Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Freya Hidden Away

Freya’s hidden away, she’s deep in a cavern deep in the earth, in a gash, a canyon filled with trolls. Numb, so numb, disgusted ; her head bobbing from side to side listless, her eyes smile a sweet misery. Locked in the castle of the goblins, her own brother joyless and tied to serpents, the stone walls are freezing cold. She shivers, forlorn betrayed eyes never believing hope will ever come. Singing, singing, muttering to herself, as she hears the footsteps of Gotwara coming up the stairs. Gullveig will smile icycles and tell her once again how much she loves her, as she probes her mind for more secrets, prying, prying, the betrayal of the long lost childhood playmate turned sour. “White his shroud as the mountain snow, Larded with sweet flowers ; Which bewept to the grave did go With true-love showers,” she whispers to herself, over and again. How many times must you be raped before you cannot believe in even the existence of spring? Maybe the memories of happy childhood days with flowers in her hair were implanted just to torment her in the long, barren nights.

Out her window, ravens feed on elf-carrion scattered by the jotunns, Weland’s exquisite golden and silver tapestries warped and brittle on the ice, and while Day still rides through the sky, lending soft and faint glow, Sol doesn’t seem to have risen for forever ; maybe she weeps in Idavoll beneath Wyrd’s wrinkled and gnarled loving hands. Freya looks out : Is this Ragnarok? She has heard birds speaking that even Idunn, keeper of the apples, has fallen into the wolfdales, her sweet nature wrapped in a wolfskin baring vicious teeth. How did it all come to end this way? How could Woden possibly have allowed all this?

Freya thinks of the sweetheart dreams promised her prophetically, such beautiful prince, poet, dashing lunatic, armed with nine spells ; now she knows that word “never” is forever. Closing eyes, she focuses on the Art she made, and sends her mind away forever, far from Gotwara’s graspings, awaiting final release into darkness, now the universes are over.

O when Swipdag arrives, what woeful wooings he will hopeless need to win her heart! For never was there a light again, she thought, and closed herself off. Raving mad, as one who threw the mind down a river, shut herself into a nunnery, forever running away, cold to the touch. He will wonder, is this the beauty for whom I’ve sacrificed so much? O Swipdag, can she be reached? Can you awaken her with the warmth of her fire? When was the last time anyone could remember a harvest? Your uncle, power mad-driven, has stolen the world’s warmth, wreaks heartless revenge, elfsoul banished by gnashing giant. How much rests on this rescue! And even She, beloved, will flee as a sparrow on the wind ; keep going, Eloquent One, world awaits your winter-overcoming!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Age of Giants, II

As it says, here,

"In those days there were on earth many rich and many poor. The rich made slaves of all the poor. In those days were many slaves who were cruelly treated ; in every palace tortures, in every castle prisoners. Many slaves escaped. They fled to the country ; thus they became thieves. Instead of sleeping by night, they plotted escape and robbed their masters, and then slew them. So they dwelt in the mountains and forests as robbers and assassins, all to avoid slavery."

"Diana said one day to her daughter Aradia:

Tis true indeed that thou a spirit art,
But thou wert born but to become again
A mortal ; thou must go to earth below
To be a teacher unto women and men
Who fain would study witchcraft in thy school ...

And thou shalt be the first of witches known ;
And thou shalt be the first of all i' the world ;
And thou shalt teach the art of poisoning,
Of poisoning those who are great lords of all ;
Yea, thou shalt make them die in their palaces ;
And thou shalt bind the oppressor's soul ;
And when ye find one who is rich,
Then ye shall teach the witch, your pupil, how
To ruin all his crops with tempests dire,
With lightning and with thunder (terrible),
And the hail and wind.

And when a priest shall do you injury
By his benedictions, ye shall do to him
Double the harm, and do it in the name
Of me, Diana, Queen of witches all!

For I have come to sweep away the bad,
The men of evil, all will I destroy!

'Ye who are poor suffer with hunger keen,
And toil in wretchedness, and suffer too
Full oft imprisonment ; yet with it all
Ye have a soul, and for your sufferings
Ye shall be happy in the other world,
But ill the fate of all who do ye wrong!'

