of being the one to blame as the origin point. I don’t want to knock anyone turning to their deities as a coping mechanism because that’s a human thing to do, but I’m uninvested in the idea – or the hope – of divine intervention. Personally, it just edges a little too close to certain Protestant Xtians calling one natural disaster after another a sign from their deity that the world needs to repent, turn away from its ‘sinful’ ways, and the disaster could be diverted. I can understand that it’s terrifying to be met with the prospect of living right by your deity being irrelevant right now, but I like TTR’s phrasing that the coronavirus simply is.

Or to put this another way for the Heathens, Asatruar, and related Pagans who don’t like associating with certain deities they think may (or will) influence the end times: I don’t think Fenrir set the coronavirus loose as a means of bringing about Ragnarok. I don’t think Jormundgand, Loki, Hela, or really, any particular deity did. Is it possible that you’re upset that one of your deities didn’t warn you, or you think Someone is spinning the pandemic to Their advantage? I don’t get all up in Otherworldly politics, I don’t do the oracle thing, and I don’t think it makes a difference if someone expected divine protection because of whatever personal reason they had. The pandemic is here, and we humans have to figure some of this shit out on our own.

After writing all that, I can’t deny that I sometimes get a ping of feeling like something is rather Fenrir-esque. The societal paralysis and the lockdown in March and April reminded me of the sword and anchor point. While the telling of Fenrir’s Binding focuses on Gleipnir itself, there’s also the little detail of a sword being plunged through His tongue and anchoring His jaw to a stone. Y’know, to really make sure He doesn’t move. (I don’t view quarantine measures as being equivalent to Him being Bound, but that’s more because I view Fenrir’s state as being similar to solitary confinement in prison, which is not the same as sheltering in place.) The [US] government (in)action, the economic effects (I’m not sure if it’s an official recession), and the societal unrest as Destruction (or the ending of an old system that doesn’t work) feel like some sort of Fenrir vibe.

Aside: Literal destruction also seems up His alley, too. My gut impression says that Loki fits with planned destruction and having some sort of strategy, while Fenrir fits with destruction as a means of releasing rage and pent-up emotions. However, that’s definitely an unverified personal hunch on my part.

I don’t really have a definite ending, and I suspect that my interpretation of some of these associations may change as the pandemic progresses, a vaccine rolls out, and we leave this fake ‘back to normal’ stage of denying the pandemic is still ongoing. That seems a bit of a downer to end on though, so here’s a throwback:

May you never howl alone.

Coronavirus & Prisons

It doesn’t take a lot of imagining to think about why prisons are going to face coronavirus outbreaks (often overcrowded, the staff leave the prison, cells and other areas within the prison aren’t set up for social distancing, etc.), and it’s already started.

  • “This Chart Shows Why The Prison Population Is So Vulnerable to COVID-19” [link]
  • “As COVID-19 Measures Grow, Prison Oversight Falls” [link]
  • “Coronavirus Transforming Jails Across the Country” [link]
  • “A coronavirus outbreak in jails or prisons could turn into a nightmare” [link]
  • Prison Policy Initiative’s tracking of “Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic” [link] and the ‘Other Resources’ section for others tracking policy changes and updates
  • “First federal inmate tests positive for coronavirus” [link]
  • “NYC jails see outbreak of coronavirus cases with exponential increase expected” [link]
  • Not entirely sure how to work around The WSJ’s subscription request right now, but I guess I’ll still link to the article: “Jails Release Prisoners, Fearing Coronavirus Outbreak” [link]

Considering that the coronavirus is a global pandemic, it’s a little hard to catch everything in a search of international prison news. I’ve got Penal Reform International’s briefing on Coronavirus: Healthcare and human rights of people in prison, a recent Colombian prison riot, Italian prison riots, releasing prisoners in Iran, and it depends on what’s showing up as the most recent unless I try to search for specific countries.

