Freyja's Man

Freyja's Man

On Being Vanatru: One Eccentric Perspective

On Being Pagan: A Journal Entry
Freyja's Man
freyasman
I made the following Journal entry this morning. It's part of my on-going process of reflecting on what it means to be pagan.

Being Pagan is a way of being, a way of living in this world. It is an Earth-based way in the sense of seeing things from the perspective of being in this world with both feet firmly on the ground rather than from the perspective of an all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present God above who has revealed the truth through prophets and had it written as Holy Scriptures.

The Earth-based perspective is a natural perspective. It is the perspective with which we are born and that develops as we mature if it is allowed. It develops from within rather than without. It is not a perspective that is imposed on us from external authoritarian figures to which we must comply and conform. Rather it is a perspective that is rooted in our own experiences, both personal and communal.

Some common themes emerge from a survey of different Earth-based perspectives:

1. Everything is connected, inter-related. All are kin. What effects one affects all.

2. Change is constant. To live is to change. Everything lives.

3. Change is cyclic. Sex, birth, and death mark significant points in the cycles of change.

4. Humans are part of Nature.

5. As humans we are healthier and more productive, we prosper when we live in harmony with ourselves and all others. Living in harmony or being balanced with ourselves is living in such a way that our head (thoughts), heart (emotions), and hands (actions) are in sync with each other. We experience inner discord or conflict when our head, heart, and hands are out of sync with each other. Living in harmony with others is living in such a way that allows them to prosper too.

6. Conflict is essential to the cyclic changes of Nature. It is both the catalyst and result of change. We can live in harmony with conflict. Some conflict is helpful and life-affirming. Some conflict is harmful and life-denying.

7. There is more to Nature than what we perceive with our physical senses or conclude rationally with our minds. There is an invisible dimension to Nature. There are invisible beings in Nature: goddesses, gods, and other spirits including the spirits of our ancestors. Some spirits are in the land, plants, and animals of this world. Other spirits live independently of this physical world, in the Otherworld. We can know all of these kinds of spirits by way of our mental or psychic senses.

8. Death is a natural part of the cycle of life. Death feeds life.

9. When we die in this world we live on in the invisible or Otherworld.


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Where is the Problem?
Freyja's Man
freyasman

I think that this is a nice follow up to my entry on Assholes:

Several years ago Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len confronted me with a very simple question. His question was about the problems that I experienced in life. He asked, “Where is the problem?”

At first my mind froze. Where was the problem? Then I felt confused. What did that mean? Wasn’t it obvious where the problems were? They were, well, where they were. They were with the events and people who caused the problems.

Then Dr. Len shared something from his personal experience. He shared that he noticed something about the problems he had. He noticed that there was a common element in every single problem he had. What was it? What was present with every problem Dr. Len had? Dr. Len. Dr. Len was present with every problem he had.

Where was the problem? Dr. Len shared that the problem was in him. Every single problem he had was in him. His problems were not out there in the events and people where he thought they were. The problems were in him. All of his problems were his.

After he learned where the problems were he stopped blaming others for his problems. His problems were his, 100% his. He started owning his problems. He then started taking 100% responsibility for his problems.

Dr. Len disillusioned me. He took away my illusions about where my problems were. He took away my excuses. I could no longer blame others for my problems. The problems I had with events that happened or the people in my life were not out there anymore. My problems were in me. My problems were mine, 100% mine. The question for me was whether or not I would own my problems. Was I willing to take 100% responsibility for my problems and do something about them?

Thank you, Dr. Len, for teaching me one of the most important lessons of my life.

 

Here is a link to an article about Dr. Len:

http://hubpages.com/hub/How-Dr-Hew-Len-healed-a-ward-of-mentally-ill-criminals-with-Hooponopono



Learning From Assholes
Freyja's Man
freyasman
This is a cross-post from my Pagan Space Blog:


Learning from Assholes

For this post Assholes are those folks that are very intellectual and even intelligent. They live in their heads rather than their hearts or bodies. It’s hard to imagine them in love or having wet, wild, orgasmic sex. They have studied and memorized a lot of information. They can spout out the information they have memorized like a computer. They often feel to me more like computers than human beings.

Lack Social Skills

More importantly, what makes them Assholes is not that they just lack social skills. They do lack social skills. They have no clue about healthy relationships. They do not play well with others. However what makes them Assholes is that they generally treat people like shit. They tend to be aggressive, rude, and mean-spirited when they spout their knowledge. They do not care about those to whom they speak. Rather than the people at whom they spout their knowledge they care only about their knowledge.

