Loki: Acceleration on a Curve

A learning curve, that is. Though I’ve been tempted lately to think of Loki as having a gentler approach to the “lifespan development issues” faced by us older folks, that’s an illusion. In reality, he’s tossing us about just as much as the twenty- and thirty- somethings. In many ways, our existence is as precarious as the millennials leaving their teens: poverty, lack of affordable housing, lack of employment, relationship and family issues, lack of respect…

However, I greatly appreciate his rapid-fire, “toss it all at the ceiling and see what sticks” approach. These days people show their qualities very quickly and as painful as that is in the moment, it’s actually great for a woman who has less and less time to waste on pointless drama and toxic relationships.

My biological clock is ticking–and it’s not a baby I’m expecting. Momento mori.

I’m in the process of jettisoning things right now: outmoded concepts of who I was; books and objects I’m not in love with anymore; acquaintances and colleagues who’ve been hanging around in my “Facebook friends” list but who never communicate (I just purged my list today); papers and crap I’ve been holding onto as “archives…” Who, really, will care? Except for my cats, and a few books, artwork, and family photos, I could actually travel lighter than I have in the past.

Only trouble is, there are far fewer safe (non-toxic) places I could land. But for now, I’m enjoying where I live, with clean indoor air and a degree of comfort not afforded to most of the world’s people. Do I know how lucky I am? Yes, I do.

Back to people and their qualities, though. And back to Loki.

He won’t let me stagnate. He won’t let me put my trust in people who are deceptive, competitive, dishonest, or otherwise toxic. It’s as if he’s an enzyme or a catalyst (“just add Loki!”). In his presence, the alchemies of personality and conflict boil, bubble, and froth. Perhaps what results will be palatable, perhaps not. Whatever happens will be the opposite of comfy or stale.

Understand, I give offerings to this god daily: cinnamon tea with honey in the morning (kind of like when I used to get up first in the morning and make coffee for my then-husband, bringing it to him while he stayed in bed), poems and prayers, conversation, and frequent sweets. I have a degree of trust in this patron deity that exceeds what I feel for almost everyone and everything (except my cats), but I also know that my trust cannot lead to complacency.

And so I ponder the latest fracas–an unexpectedly ugly outburst from another, and my own feelings of frustration, shame, anger, and the mental fluctuations of “what do I want to do about this, if anything?” My first impulse is always to simply leave–remove myself from the situation–but this time I think I’m being challenged to stay, and to also state my terms for doing so.

In the past I’ve fled abusive bosses and narcissistic lovers, and avoided personality disordered friends. I’ve left a hula halau (hula school) after an alaka’i (assistant teacher) yanked my arm without warning, while I was trying to learn some steps. She’d previously poked fun at my “duck feet” in class, in front of everyone. I walked off the dance floor and never returned. I’ve been “mean-girled” and “man-splained” and worse, and though I have a certain level of tolerance for human failings (even, sometimes, my own), I do draw the line at accepting insulting or abusive behavior. Or rather, my gut draws the line even if my mind wants to excuse or rationalize the person’s actions. There’s a very definite feeling from my enteric nervous system that says “no more.” It’s very final.

Armouring, warding… recuperating, reviving… these are important activities in my life. Sometimes they take all I’ve got. But with Loki’s help, I seem to cycle through my emotional reactions faster, arriving at whatever strategic measures I have to take to prevent a repeat occurence.

Loki can be a “pick your battles” kind of god, exits are okay but he can also urge a full-on confrontation, the scorched earth kind. Even “best served cold” can be fine with him. I am free to choose but it has to be a conscious choice. I have to confront my own feelings and failings, no matter what. It’s a liberating way to live even at this age. And yet there’s never a definitive answer to the existential question: “are we there yet?”

We Lokeans never arrive at a final destination. We are, in so many ways, forever in transit. We are always accelerating on the curve.

Hail Loki! We wouldn’t have it any other way.

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My Gods are Fragrance-Free

What follows is imagined, an eco-parable. Gerda, a Jotun, smells only of rich soil, bruised herbs from her garden, and luscious Jotun pheromones. This was enough to dazzle the Vanir god, Freyr, from afar. His sister, Freya, adorns herself with amber jewels, but cares for her skin only with salves of honey, clear water, and powdered grains. The dry tips of her hair are moistened only with the tiniest bit of melted butter. She scorns the feckless chemistries, the unwise alchemies, of Midgard’s humans, which propel poison into every living thing. Freya has complained to Odin that dead warriors are no longer what they once were–they are now creatures with flacid muscles, except for their texting hands, and that they die now with withered sperm counts, and distortions in their DNA.

Even worse–“They (the humans) are even going after the roots of the World Tree,” she whispers, “with something called ‘Round-Up.'”

