Gentle readers, I have a healthy international readership on this blog. This is why I am crossposting this image and asking you to please take a look at these lovely review excerpts for my urban fantasy novel, The Dire Deeds, the first in The Guild of Ornamental Hermits series. I hope these reviews encourage you to seek out my book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Available on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle eBook.
These books are LGBTQIA++ saturated, yet the characters (and the plot) can be loved and enjoyed by anyone who likes humor, paranormal romance, preposterous plot twists, and plucky humans learning magic from plucky Elves.
The second and third books are with the copy editors and publisher now. The fourth is in progress. The Dire Deeds is not just a first novel with aspirations for a series. I have already written so much more!
What Loki wants, Loki gets, even if it’s not made by hand, even if it can be bought for ready money. Today is #LokiSpongecakeDay.
The source of this fondly remembered Holy Day is a Tumblr thread where someone took umbrage at a photograph of another devotee’s humble offering of a simple store-bought spongecake (shortcake) with strawberries and whipped cream. And then there were comments and rebuttals, boiling down to “umbrage up yours.” You can find the original 2012 “Spongecake” thread here.
We’re celebrating online today, so show up if you’re inclined. Bring your spongecake and some limericks. Or whatever. And be proud of your spongecake, whether it is handmade from artisan-sourced ingredients or grabbed off the shelf. It’s the thought–the devotion–that counts. Loki will be thrilled with the attention.
What follows is more “Lord of Misrule” than Kapu Aloha, but I hope I will be forgiven my foray into politically satirical lyrics regarding issues in Hawai’i. Years and years ago I re-wrote the lyrics to O Danny Boy as O Danny Boys, O Danner Girls with the help of Aunty Puanani Rogers. This was a reference to U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka and HI State Senator Daniel Inouye trying to ram the “Akaka Bills” through the U.S. federal government, as well as some other shenanigans. Puanani sang our song at Thomas Square for La Ho’iho’i Ea (Restoration Day) in 2004–the same day I was literally at the summit of Mauna Kea while a certain activist and his friends flew the Hawaiian Kingdom flags in the spirit of joyful and determined resistance.
Today is Restoration Day. It was celebrated in Thomas Square in Honolulu last weekend, as well as many other locations. I am sure that the upwelling of international support for the Mauna Kea Protectors (Kia’i) added zest to the occasion. La Ho’iho’i Ea celebrates a time when England “gave back” the Hawaiian Kingdom after a low-ranking military doofus “took” it for several months.
Anyway, back in 2014, after the TMT officials were confronted, and the “groundbreaking” was stopped, I wrote these lyrics to the tune of The Fugs’ CIA Man.
As I said, it’s satire–and far more “Berkeley” in spirit than anyone on the Mauna would want it to be. But every now and then, some people might want a bit of snarky humor, off mountain. So, I release these lyrics to the world. Public domain, y’all.
Today’s devotional topic is “names and epithets” of Loki. I suggest we take up the PeeWee Practice of “Today’s Secret Word” and “scream real loud” today whenever someone says “Loki” or one of his kennings. (This will work real well in those Lokean Facebook groups.) Ready?
“He Who Is Not Marvel Loki”(Arrrrgh!)
“He Who is Using Marvel Loki to Channel His Norseness”(Aiiieeeee!)
“Fárbauti’s Terribly Sly Son Who Wants Another Donut”(Yiiiiiiiikes!)
And there’s an assortment of favorite, personal pet names, but I’ll only share one:
“Charming Iconoclast”(Aiiieeeee!) (See, that wasn’t so bad.)
But seriously, I enjoy finding many ways to verbally venerate my favorite you know who. (Ha! Thought you’d catch me out, didja? No screaming in THAT sentence!) (What? “You Know Who” is an epithet? Arrrgh!!!)
Okay. I’m just gonna suck it up. Content warning from here on out. There will be written expressions of screaming and shrieking, and other sounds of being aghast.
(Step away from that period, Ma’am…Drop it. I mean DROP IT!)
(I warned you!)
(For God’s sake…)
…(God? Hey, an epithet! Aiiieeeee!)
Look, just read the chapter in Dagulf Loptson’s book called “The L Word.” It has — if not all — then certainly very, very many traditional names, epithets, and kennings for Loki. (Shriek!)
One of my favorites is “The Deep-Minded-War-Booty-Withholding God,” (p. 36).