It is probably safe to say that any one of us can be an asshole at any time. Maybe I’m being one now. Only a few rise to the elite levels of Assholedom. Unlike occasional assholes the Citizens of Assholedom are chronic Assholes. For them being an Asshole is a way of life. Not being an Asshole is the exception.

They offer their knowledge unasked. They present themselves as teachers to others even though no one asked to be their student. They enjoy giving out homework assignments by providing links to academic articles and books. They actually expect readers of discussions to read all of their words and the articles for which they provide links.

Put Downs

They call others ignorant, stupid, delusional and wrong. Put downs of others are second only to spouting their knowledge. If someone does challenge their so-called knowledge they distort the words of their challengers so that they can continue to put them down. The only ones they consider their equals are those who agree with them completely.

They call others ignorant and yet they are ignorant themselves. They are ignorant of views other than their own. More importantly, they are ignorant of the social skills they need in order to share what they know, be well-received, and have their views considered. Most of all, they are ignorant of how ignorant they are.

Great Teachers

Assholes are my teachers. They are my teachers but not in the way that they think they are. I learn nothing from the knowledge they spout. I cannot hear the knowledge they spout because they are Assholes. I learn nothing from what they think they teach. What I do learn for them are negative lessons. I learn how I do not want to be.


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Hurt People Hurt People
Freyja's Man
freyasman

Hurt People Hurt People

I first saw the phrase “Hurt People Hurt People” many years ago on a neon message board sign. It made an impression the moment I read it and has stayed with me ever sense. I have tested the saying countless times and found it to be true. Hurt people do hurt people.

Many Types of Hurt

People get hurt, especially as children, in a wide variety of ways. For example, they can be hurt by physical abuse such as vicious beatings for punishment. They can be victims of sexual abuse. They can be the targets verbal abuse in the form of angry, hateful, insulting words. Verbal abuse can happen when a parent feels threatened by their very bright child. Instead of nurturing their bright child, the parent insults and tries the dumb the child down. Verbal abuse can happen at any time in our life and can come from anyone. It is likewise with all of the other forms of abuse. Emotional abuse often goes hand in hand with all of the other kinds of hurt. Whatever the type of hurt, it wounds.

Wounds and Scars

Wounds from the various types of hurt may heal but the scars remain. The scars are permanent. Some of the wounds may produce tough and hardened scars for protection from further harm. These tough and hardened scars often appear as various self-protective behaviors: withdrawal, obesity, defensiveness, and malcontentedness are just a few.

Other wounds never really heal. They remain as fresh as the day they were first inflicted. Still other wounds are freshly inflicted. Whether fresh wounds are old or new they hurt and hurt people hurt people.

Hurting Other People

Hurt people often hurt others in ways that corresponds to how they were hurt. Children who were punished with beatings often punish their peers with beatings. When they grow up and have their own children they often punish their own children with beatings. Children who were verbally abused often verbally abuse others throughout their lives. Children who were sexually abused often grow up to sexually abuse children.

Adults also often hurt people in the way they were hurt. Adults who are hit often hit back. Adults who verbally accosted often respond with angry, hateful words. Adults who are hurt sexually and/or emotionally often find ways to get even. Sometimes they do not hurt the one who actually hurt them but others who caught off guard.

Developing Immunity to Hurt

Is anyone really immune from being hurt by others? Perhaps as adults we can gain some level of immunity if not complete immunity. We adults can learn not to take things personally and to take up for ourselves. We can also refuse to accept the hurt that another would inflict on us.

Some Hurt People Are Best Avoided

We can also learn that some hurt people are do seriously damaged and so used to hurting others that it is the only way they can relate. They were physically, verbally and/or emotionally abused and chronically do the same to others. They are hardened in their hurt and hurting of others. They are malcontent and misanthropic. Being kind, respectful and reasonable with seriously damaged, malcontent and misanthropic people only makes us vulnerable to their attempts to hurt us. These hurt people are best avoided until they get the help they need, if they can be helped at all.

Breaking the Chain

Finally, we can become aware of how we ourselves have been hurt in the past. We can become aware of our wounds, both old and new. We can find healthy ways of tending our wounds so that when they are touched we do not simply react on impulse. We can react in healthier ways. We do not have to be a link in the chain of ongoing hurt. We can break the chain. We can be hurt people who refuse to spread our hurt on to others.