Freyr, the Corn God, nods. He dies each year for the harvest and comes back reborn, but it’s becoming apparent that the humans who once honored him for this would now rather manipulate the mysteries of the grain themselves. Perhaps an extended vacation in Vanaheim is in the runes…let the humans spend a year without him for once, prefereably after an Icelandic eruption, when ash clouds herald global famine. That’d learn ’em, he thinks, but in the next moment he backs away from such thoughts. He will serve as he has always served, all these long eons. “Perhaps Ragnarök will be a blessing after all…”

Freyr smells of rich earth too, and Gerda’s herbs and mead, and a not-unpleasant tang of godly sweat and semen. Vanir pheromones are also rather scrumptious, carrying a faint scent of apples. But humans, drunk on designer petrochemicals, can no longer detect them.

As for Ragnarök, Loki has no comment. What will be, will be, and has been–so many times. Contrary to his bad press, Loki finds no happiness in wanton destruction…but cleansing…the metabolism of poisons when all else fails…sometimes that is something to be desired. He should know. The next cycle has already unleashed forces powerful enough to bake the planet, to scour it of the unwise alchemies of the paltry, money-grubbing humans. Midgard will eventually recover (Gaia is strong) but Loki isn’t all that keen to be the trickster god of cockroaches. However, he recognizes the cosmic joke about to be played on them all. He’ll do his best to find some fragment of mirth when the time comes. But onlookers will mistake his battle grin for vengeful joy, misunderstanding the mask that hides his hot, angry tears. It was all so unnecessary! It always is! Meanwhile, cremation fires are at hand for another death of a too beautiful world. It’s Loki’s job to ensure that creation follows cremation. Somebody has to do it…

Sometimes Loki wishes Sigyn had gone in for systems change, rather than holding the bowl for him alone. He imagines he could have borne his suffering–bound with his son’s entrails and scorched by viper spittle–if he’d known she was battling the powers that be, on behalf of all sentient beings. Sigyn might have known better though, and who really is to say? Her victory might yet be won.

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Sigyn holding the bowl, to keep the viper venom from dripping onto Loki.

It doesn’t take a völva prophecy to know what’s coming. Freya sheds tears. She and her daughter want to save a cat or two. Freya wants the falcons to be okay, and bees. Freyr puts in a word for boars and grains. Dogs too. Their father wants to save whales, sharks, sea turtles, guppies, and coral polyps, among others. His is a long list. Loki would like to send wolves and snakes and salmon and horses to Hel, for safekeeping. Gerda hides seeds in safe places, and waits. The souls of animals are already reluctant, but plants and fungi have not yet given up all hope. Neither has Gerda.

Loki says, “Don’t shoot the messenger (especially if I’m it!). Don’t ignore the voices of doom, of climate change, or the canary in the coal mine. Invite Cassandra onto your podcasts–she’s still got a thing or two to say! Don’t disregard the muttering sibyl, the trancing völva, or anger of witches and Jotuns.” He’d slap this message on t-shirts, even though it’s not a sound bite, in hopes that humans would pay attention, but he distrusts capitalism–particularly the kind that sells toxic petrochemical perfumes wrapped in bottles that look like Marvel Universe characters, especially his!

This last is a particularly painful mockery–big anime eyes and golden horns on keychains are one thing, but this is quite another–all those bottled endocrine disruptors ending up in the salmon, just so a few fans can pretend they have access to “his” scent.

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Product of a toxic industry making a mockery of our god, adding yet more petrochemicals to the planet and its creatures, all in the name of money.

Meanwhile the big money laughs and this makes Loki mad. “Stick to cosplay,” he mutters. “Is nothing sacred?” but he already knows the answer to that question. Rather say that nothing is so futile as the sacred, and nothing is more powerful. After all, Loki knows how to stand with two, four, eight legs, or none, in the spaces between all the worlds you could ever name. (Some say that’s why he drinks so much sometimes. He’s so sick of stupid.)

All matter is alive and aware. If we could hear it, all Midgard is screaming at us right now, “Stop it! Go back! You’re hurting us!” The Earth is our hearth. Hearth fires are lit for warmth and nourishment, not destruction. But we have forgotten this. We have forgotten to extend our hospitality (our frith) and our care to all living things. Loki-as-Lóðurr awoke the first humans with his breath, which was clean and alive and full of strength. He warmed us with his breath and gave us fire to warm our hearths. He certainly did not give us a command to go forth and pollute.