(I got tired of writing “arrrgh” and stuff…)
Please note: “Booty” reminds me of pirates. Some would say I’m too old to think it means anything else… but as a sexologist I find myself rather fascinated by the term “booty-withholding.” But I digress…
I also like all the endearments and kennings used in Elizabeth Vongsvisith’s poem on page 276 of The Jotunbok.
And since I began with PeeWee Herman, it’s only fair to end with an academic (and refreshingly non-screaming) Dr. Jackson Crawford video on Old Norse names, and the customs around giving names. He explains kennings.
I woke up with a foul taste in my mouth, sweat-soaked from the heat, and aware that a long, possibly grimy day awaited me, cleaning up the last bits of “canceling LokiFest CA” debris. So many details to construct even a modest event, particularly one involving vendors, insurance companies, city officials, potential volunteers, etc… and so there are so many details to thus dismantle.
Fortunately I set about these chores first thing this morning, even with only half a cup of black tea and a protein drink to fuel my focus. So it isn’t surprising that Solstice completely escaped my mind–until it began to show up on my Facebook feed.
I have no idea what I’ll do to observe it. I’ll be alone except for cats, most likely, and what do they care about the longest day?
I’m a bad neopagan… a bad, bad, neopagan…
Yesterday I listened to our local pagan show on our local community radio station. There was a good bit about Summer Solstice as a time to weed out evil, but I feel some sense of futility, what with the current administration and all. Maybe I should have “ickle talk” with my namesake, the Goetic Demon. As a fallen angel, maybe he’d/she’d have some ideas about weeding out evil. (Goetic Amy apparently can appear as whatever, just like my patron deity, Loki. Maybe they trade wardrobe tips.)
(Oh, that “ickle talk” thing? It comes from E.F. Benson’s Make Way for Lucia books, a series which I’ve re-read at least a dozen times or more over almost thirty years. They never fail to amuse. But I digress… Where was I? Oh yes, bad neopagan…bad, bad neopagan…)
But actually, I don’t really feel bad. I feel gloriously unburdened at the moment. And last night, my meditation session went to places I hadn’t been before. There’s a lot of “personal gnosis” going on right now, but it all feels pretty positive. I’m a bit surprised.
So this might be a day of going off to buy some geraniums for my yard, and watering things, and maybe sipping lemonade in the patio, or taking myself out to lunch. And I’ll light the usual candles for my daily devotions, and it wouldn’t take much to add an extra one for Solstice. And I’ll trust today in our spirit-drenched world and its capacity to right itself one way or another, with or without the dubious contributions of humans.
I probably don’t need to seek out a ritual labyrinth though. The one I’m walking in my own life feels like enough for now.
And if Loki wants a special Solstice Donut on his altar, heck, I’ll spring for it.
The night before: three of us sat down to play “Cards Against Humanity” with Loki as our “Rando Cardrissian” fourth (as per the CAH rule book). Loki ended up winning 21 rounds (but came in second). I set his winning cards aside, to laugh about them later. Then I went to bed.
As many people know, CAH calls itself “the party game for horrible people.” But this was the first time I’d played with my fave trickster. In the past, my (adult) kids and I would just blow up a balloon or a condom, drew a face on it, tape it to a chair and call it “Rando,” drawing Rando’s cards at random, just like the rule book says. But playing the game with Loki was decidedly a “leveling up” or at least a “leveling sideways.”
The next morning, in moment of near-fatal whimsy, I decided to invoke my trickster god and do a Celtic Cross divination shuffling the 21 cards that he’d won the night before. The reading, which I hoped would shed light on a troubling group situation, is weirdly appropriate…
Signifier (drawn at random): “Profoundly handicapped.”(Me: Well, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity HAS disrupted every aspect of my life…)
1. What covers me:“A micropig wearing a tiny raincoat and booties.”(Me: better that than roaches.)
2. What opposes me: “Men.”(Me: ‘Nuff said.)
3. What crowns me, the best I can arrive at:“Frolicking.” (Me: I’ll take it!)
4. What is beneath me, what I have to work with:“The wrath of Vladimir Putin.” (Me: Shucks. The Wrath of Khan would have been more fun…but, whatever!)
5. What is behind me, the influence that is passing away: “Gandhi.”(Me: With a patron deity like Loki, I suppose this is understandable.)
