Hello friends! Many things today.
Taking a deep breath after the week prior, sorting out old clothes, trying to figure out what to put where. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster week but I can feel a peace coming. Or, it should be. Hopefully, my mother will settle down for a while since she doesn’t have to worry about running the show for The Celebrations of Doom for a while. Hopefully.
The weirdness started last Sunday. I did a full-body energy wipe and realignment, which in hindsight reminds me of defragmenting a computer. Apparently it was a much-needed cleansing, because the entire day or so afterward I felt great. I’ve gotten into the habit(or, I’m trying to anyway. Habits form slowly with this one) of doing a quick “dusting off,” for lack of better term, every day, or every few days. It’s useful for when I’m feeling utterly uprooted and need a bit of grounding to keep myself from flying off the handle or collapsing into a puddle of emotion. (where’s that “I’m in a glass case of emotion” gif?) That said, I’ve been dealing with Some Shit lately that decided it needed to be talked about out loud, and Bran, soldier that he is, volunteered willingly. Apparently he and I had a similar case of the not-quite-rights in our respective childhoods, and it was surprisingly healing to learn that he understood almost exactly what I am/was going through, as well as the coming-to-terms process.
On Yule, of all days, a package arrived containing some devotional stuff to Frey. On Yule. Now logically I know that the sender was busy and had to delay shipping for a while, and I’m fine with that, but it still felt for all the world like Frey decided this was going to be his Yule gift to me. I was sitting at my computer trying to figure out what to do about shading for a picture I was working on(totally unrelated) when my dad opened the door and handed me the package. I was confused until I saw who it was from, and then couldn’t stop smiling for the 15-20 minutes or so it took for me to carefully open and admire the artist’s handiwork. He(the artist) also sent a little vial of oil labeled “Frey” and I about cried. I don’t usually associate scents with anything or anyone, since I’m pretty darn anosmic most of the time(it means I canne smell) so the recent and random anomalies wherein I smell something and think, “Oh, it’s you!” have had me a bit off guard in that regard. For instance, Odin smells like old books and ice, Val smells like dragon’s blood, Loki smells like cinnamon, and Lucifer smells like mint and smoke. That oil smells like Frey’s hair. It smells like I just stuck my nose in Frey’s hair and stayed there for a while. It’s warm, solid, and real in a way I thought I’d never find toward Him. My own reaction stunned me as much as the smell did(in a good way).
Then came Christmas, which my whole family celebrates. In our case it’s part tradition, part obligation, and part family bonding time, since we’re all pretty solitary the rest of the year. There aren’t a lot of religious aspects to it, with 3/4 of my immediate relatives being atheist or pagan-ish. It brings us all together though, and that’s what matters. Mum tends to go all-out with all the things, since it was her mother’s favorite holiday, so if my sister or I ask for two little things(I usually ask for shinies and Jen always goes the video game route; talk about classic role reversal) we generally(though not always) get those things, along with something from dad, aunts, the grandparents, Greg(family friend), and in my case, Bran and his aunt. The living room is always a mess, after all is said and done. Most of the time, all of the gifts are inexpensive and pretty small, aside from the obligatory sweatshirts and pajama pants(tradition, at this point) and I’ve never minded. This year was oddly special to me. Not because anything was uber-expensive, I didn’t get a new car or anything(if/when this family gets a new car, it’ll be when my mom’s tank of a van finally bites the big one), but…the sentiment. The overall tone of the gifts. I’ve never gotten an overtly pagan gift from my family, but there were several. The only obviously-girly gift came in the form of pajama pants with a pink ribbon from my grandfather, and I honestly don’t mind(I’d much rather get the odd pink thing than come out to him). Bran got me an Odin’s Cloak Blue scarf, which is delightfully cuddly and not at all delicate, which suits me well. The real surprises of the day were a raven skull necklace and a small wooden chest carved with a raven and several pentacles. The box is perfect. I don’t know what it’s for, or what to put in it, but it’s perfect. Which brings me to the thing I actually asked for: the Wildwood Tarot.
About halfway through October I started feeling like I needed another deck. Shadowscapes is beautiful in its magic, flowing and poetic, mysterious and Fae, and it works…most of the time. As the dark of the year edged closer and closer, and the Hunt started clawing down the back of my neck at every opportunity, I started using the Shadowscapes deck less and less. I just couldn’t see anything besides child-like wonder and curiosity in the cards, and while that’s not a bad thing, it’s something I’ve started to look away from. This past year I’ve taken more twists and turns than I have in the five years prior, I’ve become more aware of myself, and accepted, or at least glanced at, some of the darker aspects of my personality. With the Hunt riding and the creeping sense of unease, dread, and feral restlessness that it brings, I’ve been craving an earthy deck, wild and rough, like myself. I asked my mum for the Wildwood deck, since she was on a tear early in December, and it was the first one I found. It’s exactly what I needed. Grounded, real, yet deeply entrenched in mysticism. Neolithic, in its styling, which is a period in time that has always drawn me in and made me curious. The Guardian terrifies me, and I realize there are yet more mysteries about myself that I haven’t even come close to touching yet, much less laid eyes on. I look forward to working with it.
Oh yes… and then there was the Loki gift:
It was a good week. 😄