I would like to think that human beings still yearn for that first clean breath, that pure air granted to us by a being as old and as vast as a star, and that we’d do anything to get it back. Instead we diddle with gadgets, toys, herbicides, GMOs, scented candles, and guns. We’ve poisoned our Midgard and every living creature in it. Our own bodies now shit microplastics. We’ve inflicted this same diet on animals and plants. Fragrance chemicals are harming aquatic wildlife. Our reproductive systems are drenched in endocrine disruptors (like phthalates) from deli food containers, Round-Up, shampoos, and perfume. Babies are born with birth defects as a result.  Our breast milk contains countless contaminants, including an array of self-inflicted consumer toxins from such beauty products as “Loki-Master of Mischief” cologne. Soon plastic golden Marvel Loki horns from the above bottle will find their way to the Pacific Garbage patch, floating among the discarded grocery bags, to be eaten by starving whales who can no longer find enough krill. I don’t think this (below) was the kind of “mischief” Loki had in mind…

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Water pollution due to domestic garbage at RK Beach in Visakhapatnam. Date 22 September 2013, 09:53:32. Author Adityamadhav83. Creative Commons Attribution

Is there any hope at all? Or do I just put another gaudy, food-colored donut on Loki’s altar and sigh, “fuck this shit, Worldbreaker, we’re doomed. Bring it on…”

But Loki will have none of that. He absolutely refuses to let us dodge this wyrd. He says, “Stop buying this crap, especially not in my name. Use your breath for something decent, like saving the planet, while you still can.”

“Do this,” he says without winking, “and maybe you’ll get a whiff of my pheromones…”

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LokiFest CA is a “fragrance-free” event.

NEW & BEST LokiFest Flyer 4:22

IX and X. Spectrosexuality Survey: Challenges and Sensations

Just because a partner is “imagined” (as opposed to “imaginary”) doesn’t mean the relationship or encounter is ideal. It also doesn’t mean that sensations are imaginary either. The people who took this survey had a lot to say regarding both topics.

For the purposes of discussion, I am using the word “imagine” to describe a way of sensing something that transcends visual, auditory, and tactile sense, yet which “feels real” even so. Newer readers might like to refer to my blogs on preliminary thoughts and  mysticism and sexology before continuing.

This post discusses the final two questions in the spectrosexuality and god/spirit spouse survey.

Question Nine


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Secrecy: Some (perhaps many or most) people need to keep spectrosexual relationships and encounters hidden.

“I’m not actually sure how to broach the subject with my human partner. He knows I’m oathed to Loki, but he’s unaware of the nature of that oath. So far, Loki seems okay with that, as the god marriage is new still (since December).”

“I struggled with secrecy and possibly facing a negative reaction from others if they found out, which made trying to explain my lack of human dating awkward.”

“I don’t share this with anyone.”

 

Discernment: There were several responses on this topic.

One person felt that group experiences with witchery helped with discernment:

“I work alongside other witches so we often have a giggle about it. I’ve never had any problems defining this world from the unseen.”

But others said:

“Communication discernment. It’s often hard to tell if it’s him or me, or something else.”

“Discernment can be an issue, however, if something is working for me and meeting my needs, it isn’t anyone else’s problem. And if it ends up being in my head, well then I have a great imagination that isn’t hurting anyone.”

“Dreams can sometimes be misleading.”

One person was concerned that lack of discernment, especially as reported by some human godspouses, could lead to damaging or abusive human/spirit relationships. There is also a concern about how lack of discernment can reflect poorly on others:

“One concern I have had that I have mixed feelings about is that other people with similar experiences to my own often show behaviors or ideas about said experiences that I don’t find wise. I’ve heard many other godspouses report that they are concerned their deity may be acting in nonconsensual or abusive ways toward them (not the reporter’s own works, but clearly what they were describing), and I’ve also seen godspouses who clearly didn’t have a great grasp of consent and healthy relationships themselves and who may have actively been seeking out unhealthy dynamics. I tend to chalk those experiences up to projecting human behaviors onto gods, but these types of statements make it easy for me to understand why some people look with suspicion upon godspouses, since some godspouses do seem to have unhealthy or unbalanced ideas about their Divine partners.”

Managing multiple spirit/human relationships:

“I tend to feel bad I don’t spread my love or attention equitably. I gravitate from one to another, then realize I’ve been neglecting several.”

Noncorporeality:

“Being in a relationship with someone who does not have a physical form and who long term contact with requires focused mediation and otherworldly travel.”

Change:

“Our relationship morphed into an even deeper one where sex is not needed and/or would actually hinder our work together. It’s only very rarely that we become intimate.”

Finally, one person added this important reminder:

“I have the ultimate magickal power of choice.”

Question Ten

I am a hypnotist and hypnosis instructor, as well as a sexologist and sexuality counselor. Because I am so familiar with hypnosis, as well as offshoots like guided imagery and autogenic training, I know that very real physical effects can be created simply through imagination and suggestion. So I could be tempted to stop here and simply say, “well, this spirit sex stuff is all in the mind,” but I won’t.