6. What is before me: “Harry Potter erotica.”(Me: I can hardly wait. Dibs on Snape.)
7. Me in the future:“A man on the brink of orgasm.”(Me: Will I find him on Fetlife?)
8. My environment in the future: “White-man scalps.”(Me: Could have an influence on public policy in this country. What say all of you?)
9. Hopes and fears: “The Pope.”(Me: Definitely a fear.)
10. What will come: “Getting naked and watching Nickelodean.”(Me: Netflix is more likely, but whatever. Guess that’ll be my Wednesday nights then…)
Okay, I really don’t have a godphone to Loki, like some folks do. Every now and then I get “pings” or even more definite gut-level tugs. I often feel a presence. Once in a while I’ve “heard” a strong message, like “no!” accompanied by unmistakable emotion (like when I mistakenly licked the spoon from His jar of Nutella after vowing never to eat from it). Mostly, though, I use the pendulum and other divination methods to communicate with my deities and guides, including Loki.
Still, I can’t help being amused by the kind of spam this blog gets–and by imagining Loki’s responses. Today, I cleared out “Sex Gals” and a cheap viagra post from the spam cache, and I could imagine Loki looking over my shoulder inquisitively. The rest of this blog is going to read like one of those (often annoying) conversation memes that are spread around social media like cheap mayonnaise.
Loki: “‘Sex Gals?‘ Sounds interesting!”
Me: “To you, maybe. Not to me.” (Proceeds to bulk edit spam cache.)
Loki: “How do you know those spam messages aren’t actually highly significant, divinatory messages from me? Or (snort) from Freyr?”
Me: “Are you really going to make me drag out Freyr’s pendulum too? I can, you know.”
Loki (grins): “Wouldn’t think of putting you through all that trouble!”
Loki: “Hey, I saved your life yesterday! Without me making you feel suddenly dizzy and sick, thereby causing you to delay your departure for five minutes while you took out my pendulum to ask if you should drive all the way to the Bay Area to see your youngest son, you might have been the spam in a can in that upturned car three blocks from your house!”
Me: “You’re saying I owe you?”
Loki: (Grins and says nothing.)
Me: “But I already deleted the spam!”
Loki: “Check your other blogs. Check that sexologist one!”
So I dutifully switch to the other blog and take a look at the spam cache.
Me: “Damn. There’s thirteen of these suckers already! You really want me to swing the pendulum for each one of these things?”
Loki: “Yep. Mine first. Then Freyr’s.”
Me: (Exasperated.) “Oh for heaven’s sake!”
Loki: “Asgard. You mean Asgard.”
Me: “I dunno. That really super long twumpian/Christian prophecy spam might beg to differ. It says that the end is nigh.”
Loki: “It’s always ‘nigh.’ Look at Ragnarok for heaven’s sake!”
Me: “LOL! Now you’re doing it!”
Loki: “So what else is in your spam cache?”
Me: “The usual. An ad for 500 mg. of amoxicillian is attached to my ‘Men with Smaller Penises’ post. Someone else offers licentious portraits of college girls…”
Loki: “That’s not from me!”
Me: (Dryly.) “I’m relieved.”
Me: “To continue with our spam inventory…CBD oil, something about ‘my nephew’ and ‘my pet’ but it honestly makes no sense, ‘amoxicillin for cats’…say, who makes amoxicillin anyway? Is it Bayer? Because they just bought Monsanto and the stock is DOWN!…(gleeful laughter with an tinge of ‘fuck the world is ending’ hysteria…).
Loki: (Dryly.) “Try to focus, won’t you?”
Me: “Ahem. Sorry. Okay…tech…fleece…RSS feed… There’s not much here except the apocalyptic Christian thing about bitcoin and the sign of the beast. One of yours?”
Loki: (Dryly.) “Use the pendulum to test each one.”
And then I get a bright idea.
Me: “I don’t have to! I just did a bulk pendulum query to ask if any of the spam posts are actually secret messages from either of my two fave gods! And the answer was ‘no!'”
Loki: “Smart ass.”
Me: (Smirking.) “Let’s go play with InspiroBot instead.”
So, we play with InspiroBot and this happens:
Me: “Are you sure that’s not a licentious portrait of a college girl?”