Happy Birthday!
Freyja's Man
freyasman
Happy birthday valkyry9!

The world is better because you are here!


One Original Thought
Freyja's Man
freyasman

I would rather speak one "wrong" original thought of my own than simply parrot many "right" thoughts from others.  –Freyja’s Man

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Pay No Attention to Me...
Freyja's Man
freyasman
Pay no attention to me. I'm just singing my own original song. It's okay with me if you just listen. It's okay with me if you sing along. It's oaky with me if you don't like my song; Feel free to move on. Whatever you choose to do I just enjoy singing my own original song. -Freyja's Man
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One Alternative to (Neo) Heathenism, Part 2
Freyja's Man
freyasman
In the alternative to (Neo) Heathenism that I propose Norse mythology plays a different role than it plays in (Neo) Heathenism. As a result a living mythology of the goddesses and gods becomes possible again.

Norse Mythology as Source Rather than Standard

Rather than being the canon, the standard of (Neo) Heathenism’s orthodoxy, Norse mythology can be the starting point of a new, vibrant and living mythology. In this alternative view, Norse mythology is an incomplete report of the goddesses and gods as they were viewed by Christian writers about one thousand years ago. It serves as a historical resource, a starting point, background material but not a standard of orthodoxy. Goddesses and gods are free and wild. They do not have to be consistent with how they were depicted a thousand years ago.

Stories Told by Those Who Know the Goddesses and Gods

This new, vibrant and living mythology is told by those who know the goddesses and gods today rather than just read about them in the old myths and debate interpretations. They tell their stories on the internet, in blogs, chats and on-line or in-person groups. They tell their stories in audio and video recordings and in books. In their stories they share their own experiences with their goddesses and gods while others take their stories in and listen with deep respect.

The Normalcy of Diversity

This new, vibrant and living mythology is necessarily diverse. It has stories about the goddesses and gods that are difficult if not impossible to reconcile. This is how the living mythology was before it was put into writing and standardized. In so-called Norse mythology there are different, irreconcilable accounts of what folks heard from the goddesses and gods about the beginnings of this world. There are different, irreconcilable accounts of how the First War ended and what happened in the peace settlement. Such diversity is normal in a living mythology. Just as we humans reveal different aspects of ourselves and our lives to different people depending on our relationship with them, so the goddesses and gods have different relationships with different individuals and groups and reveal different aspects of themselves and their lives depending on their relationships with them.

Necessarily UPG

With this exception the new, vibrant and living mythology is necessarily what is called UPG: it does not have to measure up to the canon of Norse mythology. It other words, it does not have to pass the test of (Neo) Heathen orthodoxy and its authorities and enforcers. Rather than answering to (Neo) Heathenism, the stories of the new mythology answer to those who read and hear them with deep respect.

Natural Selection

In other words, the test of the new mythology is the judgment of those who read and hear the stories of the goddesses and gods today. Those that ring true and are well-told will survive. Those that do not, will not. Only the fittest survive.


Conclusion

Those who are true to the so-called Norse goddesses and gods (they are not owned by or limited to the Germanic peoples) have alternatives to (Neo) Heathenism. The alternative outlined above is one in which the goddesses and gods are acknowledged as being real, alive and in relationships with individuals and groups today, Norse mythology is a source rather than a standard of orthodoxy, diversity triumphs over enforced uniformity, the stories are told by those in relationships with the goddesses and gods rather than adherents of an antagonistic religion and those who hear and read the stories of their goddesses and gods today themselves judge their veracity rather than stodgy (Neo) Heathen authorities. I for one gladly embrace this alternative.

One Alternative to (Neo) Heathenism, Part One
Freyja's Man
freyasman
The following is cross-posted from my PaganSpace blog:

One Reason I Reject (Neo) Heathenism

One reason I reject (Neo) Heathenism for myself is its use of what has come to be called Norse mythology. I use the word (Neo) Heathenism to label the widely diverse set of modern attempts to reconstruct or revive the pre-Christian, mostly medieval religion of the Germanic peoples. In my opinion, these various modern attempts have very little to do with what was practiced by our Germanic ancestors. For example, many have reasonably concluded that our pre-Christian Germanic ancestor did not have something that was called religion apart from the rest of their daily lives. Their relationships with their goddesses, gods and other spirits were as much a part of their lives as their relationships with their family members and tribe.