Sure, there could be a bit of malarkey, mendacity, and/or mental dishevelment among some of the responses to this survey, but I am used to generally accepting people’s accounts of their lived experiences, especially with regard to sexuality, intimacy, and gender. Who am I to say what’s “real” and what’s not?


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Here are a selection of responses from the comments section.

Physical Sensations Not Caused by Self

“I’ve felt a physical sensation that I did not cause once, but it was not in a sexual context.”

“It was like this constant pressure/energy that almost became a part of me. I could feel a presence hugging me, like a blanket of energy. I’ve also felt him physically touch my back—but that was only once. Because of self doubt and trouble discerning what’s actually him or not, I tended to dismiss what I thought I felt a lot.”

“Most of my intimate encounters happen when I trance and journey to the Otherworld but I can still feel the sensations within my physical body. On very rare occasions, usually with the deity I am spoused to, I do not need to journey and can feel their presence in the room.”

“Warmth.”

“Chakral stimulation, seeing with physical eye, smells, taste, touch, etc.”

Unusual Energy

“One time in particular during intimacy I went out of body so far that I felt a connection with every thing in the universe. It was glorious, and I forgot to breathe for a short time. My spirit spouse let me stay that way for a moment, then gently called me back to my body, but I didn’t want to come back. The experience was rich with sensations, and it was very profound. I felt like I was in very deep space, yet I felt every planet, every organism, every human and nonhuman thing all at once. And it all felt very natural. Peaceful would be a word to describe it, but it doesn’t do the feeling justice. I will never forget that feeling.”

Sense of Presence and/Or Communication

“Sometimes I am more in tune with Loki than other times, especially depending on my stress level and if I’m distracted by something I have to do the next day. He doesn’t seem to mind if I’m not all there and am unable to enter a full meditative state. I’m very busy with university at the moment and my area of study leaves me with almost no time for social activities, so I feel like our time together is Loki’s way of taking care of my mental health.”

“he once demanded i say his name instead of the name of the mortal man i love then proceeded to tell me to call him by one of his older names (Loptr) & laughed in a pleased & pleasing way when i followed instruction.”

“Spiritual revelation/gnosis.”

Adding Physical Touch, Solo or Partnered

“Sometimes I add physical touch, but not always, and pretty sparingly.”

 

“Certain encounters took place solely within mental spaces, in which I might have been physically turned on but didn’t always feel a physical need to masturbate. I didn’t always worry about what my body was doing because I still felt emotionally satisfied. Other times, I’d be masturbating and feel Someone’s presence, which might turn into an impromptu offering, but sometimes, I’d check in divination wise to make sure I was clear on particulars of the mental story/vid to masturbate with and would feel Their presence once I started physically (intentional offering).”

“Sometimes I feel my spirit lovers join in while I’m with a physical partner or partners. Some people know and some don’t-depends on how I think they would react.”

Seeing or Hearing Things That Others Might Not See or Hear

“I have never had full-blown audio/visual hallucinations, but neuroscience research (that’s my area of study) suggests that “mental images” may actually be on the same spectrum as hallucinations and that the intensity of sensory experience may simply be determined by the strength of the neural connections involved. It’s been experimentally demonstrated, for example, that synesthesia – a condition in which people experience one sense, such as seeing a shape or color, when they encounter another sense, such as a certain sound – may actually be something that all humans have at a subconscious/subsensory level. Almost all people will say, for example, that certain sounds “feel” round vs. spiky, even if they don’t experience sensory hallucinations to that effect. I always feel the need to explain this related to my spiritual experiences, because I do “sense” things in the form of mental images, but these are not of sensory-hallucinatory quality like some people report. Most people seem to assume it’s one or the other, that sensations I experience are either “made up,” consciously fabricated by me, or are full-blown sensory hallucinations. Neither is the case. I’ve never had a full sensory hallucination, but neither do I control, decide, or “make up” the actions of the spiritual entities I encounter. I perceive them at a level below that of full sensory hallucination.”

Intense Emotions

“Most common is intense pleasure during meditation.”

“Idk about “spiritual emotions.” I can feel strong emotions i’d normally feel in sex, but shared with the spirit. Ya know? Also sex is one of those shamanic paths (ecstacy?) that works to change my state of conciousness, so I can see things in my head, like a eureka moment, but no hallucinations.”

Other Information

“It took years for the connection to get strong. The relationship had to evolve just as any human to human relationship, with trust, communication, and clear intentions in place. The encounters have grown stronger and more “real” and undeniable from the beginning 7 years ago. He has even manifested randomly during sleep and literally gotten into my bed 3 confirmed times.”

