Monday, March 28, 2005

The Vanir and Brother Ass

The lower Vanir are about propagation, eating, shitting, and tending to what Bakhtin calls the lower material strata of the body and the earth. This level is amoral and simply wants as many children and as much pleasure as possible without any concerns of consciousness or honor. It is the level that Saint Francis called "Brother Ass", the part of ourselves that is a donkey concerned only with sex and eating. This part doesn't care how the sex comes. The more promiscuous, adulterous, the better : a party of gene-mixing!

But that doesn't mean that these gods are jotunns meant to subjugate us. Rather, they are gods we are meant to honor, and in so doing, we can transmute these energies. Specifically, Freyr and Freya are about the transmutation of these lower material impulses into higher impulses capable of residence in Asgard, the spiritual realm of honor.

What this means is that we are not bound by the amoral propagation-satyrs of Vanaheim, but we must heed them, listen to them, tend to them. They must be invited to the sabbat and engaged, because they are a part of us. Through intelligent play (and discipline, as Freya teaches), we may engage these satyrs and acknowledge them without letting them control us.

And Marnia Robinson in "Peace Between the Sheets" suggests a neurochemical connection between these events. Drawing upon recent biochemical research, it appears as if orgasm has the effect of lowering dopamine dramatically and raising prolactin. This in turn lowers the amount of oxytocin in the body. Wait, this isn't gobbledygook. Oxytocin is the hormone of bonding, affection, monogamy. Raised prolactin levels and lowered dopamine levels end up creating a situation where couples lose interest in each other through biochemical association and seek other partners. Robinson suggests this is a reproductive strategy of nature to spread the genes far and wide. In other words, the Vanic satyrs we're discussing. But if couples practice a form of tantric sex where orgasm and heavy, hot passion is avoided to focus on what Osho calls the "valley orgasm" of relaxation, high levels of oxytocin are produced which facilitate affectionate feelings and lasting bonding.

I would suggest that Frey and Freya teach about how to transmute sexual impulses of the lower Vanic realm into higher alchemical-spiritual connections which our modern science is in part discovering as oxytocin levels. There are whole Mysteries here on how to transcend bondage to the satyrs -- delightful as they are -- and discover peace.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Seidthe : Freya's Witchcraft of Love

Seidth is Freya's magical art. It is, in a sense, radical empathy, merging, sending one's soul out from the place one is to the place on is not in order to behold and love the other, and in that moment of union, something changes, a fermentation process begins that is magical. To experience the other so closely to how they experience themselves touches them on a deep level, facilitating soulful changes. Since the entire universe is alive, anything may be so affected.

Gullveig turns this art of love into something manipulative, 'touching' people coldly just to gather facts or to bring about her desired effects, which leaves emptiness wherever she goes. Properly performed, however, seidth leaves love whereever it goes, and harmonizes that which had come into discord.

But there is no doubt that some of the powers of status quo found even Freya's art threatening, because the power of love overcomes all boundaries, and makes connections even across thresholds ordinarily considered taboo. That is part of its power and its grace. The ancients, especially the hermetics, spoke very highly of the power of Eros. Although not identical to Freya, we ought to listen to what they had to say and see how it applies to Freya. Turning Freya into a stereotyped Aphrodite-parody that is nothing but an empty sex-and-glamour figure is to sell Freya out for our modern vapid celebrities, who need to be tantricized and deepened if they are to really carry anything from our goddess. Freya knows how to be sexy, but it is deep sexiness coming from profound and to some even uncomfortable levels of being alive, rather than the mere surface charms of glamour Gullveig uses to get her ends. Freya's touch is transformative, while Gullveig's leaves one that much more cold. Seidth under Freya's guidance is an ability to reach out and touch the other : the soul-body of the cloud, the mongoose, the cracked and strained earth, the alienated and stubborn lover you just can't understand, the Moslems on the other side of the world who hate you, and to share eyes with them. It is a mind-melding art facilitated through imagination and empathic projection. You harmonize with the other in a deep acceptance, and then when they are in that place of holding and acceptance, you say, "Ok, ok, let's deepen". And deepening into their soulfulness takes them away from a level of fear and defensiveness and allows greater magics from their wyrd to well up and forth. This ability to feel such deep connection even across divisions that are often the bread and butter of politicians can make them suspicious. But Freya will love them, and find their smiling place, too. These are deep arts.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Frodi Reminds Us To Laugh

Heimdall came long ago to reawaken our sense of divinity when Angrboda's anxiety corrupted us. Woden, Lodur, and Haenir had placed sparks of divinity in our souls, but thanks to Gullveig's corruption, only a few excellent souls had really developed this. And then later when the giants had enslaved us, Frodi came amongst us to remind us of our great freedom. To remind us we are Free Spirits who have incarnated through play, and it is by remembering this heritage of joy and creativity that we gain the conviction, solidarity, and strength to throw off the giants. This cycle repeats itself, and we can always remember.
Frodi helps us laugh at ourselves, to see how morose and serious we have gotten, how seriously and gravely we have taken the giants, and reminds us that we need to laugh, to play, to sing and dance, and to celebrate in ordre to be able to undo a giant. As Jack the Giant-Killer he reminds us that the worst thing for a giant is to be laughed at. And that is how we get free. Joy is our heritage.

Apprenticeship in Divinity

Do not locate divinity outside yourself. It is within, as it is within all phenomena. The gods are teachers of divinity. Each one has a different lesson to teach about the divinity that resides within you and all things.
They are beings who awakened to their own divinity and have evolved to the point of becoming powerful, barbarian bodhisattvas, teachers who can throw immense help our way, but who do not determine our wyrd. Wyrd is something we learn to navigate. Frodi, of course, teaches that Wyrd is a Game.
Thus we come before them not with submission, obedience, or fear, but rather with gratitude, thank/thinkfulness, and a willingness to learn. We are honored to have such amazing teachers, who help us to awaken the divinity within, and live like the gods we are, powerful, responsible, and totally free.
Devotion to the gods is therefore an apprenticeship in our own divinity where we awaken to the pantheism within all things, and through that, learn to work magic.
This apprenticeship can be a long, painful, and difficult one at times because we are so attached to our present form and identity imprinted on us by our process of being subjected to our culture and experience, but in time, the gods give us Help, and we learn how to escape the giants' grasp, and become freers ourselves. We learn in time to overcome fear, and even how to transmute pain into ecstasy. We become aware of our propensity to fall into enchantment, and with compassion, begin to choose better enchantments, aware we may from time to time fall trap to lower enchantments.
The gods help us to leanr to trust the divinity within, and knowing our true heritage, to resist enslavement wherever we find it, and to create the kinds of enchantment we want.
Thus, "Asatru", being true to the gods, is entering the Guild of Divinity where we apprentice ourselves to the Masters in order to become, eventually, Journeymen of the soul, fully awakened, free beings in touch with the everpresent emergent pantheism in all things. Asgard, then, in a sense is a university, where the staff have gathered all the finest minds and talented spirits to be teachers for the folk. Asatru is like enrolling in the University of the Cosmos. Besdies the permanent tenured staff, there are many other gods, goddesses, angels,a nd spirits who can act as teachers. The attitude is not there is someone before whom I must submit or I will be punished, but rather, there are teachers from whom I have the opportunity to learn if I don't want to remain a bumbling idiot constantly shooting myself in the foot becauseI don't understand the laws of the cosmos. The theological attitude we bring towards our spirituality makes a big difference.