Norse Mythology

What unites the many diverse traditions, movements and religions that make up (Neo) Heathenism is what is now commonly called Norse mythology. Norse mythology as used in this essay refers to the stories collected in the Poetic and Prose Eddas as well as other writings such as the Ynglinga Saga and the histories of Saxo Gramaticus and Adam of Bremen.

A Frozen Dead Mythology

Most of what survives in these sources was written by Christians rather than those who were true to the goddesses and gods whose stories were told therein. When the stories were put into writing they were in a sense frozen and no longer allowed to develop and change as they had in the past when they were passed on orally and adapted in various ways. The act of putting the stories in writing also brought to an end the telling of new stories. For about a thousand years, no new stories of the Norse goddesses and gods have been told. Now the myths are dead specimens of what once was a vibrant and living mythology.

The Canon of (Neo) Heathenism’s Orthodoxy

(Neo) Heathenism is a modern religion that uses Norse mythology as it canon; that is, it uses it as the standard by which to judge (Neo) Heathen orthodoxy. Language and practice that is considered by (Neo) Heathen authorities to be consistent with Norse mythology is deemed orthodox. Language and practice that according to (Neo) Heathen authorities is inconsistent with Norse mythology is rejected and denounced. Those who use unorthodox language and practices are shunned, admonished, condemned and rejected if they do not conform to orthodox (Neo) Heathenism.

As a result of (Neo) Heathenism’s orthodoxy and its authorities Norse mythology is idolized. The only stories of the goddesses and gods that count as being legitimate are the thousand year-old stories enshrined in Norse mythology. Rather than a living mythology (Neo) Heathenism has a dead idol. It has no way of telling the stories of what the goddesses and gods have been doing the last one thousand years. It has no way of telling the stories of what the goddesses and gods are doing today, here and now. (Neo) Heathenism has no living
mythology.

(Neo) Heathenism its Debates Over Norse Mythology

Rather than a living mythology (Neo) Heathenism has debates over orthodox interpretations of Norse mythology. No amount of debate over correct interpretations of Norse mythology will bring the thousand year-old stories back to life. In fact, the debate keeps the mythology of the goddesses and gods dead.

The Concept of “UPG”

Those who engage in the debates developed a concept that insures that the mythology of (Neo) Heathenism will stay dead. The concept is “UPG” which stands for a number of different things one of the most common being “Unverified Personal Gnosis”. The concept “UPG” is often used in opposition to “the Lore”. “The Lore” is the canon of Norse mythology as interpreted by (Neo) Heathen authorities. “UPG” that does not reinforce “The Lore” is devalued and dismissed.

The situation of (Neo) Heathenism and its use of Norse mythology is analogous to us relating to our grandparents as if they were still teenagers. It ignores what the goddesses and gods have been doing for hundreds of years. It ignores what they are doing today, here and now. What has Freyja been doing for the past one thousand years? What has Freyr been doing? What are they doing now? (Neo) Heathenism has no way of answering these questions. Indeed, with its concept of UPG, it has made it very difficult if not impossible for (Neo) Heathens to even ask these questions.

One Alternative to (Neo) Heathenism

In the alternative to (Neo) Heathenism that I propose Norse mythology plays a different role. As a result a living mythology of the goddesses and gods becomes possible. I will outline this alternatine in Part Two.

Thinking Independently Together
Freyja's Man
freyasman
I like Malcolm Forbes definition of diversity: the art of thinking independently together.

I think that it can be diffcult to think independently, to think as one who is in no one's herd and blazes new trails that others might or might follow. Independent thinking requires courage.

I think that it is even more difficult to think independently with others, to think one's own thoughts, express them and also be in relationships with others. Thinking independently with others takes more than courage. It also takes love, patience, wisdom and skill.
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PaganSpace
Freyja's Man
freyasman
I signed up on Pagan Space the other day http://www.paganspace.net/profile/FreyjasMan67

and am really enjoying myself over there. It serves a different purpose for me than LJ. It's more about social networking. I highly recommend it. So far everyone has been very welcoming.

My Personal Vision, Mission and Values
Freyja's Man
freyasman

Today was a “Wow!” day for me. I’ve been fighting a virus and used the time to reflect on my life. During my reflection I thought a lot about the purpose of my life. I kind of did a mini vision quest. As I did the words for my personal vision, mission and values jelled.

My personal vision is my view of the difference I make in this world. It answers the question, “How exactly do I want to change the world? What difference do I personally want to make?”

My personal mission is what I actually do to realize my vision. My mission statement answers the question, “What will I do to help make my vision a reality?”