Final Thoughts

My motivation for doing this confidential, non-scientific survey was to (1) include spectrosexuality and god/spirit spousery in the broader and legitimate context of human sexual and erotic behavior and, (2) more personally, to discover where my own “unverified personal gnosis” (UPG) may match up with other people’s experiences. Does this survey indicate that we may actually have more peer corroboration (PCPG – Peer-Corroborated Personal Gnosis) than we know? I think it might.

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LokiFest CA

Loki wants this. But nothing is simple! Event still under construction.

Join us for a celebration of the Norse Trickster through art, music, workshops, and liberating community.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION LokiFest

Due to high insurance costs and the expecation of low turnout for the esoteric “workshop” portion of our two day event, we are switching to a Saturday outdoor/vendor and music street festival as an alternative program, with the Friday workshops taking place at a private location–limited to 15 people. Thank you for your patience as we hash out the details, insurance costs, vendor booth sales, and city approval. More info to come!

Proceeds after expenses will benefit The Troth Red Hammer Disaster Fund and the new safe house for homeless trans youth created by Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco. If you cannot come to LokiFest CA, I encourage you to donate to one or both of the above organizations in honor of Loki. Thanking you for your generosity in advance!

For ongoing info and updates:

Facebook page: fb.me/LokiFestivalCA

Twitter: @LokiFestCA

This event is fragrance-free. No perfumes, no essential oils.See you there, perhaps!

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This

This blog takes a break from discussing the spectrosexuality survey to bring you an urgent public service announcement brought to you by Greta Thunberg.

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That Was Then, THIS is Now

When I was a child, caterpillars were a frequent sight. I played all day at tidepools at the Coronado, CA seashore and gently poked a lot of sea anenomes to make them close. I could catch (and release) small frogs at the pond on the local golf course–there were thousands. In many ways, it was an idyllic childhood even though my family was poor and my grandfather had died of a radiation-induced brain tumor after leaving the Navy, after witnessing the explosions at Bikini Atoll. Planes from North Island Naval Base flew over my tidepools several times a day, so I was never unaware of war.

But by the time I was twelve I’d become convinced that the planet had changed immensely since the last time I’d incarnated (yes, I really thought that way as a kid). I blamed television and radio rays, all modern things, and sensed a coming apocalypse. I thought it would happen by the time I was a legal “grup.” I was desperate to understand how to live my life on the earth in a healthy way. Alicia Bay Laurel’s Living on the Earth was one of my favorite books. (But I was also listening to the Velvet Underground’s first album so go figure.)

Soon teen hormones took over and I became interested in other things (including boys), such as feminism, working at a women’s clinic as a pregnancy counselor, and supporting La Huelga by leafletting for the grape boycott outside of supermarkets. Then life threw me several curve balls and I did not end up in a wooded hippie commune, as I’d planned.

I ended up…elsewhere.

In spite of my valid childhood concerns, I still don’t know how to make a fire or how to identify wild edible herbs in my area. I have no skills at all that would enable me to survive a day in the wilderness, let alone the rest of my life foraging in a semi-rural or urban landscape as an old woman living in a toxin-drenched, violent dystopia caused by the galloping climate disaster we are currently doing everything we can… to continue.

I’m more likely to end up on somebody’s plate, at that point. Waste not, want not.

So I could say to Greta Thunberg and all her generation, and to my children’s generation which preceeded hers, yes, I remember what it was like to be a young person who could see clearly that Western consumerism, pollution, and war were all features of an insane cancer that would doom us all, even the animals. And I didn’t understand why the grown-ups didn’t see what I could see. And yet, as an adult, I have not done enough.

Greta and her allies will probably not make the same mistake. They have much less time to waste on bullshit than I did and their analysis is more accurate.


Quote from Greta Thunberg’s address to the World Economic Forum last January:

“Some people say that that the climate crisis is something that we all have created. But that is just another convenient lie because if everyone is guilty, then no one is to blame. And someone is to blame. Some people, some companies, some decision-makers in particular have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to make unimaginable amounts of money, and I think many of you here today belong to that group of people.”


I’m going to leave that right here for a moment. I’ll return to Greta later.

Ecology 101 in “The Pleasant Land of Counterpane”

I spent the last three days in bed, sick with a cold brought from the Eastern states by an air traveller. During that time I binge-watched Versailles and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and ignored the new Our Planet, even though my cats favor nature programs. (You see, as a mature citizen of the most unsustainable resource-guzzling nation on the planet, I still have that luxury, that privilege, of choosing entertainment over information.) But last night, “while I was sick and lay a-bed,” I watched the first episode. The lush photography of masses of penguins, sea birds, anchovies, and dolphins made me want to weep. The melting glaciers of Greenland, ditto. I knew what the message of the show would be and that’s partly why I didn’t want to watch it while ill.