Once again I am reminding you I live in Ohio.gif:

  • “Officials taking steps to reduce county jail populations in Ohio” [link] (specifically notes Cuyahoga (Cleveland), Franklin (Columbus) and Hamilton (Cincinnati) counties)
  • “Advocates Call for Better Coronavirus Response for Ohio Prisoners and Jails” [link]
  • “ACLU of Ohio establishes email for reporting coronavirus problems in prisons, jails and youth detention centers” [link] (covid19@acluohio.org can be used by inmates and their families)
  • “ACLU Of Ohio Presses State To Protect Jails From Coronavirus Outbreaks” [link] (regarding oversight of county and municipal jails)
  • “Ohio prisons chief, juvenile officials: Extensive efforts have kept coronavirus at bay” [link]
  • “Governor, judges must include incarcerated Ohioans in COVID-19 response” [link]

Kite Line – March 20, 2020: COVID-19 Updates From the Inside:

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to change life on the outside for people all over the world, the prison population stands to suffer immensely in these times. Last week, we spoke to someone in Italy, who described the riots and protests inside and outside the prisons in areas around that country. [Link to March 13th episode.] This week, we are sharing messages from people all over the United States and elsewhere through our coronavirus hotline.

We currently have a dedicated line where prisoners, their loved ones, and their supporters can call and record a message. As word leaks out from inside the prison walls, we want to share with you what’s happening to folks on the inside.

Please call (765) 343-6236 if you have information on the spread of coronavirus within a prison facility, or what the prison authorities are doing (or not doing) to address this crisis. When at all possible, we will have someone available to answer the phone directly in order to more easily facilitate prisoners being able to call in to share their stories.”

COVID-19 Resources For Incarcerated People (courtesy of Beyond Prisons Podcast’s FB):

>> Prisoner Support Guide For The Coronavirus Crisis

>> Mutual Aid Networks & Resources

>> Share Information:

Help Us to Build a National Resource for How to Support Prisoners During the Covid-19 Crisis

This resource is in the very early stages. We’re hoping that collectively we can create a resource that will live beyond this current crisis. Feel free to share this form, and to add information for prisons, ICE detention centers, youth detention centers, etc.in your region.

Eventually, we imagine creating an interactive map and an app so that people can click on their state and find the information they need. We’re not there yet, but if someone has the skills to help build this part of the project please reach out.

You can enter your email on the Share Information page, use the google form linked on the Prisoner Support Guide page, or email beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com if you’d like to help expand this resource.

The Beyond Prisons Podcast stepped through the guide in this episode (1 hour 22 minutes) with some pointers, clarification (guide was written for those with little to no experience with supporting someone inside), and being upfront about it being a living document with updates in the coming days.

When There’s a Pandemic and Your Loved One Is in Prison (courtesy of Prison Health News):

From the third section, How to Organize Together to Fight for Our Loved Ones in Prison:

[…] Two activist groups, Survived and Punished NY and the Inside/Outside Soap Brigade, are raising money to send to incarcerated people across the U.S. for soap and other supplies. Please donate if you are able.

[…] Two activist groups have created the COVID-19 Prison Hotline, 410-449-7140, for incarcerated or detained people to call when they have coronavirus symptoms, when there’s an outbreak in their unit, or when they are being denied adequate medical care for coronavirus. The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and Fight Toxic Prisons, the groups that set up the hotline, announced: “We want to know where and when there is an outbreak, so that we can help mobilize support networks and media to lift up the demands of people on the inside.”

They ask people to share the phone number with people in prison. The organizers add, “We have dedicated volunteers ready to take their call at 410-449-7140. Please let us know what facilities your people are in when you tell them about the hotline, so we can make sure we fund an advance pay account for the facility. If the facility uses a phone service other than Global Tel Link, please contact us before sharing the hotline, and we’ll do our best to set up the necessary infrastructure. You can reach us at IWOC.CRC@protonmail.com.” If you are able to donate money to support the hotline, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid19-prison-hotline.

(I’m not copying over the entirety of the activist campaign links, but there’s definitely more than what’s excerpted here.)

Prisoner Support

I’m consolidating several tumblr drafts with links to resources for writing to prisoners and programs that send books to prisoners. In the case of navigating around a single website, I didn’t put each individual link but showed the steps in menu selection. [These drafts were compiled in late autumn/winter of 2019, so I don’t have links about releasing prisoners or Covid-19 specific prisoner support.]

Original tumblr post: an ask about writing letters to prisoners with a reblog that mentions birthday cards for prisoners (Rebel Prisoner Birthdays For January 2020).

Books

Political Prisoners Birthday Crew (linked in above) >> Resources >> Other Groups. Second section ‘Other Prison Books Groups’ >> Prison Book Program’s list of similar programs  >> I specifically found a program that services the state I live in [Ohio]: Athens Books to Prisoners. Based on following their FB page for updates, it also looks like they do some letter writing events, but the main goal is books.