Yesterday was March 6th. According to Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone March forecast for my Sun sign, that was my day for a big candy box of astro-goodies. I had (1) New Moon in Pisces in my fifth house (love and romance)–though I didn’t “go out and circulate” as advised, except for a trip to the grocery store and no, I didn’t meet a new love in the parking lot. (Gluten-free crackers were on sale though. That was a score!)
But perhaps all that action in my fifth house is what inspired me to launch my Neopagan Spectrosexuality and God Spouse survey this week? Looking for 100 good respondents who will actually fill out all ten questions. If you’re having spirit sex, I want to know. Totally confidential. (No one keeps secrets like a Scorp!)
According to Miller, I also had (2) Neptune doing the conjunct thing with the New Moon in Pisces, where the Sun and a retrograde Mercury are also canoodling. And (3) Mars is in my seventh house “partnership sector” which I guess is dandy, but since there is no human partner on the horizon, it seems kind of a waste. Now a literary agent–that’d be a treat! I could get serious about that!
So here I am, waving a nice internet signal flag (below) to the literary world and to fans of fantasy fiction at large. It’s a “showcase” of the first three chapters of the first book in my Guild of Ornamental Hermits fantasy trilogy–a tale of mid-life magic. It’s meant as a “teaser,” so please, purchase and be teased!
Showcasing the first 5 chapters of a tale of mid-life magic. A ragtag bunch of artists and musicians learn mystic arts and team up with Elves as they resist interdimensional baddies, a giant salamander, and the usual real estate developers. Set in the lava land of Puna in the “not too distant future” of a renewed Hawaiian Kingdom. The lead characters are trans and intersex, and many others are LGB and queer. The $3.00 profit from each copy…
Getting those five chapters into the MagCloud format, and launching it, was what I was doing yesterday instead of displaying my charms at the Foods Etc. parking lot in Clearlake. (Sorry, fellas!)
(4) Miller also heralds this March 6th astro-quake:
“Uranus into Taurus for the first time since 1934 to 1941. This means the influence will be brand new to you and most people living today. Uranus takes 84 years to circle the Sun and all 12 houses of the horoscope, spending seven years in each house this planet visits. The seven years Uranus will be in your marriage and partnership house will be from March 201* until April 2026.” (She wrote 2018* but that was obviously a typo.)
I’m twitching with anticipation. And since I’m 64, a Uranus in Taurus partnership just might get me through the remaining years of my life. We’ll see. If nothing else, I guess I’ll make a few more trips to the grocery store.
So, just as any good Scorpio would do, I ignored the romantic promptings of the stars and shunned human company so as to thrust two more projects out into the world in order to advance my aims for world domination. It’s a life that only my cats–and Loki–can understand. That is, until you read my five chapters and take the survey…
Then you’ll know…all!
P.S. Yesterday I found out that microwaving marshmellow Peeps is a popular form of consumer product torture. I never knew it was a thing. Is it kinky? Should I run a survey?
Tomorrow’s full lunar eclipse has the exciting name of “Super Blood Red Wolf Moon.”
How to View It
Right now, I cannot even see Mt. Konocti from my window, the clouds and mist are so thick, so I have the sad feeling that my sky vision will still be obscured tomorrow evening. If you are unable to watch this eclipse from your neighborhood, you can see it live on the internet starting at Jan. 20th,10:30 PM ET. Check this National Geographic link for info. I’ll likely have to watch this event online.
What’s in a Name?
The moon is “super” because it’s going to be closer than usual to the Earth. The first full moon in January is called a “Wolf Moon” according to some non-specified European and native American traditions. I am always a little wary when I hear something comes from “a native American tradition” as there were so very many nations and cultures of indigenous people here on Turtle Island and white people continue to lump things together and they also get them wrong to boot. (Perhaps I’ll try to track down more specific info later.)
The moon will also turn a nice rusty red during this eclipse. Hence, “blood red moon.”
Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone is my usual “go to” site for monthly forecasts. Here’s what she tells me, a Scorpio, about tomorrow’s eclipse:
“The next eclipse, January 20, will be a full moon lunar eclipse, in Leo one degree, and something is ending. This will be a difficult eclipse because chaotic and unpredictable Uranus will be active and in one of his raging moods, sending an angry 90-degree beam (denoting obstacles) to the Sun in Aquarius, one degree, and at the same time he’ll send exactly the same aspect to the full moon in Leo, one degree.”