Here’s an excerpt from a future episode, one about ants and fungi in the rain forest. It holds a cautionary lesson for human beings. In the beginning of the clip, ants farm fungi and keep it free of disease. And there’s a phrase thrown in about how the fungal crop may have benefits for human medical research. The the footage switches to a deranged ant climbing a tree, finally reaching the very end of one twig “high above the forest floor.” What happens next is an apt metaphor for how we human beings function in the face of our self-created planetary disaster. Of the pathetic ant and its fate, David Attenborough says:

“Something has taken control of its movements, like a puppeteer pulling at the strings of a marionette. There’s just one final act for which the ant has no choice. It must find a place to bite down, tethering it to the vegetation. With the ant in its death grip, a parasitic fungus, Cordyceps, erupts from its body… Finally the fruiting body of the fungus bursts from its head. From this bulbous container spores will be cast into the air currents where they will claim more ant victims…”

But other bugs also succumb to this parasite. The footage is horrifying. But Attenborough comments:

“The more numerous a species is, the more likely it is to fall victim to the killer fungus. Checks and balances like these means no one species can ever dominate, so protecting the jungle’s incredible diversity…”

Cordyceps is sometimes called a “zombie fungus” because it eventually controls the behavior, the motor movements of its host, forcing it to starve to death while the fruiting bodies mature enough to emerge from its body in order to release spores.

I have often wondered why human beings, collectively as a species, are so stupid and self-destructive? Why are we not organizing, rapidly and decisively? Even in a destructive context like capitalism, economic arguments support the wisdom of a “Green New Deal” and other initiatives. Why are we lurching, like mindless fungi-infected zombie ants, toward the very things which will doom us all? In spite of all, we humans clamp down our jaws, unable to speak out at the very edge of the precipice–a death grip of consumerism.

Even the ants have learned to recognize their infected colleagues and to remove them from the colony, as a means of survival. But we are not so wise. And our infections are both internal (habits, thoughts, ignorance, selfishness) and external (policies, power structures, faulty leadership, pollution, war). Our individual and collective inactions give Darwin the lie. We do not care about our own species survival. We only care about whatever feeds our greed.

Here’s another lesson, this one on indicator species and social ecology. This video of the late Michael Rossman was taken in front of the Berkeley Oak Tree Sit of a few years ago. In spite of the tree sit and protests, the oak grove–“a real forest” as Michael says–was destroyed to build a multi-million dollar student atheletic building right next to the CAL stadium, which sits on top of the Hayward Fault. Though it is on a smaller scale, it is another example of the kind of short-sighted, destructive policymaking that Greta Thunberg calls out so accurately. (And how Michael would have cheered for this young woman, had he lived to hear or read her words!)

Medicine for the Cordyceps Twins of Capitalism and Consumerism

Unlike the ants sick with Cordyceps, I do think we have some choices, still. Even now way  past the eleventh hour we can back away from our lemming rush off the edge of the precipice. We can choose individual change, systems change, and context change. The doctor is in and ze prescribes: Animism. The awareness that all matter is conscious, therefore humans are not the be-all and end-all and we don’t get to be nature bullies any longer.

Animism can be combined with the Precautionary Principle as a practical philosophy to infuse global and local policies and decision-making, as well as strategies to mitigate and reverse as many of the features of our climate catastrophe as possible (including species decline and extinction, fuel usage, etc.). When we can give and observe the rights of rivers, forests, etc. as “a legal person,” with the understanding that there really is a consciousness experienced by that thing or natural feature and that we are engaged in a communication with it on some level (whether we sense it or not), then we are on the way to correcting our destructive hubris.


Here’s a passage and quote from a good article about legal rights of natural features:

Contrary to popular misconceptions, legal rights are not the same as human rights, as corporations have enjoyed the rights of legal personhood for quite some time.

“I always find it interesting that people don’t seem to be challenged by the idea that a fictional thing like a corporation can have personhood, but that a natural resource, which is actually much more tangible, can’t,” Macpherson said. “I think that people are just used to what they’re used to, and over time as this becomes more common, and more people are pushing for it, the idea will start to seem less shocking.”


Artisanal Animist-Infused Threefold Social Order

And we could try this. Though Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was a man of his time with serious flaws (dude was a racist), he had some interesting insights and did some good in this world (e.g. biodynamic farming and Waldorf Schools). His post-WWI Threefold Social Order is one of his more intriguing ideas. I am not sure that all aspects are reasonable or doable in the 21st century–a far more complicated era of multi-national corporations and our climate catastrophe–but I do like the idea of infusing animism into a simplied form of his reasoning, at least as a jumping off point for consideration.