This certainly isn’t the limit. Some programs are national (Books to Prisoners), some are regional (Appalachian Prison Book Project), others serve several states (Books Through Bars), and some focus on a particular topic like LGBTQ+ material (LGBT Books to Prisoners) or serve a particular prisoner population (SWOP Behind Bars). The Prison Book Program’s list has a few international entries, specifically for Canada and Britain, but I must admit that I didn’t keep track of much internationally aimed resources being referenced or shared.

Writing

I definitely don’t have every possible resource for this because it can depend on why you’re writing and who you want to focus on. (A whole bunch of links being referenced and going across my dash had to do with anarchists and political prisoners, so those links are being shared first.) The Certain Days Collective maintains a Calendar of political prisoners’ birthdays (and other important dates) and puts out a monthly version with prisoner updates to the Prison Break column on It’s Going Down, which also has had anonymously contributed political prisoner birthday posts like Rebel Prisoner Birthdays For January 2020, which links to Bloc Party: Everything You Need To Know About Writing To Prisoners. And here’s the last version I’ve seen of a tumblr reblog chain with international prisoner support options (not solely limited to Anarchist Black Cross chapters).

Even if you’re not an anarchist or adjacent to activist groups that include people who have been arrested during the group’s activities, some of the letter writing advice can be applicable to anyone. Granted, not everyone’s really interested in focusing on political prisoners or only sending out a letter for someone’s birthday, so, some groups I’ve seen referenced for LGBTQ+ letter writing (because I get a lot of queer content on my dash): Black and Pink (US based), the Bent Bars Project (Britain), and the Prisoner Correspondence Project (Canada based, but it sounds like they match US prisoners to pen pals as well). There are definitely other FAQs, but I personally find the Prisoner Correspondence Project’s FAQ the most helpful when it comes to getting started Qs, logistics, thinking over future scenarios, and some self-evaluation around expectations. Currently, SWOP Behind Bar’s Mentor By Mail Tips and Tricks sheet has the most about JPAY (electronic mail) that I’ve come across.

This isn’t the first time that Fenrir’s given a nudge in this direction, but honestly, as of writing this post, I haven’t started writing to anyone. I haven’t done very well with maintaining communication with online friends in the past, and I just didn’t feel I was ready to commit to prison correspondence. I also got a little bogged down in having too many options and decisions, which is why I’m not trying to present every possible program or project in this post. I do have a few notes saved from a tumblr draft that I want to tack on at the end:

~ Black and Pink: Even if you don’t live where there’s an official chapter, it’s not uncommon to find informal letter writing groups (ex. some university LGBTQ Centers). They also have the option to select from prisoners in solitary confinement.

~ Kite Line: It’s a weekly approximately half hour show that covers prison related news and a certain topic or theme for each week. I’m currently working through the archives and came upon the episode for April 7th, 2017: How to Write to Prisoners. (WFHB is based out of Indiana, so some people can tune into the applicable stations and hear the show on air. I’m in the online podcast crowd.)

~ Rebel Steps: “An independent podcast that launched in June 2018. This podcast is for anyone who wants to take political action and doesn’t know exactly where to get started. It guides listeners through actions that go beyond protesting and calling your representatives.” Season 1 Episode 3: Write A Letter (Solidarity) covers writing to prisoners. (Link includes show notes and a transcript. The podcast can also be listened to on the site, Stitcher, Spotify, and other places.)

~ Solitary Watch: “A nonprofit national watchdog group that investigates, documents, and disseminates information on the widespread use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails.” Projects to bring human connection to prisoners in solitary: Lifelines to Solitary (pen pal program) and Photo Requests From Solitary. Lifelines to Solitary can be signed up for as a group (essentially starting a chapter) or as an individual (a PO box will be provided and your mail will be forwarded to your own address).

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).

“Some of us are monsters”

[Cross posted from a sideblog. Originally tagged #Lady in the Cave, #Wolf mode. Not backdating because it was posted before this WP blog existed (1 Dec 2013).]

saintstrange:

Some of us are monsters.

You do not walk out of the darkness unchanged. If you look in the mirror and still think human, fine. Hold on to what you will. But some of us have never walked in the light. I have no desire to file down my teeth and clip my claws just to make people comfortable. They are all I have ever known.