Miller relates the above to troubles in my career house. Since my career is presently dormant, I am not sure what–if anything–could be affected.
Miller also says, “The moon rules your ninth house, so you may also have a problem while traveling (best not to do so near January 20), with a relationship with a foreign person based in your country, or regarding a client based overseas. Publishing, broadcasting, academia, and the courts are areas that could bring up a difficulty – pick one.”
Bummer. But I don’t have travel plans anyway, except to the grocery store twelve miles away. The cats are out of food. Since this county has flood warnings, I’ll be careful.
According to another website, the sun signs Aries, Gemini, Cancer, Capricorn and Aquarius are going to be most affected by this eclipse. Bummer again. My moon is in Capricorn and this eclipse is supposed to turn Caps into super blood red control freaks (i.e. more than usual) and my rising is in Cancer. This eclipse is supposed to make me totally hungry for money and much less sweet tempered.
So… as a Scorpio this moon causes turmoil in my career house, and with Cancer and Capricorn also affected, I may experience a vile temper, a lust for cash, and an urge to rule the world. Sounds like a perfect time to go into professional domination! But nah, too old…
(And I can think of quite a few politicians who deserve ickle spanking right now. Restore the government already and get those people back to work!!!)
Seriously though, if any astrology-minded readers have insights on the impact of this eclipse on Scorpio Sun people, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Time for a Lokean Ritual of Resistance?
Yesterday I wrote about the Realm of the Honeyed Moon, a sort of mindful, sensual, “glad to be alive” practice, a series of small and large ritual actions, charming most aspects of daily life. (And right now I am charmed to be sitting up again at my usual window after three days in bed, and sipping apple cider vinegar, hot water, and honey.)
But a ritual for the Realm of the Super Blood Red Wolf Moon is a perfect flip side to that, especially for a Lokean! For one thing, it could it be an opportunity to ritually greet and honor Loki’s two wolf children: the more famous Fenrir, who is kidnapped and bound and bites off the hand of Tyr, and another son who is turned into a wolf and kills his brother Nali (post “Lokasenna”). The son who is turned into a wolf is named Narvi or Vali, depending on the source.
The fate of these two wolf children are told in poems and stories of vindictive, authoritarian deities who enact terrible penalties based on: (1) harm that might be done in the future by Fenris (killing Odin at Ragnarök); and (2) revenge against Loki which is partially taken out on two of his innocent children (Nali and Narvi/Vali). Loki is bound with the entrails of the slain Nali and Narvi runs off afterwards, apparently remaining a wolf. Meanwhile, according to a prose postscript to the poem “Lokasenna,” Loki is imprisioned in the cave, with a poison-dripping snake above this head. Sigyn holds the bowl to intercept the poison, and when she has to empty the bowl, Loki writhes in pain from the venom, causing earthquakes.
[By the way, my retelling here is sketchy and barely adequate so please do look up this stuff in the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda yourself, if you haven’t already.]
I can’t help but compare the present actions of certain vindictive authoritarians with some of the elements of these stories. The Norse lore had prophecies and dire actions taken to forestall those prophecies (which become self-fulfilled). We have “fake news” and a fake “emergency” call for a wall. The lore has the kidnapped Fenrir, the murdered Nali, and the abused then vanished Narvi/Vali. We have children of immigrants, some of whom have died in custody, some of whom are lost, many not reunited with family. People are punished harshly for telling the truth (the lore has Loki’s Flyting, we have whistleblowers going to prison). And Gray Wolves no longer have federal protection.
Both the lore and these current events make me angry and sad.
Tomorrow’s eclipse of the Super Blood Red Wolf Moon is an opportunity to honor these innocents of Norse Lore and those in our own epoch who are hurt or worse for their differences or deeds, whether human or animal. I feel this Wolf Moon eclipse is an opportunity to honor resistance and to highlight the need to protect children and wolves, so I am looking for ways to create a suitable Lokean ritual for this. As an offering to Loki, in honor of Fenrir and Narvi/Vali, I have donated to an organization that fights for Gray Wolf protection, the Wild Earth Guardians. I have also made a donation to RAICES, an activist group helping immigrant families. This article lists seven organizations doing similar or complementary work.
Without the realization of dire circumstances in our own epoch, without the awareness symbolized by a Super Blood Red Wolf Moon, there can be no peace, no rest, in the Realm of the Honeyed Moon.