Steiner was inspired by the slogan of the French Revolution, but he thought “liberté, egalité, fraternité” should be separately assigned to each of the three general realms of human life. He felt that the economic sphere should be based on brotherhood (and we need a more inclusive word for this, I know), that the legal realm should be based on equality, and the cultural realm should be based on freedom.

I can imagine combining a working philosophy of animism (consiousness of matter) with this idea in the following ways:

Infusing liberté (freedom) with animism in the cultural realm could result in a greater respect and engagement with animals, plants, waterways, landscapes, and other natural systems as culture-creating and culture-bearing in their own right. We could allow for and respect their cultures while purusing our own within that context.

Infusing egalité (equality) with animism in the legal sphere would inform decisions to grant legal personhood to more and more animals, rivers, habitats, mountains, etc.

Infusing fraternité (non-gendered familial comradery?) with animism in the economic realm could result in more considerate and less exploitive behavior with regard to other creatures and natural features, that they are recognized as fellow citizens of this planet as well as legal persons and that they have a stake in thriving in a sustainable natural economy. Humans would return to something more in harmony with the natural order of things and no longer see ourselves as completely entitled to everything we want, no matter what effect it has on anyone else. We would have to communicate with and treat with the other terrestrial intelligences on this planet.

So these are ideas to kick around as foundational as we pursue necessary practical strategies such as renewable energy, lowering our carbon footprint, ending military pollution, and so on.

Humans: Rouge Species or Lemmings and Zombie Ants?

Right now, it’s as if humanity acts on the rest of the Earth’s species just as the U.S. acts on the rest of the countries of the world: greedy, grabby, exploitive, entitled, endlessly destructive, and heedless of consequence. A rogue nation and a rogue species if ever there was one.

While everyone alive right now (especially in “developed” countries) must take individual actions to decrease complicity and perpetuation of climate change, the elders, thinkers, inventors of this world who are working on solutions to climate catastrophe (such as the folk who present at Bioneers conferences) need to quit patting themselves on the back as elite “thought leaders” (as so many do) and spend much more time in the trenches with young people such as Greta Thunberg. Pass on what you know. Get the kids access to conventions, forums, the United Nations, and executive board rooms. Use your own privilege to grant them as much access as possible to other thought-leaders, policy-makers, Use your platform to get their voices to the general public. (And make sure it’s not just white, cis kids either, okay?)

And in turn, each young person alive today could in turn represent a bee colony, a flower species, a forest, a mountain, or a stream, and as their representative give them a voice in conventions, forums, the United Nations…

Meanwhile, someone teach these kids how to make fire without a match, please. They may need this where we’re going.

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VIII. Spectrosexuality Survey: Satisfaction

“Honestly, why have a human partner LOL!”

That’s a quote from the comments section. Spectrosex and spirit spousing may not be for everyone, but those respondents who took this survey seem to enjoy this most of the time. 55 out of 100 people said they were “very satisfied” and 33 out of 100 people said they were “often satisfied.”

Data_Q8_190403

Very positive comments included:

I’m in love with them!”

“Always extremely satisfied.”

But these types of incidents and/or relationships  do have their challenges. Some are challenging because there are other life complications:

“Saying often satisfied since I do deal with clinical depression and chronic pain that aren’t related to the relationship but do have an effect on my wellbeing.”

Some are challenging due to the confusing or overwhelming nature of spectrosexual encounters:

“Loki is quite present in my daily life, and although I cleanse and ground frequently, taking on his sexual energy so frequently can be difficult for my body to handle. If we have sex at night and he orgasms, I absorb so much energy from him I often can’t sleep.” 

“When it happened, I was confused and so sure I was going crazy. When I got confirmation, I was elated—for a little bit. Then I got overwhelmed by everything (his constant presence, me freaking out all the time, lack of communication) and we decided to give it a break. I’m not sure if that break will ever end, but I’m glad I experienced what I did.”

Some people experience emotional support from a god or spirit just as they might with a human partner:

“Sometimes my anxiety gets the best of me and can cut off my communication with Thor. From what I’ve experienced Thor has been incredibly paitent [sic] with this and has helped me forward. As a spouse, he’s very passionate, very affectionate and will make you feel like the king/queen of the world 10/10 would recommend lol.”

“…my husband is clinically depressed and most of my time is spent taking care of both his emotional and physical needs. My emotional needs tend to be met by my patron who kinda took me under his wing and adopted me.”

Emotional ups and downs are also possible:

“Had been through a very rough few years and now rebuilding relationships. Going well, very happy.”

“At the time, I was satisfied with incorporating offerings of sexual energy into those spirit relationships. In hindsight, given that things didn’t necessarily end on the best of terms with either Person, I’m not really sure if I’m satisfied or not. Sometimes, I do miss having that clear direction of intent and connection to Someone, though.”

