EJ ~ The Hermit
Worldbuilder, wayfarer, and spiritual nomad. I do a lot of things. Art has always been my way of letting other people see what I See, because I know that not everyone can. Life is my passion, because I’ve lived enough times to appreciate being back once again, no matter what body I’m in. I’m walking a Third path, rather than embodying either Feminine or Masculine, and I do so with the utmost confusion, but also curiosity. I take the long way around every problem, but usually the view gives me a lot to work with when I need it.
Bran is my other half, my moral support, my creative partner, and my best friend. He belongs to several different deities of several different pantheons, but most frequently Loki and Lucifer. An odd combo to be sure, but They have Their reasons, and he has his. I trust him to do his thing, and he trusts me to do mine. He’s walking a slightly different path than I am,and I consider him as much my teacher as Anyone else. If I’m The Hermit, then he’s The Star, and I’ll always consider his guidance to be worthy of exploration and experimentation. He’s always on the move, and is a bit of a trickster, himself. Yet, for all his wandering, flitting about, and information gathering, he always has someone to come home to, and I always have someone to lift me out of the dirt.
The Pack/The Nerds
Collective term for the group of oddballs that I sometimes hang out with and teach on this side of the fence. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. They consist of Pup (who is still learning about the whole shebang) and Tentacles(who is actually an Eldrich horror in disguise). Bran is also part of the pack, and I consider them to be my chosen family, even though we don’t see each other much. All of us are a bit on the Weird side, and often discuss and practice divination, energy work, and general spoop when we’re not sparring, gaming, or generally being dorks. I also have some online friends that I consider to be part of my tribe, though few are as near – literally – and dear to me as these three. I appreciate so many people but these nerds are my nerds.
THERE – Deities
Frey decided, after a few workings with me, that he and I work together really well. And I agree! He’s now my fulltrui – the one I work with primarily, above all others – and offers me comfort and healing when I’m too exhausted, angry, or broken to heal myself. He teaches me how to be a light in the dark times, and how to deal with people in a health way. For him, I try to be the best person I can be, and help give hope to and inspire others in whatever ways I can manage, small though they may sometimes be. Frey came into my life rather unceremoniously, and without a lot of fanfare. I suspect it was Loki’s fault, originally. In His honor, I’ve adopted several varieties of succulents and a rather feisty sage plant, all of which, I’m glad to say, are growing strong.
Of all the goddesses in the world that could have waltzed in and decided I was one of theirs, Hyndla, Hag of the Caves, was perhaps the one I expected least. It’s rather a funny story, actually. I did a tarot reading just to test the reading – it was a deity interview spread – and actually wound up with who I thought at the time was Hel. Later on I ended up in a situation in which Hel, Hyndla, and I were in the same place and I asked Hel if she was my matron. Hyndla laughed and more or less said, “No, you sweet, silly child, I am.” We don’t talk much – she tends to keep busy and I tend to keep to myself – but every once in a while I feel a nudge to do something for her. She’s the reason I finally listened to “Women Who Run With the Wolves,” and might be trying to stick my toe into ancestor work, soon.
Loki was the first one I ran across this life. He was also the first deity of any pantheon that actually answered when I asked him for a favor. He was the first one to approach me as well, and the first one I properly devoted myself to (followed shortly by Odin. Can’t have one without the other). I consider him one of my two patrons, but in his case the word is used in its gender-neutral sense. Loki, with all of his shapeshifting and gender fluidity, is who I associate with the path of the Sacred Third, rather than Divine Masculine and Feminine. He’s a bit of a snark, but I’m quite fond of snark, and will be ever grateful for everything he’s done for me, and continues to do for me. The Lord of Put That Back Where It Came From or So Help Me has been a muse for me artistically, and continues to drop by every once in a while to troll me. After all, he has to keep an eye out on Bran, for his own reasons. I’ve burned marshmallows over a fire and carry a joker card in my wallet for him.
Knowing my propensity for being a bit curmudgeonly, as well as my seemingly innate talent for getting well and truly over-the-top worked up about things, it might come as no surprise that I work with Odin, among other people. I have a contract with Odin that spans back to when I was still living in viking-age Scandinavia, which we’re still trying to re-negotiate, since the tattoo reminding me of this pact was on my left arm. Which I lost in a fight with a much more powerful (and younger, at the time) berserker. I owe a lot to Gramps, and I’m happy to do what I can for him nowadays, since I’m not exactly being harassed or bullied for my abilities anymore. If anything, I’ve become a curiosity, especially to my Pack. Odin pushes me to learn more about the past – both objectively and in following what strands of my past lives that I can remember – so that I can better understand the patterns that continue on into the present day. He’s the, “rub dirt on that scrape,” kind of supporter, the, “only way you’ll find out is by getting off your ass and doing it,” kind. He has a lot to teach about power, politics, and charisma, but he’s come to respect the fact that I have a very different approach to people and business than most.
(Who I still need to make a proper portrait for.) The Father of my soul, who had been distant for many thousands of years before Hyndla decided to drop the bomb on both of us. Weirdly enough, Loki and Val both knew before either of us did. He is the reason I have something of an affinity for weather-work, as well as my already-established connection to earth, stone, and metal. We’re still learning about each other, but at least we’re not complete strangers any more. He stops by every once in a while when he’s traveling with Loki, and it’s usually pretty easy for me to tell when/if he’s in town. Thus far we’ve bonded over flinging lightning and drumming in the middle of storms. We both have a similar approach to life, which is: live it with as much passion as you can possibly muster.