Now when Aradia had been taught, taught to work all witchcraft, how to destroy the evil race of oppressors, she imparted it to her pupils, and said unto them,

When I shall have departed from this world,
Whenever ye have need of anything,
Once in the month, and when the moon is full,
Ye shall assemble in some desert place,
Or in a forest all together join
To adore the potent spirit of your queen,
My mother, great Diana. She who fain
Would learn all sorcery yet has not won
Its deepest secrets, them my mother will
Teach her, in truth all things as yet unknown.
And ye shall all be freed from slavery,
And so ye shall be free in everything :
And as the sign that ye are truly free,
Ye shall be naked in your rites, both men
And women also : this shall last until
The last of your oppressors shall be dead ;
And ye shall make the game of Benevento,
Extinguishing the lights, and after that
Shall hold your supper,

And thus shall it be done : all shall sit down to the supper all naked, men and women, and, the feast over, they shall dance, sing, make music, and then love in the darkness, with all the lights extinguished ; for it is the Spirit of Diana who extinguishes them, and so they will dance and make music in her praise."

This, the Gospel of Aradia, is a true tale, for it retells the story of Frodi amongst men helping them throw off the thieving giants and tyrants, as told by Saxo in the 1200's, as told amongst the English as Robin Hood in the 1400's, and as actually enacted by the Picardi Adamites of Bohemia, who held naked, free love rituals around fires in the woods, and stole from the priests and sheriffs of surrounding towns to foster their free life in the woods.

The Age of the Giants

When the powers had split, heaven and earth were sundered, and the Vanir, storming the plain, sent Odin into exile beneath the earth with Mimir and his men. Into this void and vacuum kings with the hearts of wolves began inviting giants into Midgard to form personal bodyguards. In time, the giants had enslaved folk all over Midgard, and covered over their tyranny with dark spells that hid their realities from the eyes of the holy Vanir. But the elves got word of this, and Freyr, their king, came to earth as Frodi to help free the folk. In later times, his exploits were sung and remembered as the deeds of Robin Hood ...

Frodi walked with Alfyn through the woods, pondering what they had seen in the towns : the folk taxed, oppressed, treated like serfs.

"These people are cowering in fear," said Frodi, with compassion and disgust. "Their overlords and priests frighten them with tales of demons, and then if they don't obey, they actually summon the jotunns down from their mountain castles. This is tyranny. Something has to be done."

Alfyn sighed. "We elves have given up on trying to save humans from their follies, long ago."

"This is different," said Frodi. "From childhood they are terrified with stories of bogeymen, and the priests even ask sacrifices for these idols, no doubt feeding these jotunn's cannibalist appetites." He shook his head, remembering his youth amongst the elves. "You of all people should have compassion for them. You remember what it was like in Alfheim under Beli."

Alfyn turned his head. "You are right, milord, we should not forget, nor shall we forget our human brothers in a time of tyranny such as this."

"These bishops and bailiffs rule through fear," said Frodi. "Well, they shall soon learn the power and might of FREEDOM. I would not have my people beholden to fear."

"Yes, milord."

"Gather a contingent of elves. I want you to teach these men how to wield a bow. I want you to teach them woodcrafts, that they might survive in the thickets away from the tyrants. I will teach them to call upon the name of my sister, Our Lady of the Woods, and she will teach them magic and tricks to fool and confound these demon-lords."

"Right away, milord."

"They will no doubt, call this 'witchcraft' and 'sorcery'. They will call these arts demonic. The King, Ermanerich, has after all decreed that the giants are here for our 'protection'. But we know that the King's wolfish heart is being fed lies by Sifka, and you know who is advising Sifka."

Alfyn sneered. "Loki."

"That is correct," Frodi observed. "And they will call the free magic of free men by the very name of the practices they practice to hold their power : the black arts. And for taking down tyrants they shall call my Free Spirits murderers, for living with free merriment, adulterers, and no doubt, for consorting with you, my friend, they will call them worshippers of demons." He laughed his hearty laugh.

Alfyn snorted. "Who ever heard of elves being called demons?"

"Don't put anything past Loki. He knows how to twist things around until all that is backwards seems forwards."

"Why is he doing this?" asked Alfyn, exasperated.

"Who can tell?" answered Frodi. "He once told me that the gullible get what they deserve, and so he loves to test men to see if they can keen the lies from the truth."

"Sounds like an excuse for malicious mischief, if you ask me," said Alfyn, disgusted.

"That's Loki," said Frodi. "But we mustn't mistake this all as his scheme. He has no concern for power. He only loves capitalizing on chaos and mayhem. There's something else behind this scheme. The giants are trying to retake their ancient lands from humans, and kings with wolfish hearts like Ermanerich are letting it happen. And as fear and misery are the main weapons against the folk, our job is to cheer and encourage, with freedom and frith weapons mightier than any giant."

"I'll toast to that," said Alfyn. "And I sure won't mind helping these men to put a little of their fear back into the hearts of those giants."

Frodi's eyes twinkled. "Let the fun begin."