One person spoke to the complexity of a very long-term god/spirit spouse relationship:

“In 14 years of marriage and nearly 20 years of intimacy with the same being, I am still at an utter loss for words as regards how to discuss my satisfaction and “physical happiness” as you put it.”

And there may be a significance that transcends human concerns about sex or intimacy:

“The sexual encounters I have had with spirits seemed to be more about other things than about the sex. It’s never been about the intimacy or because that sort of relationship was going to be a regular thing (if they weren’t simply dreams), but rather something closer to initiations or power transference than anything else.”

If I’d done a survey with more questions and a larger sample, designed to be scientifically accurate, there are so many nuances I’d explore: definitions of satisfaction; comparisons of human and spirit relationships or encounters; more specific questions about sexual beliefs and practices; and so on. But for a start, it’s interesting to know that among these 100 respondents, most are having positive experiences.

Stay tuned for Question 9.

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VII. Spectrosexuality Survey: Practices and Rituals

Not everyone has a “godphone” for spiritual booty calls. Instead, human beings who have engaged in intimate contact with gods and other spirits may use a variety of approaches to make and/or receive contact. Often they do nothing at all.

To fully understand the results of this question, I need to compare responses in the categories, since people were able to check several categories.


Data_Q7_190318


Because this question accepted multiple responses, it’s helpful to make do some comparisons. Fortunately, Survey Monkey provides filters.

Q7 FILTERED CHART #1

38 people said that not doing anything worked well for them. But let’s see what else those 38 people did to facilitate spectrosex.

Data_Q7_WorksWell_190402

Of the 38 people who answered “I don’t do anything” in the “works well” column,  20 also said rituals worked well. 21 said offerings worked well. 9 people said using solo sex as an invitation also worked well (and 10 said it worked “sometimes.”) 5 said horsing worked well and 4 said using psychoactive substances worked well. These same things also worked “sometimes.”

Q7 FILTERED CHART #2

People who said that not doing anything “works well sometimes” also do other things.

Data_Q7_WorksSometimes_2_190402

You get the idea. People are doing many different things to either get the attention of gods and spirits, or to respond to them. And some methods work better than others.

Nineteen people included details in the “Other” section. People described many different ways of entering into intimacy and have many kinds of experiences. Some involve physical touch, objects, or partners. Some do not.

Here are some highlights.

“Usually meditate and go into trance and then do divination about how to proceed and take things from there. I use godphone, but it’s still being developed; there’s too much interference to rely on it alone. If I don’t check in with a physical divination tool, my thoughts take over and I lose the conversation.”

“I have only occasionally performed ritual sex with Dionysos using a dildo. Most of the time our relationship is more emotionally intimate, rather than physically.”

“I often pathwalk in order to initiate sexual and intimate experiences with my god spouse and other spirit partners.”

“Something special I kind of worked out with Thor is to invoke him within me if I’m having an encounter with someone physical. It gives me that opportunity to offer the sexual energy to him.”

“It’s all extremely consensual and takes place in this reality without aid of touch, objects, manual stimulation, or anything. They harness my nervous system and it feels like sex and orgasms. I suspect they are possessing certain functions of my nerves and chakras. Can happen while awake, meditating, offering offerings, asleep, ranges from petting my head to full blown raunchy sex. Various styles for all various deities.”

“I will say the reason I HAVEN’T typically planned or set out to create sexual encounters with deity is that on the very few occasions I’ve attempted to do so, it hasn’t worked as well as spontaneously arising ones.”

“My experience is multi faceted. At times, I have two intimate partners in the flesh, at times I will engage in ritual with these partners to invite higher beings to be present in us for the purpose of the Great Rite. Other times I am visited in the night by rather friendly and welcome spirit beings who will engage with me sexually. In the past I have had profound experiences in the psychedelic realms. For many years psychedelic trips were not sexy, then I was awakened by Faerie into such a wonderful place.”

Aside from the above mention of the “Great Rite,” a few other people added details about “horsing” (spirit or god possession of a partner or self).

“Would consider partner possesion if i had a partner & they were willing to try (or if Loki were to demand it. But he tends to believe consent is a big thing).”

“I’ve had several interactions that may or may not have been ‘horsing’: while having intercourse with my husband/other human partners, my partner has referenced concepts, phrases, or actions that I have heard/experienced during meditation/trancework interactions with my non-human/spirit partners.”

“Role reversal. I’m the one who Horses.”

Finally, horsing does not have to be a sexual experience:

“I’ve only ever “horsed” once that I’m aware of, and I’m not even sure if that’s what was going on. It was Odin and absolutely NOT sexual in nature. I was alone and he pulled me with him to show me Yggdrasil.”

There is room for more detailed analysis of this and the other questions. Look for that in future blogs. Question 8 coming up in the next blog post.

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