(via red-voche-deactivated20170805)

Source: saintstrange

Confessional (Fenrir)

[Originally written 1 June 2017, but it’s still incredibly relevant now. I don’t view Fenrir, my Father, as a father in the sense of a priest, but I believe I was in the midst of watching a lot of the tv show The Exorcist when I initially wrote this.]

A small grid pattern of shadows fall across my hands, and I focus on this instead of scrutinizing my surroundings. If I let my awareness relax, I can be in the darkness.

“Why are you here, my child?”, a deep voice slides out of the dark corners.

“Forgive me, Father for”, words feel caught in my throat and the silence grows, “I can’t say I sinned, but I made a mistake. I can’t feel You, so I stopped doing things for You. I can’t say it’s personal because I can’t feel Anyone and haven’t really done anything for Anyone else either. The silence and absence seem worse with You – I mean that I feel worse when it comes to You. I should’ve tried harder because I should trust that You’ll always be there because, I dunno, fathers don’t abandon their children or some stereotypical bullshit like that. I don’t know if You’ve abandoned me, but I can’t feel You either way, so it just didn’t seem important to drag myself through the motions.”

“What motions do you think you have to drag yourself through?”

“Ritual. Cleansing, formality, speeches, and memorized actions. Fancy prayer on a set schedule with a special robe and special glassware and offerings.”

“Who says you have to do all that?”

“I feel like it’s an expectation and I should do it. What else would I do? My Father’s supposed to be important enough to go through all the effort because not going through that effort means He’s not as important. I can’t say everyone else does all this effort all the time, but it’s what gets repeated. I like the idea of formality, dependability, structure – I just struggle with actually sticking with it all.”

“What does your Father expect?”

“It’s been awhile since I’ve asked. I don’t think He wants the fancy-shmancy stuff all the time because it’d be like suiting up and going out to a five star restaurant every night for dinner. It gets tiring and a bit too formal because it’s energetically expensive. That’s the kind of stuff you plan for a big ticket special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. Other occasions can be special, but it’s more like going to Olive Garden to celebrate the end of a school year. You’re not going whole hog, but you’re doing more than sharing a meal in your pajamas at home.”

“Have you thought of saving leftovers?”

“I thought He was too busy to be bothered. I didn’t want to be too spontaneous when I can’t hear Him. I guess it seemed better to ask for forgiveness than to struggle with getting permission.”

“Small steps, my child. Your Father may travel for work or be exceptionally busy at times, but He has not abandoned you.”

Human Hunger

[Cross posted and backdated from a sideblog. Originally posted on 28 Nov 2013 and tagged #encouragement, #Lady of Untying (emotional vulnerability, human fragility, feeling, etc.).]

Your needs don’t make you too much. They don’t make you selfish or weak or greedy. They make you human. We all have needs. And those hungers aren’t something we should feel ashamed of. They’re normal, we didn’t get enough of them as children hungers. Affections we’ve been deprived of by the people who are supposed to care for us. Connections we needed to feel whole and spaces we needed to feel safe. Cravings we’ve been taught we didn’t deserve. Appetites we’ve learned to suppress and fill with guilt. Again and again we’ve neglected our needs because we’ve been taught that they were too much— that we were too much. But we don’t have to any longer. You don’t have to. Whether you need support, alone time, affection, connection, validation, or reassurance that you are loved — it is more than okay to ask for what you need. Making your needs known isn’t about being demanding or selfish. It’s about self-care. It’s about creating a safer space for yourself. It’s about using your voice and speaking your truth. It’s about giving yourself permission to take up space. It’s about listening to your hungers and honoring them. It’s about honoring yourself.

Daniell Koepke  (via internal-acceptance-movement) (via littlerestlessone)

Cherishing Monsters for Their Uniqueness

[Cross posted and backdated from a sideblog. Originally posted 15 June 2018 and tagged #comfort in hell.]

user lizardywizard:

i promise i will stop talking monsters soon but like

i want to cherish monsters for their uniqueness not change them

i want to approach the monster who lives in the cave and instead of ~drawing them out into the light~ i want to learn what it’s like for them in the dark

i want black leather scale-plates oiled to a fine sheen to be respectable dinner attire without having to force the monster into a cravat

i want to learn love from them because soft-bodied warlike primates aren’t the sole keepers of understanding on love

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.