My personal values are what I will and will not do in carrying out my mission to realize my vision. They are the powers that I will exercise to fulfill my mission and help make my vision real.

Here they are, my personal vision, mission and values:

My vision is of a world in which more of us are fulfilling the life-affirming desires of our hearts.

In my opinion the more of us who are in the process of fulfilling the life-affirming desires of our hearts the better will be this world that we share with all beings. I believe that most, if not all of us have life-affirming desires in our hearts that we long to fulfill. Some of us have identified the desires and some have not. Some of us have also claimed them and some of us have not. Some of us are already clearing away the barriers to the life-affirming desires of our hearts and fulfilling them and some of us are not. Again, the more of us who identify, claim, clear away the barriers to, and fulfill the life-affirming desires of our hearts, the better all will be. I have written elsewhere about becoming who we are. I think that by fulfilling the life-affirming desires of our hearts we become who we truly are.

My mission is to help myself and others claim the life-affirming desires of our hearts and clear away barriers to fulfilling them.

As I reflect on my life I see that this has been the main theme of my life. This is what I have been studying and doing in many different ways, including the different jobs that I have had, my whole life. What is new for me is putting my mission into words. I found the process of putting my mission into words and the final version itself quite empowering.

My values are love, knowledge, wisdom and power.

I define love as the joyful union of all. The knowledge of which I speak is of the hidden made plain. The wisdom of which I speak is choosing best what to do in a given situation. Power is the ability to create desired change. It is energy in action. It is amoral but can be used in either helpful or harmful ways. I choose to use it in helpful ways.

In a sense all four of my values are virtues or powers. Uniting in joy what appears to be divided is a power. Making the hidden, the unknown, plain is a power. Choosing best what to do is a power. Creating change according to one’s will is power itself.

That I have four values is significant to me. Four is the number of Earth with its four seasons, elements, directions and winds. It is a number of strength and stability. I associate love with water and the West, knowledge with air and the East, wisdom with earth and the North, and power with fire and the South.

My next step is to develop a plan of action with specific goals, strategies and target dates so that I can be deliberate about carrying out my mission and realizing my vision. I am Vanatru. My strategies will include the nine-fold way techniques of healing and empowerment that I have learned from Freyja and also Freyr; specifically Seidr techniques.

To My Readers

If you are reading this far into this post, please know this: I am available to you. It does not matter to me what your religion, spirituality or philosophy is. It does not matter to me what your race, sexual orientation, educational level or income is- or anything else. What matters to me is the unfulfilled life-affirming desires of your heart, If you would like me to partner with you to help you fulfill the life-giving desires of your heart, I am glad to do so. By allowing me to partner with you, you help me fulfill the life-affirming desire of my heart.

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Welcome New LJ Friend!
Freyja's Man
freyasman
Welcome http://ignited-spark.livejournal.com/ Make yourself at home. Enjoy.
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Something Shared by Divine Ones and Humans
Freyja's Man
freyasman
Freyja said to me:

Divine ones, humans and animals share a common power. We all have a truly awesome power: the power to give and take life. We can have children and kill children. (Everyone is someone’s child regardless of how old we are.) We can nurture life or hinder it. We can promote life or destroy it. We can affirm or deny it.

Given the two options I prefer promoting life. I choose life. If that is what some mean when they call me a fertility goddess, I approve.

Yes, there are times that I hinder, deny, destroy and take life. When I do so I do it to promote, affirm, nurture and give life to others. I do not take life merely to take it. I see nothing of value in taking life to prove one’s superiority, dominance, strength or valor. How empty. How vain. Such killing harms both the killer and killed. However, I do see value and great honor in taking life , only when necessary, so that others may live and that in peace free of threats to their lives.

I am for life. I seek others who are for life.

Among many today are those who only take life and destroy. Many kill and consume and give nothing in return. They give no gift for a gift. They seek only their own gain. They bring about an imbalance in favor of those who take and destroy. This brings imbalance not just where they live. The imbalance ripples out to touch the entire Middle World and beyond.

I seek those who give and nurture life. Yes, life is nurtured by death and such a death is of great worth because it nurtures life. We do well to feel and express a deep gratitude for all that dies that we might live.

Some Basic Elemants of Shamanism
Freyja's Man
freyasman
Some Basic Elements of Shamanism

1
. Animism: everything is animated, alive, spirited, energy.

2. We can develop the skills to communicate with all other beings in this world including what we generally consider to be inanimate; for example, earth, wind, fire, water, rocks, plants and animals. We can learn to read, see, feel, intuit their spirits, their energy.