Other Relevant Deities (and Deity-level Beings)
- Freyja (who tried to teach me how to use seidhr with… interesting results, and also helped me work on my ~thing~ with food)
- Angrboda (when you’re wandering in jotunnheim, she’ll want to meet you eventually)
- Lucifer (peppermint-smelling jerk who works with Brandon and I say that in the most respectful way possible)
- Fenrir (is his father’s son and complete troll, actively trying to smack Pup with the “hello, I’m here!” stick)
- Hel, Baldur, Mordgud, Idunna, Frigg, Tyr, and Skadi (all of whom I’ve met but we don’t talk much.)
- Archangels Michael and Gabriel (one of which because he wanted to make sure Lucy wasn’t being too much of a nuisance, and the other because of ~reasons.~)
- Neith, Set, Horus, Anubis, Thoth, and Sekhemet (Neith and Sekhemet were jointly looking after Mutt while he was alive, and I worked with Set and Horus a bit (separately) while pantheon-hopping in my early days of weirdshit. Anubis and Thoth look after one of my online friends and writer-buddy.)
- Lugh, Cernunnos, Hecate, Hermes, and the Morrigan (all briefly, though I still celebrate Lughnasadh instead of Lammas because craftsmen. Also, Cernunnos and Hermes because of Bran.)
THERE – Spirits
Val (which isn’t actually his name) was my mentor the first time around, as well as the one who helped me get my arm replaced between lives. Because of that incident, we’re technically blood-brothers, though he’s about four times older than I am, all lives and between-times considered, which makes him, by my reckoning, a crotchety old man. He’s old enough that the jotnar call him an elf, and the vanir call him a jotunn, yet he’s both and neither. He stops by every once in a while if I need help or a good smack upside the head. His previous assignment here was as someone’s spirit guide, but at the moment he’s working on mentoring someone very important to me, training him how to be a spirit guide for others. I think Pup’s his guinea pig.
Mutt used to be part of the Pack, and still is to some extent, though he isn’t with us physically any more. His loss hit all of us square in the everything, but in our mutual falling apart we’ve become closer together than we were before. He was a healer, a musician, a writer, a composer, and a lightworker, and he never stopped being interested in all manner of things. To my knowledge, Mutt is currently being looked after by Neith, who is part of the Egyptian pantheon, and was his matron goddess when he was still incarnate. Knowing that he’s in good hands makes his passing a little easier to deal with, though no less heartbreaking. He learned a lot while he was here, and I hope that wherever he ends up, he’ll be able to use that knowledge and wisdom to good effect.
My spirit-teacher and shamanic mentor. “Teb-Tengri” is a title, and he rivals even Loki for the amount of snark and sarcasm that comes out of him. He’s a tough-love kind of guide, willing to literally take people out of their bodies in order to teach them things. He doesn’t do it often, and I’ve learned quickly that when he wants something I need to listen. He first appeared to me in a fever-dream as the man in blue, and smacked me in the face with my path, called me out on my denial of it, and assured me that it would hurt less if I accepted it and rolled along. So that’s what I did, now I’m here, and blue will forever be the color of shamans, to me.
Pop Culture Pantheon
Just for kicks and giggles. Not so much “pop culture” as it is “other peoples’ characters.”
Geralt of Rivia
The grumpy old man archetype is strong with this one, and it’s an archetype that I relate to on a spiritual level. Geralt of Rivia is a powerful symbol to me. He is a man somewhere between the discipline and control of a trained warrior, and the passion and wildness of a force of nature. He’s a figure that I can look at with the hopes of someday being something like him, if perhaps with more of an optimistic air. He reminds me of the version of me that’s been held over from my life in Scandinavia, and also has a lot of Odin symbolism on him. It feels a bit disrespectful in a weird way that I haven’t actually been able to play the Witcher games (my laptop’s processor is a bit on the wimpy side), so as consolation to him I’ve been watching other people play them.
Sarkhan is a Planeswalker from the card game/universe, Magic: The Gathering. It’s about the last place I ever expected to draw inspiration from, given my general lack of interest in the game… up until the Khans of Tarkir block came out. Sarkhan is a dragon shaman who can hop between planes, shapeshift, and breathe fire. He fell in with the wrong master, screwed up a little, went mad, and eventually went back and fixed the problem. A bit of advice given to him that resonates with me goes something along the lines of, “You will never succeed if you go through life seeking only guidance.” Sarkhan speaks to my Shadow, and many of the aspects I’ve pulled out of it through working with archetypes and journaling.
James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier
In the comics, when Captain America dies during the civil war timeline, he passes on his shield to Bucky, who becomes the new Captain America. When I finally found the shield shirt that I’d been looking to buy for months, I found a hat on the rack next to it that strongly resembled the one that Mutt used to wear. I saw it as a moment of “passing on the shield,” as it were. All of us in the pack have been trying to fill in the gap that our golden retriever of a friend left, in our own ways. In myself I am trying to find Mutt’s love for life and refusal to give up on people and dreams. I saw a lot of Captain America in him, and a lot of Bucky in myself, even before all this, and now the connection is even stronger than ever. It’s time for me to pick up the shield.
Ettien “The Hound” Jorel
Again with the strange sources of inspiration. Skyrim has always been a fascinating game world, but I was never truly “into it” until I watched Erinyes Arcana, a story-driven let’s play by CouchwarriorTV. Recently I rediscovered his channel only to find the stern and rugged face of the Hound staring back. I’m almost caught up now with The Passage, and watching the way this Altmer ranger approaches his problems and his assignments has given me a lot of inspiration, and a lot of insight as to how I deal with my own life and obstacles. Ettien may not have the same reach (heh) as the other members of this list, but he’s still just as powerful to me. That we have the same initials notwithstanding.