3. There are many dimensions. Our ordinary reality is one dimension. I use the words “this world” and “Middle Earth” to refer to our ordinary reality. There are many non-ordinary realities as well. I use the word “Otherworld” to refer to all of the non-ordinary realities as a whole.

4. We can develop the skills to access and travel in the Otherworld by way of our imagination, dreams, trances, entheogens, chanting, drumming, rattling, shape-shifting into animals, sexual ecstasy, and other methods of altering our consciousness.

5.
The inhabitants of the Otherworld are with rare exception kind and helpful to humans and other inhabitants of this world. Some Otherworld beings function as our helpers in the Otherworld. Some functions as our guides in both this and the Otherworld. Some function as our guardians. Sometimes these helping spirits manifest as animals of this world.

6. Open, harmonious relationships with Otherworld beings increase our abilities (power) to make a meaningful difference in this world. In our relationships with Otherworld beings we can gain knowledge about this world that we would not otherwise have. We can also increase our ability to make helpful changes in this world. The knowledge and power received is usually about very practical matters.

7. Shamans devote their lives to increasing their ability (accumulating power) and using it to make a meaningful difference in this world; for example, by counseling and healing.

8. The World Tree, Overworld, Underworld, soul (spirit, energy) loss and retrieval are common shamanic concepts.
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I look forward to reading the Eddas and other primary sources of Nordic mythology with these basic elements of Shamanism in mind.

Counsel from Freyja on Energy Work
Freyja's Man
freyasman
Wise counsel from Freyja to me about energy work:

Let go of outcomes. Send energy for others to manifest their own desires. Let your will be for them to fulfill their own desires. Do work to fulfill your own desires in such a way that you do not try to get others to do your will but empower yourself to fulfill your own desires.

Continue to send healing and empowering energy to others for their healing and empowerment that they may fulfill the desires of their hearts. Work as well for your own desires, that you yourself may fulfill the desires of your own heart.

What do you want for yourself? What do you need to do to get what you want?

Focus on the "what" rather than the "how". See yourself being, having, and doing what you want. Feel what you feel when your desire is fulfilled. Do what what you need to do in order to fulfill your desire.

What is "Sacred"?
Freyja's Man
freyasman

The older I get the less interested I get in dictionary definitions and etymologies of words. For me the real meanings of words are in my own heart and mind rather than reference books and websites. The meaning words have for me is in the thoughts, memories, mental images, emotions and physical reactions that they stimulate in me.

When I breathe in and say in my mind “calm” as I breathe out, I feel calm and memories come to both my mind and body of times when I felt calm. The word “calm” is attached or associated with what I have experienced. My definition of calm is defined by my associations with the word. My definition is unique. No one else defines “calm” as do I and I define it as no one else does, likewise with the word “sacred.”

To me “sacred” is a very big word. It holds a lot. In fact, for me everything is “sacred.” To me “sacred” means valued, of worth, held dear. To me everything is valuable. Everything is valuable because everything is rare. Everything is rare because everything, every individual being is absolutely unique. There is only one of everything that is-at least as far as I know.

Besides being unique, every individual being is valued. Every individual being is valued by itself, another or both. Nothing that exists escapes being valued.

To me what is rare, unique, one-of-a-kind and valued is sacred. Everything is sacred.

However, when I say that everything is sacred, I do not mean that everything is equally sacred. While everything is absolutely unique not everything is equally valued. I do not value everything equally. I value some things, some beings more than others. That is just that way I am. Some mean more to me than others.

For example, I value my life and the lives of my loved ones more than I value the life of someone who would do us harm. I would use deadly force to protect myself and those I love. In other words, my life and the lives of those I love are more sacred to me than the life of the one who do us harm. Is the life of one who would do us harm “sacred”? Yes. I just do not consider it absolutely sacred. It is sacred in relation to others and only to those who consider it sacred.

So, what does “sacred” mean to me? It means valued, of worth and held dear. To me everything, every being is sacred and some more sacred than others.

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Shamanic Ways, part 5, Values
Freyja's Man
freyasman
A value is that which is of enduring worth to me. It is something that has been important to me throughout my life in such a way that it plays a significant role in how I perceive the world, make decisions and act. These are my values in no specific order:

- Love: to love and be loved, to hold others dear and to be held dear by others, to be joyfully connected and in union with others.

- Care: to care for myself and others and be cared for by others, to act in ways that benefit rather than harm myself and others.

- Making a meaningful difference to existence: It is important to me to make a meaningful difference, to in some way improve the quality of
existence.

- Partnership: to be in mutually beneficial relationships with others.

- Knowledge: to understand, remember and recall important information

- Skill: to be able to do something, anything beneficial well and with a sense of ease.

- Wisdom: to choose best what to do in any given situation most of the time.

- Power: to be able, to have the capacity to make meaningful, beneficial changes.

- Pleasure: what I experience when I live my values.

- Beauty: I know it when I experience it, it truly is in the eye, ear, nose, skin, tongue and mind of the beholder.

- Generosity: freely sharing abundance.

- Happiness: see pleasure.

- Learning: the process of gaining knowledge or skill.

- Health: having a sense of physical, emotional, mental, energetic and relational wholeness.

- Mysticism: a direct experience of the unity and oneness of all.

- Loyalty: being true, committed to staying connected in a mutually beneficial way.

- Openness: being willing to be mentally and emotionally vulnerable.

- Balance: centered in doing and being, maleness and femaleness, inner and outer.

- Self-confidence: trusting one's own power, perceptions, thoughts, feelings and intuitions.

- Life: Yes, I value life.

- Freedom: openness, boundlessness to live me life as I choose.


I'm sure I could combine some of these and think of more if I took the time. These are what came to mind without thinking or self-censure.

I cannot say that I always act in accord with my values. Sometimes it seems that my choices are not between that which is helpful or harmful but between what is harmful or less harmful or what is helpful and more helpful. Sometimes I just get cranky and irritable or just plain tired.


NEXT: A lesson from Freyja about energy work, the use of power.

Welcome New LJ Friend!
Freyja's Man
freyasman
Welcome dorkychimera!
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Shamanic Ways, part 4, Experience
Freyja's Man
freyasman

Continuing my self-assessment, here are some things in which I have some significant experience-

Since childhood:

-Nature mysticism
-Art, specifically drawing and painting
-The Other World
-Christianity
-Sex
-Wonder
-Music, specifically guitar
-paganism
-Questioning authorities

Since adolescence:

-Reading and studying Philosophy
-Hinduism, Yoga, Buddhism, Tantrism,meditation
-Natural healing
-Christian and Jewish Theology

Since young adulthood:

-Relationships, marriage
-Teaching, specially music
-Communication skills
-Psychology
-Counseling
-Divinity (earned a Master of Divinity degree, a four year program)
-Leadership
-Critical thinking
-Public speaking

Since adulthood

-Parenting
-Small business administration
-Non-profit administration
-Sales
-Fund raising
-Reiki
-Herbal remedies
-Divination
-Hospice care
-Dying, death, grieving, grief counseling
-Various Neo-Pagan religions
-Shamanism

NEXT: Values

Shamanic Ways, part 3, Skills
Freyja's Man
freyasman
Continuing the self-assessment that I started yesterday, these are some of the skills that I have developed over the years (other than basic one like talking, walking, reading, writing, feeding myself, programming various electrical devises, etc)in no particular order. I have scored myself on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being complete mastery:

-Critical thinking (4)
-Playing guitar- electric (rock, blues, jazz) and acoustic (folk and classical)(Once 4, now 1)
-Counseling (4.5)
-Public speaking (4.5)
-Academic research (3)
-Teaching (4.5)
-Various forms of natural healing (herbal remedies, Reiki, Sei Reiki)(4)
-Various forms of divination (Runes, Tarot, Freyja's Eyes, Freyja's Womb, dowsing, reading bird omens, etc.)(3 because I don't practice as much as I could)
-Project management (4.5)
-Fund-raising (3.5)
-Biblical exegesis (4)
-Theological method (4)
-Philosophical methods (4)
-Sales (3.5)
-Non-fiction writing (3.5)
-Ritual creation and leadership (4)
-Volunteer recruitment and coordination 4.5)
-Strategic planning (4)
-Creative problem solving (4.5)
-Various home maintenance skills (I worked for a brick mason as a teenager and in a hardware store for a while as an adult.)(3.5 because I really do not enjoy doing home maintenance and improvement)
Program development and management (4.5)

NEXT: Experience

Shamanic Ways, part 2, Natural Talents
Freyja's Man
freyasman
So one of the things that the Stevens encourage in their book, The Power Path, is what I call self assessment. They present four areas to assess: natural talents, skills, experience and values. I add to their list: undeveloped abilities and deficiencies (abilities I simply do not have and barring something really dramatic will not have in this life time.)

My natural talents are abilities I was born with. They became apparent during my formative, childhood years, say before puberty. My talents include-

A very vivid imagination
Artistic abilities (music, especially rhythm, drawing, painting, and poetry)
Love of natural beauty (sights, sounds, textures, rocks, flowers, trees, butterflies, birds, cloud formations, sun, moon, stars, storms, waterfalls, the female nude-yes even as a little boy. I never have understood what was so bad about nudity)
Intuition
Openness to others, basic trust of others (people have to give me a good reason not to trust them)
Creative thinking and problem solving
Empathy
Wonder, especially about people and life- philosophy ( I somehow discovered Martin Heidegger's Intro to Metaphysics when I was 10 years old), psychology, religion, spirituality and mysticism.
Elves or Fairies- I played with a very small female Fairy in my bed at night and had a larger one I could see in my room.
Sexuality, yes, before puberty
Caring for others, counseling. I was my friends' confidante and secret-keeper
Energy work
Words

My parents and older sister did not understand me at all. A recurring phrase from my mother was "He has a very vivid imagination". When I was a teenager my Dad dismissed me as a "far out, freaky, weirdo". I guess I was. My sister just didn't like me and had very little to do with me. I was blissfully naive though very lonely.

Because my parents were so down to earth and practical it was not until I left home at 18 that I really started to come into my own. Hmm, I guess I really left home when I was about 14 even though I still lived with my family.

I cannot say that I have developed and maintained all of my natural talents. I stopped formal art lessons when I was a Junior in high school. Rarely do I use my artistic talents. Even though I have a degree and post-graduate study in music (classical guitar and music theory) I no longer play or even own a guitar. I do, however, supervise three music therapists at work.

Although I lost touch with Elves and Fairies, there are some in the words where I now live. I have an opportunity to reconnect. Maybe I will.

All of the other talents I've done a pretty good job of developing and maintaining in all aspects of of my life.

NEXT: Skills

Shamanic Ways, part 1
Freyja's Man
freyasman
For a few weeks now I have been asking Freyja and Freyr to take me to my next level of training as a Seidr Man. As of today I gained clarity in what the next level is for me: a deeper understanding and practice of shamanic ways. I have had a basic understanding of shamanic ways for a few years and now it is time to go deeper, wider and farther than I have before.

As part of my initiation to the next level, I just finished a book that was life-changing for me: The Power Path by Jose and Lena Stevens. It reviews the basics of shamanism and focuses specifically on accumulating and working with power(energy). It also does an excellent job of presenting how shamanic techniques can be used in business. There are many commonalities shared by shamans and business leaders even though they use very different techniques. This aspect of the book was huge for me given the fact that for the past three months I have been adjusting to a new position at work in which I am now a director. The Power Path helped me be truer to myself and my practice while I am at work.

The remnants of information that we have in Norse mythology about the Vanir clearly show several characteristics of shamanic practices: trance work, accumulating power, seeing, fore-telling, power animals, shape-shifting, accessing hidden knowledge, necromancy, spirit journeys, World Tree mythology, fertility work, and ecstatic practices including sexual energy practices to mention a few.

I am thrilled to know that shamanism is a world-wide, cross-cultural, multi-cultural practice that is very pragmatic and open to what works regardless of where the technique came from. I find this inclusive, practical approach to energy work very affirming and freeing. I am free to learn "stuff that works" from many different cultures and traditions without feeling I am betraying my ancestors or in some other way being unfaithful. I do not have to artificially limit myself to the cultures of my ancestors. I am free to learn what works wherever I can, I fact I believe that being open to effective practices whatever their source is being true to the practitioners who have walked the path of Seidr before me.

What is Now Proved...
Freyja's Man
freyasman
I haven't been posting that much in my own LJ lately, but I have been commenting in my LJ Friends and Community journals. I made the following comment in one of my friend's LJ and wanted to add it to my own.


One of my favorite William Blake quotes is
 
"What is now proved was once only imagin'd."
 
To have dreams come true we must first have dreams.

Dream big, always dream big and never, ever let go of your dreams.
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Freyja with Here Falcon Cloak
Freyja's Man
freyasman

Wow! I don't know who the artist is. If you know, please tell me. I found it here: http://www.goddessfreya.info/drawings3.htm

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Welcome New LJ Friend!
Freyja's Man
freyasman

Welcome devitahanet!
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Emerson Quote
Freyja's Man
freyasman

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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